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The diversity of origins in Runeterra is immense, with the most numerous of these origins being that of humans, present in practically all places in the world, but they are not the only ones. There are many others such as the Yordles, creatures of diminutive size wrapped in an aura of legend and fae glamour, the Vastaya, humanoids with often chimerical animal traits, and even the strange and extremely rare Brackern, stone scorpions with hearts made of a extremely coveted crystal.
In game terms, the origins define part of the initial scenario of a character, numbers and attributes for your sheet and are usually a very important part of the history of a character, since they can define your origin and the difficulties you will face in your adventures.
The concept of the origins of Runeterra is very similar to that of races found in several RPG systems and universes, however we chose origin to bring, in addition to the biological component of the species, a load of history in Runeterra.
While there are many different creatures in Runeterra, they are not always part of a different origin, they are often part of a larger origin but have undergone major individual modifications whether in appearance, powers or even reconstruction. Warwick, for example, is a case of a chimerical creature, which, although originally human, can no longer be classified as such. The closest thing to a creature like him on a first look would be a modified Human, but still, that would only be a very superficial adaptation.
In addition to these cases, there are also more complex cases, such as those of Ascendants and Aspects, both of which are in their origin human who have undergone magical processes of power elevation. At least so far, we only know of humans who have gone through this process.
The two “origins” above are not part of the origins that will be here (at least for now) for the simple reason that they are extremely powerful entities and that would overbalance the balance of any RPG table.
In addition to these origins, there are also creatures from the Shadow Isles, which in general can be classified as undead, but which do not have a unit of cohesion so that they are all of the same origin.
Yes, Karthus may look a lot like a lich to those familiar with RPG settings, but the same is not true for Hecarim or even Thresh.
As these creatures are part of an “evil” side and represent villains in a certain way, at first we will not have rules available for building characters like this.
Characters like Anivia, Malphite, Brand, Mordekaiser, among others, do not reach the proposed power scaling level for players, especially beginners, being, within the rules of this book, initially unviable.
Some slightly more complex cases, such as a half-human, half-vastaya, are envisaged through a Variant Inheritance, however the most varied Origin stories can arise from the creative minds of the players. For this reason, it is necessary that at least some base Origins exist to guide any adaptation.
Is all this an absolute rule? No, the final decision is up to the master of the game table, he can very well choose to use an undead with good behavior that seeks the cure of his curse (as could be the case with Yorick), or he can define that his character can indeed be an Ascendant, leaving it up to him to build it and the balance of power necessary to have such a character on the table.
Can the other classic roleplaying game backgrounds like elves, dwarves, and orcs be used? Again the final word on this is the GM's. If he thinks it works for the table and makes the necessary adjustments, the final word is his.
Remember that this book is a work in constant transformation and updating, so new origins can be added and other origins with mechanical problems can be reformulated.
Choosing an Origin
As stated earlier, humans are the most numerous origin of Runeterra as we know it to date. Their origins are divided based on locality, making them share common characteristics with each other.
However, this is not enough for everyone to be equal. In Runeterra there are many ethnicities and, in some cases, there are different ethnicities that inhabit the same place, as is the case of Ionia, Shurima, Noxus and even Freljord.
Choosing an Origin affects many aspects of your character. This establishes fundamental characteristics of the composition that ultimately forms the “character”.
Not limited to skill and trait scores, origins carry some psychological traits, a history, and also limitations. One of these, for example, is the Vastaya, who, while they may exist throughout Runeterra, are unlikely to be native to Demacia.
Species and Not Origin
Also as stated earlier, there are often times in Runeterra that there are people or creatures that are unique, either because they were "created" by magic or some other process, or even because they were originally from an Origin and have been transformed.
The world of Runeterra has a myriad of Origins especially touched by the spirit world. It is known that magical energy from the spirit world affects the genetics of creatures, sometimes creating new variations (such as the Vastaya) that can be passed on to members of a given region.
Still, individuals who possess enough particularity to not be considered members of an Origin (or variant thereof) may still be considered members of that "original Origin".
The characteristics of each origin are described in this chapter, describing what is common to members who share the same origin. The following topics appear between the dashes in most origins.
Inheritance is the first trait of Origin, it represents the traits of your ancestors that became stronger in you. When choosing an Origin, it grants you an amount of Inheritance points that can be spent during character creation on some characteristic linked to the region or even to a specific Origin.
When choosing an Inheritance, you are saying what were the most important aspects in the creation and growth of your character, which genetic and environmental factors were predominant and ended up being touched upon, either by your training or by the conditions faced in life.
More details about Inheritances can be seen in Chapter 5: Customization.
A measure common to peoples of diverse origins is the years counted since the birth or conception of that individual. This measure serves mainly to define when this character reaches certain age ranges. When creating your character you can choose an age for him. This age may justify attributes, but it also helps to define what you've already gone through.
As for size, Origins in general share the same Medium size class which is between 4 and 8 feet, the only exceptions being the Yordle which is considered Small and the Troll which is considered Large. When the individual has a value outside this standard, this reflects in mechanics, whether they are to deal with a Small or Large creature. More details on this are in Chapter 9.
This value represents how fast and far you move whether traveling or in combat. More information on this can be found in Chapters 8 and 9.
The immensity of origins generates an even greater immensity of languages, tongues and dialects. In a reality like Runeterra's, with millennia of years of history, many of these languages were lost in time while others were maintained almost uninterruptedly. More details about the languages of Runeterra can be found in Chapter 4.
As members of a society, at some point in their life, each character has access to certain proficiencies based on their Origin, be they skills, proficiencies with specific weapons or even Crafts.
This characteristic reflects a common trait in that Origin and that is shared by the various members of the same, either because it is something actively taught or even a skill that is acquired indirectly during the growth and development of the personality in contact with the members of that Origin.
It is a fact that many Origins are endemic in some regions, however most of them are scattered across Runeterra, whether in different cities, settlements or even tribes. By defining your region, you are defining more than where you were born, but where you had your flowering as a person.
If you have lived in different regions, this choice is linked to which region affected you most deeply, perhaps it was exactly your homeland, or perhaps you were better welcomed in another region.
Region information can be found in Chapter 11: Runeterra, detailing which proficiencies you have access to by having that region as your default region.
Each Origin has its particularities. Some of them have certain abilities that flirt with magic. They are capabilities that often derive from contact with the purest arcane energy or even with different levels of depth in relation to the spiritual realm.
Sometimes these skills are the result of some specific physical condition of the creatures such as an amphibious ability or even a powerful pair of horns that can be used in combat.
Each Special Ability has its details and rules in particular. Sometimes, they can be amplified or modified (or even made present) through Inheritances.
Variation between origins is always present. Two members may even have many similar traits, but they end up having their differential. Some origins have subtle derivations that are hardly noticed by members of other origins, however some other derivations may be perceptibly different.
Lineages represent members who, although derived from an origin, have characteristics that set them apart, which can be simply cultural characteristics and sometimes even physiological.
The two origins with the most variations in Runeterra are the Humans (the most numerous) and the Vastaya. While among humans these lineages are usually derived from regions, in the case of the Vastaya it refers to their ancestors and parents, thus defining many of their traits and generally their tribe.