Shirefolk

The Shirefolk are unique among the races in that they have no true sub-races: when a child is conceived by one of the Shirefolk, the child’s “sub-race’ is determined by the gods into one of: Shireling, Dwarf, or Gnome. Because of this, as a society, Shirefolk do not normally differentiate greatly between the sub-races. A child born to Shirefolk parents who are of the same sub-race is most likely to be of that sub-race, but it is not unheard of for two dwarves to produce a Shireling child. The usual practice is for such a child to be adopted by parents of that sub-race, though some parent’s choose to keep the child. As a whole, the nature of Shirefolk reproduction has lead to a society in which the community takes a hand in raising children, with any birth and adoptive parents having a role in the child’s life.

Shirefolk society is structured around the three divinely mandated groups and while the three groups are separate, they function as a part of a bigger whole. Each separate group has its own specialized skills, but when the three skill sets are bought together, their skills harmonize. Even in their pastimes the groups work together harmoniously: during Shirefolk festivals, the nights are filled with Dwarven drums, Gnomish woodwinds, Shireling strings, and a chorus of surprisingly talented singers.

Shirefolk are known for their craftsmanship and skill at fabricating, inventing, parlaying, trading, and business. They are artisans and artists, traders and merchants. The different groups complement each other and trust each other intrinsically. As befits such an integrated and skill-focuses race, the Shirefolk are governed by the Council of Peers which is made of the wisest individual of each “trade,” those trades being generally defined as: Technicians, Scientists, Alchemists, Mages, Astronomers, and Tradesmen.

Shirefolk usually maintain a “live and let live” philosophy and keep to themselves, only interacting with other races during trade, business, or travel. However, during the Inritian Wars, it was the start readings of Gnomish astronomers and astrologers who first learned of the return of Oblivion. While the Shirefolk had always rejected alliances, especially military ones, with other races or governments the coming of Oblivion changed this attitude. The Shirefolk alerted all of Geos to the danger and joined the Alliance against Inritius. During the Inritian Wars, the forces of Oblivion decimated the Shirefolk’s homelands in punishment for their role in jumpstarting the Alliance.

Note: While Shirefolk are generally perceived to be smaller in stature, they are in fact only slightly shorter on average than other races and many are quite tall. There are no height restrictions on playing any of the Shirefolk sub-races.

Dwarves

Dwarves are the keepers of tradition in Shirefolk society. They are the master craftsmen of stone and metal, the priests, the judges, and the lore-wardens. They can be distinguished from other Shirefolk by their beards, their dress, and their armour. Dwarves are often compared to the stability of the Earth; they are slow to anger, but erupt like a volcano if antagonized. Dwarven etiquette is hierarchal, and any challenge to a Dwarf of higher station must also acknowledge that Dwarf’s station, rank and accomplishments. Dwarves have an unshakeable sense of honour and see no reason to lie; they expect to be treated as trustworthy and those who question a Dwarf’s word often draw their anger. Dwarves never forget a slight and fight like a well-trained machine until their foes are vanquished; they rarely promote war, but will see it to its end. The Dwarven demeanor can best be described as taciturn and practical; they talk straight and can be rather tactless. Dwarves have a natural distrust of new ideas, foreign ways, and experimentation. They have developed their methods and techniques over centuries, and each piece of craftwork they make is of unquestionable quality; this is also why Dwarves don’t haggle, the price of an item is firm. Dwarves may seem cheap, but are actually just frugal. Despite their parsimony, Dwarves appreciate and value well-made goods. Metal and stone goods are their specialty, they exert extreme effort to make everything perfect. Dwarven armour, weapons and luxury items are of unsurpassed quality and beauty, proving that, despite how gruff or practical they may be, Dwarves are true artists. Other Shirefolk rely on the Dwarves' stable natures, enduring strength, and loyalty.

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Race: Shirefolk
Subrace: Dwarves
Alignment Guideline: LNN
Banned Alignment: Chaotic
Religion Guideline: Cthon
Banned Religion: Ever Changing One
EXP Adjustment: None
Boon Cost: None
Racial Lores: Lore Shirefolk Rank 2, Lore Minerals Rank 2.
Suggested Geographies: Mountain, Cavern
Barred Geographies: Ocean
Suggested Heritages: Pureblood
Barred Heritages: Elan, Arcana, Fae
Multiplier Reduction: Might -1 and Intellect -1
Multiplier Increase: Arcane and Psionic +2, Agility or Connection+1
Language: Argead RS, Shirefolk RWS
Loc: 6
Con: 16
Halo: 0
Mana: 0
Willpower: Rank 1 Defensive
Wealth: 15gp

Costuming:

  • Cultural Dress: Dwarves tend to wear lots of armour and to wear earthen, dull tones.
  • Beards: Dwarves, even females, must have a fake beard of at least 4 inches. Dwarves with social status should have significantly longer beards. The higher a dwarf’s status the longer and more ornate their beard should be. Dwarves can always regrow their beard between games.

Racial Advantages:

  • Natural Crafters: Dwarves are natural crafters, they begin play with a +1 Constant bonus to two different craft skills. They start with one Rank 2 Craft skill, Craft Project, and Rank 2 Appraise.
  • Dwarven Armour: Dwarves are the masters of armour, in regards to stacking armour dwarves can stack an additional medium layer and an additional heavy layer for a total of one light, two medium, two heavy layers. They suffer from the combined hindrance of all the armour they wear.
  • Resistant: Dwarves are able to burn off poisons and diseases rapidly. By expending three points of temporary constitution, the Dwarf is able to cure themselves of any normal poison or disease, rumors exist of potent afflictions which can resist this effect.

Racial Disadvantages:

  • Racial Skill Restrictions: Dwarves may not purchase Arcane Casting, Psionic Sciences, Additional (Arcane)Mana, DAC above Rank 6, Dodge, or Climb above Rank 6.
  • Honour and Pride: Dwarves are honourable and do not lie. Dwarves are prideful and get short-tempered when people mock them, their crafts, or their heritage. Dwarves are guarded and resistant to change.
  • Movement: Dwarven movement is significantly slower than that of other races; this must be shown by the character. Dwarves rarely run and never run first; their movement must be plodding and methodical.
  • Beards: If a dwarf does not have a beard they lose half their Constitution, their racial Resistant ability, and their racial Dwarven Armour ability until they regrow their beard. If a character loses their beard mid game they suffer these penalties.

Gnomes

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If Shirelings are the inspiration and Dwarves are the labour, then Gnomes are the plan that fits the pieces together. Gnomes are concerned with how things work, making them the academics of the Shirefolk races. They love knowledge for knowledge’s sake and study any new gadget, method, material, or idea. Gnomes are the primary mages, herbalists, alchemists, scientists, and philosophers of the Shirefolk. Gnomes tend to make their homes in low hills near arable land. In small numbers they can be found everywhere depending on their experiments. No matter what task a Gnome chooses to do, they are diligent workers who enjoy their leisure time with equal enthusiasm. Gnomes are focused on star-reading and portents as time, cycles, and the order of things comprise the greatest working machine of all. Gnomes apply their unending need to understand to the universe in general to try and define how it applies to practical things and peoples; in this, they quest for nothing less than a complete understanding of the cosmos’s workings. Because Gnomes deeply respect wisdom and knowledge, they carry that respect to the methods that rule how anything works; magic, growing things, time, stars, energy and balance. Like Shirelings, Gnomes like a good tale and are often skilled tellers. Also like Shirelings, Gnomes are tolerant and good-tempered, but dislike rudeness. Like Dwarves, they are fastidiously hard-working, but whereas the Dwarves rely on millennia of traditions and honing to perfect their skills, Gnomes research and adapt theirs as things change. Other Shirefolk rely on the Gnomes understanding, intellect, dedication, and ingenuity.

Race: Shirefolk
Subrace: Gnomes
Alignment Guideline: NNN
Banned Alignment: None
Religion Guideline: Gwiddion
Banned Religion: None
EXP Adjustment: None
Boon Cost: None
Racial Lores: Lore Shirefolk Rank 2, Lore Technology Rank 2,
Suggested Geographies: Any
Barred Geographies: None
Suggested Heritages: Any
Barred Heritages: None
Multiplier Reduction: Intellect or Connection by 2.
Multiplier Increase: Might by 2. Psionic by 2.
Language: Argead RS, Shirefolk RWS.
Loc: 3
Con: 8
Halo: 10
Mana: 10 Arcane
Willpower: Rank 1 Defensive
Wealth: 3gp

Costuming:

  • Gnomes tend to wear earthen tones and to wear their tool belts all of the time, when you look at a Gnome, their profession is obvious.
  • Gnomes are required to have a large bulbous nose. In Gnomish society, they are a sign of status, and the size of your nose should reflect your rank or potential.

Racial Advantages:

  • Technology: Gnome Technology is significantly more advanced than that of everyone other than the Minerians. Gnomes start with one piece of Gnomish Technology worth 50gp or less. When buying Gnome Technology with boons, Gnomes pay half the cost.
  • Star-Reading: During the set-up phase of each game, a Gnome character can ask the referee what the stars foretell will happen this day. The Gnome may choose to be given a general reading or may elect to know what the stars suggest about a certain topic.
  • Scientists: Gnomes begin play with a +1 Constant bonus to an appropriate craft skill and another to Disable Traps. They start with one Rank 1 Craft skill, one Rank 1 Profession skill, Rank 1 Disable Traps, and Rank 2 Appraise. They also start with the Research skill. When creating alchemical, potion, poison, drug, scroll, herb, clockwork, or technology items, when working alone, the production point cost of the item is halved.
  • Masters of Illusions: A Gnomes Offensive Willpower is considered to be two higher when casting Illusions and their Defensive Willpower is considered to be four higher when confronting illusions.

Racial Disadvantages:

  • Racial Skill Restrictions: Gnomes are unable to purchase Strength, Style Mastery*, Rage, or Brutal Strike above Rank 4. *This restriction does not apply to Style Mastery with Crossbows, Firearms, or Siege Weapons. Gnomes may not purchase Psionic Sciences.
  • Ledger: Gnomes must write up each game they attend as a journal article on the IA Forum. This must be done within a week of the game or the character receives no experience.
  • Unburdened: Gnomes treat armour as if its hindrance is double. Hindrance from shields and other sources is unaffected.

Shirelings

Shirelings are the explorers and adventurers of Shirefolk society. They are childlike, innocent, light-hearted and fond of jokes; they go through life with a light heart, and regard those who don’t do so with gentle humour. Many think them stupid, but they are merely insatiably curious, to the point that it overwhelms their common sense.
No matter how far a Shireling travels, they always return often to the hills and fields of their birth. Despite their seemingly lazy ways, Shirelings make excellent farmers and enjoy nature’s bounty. Shirelings are excellent diplomats, traders, and scouts due to their keen eyes, nimble feet, and bright minds. Strangers bearing gifts, items for trade or stories are always welcome at their camps. They especially love good jokes, clever stories, riddles, and games. Woodwork, clothing or leatherwork made by a Shireling is likely to be of good quality and to outlast similar goods. Shirelings do, however, reserve the right to sell substandard goods to those who they feel have earned a pranking. Shirelings prefer to dress in jewel-bright colours and eye-catching designs, accented with the perfect accessories. Shirelings love new objects, and have a liberal view of ownership; they often ‘acquire’ things during the course of their lives, these are things that interest or entertain them that they gather to examine later; Shirelings rarely steal for malicious, greedy or jealous reasons, but anything they ‘acquire’ is clearly supposed to be in their possession, at least for now. There are few things a Shireling will not pick up during their travels, however, they tend to respect the rightful place of works of art that artists have worked hard and honestly on, unless they are being misused or mishandled. Other Shirefolk rely on the Shirelings wit, fearlessness, and imagination.

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Race: Shirefolk
Subrace: Shirelings
Alignment Guideline: NGH
Banned Alignment: Non-Hopeful
Religion Guideline: Gaea
Banned Religion: Oblivion
EXP Adjustment: None
Boon Cost: None
Racial Lores: Lore Shirefolk Rank 2, Lore Travel Rank 2,
Suggested Geographies: Town, Stream, Fields, Hills.
Barred Geographies: None
Suggested Heritages: Heroic
Barred Heritages: Undead
Multiplier Reduction: Agility -1, Connection -1
Multiplier Increase: Might +2, Psionic +2.
Language: Argead RS, Shirefolk RWS.
Loc: 2
Con: 6
Halo: 0
Mana: 0
Willpower: 0
Wealth: 0

Costuming:

  • Shirelings wear bright colours, unless trying to be stealthy; their costumes are made of interesting pieces and accessories. They are always able to pull something new and exciting from their pockets.
  • Shirelings each have a signature item, like a jaunty hat, which the character must always have visible on their person, even when they are in disguise.
  • Shirelings do not wear shoes; if possible manipulate your footwear to appear barefoot.

Racial Advantages:

  • Skilled Crafters: Shirelings begin play with a +1 Constant bonus to an appropriate craft skill. They also start with one Rank 1 Craft skill, one Rank 1 Profession skill, and Rank 2 Appraise. When creating leather, fabric, or wooden items, when working alone, the production point cost of the item is halved.
  • Trained Scouts: Shirelings are trained scouts, they begin the game with Tracking, Climbing, Balance, Pick Pockets, Open Lock, Stealth, and Heighten Senses at rank 1.
  • Resist Fear: Shirelings are resistant to fear and terror effects and have +6 Willpower against these effects, however, they must approach and be interested in the source of the fear.
  • Exceptional Luck: Shirelings are naturally lucky. As such, they gain the Exceptional Luck merit with no experience penalty. If the character is a Fate-Spinner, or already has the merit the ability can be used an additional time per day.

Racial Disadvantages:

  • Racial Skill Restrictions: Shirelings may not purchase Strength, Rage, or Brutal Strike above Rank 4. Shirelings may not purchase Psionic Sciences.
  • Racial Flaws: All Shirefolk begin play with the flaws Insatiable Curiosity and Overactive Imagination, for which they receive no benefit.