Peoples of the World


About half of all people left behind on this world are humans. Although some people were left behind due to random accident, the ones who made the choice to remain are by definition unusual. Feel free to play someone with a rare or unique profession pre-elves. Among the humans who remained, former kings live side by side with former peasants. In the chaos of the elves’ leaving, many people ended up far from their original home, and so our small group of PCs may include people from far-flung human cultures.

When you play a human, your former profession and culture play the biggest role in defining your character, since you don’t have the unusual anatomy and exotic habits of goblins and elves. This is a great chance for history nerds and worldbuilding fans to get creative and build a real-feeling person who used to be part of a bigger culture before everyone left. Culture and background is a great way to connect yourself with other PCs, so when you play a human you might choose to especially emphasize designing your character so you can connect to current and future friends in the game. When taking inspiration from a real-world human culture, please be very respectful.

When designing your former role and culture as a human, consider:


The other half of those who remain are goblins, a separate sentient species that somewhat resemble humanity. Goblins have far greater control over the development of their personal appearance than humans, and most goblin cultures disdain the idea of choosing to resemble a human given the options available. Thus, goblins come in a wide variety of appearances, which to humans range from “ethereal beauty” to “ugly as stink”, but of course nearly every goblin has chosen an appearance they are very proud of. Due to a quirk in goblin inner ear anatomy, nearly all goblins choose pointed ears, sometimes very long ones.

If you enjoy playing with makeup, ear prosthetics, and other fun ways to change your appearance, you are encouraged to play a goblin. Please strongly consider pointed ear prosthetics as a clear shorthand signal that you are a goblin. Beyond that, feel free to go wild with whatever you (or your goblin) finds beautiful or practical, from full face makeup to tails.

Similar to their appearances, goblin cultures vary even more so than human cultures. Due to their control of their anatomical development, many goblin cultures specialize in life in places humans can’t live, such as underground, in fetid swamps, or high in the trees. Goblin cultures that live far from humans often have unusual mannerisms that some humans find enchanting and others disgusting. In other places, goblin and human cultures have a long history of coexistence; and even before the elves came there were cities full of both species with a shared culture. Goblin and human lifespans are similar.

Goblins are my attempt to offer players a way to play with some of the fantasy tropes of better-than-you elves and fun-to-be-gross goblinoids without making a “master race” or subhumans. Try to craft a goblin with the foibles and virtues of any human. Be excitingly different without playing into tired tropes of which differences make a person better or worse.

When designing your former role and culture as a goblin, consider:


The elves came from the stars to harvest their resources, induct the locals, and return. A vanishingly tiny number stayed behind. (Although very few elves remain on the world, a disproportionate number have made their way to this small enclave.)

The elves are not a single species, nor precisely a single culture. The concept of genetically incompatible species means nothing in the face of the elves’ advanced technology. Millenia of starfaring has introduced the genes of hundreds of planets into the elven genome. The elfships number in the thousands and each has its own distinct culture. If you play an elf, you have great freedom to define your own appearance and personality.

That said, playing an elf in this game is playing a very unusual member of the elves. While the elves do not expect or require every local to follow them to the stars, an elf staying behind is treated as an act of self-harm, not merely a foolish decision. On the elfships, the elves enjoy nearly eternal life, luxury beyond imagination, the opportunity to visit countless worlds, and the company of the greatest people in the galaxy. Staying behind on a particular backwater is deemed insane, and successfully staying behind requires escaping the elves’ safety net via trickery or other extreme measures. The safety net would be truly inescapable if more elves even contemplated staying behind, but attempts are vanishingly rare.

Elves on the elfships link their minds through their technology, sharing experiences and coordinating their actions better than mere communication can achieve. In the link, an elf does not give up their individual identity but is tightly connected to their chosen linkmates in ways that make working as a cohesive team easy and choosing something purely for yourself unusual. The first step towards staying behind was severing this link, which has profoundly affected your mind. Most of your memories of your ageless life aboard the ships were stored in the link, leaving you with significant holes in your memory. You may remember your closest companions and your general impressions of life aboard your ship, but you do not remember the details of your hundreds or thousands of years of life, nor could you possibly remember the details of how to reconstruct any elven technology.

Although elven cultures vary wildly, your culture is one that made the decision to visit this planet, harvest its resources, and paternalistically shepherd the locals to the stars. Your culture believes that this is morally just, and you are sure the locals who did leave for the stars now live lives of relatively luxury and safety compared to what they enjoyed on this planet. Locals are not enslaved or subjugated, although assimilation into elven cultures takes ages and unassimilated locals are treated as unsophisticated yokels by their elven benefactors. You are different by definition, but you come from a people who would treat your current human and goblin companions as especially dumb yokels who came from dirt and didn’t even manage to take the amazing opportunity offered to them. Of course, your former friends probably think you are even dumber for joining the locals in the dirt, but…

Elves come in a wide variety of anatomies, but they visually stand out due to their very different clothing choices and their cybernetics. While elves certainly may adopt local fashions over time, it hasn’t been very long since the elfships left, and elvish clothing is incredibly luxurious compared to local products. While elvish cybernetics offer little practical advantage without the networks of the elfships, evading the safety net and staying behind didn’t offer opportunities to safely remove the cybernetics. As a PC elf, you may attribute some of your combat powers to your cybernetics, but they are not otherwise very useful. (Perhaps there are some plot opportunities to change this…?)

Play an elf if you want to costume elaborately and have serious psychological hangups. You are strongly encouraged to incorporate some form of cybernetic costuming to mark yourself as an elf. Your clothing may differ substantially from the medieval baseline of this planet. Elven bodies come in endless varieties, and while some elves have pointed ears it is not a universal choice. Compared to most characters, your very presence in this game represents a shocking departure from everything you’ve previously known. You’re pretty messed up from the experience. While elves as a whole trend towards being paternalistic jerks towards "the locals," make good decisions as a player to design a PC who will enrich the experiences of the other players. 

Sources of Power


Devotees have felt inside the new magic of our world a Living Will. Some say the planet as a whole has awoken, while others claim they are communing with the voice of a particular mountain, grove, plant or animal species. Some feel they have been specially chosen or cursed to serve, while others claim they have dedicated themselves by their own choice. The Living Will, whatever thing or things It is, commands these devotees. They describe the ecstasy and agony of chaining their actions to a Will they cannot argue or reason with. In exchange for their service and its many costs, devotees control the magic of our world with greater ease and finesse than anyone else.

When you play a devotee, you are responsible for playing both your PC and the Living Will that commands them. It is up to you where in nature that Will resides and what It wants from your PC, but you should play up the tension between a demanding, inflexible Sovereign and your mortal PC. Consider:

Some devotees identify their Living Will with the religion they followed in the old world, but most do not. Your PC has only had months to get to know the Will you serve, and so you are probably still figuring out for yourself if you ought to act and dress like a solemn priest, an ecstatic mystic, or a leaves-in-your-hair hermit.

The apocalyptic shadow is the source of all magic, but your power is filtered through the Living Will that you serve. Your magic reflects the natural forces where that living will resides. When you use a combat verbal, you can add a flavor trait such as “2 damage by thorns”, “1 healing by growth”, “ lightning”, etc. that reflects the source of your power.


The source of magic is the shadow of our world, the apocalyptic future stolen from our world by the elves. The tension between our world and its shadow pulls magic into our world, and every living thing naturally benefits from this magic. Some people, the adepts, have chosen to pull harder on that tension and seize more power for themselves.

When you play an adept, you are meddling with strange forces not entirely within your control. There are no ancient spellbooks or wizened mentors to teach you how to do this; you are willingly playing with fire and as the player you are responsible for deciding when and how you get burned by that. Adeptal magic can be used for good, but it requires the adept expose themselves to the shadow and its apocalyptic horrors. Consider:

As an adept, you channel the power of the apocalyptic shadow directly. The end of the world took many forms, and you probably focus on one more than others. When you use a combat verbal, you can add a flavor trait such as “2 damage by radiation”, “1 healing by maggots”, “ hatred”, etc. to demonstrate the source of your power. If you have beneficial powers, you’ll want to figure out in advance how you harness the apocalypse to heal, protect, etc.

Skilled Combatants

Not everyone chooses to train in the new magic of this world. Many prefer to rely on their own skills to fight their foes, toughen their own bodies, and provide medical treatment to wounded friends.

Even if you choose not to train magical skills, you still innately benefit from improved vitality as a result of the new magic. You are tougher than the fiercest warrior was before the birth of magic, enough to shrug off minor wounds and quickly recover from major ones. And even if you don't practice magic, nothing stops you from being an expert on its manifestations in the world around you. Many people prefer not to use magic in combat but still have learned other magical practices and can manipulate magical devices or help design powerful rituals. In short, if you are playing a character who does not use magic in combat, you should still feel free to participate in plot that involves magical phenomenon if it interests you and your character.

When playing a skilled character, consider:

As a skilled character, your attacks typically carry the "weapon" trait, which is assumed for any attack without an accompanying call. However, perhaps you use tools that give your attacks a different flavor train such as "2 damage by poison" or "main by fire." Your healing might be " medicine", " herbs", or perhaps some other creative description of your treatment methods.

Some assumptions that are generally true for PCs