Most common folk have little knowledge of the larger world and history (other than what is taught to keep them in awe), go no further than a few miles from where they are born, and rely on larger institutions and groups for guidance. PC’s have, at the very least, something which makes them open to a larger perspective. This leads to a Character Concept, and Character Stories which will allow a character to move beyond the common perspective. There is no formal education system in the realms; A few places (mostly in the heartlands) still carry the ancient traditions of the fallen eastern lands of providing supplemental cultural if not academic primary education.
Race/Species Options for Characters: Most characters come from one of the Primary Races of the Steel Realms. With the right back story and GM approval, anything may be possible – though PCs are still subject to the stigmas and racial prejudices defined in the usual species relations.
PC’s are not inherently exceptional; they rise above through their actions to become that. PC types are common in the sense that many from every place in the realms, in every walk of life seek to make a fortune for themselves – leaving friends, family, home and hearth… and most die. Most common folk will see them as the source of trouble and potential concern. Items of power, adventure, perilous travel, and violent encounters of the kind of thing most adventurers seek out are something commoners wish to avoid. In some places, ‘adventurers’ (PCs) are overcharged, under-served, and even ushered out of town by angry citizens hoping to prevent the delicate local balance of power from being upset. Some PC’s may have a Patron (a Lady or Lord, or Institution; see Factions of Power) which give them authority and respect to avoid such local animosity.
Gender Roles of the Civilized Lands: In general, females are physically weaker than the normal male of the same species, and in places where survival is a daily concern it limits them to fewer societal roles. Males hold most of the dominant positions of power, and in general the cultures are patriarchal (less so in the past). Key exceptions to this are some Pine Tribes clans, Skraelings (and many Halfling enclaves), Ducateons (caste, not gender is the main factor), Wyld Aelf clans, the Duchy of Dunstrand and the Duchy of Aelmir (wherein lies Oerdney – the seat of the High King); here females are treated as equals – legal standing, property, marriage, and business. The binary of female and male conform to definitions brought on by appearance and sexual characteristics. “Krasals” are a form of hermaphrodite that is common (2% of humans) in the southern heartlands and are typically androgynous in appearance; they are accepted there and in the central heartlands without issue. The Pine Tribes accept without issue the “Wind Wending” – those among them with atypical sexual and gender preferences (homosexuals, hermaphrodite, cross dressers and others) both in appearance and sexual characteristics. Those of the Wyld Faith are much more accepting of sexual and gender fluidity than either the regimented Light Bringers or Unholy Trio of Darkness.
PC’s may not be familiar with the specifics, but there are some universal laws and observances that most denizens are familiar with and abide by. While the realms rely on peerage for ruling hierarchy, the heartlands are also governed by “Hindsmuth” (old word for “Common Law”); the heartlands in particular have a court system in the major towns and cities, with magistrates and law officers. Peerage titles offer the ability to call for a retrial with a new judge, or to declare a mistrial in the event of a travesty of justice but do not pass judgement themselves. In rural and country places, Bards are often sought to pass judgement using their knowledge of the law and insight. Outside the heartlands, sheriffs enforce titled nobles direct wills. Many PC’s must follow a code of conduct or set of laws or tenets dictated by their Patron (see Factions of Power).
PC’s may not be familiar with all of the factions, but some are known across the entire breadth of the realms well, while others are known only to those of related class or backgrounds.
Most PC’s must find the protection and enter into the service of a Patron. Patrons take an active role in the direction of the actions and development of characters. A patron WILL (its a question of when, not if) demand service and an accounting of their servants/bannermen/followers/brethren.
PC’s may not know all the languages, but most are aware that there are multiple, and traveling means they will likely have to learn a few.
The is the defacto starting point for and races of the . The Grollen correlate to the Gnoll of DnD. Where the appears notes a Role-Playing challenge/opportunity. The Grollen of the realms a fierce, prideful peoples. They are descendants of ancient Gnolls but consider themselves a separate race. At one time they ranged across the […]
The is the defacto starting point for characters and races of the Steel Realms. The Human Elon of the Steel Realms correlate to the Human race of DnD. Elon culture require different options. The Elon (traveler) folk of the Steel Realms are the equivalent of modern gypsies. Their population is human and a few half-elven […]
The race and class system of DnD@copy; has been matched to the Steel Realms of the IVerse.
Summary of Incarna D20 Character Aspects