Showing posts with label player "species". Show all posts
Showing posts with label player "species". Show all posts

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DEMIHUMANS, THE XP "CAP", and what it means to be HUMAN

I've always hated the idea that demihumans can only reach a certain XP level, esp given their longer lives. Sure, they get nifty abilities like "determine approx depth underground", but is it worth grinding to a halt in all other areas around lvl 8?
My solution when designing "Player Species" for Gnarth was to allow unlimited advancement for all, regardless of Class. But what about the Humans? What makes them "special"? Like everything else on Gnarth, I took a cue from pulpy sci-fi romance and adventure media; The Human Protagonist is always quite adept at Adapting, picks up the necessary skills relevant to the Alien World Quickly, seems extraordinarily Lucky, and proves surprisingly Difficult to Kill! In game terms: Humans receive +10% earned XP, have +1 to all Saves, and add +1HP/lvl to rolled HP. No extraordinary, specific ABILITIES like "Infravision", but rather a few generalized, broadly useful EDGEs!

Sunday, February 13, 2011



TERRAN Either Earthman or Gnarth-born. Have a "general" rather than "specific" evolutionary edge; +1 to all Saves, +10% earned XP, +1 HP/lvl

GNARTIAN Humanoids originally bred from human stock by Snake Men for color-coded ritual sacrifice. Appear mostly human, except for slight webbing of digits, minor cranial ridge, lack of hair (females do have hair on their heads), and coloration. Ultravision 6", +4 Save vs Poison. PCs start with two Hit Dice at first level; one maximum value (as all PCs receive), and one rolled randomly and added to this base. Skin color (d6): yellow, orange, red, green, blue, purple. Eyes (d6 ): emerald, sapphire, ruby, topaz, diamond, onyx. Hair (d6) gold, silver, copper, bronze, black, white

APEMAN Neanderthal-like "cavemen" with simian features, originally brought to Gnarth by Snake Men for use as slaves. STR+2 (% STR available), CON+1, INT-2, CHA -2


REPTILIAN (DEX +1, CHAR -1) Dinosaur/lizardman humanoid, scaly hide (base AC 9). AT by claw(x2)/bite routine for 1d4(x2)/1d6 or BW (as XP lvl)+ one bite/rnd. Infravision 60', Chameleon blending, Suspend Animation/Hibernate for up to 90 days on full stomach, Prehensile tail can carry light objects and possibly manipulate them (could carry a flashlight, but not wield a dagger), Climb Walls (Base 50%, +10%/lvl), Superior sense of smell

INSECTAUR (CON +1, INT -1) Mantis-man humanoid, having six limbs and an exoskeleton (base AC 8). Wide-Angle Vision, surprised only 1 in 8, Back legs allow Jump 10' vertical, 20' ahead, 10' backward, Vibration-detecting antennae, Flexible thorax allows movement on four limbs (MV 15) or only two (MV 12), and rearing up to employ all four forward limbs to manipulate objects, attack, etc. Insectaur limbs are not as large or powerful as a bipeds, requiring two hands to employ primary weapons, such as longswords, which would normally only require one hand. When employing all four frontal limbs, they may attack as follows:
1. 2x/r, with two weapons of size/dam equal to short swords or smaller, or
2. with a two-handed weapon (great sword, polearm) held in all four hands, as XP lvl, or
3. if a Fighter or Thief, standard primary/secondary combo (req. 2 hands to weild the primary) as XP lvl
Note that Insectaurs may not wield two primary weapons simultaneously, and although up to four weapons may be in hand, only two may be used to strike during a rnd. Any hands not wielding weapons may employ a small shield, each granting +1 to AC.

HERBIVOID (STR +1, DEX -1) Sentient, motile, plant-based humanoid, having fibrous exterior (base AC 7), and woody skeleton. SA: Immune to most mind-affecting spells and most poisons, Blunt weapons and constriction do only 1/2 damage, Punch 1x/rnd for 2d4, Resist Fire and Cold at -1 damage/die, Rooting ability during rest period (once/day) Heals damage for 1d6 rather than standard 1d4, and can also Root and Photosynthesize during daylight hours, regenerating 1HP/hr

Note: The body structure of non-human player species does not allow them to utilize normal clothing and armor; Reptilians can employ magic cloaks or robes, but not helms, and generally only wear tunics or loincloths, Insectaurs and Herbivoids do not wear any clothing at all, except a harness or baldric to facilitate carrying items. Each species does produce their own armor; Reptilians fashion Scale mail from armored dino hide, Insectaurs forge breastplates which add to AC, and Herbivoids carve suits of wooden Banded mail, and of course magic examples of these may be acquired while adventuring.


 I love the classic sci-fi device of transporting (modern) humans from Earth to Strange New Worlds, a fun idea also found on both Athanor and Algol, to name only two.  Link below to the original tables I stole the idea from!

EARTHMAN ORIGIN TABLE (d24) and the Things They Carry.
01 Archaeological accident &/or curse, has safari helmet
02 Was LARPing in steam tunnels, has aluminum foil hat and dice
03 Is dreaming... maybe?  Has any one minor mundane item of choice
04 Out of body experience/Astral Projection, has earplugs and eye-mask
05 Took bad drugs, believes reality is an hallucination, has disposable lighter
06 Bitten by mysterious wolf, has pentacle on palm
07 Was dabbling in Super Science, has calculator watch
08 Unwilling/Willing subject of occult experiment gone right, has faith
09 Unwilling/Willing subject of scientific experiment gone wrong, has vendetta
10 Remembers only a beam of light... has car keys, credit card, and cell phone
11 Stayed up late exploring RPG Blogs on the net, passed out, has beer bottle
12 Abducted by aliens, has repressed memories
13 Was trying to find the lavatory at a Grateful Dead show, has ticket stub
14 Cursed by a filthy street person, still has the 75 cents
15 Deceased and and bodily reincarnated, has embalming scars
16 Was at Stonehenge at the wrong solstice, has worthless quartz crystal
17 Was in a tornado, is accompanied by small dog
18 Was in an seeking the hollow earth, a cryptozoid, or lost city, has machete
19 Lost in a corn maze on Halloween, has costume &/or mask
20 Rock climbing/hiking/kayaking, met with strange cloud, has Swiss army knife
21 Passenger, crew or pilot, sailed into the Bermuda Triangle, has flask of liquor
22 Separated from tour group at the Great Pyramids, has visitor's map
23 Shipwrecked, has a compass and probably a beard
24 Struck or seriously injured and is in a coma, was clutching hospital bill