With the core archetypes decided, I can now determine the core races. Each archetype will be available to humans, and many to one other race as well.
- Clerics and Paladins are human servants of the fallen goddess Yahalla; only humans can take these archetypes.
- Barbarian is available to humans and trolls.
- Myrmidon is available to humans and dwarves.
- Stalker is available to humans and elves.
- Wizard is available to humans and gnomes.
I like the idea of tying each of the core races to an element. In the past, I’ve tied dwarves to storm magic, trolls to earth magic, elves to light or nature (earth) magic, and gnomes to flame magic. Here’s what I’m playing with for now…
- Tie dwarves to frost magic… I have this iconic (to me) Jim Holloway Dragon Magazine cover in mind, where a clan of dwarves moves through the snow-covered mountains, finding one of their comrades frozen in a block of ice. The concept of the myrmidon as this unemotional machine that cuts through foes in a methodical fashion fits the ‘cold’ nature of dwarves.
- Tie trolls to storm magic; this makes sense with their berserker rage ability as barbarians.
- Tie gnomes to flame (still); I like the idea of ‘forge gnomes’ as keepers of knowledge, and this makes sense for a wizard connection.
- Elves are where I run into trouble… I see the stalker class as more of an assassin thing… if we tie elves to the moon and make them more mysterious, we can make them ‘nature-based’, but also make them creatures that thrive in twilight. They don’t particularly like bright day or night, but they exist (Midsummer Night’s Dream style) on this borderline between worlds. This also makes them somewhat more interesting than the classic view of elves that I’ve held. I’m really sort of blending my ‘dusk elf’ and ‘dawn elf’ concepts into a single core elfin race- mysterious, aloof, generally good-natured, but dubious of trusting outsiders. In short, I think they are more interesting…