Friday, July 17, 2015

GURPS Hekinoe Races: Children of Volung

So writing out the Nel was getting rather difficult. And aggravating. And there are better things I could be doing with my time. So that's what I'm going to do. In the interests of productivity I'm going to return to using the blog as a place where I hammer out my thoughts about the GURPS Hekinoe campaign book, which is what I was doing with the whole sorcery, psionics, Gifts thing. Then I got sidetracked by fucking about with the Nel, which serves no purpose because they're such a minor feature of my campaign world. I like them way too much, which leads to me getting distracted by them at the drop of a hat. So we're going to shut down the whole Nel thing and start on the campaign book and go more or less chapter by chapter. Maybe. Probably not. Whatever. We're going to start with races.

There are currently 17 races in The Known World: Children of Volung, Conwighta, Dwenoren, Elduman, Elduman Descended Uncout, Fallen, Fell Descendants, Fell Humans, Fell Soulless, Greyskin Abraxens, Okwighta, Rankethlek, Sereth, Solwighta, Soulless, Uncout, and Vyanth.

Wait. Seriously? Seventeen fucking playable races? That's over double the fucking number of races in Pathfinder's core book. Yeesh. Anyway, alphabetically speaking, we'll start with the Children of Volung.

Before we do that though, I want to lay out some guidelines for creation and stuff. The first is that there will be no attempts at balance between the races. They are what they are and have the points values that they have. The second is that I really am going to step away from race and culture thing being tossed together because. In this campaign book, the second on races will be immediately followed by a section on cultures and every character in The Known World will pick a race and culture. Culture will govern things like languages, technology level, attitudes, etc, etc, etc. The race portion will cover things like biological traits and physical descriptions and so on and so forth. Make sense?

Each race will also be broken up into two sections: mandatory traits and optional traits. Mandatory traits will govern stuff that is absolutely always present, like Dwenoren being blind, and Fallen being unkillable. Optional traits are going to govern things like stat increases and stuff some members of the race have, but not all, like some Rankethlek being made out of copper, or some Soulless having very active Fallen personalities within them.

What do we know about Children of Volung? They're tough to kill, around seven feet tall, have tough hide, they're angry, hail from the far north, and have bony plates beneath their skin over their rib cage.

Hailing from the far north is easy, Temperature Tolerance 1 (Cold). The toughness is also easy, we give them one level of Hard To Kill and one of Hard To Subdue. We also add in a feature stating that they can buy up to three levels of each of those advantages, rather than the normal two of other races. Their tough hide comes out as Damage Resistance (Tough Skin, -40%) and the bony plates beneath their skin over their rib cages are Damage Resistance (Partial: Torso, -10%). They're all around seven feet tall, so we give them a Size Modifier of +1.

The anger of the Children of Volung is a genetic trait, they're ill tempered and quick to anger and this genetic predisposition to aggression has caused them to survive as a race through many trials and tribulations. It is referred to as Volung's Rage and is represented by Bloodlust and Berserk. They always have the option of reducing how often they fall prey to these disadvantages, but they can never buy them off.

They're immortal, which is easily represented by Unaging.

Children of Volung bones are also denser and tougher than those of other races, so it takes more work to break them. This is represented by Injury Tolerance (Unbreakable Bones; Limited Effect: x1.5 Damage To Cripple Limbs, -50%). This just means that the bones of a Child of Volung take 1.5 times as much damage to cripple. This toughness of their bones is why their bone plates over their ribs don't have the Semi-Ablative modifier.

In The Known World, baseline biology is Uncout, and their biology is similar enough to the Glenwighta and Dwenoren that drugs and medicine have similar effects on those three races. Children of Volung have some janky biology, so they get Unusual Biochemistry. This means that drugs designed for the three baseline races might work, or it might do something insane to them. They can get drugs and medicines that work for them, but they're more expensive in regions where the "normal" races exist.

The reason I say the Glenwighta, Uncout, and Dwenoren have similar biologies in terms of what drugs and medications do to them is because they are the three native races of The Known World, and they in theory evolved to live their, so it would be ridiculous, in my opinion, for them to have wildly different insides.

So the base Children of Volung racial template ends up being -2 character points. Let's move onto the optional traits.

The first of the optional traits is the hardiness of the Children of Volung. They're all tough and hard to take down, but some are very resistant to diseases and poisons. So we give them Resistant (Common: Poisons; +3 HT To Resist, x1/3) and Resistant (Common: Diseases; +3 HT To Resist, x1/3)

The optional traits also include the racial bonuses to basic attributes a race may have, for the Children of Volung this is ST+1 and HT+1. Their SM reduces the cost of ST, fyi. The reason I am including modifications to a race's basic attributes in their optional traits is because there is a lot of variance among the physical capabilities of a race, not every Child of Volung is going to be a big beefy bruiser, even if the majority of them are. I'm also going to include the normal range of their basic attributes at character creation in the mandatory traits section. This is going to tell players how high they can buy the stats for a particular race before modifying them. I envision the "normal" range being 8-14 for most individuals. In GURPS, 8 is considered below average and 14 is considered exceptional. So Captain America as the pinnacle of the human norm has a ST, DX, and HT of 15+. The Hulk has a ST upwards of 20, but a IQ of 8.

There's one more optional trait that Children of Volung have. They have access to a secret store of gear unavailable to every other race in The Known World. The players don't get to see the store beforehand or ever speak of what it contains, and accessing it requires the purchase of an Unusual Background, but it is an option.

Children of Volung
-2 points
Mandatory Traits
Basic Attribute Ranges At Character Creation

  • ST 9-15
  • DX 8-14
  • IQ 8-14
  • HT 9-15

Secondary Characteristics
  • SM+1
Advantages [23]
  • Immortal: Unaging [5]
  • Northern Blood: Temperature Tolerance 1 [1]
  • Plated Rib Cage: Damage Resistance 1 (Partial: Torso, -10%) [5]
  • Tough Bones: Injury Tolerance (Unbreakable Bones; Limited Effect: x1.5 Damage To Cripple Limbs, -50%) [5]
  • Tough Hide: Damage Resistance 1 (Tough Skin, -40%) [3]
  • Tough To Put Down: Hard To Kill 1 [2], Hard To Subdue 1 [2]
Disadvantages [-25]

  • Strange Biology:  Unusual Biochemistry [-5]
  • Volung's Rage: Berserk (Self Control: 12, x1) [-10], Bloodlust (Self Control: 12, x1) [-10]
Optional Traits
Basic Attributes
  • ST+1 [9]
  • HT+1 [10]
  • Hardiness [10]: Resistant (Common: Diseases; +3 HT To Resist, x1/3) [5], Resistant (Common: Poisons; +3 HT To Resist, x1/3) [5]
  • Secret Access: Children of Volung have access to a secret supply of goods. Accessing this store first requires the purchase of Unusual Background: 24 [25]. The player and character may never speak to other players or characters of what they have seen or purchased in this secret store, and if they do so the GM will remove the equipment without refunding character points spend on the background or money spent on the equipment, 
Feature: Children of Volung may purchase up to three levels of Hard To Kill and Hard To Subdue, rather than the normal maximum of two levels of each.
Feature: The bloodlust and rage of the Children of Volung is hardwired into their biology. They can always reduce the severity of their Berserk and Bloodlust disadvantages, but can never buy them off completely.

So there we go, the Children of Volung. Wee.

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