When we first published the first edition of Ingenium, the standard fantasy races included in that book – dwarfs, elves, etc. – were intended mostly as an afterthought rather than a core part of the rules. The Eiridia setting at that time featured none of those races. In fact, when the time came for me to incorporate Kevin’s Khathana setting into the overall Eiridia setting, I had to reconcile the fact that Khathana had goblins and giants and Eiridia did not. As time passed and I wrote more and more for the Eiridia setting, I realized that I enjoyed having the traditional fantasy races in the setting.
When I started writing the second edition of Ingenium, one of the first things I did was to expand the descriptions of the traditional fantasy races and give them a real place in the system. I also started writing notes about how they could fit into the Eiridia setting.
Iridium Fantasy, the rule set that later became Ingenium under the Silver Gryphon banner, included the traditional races. It also included twelve different dragon races that players could play as. Dragons were removed from Ingenium early in the design process because they were heavily imbalanced, and once Dragons became the main villains of the Eiridia setting, it became impossible for players to ever play as one of them.
Elves took the “former slaves of the dragons” route that has been done a few times in fantasy literature. To my knowledge, this has never been done in an RPG setting, but there’s so much out there for fantasy settings that I can’t know for sure. I modeled Eiridian elves after the elves of the Riftwar Saga, with some subtle changes of my own.
Dwarfs are about as standard as they can get, though I have big plans for the bearded warrior folk. I tend to play dwarf characters frequently in MMORPGs and tabletop games, so I want to do a lot for them in the Eiridia setting now that they’re included.
Halflings are probably the biggest tie back to traditional fantasy races of the 1970s and early 80s. They’re very much of the hobbit persuasion, rather than the micro-elves of modern Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder. The illustration we commissioned for the halflings really drives that point home.
Other standard races that are less common didn’t make it into the Ingenium rulebook but may make an appearance in the Eiridia campaign setting in 2014. Some of these include gnomes, half-orcs, and similar races.
The next few weeks will see articles about each of these races and their presence in Summerfort.