Thursday, August 28, 2014

Beardy Wimmen

Continuing on with the Dwarf theme, where are all the Dwarf women? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think a female Dwarf has ever been featured in a Fighting Fantasy publication (nor a Dwarf juvenile, for that matter). So where are all the beardy womenfolk?

Do they even exist at all? Or are all Dwarfs male. Perhaps they spring out of the ground fully-grown, or are planted like particularly hairy Cabbage Patch Kids? Maybe male Dwarfs can carry young around in their beer bellies?

If Dwarf women do exist, why aren't they out mining and advenuring with their male counterparts? Do Dwarfs have strict gender roles, perhaps where women are restricted to all the hard work (cooking, cleaning, raising Dwarflings) while the men do all the fun ale-quaffing and orc-clobbering?

Or maybe Dwarf women are revered and hoarded away in their fortresses like precious jewels? Throff, chief deity and creator of the Dwarfs, is a woman, so its entirely possible that female Dwarfs fulfil religious duties. Dwarf priests may only be females? That would explain why they are rarely seen abroad.

In any case, its a mystery without a firm answer as yet. What do you all think out there in the Abyss?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dwarf Players for AFF

Here is a more in-depth look at creating a Dwarf player for Advanced Fighting Fantasy. As always your thoughts and opinions are appreciated.

Doughty warriors and skilled craftsmen, Dwarfs are a long-lived race that enjoys three things above all: gold, ale and a good tale of heroic deeds. The allure of potential treasure or a monstrous opponent can sometimes be enough to lure a Dwarf from the comfort of his underground stronghold and into an adventuring party.

Personality: Most Dwarfs are earthy in character, favouring plain speaking and plainer actions. They prefer to take things slowly and surely, but can be quick to anger if slighted. They can also be honourable beings, however, and they appreciate bravery and good fighting. Above all, Dwarfs love precious jewels and metals, and they spend much of their time mining it from the earth and securing it away.

Physical Description: A typical Dwarf stands only a metre tall. They almost always have a long bushy beard, which they take great pride in growing and grooming. Their clothes are usually made from fine worked leather, covered with a light cuirass of strong Dwarfish mail. They favour wielding hewing weapons such as battle-axes and war-hammers.

Relations: Dwarfs tolerate, work and live alongside humans in many parts of Titan, therefore adventuring alongside them is also no issue. Some Dwarfs do not like Elves, owing to an ancient and traditional quarrel, but there have also been several notable adventuring partnerships between an Elf and a Dwarf.
Dwarfs loathe and despise Orcs, Goblins and other evil, non-human races; it would take an extraordinary event to convince a Dwarf to work alongside one without bloodshed!

Alignment: Dwarfs are generally followers of Good, upholding the ways of peace and justice wherever they lay their axe. There are examples of evil Dwarfs, such as the denizens of Mirewater, but they are extremely rare.

Dwarf Lands: Large communities of Dwarfs can be found across Titan, but most commonly in northern Allansia, such as Stonebridge and Fangthane. Dwarf adventurers are slightly less common in the more southerly lands.

Religion: Dwarfs worship the earth goddess Throff (whom they know as KerillĂ®m) with surprising intensity.  Dwarf priests will never be found outside of their subterranean, jewel-encrusted temples.

Language: The native Dwarf tongue is known as dethungar. It is never spoken in the presence of non-Dwarfs. Their writing consists of simple runes, which they often chisel into stone and engrave into metalwork.

Names: Bakulor, Bigleg, Biltur, Corin, Darkflint, Fangnir, Gillibran, Habul, Harlak, Hellura, Kagand, Littlebig, Lokimur, Roxsir, Stoneharrow, Stubb, Thorgrim, Trumble, Ulgrad, Wendle.

Racial Traits: A Dwarf Hero receives an additional 2 points to their Initial STAMINA score, to reflect their stocky frames and hardy metabolisms. 

They will also receive one point in the Underground Lore and Crafting Special Skills, as well as three points in Languages (Common) and four points in Languages (Dwarfish). Note that the Dwarfish language encompasses both the spoken dethungar and the written Dwarfish runes.

In addition a Dwarf Hero also starts with the Dark Seeing Talent.

Many Dwarfs lack experience in riding horses, and may have difficulty in doing so. When it comes to checking for actions such as hiding and sneaking, a Dwarf will count as Small in size.

Magic: Dwarfs prefer to shun magic in favour of a sharp battle-axe. Dwarfish spell casters are very, very rare, and usually still carry an axe as part of their equipment. The few spells they do use are very specialized, such as casting sharpness into an axe, or for searching out the purest seams of gold ore deep underground. Dwarf priests are slightly more common, but will almost never be encountered above ground.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Centaur Players for AFF

Here are some rules for playing a Centaur character in AFF. I cobbled it together from information in Allansia and Out of the Pit, and the guidelines for creating new player races in AFF (p.153-155). Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. :)

Centaurs are strange creatures with the upper quarters of a human and the lower quarters of a horse. Proud and fierce warriors, they usually remain confined to the grassy plains of their homelands, but young warriors sometimes choose to leave their tribe and seek their fortune elsewhere. 

Centaurs are brave and doughty warriors, fearless in battle to an almost suicidal degree. Noble and haughty, they place great value in martial prowess and personal reputation. The pettiest of disputes or slights against their honour are swiftly settled with cold steel. Much importance is also placed on family, as Centaurs see themselves as descendants of a lineage that stretches back through the generations to the very first horses. They will always talk of themselves as being ‘son of X, son of Y, son of Z’ and so on.
Physical Description
The average height of a Centaur is just over two metres tall. Because of the nature of their bodies Centaurs do not make ideal adventurers. Subterranean exploration, for example, can be a difficult process. Out in the open is another matter entirely. They are able to run far faster than any humanoid, even when bearing a heavy load.
In times of war they may combine human armour and horse barding to provide comprehensive protection.

Centaurs have had mixed dealings with humans and elves, and as a result are apt to be wary of the intentions of such races. Indeed, many tribes indulge in the hunting and eating of humans with scant regard for their racial similarities.
Most humanoid races look down upon Centaurs as little more than brutish savages. They can sometimes be found serving alongside Orcs and Trolls in the armies of Evil, where their appetite for battle is sure to be sated.

 Strongly neutral creatures, Centaurs will do whatever is required to keep themselves alive and their saddlebags full of gold. They hold allegiance to no one but themselves and their tribe, but may grant grudging respect to anyone who has proven their worth in battle.

Centaur Lands
 Centaurs favour warm grasslands, such as the Pagan and Windward Plains of northern Allansia, the Pikestaff Plain in north-eastern Khul, or the vast steppes of Lendleland in the Old World.
Centaur Heroes will be considered by other centaurs to have abandoned their tribesmen, and should expect an icy reception if they return to their native land.

 Centaurs believe themselves to be horses that were cursed for some past misdeed by the great Hunnynhaa, Lord of Horses, and forced to suffer the indignity of a sluggish human body. They delight in the telling and singing of tales that speak of their curse and their desire to be free of it.
Despite their sometimes savage nature, they are at heart a spiritual people and are always in touch with the land.

 Centaurs have their own oral language (which has no written form) but can usually also speak Common. They can also communicate with any horse.

 Centaurs can use magic with no penalties. They tend to favour spells which increase personal strength and courage. Centaur Priests may worship most of the standard deities, particularly Fourga and Telak, but their chief deity will always be Hunnynhaa.

Racial Traits
 A newly created Centaur Hero starts out with the following characteristics:
A Centaur Hero receives 2 an additional points to his Initial STAMINA score, to reflect his greater body mass and resultant strength.
They will also receive one point in the Hunting and Plains Lore Special Skills, as well as two points in Languages (Common), and four points in Languages (Centaur).
In addition a Centaur Hero will start with the Fleet-footed Talent.
A Centaur Hero may not choose any of the following Special Skills: Acrobatics, Mounted Combat, Ride. These abilities are plainly of little use to a Centaur. Most others, however, can be chosen and used without modification.
Note that, for combat purposes, a Centaur’s definition of a ‘narrow corridor’ will be wider than that for a human.
A Centaur Hero will have all the same modifiers as for someone on horseback when it comes to rolls for escaping and the like. A Centaur’s Jump can be up to twice a human’s distance or height. All Sneak rolls incur a -2 penalty due to their size and shape; certain situations may prove success to be impossible. Similarly, a Centaur counts as Large for Hide rolls. It is assumed that a Centaur can carry as many ‘items’ as it has current STAMINA points. Any Climb rolls will incur penalty of -3, unless the surface is sufficiently open, level and stable enough to allow its hoofs to grip.