World Tree is an impressive RPG: the world background is rich and detailed, the local laws of physics are consistent – and their quirks are clearly reflected in both the rules system and the societies which operate under those laws – and the setting (the titular World Tree) is quite creative.
Just as importantly, it’s difficult to really solve most problems by combat in the setting. Not only are most creatures of the tree pretty tough, but many of them – including virtually all adult members of the eight dominant races – will have emergency healing and escape effects available if they find themselves losing.
Unfortunately, it’s never gotten much publicity, the rules system is tightly interwoven with the setting, the cover art could be considerably more active, character creation is fairly complex – mostly because it’s a fairly detailed system and most characters will have a fair amount of life experience and training before they go adventuring – and the setting is entirely alien, with no humans or near-humans, such as “elves” and “dwarves”. Thus, despite the presence of small feathered dragons, insectoid creatures, and flying squidlike creatures as player characters, it’s been pretty much classified as a “Furry” niche production, and ignored.
Now d20 tends to be pretty generic – but it’s easy to find players for, practically everyone is familiar with it, and it works reasonably well for a lot of settings. Ergo, here are a few World Tree to d20 mechanical conversions set up for Eclipse: The Codex Persona classless d20 (available in print HERE or in a shareware version HERE). If you want any of the real cultural details, you’ll just have to pick up the World Tree book – available HERE.
Today it’s going to be the first couple of races. I’ll try to get the remaining six races up next, and then conversions for a few of the more difficult World Tree abilities, such as Spellbinding.
Cani are doglike and extremely sociable. Cani marriages normally include at least ten adults and numerous children – and most cani past adolescence will be married. If a cani is on his or her own, something is seriously wrong. They tend to start seeing whoever they’re with as part of their family after a few weeks, which makes them exceptionally reliable companions. They run their society thorough a system of prestige resembling classical Traveler’s Vargr. However, unlike the Vargr, their leadership shifts fluidly depending on who is seen as best qualified to deal with any specific matter, rather than one individual being dominant in most situations.
The Cani Racial Package includes +2 to Strength, Wisdom, and Charisma (36), +2 Caster Levels Specialized in Theurgy (6), +4d4 Generic Spell Levels (unusually, rolled each day, rather than once when purchased, 12), a +4 Bonus to Theurgy/Control, +[8 + Con Mod] HP at Level One (16), Augmented Bonus / may add their (Wis Mod) to Charisma-based rolls (6), Assistant (6), 1d4 Natural Weapons (3), DR 2/- (applies against both physical and energy attacks, 3), Occult Sense/Scent (6), and +2 bonuses to Spot, Search, and Survival. The package has a net cost of 90 CP, or a +2 ECL adjustment.
Gormorror: are big, shaggy ursine types – comparable to Wookies in Star Wars games. In general, they’re fantasy-style barbarians, living in small wilderness tribes, seeing their purpose in life as combat, and their destiny as a glorious and heroic death in battle. Their social structure is mostly based on personal combat, although they also place enormous stress upon their word of honor.
The Gormorror Racial Package includes +2 Str, -2 Dex, +4 Con, +2 Wis (36 + Attribute Shift, 6), +4 BAB (24), Improved Stoic with Ferocity (15), DR 2/- (applies to both physical and energy damage, 3), +1 Caster Levels Specialized in Theurgy (3), +3d4 Generic Spell Levels (rolled each day, rather than once when purchased, 9), +3 to Theurgy / Control and Destroy (6), +[12 + Con Mod] HP at Level One (20), a +2 Bonus on Willpower Saves (6), Defender (Specialized for double effect: +2 Natural Armor bonus to AC, but does not increase with level, 6), and +4 to Intimidate and Survival (8). The package has a base cost of 142 points. Fortunately for them, it can be considered Corrupted: their combat and honor obsessions are actually built into their mental structure, they’re on the upper limits of the medium size class (and thus have problems with doorways and confined places, with finding meals terribly skimpy, having to have all their equipment specially made, and so on), they’re automatically seen as battle-crazed barbarians, and they’re inept (-5 on all checks) with all friendly social skill checks other than Perform. That brings the net cost down to 95 CP – the upper limit for a +2 ECL.