Interspecies reproduction

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Bonhumm
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Interspecies reproduction

Post by Bonhumm » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:11 pm

As far as I know, there is no canon reference in Earthdawn on whether different races can or cannot have children together.

I had always assumed it was something similar to Shadowrun (no half-races, an offspring of a multiracial couple would have a 50% chance of being either race).

However, I stumbled recently on a website (which I cant find back) that stated, as if it was a fact, that there was no such thing in Earthdawn since the level of magic was much higher and therefore the 'genetic gateway' (i.e. the fact that everyone USED to be humans) is too far in the past.

I was wondering if this was based on anything canon or if that person had just deduced/pulled it out of his butt.

P.S. I, of course, refer to the possible offspring of couples made of humans, elves, dwarves, orks and trolls. I doubt very much, one way or another, that t'skrang would be biologically compatible with any other races, Obsidimen are asexual and there is some serious issues in bringing winglings into this.

Comments or relevant sources anyone?

Thank you.

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Mataxes
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Re: Interspecies reproduction

Post by Mataxes » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:30 am

As far as I'm concerned, reproduction between Name-giver races works pretty much as you describe.

The essay you're referring to is likely taking a comment from the original Earthdawn rulebook (in the Major Races of Barsaive chapter, under the heading "Kinship Between the Races") that "Theran scholars... believe that the current high level of magic increases the differences between the races."

As far as relevant sources, I think there may have been a comment in the original Throal sourcebook (and possibly included in the updates of later editions) that a member of a prominent dwarf family had an ork child by an ork father and it was covered up. I can't put my hands on it right at the moment though.

But, honestly, it isn't something that is discussed much (if at all) in official materials.
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Spader
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Re: Interspecies reproduction

Post by Spader » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:00 am

Books of Cara Fahd from former editions speak of towns inhabited with orks and humans where cross breeding is common and where offsprings are half-breed. If memory serves...

Slimcreeper
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Re: Interspecies reproduction

Post by Slimcreeper » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:14 am

I really think they are one or the other. If that’s not the case it’s gonna seriously mess my head canon. There is an ork scorcher in the Throal book described as overly pretty and who is particularly brutal to elves. It was implied to my mind that he was the offspring of an ork and an elf, with probably not a great childhood.

Bonhumm
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Re: Interspecies reproduction

Post by Bonhumm » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:12 am

The only thing I could find that sounded like this was the section about the Two-Hands Tribe that states that the Rumbling Dust had been marrying with Galeb-Kleck humans.

However it also says that: the children of such mating were largely ork but they had adopted many human customs (such as keeping a single mate and mourning of the deads) and treated their human relatives as equals.

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Mataxes
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Re: Interspecies reproduction

Post by Mataxes » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:21 am

Spader wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:00 am
Books of Cara Fahd from former editions speak of towns inhabited with orks and humans where cross breeding is common and where offsprings are half-breed. If memory serves...
"Half-breed" can be used as a cultural put-down without there being any mechanical half-races -- kind of a "no true Scotsman" thing where the children aren't seen as "pure" for whatever reason.

It's kind of shitty -- but, well, people, ya know?
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