Topic: Toying with demi-human races

LotFP without demi-humans but still with the cool corresponding classes :

I was thinking about the 3 non human classes and went to the non original conclusion that each one corresponded to a typical stereotype : the tough, resilient worker/slave, the magic-born/strange person and the small and lucky guy.

I was wondering, then, if one could not use those classes as such - without changing any rules - to emulate other human adventurous types than the magical erudite, the professional soldier, the explorer or the god-touched. You could then have a game without demi-human at all if you so wish : for example, to play in a Conan-like setting.

The easy part is to take the classes as they are and change the description. The hard one is to find a cool description which could match the tone of one's setting.

I would suggest not going along the mutant line, but that would make interesting characters. I had instead in mind :
- "dwarves" as former servitors of mages/clerics/supernatural beings (escaped or "fired" ?) : subject to strange energies and backbreaking work (think Igor), they developed an almost supernatural toughness which serve them well in this strange new world other men consider normal. Knowing almost nothing about customs, laws or normal human relationships, they're perfect candidates for adventuring. This "explanation" seems to fit the dwarf stereotype : has worked with "top technologies", worked day and night, acquired without any doubt a gruff personality, became used to odd constructions and old ruins and very resilient.
- "elves", that's the easier part for me, as beings touched by the supernatural, the devil, ancient gods or whatever (through chance, stars being right, orgy with otherworldly entities or exposure to strong magics during pregnancy). They're born different and theirs is the life of forever strangers : they are "the changed" and may be, if you wish so, either very attractive or very ugly (by human standards). They live as nomads, freaks, loners, witch hunters, madmen or warlocks/witches. They're the natural side of magic-using "humans". They still have to study as normal magic-users but, unlike them, they have made no choice : they're doomed to go this way. Their life, their struggles and the natural link they have to magic enables them to cast spells even when lightly encumbered. They are born with keen senses and are very wary of their surroundings.
- "halflings", as, thats' the hard part, small and lucky guy. Maybe acrobats part of a circus whose life of hard work and constant travelling from poor village to poor village annoyed them. I have no cool idea which pleases me but the circus guy fits well the halfling stereotype : good at throwing knives, dodging things, fit, quick and agile.

So here you are : no more demi humans classes but strenghts of nature, strange ones, and acrobats. Or you could go along the fairy line (pun not intended), making dwarves, elves and halflings 3 forms of humanity touched by fairies and their affinity with earth, forests and small animals. Or you could choose to make them mutants which, in a world touched by chaos would not be uninteresting.

I think demi-humans can be seen as interesting templates and a source of "new" human classes. The main point is to give them non-bland descriptions to make them instantly identifiable like demi human are without changing the rules a bit.

What do you think or suggest ?

Re: Toying with demi-human races

While I don't like a human class having an overly supernatural background, this is a good idea.  The elf can simply be renamed the Fighter-Mage class; it is the easiest of the demi-humans to repurpose as a human class and the one that provides the most interesting play options, imho.  A supernatural explanation isn't needed; he is simply a very talented individual who can divide his attention between two classes. 

The dwarf could be the foundation for a paladin-type class; remove the dwarven special abilities and grant him, say, Lay On Hands and Protection from Evil x number of times per day based on level.

The halfling is the hardest to picture as a human class; perhaps as a bardic type character.



Re: Toying with demi-human races

Thanks for your answer and sayng that no supernatural exlplanation is needed. You're right of course and allowed me to think otherwise : tanks.

By the way, M Raggi said on his blog he would soon play that which interestingly lets you play human "demi humans" !