I recently ran a fun game for a few younger players, it was their first time playing anything close to an RPG and they loved it, but I thought the session might go awry during character creation once one player was adamant about being an elf. I was a tad panicked at first because the system I use, Into The Odd, doesn't have any races and everybody is assumed to be human. At first I just assumed that I would treat her character like a human, like everybody else, but I decided that would be boring. Here is the quick hack I implemented to add races in Into The Odd.
Every race starts like your standard human:
Roll 3D6 for each stat, begin with an extra item.
Now, from here you can do a few things to make the race interesting:
- Enhance a stat at the cost of impairing another stat. (For instance, the ogre race now rolls 2D6 + 6 for their STR but only rolls 2D6 for their WIL)
- Gain an ability at the cost of impairing a stat. (For instance, the dwarf race now rolls 2D6 for their DEX, but can puke a gallon of alcohol from their guts once per day)
- Gain an ability at the cost of also gaining a bad ability. (For instance, the skeleton race acts as if it has armor 2 against all piercing and slashing attacks, but takes 2 extra damage from bludgeoning attacks)
- Enhance a stat at the cost of also gaining a bad ability.
- Trade out the starting ability (begin with an extra item) for another ability of your making.
- Enhance a stat at the cost of losing an ability. (This isn't a very interesting choice, and I wouldn't recommend doing it)
Pretty simple, yeah?
Lets get to creating some races, starting off with 3 new (I think) interpretations of vanilla races:
Folklore has it right that elves have long, pointed ears and a tall statue, but elves tend to have a more fairy-like appearance than predicted. Elves are mainly made of a strange green flora and they have a plant growing on the top of their head that is a major boon for their survival.
Elves roll 3D6 for STR, 2D6 + 6 for DEX, and 3D6 for WIL. Elves also gain the following abilities:
- Elves roll below to find out what plant they have growing on their head
1. A puffy orange dandelion grows from the top of your head. Once per day, the dandelion can disperse in a puff of orange fluff, filling a room with thick pollen. This acts as a smokebomb that you can see through due to your superior elven vision.
2. A blossoming sunflower grows from the top of your head. Once per day, the sunflower can act as either a torch for an hour or a flashbang consumable, once one ability is used the other cannot be used for the rest of the day.
3. A burgeoning touch-me-not flower grows from the top of your head. Once per day, the touch-me-not can act as a D10 damage projectile, as explosive seeds burst from the top of your head.
4. A large and vibrant gladiolus grows from the top of your head. Once per day, you can produce a gallon of nectar from the top of your head.
5. A muted hellebore grows from the top of your head. Once per day, you can send out pollen that changes the mood of everybody in the room (WIL save to avoid) to a mood of your choice.
6. A fading lotus flower grows from the top of your head. Once per day, you can make the lotus bloom, allowing you to glide through the air with grace for 10 minutes.
- Elves take 2 extra damage from fire.
Half-Orcs are brutish folks that come from the various wastes across the world, and their odd customs show their heritage. Half-Orcs are commonly barbarians, but they are at least more civilized than their full orc counterparts.
Half-Orcs roll 3D6 for STR, 3D6 for DEX, and 3D6 for WIL. Half-Orcs also gain the following abilities:
- Half-Orcs can, once per day, drink a liter of a creature's blood to benefit from an ability of that creature once during the day they drank their blood. For instance, if they drink an ooze's blood, they can turn into a slimy form for 10 minutes. If they drink a mundane human's blood, they can either gain one fact from that human's mind that they knew in life or an expertise of theirs that hey had in life for 10 minutes. The GMs control what ability the Half-Orcs get, and ultimately effect how it works.
Dwarves are... odd creatures, to say the least. They are short and stunted, but seem to have a resilience and utility that keeps them alive almost no matter the situation.
Dwarves roll 2D6 + 6 for STR, 2D6 for DEX, and 3D6 for WIL. Dwarves also gain the following abilities:
- Hygiene is very important for dwarves. Dwarves can spend up to 20 shillings on styling their beard. Once done, they can pull a mundane object that either costs as much as they spent on styling their beard or less from the equipment list from Into The Odd out of their beard of their description. Once this is used, they must style their beard again to benefit from this effect.
- If your player does not want to have a dwarf with a beard, they can substitute this for the ability to willingly puke up to a gallon of alcohol stored in their guts once per day.
And now for three more uncommon races:
A weird race that looks like a human from the bottom, with somewhat bloated skin, but with a terrifying parasitic octupus-barnacle as a face. It is said that there are strange parasites that float around the bottom of the ocean that hijack dead sailor's bodies and take them to live new lives on the surface.
Octokin roll 3D6 for STR, 3D6 for DEX, and 3D6 for WIL. Octokin also gain the following abilities:
- Octokin are a completely separate organism from their main body. Once you take critical damage, you can choose to separate your head from your body. After you do this, you have to get a new body, as your old body rots away at a rapid rate. You can only permanently control humanoid bodies. Whenever you enter a new humanoid, they re-roll stats.
- Octokin can hold their breath underwater forever.
- Octokin are like trees growing inside of a body, they require a mix of bodily water and external water to live. You're deprived (cannot benefit from short rests) if you go a day without a soak.
This is my addition to the parasite challenge that so many other blogs have been doing, to add a parasitic race to a game. This is also slightly inspired by the great game Dead Cells.
Tieflings are hulking humanoids who have small demonic features due to their meddling with darker powers. Tieflings are feared, since they have bartered with darker powers people assume that it must show that they are willing to do darker things.
Tieflings roll 2D6 + 6 for STR, 3D6 for DEX, and 2D6 for WIL. Tieflings also gain the following abilities:
- Tieflings have weird dreams of their deals. Every night, a Tiefling may choose one power below.
1. When you wake up, you notice your wings are slightly unfurled and twitching. Once per day, you may unfurl your wings and gain the ability to fly for 10 minutes.
2. When you wake up, you notice your forked tongue salivating. Once per day, you may breathe fire in a burst for D8 damage.
3. When you wake up, you notice your talons have grown longer and your tail is swaying. Once per day, you may expand your talons, allowing you to have a D8 claw attack and be able to climb walls for 10 minutes.
Horrible, shambling masses of bone. Skeletons are most commonly feral, but some have memories of civility from their life before undeath.
Skeletons roll 3D6 for STR, 3D6 for DEX, and 3D6 for WIL. Skeletons also gain the following abilities:
- A skeleton can detach any part of its body and still activate all senses from the detached part. Of course, you must retrieve the part back. You can also attach other skeletal body parts onto yourself, but only to replace missing body parts.
- A skeleton is boney, and some weapons don't work as effectively on them. You take 2 less damage from attacks that are piercing or slashing.
- A skeleton isn't as resilient towards some weapons compared to others. You take 2 more damage from attacks that are bludgeoning.
Anyway, there's a few races. I think this is relatively easy to convert to other games if you get the pattern. I like the idea of humans being the majority in any given fantasy world, and other "vanilla" fantasy races such as elves and dwarves being considered odd, but races can still be very fun. I personally like the dwarf the best out of my list. Tell me what you guys and girls like the best from this list!