Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Weird red metals, dominions, immortals, hollow planets, invisible moons, and a lot of glorified magic zeppelins. It's all here.
The Book-House: Find Mystara products, Find Known World products.

Moderators: Seer of Yhog, Gawain_VIII, Havard, Cthulhudrew

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 2246
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Post by shesheyan » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:09 am

Races in Mystara usually have a Gazetteer written for them and a main area of land they control (Alfheim, Five Shires, etc). I know my question is going to irk some purists but I'm going to ask it anyway. Were would you locate, in Mystara, the kingdoms of Dragonborns, Tieflings and other more recent races?

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3352
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: Other Races?

Post by ripvanwormer » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:11 am

Tieflings are known as progeny in the Principalities of Glantri, where they trace their descent to the wandering Flaems who intermarried with strange otherworldly beings during their exodus through the planes in centuries past.

Dragonborn are remnants of the Overlord's army, dwelling in Darokin and Sind and traveling in small mercenary bands, honoring the martial traditions of their ancestors.

I've written about illumians, spellscales, aasimar and genasi elsewhere.

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 4008
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

Re: Other Races?

Post by RobJN » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:29 am

shesheyan wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:09 am
Races in Mystara usually have a Gazetteer written for them and a main area of land they control (Alfheim, Five Shires, etc). I know my question is going to irk some purists but I'm going to ask it anyway. Were would you locate, in Mystara, the kingdoms of Dragonborns, Tieflings and other more recent races?
If not progeny in Glantri, as rip suggests, I'd cross tieflings over as diaboli, with some appropriate flavor/cosmetic changes. But no nation, on the Mystaran side of the dimensional divide.

Dragonborn? Pick a remote mountain range. Certainly the Wyrmsteeth might be a good candidate.

That's if I ever allowed them. Which I probably wouldn't. Now I need to get back to my torch and pitchfork. ;)
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook |twitter

User avatar
stebehil
Troll
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:37 pm
Gender: male
Location: Dresden, Germany

Re: Other Races?

Post by stebehil » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:37 am

In general, I would be extremely reluctant to allow these exotic races. Mystara is a very humanocentric world, especially in the GAZ area, with standard (Read: Tolkienesque) fantasy races thrown in. Even the gnomes are usually not seen that much. That being said, exotic races have their place in Alphatia (if it still exists). The idea of dragonborn being native to the Wyrmsteeth sure has its merits, especially given that Alphatia has tried to gain a foothold there several times, which would explain magical creatures.

EDIT: If you use the Wrath of the Immortals events, "new" creatures might be easily introduced afterwards, with the world getting all shaken up. But then, unless you use spontaneous mutations a la Shadowrun, the creatures will need a few decades to mature.

User avatar
Sturm
Blue Dragon
Posts: 5089
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:26 pm
Gender: male
Location: Genoa, Italy
Contact:

Re: Other Races?

Post by Sturm » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:24 pm

Dragonborn certainly in the Wyrmsteeth of Norwold. But they could also easily fit in Alphatia and some regions of Thyatis. I wrote an article on the Wyrmsteeth in Threshold issue 8 http://pandius.com/wyrmwho1.html

Tieflings could fit in Glantri as said above, and probably also in Alphatia. Same for genasi.
Initially Mystara was mostly human but later many non human people were introduced, as lupins, rakasta, tortles and others so strange races could easily fit anywhere beyond the Known World IMO.
Editor of Threshold, the Mystara Magazine: http://pandius.com/thrs_mag.html

User avatar
stebehil
Troll
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:37 pm
Gender: male
Location: Dresden, Germany

Re: Other Races?

Post by stebehil » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:00 pm

I think restricting the "standard" exotic races and have Mystara-specific ones is a chance to have Mystara differ from other 5e campaigns. The rakasta might be easily represented by tabaxi from Volo´s Guide to Monsters.

User avatar
Scumdog47
Goblin
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:49 pm
Gender: male

Re: Other Races?

Post by Scumdog47 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:09 pm

Dragonborn could perhaps be placed in some small enclaves/city states in the Wyrmsteeth Range?

User avatar
Cthulhudrew
Green Dragon
Posts: 4241
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:13 pm
Gender: male
Location: Long Beach, CA

Re: Other Races?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:18 am

An alternative theory for Tieflings could be as the offspring of Human/Diaboli pairings.
Moderator of the Mystara and Greyhawk forums. My moderator voice is gray-green.
Image

User avatar
Angel Tarragon
Dawn Dragon
Posts: 8682
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:39 am
Gender: female
Location: Phoenix, AZ (USA)
Contact:

Re: Other Races?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:06 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:18 am
An alternative theory for Tieflings could be as the offspring of Human/Diaboli pairings.
The problem with that is that Diaboli are "nightmare" humanoids, not "hellions."

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 19423
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Other Races?

Post by Havard » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:25 pm

stebehil wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:37 am
In general, I would be extremely reluctant to allow these exotic races. Mystara is a very humanocentric world, especially in the GAZ area, with standard (Read: Tolkienesque) fantasy races thrown in. Even the gnomes are usually not seen that much. That being said, exotic races have their place in Alphatia (if it still exists). The idea of dragonborn being native to the Wyrmsteeth sure has its merits, especially given that Alphatia has tried to gain a foothold there several times, which would explain magical creatures.
While I agree with you that the Known World is centered around the more traditional races, I think it is one of Mystara's trademarks that it has so many different intelligent races. With all the races from the PC series and the Creature Catalog, I doubt a Dragonborn or Tiefling would see many raised eyebrows in most larger cities or magical centers.

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
stebehil
Troll
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:37 pm
Gender: male
Location: Dresden, Germany

Re: Other Races?

Post by stebehil » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:36 pm

That depends. For the most part, these "exotic" races do appear mostly within a narrowly limited subsetting (especially the PC series), and would be quite unusual outside those settings. It also depends upon the "design era" we look at. Stuff up the late 80ies, the GAZ series especially (with the obvious exception of the Orcs of Thar and the Shadowelves) do put the traditional races into the focus. With later material, starting with the PC series, these other races get more time in the spotlight. And it strongly depends on the area you are in - what would hardly raise an eyebrow in Sundsvall might generate a riot in Specularum.

User avatar
Cthulhudrew
Green Dragon
Posts: 4241
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:13 pm
Gender: male
Location: Long Beach, CA

Re: Other Races?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:34 am

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:06 pm
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:18 am
An alternative theory for Tieflings could be as the offspring of Human/Diaboli pairings.
The problem with that is that Diaboli are "nightmare" humanoids, not "hellions."
Considering that you'd need to be making some changes to their origins to fit them into Mystara anyway (due to the lack of the Nine Hells and devils), I don't see that the distinction is all that problematic. Particularly as the diaboli were clearly designed as a "devilish" analogue (both by their physical description as Mentzer wrote them, but also based on the original source of inspiration that Frank has quoted them being from- Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End"), but your mileage may vary.
Moderator of the Mystara and Greyhawk forums. My moderator voice is gray-green.
Image

User avatar
stebehil
Troll
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:37 pm
Gender: male
Location: Dresden, Germany

Re: Other Races?

Post by stebehil » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:11 am

I just had a look at PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk again. This "subsetting" is placed in western Alfheim, but the creatures might easily appear in any wooded area. Now, the sidhe are an obvious idea for adding an exotic race, and the other creatures that have one basic hit die could probably converted easily, and those with 2 hd as well. With centaurs, woodrakes, hsiao and treants, this gets more difficult, both in terms of power and exotic appearance. You might have a Marvel-"Groot" type character to represent a treant, however, and this might even be a lot of fun.

Some of the crazier races of PC2 would be much harder to translate into a playable 5e race (sphinx and nagpa expecially), and the aquatic races of PC3 have obvious limitations. The lycanthropes of PC4 open up a different kind of problems: back when D&D first appeared, they were evil monsters. Now, they are cast in a different light as playable races, which is a radical change from the earlier presentation. (and very early 90ies in style...)

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 19423
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Other Races?

Post by Havard » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:48 am

stebehil wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:11 am
I just had a look at PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk again. This "subsetting" is placed in western Alfheim, but the creatures might easily appear in any wooded area. Now, the sidhe are an obvious idea for adding an exotic race, and the other creatures that have one basic hit die could probably converted easily, and those with 2 hd as well. With centaurs, woodrakes, hsiao and treants, this gets more difficult, both in terms of power and exotic appearance. You might have a Marvel-"Groot" type character to represent a treant, however, and this might even be a lot of fun.

Some of the crazier races of PC2 would be much harder to translate into a playable 5e race (sphinx and nagpa expecially), and the aquatic races of PC3 have obvious limitations. The lycanthropes of PC4 open up a different kind of problems: back when D&D first appeared, they were evil monsters. Now, they are cast in a different light as playable races, which is a radical change from the earlier presentation. (and very early 90ies in style...)

Like you say, many of the races from PC1 and PC2 are easy to use as player characters outside their subsettings. For PC3, Sea Elves are useful since they can function well both undersea and on land. PC4 races face some of the same problems that Gaz10 races (humanoids) would face

But whether the races are usable as player characters or not is somewhat besides the point IMO. I think the most important thing is that all kinds of weird non-humans can be found around Mystara. I agree with you that The cities and towns of Karameikos, Darokin and the Northern Reaches are probably much more mundane. Glantri City, Serraine, Thyatis City and Darokin City on the other hand might be metrolopes where odd creatures will be found in the streets.

In the wilderness, PCs will also encounter a wide variety of creatures. While Specularum had mostly human and demihuman citizens, my players when travelling through the wilderness of Karameikos were never surprised to meet all kinds of fairies, woodland creatures, lycantropes and other races.


I'm less keen on importing entire kingdoms of Dragonborn and Tieflings. I like the idea of having Mystara's Tieflings be reskinned as Diaboli with the same abilities, but a different background. From what I understand the FR is sort of doing the same thing with their Asmodean Tieflings? IF we go with the Diaboli=Tieflings model, then the newly established Diaboli Realm in Norwold might be a home for them. Dragonborn might feel at home in the Wyrmsteeth Range.


-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Sturm
Blue Dragon
Posts: 5089
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:26 pm
Gender: male
Location: Genoa, Italy
Contact:

Re: Other Races?

Post by Sturm » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:40 am

In The Dragon Kingdom of Wyrmsteeth Gaz, Giulio Caroletti used dragonkin, while in my adventure In the Name of the Dragon http://pandius.com/indrgnnm.html I decided to differentiate between dragonkin and dragonborn: dragonkin being creatures created by dragon from lizardmen in ancient times, while dragonborn being direct descendants of dragons who had a child with an humanoid while in humanoid form.
IMC the Kingdom would also be inhabited by lizardkin, frogfolks and saurials.
Editor of Threshold, the Mystara Magazine: http://pandius.com/thrs_mag.html

NPCDave
Stone Giant
Posts: 779
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:11 am
Gender: male

Re: Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Post by NPCDave » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:11 pm

As with others, if someone wants to play a tiefling in my D&D campaigns, I use diaboli.

What was suggested before for dragonborn on another site was to use drakes. Wooddrakes, as has been mentioned, were a PC offering in BECMI D&D and mandrakes and colddrakes(?) were the other canonical choices from the setting that are similar. I don't know dragonborn's abilities but since drakes are shapechangers I know that isn't a perfect fit but it is an option.

CommanderCrud
Hobgoblin
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:34 pm
Gender: male

Re: Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Post by CommanderCrud » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:56 pm

I just say no. No drow either. They just don't exist here. You're not required to shoehorn everything in just because. That's what Faerun is for.

User avatar
AxesnOrcs
Gnoll
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:26 pm
Contact:

Re: Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Post by AxesnOrcs » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:45 pm

Nothing that says you have to use the 4e/5e version of tieflings as an entire race with a specific backstory. You could use the Planescape "part human and part something else." No direct ties to demons, devils, or hells of any kind, just...something dark and planar in their ancestry. As rare loners they could fit in anywhere.
https://axesnorcs.blogspot.com/ Semi-frequent posts on RPGs, focused on stuff I make for games I run.
https://axesorcs.itch.io/ Where I sell my games in non-physical formats

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 2246
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Post by shesheyan » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:49 pm

Thank you for the suggestions everyone. Like many have mentioned the best course of action is probably to use an existing similar race/monster to home-brew newer races in a 5e Mystara campaign. New racial kingdoms might not be good idea after all. But clans of various sizes could be easily inserted in choice locations.

User avatar
Coronoides
Dragon Sage
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:18 am
Gender: male
Location: Melbourne Australia (mostly)

Re: Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Post by Coronoides » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:51 pm

CommanderCrud wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:56 pm
I just say no. No drow either. They just don't exist here. You're not required to shoehorn everything in just because. That's what Faerun is for.
Yeh, I’m tired of FR stealing all the stuff that was unique and cool from other settings. “Fearun, Planescape called and it wants its tieflings back!”
Need to convert races to D&D 5e? mathematical analysis of canon races and design rules: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/232813/ ... rs-Toolkit

Conversion & Review of Council of Wryms with dragon PCs compatible with other 5e settings (at level 5+). DRAFT: Book 1 https://www.dropbox.com/s/fz4zql2yhlyut ... 8.pdf?dl=0 and Book 2 https://www.dropbox.com/s/0n3i5bki6svae ... 0.pdf?dl=0

User avatar
Zeromaru X
Scion of Arkhosia
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:24 am
Gender: male
Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Contact:

Re: Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:36 pm

Isn't Mystara the future of Blackmoor? Or at least, one of its possible futures? Then, is pretty easy to port dragonborn and tieflings from the 4e version of Blackmoor, if you really want those races. The others... well, cannot help you there. I only know of Blackmoor, not Mystara. :P

User avatar
Robin
Storm Giant
Posts: 1820
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:33 pm
Gender: female
Location: Netherland Groningen
Contact:

Re: Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Post by Robin » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:00 pm

In my opinion the creatures in D&D BECMI, AD&D were more reasonable, and most were based on legends, tales and such...there is alogicsl base behind each of them.
In AD&D2, this changed; many creatures without logic were created by many writers,without a logicsl background other than to slay the creaure.
In 3rd, 3.5, d20, 4th, and even 5th edition D&D this became even worse, (especially with the removal of morale..dóh). Most creatures are there actually just gunfodder for the PC's to slay...
This in total contradiction to BECMI and AD&D1 creatures, who were almost all part of a whole, an ecology, and logic..even if magical.

Hence I discard most of the later creations...unless their is a chance of logic within.

Also..in my opinion there is no better D&D than BECMI (with all the gazetteers, Canon sources, and some fanon etc added).
So that is why I also discard the idea of dragon-human combinings and between other creatures, except a few similar species (Elf-human, Orc-Human, humanoids amongst eachother, and the varant dragon species amongst eachother for example.
The only thing of this crossbreed matter i grudgingly accept is the High elf-dragon merging (as this was not mating but magical merging) to create the magical casting/speaking/shapeshifting Dragons.
My Deviantart page; http://6inchnails.deviantart.com/ For Mystara hexmaps and Fantasy art (to see all fantasy art; enter and declare you are an adult...frigging exposure rules)
My personal Mystara Blog;http://breathofmystara.blogspot.nl/

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3352
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:36 pm

I saw a joke on Twitter where Tolkien was ragging on C.S. Lewis for combining creatures from Greek and Roman myth like centaurs and fauns with creatures from Norse myth like dwarfs and elves and Gary Gygax shows up and says "hold my dice, you haven't seen anything yet, J.R.R." Lewis's mythmash really did bother Tolkien. For Tolkien, logic in fantasy worldbuilding meant starting with a specific cultural background and developing things from there, while Lewis and Gygax gleefully threw everything into the pot. Far more than in Narnia, D&D has absolutely everything in it. One week Gygax would send his players to China, the next to Jack Vance's Planet of Adventure, the next to Barsoom, the next to the generation ship from Metamorphosis Alpha.

Lest we forget, BECMI includes:

Creatures from mythology (elves, dragons, centaurs)
Creatures inspired by toys (owlbears, rust monsters, as well as the bulettes in 1e)
Literal cyborgs from the future (oards)
Robots, cyborgs, and battlemechs (the robots and cyborgs from DA3, meks, the Earthshaker)
Lovecraftian things (including the neh'thalggu from X2, Zargon from B4, Kartoeba from B10)
Creatures inspired by higher-dimensional mathematics (for example, the jumpers from the Immortals Rules)
wtf things with no clear provenance (ubue, chokers, etc.)

As a linguist, Tolkien was offended by combining creatures from radically different cultures. For example, nagas in Hinduism are intimately intertwined with the Hindu gods and they make little sense in the context of, for example, Norse mythology, so in D&D they're usually divorced from their original contexts and given entirely new origins. It's no more logical to force both nagas and elves into the same world than it is to add non-mythological creatures like the baak and kna.

There's a phenomenon that I see in a lot of long-running franchises, from superhero comics to Star Wars and Trek to Doctor Who and definitely including D&D in all of its flavors, where things will start out random and continuity-light and then a new generation will come along and try to rationalize and systemize it. Frank Mentzer put a clear effort into systemizing the upended toy box that was the original D&D rules. The Mystara setting under the guidance of Bruce Heard did a lot to turn the chaos of the early D&D modules into a coherent setting. And a new generation of fans on the internet have worked for decades to hammer out the setting's wrinkles. At WotC, designers like James Wyatt have worked hard to turn D&D's wild collection of random references into the fourth edition world, which attempted to group creatures systematically into a few different origins. And that's fine and good, and I do it too, thinking hard about how a single world (or group of connected worlds in Mystara's case, including Old Alphatia and Laterre) can produce creatures as divergent as D&D's creatures are. But in the end, the best edition is whatever one you're currently having fun with and the best way to play it is whatever way is fun for you.

User avatar
Sturm
Blue Dragon
Posts: 5089
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:26 pm
Gender: male
Location: Genoa, Italy
Contact:

Re: Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:13 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:36 pm
Isn't Mystara the future of Blackmoor? Or at least, one of its possible futures? Then, is pretty easy to port dragonborn and tieflings from the 4e version of Blackmoor, if you really want those races. The others... well, cannot help you there. I only know of Blackmoor, not Mystara. :P
Indeed in Threshold issue #20 I assumed tieflings and dragonborn can be found in Skothar. I think they could fit well with the continent, as there is very little canon about it and they were present in Blackmoor 4th ed. I don't think it is a problem to add a race, provided you "Mystarize" it.
I allowed a player a dragonkin PC years ago when Dragonborn did not exist yet, I just gave him a background as an Alphatian experiment :)
Editor of Threshold, the Mystara Magazine: http://pandius.com/thrs_mag.html

User avatar
JoeNotCharles
Ogre
Posts: 271
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:29 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montréal, Québec

Re: Dragonborn, Tieflings and Other Races?

Post by JoeNotCharles » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:07 pm

Another good place for dragonborn is the jungle southwest of the Savage Coast, which is ruled by a red dragon named Pyre who has a lot of orc worshippers. It's also close to the Lizard Kingdoms which are home to a lot of variant lizardmen created by the aranea mages of Herath. So Pyre could have further altered a tribe of lizard men to be more dragon-like to become enforcers of the dragon cult among the orcs. Or could have created/birthed dragonborn directly, and they could have a more disdainful relationship with lizardmen. The tortle homelands are near here too, there could be a whole reptile-people theme.

For tieflings, going by the 4E version where they all originate in a common curse, they could result from a slight re-theming of the Red Curse. I honestly forget what it's actual game effects are.

Post Reply

Return to “Mystara”