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  • #1975
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Would you play a fantasy game with all original races and no D&D inspired races? I know it can be done, but would you like it?

    #1978
    Enno
    Henchman

    Ever played RuneQuest/HeroQuest in Glorantha?

    Or Conan, Thieves World, Beasts & Barbarians, Tune’sal, Sherwood, Planescape, Black Company, L5R, Iron Dynasty, Fafhrd & Gray Mouser, Harnmaster, Wheel of Time, Song of Ice and Fire etc etc pp ad nauseam?

    These are all a lot of fun, and most were or are quite successful and influential at their time.

    For me it’s less about a setting’s races, but about a gripping narrative and background, so i tend more to heroic-action-powergamier settings with some real punch…

    ODE-Fantasy is the standard, most people could – at least in part – identify with. There is less need to explain things, since an elf is an elf is an elf. Sword & Sorcery is often lighter in background, but muscled guys, bare breasted maidens and loincloth isn’t for everybody. ODE is mostly the setting/genre most could compromise on – even the ladies.

    High Priest of Hoenir & Champion of Qedeshet

    #1979
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Yes but all those have humans. I am talking like Talislanta with no ‘humans’ or elves or dwarves. There a races like humans in it. The goal is to take the players to a completely new world. Would people like that?

    #1980
    Enno
    Henchman

    If you put a human, give his skin a blueish hue and describe a very exotic culture, isn’t he still human? Talislanta as i know it from the original Bard Games years, only said “No elves!” to distance it from all the tolkienesque games out there.

    Let’s call it “totally exotic and alien setting” then, which encompasses all settings were Hooomanz are not part of or are simply just one, but not the main race for character generation. That would give it few more known games, like Talislanta, Glorantha (the human races are really different), Dying Earth and a few others.

    All those settings have a devot following, are critical acclaimed, but never were a real economic success (out of different reasons) and are more delicacies for RPG gourmets. As i said, if it takes too long to describe or pitch a setting to a newbie it rarely if ever gets played. People look for familiar patterns to feel comfortable and if a setting does give you any, most people just play it for the very exotic play. Its very hard to form a gaming group around such systems and if people quit, even harder to stay afloat. That happened to our Talislanta group back in the day. The people had other things to do, the table got folded, and despite the loved the “better rules compared to D&D” the never got a knack with the setting when the exotic wore of. A few month later all were back, when i started my first Magira/Midgard group (a german RPG), that had the typical ODE again. This group stayed together another decade…

    In my case my people didn’t really like it on the long term. For a short hop, an adventure or two, but never a longer campaign. Not all of the players felt comfortable enough in them, despite their radical better rule mechanics at that time.

    Long answer short, no not really. 😉

    High Priest of Hoenir & Champion of Qedeshet

    #1986
    TAG Wiggy
    Administrator

    I’m with Enno. I enjoy gaming, but I don’t have time to study totally alien races so I can play them properly. Skyrealms of Jorune had a lot of potential, but the alien cultures and lexicon of weird words made it a pain to play without constantly checking books. “Dwarf” and “elf” conjure immediate images that let me get on with having fun.

    Wiggy
    Triple Ace Games Creative Director
    wiggy@tripleacegames.com

    #1988
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thank you. I was about to re invent the wheel and you talked me out of it.

    #1992
    TAG Wiggy
    Administrator

    The grumblings of two old farts aren’t really a concensus. 🙂 Saying that, take a look at what fantasy settings are most popular. Very few have totally alien PC races.

    You can still make common races different enough. Hellfrost has its taiga elves and frost dwarves — pretty much elves and dwarves, but with a chillier outlook. At heart, the Saxa are Saxons/Vikings, but each Marklands’ Region Guide shows there are differences to the earthly counterparts for those who won’t to dwell on such things. Sundered Skies takes elves and turns the whole nature lovers upside down.

    Wiggy
    Triple Ace Games Creative Director
    wiggy@tripleacegames.com

    #2071
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Instead of humans,elves, and half elves there are only half elves. Because humans and elves shagged so extensively everyone is part elf and part human no more pure race left. Mechanically you get your choice of a free edge or attribute point and low light vision. No hindrances. So is that a good idea or should humans always be a default race?

    #2074
    Enno
    Henchman

    /smartass on
    If you know your biology and the rules of Mendelian inheritance, you also know that after 3 or 4 generations you can’t talk about “half-human” or “half-elves” anymore, regardless if a purebred stumbled through your bloodline or not.
    /smartass off

    Look into the SW core rules for the race generation guidelines. Low light vision is worth +1, while a d6 starting trait or novice edge are worth +2. So give your elves a bonus on resistance rolls or the humans another +1 extra to even it out.

    Settings where half-breds can choose between one side of their ancestry or the other still use such a differentiations out of cultural reasons. Since there are only your half-elves left, which are now a race in their own right, you should better think a different +2 bonus ability you could give them a character generation. Which abilities distinguish them from their human and elven ancestors? That may a mixture of the old abilities or something completely new, depending on the setting background.

    High Priest of Hoenir & Champion of Qedeshet

    #3870
    kreider204
    Minion

    When I’m in the mood for nostalgia RPGing, I play Castles & Crusades / AD&D, and enjoy the traditional races well enough. These days, though, I do hanker for something more original. For Ubiquity fans, I’ve come to the realization that Hollow Earth Expedition, along with the Mysteries of the Hollow Earth supplement, makes for a perfect alternate fantasy RPG, especially if you’re looking for something a bit more pulp and/or swords and sorcery. The native races make for great alternative fantasy races, and in response to Wiggy’s concern, there isn’t a lot to learn about them (we’re talking pulp ape men, lizard people, anthropomorphic cats, etc.), and there’s some good low-magic systems as well. You can ignore the surface dwellers part of the setting, or occasionally make use of them in a way that adds a bit of scifi (at least relative to the natives’ understanding of technology), not unlike Greyhawk or the Wilderlands. Good stuff.

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