Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Ix: Player Character Races

Some more player info on the Dark Sun / Dune inspired campaign setting I'm working on.

I've taken a slightly non-traditional approach regarding race and class in removing level limits from the demi-human races. To compensate I've done two things:
  1. Reduced the benefits of being demi-human -- no attribute bonuses.
  2. Given plain humans some benefits of their own (player-selected attribute bonuses).
On balance I think that the mechanical benefits of being a plain human outweigh those of the other races. I guess this will, together with the ability requirements of demi-humans, mean that there will be more human characters than demi-humans -- a desirable side-effect for me.

Note that I've decided to hold off  with Thri-kreen as a PC race. I was on the edge with that, but in the end decided they're cooler as monsters.

Humans

City Dwellers
Ability Scores: no minimums or maximums

The citizens of the free cities and oases of Ix are the most numerous inhabitants of the world, as well as the most common people who take up adventuring lives.
They are a lean, tall race, similar to the people of north Africa.

City dweller adventurers gain a +1 bonus to two of their ability scores, chosen by the player at character creation. (Note that no score may be raised above 18.)

Sandestine
Ability Scores: CON 10 (min)

Sandestine are a culture of humans who have adapted to life in the deep desert. Physically they are similar to other humans, but are distinguished by their wiry hair and blue eyes.

Sandestine have a clan-based society, and live primarily in secret underground settlements in the desert, where they are rumoured to have vast stores of water. Naturally these settlements are fanatically guarded, and non-Sandestine are forbidden to ever enter.

Sandestine are sometimes encountered in cities, or working as scouts or caravan guards.

Due to their genetic adaptation to the desert, Sandestine gain a +4 bonus to saving throws vs dehydration. They also gain a +1 bonus to rolls to forage or hunt in the desert.

Sandestine gain a +1 bonus to one ability score, chosen by the player at character creation.

Sandestine manufacture desert clothing known as “osmosis suits”, which gather and purify the water evaporated from the body by means of a series of membranes derived from the skins and organs of desert creatures. Such suits are very valuable, and are only very rarely given to non-Sandestine.

Slave Races
The sorcerer kings of old mastered advanced magic of genetic manipulation in order to breed races of servants, designed to fulfil a specific purpose. Legends tell of a wide range of bizarre races resulting from these experiments, but only two have reproduced and survived to the present day. Both are still commonly regarded as sub-races, and treated as such, often being used as slaves.
Due to their breeding, both slave races have a natural resistance to magic, and cannot be magic-users.

Mool
Ability Scores: STR 10 (min), CON 12 (min), INT 12 (max), CHA 14 (max)

Mool are a stunted race bred for their endurance and ability to work under extreme conditions. They are completely hairless, thickly muscled, and average around 4 to 5 feet in height. All Mool are hermaphrodites, able to both bear and sire children.

Mool tend to be of a taciturn, stubborn and obsessive nature. Their movement rate is never faster than 9, and never slower than 6, unless carrying maximum weight.

Due to their genetic constitution, Mool gain bonuses to certain saving throws: +4 vs poisons, +2 vs paralysis, +4 vs magic, +2 vs dehydration.

Brutes
Ability Scores: STR 16 (min), CON 12 (min), DEX 14 (max), INT 14 (max)

Originally bred as guards, Brutes are a race of of semi-giants, towering over most humans. They are on average 9 to 10 feet tall, and possess great strength. Brutes are an all-male race, and have a built-in lifespan of exactly 55 years. They reproduce by a strange asexual means whereby a maggot-like foetus which lies dormant in a special organ in the abdomen awakes at the moment of the Brute's death. The foetus consumes the body of its “father” and enters a cocoon state, emerging as a Brute infant after 6 months.

Despite their name, Brutes are not especially disposed to violence. Indeed, the “gentle giant” stereotype is more often applicable. Their breeding brought out patience, self-reliance and loyalty in them. As such, most Brutes are Lawful in alignment.

Brutes gain the following saving throw bonuses: +4 vs paralysis, +2 vs death, +2 vs magic.

Due to their great size, Brutes can wield two-handed weapons in one hand and can carry 50% more than the normal encumbrance limits. They must also pay 25% extra for armour.

Wild Races

Halflings
Ability Scores: STR 14 (max), CON 9 (min), DEX 9 (min)

Halflings are a diminutive race who dwell in the toxic jungles of Ix. They are thin and wiry, with long, wild black hair and ebony skin. The origin of this race is unknown, although some believe them to be a product of the sorcerer kings' genetic experiments.

Halflings live in savage tribal societies ruled by shamans, and often practice ritual sacrifice, head-hunting, anthropophagy and cannibalism. Strangers who wander in the jungles of the halflings are seldom seen again.

Halfling adventurers are rare, but can sometimes be encountered in the cities of men.

Halflings have an uncanny ability to disappear in the wilderness. In bushes or other outdoor cover, halflings can hide with 90% ability. They can also hide in shadows or behind other forms of cover when underground in labyrinths or caverns on a roll of 1-2 on 1d6, but they must be silent and motionless. They have keen coordination that grants them +1 on any missile attacks. Because they are so small, halflings have a lower armour class (-2) when attacked by creatures greater than human sized.

Due to their small size, halflings cannot use large or two-handed weapons, including bastard swords, long swords, long bows and heavy crossbows. Otherwise the weapons they can use are determined by their class.

Halflings gain a +4 bonus to saving throws against poison, due to their race's resistance to the toxic environment in which they live.

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