Day Three and More Races

The previous post focused on magic, a topic I plan to revisit later. This post is specifically about new races. From a previous post, I mentioned a locale that had intelligent land exploring dolphins and goblins with a perchant for gunplay. After providing templates for them, I will add a few more creatures in a future post.
The races below focus on fleshing out the example setting I mentioned earlier.

One of the changes I made from the SRD is that races are not locked into all their talents. Instead, there is one or two that are set, but a range of choices for the others. I noticed that all races in the SRD had three talents, so these races are formatted in the same way.

The goblin is already mentioned in the SRD. They have a racial talent of Tinkerer, which is perfect for my group of goblins that learn to make their own crude firearms. I’ll show them as a race first, and then provide examples of these goblins in a future creature list.

Mountain Goblins:

Mountain Goblins are physically the same as their cousins. They have a green skin, very long pointed ears and are about 1 yard tall. They have high voices and a mouth of razor-sharp teeth. Like other goblins, they have a knack for salvaging and tinkering with a focus on making their own crude firearms. As a result, many Mountain Goblins have skill with firearms. Those that do not have skill with firearms have skill with swords.

Racial talents: Weak and a choice of two of the following: Tinkerer, Lucky Devil, Craftsman (firearms, blacksmithing, sword making), Precise Shot.


These land exploring dolphins are usually grey, but can be black, white, or pink. Others have two colors, grey, blue, or black on top with white bellies. Adults range from 2 to 3 yards long weighing between 300 and 500 pounds. They are quite distinctive for swimming through the air as if they are in the water. They wear a special sleeve that keeps them from drying out and provides some protection. Despite the lack of arms and legs, they have a psionic ability to manipulate objects such as swords, shields, and magic items as humanoids do. They are quite curious and playful. They usually have a lot to say and strike most creatures as very intelligent.

Racial Talents: Ghost Step, Natural Armor and one of the following: Sailor, Sixth Sense, Exceptional Attribute (Mage), Tinkerer


The Sachima claim that they are descended from the offspring of a Celestial Tiger and an ancient Sky Dragon. Although not a militaristic people, they are unafraid of any confrontation, physical, mental, or magical.

The Sachima have two very diverse paths that members of their society take. Those that choose the Path of the Dragon, learn a unique form of spellcasting that channels magical effects to erupt from their mouths. Sachima wizards believe in an ideal physical and mental strength that allows them to overcome all obstacles with overwhelming force. Though usually this comes by use of magic, Sachima Wizards are not afraid of a tough physical fight.

The Path of the Tiger teaches skill and quickness. Tiger Disciples learn cover themselves in shadow and hunt. Sachima hunters are known far and wide as the most skilled hunters in the world. Tiger Disciples also learn to be quick and silent. In tune with their bodies, some can sense the presence of others at some distance.

A Sachima may also choose the Path of the Ancestors. Those few that follow this path seek to embrace the traditions of both Tiger Disciples and Sachima Wizards.

Racial talents: Any three of the following: Dragon Magic, Hunter, Lucky Devil, Dual-Wielding, Armored Caster, Precise Shot


These creatures can morph themselves into any creature that is roughly human-sized. When they take the form of another creature, they are almost physically indistinguishable from the original creature. They cannot, however, duplicate all of a target creatures’ skills and abilities. When they take another creature’s form, they can choose one and only one skill or talent to duplicate. This talent or skill will last until the doppleganger assumes another shape. It takes some time for the doppleganger to assume a new shape, but the doppleganger will very rarely appear in their natural form

Racial Talents: Mimicry (can steal any skill, talent or attribute of one target),Weak or No Talent for Combat, and a choice of Sixth Sense, Channeler, or Tinkerer.

New Racial Talents:

Dragon Magic: Dragon Magic allows a spellcaster to manifest the effects of any spell through his or her mouth. For example, Frostburn is manifested as a stream of intense cold and ice instead of a cold touch. Like the regular spell, however, a practitioner of Dragon Magic can only affect one target. A spell like Sense Magic releases a cloud that allows the spellcaster to sense magic within that cloud.

Ghost Step: The Ghost Step talent represents an ability to move without having weight on the ground. A character with Ghost Step cannot set off pressure plate traps and will appear weightless on any scales. Their movement may or may not appear normal at the GM’s discretion.

No Talent for Combat: A character with this talent has difficulty in combat situations. When making an attack roll, the character rolls two d6 and takes the lowest result. It is twice as difficult for a character with this talent to gain a skill with a weapon.

A New Race, For Fun

Some time ago, I mentioned on G+ that my son wants to play n intelligent dolphin in a game. This dolphin is not part of an undersea adventure, but travels on land and interacts with "hobbits", "scientists", and "regular people".

Since he was three, he has associated the word "howert" with dolphins. It has been the sound they make when attempting English, it has represented various superpowers, and finally has come to mean the name that they call themselves in their language.

So, here is my write-up for Swords & Wizardry:

The Howerters

Limited Telekinesis: Howerters have no arms or legs, but can manipulate objects as if they had arms and legs. Regardless of STRENGTH score, they do not gain bonuses to hit or damage using melee weapons.

Yes, they can use rings.

Levitation and Limited Flight: Howerters do not make contact with the ground unless they choose (or die). They levitate at a height to have eye level at 5 feet, but can levitate as high as 8 feet for CONSTITUTION/2 rounds a day. In any situation that requires a roll for aerial piloting or maneuvering, they gain a +4 bonus or improve the maneuverability by one class.

Avoid Traps: Howerters will not set off any trap that depends on weight or pressure plates. They will also be immune to tripwires. This is due to the fact that they hover as movement. As they have limited movement through three-dimensional space, they gain bonuses to avoiding other traps as determined by the referee.

Magic Sleeve: Howerters wear an article of clothing they call a sleeve. It prevents them from drying out through their adventures on land and negates the need to be underwater. Howerters cannot wear any armor other than their magic sleeve.

The sleeve provides a +/- 3 bonus to armor (between chain mail and leather), but no other special protections. It is not airtight and does not prevent touch-based attacks.

Swimmers: Howerters can remove the sleeve in water and swim as normal dolphins.

Classes: Player-Character howerters may be Magic-Users, Thieves, or Magic-User/Thieves. In the Thief class, a Howerter may advance with no maximum level limit. A Howerter that is solely a Thief takes no advantage of any XP bonus due to a high Dexterity. Howerters advancing in more than one class are limited to 9th level Magic-User (10th with an Intelligence of 18).

In campaign worlds with psionics, a Howerter has no maximum level limit in any psionic class. In worlds with Illusionists, they may reach a maximum of 12th level.

Non-player howerters can be clerics. If the referee decides to allow them as PCs, they may advance to 10th level. (11th level with a Wisdom of 18).

Personality: Howerters, like their cousins the dolphins, are very intelligent and curious. They are fearless explorers that are excited about discovering new creatures, locations, magic items, or anything else new. They can get bored quickly, but will rarely make rash decisions.

They are aware of their startling appearance and usually handle it with self-deprecating humor. Unless Chaotic in alignment, they get along with any species they come in contact with. They tend to be outgoing and gregarious. They are slow to make deep friendships, but once made, they are loyal to the point of death.

Sachima – A New Race


Sachima describe their existence with a story. It begins with Amnaté, a very old and powerful dragon. Although wingless, he soared over his vast holdings of land navigating the space between earth's magnetic field and the ever-present winds. He was proud of his great wealth and fair dealings with mankind. He could have destroyed them all, but instead chose to spare them.

Amnaté was lonely. He would go to their cities in human form and revel in what seemed to be their endless celebrations. Yet after the festivals ended, he returned home more sad than before. He struggled to understand what motivated mankind to have these festivals.

Satva enoyed roaming the countryside and running free. She had no mate and had no need of one. Were it not for the endless celebrations of mankind, she would have remained solitary to her last day. Despite their mystery, she found mankind to be quite amusing.

Like all cats great and small, she would curiously enter towns and villages to see what would happen next. Sometimes she went as a small cat, other times as a human. Mankind feared tigers and she would never presume to interrupt their parties with her true form.

At one Festival of Spring, Satva found someone that appeared to be sad despite the revelry that surrounded him. She went to him as a small cat and offered purrs to comfort the man. They appeared to have no effect. He mindlessly stroked her fur and sighed. For his indifference, she hissed and scratched his leg.

Amnaté was startled by the attack. He understood sadness and the pointlessness of the festival, but he was intrigued that any creature that could be so angry at a party. He went to find the cat, but it was gone. Feeling sad once more, he went to return to his seat, but decided to find the cat instead. He searched the city with no success. Many shurgged when asked if they had seen the cat, but a kindly older woman offered to help him.

"Cats are fickle," she said, "it wouldn't have scratched you if it didn't have some interest in you. I bet if you go home, it will follow you. I will come along to help. Don't turn around to see the cat. If you seem interested, it may decide to stop following you. I've known many cats in my day, it will not concern itself with me."

Amnaté agreed and the two began traveling to his home. As they talked, he felt the pleasure of excellent company and the sharp pain of knowing his companion would be gone when he arrived home. Instead of taking a direct path, he took meadering trails and overgrown paths until they reached thick, dark forest.

A demon appeared saying that he would enjoy eating this foolish couple that dared wander into the dense forest alone. Amnaté swore to the woman that he would protect her, but that she had to run a short distance away without looking back. When it appeared she had gone far enough way, Amnaté changed into his true form.

The demon plead for his life, running away when he saw the great dragon build the fire in his nostrils. No sooner than he had gotten away from the dragon, a great tiger leaped upon him tearing at his demonic flesh. In fighting off the tiger's claws and teeth, the dragon caught up to the hapless demon.

"This demon attacked my companion!" Amnaté roared, "Let me relieve my wrath upon this fiend!"

"Why are you interrupting my play?" the tiger growled back, "This thing is no threat to you or to me."

Biting the demon on its shoulder, the tiger hurled the demon deeper into the wood. Licking the blood from its teeth, it lay down to groom.

"How dare you!" The dragon roared.

"Oh be still, Amnaté," the tiger purred, "didn't I tell you that the cat would follow you home?" At that, she transformed into a young woman and walked closer to the dragon.

"What sorcery is this?" Amnaté stammered, "Are you the woman that traveled with me?"

"I was interested." Savte replied, "And you were feeling so alone."

Amnaté changed into his human form. After some time, the two traveled to his home. Not long after they were married. Relatives of Amnaté and Savte soon moved into the kingdom and the land flourished.

The Sachima claim Amnaté and Satva as their ancestors. To be Sachima is to explore their draconic and tigrine heritage. Like dragons, they are proud and powerful. They are intimately familiar with ancient forms of magic, but judicious in its usage. They are innately curious, eager to learn new things. They also have a profound sense of play. Although generally amicable, Sachima are methodical, ruthless, and efficient killers when attacked.

Sachima can see in the dark up to 60 feet. They receive a +4 bonus against breath weapons and have a 2 in 6 chance of being able to communicate with any type of cat.

Sachima can advance to 10th level Magic-Users, but have no level limit as Theives. Sachima also have their own peculiar type of unarmed fighter that employs a handful of spells delivered as a breath weapon. There are no Sachima clerics.

If the Emphases system is used, Sachima magic-users automatically have dragon and big cat emphases.