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The 25-year-old human prince of a 50-year-old small nation (total population maybe 100,000 spread out in a rather large valley among settlements no larger than 5,000 creatures each) is looking to secure the goodwill of his neighbors. Marrying into a local family or tribe is the plan, but producing offspring to perpetuate the monarchy—therefore the alliance—is necessary for the kingdom's safety.

However, the creatures nearby can't typically produce offspring with humans. These include…

  • a band of bugbears (MM 29),
  • a band of halflings (MM 149-50),
  • a clan of dwarves (MM 91-3),
  • a cluster of beholders (MM 26-7) and their slaves,
  • a colony of aranea (MM 15),
  • a covey of green hags (MM 143-4) and its giant and ogre minions,
  • a flock of cloakers (MM 36),
  • a tribe of centaurs (MM 32),
  • a tribe of locathah (MM 169-70), and
  • a tribe of pixies (MM 236).

plus assorted other high fantasy power groups. (Yeah, I know—looking at the above list sometimes it's not all that good to be the prince!)

The prince is level 2 paladin, planning to end up as something like paladin 4/crusader the rest. He'll have get-by ranks in the skill Use Magic Device, but he'll have access to his retinue of a single-classed cleric, rogue, wizard, and druid… and a kingdom at his disposal. The prince also has time—there's currently no pressure to wed and reproduce (well, no more than on any prince, anyway), so now's the time to worry this out.

Additional binds

  • The term offspring is deliberately broad. Ideally, the offspring should be the product of both parents somehow. Outright duplication of either parent is permitted if A) the resultant creature can be raised from infancy (likely having no class levels), and B) the resultant creature remains capable of individual advancement by level or Hit Dice (e.g. it needn't take the classes its father took, it needn't have the same Hit Dice its mother had). (Hence the 8th-level Sor/Wiz spell simulacrum [illus] (PH 279-80) as printed is ill-suited for this purpose.)
  • For breeding purposes changing shape is suspect; if form integrity must be violated to perpetuate the aristocracy, a method of proving the resultant offspring's parentage should also be provided.
  • The campaign uses traditional fantasy monarchies because that's the trope and what's expected. Adoption, while an interesting prospect and historically accurate in the real world, is certainly a solution, but has issues that need addressing. For example, a way to assuage the kingdom's fear that they'll live ever after under beholder domination were the prince and his beholder bride to adopt a baby beholder and declare it the prince's virtual firstborn.
  • While the prince is progressive enough to consider breeding outside his species, the kingdom hasn't embraced polygyny. However, the prince would like the widest variety of options. Finding a way for him to breed with a specific handful of the above creatures (or vice versa) rather than a general way to breed with all of them is interesting, but general answers are preferred.

Using any official sources except epic spells or an effect like the 9th-level Sor/Wiz spell wish [univ] (PH 302-3) et al. and by following the above binds, how can the prince secure his kingdom's future by producing offspring with a creature with whom the prince can't normally breed?

Please, for sanity and propriety, avoid anatomical details and play-by-play commentaries. Cast spell A, use magic item B, and dim the lights is more than sufficient, and if offspring can result with Cast spell A, use magic item B and no light dimming, even better. Advise the prince as to how to spawn an heir with the creature he married the language of class features, feats, magic items, spells, and other family-friendly, suitably vague methods.

(Updated substantially May 11, 2015; be kind to answers with earlier dates.)

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13 Answers 13

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If you're willing to borrow a fairly reasonable half-breed from Pathfinder you can get 6/10 for sure, probably 7/10, and maybe all of them without any magic or unpleasantness at all (for you).

Step 1: Get in good with the Green Hags.

Yah, this doesn't sound like a very good idea. Hags in general "are horrible creatures whose love of evil is equalled only by their ugliness" (Monster Manual, 2003). They also "may turn on their master if they see a chance to seize power for themselves" and "do evil for its own sake". So basically, by just considering this you've already lost your Paladin levels.

Fortunately for Our Hero, Green Hags are definitely the most attractive of the bunch (of the hags, that is), lacking both the Horrific Appearance (Ex) of the Sea Hag and the Rend (Ex) and Rake (Ex) abilities of the Annis (not to mention her 325 pound weight). Given the description, this means they must also be the least evil, not that that means you get your Paladin levels back.

The main issue at this step is that the hag or hags might just decide to kill and eat you or otherwise not cooperate in this whole procreating business. Assuming you (you are the prince) figure out some way either to woo yourself into a hag's actual good graces or temporarily defuse the various attempts she makes on your life, mind, soul and kingdom long enough to produce a child, we can continue. Like all hags, Green Hags can cast disguise self at will. They also have a 14 base Cha and a 12 base Dex.

Step 2: Raising Your Daughter

The child is a changeling. Changelings are clever and comely, good traits in future Princesses. They also aren't inherently evil, which is good if you still care about that. Changelings grow up fast, and hit adulthood at age 15, just like humans.

Step 3: Profit

If you talked your GM into letting you keep your paladin levels from before (or got an atonement), you're losing them now. Your daughter can definitely reproduce with the Bugbears, Halflings, Dwarves, Centaurs, and Locathah. ("Depending on the race of her father, a changeling can resemble any type of humanoid, including dwarves, gnomes, and even orcs and goblins.") She can probably reproduce with the Aranea (From Change Shape: "The first is a unique Small or Medium humanoid"). She might be able to reproduce with the Pixie, Cloaker, and Beholder, depending on your definition of 'man' ("When a hag of any sort conceives a child with a man, the result is a changeling").

Because her mother was a Green Hag, she even "gains a +2 racial bonus on Bluff checks against creatures that are sexually attracted to her".

Step 4: Plan B

If, for some reason, your GM rules that beholders and such are a bit much, it's time to step up the game. You do have a Cleric, so have him call up a succubus with Lesser Planar Ally (you'll have to get one's true name, but that shouldn't be too hard. You could settle for whatever demon/devil his deity feels like at the time, but you really want your side to be the female, so you have custody of the offspring until it's born and nothing fishy happens. This is in fact the entire point of using Planar Ally, if you're ok with the other race having initial custody, you could do it with Summon Monster II for a Lemure, combined with some caster level boosts for duration and something to make the other party agree to this). Fiends can breed with any non-good creature (MM p. 147), so this nets you the beholders (at the cost of there now being half-fiend beholders in the world) and the cloakers.

Step 5: Plan B, Part 2

This leaves only the pixies, who are neutral good, beyond the reach of your unholy alliance. Have your wizard craft a Helm of Opposite Alignment, kidnap the Queen of the Pixies, stick it on her, and proceed as above. Or summon demons to tempt the pixies into evil. Or whatever.

Step 6: Receive Obeisance

You are by now King of a nation (you did off your older brother during this, right?) whose grandchildren rule each of the surrounding nations. If you can somehow keep your children loyal to your lineage and otherwise under your heel, you have consolidated control of the entire region once your grandchildren take over the leadership roles of their respective societies. At this point you can turn your attention outward, sending your daughter and other emissaries to nearby humanoid lands, while you continue to enjoy the spoils and dowries of 10 tiny nations. Make sure you keep that rogue around, though: those hags are gonna backstab you sooner or later.


All of the above is doable without access to changelings or, technically, evil summoning spells. You could instead mass produce helms of opposite alignment and convert the princesses of the neighboring nations to the side of good as needed, summoning a Lantern Archon (4th level spell) instead of a Lemure, or calling a Bralani instead of a succubus. Even if you do this, however, if I was your GM I'd seriously investigate your justifications/reasoning because you are basically raping the leaders of every surrounding country in order to use your shared offspring for your own political gain. If you can somehow diplomatically generate consent from the ruling parties of all 10 of your neighbors, then that's a different story, but several of them (hags, beholders) seem to have evil as a part of their essence. I doubt your ability to accomplish this and remain LG Pal 4, Crusader X, but I suppose it is possible.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I love this answer, not just because it actually does what's asked but because it's also like splitting the atom: You're unleashing forces the second- and third-order consequences of which you can't possibly comprehend! :D \$\endgroup\$ – Smithers Dec 4 '14 at 21:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Step 4, Plan B makes claims about, or alludes to, a number of uncited facts. In particular, where does “Fiends can breed with any non-good creature,” come from? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 20 '18 at 12:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan any others? (citation added). \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Jun 11 '18 at 22:01
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One option is to go with the model of the Holy Roman Empire. Instead of symbolic marriage to one of the tribes, allow some of the tribes to be "electors" to determine the next emperor of the realm. Therefore, by giving specific and real power of self-determination to these tribes (obviously only the most important get to be electors), it's far more than a symbolic act of marrying one of them. Election stipulations may be hammered out, but it boils down to "you get a voice about the next emperor, so we kind of have to listen to you and not piss you off too badly."

Beyond this point, we're moving into "a wizard did it" territory.

The first option is to, as part of an immortal monarchy embrace the benefits of the "side effects" of last breath to reincarnate into arbitrary creatures. Make this a symbolic "shedding of the skin" every n years.

I'd honestly recommend this in combination with the elective monarchy above, as it creates a useful "veil of ignorance" for imperial policies. It's probably not too far a stretch to research a modified Last Breath spell to fit the races of the princes of this little empire.

Savage Species, has the "Ritual of Association" which grants the character targeted a "racial subtype or type modifier" (barring humanoid subtypes, which are special). It's quite "reasonable" to rule that this ritual also makes the character interfertile with the species in question, and will breed true to that species. It's also relatively low-cost and low-impact, so it won't have a HD or LA adjustment.

Beyond this point, we can fall back on tradition, and the reason for bugbears ("a wizard did it.") And simply say that we can extrapolate rituals from these to allow semi-racial traits to breed true. You can then use the Half-Fey (fiend folio) template to represent the child of the "union."

From a rather "evil" (it's harder to call it evil if it's consensual, but your mileage may vary, based on your alignment rules in your game), the BoVD spell "absorb mind" transfers some portion of memories and knowledge of the mind-eaten to the mind-eater. Combine this with adoption and the willing of the not-quite-living-brains to the children, and you can get a heredity of thought. Based on your game's ideas of cognition and the soul, this same process may be accomplished while still living by the clone spell. But that's sketchy. On the vein of "sketchy", if both parents contribute a "mind seed" (via hiring the services of a very high level psion and sufficient mind-switches to pull this off) to a newborn... It's reasonable to presume that this combination of psyches will share traits from both parents? (Except for the detail that the same spell can't be used against the same person in the same way, so we're well into the realm of DM house rulings. Maybe research a "non-evil" mind seed to be used in this fashion with a newborn and a pair of parents?)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I was going to offer an answer based on "perpetuation by covenant" but this fulfills that method. +1 \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 11 '18 at 18:01
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To complement Brian's answer, you could use as a model the other, first Roman Empire, where emperors adopted their heirs, sometimes to great success. For example, Julius adopted Augustus, Nerva adopted Trajan, who adopted Hadrian, who adopted Antoninus Pius.

You could have the ruler ask for hostages from the local tribes, raise them in the court, and choose from them the best successor.

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    \$\begingroup\$ For that matter, Julius adopted Augustus. The Roman Empire is a great example of a pseudo-hereditary power structure. We tend to think that nobility was always passed down from fathers to sons, but in certain periods of history that was the exception rather than the rule (especially Medieval Europe where family lines were unstable due to power struggles, war and disease, affairs were celebrated in culture as romantic, and true paternity was difficult to test). I'd be amazed if the "prince" in the original question was actually his father's son. \$\endgroup\$ – MEP Dec 4 '14 at 20:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Requires a loose reading of "producing offspring," but has the advantage of being possibly the least objectionable of the nightmare-fuel answers to this question. \$\endgroup\$ – Smithers Dec 4 '14 at 23:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Smithers thing is, it was a common reading of "producing offspring" in ancient history and medieval times. \$\endgroup\$ – Adriano Varoli Piazza Dec 5 '14 at 23:52
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The straightforward approach, using Polymorph.

Siring an heir

Step 1: The new princess-in-law comes to live with the prince in whatever castle/fort/manor/etc he resides in. This should be moderately luxiurious, to house two members of nobility, and importantly must not contain any members of the princess's own race unless they are completely above suspicion of being inclined to produce heirs with the princess. Wait to proceed to step 3 until you are reasonably sure that the princess is not currently with child.

Step 2: Obtain the spell Polymorph. This can either be by getting the court wizard to a high enough level that he can just cast it directly, or by purchasing a scroll he can cast from. You might need a couple of scrolls, depending on the fertility of the royal pair.

Step 3: The wizard casts Polymorph on the prince, altering him to the form of a male of the princess's race. Dim the lights; quickly, since the spell only lasts a minute per caster level. (Anecdotally from some friends of mine who'd know, this is plenty of time for some princes.)

Step 4: Repeat step 3 as needed. Keep the princess reasonably well observed, but legitimacy is almost assured- Nobody else in the castle besides the "above suspicion" handmaidens she brought would be capable of siring an heir with her without the aid of the wizard. As long as you trust your wizard, you should be good.

Troubleshooting

Thoroughly check out the princess's handmaidens, if any. Someone trying to throw a monkey wrench in your plans may slip another potential partner in with them, possibly with polymorph tricks of their own.

This plan assumes that the princess-in-law's race reproduces in a humanish manner; two partners, a not terribly long gestation period, etc. Polymorph should let you reproduce as they do before returning to your own form. If the big picture doesn't work like humans (I have no idea how the birds and the beholders work, and I'm not keen to find out) then the prince may have to have the bride run through things for him.

The resultant heir might not be male (which is historically a problem, though it might not be for your world) and will certainly be of the bride's race. The heir is however of the bloodline of both kingdoms. If they are going to be ruling the prince's race however, I recommend using Polymorph Any Object to ensure that whatever they were born as, they stay as the prince's race. The child and the desired race are almost certainly the same kingdom, probably the same intelligence or size if you do it at the right age category, and arguably related. That gets you a permanent duration. If you can do this soon enough after birth and your civilization does want male rulers, I suggest fixing this with Polymorph Any Object as well.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "... the prince may have to have the bride run through things for him." Recommend roleplaying this conversation after several alcoholic beverages... \$\endgroup\$ – Smithers Dec 4 '14 at 23:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ellesedil I'd assume conception works just fine but something unfortunate happens to a human fetus if carried to term in a beholders body. It might not fail- we are in a fantasy- but it seemed safer to dodge the question by having the male change shape. \$\endgroup\$ – IgneusJotunn Dec 6 '14 at 18:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Using polymorph on our paladin isn't going to work. Anything being detached from the polymorphed body returns to the original form, including you-guessed-what. And the original form of that is not going to work, per the querent's assumption of those creatures being not able to sire a son with a human. Ellesedil's suggestion works better (was it changelings that can't change sex during pregnancy if they don't want to lose the baby?) \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel May 10 '15 at 18:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel Are you sure about the detachable polymorph thing? I know that alternate form (hence lycanthropes) have special rules for detaching body parts, yet... I don't think I can continue; I don't know if I want details of excreting during a long-term polymorph. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 11 '15 at 14:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Well I guess it's for lost limbs and ritual-usable blood and hair. Polymorph says nothing on the matter so we need to look at alter self, which has: "Any part of the body or piece of equipment that is separated from the whole reverts to its true form." \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel May 12 '15 at 11:08
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Perhaps a bit offtopic but I think that it's interesting that you don't need an actual offspring but just persuade (almost) everyone that there is an actual offspring. Of course this depends on whether it's a known fact that the species cannot interbreed although you could have an official explanation based on royal blood or destiny.

This leads to a variety of (imo) very interesting stories. Who planned it? Who knows? Should the players uncover the truth and start a war or leave Joffrey on the throne?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You're right, of course, that if magic's powerful enough to create offspring, it's certainly powerful enough to leave folks convinced that a legitimate offspring's been created. Then again, there's probably magic powerful enough to detect that convincing taken place, too. That's a big risk... probably too big. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 4 '14 at 14:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan well, the power of magic required depends on how convinced the people are that the races cannot interbreed normally. This would depend on the setting (for example, there could be legends of fays abducting humans and having children with them like irl) \$\endgroup\$ – user15987 Dec 4 '14 at 16:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ You don't need magic to convince people to believe in crazy things. Who says you can't convince a population that you've made a bugbear-human hybrid (that looks a lot like one, but not so much the other)? You don't need magic to lie convincingly. And people who know (or suspect) the truth? There's way to deal with them (buy them off or just off them). There's a lot less true blood heredity in the history of real world nobility than you think. Actual heritage very rarely got in the way of a good deal. \$\endgroup\$ – MEP Dec 4 '14 at 20:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ This. Your prince should have a Bluff skill. Use it. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Dec 4 '14 at 20:59
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I'm not 100% sure how legit this link is by Otogi, but http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?100736-3-5-List-of-Half-Breeds has a list of all the half breeds. The link also tells you what book this information would be in as well so all of it can possibly be confirmed.

It appears you can do Dwarf, Ogre, Beholder, and unless I'm mistaken Kender are essentially just the Dragonlance/Krynn version of halflings.

Base

Half-Ogres (Human/Ogre) - Races of Destiny, Savage Species, Bastards & Bloodlines

Decatuar (Elf/Centaur) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Muls (Human/Dwarf) - Dark Sun 3.5

Feytouched (Humanoid/Half-Fey) - Fiend Folio

Half-Bugbear (Elf/Bugbear) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Lasher (Dwarf/Roper) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Lurker (Gnome/Cloaker) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Spring Child (Humanoid/Dryad) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Trixie (Gnome/Pixie) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Watcher (Dwarf/Gargoyle) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Wendigo (Dwarf/Frost Wolf) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Wretch (Orc/Hag) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Wyrd (Elf/Ogre Mage) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Zenthyir (Human/Half-Lawful?) - Monster Manual II

Maeluth (Dwarf/Devil) - Fiend Folio

Half-Kender (Human/Kender) - Dragonlance Campaign Setting

Template

Half-Dragons (Anything/Dragon) - Monster Manual

Half-Fey (Anything/Fey) - Fiend Folio

Half-Rakshasa (Anything/Rakshasa) - Dragon Magazine, Bastards & Bloodlines

Half-Beholder (Anything/Beholder) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Someone let me know if I shouldn't have copied the info from the link over or if I should only have brought the relevant info over.

Muls (Human/Dwarf) - Dark Sun 3.5

Half-Ogres (Human/Ogre) - Races of Destiny, Savage Species, Bastards & Bloodlines

Half-Beholder (Anything/Beholder) - Bastards & Bloodlines

Half-Kender (Human/Kender) - Dragonlance Campaign Setting

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer I put those back. Man I just fail at editing. Was trying to do it quickly... Hopefully I didn't remove other important ones. \$\endgroup\$ – dphil Dec 4 '14 at 21:55
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The luck of the fey

This answer is extremely close; you need only get progeny that can interbreed with any of the listed races in order to have a long-term dynasty.

Enter the Half-Fey template (Fiend Folio, p89-90)

The magical nature of fey allows them to crossbreed with virtually any other creature..."Half-fey" is an inherited template that can be applied to any living corporeal creature. The creature's type changes to fey.

Our not-so-hapless Prince now need only make his alliance with the pixies, and his heirs can continue the dynasty with any or all of the listed races, and then some. And the product of those unions will also be of the fey type, no matter what they breed with, barring dragons, celestials or fiends.

Making the Prince do the 'dirty work'

To make it so that our prince can directly breed with all of the above creatures, and so satisfy the requirements, he need only gain the Unseelie Fey template (Dragon Magazine Compendium, p222-223, LA +0, not listed as inherited or acquired, applicable to any living creature, changes type to fey) via a Ritual of Vitality (Savage Species, p150). Total cost: 7000 gp and 1000 XP. Unfortunately, Unseelie Fey are 'always evil', so our paladin must undergo atonement, though as his alignment was changed magically via the Ritual of Vitality, there's no XP cost.

This method explicitly allows any living creature to become a fey, which in turn allows crossbreeding with any living corporeal creature, producing half-fey.

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I'm sure there were rules for playing monsters as a player class and/or taking levels in their Monster class (i.e. Becoming more representive of their race).

Now, maybe looking at a book like the Book of Erotic Fantasy (I belive that was that book's name...but, what it did was add`like rules for love and pregnancy) might give some insight into how conception might occur.

Ok, The Book of Erotic Fantasy p49-50

CrossBreeding: ...sex between different species happens with unusual frequency. Creatures of the same type (humanoid, monsterous humanoid, etc.) are able to produce children, though this progeny is a half-breed, with traits from both parents...

One thought would be the Priest appealing to his/her deity... Also, there is no explicit rule stating that said races cannot conceive (only the rarity of said conceptions not generating an explicit entry in a rule book)

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    \$\begingroup\$ That book is not official. Being focused on intercourse, I stongly suspect its crossbreeding rules are intentionally wider than it's true for regular D&D. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel May 10 '15 at 18:42
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Why not just allow the prince to procreate with those species?

The RAW does establish a few cases of inter-species procreation that definitely do work, by providing stats and lore for the offspring thereof (most notably, humans with elves and orcs, and dragons, fiends, and celestials with pretty much anything). What types of fantasy creature can or cannot interbreed with each other, or with humans, is otherwise entirely a setting detail, left unspecified by RAW and up to the DM.

In my own games, for example, I've never had it come up in game, but the only creatures on your list that a human biologically can't procreate with are beholders, cloakers, and dwarves (though they do have some complications to overcome with the pixies and centaurs). Even then, thanks to the illithids, there are cloaker-dwarf hybrids created via mad-wizard-breeding-experiment means, and the same method would likely work if applied to cloakers and humans.

So, since you're explicitly looking for a way to let that happen, why not just let that happen? Just declare that, in your world, some or all of the listed creatures can procreate biologically with humans. All, if you want to keep things wide open and simple, some if you want to introduce further complications to the scenario by strongly biasing the system in favor of certain alliances and against others.

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Mariage Blanc

Sex-free, so no descendants by the two entities married. But all other benefits of marriage accrue (regent rights, etc, etc.)

How does this work? The next prince/princess also marries into the ally's tribe.

Use a concubine - or second wife - to produce a royal (human) heir. Or, re-marriage by queen to something she's cross-fertile with (if husband, and heirs died) if she's allowed to inherit the human kingdom.

You might want to consider Morganatic Marriage in order to prevent her from getting the titles/property - but that might/probably would be considered an insult.

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There is a simple solution to the succession issue:

Among certain civilizations there have been practices of maintaining bloodline and/or racial purity of the various given races and/or bloodlines, while also having a social and/or political need for intermarriage across or against bloodline and/or racial lines in order to cement various relationships, such as an alliance.

One real-life example and precedent is the ancient practice of a man taking in the widow of his brother as an additional wife, and providing her with children as a husband. However, the resulting children were legally considered to be the offspring of the deceased brother and would inherit all rights and privileges thereunto.


As such, one solution could be a very detailed treaty/nuptial agreement is created where two individuals were married as per legal, social, and treaty requirements, but the nuptial portion of the treaty specified that for purposes of procreation and child-bearing, the spouses were each permitted to have one (or more depending on culture in question) non-titled, non-inheriting concubines that met the required bloodline purity and/or racial requirements. The offspring would be legally adopted as the mutual and legal children of both of the spouses in question.

This arrangement not only allows for otherwise non-compatible spouses to have legal children which can then be considered for succession based upon the terms of the treaty, who would likewise in turn be obligated to perpetuate the terms of both the treaty and nuptial portions of the agreement.

This sort of arrangement works well in cases of multiple sentient species which are biologically incompatible, or have other potential issues (moral, alignment, religious, ethical, etc...) which would otherwise prevent a proper dynastic succession from being produced.


The details of how each species procreates, and any attendant legal wrinkles thereof, are beyond the scope of this question.


From a roleplaying perspective, this sort of solution would also add a lot of political and social depth to the environment, making for all sorts and manners of plot hooks and RP possibilities.

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First, make the assumption that they take off the obvious aberrations/creatures that are too inhuman (and a human wouldn't be able to breed with easily). This leaves you with: bugbears, halflings, dwarves, aranea, the hags, ogre, centaurs, locathah, pixies.

Now public opinion (we're ruled by a what???) and paladin vows (thou shalt not have slaves) come into play: bye bye Bugbears, green hags and their ogres too.

  • halfling: most likely would turn out to just be a really tall halfling. They interact in human society perfectly normal, other than being oddly short for a human, and when someone points it out, people nod and claim to see 'the halfling blood'.
    • drop the penalties for small size, the halfling ability adjustments, replacing them with a free feat or skill point.
  • dwarf: A little human doesn't really effect dwarf blood. The kid looks like a dwarf.
    • switch out a racial trait for the bonus feat or skill points.
  • pixie: the child is somewhat short, but more importantly looks like an overgrown pixie. It has wings, funky hair color and a matching attitude. Answer to all problems is to turn invisible and shoot said problems with a knock out arrow.

Those would be the easy sells (well, maybe not the pixie, at least not until it grew up to be attractive). Next would be the less desirable according to the normal humans.

  • aranea: Straightforward. The child is sometimes a spider.
  • centaurs: conception involves a turkey baster. Child is a centaur.
  • locathah: Assumably they have the necessary parts. Child is mostly like it's mother, but it has health problems (it's better at breathing air, it sucks at swimming.)
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I laughed at "conception involves a turkey baster", but I'm not sure this really answers the question. You seem to just be assuming that inter-species breeding will work. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Dec 5 '14 at 0:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ It works with elves (when it shouldn't!) and most of the novels related to D&D have examples of half-dwarves and half-halflings. Fey interbreeding with humans is common in literature (that's what is usually referred to as 'changelings'). The aranea are shapechangers already. I think there's a joke here about "How do you think centaurs came about in the first place". The locathah probably can't. I don't think they're even mammals, let alone primates, but I thought it was an interesting option. \$\endgroup\$ – Xander Dec 5 '14 at 1:22
-4
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Well prince welcome to the land of Parlimentary democracy with a symbolic figurehead royal family, or something like England. Have representatives from the neighboring tribes in question run the country and years later, the royal wedding and subsequent birth of an heir may make a lucrative television special.

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I like the solution, and it answers the question's TITLE, but technically this doesn't answer the question stated in the description: of doing it via offspring. =\ \$\endgroup\$ – Smithers Dec 4 '14 at 21:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's the most realistic solution as the question's premise was how to keep an aristocracy. The example given in the question of marriage and offspring, while a possible method of achieving the goal, seems to railroad into the thought that there is no alternative to this choice. Just my opinion. As gamers we are nothing if not intuitively creative in the way we address and solve complex problems, often in non traditional ways. \$\endgroup\$ – Tab Dec 5 '14 at 18:45

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