The human race is not the only race in the world of Fortannis. There are many mythical and unusual races, such as Elves, Dwarves, Hoblings, Wylderkin, and other more exotic races. Within each race, there are various cultures that define the race even further. This provides for the widest possible amount of character development.
Playing your race means knowing and understanding your race's culture and society in your particular campaign—just like not all Humans are alike, you shouldn't expect all Elves to act identically. Some races have their culture based on certain societies in our own world and other races are purely fantastic like Wylderkin or Hoblings. Others are based on popular mythology or folklore. Still other races such as the Biata have been created from scratch, providing a unique aspect to our game.
Descriptions of each race follow. There are more detailed "race packets" available to download from the Alliance web page, and your local campaign will have information on the local culture(s) of that race.
Make up and Prop Requirements:
All races other than Human have a makeup and/or prop requirement associated with it. If you wish to play one of these races, you must wear the appropriate makeup or props to distinguish yourself.
Any props (such as Elf ears) must be worn at all times, even under a hood or when hidden by hair. You cannot use makeup to represent Biata eyebrows, High Ogre and High Orc teeth, or Hobling sideburns. If you have a real beard and wish to play a Dwarf, the beard must be braided so that it is clear you are a Dwarf and not just a bearded Human (if your beard isn't long enough to braid, then you will have to wear a fake beard over your real one.) If you play a race that requires makeup, all exposed skin must be covered with the appropriate makeup. If you don't want to paint your hands, gloves are a good substitute.
The rules were specifically designed to take into consideration the relative discomfort and bother these things will give you and to compensate you accordingly with beneficial skills and plot for your race. Thus, if you want the benefits of your racial skills, you must take the disadvantages (which include the make-up) as well. You cannot be a Hobling who shaves their sideburns or a High Orc without protruding teeth. You must not only act the race, you must also look the race. If you do not, you will not be allowed to continue playing the race and will be forcibly changed into a boring Human.
You cannot wear makeup to disguise yourself to appear as a race you are not, nor can you act in such a way as to mislead others as to your race. If you are not playing a High Orc or a Stone Elf for instance, you cannot dress, talk and act like one.
You must abide by your racial characteristics. You cannot write your history to be the "outsider" of your race and be the one High Orc who is an elocution professor, the one Stone Elf who is easily overcome with emotion, or the one Biata who hangs out in the Celestial Mages' Guild.
There is no such thing as a true "half" race. If your character history has your father as an Elf and your mother as a Human, that is fine, but you can only take the attributes of one of those races. You can tell everyone you're "half Elf/half Human" if you want, but in our game, you are one race or the other. You must then take all the advantages, disadvantages and physical characteristics of that single race and none of the unique characteristics of the other. It should always be very clear to everyone exactly what race you are.
Nor can you be raised by another race and thus take on the characteristics of that race. A Hobling raised by Stone Elves will still act, look, and dress like a Hobling. After all, a dog raised in a house full of cats may become more tolerant to felines, but he will never meow or ask for a saucer of milk.
Remember, the Alliance uses the word "race" differently from the real world meaning. Races in the game are unique species, evolving (or being created) in vastly disparate ways. They are not merely minor variants of the same creature. A Biata is not a Human with feathers.
These role-playing rules are put in place to allow players to make assumptions about the races. When you see someone wearing pointed ears, you know that they may have certain abilities such as Resist Command and that may change your strategy with dealing with them. You can conclude that every Biata you see will dislike celestial magic and every Dwarf will appreciate and study well-made weapons. Every race must act like and be identifiable as that race by all other players. By adhering to racial characteristics, this fantasy world of ours becomes much more real.
This adds up to more fun for you as well. By playing your race properly, other members of that race (and the NPCs of that race) will be more willing to role-play with you, get you involved in their plots, and otherwise include you in the goings-on of that race.
The Racial Chart gives a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each race. It does not list makeup and prosthetic requirements as disadvantages because they are not "skills"; however, they are definite requirements.
- Dark Elf
- High Ogre
- High Orc
- Stone Elf
Many players have the dream of playing monster characters as their PCs. The thought of playing a goblin PC or werewolf PC or vampire PC can be lots of fun for the player, but is not allowed by the Alliance rules.
The Alliance game system is designed to be fairly balanced between all of the classes. Monster abilities were never meant to be given to players, because it would throw that balance off.
PC “monsters” only foster unwanted conflicts between players. PCs playing these monsters are bound to be attacked or hunted down by other players, and the hard feelings that erupt from players who are trying to play true to their monster form often turn into out-of-game arguments. PC verses PC conflicts are important to the game, but when one PC is seen as having an unfair advantage due to powers that cannot be achieved by other PCs, then out-of-game arguments ensue.
Most importantly, it should be noted that monsters are all controlled by the Plot Committee. This allows us to monitor and properly scale events to make sure that the challenges out there are proper for the level of the player base. It also allows us to decide when NPCs are to enter the game and how they will act, and when to pull them if things are getting out of control or if the direction of the game needs tweaking.
PC monsters throw all that out the window, because unlike NPCs, PCs have free will. With PC monsters out there, the Plot Committee spends all its time trying to deal with these wild cards instead of running its own plots. (Believe us, this is not just a worry; it’s based on experience. We’ve learned from our mistakes in the past.)
If you become cursed to turn into a vampire or werewolf in-game, you will be completely under the control of the Plot Committee for the time when you are cursed. You will only be allowed to change into your new form when the Plot Committee tells you. Once changed, you are a temporary NPC under the control of the Committee and must act as the Plot Committee instructs you, even if it is harmful to your character.