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Author Topic: How are your nonhumans different?  (Read 734 times)

robertliguori

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How are your nonhumans different?
« on: June 05, 2021, 12:02:11 AM »
So, to springboard off of a few other discussion topics, I thought I'd make my own thread.

Now, when we write or GM, we are tasked with creating stories (or, to be more precise, shepherd the mutual creation of a story from our input, the player's choices, and the unfathomable whims of the dice).  But stories need familiar touchpoints, and it's extremely difficult to tell stories that don't have people or people-like characters in them.  And even when we do, it's very hard to make the plights and life events of the aggressively-nonhuman interesting to humans in general, especially when there are actual humans around having interesting fantasy, sci-fi, or horror adventures.

But one of the great things about building your own worlds is that you can build your own nonhuman cultures, which share enough with humanity to be recognized as people, and yet are clearly wildly different than every human that ever lived or ever will live, and thus have their own interesting wrinkles, and, perhaps, say something about what humans are in the course of saying how these nonhuman people are distinct.

So, what have you done with your nonhuman races in your games and stories, to make them both distinctly different than baseline humanity?

I'll give a few quick-fire examples.

*Elementals have no sense of time. 
The stock elementals, that you get from the various Elemental Planes, are more or less blind to time as a sense.  They have no heartbeat nor blood to flow, no biology, and while certain events may tug at their essence, from the daily and monthly pulsing of tides to water elementals to the infinitely-slower flowing and tensing of the stone beneath for earth elementals, these are things which happen through them, not to them.

Elementals have barely any intuitive sense of time unless something irregular is happening to them.  To almost every elemental, the second time a regular event happens to them is identical to the twentieth, or the twenty-thousandth.  Accordingly, elementals simply do not get bored.  To a human, the idea of having their soul sealed into a golem and then lost forgotten beneath the waves, trapped and immobile, is a nightmare beyond imagining.  To an earth elemental, however, they will be slightly annoyed at the rather muddy and water-polluted nature of the elemental essence in the silt around them, and will remain at this level of very mild displeasure literally indefinitely.

This, incidentally, is also why elementals make very poor long-term servants for wizards.  They can be bound and the terms of their bindings can be specific enough to adjust for their timeless perspectives, but to an elemental, a wizard who made an ignomious demand of them yesterday and one that did so a millenia ago are equally distant.  A human lifetime of inoffensive Planar Ally spells will be forgotten basically instantly by an elemental.  However, if you manage to make an actual impression on one, then that impression will last for the lifetime of the elemental.  However, it's far easier to make a negative impression than a positive one.

*Elves don't lay down.
Elves, as is commonly known, do not sleep as other mortal races do.  They trance, generally in a kneeling or sometimes in a reclining position. This is not to say that elves never lay down.  However, the two most common reasons for doing so are being so ill or injured that they are unable of standing, or certain specific romantic acts.  To elves who have not acclimatized to the different ways of the other demihuman races, a bed is likely to have the context either of 'pallitive hospital cot' or 'highly-specific sex furniture', which causes no end of misunderstandings when other demihumans, when deep in elven territory, request a bed for the night.

*No race can eat as diverse a diet as humans.
One of the things I like to do in my worlds is justify the humans-as-default, and one of the ways I do that is by taking their usual lame-ass generalist good-at-everything and giving it (in this case literal) teeth.  The way it works is that every other demihuman race (and all of the monstrous races) have very specific living requirements.  Orcs need large amounts of fat and animal protein, and so need plains or steppes to hunt large game.  Elves need nuts and greens, and require extensive processing of any kind of grain to make it palatable, and some grains are just impossible for them to digest.  Dwarves can digest just about anything, but need a lot more trace minerals than any other races.  Gnomes, due to their high Con and fey ancestery, are almost as versatile eaters as humans, but are incredibly vulnerable to ergot, and so shun wheat in almost all cases.

What this adds up to is that of all the humanoid races, humans are the only one who can move into random territory, and live off of it, and also that human armies are the only ones which can both bring in large amounts of long-lasting wheat-bread hardtack, and also forage off the land wherever they go.  The reason that the elf/orc and dwarf/goblin feuds are generations long is that none of the races can really take territory from each other; they can invade, kill as many as they can, but need to withdraw sooner rather than later, and have neither the interest nor the actual biological ability to put down roots in the land they've taken from their ancestral enemies.

But humans, for good and ill, can share a meal with every other demihuman race in the world.  This makes them both consummate diplomats, and also terrifying invaders.

---

What do the rest of you do with your nonhuman races?

Omega

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2021, 03:27:52 AM »
All my demi-humans are exactly that. Human but different. So I personalize elves, halflings, etc with cultural ques like certain foods and games and dress that make them stand out from baseline human culture. But might mesh with some foreign human cultures if they ever met or exist in that setting.

I had an older thread here on this sort of thing but cant seem to find it now.

But imagine things like Dwarves liking say 3D Dragon Chess from dragon mag. Or Halflings liking Xiang-qui. Elves liking weird stuff like elven equivalents of Clue and Monopoly. heh-heh.

Or say Dwarven foods feature alot of sweets and spices. Halflings might produce various pastas and sauces. Elves might like things like sushi and such. In one setting belonging to a publisher I was working with to turn into a full fledged RPG, Orcs produce some of the best pastries ever.

Another idea that Bruce Corbell showed me way back was to think about how a races advanced senses might impact art and such. Like a race that can see into the infra-red or ultra-violet might produce paintings using colours imperceptible to standard human vision. Same for music.

That even came up in Knights of the Old Republic years later as you meet an alien in a bar that is two fused creatures. Turns out the second head IS talking. But in a range imperceptible to humans and using tonal combos pretty much impossible for a human or most standard races to reproduce.

This will also impact how those races see human art and even clothes as we might be using unknowingly hues that to them clash or look really off. Like how many flowers look very different to bees and other animals with different perceptual ranges.

Now on the other hand if my elves are not demi-humans then all bets are off what the hell they are and they might be fairly alien in outlook and more like any given Lovecraft outer beings. Heck even looking at them night not be necessarily a safe thing.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2021, 09:10:50 AM »
Of my typical players, there is a substantial slice that really does want to play "humans with pointy ears", while others do want something more different.  So the first thing I do when setting up races for a setting is set aside at least one or two races that have a few "biological" racial features that give them a different slant on human.  Note that in some cases, however, these are merely variations on humans.  I've done that where "half-elves" and "half-orcs" are not a thing, but the game's racial stats for such were used as variant humans (i.e. tend towards an appearance that is notable but well within the range of typical humans).  I tend to change which race(s) fit this bill from setting to setting, which also gives me an out when I don't have an idea I want to pursue to make a race truly different.  In my current campaign, that is dwarves, who are basically short, beared humans with not quite so much versatility but more toughness and carrying capacity.

I enjoy some variant of metal sensitivity, such as the classic "elves don't like cold iron" gambit.  I usually don't want that quite as strong as it is in stories, as I find it tends to make the race not a good choice for players.  My current campaign has that with elves, but toned down a little and tied to their affinity for magic.  It's both carrot and stick:  An elf with no cold iron on their person has extra spell casting ability, while one in iron armor not only loses that advantage but becomes worse than average. Other than that and the roleplaying of "iron makes an elf uncomfortable", all the other effects are long-term:  Natural healing and spell recovery are much slower when in contact with it.  Having iron arrowheads or other relatively small amounts is neutral, sort of turning the elf into a human with pointy ears for the duration, albeit one that is going to be suffering from low-level stress constantly.  You'll note that for an elf that is not a spell-casting class, they aren't giving up as much as their caster friends, but they do still lose whatever natural casting they have.  The upshot is that elven warriors will put on chainmail to fight a war, but that level of conflict is what it typically takes to get one to do it.

Sometimes, it is merely enforcing a tad more "reality" than normal.  I've got a slim, 3-foot tall cat-like race taking the place of halflings.  Unlike modern D&D, their size advantages and limitations have some bite.  This is in a game with encumbrance enforced and the values set to matter.  So the characters are quick, agile, and strongly limited in the weapons they can use and the stuff they can carry.  In some games, that wouldn't matter much.  In this one, it does.   The differences really stood out just last session when a PC cat was the only one that had a good chance of navigating a ledge to help out a larger character that was unconscious.  With some good planning and lucky rolls she was able to do most of what they wanted, but a larger character had to take some chances on the ledge to help out.  I could see it on the faces of the players that it had really set in that the cats are not human.  I've got some twists to personality traits that reinforce the differences from another angle--namely that the cat mind is centered on a cause, not people.  That cause could be anything, including "what helps me" or something more altruistic, but for whatever reasons, the cats value others as they help the cause, not as people.  (There are players for whom I would never make that kind of character an option, for obvious reasons.)

I really like the "diet" ideas above.  I'm going to need to try that in a setting some day.






Wntrlnd

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2021, 09:23:58 AM »
The world I am going to describe is not a medieval fantasy world, but more a present day fantasy world that looks very much like our own, but with elves and dwarves and magic.. Thus I want a more scientific approach the creation of the demi humans.

To explain how the diverse demi human races work in my world and their origins, I first have to take a step back and explain magic.
Using magic is the ability or talent to manipulate certain energies to respond to your will and your wishes in a manner you want. Spells are just to focus your will so as to avoid unforeseen side effects. If you want to get rich quick you have to be careful to not have a dying drug dealer/bank robber turn up on your doorstep with a bag full of money.

Another thing about magic is that spells can have lingering effects. Use a spell often enough and the effects might turn permanent because it changes your genetic structure. And those changes will pass on to your children.

And that's how the different demi races came to be. Spellcasters getting mutated offspring.
The origin of elves are that of Homo sapiens where vain humans used magic to become smarter, extend their youth and be beautiful while dwarves originate from Neanderthals who used magic to shape their caves and adapt their own bodies to make it possible to live in even deeper caves and mines. Left undisturbed underground dwarves survived and thrived when the mundane neanderthals became extinct.

That makes dwarves predate both humans and elves but they are not the eldest race because that would be the orcs, who trace their lineage back to Homo erectus.
Their limited brain capacity made their spells more narrow in focus. The first Orcs used their magic to become stronger than the others in their tribe. It never occurred to them to use magic to become smarter. Why would they? Hit harder, kill rival, mate with his females. They became the shaman-chieftains of their tribe with absolute breeding rights.  Over a million years they have become even more savage, preying on other groups of erectus they came across, and later neanderthals and Homo sapiens when they started to come along.

So in summary: Elves can be compared to Hollywood starlets who are sooo much better than the common rabble. If you think white supremacists are bad, wait until you see an elven supremacist. There’s few things worse than a elven nazi.
But they’re not all bad. Some rebel against their conservative (elven conservative mind you) parents and love to hang around and befriend the “lesser races”. Elven counterculture can be summed up as “elven porn" and "elven punk rock.” It's very popular..
While most think of elves as the fair-skinned alfr of the germanic mythology, there are also african “elves” but they refer to themselves as the Aziza (forest spirits) or Emere, the eternal children.
Once there existed native american elves but they went extinct. If any still exist they must be several hundreds of years old. (even with their extended life span, a 1000 year old elf would be like a 100 year old human.) There are however native american half-elves.

Dwarves tend to stick out in human society as they’re shorter than average humans. Not only because neanderthals were shorter and stockier, but also due to being smaller were advantageous in mining and tunneling. Sensitive about their height they don’t like to have to look up at other people like humans and less so elves, who seem to rejoice in looking down on other people. Best way to behave around a dwarf would be to suggest sitting down to talk since it makes them more equal in height.
They take pride in their handiwork and can be very critical in judging other people's work. They’re not being mean, they are just very honest with their constructive criticism.
Praise from a dwarf is very high praise indeed. Just an “ok” verdict would be something to be proud of if coming from a dwarf. They’re not whiny, they just want you to become better.
And they expect the same treatment from others. A dwarf isn't offended if given an honest assessment of their work if it's less than stellar, they just see it as something to improve on. The worst thing one can do is to be “nice” and call something excellent when it's not because that only breeds a pompous dwarf.

And then there’s Orcs.  No, they’re not stand-ins for “black people”. My world have the same amount of black people and they’re humans (or elves) just like in our present world, and they fucking hate Orcs the same as everyone else.
There are black orcs, but that's because they’re in Africa. Orcs that moved out of Africa evolved the same lighter skin as humans did when traveling into the european or asian continent.
Orcs made for bad slaves, they are much to savage to be docile servants. They did however profit a lot from the slave trade by becoming slavers. This actually gave them a reason to try to coexist and not prey on all other races, by finding something the other races wanted (like slaves) and acquiring that and selling it. They also served as mercenaries as roman auxiliaries.
In the present day they form clans that run criminal enterprises dealing with every kind of criminal vice. 
In the end. Orcs are irredeemable and there is no way for them to reform into society because their culture is that of being predators.
No matter how friendly you are with an orc, they are like wolves, tigers and jaguars. Anger them or turn your back on them and they eat your face.


tl;dr
Elves, dwarves and orcs are mutated Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Homo erectus due to magic use that evolved them into the different demi human races.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 09:33:16 AM by Wntrlnd »

Mishihari

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2021, 04:35:09 PM »
In the game I'm writing right now, I'm going for almost-familiar form but really different thought processes for the nonhuman races.  I'm actually putting quite a lot of thought into this.  Frex, there's a lemur-like race, and I spent a couple of hours reading up on behavior, habitat, social grouping, and so forth.  I did some math on how much territory is needed for each person.  Then I took that and tried to figure out what kind of psychology and society would result if intelligence was added to the mix.  I don't have any illusions that what I came up with is what would actually happen if we were able to uplift lemurs, but the result is complex and very interesting, and has many aspects that I would never have thought of if I hadn't done my research.

Ratman_tf

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2021, 05:43:56 PM »
Elementals are "easy" in that I think they're completely alien to humanoids. They don't have any concept of babies, and so they treat humanoid babies as small animals or small adults. They don't have jobs so they don't understand the difference between a King and a Gong Farmer. They have primal wants and needs. A fire elemental will burn everything if they get a chance, simply because that's what they do. More fire is better. As you say, a summoner has to get very literal with an elemental servant, because they have no common ground for interpretation of commands.

In my Dark Sun campaign, (Where clerics get their spells and powers from the elemental planes, and not gods) some villagers has created a crude altar to thank a local elemental (I think it was earth, can't remember precisely) whom they considered their protector. The elemental didn't understand the value of the things left on the altar, but did understand that they were gifts. And so it guarded the moldering food and coins left on the altar out of some weird gratitude. I dropped that encounter into an adventure just to relay that 1. Some Athasians worship the elements, and 2. Elementals are weird and difficult to relate to.
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ScytheSong

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2021, 09:58:29 PM »
One thing that I did with Elves was made them immortal incarnated spirits with a limited census. So every Elvish pregnancy was accompanied by a "who of our people just was killed?" vibe.

My Dwarves were eusocial specialists. You never saw less than ten dwarves in a group, unless they were "crazed" -- any PC Dwarf was crazy by regular dwarf standards because they could be alone and still function. (As an aside, Dwarven "beards" were actually chemical and pressure sensors like an insect's antennae, and how they detect slopes and new worked stone.)

Some of this was from my experience with Glorantha, which has some truly alien non-human races.

jeff37923

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2021, 10:26:35 PM »
Something that I have found in every RPG that I have run or played is that while you can make your non-humans different and unique, getting the Players to play their non-human characters as such is damn near impossible.

HappyDaze

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2021, 10:31:09 PM »
Something that I have found in every RPG that I have run or played is that while you can make your non-humans different and unique, getting the Players to play their non-human characters as such is damn near impossible.
Absolutely. There is little point in making playable non-humans if they are expected to be played in utterly alien manner. Because of this, I am all for restricting player access from playing certain character types, but I will likely never go for restricting players to just having human characters in any setting that has common interactions between human and non-human characters. For example, in a Babylon 5 setting, I would allow Centauri, Minbari, Narn, and most of the League peoples as characters, but not Vorlons or Shadows.

robertliguori

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2021, 11:31:50 PM »
Something that I have found in every RPG that I have run or played is that while you can make your non-humans different and unique, getting the Players to play their non-human characters as such is damn near impossible.

I can lean into that a bit with my changes, by assuming first that unless the player is really embracing the differences that their PC had just been socialized (and, by the standard of their society, oversocialized) into human customs; the way this works generally is that the player gets told of any important cultural bits that they'd know, and reminded of them if the player bought specifically into etiquette or social skills, but if the player chooses to disregard that, then they're not just being foreign non-elvish or un-gnomish barbarians with their licentious bedrolls and their cinn-a-bons, they're representing a corruption or inversion of the traditional values of those areas, which they have for solid historical or biological reasons.

And really, most of my players who don't care will just default to human anyway, so it's not been a huge problem for me.  The eusocial dwarf thing above is interesting, and it also gets to an important point; you need to make your customization of races still allow default players, and default player behavior.  But that just means that you can have a lot of fun with a dwarf colony both keeping the dwarf PC at arms's length (in case crazed-ness is catching) while fretting at the rest of the party to make sure they're fulfilling his dwarven needs, because crazed or not, he's still a dwarf (which, given that the PC is crazed, is likely to neither need not want, leading to likely shenanigans all around when the party ends up in dwarven territory).

Omega

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2021, 02:15:37 AM »
Something that I have found in every RPG that I have run or played is that while you can make your non-humans different and unique, getting the Players to play their non-human characters as such is damn near impossible.

That and the lil thing of people then complaining that the races are to alien or needlessly alien. Why the hell are these elves acting like eldritch abominations? Why are they even a PC race? Storygamers might dig it. The average player will not.

Mishihari

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2021, 03:11:02 AM »
Something that I have found in every RPG that I have run or played is that while you can make your non-humans different and unique, getting the Players to play their non-human characters as such is damn near impossible.

That and the lil thing of people then complaining that the races are to alien or needlessly alien. Why the hell are these elves acting like eldritch abominations? Why are they even a PC race? Storygamers might dig it. The average player will not.

Meh.  If you want to play a human, play a human.  Nonhuman races that are just humans in funny suits like Star Trek are really boring.

ShieldWife

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2021, 04:04:44 AM »
I have a few different ones, made by myself and/or my husband for various settings we have done. Here are  the Dwarves:


The Cruach are thought to be descended from the fae of the mountains, beings of earth and stone. The Cruach are shorter than regular humans and thickly built, with pale white skin, white or light gray hair, and light gray eyes. The Cruach are very traditional people, who speak the ancient fae language first and the language of the Tuatha secondly, they seldom learn other languages. Tuatha is covered with ancient stone structures created by the Cruach and their ancestors.

The Cruach are extremely conservative and patriarchal, with duty and loyalty to family as one of their most cherished virtues. Men are expected to be warriors, to be brave and stoic without fail. A woman is expected to completely obey her father and then her husband. Cruach women watch the home and hearth, bearing and raising children, while the men rule and war. Because the females so seldom leave the home, some people outside of the Cruach lands have come to the erroneous conclusion that either all Cruach are male or that the female Cruach are indistinguishable from men. This is entirely false, Cruach have the same sort of sexual dimorphism as normal humans, including facial hair for men and none for women.

The Cruach are very long lived, even for fae blooded. It is not uncommon for a Cruach to live four or five centuries before starting to show signs of old age, sometimes considerably longer for those whose Fomori blood is particularly strong.

Contrary to the myth of female Cruach not existing, they actually outnumber the men. The Cruach practice polygamy and young men often have to prove themselves in battle or service to their family in order to procure a wife – leading to a higher attrition rate for men.

The Cruach are known for their incredible strength and durability as well as their martial prowess and bravery. They have an even deeper sense of honor and code of conduct than other fae blooded and feel that they each have a duty to their family as well as the humans under their watch, though their ancestors most of all.

The Cruach make some of the finest steel in the world, crucible steel made from iron and the ashes of a cremated Cruach ancestors. The ashes of the greatest warriors are said to create the highest quality steel, though as a matter of pride most Cruach will only own a weapon or suit of armor made from their own ancestor. It is seen as a terrible insult for a non-Cruach to wield a weapon made of Cruach steel unless it is a weapon gifted by Crom Cruach himself.

Those Cruach who have accomplished things in their lives – great warriors, leaders, or craftsmen, mothers who have given birth to many children, those who have lived to great age – are cremated after death so that their spirits may move on and their essence used to create Cruach steel. Those whose lives were cut short are buried beneath the earth so that their spirits may return to the earth and so be born again to live a more full life in the future.

Cruach have what may be the oldest recorded history in Tuatha, perhaps the world, with stone tablets recording events related to the Cruach and their ancestors going back thousands of years. The Cruach language is thought to be identical to that spoken by the Fomori ancestors, preserved for thousands of years while the other Fianna families allowed the true language of the Fomori to degenerate.

Cruach worship their ancestors in temples made of stone. The most sacred have been formed out of massive stony mountains, immense structures that even the greatest of Cruach stone workers cannot replicate it. In the hills and valleys, where many Cruach dwell, temples consist of circles of huge standing stones.

The king of the Cruach, in fact of Tirna Nairn, is called Crom Cruach or also The King of the Mountain. All Cruach adults swear oaths of loyalty to Crom Cruach. This obedience must be absolute, any command of Crom Cruach must be obeyed without question, even taking ones own life. Crom Cruach is seen as heir of the first King of the Mountain, the greatest of the elders who helped to create the earth, and he sits upon the Quartz Throne, that none may approach save upon their knees in supplication to Crom Cruach. For all practical purposes, he is seen as a god-king to the Cruach and serves as both the secular and religious authority of the nation.

Honor is almost everything to the Cruach and it is nearly universally seen as better to die than to act in a dishonorable way. In practice, some more sly Cruach can technically act within the bounds of honor while violating the spirit – for this is rare. The Cruach have a tradition of dueling, though unlike many human cultures where the aggrieved party challenges his target, the Cruach go directly to their king and ask permission from him. If Crom Cruach grants the request, then both people must accept his conditions, if Crom Cruach refuses permission, then the topic must be dropped and forgotten and no duel can happen.

When the Cruach go to war, the typically fight in a way reminiscent of hoplites, with large round shields, long one handed spears, a short sword, and with mail armor. Often the Cruach will carry several war darts to hurl at the enemy before or after an engagement. Cruach seldom use other missile weapons save for slings, though with their great strength they can hurl large stones or bullets a great distance. It isn’t unusual for the Cruach to carry slings in the event that missile weapons are required to attack a more mobile foe. A few Cruach arm themselves differently, either with long pikes or great swords, both of which are a minority within a large unit of men with spears and shields. The swordsmen (who sometimes wear heavier armor) aggressively charge into enemy ranks, sometimes to create breaches in shield walls, while the pikemen attack from behind or move forward to receive cavalry charges. Cruach seldom make use of horses or other riding animals in warfare, though sometimes they will bring mounted human followers to supplement their forces.

The castle of Crom Cruach is Mynad Bael. It is a vast complex carved from the stone of the mountain which shares the same name. It is said that Mynad Bael was created by the Fomori themselves to serve as home form which to rule over mortals, and indeed the artistry and engineering used to create this mountain fortress is not understood by even the most skilled Cruach architects or engineers. The fortress itself is impregnable, no enemy has breached it in the long memory of the Cruach.

All Cruach men are expected to participate at least once in the Clan Wars, a great battle held once every 12 years where the Cruach Clans fight each other in ritual combat.

The Clan Wars, or Dalaigh Codach in the Cruach language, are a major cultural ritual in Tirna Nairn. The great Clans of the Cruach arrange to have wars with each other, where the warriors of each extended family take to the battlefield to fight, and even to kill, other Cruach Clans. These wars happen every 12 years unless the Cruach are engaged in a war with some outside group, in which case the Clan wars are skipped. The Clan Wars are a Cruach tradition that goes back many thousands of years and so are important because of the Cruach’s love of tradition, but they are also seen as a way to maintain the valor and martial traditions of the Cruach people in times of extended peace.

The Clan Wars are a highly ritualized sort of warfare. The combatants obey a strict code of honor where injured men are not attacked, opponents who lose weapons are allowed to retrieve them, halts are called for the injured to receive treatment and for the dead to be removed from the battlefield, no hostages are taken nor is their looting or conquest. The violence remains strictly on the battlefield. Fleeing soldiers are also not attacked, though to flee in the heat of battle is seen as worse than death among the Cruach and so is exceedingly rare. Dishonorable conduct of any kind during the Clan Wars would carry terrible shame for not only the perpetrator, but his entire family.

Another odd quality of the Clan Wars is that there is no anger or hostility associated with it. After a day’s battle, members of both sides retire form the battlefield and join each other in great feasts where the regale each other with talk of the day’s fighting, making a point never to boast of one’s own deeds but those of other’s especially the enemy. While a Cruach who lost a brother on the battlefield would be sad, he would bear no ill will against his brother’s killer if the killing was done under honorable circumstances – the killer would be seen as one who gave the beloved brother an honorable death.

There is no looting or sacking during Clan Wars. Civilians, as well as castles and fortresses, are left alone completely. Though sometimes warriors who are particularly brave or talented might be given a gift by the Clan Patriarch, the opposing Clan, or even the King. The Clan who has the most and greatest victories are declared the winner of the Clan Wars by Crom Cruach, which give this Clan an honored position until the next Clan Wars.

When the Cruach king dies, a special Clan War is held, called the Great Clan War, or Dalaigh Bael Codach. The Patriarch of the winning Clan of the Great Clan War becomes the new Crom Cruach. The Clan of the last Crom Cruach is prohibited from taking part of the Great Clan War, so that the dominant Clan changes between reigns, though during the Great Clan War the next of kin of the deceased Crom Cruach serve as acting Crom Cruach, though with less authority.

All Cruach males are expected to participate in the Clan Wars at least once. In fact, doing so is a passage into manhood – if you have never tasted battle then you are but a boy among the Cruach. A Cruach warrior who has shed blood or been injured on the battlefield is said to be “blooded” and considered better than merely participating in the Clan Wars.



That is probably enough for now, but there are a number of others I will post later if requested.

HappyDaze

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2021, 09:11:59 AM »
Something that I have found in every RPG that I have run or played is that while you can make your non-humans different and unique, getting the Players to play their non-human characters as such is damn near impossible.

That and the lil thing of people then complaining that the races are to alien or needlessly alien. Why the hell are these elves acting like eldritch abominations? Why are they even a PC race? Storygamers might dig it. The average player will not.

Meh.  If you want to play a human, play a human.  Nonhuman races that are just humans in funny suits like Star Trek are really boring.
When I've run Star Trek games, many of the players choose to play non-humans. It has not led to boring play.

Eirikrautha

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Re: How are your nonhumans different?
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2021, 09:40:24 AM »
Something that I have found in every RPG that I have run or played is that while you can make your non-humans different and unique, getting the Players to play their non-human characters as such is damn near impossible.

That and the lil thing of people then complaining that the races are to alien or needlessly alien. Why the hell are these elves acting like eldritch abominations? Why are they even a PC race? Storygamers might dig it. The average player will not.

Meh.  If you want to play a human, play a human.  Nonhuman races that are just humans in funny suits like Star Trek are really boring.
When I've run Star Trek games, many of the players choose to play non-humans. It has not led to boring play.
Well, since it wasn't boring for you, it's obviously never been boring for anyone else...