More of my ramblings, this time on the fantasy races there’ll be in Legacy.
In my still ongoing campaign (not Legacy, it’s my Blind God setting) there’s only humans in the world. I mean there’s lot of stuff like vampires, gargoyles, angels, demons and many other creatures, but no elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes or any other fantasy “playable”races. In fact, even the humans aren’t diverse at all. The majority people is very generic (read white, semi-european) and the others are left as “steppes-people”, “islanders”, “celtish”, “eastern european” and that’s it. Hell, if I were to ask my players I’m sure they would have a hard time talking about it. There just wasn’t any need, really. On the contrary, adding elves or god-forbid, silly gnomes to a gothic background full of dark prophecies would just have ruined it…
But this Legacy setting is a different beast entirely, with its very own peculiar needs. In Legacy I want to emphasize tensions of all sorts (economic, crowding, racial, crime, etc.) and play on differences. As I said on a previous post, very diverse folks were forced to live together, at the whims of a Conqueror seeking redemption (or maybe as a big joke?).
I think it would just be utterly depressing if that was too close to reality regarding racial tension in an altogether very real-life inspired background (gang warfare, city politics, crime fighting, etc.), I’ll just go with fantasy races…
Of course, irredeemable tinkerer DM as I am, I can’t let things as they are!
I’ll be taking what D&D 5e is offering me as a starting point and I’ll put my personal touch on it.
Each races will warrant a post or two but for now i’ll just try to pinpoint a central theme for each. Note that I don’t divide the races (sun elves, moon elves i.e),they are already too much stereotyped for my taste without further funneling.
Elves: precious folk
The elves can live up to 700 years old (D&D 5e), many of them were already centuries old when the city was created. What does it really imply? How many generations of elves are living together. ten, twenty? What kind of society could it be? My own answer is a rigid world full of nepotism, aristocratic hauteur; a gerontocratic society where the powerful never (almost) pass away. Elven leaders play their long-spanning influence-vying games inside the protected Enclave neighborhood. There’s also those among them (generally younger ones) who don’t want to play by the rules, choosing to be outsiders, free electrons or so they think.
Dwarves: faith from hardship
In the first century of Legacy, Dwarves were slaves, their past erased from their memories. Working in the mines, they dug too deep… Wait! No that’s not it. They smoked too much spiralmold, had some visions and now… They’re real believers. Followers of the Spirit of the City. Except those that are too angry with the past, they just want to punch you in the face!
Halflings: gun-loving democrats
The Last Emperor really liked these funny-looking little guys. They’re great at making speeches, they follow the law, they pay their taxes. Model citizens. A little crazy with their noisy toys, perhaps. Revolvers is it? And those guys from The Broken Wheel mafia, definitely not model citizens…
Humans: strange primitive folk
Once they were the vanguard of the Last Emperor’s armies. Now they worship him as their god, the supreme leader that united them and gave them strength. It is his will to have them in Legacy, so be it, but they’re far from home and the knowledge of the ancestors isn’t useful anymore.
Tieflings: the marked ones
They say the Last Emperor, in his deathbed, admitted to three critical mistakes. One of them would be following the advice of Cyrax the Lawgiver (later known as Cyrax the Deceiver) to allow the Curse of the Mark. The Mark would be magically put upon the worst of criminals before they were banished, showing to the world their awful sins so they could never return. But then the Mark would be inherited by the infants, to innocents! Nowadays, the Marked Ones live in Legacy, many of them seeking a way to redeem sins that have nothing to do with them.
Goblins and Hobgoblins: siblings apart
Goblins and Hobgoblins are in fact just one race. A strange dual race. The females (always hobgoblins) give birth typically to one to four cute (one could disagree) little tusky babies at once. Sometimes one of them is a hobgoblin and the mother is very proud, most often they are all goblins, pathetic as they are. Goblins are considered inferior in all aspects (and that’s mostly true) and often killed at birth.
Ghouls: undead on meds
There was a terrible plague some 40 years ago, the worst being that those who succumbed were transformed in cannibalistic ghouls! Most were hunted down, some hid and some others were experimented on. A celebrated alchemist who was trying to reverse his son’s ghoulish affliction found, after much efforts, something that worked. Not as a reversal of the undead body per se, but it dissipated the unholy hunger. The Tincture, however, must me taken everyday, or else…
There may be other races. I won’t have gnomes, half-elves, half-orcs, half-anything.