1.2.2 -- Notes on Deryni CharactersPlaying a Deryni character has some
inherent benefits and some inherent drawbacks. Primary among those drawbacks is
the fact that the Deryni of Gwenydd face persection from the Church for heresy,
and most secular authorities reflect that scorn as well. Now, it isn't common in
this time period for Deryni to be rounded up and burned at the stake except in
remote corners of the kingdom, and then only to those who have little rank or
political power of their own.
That does not mean that all is easy. People fear what they don't understand,
and jealousy and hatred abound. Political favors may be hard to come by, and a
Deryni may be faced with being made everyone's scapegoat when they need one.
And yet, there are benefits as well. Most noticable are the actual Deryni
powers. Other Deryni may be more likely to help you, for they too are in the
same position. And there are those looking to make changes, and heal this racial
I am not trying to dissuade anyone from playing a Deryni character, only to
apprise them of the facts of the setting. Being a PC will not insulate a
character who is a known Deryni from dealing with bias and prejudice, and this
warning is so that everyone knows what to expect. I don't want anyone surprised
by the treatment their Known Deryni gets, nor upset at being forced to solve
problems differently because an avenue is not open to them. I won't make it
unbearable for any character (or their players), but ignoring the politics and
beliefs of the times will ruin part of the feel of the setting, and make us all
wonder why we picked this one to use for the campaign.
Even if your character's Deryni nature is unknown, he is still at risk. He
must deal with hiding what he is, and thus won't have full range of flexibility
in using his Deryni powers. Family and friends are constantly at risk if he
accidently or knowingly allows the information to become public. He will have to
screen who to trust. It is a burden he will know for his whole life.
The campaign assumes at character start that your character's bloodline is
not known, but it hasn't necessarily been a big secret. That definition can be
detailed out in many ways, or changing through adopting the Gift of Hidden
Lineage or the Fault of Known Deryni.
Once you've decided that being Deryni fits your character concept (or decided
to build your concept around being Deryni), you need to determine your
character's pedigree, so to speak.
First, decide whether your character will be Trace, Half, or Full Deryni.
This determines some of the paramaters for your character's creation, as noted
below. It will also determine your standing with Deryni society as a whole.
While non-Deryni look at anyone with any signs of Deryni powers or Deryni blood
to be Deryni, certain segments of the Deryni themselves look at it differently.
For those concerned about such things, being less than full-blooded is a
"dilution" of the race and therefore less acceptable.
Now, not all bloodlines when traced fully out will neatly fit into three
definitions. Such as a half-Deryni father and a trace-Deryni mother, for
example. Just pick which ever fits closest to your vision of the character in
those cases. Remember, in the FUDGE Deryni game, the article on Deryni genetics
from High Deryni is not considered canon. Read Deryni
Genetics for more detail on how bloodline is determined in this game.
- Trace Blood: Somewhere in your background, there's enough Deryni
blood that you register a few powers and a little bit of power. It costs no
points to be Trace blooded. You gain a Power Attribute at any level you
choose, from Terrible to Mediocre.
- Half Breed: You are enough Deryni to show a decent amount of power,
but at least one of your parents was not full Deryni. It costs no points to be
a Half Deryni. You gain a Power Attribute of Mediocre, and may buy it up if
you desire. You may lower it as well, but you gain no points back for doing
- Full Blood: Both your parents were Full Blooded Deryni (or close
enough to it). You gain a bit of status among other Deryni who care about such
things, if they know of your lineage. It costs one Gift level to be Full
Deryni. You gain a Power Attribute at Fair, and may buy it up or down as
desired for normal costs.
Effects of Power Attribute on Deryni Skills
Power Level and Possible Skills
- Fair: Any Skills may be chosen.
- Mediocre: Shields, Mind Speech, Truth Reading (maybe), Handfire (maybe)
- Poor: Shields, Mind Speech (maybe)
- Terrible: Shields (maybe)
- Abysmal (Below Terrible): No Deryni Skills possible. A Human's effective
Notes on Power Level Effects
- You may always chose NOT to have any Deryni Skills listed (especially
those marked "maybe"), but removing them or lowering them is a character
concept related item, and you do not recieve buy-back points.
- Character Concept may always override the rules, if the GM likes it well
enough and feels it fits the campaign.
Starting Deryni Skills and Other Information
- A character can start with skills at higher level than Power with a
detailed background reason only.
- If you wish to have a starting Deryni skill (like Mind Speech) at higher
than power level, you must replace it with a skill slot gained from normal
character creation points. You do not recieve another skill in return.
(Example: Bob has a Fair Power. He wants Mind Speech of Good. Putting a
Point into the Deryni Skills Group gives him 4 Goods, one of which he can use
for Mind Speech, forgoing the bonus skill. He can't take another skill, like
Move Objects, in return for the lost bonus Mind Speech Fair).
- Healers gain Healing at their Power level. If Formally Trained, they gain
Healing at the higher of either Power or Arcane Lore.
- Without Formal Training, you may not take any Advanced Deryni Skills.
- Keep in mind that many Skills are related, and thought should be put into
choosing the skills for your Deryni. Frex, Healers may need Move Objects to
help them arrange broken bones and torn ligaments into place for easier
- Once again, character concepts can allow for a lifting of any of these
guidelines. Talk to the GM if there's any question to what is allowed.