This page documents the playable races found throughout Morus. Not all of them are native to all lands, however. A tengu would be regarded with wonder and suspicion in Leng, while an elf would be a spectacle to marvel at in Githas. The distribution of playable races throughout the known world is as follows:
- Leng: Humans, Halflings, Elves, Half-Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes
- Githas: Humans, Dwarves, Oghmas, Genasi
- Kyujitai: Humans, Tengu, Hengeyokai
- Nordmaar: Humans, Elves, Dwarves
- Weird Ones: Planetouched
Playing a character from a distant land is not out of the question, but should be cleared with the GM. Such characters will undoubtedly be foreign, strange and bizarre to the locals - and should probably take the Outsider Hindrance if they do not have it already.
Dwarves are a short, stout and hardy people that dwell beneath the earth and live upwards of two centuries.
The most fundamental trait that defines dwarvenkind is this: they are completely and absolutely unyielding. To dwarves, stability and consistency are the foundation of society. This can be a good trait, one of stability and solidity, a refusal to abandon their friends or compromise their principles. It can also lead to stubbornness, petty grudges, and lasting hatreds that are not forgotten over generations. These natural tendencies can be taken in either direction, and there is just as much variance amongst dwarves as any other race.
Dwarves are patient and thick-skinned, which often confuses humans who assume that they will thus be slow to offend. If one does manage to anger a dwarf, it is unwise to let it sit, for a dwarf does not easily forget a grudge, and can hold it long past the human lifespan. Dwarves have little patience for the ways of humans, who simply do things incorrectly. They are flighty and waste their strength, and no sooner do they accomplish something than their children wish to change it - they have no conception of the proper rhythm of the world.
Because they live below the ground, dwarves rarely compete with humans - in fact, while they consider humans flighty and untrustworthy, they find them to be agreeable trading partners most of the time. Dwarves have plenty of enemies, however - they are not the only creatures that live beneath the earth.
Mechanically, dwarves are the same as those found in the Savage Worlds rulebook.
The immortal elves are the subject of fascination and legend amongst humankind, where they are well known for their reclusive ways, fey heritage and alien outlook. Elves possess an otherworldly grace and beauty that some find fascinating, and others deeply unsettling. Elves are figures of human myth, and humans have always been inclined to view them with awe and more than a little suspicion. This attitude has carried over even unto the present day, and the elves remain enigmas to humans - helped by the fact that most humans live their entire lives without actually meeting one.
The alien ways and reclusive nature of the elves is legendary, but the elves that most humans will meet aren’t that different from them. Leaving the forests and travelling the world is usually the domain of young elves - those less than a century old. At this age, most elves have not yet had a chance to become jaded by seeing the short lives and self-destructive nature of mortals. Young elves tend to get swept away by emotion and high ideals, making fast friends and bitter enemies easily.
Elves are unlike humans in that they do not sleep, but enter a state known as reverie. When elves enter this state, they vividly relive past memories, those both pleasant and painful. Like the dreaming of humans, elves have no control over which memories rise to the fore when they relinquish their bodies to the reverie. During this time, they are aware of their surroundings, but they cannot act to influence them any more than a human can while asleep. Only by an act of will can an elf tear herself from reverie, and she will be confused for a short time, just as a human would be who has torn himself from sleep.
Mechanically, elves are otherwise the same as those found in the Savage Worlds rulebook.
The offspring of elemental spirits and humankind, genasi are half-breeds; not elemental spirits, but not truly mortal either, they inhabit an in-between state. Genies seldom have interest in their mortal offspring, seeing them as accidents. Many feel nothing for their genasi children at all. Their unsettling appearance and strange affinities also make them outcasts amongst human society, and many genasi are forced to live outside the bounds of civilisation as a result.
Genasi are extremely mutable; even if the elemental nature of their parent is the same, two genasi might look wildly different. For example, one water genasi might be covered in fish-scales and have webbed hands, a second might look like a humanoid frog, and a third might be a normal human with blue hair. Some can almost pass for human, while others show their elemental nature strongly and violently.
The racial abilities given below represent a common genasi. Because genasi are highly unique and mutable, the DM can allow them and hindrances to be changed or swapped out, as long as the overall theme fits. More “specific” genasi - such as an ice genasi or a lightning genasi - may also be allowed at the DM’s discretion.
Stone Skin: Earth genasi have thick, rock-like or metallic skin that gives them +2 Armor.
Tough as Dirt: A build and constitution affiliated with stability and power allows earth genasi to start with a d6 in Vigor during character creation. They can naturally increase their Vigor to d12+1.
Slow-Moving: An earth genasi suffers a -1 penalty to all Agility rolls.
Breathless: Air genasi are immune to poisonous gases and cannot suffocate, as they do not need to breathe.
Nimble: A natural lightness and ethereal nature allows air genasi to start with a d6 in Agility during character creation. They can naturally increase their Agility to d12+1.
Frail: Air genasi tend to be somewhat insubstantial, and receive a -1 penalty to Toughness.
Fireproof: Fire genasi gain a +4 bonus to resist the effects of heat, and damage dealt to them by heat or fire is reduced by 4.
Infravision: Fire genasi can “see” heat signatures, allowing them to halve penalties (round down) for bad lighting when attacking living targets. Creatures without a heat signature, or who have found a way to mask their heat, cannot be seen through infravision.
Voracious: Fire genasi are a candle that burns at both ends. They need twice as much food as a normal person to survive.
Aquatic: Water genasi can breathe water and receive a free d6 in Athletics. When swimming, they move at their full pace instead of half.
The gnomes are close cousins of the dwarves, but their culture and outlook couldn’t be more different. Gnomes have a natural fascination with intricacy and complexity in all its forms, living or dead. They have an equal love for the beauty of nature, the complexity of clockwork, and the beauty of a shining gemstone. Nor do the see these things as objects to be jealously hoarded; beauty longs to be displayed and shared.
In Leng, gnomes tend to live in rocky, hilly areas, well-wooded and uninhabited by humans - though there are “rock gnomes” that prefer deeper warrens. They are not hostile towards the “lumbering folk”, but they are cautious and furtive with those they do not know or trust. Gnomes can come off as somewhat reserved to strangers, but welcome those who come in peace (and can take a good joke).
Some say that gnomes are the descendants of dwarves who departed from the material world and live amongst the elementals of earth. Dwelling in this otherworldly realm instilled them with an enduring curiosity and fascination with all things strange, complex and intriguing that gnomes have kept with them since. Gnomes have a similar lifespan to dwarves.
Beast Speech: Forest gnomes have an affinity for things of the earth, and are able to understand the speech of small woodland or burrowing animals. Examples include mice, weasels, moles and badgers.
Arcane Resistance: Rock gnomes, such as those who hail from Dagoth, are not connected to woodland creatures as their eastern cousins are. However, they have an innate resistance to magic - a throwback to their distant fey origins and connections to Elemental Earth. They receive the Arcane Resistance Edge for free.
Low-Light Vision: Gnomes ignore penalties for Dim or Dark illumination.
Reduced Pace: Reduce the character’s Pace by 1 and their running die one die type.
Half-elves can be found almost anywhere there are humans; the other half is usually human, though there are rare exceptions. There are even legends of a few half-dwarf, half-elves out there - but this rumour has never been confirmed. Half-elves take more after the human parent in terms of age, and rarely live beyond 150. They often struggle between their human lifespan and the ageless elvish blood in their veins, which even otherwise well adjusted half-elves will suffer from. This is the source of the Outsider racial Hindrance.
Mechanically, half-elves are the same as those found in the Savage Worlds rulebook. Some half-elves take more after the human part of their heritage, and others take more after the elvish side. They are always recognisably neither, however.
The origin of the halflings of Leng is little known: they came there with the first humans, and have coexisted with mankind for as long as history records. Some believe that they were once human themselves in the distant past - but that coexistence with the elves and fey spirits that surrounded their homelands in ancient times changed them. Whether or not this is true, it is certainly the case that the “small folk” have always been friendly with elves.
Halflings are a little closer to the otherworld than humans, but where elves are descended from the fey, the halfings could be called a distant relative. This manifests in their small size, but also in their supernatural luck - they’re called “the children of the fey” by some, and believed to be watched over by elemental spirits - and the ability to disappear from the view of the big folk. Halflings live a bit longer than humans; healthy halflings often exceed the age of 100.
The halflings of Leng are mostly identical to those found in the Savage Worlds rulebook, but not entirely:
Low-Light Vision: Halflings ignore penalties for Dim or Dark illumination.
Luck: Halflings draw one additional Benny per game session.
Reduced Pace: Reduce the character’s Pace by 1 and their running die one die type.
Size -1: Halfings average only about four feet tall, reducing their Size (and therefore Toughness) by 1.
Stealthy: Halflings start with a d6 in Stealth, instead of a d4.
Even more outcast from Kyujitai society than tengu are the hengeyokai, which many people don’t even believe exist. They are the shapechanging descendants of humans and spirits, and consider themselves to be amongst the kami of the Old Way themselves. In their true form, a hengeyokai resembles a hybrid cross between a human and a natural animal - such as a fox or weasel. However, they have the power to change their shape into two other forms: an animal form and a human form.
The hengeyokai tend to live in packs, which might be as small as a single family unit or as large as an extended clan. Most such families live in secluded areas far from society - for example, there are many hengeyokai clans dwelling in the Jungle of 10,000 Staves. In some cases they will instead live amongst humankind in an assumed form, but most don’t attempt to fit into society. Despite being able to pass as one, the hengeyokai are starkly inhuman, and most see sedentary human society as a cage that revolts them to their core.
The hengeyokai are fully aware of their spiritual heritage, and many follow an idiosyncratic variant of the Old Way. Instead of venerating and worshiping the kami, hengeyokai instead believe that they are kami themselves. They approach the elemental spirits and gods as equals, and seek to make pacts with them rather than begging for supplication. Some kami take offense at this, but some are amenable to the strange hengeyokai modes of “worship”.
Shape Change: The hengeyokai can shift between their human, animal and hybrid forms at will. Doing so requires them to spend a minute meditating and concentrating; their equipment does not change form with them. The hybrid and human forms are identical in terms of capabilities, as the human form is really an illusion that conceals their true nature. The hybrid form is more natural and comfortable for a hengeyokai.
Imperfect Disguise: The human form of a hengeyokai is an illusion that conceals their true, hybrid form. Under moonlight, their true form can always be seen. Only on a new moon can they go out at night without revealing themselves. Spells that reveal illusions may also reveal a hengeyokai’s true form.
Outsider: The hengeyokai are not human, and their otherness is impossible to hide completely. Even when their identity is concealed, most humans find their glittering eyes and bestial presence unsettling, giving them a -2 penalty to Persuasion rolls. If they are revealed, reactions might range from fascination to fear or the sharpening of pitchforks.
Beast Speech: The hengeyokai can communicate with animals of their kind, or that are closely related to them. A badger hengeyokai could probably speak to a mole, but not to a wolf.
Humans can be found almost everywhere. Known for being adaptable and ambitious, humans have thrived and created great civilisations throughout the world. This is often ascribed to their diversity, willingness to cooperate and a deep desire to reshape the world to suit them and their descendants. It doesn’t hurt that they can easily out-breed elves, dwarves and gnomes. No one is entirely sure where humans first originated from - some claim they came into being on the shores of Leng, while others argue that they were born on the shores of the “old continent” of Githas and were only brought to Leng later.
Mechanically, humans are the same as those found in the Savage Worlds rulebook.
A species of diminutive salamander-men that dwell in the Karui Desert, the oghmas are known for valuing family, connections and unity. This is in no small part due to their small stature: an individual oghmas is not particularly threatening and will always hide from danger. They band together in great numbers to ensure their survival against the dangers of the desert, a survival trait that extends to their social life as well. Even though they may be spread thinly throughout the desert, oghmas cultivate connections and friendship, and always come to each others’ aid when it is possible to do so. By supporting each other, they ensure that the oghmas as a whole remain strong.
Oghmas are found throughout the Karui Desert, mostly in the easterly regions. When encountered in the desert, they tend to be found in family groups of 6 to 30, almost always on the move - most oghmas detest being stuck in one place for too long. Their true home, however, is a place called Isidonia; the greatest and only permanent oghmas settlement. A massive natural cave repurposed by the oghmas, it is home to only a thousand or so of the creatures at any given time. There are thousands more spread throughout the desert, but most only return home once a year to touch base with others of their kind.
Unlike most sentient races, the vast majority of oghmas are atheists - with the exception of outliers and those who have integrated into human society. While they believe in the undeniable truth of the gods, they do not believe that they require or deserve worship - in fact, they have little interest in them whatsoever. Their institutions draw weight from the collective good, rather than any divine law.
Physically, oghmas stand no more than 4 feet tall and are reptilian, with scales that range from sandy brown to a deep crimson. Brighter colors are generally considered to be more attractive. They have bright, intelligent eyes that are unlike the cold eyes of most desert lizards, and convey a great deal of nuance through the flickering of their tongues - nuance easily missed by non-oghmas.
Short: Because of their small stature, oghmas have a Size of -1 and subtract 1 from their Toughness.
Hot Blood: Oghmas are always warm because the power of elemental fire runs in their veins. Oghmas receive a +4 bonus to resist the effects of the Cold hazard, and are immune to negative effects from the Heat hazard.
Wall Walker: Specialised pads on their feet allow oghmas to walk or even run across walls at their normal rate. They only need to make Climbing rolls in special circumstances.
Poison Immunity: Although they have do not produce any toxins of their own, a throwback to their ancestors makes oghmas immune to most poison.
Native to nowhere, the planetouched are mortal creatures - usually humans - that can trace their lineage back to extraplanar beings. They broadly fall into two categories: the aasimar bear divine blood, while the tieflings are a catch-all for all others, including those with demonic heritage.
Regardess of their ultimate lineage, those with the planes in their blood are as varied as the denizens of the planes themselves. Some are almost indistinguishable from humans, while others have bizarre and striking differences. Because they are so strange and varied, there are no universal rules for playing a planetouched character. Instead, each planetouched should be designed using the race creation rules.
The crow-like tengu and their cousins, the hawk-like kenku, are the most common of Kyujitai’s nonhuman species. They are bipedal humanoid birds: although they have arms and legs, they also possess powerful wings that are capable of flight - though they tire quickly, especially if encumbered. The tengu are known for being secretive, impulsive and unpredictable - which, combined with the reputation of crows as omens of death and carrion birds, has given them a poor reputation throughout the realm.
Tengu are typically thought of as bird-brained, plague-ridden and violent creatures that don’t get along well with humans. Although this isn’t really true, they’re nonetheless not welcome in many places due to this reputation. They’re not helped by their unsettling way of speaking: the tengu struggle with human languages, but are masters of mimicry - they can reproduce any sound they’ve heard once. As a result, most tengu speak in a jarring combination of mimicked voices that most humans find creepy and off-putting.
Although many tengu are found in slums or at the fringes of society throughout Kyujitai, their true home is in the Lunar Mountains that run along the Crescent-Moon Steppes. Here, the tengu roost in great numbers and make permanent homes in inaccessible eyries that humans cannot reach. They are very secretive about their mountainside homes, so little is known about the so-called Lunar Tengu. It is said that they are friendly with the horselords of the steppes, and tengu are sometimes found amidst barbarian raiding parties as scouts or spies.
Flight: Using their wings, tengu can fly at a Pace of 12. Maneuvering uses the Athletics skill.
Frail: In order to fly, the tengu have developed hollow bones. This makes them more vulnerable to physical damage, reducing their Toughness by 1.
Can’t Swim: The wings of a tengu are a hazard in water. They suffer a -2 penalty to Athletics checks made to swim, and each inch of movement in water costs 3” of Pace.
Mimicry: Tengu can perfectly mimic any sound they hear. This allows them to reproduce what they have heard flawlessly, and gives them a +2 bonus to Perform check made to impersonate someone’s voice.
Outsider: Although tengu are tolerated to live on the fringes of society, most humans have a very poor opinion of them - and it isn’t helped by their unsettling way of speaking through mimicry. Tengu receive a -2 penalty to Persuasion rolls made amongst non-tengu.