Race in the Hann Empire

The Core Races of the Hann Empire

Humans –  Most people are Human, with cultural differences based on religion and local politics.  Core Cultures, Rules and Settings will be based on Human timelines and life cycles.  There are a number of cultural variants – often based around d the primary religions, of the different parts of the empire.

Halflings – are the second most populous races –  they have the same cultural backgrounds (according to location)  but with a ‘Halfling-ish’ overlay.  This is likely to follow two paths. 1)  the stay at home, rural halfling, happily cultivating the land.  In towns and cities, this  may well be seen as Halfling ‘Quarters’  where halflings gather to run crafts workshops and  low level businesses. 2) Quick and sharp witted, as one would expect from small people who have to make their way in a large person’s world.  Really just an amalgam of the two different stereotypes that have been applied to halflings over the years.  Halflings mature more slowly than Humans, and often have their own ‘cultural’ schools.  Those who attend mainstream human schools get a reputation for being slow under-achievers (although they are just slower to grow up and mature)

Half-Orcs –  found (mainly) around the edges of the empire, where Humans and Orcs rub up against each other.  There is (generally) an unsophisticated ‘overlay’ to half orcs – at least to start with.  Most come from harsh rural backgrounds and there are few real opportunities for them within the empire itself – while there are a number of broken homes, many half-orcs come from stable family backgrounds where one of the parents is a half-orc.  They mature more slightly more quickly than Humans, and (as children) are (perhaps) less patient.  They get a reputation for being bored troublemakers early in their lives.

Half-Elves –  Go back to the early days and are outsiders.  See Elves Later:  Elves do nothing around in for stable relationships with short-lived humans, and many half-elves are either adopted or grow up in a single mother household – although their mother might marry, and they become a step-child in the relationship.   Like Halflings, they are slow to mature, and get a reputation as being slow and (possibly) sulky.  Some are sent to halfling schools, some are raised by halflings who adopt them (absent parents often send a regular ‘stipend’ to help pay for the raising of their child.  If two half-elves mate, they breed true and produce more half-elves – these half-elves have a ‘normal’ family life with their biological parents.

The Less Common Races

Dwarves – Dwarves are not common in human society, although they are more common on Telida than anywhere else.  Dwarves in most of Telida are followers of Moradin, who preaches a ‘stay at home’ philosophy – if you want dwarf forged weapons and armour – you need to go to a dwarf stronghold or buy them from a merchant.  In Telida, the Dwarves follow Torag, who is also the patron of crafters from other races.  While Torag still preaches the primacy of Dwarf strongholds, the ‘stay at home’ message is not so strong, so you may find dwarf enclaves in human towns and cities (they are less common in villages as, culturally, they prefer a more organized setting) and they like the company of other dwarves.  Dwarves have a much longer lifecycles than the other races covered, so far, and young dwarves do not fit in with the societal norms in schools, apprenticeships and all the other things that happen in early life – so even in towns, they tend to stick with their own race.  It is not just that they are uppity, grumpy and self-centred (at least from an outsider’s perspective)  There are two mineholds, on the outskirts of society) in  Telida that make for a good starting location for dwarves.  Dwarf mineholds are not really a part of the Hann Empire –  they sit outside the political structures, and form small independent ‘kingdoms’ that interact regularly with the Empire.  However, there are broad cultural similarities between then, and Dwarves tend to see themselves as part of a single Dwarf mega-kingdom.  They all have inordinate skills with metal and stone – and these ‘elements’ lay at the heart of overall dwarf culture.

Elves – elves are even slower to mature and live their lives to much slower time-cycles than any other race – and nearly all finish up back in the elven nations.  They just don’t fit well into a human-centric society.  That said, there are elf ambassadors, entertainers, merchants and even adventurers who pass regularly through the Empire, so there is plenty of scope for a health half-elf population.  Elf population growth is slow (compared to the other races) and (as a group) they have a strong cultural sense of responsibility for their  children.  This is why so many half-elves are found adoptive parents and sent small stipends during their early life.  Elves, as a whole, are somewhat isolationist – they stay in their own towns, cities and settlements, which are not readily accessible to humans.  Elf characters are liable to be young and exploring the world.  They probably intend to return home and start a ‘proper’ family at some point –  perhaps in 50 years or so when they have grown up and matured –  such a long time span that it doesn’t really affect the game – other than to mean that Elves have a ‘transient’ attitude to life and, perhaps, accumulate wealth differently to other races.

Gnomes – Gnomes are just strange, at least as far as the general population is concerned.  To quote the Pathfinder SRD

“Gnomes can have the same concerns and motivations as members of other races, but just as often they are driven by passions and desires that non-gnomes see as eccentric at best, and nonsensical at worst. A gnome may risk his life to taste the food at a giant’s table, to reach the bottom of a pit just because it would be the lowest place he’s ever been, or to tell jokes to a dragon—and to the gnome those goals are as worthy as researching a new spell, gaining vast wealth, or putting down a powerful evil force. While such apparently fickle and impulsive acts are not universal among gnomes, they are common enough for the race as a whole to have earned a reputation for being impetuous and at least a little mad.

Combined with their diminutive sizes, vibrant coloration, and lack of concern for the opinions of others, these attitudes have caused gnomes to be widely regarded by the other races as alien and strange. Gnomes, in turn, are often amazed how alike other common, civilized races are. It seems stranger to a gnome that humans and elves share so many similarities than that the gnomes do not. Indeed, gnomes often confound their allies by treating everyone who is not a gnome as part of a single, vast non-gnome collective race.”

There isn’t much more I need to say there.  Gnomes do not fit easily into a human-centric society, but there are small gnomish enclaves, and the occasional wandering gnome. They also have a slow life cycle when compared to the ‘human’ norm, and don’t really fit in well with Human society.  That said, they can make good adventurers – so long as the player picks the right sort of “passions” for their character. 

Posted in Hann, Role Playing Aids, World Building.

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