Friday, January 22, 2010

Races, classes and deities in Middleforest, part 1

Base Races:

As you can see, most races sound quite familiar. The major changes here are the Halflings, who are Islanders in Middleforest's lore, The Spiritual (formerly Planetouched) and the Eglean.

The Dwarves:

These might remind you of Dragon Age, and I admit that in this case it was indeed the influence. We have the nobleborn dwarves who's favoured class has been changed to priest, the lowerborn ones who could be considered "working class", and the outcast ones that could be compared to the surface dwarves in Dragon Age, dwarves that completely left the dwarven society behind them. The Lowerborns still serve best as armsmen, the outcasts as Hunters.

The Elves:

The elves are changed from describing their bloodline to describing their favourite style of living.
The major changes here, short and sweet:

The Mountain Elf would be the drow in the original game, however in Middleforests lore they are all but the drow. They are dark, but usually have dark hair as well. They do not live deep below the surface, but in (as in: on the surface of) the mountains. They might be outside the society, but are not considered evil per se. Favourite Class: Scholar.

The City Elf, yes, I know what you think. Yes, they are almost exactly like the City Elf in Dragon Age, and no, they are not ripped of, Bioware simply had the same idea as I had, apparently. Sue me if you don't believe it. The city elf are based on the Moon Elf, their favourite class has been changed to the Scout.

Gypsie Elves: Based on the Sun Elf, and the name says it all. They are free, but stick close to urban areas. Their favoured class has been changed to Artisan.

Nomad Elves: Again, the name says it all, they are travellers, but usually stay far away from urban areas and meet strangers with suspicion. Their favourite class has been changed to the Shaman.

Forest Elf: Closest to the original, the Forest Elves prefer the forest and keep to themselves, their favoured class remains Hunter.

The Gnomes:

The main change here would be that the Urban gnome likes being a scholar (I just hate that bard from the NWN2 campaign!), and the Mountain Gnomes are more like nomads from the Mountains, and not somewhere in the Underdark. :)

The Islanders (Halflings):

Halflings in Middleforest are called "Islanders", because all of them descend from two islands named after the old clan families. This would be the smaller van Panhys Island, actually a formation of smaller isles with one main Island, and the large Claycomber Isle. Although Islanders have since moved to many other places and are a common sight around the forest, all of them can track their bloodline back to one of these two clans.

The Half-Elves:

The Half-Elf is just that, the offspring of an Elf and a Human. Even though sometimes met with prejusices, they are not unusual, since Humans and Elves meet often.
The Halfbreed is usually the unwanted, outcast child of a human and a mountain elf, the main reason they're met with suspicion and almost hatred is their dark skin and the fact that they're usually bastard childs. Often suspicious folks mistake them for cambions.

The Spirits (Planetouched):

The Spirituals are creatures that need a little more explanation, however, just for the game mechanics and some very basic info:

Fylge: Formerly Aasimar, favoured class "Blessed", as this is what they basically are - blessed.
Cambion: Formerly Tieflings, the favoured class remains. Also known as changelings, the bastard child of a humanoid and a dark spirit or daemon. In common lore, usually a succubus or incubus' doing.

Deva: Formerly Air Genasi, a Spirit of the element air, with their favoured class changed to the shaman and some adjustments to make that class worthwhile for them.

Faun: Formerly Earth Genasi and also known as Troll, Dryad, Tree nymphes and a lot of other things. Favoured class druid with adjustments that don't cripple this choice anymore.

Salamander: Formerly Fire Genasi and their favoured class changed to sorcerer with appropriate adjustments.

Nereide: Also known as Nix, Nekk, Water Nymph and others. Favoured class changed to Artisan (yes, the clichée of the singing mermaid ;) ) with appropriate adjustments.

The Classes:

The classes in Middleforest remain basically the same, with mostly cosmetical changes to overcome the D&D clichees and fit the Setting better. A major note, though: No class has any alignment requirements anymore. There are still RP requirements and rules of thumb, but alignments should not play any role in Middleforest.
You might wonder where the Red Dragon Disciple is hidden - well, it's gone, it's the only class that really has no place in Middleforest.
Also noteworthy is that some classes require serving "The Allseeing", the Templar and the Crusader. And what the hell is a Hanse Guard? Well, it's the old Neverwinter Nine class which serves now as the class for guards and soldiers of the Hanseatic League.

The Gods:

Gods in Middleforest can be tracked down to gods that are part of european folklore, however don't expect them to be accurate. There is one main Deity in the civilized areas, which would be the Allseeing. Most humans pray to him, and his "real life" counterpart should be obvious. He is changed in a way that keeps him a fictual god, however he's obviously based on the christian god, on purpose.
Most of the other gods are "minor" and there for "heathens" to choose from. A human who believes in one of these is usually an alien to his kin, since these gods are almost forgotten in human society. Someone who mentions believing in another god than the Allseeing would be considered strange at least. Some however still serve as patrons to some, e.g. it wouldn't be surprising to find a symbol of Lugh in a carpenter's house or the symbol of Eira in a medic's.


Michael A. Sinclair said...

Looks like you've conquered a big hurdle. Explaining the role of each class and race goes a long way to giving Middleforest its own flair. Me like!

Ben Harrison said...

Nice work Casa!

You've taken a totally different direction with races, classes and religion than I have, which is interesting for the sake of the comparison, and also just because you've done it very well.

Looking forward to reading more about your setting (the Islander clans especially caught my interest).