JP On Gaming

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Secret Project X, Part 2 Races

However with age and experience the hodgepodge mix of nations now became a more consistent whole. I began to think of why these people were there. Where did they migrate from? Why did they settle there? What keeps them there? These questions we never cared about much back in the days. But now that I am a writer and I want people to share and experience my ideas, I have to ask and answer these questions.

With that settled, somewhat, I turned my attention to another big question: what races do I want to include in this setting? My experience with NeoExodus confirmed how "not elves and dwarves" changes the whole racial dynamics. This is definitely something I want to keep.

Humans are in.

Next I looked at the races of NeoExodus... those I created myself: the gevets and the kalisans were in. I got to tweak them a little, notably adding the errata. With some tightened up and cleaner wording on those

Then, I went for the crowd favorites: enukas, p'tan, and cyneans. That's not to say that the others were not good, I just felt that I could not give them a new or different spin. If there is one thing I learned from and value of working with LPJ: there is no need to redo the same thing over and over. Putting a new coat of paint on a wall does not make it a floor. So why these three? The enukas, I just love 'em. There is no clear reason to it... I just love 'em. They are big, strong, and stupid; they are beat-sticks; they are the apex predator; and they do that well. The p'tan have this dark side to them, something that makes them more interesting than "cat people". Finally, the cyneans though not my personal favorites, have something that is very unique about them: their crystalline nature. I wanted to find a way to imagine a nation run and controlled by them. In simple terms: "What would a nation run by these guys be like?"

Next I sat back and thought about other work I did. Akos sprang to mind... I had two races created for that which never made it anywhere, as that setting as a whole got sidelined. I discussed reviving Akos, but that fell through (wrong time, people involved in other things, loss of interest, etc). I pulled them in, too. These are new takes on an old favorite. I altered them somewhat to make them more distinct than the Akos version, by using the Advanced Race Guide as a base. They were cool but they needed touch ups. After all these were now over five years in the drawer!

I wanted two more... here I went around looking for strange races. I went through Shadowfall, Obsidian Apocalypse, the Advanced Race Guide, the Monster Codex, Midgard, but really did not find what I wanted.

One race I wanted to be saurian in nature, somewhat similar to the dragonborn. I was inspired by an illustration (the cover of Azure Bonds, the novel) and played around with a mixture of ARG lizardfolk, Arcanis' Ssressen, and Dragonlance's draconians. This gave me a wide and cool range of potential abilities. So the drakonians were created.

Finally I wanted a race that was traditionally evil but that was seeking or that found redemption within the setting. Something made them change their ways and reconsider their place in the world. Like "goblins that decided not to be evil/malicious" as a base.

I spent more time on this and even put up a blog post about it. I looked at orcs(overdone), goblins (too well done by Paizo), gnolls (I pondered on gnolls for a long time), and even the drow (again overdone). Finally my decision was made. The answer had been staring at me all along. NeoExodus' scythians filled the bill!

If you read Enemies of NeoExodus: The Scythians, you can see that this quest for redemption and self-realization is a theme that's in there and that can really makes the race so much more than "just" a band of thugs. Even one of the Legacies Adventure, 92-LC-04 The Prisoner touched upon that theme but didn't really explore it as much as I wanted.

Then as part of the NeoExodus Legacies campaign, I didn't think it would be quite possible to explore that theme. The scythians are well-established as villains. Not just villains, but dangerous and murderous thugs - which they are. Now I have an opportunity to explore this concept some more, and expand on the idea without changing the scythians too much.

Now with these races in mind, I went over them evaluate them and review them. I changed the verbiage for the gevets to tighten the rules, offered some additional options and included the errata I've used for Legacies into the basic race.

To be continued.


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