Peter’s blog Monday, “Is a Kenku a race or a monster” made me think about the Neng, a creature/race in the “Artificial Beings” section of the Shadow WorldM Master Atlas. SW has a great many odd races: Hirazi, Jhordi, Kuluku, Quaidu, Synshari, so it always struck me that Neng could be moved to the race section and available as a PC choice. Terry in fact states that the Neng can breed/reproduce and qualify as a race.
The Neng were a creation of Kadaena (a more refined version of Shards)—thus the classification as “artificial”. But the Neng are Caucasian, with rough skin (similar to acne scarring), large bony hands, lean and averaging 5’7” to 7’ in height. Compared to some of the other races, the Neng sound downright average appearing! The Neng have two very special abilities: they can shoot acid via a tube in their tongues and they can turn objects or themselves invisible at will. For many GMs those abilities might be too unbalancing in a low level game?
As a “monster” Neng are stat’ed at 8th lvl with a base move of 90! Perhaps as a player choice the acid shooting becomes skill based and invisibility is tied to level by limiting times/day or duration? I think the acid spit is cool, the invisibility slightly problematic but interesting and the base rate is a bit much. I’ve never had a Neng as a PC, but I do like the concept of more defining racial abilities than just stat bonuses and physical appearance. I would rather inject special abilities via a race trait than as some arbitrary “talent” or “quirk” randomly rolled on a table.
Terry suggests that Kuluku might be unbalancing and GM’s should carefully consider allowing them as PC’s. Are Neng’s abilities more disruptive than the Kuluku? Although they are described as cruel and evil, would Neng work as a race in your SW campaign?