Monday, 28 February 2011

Random Humanoid Traits

Thirty ways of quickly making a tribe or society of humanoid foes distinct, arranged into a handy-dandy d30 table.

1 - Ability to phase/teleport
2 - Activity cycle inverted (nocturnal to diurnal or vice versa)
3 - Albinism
4 - Cannibalistic or Vegetarian, whichever is most unusual (Wood Elves practising ritual cannibalism, Orcs living purely off cave mushrooms etc.)
5 - Chaotic mutations (two heads, animal heads, tails etc. common to all or majority of tribe)
6 - Cultural converts (culture is that of a neighbouring culture, perhaps one stronger or politically dominant - e.g. arboreal Goblins imitating Wood Elves)
7 - Cycloptic (one-eyed)
8 - Extreme inbreeding (stunted growth, stunted intelligence, physical deformity etc.)
9 - Extreme physical adaption to environment (sonar hearing coupled with blindness for troglodyte communities, webbed fingers and toes for marsh dwellers, fur for arctic conditions etc.)
10 - Has lucky/sacred colour (found on shields, face paint dwellings etc.), if sacred may not be willing to attack PC displaying sizable amount of this colour
11 - Heavily armoured
12 - Heavily pierced (in a region where precious metal or stone is available, tribe may be wearing their treasure)
13 - Heavily tattooed
14 - Hive-mind
15 - Law/Chaos alignment inverted (CE becomes LE, LE becomes CE etc.)
16 - Makes extensive use of poisoned weapons
17 - Mannerisms very alien, penalties to party's attempt to communicate
18 - Matriarchal society (or vice versa for traditionally Matriarchal societies such as Drow)
19 - Much shorter/smaller than usual
20 - Much taller/larger than usual
21 - Non-sexual dimorphism (pronounced physical differences between same gender or amongst asexual creatures often related to caste system within society - e.g. warriors ants compared to worker ants)
22 - Operates in partnership with local fauna which it has domesticated (spiders, snakes, wolves etc.)
23 - Practises self-mutilation, common across tribe (scarring etc.)
24 - Primitive (more so than usual - stone weapons)
25 - Religious converts (religion is that of a neighbouring culture, perhaps one stronger or politically dominant such as a ruling Empire etc.)
26 - Sexual dimorphism (pronounced physical differences between male and female such as size whereby female is much larger than male or different colouring/plumage etc.)
27 - Something about party is taboo to tribe (Elves, Dwarves, fire, religion etc.) and response will be either fear or violent hatred
28 - Technological (more so than usual - gunpowder weapons, advanced smithing)
29 - Unusual colouring (fur, hair etc.)
30 - Uses unusual weaponry


  1. Excellent ideas - they will certainly come in useful.

  2. Very cool! Thanks for sharing this.