Character Race

In the World of Olde of Realms of Myth humans are NOT alone!

The choice of race is placed first because it is the base on which the player builds his character persona for the game.

Racial attitudes shape the basic personality of the character. His point of view is affected by the perspective of a span of years that may be much longer than human, and the perspective of an average height that is likely to be just as different from human (unless of course he IS human). Race defines general opinions, favored environment influences of special knowledge and abilities on lifestyle and attitudes towards the natural world at large, and general cultural slant regarding the other races.

As the game goes on, the player’s sense of his character persona grows, but it is here with the race that characterization actually begins.

The selection of races and the manner in which they have been described is meant to aid in acclimatizing the players, GM included, to the nuances of more truly “medieval” roleplaying for which this game was designed and written. They run the gamut of standard fantasy races commonly found in medieval-style fantasy literature (humans and the ubiquitous dwarfs, elfs & half-elfs) but include some additions derived from traditional folklore and fairytales: half-ogres, half-trolls, and half-trows, the diminutive dunladdin (“people of the hills”; singular m. dunlad or f. dunlas) based on the Picts of early Pict-land (in modern Scotland) but who also bear some similarity to the familiar and well-liked creations of a major fantasy novelist, for those who have come to love them, as well as the shy, wolf-headed Wulvers of British and Scots folklore.

In line with this general approach, despite being a familiar staple of the fantasy genre, the race of dwarfs have been RE-cast according to the lights of the original descriptions and appearance, the svartalfar found in the Norse eddas or sagas, who wrought a great many magickal wonders at their subterranean forges.

The familiar elfs have also been RE-cast to coincide much more closely with the Norse ljos alfar and the Tuatha de Dannan of Ireland and later medieval traditions, to whom much of the elfin lore and traditions of the West can be traced (excepting the alfar of the Nordic/Germanic cultures, but these are physically similar to the Tuatha de Dannan). This should make these two “standard” races somewhat more “new” to those who are used to the other tradition(s) that have become staples of the genre in other roleplaying games.

To these have been added some fancies that were popular in play during game development, the irdanni (singular irdan – diminutive winged half-elfs by appearance) and the Pumatharæ (pl., sing. pumathar) cat-people right down to the tail.

The player need actually only read the descriptions of those races that sound interesting and choose the one that best suits him. Generally speaking, the player should take care not to choose a race for his character that is too far removed from the flights of fancy with which he identifies so he will better enjoy playing it. This is very important due to the fact that the player will most commonly be portraying the character during every game, time after time. Not all races are suitable for all players. There is no accounting for taste, as they say. If the player discovers he just doesn’t mesh well with the character he has created, he should pass him around and see if there is another player who would enjoy playing him sometime. It takes alot of work to create a character. It is a shame to simply throw one away. It is so much better if it can end up in the hands of someone who can eventually enjoy portraying it to its full potential.

 

Choose a race for the character from the roster that follows.

Dunlad(-din)

Dwarf

Elf

Half-elf

Half-ogre

Half-troll

Half-drow

Human

Irdan(-ni)

Pumathar(-ae)

Wulver

Character race is a choice, plain and simple. The Method by which you are building or crafting your character makes absolutely no difference in what race you choose.

Choice of race is freely available to all players equally without cost or limitation, except those placed on them by the GM due to the setting he has chosen in which to run his game.

For the benefit of novice and experienced players alike, the score ranges for each of the races in all the primary attributes used to define the characters are recapped and presented on table 1-1, below. Definitions of the abbreviations can be found in the Index of Abbreviations, previously. This allows the player and GM both to compare and contrast the native abilities and capabilities of the various races to evaluate them more easily in making a choice amongst them.

.

1-1. Minimum – Maximum Scores, Standard Fantasy Races

Race

AGL

BTY

CND

STA

STR

AWA CHM SPT HRT
Dwarfs

3/13/25

3/13/25

4/17/30

14/16/18

4/17/30

3/13/25

3/13/25

1/13/35

2/13/35

Elfs

5/20/35

13/20/35

3/13/25

16/18/20

2/11/20

3/13/25

3/13/25

1/13/35

2/13/35

HalfElfs

4/17/30

10/16/30

3/13/25

16/19/22

3/13/25

3/13/25

3/13/25

1/13/35

4/17/35

Humans

3/13/25

3/13/25

3/13/25

18/20/22

3/13/25

3/13/25

3/13/25

1/13/35

5/20/35

 

.

1-1. Minimum/Average/Maximum Scores, Realms of Myth Races

Race AGL BTY CND STA STR
Dunladdin 4/17/30 3/13/25 3/13/ 25 10/12/16 1/8/15
Half-ogres 3/13/25 1/8/15 5/20/35 22/26/30 5/20/35
Half-trolls 3/13/25 1/8/15 5/20/35 25/30/35 5/20/35
Half-drow 4/17/30 4/17/30 3/13/25 16/19/22 3/13/25
Irdanni 5/20/30 10/16/30 3/13/25 16/18/20 2/11/20
Pumatharæ 4/17/30 3/13/25 4/17/30 18/20/22 3/13/25
Wulvers 3/13/25 3/13/25 5/20/35 19/21/23 4/17/30

 

Race AWA CHM SPT HRT
Dunladdin 3/13/25 3/13/25 1/13/35 4/17/30
Half-ogres 3/13/25 3/13/25 1/13/35 4/17/35
Half-trolls 3/13/25 3/13/25 1/13/35 4/17/35
Half-drow 3/13/25 3/13/25 1/13/35 4/17/35
Irdanni 3/13/25 3/13/25 1/13/35 3/13/35
Pumatharæ 3/13/25 3/13/25 1/13/35 3/13/35
Wulvers 3/13/25 3/13/25 1/13/35 3/13/35

A Word about Character Races

Throughout the text of the game, much has been made of drawing the facts describing the setting(s) from the historic record of the medieval era to be used by those playing the game. So long as the only characters employed in the game are human, that works without a hitch. But in order to have a medieval fantasy game, non-human and demi-human races that can be played by the players as alternatives to being human are one of the most basic of requirements for the genre.

The roster of races from which the players can choose is rather abbreviated as far as fantasy RPG’s in general go, but a lot of information has been dragged in from the old folklore, fairytales, sagas and other writings handed down over the centuries for the players to get used to.

The races comprise an arena where the rules meet the setting, however. On the other hand, the setting is the GM’s alone to create as he sees fit. In “Origins & Background” and “Trades” and “Skills” in the character creation process it is possible to skirt that issue. Only the basic structure, names and definitions of trades and social classes and features of historic medieval society are provided, based on medieval English cultural standards. The name(s) of the country(-ies) sharing this cultural heritage, the names and qualities of those in power, the details of the politics and (specific) practices and the regional identities of the people, all the really interesting stuff from a roleplaying and Game Mastering point of view, all are left as blanks for the GM to fill in, utilizing his own creativity to whatever extent he likes.

Unfortunately, it is more than difficult to present any amount of useful information about each of the races (excepting humans, of course, where it has been lifted from the historical record and provided under the heading “The Medieval Mind”) for the purposes of giving the players a direction in which to take their portrayals and characterizations without stepping on the creative toes of every GM picking up the game to use. Fortunately this information can be divided easily between the physical aspects and their cultural background and context. The cultural context of each of the races provides the stage where the GM gets to showcase his creativity, to create the common back-story all members of a given race share.

Because something had to be provided to give the players a clue to what the choice of race might involve as far as back-story and cultural context, the descriptions of the races provided here (which start with the ancient folklore) as they were built up for the setting used for play-testing – the Regna Mythica that are slated for release following the game itself – were pulled out and provided.

The GM is encouraged to take these descriptions and use them as they are, or run with only what he likes of them and add on whatever else he comes up with, or throw them out completely without a second thought and use wholly his own! Changing the back-story and cultural practices of any race described here is easily enough done, but the GM should always give the players a head’s-up regarding any such changes from the text they are using to make their characters, so they do not end up making characters thinking the general context of their races are as written, only to find out it is in fact something else entirely, and not necessarily something they can live with for their characters.

It is only when the GM feels a need to change the physical definition of a race that there comes the serious work of tracing the impact of race through “Origins & Background” and then through “Attribute Generation” and “Physical Description” and making the alterations match up throughout with what he has created for his own world.

As far as physical definitions, there are a couple options the GM must consider specifically in regards to the dwarfs and elfs. That is why the physical standards provided for player use in the case of dwarfs and elfs conforms to the familiar, popular industry standard, but why an alternate set is provided for the GM to look at in both those race descriptions. In order to make those decisions, the GM must read the opening passages for those races and decide for himself which direction he wants to go, or if he wants to stick with them as written. In any event, the GM must meet with his players and make sure they understand all the parameters he wants to place on character generation for the game he is planning, and especially any differences in the dispositions and cultures of the non-human races in his game world as opposed to those described in these pages.