Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day 6: Races

Role-playing games are about being something that you're not. Strong, agile, clever, a warrior, a thief, a magic-user, a rebel, a Jedi, a Sith, a cyborg, a superhero, Regis Philban; whatever. Races can be a huge component to that. Some people choose their character's race based on qualities that complement the type of character they want to play. Some choose it based on how close or how far from normal human they want to be. I literally had one player who would bust open the monster manual and flip through saying "That; I want to play that" and we made it work.

I've already thought about a few races I wanted to have in Trinary, and even have a few details about their culture. Today's 30 Days of WorldBuilding excersize tells me to do this:

Spend 10 minutes figuring out what people who evolved in each major area of your world would look like. Then spend another 5 minutes asking "what if this group encountered that group?" Would they fight? Trade? Both? Inter-marry and blend their genetic types? Would they remain largely separate, with pure strains of both racial groups co-existing (not necessarily peacefully)? How would that encounter be brought about in the first place?
...huh. This is a good exercise, don't get me wrong. It's just...harder to accomplish with the scope of Project Trinary.  Once again, I'm on with developing races across multiple worlds, not one race across multiple climates.  Hmmm...

Plus, I've got a lot of different races, that can't interbreed without "Star Trek Biology" coming into play...which could be hilarious...

Actually...why the hell not? Why not have races able to interbreed when possible? I'll have to keep that thought in my back pocket and see if I want to utilize it later...

Here are the races I'm planning on:

Humans: Someday I may run a game where humans are not a playable species.  This is not that game. Humans in the Garden come from a variety of worlds, and have as varied an appearance as they do on Earth. Humans are also one of the founding races of The Union.

Drachon: Five dragonborn clans, each hailing from one of five planets within a corner of The Garden. These clans are sort of my Klingons or Space Orcs, they fight everyone not of their clan (and even occasionally those of their clan) for martial superiority. They're raiders, taking what they want because they can. Each planet has it's own dominant climate; mountainous, volcanic, arctic, verdant marsh, and terrestrial. I might want to repeat this 30-day exercise specifically to tackle these five worlds so they're not completely "Star Wars planets" (consisting of only one climate). The Drachon clans see the Union as a perfect force to test themselves against, and have no interest in a truce or peace with them.

Allef: Sort of elven, sort of feline; this is a species that once had a massive population and many colonies, but is now an endangered, transient species. Few pure-Allef colonies remain, most of them wander the The Garden alone or in small groups, trying to survive however they can. Because of their agility, thievery comes naturally to them and many have resorted to burglary to survive. As such, they have gained a reputation as troublemakers and a nuisance at best, and criminals at worst. Because they have no recognized government, they cannot become seated members of The Union.

Granos: A large humanoid species with hardened nodules and plates of minerals across their body. Inherently strong, Granos are coveted as a labor force. They are petitioning for membership into the Union, something that special interest groups are lobbying to block because they want to keep using the Granos as cheap labor, and if they are made full Union members they have to give their workers rights.

N'guli: I don't have much down for the N'guli other than their description as "eel-like humanoids". They are full members of The Union

Urnar: I have even fewer notes about the Urnar, just a name and that they are also Union members.

Bathalians: Using the Reaper Miniatures of the same name, the Bathalians consist of several sub-species ranging from Illithids (mind flayers) to things that look like Zerg Hydralisks from Starcraft. This is the species of the Bathal Host, a theocratic empire that will be a major threat to all races living within in The Garden.

I'm somewhat trying to shy away from traditional Fantasy races, but I may still try and rework them into this game with some odd characteristics. I've somewhat got elves in already with the Allef (and I'll admit, their name comes from a mash up of "elf" and "alley-cat"). Perhaps I make the Urnar into orcs (or half-orcs), and make the Granos dwarves (only bigger and literally really into stonework). Halflings and gnomes could be adapted too.  Alternately, I go the Star Trek route and make them all human-ish humanoids and allow interbreeding.

Half Granos/Hald N'guli for a humanoid rock-like eel person! 

It bears some thought.

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