Musings on tabletop roleplaying. A mixture of homebrew ideas, observations, and theory discussion; plus occasional reviews, utilities and inspirations. Verbose, amateurish, under-edited, over-written, not especially serious.
Races of Nassan
Major Races of Nassan
Major races of Nassan include humans, elves, eladrin, gnomes and goblins. Dwarves, kobolds, orcs and halflings are widespread but unfamiliar. There are many minor races, and the lesser-known lands may house others as yet unknown.
Humans are the main inhabitants of Thelos and the dominant cultural influence. Their competitiveness and short-term mindset alarm the elves, while their changeable natures and intensity unsettle the gnomes. Nevertheless, all three races live more or less in harmony.
Elves are seen as introverted, cautious, and dangerous. Though nearly human in appearance, they are touched with primal power, and at times seem less like mortals than embodiments of nature. Elven societies vary greatly, from the pastoral settlements of Culchus to the wild bands said to roam the Aelfreyar. Their long lifespan make elves less concerned about short-term problems than true mortals; however, they are emotional and place a high value on living life to the full. They enjoy simple pleasures; ambition, politics and high philosophy are rare amongst elves, but they are prone to seeking adventure, and revel in the challenge of hunting or exploring wild places. Many elven cultures practice meditation and rigorous self-discipline to master their passionate natures. Elven society is typically very egalitarian, though older elves tend to be more highly regarded.
Eladrin are kin to the elves, but where elves have embraced the natural world, the eladrin are deeply infused with magic. Their cultures tend to rely heavily on magic, and are often somewhat thaumocratic. They are often less passionate than the elves, and more whimsical. Other races find them strange and mystical, and they have an awkward relationship with their elven cousins. Knowledge, exploration and contemplation are important to the eladrin, and they tend to prize prophecy and superstition. They build elaborate settlements, with much art and symbolism.
Gnomes are held to be enigmatic, perceptive, powerfully magical and rather proud. Gnome societies are often bound with complex rules and taboos that can make their behaviour seem bizarre. Appearance is of low value, given the race's gift for illusion; deeds are more important, which often means formalities and traditions are upheld religiously. Their confidence, conservative tendencies and rather staid manners can make them seem self-righteous or self-satisfied to others. On the other hand, their fey nature lends a hint of otherworldliness and whimsicality to the gnomes. Quick to bless and quick to curse, crossing their path unexpectedly can be a risky business. They tend to value creativity and originality, and are often found as scholars and artists.
Goblins are small, green-skinned beings who typically live in mountains and forests. They're seen as chaotic, unruly, unpredictable, rumour-mongering, noisy, sneaky, cowardly, vindictive, somewhat ridiculous and easily distracted. They're stereotypical dopes and the butt of idiot jokes. On the other hand, they are considered excellent cooks and produce artwork of startling originality. Their technology is often basic, but the larger regions are as advanced as other races, and moreso in some fields. Their unpredictability makes them uneasy neighbours.
Dwarves are contradictorily considered pragmatic, dour, cheerful, pessimistic, raucous, reserved and bluff. They live in confined settlements, usually partly underground, in marginal lands and colder regions. They are notoriously hardy and considered expert artisans. Dwarven culture is not well-known, but is said to be very formal, with strict social hierarchies and roles. Visiting diplomats and traders are typically of very high status, while the dwarven miners and sailors that make more informal contact are rough and boisterous. They are considered very superstitious, and place great importance on the proper way of doing things. Dwarves are immensely loyal to one another, and these blood ties sometimes override even the bonds of friendship.
Halflings are small, nimble and ferociously quick, with a gift for survival. They have sharp teeth, catlike eyes and blueish, claylike skin. Their diet is largely meat, and many halfling bands are distinctly unchoosy about where it comes from. They are also deeply malevolent, touched with an ineradicable malice and selfishness that makes them a bane to other races. However, they know strange and secret things, and can provide all manner of peculiar trade goods - for the right price. At best, they are ruthless and predatory traders who offer all manner of sinister wares and temptations. At worst, they are implacable predators of a more literal sort.
Kobolds are rarely seen around Thelos, but nevertheless well-known by reputation. This reptilian race are widely perceived to be puny, cowardly, and somewhat beneath the notice of other races. On the other hand, they are said to be inscrutable, untrustworthy and fiendishly cunning, with terrifying sorcerous powers. At the very least, they are known to be superstitious and xenophobic. Well... beyond a shadow of a doubt, in any case, they are small.
The large, powerful orcs are often seen as violent, quarrelsome, stupid and pungent. Their strength and self-confidence are admired, but they are seen as crude and insensitive, and their culture is considered disrespectful and turbulent. They take great pride in their prowess, particularly in physical skill and resilience, and can be found in Thelos as traders, builders and mercenaries. Their homeland of Narithan has technology on a par with Culchus, and the orcish clans can muster formidable armies when war threatens.
Lizardfolk can be found in swamps all across the world, but are not intelligent enough to advance beyond simple tools and crude buildings. They have little arcane talent, but do develop their own legal and moral codes. Each tribe is different, but shamans and spirit-callers are common leaders. Some are simple hunter-gatherers wishing only to be left alone; other groups are more advanced, and sometimes more vicious.
Mycontids are fabled plant-people of the Underdark, the vast caverns said to lie far below the surface of the world; they may also be found in isolated caves and perhaps in the wild Aelfreyar.