Victoriana for 5e: The Many Faces of Humanity

Today we've got a new post sharing more information on Victoriana for 5e! Keep an eye out next week as we’ll share the Free PDF Going underground that was part of Free RPG Day. Going Underground, gives a taste of the world, with a trip on the very first electrified tube train.

The Many Faces of Humanity

Greetings again from 1887, and welcome back to Victoriana! Recently we shared a look at the cover for Victoriana for 5th edition, and last time we talked about what changes to expect from the new edition. Today we’d like to share more information on the different Lineages you will be able to play in Victoriana for fifth edition. For those of you familiar with 5e, Lineages are the Victoriana equivalent of the fantasy Race you choose during character creation. 

From its inception, Victoriana was conceived as a fantasy world undergoing revolution, even before the decision was made to make that world a fantastic parallel of Earth. Towards that end, the usual suspects of fantasy ‘races’ or species were included (elves, dwarves, and so on), often with a tweak or three that better fit the setting. 

However, one thing that was present from the get-go in Victoriana was the notion that the so-called fantasy ‘races’ were part of a single ‘humanity,’ with the conceit that children usually took on aspects of one parent or, in rarer cases, one that didn’t reflect either. Thus, the various ‘lineages,’ while part of a single species, didn’t lose their distinctiveness over time. 

In every edition of Victoriana tweaks have been made to the various lineages and their association with each other. In-setting, naturalists have tried to classify them as subspecies within a single species, several species within a genus (or subgenus) or whether they are all separate species that happen to be compatible with a little magical help from the world. While this remains an open question in Victoriana’s latest edition, we’ve taken the opportunity to further define our Lineages.

Daoine comprise the most common Lineage and are pretty much plain old humans. It’s worth noting that building a Duine is slightly different than creating a Human in other 5e games due to the relationship between the Daoine and other Lineages. Victoriana has a long history of Celtic and Irish influences, with Duine meaning person (Daoine is the plural) in both ancient languages.

The Elderen are the ‘elves’ of the setting, except that they are even more alien and aethereal. They are the longest lived of the Lineages and their bodies don’t seem to be entirely attached to the world — they’re more innately connected to the magic of Victoriana, with the blue energy of Quintessence glowing through their veins and connecting any marks on their skin like glowing constellations. This unfortunately leaves them open to psychic attack, and Elderen bodies, while remaining youthful in appearance, fossilise over time.

Gruagaches were once Victoriana’s ‘ogres’ but they have gone through several changes over the editions. In this new edition, they are tall, powerful, and brutally honest. This latter trait makes it difficult for them to lie or even to simply give compliments that aren’t really deserved, which can be a bit troublesome in the conservative society of Victorian London! However, this means they’re often known for being scandalously entertaining at parties, and particularly favoured for positions in the legal system.

The Khaldi are an amalgamation of the dwarfs, gnomes, and halflings of previous editions. Their hardy bodies enable them to push forward while others get exhausted, and their industrious nature fosters proficiency in practical pursuits. As industry marches on and Khaldi have risen up to middle class positions, many have left mining behind to pursue an innate talent for clocks (and clockwork robots), fabulous rococo landscaping, and the most flamboyant hairstyling in London. 

The Púca, commonly called Pucks, are a Lineage depicted as anthropomorphic animals in previous editions. In the new edition they resemble Daoine or Khaldi with a wide variety of animalistic features — some may have rabbit ears, while others might have the head of a fox! These animal traits afford all sorts of supernatural gifts, and lead to particularly inventive Victorian tailoring to get around their prehensile tails. 

Finally, we have the Muirlochs. Roughly analogous to orcs in other fantasy worlds, this Lineage has gone through significant changes in the world of Victoriana. Only recently considered a separate Lineage from the Púca, Muirlochs have some animal traits, but are consistent in that they seem perfectly ‘evolved’ for an industrial world, with a nocturnal nature and a keen affinity for engineering. 

So there you have it, the core six Lineages of Victoriana for 5e! We hope you can see that we’ve endeavoured to pay homage to the history while freshening them up a bit for future Victoriana adventures! Until next time, good day!