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 Orbimond.  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.

Crown Races

The races "of" the Crown do not necessarily live on the ice--though it is suspected that the neanderthals may have migrated upward.  Most races will live at the glacier's base:  north of the Panjou Mountains in Henjal or on islands in the far northern Freneic Ocean.

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.

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.
Nezumi or Ratfolk (not yet adapted)
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.

Henjali 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.

Nagas (Amonkhet) as Nagis
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 nagi ("female naga" in the original Hindi).

Yuan-Ti (Volo's Guide)
Aversion Level:  3
The human exodus passed through Fuhon into the Forest of Vines, wherein they encountered the remnants of the dwindling Scalikind Empire.  When the Taint followed them, many lizardfolk became primitive troglodytes, while some nagi became human-like yuan-ti.

Omboan Races

Many races once considered "inelligible" for the Monvesia campaign may find they way to the "unknown" continent of Ombo, far south of Xahaca.

Centaurs (Ravnica)
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 very iconic to their mythical origins--and just exotic enough to find their way to Ombo.

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.

Grungs (One Grung Above)
Aversion Level:  0
The only remaining race of my Nefret campaign yet to carry over into Monvesia is the grippli--and the grung fills that role almost perfectly (the only PC to play a grippli essenially played a grung, including poisonous skin).  These frog-folk would have cultural ties to Raviq.  Their tainted counterpart will find their way into the world as either the banderhob or the bullywug.

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).

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.  They could have a tainted counterpart as deep scions.
The merfolk of Plane Shift are very similar to tritons, so will not receive their own entry on this list.

Otherworldly Races

Not all player races may be native to Orbimond.  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 (Eberron)
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 Eternity, perhaps another race of intelligent constructs could find a connection there.  I like the idea of warforged being "self-replicating," and having a culture of visiting forges to create their offspring.

Races Not Coming to Monvesia

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).

Amazons (Homebrew)
Aversion Level:  3
Not even my own homebrews can be guaranteed a place in Monvesia.  This particular version of a race based loosely on classical mythology is tailor made for the Artifice Saga--an adaptation of space opera sci-fi as high fantasy.  Adaptation to Mmonvesia would require major revision to the concept, lore, and game mechanics of the race.

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 (and the sinilar aven and siren).  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 (Ravnica)
Aversion Level: 3
This race wholly and completely belongs to Ravnica.  Their ilk with not likely ever find an analong in Monvesia.

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 other beast-like races.

Edited Sep 9, 2018; Sep 13, 2018.
Major Revision September 26, 2018.
Edited Jun 20, 2019; Jun 26, 2019; Jun 30, 2019; Oct 11, 2019; Nov 2, 2019; Nov 6, 2019; Dec 5, 2019; Dec 9. 2019; Dec 12. 2019; May 23, 2020; Jun 27. 2020.

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