Friday, December 25, 2020

Healing hit points

I don't like HP for a number of reasons, and I'd like to replace it with something better. Abstracted as 'hit points' it could mean almost anything, but most people tend to read it as 'health' or 'life,' which makes turn-based battles feel like everyone is standing in place, just hacking away at each others abdomens until one of them finally drops. But that's not really how fights work, and it leaves you with what I think is a pretty weak conceptual and mechanical foundation to combat.

This is where I die
Fatigue, by Magnus Fallgren

The first change is pretty simple, just call it Guard instead, with successful melee attacks wearing away at your guard until you become vulnerable. Another successful attack beyond that will cause a Wound that leaves the target incapable of combat. It could be anywhere in a wide range of severity, but personally I'd recommend making the player the one who ultimately decides if their character will die. I'm also a big fan of downtime, taking a break to really heal so that the game doesn't feel like an insane rush where an entire world-saving campaign happens in a week or two. To this end I like a week to a month as the healing time for most Wounds.

(I also like a week of downtime required for leveling up, but that's probably even more controvertible)

Characters also have Endurance, which they can spend a turn using to restore their Guard. Endurance would also be what most non-melee threats deplete, since you don't exactly block or parry arrows or a rolling boulder. You could have Endurance recover after a night's sleep, but a full day off makes more sense to me. Most people don't feel fully recovered until they spend a day relaxing, after all.

Day 21: Furious Undead, by Konstantin Vavilov

There might be a mental analogue to Guard, such as Focus for spellcasters and potentially archers or other ranged attackers, refreshed in a similar way by expending Endurance. To add some extra spice and realism to melee combat, characters can also make a Finishing Strike or Aggressive Attack where you roll a larger damage die, instantly Wounding the target only if it rolls higher than their current Guard. It does nothing if it rolls lower though, and might cost Endurance to attempt.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Class questions

There are some good built-in questions that you can ask in D&D to flesh out your character and your story based on the class you've chosen, but the game doesn't actually ask these questions, so they can be easy to ignore. Here are some good questions for any D&D character, starting with "What are you hiding?" Each class will also have two more specific questions as well.

Barbarian

  • What are you hiding?
  • What do you rage against?
  • What confuses you about these people and their customs?

Bard

  • What are you hiding?
  • What do you play?
  • Why do you play it?

Cleric

  • What are you hiding?
  • Why were you chosen?
  • What do you miss about the church?

Druid

  • What are you hiding?
  • How did you first wild shape?
  • What do you hate or fear most about civilization?

Fighter

  • What are you hiding?
  • Where did you fight before?
  • Who do you admire?

Monk

  • What are you hiding?
  • How were you trained?
  • Why did you leave the monastery?

Paladin

  • What are you hiding?
  • What do you stand against?
  • How do you pray?

Ranger

  • What are you hiding?
  • Who is your favorite animal?
  • Why do you hunt for yourself?

Rogue

  • What are you hiding?
  • What was your greatest heist?
  • How have you lost it?

Sorcerer

  • What are you hiding?
  • How has your bloodline affected your family?
  • How did your bloodline awaken?

Warlock

  • What are you hiding?
  • Why did you take the deal?
  • How do you feel about your patron?

Wizard

  • What are you hiding?
  • Who taught you magic?
  • What do your spells look like?

Artificer 

  • What are you hiding?
  • What was the first magic item you saw?
  • How do you get materials?

Notes

The incredible Cavegirl over on Cavegirl's Game Stuff is working on an incredible game called Dungeon Bitches. That's where I got this idea from, and I highly recommend checking out her blog (if you somehow follow this one but not that one). This was fun to make because it's kind of easy to come up with questions but each one creates so much empty space that people could fill out with their characters. I have a lot of trouble writing characters, so I really like seeing stuff like this (again, thanks Cavegirl) because it helps guide things a lot more. No art this time, but I hope you enjoy the stuff that I've made anyways.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Seven Saints

 Siblings who were heroes in their time, each was dedicated to a holy pursuit and exemplified it to an incredible degree. It has been decades since then, and they are considered holy figures. Especially for adventurers or other outsiders to normal society, the saints are an excellent way to pursue faith, along with strong personal virtues and goals to align with.


A depiction of the saints can be identified most easily by a golden body part, differing depending on the saint in question. An image of a woman with chaotic golden lines along her skin however is blasphemy, and is often a sign of great evil.

Yashtas, Saint of Song

Weaver of the saints' many tales, throughout her life she struggled to spread her name without losing her sense of self, or becoming distorted in the minds of the public. Sometimes those who inherited her charge seek only personal fame to the exclusion of all else, and are warned by her teachings about the risks of such behavior. 

Body: tongue

Symbols: purple, crescent moon, snapdragon, quartz, peacock, rapier

Task: grow your reputation, leave memories

Boon: speak a message to any people you can see, which they will surely hear even if whispered amid a storm.


Priestess, by Mahealani Rodrigues

Ishrar, Saint of Roads 

Never satisfied in one place for long, Ishrar saw many lands and tried always to leave any place she visited better than she found it, a difficult feat at times. Her followers are almost all nomads, and oftentimes traders though she mainly lived on the land.

Body: feet

Symbols: orange, cooling wind, daisy, opal, deer, spear

Task: come to a place you’ve never been

Boon: your step is sure, and you will not tire until you next stop walking.

Amarin, Saint of Bloodshed

A mistress of weapons and all manner of fighting styles, she sought power but struggled with an inner rage that often drove her to unwarranted violence. It is thought that later in life she was able to find peace, but to this day many of her followers seek only might and care little for the restraint she tried to uphold.

Body: teeth

Symbols: red, black cloud, carnation, ruby, tiger, lance

Task: defeat a worthy foe in deadly combat

Boon: you can carry one weapon without encumbrance for a week.


The Last Step, by Ignis Bruno

Meshar, Saint of Gardens

By far the longest lived of the saints, some say she still lives even to this day, hidden away deep in a labyrinth of flowers and herbs. As her teachings emphasize survival and health above other virtues, some think her followers to be cowardly. In truth, among them one can find some of the toughest, hardiest people imagineable.

Body: heart

Symbols: brown, gentle rain, sunflower, obsidian, carp, halberd

Task: go a week without injury

Boon: gain immunity to disease as long as you remain unharmed.

Zaraf, Saint of Books

Studious and soft-spoken, Zaraf spent so much time learning that she sometimes failed to make use of the knowledge she gained, and tried to hand down teachings to help others with that very task. Her followers are intended to be just as studious, though there is more variety in how and what they may study.

Body: eyes

Symbols: blue, starlight, hydrangea, sapphire, owl, dagger

Task: read a sizeable book

Boon: understand and read all languages for the rest of the day.


Ritual, by Livia Radman

Sunesh, Saint of Marriage

Lascivious saint, partner and spouse to many, and with nearly as many manifestations. Sunesh was known as a generous and lively person, sometimes to a fault. Followers of Sunesh are expected to venerate them in whatever form is personally preferred, as that is how they shared love in life, and the saint's teachings emphasize consent and sensitivity to a partner's (or potential partner's) desires or needs.

Body: hands

Symbols: pink, full moon, rose, emerald, dove, whip

Task: spend a night or day with a lover

Boon: for the rest of the week, you can tell if love is true.

Niket, Saint of Home

Amarin would be the first to tell you that Niket was stronger by far. However, Niket struggled to keep up with her siblings and eventually learned to build, her creations eventually becoming the city of Il Kamiyar, the Great Bridge. Her followers congregate their, but can also be found striking out elsewhere, to spread that industrious spirit.

Body: shoulders

Symbols: green, warm sunlight, orchid, peridot, sparrow, axe

Task: sleep within a building you helped create

Boon: you can lift one object and carry it, so long as you could drag it.

 

Alexandria the Black Mage, by Maika Sozo

Tevresh, Saint of Blasphemy

Said to have betrayed her siblings, they cast her out and tried to erase her memory. However a memory cannot be so easily suppressed, and may only become more resilient with each attempt to exterminate it. Those scarce teachings that can be found from her time ecourage one to abandon their duties, reject any role or path set out for you and struggle alone if you must.

Body: scars

Symbols: black, new moon, windflower, howlite, moth, broken sword

Task: destroy a shrine, or kill a leader

Boon: the next time you could die, fate may be turned aside.


Notes

I've been trying to come up with ways to engage the player with the setting more, and a huge part of that is religion. Historically religion has always been a very important in life as well as fantasy, but it seems like a large portion of the gaming community (myself included), are atheistic, so that sense of worship and service to a higher power can be... off-putting. It creates a divide between the player and the average person in the game world, their analogue.

Thus I create instead aspirational figures, so that even the most power-gaming edgy anti-theist could start from a point of "oh yeah I want to be cool like that person," and then once the player is engaged with these figures I think it becomes easier for them to shift that engagement toward roleplaying something more spiritual or worshipful. I've been told that D&D also has demi-gods and high priests and what not, but that doesn't really address this rift between the player and the average character in the world, instead making it probably wider by suggesting that we roleplay worshipping something that isn't even a god? It feels strange.

Oh hey, Skerples recently made a few blog posts about saints and gods and all that jazz. Hope they like this (or at least see it).

Friday, September 18, 2020

Villain generator and respectful necromancy

Some assembly required, but this generator will give you all the necessary touchstones to create a weird, non-problematic, memorable villain for your campaign.

Evil Knights, by Juan Pablo Roldan


Necromancy doesn't have to be evil and reviled. There are respectful ways to commune with the dead, with one's ancestors and forefathers. It's certainly possible to re-frame any necromancy spell in a way that's amicable and honoring to the dead, but these are some examples that are kind of inherently that way already.

Anito x Shaman
Anito x Shaman, by Tuntun Dizon

  1. Speak with dead: you recall the spirit of the dead and ask them questions. Sometimes this is posed as a torturous process, but there's no reason it has to be.
  2. Gentle repose: certainly protective, and infinitely less degrading than embalming. Seriously look into it, don't get embalmed.
  3. Spirit guardians: bring back the great warriors of the past to fight again! Especially if they aren't forced to fight for you, and will only join if you convince them to.
  4. Soothe souls: calm their anger, lessen their pain, allow them to communicate or pass on more easily.
  5. Medium possession: allow the dead to inhabit your body and control your actions for a time, giving them one chance to complete any unfinished business.
  6. Detect dead: especially if it can only sense the undead or those who have no received their proper final rites, to be laid to rest.

Obviously I would encourage other writers to design even undead in a way that's not exploitative or evil, such as making an agreement to benefit the souls of the dead, or giving them temporary life for their own use (such as the possession one). Any practice can be of particular virtue or vice, depending on the attitude it is approached with and the goals held in mind. In Tajira, illusionists are seen as evil, duplicitous, and cowardly for manipulating perception and invading dreams.

 

Many thanks to Kali, creator of Fight With Feelings for helping me out on the villain generator!

Friday, September 11, 2020

My favorite class, fun generators, and a new direction

The Soulknife was my favorite class concept when I only knew about the 3.x games. I emphasize concept there because the actual mechanics of the class were hot garbage. It was described by some as a straightjacket that would ruin any build (I know), it was purely combat based with poor stats for combat and a core ability that neither meshes well with any other class nor outperforms the magic equipment you should technically be getting as you level, according to RAW. So I redesigned it with GLOG sensibilities, then updated that design recently with more experience and insight into RPG design, then read the latest GLOG rules and updated it again to be as fully compatible as I could manage. I probably won't be posting much in the way of classes aside from this, since it's my favorite.

Soulknife

Each level of Soulknife gives you +1 to throwing attacks.

A    |mind blade

B    |steelmind, nightmare

C    |gravitation

D    |shatter

Mind Blade

Conjure a blade of mental energy in the form of a dagger or any weapon you've used in combat. It can also imprint the form of a tool, such as a rope or shovel. It takes an action to conjure and disappears if it leaves your hand for an hour.

Steelmind

Channel your mind blade energy through a physical weapon, increasing its attack by +2, but adding a damage marker every minute it remains channeled.

Nightmare

Steal the dreams of a sleeping person, leaving them with a restless night and allowing you to imbue one mind blade attack with an additional die of damage. Cannot imbue while channeling steelmind.

Gravitate

Your mind blade can pull you to its location as long as it is within view, at double the speed of someone running.

Shatter

Explode your ind blade on command as an action, or instantly if someone attempts to disarm or sunder it. This deals 2d6 damage to anyone within melee range excluding yourself, and you cannot summon it again until you retrieve it within your dreams.

The Beginning of the End by RAHDS


I'd also like to take a moment to outline my current philosophy when designing a GLOG class. It's pretty challenging and strict, but I think it works with the framework of 'constraint inspires creativity.' At template A you obviously have the core idea of the class, which I like to include with some level-independent progression if possible. Template B is great for multiclass synergy type abilities, so people can take 2/2 and get some cool combinations. Template C is kind of like a free space where you can flesh out or expand the core class idea, but it's unfortunately too late to really start with the progression ability. Then template D is good for the capstone ability, which I think should be cool and flashy but risky or costly to use. I've heard arguments against capstone abilities, but as long as you're good at designing the abilities leading up to it that shouldn't be a problem.

 

Generators

If you both really want to design wacky classes, but have managed to run out of ideas, this should give you some weird ones:


Fantasy tree generator. Some of the results are pretty wild, but most should be scaleable to either mundane rumors or arcane foliage of myth:


And here is a fashion trend generator. It won't give you a specific outfit, but should prompt enough broad traits to build a sense of style for a locality:


Faint Slumber by Pavel Kolomeyets


Priorities

Finally, I've decided to stop working on systems, or at least stop focusing on them, until I get some more experience running things at the table, and probably read more existing systems. The most useful things I find on other blogs are environments, characters, items, puzzles, and monsters (in descending order of usefulness), and then after that there are mechanical and philosophical considerations that can sometimes be interesting. I'll be using Arnold's most up to date GLOG rules as my basis for mechanics, but mostly using a fiction-first focus. Surely everyone is even more excited to read about this than I am to write it.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Fantasy Chainsaws

 Bit of a weird project, but if you ever want to include some form of chainsaw in your fantasy games, at least one of these should fit the tone. Maybe that's just me! If you're doing full gonzo, go ahead and roll that wonderful d20.

1. Lotus Petal Saw

Softly shining, pink petals spin along an ornamented bar, conjured by a Blades of the Endless Wheel mantra.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EfAiFXWXgAE_ENW?format=jpg&name=large
Exactly this, by me


2. Thornwheel Blade

A great enchanted rose bush, grown by fairies to have a rotary thorned stem.

3. Jaguar Claw Macuahuitl

Empowered by a jaguar spirit, its many obsidian blades command incredible cutting power even when swung like a normal sword.

4. Necrospinner

A spinning weapon of animated bone, using fangs and teeth along the whirling edge.

5. Meatcutter

So named for cutting meat as well as being meat itself. The blade is comprised of sharp, hardened claws, and it spews its own blood when spinning.

6. Crystal Prismus

Enchanted weapon of stone and gems. Each tooth is a different kind of gem, and they can create a glinting rainbow of slicing power.

7. Brimstone Spinblade

Spewing hellfire when it spins, the heat of its flames can burn through steel as well as any warhammer punches through.

8. Starlight Spinner

An elven weapon of silver, hammered as fine as eggshells, with a radiant blade that captures the light of the stars.

9. Slimesaw

Somehow when spinning, the goopy edge of this blade cuts much faster than the slime can normally corrode.

10. Classical Sparksaw

Ancient spinning blade crafted of olive wood and bronze, spits blue sparks as it spins. Made by a brilliant inventor centuries ago.

Image
Ancient Bladesaw, from Zelda

 

11. Trimerian Sawbeetle

The curious horns of this giant beetle can spin to cut through wood or, presumably other Trimerian creatures. They are dismembered and reconfigured to be useful as tools.

12. Winding Sharp-Frost

 Unnaturally hardened frost, spinning and cutting with a fractal edge.

13. Whipsaw

A bladed whip that can be activated to coil in an elongated shape, spinning to cut more effectively, in exchange for shorter reach.

14. Terracotta Blade

A living clay weapon that spins with razor sharp clay shards along a lengthened edge.

15. Runic Stormblade

Constructed by wizards of moderate-quality steel. The runes etched into its surface conjure the rage of storms into a crackling, whirling edge of deep indigo lightning.

16. Gilded Relic Blade

Built of marble set with gold and finely cut gems, this spinning blade contains a warrior-saint's hand bones that they used to wield weapons, and radiates with divine cutting light.

17. Trimerian Wasps

Angry insects that have been specially bred and trained to fly in a long, rounded formation and devour anything they touch. This was the only formation in which they wouldn't turn back and attack whoever holds their hive.

Lasersaw, by Andrea Sibilla


18. Jade Dragon's Fang

Gifted by a divine being from an unearthly realm, it is surprisingly easy to carry.

19. Spectre's Wrath

 As ghostly mist whirls and spins, the hatred of the dead calls out in a hollow wail.

20. Splitting Organistrum

The powerful tune of this slow instrument projects a small aura of cutting sound near its neck when played properly.


Many of these were inspired with help from Gal Paladin on Discord!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Combat systems

The point of combat

My goals when designing a combat system are that it should first have enough dynamism to not be a solved game or rote repetition, second be as simple as possible, and third be as realistic as it can. The order there is very important. I do not want to play a tabletop RPG that is mostly or entirely about combat, that's something I find video games will always have the advantage at, in terms of providing an exciting, tense experience. So here are three of my favorite attempts I've made at creating the kind of combat I'd want to play.

 
Duel by Antonio J Manzanedo

Three Hand Duel

There are three combat stances: fast stance, parry stance, and feint stance. Parry beats fast, feint beats parry, and fast beats feint. Anyone can use fast stance, anyone with a weapon (or specialized unarmed training) can use parry stance, and anyone proficient with their weapon can use feint stance. Anyone whose stance beats opponents’ stances deals damage dice plus bonus damage. Anyone whose stances matches their opponent's both deals and takes bonus damage (but not damage dice). Blocking stance is available if you have a shield, allowing you to roll a 'damage die' that will reduce any damage you take in the following round. Weapons and high strength increase damage, armor reduces damage taken.


Advantages: pretty complex without being hard to use, gives plenty of active decision making opportunity to players. Inherently feels flavorful because you're declaring how your character will fight. Easily scalable up to mass combat with something like charge, flank, route or similar (I haven't looked into medieval battle strategy). It also addresses the massive threat of being flanked, as both opponents can doom your options. There is also some opportunity to add special stances as class abilities or other kinds of specialized combat training, but this should be done with extreme care. Also runs faster than most dice systems, because someone is always taking damage.


Challenges: make sure you choose what your stance will be before you ask someone, you'll probably want to write it down. Honestly cards might work for this purpose. Also a bit hard for people to wrap their head around if they're not familiar with the terms, but they can be easily equated to rock, paper, and scissors (obviously what the system is based on). Also if you're unarmed or not proficient, there's always a best choice against you, so that's iffy.


Battle by Faraz Shanyar
 

Behind the Blades

Each character has a stamina stat. Before the turn, they can invest however many they want into offense and defense respectively. If one side's offense totals higher than the other's defense, that amount of damage is dealt. Armor and shields add fixed defense points, weapons and strength add fixed offense points. Possible additional rule: one may invest a third of their stamina in a 'guard break' that reduces enemy defense to zero. Stamina may lower each turn.


Advantages: very simple, very deadly. Again, possible to add special moves with a fixed stamina cost, or a fixed portion cost.


Challenges: again relies heavily on not knowing what the opponent will do. Even more so, knowing the enemy's stamina can potentially cause problems.


Spilled Wine Drawing

11"x14" Prismacolor pencils on Dura-lene acetate.
Spilled Wine by Daniel Landerman (NSFW warning)
 

Steel Ruckus

An attack is a d20 roll. If the result is higher than the opponent's defense, the attack is successful, and you can either strike them or shove them away. The first strike throws you off guard for a turn. If struck while off guard, you are wounded and unable to fight until healed. Strikes can be either deflected or absorbed, with a weapon or tool you are holding. Deflecting causes you to drop that item, while absorbing the strike damages the item. It takes one turn to attack, close distance (such as after being shoved), run away, grab two items from the ground or your belt, or grab one item from a container within reach (like your backpack) or from another belt in reach. Armor and shields add to defense, weapons and combat training add to attack.


Advantages: most compatible with D&D style combat systems, which includes a lot of OSR stuff, so conversion of existing combat should be a lot easier. Lots of potential for environmental fun, like shoving people into hazards (down stairs, into spiders) or dropping a weapon out of reach (off a bridge, down a cliff).


Challenges: the way shoving and running away work, there should probably be a similarly robust chase system. That seems like fun, but it is a challenge. Should also come with somewhat strict limits on what can be hung from a belt, lest players simply load their waist with spare weapons and shields.


-----


If you've been following for a while, the Three Hand Duel was what I was using for my Skies Below stuff. These are still broadly in chronological order, in the order I came up with them. I'll probably stick with Steel Ruckus for the time being, and flesh it out with more details in the future.

Monday, June 29, 2020

People of this realm

These races are all fantastical humans, and would consider many of the classic fantasy races equally human. None of them are inherently better or worse at any given thing, though cultures may reinforce certain skills or passions and shun others. If in doubt, anyone can simply be a Cikrem nomad of whatever skin color they prefer, or simply add their preferred races as needed.


Each or all of them can interbreed, with children potentially inheriting the traits of more than one parent, however mixed race characters may face unique challenges. Unusual or unique traits may also manifest in members of any race, such as pointed ears, tusked canines, or webbed digits.

Yingao

Terse, hardy people who spare few words and have ruled Tajira for too long. They wish not to show their triple tongues, which change color based on their mood.


They wear clothing dull in color and trimmed of embellishment, and similarly prefer unseasoned foods, especially raw fruits and vegetation. Perhaps this stems from their homeland, a forest so dense and overgrown that the sun almost never reaches the ground.

The Mistress by Sam Carr
(lightly edited)


Gollo

Natives to the land now held by Tajira, most would gladly see the empire fall. Illusion magic is their native art, and they can be recognized by the hole that naturally runs through each torso and limb.


They keep some records with a system of knots and dyed strings, sometimes incorporating these along the hem of a cloak or tunic, in a way that communicates surreptitiously with their people.

Bolshu

Mournful people displaced from their homeland by the yingao empire. They bear twin sideways mouths and thumbs in the place of their littlefingers.


Their fashions tend toward many overlapping layers fastened with unique buttons, ranging in length from short sleeved tunics to long, enveloping robes. Outsiders often have difficulty with the strange bolshu buttons.

Cikrem

Wayward chromatic tribes who carry distinctive Dream Bread and wear tight clothing. Stories say a child born of two tribes will lead them to a new homeland, though they care little where they originated.


Their colorful bread is well known for causing wild visions that some find spiritual guidance in, and a few simply enjoy. Most cikrem keep a large, loose hood or sash.

ZONA 2019 by Q Tori


Kippil

Allies to Tajira who hail from the mountains. Thought of as sneaky for their overly flexible limbs, each with an extra joint. They hunt great beasts in the mountains, prizing the meat and leather, and they have complex customs around leather clothing.


A single, continuous piece of leather formed into an outfit is called ‘full leather,’ with an outfit consisting of multiple sources called ‘cut leather,’ and ‘scrap leather’ as the lowest form, where the outfit is supplemented by other material.

Ortain

A larger empire lurking near the borders of Tajira, wishing for the first signs of weakness. Ashen skinned with needled teeth and faces some would call fish-like, they wield flame spewing weapons.


The frigid forests they come from are harsh and strange, and they have a strange preference for frozen meals. Exposing the arms is a sign of strength, and some may recognize the ortish cut of a flared, fur-lined vest.

Tula

Soft-spoken folk from a land of valleys and caverns. Oft assumed stubborn due to their horned heads, and usually hired as guards or mercenaries. Because of this, it’s easy to find helmets that account for and even protect the horns.


Individuals tend to be either very tall or very short, with average height strangely rare. They prefer simple clothing, but usually bear intricate carvings on their horns.

Original Character - Sheep Girl by Lorena Carricondo

Fahd

Seen by some as savages, for their lack of clothing and hair-covered bodies. They actually possess a rich culture of hair stylings. 


Warriors will often braid their hair into tight, close-fitting rows, with shorn patterns to show their role as a life-taker. Meanwhile hunters of beasts are more likely to cut their hair shorter, and it is common for leaders or public figures to grow their hair long and straighten it.

Veshkin

Well-trusted traders from the Kajhar desert. They are considered beautiful for their crystalline hair and nails.


They tend to wear layers of light, airy fabric with subtle patterns, but those in Tajira tend to find the climate too cold and will adopt local fashions quickly. Veshkin cooks are known for crafting many fine sweets and candies.

Phosphophyllite by Zhengyang Hu


Mebirinu

Often friendly people with black blood and bones that tinge their skin blue. By holding their breath they can turn their skin black, but this leaves them lightheaded.


They have come from far off forests of giant mushrooms, and tend to value stiff, geometrically cut clothes made of fungal paper. Officials will also wear pieces of giant insect carapace, but most in Tajira cannot afford such a luxury. Their predilection for strong drink and other fermented foods has led to a reputation as drunken poisoners.

Shimex

Seafarers with neither hair nor nails- anywhere on their body. Only some women wear wigs in Tajira, but most wear fine makeup. Rumors claim they season their food with sand, but it is actually crushed coral.


It is customary to get a tattoo each time a new crew is joined, so a shimex covered in ink has either survived many failed voyages, or moved around for another reason.

Finnin

Quiet, gentle folk from cursed plains, who created the elemental magics of sorcery. Each individual has a single, large eye, some of which can be found in the darkest of markets.


Sometimes thought of as strangely violent, for their integration of armor-like plates of metal in clothing, which is generally made of surprisingly fine, sturdy silks.

Cyanne by Sarah Burks


Nihemi

Graceful people of fine ceramic and artful silks, they have metallic skin and four, narrow eyes. Very rarely one will be born with golden skin.


The wealthy trade in quicksilver, requiring extremely specific containers and the finest of porters. Strange, tall mounts carry them aloft, keeping the long draping robes that are in fashion from dragging on the ground.