DX +3 (30 pts)
IQ +2 (20 pts)
Alertness +3 (15 pts)
Chameleon, 2 levels (20 pts)
Double Jointed (5 pts)
Night Vision (10 pts)
Silence, 2 levels (10 pts)
Code of Honor, Brownie Customs (-10 pts)
Brownies are small (1 foot shorter than a human of the same strength, weight is 5 pounds lighter than normal for their strength). Hair and eyes can be of any color, but tend to some shade of brown or tan. Complexions are from pale to darkly tanned many with freckles.
Curious (-5 pts)
Kleptomania (-15 pts)
Short Lifespan (-25 pts)
Self-Centered (-10 pts)
Reputation -2 - As a race of Compulsive Thieves (-10 pts)
Wanderlust (-10 pts)
Brownies are an energetic, adventurous and intensely competitive race. They enjoy new places, new people and new experiences. In spite of their love of action, they can be very patient, waiting intently and motionlessly for hours until something happens.
Among the Brownies, petty theft is a way to establish one's status in the community. They will compulsively pilfer from other races. Juveniles will grab and run; adults, on the other hand, will use stealth, slight-of-hand, misdirection and quick fingers. The Brownie word for "growing up" translates as "learning stealth."
Brownie thievery is not intended to gain wealth (unless the Brownie is a criminal), but is an instinctive attempt to show cleverness and establish social dominance. They will return a stolen item if asked, because this forces the owner to acknowledge that the Brownie took it! Brownies always watch each other carefully, and a Brownie will often let a thief keep a valuable item rather than admit it was stolen!
Individuals of other races who deal regularly with the Brownies soon learn to request their property be returned after every contact. Brownies will become angry and defensive if confronted rudely, but a polite request - usually including a compliment to the thieves prowess - will work every time. Comments along the lines of "What did you get this time Quickgrab? Hmmm, thanks. Nice haul," are appreciated. Catching a Brownie in the act will add to his respect for the catcher, provided the thief isn't threatened or berated. A remark like "Ops, I saw that one Quickgrab," will not upset the Brownie, but would instead impress him with the watcher's perceptiveness. The Brownies know perfectly well that their ways are unusual and different, but they don't see any reason or need to change.
Retailers and others who have to deal with large numbers of Brownies, who must control pilferage, will usually leave out cheap but useful or attractive items in a conspicuous place. Law-abiding Brownies will recognize such items and politely confine their pilferage to these offerings. With a good reaction such law-abiding Brownies will usually buy something from the merchant, leaving a tip equal to or exceeding the amount of the pilfered item(s).
As a rule, most Brownies place little value on social status - the individual's position in the society as a whole. Rather, they are interested in individual dominance - scoring "points" on whomever they happen to meet, on an individual basis.
Brownies traditionally establish domination through pilferage, argument and battle - in that order. Wealth and political power also enter into the equation, but not to the extent found in other cultures. Consequently a randomly - assembled group of Brownies will be a remarkable fractious bunch for awhile, until a pecking order is established. Likewise, a Brownie will often adopt a "chip-on-the-shoulder" attitude when meeting a lot of new non-Brownies. It is best, when first introduced to a Brownie, to be formal and very firm, at first. After a few days everyone will have a place in the Brownie's domination hierarchy and things will relax.
Because of the Brownie's relaxed attitude towards the concept of property, many turn to the extralegal professions. Brownie criminals generally tend to avoid entanglements with organized crime, most preferring to work for themselves. As might be expected, Brownies make excellent shoplifters, pickpockets and cat burglars.
The Brownie worldview is focused on the here and now, with little time for what the humans refer to as the "higher" and "finer" things in life. Brownie art and literature are rare, somewhat primitive and obscure. Brownies love to dance and many play a musical instrument. There are many Brownie storytellers and bards.
Brownies have no use for philosophy and seldom become sages. Those few that do become scholars inevitably prefer fieldwork and exploring to lab or research at a desk. There are some Brownie mages, but most do not become "Archmages," being more in line with hedge-wizards, knowing a few to a dozen or so useful spells. Brownies seem to have little religious consciousness and are almost always agnostics.
Generally Brownies have a good sense of humor and enjoy practical jokes and tricks played on others. If insulted or feeling slighted, a Brownie may track and bedevil an individual or party for a time, until the Brownie feels that he or they have suffered enough.
Brownies culture is diffuse and anarchistic. There is no social organization beyond the immediate family. Brownies are nomadic by nature. Most Brownies establish a territory or migratory route and confine their wanderings to that route in a repeated cycle that could take up to twenty years. Other Brownies wander further afield alone or in a group, in a random manner, with no goal other than to see how far they can get and how much they can see before they die. Consequently, Brownies are enthusiastic travelers, and most will seldom stay in one place for more than a few years at a time.
Brownie courtship is involved and entertaining process. The female is generally the aggressor, pursuing the male of her choice for several months to several years. The female generally piles her chosen with gifts of food, toys and useful items. Eventually the male will reciprocate a female's gift: at that time the two are considered a couple ("engaged" in human terms). Once mated, a Brownie couple will never split up. Even if one member of the pair dies, the other will not take a new mate.
All Brownie disputes are settled between individuals. The usual pattern is for the aggrieved party to engage the offender in a loud and demonstrative argument in front of the entire families of both individuals. The first Brownie to turn away from the dispute looses. If shouting doesn't work, the disagreement will progress to a ritual combat consisting of more shouting and posturing, punctuated by light slaps, pinches and shoving matches, the first one knocked down losses. Such "combat" almost never results in serious injury.
If the pushed down individual refuses to concede he may formally challenge his foe to a duel, usually too first blood. Generally whoever draws first blood is accepted as the winner. If one or both individuals in the duel are killed, the dead are collected and at dawn of the next day the two families are considered to be feuding.
While the vast majority of Brownie disputes are settled through the domination process, it is not very uncommon for two Brownies to fight to the death, and/or for two Brownie family clans to engage in a deadly feud to the last individual. Such feuds are completely different from dominance combat. Hunting Brownies - whether they are hunting animals or enemies - are patient, stealthy and nearly completely silent. When a Brownie strikes to kill he strikes quickly and mercilessly. Fortunately, because of the lack of any type of centralized authority in Brownie society, disputes any more widespread than the family feud is rare indeed.
It should be noted that Brownie clans have gone to feud with non-Brownie individuals, families and even kingdoms!.
Pilferage is a social mechanism to avoid open disputes, much like friendly insults among human males. If a Brownie has proved his domination through clever thefts, he is less likely to ever be openly challenged.
The Brownies are considered by many learned sages to be a young race that developed rapidly due to the race's inventiveness and skills, then their culture came to an abrupt halt due to the Brownie's inability to organize and cooperate.
Brownie cuisine has become popular among several other mammalian races, including humans, halflings, the dwarves and even to an extent, to the orcs, all of whom find Brownie food simple but savory.
Brownies grow rapidly, reaching majority at age 13. At age 37 Brownies make aging rolls every 9 months. At age 52, Brownies make aging rolls every 4 months and at age 67 every 2 months. Brownies mate once and for life, usually before their 20th year. Brownie unions will usually produce young about every other year. Most often a Brownie couple will produce between 8 and 12 young.
BROWNIES IN THE CAMPAIGN
The most obvious use for Brownies is as thieves, but they can be so much more. Brownies make a good PC race, with their low racial cost, their aggressive and active personalities and their versatility. A Brownie will fit in with almost any party, but they are particularly suited for situations where stealth and attentiveness are important.
Brownies should be considered by the kind of player who likes to make things happen, who wants to investigate everything and go everywhere and who's not addicted to the violent solution.
Brownies should not get into the "I'm only a thief" rut. Players should look at other options - Brownies could make interesting rangers, scouts, spies, bards, warriors or even mages. But whatever their profession, they'll still steal things and "not hear" obnoxious orders.
Brownies are often nuisances, clever, aggressive and insatiably curious - they are a lot like some 10 or 11 year old kids, only more capable. A Brownie will want to see and try everything. If adventuring looks like it might be a fun and an interesting thing to try, then a Brownie might decide to become an adventurer and hook up with the first bunch of adventurers to wander by - and he may not bother to ask permission first.
Brownies make good Allies and good Enemies. A Brownie might be a friendly enemy - a swashbuckling sort who keeps showing up to foil the party's plans and steal the gold and glory for himself, then swinging off with a grin and a jaunty wave - or a very silent, efficient assassin who wants to see his enemy very DEAD.
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