Races and Ethnicities
Players in the Continuing Game may choose from among a number of species and ethnicities for their character:
The most populous and adaptive race, humans are the "standard" character type, and by far the most common. Humans live in all climates, but most commonly in plains, coasts, and hills. Humans have life spans of about 50 to 70 years, shorter than the mahiri and dwarves; however, they are much more fertile, which makes the longer-lived races sometimes jealous. Non-human races are rarely encountered in cities and towns, so contact with the other races becomes an event in and of itself for many humans.
Since "human" is the default character, playing a human costs no points, and gives no inherent bonuses or disadvantages. Most Quest PCs are humans.
Gypsies are a special case among humans. They have a general reputation for being ne'er-do-wells and troublemakers, and they make most Hesketines wary. Because of this, gypsies who look (and act) the part have a kit, which includes a Stigma. (The Stigma does not apply with other gypsies.)
The Stigma applies to those who are part of gypsy culture, not to anyone who happens to have gypsy blood. Gypsies who don't dress or act the part don't qualify for this disadvantage; they are just dark-skinned, dark-haired Hesketines, and are treated normally (no Stigma). Gypsies can (and should) buy off this kit if they "clean up" or if they are going incognito with any frequency.
In the world of the Continuing Game, this represents the dark skin and hair of the character.
Kit (-0.5 point)
The gypsy kit includes Stigma: Disliked Group. (Technically, this disadvantage cannot be bought off by itself, but you can buy off the kit as a whole.)
If you intend to play a gypsy, you should download the gypsy packet. This packet describes the gypsies in much richer detail.
People from Yamamoto (and other Dosanese) are another special case among humans, and have a kit. Because contact between continents is new, and because of the wars of '93 and '98, there is currently mistrust between Hesketines and Dosanese. Thus, the Dosanese have the Stigma disadvantage among Hesketines. (Obviously, among one another, the Stigma does not apply.)
Quest wants Yamomotoans to be unusual and exotic, so wants to limit the number of Yamamotoan PCs we have. Therefore, if you wish to play a Yamamotoan (or other Dosanese) character, you'll need to get approval from the Game World Committee.
In the world of the Continuing Game, this represents a Japanese-like skin tone and face.
Kit (-0.5 point)
Yamamotoan and Dosanese humans have Stigma: Disliked Group. This disadvantage cannot be bought off.
If you intend to play a Yamamotoan, you should download the Yamamotoan packet. This packet describes Yamamoto (and the continent of Dosan) in much richer detail.
A hardy, frugal people who inhabit mountainous areas to the exclusion of all other areas. They are justly famed as miners and metalworkers, and many of the finest weapons, armor, and works of art have come from the dwarves. They are quite short but stocky with large muscular bodies, barrel-like torsos, and a forehead ridge. Dwarves are known for their honor and their sense of tradition.
Dwarves live only in the mountains and leave their domains to venture into human lands only with good reason. Most dwarves live in the Grendarr mountains, the mountains north of Kjolnir, or other significant mountain ranges.
Two fingernail-sized circles of leather at the temples, connected by a stripe of makeup that runs across the forehead. The color of the stripe indicates the dwarf's clan.
In the world of the Continuing Game, this represents a dwarf's appearance: short, stocky stature (on average, about a foot shorter than humans; the character will usually be shorter than the player), two sensory organs at the temples, and a ridged forehead whose ridge pattern indicates the dwarf's clan.
Kit (2 points)
The dwarf package includes these skills:
- Immunity to Poison, representing a dwarf's hardy constitution
- two points towards the following skills, representing a dwarf's education and/or physiology: Lore, Traps, Brawling, Superior Clotting, Rapid Healing, Locks, or Will.
It also includes these disadvantages, which cannot be bought off. Please see the dwarf packet for details on each:
- Honor (Dwarven) disadvantage
- Miserliness (which is much like Charity)
- Potion Resistance (where double the normal amount of potions is needed to be effective)
- They may not take Charity or Hemophilia, and only get half a point if they take Poverty.
If you intend to play a dwarf, you should download the dwarf packet. This packet describes the dwarves in much richer detail.
A forest-dwelling race of creatures, the mahiri (their own term for themselves; humans sometimes call them "elves") tend to prefer temperate forests and are rarely seen in the warmer climates. Mahiri are long-lived, typically living about 400 years. They are born with a magical "gem" in their foreheads, whose color changes with age. Younger mahiri have purple gems, changing to red and then clear in old age. Upon death or removal, this gem fades and shatters.
Mahiri culture emphasizes "balance," not only within each person but also in the world as a whole. The mahiri believe since they are more balanced, better educated, and wise with age, they always have more balanced solutions and everyone should consider their advice. All mahiri are born with a sense of honor. In addition, being a more introspective people, they place no value in money; they do not seek to gain wealth, and what money they do acquire is typically pooled together, lest it become unbalancing. Mahiri culture values education, with the elders gathering to teach the younger in instructional circles.
Unlike humans, who rule by birth, mahiri are governed by virtue of age and wisdom. More difficult decisions are typically resolved by a discussion of the community as a whole.
A colored gem on the forehead. (You need not have your own; Quest can provide one.) You may wear pointy ears if you choose, but this is not required.
In the world of the Continuing Game, this represents a mahiri's appearance: a forehead gem, pointy ears, and a slender frame.
Kit (1 point)
The mahiri package includes these skills:
It also includes these disadvantages, which cannot be bought off. Please see the mahiri packet for details on each:
- the Honor (Mahiri) disadvantage
- Charity, representing the nonmonetary society of the mahiri
If you intend to play a mahiri, you should download the mahiri packet. This packet describes the mahiri in much richer detail.
Humans and mahiri can interbreed, and the mutual civility of those two races occasionally produces such creatures. "Half-mahiri," or "half-elves," bear square pink gems in their foreheads which do not change color. They are stockier than the mahiri and usually live about 120 years. They may reside either with human or mahiri society. They are also infertile.
A square-shaped, pink gem on the forehead. (You need not have your own; Quest can provide one.)
In the world of the Continuing Game, this represents a half-mahiri's appearance: a pink "gem" on the forehead, ears that are somewhat pointy, and a somewhat slender frame.
Half-mahiri have no set traits (and therefore cost no points). If raised by mahiri parents, they may take the mahiri kit; if raised by humans, they may not. Either way, some mahiri will frown upon the parents for bringing a short-lived and infertile child into the world, especially since mahiri birthrates are so low.
While other races are permitted, you must have the race approved by the Rules Committee and Game World Committee before the game in order to use it. (You cannot get approval "for that game only" for new races.)
Racial kits already exist for some other races. They are not included here (for the sake of brevity), but they are available from Quest upon request.
Disguising Non-Human Races
Because the physical representations are not the only traits that make each race stand out, one cannot disguise one's race simply by covering the physical representation. For instance, a mahiri could not pass as human by covering the forehead gem with a headband, since mahiri also have somewhat pointy ears, a slender frame, and other traits that the headband would not hide. Disguises must mask all in-game traits. So mahiri trying to pass as humans would have to hide their forehead gems and ears and would have to wear suitably voluminous clothing to hide their slender frames. Dwarves are going to have much more trouble, since it's hard to hide that you're really short. And orcs would have to cover all of their green skin and somehow hide their pointed snouts!
Human characters don't have a physical representation—mostly. Since a player's physical traits and the character's do not have to match, it may not be obvious to other players what your character's continent or place of origin would be. But in-game, it would be obvious to other characters!
Characters who are from regions or cultures outside the usual "norm" for game locales (including Yamamotoans and gypsies, but also Marakhs, Kiljuks and Shengans) should be dressed in ethnically appropriate costume in order to serve as a convenient and obvious signifier of the character's origin. If, for whatever reason, such a character is dressed in Northern Hesketine clothing (or, for that matter, if a Northerner is in foreign dress), then the player should take appropriate steps to make sure that the character's continent of origin is clear to other players. For instance, this might include a simple out-of-game "name tag" that informs other players of your actual in-game appearance.