Deprecated: Function create_function() is deprecated in /home/mygurpsc/public_html/pmwiki.php on line 512
MyGURPS - Fate Core Fantasy Races

Fate Core Fantasy Races

Return to Fate Core Fantasy

Unless stated otherwise, a race is just an aspect (or part of an aspect) like anything else -- it can be invoked for a bonus, compelled for a complication, and so on. A few races have prerequisites in the form of minimum skill levels (the equivalent of racial attributes/skills), and some of the most powerful also reduce Refresh, as if they were stunts.

These racial write-ups were created for our Banestorm game, set in the land of Yrth. They should be adaptable to any other fantasy setting with little (if any) adjustment.

Common Races

These races will not raise much attention when traveling. For example, while not every human has seen an elf, everyone "knows someone who knows someone" who has. Dwarves and elves have a low-key rivalry; both do not get along with orcs.

Dwarves: Short, stocky, tough, bearded miners and builders. They prefer to fight armored, with axes, hammers, or picks. They're experts on minerals (especially gold) and tend to be greedy and stubborn. They live two to three times as long as humans. Dwarves must take Crafts at Average (+1) or higher.

Elves: Slender, pointy-eared, attractive nature-lovers. They value creativity, from artistry to music to storytelling -- and archery. They can live for up to a thousand years. They're dexterous and intelligent, though not known for physical strength.

Goblins: A versatile, quick-thinking race, with green skin and pointy teeth. Goblins tend to be dabblers, traders, merchants, and thieves. They are small, slender, and not particularly strong, but their bodies and minds are quick -- sometimes too quick (they're impulsive). Unlike most races, they can see well in low-light conditions.

Halflings: Small, peaceful folk. They're a common race, but they're not commonly found as adventurers! They're weak, but they make up for it by being hardy, stealthy, and great with thrown weapons. They love friends, food, and drink.

Orcs: Squat, hairy humanoids with small eyes and broad mouths with enlarged canines. Most non-orcs consider them ugly and uncouth. They're hardy and versatile fighters who are hard to put down, and have excellent hearing. On the other hand, they're violent bullies who lack honor and only respect strength. Orcs shouldn't take any "friendly social" skills (like Rapport) above Fair (+2).

Half-Orcs: The only "natural" half-breed race in Yrth. (It is not clear why humans and orcs can interbreed.) Half-orcs look human, but brutish and unattractive; most people can recognize a half-orc. They're a bit hardier than normal and have better hearing, but are treated like second-class citizens and looked down upon.

Uncommon Races

If you're a member of one of these races, you'll stand out in most crowds and linger in people's minds. On the upshot, people are less likely to know exactly what you can and can't do.

Centaurs: The lower body of a horse with the upper body of a human. They're good with bows and spears, fast, impulsive, and confident (sometimes overly so). Centaurs must take both Athletics and Physique at Average (+1) or higher.

Gnomes: Small and slight, often mistaken for dwarves. They are similarly tough and long-lived, but love nature and prefer to live outdoors instead of underground. They're friendly, outgoing, and make great neighbors.

Hobgoblins: Ancestral kinfolk of the goblins. Large, brutish, and savage. Strong and fast, but dumb as a post, easily angered, and stubborn. Same low-light vision as goblins. Hobgoblins shouldn't take any "smart" skills (like Lore) above Average (+1).

Kobolds: Yes, you can play one, but the only benefit of being a kobold is the ability to eat garbage without issue, since they're very resistant to illness. Otherwise, these small bluish creatures are weak, stupid, have no attention span, and are considered second-class citizens (at best) by everyone. Kobolds shouldn't take any "strong" (like Fighting) or "smart" (like Lore) skills above Average (+1).

Reptile Men: Large, bipedal, carnivorous lizards that just barely quality as a PC-playable race. They are suspicious, prefer hot environments, and have a very hard time understanding and pronouncing other languages. Their claws give them Weapon: 1 even when unarmed, and their scaly skin gives them Armor: 1 in normal clothes. It costs 1 Refresh to play a reptile man.

The Accursed

These "races" used to be human but now are something else. It's possible to start as one or even become one in play; this is rarely considered a good thing! All three must keep their true nature hidden to avoid being lynched.

Ghouls: Cursed (or infected -- no one is sure) to consume dead human flesh, most ghouls live off of carrion, but some kill. Ghouls are strong and hardy, nearly silent (+1 to Stealth vs. hearing), immune to disease, can see in even pitch-black darkness, and have claws and teeth that give them Weapon: 1 even when unarmed. They are universally reviled, however, and can only hide their nature by hiding their appearance. And, of course, their diet is inconvenient. It costs 1 Refresh to play a ghoul.

Lycanthropes: "Weres" -- people who turn into animals. (You may choose to become a bear, boar, giant eagle, python, tiger, or wolf. These are normal creatures, not humanoids.) During the three nights of the full moon, the change is involuntary and the creature is under the GM's control. Otherwise, it's voluntary, but the GM can compel the change if you're under lots of stress! When in animal form, some actions become more difficult while others become easier; the GM will adjust the opposition to reflect this. In all cases, you become more bestial, however: +2 (or more) to the difficulty of any roll involving sapient thought. Lycanthropes do not regenerate; they heal as fast as a normal person. Silver weapons do +1 stress against them.

Vampires: Not the sparkly kind. You live off of (and desperately crave) blood -- a drink that doesn't harm the victim sustains you for a day (or heals one mild consequence), one that kills the victim sustains you for a week (or heals one moderate consequence). You are a bit pale and lack body heat, except right after feeding. Because you're dead, you don't breathe, live forever, and ignore things like drugs, poison, and disease. However, if you go out into the sun, you take 1 stress per minute. Anyone with a religious symbol can spend fate points to compel you with fear, cowering, movement, etc. Your undeath effectively gives you Armor: 1 (not cumulative with actual armor) against anything except holy attacks, fire, sunlight, or stakes through the heart (a called shot which usually adds +2 to the difficulty). It costs 1 Refresh to play a vampire, and you must take Athletics, Notice, and Physique all at Fair (+2) or higher.

Non-Playable Races

These races are either disallowed or are not recommended as PCs. I have not included details like prerequisites or Refresh costs! I've included all of the "underwater only" races here, since we're not playing a game of The Little Mermaid.

Gargoyles: Winged, stony humanoids that live in mountains or on city rooftops.

Giants and Ogres: Giants are huge -- from 9' tall to 20' tall -- fast, and temperamental. Ogres are smaller (7-8' tall) and prefer to be left alone. Both are best avoided. (Also, don't ever call one the other; they hate that!)

Gorgons: "Medusas" -- snake-haired humanoids who can turn you to stone.

Insect Men: Found near the dwarven mountains of Zarak. Chitinous and scary.

Intelligent Animals: Many of Yrth's animals have an "intelligent" part of their populace, where some portion of them are actually sapient. This includes dolphins (nearly all of whom are intelligent), great eagles, horses, octopuses, and owls.

Merfolk: Human on top, fish on bottom. They can breathe air as well as water, but on land they have to be carried around (or drag themselves with their arms)!

Minotaurs: Incredibly strong, bull-headed humanoids. They love battle and slaughter.

Sea Elves: Like elves, but aquatic. Yup.

Shark Men: Like reverse merfolk, with a shark top and humanoid bottom. They can walk and breathe on land, but need to return to the water for at least a few hours a day.

Trolls: Strong, fast, alert, bloodthirsty, regenerating fighters. If you run into one, use fire or run.

Return to Fate Core Fantasy