Friday, July 3, 2015

Other Non-Humans of Monvesia

Goblinoids: The Tainted Races

Goblinoids in Monvesia are the result of a temperamental disorder known as Taint.  Each tainted race has an untainted counterpart.  Two races, humans and goliaths, are subject to two strains of taint--one from their original homeland (Desolation), and one newer strain in Monvesia.

  • Desolation-Strain Taint
    • Ogres are tainted goliaths
      • Ogrillons are goliaths who have either proven to be partially resistant to this strain of taint, or else who have been partially cured of it.
    • Orcs are tainted humans
      • Half-orcs (see "Humans of Monvesia") are humans who have either proven to be partially resistant to this strain of taint, or else who have been partially cured of it.
    • Troglodytes are tainted lizardfolk
    • Vanara are tainted [or "awakened"] monkeys
  • Monvesia-Strain Taint
    • Bugbears are tainted humans (?)
    • Gnolls are tainted rakasta
    • Goblins are tainted gnomes
    • Hobgoblins are tainted dwarves
    • Kobolds are tainted halflings
      • From an historic standpoint, it might be more accurate to say that halflings are untainted kobolds.
    • Trolls are tainted goliaths (?)
Both strains are taint are present in Monvesia.  Monvesia strain is an evolution of Desolation strain.  Desolation-strain taint only effects those races originally native to Desolation: goliaths and humans.

Elves and other fey-like creatures are immune to taint.  The closest equivalent to a tainted elf is a dark elf.
* Monvesian kobolds are not the dragonkin that they are in other worlds.  Instead, they are based on an interpretation of the Rules Cylopedia, appearing as short, mongrel-like humanoids.

Other D&D Races not of Monvesia

Part of what makes a campaign setting unique is not only what races are included in the setting, but also which races are excluded.  Certain races, either common to most D&D worlds, or unique to some, do not have a place in Monvesia.

Aarakocra (Elemental Evil)
Of the remaining races available for 5th edition, the aarakocra are the most likely to make an appearance in Monvesia, though I have expressed a concern for too many anthropomorphic races.   There may not be room for both this and the kenku (see below) as well.

Changelings (Unearthed Arcana)
The Eberron interpretation of the changeling does not have a place in Monvesia.

Dragonborn (Player's Handbook)
The dragons of Monvesia are not as diverse as they are in other worlds; nor is their influence as broad.  The role of the dragonborn is filled by the Aasimar, Tiefling, and Genasi.

Firbolgs (Volo's Guide)
There are rumors of a race of giantfolk native to Monvesia, particularly in the region of Galtain. Should these rumors prove to be true, then the nature of the Taint may come into question. Instead of a new strain of Taint effecting goliaths, trolls may prove to be tainted firbolgs. If this is true, then bugbears may not be of human origin, as once suspected--but what might that un-taintend race be?

Gith (Unearthed Arcana)
The culture and special abilities of the gith (both the Gihyanki and the Githzerai) are tied to the lore of the Illithids.  This "set" of creatures belong fully and completely to another world.  Should anything like the mind flayers or their former slaves be needed in Monvesia, these could work as a starting point--but the final result would be greatly revised and re-flavored.

Kenku (Volo's Guide)
With catfolk and monkeyfolk and and lizardfolk, could there be a place of birdfolk in Monvesia as well?  There may not be room for both this and the aarakocra (see above) as well--and too many anthropomorphic races may over-crowd the [already dense] humanoids.

Minotaurs (Unearthed Arcana)
One of the races of Krynn (Dragonlance), the minotaur does not share the same place in Monvesia.  Here, minotaurs are savage, wild, and unorganized.  As in the original myth, they are solitary creatures, and extraordinarily rare--they may not even constitute an independent race.  The role of the Minotaurs, particularity as they are found in Krynn, is filled by goliaths.

Shifters (Unearthed Arcana)
For a time, I had used a variation on the shifter for the rakasta, though I have chosen to use custom rules for that race.  Because of the nature of Galtish spirituality and culture, shifters may appear in the world at a later time--but the ins and outs of lycanthropy and how it relates to totem worship are not things I have fully considered.

Tritons (Volo's Guide)
Tritons are a race specific to a very particular world--something akin to Atlantis in many comic book settings.  The aquatic races of Monvesia have not yet been explored, so I cannot completely rule out the triton yet--though I do not have any plans of exploring this any time soon.

Warforged (Unearthed Arcana)
The warforged are iconic to the Eberron setting, and do not fit in any other world as well as they do there.

Edited July 14, 2015; August 1, 2015; June 28, 2016; July 15, 2017; July 18, 2017; July 20, 2017; September 23, 2017; June 15, 2018.

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