View Full Version : Player races without mechanics

2011-04-13, 03:54 AM
Has anyone tried running a game where mechanically, orcs and humans would be the same? Instead of making all orcs stupid brutes, and all humans clever jack-of-all-trade types, instead you'd pick traits.

For instance:
+4 being strong
-2 doing smart things

Barbaric races and warlike people favor the brute trait, whether it be a nomadic clan of cannibal hobbits or elite breed of war-trolls.

Race would be mostly fluff- whether you came with green skin and fangs, fur, what languages you got, who you'd get along with.

Wouldn't it be fun to play an orc wizard that was just as good at wizardry as some effete elf?

2011-04-13, 03:58 AM
Wouldn't it be fun to play an orc wizard that was just as good at wizardry as some effete elf?
Yeah, it's called 4e :smalltongue:

More seriously, this sort of mechanic is dead simple to implement in games less rules-intensive than D&D is traditionally so... have fun doing it it I guess :smallsmile:

2011-04-13, 04:28 AM
Ever hear of Iron Heroes?

The system assumes everyone is a human and has you pick traits. You get two at character creation, with options for background, mental, and physical traits.

Traits:Backgrounds:Mountain Folk:
+2 to Survival in the mountains, +2 to avoid being prone

City Rat:
+2 to Survivial checks in the city, use Survival to track down
any specific dealers and informants.

Killing an opponent grants +1 morale bonus to attack, +2 to will saves

Inspiring Presence:
You can designate any ally to gain your Cha mod morale bonus to any skill attempt or attack 3+ times per day

Physical:Lithe Acrobat
+2 bonus to all Tumble checks. Use Tumble to move at your normal speed

+1 bonus to natural AC

2011-04-13, 03:19 PM
Yeah, backgrounds can work well. The only issue I have is that it doesn't make much sense to have backgrounds and races in the same campaign. Sure, you can have miners who are especially skilled at metal and rock or you can have dwarves who are especially skilled at metal and rock, but having both begs the question of why you have racial miners next to the human miners in the first place.

If you are allowing dwarves to take whatever backgrounds along with humans, they I begin asking the question Why have dwarves at all? Why not just use stocky human norsemen, if you want an entire race that is stereotypically drunk, bearded, and warlike?

2011-04-13, 03:27 PM
at one point, with 4e, I thought to have it so that racial bonuses did not fall under skills instead you'd chose two skills that you wanted. This way if someone had been a thief they could take thievery as a skill bonus even if they are an elf or Orc.

I was debating doing this with my human since he is a drunken monk I was hoping to get him a streetwise skill. Mainly because my character traveled from city to city instead of through the wilderness like other monks.

2011-04-13, 04:02 PM
Mutants and Masterminds say hello! And a lot of other open classless systems.