3 Generations After The End: The Races

Borderline Biennale 2011 by Abode of Chaos on Flickr

This article is part of 3 Generations After The End, a post-apocalyptic setting suitable for any role-playing system.

3 Generations After The End (3GATE) is designed to be a primarily human-centric setting. That’s great in a lot of ways. Humans are the dominant race in most RPG settings, and are certainly the stars of most modern media. It’s easy for us to relate on a common level with them, as well as imagining them competing in a fantastic world.

However, many systems also support the idea of multiple player races and 3GATE is easily expanded to include those.

After humans, the Beastmen are the most prominent race. Created by the early wizards after the great apocalypse, the beastmen are powerful men and women infused with bestiality of nature. Some are still under the control of wizards but many still escaped to the wilderness, forming their own tribes. Many races are naturally suited for beastmen as they already represent creatures who are part man, part animal. Minotaurs, lizardfolk, shifters, and thri-keen are all excellent choices. If you want to get creative, take a good look at the mechanics for the race and re-skin for different animals as needed. Gnolls are an excellent template race when playing D&D 4E. They get bonuses for hunting in groups, and their feats allow them to become excellent trackers or gain a natural claw weapon. These traits could be used to represent any number of animals in the world.

Beastmen are also naturally suited to working in a mixed party. Some are already allied with the wizards, while others have a natural reason to oppose them, so humans from either area could find reasons to work with them. They’re less naturally suited to the cities of the techno-priests, but in fantasy your characters are already exceptional. They could be converts, prisoners working toward release, or maybe they were an experiment left behind and freed by the priests.

Hayden Panettiere is a Cyborg by J (mtonic.com) on Flickr

Depending on the level of artifact technology you want to play with, the techno-priests offer another great race idea, that of the robot, cyborg, or android. The warforged of D&D, the gearforged of Midgard, and the giant robot of Big Eyes, Small Mouth are all great mechanics to use for these races. You could be a new creation, an experiment of the techno-priests and the ultimate representation of man’s worship of technology. Perhaps you were found and only recently reactivated. Many high tech labs would be outside of the city and in secret locations, leaving you to ally with the first willing humanoids you can find. You may even have been around since the apocalypse, remembering the old world. Talk to your GM about this option first. Many things from the past may need to be a secret to allow proper exploration and discovery. Maybe your character was a simple worker drone before, and never learned of life outside a three block radius, or it could be that years of poor maintenance have ruined your memory, giving you glimpses of the past in short, confusing bursts, making you a modern oracle.

Finally there are the deepest areas of the wild, where technology ceases to function, and the beastmen roam with unforgiving savagery. Few dare to tread here, and even fewer return to speak its tales. Since magic returned with the apocalypse, the secrets held here could be the source of the most fantastic racial options. Perhaps technology doesn’t function here because of magic’s rich veins. Fey lines could emanate from these zones, and perhaps their hearts are portals to other planes. One might stumble into cities of humanity’s mythic past: the mines of dwarves and gnomes, tree-top elven villages, or roaming tribes of goblins and giants. Like humans, members of these races may feel compelled to brave the unknown and explore the wastes outside their hidden sanctuaries. What happens when they leave, though? Does their magic change? Do they themselves become warped by the apocalypse? What grand creations might come into being if dwarven master craftsman were to work with the techno-priests?

Whatever you decide, use it to build the lore of your world, and have a grand adventure.

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