Monday, 5 March 2012

You Want To Play As A What...?!

The title being my reaction when one of my players decided he wanted to play as a pixie. Granted it was in response to my questions from yesterday's post, but even so...

A few of my issues about balance and such I have worked out now. This link gave me a good insight into what my problem was. I was trying to work this as 'Combat as Sport', where any one individual can take on any one other individual. In the real world (and as this will be a sandbox, it is attempting to emulate at least vaguely the real world in this respect) Combat is War. Thus it is all about strategising and logistical maneuvering. Your pixie mage might get flattened in a mano e mano with an ogre, but level the playing field with a varied support group (the party) for the pixie, and the group of ogres that all have the same specialties are screwed. Ergo, as long as your character is useful, it doesn't have to epitomise one particular aspect of anything. Also, doesn't even have to be a fighter at all. In many cases the party may be first contact with another species; diplomacy is a useful skill too. Combat's just easier to write quick examples for.

These are the first species I have decided to include in my world as playable. Part 2 will conclude tomorrow:

Human: Duh. Balanced, doesn't suck at anything in particular but has no hugely different skills either, save a slightly higher affinity for common magic than most (10%) and possibly some sort of innate ability if i can think of one that doesn't suck... EDIT: I think I've got it! Humans can be the most technologically advanced PC culture (absence of dwarfs make this pretty much a given anyway) and thus they shall have bonuses to that sort of thing.

Broo: 'Chaos' influenced beastmen. I'll be rewriting the history on these a little for my world as it sounds too much like a GW ripoff at the moment (as seaofstarsrpg points out below, RQ chaos was around much before GW, but the association is still too strong for my liking). Suffice to say, these are tolerated in most societies only as long as they are useful. They smell bad and look evil but have a nice affinity for spirit magics. Can't settle in any lawful society for too long though or they go a bit nuts. Combined with natural weapons (horns) makes them perfect for adventuring and mercenary work. Innate traits are 1d2 Chaotic Traits rolled on the table in the RQ monsters book, 50/50 good and bad. (Word to the wise: Don't image search 'Runequest Broo' at work. With safe search on strict, the 7th image was NSFW).

Centaurs: I have a great love for all things 'tauric. I think I shall include Wemic under this general heading (possibly the barbarian/primitive race for centaurs? Same species, but different races have different hind quarters? Evil Counterparts too). Normal centaurs obviously can't climb as well as many bipedal creatures and that's actually quite a big detriment. Though they are fast and sure-footed over even rocky terrain, so I think that balances itself really. Big obviously. Somewhat stronger than humans probably but easier to hit. May give them a free nature spell or similar as an innate ability though they're fairly well balanced as is.

Dragonewt: Technically Glorantha specific, but I'm stealing them. I really like how their primary culture can basically be implemented as a cult, with them getting bigger and more powerful as they gain status rather than just through gradual improvment like everyone else. Start off a bit tragic, but a minor breath-weapon and the ability to grow wings and other nice abilities makes them eminently playable anyway. Also, access to their own magic Lores and common magic spells is a nice bonus even to non-mage players.

Birdmen: I refuse to call them Ducks. No really, they are not even based on ducks dammit. In my world, they're closer to the Aarakocra anyway. They can fly, though low starting strength means they won't be hauling their friends around at all. Calm Animal (Birds) as an innate ability that can also incite flocks of birds to follow them around.


  1. Actually Broos and Runequest chaos predate GW and WH by a fair amount. And they are pretty evil creeps from my memory, I cannot imagine having a PC trust one.

    1. Fair enough, but even so I'll probably be having them as single tribe or group, afflicted by the after-effects of some malevolent action rather than a generic 'Chaos-taint'.

      For my purposes, they're not evil per se, but more chaotic and unconcernec with traditional morality as it were. So yeah, trust would be too strong but they can be hired and bring an interesting dynamic to a party!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!