Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Races in the Atlantean RPG

I'm getting closer to some kind of swell system.  I've crunched the numbers for about ten different real world shorelines, and while the average swells are probably higher than we see in real life (my model is obviously making some wrong assumption somewhere), I think I can tweak the numbers to work.  I can make a set of swell tables that would work well enough for a historical real-world setting with what I already have, but I think I'll run some more numbers and try to make a generalized table that would work in any given fantasy world (or at least most of them).

But while I ponder these details, I'll talk a little more about the Atlantean RPG.  The game provided some new races with some pretty exciting abilities, and had a few twists on some old favorites that made them a little more interesting as well.

Humans in this game, like most games, are kind of the default.  They don't get a whole lot of abilities, and don't have to deal with a whole lot of drawbacks.  The only thing they get, aside from the ability to take any class in the game, is a +1 bonus to any one saving throw.

The Aesir are the first new race in the game.  They are essentially small giants, or maybe more civilized ogres, averaging just above 7 feet tall, and weighing in at about 350 pounds.  They have an increased racial maximum for Strength, at the cost of penalties to racial maximum for Speed, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Perception.  Aesir get a +2 bonus to Strength saves, and get +1 damage to all attacks.  They also have the smallest list of potential classes, limited only to Warriors, Corsairs, Gladiators, and one spell-casting class - Shamans.

The next new race is the Andaman.  Andaman are animalistic humanoids, most often resembling wolves, jackals, lions, leopards, tigers, or panthers.  Their increased racial maximums are Speed and Perception, while their reduced maximums are Intelligence, Will, and Charisma.  They get a host of animal type racial skills, including night vision, scent tracking, stealth, leaping, and natural weapons.  They also get bonuses to Speed and Perception saving throws.  They have a fairly restricted class list, including Bounty Hunter, Corsair, Gladiator, Hunter, Rogue, Spy, Warrior, Martial Artist (Tiger style Kung Fu, anyone?), and while they have no spell-casting class options, they can become Beastmasters, which have some pretty magical abilities.

The Druas look pretty much like D&D Drow, and they have a bad reputation as mysterious wanderers.  I never really got into Druas myself, but their ability to send a short telepathic message once a day came in handy.  They had increased maximum Will and Perception, with reduced maximum Strength, Constitution, and Charisma.  They got +2 to Perception saves, +1 to Will saves, and infravision to top it all off.  Their class choices were fairly varied, including Assassin, Astrologer, Wizard, Bounty Hunter, Rogue, Hunter, Warrior, Martial Artist, Witch, Monk, Witch Hunter, Mystic, Mage, and Savant.

Dwarves in the Arcanum are pretty familiar.  Mining related skills, infravision, tough but slow.  They get increased Constitution and decreased Speed, Dexterity, and Charisma maximums, as well as a +1 to CON saves.  What's interesting in this game is that they are not locked out of magic-user type classes; the class list includes Magician, Priest, Alchemist, Paladin, Scholar, Shaman, Savant, Rogue, Warrior, and Thaumaturge.

Elves are also pretty familiar.  They get increased Dexterity and Perception maximums, and decreased Strength, Constitution, and Will.  They have +1 to all Perception, Dexterity, and Charisma saves, and also infravision.  Elves in the Arcanum seem to me more like Warhammer Elves than the D&D type, with more high civilization type classes available (High Elves) as well as more woodsy classes (Wood Elves).  I never really understood how D&D Elves (at least in earlier editions) weren't able to be rangers or druids.  Arcanum classes available for Elves are Thaumaturge, Witch, Rogue, Paladin, Magician, Spy, Druid, Wizard, Scholar, Warrior, Hunter, Priest, Sorcerer, Bounty Hunter, Witch Hunter, and Enchanter.

Nethermen are Human/Goblin hybrids, making them Half-Orc analogues.  They fill the same general niche...kind of shady, prone to brutality, not accepted in polite society.  Nethermen have no increased racial characteristic maximum, but take penalties to maximum Dexterity, Intelligence, Will, and Charisma.  They get +1 to Strength saves, and have a 95% chance of infravision.  Their potential classes are Assassin, Witchdoctor, Bounty Hunter, Shaman, Rogue, Spy, Gladiator, Corsair, Warrior, Hunter, and Necromancer.

Selkies are a new race.  In fact, Wikipedia says they didn't appear in the early editions of the Atlantean RPG.  I don't clearly recall anyone playing a Selkie when we played back in the 80s, so maybe that's right; when I got my copy of the Arcanum they didn't stand out as a change to me, though.  At any rate, Selkies are Human/Triton hybrids, and as such, are good swimmers, and are able to stay underwater for an hour per level, before having to resurface.  They get increased Perception maximum, at the cost of a reduced Constitution maximum.  Selkies can be Beastmasters, Corsairs, Druids, Priests, Rogues, Scholars, Warriors, or Witches.

The last race available as PCs are Zephyrs.  Appearing as winged humans, Zephyrs are able to fly for one hour per level before stopping to rest, and while flying move at double their normal Speed.  They get increased maximum Charisma and Perception, with reduced maximum Strength, Constitution, and Will.  They have keen eyesight, and get +1 saves vs Perception and Charisma.  Lastly, they get +1 to hit with missile weapons.  Zephyrs can be Hunters, Scholars, Spies, Rogues, Harlequins, Priests, Bounty Hunters, Warriors, and Enchanters.

So some fairly interesting choices there.  Next time I get around to talking about the Atlantean RPG, I'll start on classes.  As you can see from the lists above, there is a pretty long list of classes available, and some might even be Humans only, from what I remember at the moment.  I'm going to break these down by type, starting with non-spell-casting single classes.

And of course, all the while, I'll be working on swell numbers...

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