Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Elves and Dwarves of Wyrld

Let's talk about the elves and dwarves. I'm not out to reinvent these guys, but they have a few peculiarities to Wyrld.

Elves of Wyrld
The Annunaki brought the elves with them when they came down from the stars. Long-lived and beautiful, the Annunaki used the elves as slaves for all manner of foul pleasures and entertainments.

Elves are beautiful and androgynous beings. Some sages suspect that they may be at least partially plant-based. This would explain their long lifespans and their resistance to sleep and charm. Thanks to their long life and alien nature, magic comes readily to elves.

Generally, elves worship no gods. They went down that path once before with the Annunaki, and it didn’t turn out well for the elves. Instead, elves revere the impersonal forces of nature--fire, wind, storms, the sea, etc. Some of the most depraved and chaotic of elves cast their lot with the Dead Gods.

In recent years, many elves, especially older ones, have begun to feel an uncontrollable pull towards the depths of space. They lapse into weird meditative states, casting their minds across strange alien vistas. Eventually, their minds leave their body and never return. Their physical body petrifies, transforming into a weird substance somewhat like ivory, somewhat like wood, somewhat like amber.

Elves tend to have names like Wuxia film heroes--Thunder Eagle, Starlight Radiant, Clever Foxfire, etc.

Mechanical Stuff
Wyrd (and Abaddon by extension) uses the Elf race/class from Labyrinth Lord. with a D6 as its Hit Dice.

Like all PC races, elves do not have infravision.

Elves have a +2 to the Search skill, and have a 1-in-6 chance to detect secret doors passively (without dedicated searching).

The spellbook of a 1st level Elf starts with 1) Read Magic, 2) One spell of their choice, 3) One spell determined randomly

Elves require one free hand to cast spells. An elf using a 2-handed weapon can hold said weapon in one-hand while casting. Most elves avoid shields and prefer longbows and greatswords for this reason.

Fluffy Stuff
There are three main breeds of Elf. Each breed has distinct tendencies towards alignment and types of magic, but no hard rules.

Arboreal Elves (Forest Elves)
Live deep in the pine and oak forests of the cold North.
Tan, ruddy, or copper-toned skin with black, brown, or honey hair.
Taller than humans.
Tend towards Law.
Usually prefer swords and elemental spells.

Floral Elves (Glade Elves) 
Live in the forested hills and glades of the temperate lands.
Creamy skin, often with blue, green, or pink tints. Hair may be colored red, blue, green, purple, or other almost any other hue.
Shorter than humans.
Tend towards Neutrality.
Usually prefer bows and enchantment spells.

Fungal Elves (Midden Elves)
Live underground in the Deep Down Below.
Bone white or gray skin. While, gray, or black hair. Solid black eyes.
About human-height.
Tend towards Chaos.
Usually prefer spears and necromantic spells.

Dwarves of Wyrld

After the Annunaki came down from the stars, they needed a labor force. Elves were too fragile and valuable, and humans were too wily and delicious, so the Annunaki created the Dwarves. Craftwise and sturdy, the Dwarves raised mighty cities and dug deep mines for their alien masters.

Dwarves are shorter than humans, but have almost the same mass, making them dense but powerful.. Male dwarves cultivate mighty beards as a symbol of pride. Female dwarves are beardless but craft their hair into elaborate braids.
When a dwarf dies, his heart concretes into a gem of otherworldly color and shape. Dwarves revere no gods, but practice an elaborate form of ancestor worship. They build great family shrines to house the heartstones of their forebearers where they can meditate and study the wisdom of the past. The greatest of dwarven artifacts are set with the heartstones of dwarven heroes of old.

Dwarves and humans have been allies for centuries, and the ties of friendship between the two races are old and deep. The alien nature of the elves cause them great suspicion.

Mechanical Stuff
Dwarves in Wyrld use the race/class as found in the main Labyrinth Lord book.
Dwarves are amazingly tough, and use a D10 for their Hit Dice.

Their squat build prevents Dwarves from using polearms or longbows (shortbows are okay).

Instead of the underground detection stuff, Dwarves has a +2 to the Architecture skill.

As with all PC races, Dwarves do not have infravision.

Fluffy Stuff
There are two main breeds of dwarves. They have some flavor/narrative differences, but are mechanically identical.

Dwarves of Fire
There are the feisty, loud, hard-drinking, Scottish-accented dwarves. The tend to have fair-to-ruddy skin and red, orange, or brown hair. Dwarves of Fire are masters of metal work and make their homes in stony hills and mountain fortresses. Dwarves of Fire tend towards Neutrality and prefer axes.

Dwarves of Stone
These dwarves are serious and conservative folk, sometimes leaning towards grim and dour. They are almost Calvinist in their attitudes towards work, family, and community. Unsurprisingly, Dwarves of Stone are master masons and stoneworkers. They build their homes and vaults underground or deep in the hearts of mountains. They have brown-to-gray skin with dark hair. Dwarves of Stone tend towards Law and prefer hammers.

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