Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hammersong's Legacy: The Kelshan...

Good Morning, All:

One of my goals when developing the Hammersong's Legacy setting was to find uses for the more common minis I've collected over the years. Given WOTC's predisposition towards tieflings and other demonic folk, I have a number of tiefling adventurer miniatures that I wanted to have a use for. However, I didn't want to go with the traditional perspective on tieflings themselves.

As I was thinking about my quandary, I remembered a race called the Kitaki from the Dray Prescot of Antares series, by Kenneth Bulmer. This was a race that were very devilish in appearance and temperament, but were just as earthly and mundane as any other on the face of Kregen. With that concept in mind, I created a race called the Kelshan:

These red-skinned, fork-tailed folk are known as sadistic slavers and cruel warriors in service to their dark master and patron deity, Sandamos, the Grand Tyrant. Were it not for the fact that a common enemy during the War of All Gods bound together people whose differences might have otherwise made such a union impossible, we would never have known these “devilfolk” to be anything other than a vile and despicable race, unworthy of our attention. Yet, in fighting side by side, there are those among the Kelshan who have come to see another path, one of Light and Redemption, and those Kelshan whom I know that walk that path are good and noble folk, as devout a friend as any could imagine. Sadly, the actions of the majority may doom these few social exiles to a life burdened by mistrust and antipathy.

I was thinking about giving the Kelshan a -2 penalty on reaction rolls due to the sadistic reputation the race has, in addition to any benefits I give the (low-light vision, a bonus on saves versus charm and mind-affecting effects, or something like that). What do you think?

With Regards,


James said...

I can't say I'm a fan of Tieflings, but you seem to have integrated them nicely into your setting.

Do you think many 'old-shoolers' will see "Tiefling" and be immediately turned off of your setting?

I think that what you have proposed for them (game mechanics wise) seems sound.

Flynn said...

I imagine that a good number of them might. I can also imagine that there are others out there like me, having collected some minis for their games and now they have some tieflings they don't really have a use for. The Kelshan provide that option, so the minis "don't go to waste," and introduces a potential new "bad guy" race if desired.

I like to think of the Kelshan as what orcs could have been, a race of sadistic slavers bent on conquering their neighbors for the sake of getting more slaves. Giving them the appearance of devils would have been too much back in the 70s, but nowadays, it appears to be okay.

And this way, I can emphasize the immorality of such a race without focusing on their infernal origin, because in my version, they do not have an infernal origin. Yeah, they worship Sandamos, Lord of Demons, but they don't get any special benefits for it.

They're cruel, cunning and swift. Having one on your side should feel like a playing hot potato with a live hand grenade. But if someone is going to insist on playing something of that ilk, here's a chance for them to pursue the ultimate redemption storyline.

Hope That Helps,

James said...

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of this race. To me they are a great 'replacement' for half-orcs a s a playable race.