Ok... by request here is what I came up with for my "steampunk fantasy" setting. I'm up to an even 20 player-character races now, and I think I'll stop here. Maybe. We'll see. Or not. 😃
I used the standard race creation rules from SWADE (Savage Worlds ADventure Edition) to make them. A few are straight from the core book, but most are ones I came up with on my own.
Note that these racial traits are subject to change... this is a setting in progress, and I'm frequently coming back to the document to update and tweak things.
CARRADROHN: Magic and Steam
Carradrohn is the largest megalopolis on the continent of Marbus. It is colloquially referred to as “The Drone” because of the constant hum and vibration of machinery.
The world is ruled by the City-States, great steam- and smoke-choked cities that stretch for leagues in all directions. Towering buildings are surrounded by labyrinthine streets and alleys. Crowds of creatures of all races mingle and go about their lives around clattering street cars and airships. Pedestrian walkways connect buildings high above the streets, and the taller buildings have landing platforms and mooring masts for flying ships and residents. The hiss of steam and pillars of smoke that rise from the jumbled buildings are constant companions.
In between the City-States are the untamed and tangled Wildlands, the haunts of monsters and other beings who fled the City-States. There lie the enclaves of Elves trying to return to the old ways, Dwarves who’ve opened up their ancestral mountains and are getting rich off iron and coal as much as gold and jewels, and other strange creatures. The Wildlands are also littered with the ruins of ancient cities and rusting machinery from the Great War waged among now lost Human kingdoms generations ago. Steampunk dungeon crawls await!
The City-States are connected by express rail lines, and the longer lines are plagued by sky pirates, elvish eco-terrorist anarchists, and other bandits who block the tracks and bridges.
SPACE 1889: Red Sands
I'll be using the rules for Inventions, Status, and Favors, and some of the Edges and Hindrances from the Space: 1889 Red Sands book.
All manner of creatures call Carradrohn home. Humans, Elves, Goblins, Centaurs, and more. All arcane backgrounds are available, but are restricted based on your ancestry.
CHANGELING: Changelings start with the Gifted arcane background for free and thus can have no other arcane background.
CLOCKWORKS: Clockworks can take the Gifted (as built-in gadgets) or Weird Science (as external gadgets) arcane backgrounds.
DWARVES: Dwarves and Gnomes can take the Gifted, Miracles, or Weird Science arcane backgrounds.
FAERIES: Faeries start with the Gifted arcane background for free and thus can have no other arcane background.
GNOMES: Gnomes are the most magically versatile race. All arcane backgrounds are available to Gnomes.
HUMANS: Humans can take the Magic, Miracles, Psionics, or Weird Science arcane backgrounds.
OTHERS: All others can take the Gifted, Magic, or Miracles arcane backgrounds.
Aquilans are an avian race that hails from the high mountain peaks. They are sometimes also called angels, devas, or seraphim, although they have no direct association with godly powers. They have humanoid bodies, large, sharp eyes, pointed ears, and great feathered wings. They compete for territory with the reptilian Gargoyles.
(Unmodifed from the Avion in the core book).
Beastfolk are Humanoid animals that hail from the Wildlands. They resemble predatory mammals; the most common are wolves, big cats, and bears. Despite being intelligent and socialized, they retain their bestial instincts.
All Beastfolk have the following traits, plus one additional trait depending on their species.
• ANIMALISTIC (2): Beastfolk are agile or strong, depending on their species. Bears, lions, tigers, and wolves start with a d6 in Strength instead of a d4. Cheetahs, leopards and foxes start with a d6 in Agility instead of a d4. This increases the chosen maximum attribute to d12+1.
• BEAST SPEECH (−1): Beastfolk do not have the capacity to speak normally. They make themselves understood through bestial vocalizations and body language. They can freely communicate with other Beastfolk, and others can take the Beast Speech language to understand them.
• BITE (1): Beastfolk are armed with the sharp fangs of a predator. A Beastfolk’s fangs are Natural Weapons that cause Strength+d4 damage.
• BLOODTHIRSTY (−2): Beastfolk exist literally and figuratively on the border between animal and man. They retain their wild instincts, and are ferocious when enraged. They have the Bloodthirsty Hindrance.
• DIRECT (−1): The language of the Beastfolk does not lend itself easily to pleasant conversation. They do not begin with a d4 in Persuasion (but can take the skill later during normal advancement).
• LOW LIGHT VISION (1): As they are closely related to predatory animals, Beastfolk have keen nightvision. They ignore penalties for Dim and Dark Illumination.
• CLAWS (2): Bears have claws that cause Str+1d4 damage.
• SIZE (1): Bears are tall and wide-bodied. They are Size +1. This adds +1 to Toughness and increases maximum Strength to d12+1.
• UNSUBTLE (−1): Bears rely on endurance and power over subterfuge. They have a −1 penalty on Stealth checks.
FOX AND WOLF
• KEEN SCENT (2): Foxes and wolves add 2 to Survival checks to track by scent.
BIG CATS (LEOPARD, LION, AND TIGER)
• CLAWS (2): Big cats have claws that cause Str+1d4 damage.
BIG CAT (CHEETAH)
• BUILT FOR SPEED (−1): Cheetahs are more lightly-built than other big cat Beastfolk. They have a −1 to Toughness.
• CLAWS (2): Cheetahs have claws that cause Str+1d4 damage.
• SPRINTER (1): Cheetahs are extremely fast. They increase their Pace by 2 and their running die by one step.
Centaurs hail from the open plains and steppes. They resemble an amalgam of Human and horse. They have a reputation for being fierce warriors and formed great raiding parties in days long past.
• AWKWARD PHYSIOLOGY (−3): Due to their body shape and size, subtract 2 from Athletics (climbing) rolls and each inch moved while climbing costs them 3” of Pace. They suffer a −1 penalty on Agility checks.
• BIG AS A HORSE (2): Centaurs are Size +2. This adds +2 to Toughness and increases maximum Strength to d12+2.
• FLEET OF HOOF (2): Centaurs are quick on the run. Pace is increased by +2 and running die is increased a die type.
• HOOVES (1): Centaurs have hooves that deal Str+1d4 damage.
Changelings, also called doppelgangers and pookahs, are a faerie race that can change shape. Their normal form is a small, elfin creature with large eyes and pointed ears. Changelings are often employed as spies, but others find lucrative work as entertainers — actors who need no makeup to assume another role!
• FACIAL CUES (−2): A Changeling literally wears her emotions on her face, making them vulnerable to those who would take advantage. Changelings have a −1 penalty to resist Intimidation and Taunt tests.
• FEARSOME VISAGE (2): A Changeling can alter her face to make it more fearsome. Changelings have a +2 bonus to Intimidation checks.
• SHAPE CHANGE (3): Changelings begin play with the Gifted arcane background and the disguise and shape change powers. The disguise power can only be activated on the Changeling; this reduces the Power Point cost to 1.
• SIZE (−1): Changelings average only about four feet tall, reducing their Size (and therefore Toughness) by 1.
Clockworks are mechanical men and women crafted of steel and operated by intricate mechanisms. They are the result of Dwarven engineering and Human ingenuity. They are slow and strong, and speak via a means of pipe-organ like tubes activated by miniature bellows. They were designed for labor, and are considered to be property.
• BUILT FOR LABOR (2): Clockworks were constructed as servants and laborers. They start with a d6 in Strength instead of a d4. This increases maximum Strength to d12+1.
• BULKY (−2): Clockworks are only slightly taller than Humans but their limbs and torsos are proportionately larger to make room for internal mechanisms. Clockworks subtract 2 from Trait rolls when using equipment that wasn’t specifically designed them and cannot wear Human-sized armor or clothing. Equipment and clothing cost double the listed price.
• CONSTRUCT (8): Clockworks add +2 to recover from being Shaken, don’t breathe, ignore one level of Wound modifiers, and are immune to poison and disease. Constructs cannot heal naturally. Healing one requires the Repair skill, which takes one hour per current Wound level per attempt and is not limited to the “Golden Hour.”
• MAINSPRING (−2): Clockworks must spend at least one hour out of every 24 having their mainspring rewound. As a control feature Clockworks are unable to wind themselves, and are thus dependent on assistance from others. Without winding, a Clockwork becomes Fatigued each day until Incapacitated. A day after that, they shut down and effectively “die” as their difference engines (i.e. brains) reset. A Clockwork that shuts down in this manner can be reactivated by winding, but restarts at Novice rank. Each hour spent winding restores a level of Fatigue.
• METALLIC BODY (2): Clockworks are constructed of stiffened leather, brass, and steel. They have +4 armor.
• OUTSIDER (Major) (−2): Clockworks subtract 2 from Persuasion rolls when interacting with anyone besides other Clockworks, and have no legal rights in most areas (they’re generally considered property).
• STOMPING AUTOMATON (−1): Clockworks are heavy machinery. Decrease their walking Pace by 1 and their running die by one step.
• TICK-TOCK (−3): Clockworks are mechanical beings filled with turning cogs, ticking clockworks, whirring flywheels, and tension springs. They do not begin with a d4 in Stealth (but can take the skill later during normal advancement), and have a −2 penalty on Stealth checks.
Dwarves hail from the mountains, and are famous as miners, treasure-seekers, and smiths. It was the Dwarves’ gift for crafting that helped bring about the Clockworks. They are on neutral terms with the Aquilans and Gargoyles; they live outside the mountains while the Dwarves live within. Dwarves supply most of the iron and coal used to power the great steam engines of the world, and hold great wealth and power.
(Unmodified Dwarf from the core book).
Elves are an ancient race, far older than all other creatures in the world. They once ruled vast empires that spanned the world but those days are long past. They are a dwindling race, retreating ever further into the Wildlands between the cities. Most Elves view the City-States as blights on the land, smoke-choked labyrinths of filth and decadence.
• AGILE (2): Elves are graceful and agile. They start with a d6 in Agility instead of a d4. This increases maximum Agility to d12+1.
• LOW LIGHT VISION (1): Elven eyes amplify light. Other races often claim they can see stars in the Elves’ eyes. They ignore penalties for Dim and Dark Illumination.
• SLENDER (−1): Elves are tall, slender creatures, and this lean build leaves them less sturdy. Elves have a −1 to Toughness.
They fey folk, also called faeries, pixies, and sprites, can be found in nearly all parts of the world. They are most at home in the Wildlands, and indeed they gather in great number around Elvish enclaves. They have a curious fascination with the City-States, however, and often travel there seeking adventure.
• VENGEFUL (Minor) (−1): Faeries are quick to take offense and easily angered if they feel they are being treated unfairly. They have the Vengeful Hindrance.
• FAERIE MAGIC (2): Faeries begin play with the Gifted arcane background.
• FLIGHT (4): Faeries fly at Pace 12 per round. Use Athletics when maneuvering.
• LIGHT BUILD (−3): Faeries are lightly-built and have a −2 penalty on Strength checks.
• NIGHT VISION (1): Faeries are accustomed to the shadows of the forest, and ignore penalties for Dim and Dark Illumination.
• SIZE (−1): Faeries are barely 3 feet tall, reducing their Size (and therefore Toughness) by 1.
Like the Elves, Fauns prefer the Wildlands. They also understand that the world belongs to the City-States now, and they try to fit in as much as they can there. Those who dwell in the cities ally themselves with the Faeries, and are often found in company with them. Fauns who choose the Wildlands side with the Elves.
• HORNS (1): Fauns have curling ram-like horns on their head that deal Str+1d4 damage.
• NIGHT VISION (1): Fauns have goat-like eyes that enable them to see in the dark. They ignore penalties for Dim or Dark illumination (but not Pitch Darkness).
Gargoyles are somewhat reptilian creatures that resentfully share the mountain peaks with the Aquilans. Similar to their feathered counterparts, Gargoyles are called demons, devils, and imps. They are powerful creatures with great leathery wings. Gargoyles and Aquilans often wage territorial wars high up on the mountainsides.
• AGGRESSIVE (−1): Gargoyles tend to be aggressive and prefer action to talking. They do not begin with a d4 in Persuasion, although they can take the skill later during normal advancement.
• CAN’T SWIM (−1): Gargoyles’ wings are a hazard in water. They subtract 2 from Athletics (swimming) rolls and each inch moved in water costs them 3” of Pace.
• CLAWS (2): The clawed hands of a Gargoyle cause Str+1d4 damage.
• FLIGHT (4): Gargoyles fly at Pace 12 per round. Use Athletics when maneuvering.
• REDUCED PACE (−1): Dependence on flight and bulky wings make Gargoyles slightly slower when walking. Decrease their walking Pace by 1 and their running die by one step.
• ROCK SKIN (1): Gargoyles have thick skin that provides +2 armor.
Gnomes are small folk only slightly larger than Faeries. They love the great clanking machines and belching steam pipes that mystify most other creatures. Gnomes often find employment as researchers and information brokers.
• INSATIABLE CURIOSITY (2): Gnomes are interested in nearly everything that passes their eyes. They absorb and retain information like sponges. Gnomes begin play with the Jack of All Trades Edge.
• NIGHT VISION (1): Gnomes have excellent night vision, and ignore penalties for Dim and Dark Illumination.
• SIZE (−1): Gnomes average about 3 feet tall, reducing their Size (and therefore Toughness) by 1.
Of all the non-Human races, the goblins have embraced the cities the most. They feel right at home in the dark, twisting alleys and dank sewers. Goblins often have a reputation as thieves and murderers, and they have found a place for themselves in the cities and profit from it.
• NIGHT VISION (1): Accustomed to dark caves, goblins ignore penalties for Dim or Dark illumination (but not Pitch Darkness).
• QUICK (2): Despite their small size, goblins are quick. Pace is increased by +2 and running die is increased a die type.
• SIZE (−1): Goblins average only about four feet tall, reducing their Size (and therefore Toughness) by 1.
Hobfolk, also called simply Hobs, are a cheerful, helpful people. They can be just at home in the big cities and the border villages that surround them, but are wary of the wildest parts of the uncharted Wildlands. They are most at home among Humans, who they resemble in nearly every way but size.
(Unmodified Half-folk from the core book).
The City-States are the domain of Humanity. Similar to the Elves, Humans once dominated the land. Their kingdoms did not have the reach or prominence of the ancient elvish empires, however. Generations ago the warlords of men waged a Great War that rent the land and its people. Humans now live in the great City-States, having retreated from the ever-tangled Wildlands.
(Unmodified Human from the core book).
The Jotun are a race of minor giants that hail from the far, frozen northlands. Of all the races, they are the least at home in the great City-States, and are rarely ever found in those environs.
• ALL MUSCLE (−3): Jotun are built for power, not nimbleness. They have a −2 penalty on Agility checks.
• BIG-BONED (−2): Jotun are very tall and muscular. They subtract 2 from Trait rolls when using equipment that wasn’t specifically designed them and cannot wear Human-sized armor or clothing. Equipment, food, and clothing cost double the listed price.
• FROST-BORN (1/−1): The Jotun are native to the icy reaches and mountains that ring the northern climate. They have a +4 bonus to resist cold environmental effects, and take −4 damage from cold-based attacks. Likewise, they have a −4 penalty to resist heat environmental effects, and suffer +4 damage from heat-based attacks.
• GIANT (3): The Jotun average 8 feet tall and are Size +3. This adds +3 to Toughness and increases maximum Strength to d12+3.
• POWERFUL (4): Jotun begin with a d8 in Strength instead of a d4 and may raise Strength to d12+2.
The Lizardfolk are a reptilian race. They resemble Humanoid monitor lizards, and their brightly colored tongues constantly flick from their mouths.
• BITE (1): Lizardfolk fangs are Natural Weapons that cause Strength+d4 damage.
• BRUSQUE (−2): Lizardfolk care little for the niceties of police society. They speak harshly but truthfully. They suffer a −2 penalty to Persuasion.
• COLD-BLOODED (−1): Lizardfolk are cold-blooded and are poorly suited for extremely cold conditions. They suffer a −4 penalty to resist cold environmental effects, and suffer +4 damage from cold-based attacks.
• KEEN SENSES (2): Lizardfolk have acute senses, giving them the Alertness Edge.
• POISON BITE (1): The bite of a Lizardfolk carries a Mild poison.
• SCALES (1): Lizardfolk have thick scaly skin that provides +2 armor.
The aquatic Merfolk dwell in the seas and the inland lakes and rivers. They are rarely seen in or around the City-States, as the water there is too fouled with oil and other filth for them to breathe. The Merfolk have great fish-like tails that transform into legs when they wish to travel on land. For ease of transformation, Merfolk wear only dresses and kilts.
(Unmodified Aquan from the core book).
Minotaurs were brought into the City-States as laborers and soldiers before the invention of the Clockworks. Very few Minotaurs still live in the Wildlands, but their population there is increasing thanks to the influence of the Elves.
• BIG AS A BULL (−2/+2): Minotaurs are Size +2 and have a +2 bonus to Toughness. This also increases maximum Strength to d12+2. Minoaturs subtract 2 from Trait rolls when using equipment that wasn’t specifically designed for them and cannot wear their armor or clothing. Equipment, food, and clothing cost double the listed price.
• HORNS (2): Minotaurs have large bull-like horns on their head that deal Str+1d6 damage.
• SHORT-TEMPERED (−2): Minotaurs are notoriously short-tempered and suffer a −2 penalty on Persuasion checks.
• STRONG AS AN OX (2): Minotaurs are powerful creatures, and start with a d6 in Strength.
Orcs are the larger cousins of the Goblins. Orc society is militaristic and stresses conformity, but individual Orcs often break from this mold and chart their own course. Orcs prefer the noise and chaos of the City-States to the quiet wilderness.
• FEROCITY (2): Orcish ferocity is well-known throughout the lands. Orcs begin play with the Berserk Edge.
• SIZE (1): Orcs are a head taller than most humans. They are Size +1 and have a +1 bonus to Toughness. This also increases maximum Strength to d12+1.
• SLOW AND STEADY (−1): Orcs rarely run fast, and rarely need to. Decrease their walking Pace by 1 and their running die by one step.
Trolls often venture into the big cities, but prefer to live in the caves and riversides of the Wildlands. They are most common, then, in the border villages and outskirts of the City-States. Their predilection for living beneath bridges has served them well, and many are employed as Bridge Wardens for the great rail lines that connect the cities.
• BIG (−2): Trolls have wide bodies and long, gangly arms and legs and disproportionately large hands and feet. Trolls subtract 2 from Trait rolls when using equipment that wasn’t specifically designed for them and cannot wear normal-sized armor or clothing. Equipment, food, and clothing cost double the listed price.
• BULKY (−2): Trolls have slow reaction times due to their musculature and bulky forms. They suffer a −1 penalty on Agility checks.
• GRASPING CLAWS (2): A Troll’s hands are tipped with strong, sharp claws that do Str+1d4 damage.
• HARDY (2): Trolls are known to be extremely difficult to injure. A Troll cannot be Shaken into a Wound.
• LOW-LIGHT VISION (1): Trolls are accustomed to dark caves and deep forests. Trolls ignore penalties for Dim or Dark illumination (but not Pitch Darkness).
• SPINDLE-LIMBED (1): Trolls have disproportionately long arms, and have Reach 1.