Sunday, May 1, 2011

More non-humans for Adventurer: VarGnolls !

This week: another easily identified race for Adventurer. When reading this, do keep in mind that the intent was to model Traveller into D&D as is written for traveller by Gary and Dave.  This may seem to some a poor excuse for rehashing Traveller tropes with some serial number removal, but since I'm not one of those, I regard is as an opportunity.....

Non-Humans of varied and oft terrifying forms

Non-human characters are optional, and somewhat of a deviation from the norm of Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
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ord and sorcery campaigns.  Nonetheless, players invariably want to try out every possible combination , some for the variety of roleplaying experience, some to maximize advantages.  Accordingly, Non human examples suitable  for play are presented in part II; these are simply those used in a suggested baseline campaign, and the gamemaster , if interested in using nonhuman characters, is encouraged to create such species as fit best with their own campaign.

Non-humans do  not use the cultural modifiers; as we know, while Humans and Human varieties have a wide variety of cultural types, aliens and non-humans are invariably culturally and racially homogenous; thus their baseline is the only culture available.

Vargnolls  (aka Vargs) are a race created by powerful sorcery rather than the gods.  At some point in the past, they were created as slaves and slave warriors by a long forgotten likely non-human civilization.

Other than during breeding and laying time, there is no differentiation between males and females, both sexes performing all social functions, and, unless raising the young, all are warriors to some extent or another. 

Physically Vargs are generally a bit smaller than the typical humans of the world, and resemble upright wolves with four fingered hands (one of which is opposable) on their upper limbs.  Some are furred, some are not, but while all are warm-blooded, the females, once fertilized, lay a clutch of soft shelled egg like sacks in which the young mature in about six months.  The eggs are capable of bringing the embryo to hatching by internal resources, but are semi permeable, and if kept in a pool of replenished nourishment (regurgitated or liquefied food in general, although blood or carrion will do in a pinch) the young will be much larger and stronger.  The young are raised in packs, with a few teachers who are past reproduction age or unable to fight.

A Vargnoll hatches after six months (regardless of nutrients), is fully adult at four years, old by twenty, and seldom live much beyond thirty years.

Note that by virtue of their creation, Vargnolls have no religion or connection to gods; and thus have no access to spiritual spell casting whatsoever. It is postulated, and believed explicitly by the VarGnolls, that they have no souls, or access to an afterlife.  As a result, they are highly fatalistic, and believe in living life to the fullest in the present moment, are extremely impulsive and never attempt a task half-heartedly. .

As regards magic, they are by design vulnerable to spells of control and compulsion, and take a -2 on all tests against such. Also, they are unable to learn any spells from the school of mesmerism.  Being a created race, their physical form is fixed, if variable, and they may never be shape changers.  On the whole, Vargnolls very seldom learn magic, not least because, as a race, they deeply hate spell casters.  Culturally, they realize that they were created as tools, and show no particular gratitude to those who created them.

Vargnolls are invariably tribal, and use the PACK stat instead of SOC

Vargnoll have Notable STR (+2) and Weak END (-2), and have an EDU They do +2 damage in unarmed HTH combat.  They automatically gain Brawling-1  All limitations and benefits of the species apply to characters Character professions allowed are Barbarian, Other and Commoner.  The fighter profession can be entered if EDU is 9+, and the mage profession can be entered if SOC is 3-.  All professions except mage are resolved in two year terms, with aging beginning after term four.  Vargnolls who become mages still use four year terms, begin aging rolls after term 2, and make two aging rolls per mage term thereafter.

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