Category Archives: Races

Orcs: Not Evil Just Pragmatic

First things first. Long ago, I grew weary of half-races. Basically, half-elves were just sort of human but elf and vice versa. Half-orcs just became a way for players to play orcs without being orcs. So what the hell just play play orcs. Yeah, there has been some move to do this but the usual method is go with the noble savage stereotype. Once again, I say blah.
Orc weapons aren’t pretty. They’re effective. Orc leaders lead or they are replaced. Fallen foes are assets that can still be used some how. Mercy for the weak, only weakens the entire tribe. Orcs will do whatever it takes to survive and not feel guilty about it. They don’t consider themselves evil but they do consider the other races weak. By the standards of the “civilized” races, this makes the orcs savages. Something to be feared and purged. The orc response is simple, “Bring it on, bitches!”
Great orc leaders are a combination of Nietzsche, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli and Beowulf.

Dwarves: Squeal Like An Orc, Boy!

Dwarves. They’re beer drinking fight-loving master smiths. They like killing giants and goblins. They’re tough. Blah. We’ve heard it all before. Let’s twist these little suckers. This isn’t so much about game mechanics but just looking at them a little bit differently. Let’s take your common every day boring dwarf and make them a just a little bit more interesting.

So let’s take this as a bit of lore. In ancient times, they were master smiths and brewers. They had massive cities under the earth filled with wondrous stone work. They kept to themselves and got just a bit inbred. They sold their weapons and beer to the surface races and demand quickly exceeded supply. Quality suffered. Dwarven society spiraled downward over a few generations.
Their underground cities were quickly overrun by orcs, goblins or worse. They moved above ground into small isolated villages. Their beer got you drunk if it didn’t make you go blind. Their weapons looked good until they broke. They remained proud, xenophobic and violent. Basically, they became a bunch of hill billy bikers.
Yeah, something different. I just thinks it’s something we could all do to our campaigns. It’s nice to have the good old standard stuff. But after a while it’s a bit boring. It’s OK to shake up things, every now and then.

Sexy Alien Elves

I’ve grown weary of the standardized Tolkien style elves so I decided to do a little tweaking for own little home brew. I know that racial classes are a bit contentious. For my own purposes, they are an option for demi-human characters. And, of course, as with any home brew type thingie. Your mileage may vary. And, yes, I do have a soft spot for spontaneous casters from later editions.

Elves are the newest race to the world. Centuries ago, they appeared from nowhere. Scholars are unsure if they are refugees, exiles, colonists or the prelude to an invasion from another world. The elves either aren’t talking or don’t know the truth themselves. Despite their alien beauty, their relations with the other races is dubious at best.
Wood elves are generally not well regarded by elvish society. They are deviants who have gone native. They neither confirm nor deny the existence of any so called Dark Elves.

Classes: Fighting-man, Magic-user, Thief, Elf Racial Class

Racial Abilities:
Darkvision: Elves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.

Arcane Channeling: Elves may channel part of their arcane essence into their spells and attacks. When an elf attempts this he takes 1d4 damage. If the elf channels through a weapon, that weapon is considered magical and does additional damage equal to the damage he took. If the elf uses to empower a spell against a creature with Magical Resistance then the creature’s Magic Resistance is reduced by the amount of damage taken by the elf X 5%.

Arcane Resistance: Elves are beings of magic. Elves gain a +2 to save against Magic-User (arcane) spells.

Not Of This World: The elves have no connect to the gods of this world. As such they cannot become clerics. Additionally, they have a -2 penalty to save against clerical (divine) magic.

Alien Physiology: Because of their alien nature, elves have lessened resistance to worldly poisons and disease (-2 to Saving Throws).

Magical Affinity: On a successful Saving Throw, elves may detect magic as the spell.

Elf Racial Class:

Hit Die: d6/level
Saving Throw: As Magic-User
Attack Progression: As Thief
Spell Casting: Elves do not use spell books like a Magic-User. Their magic is an inherent ability so they do not to prepare spells nor can they research new spells. Elves may cast spells in leather or magical armor.
Spells/Day: As a Magic-User of ½ the elf’s level (always rounded down).
Spells Known: An elf knows a number of spells equal to the Spells/Day for the appropriate level. These spells are determined randomly from the Magic-User Spell list.
For Example: A 6th level elf would know two 1st level spells and one 2nd level spell. He can cast two 1st level spells and one 2nd level spell per day.