Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bloodlines: Part 2

Welcome back for the second half of the City of Lives' Bloodlines.

Leovites: A nonsense word that popped into my head, I realized that it was a combination of “leo,” meaning “lion” in Latin, and the priest tribe in ancient Hebrew society -- hence, a race of priests and bureaucrats with the blood of lions. They are Stout, akin to Dwarves in D&D (though they quickly moved radically away from that role).

Pariahs: Inspired by European Jews, they live in a ghetto and make it a point not to trust anyone outside their community. They hold a tangible sorrow in their blood. They are Fallen, akin to the Drow in D&D.

Prometheans: Descended from the demigod who brought fire, arts, and science to the people, Prometheans are high-class artists with fire in their blood. They are High Men, akin to Half-Elves or Grey Elves in D&D (depending on the edition).

Rurals: Another refugee from an abandoned project, the Rurals live outside the City and are farmers by profession, vocation, and bloodline -- with natural fertilizer in their blood and plants growing from their flesh. Their simple nature conflicts with the complex politics of the City. They are Cute, akin to Halflings in D&D.

Sky-Carvers: I wanted one bloodline that was naturally magical (a “Fairy” in tvtropes parlance), so I pulled an evocative name out of an old text file where it had been gathering virtual dust, and created a race of devious nobles, as changeable as the air they’re associated with. They’re modeled on every untrusting, scheming noble court I’ve ever read or seen: the royal family from The Chronicles of Amber, The Tudors, etc. Plus, they can fly. They are Fairies, akin to the High Elves or Eladrin in D&D (depending on the edition).

Sons/Daughters of Light: The closest to an “ordinary” or “generic human” race. I decided to keep them distinctive by associating them heavily with the City’s dominant religion (more on that later) and making them nobles with a belief in the divine right of kings. The noble blood in their veins is the most mundane heritage, but arguably the most powerful. They are Mundane, akin to Humans in D&D.

Outlanders: I didn’t want to spend time detailing dozens of races/bloodlines/species, as it would be confusing to players and many races would get short shrift. On the other hand, I wanted to emphasize that anyone and anything can walk into the City -- so the all-encompassing label “Outlander” came into existence, allowing free-form creation of sixteen-limbed spider-lizards, living shadows, or anything else a creative player can come up with (I’ll cover the handful of one-sentence examples I came up with later on).

With these bloodlines laid down, the City of Lives was off to a good start. But I still have an immense number of topics, about both the rules and the universe, to work out. Come back next time for Fate: Free Rules are a Life-Saver.