Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Eclipse Phase - Wakeful, Part Three

Today, we'll look at the current state of the Evening Star and where the messages the players found come into play.


First and most importantly, four of the six water tanks that protect the habitable section of the ship are empty; both of the Beta tanks have simply been drained over time to keep the atmosphere sufficiently oxygenated and to apply microbursts of hydrogen gas to course-correct as the ship has swung in a slow orbit around the Earth on autopilot. Alpha tank #1, directly behind the resleeving section, has a more serious problem - the outer hull of the tank has been fractured, leading to the water bleeding out and slowly sublimating into the void when the ship has swung into the sunlit side of the orbit. Beta tank #2 has it worse, however - the material of the tank has been infected with rogue nanoswarms that have turned it into a churning soup of water and pseudo-organic nanite slime. The tank's structural integrity is significantly weakened, and the infested slime has spent a few years slowly oozing through the inner wall of the vessel; the exercise room adjacent to the tank has layers of melted-looking metallic encrustations covering the outer wall. Anyone who viewed the XP clip of the EVA crew member sampling the metallic mold on the hull will recognize similar traits between the XP clip and the encrustations. Those who failed the Will check become aware of a subtle pattern in the encrustations that they'll feel compelled to approach and try to trace by hand; if not prevented from doing so, they'll need to make a Dur x2 check to see if they become infected by the exsurgent virus strain present.

The resleeving lab where the players start is reasonably intact, with a basic desktop cornucopia machine that was kept off the ship's mesh to avoid it being reset from being jailbroken. It can fab up simple items like clothing and weapons without moving parts in a matter of minutes; more complex items like firearms or ammunition will take at least an hour to fab up. Anyone who failed the Will check related to the picture of corpses and bloody-hued globs of nutrient gel will experience a deep sense of dread as long as they remain in the resleeving room, taking 1 Stress every ten minutes. If they accumulate enough for a temporary derangement, they become convinced that the globs are actually animate, trying to squirm through the air toward them, bearing some horrific alien plague in them. They need to make Ref  x3 checks every minute they remain inside to avoid the globules; each degree of failure indicates that they take 1 Stress as they collide with bubbles of crimson goo.

The science lab is an absolute disaster, looking as if a firefight broke out inside, with equipment blown to pieces and left floating free. Some of the debris is crusty brown-black blobs, dried blood from the three corpses that have settled into the corners of the room, desiccation and the soft impacts of objects over the years having rendered them into vaguely humanoid shapes of crumbling tissue. Medical skills can reveal that one of the corpses appears to have died due to soaking up a great deal of small-arms fire, well in excess of what should have been needed to kill it. An MoS of 30 or better reveals certain disturbing traits, requiring a Will x3 check to avoid taking 1d10/2 Stress as the corpse's claw-like fingertips, signs of accelerated regeneration at the site of some of the bullet wounds, and jaw full of jagged fangs indicate a decidedly inhuman transformation arrested halfway through the process.

The habitation ring is home to little more than alarming messages painted on the walls in a mixture of blood and other, fouler substances, all long since dried and dessicated. A recurring theme in the messages suggests that the crew was hearing something in the walls, that the evacuees were turning feral, and that the void of space was screaming. Any player who accessed the XP of speaker-distorted screaming will begin to hear a soft sound in the background, which evades their direct attention; for the rest of their time on the ship, they suffer one Stress every hour that they're awake as the sound slowly resolves into a distant wailing noise somewhere outside the hull of the ship, interspersed with occasional scratching from something outside against the outer hull.

One of the single-room habitation modules in the Gamma section is jammed shut; accessing the door's programming directly via the maintenance port will permit a Programming check to reset the software, and a Hardware check of an appropriate nature can be made to find the archaic-looking hard reset toggle. Opening the door releases a sickly-sweet aroma into the rest of the ship; anyone with a medical or biological sciences skill will recognize the smell of ongoing rot. The room itself is a wreck like the rest of the hab modules, but the 'roof' of the room has the woman from the piloting and astrophysics clip fused to it by rippling waves of metallic mold. She appears dead to most, but anyone who viewed the XP will see her breathing slowly and feel a strong urge to free her. Coming into contact with the mold requires a Dur x2 check to avoid becoming fused to the contact point, requiring the removal of the offending body part to get free. Worse, at the contact, everyone will see the woman's eyes open, her irises dilated to the point of being nearly all pupil, and start screaming with an atonal voice that sounds like the shriek of a modem handshake. Anyone hearing this needs to make a Cog+Int+Will check to avoid becoming infected with a memetic version of the exsurgent virus.

The bottom segment of the crew quarters contains the remains of the ship's fabbers, a roiling ball of ever-shifting nanites that seem to be caught in a war against one another, as well as the broken-open wreckage of the crew lockers, with the personal effects strewn across the space and slowly tumbling. One anomalous item is a deformed skull, looking as if it belonged to a person with an unusually large cranium; a matching set of holes suggests that it was shot by a high-velocity kinetic weapon, probably resulting in it expiring. Anyone who touches it will need to make a Som x3 check to keep control as the ship suddenly seems to lurch around them as their muscles start spasming and throwing them around for the next half-minute or so. Close examination of the skull with the remaining lab equipment will show that it appears to be artificial, with heavy amounts of carbon nanofiber strung through it to reinforce it; the muscle spasms appear, after examination, to be triggered by the skull's unusual patterns of electrical conductivity.

The AR/VR chamber is home to a bedlam of virtual nightmare. Psychosurgically butchered versions of the ship's crew exist in a dismal half-life, instantiated in a simulspace that depicts an endless labyrinth of scorching hot sulfurous stone corridors choked with scalding hot air, foul clouds of steam and smoke, and an AI in the form of a mocking, tormenting imp that endlessly harasses its specific victim. There are periodic intrusions through the stone of anachronistic fragments of the ship itself; the comms antenna is a common one, although it has the flexibility of a tentacle and lashes out at anyone close to it. None of the crew are coherent or salvagable, unfortunately.


Next time, we'll venture outside the crew area into the cargo holds and the maintenance area, and perhaps see what became of the refugees from the Fall itself!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Elicpse Phase - Wakeful, Part Two

Last time the Octopus posted, we were looking at the early stages of an Eclipse Phase adventure. Let's pick back up today with the next part of it, wherein we look at the ship itself. Unfortunately, finding a map for a cargo starship has proven beyond my Google-fu, so we'll be laying it out in words.

The Evening Star is a cylindrical vessel 150 meters in lengths and 30 meters across, built with trilateral symmetry; designed to experience most of the trip either accelerating or decelerating, the whole thing is arranged into floors, each one occupying a ten-meter segment. The thirty meters in the middle are reserved for the crew of the vessel, with the medical bay currently occupied by the players insulated from the outer edge of the vessel by one of the massive water tanks. The sixty meters at the nose are reserved for the cargo bays, as are the thirty meters 'below' the habitation segments. The last thirty meters are reserved for the ship's non-life-support systems, including the drive and the communication arrays.

The habitation segments have personal quarters arranged into sets of eight on each of the trilateral portions on the 'top' segment; on a normal trip with only twelve people, each of the crew essentially had a bedroom and a living room reserved for their own use. Each of these segments has a small galley attached, enough to let each person handle their meals in private if so desired; shared between two people the galleys were more than enough to let the crew essentially function with nothing more than professional overlap if they wanted.

The middle segment has the vessel's water tanks arrange in six segments around the outer hull, These served as much as radiation shielding as water supply or emergency fuel, protecting the ship's medical and resleeving facility from radiation along with the exercise room, the food stores for the crew, and a science lab for studies being done on the long haul. The resleeving facility is built to be able to grow new morphs as needed, keeping a stock of six healthy spare morphs aboard the ship during most hauls; the usual load was three splicers, two furies, and a sylph, the latter being designated for the captain at any given time.

The bottom segment housed entertainment facilities, including one room dedicated to a localized and isolated mesh network for people to use for communal VR experiences, including multiplayer games and for the purpose of briefing the crew when necessary. It also houses rows of lockers for personal effects not stored in a person's rooms and the on-ship fabbing facilities; being a long-range cargo hauler that could be out for years at a time, the fabbers aboard the ship are quite thoroughly jailbroken, capable of fabbing up anything that the user has materials and schematics for.

Outside of this area, each cargo level is split into three bays, with mass arranged so that the thrust from the vessel's three exhaust nozzles is distributed as evenly as possible across the ship's framework. The three decks at the top and the three under the habitation area are generally reserved for radiation-resistant cargo - blocks of raw fabber material, raw ore, masses of cometary ice on the odd occasions that someone decides to haul back only part of a comet, and so on. The three bays directly above the crew section are reserved for more delicate cargo - anything easily damaged by radiation goes here, as does any organic life, whether  stored in a support tube or left free to grow during the trip to the cargo's destination.

The primary drive for the ship is a four-chamber ion drive that uses a small trickle of water from the tanks to propel the ship; the thrust is absolutely minimal, just enough to provide the ghost of gravity needed to provide orientation to the ship's design without seriously hampering the crew climbing up and down the central shaft, and with no risk of stray objects dropping down the chamber with any significant danger. Hydrogen harvested by breaking the water down gets used to provide maneuvering jets when the ship reaches the halfway point of a given journey; over the course of a week, cargo would be strapped back down and personal items stowed, followed by a few hours spent carefully inverting the vessel before turning the ion drive back on.

This, of course, is the baseline design of the ship; anyone with an appropriate Hardware skill knows this, and the ship's schematics can be pulled from the shipboard mesh. Of course, the degree to which reality deviates from the blueprint makes it somewhat less than reliable.


Next time, we'll look at the physical changes that the Evening Star has suffered since it went missing, and touch on some of the horrific aspects of it.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Short hiatus

Short hiatus until November 8; celebrating the birthday of my wife and our anniversary!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Eclipse Phase - Wakeful, Part One

So, since it's coming up on Halloween, I figured I'd take a little bit and produce an adventure across the next few days for fans of the horror/conspiracy sci-fi game Eclipse Phase that people can enjoy. As a synopsis, the players are awakened to find themselves aboard a derelict spacecraft in Earth orbit, with the air on the thin and stale side but breathable and the temperature hovering on the cold side of survivable. None of them know why they're here; there's a significant chunk of continuity lost for each of them. They need to get out somehow, of course, and find their way to safety - but can they do it before something goes wrong, or before whoever - or whatever - put them here comes looking for them?


The derelict in question is the Evening Star, a former cargo hauler that went missing during the events of the Fall; it was on record as accepting a sizable number of fully instantiated refugees from the space elevators before going completely silent and vanishing. The ship's life support system was designed to support a maximum of one hundred people, so it was assumed that the crowding from the refugees overwhelmed the ship's ability to cope and everyone aboard died of anoxia.

So when the players awaken in the ship's on-board backup facility with the lights on and the air cold but breathable, those aware of the circumstances of the ship's disappearance might be justifiably concerned. Also of concern is that the players' muses will report that, according to the still-functional shipboard mesh, they're missing about six months of personal time. Oh, and they're all sleeved in naked morphs they're unfamiliar with - a mix of splicers and furies, with nothing particularly exotic about them.

Checking the ship's mesh will show that public access allows for checking the time, sending and receiving messages, and access to video from the hallways and cargo holds. At the time of waking, nothing shows on any of the video feeds, and each player has one or more messages waiting for them with no subject or sender information available. There's no gravity, leaving the resleeving room full of floating bubbles of nutrient gel as players emerge from the storage tubes.

The primary goal of the adventure is for the players to find a way to escape the ship and make their way back to some hub of civilization; anything they can salvage to bring back as proof of where they were will be of immense value in the old-style economy of cislunar space. Of course, salvaging things from a derelict vessel in cislunar space has risks in and of itself.

The messages for the players depend on the skills of their characters.

Anyone with skills relevant to the TITANs, AI research, or the Singularity has this message waiting for them, apparently an random excerpt from a longer message: "ry has the chips; meet her in forward hold C at the midpoint to make the swap. Be careful, she might be packing an organic-hunting decon swarm and be aiming to scrub you to get the box and keep the chips. Don't let her know about Mic"
Attached to this message is an XP file; if the player accesses it, they need to make a Will x3 check to avoid taking 1d10/2 Stress as they experience roughly 30 seconds of intensely burning pain and the sound of speaker-distorted screaming.

Those with skills relevant to biotech, genetics, or medical skills past first aid have another message waiting: "Something's gotten in the nutrient system for the morph storage. Not sure what, but the system's filtration is barely keeping up with cleaning it up. Next layover, I recommend we do a full purge on the system. Even if it's harmless, who wants to instantiate in a tub full of blood-colored goo?" Attached is what appears to be an image file, but it's heavily distorted and filled with pixel noise. Running it through image-processing software will clean it up, and will a MoS of 10 or better wil any relevant skills; either reveals it to be a snap of the medical bay the group is in, with half a dozen ragged corpses floating in null-G and surrounded by floating globules of blood. Failing a Will x3 check causes 1d10/2 Stress and the realization that all the nutrient gel globs look bloody.

Anyone with hardware skills has a message that reads "Can whoever has the next rotation check the after solars? The system's bugging out pretty bad and keeps insisting they're oriented at a weird angle to incoming, even  after I punch in corrections. They're either at 65 or 190 to the solar instead of the 90." Attached is a short video from an external camera, which shows an extension with solar panels along it quiver slowly for nearly a minute before it suddenly and impossibly curls toward the camera and the feed goes dark. Witnessing this is enough to prompt a Will x3 check, with failure causing 1d10/5 Stress.

Those with conspiracy theory or topics related to the Fall as interests have the following "lling you, something;s shadowing the ship. I know the radar and lidar haven't returned anything, but I keep seeing stars get eclipsed by whatever it is. Probably some milspec stealth thing, but what do they want with us? Look, I'm sending the vid with highlights on when the stars get eclipsed. Whatever it is, it's huge." Attached is the described video; it seems to suggest a large object at some distance from the hull camera following the same trajectory as the ship. Viewing it causes no Stress.

Media skills and journalism/investigation skills results in the following message: "ow what the hell Burns thinks she's doing but there's no way we can send that footage to the rest of the system, they'll think we're insane conspiracy theorists cooking up faked XPs. I don't care what she and Mort have recorded, if we have to we'll blow the fuses on the comm mast and tell them their bug must've done it. No reason to panic anyone off-ship if it's something we picked up on the last run. Tell her that sh" Attached is a short XP clip from a person in a somewhat clumsy vacsuit working their way along the hull of the ship, stopping every few meters to take samples of something that resembles a metallic mold on the ship's hull. The clip cuts out when the person gets to the airlock. Have those who watch it roll Will x3; no Stress results from viewing the XP, but failing the Will check has repercussions elsewhere.

Piloting, astrophysics, and alien technology skills get a message that simply contain a video clip of a panicky-looking splicer with a weird blue mottling across her face. She seems to be hiding in a closet somewhere, and she's whispering to the camera. "My name is Mari Burns. I don't know if this will ever get out, but I have to try. The ship is infected with some kind of nanite plague, I've got no idea where it came from. The metal's infested, we're bleeding air, most of the rest of the crew is either dead, insane, or turned into something not even close to human. I'm pretty sure I'm infected - I keep hallucinating sights and sounds. Please, if you see this, stay off the Evening Star. Burn us with plasma if you can. We're a plague ship and for the sake of transhumanity we can't let this land anywhere." Her eyes unfocus at this point, and those watching get treated to several seconds of her screaming hysterically before the video cuts out. Viewing it calls for a Will x3 check, with 1 point of Stress lost if successful and 1d10/2 lost if unsuccessful, plus later repercussions.

Next time when I come back to this, I'll see about digging up a map of the ship and explaining some of what's aboard. (Yes, it involves exsurgents.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

On Trial

There are times when one player is going to hog most of a session, simply because they're the 'face' character who talks and negotiates with others. Most GMs try to hurry through these to keep the other players from getting bored and wandering off, either in-game or out-of-game, but there's another way to go about it. Today, we'll look at turning the players into the minds behind some of your NPCs for a session.

You know the character type already; the smooth-talking elven bard, the charming fixer on the streets of cyberpunk Seattle, the queen of a fledgling nation addressing a council. They're the charismatic deal-makers who want nothing quite so much as the chance to show off their gift with language and their ability to charm and dazzle others. The problem, usually, is that the other players are terrified the person will say something to traumatically disrupt the game, and so the chance is often stifled. The GM can't exactly build a scene with a dozen NPCs simply to let the character monologue, because that kind of scene can take hours while the other players have to either sit by quietly or disrupt the negotiation with their own adventuring. (The latter can make a wonderfully intense game if the talkative character is trying to keep those they're talking to occupied while the others accomplish some goal unnoticed, however.)

So what's a GM to do to keep the others interested? Simple: make them part of the scene. Rather than their usual characters, who are busy elsewhere, give them character sheets for the session for one of the NPCs the face character is dealing with. Let them pick the one they find the most interesting, and have a small packet of information for the player to peruse during the session that tell them the goals and desires of that NPC, to help them get into the character's head.

Make all the NPCs have a reason to get involved in the conversation, so that there's a chance that the players will get a conversation going where the GM only needs to occasionally interject as the other NPCs present, or to describe the events of the world around them. All the players are likely going to want the face to succeed, but most won't want to simply handwave through the scenario; some things may emerge from it that you, as the GM, never considered, giving you extra fodder for building out the rest of the game.

Make the session a mix of roleplaying and dice-rolling; let the players face off in contested rolls, with bonuses and penalties based on their arguments. If possible, have there be a small crowd of observers to be swayed by the rhetoric of those speaking, and let the player currently doing the best get cheers and whistles from that group. By making it a competition without the players themselves being involved, you can inspire borderline roleplayers to give it a stronger showing, and push the already extravagant to new levels of characterization.

Wind the session down as if closing out an actual meeting of the type; if it's something official, having someone with a gavel or similar tool banging on the table can signal the end of things for the time being, and the players can get a bit to switch to their original characters and find out in-character how things went from the face. Finally, tell them what they've won (or lost) from the exchange, as if finishing up a regular session where combat or exploration went on, and go through your usual post-game routine. (And yes, expect this kind of session to eat up the entire game session, once people get going.)

Gie it a try; you might be surprised by the results!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Eclipse Phase: Before The Fall Setup, Part 7 - The United Nations

Continuing with the Eclipse Phase setup for the mini-campaign set before the events of the Fall, we'll be looking at the United Nations and why they went from a largely toothless legislative body to an organization with a paramilitary force like the Peacekeepers.


In the years between the present day and the time just before the Fall, the global political environment shifted significantly, with the least developed nations slowly collapsing into war-torn tribal states, with refugees streaming away from climate disasters and would-be warlords fighting over the limited resources of these regions. The more developed nations attempted to help as much as possible, although the more militaristic and insular societies resented even the handful of refugees they deigned to accept.

The more observant megacorps and the first hypercorps, augmented with the latest smart systems to analyze events, foresaw the collapse of even the most developed nations from the destabilized regions if nothing was done to prevent it. As a result, they began a number of initiatives to stabilize the least-perturbed regions, purchasing ravaged stretches of land and using nanotech to swiftly assemble entire buildings dedicated to producing cheap supplies and housing in a seemingly selfless humanitarian effort.

In practice, it gave the corps an in-road to build defensive installations, which they quietly used to pacify the more violent warlord with assaults by autonomous squads of war machines, resulting in several carefully concealed atrocities. They followed this up with establishing refugee cities outfitted with swiftly manufactured basic amenities, carefully spread over the endangered areas and linked into increasingly powerful mesh networks. The corps, once a solid cordon was established with their work, contacted the UN and, as a gestalt bargaining force, offered the UN a deal: they would support the creation of an international paramilitary force under UN control in each country they were based in. They'd even supply this new force with military-grade armament.

In exchange, the UN would recognize each involved corp as an independent sovereign nation with a seat and a vote, a move that would render the organization almost half actual countries and half corporate structures. Refuse, the the corps would consolidate their own council and take the matter of dealing with the destabilized areas into their own hands. The UN, aware that a few atrocities that hadn't been covered up thoroughly enough, agreed to the offer.

Backlash was swift; several prominent nations - the United States being the loudest but far from the only - withdrew from the UN in protest of such an international force existing. The end of the backlash was almost as swift, as the corps refused to sell their goods to the countries that protested, causing them all to back down and rejoin the UN by the end of the second month.

The formation of the actual Peacekeeper force took almost a year, as candidates from sources all over the globe were either invited to take the tests or applied on their own initiative, hoping to do some good or at least prevent the Peacekeepers from becoming the strong arm of a totalitarian regime. Some post-Fall scholars point to this as the moment where the military forces of countries like the US began work on the projects that ultimately led to the TITANs, in a fearful attempt to stay a step ahead of the Peacekeepers.

At the time of the game start, the Peacekeepers have been in operation for well over a decade, working hard to bring peace to the more violent areas of the globe, taking out warlords and deliering shipments of humanitarian aid to those driven from their homes. Overall, the force has been a success, with no known repeats of the atrocities that preceded it at the hands of the corps who now outnumber the actual nations at a 2:3 ratio.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Homebrew: The Playable Races of Kuramen

Given the original basis of the world of Kuramen in the D20 system, it should come as no surprise that there are multiple intelligent species co-inhabiting this world. I kept a few of the standard races, but there are others that I've added on; each of the races was originally crafted by the gods to fill a role. Some have kept to their purposes better than others, and some have split into multiple races by the events of history.

First came the dwarves, forged from the literal bones of the world immediately after the gap to the Void was plugged. Short and stocky, they exude durability and strength in a way no other race can. Made to be the front-line warriors and guardians of the world, the first line of defense against the Void if it tried to leak through into the world, they survive mostly unchanged from the earliest days of their people - save for when the Shadow corrupted those set to guard it and corrupted them into the duergar. They stand between the Void and the World, and between the Hunger in the heart of the world and the surface, tireless and determined to uphold the vows of their ancestors.

The elves were made second, crafted to watch the heavens and stalk the surface of the world, their senses drawn out to detect the corruption of the Void and of undeath. First to be taught the secrets of magic, they were chosen along with the dwarves to guard the prison-crypt of the Shadow, and from those elves came the drow. Having been given long lives but low reproductive rates to try to keep corruption from spreading, elves are somewhat rare, and half-elves are far more common as the elvish folk interbreed with humans to try to ensure that their traditions and culture will live on. Half-elven children are often treated warmly by elves, even those not related to them, as the race sees their future in the hands of these half-breed children.

Gnomes were crafted to be stewards of the natural world, born of the woods and grasslands. They make their lives as woodsfolk tending the forests, farmers who keep the land fertile, and herders who keep their beasts from browsing the land barren. Touched with a bit of strange magic during the birth of their race, the ample spare time they tend to have has resulted in a race of people who love song and story, with most being capable entertainers in addition to their chosen craft. Few like the cities or crowded places, suffering claustrophobia that worsens the longer they're away from the wide open places they prefer to call home.

Halflings were born specifically of the god of comfort and home, children created to tend to hospitality and the care of others. During the reign of the last empire, they were the invisible backbone of the empire, serving as civil servants and ensuring that everything ran smoothly. Today, they tend to gravitate to similar roles; the best kitchens are run by halfling chefs, and no guild or bank is considered trustworthy without halflings on the administrative payroll. Those few who feel a desire for a more adventurous life often take up scholarly professions, maximizing the reward for their effort by bending the world to their will.

Kobolds are defined by their agoraphobia and nimbleness; while barbaric tribes still exist and plague the civilized lands, quite a few kobolds dwell in the mines and cities of settled lands, their nimble fingers, quick wits, and small size suiting them for any number of tasks that the larger races find difficult. Most public buildings in the larger cities have crawlspaces where a few kobolds live, giving up part of their pay for room and board in the narrow spaces between the walls and floors, minding the maintenance of the buildings with a skill that draws approval even from the dwarven people. Notably, few kobolds - even barbaric ones - have ever been corrupted by the Void.

Gnolls were born to be the aggressive front-line warriors to the defensive bastion of the dwarves in the battle against the void, powerfully built and cunning. The hyena-folk once served as the chief military might of the Empire, entire legions marching behind a skirmish line of heavy dwarven armor to wreak havoc on less powerful and nimble foes. They've retained their matriarchal and militaristic ways, filling out the bulk of the combat roles in the civilized lands. Soldiers, guards, and mercenaries are all likely to be roles filled by gnollish women, while gnollish men tend to logistics and sometimes operate trade caravans, almost certainly protected by groups of gnollish warriors.

Half-orcs are descended from the hardy orcish barbarians from beyond the Empire's old borders; they tend to be hardier and stronger than their human relatives, with a reputation for some barbaric behaviors, but no one disputes the courage, loyalty, or tenacity of a half-orc. Scholarly half-orcs tend to draw surprised reactions from those who learn of their career, as most tend to have jobs that benefit from their endurance and strength, but the great libraries often find themselves grateful to have the sturdy folk on hand. While they tend to be regarded as barbaric and uncouth, they're still a common sight in much of the region and well-accepted for their contributions.

Half-elves generally have a childhood filled with loving care from at least one parent; their elven parent almost always seeks their birth deliberately, to ensure the continuity of elven culture. With the amount of knowledge and wisdom available from their long-lived lineage, many half-elves tend to gravitate toward scholarly pursuits, but they often pick a single profession and strive to master it, dabbling in others to improve their ability in their primary profession.