This is part of the Echelon RPG Development series. Here are links to other articles of the series:
- Game Design: Bucking the Trend
- Normal Distribution Resolution
- Apotheosis & Echelon Core Traits
- Secondary Traits of Echelon
- Echelon Archetypes
- Echelon Species Part 1
Species is another important element of character development. While Species may enhance Attributes and provide other benefits, each Species also gives characters a unique perspective of the world and have distinctive cultures. This culture should be mined for roleplaying opportunities and guidelines on how to have characters interact with each other and their environment. Of course, the details of that culture are entirely up to the Game Masters and the players.
Each Species description includes adjustments for Attributes, Favored Abilities, Languages, Size, Speed, and any Special Qualities associated with it. When adjusting Attributes and recording Favored Abilities, if any modifiers are listed inside parentheses (), then the player may choose to apply one or the other, but not both.
Languages listed in parentheses are bonus languages and may be purchased at Character Creation for 2 Experience each. After Character Creation, a character may learn any language he has had an opportunity to study by purchasing ranks in the Linguistics Advantage. The Game Master will determine whether or not there has been sufficient exposure or access to learn a particular language.
[Designer’s Note: I plan on expanding the descriptions of each language later]
Basic Species can be chosen at character creation without spending additional Experience. Some Species may not be appropriate for the particular adventure, story, or campaign that the Game Master is conducting, so choices still need to be approved by the GM.
Automatons are constructs that have been given the spark of true life. Whether through accident or design, these golems have acquired real intelligence and even emotion, however subdued that emotion may be. Most automatons are unique and have no connection to one another, though rumors exist of gifted artificers and even entire factories that produce entire batches of intelligent constructs. Many automatons were manufactured to be guards, though a few have a talent for the same art that created them.
Attribute Bonus: +2 to any Body Attribute, -2 Spirit
Favored Abilities: (Artifice or Martial)
Languages: Common, Primitus, (Creator’s Language)
Size: 5 (Medium)
Speed: 20 ft.
Darkvision 30 ft.
Hardened Fist: Unarmed attacks deal 1d6 points of lethal damage.
Living Construct: Automatons are immune to effects with the Disease, Fear, Healing, Morale, Necrotic, Paralysis, Poison, Sleep, and Stun descriptors. Automatons are also immune to fatigue, exhaustion, nonlethal damage and do not need to sleep (but may rest and gain the appropriate benefits). Automatons receive a +4 bonus to Resolve against Powers with the Mind descriptor. Automatons regain Vitality with time as normal and may benefit from effects with the Repair descriptor.
Dwarves are as stubborn and unyielding as the stone they work in their mountain halls. The most talented blacksmiths and masons hail from this short but bulky race. Dwarves sport long beard that they decorate with intricate baubles forged by their master smiths. In fact, dwarves are born with beards, so if you ever see a dwarf without one, he is surely an outcast. Dwarves have nurtured a strong warrior class due to their preferred habitat, though they often take to the art of creation and have affinity for the powers of the Wylde.
Attribute Bonus: +1 Constitution, +1 Wisdom, -1 Dexterity
Favored Abilities: Martial, (Artifice or Wyldcraft)
Languages: Common, Lithos, (Gargon, Gnomish, Goblinite, Orkish, Sylvan, Titanspeak)
Size: 5 (Medium)
Speed: 20 ft.
Darkvision 60 ft.
Final Stand: [N/A] Cost: 10V; Action: Full Round; Range: Personal; Effect: As long as the dwarf chooses not to move, he becomes immune to effects which force movement (barring situation where the ground beneath his feet is actually modified). In addition, the dwarf does not fall unconscious upon reaching 0 Vitality. Upon reaching 0 Vitality, any additional injuries affects Vigor instead. Once a dwarf reaches 0 Vigor, he falls unconscious. Should the dwarf choose to move or fall unconscious, the effect ends.
Rocksteady: Dwarves gain a +2 Species bonus to Defense against made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
Slow and Steady: While a dwarf moves slower than average for medium size races, he does not reduce his movement due to armor or heavy load. Terrain and magical effects still affect dwarves normally.
Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with dwarven waraxes, dwarven urgoshes, throwing hammers, and warhammers.
Elementines are scions of great elemental warlords that once inhabited the lands. While their command of the elemental forces of nature has winnowed through the ages, the elementines still possess strong affinities for their element. Many elementines are accomplished sorcerers while many more become druids or protectors of areas with strong ties to the elemental planes. Once the elementines controlled vast kingdoms, but now only small kingdoms and duchies exist. Elementine characters must choose an ancestry: Fireborn, Earthborn, Waterborn, or Windborn.
Attribute Bonus: +1 Spirit, (+1 Constitution, +1 Dexterity, +1 Strength, +1 Wisdom), -1 Intelligence
Favored Abilities: Leadership, (Sorcery or Wyldecraft)
Languages: Common, Primordial, (Gargon, Primitus, Sylvan)
Size: 5 (Medium)
Speed: 30 ft.
Charismatic: +2 to Social Skill Checks
Darkvision 30 ft.
Burning Strength: +1 Strength.
Damage Abatement: DA 2/Fire.
Flameblast: [Fire] Cost: 5A; Action: Standard; Range: 10 ft.; Target: 1 opponent; Attack: Accuracy vs. Reflex; Hit: 1d4 + Apotheosis.
Damage Abatement: DA 2/Bludgeoning.
Granite Fortitude: +1 Constitution.
Rockflesh: [Earth] Cost: 5V; Action: Move; Range: Personal; Effect: +2 DA/- for 5 Rounds, end effect as a Free Action.
Damage Abatement: DA 2/Cold.
Deep Insight: +1 Wisdom.
Waterwalk: [Water] Cost: 5A; Action: Standard; Range: Personal; Effect: Treat non-magical water as a hard surface for 4 rounds, end effect as a Free Action.
Airy Agility: +1 Dexterity.
Damage Abatement: DA 2/Electricity.
Gaseous: [Air] Cost: 5A; Action: Standard; Range: Personal; Effect: Become Insubstantial for 2 rounds, end effect as a Free Action.
What Does It Mean?
You may be seeing some formatting, terminology, and numbers that make absolutely zero sense. That’s fine, because I have yet to explain what it all means. I wanted to post a teaser of what I have been working on, so come back next time for an in-depth explanation of a Species entry.