BREAK!! Includes a number of intelligent species for players to choose from when making a character. Even more are wandering about the surface of Outer World, many of which also make for suitable adventurers (such as the mundymutts). Still, even with all these options people may have a missing archetype or new idea they want to try out. You may want to add even more or replace some of these species for your own games, especially if you are using your own customized setting. Whatever the case, this Option Menu entry is here as a handy guide for doing so.
Modifying/Reskinning Existing Species
Just like other character options, Species can be quickly modified without too much work by reworking a facet or two.
A species unique to BREAK!! can have its fiction changed to match another’s. The mechanics for Tenebrae and Prometheans could be used for “Dark Elves” and “Lizard Folk” in a more traditional fantasy setting, as an example.
Changing the size of an existing Species can be used to create variants or even make them into a new one entirely. Shifting Dwarves to Large sized would be a good start to introducing the big friendly rock munching folk of a certain popular video game franchise to your saga.
Adding a customized or re-skinned history to a Dimensional Stray can create characters who are stranded from realities or time periods significantly different from the contemporary.
Creating your own Species
Crafting a species might seem daunting, but it can be kept relatively straightforward by following the guidelines below. These should give you an idea on how to make a new species in the style of the entries found in the BREAK!! rulebook. While you don’t have to follow that format exactly, it is a good way to organize your thoughts and will give you a common ground to share them with your group (or others) on.
Overview: The name of your new species and a brief introduction to them. Think of it as the narration that a documentary about them would open with.
Physiology: What the new species looks like, interesting physical features they may have, and how this might relate to their surroundings. Feel free to be as broad as practical here because it's unlikely any species will have a truly uniform appearance.
Demeanor: How the new species comes off and how they act towards others due to their place and circumstances in the world. Don’t feel bad generalizing a bit - this is just how many of the species come off to the rest of the folk, not a decree on how every member of a species thinks and feels.
Outlook: Five general statements that outline the philosophies and shared wisdom the species has developed over generations. These should be sayings you can imagine caregivers saying to children, or adages repeated in difficult times.
History: A brief history on the species origins in the Outer World and how it has existed throughout the aeons. Again, feel free to be general with this one, it just helps players get a read on how the new species exists in the fiction of the game.
Adventurers: An outline on what members of the species generally become adventurers. Is it an honored tradition among them, something outcasts tend towards, or something in-between?
Typical Names: An explanation on what sort of given and family names appear among the new species and how they are decided upon, along with a few examples. A simple naming convention can go a long way in helping people decide on what to call their characters!
Size: The Species size should be noted. They can be medium, small, or large as noted in the BREAK!! rulebook.
Abilities: If you are creating a new species for players to use, the Species Abilities will make up the bulk of your work. The guide on creating Game Master Entities in the BREAK!! rulebook has a section on crafting new Abilities that will prove helpful here, though there are are a few additional considerations to keep in mind:
It is assumed that a basic character species is as capable and vulnerable as a human being. Anything that differs from that (such as the tenebrate’s special sight, the fact that prometheans can regrow lost limbs, etc) should be represented with an Ability.
Species Abilities should be broadly applicable and less focused than Abilities received from Callings. They should be useful to almost any sort of character to avoid pigeonholing your new creation.
Every Species should have one Ability that is purely advantageous that sets them apart from other folk. This can be something straightforward like the Dimensional Stray having an additional positive trait, or something more ambitious like the Goblin’s ability to make impossible but fragile gadgets. Try to use an existing Species Ability that’s close to your idea as a guideline.
Additional Abilities (such as those representing a bio-mechanoid’s mechanical nature, or how both the tenebrate and promethean begin play with points in Allegiance) can be used to further define a particularly odd or unique species. These should either have both benefits and downsides that should come as close to evening each other out as possible, or be mechanically neutral.
For example, in the case of the Bio-Mechanoid they are both immune to bad things that affect organic creatures, but also cannot benefit from things like magical healing or potions either.
Certain Eldritch or Physiological Quirks could be converted into these kinds of additional Abilities, such as Unusual Appetite for a species like the aforementioned rock eating folks from the re-skinning example.
A Species that needs more than 2-3 Abilities to define might not be suitable for a normal playable Species and might need to be re-worked a bit.
Maturative Abilities should be around as potent as an Advanced Elective Ability. They should stick to the theme set by the species itself.
Maturative Abilities are also a good place to hide some lore for the species as well. Both the Tenebrate and Prometheans have a bit of history hidden in their Maturative Abilities, for example.
Like all any customized option, If you are not the GM of the saga you are about to play in please consult them and make sure they approve of your creation.
Below is a new Species created with these guidelines in mind:
This lagomorphic species is hard to miss thanks to their darting movements and charming features. Don’t underestimate them though - they may seem docile but they are no less capable than more fearsome species.
Physiology: Hoppalongs are a little shorter than the average human and rabbit-like in appearance, with long ears and soft fur.
Typical Demeanor: Hoppalongs tend towards being curious and chipper. While there are many among them who are quite skittish, some are just a bit too brave for their own good.
Cowards can always return to correct their mistakes, the foolhardy rarely get the chance
Remember to look out for what’s overhead and underfoot
Glance twice, jump once
Keep pace with those you care about
Ask a lot of questions (at a safe distance)
History: The origin of the hoppalongs is something of a mystery. No record of them shows up prior to the 3rd Aeon, and while some have mentioned an island in the sky they came from no one can seem to confirm it. Still, these cheerful folk have managed to acclimate themselves into the societies of Outer World fairly well.
They first appeared along the coasts of the Blazing Garden, but they have since spread outwards and can be found in all corners of Outer World.
Adventurers: Most hoppalongs don’t intend to become adventurers. In fact, many who do simply got caught up in some trivial task and ended up on a much longer journey than desired. Still, they often take well to life on the road once their curiosity overtakes their high-strung nature.
Typical Names: Hoppalong names gravitate towards descriptors of softness, jumping, and alacrity.
Examples: Skippy Floofins, Cotton Highhop, Bouncy Bedding, Nimble Puffins
Note: The fiction here gives one a lot to work when deciding on the mechanics of the species, as well as tying Hoppalongs to a relatively simple theme of being rabbit folk.
Species Size: Hoppalongs are slightly shorter than a typical human.
You are a Medium Species.
The cautious nature of the hoppalongs should not be underestimated; alertness and avoiding harm is baked into their very being.
You have an Edge for Insight and Deftness Rolls involved with noticing or avoiding physical danger.
While most hoppalongs are athletic, some develop a talent for jumping that has to be seen to be believed.
You gain Supernatural Leaping, as described in the BREAK!! Rulebook
Note: Supernatural Leaping is a given when it comes to rabbit types, but it's strong enough to warrant being a maturative Ability. So for the standard Ability, I took another trait of rabbits (being especially alert and aware) and used that for inspiration.