Friday, July 27, 2018

Other Races in Monvesia?

This post supersedes a portion of "Other Non-Humans 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.  Several new race options have been introduced in sourcebooks and "Unearthed Arcana" articles.  Some races, either common to most D&D worlds, or unique to some, may not have a place in Monvesia.

Image result for warforged shifter

I had introduced a rating system for aversion in "Creatures NOT of Monvesia," so will use that again here.  Some of these races may be considered for inclusion in the setting in the furture, should there be a need for it.
  • Aversion Level:  0 - This is an element of fantasy gaming that I think may have a fit in Monvesia, but I have yet to fully incorporate it.  There may not be a need for this element in the world--but I reserve the right to introduce it at a later date.
  • Aversion Level: 1 - This is an element of fantasy gaming that I often enjoy, but I do  not think it has a natural place in Monvesia
  • Aversion Level: 2 - This is an element of fantasy gaming that I think is overused, and would like to avoid using in Monvesia
  • Aversion Level: 3 - This is an element of fantasy gaming that is hand-crafted for another game world, and/or has developed a very particular, expected culture that does not fit in Monvesia.  Such elements would require an amount of work to untangle that may not be worth the time.
  • Aversion Level: 4 - This is an element of fantasy gaming that is poorly conceived and/or wholly redundant.
Potential races are listed by most likely region of appearance in Orvemondt.  The lists below include some races, but not all, from the Plane Shift series adapting creatures from Magic: the Gathering.  There are also several races that have not yet seen afficial adaptation to 5th edition rules, but may still have a place in the evolving setting.

Likely New Races

These races have essentially already been accepted into the growing world of Monvesia.

Henjali & Fuhonese Races

The player races of Fuhon and Henjal represent the Oriental Adventures flavor of fantasy gaming.  Those below will likely join the ranks of lizarfolk and vanara.
What about korobokoru?  These are hill dwarves that migrated beneath the Dvergheim Mountains to Fuhon.
Aarakocra (Elemental Evil) or Avens (Plane Shift), as Tengu
Aversion Level:  0
The tengu is a staple of Japanese-themed adventure.  I feel the best place for them, therefore, is in Fuhon.  While I had initially favored kenku to serve this role, the aarakocra better resemble historic artwork.  As I incorporate campaign elements from Nefret into Monvesia, the arrakockra are a better fit for the avian races of that world.
The avens of Plane Shift are very similar, so will not receive their own entry.

Loxodon (Unearthed Arcana) as Hathi
Aversion Level: 0
Ganesh.  Hathi and the Dawn Patrol.  Anet and Aburn from the Thundercats revival.  I want elephantfolk to be a thing.  The Loxodon of Ravnica are a good start.  Perhaps they inhabit the western reaches of Henjal, along the shores of the Sea of Fuhon.  While not a classi race in the subgenre, the loxodon can easily find a place here.

Nagas (Amonkhet)
Aversion Level:  0
Naga have appeared in past editions of Oriental Adventures as well, so accepting them in Henjal alongside vanara is an easy step for me.  To distinguish these humanoids from the large monsters of the same name, I am inclined to call the player race nagini ("female naga" in the original Hindi).

Nezumi or Ratfolk
Aversion Level:  0
Nezumi are a staple in Japanese-themed fantasy adventure.  I can't see myself not including them as a player character option in Fuhon.

Shifters (Unearthed Arcana) as Hengeyokai
Aversion Level:  0
For a time, I had used a variation on the shifter for the rakasta, though the introduction of the tabaxi has allowed for a new base for that race.  Applying the beast types to animalistic clans, something akin to the Hengeyokai of earlier editions can be mimicked.  These, of course, would find a home on Fuhon.

Pracian & Crown Races

Here I go crowding an already crowded subcontinent.

Firbolgs (Volo's Guide)
Aversion Level:  0
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. The acceptance of firbolgs in Galtain has been essentially accepted ... unless a different explanation for trolls can be determined.

Aversion Level:  0
If trolls are tainted firbolgs, what was tainted to create bugbears?  Neanderthals were a monster entry in early editions of D&D, and were later introduced as a player character race in the 3.5 sourcebook Frostburn. Historically, neanderthals are a parallel evolution of humans, an they would well fill a triad with dwarves and gnomes that could reflect bugbears, hobgoblins, and goblins.  Why do we not encounter them anymore?  They were driven into the mountains by the Voztokans, where they all were tainted into bugbears.

Raviqi Races

Though a large swath of this subcontinent is the land of Desloation, many outlying territories have survived to carry on some level of the Arabian Adventures tradition.

Khenra (Amonkhet) as Dogfolk
Aversion Level: 0, 4
The khenra are a particular subrace of dogfolk that was tailor-made for Amonkhet.  Dogfolk races were available in early D&D, however--so this race has been adapted into a greater race with a number of subraces.  Most of these will be incorporated into a Raviqi desert society.

Minotaurs (Guide to Ravnica and Plane Shift) as Cattlefolk
Aversion Level: 0. 2
Krynn (Dragonlance), World of Warcraft, and Magic: the Gathering have all done their part in making the minotaur a new classicc gaming race.  In Prace the role of the minotaur, as presented in one of the earliest installments of Unearthed Arcana, is filled by the goliaths.  Minotaurs more akin to those in MtG's Amonkhet, however, might find a home in Raviq.

Tritons (Volo's Guide) or legged Merfolk (Plane Shift)
Aversion Level: 0, 1
Tritons are a race specific to a very particular setting--something akin to Atlantis in many comic book series.  Such a setting could exist along the coastal regions of Desolation/Raviq.
The merfolk of Plane Shift are very similar tritons, so will not receive their own entry. 

Xahacan Races

Several monster races (kua-toa, merfolk, merrow, saguagin) are all likely to find a home in Xahaca, in addition to the player races below.

Tortles (Tortle Package)
Aversion Level: 0, 3
I don't want to front-load all of the reptilian races into Henjal.  For some reason, Xahaca feel right for this race--perhaps because of historical use of Tortuga and Turtle Island.  I did consider making them the kappa of Fuhon, but I think a shifter clan might suit that better (see above).

Possible New Races

I have begun to understand how some of the following races could be added to Monvesia--but I have not really made any decision one way or the other.

Otherworldly Races

Not all player races may be native to Orvemondt.  Just as the elves have a stong connetion to Faerie, so might other races have connections to the various otherworlds.  As elves have found a home in race, if the races below are fully developed, they may find themselves in a particular subcontinent.

Warforged (Unearthed Arcana)
Aversion Level:  0, 3
The warforged are iconic to the Eberron setting, and do not fit in any other world as well as they do there.  That being said .. I would LOVE to find a way to make them fit in Monvesia.  With modrons and inevitables in the Temporal Plane, perhaps another race of intelligent constructs could find a connection there.

Other Draconian/Scalikind Races

The larger world of dragons in Monvesia needs to be explored in detail.  There could still be a place for the draconian races.

Kobolds (Monster Manual and Volo's Guide)
Aversion Level: 2
Kobolds are an old classic in fantasy adventure gaming.  They could still find a way into Monvesia--particularly if the dragonborn do as well.  They two races will likely be tied together--possibly with the lizardfolk, possibly not.

Races Not Coming to Movesia

The following races are not likely to appear in the world of Monvesia.  Some already have in the past, and have been removed (Aasimar, Tiefling).

Centaurs (Unearthed Arcana)
Aversion Level: 1
I have found a home in Monvesia for a lot of creatures from classical mythology--even adapting the elves to mimic nymphs and fauns; and even minotaurs may find a plane in Raviq.  Centaurs seem too iconic to their mythical origins, however.

Gith (Unearthed Arcana)
Aversion Level: 3
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)
Aversion Level: 1
Once favored to fill the role of tengu in Fuhon, that place has now been reserved for aarakocra (see above).  This leaves less room for the kenku--unless a "diminutive" birdfolk variant is needed.  The lore of he kenku is very specific, and would need a major overhaul if the race were to be adaped for Monvesia.

Revenants (Unearthed Arcana)
Aversion Level: 4
Revenants are not a race in their own right, but a subrace that can be applied to nearly any other race.  The mechanics of doing so are clunky:  Not all races have subraces; and, it removes subracial diversity entirely.  A good conept that was not executed well--which is probably why it has yet to leave the playtest stage.

Simic Hybrids (Unearthed Arcana)
Aversion Level: 3
This race wholly and completely belongs to Ravnica.  Their ilk with not likely ever find an analong in Monvesia.

Siren (Plane Shift)
Aversion Level: 3
An amazing addition to Ixalan, with sound mecchanics that give them great flavor.  However, I really don't see this race fitting in Monvesia, where the more animal-like aarakockra and kenku seem a bit more appropriate.  Xahacan does take some inspiration from Ixalan and the Isle of Dread, so sirens as a monster would certainly be present here--but I favor that version.

Viashino (Unearthed Arcana)
Aversion Level: 0, 4
Just a variation on the lizarfolk already in the game.  Perhaps I can eek out a couple of lizardfolk subraces as I did for the catfolk and dogfolk.

Edited September 9, 2018; September 13, 2018.
Major Revision September 26, 2018.
Edited June 20, 2019; June 26, 2019; June 30, 2019; October 11, 2019.

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