Redesigning Racial Ecologies @ Fat Goblin Games

Hello All,

First off, its the weekend of PaizoCon, congrats to everyone that was able to get there -- especially our Goblin Hoardelings like Jeffrey Swank, Eric Hindley, Kalyna Conrad, Taylor Hubler, and John Bennett! Not sure whom else has made it but be sure to swing by to see John B run some Shadows over Vathak games this weekend!

Second off, I hate you all. Just kidding, I'm just jealous -- here's hoping Origins (which I will be able to get to) is as fun as what ya'll are doing!

Ok, anyways, the real point of what I'm getting to -- Race books at Fat Goblin Games.

We've recently revamped our Astonishing Races line, with new releases like AR: Fetchling last week, and while in an old - now lost post - I talked about how we were revising our race specific books here at Fat Goblin Games, I'll give a quick overview.

For established races that already exist in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, we have our Astonishing Races line, which gives the Core Race treatment from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Race Guide to these lesser known but still well loved races like Grippli, Catfolk, Fetchling, Dog-Faced Kobolds, and even Leprechauns!

Next up, for brand new races originally designed by Fat Goblin Games writers, we have our Racial Ecologies line. This line 'used' to cover all races, but in the past year we decided to "redo" our books so that we could have clear "this is new, this is old" distinctions and to help the lines grow independently. Racial Ecologies has some great already existing races like the Feyborn, Saurians, Living Dolls, Canids, and Hauntlings, which we've recently fully integrated into our Shadows over Vathak setting as a core race!


Then in our settings, like Shadows over Vathak, we have Enhanced Racial Guides which give in-depth looks into a specific core featured race, providing both new player options but also a lot of added story and world-specific materials for use of that race in that setting. 

Now, if you have been following my Weekly Design Blogs for Steampunk Musha on Tuesdays, you'll see I've been doing a LOT with the races of Steampunk Musha. Which has had me in a bit of a 'design funk' as none of these were "my" races, they were the ones I was told needed to be included, etc. That's fine and great and all, but have you ever wanted to "stretch your legs" a bit? I have and I did, yesterday, banging together a new release for the revised Racial Ecologies line, tentatively titled the Vaki race!

This all very "raw" you understand, banged out yesterday before The Janitor has even had a pass at it, so bear with me...


In the frozen reaches of the far north and south, where days and nights become a season-long, a fledgling people scraped a life in obedience to the Father-Sun and Mother-Moon, seeing the eternal light of their souls as the many stars in the sky. While most of the races of the world measure their lives as longer than humans, the Vaki are born, prosper, and wither away in less than half a human’s lifetime, but the candle that burns half as long does so because it burns twice as bright.

The Vaki may be a short-lived race, coming to maturity in only four years time, and already feeling the pangs of age in their 20’s, but the Vaki are also a people of devout belief in their own reincarnation after a brief time in the stars with the rest of their people. This belief is strongly supported by many of them at least feeling strong tendencies toward certain skills and abilities, with many having actual memories of not just one but many past lives.

Living in one of the most desolate lands of the world has lead to the Vaki being a hard-scrabble people, but rather than turning cold in their heart like the landscape around them, they foster a great love of life and the pleasures of living. Immortality in reincarnation may give them a fearlessness of personal death, but remembrance in song and dance for the great deeds drives each and every Vaki to make the most of their short time in this body. The lack of resources in their native snowscapes, and the long cold of winter that practically drives them out of their homeland, has lead them to a culture of raiding their nearby neighbors as much out of necessity as boredom, and it is most Vaki’s heart-felt belief that it is better to have died on viking raids for the betterment of their people, than to have frozen starved in the dead of winter.

This was an "old" idea for a race, from long ago, that was based on the idea of "why does EVERYONE ELSE get to live so long compared to humans?" -- elves and dwarves and such all have vast lifetimes compared to the humans. What if you had a race that lived much shorter, faster lives, but with greater purpose?

Also, I'm pulling from two of my favorites groups -- the Sami People of the northern Nordic area (especially known in Finland) and also playing off the "real" version of Viking (as in a raiding and trading venture). The Sami are "those reindeer herders" and their style of dress was what inspired Kristoff's in Disney's Frozen.

Ethnically, I'm ~75% "Finnish" with at least 25% of that being, supposedly, from someone of Finnish-Sami heritage (a grandfather I believe), and I grew up in a town with an actual university called Finlandia University (and it had a School of Business, so you could be an SoB of FU!) -- so I grew up with a fair amount of exposure to Finnish people and customs, at least a version of them, and they've always held an odd place in my heart.

Also, I've always loved the concept of the Norse vikings because... reasons.

Anyways, here's my first stab at their Racial Traits:

Vaki Racial Traits

Ability Score Racial Traits (3 RP): Vaki are an especially hearty race with strong physiques but their shortened years of time affect their mental development, which they make up for in charm. Vaki gain a +2 bonus to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution and a +4 bonus to Charisma, but suffer a -2 penalty to Intelligence and Wisdom

Type (0 RP): Vaki are humanoids with the vaki subtype.

Size (0 RP): Vaki are Medium creatures and have no bonus or penalties due to their size.

Speed (0 RP): Vaki have a base speed of 30 feet.

Fearless (1 RP): Vaki gain a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear and despair effects.

Shards of the Past (5 RP): Vaki have past lives that grant them two particular skills. Each Vaki picks two skills. The Vaki gains a +2 racial bonus on both of these skills, and those skills are treated as class skills regardless of what class the Vaki actually takes.

Solar Vitality (3 RP): Vaki gain fast healing 2 for 1 round anytime they spend at least one full minute in bright light from a natural source like the sun or a large fire. Vaki can heal up to 2 hit points per level per day with this ability, after which it ceases to function.

Languages: Vaki begin play speaking Sylvan. Vaki with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Common, Elven, Dwarven, or Giant.

Its still "in development" but I figured I'd share and see if people "like" the idea!

Lucus Palosaari, Editor & Project Manager at Fat Goblin Games (Like us on Facebook!)

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published