Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tanien - Part 3


One of the concepts that inspired me for this setting was that a ton of non-breedable races didn't make a whole lot of sense so I cut the "races" down to two main branches with some "others". The number of breedable subraces were originally six - three of each type - but it felt extraneous and I cut it down to two. The Gurrash were large, Troll-like Koan, the Cayma were tiny instead of small, there were no Trolls, and dwarves and gnomes were included on the Sidhe side. I felt that was pushing it a bit, though.

Elves - The elves are the direct descendants of the Sidhe, it is believed. They are shorter and possibly more intuitive than intelligent, but the resemblance is otherwise close. They are a highly adaptable people who are capable of building cities of stone and living as one with nature in the forest. Elves seems to have a natural talent for magic and many can perform simple tricks even without study.

Troll - Trolls are larger than elves or Sidhe, up to seven feet tall, and have horns growing from their foreheads of varying size. Some question if they are descended from the Sidhe at all but the fact that they can breed with elves makes it clear that there is some relation. Aside from being more physically formidable they have a stronger tendency for introspection despite a diminished intellect. The gentle giant is a common stereotype.

Shazaks - Shazaks are lizard-folk of many colors. They stand up to six feet in height and have lizard-like heads and tails. Their skin is scaly with multicolored mottled red tiger stripes, interrupted by blue, yellow, green, orange, brown, black, and white spotting. These colors can be changed at will with the proper amount of practice. Shazaks can be very social and inquisitive, a trait that makes it easier for them to coexist with the descendants of the Sidhe.

Cayma - Smaller than their Shazak cousins, the Cayma stand no larger than four feet tall and tend to be quite thin in their build. Their coloring is not as vibrant either and tends towards browns and dark greens. Incredibly intelligent and industrious, the Cayma always seem to be building something. They are responsible for many of the most impressive works of architecture in the Republic and even the more remote, primitive villages of the Zadele are elaborate works of wood and rope.

Interbreeding - The two strains cannot breed together, but Elves and Trolls can breed as can Shazaks and Cayma. In fact more and more people are simply referring to themselves as simply Sidhekin (shee-kin) or Koakin. The race choices listed here are still the most common, but there is a growing middle. In game terms a -kin character should be allowed to draw upon traits that represent whom they take after more.

Awakened - It has been discovered that animals that spend a good deal of time around a node become more attuned to that node. In some instances where they are born and live out their lives at a node, they develop humanoid-like intelligence. The Awakened are an oddity in cities but out in the wilderness they are more common and often treated with the respect any Sidhekin or Koakin would receive.

The Constructed - Arcanists have long known the secret of creating magical automatons. In recent decades they have taken the next step in conjunction with some less than scrupulous priests and pulled the dead from the Grid and put them in these artificial bodies. The reasons for doing so varies - some are simply experiments, some are attempts to regain lost friends and lovers, some are the results of the original dead person's wishes and sometimes a construct just picks up a soul randomly. Either way they are recognized as having a soul and being worthy of being treated as a living thing though the reasons for their appearance can color people's treatment of them.


I had begun to create a homebrew d20 system for this setting drawing heavily upon Big Eyes Small Mouth d20. I was inspired by the class system from the game Gladius where classes consisted of a pool of powers that could be bought with Character Points. Races were structured similarly. I liked the idea but the balance was way wonky for d20. Turns out that this way of doing things has been handled much better in the Radiance RPG.

Knights of the Tanien
An order of knights dedicated to protecting the Republic. They are oathbound to the Republic. All Republic nodes and temples must respect them and vice versa. Trained in combat and god-given gifts.

Disciples of Keenan
Priest-warriors of Keenan. Many are found in the military acting as healers and leaders.

Node Guardians - "Changers"
Dedicated to keeping the nodes outside of the cities safe. Warriors with a touch of nature magic with a focus on shape changing. Many of the stronger Awakened fill this role.

Disciples of Bwena - "Artificers"
Holy craftsmen and artificers. Aside from being skilled at mundane crafting they gain the ability to empower their creations with magic. They have a more mechanical outlook than Arcanists.

Disciples of Arane - "Beguilers"
Master diplomats gifted with beguiling magics and bit of underhanded training.

Disciples of Chikani - "Peacegivers"
Warriors when they must be, diplomats when they can be and healers when all else fails. The most versatile of the classes are often teamed with the Knights.

Followers of Blaine and masters of sorcery and artifice. Some are more magical while others have more of an artificer's touch. Since Blaine has no formal priesthood the Arcanists are as close as one gets.

The masters of wilderness nodes and harnessing laylines. While priests and disciples keep the nodes and religion in the city, the Keepers protect and revere nature and Gaia.

Disciples of Shegith - "Deathkeepers"
Aside from grave digging duties, they are judges and truth tellers.

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