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[3.5 Races] Races of Dreavarr [PEACH, More to Come]

Game design for the d20 system

[3.5 Races] Races of Dreavarr [PEACH, More to Come]

Postby Lord_Gareth » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:23 am

The following races are for use in my up-and-coming Dreavarr campaign setting; please PEACH them as though balancing them against pre-existing races, however! I may also be speaking to folks on various threads on Giant in the Playground as well as the GitP IRC (found here). More races - including races exclusively of my own creation - will be added to this thread soon, and look forward to the main "hub thread" describing Dreavarr soon!

Without further delay, I present:

Dreavarrian Elves
"Does the triple-barrel have your attention? Then let's talk fuel prices."

Dreavarr is a world at war with itself; its nation-states labor unwittingly under a curse of strife laid down in ancient times as punishment for a crime only the gods know of. Magic and metal mix together on a constant basis, fueling the bottomless war machines of nations like Drinston, the Free City of Kralis, the Sultanate of Bravina-Havva and others. Various races mix into these nations, each bringing their own unique talents and views on how to wage both life and war on others.

Dreavarrian elves are a lively bunch; anything "natural" on Dreavarr has long since turned into, if it was lucky, a melted slag-heap (and is more likely to be a mutated wasteland), and the elven peoples of the world long ago gave up on any attempt to help Nature fight back against the beings waging war against it. Instead they turned their nimble fingers and fast reflexes to factory work and chimney sweeping, to clock-making and invention. Devoid of their previous connection to the natural world that literally died around them, they bonded with gears and steel, iron and forges, gaining an instinctive understanding of metal that has affected their entire race and culture.

In modern times, elves are in an awkward place when it comes to technological advancement. The fact of the matter is that they lack the creative spark of dwarves or gnomes, but both of those races utterly lack the elven bond with the city and it steel and machinery. There's nothing an elf can't fix if you give him enough time with it, and a lot of times they end up taking someone else's invention and perfecting it - which also leads to dark rumors of stolen research that dog the race wherever they go. Still, the saying goes that an elf makes a solid friend as long as he doesn't owe you money, and they're welcome almost anywhere they go - it's just that a lack of welcome is fatal more often than not.

Appearance: A lot of elves on Dreavarr are dirty, and not necessarily by choice; aside from the fact that many of them work at low-paying jobs that make bathing a luxury, their bond with the city sends them into nooks and crannies that contain soot, ash, grease, and other assorted bits of foulness on a regular basis. Elves that work as inventors or machinists are often streaked with oil or ash, but they always work to keep their ears clean (usually with helmets or bandages) and are often found wearing goggles, if only as a fashion statement. It's extremely rare to find an elf that isn't flying his city's colors. There's the occasional genetic throwback to older elf subraces (such as dark-skinned elves that recall the ancient drow), but aside from being exotic and striking, they're more or less the same as their cousins.

Unlike their cousins on other worlds, elves on Dreavarr tend to have short-cropped hair and tend towards dark-colored eyes and hair, often hidden under a helmet or under a bandanna. Leathers are popular amongst the race (the last remnants of their dead connection to nature) and in recent years long coats have come into the vogue, the better to conceal a multitude of items both legal and otherwise. Because of the high elven poverty rate, they are often found with gnomes, gnolls, and half-orcs, and often adopt their fashions.

Racial Features
+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Strength. Elves are quick and cunning, but lack introspection and, often, patience, getting frustrated easily when something doesn't come naturally to them. Elves are naturally frail and don't build muscle easily.

Medium Humanoid: As Medium creatures, elves gain no bonus or penalty for their size.

Base Land Speed: 30 Feet

Low-Light Vision (Ex): See the elf racial feature in the system reference document.

Apprenticeship Training (Ex): Elves all end up training in one trade or another as they grow up, and often pursue their own projects as well; they gain a +2 racial bonus on all Craft checks. Additionally, at first level, a Dreavarrian Elf gains eight additional skill points that may only be spent on Craft skills.

Metalbond (Ex): Elves have an instinctive, racial bond with metal; they gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls made with metal weapons and gain an additional +2 armor bonus to armor class when wearing armor made mostly of metal. Additionally, their effective caster level is treated as being one higher whenever they use their infusions on items that are at least 60% metal.

Brawling (Ex): Life as an elf child can be rough in the big city; elves can choose a single bonus feat selected from Improved Unarmed Strike, Weapon Focus, Improved Initiative or Quick Draw as bonus feats at first level.

Scavenger's Knack (Ex): Most elves grow up extremely poor, and even the ones that don't have an instinctive bond to the city that makes its tools and resources easier for them to use and access; elves gain a +2 racial bonus on Survival checks made in an urban environment. Additionally, they gain an additional +1 racial bonus on skill checks made with masterwork tools. This bonus increases to +2 at seventh level, +3 at thirteenth level, and finally +4 at nineteenth level.

Languages: Common, Gutterspeak. Bonus: Any national, Old Draevarrian, Smuggler's Cant, Brattack Code, Old Orcish, Old Elven, Gnoll.

Favored Class: Artificer. An elf's artificer levels do not count against him when determining multiclassing penalties.

Level Adjustment: +0

Dreavarrian Half-Orcs
"You ken outsmart me, clever-boots, but can you outsmart'a bullet?"

The orcish peoples took to ancient Dreavarr easily, like a fish to water, and eventually found much acceptance in the armies of the great city-states. Ironically, this lead to the threat that finally ended their race - popularity. Interbreeding with other species eventually extinguished the pure orcish bloodlines, leaving their half-breed children as the heirs to their legacy. Half-orcs breed true these days, but they aren't quite the fearsome shock troops that their ancestors used to be. Nevertheless, the ingenuity and social graces of their human side has served them well.

Half-orcs are often found on the fields of battle, but they have their place in an urban environment as well. Like elves, Half-orcs are often poor; unlike elves, this is because they tend to undervalue education and end up in menial jobs where they can work with their hands. The ones that gain wealth are often criminals, using their cunning to gain a foothold in the underworld and keeping themselves in positions of power through a delicate combination of diplomacy and force. Half-orcs that do have a degree of education, charisma, or at least vision often become leaders despite themselves, if only because people appreciate following someone who knows what they're doing.

Appearance: Half-orcs are not normally conventionally pretty, but exceptions do exist; features of the race include green, brown, or slightly blue skin, small tusks, thick hair and small eyes. It seems strange to some, but a lot of half-orcs like to dress up when they're not on the job; they wear the finest clothing they can, try to accessorize, and have a positive adoration for jewelry such as bracelets or earrings, and this is all because they enjoy people seeing their success in whatever arena in which they choose to compete.

Though nationality has replaced the ancient orcish tribes, many half-orcs join criminal organizations or gangs that maintain close family-like ties, and indeed they tend to bond fiercely to whatever social group they belong to. Half-orcs often have tattoos, scarification, banners, insignias and other symbols of belonging on their persons, and they take the honor and dignity of such symbols very seriously. Out of respect for this ideal, many half-orcs look down severely on those that desecrate flags and holy symbols and other symbols of communal belonging. Many also shave or braid their hair, paint their face or skin different colors, and carry around flags or banners with them if they're feeling bold or jubilant.

Racial Features
+2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence. Half-orcs are strong and insightful, with a tendency to read situations and people quickly and easily, but lack fine motor control (and other graces) and tend to be uneducated, if not strictly "stupid".

Medium Humanoid: As Medium creatures, half-orcs gain no bonus or penalty for their size.

Base Land Speed: 30 Feet

Darkvision: Half-orcs benefit from the darkvision ability out to a range of sixty feet; see the half-orc racial feature in the system reference document.

Cheap Shot (Ex): Half-orcs are taught from an early age, either from army life or gang life, that the only fair fight is the one you lose; they gain sneak attack +1d6, identical to the rogue class feature. Additionally, half-orcs suffer no penalties for using improvised weapons.

School of Hard Knocks (Ex): Most half-orcs grow up on the mean streets, but even if they don't they tend to have friends and family that did; half-orcs enjoy a +1 racial bonus to fortitude saves, as well as a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (Local) checks made regarding their home city and bardic knowledge checks regarding citizen's guilds or criminal organizations.

Staunch Companion (Ex): Half-orcs bond fiercely with their social groups, treating them like kith and kin. Their race has gained a reputation as staunch allies and worthy friends, and a half-orc's presence grants his allies (not including himself) within thirty feet an additional +1 morale bonus on attack rolls whenever they flank a foe, as well as a +1 morale bonus on Will saves and level checks against the Intimidate skill. These bonuses increase by one at level seven, then again at levels thirteen and nineteen.

Languages: Common, Gutterspeak. Bonus: Any national, Old Draevarrian, Smuggler's Cant, Brattack Code, Old Orcish, Old Elven, Dwarf Cant.

Favored Class: Rogue. A half-orc's rogue levels do not count against her when determining multiclass penalties.

Level Adjustment: +0

Dreavarrian Halfling
"Hey man, you face death every day at the factory. You gotta smile a little about life!"

Halflings came to Dreavarr to find a world utterly out of scale with themselves; the early attempts at establishing their old nomadic ways failed as the world became rapidly rocked by warfare, and the unstable nature of Dreavarr's landscape gradually forced them, kicking and cursing, into the cities. Once they finally got there, they were small people in a big world again, and they forced themselves into the only niches left - the tiny, wriggling ones.

These days, many halflings find work in factories, foundries, and criminal gangs - anywhere that a very small person can use their size to their advantage. They squeeze into hard-to-reach spots and get covered in grease and, sometimes, molten metal. Their race has a high fatality rate that they make up for with a certain loose attitude towards sexuality that has colored outsiders' perceptions of their race (and, certainly, the number of 'tallish' halflings with human or elven blood speaks to a certain amount of truth to the stereotype). A lot of halflings have cynical views about the world, but maintain an upbeat attitude that is, frankly, mostly there to keep them sane - if they don't laugh, a lot of them would weep.

That being said, halflings can be clever and quick, and some of them have risen to prominence in their local communities. There's a global movement campaigning for equal rights for their kind in the smoke and soot of the cities, and this movement has made enough headway that the powers that be have started to notice - but also to act against it.

Appearance: When a lot of folks think 'poverty' they mistakenly think of halflings; they tend to prefer tough, cheap clothing that can be easily washed and replaced and don't wear a lot of ornamentation, but that's because a lot of the bigger races bully them and push them around. Why carry your valuables on you when someone's just going to take them away? Their homes usually show more of their wealth, which halflings typically have a fair amount of - the work they do cannot be done by anyone else, and they've used this fact to bludgeon their way into greater wages and respect.

Most halflings look a lot like miniature elves, with sharply pointed ears and angular features, but some of them with a dash or two of human or orc in the mix have features of those races as well. Halflings are proportionate for their size, which means they're only rarely confused for children, but they're often seen as attractive or alluring for reasons most races are not comfortable attempting to talk about. Many halfling women follow fashion trends towards revealing (or simply little-to-no) clothing and accouterments, and it's a deep shame to the race that they run more brothels than perhaps any other species on the planet save humans.

Racial Features
+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Strength, -2 Constitution. Halflings are quick, charming, and personable (a side-effect of their long association with factories and foundries), but their size constantly works against them.

Small Humanoid: As a Small creature, a halfling gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.

Base Land Speed: 30 Feet. Halflings are slightly faster than other small-sized creatures, the better to avoid conflict or get away from falling machinery.

Small-Folk's Guile (Ex): Halflings are used to getting by on wits and charm when everything hits the fan; they add their intelligence modifier as a racial bonus to bluff, diplomacy, gather information and sense motive checks.

Skitter and Squirm (Ex): Halflings gain Run as a bonus feat at first level, regardless of whether or not they meet the prerequisites for it. Additionally, they have a +2 racial bonus on Escape artist checks.

Lionheart (Ex): Halflings are survivors, the poor and oppressed that still manage to spit into the world's eye when it comes to knock them down. They and all allies within thirty feet gain a +1 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and compulsion effects, as well as effects with an opposing alignment descriptor (that is, a Good halfling would get the bonus against [Evil] spells, a chaotic one against [Law] spells, et cetera). Additionally, they gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against beings of Large size or larger. These bonuses increase by one at seventh level, then again at thirteenth level and nineteenth level.

Languages: Common, Mekacant. Bonus: Any national, Old Elven, Gnoll, Smuggler's Cant, Gutterspeak, Brattack Code.

Favored Class: Bard or Rogue. A Halfling chooses his favored class from between Bard or Rogue at first level; levels in that class do not count against him for the purposes of determining multiclassing penalties.

Level Adjustment: +0
"There is no 'I' in 'Team', but there is a 'We' in 'Weapon'."
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