Hirazi. Race or Monster?

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I recently wrote on my blog topic “Race or Monster” and discussed the Krylites in Shadow World. Like the blog previous to that on the Neng, I wanted to explore the suitability of non PC races for use as player characters. Given that racial stats are provided for virtually all humanoid creatures, it doesn’t seem a stretch, even if playing a “monster” creates in-game social issues.

This time around I wanted to discuss an actual Shadow World race that may be ill-suited for PCs: the Hirazi. Here is some data from the Atlas:


  1. No professional limitations.
  2. Large, muscular humans, with wide shoulders to support their wing structures.
  3. Their bones are hollow, their lungs are huge, and their muscles have a
    unique structure which makes them very light.
  4. This race is rather fragile.
  5. Their fabulous wings are covered with plush white feathery hairs like those of a bird—vary in color from blue to white to gold, often a shimmering combination of the above.
  6. A Híraz may fly at up to 30 mph for short periods (1 min/con pt)
  7. They may acquire skill in gliding and travel for hours on thermals.
  8. An adult Híraz can carry up to about half his/her weight for short distances at half-speed

Having a winged humanoid is interesting, but not only could it be potentially unbalancing, but the player would be severely limited in a variety of environments. In fact, when you examine their flying ability, they have some short-comings there as well. So they don’t seem very good underground, underwater, in cities, in small confined spaces and can’t really fly fast or for very long….

I’ve never used Hirazi in my SW campaigns. Not as PCs, NPCs or even as window dressing. So what’s everyone’s opinion?

6 Replies to “Hirazi. Race or Monster?”

  1. A Hirazi was a player character in a campaign I GMed.
    We all agreed to oversee if the flying part got out of hand, but since she was an Air Elementalist, flying was even more useful using spells most of the time, and could also affect the rest of the party.

    Because of the campaign focus, it was not normally an issue that a winged woman had just entered town. They mostly kept to barren lands, underground, and places filled with lore, so that one of that race was the least of their problems. Also the campaign revolved around a continent practically engulfing itself and the elemental powers going crazy, who had time to see who has wings? The other party members were Shuluri and Vorloi if that helps. Also the Hirazi died and the player used a Dyari while the campaign deviated to devise a way to revive her. And then she played both characters during the final sessions. Maybe I went a little off track there.

    Then we played using the Emer III book, where they could have gone for a Hirazi but chose not to, and had a constant interaction with them just as if that was another town. Also underwater shuluri, you should go there with your next post.

    1. Yes, like Voriig I don’t really see the wings as too problematic. Yes, winged characters can be unbalancing, but I think more so in D&D (where casting Fly costs spell slots) than in Rolemaster, at least in the editions of Rolemaster where spell points are more plentiful, because as Voriig notes you can get better flight options with spells.

      I think RMU does a good job of trying to balance flight by making it have a specific cost (for the racial talent of flying), and by balancing it with the extra damage (+1 size) that attacks against the Hirazi get due to their hollow bone structure.

    2. A Shuluri, Vorloi and Hirazi…that sounds cool! (and the opening of a joke btw). As far as Shuluri, I expanded on the race in Priest-King, so there are actual 3 racial types of Mermen. Sorry, I had a senior moment and equater shuluri with mermen!

      1. I look forward to more on the Shuluri. By the way, where specifically does Priest King take place? I might try to work it into the new campaign.

        A Shuluri, a Vorloi, and a Hirazi each walk into a bar. The Shuluri asks for water. The Vorloi asks for anything in a jade cup. The Hirazi flies up and wrecks the GM’s encounter.

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