Starting characters should choose one of these six common races. The Old World is the human world. A stark world mired in an age of reason and realism. All the Old World races share this general flavor.
The humans of the Old World are very content with their place in the world. They are the dominant race in the known world and their cities are the basis of culture and civilization for all other races. The Monotheistic religion of Mythras is the largest religion in human history. Powerful human families control all aspects of the civilized world. Humans control the known oceans and the once great wilds of the Old World have been tamed and now lie in human control.
Human Lands: The Old World is littered with human cities, kings, castles, and empires. Of these, the Arch-Ventures have decided to run their merchant travel to two major cities in the western empire of Corona, ruled by Emperor Lear: Broken Crown is a metropolis filled with all manner of humans from all walks of life, and Lathem a city most well known as a whaling and fishing community.
Traditions: The Vast majority of humans belong to the church of Mythras. Upon reaching 16 years old a human is considered an adult. This is commemorated with a rite of maturity, an elaborate celebration culminating in a naming ceremony headed by a Mythraic cleric who gives the inductee a saint name.
Dwarves are natural miners and smiths. For this reason Dwarves of the Old World find themselves working very hard fore most of their lives – and for little money. The strong backs of the Dwarves mean that humans don’t have to dirty their hands with the day to day tasks of physical labor. What’s more is that Dwarven families are proud of their mining tradition. Generations of Dwarves are content to slave underground, mining their lives away while humans enjoy the vast majority of the wealth. Dwarves are rather gruff and mean spirited as well, which keeps most from attaining any kind of social or political status.
Dwarven Lands: The deep mountains that the Dwarves called home for many centuries is now their workplace. Either by force of arms or economic pressure, the mountains of the Dwarves now belong to humans. Some Dwarves have been forced to relocate to the human cities. Most Dwarves living in the western empire of Corona, work in the steel foundries outside Lanchester, or the copper mines in the Iczellion Mountains.
Traditions: Dwarves everywhere still worship the patron deity Moradin. In recent years Dwarves have begun referring to him as “Saint Moradin” to avoid any conflict with the church of Mythras. Dwarves tend to have large families, sometimes as many as 14 children. Because Dwarves for the most part do not own land or title, they take their jobs very seriously, placing great importance on position and acclaim in the workplace.
Gnomes of the Old World have a great affinity for gardening, preserves, and wine production. They are the farmers, brewers, and herbalists of the Old World. Gnomes look upon these professions as “art” and work their whole lives, sometimes over several generations to perfect their methods and products. Gnomes are naturally kind and sociable, but few seek any kind of advancement in human society. Gnomes have also perfected the art of shipbuilding, a marriage of nature and design. Gnome ships are built light and strong and are considered the best in the Old World.
Gnome Lands: Gnomes now make their home in the farmlands and vineyards surrounding the great cities of man. Those gnomes that choose to live within the cities, usually do so as shipwrights. Lathem is as well known for its large gnome population as for its great ship building industry.
Traditions: Gnomes live in close knit communities and many of the traditions and beliefs of the Gnome people are still alive and well.
Favored Class: Druid
Half-Elves in a New Frontier campaign are something of a misnomer. The Elves of old had a very strong bloodline and those that mingled with it show their heritage to this day. Very few ‘Half-Elves” can claim that their blood is half that of Elves, rather, those of Elven decent share all the statistics of the half-elf described in the Player’s Handbook, but bear almost no physical Elven traits. Fair-skinned and fair-haired are common half-elf traits, as are unusually colored eyes. Pointed ears are almost unheard of. Some Half-Elves do not even know their own heritage, and simply write off their abilities as remarkable human traits. Half-Elves are completely integrated into human society and have no lands or traditions of their own. Half-Elves are rare in any human community, but are strangely attracted to one another even without knowing their own heritage. So almost by accident they keep the bloodline strong.
Sometimes just called “Battle-hardened”, like Half-Elves in New Frontier the Half-Orc is only rarely actually half orcish blood. In the dark ages the Orc was bred to fight in wars for humans. Over the centuries of warfare the Orc became so intermixed with the human soldiers that Half-Orcs were the normal combatants for several nations. National armies are almost like separate cultures unto themselves, continually replenishing themselves with the children of the half-orc men and women who serve. Today’s “Battle-hardened” half-orc looks like a tall-strong human sometimes with greyish or dark skin and dark thick hair, but half-orcs have as much variation as humans.
Halflings are simple homebodies. They enjoy big meals, fireside chats, good tobacco, and the simple, average life. The Old World Halflings are the barkeeps, cooks, and skilled laborers of the Old World. Halflings are very strong-willed and will usually complete any task set before them, but like to keep life’s troubles as simple and as few as possible. For this reason very few Halflings seek a life of adventure. Those that do are usually trying to complete some great task or journey. Halflings can advance in human society usually becoming successful merchants and bureaucrats. Most Halflings find the monotony of the human society very comforting and secure.
Halfling Lands: Perhaps more than any other race the Halflings have fully integrated into human society. Anywhere humans are found Halflings are found as well, usually engaged in some kind of domestic business.
Halfling Traditions: Even though halflings are fully integrated into human society, they still hold a certain racial pride focused mainly on rest and leisure. Each day Halflings all over the world practice “Digestion” a siesta-like time for two hours after the mid-day meal. During Digestion Halflings routinely smoke pipes, tell stories, drink spirits, or nap.
Elves sailed away in their ships long ago. Some claim they went to the land now called the New Frontier. No one has seen a full blooded elf in over 300 years.