DEPARTMENTS

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

[Labyrinth Lord] Elwyren - PC Races

When thinking over the world of Elwyren, I very much wanted to depart from the traditional fantasy races. Part of this comes from a long-standing dissatisfaction with haflings and gnomes, but there was also a desire to make the world a bit more diverse and enchanting for my younger player. I figured I could kill two birds with one stone, making halflings and gnomes into anthropomorphic animals - mice and hedgehogs respectively.

As I was looking at the other races, I figured I might take a stab at half-orcs as well. I initially planned to re-theme them as classic fantasy barbarians, leaving them statistically the same but "re-skinning" them. As I developed the idea, I decided that rather than having them be just another race of near-humans - much the same issue I have with halflings - that I would change them into a race of their own.

The final change came about with considering the origins of humans in this world. Humans are not from this game world originally and do not dominate it in the same way that they do in other fantasy worlds. Instead they are descended from refugees from another fantasy world who passed through a magical veil between worlds. This gave me some room to perhaps expand the scope of humans' abilities.

Below are a few more specific notes on the concepts behind the races in Elwyren...


Human
The humans of Elwyren are the newest of the races, having only arrived in the world in the last few thousand years. The humans of this world all come from the same root culture, having divided into variations on the basic people depending on region. In most cases they can communicate on a common linguistic level even if they may not speak each other’s distinct dialect of their original language.

Humans have gained an innate magical sense when their ancestors pasted through the veil between worlds and entered Elwyren. This allows them to sense the presence of magic in an area, even if they cannot determine its exact location. With practice and experience they can refine this ability to allow them to determine the general and then later the precise location of magic.

Elf
Elves have lived in the land of Elwyren almost as long as the beast folk and have developed a kinship with the natural forces of the land nearly as deep. The elves are a diverse people, having long adapted to a number of regions. Though they often have their own tribal or place names, they are often referred to by the type of terrain they dwell in – wood, desert, mountain, etc.

Elves have long memories and a sort of magical link to those who have preceded them. In fact, elves speak with their ancestors in a sort of memory recall that gives them a subconscious access to centuries of experience. Because of this elves often seem to have a supernatural sense of intuition as these ancient memories provide them with insight on current situations. This same long memory allows all elves to speak the same language, though local accents and minor dialects still exist.

Dwarf
The dwarven people are a gregarious, but also stoic people with a strong sense of kinship and honor. They are robust, dwelling in areas strong in natural resources and are rather industrious beings. Valiant warriors with an indomitable will, dwarfs have long held a status as heroes of the land. Dwarves are very fond of heirlooms and traditions and it is not uncommon for a young or inexperienced dwarf to be found wielding a weapon which might seem, to others outside of dwarven society, beyond his status.

Pechi (Mouselings)
One of the beast folk races left in the world, the pechi appear to be anthropomorphized mice, standing anywhere from 2-3 feet tall. They are homey and shy, but friendly. Pechi are found throughout the land in small enclaves with a very tight community structure. They live in underground burrows often finished and outfitted inside as others might do with a surface dwelling.


Hurgeons
Another of the beast folk races and the second most common after the Pechi, the hurgeons are a simple, reclusive folk who can be found in wild forests or even among the hedge rows of more civilized areas. They are robust, quick-thinking and hardy and very resistant to many forms of magic and poison. Unlike pechi who tend to freely mingle with other races, hurgeons do tend to keep to value their privacy, but will mingle when needed or when visitors call.

Hafgir
Strangely similar to humans, but a race of their own, the hafgir are brawny, bristly beings standing from 6-8 ft tall with a very hard exterior. Their corded bodies ripple with raw physical power, their angular features making them look severe even though they may not be. Excessive body hair, wild head and facial hair, gives them a slightly bestial appearance, even though they are not in any way an animal hybrid. The hafgir are actually descended from an ancient race of giants. Hafgir tend to be slightly less intelligent and slower witted than other races.

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