Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Carcosa Race Conversion Chart

In Carcosa, there are 13 races of men and no demi-humans or humanoids (except the space aliens and the extinct lizard-men). The 13 races of men are each a different color, and each color accurately describes the color of their skin; for example, in the US, I'm called "White" even though my skin color is pinkish-tan, but on Carcosa, White men's skin is actually white, like a sheet of printer paper. While "Black" people in the US have skin of various shades of brown, in Carcosa, Black men's skin is jet black. These races can't interbreed, and they exist as 13 distinct races because they were genetically modified by the lizard-men for use in their rituals. Any sorcerous ritual on Carcosa that requires a human victim specifies the race of the victim(s). In addition, different ray guns have different effects on different races, some doing half-damage to certain races, others doing double damage to certain races.

This is very cool and flavorful, but it also represents the main challenge, I think, in using Carcosa to influence a more standard setting, like the one I run, with dwarves and elves and goblins, where humans can all interbreed and there are not 13 distinct races of men.

My solution to this challenge is the chart below. It can be used in two different ways:
  • The first 13 items on the table represent direct conversions from Carcosan races to more standard races. Whenever a Carcosan ritual or ray gun specifies a color of man, simple refer to the chart and substitute the corresponding race. If you don't, say, use Centaurs in your game, choose one of the entries after the first 13 that you prefer and use that instead whenever a ritual or ray gun specifies a Purple man.
  • Whenever a ritual or ray-gun specifies a color of men, roll 1d20 on this table to determine which standard race will be specified instead in your game.
  1. Black–Elves
  2. Blue–Dwarves
  3. Bone–Kobolds
  4. Brown–Humans
  5. Dolm–Goblins
  6. Green–Orcs
  7. Jale–Gnolls
  8. Orange–Gnomes
  9. Purple–Centaurs
  10. Red–Dopplegangers
  11. Ulfire–Lizard-Men (or Troglodytes, or some other reptilian humanoid)
  12. White–Satyr if male, Dryad, Nymph or other nature-spirit thing if female
  13. Yellow–Halflings
  14. Larger Fey creatures, like Leprechauns and Brownies
  15. Lycanthropes
  16. Yuan-Ti
  17. Deep Ones
  18. Trolls
  19. Merfolk
  20. Re-Roll Twice: the offspring of those two races