Adventurers in Earthdawn are nearly always adepts. All adepts are practicioners of magic, and have powers, talents, and abilities far beyond those of normal Name-givers. In particular, adepts are practicioners of magical thought. The powers and talents that an adept has are almost incidental to him, merely being natural extensions of seeing the world in the way he does, and less important than the worldview that makes those talents and powers available to him.
In Earthdawn, high dexterity makes you harder to hit, and better at combat and other physical skills. High strength allows you to carry more, swim better, and hit harder; armor reduces damage. Toughness helps you heal faster and makes you more resistant to poison and disease. Perception helps defend against (and also use) magic, while willpower makes magic stronger (and provides armor against magic). High Charisma makes it harder for others to affect your thinking and emotions, and also makes it easier to affect the thinking and emotions of others.
In choosing your Discipline, your best bet is either the one that seems most like you, or else the one you think would be most fun. The fighters are Archers, Cavalrymen, Sky Raiders, Swordmasters, and Warriors. The wanderers are Air Sailors, Beastmasters, Scouts, Thieves, and Troubadours. The mages are Elementalists, Illusionists, Nethermancers, Weaponsmiths, and Wizards. Then pick the race that you think would be the most fun, that can take that Discipline. Buff spells improve people, e.g., make them stronger, faster, better-armored, and so on.
Each Discipline of magic has its own worldview, and this affects how they experience their talents. For example, both scouts and weaponsmiths learn the melee weapons talent. For the scout, its use is an exercize in sensing and understanding his foe's fighting style and taking advantage of its weaknesses, whereas for the weaponsmith, it is a means of gaining a deeper understanding of the nature of the weapon he is using and all weapons in general. It is the same talent for both, and it bears both the same results, but the way they see it and experience it is strongly affected by the worldview and Discipline of the adept.
Each adept will have his own pesonal vision of his Discipline and its place in the world, but all adepts in a given Discipline will share certain core values. For example, it isn't possible to become a troubadour without valuing story and song, or a warrior if one completely forsakes prowess in battle. But each adept will emphasize different aspects of his Discipline. His view of it will be based on his master's personal vision, but it will be changed and affected by the adept's life and experiences. When he acts contrary to his vision, he loses some of his connection to his talents, and his command of them is reduced also. When he acts in accordance to his vision, his connection to his talents is restored.
Learning the talents of a Discipline is an inherently magical process for adepts. (See the Advancement Table for rules.) They learn new talents through insight, sometimes gained through introspection, sometimes through active self-hypnosis, sometimes through intuition, and sometimes through constantly repeating the motions of the talent. [I have an unfinished story that chronicles the journey of the mind of a young adept as he is initiated into the Warrior's Discipline that I can forward if you'd like.] Ability with talents already known is increased through introspection and meditation. After gaining an appropriate amount of experience, the adept spends eight hours meditating upon how his life would have been different, if he'd had better command of one of his talents. After the eight hours of contemplation are over, he will have assimilated his experiences and this will have gained him an enhanced grasp of his talent.
Air sailors see themselves as providing a vital service, and worthy of their pay. They owe a duty to those whom they serve, and see themselves as part of an organization that will lead them to their goals. An aimless air sailor is a contradiction in terms. They favor cleverness and wits in their approach to problems, and consider "Good thinking!" a high complement, along with such characterizations as sly, clever, cunning, and shrewd. Though they are able fighters (about 75% of a swordmaster), they do not reflexively turn to combat as a way to handle problems. Air sailors NEVER condemn or criticize each other, save before their peers, and they never leave their mates. Air Sailors depends on dexterity, willpower, and perception. Obsidimen can not take this discipline.
Archers see things in a direct and linear manner, striking always for the center of the matter. They follow straight lines and direct approaches, much as their missiles do. They tend to divide the world into missiles (approaches and means) and targets (obstacles and goals). They are taught to see clearly and to choose their targets wisely. Anything that obscures perception is the enemy, be it dust, glare, fog, rain, snow, or (worst of all) illusions. Any archer who loses sight of his goals (targets), dithers, or goes off on tangents is losing touch with his Discipline. Archers depend on dexterity, perception, and charisma. Obsidimen can not take this discipline.
Beastmasters appreciate, study, and learn from animals. Some seek to learn the powers of animals, others to be their friends, and yet others see them as puzzles to be understood. All agree, however, that animals are never dishonest, and a beastmaster must never ever be dishonest with his animals. The vast majority also believe that while one must deal with animals from a position of strength, it is better to gain their cooperation through strength of will rather than beatings. Beastmasters depends on all six of their attributes. Obsidimen and t'skrang can not take this discipline.
Cavalrymen are often restless and driven, preferring a gallop to a walk. They are always charging problems head on and taking life by the throat. A cavalryman and his mount are thought of as an adept pair, rather than an adept and an accessory. They think of their mounts as being more important than anything due to the deep and powerful emotional bond that forms between the adept and his mount. This doesn't mean that nothing else is important to him; it just means that it is secondary to his mount. The cavalryman often sees himself as daring and dauntless. Some prefer the challenges of exploration and travel and some the challenges of combat, but all are known for attempting great feats. Obsidimen can not take this discipline.
Elementalists see themselves as a bridge between the world of the elements and this world. The Discipline is a means of getting at essential, even elemental truths, and so they rarely take time for fiddling with the non-essentials of the situation. They have great respect for the natural world and work to maintain its elemental balance. Many -- perhaps most -- of the actions they perform to do so are inexplicable or incomprehensible to others. Incidentally, there are five magical elements in Earthdawn -- air, water, fire, earth, and wood. Not surprisingly, a balanced pentagram is one of the more common symbols associated with the Discipline. Elementalists, like all mages, depend on perception and willpower. Healing and buffs come early; quick combat spells come later.
Illusionists see it as their duty to make people challenge their perceptions of and assumptions about the world. Low grade swindles (which rarely cost the victims more than 10 sp each) are a favored way of doing this. They are taught to constantly test the world and their perceptions of it against each other constantly, and to constantly check their assumptions. They develop a remarkable level of intuition when it comes to recognizing when appearances are deceiving. Illusionists are entertainers at heart, and they see their entertainment as having two functions -- amusement and teaching folks a badly needed lesson on how to perceive the truth. Those who rely solely on their senses are the illusionist's favorite subjects. Like all mages, they depend on perception and willpower. Healing is limited, buffs are good, and combat is quite effective, but the illusionist SHINES in social situations. Clever and inventive players make the best illusionists.
Nethermancers are widely regarded with suspicion and outright fear for their associations with death, the dead, and the Horrors. Death, spirits, and the Netherworlds (one or more of which are the homes of the Horrors) are their field of study. They typically counter this suspicion with a "Who cares what the ignorant rabble think?" type of attitude. They often laugh at tragedy and sneer at the foolish, for whom they have no compassion. The most foolish, of course, are those who fear the nethermancer's knowledge and power. Nethermancers are moral relativists; they consider death to be just a change in life rather than something to be feared. For example, they see the Horrors as merely a more dangerous type of predator than others, and more than one would tell you that there is nothing that the Horrors do to us, for sustenance, that we do not also do to each other, for no good reason at all. This also means that they tend not to value the lives of others very highly and one typically would have no compunctions about sacrificing the lives of a dozen people to seal up an astral gateway that was admitting Horrors to the world.
A nethermancer is taught to rely upon his own judgement and never to regret his actions. "Had I known more, I might have chosen differently, but I didn't, and I made the best choice I could under the circumstances" is about as close as a nethermancer should ever come to saying "I wish I hadn't done that." They are also taught NEVER EVER to submit to fear. Fear is a nethermancer's tool, used to manipulate others (who are then scorned for letting themselves be manipulated). Caution, care, and self-preservation are all acceptable to the nethermancer; phobia and panic are not. Like all mages, nethermancers depend on perception and willpower. Healing is very limited, buffs are moderate at best, but combat is very good and they get a lot of fear effects. Windlings can not take this discipline.
Scouts are often characterized as "half-warrior, half-thief." While they share some abilities with each, this annoys them, as they do not think anything like warriors or thieves. A scout is taught first and foremost to open his senses -- including touch, taste, and smell, at all times -- to the world around him. If you have read Robert A. Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land," it would be fair to say that a scout groks the world. He opens his senses to it so completely and accepts it so thoroughly that he becomes one with it. Because he senses so much more than others, he will often characterize others as "stumbling through the world, half blind." Scouts can work in any terrain -- their heightened senses and belonging serve them as well in cities and towns as they do in forests and fields. Scouts prefer to tread lightly and to leave no mark as they go through and become part of the world. However, should they encounter something that is destructive of the world or that does not belong, they will usually try to correct the situation. Scouts also prefer to avoid acting like warriors or thieves. It's entirely in character for a scout to say, "Violence is the last resort of the incompetent." And, of course, stealing from people is changing the world, rather than accepting it. Scouts rely on dexterity and perception. Obsidimen and trolls can not take this discipline.
Sky Raiders are fierce, piratical warriors. They hold personal responsibility and honor as the highest virtues. They favor a bold and intimidating style of combat. They also believe that you don't deserve to keep anything you can't defend. This doesn't mean they constantly take everything they can from everyone they can. A sky raider has no problem with the idea of "The consequences of taking this are not worth the effort or honor." Win or lose, a foe who fights back honors a sky raider; one who surrenders without fighting insults him. Sky raiders sometimes take their most valorous foes as newots (thralls). This is an honor, for a newot can become a sky raider, whereas a foe left behind in the lowlands, either alive or dead, cannot.
The sky raider Discipline is very much tied up in trollishness. All sky raiders are bound by something like kat'ral, or clan honor, as well as personal honor. In the sky raider's case, this honor is held not by his clan (or not only by his clan), but by his comrades in arms. A sky raider never, ever denies responsibility for his actions. An accusation like, "That's mine, you! Give it back!" will typically get a response along the lines of, "Not any more. I took it fair and square." Of course, sky raiders never take by stealth -- this denies their opponents the chance to gain honor by fighting to keep their property. And a sky raider's actions may be capricious and unpredictable (particularly when one doesn't know what offends or doesn't offend his honor), but his word is as absolute as stone. After all, if he dishonors his word, he diminishes himself.
Sky raiders feel that all other adepts have taken paths requiring less adherence to honor than their own, but they also realize that the path of absolute honor that they follow (in their own vision) is not for everyone. They depend on dexterity, willpower, and strength. Obsidimen, elves, and windlings can not take this discipline.
As far as Swordmasters go ... I shall use the words of my favorite follower of the Discipline. I am inserting notes [in brackets] to show where Arkanabar's personal vision is strictly personal.
"We Swordmaster adepts (for we do have magic) are not like the simple killers who follow the Warrior's Discipline. It is our path to make the world more interesting, and in the case of my school, more just. [This "more just" bit is Ark's personal thing. More than half of all swordmasters feel this way, but it's not universal.] Always ready are the 'eyes to pierce, tongue to lash, and sword to slash.' I gained my sword three years ago, and have already reached the Sixth Circle of the Discipline.
"You see, it's our task as swordmasters to create drama, which is what inspires others to take on their own problems with something approaching the verve, gusto, and wit that we swordmasters display." [The rest of this paragraph is personal to Ark.] His eyes grow misty as he continues, "It is probably the highest calling to which a Name-giver can be called, you know--to be a worthy recipient of the adulation of the masses for one's inspiring greatness in overcoming difficulty, injustice and evil." Suddenly serious, he adds, "Far too many swordmasters neglect this aspect of the Discipline, seeing the praise as the reason for the Discipline, rather than the natural result of following it properly.
[This entire paragraph is personal to Ark.] "There are also far too many who feel that the best approach to all injustice is to beat upon it with a blade until it goes away. That's ridiculously simplistic, of course. While there are such evils, we swordmasters have far too many other gifts and talents for attacking the many-fold forms of evil which have nothing to do with physical injury to rely solely on such a single-minded approach. This is as it should be, of course; evil is rarely so uniform in its approach, either. I prefer engagement myself; while battle clearly shows the virtues of courage and steadfastness in a manner all can see and emulate, it is far from the most difficult way of expressing courage and steadfastness, particularly for one so skilled in battle as myself."
Back to swordmasters in general. A swordmaster believes that anything worth doing is worth doing in a way that will impress the audience (and in a way that will attract an audience). Swordmasters are all exhibitionists, striving to be Errol Flynn, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Zorro, the Three Musketeers, Inigo Montoya, AND The Dread Pirate Roberts, all rolled into one. Their fights have to be interesting. Just as Sky Raiders will not steal by stealth, Swordmasters will not kill by stealth. He may sneak up on you, but you will know he's there before he attacks you. Swordmasters rely heavily on dexterity and to a lesser extent on charisma. Obsidimen can not take this discipline.
Thieves are taught to be self-reliant and stealthy. Many see theft as a service -- freeing people from the burdens of worrying about their possessions. Some steal hearts, to teach people to be more careful where they bestow their affections. Others steal secrets, relieveing their owners of the tension and fear caused by keeping them. Some, of course, steal just to take what they don't have. The type who sees theft as a gift and a service will have friends, but he will never forget that those friends might fail him, and that all of his archetypical thiefly activities are best performed alone. He also does not hold too tightly to what he steals, lest it become a burden to him. Nor will he steal things which are actual neccessities. And he brags about his exploits, to warn others not to become slaves to their possessions. The selfish thief, on the other hand, has no friends and will steal anything from anyone. He absolutely refuses to allow compassion to affect his actions, for fear that by so doing, he will lose his edge. All theives need high dexterity and perception attributes. Obsidimen and trolls can not take this discipline.
Troubadours spread knowledge and legends. No wise adventurer will antagonize one, lest the legends he spin about said adventurer be less than flattering. They entertain, to lighten peoples' hearts and to allow them to contemplate things which would otherwise be too painful to think about. They also educate, and they regard this almost as a sacred trust. They will go to great lengths to see knowledge preserved and spread. In fact, more troubadour talents are based upon perception than upon charisma. The dwarven Kindom of Throal is ruled by Varulus III, who is a high circle troubadour. Troubadours are best served by high perception and charisma.
Warriors see the world as a battlefield. The only safe path through it is one based upon loyalty, honor, discipline, and wisdom. Loyalty is shared first and foremost amongst brothers in arms. Any such who betrays a warrior's loyalty has to die. This isn't rancor; it is making the world less dishonorable, by removing a person who has betrayed and will continue to betray people. Loyalty is also given to one's sworn and/or signed word; obviously, one must be careful of one's word. Honor is acting in good faith; i.e., honoring the conventions of war -- truce, parley, leaving non-combatants alone, and ransom -- and of contract language (by using narrowly and precisely defined words, rather than vague "weasel words" that are easily misinterpreted). Discipline is the strong center of a warrior's life. For some, it is sufficient to obey one's superiors; for others, it is hewing so strongly to honor that one will disobey orders that reduce it. Wisdom means different things to different warriors, but to most it certainly includes the idea that if you are not struck down, you can try again to achieve your goals. In short, defense is better than offense, and survival is more important than winning. Like all fighters, a warrior needs dexterity; they also benefit from willpower.
Weaponsmiths make, enhance, and enchant weapons and armor. They are men of devotion, nigh unto being monomaniacs. They always seek to improve themselves, their knowledge bases, and their communities. Once a weaponsmith decides that something needs to be done, it gets done. He will keep trying new approaches until he gets it done. He never stops trying. He fails as many times as it takes to get the one success he needs. And his word is as absolute as a sky raider's.
The weaponsmith's Discipline is tied very much to their Forges (i.e., guilds). The Forges teach many admirable traditions (which can be summed up by two words in AD&D: Lawful Good). Amongst these are honest and honorable dealing, loyalty to the Forge, respect to one's elders, helping people who are truly in need, absolute antipathy to the Horrors, maintaining and increasing the Forge's knowledge of weapons and armor, proper treatment and handling of weapons, and courage in the face of the enemy (obviously, you don't get yourself killed -- that is a sign that you're trying a useless means of achieving your goals). Weaponsmiths need perception and willpower.
Wizards interpret everything through Ideas (i.e., Platonic Ideals) and symbols (the associated properties of each Idea). For example, the Flame Flash spell (which shoots a bolt of fire at a target) invokes the Idea of Fire as a symbol of destruction. They prefer not to do anything without first checking several references to see what Ideas and symbols are involved in the situation, and then seeing what Ideas and symbols are sympathies or antipathies of those involved, and THEN they will select a spell that invokes those Ideas and symbols that are appropriate to the result the wizard wishes to obtain.
This can lead to some counterintuitive actions. In one example, a wizard's companion was caught in a drowning trap. The wizard linked the trap to the Idea of the Machine; one of the antipathies of the Idea of the Machine was the Idea of Air, because Air is a symbol of Rust. So, the wizard had to apply air to the situation. He did so by casting a spell that creates a bubble of crushing air around his friend (who was tough enough to take it), which did in fact prevent her from drowning.
Wizards deal poorly with having their intelligence and/or reasoning denigrated or (worse yet) failing them. They also do not care to have their orderly lives put in disarray. They also pride themselves on maintaining strictly balanced emotional states; no wizard will think he is following his Discipline truly if he is suffering from prolonged emotional instability or constant upsets. Wizards, like all mages, need high levels of perception and willpower. They are very balanced between combat spells, buffs, and utilitarian spells. While healing comes later, it is very good.
Earthdawn, like Shadowrun, is set on Earth. The five races of Shadowrun (dwarfs, elves, humans, orks, and trolls) are also all present in Earthdawn. The Shadowrun sourcebooks had a lot of exposition explaining the existance, genetics, and relationships between these races, but it all came down to a few short statements. They are all variations of human, and they can all have children with each other. However, the child will be of one race or the other. It will not be half-elven, half-orc, half-troll, or half elf and half dwarf. It will be either of its mother's race (the more usual) or its father's, but not some combination of both.
In Earthdawn, nobody really knows for sure where the eight Name-giver races come from. Each has its own culture and the vast majority of people live in homogenous families (i.e., only one race), and prefer homogenous neighborhoods and/or communities. Regardless, almost everyone has run across at least one other race, if not all of them.
The height and weight shown are averages for the entire race, including both sexes. Next are listed the racial advantages, followed by attribute modifiers. If an attribute is shown with a minimum or maximum, that is before the modifier (if any) is applied. The attributes for humans vary from 3-18. They are:
Dexterity (D): Higher dexterity makes you better at most physical tasks, such as sneaking, fighting, and throwing. Higher dexterity also makes you harder to hit, and you will cover ground faster. It also helps you act faster.
Strength (S): Higher Strength mainly will help you hit harder (even with bows), swim better, and carry more.
Toughness (T): Higher toughness will allow you to take more damage and to heal faster. It also makes you more resistant to diseases and poisons.
Perception (P): The higher your perception is, the more likely you will succeed at tasks where being smart would help. You are also more likely to notice things, harder to hit with magic, and better able to use spells.
Willpower (W): The higher your willpower, the stronger your magic. Willpower also helps resist magic damage, and is the basis of luck.
Charisma (C): The higher your charisma, the more easily you can convince others to do what you want, and the harder it is for others to manipulate or intimidate you.
Speed is the modifier to to dexterity for determining your speed. For example, dwarfs have a speed modifier of -1, so a dwarf with 14 dex reads his movement rates off the move value for 13 dex. Karma turbocharges your Discipline's most favorite abilities. Shown is the size of die for your race and the cost per point to buy more.
Dwarfs: 4', 120#. Heat Sight. +1 S, +3T, +1W, -2C, -1 speed, d6karma @10LP. Organized, clannish, and conservative, dwarfs like to trade, like to give advice (which is always right), love the earth, and hate to be apart from it. If they lived here, they would listen to brass bands playing marching music. Dwarfs usually live about 120 years, and have human typical coloration. They can learn any Discipline, but dwarf air sailors, sky raiders, and cavalrymen are all rare, because they are all separate from the earth. Dwarfs like everyone in a patronizing sort of way. They tend to think that because they are the most populous of the races, and the dwarf kingdom of Throal led the resistance against Thera, that everyone should listen to them. Dwarf craftsmen make nearly everything both attractive and useful. If something has no practical use they are not likely to make it, but whatever they do make tends to be well-decorated. Dwarfs tend to treat everyone about equally, but those who can tolerate their personalities are the ones they will get along with best.
Elves: 6'3", 150#, dark sight. +2 D, -2T, +1 P, +1W, +1C, +1 speed, d6 karma@10LP. Proud, independent lovers of beauty, elves are long lived and spiritual. Everything they make is beautiful. They love the woods and the Great Outdoors. The heart and soul of their culture is corrupt, and they know it, which pains them deeply. Here, they would listen to classical or baroque chamber music, especially if it is by Bach, Mozart, or Vivaldi. Elves live about 300-400 years. Elves usually have human typical coloration, but they can also have skin that is ink black, snow white, pale green, or pearlescent white, and their hair can be scarlet, violet, green, blue, or metallic. Elves do not become sky raiders. Elves tend to have both superiority and inferiority complexes. The superiority complex comes from their long-lived and elegant culture. The inferiority complex comes from the fact that the Blood Wood is the self-proclaimed center of that culture. Their favored companions are (in order) other elves, windlings, obsidimen, and t'skrang. Dwarfs are tolerable, but the company of brutish, capricious trolls and impetuous, short-sighted orks are best avoided. Humans are an enigma; one may be almost like an ork when first you meet him and nearly like an elf the next.
Humans: 5'9", 150#, Versatility Talent. Humans assign +1 to any ONE attribute at creation; d8 karma@6LP. Third in population after dwarfs and orks, humans sometimes feel lost. They have less racial identity than other races, and often will take up some of the character or culture of the other races when they associate with them. The Versatility talent lets them learn any talent at all, instead of just those of their Discipline. Here, they would go to coffeehouses and listen to bad poetry about angst. Humans live about 70 years. Humans can learn all Disciplines and generally deal well with all races.
Obsidimen: 7', 900#, 3 armor points, +3 to Wound Threshold, -2D, +6S, +4T, -1P, -1C, -3 speed, d4 Karma@10LP. Half rock and half elemental earth spirit, obsidimen would move even more slowly if they did not have perfect economy of motion. They have rocky looking skin, usually black or gray, though sometimes brown. A very rare few have veins of color in their skin like semi-precious stone. They live 900 years and are very spiritual and mysterious. Patience is their watchword and whenever they make something utilitarian, form follows function exclusively. Many obsidimen will tend a grove, grotto, flower garden, or other small natural plot and call it art. Their Liferock is their birthplace, mother, father, family, and final destination, and insults to it will result in startlingly rapid and violent responses. They love earth more than dwarfs, nature more than elves, and stone more than trolls. Here, they would listen to Gregorian chants. They can only become mages, troubadours, warriors, and weaponsmiths. Obsidimen get on well with trolls and actively seek out the company of excitable, good-natured t'skrang and windlings.
Orks: 6'3", 225lbs, dark sight. -1D, +3S, +1T, -1P, -2W, +2 speed, d8 karma@7 LP. Orks can reduce any ONE negative attribute modifier by 1. Their skin is usually pinkish-white, tan, brown, or olive green. They have sparse, very coarse hair, almost always black or gray. Short lived and impetuous, each ork has two things he feels so strongly about that where they are concerned, he MUST act on impulse. The triggers are different for each ork, but the pain he feels if he controls his impulses is the same and very real. Orks have tusks that protrude over their upper lips, but not snouts. They have a complex about freedom and liberty from having been singled out as a slave race in the past. They believe in grabbing life by the throat and shaking it. They prefer performing arts to material ones. Here, they would listen to gangsta rap and punk. They usually live about 45 years, but a few can reach 60. Orks can learn any Discipline. Orks can tolerate dwarfs, dislike elves, don't know what to make of humans, have a hard time with obsidimen because they do everything so slowly, think trolls deserve all the bad press that orks get, think t'skrang are loonies, and are usually offended by windling teasing and humor.
Trolls: 8'6", 500+lbs, heat sight, +4S (min 11), +2T (min 11), -1P, +1W, d4karma@10LP. Trolls have rough green or brown skin and horns. They have very long and thick hair, usually blond, brown, or black. Naming themselves "The Dual People," trolls are very reliable. When one gives you his word, you can depend on it. Trolls are also very unpredictable. They live by a very strict, three-layered code of honor, and it is very hard to know if what you just said or did will be so horrible an offense to him, his clan, his race, or all three, that he has to kill you. Trolls love stone and like to make their weapons, tools, homes, and armor from it, especially living crystal, which is a form of True Earth. Here, they would listen to folk and heavy metal. Trolls live about 50 years. Their skin has deposits of trolthelia, which is a lot like rhinoceros horn. They have horns that never break, and just over half have tusks like orks. Trolls are too big to become scouts or theives. A troll can take offense from nearly anyone. They realize the dwarfs don't always mean to be condescending, but they're sure the elves do. They like obsidimen and call them "rock-brother" instead of "not-trolls." They treat orks like little brothers (which the orks resent). They like the way t'skrang challenge their fears but hate that t'skrang take nothing seriously. And the antipathy between windlings and trolls is legendary, though careful consideration will lead trolls to understand the windlings don't mean to be so horribly insulting.
T'skrang: 5'9", 200lbs, including a 40lb tail, 4'-6' long; tail attack is at +3 steps to damage. +1D, +1T, +1C, d6karma@8LP. Skin is usually yellow-green to kelly green to blue-green, but it can be aqua blue or sunset red. The head crest is mainly cartilage, like your ears. T'skrang like talking, trading, their riverboats, trading, the Serpent River, talking, singing, talking, challenging their fears, and talking. They like to submerge parts of their homes, so most of them live on or very near rivers. They get sulky if they can't bathe or swim at least once a week. Flamboyance is their watchword. Here, they would love glam rock, disco, Gilbert and Sullivan, Rossini, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Ravel. T'skrang live about 80 years. T'skrang do not become beastmasters, and they rarely become cavalrymen. They all suffer from vertigo, but paradoxically, this leads a number of them to take up the Air Sailor and Sky Raider Disciplines. T'skrang like everyone; after all, how can you trade with somebody you dislike? However, except for windlings, they consider most other races to be dull as ditchwater, especially dwarfs.
Windlings: 18", 13lbs, Astral Sight, Flight, +2 Physical Defense, +1D, -4S(max 11), -3T, +1P, +2C, d10karma@5LP, +2 speed flying, -8 speed walking. Windlings have double wings, much like dragonflies or butterflies and will change colors, taking on the brightest color in their environment after a fortnight or so. Fast freewheeling flyers, windlings are singers and storytellers who wear their hearts on their sleeves. The ultimate Troubadours, windlings love freedom, change, and new experiences above all things, and they tend to see at least five ways to handle any problem. Here, they'd listen to live improvisational jazz, because they'd agree fully with the idea that you should never play a piece the same way twice. Windlings live about 180 years. Windlings do not beome sky raiders or nethermancers. Windlings are easygoing and tease everyone. If you offend a windling, you can apologize and that will end it. They like nature and beauty as the elves do, but satirize the elven queen, calling her "Her High and Mightyness" in viciously funny stories. Humans are all different and so all fascinating. Obsidimen are as different as can be from windlings and so enchanting, not to mention the butt of hilarious stories about obsidimen who try to become archers, thieves, cavalrymen, and so on. The windling craving for novelty and differences has a counterpart in orkish restlessness, but orks often take offense at windling jokes. Windlings have a huge array of legends about trolls who deliberately insult famous windlings for no good reason, but any troll who can apologize to a windling for the way his race treats theirs has found a lifelong friend. Windlings and t'skrang are kindred spirits, even though the water that t'skrang so love makes windlings' wings nearly useless.
As for choosing your attribute ratings, talent rankings, skills, and equipment, I prefer to do that over email chat, and/or IM.
Next comes what makes playing such a character fun--Giving Your Character Life.