So we’ve gone over stats (though nobody guessed that Comeliness is also useful as dump stat for your grizzled and scarred warriors and so on. That helps blunt the ‘problem’ with rolled stats in the same way assigning rolls does.
What I’m looking at next is races and having gone with eliminating the stats and sticking with bonuses that’s considerably easier because if you alter attributes you no longer need to go back and recalculate, you can just take away or add on as needed.
I’m not convinced by the profusion of races in fantasy games. World specific ones, yes, or a massive profusion where it makes internal sense or is key to the gameworld (Majipoor perhaps or Talislanta). Otherwise my inner evolutionary biologist starts protesting and no amount of ‘It’s MAGIC!’ excuses will get him to shut up.
It shuts up my inner biologist somewhat if I think of fantasy races in more of a Ringworld way, divergent evolution from the same basic type. That means we need to think about where these other races come in and what has made them what they are.
So, I reckon I’m going to slim down the races in terms of general availability to:
Elves: Long-lived, detached and somewhat autistic.
Dwarves: Gruff, hard-work, hard-play.
Humans: Community builders.
Orcs: They’re a fantasy staple and make more sense to me as a core race than, say, gnomes.
Half-breeds? Why bother complicating matters really? Want to play a ‘mule’? Pick the dominant race and pop your stats in where you think they fit with the concept better.
Balance? Nah, balance can get screwed.
OK, so, what’ve we go then:
Elf: +1 Dexterity, +1 Comeliness, -1 Charisma, -2 Constitution.
Dwarf: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution, -1 Comeliness.
Human: +1 Charisma
Orc: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution, -2 Comeliness, -1 Intelligence, +1 Wisdom.
Races will also have their own particular ‘bonuses’ , but that’ll come later on.