Borderlands/New and Adjusted racial templates

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One of the biggest adjustments I'm making to the racial templates from DF3 is the addition of more options in the racial disadvantages. Races still tend to conform to distinctly stereotyped behavior but within a range rather than a straightjacket.

I've also made some tweaks to specific races based on disliking certain disadvantages at a racial level (Appearance, Berserk) or disliking certain limitations (Cannot Wear Armor).

Buying off Racial disadvantages

Racial disadvantages with self control modifiers may be bought down to "15 or less" at character creation. After character creation they may be bought down to a quirk, at a rate of one level per adventure, but no further.

Racial Social Stigmas may be reduced after character creation, but only if the PCs are successful in delving and prove their worth.

Sense of Duty: Nature

All racial templates with this disadvantage may replace it with a combination of the following traits totaling the same point value, if they choose. See also Sense of Duty: Nature for more information if you don't replace it.

  • Level 1 or Level 2 Green Mind [-5 or -10], from GURPS Plant Magic. Higher levels are generally too sedentary for adventuring.
  • Code of Honor: Forest Protector. Defend all woodlands from those who attempt to burn it, fell its trees, or destroy it by other means. Keep its secrets. Use its resources in a respectful way. Be humble toward druids and toward clerics and mages dedicated to the woodland. Oppose the idea of the forest as a possession, owned by any individual, country, or institution. [-10]
  • Intolerance (Anyone involved in woodcutting, charcoal burning, etc.) [-5]
  • Sense of Duty (Forest) [-10*] Plants and animals, but only in treed areas.
  • Sense of Duty (Plants) [-10*] Applies to normal plants, magical plants, animate plants, and even plant-people if any ever show up (rare).
  • Sense of Duty (Animals) [-10*]. Applies to IQ 5 or lower creatures that do not have special keywords like "Elder Thing", "Demonic", "Elemental" etc. Giant animals sent as a divine curse, or created by exposure to titansblood are Demonic. Giant animals made giant by wizards or druids, or giant animals that just happen to be giant, are not.
  • Vow (Use animal material only if gathered without severe injury to the animal) [-5]
  • Vow (Use plant material only if gathered without severe injury to the plant) [-5]
  • Vow (Strict Carnivore) [-5]
  • Vow (Vegetarian) [-5]


Replace DR 5 (Cannot Wear Armor, -40%) with DR 3 (Touch Transmissive, -10%) [14] and the Coleopteran Mutations perk outlined below. Remove Racial Appearance and replace with Social Stigma (Minority Group).

Net template cost increases to 81 points.

Coleopterans can wear armor, but they cannot share any armor piece with any other race. Armor bought at character creation costs the usual amount, but once in play ordering armor in humanoid lands counts as a Special Order and costs an additional +50%. Humanoid armor cannot be refitted for Coleopterans.

Touch Transmissive DR: DR with this limitation does not offer a bonus to resist Afflictions, and does not prevent skin-to-skin contact for Touch effects. This DR counts as "natural" for the purposes of spells that bypass "natural" DR but not "artificial" DR. -10%. Touch Transmissive DR is not Flexible (unlike Tough Skin) and does not count 0 damage cut/pi/imp attacks as penetrating for the purposes of poison (unlike Tough skin). Can otherwise be considered a form of Tough Skin.

Coleopteran Mutations: Coleopterans' underground habitat and proximity to the blood of Khaos has caused odd mutations to crop up among certain individuals. These range from the simply odd to the outright bizarre, and Coleopteran society is divided on the meaning of these strange gifts. Like the Divine Gifts perk, this perk opens up further advantages that can be bought either at character creation or later with acquired points.

Sample Coleopteran Mutations

  • Burrowing (perk) [1] - You dig with your hands as fast as a man with a shovel.
    • Can be upgraded to Tunneling (Slow, 1y/2min) [6] - See GURPS Powers p.85 for details
  • Flight (Gliding; Large Wings) [10], Flight (Cannot Hover; Large Wings) [24], or Flight (Large Wings) [30]
  • Up to 3 more points of Touch-Transmissive DR [4, 9, or 13 pts]
  • Replace Teeth (Sharp) [1] with Teeth (Fangs) [2]
  • Striking Surface (Hands) [1], Striking Surface (Feet) [1], Blunt Claws [3], or Sharp Claws [5]
  • 2 more Extra Arms [20], or 2 Extra Legs [5], to a maximum of 8 limbs in total.
  • Spinnerets [19] - a metatrait consisting of Binding ST 15 (Reduced Range 1/10, Costs 2 FP) [18] and Climbing Line (perk) [1]
  • Chemical Spit (ACC 0; 1/2D 5, Max 10) [8 or 12]. This attack costs 2 FP and uses DX or Innate Attack (Breath) to hit; as a jet it does not suffer range penalties. It must hit the victim on exposed skin or Tough Skin DR to have an effect, and the victim may dodge or block with a shield, but not parry.
    Struck victims must roll HT or suffer Moderate Pain [8] or Terrible Pain [12] for 1 minute per margin of failure).
    Notes: this is an Affliction with Jet, Contact Agent, and Costs Fatigue 2. Counts as a Poison effect.
  • Reduced Consumption (Cast-Iron Stomach) 2 [2]
  • Nictitating Membrane 1 or 2 [1 or 2]
  • Glow Worm [1] - may spend 1 FP to shed light that removes darkness penalties in a 2-yard radius for up to 12 hours. You may turn this off at will, but must spend 1 FP to turn it back on.
  • Fiddler Claw [15] - One of your arms is an oversized crab-like gripping limb that is excellent for grappling but poor for most other tasks. The chosen arm has +1 DR and can be used as a club for +1/die damage. Grabbing with that arm counts as a two-handed grapple for all purposes; grapples with the Claw count as grapples from a creature one SM bigger than your real SM, with +5 ST.
    • This is metatrait consisting of DR+1 (Partial, Arm and Hand, -40%; Touch Transmissive -10%)[3], Extra Arm (Only for making a one handed grapple two-handed, -50%) [5], Lifting ST +5 (Only to grapple with Fiddler Claw, -60%) [6], Oversized Arm (perk, the Fiddler Claw counts as SM+1 for purposes of bear-hugging/choking) [1], Striker (Crushing; Limb: Arm, -20%) [4], Ham-Fisted 2 (One-Hand, -60%) [-4]

Mutations and Coleopteran Society

While mutations are not exactly rare in Coleopteran societies (particularly those deeper underground), the more esoteric (read: high point value) mutations are uncommon, and views regarding mutants differ wildly from individual to individual or from group to group. Some view these mutations as gifts from the Cthonic gods (Ennosigaios in particular), and others regard them as dangerous aberrations that should be stamped out before the taint spreads. A character with 5 points or more in Coleopteran Mutations may have a reaction modifier anywhere from -2 to +2 from individual Coleopterans or entire communities of them (this is, in essence, a 0-point Reputation).

Fae Races

All fae templates from DF3 have Dependency: Mana replaced with "Pick 25 points of disadvantages from the General Fae Races Disadvantages List or from the list appropriate to your specific race". These disadvantage are Racial, not personal, and do not count towards your personal disad limit.

"Iron" includes Steel and Meteoric Iron, as well as Dwarven shields, Silver-Edged (but not solid silver) weapons, and Mirrored shields that are not Silver or Bronze. It does not affect Bronze, Orichalcum, Mithril, etc.

  • Dread (Iron; Common) [-20, -2/extra level]
  • Dread (Holy Symbols; Occasional) [-10, -1/extra level]
  • Dread (Unholy Symbols; Occasional) [-10, -1/extra level]
  • Magic Susceptibility [-3/level]
  • Revulsion (Iron; Common) [-10]
  • Trickster [-15*]
  • Vow: Cannot Harm A Person Wearing A Turned Coat* [-5]
  • Vulnerability (x2 Damage; Iron; "Uncommon") [-25] (Higher levels will be rapidly fatal and are not permitted)
  • Vulnerability (Meteoric Iron; Rare) [-10/-15/-20]
  • Weakness (Holy Artifacts, Blessed areas, and Holy Consecrated ground; Occasional) [-5/-10/-20]
  • Weakness (Unholy Artifacts, Cursed areas, and Unholy Consecrated ground; Occasional) [-5/-10/-20]
  • Weakness (No or Twisted Mana areas; Rare) [-2/-5/-10]

These disadvantages are good choices for buying off Racial Disadvantages, and generally the GM won't object to any of them being removed either at character creation or during play.

It's public knowledge that fae have all sorts of strange restrictions, but the average man on the street/in the delve isn't clued in to the specifics. Hidden Lore: Fae can be used to deduce one of an observed fae's weaknesses (or all on a critical success).

* "Turned Coat" in this case refers to the victim's outer layer of clothing worn inside out. It must be prominent and visible - a cloak worn inside out, a jacket or long coat, would count. A sock or belt or garter or underpants do NOT count. Flexible armors cannot be worn inside out unless they can be concealed AS clothing, not just UNDER clothing. Some items, i.e. a simple unhemmed piece of cloth worn as a cape or poncho, do not have a distinguishable in/out side and offer no protection. GMs ruling in all ambiguous cases is final.

Be aware that superstitious peasants and the occasional stupid humanoids could be found wearing clothing inside out.

"Cannot Harm" counts as per Pacifist "Cannot Harm Innocents". The value is rated at -5 because while it's rarely encountered, once foes discover this weakness it can be trivially easy for them to exploit.

Faun specific options

  • Bad Appearance [-3/-6]
  • Chummy [-5 or -10]
  • Compulsive Carousing [-5*]
  • Cowardice [-10*]
  • Intolerance: City Folk [-5]
  • Jealousy [-10]
  • Laziness [-10]
  • Quirk level versions of any of the above except Bad Appearance [-1 each]

Cowardice, Compulsive Carousing, and Ugly make for classical Greek Satyrs. Gregarious, Compulsive Carousing, and Laziness makes for classical Italian Fauns. Note that being drunk helps offset Cowardice...

Leprechaun specific options

  • Miserliness [-10*]
  • Greed [-15*]
  • Spell of Luck [-6]: Your Luck advantage is Mana Sensitive, can be temporarily disabled by magic disrupting attacks and spells, is reduced proportionately in low mana areas (reduced to Extraordinary Luck in Low -3, and to plain Luck in Low -6), and shuts down entirely in no-mana regions.

Dryad specific options

  • Shyness [-5, -10, or -20]
  • Enchanting Beauty [-4]: Your Appearance and Charisma are Mana Sensitive, can be temporarily disabled by magic disrupting attacks and spells, are reduced proportionately in low mana areas (reaction bonuses are reduced to 2/3rds normal in Low -3, reduced to 1/3 normal in Low -6), and shut down entirely in no-mana regions.
  • Glamorous Appearance [-10]: Your Appearance and Charisma are a subtle and innate charm effect. Not only do you suffer all the effects of Enchanting Beauty (above) but your charms are completely lost on creatures Immune to Mind Control (such as Golems and the undead), and others may make a Will roll to see through the illusion to your true, rather boring looking, form. (Glamour limitation from Powers). Magic Resistance, Mind Shield, and Resistant to Mind Control all provide a bonus on this resistance roll.

Pixie specific options

  • Curious [-5*]
  • Impulsiveness [-10*]
  • Short Attention Span [-10*]
  • Enchanted Flight [-4]: Your Flight ability is Mana Sensitive, can be temporarily disabled by magic disrupting attacks and spells, and is reduced proportionately in low mana areas (Flight Move is reduced to 2/3rds normal in Low -3, reduced to 1/3 normal in Low -6), and shuts down entirely in no-mana regions. You take a penalty equal to the Mana penalty on Flight skill checks when in areas below Normal mana as well. High Mana areas do not impart a speed or skill bonus.

Goblin Kin

Racial Powerups

All Goblin Kin with Cast Iron Stomach (either on template or bought as a personal advantage) may buy Universal Digestion and Resistant (Digestive poisons) as Power Ups.

New Race: Grotlin

0 points
Choice Professions: Assassin, Scout, Thief.
Marginal Professions: Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Wizard.
Can be good for certain kinds of Assassin and Swashbuckler.

Grotlins are the small, not terribly stupid, cowardly, victimized ones with more teeth than the Osmonds. Their shark-toothed grins spread from pointy ear to pointy ear, and they can usually be found chewing on something dubious.

Grotlins try to live separately from the other Goblin-kin, because even Goblins love to kick them around. Grotlin s travel at night and stick to heavily overgrown wilderness, or tight low passages that larger races have trouble passing; in warfare Grotlins set vicious traps at chest or head height of larger races, emphasize hit-and-run tactics and attack from above or below, and run screaming if looked at funny.

Grotlins particularly dislike halflings and small fae for their ability to chase them right into their burrows and duck under their traps.

Grotlins eat goblin rations, but due to their small size the rations last twice as long (one Goblin meal is two meals for a Grotlin). See Goblin, below, for other rules regarding races that eat Goblin rations.

Grotlins are short and slim, and fold up neatly into little spaces - larger goblinkin often stuff three or four in a barrel as a prank.

Calculate height and weight for a normal human of their ST (not counting the racial ST modifier), then halve height and quarter weight - an average ST 7 Grotlin male is 2'10" through 3', and weighs 35-45 pounds. A Grotlin has SM -2, regardless of height, and is subject to Tiny Tools (p. 8). However, he's big enough to wield human weapons at -2 to skill, and can buy off this penalty with two levels of a special perk, Giant Weapons (See DF3 page 14).

ST -3 [-30], IQ -1 [-20]; DX +1 [+20], HT +1 [+10], SM -2, HP +1 [+2], Will +1 [5], Perception +2 [10], Basic Speed +0.5 [10], Basic Move -1 [-5]
Advantages: Infravision [10]; Rapid Healing [5]; Reduced Consumption 2 (Cast Iron Stomach) [2]; Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+3) [10]; Teeth (Sharp) [1].
Perks: Compact Frame.
Disadvantages: Cowardice (12) [-10]; Restricted Diet (Meat and animal products) [-10]; Social Stigma (Savage) [-10].
Quirks: Easily Dazzled: -1 to Perception and ranged attacks in bright light (daylight) [-1]

Racial Talent

Grotlins may buy 1 to 4 levels of the following talent:
Racial Talent: Sneaky Little Savage. Gives +1/level to Blowpipe, Camouflage, Poisons, Shadowing, Stealth, Traps. Reaction bonus is from professional skulkers. [5]

Racial Powerups

Everything listed for Goblin Kin from DF11, plus the following:

  • Striking ST (Bite Only, -60%), [2/level] Grotlins are big gnawers and can at least try to eat anything that fits in their mouths. See also Goblin-Kin Racial Powerups, above.
  • DR: Inside mouth only [1/+2 DR] This DR is not Tough Skin, and protects fully against contact poisons and similar effects until you swallow.
  • Big Mouth perk: You enjoy all the benefits of Born Biter +1 and none of the drawbacks.
  • 1-2 levels of Payload (cheeks) - requires Big Mouth perk.
  • Flexible or Double-Jointed


Goblins remove racial Ugly, add Restricted Diet (Meat and animal products) and Reduced Consumption 2 (Cast Iron Stomach) [2] - they can't eat veggies at all, but they can eat some pretty disgusting animal parts. Goblin travel rations cost the same as human rations but are absolutely foul, cause reaction penalties when people realize you plan to EAT them, and tend to attract vermin.

Final point cost remains the same.


Half-Orcs replace Social Stigma (Savage) with Social Stigma (Half-Breed) and Restricted Diet (Meat and animal products; Substitution: human vegetarian food). Half-Orcs eat fresh meats (like humans can), and can eat vegetables if they've been either fermented or boiled into an anonymous mush, but it makes them gassy. Fresher vegetables and grain-products of all types tend to really upset their stomachs - make a HT roll after each meal or suffer -1 to HT until going back on a safe diet for at least a day, and suffer a -1 to Self Control rolls due to the discomfort. This does nothing to improve Half-Orcs attitudes or popularity. Half Orcs either spend 50% more on meaty rations, or take double-weight rations to get fermented or mushed vegetables.

Half-Orcs may optionally buy Reduced Consumption 2 (Cast Iron Stomach) [2] to eat Goblin rations instead.

Final point cost remains the same, or is increased by 2 if the half-orc has a Cast Iron Stomach.


Same changes as Goblins; hobgoblins can eat Goblin rations with no difficulty.

Final point cost remains the same.


Same changes as Goblins; orcs can eat Goblin rations with no difficulty.

Final point cost remains the same.


Replace "Gluttony (12) [-5]; Kleptomania (12) [-15]" with "Choose -20 points worth of the following disadvantages: Charitable (12-) [-15], Gluttony (12-) [-5], Curious (12-) [-5]; Kleptomania (12-) [-15]"

This covers the "good hearted and childlike", "good hearted and big eater", and the "nosy sticky-fingered" archetypes, along with the "sticky-fingered big eater" archetype.


Because Sanctity cycles on a day-night basis, Weakness to low Sanctity would kill off Celestials and Infernals after the first day of their lives! Instead, replace this Weakness with a Weakness to explicitly consecrated areas, areas infused with divine presence, and divine artifacts.


Replace "Weakness (Cursed areas and areas of high or better sanctity to Evil gods; Occasional; 1d/minute) [-20]" with "Weakness (Unholy Artifacts, Cursed Areas, and Unholy Consecrated areas; Occasional; 1d/minute) [-20]"


Replace "Weakness (Blessed areas and areas of high or better sanctity to Good gods; Occasional; 1d/minute) [-20]" with "Weakness (Holy Artifacts, Blessed areas, and Holy Consecrated areas; Occasional; 1d/minute) [-20]".


Template cost increases to 46 points. Replace racial Berserk and Appearance with Social Stigma: Minority Group and Restricted Diet (Meat). Minotaurs are not oxymoronic "peaceful" pastorals with hair triggers, they're cranky carnivorous brutes and not welcome in human society. Minotaurs pay 50% extra for "meaty" rations.

Minotaur barbarians cannot "double up" on Social Stigma: Minority group, and should either "upgrade" it to Social Stigma: Monster and another -5 points from the Barbarian disadvantage list (or upgrade the Minotaur Bad Temper to 9-), or choose another -10 points of Barbarian disadvantages.

Minotaurs are not titanspawn - they're technically human descended and Poseidon gets the ultimate blame for them - but they're still unpleasant.


Increase template cost to 46 points. Remove racial Appearance and add Bad Smell.

Ogres interested in adventuring in dungeons may wish to train the Low Fighting technique, to help with fighting under low ceilings.


Increase template cost to 23 points. Remove racial Appearance and add Odious Personal Habit: Funky [-5].

New Race: Kabeiroi

25 points

Good Template Choices: Barbarian, Knight, Holy Warrior
Bad Template Choices: Scout, Thief

The Kabeiroi are a friendly but determined people, prone to considering the situation, picking a position, and then loudly refusing to budge. They value being enduring over being reasonable, and prefer a direct approach over subtlety (their tendency to rattle and squeak usually ruins subtle efforts). A large group of Kabeiroi usually degenerates into a (loud) argument.

Kabeiroi of both genders have pointed, faceted features and a long limbed body type, hard metal skin (usually darkened bronze but sometimes bright bronze or brassy, or rarely coppery), and wavy hair that ranges from flaming red to coal black. Kabeiroi eyes are orange, copper, bronze, brown, pale green, or black, and their teeth are brilliant metallic bronze in color.

Kabeiroi figure height based on a human of their (unmodified) ST plus 3", and their weight based on a human of their (unmodified) ST plus 10 lbs.

ST +2 [20]; DR 2 (Flexible) [8]; Extra FP 2 [6]; Kabeiroi Wardancer Talent* +2 [10]; Penetrating Voice [1]; Robust Hearing [1]; Stunning Voice** [1]; Alcohol Intolerance [-1]; Chummy [-5]; Noisy -1 [-2]; OPH: No Inside Voice [-5]; Stubbornness [-5]; Susceptible to Poison† [-4].

* Kabeiroi Wardancer Talent applies to Armoury, Dancing, Kiai, Smith, Spear, and Tactics. Reaction bonus from soldiers and metalworkers.

** Stunning Voice: All Kabeiroi are naturally talented at projecting their voices, and generally shouting at people until they get their way. Kabeiroi may buy the Kiai skill without the usual prerequisites (Trained by a Master or Weapon Master) and without taking the Monk template. Only Kabeiroi may take this perk.

† Susceptible to Poison is cumulative with Alcohol Intolerance - Kabeiroi start with HT-1 rolls for drinking from extremely low alcohol beverages like 0.5% home-brewed ginger ale, "dealcoholized" beers, and other very weak drinks.

Kabeiroi also shouldn't make a habit of using Alchemy to figure out what suspicious concoctions do, as that HT+1 roll for trace exposure applies even on a success!

Singular: Kabeiros (eg. "That makes as much sense as arguing with a drunken Kabeiros."
Plural, Collective, Adjective: Kabeiroi (eg. "Hey you Kabeiroi! Keep it down, we're trying to sleep!" or "This Kabeiroi spear is pretty good.")

New Race: Kentauroi

75 points

Kentauroi have the upper body of a humanoid joined at the waist to a pony's withers, where the pony's neck would be. Their humanoid halves are large and strongly built, their ears are pointed and mobile, and their faces are long and "horsey". Kentauroi can share armor with SM +1 humanoids from the withers up. They can also share armor with SM +1 equines from the withers down, but find using equipment meant for actual horses shameful.

They are a raucous and passionate people who have difficulty concentrating on lengthy tasks. Kentauroi are enthusiastic drinkers and party-crashers, often drinking to excess and regretting it later. Many Kentauroi are primitive Barbarians or particularly unsubtle Knights, and the terrifyingly strong bows of Kentauroi Scouts are legendary. They make terrible intellectuals, but occasionally a Kentauros will be drawn to become a more physical type of Druid or Cleric.

A Kentauros figures his height at the withers as 75% the height of a SM 0 human without the racial ST modifier, and 140% that height at the top of the head. For example, a ST 18 male Kentauros figures his height as a ST 10 human (5' 8" or 68") and takes 75% that to find a height at the withers of 51", and 140% that to find a head-height of 95" or 7'11". Kentauros are generally 20% longer than their height at the withers, and should be considered one hex wide by two hexes long on the battle map, with turning figured from the center of the Kentauros' front hex.

Kentauroi interested in adventuring in dungeons may wish to train the Low Fighting technique, to help with fighting under low ceilings.

ST +8 [72]; IQ -1 [-20]; HT +1 [10]; Basic Move +1 [5]; Basic Speed -0.25 [-5]; Perception +1 [+5]; Size +1; Damage Resistance (Tough Skin) [3]; 4 Extra Legs [5]; Enhanced Ground Move (1/2 level) [10]; Fearlessness 2 [4]; Hooves [3]; Compulsive Carousing (12-) [-5]; Short Attention Span [-10]; Dislikes Horse Equipment [-1]; Personality Change (Bad Temper or Lecherousness when Drunk) [-1].

See Also


GURPS DF Borderlands