New Playable Races

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New Playable Races

Postby Viking-Sensei » April 25th, 2009, 8:17 am

*edit - this has been updated*

Following on from an earlier discussion we had where we were discussing the possibility of using Half-Trolls as a playable race without horribly violating Errant Story canon (if you didn't see the discussion, long story short - no), I asked Poe and Impy if we could create a couple of new races out of whole cloth that could, at least potentially, exist in the Errant Story world and simply either not be common enough to discuss (meaning the main characters simply have never had a reason to mention them) or are not of common knowledge, like as such that they would live in some remote or isolated location.

After a series of back-and-forth discussions, focusing mainly on some of the races that Poe created and were included in Errant Story's earlier drafts, I've got a few candidates Impy and I put together that wouldn't seem too out-of-reach in the extended Errant Road universe.

One race, The Ghob, are a creation of my own more of need than of canon - of the list of races Impy and I hashed out, there wasn't an underground one, which is actually why I started asking this in the first place. I tried to stick with Poe's overall concept behind race creation - these goblins aren't your parent's goblins, and wouldn't be found in any D&D manual. They're much more realistic, sort of a "if they did exist, this is how they'd be", and should be played close to the vest as dynamic characters instead of tired cliches.

The others are still formative - I'd like to hear all of your input on them, see if we can't round down any sharp edges or overt cliches before we officially roll them into production. (Update - Spoke with Impy and Poe, made a few changes to the golem and catgirl races, so please re-read.

The Ghob
Description - The ES equivilent to classic goblins. The Ghob are smaller than a human, and look at first glance like small deformed trolls. They have pointy ears, though much wider and flatter than an elf or a troll, greenish-brown skin, and little-to-no hair. Their upper bodies tend to be well developed, and their fingers end in claws designed for digging. They have large eyes which are highly sensitive to light and can see lightwaves beyond normal human/half-elf/elf visual bands, especially ultra-violet light. They live about as long as humans do, maybe a little less.

Habitat - The Ghob live almost entirely underground, usually (as is the case with the Ghobs encountered under the Mountains of Madness) in dwarven ruins. Due to their sensitivity to multiple bandwidths of light, they find going outside to be incredibly painful, even at night, as it rends them almost completely blind.

Society - The Ghob are not naturally individualistic and have an almost hivemind-esque nature. They tend to follow a collective leader, much like a school of fish or a flock of birds that all turn as one. They do have individual names and identities, but their language and their thinking both are weak on the personal pronouns, putting a much larger importance on the We than on the I. There are (as in nature) alwasy heretical Ghob that do not agree with "the masses", but even in disagreement these Ghobs still follow the urge to cluster with other like-minded groups.

In their society, they highly prize being "the best" at a particular activity, as that "best" person will often be the trend-setter when performing the group activity. Ghobs will often introduce themselves as "(Name), best at (Activity)" like a title. Their claims of being best at something are not boastful, they are factual. If another wishes to challenge the "best" to a test of their abilities, the "best" is obliged to compete with the challenger at whatever the activity is.

Magic and Technology - They are non-magical, but have adapted several of the dwarven artifacts for their use, and can even reproduce some of them. Some of them are even skilled craftsmen, taking advantage of their volcanic location and constantly running furnace to forge better and better metals for use in weapons and armor.

Overall Place in ES Universe - Humans have legends of "goblins" living int he mountains, but they're treated on about the same level of fact as dragons, ogres, and friendly talking trolls. Trolls know ghobs exist, but don't have any reason for direct interaction with them as the ghob have never been dicks and tried to chase the trolls out of their lands. Elves have only encountered ghob on a few occasions, where they were believed to just be "deformed trolls" and treated with similar "cleaning up after the gods" regard.


Blue Golems
Description - The ES equivilent to robots... sorta, anyway. Created by the Dwarves, probably as menial labor. Originally invulnerable to all but massive amounts of damage and capable of regenerating damaged parts, the blue golems served as perfect workers... but that was thousands upon thousands of years ago, before the Errant War, when the old gods still wandered the world screwing things up (from the Elven point of view, anyway). In modern times, chances of finding one still physically intact is rare, and finding one with it's programming intact is even rarer. There is a dataport under their tongue where a dwarven-formatted data crystal could be used to load them with commands, if one could find dwarven data crystals and anyone who knew how to speak dwarven.

Habitat - Anywhere.

Society - Some Blue Golems have been granted a limited degree of self-will, but most are just drones. The Blue Golems follow a rigid command structure, as their default nature is as servants. They are made to take orders, and are bent to their master's wills. In their default state, they do not have individual natures, names, or personalities.

Magic and Technology - They are technology. Once upon a time, the golems could repair themselves and generate a number of different objects by comining their various different internal processes, but since their warranty expired eons ago, that's not the case anymore. Given the correct tools and enough time, however, they can usually rebuild themselves. Golems cannot use magic. (Ayiee is an exception, since she has been rebuilt and retrofitted using Tsuirakan technology)

Overall Place in ES Universe - Humans treat them as oddities, but don't think them to be *that* odd, because they have made golems themselves... they just don't appreciate how special they are. Trolls dislike the golems on general principles (they're not natural, they don't bleed, they can't share wisdom, and they're magical). Elves view the golems as just things, yet another attempt at dwarven compensation for their magical and reproductive shortcomings.


Cat People (probably need a better name)
Description - Poe likes catgirls... so, at one point, the world of Errant Story might've had catgirls in it. Now, I've worked out a way so it does! The cat people are human-sized feline analogs of... well... cat girls. Mostly humanoid bodies, with cat-like furry ears, long tails, and bits of fur on their bodies (placement varries). They are short-lived, with birth-to-maturity taking less than 10 years, and the average full lifespan being less than 40 years. They also suffer from a similar reproductive challenge to that of the elves... they're fertile, *really* fertile, but male births are rare, and males (cat-boys) have a high infant mortality rate.

Habitat - The southern continent, in the dense forests and the wide plains that may or may not exist down there. May at one point have also been in Farrel, but these "Farrel Cats" were probably weren't nearly as pleasant as their southern cousins, and were hunted to extinction long ago.

Society - Large tribe-like groups of extended family members, existing in territories ranging miles wide, to provide hunting area. Due to the complexities they face with mating, there is a need for cross-family cooperation, so while different groups may vie for territories, there is rarely any open hostility seen amongst them. Viable males will, when they reach a sufficient age, leave their own tribe and join another in order to prevent rampant inbreeding. They do not have centalized villages, instead being nomadic and moving within their territory regularly.

Magic and Technology - The catgirls are capable of a simple level of magic, making them the weakest of the magic using races. They can cast like humans and elves do, although external use is taboo in their culture (leading the Elves to falsely believe for a long time that they are incapable of magic). They believe magic should be directed inwards, with spells to increase one's own speed, stamina, senses, healing (basic RPG buffing) instead of outwards (force bolts, shields, etc), but there is usually one in each family designated as a "healer", allowed by tribal law to use healing magic on others. Males do not normally have any magical abilities whatsoever.

Overall Place in ES Universe - The Tsuirakans (especially men) love the idea of catgirls, often including them (far more of them than there are in reality) in their fictional works and overall cultural. The rest of the humans... not so much. There used to be (briefly) a sex slave trade run in the post-Errant War days, matching up lonely men with wild man-hungry cat women, but it was really tacky and generally eventually resulted in someone getting clawed to pieces. Trolls have had little to no direct interaction with catgirls, but would probably view them as either worthy adversaries or tasty snacks, depending on the situation. The elves don't even count them as sentient beings or creations of their gods (thus their not being included in the list of the gods' screw-ups), viewing them as historically as over-large pets and, in more modern times, as pests.

Coming soon (probably), the Imps!
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Re: New Playable Races

Postby Sareth » April 25th, 2009, 8:52 am

Viking-Sensei wrote:"Farrel Cats" were probably weren't nearly as pleasant as their southern cousins.


Oh god... the pain of that pun... it burns, it burns!

Kind of like really good Thai food. And I rather like good Thai food. So I have to declare that pun to be excellent!

OKAY!

Seriously, these all sound good and amusing to me. The way you've rarified them, and given good reason they would *not* have been seen (and likely won't be seen) in ES really works well for me! Not that you need it, I approve!

...

So, does anyone want to give Jamie a sex kitten for Christmas? :lol:
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Re: New Playable Races

Postby Viking-Sensei » April 25th, 2009, 9:36 am

Thanks. I figured that most of the reliable information on other races has, until now, come directly or indirectly from Elves... all I have to do is slander the elves for their haughty stance on other lifeforms (not that hard, given the material they regularly provide).

Impy's suggestions to me had the goblins and catgirls lifespans reversed, with catgirls having the shorter lifespans and goblins having the longer lifespans... which makes a certain degree of sense, I admit. That's why I put the breeding limiter on the catgirls - also, that gives us "catgirl" as a race without really having to worry about being gender biased... and also, given their reproductive cycles and lack of suitable in-race participants, the thought of wild teenage horny catgirls wandering the landscape looking for men... hilarious.
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Re: New Playable Races

Postby Graybeard » April 25th, 2009, 10:00 am

I'm okay with the ghobs and golems, but got a queasy feeling in my stomach from the catgirls. Why play off of some other author's creativity when we can go with our own? Let catgirls be confined to the universes where they were created.

Some of what's going on with the BBEG, as well as with a few of the more ... off-plane ... characters, is giving me a race idea that I want to develop a bit. Let me work on this one and post later.

Final point: if we need more monsters, when it comes to being monstrous, nothing competes with good old Homo sapiens.
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Re: New Playable Races

Postby kaitou » April 25th, 2009, 12:01 pm

Viking-Sensei wrote:Blue Golems
Description - The ES equivalent to robots... sorta, anyway.


Why do I get the feeling Viking_Sensei is going to be running one of these? (Probably aren't big enough for him, though.)

Cat People (probably need a better name)
Description - Poe likes catgirls... so, at one point, the world of Errant Story might've had catgirls in it. ... They also suffer from a similar reproductive challenge to that of the elves... they're fertile, *really* fertile, ...


And all I can think of is the spay your catgirl poster I saw at webcomic weekend.
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Re: New Playable Races

Postby Templar771 » April 25th, 2009, 2:43 pm

These all sound really intersting I want wait to see them in action!
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Re: New Playable Races

Postby Imp-Chan » April 25th, 2009, 2:44 pm

My suggestions specifically did not mention Goblins at all, for a very good reason. What I actually gave you was very different, and approved by Poe before it ever went to you. Color me annoyed at being summarily ignored.

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Re: New Playable Races

Postby Graybeard » April 25th, 2009, 7:31 pm

Whoa. Time out. Let's work this out here, which being the OOC page, is exactly where straw men (straw elves? straw goblins?) can be floated in a non-binding way before they appear in the game. I've introduced some stuff into the MoM2 arc to buy a bit of time so that we can do this -- not to mention provide dangerous but amusing targets for people to shoot at.
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Re: New Playable Races

Postby Imp-Chan » April 25th, 2009, 8:47 pm

*sigh* Since I can't really explain without revealing major plot points that should show up in-comic somewhere in the next six months, I'll have to stand aside. I was just annoyed that after bothering to write up new player races where none existed, and finding ways to justify their existence and keep them semi-realistically balanced in keeping with the story as playable characters, I might as well not have done so because Jim went ahead and did his own thing anyways. Not that doing one's own thing is necessarily bad, especially in a creative environment like this, but I resent it being presented as the official story when it quite simply isn't. Also one of the things that I did provide was adorable tree-dwelling Imps (nothing like normal imps, more like monkeys), and I am feeling my little implings were unfairly rejected, especially since Poe approved them.

Having expressed said annoyance, though, I'm now prepared to let it go. The point is for people to have fun, and while originally that was meant to be in the Errant Story universe (or at least a close analog), so long as people are having fun it doesn't much matter what the official story is.

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Re: New Playable Races

Postby Graybeard » April 25th, 2009, 9:07 pm

Imp-Chan wrote:Also one of the things that I did provide was adorable tree-dwelling Imps (nothing like normal imps, more like monkeys), and I am feeling my little implings were unfairly rejected, especially since Poe approved them.

"Impchens"? If you don't mind some fractured German, anyway...

OK, I think we're back on track, at least as soon as Jamie and crew perforate the lepivores. We can sort out the issues with new hominids as it makes sense to introduce them. Meanwhile, there's a whole southern continent for the impchens to get introduced in, once play moves there -- as I am reasonably certain it will, eventually, and quite likely sooner than later.

This said, I personally would much prefer that Errant Road develop in a way that doesn't clash with Errant Story itself. There are a number of things brewing in the Errant Road-verse where there might be issues there -- the community life of trolls (I'm constantly walking on eggshells as I write for Grope), what went on at the Lorenzel Excavations, capabilities and motivations of the Veracian Church (which is one reason for all of the non-mainstream denominations that can be conveniently ignored outside Errant Road), similar questions of capabilities of the Gewehr, and so on. Impy, you could do us all a big favor by watching developments, and if you see something starting to pose a potential conflict with canon, just drop the author in question a private caution note. It doesn't have to say why there's a potential conflict; just the knowledge that it's there should be enough to cause some course correction. We're all adults here -- more or less.
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