I’ve sketched out a race that’s meant to be a little more nonhuman for folks who want something a little different, but with enough familiarity (hopefully) that players and GMs can pick ’em up and use ’em relatively easily in games.
The format below is definitely ripped off fr–er, inspired by–the excellent work of Skerples over at Coins and Scrolls, and could be used with the very fun Spiked Goblin Punch you can find there, or any other old-school game, but I think what I’ve got here is simple enough to adapt to whatever other system you like.
You can put the ageeg anywhere you need an underground people. They could be allies of, or replacements for, dwarves (the latter is what I do in my campaign world), or they might be something that lives even deeper than dwarf tunnels go, or you could use them as the inhabitants of Sorne-4.
Enjoy! Use these in your game or whatever, but please not commercially. Is…that even a thing someone has to say? That feels weird to write. Oh well. Um, enjoy!
Looks: Like a mole cricket crossed with an armadillo lizard, in a cute way. About the size of a Great Dane, with a heavy build, especially in the forequarters. Thin segmented natural armor on the underside, thicker segmented armor on the face, and overlapping scutes on the skull and back, down to the stubby pine-cone like tail. Ridiculously powerful but extremely compact forelimbs with oversized digging claws. Generally pale shades of grayish brown and green, uniform or with faint horizontal banding.
- Unbothered by darkness, even total darkness. Same with tight spaces.
- Dig as if equipped with appropriate non-powered, non-magical hand tools for surface using only your broad, mighty claws.
- Those claws are treated as a medium weapon.
- Natural armor as leather.
- Can eat most roots, tubers, and insects as rations.
- You do fine in low-oxygen environments and can hold your breath for minutes equal to con if you just lay there, or rounds equal to con if active.
- You take damage from extreme heat and cold as normal, but otherwise extremes of temperature don’t bother you very much.
- Save or be unable to act until do something to shield yourself from lights brighter than the ambient environment.
- You sunburn easily and badly.
- You can stand up like a bear to fight or use your hands, but can’t really walk that way.
- Sink like a stone.
Notes: Ageeg are warm-blooded, but their metabolisms automatically adjust to conserve energy, and so they’re typically ambient temperature unless they’re engaged in vigorous activity. A sleeping ageeg looks and feels dead.
Ageeg reproduce by laying a single tiny leathery egg (that hatches into a helpless, eyeless, translucent baby ageeg) but females produce milk.
Most ageeg cultures value hard work, skepticism, long-term thinking, and community to at least some degree. Their cultures usually deprecate individualism, impulsive action, and things done solely for enjoyment to greater or lesser degrees. Art is typically valued, and common forms include instructive oral traditions woven into song. These songs often focus on practical instruction, moral parables, or some combination of the two. Other common forms include earth- metal- and stone- working, especially of tools and structures.
Ageeg generally don’t wear clothes, although protective gear is slowly being developed and implemented. Larger, more complex societies often have torcs and armbands which indicate an individual’s role to those who don’t know them. Ageeg abroad in the surface world, especially in cosmopolitan communities, wear all sorts of things, though often these are merely garments to protect them from the light of the sky.
Their vision is fine.
If you need names:
Barg, Brod, Bruhd, Bwarf, Byur, Byurb, Gard, Garg, Gark, Gorb, Gorg, Gorn, Gwarf, Jarb, Jard, Jarf Jarg, Jark, Jorb, Jorn, Karg, Korb, Korg, Kwarf, Kyarf, Kyur, Kyurb, Kyurd, Org, Orn, Ruhd, Ruhud, Swarf, Terp, Urg, Werf, Wurt,Yark, Yorg, Yuhd, Yur, Yurb, Yurd, Yurg.
Names are sometimes hyphenated, with a variant on one of the above following the hyphen. Subtle differences in pronunciation of seemingly identical names often elude the untrained listener. Many ageeg adopt a nickname if they think it will be helpful to other non-ageeg.