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Urth,
the Roleplaying Game.


Chapter One - Fresh Meat

Creating characters for summary execution.


Other Chapters
Intro:
Introduction to Urth | Two: Mekanix | Three: Godhead | Four: The World of Urth


Fresh Meat - Sections

Race & Background
Loving your character just that much more before he dies.
Inability Scores
The higher the score the less inable.
Inability Sub-scores
(Optional) A level of unneeded complication.
Perks & Quirks
XXX Something funny, I'm sure will go here XXX
Character Classes ... er, Careers
XXX Something funny! XXX
Skills
XXX Something funny, again! XXX
Outfitting Your Characters
A week's worth of rations, a 10' pole, and fifty feet of rope.
The Finishing Touch
XXX Something funny may show up here later ... XXX

Races and Backgrounds - Loving your character just that much more before he dies.

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Every character created by you, the victim (or player), should lay claim to some sort of history. Even before your pen leaks numbers all over your paper or the dice rattle gleefully in your palm, there should exist a concept behind your character. That's right -- no more, "I'm a first-level awful good fighter who hates orcs!" Now it's more like, "I'm a first-level awful good fighter who hates orcs because of their disturbing hygienic traits. I enjoy combat and drinking with my other fighter friends. My turn-offs are wizards and gaudy capes..." You get the picture.

It would be hard to develop your character without any knowledge of the world of Urth. To make your life easier (because it just gets worse from here) descriptions of the character races of Urth are listed below. As far as character careers (or 'classes' as we and ten-thousand other geeks like to call them) are concerned: Warrior, Wizard, Priest, Thief. Simple? It'd better be!

Once a character race has piqued your curiousity, go ahead and make up some kind of half-assed background story (don't worry, yours won't be much better than ours -- it'll develop over time). Check it with your God, or you can call her your gamemaster, to see if it's alright. Now that's over with, you can go to the next section. It's got numbers!

Example: I've got to include this so even you can figure things out without trying to get a hold of me at whatever strange hour you're reading this at, go to bed and wake up tomorrow so you can get a better look at how simple this whole thing really is. And don't correct me for run-on sentences either.
First off I look at the list of races below (well, not really, I just wrote them). Which one looks like a good victim of adventuresome happenstance? Though a maggot seems oddly compelling, I just have to choose a goblin. Now for a background. Ermm ... having grown up the son of a wealthy
copper wire of technomantic conduction merchant my character is a complete spoiled brat. With no respect for anyone he was kicked out of his home, some meager possessions thrown at him. He doesn't understand the concept of 'other people aren't there to do things for you' so he may just be a little tough to get along with. But then, I'm not actually doing any adventuring with him so that's okay.
For a little garnish, I'll say that his name is Garkvunk Copperboy. His skin is a dull copper-color that's become tinged with green from a lack of good washing. He loathes most everything with the exception of insects, which he finds good for pulling apart to see what happens. XXX which he enjoys for their pull-apartable legs or something similar XXX All-in-all, he's a sick little bastard.

The Races of Urth

Changelings
are pitied by some and laughed at by the others. It is said that long ago the faerie realm still existed on Urth contained within the Seelie Court. The curious just need to take a look around to see why the faeries left Urth in such a hurry. In any case the Changelings are mixed blood, part human and part faerie. When the Seelie Court disappeared they left behind these Changelings, 'tainted' with human lineage. Now the Changelings enact their own mock-Seelie Court complete with noble titles and petty fiefdoms. Players who wish to use a Changeling character may opt to be a renegade shying away from the assumed royalty, or she can be as entrenched in the politics as most Changelings.
Dwarfs
look much like squished humans. Being three feet tall and equally wide, and damn near sexless (it takes long hours of careful discussion to figure out which dwarfs are which) a dwarf is a small mound of compact muscle. It's a good thing too, the main hobby of the dwarfs is to excavate the underground, setting up vinyl mines and mountain halls. Dwarfs are very proud of their extended families which shows in both their language and extremely complex surnames. One more thing: All dwarfs have a penchant for floral print, full-length skirts (and don't laugh unless you want to take your teeth home in a plastic cup!).
Goblins
live as one of the few races as a whole which understands the myriad complexity of technomancy. Digital watches, masks of breathing, horns of far-speaking, and even the dreaded double-barrelled wand of fire and thunder are all created from a goblins' skillful hands. As for a society, the majority of the race lives in vast machine-filled cities belching forth smog and grime. Goblins tolerate outsiders, but only to the point at which the non-goblin doesn't touch anything. Your character goblin may still enjoy the dirt and danger that comprises the goblin cities; however, life has become dull and any new adventure is a very welcome change.
Humans
are looked upon as giant, intelligent roaches. Able to live practically anywhere and breeding like rabbits, it seems that humans are just another fact of life. To most other races, humans are treated like the major world power they are: Respect them to their face, and plot their downfall behind their backs. While most of the other races have accepted humans as just another race to get along with, human civilization as a whole keeps expanding (and often forcefully). As a human the character may come from a variety of backgrounds, from the rough-and-tumble city streets to the quiet peace of rolling farmlands. XXX breeding like roaches? XXX
Imps
once described by the late bard Reginald Stilthfiller in these verses:
The imps look much like bloated beans
That flitter 'bout on batty wings;
Pudgy heads and double chins,
Oh, to be an imp again!
To this day that last line is questioned by scholars, and since the last words of the late Stilthfiller were, "Fetch me my grovelling spoon Nancy, Mister Reagan's flown the coop!" most leave the topic alone. As far as imps go, they are a mischevious lot, compensating for their small stature (picture an overstuffed, foot-high lima bean) through a great expertise in devious schemes and practical jokes. Imps live in small fortresses, owing allegiance and claiming their tricks for their particular home and none other. Rivalry between neighboring imp-forts is best avoided by all other races at all costs.
Maggots
often find themselves the undue object of discrimination. These four-feet high, six-armed, bloated, perpetually grinning larvae may be gross to some. We like to think of them as, "kind of cute, really." But what creature could possibly have such a bizarre stage of life? The one aspect that makes maggots so darn amazing is not what they are, but what they will become -- dark elves. Thing is no one's ever seen a dark elf, not even the maggots themselves.
Maggots live in tight-knit family groups consisting of brothers, sisters, and many, many cousins. Anyone that isn't a sibling is considered a cousin to some degree (which can sometimes lead to interesting conversation with non-maggots -- they're called fourth- or fifth-cousins as well!). These families live in unique houses crafted over the remains of giants' skeletons. Why? Because the only the food that will sate a maggot enough to pupate is giant flesh! Your character maggot will be one of these maggots living where his ancestors feasted and pupated.
And remember, don't be a maggot just so you can have six arms. Most aren't coordinated enough to use 'em all. Your maggot character can only handle one task with the set of three arms on either side. Don't understand? Treat your maggot character as someone with only two arms. Check the Perks & Quirks section for details on changing this.

Inability Scores - The higher the score the less inable.

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You should know this far in your gaming careeer what an inability score is. It's much like an ability score only we couldn't take things directly from that exalted game, Munch'ems & Snack'uns. To make things so simple even you can't screw it up, there're only three inability scores: Body, Brains, and Libido.

Wait! Don't leave yet! They're three really good inability scores! Trust me on this one ... I don't even have to give definitions for any of 'em! Much better than the 10 cent words from Munch'ems & Snack'uns, huh? No longer will the elementary school gamers possess inhuman vocabulary, leaving them the subject of ridicule and torture! I'm doing the world a favor here.

Okay, with that out of the way it's time to actually figure your score in each of the three. A score of 1 is abysmal (and 0 is even worse!) and 5 is the highest humanly possible. An everage score would be 2.5 but since dice aren't smart enough to roll fractions, you're stuck with either a lame score (2) or a pretty good one (3). Using the chart below, you begin with each inability score preset (usually at 1) and receive a number of points to distribute. The number to the left of the slash is the beginning score, the number to the right is the highest possible. That's right, a dwarf can't have a Libido higher than 2 no matter how hard he tries! Here's an example using Garkvunk Copperboy:

Example: Garkvunk Copperboy (I'll call him Greenpits from now on -- no good reason) finds himself without inability scores! For the moment he is so pathetic as to die from utter uselessness. We'll fix that.
Looking at the chart below we can see that Greenpits starts out with the following beginning scores (before the slash) and maximums (after the slash):
Body Brains Libido
1/4 2/6 1/3
This can't do. The table gives me 3 Inability Points to distribute among these. Since he's completely spoiled, I'll leave the Body at 1. He's a smart little bugger even if it is only to avoid getting caught doing mean things to his sisters, I'll spend 2 Points to raise Brains up to 4. My last point goes to Libido; it's now 2 (he's averagely charismatic if only to talk his way out of any kind of work). His final Inability Scores are:
Body Brains Libido
1 4 2
He's still pathetic, but less so than before.

Character Race Inability Scores
Body Brains Libido Inability Points
Changeling 1/5 1/5 2/6 3
Dwarf 2/6 1/4 1/2 3
Goblin 1/4 2/6 1/3 3
Human 1/5 1/5 1/5 4
Imp* 1/2 1/5 1/4 2
Maggot* 2/4 1/5 1/4 3
* - In terms of Inability Score totals, these races aren't even remotely fair. Go ahead and use 'em with this warning in mind. Make up for your inferiority by being a pain in the ass.

Inability Sub-Scores - A level of unneeded complication (optional but recommended).

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Now three Inability Scores may seem like too few. Not to worry! Here is an optional rule that'll let you personalize those Scores to your nearly complete satisfaction. The underlying concept is thus, each Score covers such a broad spectrum of stuff -- wouldn't it be great to specialize in different aspects? Your character could sacrifice some of her hand-eye-coordination for bigger muscles, or give up bathing for a more streetwise outlook!

The rules are as follows: You are allowed any number of Sub-Scores which describe an aspect of that Inability, and are similarly measured from 1 to 5. For a certain Inability Score, you may have as many Inability Sub-Scores of that Score as you want. Simply make up some neat aspect (examples are given below) and assign it a number. If the aspect is a good one, the Sub-Score should be higher than the original score. If it's bad, the Sub-Score should be lower. Here's the rub: The average of an Inability's Sub-Scores should equal that Inability Score.

Note: As discussed above in the Inability Scores section, each race has different beginning and maximum scores. Using Sub-Scores, a Sub-Score can be one point higher or lower than the beginning or maximum, respectively. See the example below for more details.

Phew! Well here's a an example of Sub-Scores using that goblin misfit, Greenpits, and a neat list of possible Inability Sub-Scores. A (+) before the Sub-Score means it's good, and a (-) shows a bad one. Remember that Sub-Scores are not skills! When making up new Sub-Scores be sure to double check this, keeping the names broad enough for vague interpretations on the gamemaster's part.

Example: Poor Greenpits is forced to use Inability Sub-Scores for the sake of example. After an initial discomfort at being used as an example for others, he accepts the burden. As already determined, Greenpits Inability Scores look like this:
Body Brains Libido
1 4 2
Let's begin with the Body. Greenpits is a slob, having had household servants attend to most of his needs. We decide to give him a
Menial Labor Sub-Score of 0. To balance this out (so his Body Sub-Scores average out to 1), take a look at the examples below. Sneaky Bastard would be a good one, and it'll be set at 2.
Next comes the Brains Inability. Wow, a 4. Should that be changed? Nope. We leave out any Sub-Scores here.
What about Greenpit's Libido? He's certainly not attractive so why not give him
Looks Like a Wacky Squash and Hygiene's a Mystery Word, and set both to 1. We need the numbers to work out, so he's gonna get Annoyningly Persuasive at 4. Does it work? Hmm ... 1+1+4 divided by 3 equals ... 2! Yup. So Greenpit's Inability Scores and Sub-Scores can be written as this:
Body Brains Libido
1 4 2
Menial Labor 0 Looks Like a Wacky Squash 1
Sneaky Bastard 2 Hygiene's a Mystery Word 1
Annoyingly Persuasive 4

Sample Inability Sub-Scores
Body Brains Libido
(-) Hypochondriac (+) Eyes Like a Hawk* (+) Flashy Smile
(-) 98-Stone Weakling (-) Confused by Plaid (+) Gorgeous Hunk/Babe
(+) Tough as Nails (-) Dumb as a Post (-) Hygiene's a Mystery Word
(-) Quick Like a Sloth (-) Can't Count Higher Than Five (+) Old World Charm
(+) Sneaky Bastard (+) Ears Like a Bat's (But Not as Ugly)* (-) Foot-in-Mouth
(+) Steel-Lined Stomach (+) Memory Like a Goddamn Book (-) Toothless Smile
* - I know that your eyes and ears are parts of your body, but they're close enough to the brain that they go in the Brains section. Use your discretion and whatever is okayed by the God, er, gamemaster.

Perks & Quirks - XXXX Funny Quote Goes Here XXXX

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Even if an entire party of characters are of the same race, there's bound to be some differences between them. Not everyone in the real world's the same, so why should your characters be? Perks & Quirks are racial-specific traits to let you peersonalize your character even more!

The rules for this are quite simple: Each race begins with a number of Perks they can spend. The player then assigns her character Perks and Quirks; Perks taking the total number of Perks down, and Quirks raising that total up. It's entirely possible to reach zero Perks, or have Perks left over when you're done. What you cannot do is less than zero Perks remaining (that's what Quirks are for!). Confused? Good, read the example and then take a look at the Perks & Quirks charts below.

Oh, and some races do automatically get a free Perk or Quirk at no extra cost! This is also given one of those charts down there.

Example: Again, Greenpits is recruited to show us the way things are done. The Number of Initial and Free Perks by Race chart gives Greenpits two Perks to spend and no free Perks! When Greenpits abandoned his home he made off with both a Goblin Mask and a Cool Suit of Armor (where are the Perks you ask? You'd better not). I'd really like to give him a Thing-a-majig as well. To do that Greenpits needs a Quirk. Because he never left his home, leaving that to the household servants, he's got the typical goblin trouble with daylight. That means his Quirk is I Like the Nightlife. Summing it all up, we can simply write this down as:
Perks & Quirks
Cool Suit of Armor
Goblin Mask
I like the Nightlife
Thing-a-majig

Number of Initial and Free Perks by Race
Race No. of Perks Free Perks
Changeling Two
Dwarf Three Penchant for Floral Skirts
Goblin Two
Human One
Imp One Fly Like a Bloated Pigeon
Goddamn Tiny!
Maggot Two

Perks & Quirks by Race - descriptions are given below this chart
Race Perks Quirks
Changeling Fae Title Itty-Bitty (and Cute, Maybe)
Glamour Monstrous Change
Shapechange Overly Delicate
Tail Seelie Exile
Wings Shunned by Humans
Perks Quirks
Dwarf Ancient Treasure Landfill Vice
Lift a Chevy Agoraphobia
Locate Landfill Insane
Royal Lineage Plasticitis
Vinyl Mining Mining Injury
Perks Quirks
Goblin Cool Suit of Armor Chronic Illness
Goblin Mask Deformity
Revolving Thunder Wand I Like the Nightlife
Technomancy Techno-dependency
Thing-a-majig Vermin Familiar
Perks Quirks
Human Family Heirloom Embarrassing Parents
Faithful Pet Family Kitsch
Mayor's Kid Kicked Out
Merchant's Kid Outlaw's Kid
Wise Old Grandparents Ratcatcher's Kid
Perks Quirks
Imp Bag of Tricks Abysmal Joker
Extra Big Legless*
Extra Soft Unstoppable Fool
Fly Like a Fit Pigeon Wingless*
High-Prankster Without a Fortress
Perks Quirks
Maggot Dark Elf Item Family Debt
Giant Jerky Missing Arms
Half-sated Taste for Flesh
Hand-eye-hand-eye Coordination Sibling Rivalry
Owed a Favor Vegetarian
* - It is highly recommended that you do not take both Wingless and Legless as Quirks unless you have someone to carry you around all the time. Someone you can trust not to put you in their backpocket and sit down; someone who won't talk to the football and kick you for the extra point; and someone who won't get sick of your practical jokes.

Perks & Quirks - Descriptions, explanations, and what-have-you.

Abysmal Joker (Quirk)
Your character is as cursed as any imp can get. Any prank or joke played by your imp will most likely fail miserably. It's not a curable disease, or a karmic thing, it just is. With each prank, roll a 2D. Roll snake-eyes and the joke did some sort of damage (gamemaster's wise discretion ... heh), roll boxcars and the joke worked! Anything in between and it just didn't pan out. Better luck next time.
Agoraphobia (Quirk)
Spending a life in the vinyl mines'll often make a dwarf unused to the open spaces of the top-world. Dwarfs with agoraphobia function as normal as any dwarf can underground or in a building. Once they see the open sky, the character'll get shaky and neurotic and maybe start talking about his mother. All Inabilities drop by one point while the dwarf is outside. He'll quickly return to normal when brought indoors.
Ancient Treasure (Perk)
Bag of Tricks (Perk)
An item passed down through the generations, a Bag of Tricks may be the greatest treasure among all imp-kind. The Bag is a simple leather pouch (hey, imps're small!) with a drawstring; thing is, the bag's got an endless supply of little doo-dads and nasty gee-gaws! Whenever an imp reaches into the bag he'll pull out some random token of mischief, be it a joy-buzzer, a rubber knife, or even a squirt flower. Just how this is handled is up to the gamemaster, say a chart or the gamemaster's evil whim.
Chronic Illness (Quirk)
Living in the smog of the goblin cities has given your goblin some sort of awful sickness. This can be any completely incurable disease, infection, or something equally nasty (just what your goblin's got is entirely up to you! Isn't this game great?) At the beginning of every day, you or the gamemaster should roll 2D. There's even a chart for it!
Goblin Chronic Illness Chart
2D Roll Strength of Illness
2 Damn near bedridden. Any and all Tests are made at a -3 penalty. Feel free to cough, sneeze, and puke all over your (former, in a bit) compatriots.
3-5 You turn a funny shade of green (or something else if you're already green) and suffer a -2 penalty to any Tests today. Moan and grumble with good reason.
7-11 No changes outwardly, though you're still a complete wreck of a goblin. -1 penalty to all Tests. You can complain but you won't get much sympathy (as if you would otherwise).
12 Could you have possibly overcome you sickness!? No penalties at all! Jump, dance, and live life to its fullest with renewed vigor. Oh, and roll again tomorrow morning.
Cool Suit of Armor (Perk)
Complete and Utter Invulnerability to all Things Big and Small (Perk)
As if you think I'm going to even consider letting any of you pick this one. It's just here to find what losers are reading this list straight through. You're one of those types who'll know all the rules and call the gamemaster on everything. Well trust me, you won't be able to in this game -- these rules are damn near made of swiss cheese (to be exploited at the gamemaster's pleasure).
Dark Elf Item (Perk)
Deformity (Perk or Quirk! Nevermind what the chart above says)
Many goblins are born with some distinguishing feature. Though considered beautiful by the goblins themselves, many others don't find an enormous pair of feet or a six-foot nose very sexy. Among goblins a Deformity raises Libido by one point, but around any other race it lowers Libido by two points. You get to choose your goblin's Deformity (in which case whether it's a perk, quirk, or neither, as shown below) or roll on our Goblin Deformity Chart for free! That's right, you get to wager your goblin's social future with one roll of the dice!
Goblin Deformity Chart
2D Roll Deformity
2 All Thumbs - Thumbs instead of fingers, -2 to any hand-related Tests Quirk
3 Vile Bat-Wings - Able to fly half as fast as walking Perk
4 Rat's Tail Can do stuff with a -2 modifier to any Tests Perk
5 Twelve Fingers - Six fingers on either hand (no modifier, just weird) None
6 Elephantine Ears - +1 to hearing-related Tests Perk
8 Beady Eyes - -1 to sight-related Tests Quirk
7 Huge Nose - +1 to smell-related Tests Perk
9 Long, Stringy Hair - Hangs all the way down to your feet and is really greasy None
10 Really Long Tongue impress your friends, disgust everyone else (and most of your friends) None
11 Neon-Colored Skin your choice of color, -1 to hiding-related Tests Quirk
12 Invent Your Own - Choose a Deformity for the goblin, or make up your own! (Under the gamemaster's discretion, of course. Who're you trying to kid?) Varies
Embarrassing Parents (Quirk)
As a human, your character is one of the few races with strong familial ties. In this case the ties are so strong that your parents (or grandparents, in some cases) insist that you "just keep in touch." Your character is always writing home telling about his adventures, assuring his folks that yes, he's fine and no, he doesn't need any more of gramma's crumb cake. If the character is in a town, no matter how hard he tries to avoid being seen, a care package will always arrive at the inn he's staying at. And it's packed with crumb cakes.
Extra Big (Perk)
Most imps are born into Urth (by means unknowable) about a foot tall. But just a few hit some sort of bizarre impish puberty and grow to three feet! Yup, you've sacrificed your Goddamn Tiny! Perk to be big enough to matter (say, three or four feet big). You aren't ignored. You're never stepped on ... well almost never. And you are revered among all other imps as being a more 'mature' type. You get a +2 modifier to any Libido-related Tests when working with imps, and all your jokes that require a Test get a +1 bonus (on your part, which means a -1 penalty if the victim's got to Test)!
Extra Soft (Perk)
All imps look pretty cuddly, but this imp takes the cake. Rotund and bouncy, your imp takes only half damage from any clubbing blows, falls, and other blunt-style damage. Knives, hot pokers, and the infamous Smoke-Belching Chain-Saws (of the Eastern Great Gray Orcs) all do regular damage.
Fae Title (Perk)
The uppity changelings seem to know no end to their constant snottiness and claims to royal lineage. Your changeling character possesses some title, such as baron, dutchess, or lord. While this grants no property or ordering-the-commoners abilities, the changeling does receive a +2 bonus to all interaction tests with other noble changelings. And due to the airs of royalty carried about the character at all times, any other dealings with non-changeling upper class folk are given a bonus of +1 to any Tests.
Faithful Pet (Perk)
Family Debt (Quirk)
Family Heirloom (Perk)
Before leaving home, the character was given (or stole) a prized family treasure passed down from generation to generation. Roll a 1D to determine the nature of this wonderful trophy.
Human Family Heirloom Chart
1D Roll Heirloom
1 Weapon - fine quality weapon of GM's choice grants a +1 to all combat Tests and damage rolls (e.g., a knife that normally does 1D damage would do 1D+1 damage).
2 Jewelry - magnificent piece of work grants the wearer a +1 bonus to all charm and influence related Tests (and emanates a faint magical glow).
3 Map - an ancient, yellowed parchment leads to an equally ancient family treasure. The particulars are up to your kind and benevolent gamemaster
4 Wand - a wand once used only in family emergencies (like when Tippy the Giant Goldfish escaped and almost ate your little brother) is now in your possession. It casts one First Circle mage spell once a day (or some other magical feat that you can beg your GM for).
5 Magical Vestment - this has been hanging in the closet since your character can remember, having been told it once belonged to Great Uncle Fiztulattos. It offers protection from the elements, granting a +1 bonus to any element-related resistance Tests (mundane or magical).
6 GM Knows Best - your gamemaster will come up with something suitable. Or if you buy him a six pack, maybe you can figure something out?
Family Kitsch (Quirk)
Fly Like a Bloated Pigeon (Free Perk?)
As an imp, your character's got a pair of batty wings sprouting from its rotund little back. These grant an ability to fly around at the same speed the imp can walk. Any movement Tests, however, are made with a -2 penalty due to an imp's flight abilities (see the namesake).
Fly Like a Fit Pigeon (Perk)
Looks like you've been working out! In a fit of un-impishness, your character spends a good hour out of every day flying around carrying rocks and other heavy things. Take an hour or so out of game time (or just spend all day flying around) to void the -2 penalty of Fly Like a Bloated Pigeon and your imp can fly at twice its walking movement.
Giant Jerky (Perk)
While most maggots spend their lives waiting for a giant to die (see the Races & Background section for details), your character owns a coveted bag of Giant Jerky. When you want an edge to things, all your character needs to do is grab a piece from bag and take a bite. This will give you a +2 to all Tests for about half-an-hour (the exact time is up to the wise and all-knowing gamemaster). Problem is, each time the maggot takes a bite, a Brains/"Willpower" Test must be made at a difficulty of 10. Failure and the maggot loses control and gorges the entire contents of the bag (a +4 to all Tests, but there's no jerky left!). The bag contains enough jerky for about twenty bites, the exact number determined by the gamemaster.
Glamour (Perk)
Goblin Mask (Perk)
One of the finer goblin traits is the creation of intricate masks, symbolic of power, status, and a great deal of coolness. A goblin who gets this Perk begins the game with one of these masks, complete with accoutrements from the renowned dwarven Byo-Hazerd Mines of the Red Wastes. In addition to a +1 bonus to any intimidation Tests you get to choose two extra features (or roll a 2D) from the list below!
Goblin Mask Feature Chart
2D Roll Feature
2 Extra Extra Scary - Spikes, bolts, writhing vermin, and what-not are attached to the horrid freakshow that is your goblin's mask (+3 bonus to any intimidation Tests and anything else that uses scare tactics)
3 Water Breathing - A complex set of gadgetry filters any breathable air out of the water, giving your goblin the option of pretending to be a fish (but this won't protect you from poison gas or poisoned water! You need an Air Filter to do that)
4 Big Voice - An array of oversized speaking contraptions stick out of the mask at funny angles, allowing the goblin to be heard as far as Launch A Stick range with perfect clarity (anyone within Shake A Stick range must make a 1D Brains/"Ears Aren't Like They Used To Be" Test at a -2 penalty or be deafened for 2D rounds)
5 Air Filter - Over the goblin's nose and mouth is strapped a contraption that takes any air coming in, takes out the bad bits, and gives it the comforting smell of an old boot (Oh, and the goblin can't be affected by any sort of gas as well)
6 Head Light - A powerful lamp illuminates everything in front of the goblin for something like twenty feet which, in Urth terms, is Toss A Stick range
7 Night Vision - Goblin can see almost as good at night as in the day, reduce any dim light penalties to Tests by 1 point
8 Telescope/Binoculars - The mask boasts some sort of magnifying device over one or both eyes (The implications of this are up to the Gamemaster)
9 Noxious Fumes - From pipes, smoke stacks, and other tubes on the mask there erupts clouds of putrid stink, giving any non-goblings within Shake A Stick range a -2 to all Tests (the actual flavor is up to you)
10 Gnashing Teth - There's a set of metal toothy jaws on your face that'd make your mother proud and cause a voracious snipe to go into jealous fits (1D + Body/"Freaky Bite" damage per bite)*
11 Air Conditioning - If there're any temperature conditions around the goblin that cause a penalty to Tests, they're ignored because of the comfort provided by a portable air conditioned mask (any damage cause by extreme temperature is applied with a -2 to all damage rolls)
12 What the Hell is That On Your Face!? - This is where you invent your own bizarre feature or, if you're a creative vacuum, just pick one of the above
* - You can use a plain 1D Body/"Freaky Bite" or get the Body skill "Eat It, Even If It's Moving!" to attack someone with Gnashing Teeth.
Goddamn Tiny! (Free Perk)
As an imp, you're about a foot tall and hence very hard to hit. In addition to being sat on (oh, sorry, I didn't see you sitting there!) and overlooked (oops, wouldn't have cast the fireball if I'd seen you there!), you're hard to hit! Anyone taller than a maggot (about three feet) has a -2 penalty to their combat Tests when attacking you.
Half-Sated (Perk)
Hand-Eye-Hand-Eye Coordination (Perk)
So you're going to play a maggot character. Remember reading the bit in the Races section about the arms? Well, with this Perk your maggot's a pretty exceptional character. She can use all six arms to perform a different task. That's right! Six different things at the same time! No more sword in three hands, shield in the others. Now she can carry a pair of knives, three rocks, and a bag of roasted crickets!
High-Prankster (Perk)
I Like the Nightlife (Quirk)
Living in the constant smog-coated goblin cities has left the goblin quite discomforted in unadulterated sun. Thus, when in direct sunlight (and not wearing her shades) all of the goblin's Inabilities are lowered by two. Even with sunglasses (in direct sunlight) or in the shade during the day, the Inabilities are down by one.
Insane (Quirk)
Itty-Bitty (and Cute, Maybe) (Quirk)
Some changelings're only as big as my thumb, or maybe they can look an imp in the eye. Whatever the case, just like the Goddamn Tiny! imp Perk, anybody taller than three feet and attacking your changeling suffers a -2 penalty to their combat Tests. Unfortunately, since people seem to forget about you, even your friends've got to make a 2D Brains Test to remember you exist. With each encounter, the GM makes a 2D Brains Test for any NPCs to find out if the changeling is noticed. The players must make the test during any length player to player interaction (at the GM's mighty and painful whim).
Kicked Out (Quirk)
Landfill Vice (Quirk)
Legless (Quirk)
Lift a Chevy (Perk)
Though all dwarfs are feared for biceps larger than an ox's skull, a dwarf with Lift a Chevy is so incredibly strong he can ... well, lift a Chevy. This means that any heavy lifting is done with a two-point increase to the Body Inability.
Locate Landfill (Perk)
Mayor's Kid (Perk)
Hells, you're the mayor's kid. You know how to make things happen. You know all the ins and outs of politics and influence. It also helps that your father's rich. For any sort of persuasion through political intimidation or debate, your character gains a +2 to Libido. The gamemaster may also grant other political benefits as well, at her mighty discretion.
Merchant's Kid (Perk)
Monstrous Change (Quirk)
Sometimes elven blood isn't all it is made out to be. Certain conditions will cause the poor changeling to writhe in pain for a minute or two, grow lots of hair and spiky protrusions, and gain 3 points of Body and lose 3 points of Brains (which may take them above 5 and below 1, respectively). After the change the changeling-turned-monster lashes out with bare hands at the nearest creature, being too stupid to make use of any weapons. The change lasts as long as the gamemaster deems convenient, but probably not longer than a couple of frightful minutes. To find out the trigger of a Monstrous Change roll a 1D and consult the chart below.
Changeling Monstrous Change Trigger Chart
1D Roll Trigger
1 Full Moon
2 Low HP - the exact number should be worked out between the GM and the player
3 Attraction - needless to say, this changeling just can't make a long-term relationship work.
4 Extreme Anger - this will come out in roleplaying unless the player plays the part as well as a potato could. Of course the GM receives permission to be completely evil without any prior warning.
5 Detained - you know, any time the changeling is chained up, strapped down, or tied to a pole.
6 Gamemaster's Mercy - beg your GM for a trigger other than Sight of Friends.
Mining Injury (Quirk)
Missing Arms (Quirk)
Outlaw's Kid (Quirk)
Overly Delicate (Quirk)
So maybe your changeling's got those soft and whimsical features that makes him the envy of his peers, or perhaps she's wafer thin in the fashion that seems to make the men go all funny. In any case, your changeling's got such a delicate nature that he takes an extra 1D HP of damage from any damaging roll of the dice! So maybe this is my personal revenge on all those perfect people out there, it's my goddamn game!
Owed a Favor (Perk)
Penchant for Floral Skirts (Free)
Living so long underground and near the dubious sanitary conditions of the landfills, many dwarfs have gone a little ... "funny." Dwarfs, regardless of any other preference, just can't seem to wear anything but a flowered skirt! Thing is, who'd make fun of a muscle-bound warrior as wide as he is tall!? When playing a dwarf, learn to live with this and let no one convince you otherwise.
Plasticitis (Quirk)
Some dwarfss roll a genetic snake-eyes and wind up with the worst of all possible dwarfish fates. The tendency to break out in hives when plastic is nearby keeps this particular dwarf away from the famed mines for all time. Let us pause a moment in sorrow as we realize the horrors this poor dwarf must face; never will the choking atmosphere of the Caves of Asbestos or the sticky textures of the Vinyl Mines be a part of the dwarf's memory. In the game, this means that all Inabilities are lowered to 1 when in contact with anything plastic (i.e., anything brought out of a dwarfish mine). This massive penalty goes away when the plastic is removed, but the dwarf's still got to waltz around with a nasty rash for a week.
Ratcatcher's Kid (Quirk)
Revolving Thunder Wand (Perk)
Royal Lineage (Perk)
Seelie Exile (Quirk)
Something your changeling or her family has done caused a massive uproar in the self-centered social mixer that is the Seelie Court. Your changeling may never again set foot on Seelie territory (the Fae Isles are the famous of these) without being attacked, and suffers a -2 penalty to any interaction Tests that apply to noble changelings. And because exiles trust each other at least as little as the nobles, any commoner changeling interaction Tests are given a -1 penalty.
Shapechange (Perk)
Your Seelie heritage grants you a pretty amazing feature. At will, you can transform into a mundane animal of your choice (which means no dragons or werewolves, only foxes and bunnies and lions). Problem is, every time you invoke your shapechanging, your humanoid form shrinks an inch (changing back to your original shape doesn't cost any height). Once you've shrunk to a single inch tall, you become an ant. Irrevocably. Fun, huh? Well ... to make this even remotely tolerable, your humanoid shape grows an inch with every level. How's that. Satisfied?
Shunned by Humans (Quirk)
Sibling Rivalry (Quirk)
Tail (Perk)
Take a look at your posterior. No, not you, I'm talking to your character! See that? It's a tail. Be it lizard, rat, or monkey, you've got a five-foot tail extending from your spine. Sure you can use it to manipulate things, but you've got to make a Body/"Hand-Eye Coordination" test to do anything other than gross motor skills.
Taste for Flesh (Quirk)
Techno-Dependency (Quirk)
Technomancy (Perk)
Thing-a-majig (Perk)
Unstoppable Fool (Quirk)
Vegetarian (Quirk)
Vermin Familiar (Quirk)
Goblin's live in filthy cities which naturally attract filthy animals. Dirty rats, foot-long centipedes, and grimy bats are all a typical addition to any goblin's home. Your character has been adopted as an "alpha male" by one of these particular unwholesome critters. It follows your goblin around at all times, getting underfoot, ruining friendly relations, and generally being gross. You and God (but you can call her gamemaster) can work out the fine details, but here's the animal's basic statistics:
HP 5
Body Brains Libido
1 0 0
Attack Bite, 1D-2 damage + Poison*
* - Anyone bitten must make a Body/"Toughness" test or fall ill for 1D days. Snake-eyes means he'll die after those days if not given lots of healing.
Vinyl Mining (Perk)
What-Have-You (Yeah, whatever)
As if I'm going to dignify this with an entry. It's just something to keep the nit-picky wondering about the title of this list. Now get back to making a character!
Wingless (Quirk)
You poor, poor thing. Instead of the free Perk Fly Like a Bloated Pigeon your imp's got no wings. Whether this is by accident or birth defect is your decision.
Wings (Perk)
Wise Old Grandparents (Perk)
Every small village seems to have its share of old folk sitting on worn porches throwing conventional wisdom about like so much mental confetti. In any human settlement, these ancient fonts of elderly advice seem to know at least one of your character's equally ancient grandparents. These keepers of natural lore will treat your player very favorably, give their opinion through long-winded anecdotes, and generally act as a device so that the GM doesn't have to make up her own contrived way of telling you the facts.
Without a Fortress (Quirk)
For one (or more) of many reasons, your imp character has no fortress to claim as its own. Jokes and pranks can be bragged to no one. No pride XXX MORE XXX


Character Classes ... er, Careers - XXX Something Funny XXX

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Sure, many folks say that the new age of roleplaying stands without the age-old stereotypes. They say that such games as Munch'ems & Snack'uns are out-dated and don't represent the myriad choices of real life. Well I've got some news for them. Prepare yourselves, this may get ugly.

Role playing is not real life!

There, I've done and said it. Now we can get on with the game. Seeing as Urth's predecessor games performed such a great job with their character classes, I figured it'd be an honor to relive those classic classes ... er, careers. Yes, Urth leaves the current trends and abandons "progressive role playing." Here in Urth you've got four choices for your character. Each class is described in detail below, followed by a chart that sums things up. Items that may be unfamiliar, like skills and HP are detailed later in this chapter (or not). An important item to note, however, is that the measure of a character's experience on Urth is shown by that character's Level and Knowhow. Every character starts at the first Level and with zero Knowhow. After certain circumstances, a character gains a bunch of Knowhow. Get enough Knowhow and the character goes up in Level. The benefits of this include more points for Skills and Abilities and HP, and bragging rights. One more thing, if you are worried about what races can be which class, or level limits by race, or whether the race gets special class abilities determined by the Level Ability by Race & Class Matrix, forget it. That's just too much goddamn bookkeeping.

Example: Greenpits has made it through so many sections already, let's give him a break. For this example we'll use ... Greenpits! Yeah, so I was lying. Let's say that Greenpits wants to be a thief, a particularly appropriate career. As far as Levels go, Greenpits starts at the first one like everyone else. And with zero Knowhow to boot. He also receives 10 extra points for rogue skills, and 5 more points for his emphasis. Greenpits is definitely not the social butterfly or the courageous combatant, so he gets 5 more points for rogue skills. This will come into play when we get to the Skills section. Well, that's it. Read on. Oh, and if you're really upset about no stats to record, here's what should be written down:
Level: 0
Knowhow: 0
Anal Retentiveness: 27 (no, don't really write this one down)*
* - And don't write what's in the parentheses either! You people scare me.

The Classes of Urth

Priests
possess one ability that evades most other characters: subservience. While independence is touted by many as a good thing, priests see the power gained by licking the boots of one of the millions of gods of Urth. It's either that or the character's been duped into thinking that the god actually cares about the wretch. In any case, a priest's greatest ability is to call for miracles from above (or below). Whether they actually happen is another matter altogether. As far as inabilities are concerned, check with the god-in-question's likes. Some gods want wise worshippers, and others'll take anyone handy with a sword.
Before continuing with character creation, you must choose between a fanatically violent or a piously calm priest. The first one is more like an armored crusader, while the second conjures smiling, robed friars to mind.
The method by which a priest calls upon miracles is through their Subservience score. This score is determined by the specific god, and the character's devotion. piously calm priests receives a base Subservience as described in their god's description, while fanatically violent priests must halve this score.
Type of Priest HP Bonus Extra Skill Points
Fanatically Violent 2 5 for combat skills
5 for religious skills
Piously Calm 1 10 for religious skills
Thieves
are the backbone of any good civilization. Without thieves to steal the wealth from the nobly rich and purchase on the underground markets, there'd be no flow of economy. It's what they claim, anyway. Being a thief doesn't always entail greed, deceit, and speed, but these are all highly recommended traits. Oh, and don't be a thief without some sort of high Body/"Thiefly Subscore."
As a thief, your character gains 10 points for rogue skills and 5 points for a second emphasis. This must be fighting, thievery, or mingling, which leads to extra points for combat, rogue, or socialite skills, respectively.
HP Bonus Extra Skill Points
2 10 for rogue skills
5 for second choice
Warriors
are just that. Anyone can claim to be a warrior, but not everyone can claim to be a good one. It's recommended that your character's Body inability be at least 3 to pick the warrior career. If not, it's your crumpled up character sheet. If you've got more questions about what a warrior is, then go fool around with the introductory adventure in the little Munch'ems and Snack'uns red box.
HP Bonus Extra Skill Points
3 10 for combat skills
Wizards
harness abilties unknown to the common people of Urth. Vast, eldritch power lies at a wizards fingertips. A wellspring of arcane energy is at every wizard's command. And if you believe that, you're likely to run from every runny-nosed brat who wears a starry robe and waves his hands at you. While it is true that wizards use magic unrelated to that of the gods, spells like "Pishum's Handy Buckler" and "Fiddlesnitch's Blessed Snotrag" aren't much to speak of. A wizard's powers lie in the various 'Mancies of magic, such as necromancy, abjuromancy, and fishomancy. These are detailed later on in the World of Urth chapter.
Wizards can cast spells (no really, trust me on this one!), getting Brains/"Knowledge" x 10 Magic Points per level. They must choose from one of the following options with the knowledge that they may only learn a spell if it lies within their chosen 'mancies:
HP Bonus Extra Skill Points
1 10 for arcane skills

Class Abilities & Rules - if you have any questions, read the rest of the chapter.
Class HP Bonus Skills & Abilities
Priest - Fanatically Violent 2 5 points for combat skills
5 points for religious skills
Ability: Miracles
Subservience base score halved
Priest - Piously Calm 1 10 points for religious skills
Ability: Miracles
Thief 2 10 points for rogue skills
Choose an emphasis for 5 more points
Warrior 3 10 points for combat skills
Wizard 1 5 points for arcane skills
Ability: Spellcasting
Magic Points: Brains/"Knowledge" x10 per level
'Mancies: Choose from three options

Skills - XXX Something Funny XXX

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Your character's got Ability Scores. Your character may have some useful Perks and unsightly Quirks. Your character's even got a career to follow. Now what? Before the mindless tedium of number crunching (the Finishing Touches section) you now have to further personalize your character. This is handled with the careful and studious selection of Skills.

A Skill is overseen by an Ability, and each Skill

Example Skills
Body Brains Libido
Backstabbin...urk! Brainwashing for Fun and Profit Break Into Song
Barehanded Pulpmilling Cheesemaking Proficiency Haggle
Chopping Trees/Opponents Combat Tactics & a Whiz at Checkers I Wear My Sunglasses at Night
Chucking Rocks Death Prevention Kill With a Look
Climb (Vertically) Five Aces!? Left Foot, Right Foot (Red Foot, Blue Foot)
Dangerous With Cutlery Jumping Through Hoops Lookin' Good
Hammering a Human Nail More Than Pretty Rocks My Name is ... N. Cognito
Intimidation Through Biceps Mushroom Tea "Once Upon a Midnight Bleary ... "
Old Fashioned Arrow Slinging Number Fun Selling Swampland
Picklocking One With Nature Still Cool With Tights and a Thin Moustache
Pocketpicking Read/Write/Swim/Chew Gum Street Savvy
Staying on a Horse Speak in Tongues Stylishly Sloshed
Strategic Withdrawal Tie Me Up That Was Some Other Guy ... Doing Other Things ...
Those New-Fangled Automatic Bows We're Not Really Lost ... The One Polite Adventurer
Tiptoeing Through Tulips & Guard Dogs Wheeling -n- Dealing Woo the Ladies/Men

Skills - Cheesemaking is just the beginning ...

Backstabbin...urk! (Body)
Barehanded Pulpmilling (Body)
Break Into Song (Libido)
Brainwashing for Fun and Profit (Brains)
Cheesemaking Proficiency (Brains)
Chopping Trees/Opponents (Body)
Chucking Rocks (Body)
Climb (Vertically) (Body)
Combat Tactics & a Whiz at Checkers (Brains)
Dangerous With Cutlery (Body)
Death Prevention (Brains)
Five Aces!? (Brains)
Haggle (Libido)
This skill is so damn cool sounding already it doesn't need a funny name!
Hammering a Human Nail (Body)
Intimidation Through Biceps (Body)
I Wear My Sunglasses at Night (Libido)
Jumping Through Hoops (Brains)
Kill With a Look (Libido)
Left Foot, Right Foot (Red Foot, Blue Foot) (Libido)
Lookin' Good (Libido)
More Than Pretty Rocks (Brains)
Mushroom Tea (Brains)
My Name is ... N. Cognito (Libido)
Number Fun (Brains)
Old Fashioned Arrow Slinging (Body)
"Once Upon a Midnight Dreary ..." (Libido)
One With Nature (Brains)
Picklocking (Body)
Pocketpicking (Body)
Read/Write/Swim/Chew Gum (Brains)
Selling Swampland (Libido)
Speak in Tongues (Brains)
Staying on a Horse (Body)
Still Cool With Tights and a Thin Moustache (Libido)
Strategic Withdrawal (Body)
Street Savvy (Libido)
Stylishly Sloshed (Libido)
That was Some Other Guy ... Doing Other Things (Libido)
The One Polite Adventurer (Libido)
Those New-Fangled Automatic Bows (Body)
Tie Me Up (Body)
Tiptoeing Through Tulips & Guard Dogs (Body)
We're Not Really Lost ... (Brains)
Wheeling -n- Dealing (Brains)
Wooing the Ladies/Men (Libido)

Outfitting Your Character - A week's worth of rations, a 10' pole, and fifty feet of rope.

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The Finishing Touch - XXX Something Funny XXX

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All material within,
especially Urth and Urth-related concepts,
is copyright © 1996
by Zak Arntson.