Inhuman Blood - Weavers - Children of the Vine - Dream-Catchers - Trapped Men
Note that this isn't a straight affixing of "half-" onto the name of one of the non-human races so that you can get all the advantages and none of the disadvantages. The non-human races below never crossbreed with humans. Rather, inhuman blood is the result of having some kind of monster somewhere in your distant ancestry. A proper monster.
Usually characters with inhuman blood cannot be Nobles, since most noble Families do not have such polluted bloodlines. This varies from line to line, however Troll Blood and Divine Blood would affect your entire Family, so are usually out. Ashen Blood and Shattered Blood are more likely, particularly among the Velasquez. Shattered Blood is more or less compulsory among the D'Artois.
Inhuman blood is indistinguishable in appearance from normal blood, but haemovores with refined palates (such as Children of the Vine and many Blood Sorcerors) have been known to comment upon its distinctive taste.
The origins of troll blood don't bear thinking about, but it does happen. Troll blooded people are physically larger and stronger than most. A troll blooded character starts with only 27xp rather than the usual 30xp, but has one extra Body Hit on each location and one extra Fatigue Hit. Additionally troll blooded characters may buy the Strong skill to one rank higher than their class levels would normally allow. The downside is that troll blooded characters may never buy any Ranks of the Quick skill.
A character with divine blood is descended, probably by some distance, from either one of the Old Powers or one of the Princes of Breath. Whether they know it or not they are considered to be an Ordained Priest of whichever set of Powers they are descended from (they must buy the Ordained skill, but can do so regardless of their starting Class(es)). They will also have a tendency to "live in interesting times".
This is more of a rarity than troll blood or divine blood but is perhaps easier to understand. Many things can bring one back from the Burned Realm. Usually these things are magics of some kind, but not always. Love is a powerful thing and sometimes it extends beyond the grave. It is rare for a child to be born of the union between a mortal and a ghost, but it does happen. The opinions of the Burned Lords as regards such people are divided, some consider them blasphemies to be destroyed while others look upon them more kindly. Ashen blooded characters have a natural affinity for the dead and the spirit world, they can see and speak to all ethereal spirits and inflict Singles in Psychic Combat against the spirits of the dead.
A character with shattered blood was conceived whilst one or other of their parents was possessed - wittingly or unwittingly - by something of the Vitriarchs. As a result they are basically a vessel for madness. Glass Magic cast against them costs the caster double the normal number of Psyche Hits (which the caster won't know about until it's too late...). In addition, anybody who spends a night sleeping in close proximity to a character with shattered blood (such as sharing a bed, a tent, a room or a glass tower) will lose one Psyche Hit overnight (rather than regaining one as normal) due to being plagued with nightmares of the Vitriarchs. Anybody reduced to zero Psyche Hits in this way has their mind consumed utterly by the Shattered Plain and becomes a Crystal Vessel.
A non-human character is not to be played lightly. Most non-human races have significant disadvantages and minimal advantages. Only play one if you find yourself particularly struck by one of the species on this list. In addition to the disadvantages listed below, all non-human Player Characters are assumed to be native to the region from which their species hails and so cannot start with Survival-type skills related to any other area. The final disadvantage for non-human PCs is that they all have some kind of costume requirement, although often this is relatively minimal since most of them are largely humanoid.
The Weavers of the City of Silk are small, slight and softly spoken. They are in some way related to the spiders of the Great Forest. They have long, nimble fingers with wickedly sharp nails. Weavers feed only on very recently dead meat, which they do not cook; this means that they cannot rely on dried provisions while in the wild.
Advantages: Weavers have long, poisonous fingernails, a Weaver can strike for base damage of Paralysing Singles with their unarmed attacks and may use the Backstab skill with their unarmed attacks. A Weaver with the Armour Repair skill is able to repair all varieties of steelsilk armour. Weavers sometimes get on better than most with giant spiders, at GM discretion.
Disadvantages: Weavers are smaller and slighter than humans. They start with only one Body Hit on each limb (but the standard two on the Torso). They cannot buy Strong as a Warrior skill, but still get the usual benefits from strength potions and the Alchemy skill. They can only speak in sibilant whispers and they only feed on freshly killed meat. Their native terrain is woodland.
Costume requirements: Pallid skin, dark hair, a general gaunt, unhealthy look. Long, sharp fingernails.
The Children of the Vine are strange creatures, unnaturally vital and subsisting entirely on a diet of blood and wine. Of all forms of blood the Children of the Vine find human blood the most palatable and so are widely mistrusted as cannibals (pedantic peddlers of tales of "strange things you'm 'ears about in t'forests" point out that technically drinking human blood is only cannibalism if you yourself are human, but they have been roundly shouted down). The entire race of the Children of the Vine are intimately tied to the Old Power known as the Lady of Blood & Wine. They look entirely human apart from their eyes vary between pure white and blood red depending on how hungry they are.
Advantages: The Children of the Vine have an unnatural vitality so start with two extra Fatigue Hits. They are also often Strong, Quick and Tough, but that's for you to spend points on if you wish.
Disadvantages: Being so intimately tied to the Old Powers, the only form of magic the Children of the Vine can practice is Blood Magic. In addition they must drink blood and wine to survive and are widely mistrusted. Their native terrain is woodland.
Costume Requirements: White or red eyes (contacts would be fantastic, makeup in the general area will do). Bloodstains are also de rigeur.
Winged humanoids that dwell in the mountains of the North. They seem to live half-in and half-out of dreams and hunt nightmares with long spears. They're something of a riddle wrapped in an enigma, like most things that come out of the North. They have some difficulty communicating with humans, since they seem to work as much on dream-logic as anything remotely sensible. On the other hand they are invaluable guides to the North.
Advantages: Wings. Dream-Catchers can glide some considerable distance but can't actually fly per se - they're considerably better off in the strange air-currents of the far North. In addition they are fully capable of lucid dreaming and indeed make excellent Dream Sorcerors. Most bizarrely of all, they seem to feed exclusively on dream spirits - ethereal beings found mainly in dreams and occasionally in those places where the borders between dream and reality are thin, like much of the North. Dream-Catchers are capable of dealing Psychic Damage to dream spirits by physical means.
Disadvantages: Most of their advantages are double edged. Their wings are unwieldy and the dream creatures on which they feed are far less common further south. Other kinds of ethereal spirits provide no nourishment to them. Their native terrain is mountains.
Costume Requirements: Wings. Do try to go for the impressive here. Since Dream-Catchers have few natural disadvantages apart from a difficulty relating to humans and a tendency to starve to death in the far South, the wings for the costume should be a reasonable hindrance to their movement.
Trapped Men are descended from those imprisoned in the bodies of animals during the Binding War. They are of bestial form during the day and human form at night. They can be somewhat impractical to play by day since they'll be spending all their time in the shape of a wolf or a chicken or similar.
Advantages: Depending on a Trapped Man's animal form there may be some advantages. Flight, fangs, being able to dig burrows.
Disadvantages: When you get right down to it being an animal all day, with only the merest vestiges of human intelligence, is a bit of a drag. Their native terrain is plains.
Costume Requirements: By night, none. By day, full on animal getup.
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This page last updated: 5th February 2006
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