Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hobs and Brownies.

I myself tired of bog standard Halflings in D&D-like campaigns and added Brownies as a racial option instead for a recent campaign. I've gone a little further and brewed up a variety of "halflings" both familiar and new to fit in as player characters in a fantasy campaign.


Brownies
Brownies are a diminutive fairy race that lives along side mankind and other races and are seen as a industrious simple people. They are small and slight compared to mannish folk begin small as a 5 year old human (but of mature elfin features so they would never be mistaken for such). They keep their hair long and often wild and the beards of brownie men can reach down to their toes on occasion.
Brownies are hardworking and capable but not considered particularly industrious and focused to men and other folk. Brownies are not typically keen on coins and may find folk offering them large sacks of cash to be vulgar and offensive they prefer gifts and obligations of favor (that will be traded among their own kind); despite their general dislike of coinage they are still aware of it’s worth among men and other folk.
Brownies lair in all sorts of odd places but favor houses at the roots of trees when able, some consider an old barrel or a spot in the rafters of a mannish cottage their home but seem to care little else for the surrounding property. 
Base Hit-Die: 1d4
Lifespan: 140 years
Base Speed: 20 feet
Attribute Adjustment: +1 Dex, -3 Str (or lowest ability score rolled may be swapped with STR score so long as it is not over 12). Max Str 15
Tiny Size: +4 to stealth, can usually find a hiding spot. Brownies are very small they may only use small weapons and even when doing so they will suffer a -1 to damage with those weapons (even hob-sized weapons) unless the brownie is already suffering a damage penalty due to low strength. They receive a +2 bonus to AC against all attacks from large creatures, and +4 against all Huge or greater sized creatures.
Dodge Missiles: If they are aware they are being targeted by a missile attack they are allowed a saving throw to dodge the attack so so long as it isn’t magical in nature (at the cost of any further actions beyond normal movement).
Magical in Nature: Brownies are magical in nature and aware of it’s presence and ways (now and again). Brownies receive a +2 bonus to saves vs Illusions, Sleep, and Paralysis. Brownies are twice as likely to spot a magical ward/trap than would be considered normal.
Break Enchantment: If they fall under sway of a long lasting magical effect they are allowed a new saving throw to shake it off each sunset (this doesn’t apply to curses placed on them by magic from foes of higher level/HD).
Seelie Charm: brownies are of generally favorable aspect to those inclined to be favorable toward faeries of the seelie sort. A DM can apply a +1 to +3 bonus to reaction rolls depending on the situation.
Fey Blooded: Brownies are considered Fey folk when the effect of magic would differ for fey folk.


Hobwyns
Hobwyns resemble plump humans of childish size and aspect with large feet. They are physically weak compared to mannish sized folk and must make use of lighter and smaller weapons if they wish to be effective in combat. Hobwyns are suspicious of outsiders but are not outwardly hostile to most folk leading cheerful and simple lives in pastoral settings when able.
The typical hobwyn lives out his to her entire life in a rural setting seldom traveling far from the domains of their clans and petty kings. they are a moderately industrial race in matters that concern the goods that stock their larders and in their semi-subterranean hillside homes. Hobwyn adventurers are decidedly uncommon as the brave among their folk tend to serve their people as borderers, warden, and warders against the dangerous wider world and as such do not wander too far.
Base Hit-Die: 1d6
Lifespan: 110 years
Base Speed: 20 feet
Attribute Adjustment: +1 Dex, -1 Str (Max 16).
Small Size: Hobwyns get a +4 bonus to stealth checks. They receive a +2 bonus to AC vs large humanoids and +4 bonus versus all foes of Huge size and larger.
Small Weapons: Due to their  size and build Hobwyns may only use small weapons one handed, and medium weapons in two hands lacking the size to balance larger weapons. They may have Hob-sized weapons that function and similarly to mannish weapons to duplicate the roles and use some medium and larger weapons, such weapons will do one die size less damage.
Lucky: Hobwyn are lucky receiving a +1 to all saving throws (unless they have fallen victim to a curse).



Hobbarts
Hobbarts are a crossbreed of Brownies and Hobwyns from ages past when populations of their folk were bound together in slavery. A Hobbart appears to be a slightly thinner  (maybe taller) Hobwyn of more feral and fey aspect with large hairy feet, the males don’t grow full beards but a respectable set of sideburns is common. Hobbarts are a simple folk prone to over indulge in drink and food whenever able, they tend to be a tad more wander prone than are Hobwyns or Brownies. Hobbarts tend to have a curious period early in their adulthood when they wander about and find themselves mingling with all sorts of folk; they are vernally accepted but people keep an eye on them due to rumors that depict them as thieves.
Hobbarts are shockingly loyal and not prone to betray any they have recognized as a friend or lord. 
Base Hit-Die: 1d6
Lifespan: 90 years
Base Speed: 20 feet
Attribute Adjustment: +2 Dex, -2 Str (Max 16).
Small Size: Hobbarts get a +4 bonus to stealth checks. They receive a +2 bonus to AC vs large humanoids and +4 bonus versus all foes of Huge size and larger.
Small Weapons: Due to their  size and build Hobbarts may only use small weapons one handed, and medium weapons in two hands lacking the size to balance larger weapons. They may have Hob-sized weapons that function and similarly to mannish weapons to duplicate the roles and use some medium and larger weapons, such weapons will do one die size less damage.
Stone Tossing: when tossing stones and any other hand thrown ranged weapon they may apply a +2 bonus to their chance to hit a short and medium range (their small build keeps them from applying their accuracy to greater effect beyond medium range).
Loyal: Hobbarts are +4 to save vs fear, charms, or Compulsion if it would cause them to turn or threaten a friend or lord.


Svarty Hobars
The Svarty Hobars are a black spirited and wicked race of Hob-kind. They served the slave masters against their cousins in ages past and continue to be downright unpleasant onto this day. They appear as Hobbarts but lanky and more feral with coal black skin.
The Svarty Hobars serve only their Bandit Kings and are roaming thieves and murderers, luckily most folk do not hold this against other hob folk. Svarty Hobars prefer to live underground much deeper than do other hob folk.
Base Hit-Die: 1d8
Lifespan:
110 years
Base Speed: 20 feet
Attribute Adjustment: +1 Dex, -1 Str (Max 17), +1 Con
Small Size: Svarty Hobbarts get a +4 bonus to stealth checks. They receive a +2 bonus to AC vs large humanoids and +4 bonus versus all foes of Huge size and larger.
Small Weapons: Due to their  size and build Svarty Hobars may only use small weapons one handed, and medium weapons in two hands lacking the size to balance larger weapons. They may have Hob-sized weapons that function and similarly to mannish weapons to duplicate the roles and use some medium and larger weapons, such weapons will do one die size less damage.
Murderous strike: if striking behind (regardless of class) Svarty Hobars are +4 to hit and deal an additional die of damage on  a successful attack,
Unwholesome Diet: Svarty Hobars have an unwholesome diet where they can stomach virtually anything organic and semi-organic, they are +2 to save vs poison and paralysis. They can survive of reduced rations three times longer than can other people.
Fey Blooded: Svarty Hobars are considered Fey folk when the effect of magic would differ for fey folk.

Higglewyn
The Higglewyn are a thin an awkward race of folk distantly related to Hobwyns that stand shoulder high to a typical human teenager. They have large hairy hands and feet. They are considered backward country bumpkins by many people and spend their lives herding goats, fishing along the banks of rivers and tending garden plots.
Higglewyn are not an ambitious or aggressive race but shouldn’t be considered cowards either despite their abilities to escape from a tight spot and elude capture.
Base Hit-Die: 1d6
Lifespan: 150 years
Base Speed: 30 feet
Attribute Adjustment: +1 Dex, -1 Str (Max 16).
Small Size: Higglewyns get a +2 bonus to stealth checks.
Higgley Wiggle: Missile attacks from long range recive an additional  -4 to hit them.
Higgley Jig: Higglewyn are difficult to catch, any attempt to grab or confine them is made at -4.
Higgley Blink: Once a day a Higglewyn can blink teleporting themselves safely to any spot within 60’ they can see or have seen. Fey folk will notice the translocation but to others they will simply seem to vanish. This ability can be used by a player after a character failing to save vs a deathtrap (but still only once a day).
Slight Folk: due to their small size and slight builds they are unable to wield large weapons.
Spot Goblin Doors: Higglewyn can spot goblin doors and nexus points as well as elves can locate secret doors.
Fey Blooded: Higglewyn are considered Fey folk when the effect of magic would differ for fey folk.



Classes and Levels:
Level and class limits are even more campaign and rule specific than the above so I'm just makign suggestions here.. I'd allow Brownies to advance as fighter (poorly), thieves, and Magic-users.  Hobwyn as fighters (of limited ability), thieves, and scouts (maybe some alchemists or druidish wiseman types). Hobbarts would likely have the best rangeof classes as they are an even mix of hob and brownie but seldom advance far. Svarty Hobars would tend toward fighters and thieves with the occasional illusionist sort. Higglewyn would make fair scouts or thieves a really cunning one may function as an illusionist trickster.

further Notes:
I developed these races with Fantstic Heroes and Witchery in mind so some of the specifics are ted to that but they could easily fit in other old-school fantasy rules sets with little trouble. Base speed for humans is 30 for those needing the point of reference.

4 comments:

  1. Cool. I really like this sort of creature. Tends to fit a peculiar low power high magic setting you don't often see. Also reminded me of the moss dwarves, did you see this:

    http://the-city-of-iron.blogspot.ca/2015/03/moss-dwarf-stat-cards-by-nick-kuntz.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, the brownies (and everyone else) came out of me asking some folks what type of campaign they would like to play and it ended up sorting out to High Fantasy but climbing up from the bottom not starting out part of the elite. Most of the characters are looking forward to being able to afford good shoes and ditch their wooden clogs, and the fighters are looking forward to better arms and armor rather than the stuff they scrounged serving the local lord or had handed down to them.

      I've got the moss dwarves copied and pasted into my bag of tricks.

      Delete
  2. I have to chime in, albeit late, and say these are pretty nifty too!

    ReplyDelete