What Do We Mean by Species?

In this usage, Species denotes a sapient species. Some examples are Humans, Valori, self-aware artificial intelligences and Dragons. All characters, whether player controlled or non-player characters (NPCs), have a Species. Not all Species are necessarily intended for player characters as portraying an ancient Dragon among a group of Hobbits would be a bit unbalancing. Of course, it's your game, so you do what you want.

Each Species in Trilogy has Defining Features that denote physiological function such as a natural ability to heal at an accelerated rate (Regeneration) or the ability to see in the dark. Defining Features may also be negative, such a particular sensitivity to sunlight or a weakness to fire. Defining Features are built-in Advantages, Disadvantages, Powers and Weaknesses that are simply part of life as a member of a given Species. In many cases the benefits balance out with the drawbacks, such as a Species that can regenerate but is weak to fire. Sometimes it may seem that there is no downside or, alternatively, that there is no advantage to playing as a Human. That is up for you to decide.

Each Species in Trilogy also has Archetypes. These are oversimplifications of common features many, but not all, members of a given Species tend to exhibit. Archetypes are intended as a guide for players new to role-playing games or who prefer following convention. These are intentional stereotypes of a given people that might simplify character creation.

It is easy to say, "Oh, those elves... mages and rangers. All the bows and the spells." It may even be true that an individual Valori might make for a great wizard or skilled ranger, but it might be equally true that a given Valori could be a talented chef, a singer with an angelic voice, or a backstabbing assassin. Any member of any Species is limited only by the availability of training and the technology level of their current planet.

Species is only a statement of physiology but does not speak to potential. A being of any Species can have any Type or Aspect, or any rating in any Approach.


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