The Dark Crystal: The Gelfling Clans



TLDR: Here’s a first draft of the Gelfling-clans playable with ICRPG.

I am a big fan of The Dark Crystal and still a bit sour about Netflix canceling Age of Resistance after one season. Luckily, there is a wealth in graphic novels and YA-books etc. to get your Thra-fix. :smiley:
River Horse Games who holds the IP for several Jim Henson product-lines also has released a Dark Crystal Adventure Game which mechanically seems to work like Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Adventure Game. It’s a really beautful book, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted something else. So I ported the Gelfling-clans to ICRPG using the template used for TYPE in the ICRPG Master Edition and added some flavour to fit the setting.
For instance:

  • there’s no MAGIC damage anymore but VLIYAYA which is the primordial magic of Thra that Gelflings and Podlings are able to channel.
  • I introduced USAGE and DURABILITY for items and weapons. Thra is in extreme danger and the Darkening spreads fast. Weapons break, ressources are scarce. The notation is USAGE [Number] or DURABILITY [Number] to indicate how many items you carry (USAGE) or how many times a weapon/shield etc. can be used before it needs to be repaired or breaks (DURABILITY)

I am still thinking about some kind of world-moves (maybe tied to a timer) concerning the Darkening to increase a sense of danger.

I have written most of the clans in German already (still need to finish up the Vapra). So what I did is translating what I have so far into English so I can share it with you (Stonewood and Dousan). A part of me wants to wait until I have written all the clans and all the rules and have properly ported everything into ICRPG as perfectly as possible. But the perfect is the enemy of the good and having ideas is easier than executing them. So here goes!

Stonewood Clan


Forest Dweller: You can choose an additional weapon. All checks concerning forests are EASY.

Starting Ability (Choose 1)

  • Living Weapon: Unarmed combat checks are always EASY.
  • Unparalleled Fighter: When you damage an enemy, your next attack does ULTIMATE.
  • Born Warrior: When you roll on the LOOT-table, you can re-roll but have to take the second result.

Starting Loot (Choose 1)

  • Whispering Arrow: USAGE 5. When hitting something the arrow will repeat a pre-determined message.
  • Castle Guard Shield: DURABILITY 3. Use 1 DURABILITY to reduce the damage a NEAR ally takes by d6.
  • Swift Blade: when you take damage and your DEX is higher than your opponent’s, you can do MELEE WEAPON damage.

Milestones (Choose 1 when awarded by GM)

  • Ever Stronger: Increase one attribute by 1.
  • Lithic Discipline: You have been trained for combat. When rolling for initiative you can re-roll and have to take the second result.
  • Wayfinder: When traveling your party cannot get lost.
  • Sapbeer: The poisonous sap of the Arara Tree makes a really strong beer. You don’t roll CON when imbibing any type of alcohol.
  • Protector: When a NEAR ally takes damage, you can elect to take the damage instead.
  • Weapon Master: When damaging an enemy, it cannot disengage from melee combat for one ROUND.
  • Keeping Face: Gelfling from the Stonewood Clan envy the Vapra and their relationship to the Skeksis. When a Vapra in your group does not succeed on a check you can decide to repeat the check to show them how it’s done. If you fail, you can’t use this ability for a day.


  • One with Olyeka-Staba: When Gelfling from the Stonewood Clan die, their essence returns to Olyeka-Staba, the Cradle Tree in the Endless Forest to be poured into a new body. When you die, you can decide to have your essence be poured into a new body. This is a very dangerous process. Swap two attributes with each other. Can only be used once per day.
  • Fated Warrior: When rolling on the LOOT-table, you can re-roll and keep both items.
  • Body and Sword are one: Your hands are like blades. Fighting without weapons deals MELEE WEAPON damage

Dousan Clan


Desert Dweller: You always find water. All checks concerning deserts are EASY.

Starting Ability (Choose 1)

  • Acceptance of Death: When your HP are below half your maximum, you do ULTIMATE damage
  • Trance: Once per day you can roll INT to learn the history of an item and get clues.
  • Dream-etched tattoo: Once per day you can re-roll a resistance roll against VLIYAYA.

Starting Loot (Choose 1)

  • Dousanian Incense: USAGE 5, palm-sized blue incense coins made by Dousan Elders. Can be lit outside of combat to heal all in ARM’S LENGTH for VLIYAYA. CON check otherwise all checks are HARD for d6 ROUNDS.
  • Crystal Skimmer Scale: DURABILITY 3. Used for tattooing, does MELEE WEAPON damage.
  • Bag of Urdrupe Berries: USAGE 5. Make a CON check. If successful you can re-roll one check. If unsuccessful, the berries make you sick. All checks are HARD for d4 ROUNDS.

Milestone (Choose 1 when awarded by the GM).

  • Ever Stronger: Increase one attribute by 1.
  • Vojeve: You speak the Dousan sign language and can communicate without speaking.
  • Sandmaster: You are the leader of a Xeric and know how to ride a crystal skimmer. Once per day you can summon a crystal skimmer and have it fight a ROUND for you.
  • Dousan Lament: CHA check to increase an ally’s EFFORT by one step.
  • Give and Take: Sacrifice life points to increase your damage by the same amount.
  • Dousan Materialism: Take only half damage from VLIYAYA.


  • One with Oszah-Staba: When Gelfling from the Dousan Clan die, their essence returns to Oszah-Staba, the great spring tree in the Crystal Desert to be poured into a new body. When you die, you can decide to have your essence be poured into a new body. This is a very dangerous process. Swap two attributes with each other. Can only be used once per day.
  • The Big All: When rolling damage for Acceptance of Death the die explodes.
  • Memento Mori: Roll a HARD WIS check to reduce a touched creature that has more HP than you to 0 HP instantly. Suffer the same amount of damage.


i dont know much about dark crystal but man these sound so awesome. the " One with Olyeka/Oszah-Staba" and “Memento Mori” mastery sound so epic. Especially in a running campaign

thought i do have two questions I can think to ask.

  1. Are the clans going to have multiple types in each clan or are the TYPES and CLANS one of the same?

  2. For the " Crystal ray scale", in Dark crystal what kinda significance do tattoos have? Would it makes sense for this item to maybe able to actually tattoos others. I notice there one mile stone short in the Dousa clan. Maybe a milestone could be “when having equipment to tattoo available, give an ally a tattoo, dealing 2 damage to them but granting a 1d6 they can add to any roll. Once used, the tatts disappear .”
    I dont know if that makes sense for the world but let me know!


Hej thanks! This is work-in-progress, so we’ll see what happens along the way. :smiley:
As for your questions:

  1. Types and Clans are the same. Player characters are all Gelfling (although I am also thinking about having Podlings as playable characters) and choose their clan as players in fantasy games would choose their class.
  2. I wanted to fit the abilities to the Gelfling-clans. Tattoos are very important in the Dousan Clan and most Dousan wear several elaborate tattoos on their bodies. They use scales from Crystal Skimmers (enormous flying ray-like creatures that the Dousan domesticated) because they are hollow and can be filled with ink. I actually have to correct that and several other typos in the above description. :sweat_smile: