by Paul Stefko
The west is a wide and mysterious place, home to all sorts of folks. The half’ins, hill folk, orcs, and shee you’re used to aren’t the only people out there.
The following races may be available for characters if the GM is willing.
Never tell a centaur that he’s half-horse. “I’m my own beast,” he’ll say. “To equate me to any other race is to diminish centaur, man, and horse.” Centaurs are counted among the greatest thinkers in the world, students of philosophy and the sciences. They have founded great academies and forged schools of thought that have stood for centuries.
It is true that centaurs possess features of both men and horses. The powerful equine lower body gives them great strength, speed, and grace. The human torso lets them use tools crafted for the other common races and to converse with them as well. They are at home in the great cities as well as the endless prairies.
Many centaurs are marshals, scouts, gadgeteers, preachers, and shamans. Few have the temperament to be ruffians or scoundrels.
They get +1 GRIT and +1 Learning. Centaurs present a bigger target in a fight, so they have a -1 modifier to Defense. However, they are Hardy 1, like orcs. Centaurs always use the movement rules for traveling by horse.
Back East, dragons are long extinct, hunted for sport for ages. On the frontier, there are still the terrifying sand dragons, but most folks know it’s a matter of time before some general sends his army to wipe them out too. So it came as quite the shock when a team of miners dug into a caved in chamber and discovered thousands of eggs that soon hatched into a race of humanoid dragons.
Drakes are a powerful but primitive race. Only a few have been raised in the great cities; the rest have formed native clans and roam the west, searching for clues to their history. Drakes are slowly forming their own customs, borrowing liberally from the other races.
A drake will usually be a gunslinger, ruffian, scout, mentalist, preacher, or shaman.
They get +1 GRIT and +1 Wilderness. A drake can attack with a breath weapon, which can be a blast of flame, a spray of acid, or arcs of electricity. This attack uses the drake’s melee bonus, deals 1d6 damage, and can target 1-3 creatures in the drake’s zone. A drake’s breath weapon can burn out just like a 3rd rank gadgeteer power. The cost to recharge is the price of a hearty meal and a few stiff drinks.
‘Fling is short for “tiefling,” which is what people call these folks Back East. A ‘fling is the child of a human and a devil, but contrary to what most preachers will tell you, ‘flings aren’t born evil. Raised right and given half a chance, a ‘fling can be decent, loyal, even righteous. Unfortunately, folks see the horns or hooves or red eyes and get all ornery toward them. Most ‘flings you’ll meet grew up on the frontier, away from the judgment of other folks.
A ‘fling will tend toward gunslinger, ruffian, scoundrel, scout, mentalist or shaman.
They get +1 DRAW and +1 Wile. They suffer a -2 to Amity. In exchange, ‘flings are Deadly 1. That means any injury they inflict is +1 on the 2d6 roll. In addition, ‘flings only roll every 30 minutes when exposed to extreme heat and cold, instead of every 10 minutes.
Gnomes are small like half’ins but have a touch of magic about them that puts folks in mind of the shee. Many are flamboyant, dressing in bright colors and performing as acrobats or stage magicians. Other gnomes are quiet tricksters, making valuable objects “disappear” without letting their owners in on the fun.
Gnomes tend to be scoundrels, gadgeteers, mentalists, and shamans. Gnome scouts tend to attract burrowing critters like badgers or prairie dogs as companions. The few gnome gunslingers are feared in the duel, as they tend to have conspicuous good luck. Gnome marshals are so rare that any gnome sporting a badge should be ready to prove it’s real.
They get +1 WITS and +1 Wile. Gnomes can cast the common mentalist tricks, even if they aren’t mentalists. Gnome mentalists can instead choose an extra 1st rank trick as a signature power. (Even though they’re as small as half’ins, gnomes don’t get the Defense bonus. Go figure.)
Folks Back East may say “Aasimar,” but on the frontier, everybody just calls ‘em Halos. Halos are what you get when a human makes a baby with an angel. Preachers don’t like to answer when folks start asking questions about it. Halos mostly look like humans, but each has a unique feature that speaks to their heavenly ancestry: electric blue eyes, feathery white hair, or just a healthy “glow.”
Halos are often gunslingers, marshals, scouts, mentalists, and preachers.
They get +1 GRIT and +1 Amity. Halos also get +1 to Mental Defense, as their spiritual connection protects them from powers.
Long ago, the spirits of the elements wanted more power in the world of flesh. They decided that they would create their own race of mortal beings, so the spirits imbued the unborn children of humans, shee, hill folk, and orcs with their essence, creating the first spiritfolk. In the ages since, these spiritfolk have bred true, forming a true race among themselves.
There are four distinct branches of spiritfolk, one for each of the traditional elements, but they can interbreed with equal chance for the baby to take after the mother or father. Each branch has different traits. Physically, a spiritfolk could resemble any of the four parent races with the addition of some otherworldly feature that gives away its spirit nature.
Any spiritfolk is likely be a member of any class. Spiritfolk can be greenhorns or native, as the race has had ages to spread across the land.
An air spiritfolk gets +1 DRAW and +1 Wile. They can cast spirit veil as if they were a shaman. An air spiritfolk shaman gets spirit veil as a bonus signature power.
An earth spiritfolk gets +1 GRIT and +1 Toughness. They have Hardy 1, like an orc.
A fire spiritfolk gets +1 DRAW and +1 Toughness. They can cast minor flame spirit as if they were a shaman. A fire spiritfolk shaman gets minor flame spirit as a bonus signature power.
A water spiritfolk gets +1 WITS and +1 Amity. They are immune to drowning, meaning they can stay underwater indefinitely.