A Demon Haunted World: Human Races

In my Demon Haunted World humans come in three (down from four) flavors. Below are my first passes at the three races written up for Swords & Wizardry.

The Heirs

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

The meek have inherited the earth.  Over ninety-five percent of humanity has no touch or ability with magic or the supernatural.  Most of them live entire lives unaware of the world of the mystical or of the adventurous part of reality. Such unaware lives are not always blissful as it might seem.  Millions of The Heirs thrill to books of action and adventure to fulfill the yearning of their souls for wonder and achievement although fewer do each year with more and more doing it via pictures and movies that provide a thrill while dulling the very instrument of wonder the mind.

Yet even now a handful rebel.  By chance or design (theirs or others) they see a demon or befriend a wizard.  As such they become adventurers in the Demon Haunted World

Examples: Zander from Buffy and Gunn from Angel.

Requirements: None
Ability Adjustments: None
Bonuses: To saving throws against magical wands, staves, rods, and spells based on constitution: 3-8 +1, 9-12 +2, 13 and higher +3
Penalties:

  1. May not be any spell casting class.
  2. Each time they use a magical items if will fail to operate on a 1 on a d6.  For constant items check when first used (such as putting on a ring).  Test magical weapons and armors at the beginning of each combat.

The Blooded

Yet it is not the meek alone that remain among men.  There are still men and women who can touch the magics left both by the Old Ones and by the powers that oppose them.  For them The Demon Haunted World is not an adventuresome reality they can discover or seek out but their heritage.  Every generation a handful cast off their birth right but remain in the world of magic.  Of those who do a handful go on to become the freebooters and adventurers of today.

Examples: Harry Potter at the spell casting end while Giles the Watcher from Buffy is a perfect example of a little or no spell casting Blooded.

Requirements: Intelligence 12 or Wisdom 12
Ability Adjustments: None
Bonuses:

  1. Inherent magics: At creation pick one common 1st level spell.  The character may cast this spell once per day with a casting level equal to half his level, rounded up.
  2. Minor magics: Even non-wizard Blooded may use minor magics for usual daily chores using the minor magic rule.  Available effects are based on their Inherent magic.

Penalties: While attuned to magical effects they are somewhat divorced for the more mundane world and have a -2 saving throw against everything except magical effects such as poison and breath weapons.

The Touched

The blood of the magical runs in many a mundane veins, often due to an ancestor who was Blooded but turned their back on the magical world.  As a result even the most mundane of families produce those attuned to the magic in this world from birth.  Often the result is presumed insanity often followed by the real thing, but some find or are found by those who see The Demon Haunted World.  Ironically, many great wizards are found among them, perhaps gaining new perspective by seeing magic without the assumptions of a magical family.
The Touched are the default race of A Demon Haunted World, fulfilling the role of humans in Swords & Wizardry.

Examples: Heirmone Granger from Harry Potter and Willow from Buffy

Requirements: None
Ability Adjustments: None
Bonuses: None
Penalties: None

These are all first draft and suggestions and hints are welcome.

One specific idea I’d like comment on was The Blooded were originally allowed to use wands as a nod mostly the Harry Potter.  I removed it as I considered having it in addition to the spell ability was too much.  That said, giving them only expanded magic item usage would make the idea of a being a Blooded Wizard pointless.  Ideas on walking that line are welcome.

2 thoughts on “A Demon Haunted World: Human Races

  1. @Charles: Yes, and readers of science fiction and fantasy books, with a slight nod to Heinlein's comment on those who seek adventure in Tunnel in the Sky

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