Races

From Tesseris Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Tesseris is occupied by a variety of different races, all with their own histories, motivations, and characteristics. This section details each of the common races of Tesseris.

Arkanan

Appearance

Arkanan tend to look like their human forefathers, with only a few key, distinct differences. Most Arkanan have blue-white traceries of arcane power meandering about their skin. These acrane symbols often glow when working powerful magics or psionic energies, though this secondary visual effect can be suppressed at will. Their eyes tend to be a solid, faintly glowing pupil-less color, most commonly white, blue, or green, although black, red, gold, and other colors do occur naturally as well. Arkanan of both genders commonly shave their heads or are naturally bald from birth, though many have white, silver, or black hair.

Birth of the Race

During the early days after the war to drive out the demon's had mostly been one, some human mages and psychics came to believe that humanity needed to evolve and change in order to keep up with the newer races and not be supplanted as the dominant race on Tesseris. Eventually, they formed a cabal which began experimenting, using magic and psionic power to try to enhance themselves on a fundamental level, with the intent of extending this to all humans, elevating them above the level of the newer races. Radical experimentation and careless power-tossing led many to an early grave, but eventually one experiment produced a mix of arcane and psionic energy that genetically altered one group of researchers and thus spawned the Arkanan. Unlike most mutations, the benefits of this one were passed on to descendants and the race has slowly prospered over the last 100 or so years. Unfortunately, the conditions which ultimately led to the successful creation of the race have not yet been replicated, and so Arkanan are still few in number. Some Arkanans spend significant portions of their lives attempting to rediscover and recreate the exact ritual which led to their creation, although the often fatal side-effect of failure means finding willing human subjects something of a challenge.

Arkanan Racial Traits

  • Racial Starting Stamina: 8 + (Str x 2) + WP
  • Racial Speed: 3 yards/meters/squares per move action
  • Bonus Starting Power: Psychic or Mage
  • Power Affinity: Gain +1 re-roll to Arkana or Psy skill tests.  Once selected, this bonus may not be changed

Arkanan Racial Powers, Feats, and Talents

These are Powers, Feats, and Talents which all Arkanan have access to by virtue of their race.

  • Hover: Hover up to six inches off the ground or body of liquid.  If you somehow move more than 6 inches above the ground while hovering, you will  begin drifting quickly downward until there is a tangible solid or liquid below your feet.  While hovering, you gain a +3 bonus to Acrobatics checks made to jump or balance and a +3 bonus to avoid being tripped and may move as normal using your Willpower in place of Agility to determine how far you can move.  Using this ability takes two actions to activate and lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3x WP.
    • Feat
    • Requirements: Arkanan or Telekinesis
  • Psychic Whisper: Arkanan can communicate telepathically with other willing people within a range of WP x10 feet.
    • Feat
    • Requirements: Arkanan or Telepathy
  • Knowledge of Imbuement: Arkanan have an innate knowledge of the inter-workings of imbuing itmes with magical and psychic forces reducing the Incremental Diff of creating Inventions with Arcane or Psychic components by 1.
    • Feat
    • Requirements: Arkanan and Inventor
  • Steeped in Blood: The Arkanan and Shan’Kai races have blood steeped in magic. By understanding the Arkane nature of the blood, the Blood Mage may treat Arkanan or Shan’Kai blood, whichever race they belong to, as being twice as potent (in other words, half the blood is required to cast spells).
    • Feat
    • Requirements: Blood Magic II, Arkanan, or Shan’Kai

Forgeborn

Appearance

As the appearance of a Forgeborn is determined not by blood but by craftsmanship, they are capable of an extraordinary amount of variation in design. From sleek and shining metal exteriors with complex ornamentation to bulky and burnished metal bodies with grills and exhausts pipes, there is any number of possibilities. However, it is the natural conceit of humans to design things in their own image, so the layout of a Forgeborn is invariably humanoid in appearance. Two arms, two legs, a body, a head, and walks upright. While modifications can be made to this body plan (by someone with sufficient quirk to see the need), this is the standard form. Forgeborn appear to be under no particular compunction to create more of their own in the same image, though they seem content to produce their kind much as the first generation were; perhaps as a method to keep their appearances sufficiently recognizable and therefore acceptable in the eyes of humanity.

In general, Forgeborn stand shorter than the average human, coming in between 4’6” and 5’2”.  They generally sport three fingers on each hand and commonly have only a speaking grill instead of an actual mouth.  They primarily metal in construction, generally of steel or iron, though brass and other metals have been known to be used.  Occasionally, Forgeborn will have wood ornamentation or other adornments.

Birth of the Race

The point at which the first Forgeborn were created or how is a somewhat of a nebulous historical point. The knowledge used to create them most likely arose from a combination of Pre-Fall arcana, modern era mechanik technology and aetheric studies, although the particulars are ill-understood.

Originally created to act as a servitor race, their original creators were surprised to learn that the machines were quick to learn and adapt to their tasks. They were even more surprised when their servitors began to show signs of sentience and eventually sapience. The final surprise came when it was discovered that the Forgeborn were making more of their own kind at which point many were forced to conclude that they were in fact their own unique race and not simple constructs.

The creation of Forgebore on Tesseris has been viewed as a curious thing. To most, they are simply some form of highly complex machine, though many reputable mages and scholars believe that they are in fact intelligent and self-aware beings has given a significant weight to their right for independence. While they are not particularly maligned by any race or group, they are still, ultimately, viewed as machines and therefore “lesser” than their human creators by most people. The fact that the Forgeborn are immune to various mortal afflictions and are effectively immortal is tactfully ignored by those who are content with their standing opinion.

Forgeborn Racial Traits

  • Racial Starting Stamina: 14 + (STR x 2) + WP
  • Racial Speed: 3 yards/meters/squares per move action
  • Natural Armor: Forgeborn are naturally armored and therefore begin with 3 armor to all locations. This armored nature also makes casting spells difficult, imposing a +1 casting difficulty increase. This spellcasting penalty is treated the same as any other armor penalty to spellcasting.
  • Immunities: Immune to the following: Poison, Drowning, disease, and sleep effects.
  • Made of Metal: Due to the fact a Forgeborn is not at all flesh, healing of any kind has no effect. They do not heal naturally and may not benefit from healing magics or medicine of any kind and must instead be repaired using the Craft: Mechanics skill. Forgeborn gain a +1 bonus to Craft: Mechanics tests to repair themselves.
  • Spinning Gears: Forgeborn cannot wear normal clothing or armor due to the nature of all of the engineered gears, servos, and gyros that make the Forgeborn tick, as they would get caught in the clothing and either shred it or cause malfunctions. They may instead upgrade their natural armor.
  • Non-psychic: Forgeborn are not capable of using psychic abilities due to their mechanical nature.
  • Non-mutant: Forgeborn are not capable of becoming a Mutant due to their mechanical nature.  However, they may be able to acquire similar abilities at GM discretion.

*Note*: Fatigue for Forgeborn is more akin to having to clean gears, add oil and lubrication to pistons, making minor repairs from wear and tear etc.

Forgeborn Racial Powers, Feats, and Talents:

These are Powers, Feats, and Talents which all Forgeborn have access to by virtue of their race.

  • Repair Self: The Forgeborn may now repair persistent damage with its Mechanik skill.  If the Forgeborn succeeds at a Mechanik check (DC 3), they heal as if if they were affected by normal healing. This check takes 6 hours to perform properly.  For every hour the repair time is reduced, increase the DC of the check by 2.
    • Feat
    • Prerequisites: Mechanik 2
  • Hastened Repair: The forgeborn has the ability to spend actions to heal himself. For five actions, they may make a Mechanik test and heal a number of Stamina equal to the number of successes; failure does not further damage the forgeborn.  Repair attempts may not normally be initiated during combat
    • Feat
    • Prerequisites: Mechanik 5, Repair Self
  • Gradual Repair: The Forgeborn has the ability to gradually repair damage.  At the start of each of its turn it may heal a number of damage equal to one third its Mechanik rank( rounded down).
    • Power
    • Prerequisites: Forgeborn, Mechanik skill 8, Hastened Repair and Level 24
  • Human Born: The Forgeborn was formed from a human’s soul.  Because of this they reflect the Human’s determination when it comes to tasks.  Once per session the Forgeborn may add one automatic success to any test that they initiated.
    • Talent
    • Prerequisites: Must be taken at level 1, may not select other racial born talents
  • Arkanan Born: The Forgeborn was formed from an Arkanan’s soul.  Because of this they reflect the race’s aptitude for magic.  Whenever the Forgeborn makes an Arkana check, they may re-roll one dice.  However, they may not use any other Forgeborn Talents for that round.
    • Talent
    • Prerequisites: Must be taken at level 1, may not select other racial born talents
  • Shadowling Born: The Forgeborn was formed from a Shadowling’s soul.  Because of this they reflect the Shadowling’s agility.  Once per encounter, they may count as having an additional +1 in agility for determining movement.
    • Talent
    • Prerequisites: Must be taken at level 1, may not select other racial born talents
  • Demon Born: The Forgeborn was formed from a Demon’s soul.  Because of this they reflect the Demon’s eldritch nature.  Once per day they may gain one additional success on any test that involves their former comrades.  However, they are viewed negatively by the other races because of their former being and take a penalty of 1dT for any social check dealing with non-demons of demon descendants.
    • Talent
    • Prerequisites: Must be taken at level 1, may not select other racial born talents
  • New Soul: The Forgeborn’s soul was newly created or came from an unknown source.  Because of this they are new to the world.  They receive a penalty of 1dT for any test related to the past.  However because of their naivety they aren’t as negatively affected by memories of the past.  Any time that they suffer an effect that would cause them fear they may roll an additional 1dT.
    • Talent
    • Prerequisites: Must be taken at level 1, may not select other racial born talents
  • Lightly Armored: A lighter armored chassis reduces the normal Arkana spellcasting difficulty increase to 0 and decreases armor by 1 to all locations (for a total of 2 armor on all locations and no spellcasting difficulty increase).
    • Talent
    • Must be taken at level 1

Human

Appearance

The unmodified form of ancient humanity, the appearance of humans has changed little outside of the demonic breeds and occasional (and isolated) incidents of mutation. Skin color ranges from dark brown to a pale white, with hair color ranging from jet black to blond to red. Eye color similarly varies between individuals, ranging between brown, hazel, green, and blue. The exact distribution of physical characteristics depends mostly on the land from which an individual can trace his ancestry, although advancements in technology has allowed those of once separate, distinct characteristics to meet and mix.

Birth of the Race

The exact cause of the appearance of humanity is unknown, though there are a multitude of guesses and theories thrown around by those who have the time or inclination for such things. Those of a religious mindset tend to attribute mankind’s existence to creation by the Gods. Those of a more spiritual nature tend to view humanity as a sort of physical and intelligent avatar of the ‘Old Gods’. The enigmatic nature of the dragons and their shared history with humanity has lead some to assert that humans are a sort of progeny of the ancient creatures. There are even those rare sorts whom are aware of the possibility of other “planes” and worlds in existence. These sorts suggest that the historically sudden and precipitous arrival of mankind of Tesseris may have resulted from some sort of translocation from another place.

Whatever the exact reason for mankind's arrival, it is understood that they received instruction from the dragons in the era before the Enslavement. Many forms of advanced and complex arcane rituals were developed in this time, as well as a number of sophisticated pieces of technology. With the Fall and the Enslavement, mankind faced a dark age that would last several thousand years before they regained their footing. With the rise of several strains of humanity, whether through demonic breeding or selective mutation, the term “human” has come to represent those that carry the form and nature of those that first appeared on Tesseris many thousands of years ago.

Human Racial Traits

  • Racial Starting Stamina: 10 + (STR x 2) + WP
  • Racial Speed: 3 yards/meters/squares per move action
  • Determination: Humans are nothing if not determined to succeed, regardless of the odds. Because of this, humans may gain +2 successes to one test, once per session. This may be any test the character may normally make so long as they initiated the test. A human may not gain the bonus to any test they did not initiate such as one that they were not aware of having taken (rolled in secret by the GM) or a test they did not choose to take (one called for by the GM). You must declare you are using this ability before rolling for the test.
  • Practiced Skill: Choose one Non-Combat Skill and gain +1 reroll when using that skill.  Once selected, this choice may not be changed.
  • Dying Breed: Humans are intimately aware of the fact that they are being out-bred by the newer races and the longer lived ones. As such, they cling desperately to life whenever it is in danger. Once per session, when a human character would take enough damage to mortally wound them or knock them unconscious they may re-roll a relevant failed test for free with a +1 bonus.
  • Bonus Talent: At level 1, choose one bonus Talent for which you meet the requirements.

Human Racial Talents

  • Prejudice: Humans are infamous for their ability to hate, making them blind to the consequences. Pick one organization, religion, or race. You gain a +1  bonus to attack members of that group but suffer a -2 penalty to any and all positive social interactions with that group. In order for the benefit and/or the penalty to apply, the character must be aware that the individual in question is a member of that group (GM has final discretion).
    • Talent
    • Requirements: Human
    • Special: This talent may be taken multiple times, each time applying its effects to a different group.

Shadowling

Appearance

Shadowlings are a rather short sub-race, barely topping 5’ in height. Their builds tend to be lithe and almost delicate in appearance despite their human genes. Their features are more angular, with large, cat like eyes, that reflect light much in the same manner as a cat. This property makes them seem almost metallic in dim light, though in ordinary light, they seem ‘normal.’ A Shadowling's skin varies between light grey to an almost black color, occasionally with shades of deep blue, while their eye color seemed to range between golden yellow to a greenish color and occasionally into blue, mauve and even red in rare instances.  Some shadowlings have slightly elongated or oddly pointed ears and their hair tends to vary between platinum to silver to grey and into the darkest blacks.

Birth of a Race

The second of the two human-bred mutant strains, the Shadowlings were a project designed to assist in the various operations that required subterfuge against the demonic overlords during the era of Rebellion. Created to be abnormally swift and capable in the shadows, they were to be the hidden blade in the darkness while humanities armies were the hammer that struck from the light. Making use of techniques stolen from the demons, the race was given its shadowy arcane nature, making them ideal spies, assassins, scouts, and thieves.

At the end of the war, their own successes were their undoing. Bred for the night and acts that most would consider to be less than honorable, they became a shunned people; not entirely undeservedly so, for a Shadowling could hardly be faulted for making use of his natural talents for personal gain.

Although they suffer a certain status as pariahs, their usefulness allows them to gain a certain level of acceptance in society; especially in ones that favor success and merit over concepts like honor and fair play. Since the Rebellion, they have been employed by multiple nations for multiple reasons. It is sometimes whispered that every great theft or assassination since the Rebellion has been the work of a Shadowling. Most Shadowlings, always keen to make use of such a convenient reputation, make little effort to disabuse most people of this notion.

Shadowling Racial Traits

  • Racial Starting Stamina: 8 + (STR x 2) + WP
  • Racial Speed: 4 yards/meters/squares per move action
  • Chameleon I (Feat): +1 bonus success on Stealth tests – Shadowlings have a natural chameleon ability that allows them to blend in slightly with their surroundings. This is a minor magical ability that extends to all of the shadowling’s personal equipment on their body, and requires one action to activate and maintain each round. Note that this ability only results in a slight blending effect and is by no means a full chameleon ability.

Shadowling Racial Powers, Feats, and Talents

  • Chameleon II: Improve Stealth bonus granted by Chameleon by an additional +1 success for a total of +2 successes to Stealth tests.
    • Feat
    • Prerequisites: Chameleon I, Stealth 3
  • Shadow Magic: Reduces difficulty to cast Illusion spells dealing with darkness or shadow by 1.
    • Talent
    • Prerequisites: Magic Discipline: Illusion
  • Shadow Jump: You may leap from shadow to shadow.  Once per round you may spend one action to move a distance equal to your normal speed.  This movement must be from one shadow or area of darkness to another.  You may make a free stealth attempt during this action.
    • Feat
    • Prerequisites: Shadow Adept
  • Shadow Strike: You may leap from shadow to shadow to make your attacks. Whenever you use the Leap Attack talent, if you begin your attack from an area of shadow or darkness, you may instead move to a similarly dark location as a Shadow Jump and make a Stealth Attack with a successful Stealth test.
    • Feat
    • Prerequisites: Leap Attack, Stealth Attack, Shadow Jump

Shan'Kai

Appearance

Shan’Kai often have many aspects of their Demonic lineage. Their skin tends to have a dark, sometimes scaled look to it varying from an almost normal human complexion, to the deepest shades of red, to approaching midnight and occasionally mauve in tint. Some have fine scales for skin while others may have soft skin reminiscent of their human parents. Most commonly, all Shan'Kai have small horns protruding from their forehead.  The horn’s size most times gives away the Shan’Kai’s age; the larger the horns, the older the Shan’Kai.  Some Shan’Kai have taken to the practice of shaving or cutting down their horns, trying to blend in with the Older races and their human parentage. Others revere their horns and decide to paint them or accentuate them in other ways.

Birth of the Race

Shan’Kai were originally, more often than not, a product of rape by a demon taking advantage of a human. The newborn Shan’Kai were often cast out or killed at birth due to humans fearing that they would be like their demonic parent and cause death and destruction. Those lucky enough to be saved from this fate grow up confused and often hating the world, not knowing who they are or where they come from. Older Shan’Kai or other outcasts sometimes take in younger Shan’Kai. It is from these original products of demonic defilement that most all living Shan’Kai are descended.

More recently, many Shan'Kai have begun banding together, forming communities, and developing their own culture and customs. While many Shan'Kai still live on the fringes of society, it is in these communities that many find acceptance.

Shan’Kai Racial Traits

  • Racial Starting Stamina: 10 + (STR x 2) + WP
  • Racial Speed: 3 yards/meters/squares per move actions
  • Demonic Memory: Gain a +1 bonus to all Lore test regarding one topic, chosen at character creation.
  • Demonic Magic Defense: Once per session, a Shan'Kai character may re-roll a single failed defense against any type of magic attack.
  • Demonic Soultrap: Gaze attack that stuns a single sentient enemy within line of sight for 2dT+1 turns once per session.  Attacking an enemy stunned in this fashion will release them from their stun. 3 actions, counts as an attack action.
  • Demonic Heritage: Due to the nature in which you were birthed, you gain -1 to social tests when dealing with normal Humans, but a +1 to social tests when dealing with other Shan’Kai. In both circumstances, in order for the bonus or penalty to apply, the individuals or groups in question must be aware of the character's race.

Shan’Kai Racial Powers, Feats, and Talents

  • Claws: As the Talent
    • Talent
    • Prerequisites: Mutant or Shan'Kai
  • Prehensile Tail: As the Feat
    • Feat
    • Prerequisites: Mutant or Shan'Kai
  • Wings: As the Power
    • Power
    • Prerequisites: Mutant, 3 other mutations, and Level 12 or Shan'Kai Level 15
  • Shadow Vision: As the Talent
    • Talent
    • Heightened Senses: Sight or Shan'Kai
  • Steeped in Blood: The Arkanan and Shan’Kai races have blood steeped in magic. By understanding the arcane nature of the blood, the Blood Mage may treat Arkanan or Shan’Kai blood, whichever race they belong to, as being twice as potent (in other words, half the blood is required to cast spells).
    • Feat
    • Prerequisites: Blood Magic II, Arkanan or Shan’Kai
  • Sorcerous Talent: The blood within the Shan’Kai grants them a birthright to Arkana and is freely used by those who learn to apply their significant mental fortitude to the task. As the blunt will of their mind becomes the focus of their arcane might, those who practice the psychic arts must learn to use memorized patterns to focus their abilities. You must now use the Willpower characteristic when Casting spells and use the Intelligence characteristic when using Psychic powers.
    • Talent
    • Prerequisites: Shan'Kai, Mage I

Thakoran

Appearance

As a race that lived under demonic rule a fair deal of interbreeding has occurred within their population. Were it not for their capacity for intelligent interaction, planning and ability to engage in social interaction with humans, their appearance alone would be enough to have them categorized as monsters. Originally a sturdily built race, demonic breeding has given them a pronounced bestial appearance. Their faces are elongated into large snouts; a mouth packed with rows of wicked and curved teeth and retracted lips that give them the appearance of a constant sneer. The overall structure of their heads have a twisted draconic motif to it, although there is no blood relation between the Thakorn and dragons. Their frames are thick and usually appear either inordinately muscular or distinctly pudgy. Bone-like protrusions often erupt from their skin at various parts of their body, though only the ones located near their hands appear sharp enough to inflict any real harm if used.

Their skin is tough and leathery with hues of gray and brown being the most common. The skin is stretched tightly over their bones and musculature, giving it a taut and stringy appearance.  Most Thankoran stand nearly 7’ (2.1 meters) when fully erect, however Thakorans have a natural hunched, crouched posture that brings them down to around 5’10” (1.5 meters).  They tend to sit back on their haunches when at rest, but easily shift from there to a crouched posture, ready to leap into action.

Birth of the Race

Another one of the races to have suffered under the rule of the demonic legions, their race has undergone a number of changes from their original stock. While the true heritage of the Thakoran is now lost to time, it is known that they aren’t originally from Tesseris nor were they once human. They are the freed descendants of a race employed by the demons for manual labor, basic shock troops, harrying prey, and serving the “simpler” whims of their overlords. Brought to Tesseris to serve their masters as before, they were incited to revolution against their demonic masters during the era of Rebellion. [Designers note: The appearance for the Thakorans is based largely off of the Krall from the Unreal games.]

As their culture is highly divergent from most of the others on Tesseris and their part in the rebellion largely independent of humanity's operations, they tend not to have a large amount of interaction with human populations. While they generally prefer to stay with their own kind in their largely tribal societies, they can be seen venturing out whenever their feral curiosity drives them to seek new lands and places.

Thakoran Racial Traits

  • Racial Starting Stamina: 12 + (STR x 2) + WP
  • Racial Speed: 4 yards/meters/squares per move actions
  • Claws: Thakorans begin play with Claws Mutation as a racial bonus Feat
  • Powerful Leap: Due to their powerful legs, Thakorans gain a +2 bonus to all Acrobatics tests to jump or leap.
  • Natural Resilience: Gain a +2 bonus on all rolls to save against poison and disease.
  • Predictable Mutation: A history of genetic tampering from demonic sources has made the Thakoran strangely resistant to overly bizarre or harmful mutation. After rolling a negative mutation, the player may choose to roll again. If they choose to reroll then they must keep the new result even if it is worse.
  • Bred for Battle: Thakoran's natural capacity for strength and physical ability naturally contributes to their martial ability. At character creation, Thakoran characters gain one free Combat Focus Talent for which they meet the prerequisites.
  • Demonic Heritage: Due to the nature in which they were birthed, all Thakorans take a -2 penalty to social tests when dealing with normal Humans, but a +1 to social tests with other Thakoran. This bonus and penalty does not apply to Intimidate skill tests.
  • Feral: Due to their feral nature and lack of integration with the other races, Thakorans take a -2 penalty on any Intelligence related skill test on topics not related directly to their clan, heritage, or history.

Thakoran Racial Powers, Feats, and Talents

  • Fangs:
    • Talent
    • Prerequisites: Thakoran or Mutant I
  • Heightened Senses (Smell): As the talent
    • Talent
    • Prerequisites: Thakoran or Mutant I
  • Shaman: By channeling the innate magical capacity within their blood, Thakoran can simply apply their will over arcana rather than making use of formula and incantation. In doing so, however, their ability to project psychic force becomes muddled and they must rely on mental exercises to focus their abilities. Use the Willpower characteristic when Casting spells and use the Intelligence characteristic when using Psychic powers.
    • Talent
    • Prerequisites: Thakoran