Monday, September 28, 2009

The Lands of Ara: Extant PC Classes & Races

All of the seven character classes listed in the Labyrinth Lord rulebook (pp. 8-14) EXCEPT Halflings exist in Ara. In Ara, halflings are replaced by rat-like humanoids called rodians; thus, the total list of Arandish classes includes Clerics, Dwarves, Elves, Fighters, Magic-users, Thieves, and Rodians. I reserve the right to abridge and/or modify certain classes on this list in the future, and will very likely add a few custom Arandish classes to the list in time, but for now, these seven are the class options in Ara.

Now, a few words on the origins and geographical distribution of Arandish races:

In Ara, humans predominate. They are found literally everywhere on Ara, and are all thought to be descendants of the ancient humans of the area now known as Noffel.

Arandish dwarves are in fact magically modified humans created and employed as laborers (especially miners) in the long-since-passed Old War between Telengard and Achelon. Tending to prefer underground dwellings, dwarves are fairly abundant in present-day Ara, especially in the east and northeast where most of the largest mountains are found (just as rodians—see below—tend to be found in the south and southwest, near the Bay of Noffel and major seaports). Dwarves have been doing business with and living amongst humans in Ara for a long time; dwarves are well accepted in human culture, live in most major Arandish cities, and are the second-most numerous race in Ara.

There are no halflings in Ara; instead there are rodians, small, ratlike humanoids who are functionally similar to halflings – that is, with all the same basic abilities and Level Progression Table as Labyrinth Lord halflings. [This substitution is similar to James Maliszewski’s use of Goblins as a PC Race; his explanation for why halflings make him nervous agrees with my sentiments.] Rodians are seafaring folk who demonstrate a distinct tendency toward sea piracy and con-artistry.

Like Halflings, Rodians are dexterous folk who get a bonus of +1 to initiative rolls when alone or in a party composed only of rodians. They have keen coordination that grants them +1 on any missile attacks. Because they are so small, rodians have a lower armor class (-2) when attacked by creatures greater than human sized.

Rodians have the same hiding abilities as halflings, but at 3rd level, rodians gain 1st level thief skills, and from 3rd level onward the rodian has thief skills as if s/he were a thief two levels below the rodian’s actual level.

Elves (sometimes referred to as Aldorians) should almost never be PCs in Ara. They are extremely reclusive, living in near-perfect isolation in the Northwestern forests, and do not usually see any reason to fraternize with other races.

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