This is the third and final post in a mini-series about bringing the peoples of Tamriel to a GURPS fantasy game. This post deals with anyone who’s neither a human nor an elf.

Scholars from the Empire or the Aldmeri dominion tend to call these people “Beast-Folk”, both because many of them bear an obvious resemblance to some sort of animal and because these exalted nations tend to view them as somewhat less than civilized. Like everyone else, though, they have rich cultures and long histories. They are also quite well-adapted to their home environments.

Argonian (20 Points)

Argonians (or Saxhleel, as they call themselves) are a reptilian people native to the swampy region of Black Marsh. They resemble scaly humans with a tail and a lizard head, and sometimes have feathers or horns as well. Their scales come in various shades of dark brown, gray or green, sometimes marked with patterns unique to the individual.

Well-adapted to their native environment, Argonians are amphibious and highly resistant to disease. They’re known as experts in guerilla warfare, having had to defend their homes against foreign invasions many times in Tamriel’s long and convoluted history.

Argonian adventurers thrive in flooded environments. Those native to Black Marsh are commonly Scouts, Barbarians, or Thieves with some supplemental wilderness survival training. An all-Argonian party can go in underwater adventures without any special magic or equipment!

Advantages: Amphibious {10}; Doesn’t Breathe (Gills, -50%) {10}; Resistant to Disease +3 {5}.

Disadvantages: Cold-Blooded {-5}.

Features: Tail; Body and head armor needs to be adapted to accommodate the tail and unusual head shape. This usually doesn’t cost extra, but might restrict their usage of looted armor.

Other Traits: Argonians are the target of prejudice in several provinces of Tamriel, like Morrowind and Skyrim. In games taking place mostly in those provinces, they would have Social Stigma (Minority Group).

Khajit (25 points)

Khajit require surprisingly little explanation for those who are already familiar with Dungeon Fantasy. They’re Catfolk! While an individual Khajit’s appearance is technically influenced by the configuration of Nirn’s two moons when they are born, that’s mostly an attempt by the franchise’s writers to “explain” why the design for playable Khajit characters went from “humans with funny face tattoos” to something that matches the description of DF Catfolk pretty much exactly.

Khajit hail from the tropical region of Elsweyr (pronounced “Elsewhere”). This province is about equally split into an inland expanse or arid badlands, and a lush coastal region criss-crossed by extensive river basins. The former is inhabited by fierce nomadic warriors, the later by sugar cane plantation owners, farm workers, and urban merchants. Those plantations produce Moon Sugar, the region’s chief export. Moon Sugar’s properties vary a lot depending on what source you’re consulting: they seem to range from “it’s just sugar” to “it’s crystallized catnip”. In either case it has many more or less legitimate culinary and alchemical uses. It can also be distilled into Skooma, a drink that’s definitely closer to the “catnip” end of the spectrum and banned in most regions of Tamriel.

Khajit adventurers tend to prefer “skirmisher” professions like Scouts, Swashbucklers and Thieves. Being naturally equipped with claws, they also put greater emphasis in unarmed combat than most, and so also count many Martial Artists among their number.

Advantages: Catfall {10}; Sharp Claws {5}; Sharp Teeth {1}; Fur {1}; Night Vision 8 {8}.

Features: Tail (not prehensile, and easily tucked into armor).

Other Traits: GMs who prefer to use the default Catfolk statistics for Khajit are free to do so, either in place of these or alongside them (as a different variety). Addiction to Skooma is a -15 point disadvantage: it’s incapacitating, highly addictive, and illegal. Addiction to Moon Sugar, if the GM decides it has drug-like properties at all, is worth -5 points in those places where it is illegal, and 0 points otherwise. These can apply to anyone, not just Khajit, no matter what the Altmer try to tell you.

Others

Many allusions are made in Elder Scrolls lore to other “beast-folk” species, though these have never been playable in the games. A lot of them show up as enemies, though.

  • Standard goblins and ogres exist in Tamriel, and are viewed here much as they are in any other setting.

  • Giants have roamed Skyrim since time immemorial, and maintain a wary relationship with its human inhabitants. They have a Paleolithic tribal culture and are known for herding mammoths.

  • The simian Imga share Valenwood with the Bosmer. The Alessian Order that eventually created the First Empire based their religion on the teachings of an Imga prophet.

  • The Hist are sapient trees, said to be the oldest form of sapient life in Tamriel. Most of them are located in Black Marsh, and are at the center of Argonian culture and society.

And so on, and so forth. Throughout various places and times you can also find snake-people (Lamias), slug-people (Sloads), fox-people (Lilmothiit), Minotaurs, and so on. Like elves, feel free to introduce a new variety every time your players think they got it all figured out.