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Deep Gnomes, Dark Elves, Hill Dwarves…

Dark Halflings? Fair Dwarves? High Gnomes?

Hell yes!

Grab a race from your favourite fantasy RPG, and add a variant through this d12 table. If playing a d20 or later edition of D&D, you should probably double the ability score modifiers.

Old School Subraces (d12)

  1. Brutal | +1 Str, +1 Con, -1 Int, -1 Cha, -1 Wis | The brutal races are known for their cannibalism, pillaging, burning and generally antisocial habits. Most brutal races have been wiped out by their genteel cousins as a preemptive strike. They are much more hirsute than their fairer kin, and typically dress in animal skins and wield as big of weapons as they can get their hands on.
  2. Celestial | +1 Wis | The celestial races are identified by their finer stature, fair hair and skin, and the often visible aura of otherworldiness about them. Some even glow. However, they lack infravision even if the original race had it, because they live in a world of light and beauty.
  3. Deep | +1 Con, -1 Cha | The isolationist deep races live deep underground and are toughened by their hostile environment. They gain 30′ infravision or double their existing infravision.
  4. Dark | +1 Int, +1 Cha | The dark races are feared and hated by the more sensible races. They are xenophobic, hostile and evil. They gain 30′ infravision or double their existing infravision. They suffer from light blindness as goblins do, suffering a -1 penalty on all hit rolls in daylight or in the effects of a continual light spell.
  5. Desert | The desert races wage war against the lizards that claim the deserts as their own. They gain a +1 bonus on all attacks and damage rolls against lizards and dragons, and +2 on saving throws against fire. However they suffer a -2 penalty on saves versus cold and take +1 damage per die from cold attacks.
  6. Eldritch | +1 Int, -1 Str, -1 Con | The eldritch races are tainted and marked by magic. They are even more pale than the celestial races, and many of their natural abilities have atrophied (reduce abilities that can be reduced by half, without eliminating any). However they can cast one level 1 magic-user or cleric spell per day, randomly determined at character creation (re-roll nearly useless spells like read magic and perhaps overly powerful spells such as sleep – DM has final say).
  7. Fair | +1 Cha, -1 Str | The fair races are taller, prettier and more compassionate than their kin. Some can be mistaken for the celestial races, minus the glow. They are also known as the High races.
  8. Forest | +1 Dex, -1 Cha | The forest races are like a quieter, less hostile version of the brutal races. They can be seen as surface-dwelling deep kin. Isolationists who are quite skilled in their natural environment.
  9. Insectile | +1 Dex, +1 Con, -1 Wis, -2 Cha | The insectile races are a mystery – deeply changed from their kin, chitinous and frightening. They gain a +1 bonus to their armour class from their chitinous exoskeleton and natural 1d6 damage claw attacks.
  10. Mountain | +1 Str, -1 Dex | The mountain clans are tough and hardy, if generally squat and prone to long bouts of alcohol abuse, not to mention nearly as hirsute as the brutal races.
  11. Weird | -1 Con | Weird races are twisted mutants with different skin tones, odd-shaped eyes and often distended limbs, extraneous tentacles and other signs of an unnatural existence. Their twisted genetics do grant them a +1 bonus on all saving throws, however.
  12. Roll twice and combine the results!