noisms over at Monsters and Manuals posted something fun that I couldn't resist.
The idea is to roll randomly to pick 2d6 monsters from your bestiary of choice. (Fiend Folio, MM2, Monstrous Compendium from 2e, etc.) Then turn those monsters into PC races for a campaign setting.
I pulled out my Dragon Warriors Bestiary and rolled 8 creatures. Sabre-Tooth Tiger, Tapestry Wards, Caitshee, Titan, Wild Boar, Ire Goblin, Okeman, and Water Leaper. I tend to over-think things, so bear with me as some of these are more fleshed out than others.
Mamen (Tapestry Wards) - These creatures were magically brought into this world from a two-dimensional plane to serve a cruel wizard intent on using them to build an unstoppable army. The Mamen escaped the control of wizard, but not before gaining the ability to appear as three-dimensional humanoids. Three generations later, some Mamen have come out of seclusion to explore their new home. The fourth generation Mamen have adapted mostly to three-dimensional existence, but still rely on talismans made for them at birth that allows them to maintain their three-dimensional shape.
Mamen have the ability to remove their talisman and re-attach it at will. This allows them to become invisible (turn sideways) and attack while invisible (like a monofilament weapon). A strike from a two-dimensional Mamen does 1d8 damage at first level, but increases as the Mamen increases in level.
Mamen cannot be clerics, but can be any other class.
Caitshee - These humanoids have a slight feline appearance in the face due to the inverted triangle shaped nose. They are resistant to magic and can disrupt magic with a certain range per level. This includes disrupting the magic of a party's mage.
Due their magic resistance and magic disrupting abilities, there cannot become mages. Caitshee prefer to be rogues.
Ire Goblin or Bugbear - Nothing too new here except that a few smaller, orange splotched and weaker Bugbears can be psionic. Otherwise, Bugbears cannot be psionic.
Titan - When the gods defeated the Titans, the titans that survived went into exile and lived with other humanoids. The children of those Titans became the epic heroes of legend. The grand-children of those epic heroes are what other races call Titans today.
Physically, they appear human ranging from six to seven feet tall. They prefer to be clean-shaven and wear their hair short. Titan villages are fairly common near Zominakapra and Puli settlements.
Titan can be any class they wish. When a Titan character is created, a d6 is rolled. The result determines which ability score receives a +4 bonus. Depending on rolls, it is possible for a Titan to have a 22 score for an attribute, though that is quite rare.
Zominakapra (Boars of Zominthos) - These boar-men have the torso and lower body of a man and the head of a boar. Despite their fierce appearance, Zominakarpa are quite thoughtful and intelligent. Zominakapra can communicate with pigs, but rarely do so preferring the company of others.
They can often be found exchanging ideas and philosophies. Those that practice sorcery form societies that mutually benefit all members. Research and discovered spells are eagerly shared with other members. For this reason Zominakarpa characters that choose to be sorcerers gain an additional spell per level for their spellbook.
Despite their perchant for intellectual pursuits, Zominakarpa are swift and deadly in combat. Those that choose to be fighters gain the ability to temporarily use primal rage to wreak havoc on their targets.
Okeman - The okeman vary widely in height, body type and coloration. All okeman have dense skin, can move quickly and are susceptible to fire. They can range from four to seven feet tall. They can be thin or thick. Their color can range from light grey to dark brown to any color in-between. Their multi-colored hair contains yellow, auburn, a bit of orange and traces of green.
Okeman believe that everything has an associated spirit. Stones have spirits, tree have spirits, rivers, mountains, even blades of grass are believed to have spirits. Any Okeman employ a unique form of magic that they call Galli Nir. Magic is generated by the proper alignment and invocation of specific spirits. To aid with proper alignment, Okeman mages use a vast array of pre-made charts to help with protocol when addressing the spirits. Their belief and work with spirits leads the Okeman and Puli to be very close allies.
Okeman avoid things made of wood as they believe that all wood contains the vengeful spirit of the tree that it came from. Their respect for tree spirits makes them close allies with the Puli.
Okeman are skilled in leather and stone craft. They also have great strength. All okeman have the ability to call down lightning which does 1d8 damage to all within 30 feet, including the Okeman.
Water Leaper - These albino limbless toads are extraordinarily adept at using teleportation magic and other spells that help makes things or people travel easier. Water leapers themselves move around on floating platforms which they call life chairs.
Water Leapers have very little physical defense and can only attack through the use of magic. Once per day, they can concentrate and strike an opponents with a magical disease that targets the bones of the body. Successful usage of this power will either turn an opponents' bones to jelly.
Puli - Despite being relatives of the Caitshee, they do not have magic resistance or magic disruption abilities. Physically, Puli are quite similar. The most striking difference is seen in the long, curved fangs of the Puli.
Puli can be any class, but they are known for their magic. Their particular form of magic relies on ghosts and spirits to access magical powers. Many times, the spirits serve as a conduit of energy, but there are a few times that they are called upon to act more directly.
Puli clerics do not turn ghosts or spirits. They seek to command them instead. A Puli cleric that successfully commands or controls ghosts or spirits are granted an additional spell to cast. The ability works once per day at lower levels, but can be performed more frequently for powerful clerics.