Races

Arth is home to a number of sentient races, but the overwhelming majority are human. The other races can be read about in the bestiary, but none of them would make good player characters.

Player characters are always human - or something reasonably close (unless you can persuade the GM that you have a Really Excellent Idea TM ). Thinking that playing a Fay or a beastman would be "cool" does not qualify it as a Really Excellent Idea TM . However, in the ancient and decadent world of Arth, "human" is a fairly broad category - humans come in a wide variety of colours and shapes. The more conventional races are detailed in the section on Races and Cultures. However, if your tastes run to more marginal races, (and you don't mind your character being pointed at or subjected to racial slurs) you may wish to consider the races below. Their unusual powers balance off against their altered characteristics so that they start with the same basic points as "normal" humans.

All of these races should take the disadvantage "Distinctive features" at the easily concealable level for Dwergi (they are often mistaken for children), concealable level for Marsans, and not concealable for Lunites and Ogres.


Lunite

Lunites are instantly recognizable, although they are almost vanishingly rare on Arth. Tall and slender, they stand around 3 metres in height. This great height is something of a disadvantage - most Lunites suffer from back pain and heart problems. While their slender build renders them no stronger than normal humans, they are imposing, and tend to be nimble. Lunites have pale skins and dark hair, with very large, slightly oval eyes - often violet or dark blue.

A Lunite character starts with the following alterations:

-7 STR (with the +5 STR gained from growth, this means STR 8)

+1 DEX

+3 PRE

1 level of growth, always on (+8)

Note that these alterations to starting characteristics affect Normal CHA Maxima as well - thus a Lunite has NCM of 18 STR, 21 DEX and 23 PRE.


Marsan

With their thick, cracked, reddish-orange skin, Marsans are readily recognizable, but outside of great cities, paradoxically not recognized - since they are so rare on Arth, that most people have never heard of them. Marsans are taller than the average, and their hair tends to be light in colour, coarse and bristly, never growing very long. Their fingernails and toes are heavy and almost clawlike. Another distinguishing feature of Marsans is their heavy, phlegmy breathing. At lower altitudes they find the atmosphere of Arth hard to breathe. In addition, they have nictating membranes that flicker across their eyes. Those people who have met a Marsan describe them as "homely" at best. The only place on earth where Marsans are found in any numbers is among the very high peaks to the south of Samadria. Marsans are all but impervious to cold and thin air, and thus make superb mountaineers - but they are also largely immune to heat, so may be found many other places as well

A Marsan character starts with the following alterations:

COM -5

Life support - safe environment (Heat/Cold)

Note that these alterations to starting characteristics affect Normal CHA Maxima as well - thus a Marsan has NCM of 15 COM.


Ogre

Bred as soldiery in the distant past, ogres are larger and tougher than normal humans. Almost 3 metres in height, they are often almost as broad, stumping along on legs ribbed with iron-hard muscles. Despite this prowess, ogres have been driven to the fringes of human society. They have no kingdoms or cities, but live in primitive tribes in marginal areas, or survive within human society - usually taking jobs that other races disdain, but which make good use of their strength. Many small towns have an ogre executioner, and they can be found toiling in slaughterhouses as well. The association of ogres with sanguinary pursuits just cements the prejudices against them. They are generally supposed to be slovenly, stupid and given to casual violence, although in truth, they are not much different from any other other marginalized human population. Despite rumour, they do not have fangs or live primarily on human babies, although ogres are often confused with the larger members of the Fay race, which does nothing for their reputation. The only place where ogres have a higher profile is in the Despotate of Billün, where the Despot maintains a large and feared Ogre Guard. Ogres skin colour may range from dark brown to quite pale, although hair is usually dark.

An ogre character starts with the following alterations:

-5 STR (with the +10 STR gained from growth, this means STR 15)

-2 DEX

+3 PRE

-5 COM

Two levels of Growth, always on

Note that these alterations to starting characteristics affect Normal CHA Maxima as well - thus an ogre has NCM of 25 STR, 18 DEX, 23 PRE and 15 COM.


Dwerger (plural Dwergi)

Dwergi is a common name for the smallest race of humans, but they are also called dwarves, little folk and other such names. They are often confused with the Fay race, although they are clearly human, differing from their larger kin only in size. Generally treated with a mixture of patronization and mild contempt by regular sized folk, the Dwergi have been driven from the most fertile lands and have become a people of the margins, living in deep woods and secluded mountain glens. They are common only in the forests of the Great Southern Jungle, and particularly those of the Great Rift, where their light weight equips them to move easily through the upper branches of the forest. Dwergi are normally light-skinned but well tanned, with brown or dark hair.

A Dwerger character starts with the following alterations:

-5 STR

-2 BOD

-2 PRE

1 level of shrinking (always on).

Note that these alterations to starting characteristics affect Normal CHA Maxima as well - thus a Dwerger has NCM of 15 STR, 18 BOD and 18 PRE.