HomeRules And VariantsBreakfast CrunchStrange Breeds (FantasyCraft)

Strange Breeds

I started playing D&D around early November of 1978.

I started designing my first dungeon about a week later.

I started designing my first RPG around December 1978. (And by "design", I mean, basically copied the randomly incoherent version of D&D we were playing (Holmes Basic+ 1e PHB +1e MM +Greyhawk,Blackmoor, EW), changed a few attribute names, and added rayguns and horta. So, basically, I was presaging Palladium. But I digress.)

The point of this ramble is that the instant I take an interest in something, I want to make it my own. I learned to read and started to write. I read comic books and wanted to draw them. I discovered computers and learned to program them. I was on an early OGL mailing list, and we got, a few weeks before the "official" release, a WORD doc for the D&D 3e PHB, and I ran a game in it that weekend, and in that game was an original monster or two — without any idea how to make a monster in 3e, I just looked at the sample stat blocks and tweaked numbers until it "felt right". (Thus, I presaged 4e monster design. But I digress again.)

I am also of the general belief that the only way to learn to swim is to jump into the deep end. Thus, despite having only purchased the excellent FantasyCraft game at this year’s GenCon, and despite not having actually, y’know, played it yet, I am publically posting, for general ridicule and derision, my first tweaks, enhancements, extensions, and so on. My reasoning is simple — I’m on a business trip, I can’t pack all my 4e books but I can pack FantasyCraft, so, there you go.

Anyway, on to the actual topic of this article. One of FantasyCraft’s coolest features is the way in which racial variants and sub-races are handled. The included selection is pretty good — amazing, in fact, with the ability to play everything from golems to giants to dragons at first level, with easy flexibility — be a fire-tainted human or a hellspawned elf with just one feat expenditure! (ECL? Wuzzat?) However, there’s always room for more, and this article will toss in  a few new Species Feats for your consideration.

Read on!

Horde Of The Twisted Legions

Many orcs were forced into the service of mad and evil wizards, often with names which were unknown, unpronounceable, or both. Generations of being bred in the vicinity of dark magics changed these orcs, giving them gifts which astounded and terrified their fellows. Their mage-tainted blood runs in your veins.

Prerequisite: Orc, level 1 only.

Benefit: Intelligence rises by 2, and Mage is an iconic class for you. However, your error range with Spellcasting checks can never be less than 1.

Design Notes: I like the idea of the orc slaves of the Generic Evil Wizard picking up an innate "gift" for casting, and this looks balanced with the other species traits. It also makes it easier to build primary caster types for orcs, which can include shamans and others who rely heavily on spells. The error range limit is a nice way to model the fact that, no matter what, you’re still an orc and magic can never be completely understood by you…

Born To The Man-Tunnels

Not every goblin tags along with the orcs! A fair number have taken up residence in the vast sewer and catacomb complexes that lie under any human city of any size, and these folk have learned to be canny and quick. They are sometimes called Sewer Goblins.

Prerequisite: Goblin, level 1 only.

Benefit: Burglar is an iconic class for you. In addition, you gain +2 to Dex.

Desert Clutch

The hot deserts have given rise to race of strong, hardy, lizard folk renowned as great mercenaries.

Prerequisite: Saurian, Level 1 ony.

Benefit: Your Strength increases by 1, your thick hide increases by 1, and you gain a +2 bonus on Survival and Tactics checks. You gain lumbering.

Design Notes: The "Jungle Clutch" entry implies Saurians are supposed to gain Thick Hide, but I don’t see it it in the book. Assuming that’s an error, this makes your hide thicker. If Jungle Clutch is in error, change this to "Gain thick hide 3". This "clutch" was inspired by Arduin’s "desert Saurigs" and the classic Gorn.

This material is published under the Open Game License. The full license is on the next page. You don’t need to read it unless you really, really, like legalese.

Designation of Open Game Content: All text from and including "Horde Of The Twisted Legions" and the beginning of this license is Open Game Content, except for any paragraph beginning with "Design Notes".

The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000
Wizards of the Coast, Inc (“Wizards”). All Rights Reserved.
1. Definitions: (a) “Contributors” means the copyright and/or trademark owners who have contributed Open Game Content; (b) “Derivative Material” means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; (c) “Distribute” means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute; (d) “Open Game Content” means the game mechanic and includes the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent such content does not embody the Product Identity and is an enhancement over the prior art and any additional content clearly identified as Open Game Content by the Contributor, and means any work covered by this License, including translations and derivative works under copyright law, but specifically excludes Product Identity. (e) “Product Identity” means product and product line names, logos and identifying marks including trade dress; artifacts; creatures, characters; stories, storylines, plots, thematic elements, dialogue, incidents, language, artwork, symbols, designs, depictions, likenesses, formats, poses, concepts, themes and graphic, photographic and other visual or audio representations; names and descriptions of characters, spells, enchantments, personalities, teams, personas, likenesses and special abilities; places, locations, environments, creatures, equipment, magical or supernatural abilities or effects, logos, symbols, or graphic designs; and any other trademark or registered trademark clearly identified as Product identity by the owner of the Product Identity, and which specifically excludes the Open Game Content; (f) “Trademark” means the logos, names, mark, sign, motto, designs that are used by a Contributor to identify itself or its products or the associated products contributed to the Open Game License by the Contributor (g) “Use”, “Used” or “Using” means to use, Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of Open Game Content. (h) “You” or “Your” means the licensee in terms of this agreement.

2. The License: This License applies to any Open Game Content that contains a notice indicating that the Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of this License. You must affix such a notice to any Open Game Content that you Use. No terms may be added to or subtracted from this License except as described by the License itself. No other terms or conditions may be applied to any Open Game Content distributed using this License.

3. Offer and Acceptance: By Using the Open Game Content You indicate Your acceptance of the terms of this License.

4. Grant and Consideration: In consideration for agreeing to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Game Content.

5. Representation of Authority to Contribute: If You are contributing original material as Open Game Content, You represent that Your Contributions are Your original creation and/or You have sufficient rights to grant the rights conveyed by this License.

6. Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder’s name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open Game Content you Distribute.

7. Use of Product Identity: You agree not to Use any Product Identity, including as an indication as to compatibility, except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of each element of that Product Identity. You agree not to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark. The use of any Product Identity in Open Game Content does not constitute a challenge to the ownership of that Product Identity. The owner of any Product Identity used in Open Game Content shall retain all rights, title and interest in and to that Product Identity.

8. Identification: If you distribute Open Game Content You must clearly indicate which portions of the work that you are distributing are Open Game Content.

9. Updating the License: Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.

10. Copy of this License: You MUST include a copy of this License with every copy of the Open Game Content You Distribute.

11. Use of Contributor Credits: You may not market or advertise the Open Game Content using the name of any Contributor unless You have written permission from the Contributor to do so.

12. Inability to Comply: If it is impossible for You to comply with any of the terms of this License with respect to some or all of the Open Game Content due to statute, judicial order, or governmental regulation then You may not Use any Open Game Material so affected.

13. Termination: This License will terminate automatically if You fail to comply with all terms herein and fail to cure such breach within 30 days of becoming aware of the breach. All sublicenses shall survive the termination of this License.

14. Reformation: If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.

Open Game License v1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Rules Document Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Spycraft 2.0 Rulebook, Copyright 2005, Alderac Entertainment Group, Inc.; Authors Alexander Flagg, Scott Gearin, and Patrick Kapera.
Spycraft Espionage Handbook Copyright 2002, Alderac Entertainment Group, Inc.; Authors Patrick Kapera and Kevin Wilson.
"Strange Breeds" from
http://www.mrlizard.com Copyright 2009; Author Lizard


Strange Breeds (FantasyCraft) — No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>