Category Archives: game material

D&D Race: The Wild Folk (v2)

ruin_explorers

A while ago I posted up my first draft of a new D&D4e race called the “wild folk”. Earlier this week I went crazy working on them more, and came up with a revised version, thanks in part to feedback from folks at RPG.net, and my local friends. I got inspired to do all this because one of my friends is running a one-off 4e game and out of the blue he offered to let me play as one, something I wouldn’t have been bold enough to ask for, but wasn’t about to turn down.

The wild folk are basically a mishmash of races and characters from several different Japanese games. In particular, the Varna from Arianrhod, the weird tribes from the Grandia games, Fam from Ruin Explorers (pictured above), and to a lesser extent some of the part-animal races from Final Fantasy, all became part of it. They’re also a way to play a catgirl in D&D, and I wouldn’t really fault any DM that doesn’t want to use them in his or her campaign. On the plus side, I did some interesting things with their culture, and they have a vivaciousness and optimism that seems to be lacking in the existing D&D races.

I’ve put together an excessively complete write-up, basically the equivalent of a Dragon Magazine race article, plus monster stats. I’m pretty happy with the actual race write-up and the feats. The paragon paths probably need more polish, and the monster stats are… passable at best.

Wild Folk (Beta v2) PDF

Just for fun, I’ve also started statting up the Tabbit race from Sword World 2.0 (little rabbit people who excel at magic), and making a maid class (loosely based on Maid RPG). It’s going to be a quirky defender with some leader elements, and designing it is going to be a total bitch to do.

D&D Race: The Wild Folk

ruin_explorers
Update: I’ve got a revised and expanded version of the wild folk done now.

The Wild Folk are a race for D&D, based on the Varna from Arianrhod, the various tribes you meet in the Grandia games, Fam from Ruin Explorers (pictured above), the Mithra and Viera from Final Fantasy, etc. I’ll also probably use it for the Kurumi Project Part 2. This is my first attempt ever at creating D&D material of any kind, so I have no idea if I’ve created anything remotely worthwhile; feedback would be appreciated. Also, I need to write up some racial feats for them.

01/16/09: I’ve made a few updates based on feedback and random ideas I’ve had.

Wild Folk
A primitive, animalistic people, but strong of heart, self-possessed, and very much at home with nature.

RACIAL TRAITS
Average Height: 4’10”-6’0”
Average Weight: 90-200 lb.
Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light

Languages: Common
Skill Bonuses: +2 Athletics, +2 Nature
Born of the Wild: Regardless of your class, you can select Nature as a class skill. You may re-roll a Nature check once, but you must keep the new result, even if it is lower.
Cornered Animal: Add a +1 racial bonus to attack rolls when bloodied.
Wild Speed: You can use wild speed as an encounter power.

Wild Speed (Wild Folk Racial Power)
Calling up a burst of adrenaline, you surge forward with reckless abandon.
Encounter
Minor Action Personal

Effect: Add a power bonus of +3 to your move and of +2 to your AC against opportunity attacks until the beginning of your next turn.

Born from harsh wilderness, the Wild Folk are a primitive but hardy, spiritual people.

Play one of the Wild Folk if you want…

  • to be an anime-style fantasy character.
  • to see the world through fresh, bright eyes.
  • to play an agile, tricky warrior who reveres nature.
    to be a member of a race that favors the druid, ranger, and rogue classes.

Physical Qualities
Wild Folk basically resemble humans, but with other traits that make them resemble animals in some way. Some have the ears and/or tails of a particular animal (cats, wolves, and rabbits are especially common), some have long, pointed ears, some have horns, and so on. These traits vary from one tribe to the next, but since they can interbreed freely if they so wish, it’s not unknown for there to be at least some variation within a tribe. The table below gives some examples you can use, but you’re free to make up new ones if you wish.

Roll Tribe Description Suggested Feat
1 Alric Ears and tail of a cat Animal Senses
2 Auril Ears and tail of a wolf Alertness
3 Auria Ears and tail of a rabbit High Jump
4 Falm Extra-long elf ears and a cat-tail Improved Initiative
5 Garn Gazelle horns Fast Runner
6 Farus Ram horns Sure Climber

Wild Folk tend to be a bit shorter than humans, but there are some larger ones around, particularly among the males. Their skin tone varies depending on their native environment, anywhere from the pale folk of the northern reaches to the deep brown people of the hot savannas, but most are of a tan color. They often have yellow or green eyes, and among some tribes these are slitted like a cat. Regardless of their skin tone, Wild Folk often have fair hair, though nearly any color in possible.

The Wild Folk mature more quickly than humans, reaching adulthood around the age of 14, and they are relatively short-lived, seldom reaching more than 50 years, even given the benefits of civilization. However, their elders remain active and vigorous as long as they can, right up until they’re too weak to lift a spear.

Playing one of the Wild Folk
The Wild Folk are a tribal people who inhabit untamed lands. Members of the more civilized races sometimes dismiss them as mongrels or savages, but they thrive because they are a vital, ambitious race. Some have suggested that the Wild Folk are descended from humans or elves and magically mixed with various kinds of animals, they themselves believe that their bodies are as they were shortly after the world was made by the Creator.

Left to their own devices, some tribes of Wild Folk have developed villages and small towns, and given enough time they would have likely built a respectable civilization on their own. Contact with other races came a century or two too early for that, and the results of their mixing with the outside world have been mixed. In some places the Wild Folk have carved their own place in the greater world, while in others they are treated as slaves or animals. They normally hate seeing their fellows—or anyone else—in such a state, but their sense of justice is sometimes held back by lingering tribal divisions.

Some expect the Wild Folk to disdain the trappings of civilization, but this is simply untrue. On the whole, they are pragmatic enough to take full advantage of anything beneficial that they can lay their hands on. More than one elven wizard, genasi swordmage, or dwarven artificer has found an enthusiastic and insistent would-be student in one of the Wild Folk. These ambitions don’t always pan out, of course, but it is seldom for lack of trying.

In contrast, the Wild Folk are a very spiritual people. Although they have been known to take up the worship of the gods of other lands—and even other races!—the Wild Folk are more typically animists, giving praise and thanks to the natural world. There is the Creator who made the world, and the Dark Lady, who watches over the world and brings the embrace of death when the time comes. To them, each day and everything in it are treasures to be savored, gifts that we are allowed to claim if the whimsical Dark Lady allows. Most Wild Folk find the more typical forms of worship—building temples and anointing clerics and paladins—a bit silly. After all, everything is holy, and one need only listen closely to be anointed. When Wild Folk do adopt more common gods, they often gravitate towards the likes of Avandra, Corellon, and Melora, who also revel in freedom and natural beauty. On the other hand, when they do, they sometimes surprise fellow members of those temples by doggedly retaining their original notions of the Creator and the Dark Lady.

Wild Folk adventurers are seeking to “sing loudly,” as they are fond of saying. Whatever they do, they want to have fun and touch the world. Where dragonborn want to become legends and dwarves hope to become a part of their clans’ litanies of heroes, the Wild Folk simply want to experience all there is to experience, and help others do the same. So, they sing.

Wild Folk Characteristics: Clever, curious, fearless, feral, honest, simple, playful, practical, spiritual, unrelenting

Male Names: Api, Bahut, Dawa, Gilan, Ku, Kurnu, Mayu, Mor, Paku, Panya, Uaku, Wira

Female Names: Awa, Aysay, Haa, Lia, Kari, Maki, Maya, Melia, Miki, Oa, Riti, Tia

Wild Folk Adventurers
Three sample Wild Folk adventurers are described below.

Shyla is a Wild Folk druid, formerly of the Klathu tribe of wolf-people. Formerly, because the tribe fell to a band of orcs. She watched her entire tribe slain or enslaved, the forests razed. She escaped with a handful of children. Now that she’s found a home for those children, it is time for revenge. She has joined with others wronged by the Gargen orcs, and together they will set out on a mission of vengeance.

Mao is a Wild Folk ranger who must complete a long quest before he can succeed his father a chieftain. Like all the men of his particular tribe, he underwent an initiation process to prove that he could build canoes, hunt for food, use the bow and knives and spear, and so on. However, a chieftain must undergo a second initiation, to become something more than a man. The task the elders have set for him is a difficult one, but he faces it because he must. He has made friends from outside his tribe who are teaching him about the world, but he is sure that the final test is one he will have to face alone.

Zola is a Wild Folk rogue, abandoned in a human city when she was young. She grew up on the streets, and while she knows little of her own people, she knows the back streets of the city like the back of her hand. While she does make sure to keep her own purse full, she also steals food for orphan children, despite the fact that they’ve become convinced that pulling on her tail is good luck. She’d been dodging the city watch for ages, but when she tried to steal from a wizard, she finally overextended herself. With the city watch and some bounty hunters after the crystal she’s carrying, she talked a band of adventurers into letting her join them, and is well on her way out of the kingdom entirely.

Wild Folk Racial Feats (Heroic Tier)
Animal Senses [Wild Folk]
Prerequisite: Wild Folk
Benefit: You gain a +2 feat bonus to Perception checks where your senses of hearing or smell come into play.

High Jump [Wild Folk]
Prerequisite: Wild Folk
Benefit: Add a +4 feat bonus to Athletics checks made for jumping (see PHB pp. 182-3).

Wild Weapon Training [Wild Folk]
Prerequisite: Wild Folk
Benefit: You gain proficiency and a +2 feat bonus to damage with spears and short bows.

Two Roles For octaNe

If I’d thought about it, I would’ve posted this a while ago. I finally got around to playing octaNe a few months ago with my friends, and I wound up devising a couple of new roles. One was inspired by an artbook I picked up at Comic-Con, and the other is undoubtedly from my association with a certain RPG about maids. (Now if only the Japan sourcebook that it alludes to repeatedly had come to fruition…)

Role: Mariachi Samurai
Profile: You were once an ordinary mariachi, making your living using your guitar to make beautiful music with your friends. Then a man killed your friends, and your wife. Then another man offered you the means to take your revenge. You were trained in a secret dojo in the depths of a blasted cityscape, trained in the ancient hypersonic killing style of swordsmanship. And yet, unlike those who came before you, you use your sword to protect the weak. You sweep into town, right the wrongs, stop for a drink, and leave without another word.
Stomping Ground: New Texaco, The Wastelands
Quote: “Amigo, I don’ think you wanna’ do that.”
Mode: Psychotronic
Gear: Massive samurai sword, sixguns, sombrero, cigars
Styles: Daring, Might
Skills: Swordfighting, quick-draw, stoic

Role: Rogue Battle Maid
Profile: You were brought to the Maid School as a young girl, and every day they subjected you to a brutal training regimen. The only thing more perfect than your etiquette and housework is your combat prowess. You were taught to protect a rich Master, but when your last Master died you were left to find your own way. Now it’s up to you to seek your own destiny.
Stamping Grounds: Anywhere
Quote: “You’ve made a really terrible mess. And as usual, it falls to me to clean it up.” (Readies her machinegun)
Mode: Psychotronic
Gear: Dangerous-looking weapon of choice, maid uniforms, cleaning supplies
Styles: Daring, Charm
Skills: Fight like a girl, cook and clean, act ridiculously polite, seduction, protection