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    Races of the Flanaess for Classic D&D - Humans
    Posted on Fri, July 08, 2005 by Dongul
    chatdemon writes "For players of the Classic Dungeons & Dragons game, an exploration of options allowing all the races of Greyhawk to be available as player characters.

    Races of the Flanaess for Classic D&D - Humans
    By: chatdemon
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    In order to properly portray the diversity of races in the Flanaess, and provide options for players in a Classic D&D game who wish to play a character that is a little bit out of the ordinary, I have come up with the idea of race templates; a short bit of descriptive information and handful of class tweaks to expand the options available when choosing a class.

    Each race in Greyhawk has a number of subraces, variant folk who, while still essentially members of the main race, are different enough from the norm to warrant a new classification. In this series of articles, I'll take a look at each subrace, starting with humans.
    Race: Human - standard
    Description: While there are many groups of humans in the Flanaess that possess unique characteristics that set them apart from their peers, the bulk of humanity in the late 6th century Common Year is mixed enough through marriage and migrations that such classifications are often meaningless. Standard humans follow this trend, showing little of the ethnic or cultural traits that would place them in one of the subrace categories. Such folk usually identify themselves by nationality, not ethnic background, and are by far the most common variety of humans encountered in the Flanaess. Standard humans run the full spectrum of appearances, showing all varieties of skin, hair and eye tone.
    Ability Modifiers: None
    Class Restrictions (and XP modifiers by class)
    • Cleric: Yes (none)
    • Druid: Yes (none)
    • Fighter: Yes (none)
    • Paladin: Yes (none)
    • Knight: Yes (none)
    • Avenger: Yes (none)
    • Magic User: Yes (none)
    • Mystic: Yes (none)
    • Thief: Yes (none)
    Race: Human - Baklunish
    Description: The Baklunish people are fairly uncommon in the Flanaess, appearing more often in their homelands to the northwest. The Baklunish culture is one heavily influenced by tradition, and like the Suel, mastery of the magical arts is well respected.
    Baklunish humans tend to have golden tan complexions, with green or grey-green eyes and dark brown to black coarse hair.
    The Baklunish are also a very honorable people, and roguish careers are uncommon. Baklunis favor the Mystic class in general, and tend to avoid becoming thieves.
    Ability Modifiers: +1 Wis or +1 int (maximum 18), -1 dex (minimum 3)
    Class Restrictions (and XP modifiers by class)
    • Cleric: Yes (none)
    • Druid: Yes (none)
    • Fighter: Yes (none)
    • Paladin: Yes (+5% to earned XP)
    • Knight: Yes (+5% to earned XP)
    • Avenger: Yes (none)
    • Magic User: Yes (+5% to earned XP)
    • Mystic: Yes (+10% to earned XP)
    • Thief: Yes (-10% to earned XP)

    Race: Human - Flan
    Description: The Flan are the native inhabitants of the Flanaess, and its namesake. A simple, rustic folk, they revere gods more related to nature than the esoteric gods other humans follow.
    Flan tend to have darker skin tones than average humans, ranging from deep bronze tan to dark brown complexions. Dark eyes, mostly brown, black or amber are most common, and their hair is often dark as well, tending to be wavy or curly.
    The Flan people have a proud tradition of druids, and tend to favor cleric or druid classes while avoiding becoming arcane spellcasters.
    Ability Modifiers: +1 Con (maximum 18), -1 Int (minimum 3)
    Class Restrictions (and XP modifiers by class)
    • Cleric: Yes (+5% to earned XP)
    • Druid: Yes (+10% to earned XP)
    • Fighter: Yes (none)
    • Paladin: Yes (none)
    • Knight: Yes (none)
    • Avenger: Yes (none)
    • Magic User: Yes (-10% to earned XP)
    • Mystic: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    • Thief: Yes (none)
    Race: Human - Oeridian
    Description: The Oeridians are an agressive, sometimes warlike folk, known for bringing most of the Flanaess under their rule at one time or another.
    An honorable people, Oeridians are reluctant to seek the life of a thief, prefering more noble professions.
    Oeridians have a wide range of appearances, often being indistinguishable from standard humans. Skin tones range from light tan to dark olive complexions, and hair runs the spectrum from blonde to black, with brown being most common. Their hair ranges from straight and fine to thick and curly, and Oeridian eye colors may be any common to humans, but brown and gray are common.
    Oeridians favor the fighter class and it's high level alternatives, and tend to avoid the Magic User and Mystic classes.
    Ability Modifiers: +1 Dex or +1 Str (maximum 18), -1 IWis (minimum 3)
    Class Restrictions (and XP modifiers by class)
    • Cleric: Yes (none)
    • Druid: Yes (none)
    • Fighter: Yes (+10% to earned XP)
    • Paladin: Yes (+10% to earned XP)
    • Knight: Yes (+10% to earned XP)
    • Avenger: Yes (+10% to earned XP)
    • Magic User: Yes (-10% to earned XP)
    • Mystic: Yes (-10% to earned XP)
    • Thief: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    Race: Human - Olman
    Description: The Olman folk are a short, dark skinned human people native to the Amedio jungle. The rampant slave trade common in the less noble nations of the Flanaess has brought Olman humans to nearly every corner of the Flanaess though, and while not common, they might be found just about anywhere.
    Olman humans tend to have black hair that is fine and straight, and dark brown to black eyes.
    The Olman culture is one deeply rooted in religion and spirit worship, so the Cleric and Mystic classes are common, while magic-users and the high level advanced fighter subclasses are almost unknown.
    Ability Modifiers: +1 Wis (maximum 18), -1 Int (minimum 3) -1 Cha (minimum 3)
    Class Restrictions (and XP modifiers by class)
    • Cleric: Yes (+10% to earned XP)
    • Druid: Yes (+5% to earned XP)
    • Fighter: Yes (none)
    • Paladin: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    • Knight: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    • Avenger: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    • Magic User: Yes (-10% to earned XP)
    • Mystic: Yes (+5% to earned XP)
    • Thief: Yes (none)
    Race: Human - Rhennee (and Atloi)
    Description: The Rhennee are an often misunderstood and mistrusted race of gypsy like humans who inhabit the central Flanaess. Most Rhennee spend their lives aboard large barges, travelling the rivers and lakes trading (and some would say, scamming) the people they meet, but land dwelling bands, known as Atloi instead of Rhennee, do exist.
    Rhennee folk tend to have husky, dark complexions, with brown or grey eyes and thick, dark hair.
    Rhennee and Atloi both favor the thief class, and wizard or cleric classes are uncommon.
    Ability Modifiers: +1 Dex (maximum 18), -1 Int (minimum 3), -2 Cha (minimum 3)
    Class Restrictions (and XP modifiers by class)
    • Cleric: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    • Druid: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    • Fighter: Yes (none)
    • Paladin: Yes (none)
    • Knight: Yes (none)
    • Avenger: Yes (none)
    • Magic User: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    • Mystic: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    • Thief: Yes (+10% to earned XP)
    Race: Human - Suel
    Description: The descendants of the people who ruled the once great empire that lay where the Sea of Dust is now, the Suel are seen by many as an arrogant and chaotic folk.
    Suel humans tend to be fairer skinned than other humans, with Albinos being somewhat common. Hair tones run from white to shades of blonde to light reds, with light colored eyes being most common as well.
    As a culture, the Suel have an affinity for magic and knowledge, and tend towards more scholarly pursuits than their human cousins.
    Ability Modifiers: +1 Int (maximum 18), -1 Str (minimum 3), -1 Cha (minimum 3)
    Class Restrictions (and XP modifiers by class)
    • Cleric: Yes (none)
    • Druid: Yes (none)
    • Fighter: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    • Paladin: Yes (-10% to earned XP)
    • Knight: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    • Avenger: Yes (-5% to earned XP)
    • Magic User: Yes (+10% to earned XP)
    • Mystic: Yes (+5% to earned XP)
    • Thief: Yes (none)

    "
     
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    Re: Races of the Flanaess for Classic D&D - Humans (Score: 1)
    by GVDammerung on Fri, July 08, 2005
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
    I want to look at the specific XP distributions by class more closely, but on just a first read I want to say - WOW! :-D

    I love this! :D

    In fact, you have beaten me to the punch. :) I picked up the Conan RPG (Mongoose Publshing, 3rd Ed. D&D) and this is exactly what they do for the Hyborian Age races in that book. I think that is pretty cool and I think what you have done is is very cool as well.

    I also think this could be applied to any edition.

    Great job!



    Re: Races of the Flanaess for Classic D&D - Humans (Score: 1)
    by chatdemon on Sat, July 09, 2005
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    Well, as a warning, there was no detailed and strict scientific methodolgy for determining the XP modifiers. I went more with a gut feeling like "well, Suel are obviously known for their wizardry, so give them a bonus XP if they are magic-users, but they aren't known for their brave and righteous knights, so a penalty is in order if they want to be a paladin". I also attempted to give each race a general balance when compared to generic humans, but again, no hard rules were used. The beauty of Classic D&D, IMO, is that you can apply minor tweaks like this without overly breaking down the game balance as written. In AD&D 1e, 2e and 3e, the mechanics are more intertwined with other aspects of the character that can lead to unforseen problems when tweaks are made.

    More articles like this are in the queue, as well as on my harddrive awaiting final edit before I post them, and all the major races of Greyhawk will be available. In all cases I kind of went with the assumption that each race will be treated as a variant human, with access to different classes varying by race. Some races get bonuses or penalties to some classes or are barred from other classes (dwarves cant be wizards, for example) Also, the "demi-human classes" from Classic D&D are available to the demi-human races only. So your elf can take the elf class as normal, or he can be a cleric or thief or whatever, possibly with XP penalties applied.

    To me, this allows the variety and flavor of all the races of Greyhawk, without adding the complexity of having race and class as separate aspects of the character.


    ]


    Re: Races of the Flanaess for Classic D&D - Humans (Score: 1)
    by chatdemon on Sat, July 09, 2005
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    One further note I wanted to add:

    Player : "Hey, my character concept is that I'm a Suel, but I want to be a fighter and eventually branch into paladin"

    DM : "Ummm"

    This is not a problem in my system. Just take the generic human race, but call yourself suel. No Scarlet Brotherhood thugs are going to come knocking your door down to punish you. Sure, by being a generic human with suloise flavor, you forfeit the +1 to intelligence, but you avoid the XP penalty for your desired class, as well as the ability penalties that go along with being a "true" Suel.

    The mechanics are intended to promote story and Greyhawk flavor, not hinder them, so feel free to adjust or ignore them as you see fit.


    ]


    Re: Races of the Flanaess for Classic D&D - Humans (Score: 1)
    by Lefto on Sun, July 10, 2005
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    This is a great idea! I have a question about the Suel. Would you say that the Snow/Frost/Ice Barbarians are Standard humans, rather than true Suel? They seem to have your typical barbarian prejudices - respect fighting prowess and are wary of wizards.

    Really looking forward to your write-ups of the other races (just the kind of stuff that keeps lurkers like me lurking!).



    Re: Races of the Flanaess for Classic D&D - Humans (Score: 1)
    by chatdemon on Sun, July 10, 2005
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    One of the upcoming articles in this series covers "minor human subraces", such as the Touv, Flan horse nomads, Suel nomads of the north central flanaess, and the Suel barbarians of the northeast that you mention. Lerara and Amedi as well.


    ]


    Re: Races of the Flanaess for Classic D&D - Humans (Score: 1)
    by Kirt on Sun, July 10, 2005
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    One of my campaigns is "classic" D&D, though not in Greyhawk. I appreciate seeing articles like this.

    Two comments - if ALL of the character classes are alowed to ALL varieties of humans, it seems like a lot of extra work and space to write Yes (none). You could assume that as a default and just list those with xp mods. Although if you want to conserve the format for use later with demi humans, I understand.

    Second, Cha. penalties are a tricky thing. I can understand the Rhenee one, as they would be mistrusted anywhere. But the Suel one is more problematic. They should get no penalty, or even a bonus, in the Sheldomar basin, at least. One could easily expand the complexity of this akin to the racial reaction adjustment tables in the 1st ed PHB (or was it the DMG?)


    Are you considering a similar article for the humanoid classes made allowable by Orcs of Thar?



    Re: Races of the Flanaess for Classic D&D - Humans (Score: 1)
    by chatdemon on Sun, July 10, 2005
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    Thanks for the comments, I'll reply to each point separately.

    1 - XP/Class format As you guessed, this was done mainly to preserve a standard format across all the races. The only exception is the demi-human classes, the Elf class is only listed for Elves and HalfElves, for example. Once the series is complete, Im considering compiling all the articles into a little pdf or something, possibly with a master table included for easy DM reference, and keeping all the "yes (no modifier)" placeholders in will make formatting that easier.

    Cha Modifiers First a general comment. If your style of campaign doesn't focus on Cha much, you may want to adjust the ability scores to a balance better suited to your game. In my game, reactions and retainer morale are pretty important, so those Cha scores come into play often, making the penalties or bonuses mean something. As with any new rules though, each DM should adjust things to fit his game.

    Now, as Cha bonuses apply among racial groups. I didn't focus as much on the idea that a character is disliked just because he's suel and suel are considered jerks. I'm being a bit more stereotypical and saying that suel, in general, are jerks. Exceptions will occur, of course, since a cha of 16+ is still possible.

    Also, in Keoland, I picture most folk falling into the "generic human" grouping, since the suel and oeridians there have intermixed extensively, and even the flan there aren't likely pure anymore, except in remote areas of Geoff and such. Even in a place like the Scarlet Brotherhood realms though, even though everyone is suel, suel are still a less social and gregarious bunch than other humans tend to be, so the penalty remains. Of course, if you want a different view of any particular race in your campaign, feel free to tweak the adjustments given. You could also add a mechanic that allows racial Cha penalty or bonus to be ignored when dealing with others of the same race, but to me that seems like a lot of extra bookkeeping.


    ]


    Re: Races of the Flanaess for Classic D&D - Humans (Score: 1)
    by chatdemon on Sun, July 10, 2005
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    Are you considering a similar article for the humanoid classes made allowable by Orcs of Thar?

    I toyed with that idea a bit, and decided to stick to the basic Cyclopedia classes, for now. There is an article coming in the series that allows a handful of the advanced humanoid races (orcs, goblins, kobolds and hobgoblins) to become PCs, using the core group of classes seen here.

    Perhaps I'll add a shaman type class and some manner of bard class to the mix as bonus material when I compile these articles together though and add in each races allowances for those classes. Shamans are less attractive really, since it could be considered, loosely, as simply a cleric with barbarian flavor, but the Bard and Ranger classes are critical to a Greyhawk campaign, IMO, so that one certainly needs to be added. I have no intention of adding a barbarian though, since IMO, that is just a fighter with flavor. The bonus abilities given to Barbarians in AD&D1e and D&D3e can be easily added to a fighter or ranger (or the dwarf class, doesn't really fit the stereotypical GH elves or halflings though) by creating a cyclopedia style skill that allows battle rage.

    So I'll try and create, or dig up and secure permission to use, a Bard, Ranger and perhaps Shaman, and see about adding them to the "Races of the Flanaess" compilation once the series is complete.

    Any other classes folks think are integral to a Greyhawk game? Monk, maybe, if it isn't heavily oriental.

    I'm not much of an oriental fan, so ninjas and samurais arent likely to appear, though I welcome anyone to add them to my system.


    ]



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