JP On Gaming

Thursday, August 20, 2015

[Design and Inspiration] Building a new race

Ever since I posted the original table of content for the Player's Guide to Saggakar, people have been asking me about the "haver" and about rumors that they will be able to play a First One in the Legacies campaign. Usually followed by a series of "Dude! That would really be powerful!"

Well the rumors are true! You will be able to play a First One.

The haver is a new race that serves as an ultimate half-breed. The basic idea came to me from a wide variety of sources. The first was when I was asked about creating half-breed creatures, particularly what the result of cross-breeding First Ones with [insert other race]. Now Service is Eternal does answer some questions about that. The Drovites who are the descendents of crossbreeding between drow, elves, and First Ones. The Harovites are believed to be the children of First Ones and humans.

But what about anukas-First Ones combinations? Or a First One-Kaliban? My mind began racing with the potential, both crunch and fluff-wise of this idea.. It would make a lot of sense that they have these half-breeds here and there. They have the magical means and the power to do so.

Which lead me to the question: why was the world not filled with these half-First Ones? I got stuck on that one. Also, how could I define them and make them useful?

Of all places, the idea came to me as I was watching Jim Carrey's Ace Ventura, Pet Detective with the kids. In the movie, there is a transgendered individual and I began to make connections. Why my mind went from a transgender to the haver, I do not know, but I decided to make the haver a creature of weak gendered identity, someone who could change gender at will, like one of those frogs who change gender based on the rest of the population around them.

This time, it created an interesting fluff, but not really something that players care about. "Woohoo! I can change gender at will!" is not an ability that is super exciting to play. At least not without becoming weird... I needed something that would make them fun and exciting.

I was a little stuck with the idea for a while.

Then finally, inspiration struck as I randomly opened an old Dragon magazine and one of the topics was the mul: the classic half-human, half-dwarf, all awesome! Muls are great but cannot reproduce.


Working back into my fluff, I began to work through this... Haver are First Ones, so they have access to First Ones abilities, feats, prestige classes, and all that jazz. However, as half-breeds, they would be the target of ridicule by the "pure" First Ones. As First Ones, they would not fit in quite well into the rest of society either. Making them societal rejects. Not being from one gender or the other only added to their confusion. Wow suddenly, I had a race that lent itself to a lot of story potential built into its fluff. As rejects, they would most likely seek the friendship and approval of others. I could tackle any gender-based theme through these.

Some work on their crunch and voila!

Now all I needed was an appropriate name, something that could be disparaging without sounding insulting. I toyed with with haviers (a neutered male stag), halfer, and a number of others before settling on "Haver". I liked the elegance of it, plus it's a (partially) veiled referrence to their lack of genitals, separating the world between those who have and those who do not. Insulting, clever.


Tomorrow: The stats for a Haver so you can build your own.


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