Just, you know, a table of races, like everyone and their dogling has.
There are three important components to each race. During character creation, each race can re-roll a particular ability and pick the better of the two results. They also get a bonus and a weakness, which, ideally, will come up in play on a regular basis and either open up new options (bonuses) or be terrible for your character in ways which are fun for you, the player (weaknesses).
Not everybody has flavor text. You’ll just have to live with that.
Try not to explode or turn yourself into a frog.
Sooner or later, most wizards will try their hand at creating life. The artificer makes golems of stone, of bronze, of steel. The bibliothurge writes people and even nations in such detail that they acquire a substance of their own. The illusionist attempts a fakery so total, so complete, that it is indistinguishable from a normal mind. The necromancer produces assemblages of many corpses and tries their withered hand at lichdom. It is, perhaps, the hallmark of wizardry: the desire to be a Creator.
Coyote knows what wizards are all about.
Most wizards produce life of the sort that is clad in flesh. Even the Orthodox wizard, who may be as far removed as any from the grotesqueries of biomancy, can do it, though it will take work and time and cleverness in equal measure.
If there are elves there are goblin elves. If there are apes there may be goblin apes. If there is a house which should not be able to stand, whose shadow kills the grass and whose silhouette on the hillside makes people avert their gaze, this is a goblin house. Put enough of those together and you’ve goblinly goblinned yourself quite a goblin city, one filled with goblins. Goblin your eyes.
Goblins are neither genus nor species. They are a kind, a type, and anything can become goblin, or come to be a goblin. Their language is incredibly goblin, and goblin goblins use the word “goblin” for many other parts of speech (numbers, definite articles, pronouns) we might recognize, with the rest of their language sounding like burbles, chittering, angry growls, and sorrowful moans.
Daniel Dean on goblins
Some folk don’t start out the way you see them now. Trolls are blessed/cursed with a kind of semi-stable cancer. True vampires have sold their souls to one of the stars above, and lesser vampires have been made franchisees to that relationship. The soldiers of the Pigment Mafia are called “made men” because they have been made into wererats.
Goblinism is contagious. Humans can catch it. Orcs can catch it. Foxlings, foxes, and fields of foxglove can catch it. Mostly you catch goblinism by eating goblin food, which is to say, food that’s caught goblinism.
this shark has caught goblinism
Many rations are commonly wrapped in corn or squash leaves, and clams can be pickled in the shell for easy transportation. Both corn and rice may be included so that you can “pop” on a hot surface and have something to eat while you’re waiting for your rations to cook up. Where a nutritive supplement is needed, rations will usually include algae or seaweed cakes, which can be eaten as-is or dissolved in water for broth.
Additional food info, plus hunger rules, below the cut.
- Fatcakes. Patties of dried and beaten meat, berries, and rendered fat. Especially in the West, some fatcakes use corn flour in addition to, or instead of, meat. They may be eaten raw, boiled, or fried. Lasts for several months, or up to a year if kept cool.
- Grot grub. This is a popular (or at least widespread…) ration found underground. It is composed of strips of meat (bats, mice, or crab and fish from underground lakes) that have been salted, smoked, and pickled in cave slime. Where available, it may instead be preserved in honey, which, in the Veins, is less often the sort of bee with which surface-dwellers are familiar with, but rather a “vulture bee” which makes its honey from the stuff of corpses.
- Gutpowder. Meat and fruit can be dried and ground into a long-lasting powder that can be eaten as-is or mixed with water to make soup. Squash blossoms may be included to thicken the soup.
- Hot pot: Butter beans and climbing beans, meat, and pomatoes, usually dried and meant to be rehydrated as a soup. Its name comes from the customary inclusion of pickled chilis or pepper berries, whose initial sweetness leads to a short but intense heat.
- Journeycake. Corn meal, fruit (usually berries), nut butter, and mashed squash, mashed and mixed together and pressed into a bar or “cake.”
- Soup glew. A little something from the Empires Beyond the Sea: “scrap meat” is boiled, strained, and boiled some more until you get a pasty jelly residue, which is air dried, cut, and powdered with flour. Stonebread crumbles and dried, diced vegetables are commonly added at some point in the process, because they’ll be reconstituted when the soup glew is boiled in water and, well, made into soup.
- Stewdle. Take one eel or snake, salt thoroughly, and then stuff it with cornmeal, squash, and a bit of seaweed before hot-smoking it. Most travelers prefer to eat them in the pot, but they lend themselves to being roasted over the fire just as easily.
- Trotters mix: Nuts, dried fruit, and small pieces of cheese that have been pressed, dried, cut, and dried again over a fire. The cheese has a very tough consistency, similar to stonebread, and, like stonebread, must be moistened before it can be chewed (because of their size, a piece of stonecheese can be moistened in the mouth while one walks).
- Waybread. Basically a handheld pie: bread filled with fat, fruit, and meat, all chopped and dried and sometimes pickled in cider brine.
- Whitepaste. Cured roe, rendered fat, berries, and the bulbs and stems of plants, ground and packed together to form, well, a white paste that is usually eaten raw. Also called white fatcakes.
Every character in Thaumerica knows two languages by default: (1) the native language of their home region and (2) Westerling Sign.
In Upper Thaumerica, the main regional languages are Eastronian (Eastron), Lakese (Lake Countries), Southlandish (Southlands), and Westerling Speech (The West). You can probably guess where most of these regions lie in relation to each other. Each language has its dialects, but those dialects are mutually intelligible.
Westerling Sign (not to be confused with Westerling Speech) is a trade sign language from the West. Everyone in Upper Thaumerica knows it at least well enough to ask about the quality of goods and haggle over prices with strange merchants in the market square, and if you don’t have any other language in common then you can at least converse in Westerling Sign. Because it requires the use of your hands, Westerling Sign is not just a common language but an inherently de-escalatory one. You must sheathe your sword and put down your shield in order to free up your hands, which is why it is actually the preferred language in some places.
Most Thaumerican languages use geographic directions (north, east, south, west) much more than, and sometimes entirely in place of, egocentric directions (forward, right, backward, left).