Greetings, here again with another installment in my series discussing my upcoming Home-Brewed System and it’s linked Campaign Setting.
In this installment I will be discussing my takes on “Traditional” D&D races and how they differ from how they are normally presented. Some of the differences will be minor, while others will be radical in nature.
The Demi-Human and Humanoid races being discussed are:
I decided to cover only the races listed in both the OD&D 3LBBs and Chainmail Fantasy supplement. I can always add more as the setting organically grows during my campaigns. So let’s get started!
Dwarfs — Dwarfs are a very rare and dying race. Through a combination of cultural stagnation, millennia of inbreeding and constant struggles with incursions of Chaos — they are nearly extinct.
Most Dwarfs live in isolation as hermit artisans; while others live as craftsmen in either Human or Gnomish communities passing on their trades and expertise to those communities or if young as adventurers or mercenaries.
Dwarfs are often bitter, fatalistic and dour in nature. They are prone to bouts of brooding and hold grudges for life.
In maybe a few centuries Dwarfs will be extinct and only their works will stand testament to their former glory.
Note: Dwarfs cannot achieve name level in an class but Monster/Witch Hunter. They can ONLY be of Lawful Alignment.
Elves (True) — “True” Elves are Human changelings who were either released or escaped from the Fey Lands or Mythic Wilderness.
During their stay in either place they were taught the arts of war and magic. Their bodies were magically altered to conform to the whims or desires of their Fey masters.
Though initially human their minds have been warped by Chaos. As such they tend to have eccentric personalities and have little respect for Law yet most are not beholden to Chaos either.
True Elves can never be Lawful as the call of Chaos whispers to them attempting to corrupt them further.
Note: True Elves can only be Warrior–Mages.
Elves (Common) — Common Elves are the descendants of True Elves who have settled down into Human communities and developed their own hybrid culture within those communities.
Because of the magical taint of Chaos the children born from a union between a Elf (True or Common) and a Human will be born a Elf. They develop their mutations as they mature though they often have one or two visible at birth.
Note: Common Elves can be any non–Lawful Class but have level limits unless they are Mages or Shadow Blades (Thieves).
Elves (General) — Elves no matter what their origin share a interest in magic and often follow professions that are tied to them. Even if they do not become a magic-user in some form an Elf will know at least one spell per spell level available, but those spells are not scalable in nature.
Of the Demi-Human races Elves are the only ones truly eyed with any suspicion, especially in Lawful communities or groups that they interact with. Their physical bodies and personalities are constant proof of their Chaos tainted nature.
Of the races Elves are on a roll of 6 on a d6 on two consecutive rolls born as a functional hermaphrodite.
All Elves are fluid in their personal sexually and gender roles and fashions that they embrace.
They also are very sexual beings and often get into prostitution trades and have polygamous and polyamorous lifestyles.
Gnolls — Gnolls are the only race inherently Chaotic in nature though not outright evil, they are prone to it. Their predatory nature makes them more likely to give into their more bloodthirsty urges.
Where Elves are treated with varying degrees of suspicion Gnolls are feared and treated with open hostility unless they are serving a powerful lord. Gnolls are often found as mercenaries in the retinue of a powerful Lord aligned with Chaos.
Those not in service to such a Lord are often brigands and slavers selling their wares to any with the gold to buy them. Gnolls also will often be found with a pack of bred and trained hyenas.
Note: Gnolls cannot be any Lawful aligned class and unless they serve a Chaotic Lord they cannot achieve high levels as a Fighting-Man. They can freely advance as a thief.
Gnomes — Gnomes are the smaller kin of Dwarfs. Unlike their larger kin they are not sliding towards extinction but are rare – at least as adventurers. They often work as artisans whether in their own communities or in human communities.
As such they are master artisans, be it in stone, metal or other mediums. Unlike their Dwarven kin they are not afraid to utilize magic especially while crafting.
Gnomes will often go on adventures in their youths to learn new techniques and discover lost artifacts and technologies. They have created many a technological advancement to make certain trades more efficient — including weapons of war.
When not working on improving their skills they are often neck deep in research. Don’t talk to them about technological theory and development — as they will talk your ears off!
Note: Gnomes can be either Lawful or Neutral Alignments. They can never be name level in any class except the Techno-Magus.
Goblins — Goblins are short (4’-5’) tall pale skin Humanoids related to Kobolds and Hobgoblins. They have a sensitivity to bright light and often wear tinted goggles to prevent sun glare issues.
Goblins are hard working laborers and artisans. Though not as renowned as both Dwarfs and Gnomes their products are prized. That said their stonework does rival that of both Dwarfs and Gnomes.
Goblins are often sought out as stoneworkers and sculptors by human and Elfin patrons. Goblins are known to spend hours studying stonework in any community that they dwell in and of join adventuring bands to study architecture and stonework in ruins or other cultures.
Note: Goblins cannot advance to Name level in any class. They can only be of Lawful or Neutral Alignments.
Hobgoblins — Hobgoblins are the smaller (3’-4’) kin of Goblins. Like their larger kin are pale skinned and suffer from bright light sensitivity.
Though they can be good stoneworkers they prefer to work gems, craft jewelry and cultivate fungi and various ingredients used in intoxicants.
Hobgoblins are the prettiest and most handsome of Humanoids species often rivaling the beauty of Elves.
One thing Hobgoblins have adopted with gusto is Human and Elfin fashion styles. The one new crafts that they excel at is sewing especially when applied to clothing. They tend to mirror the more eclectic styles of Elves in their personal fashion.
Hobgoblins are tainted by Chaos but not to the degree that Kobolds have been.
Though they are pale their hair can take on unnatural colors in some cases can change in hue depending upon their mood. They can have up to three minor mutations beyond their hair color.
Hobgoblins are highly fertile and often have triplets and two of every child born is female. Polygamy and polyamory are common in their society.
Sexuality and gender are very open and fluid concepts in their culture like it is in Elfin culture. As such both male and female Hobgoblins are known to take up prostitution especially in Elfin brothels.
Note: Hobgoblins can only be Neutral or Chaos aligned, as such cannot take a Lawful class. They cannot become name level as a fighting-man but can level unlimited as Mages and Shadow Blades.
Kobolds — Kobolds are the smaller (3’-4’) kin to Goblins. Because of their nearness to the surface they do not suffer from light sensitivity. They are tainted by Chaos as they were caught within the Mythic Wilderness after the Great Cataclysm.
They have a semi-reptilian appearance and tend towards Chaos, though often Neutral in Alignment as long as they live outside the Mythic Wilderness. Those who live within the Mythic Wilderness are predatory creatures of Chaos.
Kobolds are much like their Hobgoblin kin except culturally they are more monogamous and fall into traditional gender roles. Sex to them is about primarily procreation while pleasure is only a secondary attribute.
Whereas both Goblins and Hobgoblins are known for stonework Kobolds are less so outside their penchant for traps. They do love to work with wood, metal and clay.
Like their Hobgoblin kin they do like cultivating fungi and other ingredients used in intoxicants. Tobacco is a favorite plant and they love to produce pipe weed and cigars. Their fashions tend to be more utilitarian in style but often bold colors that contrast with their scales.
Like their Hobgoblin kin they are highly fertile but unlike them they lay eggs in clutches of 3-6 at a time. They do nurse their young so female Kobolds do have breasts. Kobolds use magical incubators for bringing their eggs to hatching stage.
Note: Kobolds cannot take a Lawful class and cannot become Name level in any class but brigand or mage.
Ogres — Ogres are tall (7’6”- 8’6”) muscular Humanoids. They are often viewed as feral human-like beings. They have Chaos taint thus prone to mutations.
Though they are strong and imposing in appearance they are often quite contemplative in nature. Ogres are more resistant to chaos’s call than Gnolls, Kobolds and Elves. They rarely get lost in the Mythic Wilderness if alone.
They love to hunt and spend time outside in nature. Though they will occasionally become mercenaries they are often stationed in border forts and sent of patrols.
Ogres are fond of magic though their preferred magic is nature based. They are the founders of the Druidic Order. That said some Ogres will study arcane magic but more for their desire to understand it.
Note: Ogres can be Lawful or Neutral in Alignments. They can become name level or above in all classes but Brigand or Shadow Blade of which they are barred. Only Ogres can reach leadership levels as a Druid.
Orcs — Orcs are akin to both Ogres and Goblins, though they are taller than both Goblins and Humans on average, but shorter than Ogres (6’6”-7’6”). Orcs are also pale skinned and sensitive to light.
Orcs are a more militaristic people thus their culture and society mirrors that. That said they are known to study magic.
Orcs like Goblins are also proficient stoneworkers and sculptors.
Orcs often work as laborers, soldiers, mercenaries or merchants. They are also often found as members of Mage Guilds and Monster Hunter Militant Orders.
Their fashions and architecture is often utilitarian in nature, which is something that they share with Dwarfs.
Note: Orcs can only be Lawful or Neutral – unless they are trapped in the Mythic Wilderness for long enough for chaos to taint them. They can rise above Name level in any class except Chaos aligned ones UNLESS corrupted by Chaos.
Well it it time to eat so I will finish up, eat and go for a nice Sunday stroll. Please take care, fin.