When it comes to tabletop RPGs since I have never been great at creating rules content and balancing, I usually stick to the story and campaign design. But, since I have been challenged to create, I will take to adapting some great fantasy into D&D rules. The greatest universe right now that I can think of that captures the strange and fantastic in a new way is Rick and Morty. If you are unfamiliar, Rick and Morty is an animated show about a mad scientist and his grandson traveling through the galaxy and going on all kinds of strange adventures. There is one planet in particular that I would like to delve into today and that is the planet Squanch.
The beauty of this universe is that nothing is ever really explained in detail, you just meet characters, learn a little about them, and the story will just move on. One great example is a character named Squanchy who lives on the planet Squanch. He is a small cat-like creature who has the ability to temporarily transform into a hulking beast. Personally, I think this is a perfect base for a playable race so let’s get right into it starting with ability scores. Squanchy is a small cat-like animal so a natural starting place for him would be a bonus to dexterity so we’ll set that at a +2. For a secondary ability, Squanchy is known to be an alcoholic and drug user and, as it usually works with all of the other races in the galaxy, we’ll assume his people all like to engage in the party lifestyle so let’s give him a +2 bonus to constitution as well.
As for secondary statistics let’s look at some context clues from his world. It looks like all members of his race stand around three feet tall so the size is going to be small but their cat features would balance out height and speed so I would keep his speed at 30 feet. The cat features, as well as finding him hiding in a closet in one episode, are enough to allow for dark vision. Finally, I would like to look at the special ability for this class. Rather than give him the dwarven iron stomach, something his race would definitely need, we’re going to give him the twice-per-day ability to transform. This will take an action but will instantly give him temporary hit points equal to half of his maximum hit point value as temporary hit points, he will have advantage on all strength checks, and he will gain the ability to treat his unarmed attacks as a weapon that does 1d8 slashing damage.
The second race I want to look into in this universe doesn’t have a name on the show, as far as I can find, but has one main character by the name of Krombopulos Michael who is a master assassin as well as a large insectoid creature. Krombopulos is shown to have extreme dexterity so we’ll start off with a +2 to dex and he seems to be able to network with people so let’s give him a +2 to charisma. While the parts of his body are insect, he is still mostly humanoid in shape so size is going to be medium and he is seen to have many facets to his eyes. I don’t want this to manifest as a certain kind of vision but I do want him to be a good killer so let’s say that he has advantage while using perception to detect a creature. Finally, he swings and jumps long distances so he will gain racial proficiency to the acrobatics skill.
Hopefully, this gives you some kind of insight into how I make up new things for my campaign; I base things on something that is known and try to draw natural conclusions to create the rules. Some of these rules may cause balance in the game but that’s ok, we can always adjust the bonuses and the abilities after play testing. In any case, I have some great ideas for an upcoming campaign.