Gygaxian Democracy: Echelon Races

Seems odd to use ‘Gygaxian Democracy’ when the idea is to move away from what EGG wrote so long ago, but let’s give this a try.

I need more interesting races to work with than those in the Revised System Reference Document. “Humans in funny suits” doesn’t do it for me, I need non-human races to be more other the more powerful they get.

Notes on social mores and behavior are good, especially since they lead other thought, but I am more interested in what they are and do.

Let’s start with the basics: dwarves, elves, halflings (optional), gnomes, half-orcs (people get unhappy without half-orcs and gnomes, it seems).

Actually, while that’s my primary focus, don’t let that stop you.  Minotaurs, ogres, flying lizardmen, whatever strikes your fancy.

Tell me about them.  I’m not looking for just a list of races to consider, I want to know what makes them not-human.

Make them other.  Make them clearly not human.  Make them weird… and don’t worry too much about power level. I can make almost anything reasonable work, I just need a direction.

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  1. David Lamb

    We seem to be mostly discussing this in comments in G+ instead of on this page. How do you want us to split things between the two places? This one seems to be more permanent, the other more immediate-reactive. So do we post profound stuff here and half-baked stuff there?

    • I think that’s how it’s likely to shake out. I’d like to see more conversation here (on posts and the forum) but there are way more people over at G+. I try to watch all locations and capture the best bits of it, but I think it worth capturing particularly tasty bits and putting them here so they don’t get lost.

  2. You see here a stream of consciousness. –more–

    Vampire idea (plagiarised from some roguelike I think, can’t remember): While fully satiated, you appear as a normal human*, albeit faster and stronger. You can go out in sunlight, etc. (Possible sparkles.) As you get hungry your undead side manifests more strongly: you start to look like a corpse, you catch fire. Perhaps you gain/lose certain abilities too depending which state you are in.
    * possibly this is a “meta-race”, actually.

    Simpler ideas:
    Satyrs: fey creature, recognised by animals as natural being, hence you can interact with them easily. Possibly acquire animal speech? Fast and nimble, headbutt is a natural weapon (full disclosure: I just like headbutting people). Give their own martial combat style to capitalise on those bits? A little druidic magic is available, specialists become quite good at it.

    (joke: Dryads? Interesting race, may be *slightly* awkward to play as)

    Centaurs: Obviously, body morphology is different. Brilliant carrying power, hard to get through doors etc. Very fast. Bow-focussed combat style. Possibly some focus on medicine (see Chiron from mythology). Proficient astronomers.

    Blemmyes: humanoid, but no head and eyes/mouth are on the chest. Live in deserts, cannibalistic.

    Daoine Sídhe (“danny shee”): Live in fairy realm, accessible via fairy mounds. Carefree and beautiful, but fearsome fighters when offended. Easy to offend. Common magical abilities include turning invisible, flight, size-changing, affecting/turning into animals. “Fairy paths” exist which they can use to travel very fast (these are dangerous to mortals). Don’t think anything of magic really, and may forget that mortals don’t have such abilities. Harmed by iron and are scared of it. Strange ideas of morality by human standards.

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