Hi all, sorry if this question has come up multiple times but was recently thinking of running a half-merfolk PC but realised I was thinking too much in terms of ‘race’ as opposed to class. I naturally expect a sea wizard to play differently to a sea warrior.
I know the concept of hard-fixed race rules (in a ‘fixed’ ability sense) tends to go against the grain in DW but I enjoy the idea of synergizing abilities in a race-class setting (maybe my history in games has made me feel like this), but what would do in this case? Would you just re-write a starting move for the class you want to play? Is there a Race Hack any of you have been successfully using?
10 thoughts on “Hi all, sorry if this question has come up multiple times but was recently thinking of running a half-merfolk PC but…”
Why not just write a new Merfolk racial move for the class you want to play? There are plenty of great people here who would help you workshop it if desired. Heck, there may even be one floating around out there already.
I wrote a ton of Merfolk racial moves for Class Warfare.
For a default DW Wizard I would go with “every large body of saltwater can be used as a place of power for rituals”.
Thanks for the heads up guys.
In fact rereading the post I feel a bit silly now, as editing racial moves seems like the obvious if not only way to go. Not sure re class as I was thinking more of what I wanted my character to be as opposed to what I wanted them to do.
You can’t always separate those two things, Jeremy Tua. 🙂
Just as a matter of interest, what sort of things would you expect from a race hack? I’ve been toying with the idea of having races in a compendium class style (totally not stealing that idea from Sundered World :P), but I’m not sure what sorts of moves would be expected/appreciated. It’ll probably never see the light of day (what with me being pretty rubbish with making and/or finishing things) but oh well 😛
Christopher Stone-Bush Haha! I disagree a bit 😛 In the sense that one describes ‘where you come from’ the other describes ‘where you go’. Linked, surely, but seperable to some degree! But that’s just me being pedantic.
Em0srawk A compendium class style thing is quite in line with what my initial thoughts were. 2 or 3 abilities or modifiers or conditions in line with the fiction of the race. Not at the exclusion of fiction, but to complement and shape it from the start. ( I expect a half mer character to swim faster than a regular human whether or not there is an ability for it) I had a few thoughts right now what I’d ‘expect’ of my half-mer character. For example, I’d expect him to have to remain moist because his skin is not exactly like humans. So in arid desert-y conditions, he should suffer some sort of penalty (say -1 CON) unless my PC is constantly rewetting themselves (costing Extra Ration) (Idea off the top of my head).
A few other ideas popped to mind (e.g.Clothes being a hinderance to DEX since they get wet, while no clothes being a hinderance to CHA when in a town or city when appropriate). I’m thinking moves which don’t just give added strengths (if at all) but which make the players make added choices.
I know that is should be handled by the fiction of the game. I know that through discussion and storytelling these factors will come out anyway. At the same time I can’t help but feel that some of these considerations should be codified slightly stronger than that.
I’d be careful about proscribing too much to a race choice. Give one solid, colorful move: “Merfolk are at home in the water – you are as comfortable swimming as any land-lubber is trudging across the fields.”
At any table, the Players can determine what “comfortable swimming” means – does it mean speed? maneuverability? breathing underwater? Sure, maybe!
But stick to one single move for race. When you start piling on moves and modifiers, you restrict the fiction from the get go.
The DM may decide to “reveal an unwelcome truth” and let the merfolk know that her skin is drying out in this arid land – ‘use a ration to soak and wrap a blanket around you or suffer the consequences!’ Let these additional facts be established at the table; we’re drawing maps but leaving lots of blanks here!
Also, check out Heritage Moves from Dark Heart of the Dreamer.
I agree with Andrew – one solid, colorful move with plenty of ambiguity is more useful than a series of moves. A blanket statement like “You’re half fish man, and you’re able to live as either a fish or a man as you please” is more powerful than “You’re half fish man, you’ve got water breathing, can talk to sea creatures, do +1 damage with tridents”, etc.
Thanks all of you for the insight! Much appreciated. You’ve convinced me now haha. 🙂
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