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Post news Report RSS City of Steam Content Dev Journal - Draug (& Auditory Perception)

More insight into the seclusive Draug in our new Content Dev Journal.

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This is a repost from City of Steam Content Dev Journal


Seeing how last week’s dev journal on goblins and their families sparked a lot of interest, we thought it only natural to build upon that. So this week? The cold and calculating draug! (Note: “Draug”, even plural, is never written with an “s”).

It’s hard to talk about draug without mentioning rivens, as despite their shared elven origins they are essentially polar opposites. Where rivens are fashionable, modernist socialites, the draug are quiet, old-fashioned and seclusive. In the current era of the City of Steam setting (called “The New Epoch”), rivens are flourishing, having kept up with the latest trends, whereas draug families are in decline (for the most part), having stubbornly stuck to their old ways and falling behind as a result.

Although this makes draug adventurers somewhat of a rarity, the right circumstances can push some to pursue the adventuring life; especially those who are falling on hard times, as is the case for draug player characters. Their natural knack for the arcane arts also comes in quite handy for this line of work. Get more insight on their game background story here.


Seclusive, maybe; still not people you want to mess with

Poor Eyesight, Keen Hearing

A trait unique to the draug is how they see, or actually hear, or, rather, well… Hmm, let me try to explain. Draug can see for a very short distance in front of them, but anything beyond that is blurry and indistinguishable. Instead, they use echolocation, which uses sound and a sonar-like sense of perception.

Echolocation allows the draug to make out anything solid within hearing range, effectively allowing them to “see” everything around them if they focus enough (like having eyes in the back of their head; if they can hear it, they “see” it). In normal circumstances, however, they simply concentrate on what’s in front of them. Things like color, printed letters and design patterns mean nothing to a draug. They can’t see through a window or clear water, since they just come off as “solid” objects to them. As such, draug architecture and clothing tend to look very plain to the other less visually-impaired races.

This ability does have other advantages, of course. For one, invisible objects are easily spotted if they are still solid, but incorporeal ones are effectively invisible even if you could see them with eyesight. On foggy days, where others would barely be able to see 3 feet in front of them, a draug would see everything clearly, better even given how sound would travel better in these conditions. Even though they have little use for art, they are particularly adept at spotting fakes: most forgers would only consider making something that is visually identical to an original, which a draug would simply “hear” past.

On the other hand, echolocation is easily disrupted by very loud noises. This effectively blinds a draug from what is beyond their already poor eyesight (which just might contribute to why they tend to be so antisocial).


“Wish the goblins over in the next section would pipe down…”

Want to know more? We’ve got plenty, and would love to share (actually had to stop ourselves from making an essay out of this particular dev journal entry)! Simply head on over to the forum and ask away!

Find out more content of City of Steam on our Content Dev Journal page.

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