Tiny d10’s races are simple, and as such, race design is a simple affair. In this session, we explore the three components of race: the description, the racial advantage, and the racial feature.
In order to keep descriptions brief, the recommended format consists of three adjectives which best describe the race. In addition to the examples found in the core rules, some other descriptions may be:
- Half-giant – big, intimidating, but compassionate, half-giants…
- Half-elf – agile, bold, and keen, half-elves…
- Lizard-folk – lithe, perceptive, and ornery, lizard-folk…
Of course, descriptions need not be limited to only three adjectives; however, this formula exists to best describe a race using the least amount of words.
Racial advantages consist of actual, tangible bonuses to a character. Each race is granted one racial advantage, which is typically manifested as a +1 bonus to a numerical value like HP, MP, PP, Toughness, or even damage. Bonuses to attributes are also included in racial advantages, but to prevent overpowering a race, should be limited to +1 at levels 1, 3, and 5.
Racial features different from advantages in that they are intangible bonuses that can often be freely interpreted by both players and GMs. They do not add a +1 bonus to any field, instead suggesting an action or ability that the race is especially good at. To take an example from the core rules:
- Halflings – … can often disappear when they wish.
This feature could be used by different players in different ways. In some instances, it could add a bonus to a hide check; in others (GM permitting) it could add a bonus to a sneak check when trying to disappear in the midst of chaos. Racial features are intentionally written in a way that makes them open to interpretation, encouraging both players and GMs to ‘think fast’ and be creative.
And that’s really all there is to it! Races are fun and easy to create, and using this analysis should help you make a multitude of races that are all culturally and mechanically diverse. If there’s anything you’d like to see here (or if you have suggestions for future home-brewing sessions), let me know in the comments!