Friday, July 9, 2010

Pars Fortuna Preview #2 - Races of Pars Fortuna (with ART!)

A month back I hired Jon Ascher, a gentleman known on DeviantArt as Pachycrocuta, to draw the odd, randomly generated races that populate the world of PARS FORTUNA, and boy did he knock it out of the park. I had him draw the races in groups of 4 (there are 12 total) and have now received the inked drawings and want to share them with everyone, along with some brief descriptions of the races, how they will be presented in the game and where they fit into the rules and setting.

The tall "gentleman" is a BO'AL. The bo'al are a race of hermaphrodites with bluish-green to deep green waxy skin reminiscent of the skin of a dolphin. In the setting, they dwell on a wide prairie bisected by a great river and crisscrossed with hundreds of canals, locks and irrigated fields. Nicknamed the engineers, they are taught from a young age the disciplines of mathematics, physics and architecture. Bo'al respect hard work and personal liberty - they're happy to come together for a cause, but dislike the concept of kings. They are usually jovial sorts, and intensely curious about how things work.

In game terms, bo'al are one of the "skill" classes - and by this, I mean you tend to have three sorts of classes in class-based games - the fighting classes (good attack bonus, best hit dice, worst saving throws), the magic classes (spells, low attack bonus, low hit points, good saving throws) and the skill classes, which muddle about in the middle. The bo'al get a bonus to detect sloping passages, sliding walls, secret doors and large, room-sized traps (most folk do it on a 1 in 6, they do it on a 2 in 6), as befits their skill in engineering. They also have some skill at disabling traps, setting traps and repairing damaged items. Adding to their usefulness, they can withstand a pretty good amount of damage - they get an extra hit dice at 1st level and can regenerate some damage after each battle. So, the bo'al is a skill class with a nod towards combat.

At the center of the group is an ILEL, nicknamed the imperials. The ilel are a race of clones - copies of a former marshal of the Empire of Vex grown in vats to form a personal guard for the emperor. They have skin the color of burnished gold, hair as black as night, solid black eyes and a well developed sense of megalomania - probably why they now run the empire they were hired to protect. Ilel are accomplished swordsmen, specializing in fighting with broadsword and a wavy-bladed dagger called a kris. They are haughty and arrogant, often treating their comrades as henchmen, and if not for their ability to cut a path of red ruin through their enemies, they wouldn't be tolerated.

The ilel is a fighting class. They are mobile fighters, so less armor but a boost in initiative. They also have some bonuses when fighting with two weapons (higher bonus to hit and the ability to trade their bonus to hit for a bonus to AC round by round). Because of their commanding attitude (and admitted skill at command) they improve the fighting-ability of their henchmen (no, not the other player characters, even if the ilel treats them like henchmen) and can have one henchman more than their charisma score would normally allow.

Next to the ilel is a CALEDJULA. The caledjula's claim to fame is their ability to fly without the need of wings. Caledjula have tawny to reddish fur, pupil less white eyes, huge ears and six fingers on each hand. Caledjula are natural tricksters, having an inborn ability to generate illusions. In the game setting, they dwell in the tall mountains that surround Fortuna's Spire (the literal "tent-pole" dungeon of the setting) in cliff dwellings. They are nicknamed the aeolians.

Caledjula are one of the magic race/classes in the setting, filling the role of a trickster class. All of the spell casters in PARS FORTUNA use the same spell list (126 spells, level 1 to 9), but each magical race gets a small list of spells open only to them - illusions in the case of the caledjula. The caledjula can also work on people's emotions with their deep, melodic voices (i.e. a bonus to reaction checks) and they have a bat-like radar sense that lets them operate in complete darkness.

Finally, the little scaly bugger is a CAKROL. The cakrol resemble humanoid pangolins. Nicknamed zealots, cakrol are devoutly religious folk who live in little villages on a lush peninsula covered by rain forest. They make their way harvesting tropical crops, carving wooden idols, trading in beautifully crafted sailing barques and doing their best to protect themselves from the evil spirits that infest their homeland. They are a clannish people, and possessed of a fearful anger when they feel their adopted clan / guild / adventuring band is being threatened.

Cakrol are primarily a fighting class - they have the good attack bonuses, the hit points and the ability to use any weapon. They come with their own armor, which can be supplemented. Adding to this, they have some ability to detect and repel evil spirits (not unlike a cleric's turn undead ability) and the ability to go berserk in combat.

All of the races in PARS FORTUNA will be presented as races separate from classes, and as racial classes (the default for the setting). My hope is that even people not interested in playing a "PARS FORTUNA" are able to find something useful in the book for their own game.

Next Preview - A ghostly adventuress, a walking heap of kelp, something from beyond the stars and a waspy woman ...


  1. Very cool!
    I like your choice for artist on this also, reminds me of the classic work done by Jeff Dee back in the day.
    The races are quite unique and interesting. I'll be keeping my eye on Pars Fortuna!

  2. Really interesting races, and cool art. I'm looking forward to more of this, as well.

  3. I'll second the Jeff Dee similarity (and love for same). Also, humanoid pangolins! Nice!

    I really like this batch of races and now I'm even more interested in Pars Fortuna. Go, you!

  4. Venemous Pao - I was just pulling stats for an ogre from the 0E Monster Book when I glanced over at the nykoul. A few minutes later, I see your comment and I'm thinking - where did I just read that name ...

    Glad you liked the preview. I'm hoping Pars Fortuna will have something for everyone - either as a toolbox with races, spells, monsters, magic items and alternate rules to steal, or as a game that gives veteran players a chance to master a new setting.

  5. Hey Matt. Small worldness never ceases to amaze me! Ah, the Monster Book. I love that thing and I'm still tickled that I was able to contribute to it. I was never terribly proud of the Nykoul, though. I'm my on worst critic :)

    Pars Fortuna definitely looks promising, amigo, on all the fronts you mention. I can't wait to see more! Keep it up, good sir.


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