1.2.2 -- Notes on Deryni Characters

Playing 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 war.

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.

Effects of Power Attribute on Deryni Skills

Starting Deryni Skills and Other Information