Author Topic: Subrace & Template Roleplaying Resources and Lore  (Read 73829 times)

MAB77

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Aerenal Elf
« Reply #100 on: March 07, 2021, 10:14:45 AM »
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Aerenal Elf


Undying soldiers move through jungles filled with ancient power, zealous elves strive to be worthy of joining their valiant ancestors, and the cities of Aerenal gather might unmatched in the outside world. Even the mighty dragons of Argonessen must guess at the long-reaching plans of Aerenal’s Undying Court, and only the elves have ever stood against the combined might of the dragon legions.

Aerenal is a land of magical forests and jungles, and the land itself resonates with powerful necromantic energy. Although it holds natural resources in abundance, including the sole sources of many magical timbers such as bronzewood and densewood, Aerenal’s true strength is the abundant flow of necromantic power that gave rise to the undying soldiers that protect the realm and the undying councilors that guide it. The presence of these powerful soldiers and advisers has protected Aerenal from even the strength of the dragons, allowing Aerenal’s culture to flourish for generation after elf generation.


Physical description:
Aeranal elves fit the usual description of elves, sharing the common traits of pointed ears, vulpine features, and lithe builds. They tend to have dark hair and eyes of green, violet, or gray.

What sets them apart in their apperance is in how they reflect their reverence toward death. This can vary greatly from a family to another. Some wear intricate death masks. Others tattoo their faces with skulls or similar patterns. Members of the line of Jhaelian mimic the appearance of the undying while they are still alive, using magical and alchemical substances to induce rigor and apparent decomposition of the flesh. While all these customs are striking, there are many families that internalize their respect of the dead and do not demonstrate it in a physical form.


History:
The elves of Aerenal have always revered their ancestors. Once slaves of the giant tribes of Xen’drik, the ancient Aereni elves bought their freedom with blood and magic, and elf bards still sing of their heroic deeds. In the center of the island-continent lies a region where necromantic energy flows easily, and it was here that the elf Priests of Transition discovered the rites and rituals required to preserve their elders beyond death. Sustained by the veneration of their descendants, these undying elves have guided their country for more than twenty thousand years. The strength of the deathless has carried Aerenal through conflicts with hobgoblins, humans, and even the dragons of Argonnessen. Yet the Aereni have never sought to conquer; their undying armies have always fought in defense of the nation. Because of a superstitious fear of the walking dead and the isolationist attitude of the elves of Aerenal, few humans ever visit the island-continent, and those who do rarely venture beyond the port city of Pylas Talaear. Thus, the island-continent remains a mystery.

Elves have lived on the continent for more than twenty-six thousand years. For most of that time, the Undying Court has ruled with a benign and guiding hand. With a long-reaching perspective rivaling that of the greatest dragons, the Undying Court carefully directs the elves of Aerenal through machinations that might take thousands of years to unfold. The Sibling Kings, the traditional living rulers of Aerenal, rule over the daily affairs of the elves while the Undying Court shapes the destiny of the race.


Outlook:
Despite the cultural differences that have developed over the millennia, a number of common factors tie the Aereni families together. Most families are extremely insular. They have a strong belief in the importance of preserving their ancestral blood, and generally marry within their own lines; they appear to have few of the negative genetic markers that cause problems for human families that maintain a closed breeding pool.

Humans often see the Aereni as cold and distant, but the truth is that most elves are uncomfortable around strangers, especially nonelves. They can predict the behavior of other families and read the emotions of their own kin with ease. But the unpredictable behavior of the shorter-lived races is disconcerting, and until an elf comes to know and trust an outsider, he usually shields his emotions behind an inscrutable façade.

Another trait shared by the Aereni is their attitude toward death. For the elves, death is not something to be feared; instead, it is embraced and ultimately welcomed. Each family expresses this attitude in a different way, some physically, others in deeds and thoughts.

Vampires, liches, and their ilk are abhorrent creatures that destroy life to preserve their own existence, and they are seen as a perversion of the undying. The creation of mindless undead, such as zombies and skeletons, is seen as an unforgivable insult to the body and soul of the deceased.

A final element that permeates all levels of the culture of Aerenal is immense racial pride, a superiority complex that extends thousands of years into the past. The elves of Aerenal are among the most accomplished wizards of Eberron. Their ancestors walk among them, and the greatest of the undying have almost godlike power. Their nation has driven off the dragons of Argonnessen not once, but multiple times. The elves are not blatantly arrogant. Instead, they are completely self-assured, possessing an unshakable faith in their peoples’ place in the world.


Society:
Aerenal is an ancient nation. It watched the goblin empires of Khorvaire rise and fall, saw the arrival of humans and the common races, and observed the formation of the Kingdom of Galifar. The elves respect their elders and are devoted to their ancestors. Over the course of thousands of years, elf families have developed distinctive customs, including manners of dress, speech, art, and the use of magic.

Two forces govern Aerenal. The Sibling Kings hold all temporal power. By ancient tradition, the nation must be ruled by a bonded brother and sister. When either sibling dies, the Undying Court selects a new pair to rule. The Sibling Kings are seen as the living embodiment of Aerenal, and the conduit for the power of the Undying Court. The current siblings are Belaereth and Tezaera of the line of Mendyrian.

While the Sibling Kings guide the daily affairs of Aerenal, the Undying Court shapes the destiny of the elf race. This council of the deathless selects, advises, and empowers the rulers of the land. The motives of the Undying Court cannot be understood by mortal beings; their plans stretch out over millennia. But those who have studied the elves — and their conflicts with the dragons in particular — are convinced that the deathless have a goal whose fruition may still be centuries away. Indeed, since the deathless measure existence in time spans that even dragons cannot imagine, their machinations and plots worry the dragons no end.

The deathless themselves are concentrated in the great cities of the nation’s interior. A family estate may have an honor guard of undying soldiers and an undying councilor advising the living elders of the line, but the majority of the undying gather in the City of the Dead. Regardless of family, all Aereni respect the undying as heroes of their race and always treat them with respect and deference. An undying soldier or councilor is an undead creature charged with positive energy and sustained by the devotion of its descendants.

Each family owes obeisance to the Sibling Kings and the Undying Court, but each has its own traditions of internal rule. Some are matriarchal, some are patriarchal, and others have their own sibling lords.


Relations with other races:
Most of the elves in Aerenal give little thought to the outside world, focusing instead on the goals of their isolated family groups and their families’ roles in the far-reaching plans of the undying. While this makes much of Aerenal isolationist and impenetrable to outsiders, small parts of the elf nation deal directly with the outside world. Through the port city of Pylas Talaear the elves sell their magical timber and worked wooden goods to members of other races. Because of this commerce, and the fact that the elves of Aerenal have held their island continent for ten times the length of living memory, outsiders almost universally view the elves with a healthy mix of awe and indifference. All this is changing, though, as the young elves of Tairnadal continue to migrate to the kingdom of Valenar and practice policies of aggressive expansion.


Alignments:
Aerenal elves can be of any alignment.


Religion:
The Aereni tradition of ancestor worship has evolved considerably since the birth of the Undying Court. Instead of revering those ancestors long dead, the Aereni venerate the dead that remain. In the eyes of the elves, existence is a spiritual journey that takes thousands of years to accomplish — a journey only the undying can complete. Thus, the Aereni honor the deathless who are on this final path, but their true deity is the combined essence of the ascended councilors, the undying who have journeyed beyond life and death to reach the final destination of the elven soul. While the ascendant councilors can still take physical form, the elves do not worship them as individual deities. Instead, they revere the ascendant union as the ultimate embodiment of the elf race.

As a result of these beliefs, the Aereni do not fear death. On the contrary, it is a state to be desired as the next step on the path to ascension. However, an elf must earn the right to walk this path. The Priests of Transition are the ambassadors to the Undying Court, and it is these clerics who judge the achievements of an elven life and decide the fate of a candidate. Those who have shown tremendous heroism and skill at arms may be reborn as undying soldiers, while the wisest among the elves become undying councilors. An elf judged to be flawed or foolish may be left to die, leaving room for a stronger spirit to enter the community. But more often than not, the Priests of Transition use raise dead to restore a fallen elf so that he may continue his journey along the path of existence.

The elves believe that it is the devotion of the family that preserves the spirits of the undying. As a result, an elf is expected to be deeply familiar with the lives of his undying ancestors, and to show respect to all of the undying.

The Tairnadal elves of Valenar and Northern Aerenal have a different focus. While they respect the elders of the Undying Court, they worship the spirits of the warriors of Xen’drik—elves who fell long before the Undying Court was raised. The Tairnadal priests are known as the Keepers of the Past, and their ranks include both clerics and bards. At birth (or upon joining the Tairnadal, in the case of a half-elf or Aereni recruit) the Keepers of the Past consult the spirits to determine an elf’s patron ancestor. The Tairnadal believe that by emulating the behavior of their patron ancestors, they give those ancestors a chance to live again in the current generation.


Language:
The elves of Aerenal speak Elven, and most speak Common and Draconic as well. The elves of Aerenal are often reserved in their speech, concealing their emotions and true intentions behind stoic masks. With the perspective of a long-lived race guided by undying ancestors, the elves of Aerenal choose their words as carefully as they form their opinions.


Names:
Aerenal elf names have few differences between male and female forms, and both generally have more vowel sounds than consonants. Sample names include Aeren, Allais, Dailan, Kylaear, Maellas, Thalaen, and Vylae.


Adventurers:
Aereni adventurers usually leave the confines of the island continent, traveling through distant lands to work the will of the Undying Court or seeking to emulate the deeds of their ancestors. Many elf adventurers aspire to the fame and power necessary to eventually take a place among the undying guardians of the elf race.

With a longer-reaching perspective than any other adventuring race, the elves of Aerenal are cautious at most times but exceptionally bold and resourceful when forced to act. They are also courageous, in part because of their heroic nature and in part because they view death as a benign process along the path to ascension.

Aereni elves make excellent archers regardless of their class. Mighty elf clerics wielding the might of the Undying Court and powerful magic bows are equal to any situation, and few can match stealthy elf rangers and rogues sniping from the shelter of densewood forests.


Settings:
Aerenal elves are exclusive to the Eberron setting.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
+2 Dex, -2 Con
Hardiness vs. Enchantments
Keen Senses
Low-light Vision
Skill Affinity (Listen)
Skill Affinity (Search)
Skill Affinity (Spot)
Sleeplessness
Weapon Proficiencies (Longsword, Rapier, Shortbow, Longbow)


Sources: Eberron Campaign Setting, Races of Eberron
« Last Edit: June 21, 2023, 10:13:24 PM by EO »
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EO

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Oscray
« Reply #101 on: March 07, 2021, 01:56:04 PM »
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Oscray (Malatran Scro)


* Playing this race requires that you fill an application form and receive approval of the Community Council.

The oscray descend from a group of Scro who were separated from their kind when they fled conflict, and landed on the plains of Malatra in southern Kara-Tur on Toril. Like other scro, they are descended from orcs.


Physical description:
Oscray somewhat resemble orcs, but are larger and have grayer skin than true orcs. They have the characteristic piglike snout of the orcs, but stand proud and erect, as opposed to the stopped posture of their orcish cousins. Oscray have large canine teeth which they sharpen to a fine point.

An oscray can live to be 80 years old.


History:
The oscray came from across the skies, fleeing a far off war with a horrid race called The Elves. They came in ships that flew in the sky, although those ships no longer have that power. The oscray have found a home here on the plains of Malatra.

Since then, they have adapted to Malatran life very well and on more then one occasion have remarked that jungle life "is a lot more fun then running from elves all the time."


Outlook:
Loud, boisterous, sometimes aggressive, yet capable of surprising compassion to the weak and mercy to the defeated. The oscray have also proven themselves loyal unto death to those they have befriended.

Since they have banded together in this new world, oscray will look first to protecting their tribe, especially the young.


Society:
Oscray have but one village, located on the Ravanna Savanah, well to the north of the Wise Ones territory. They exist by hunting and some agriculture. Their chieftain is Bentfang, who led them here.

They are one of the few groups in Malatra known to work with brass, fashioning it from the land's rare deposits of copper and zinc. They also repurpose any gold or silver they found within ruins.


Relations with other races:
Oscray have adapted well to their new homes and neighbors for two reasons. First, they are still uneducated in the ways of the jungle and rely greatly on the Simbara and Wise Ones to help them. Secondly, though naturally aggressive, the Oscray live a week to ten days travel from all sorts of evil and violent races: brutish lizardmen, black leopard katanga, hyena katanga, and others. When Oscray get the desire for battle, they have a wide variety of opponents.


Alignments:
Oscray are usually neutral.


Religion:
Some of the oscray still worship their old gods even though their old gods don't seem to be listening. No clear consensus has arisen as to what beliefs the tribe as a whole will follow.


Language:
The oscray speak Scro, a variant of the orcish tongue, unknown on the plains of Malatra, and Common. They can learn any Malatran language.

Anyone who speaks Orc grasps the basics of Scro, although the more refined tongue boasts nearly three times the vocabulary and a much greater range of expression. On the other hand, someone who learns to speak Scro understands Orc - probably better than most orcs.


Names:
There are no clear naming conventions but they likely use Scro names.


Settings:
Oscray are native to the Forgotten Realms setting, more specifically the Jungles of Malatra in southern Kara-Tur.


Game Settings:
Spoiler: show
+4 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Con*
Darkvision
Effective Character Level +2

* The game engine automatically applies the default +2 Str, -2 Int and -2 Cha adjustment for standard half-orcs at character creation. An extra +2 Str, +2 Int, +2 Dex, +2 Cha, +2 Con will be applied once the subrace template is acquired in-game.


Sources: Polyhedron #129, Jungle Book of Malatra (3E)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2023, 11:55:32 AM by MAB77 »

MAB77

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Scabland Half-Orc
« Reply #102 on: March 08, 2021, 05:18:54 PM »
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Scabland Half-Orc


Half-orcs accustomed to live in the Abbor-Alz; they are little more than scavengers and thieves.


Physical description:
Scabland half-orcs stand between 6 and 7 feet tall and usually weigh between 180 and 250 pounds. A half-orc's grayish pigmentation, sloping forehead, jutting jaw, prominent teeth, and coarse body hair make his lineage plain for all to see.

Orcs like scars. They regard battle scars as tokens of pride and ornamental scars as things of beauty. Any half-orc who has lived among or near orcs has scars, whether they are marks of shame indicating servitude and identifying the half-orc's former owner, or marks of pride recounting conquests and high status. Such a half-orc living among humans may either display or hide his scars, depending on his attitude toward them.

Half-orcs mature a little faster than humans and age noticeably faster. They reach adulthood at age 14, and few live longer than 75 years.


History:
Scabland half-orcs have no society of their own and therefore no particular racial history.


Outlook:
Scabland half-orcs are little more than scavengers and thieves and normally make do with whatever they can find. They also tend to be short-tempered and sullen. They would rather act than ponder and would rather fight than argue. Those who are successful, however, are those with enough self-control to live in civilized land, not the crazy ones.

Because of their reputation, scabland half-orcs are often barred from trading, which forces them to make do with whatever tools and weapons they can construct for themselves.


Society:
Orcs seem capable of thriving in any climate, though it might be more accurate to say that they have few problems adapting to wherever they are forced to live. Half-orcs are found in nearly every terrain the Bright Desert has to offer, and are particularly common in the mountains and deserts. The Abbor-Alz has long been a refugee for outlaws, brigands, bandits and other unsavory types. Many bands of raiders are composed almost entirely of scabland half-orcs.


Relations with other races:
Scabland half-orcs are generally reviled by civilized folk. As a race they have an unsavory reputation and as a consequence they are unwelcome in many of the surrounding nation states.


Alignments:
Half-orcs inherit a tendency toward chaos from their orc parents, but like their human parents, they favor good and evil in equal proportions. Half-orcs raised among orcs and willing to live out their lives with them are usually the evil ones.


Religion:
Like orcs, many half-orcs worship Gruumsh, the chief orc god and Archenemy of Corellon Larethian, god of the elves. While Gruumsh is evil, half-orc barbarians and and fighters may worship him as a war god even if they are not evil themselves. Worshippers of Gruumsh who are tired of explaining themselves, or who don't want to give humans a reason to distrust them, simply don't make their religion public knowledge. Half-orcs who want to solidify their connection with their human heritage, on the other hand, follow human gods, and they may be outspoken in their shows of piety.


Language:
Scabland half-orcs speak Orc and Common. Orc, which has no alphabet of its own, uses Dwarven script on the rare occasions that someone writes something down. Orc writing turns up most frequently in graffiti.


Names:
A half-orc typically chooses a name that helps him make the impression he wants to make. If he wants to fit in among humans, he chooses a human name. If he wants to intimidate others, he chooses a guttural orc name. A half-orc who has been raised entirely by humans has a human given name, but he may choose another name once he's away from his hometown. Some half-orcs, of course, aren't quite brought enough to choose a name this carefully.

Orc Male Names: Dench, Feng, Gell, Henk, Holg, Imsh, Keth, Krusk, Ront, Shump, Thokk

Orc Female Names: Baggi, Emen, Engong, Myev, Neega, Ovak, Ownka, Shautha, Vola, Volen


Adventurers:
Scabland half-orcs living among humans are drawn almost invariably toward violent careers in which they can put their strength to good use. Frequently shunned from polite company, they often find acceptance and friendship among adventurers, many of whom are fellow wanderers and outsiders.


Settings:
Scabland half-orcs are native to the Greyhawk setting, specifically the Abbor-Alz desert in the Bright Lands.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
+2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha
Heat Endurance
Low-Light Vision


Sources: D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook, Sandstorm
« Last Edit: April 22, 2024, 09:24:58 PM by EO »
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MAB

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MAB77

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Badland Dwarf (Unath Dwarf)
« Reply #103 on: March 08, 2021, 06:33:02 PM »
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Badland (Unath) Dwarf

Called badland dwarves by outsiders, the Unath dwarves are a fading people, inheritors of a long history of struggle and turmoil. They have become accustomed to living in arid wastelands.


Physical description:
Badland dwarves stand only 4 to 4-1/2 feet tall, but they are so broad and compact that they are, on average, almost as heavy as humans. Dwarf men are slightly taller and noticeably heavier than dwarf women. Badland dwarves' skin tones range from dark tan to brown, having lived under the scorching rays of the sun, and their eyes are dark. Their hair is usually black, gray, or brown, and worn long. Their wretched conditions have left them looking disheveled. Dwarves are considered adults at about age 40, and they can live to be more than 400 years old.


History:
The Uplands of Unath, a small range of hills, located to the north of Utaa, were named for a colony of dwarves inhabiting the range when ancient Sulm was yet young. It was home to a small colony of dwarves allied to their brethren dwelling in the Abbor-Alz. Natural and dwarf-constructed passages burrowed deep under the desert, linking the two groups in a complex web of corridors, galleries, and chambers. No one knows the ultimate fate of the Unath dwarves, though they most assuredly warred with the expansionist Sulmites. Either they fell here defending their clanholds, made a final stand with their eastern cousins, or migrated elsewhere. Now, their civilization has all but failed, overrun by successive waves of invaders. A few isolated clanholds still survive but these final remnants of a proud lineage are fragmented and failing.


Habitat:
The remains of the dwarves' ill-fated civilization still dot the sharp, jagged peaks of this range. In many places their way markers are still visible, some still bearing the kingdom's device — two crossed battleaxes surmounted by a blazing sun.

To the south, near the ruins of Utaa, their strongholds stand empty but in the north many teem with clans of norkers or jermlaine. The jermlaine are fiercely independent creatures that resist the encroachment of the norkers, who for the most part ally themselves to the Empire of the Bright Lands. Preying on both groups, small bands of trolls dwell in and around some of these dwur settlements. Able to change their skin color to surprise foes, the depredations of this subspecies of common troll effectively culls the numbers of other humanoids.

The deep tunnels and passages connect to the Underdark in several places. Powerful adventurers traversing this shadowy world report witnessing the aftermath of several fierce engagements between groups of beholders and duergar. A few explorers also speak of a great underground river flowing swiftly southward toward the Gearnat, perhaps acting as a natural drain to the Gnatmarsh.

Much of the warfare that rages here is subterranean in nature and thus the few hardy nomadic tribes who graze their livestock in the hills are mainly untroubled by the goblinoids of the interior. A small pride of dragonnes led by a huge male, however, dwells in the range's central massif, occasionally issuing forth to prey on the nomad's herds.


Outlook:
The Unath dwarves today are a fading, isolated, dwindling people, inheritors of a long history of struggle and turmoil. Called badland dwarves by outsiders, they tend not to intermingle with other peoples of the Bright Desert, but some of the younger generation has grown more adventurous as of late. Only a few hundred now survive and this has made the survivors very cautious. They are a hardy folk however and are skilled at surviving in the desert.


Society:
Only a few hundred Unath dwarves survive, in a few isolated clanholds. Few dwarves enjoy the climate and terrain of the waste. Mountains are somewhat rare, and few of those that do exist yield up the kinds of treasures that prompt dwarves to establish permanent settlements. That leaves dwarves with the option of living in surface dwellings or avoiding the waste altogether — and most take the latter option. Even so, the occasional caravan of dwarves makes an appearance at a major community in the waste, often bearing treasures brought from distant mountain citadels in temperate climes.

Some dwarves have made their homes in the badlands of the wastes, where they dig for an entirely different type of treasure — water. Because badlands are usually formed by water erosion, deposits of water sometimes form deep below the surface in quantities that can sustain a settlement for years. In some rare cases, badland dwarves tap into subterranean rivers, making their communities attractive stops for merchant caravans and nomad tribes alike.


Relations with other races:
Badland dwarves are very cautious of other races, survivors of a long history of struggle and turmoil.


Alignments:
Badland dwarves are usually neutral, and they tend toward good. Adventuring dwarves are less likely to fit the common mold, however, since they're more likely to be those who did not fit perfectly into dwarven society.


Religion:
The badland dwarves have long ago eschewed organized religion, but they still pay respect to the Dwarven pantheon.


Language:
Badland dwarves speak Dwarven, which has its own runic script, and Common. Dwarven literature is marked by comprehensive histories of kingdoms and wars through the millennia. The Dwarven alphabet is also used (with minor variations) for the Gnome, Giant, Goblin, Orc, and Terran languages. Dwarves often speak the languages of their friends (humans and gnomes) and enemies. Some also learn Terran, the strange language of earth-based creatures such as xorn.


Names:
A dwarf's name is granted to him by his clan elder, in accordance with tradition. Every proper dwarven name has been used and reused down through the generations. A dwarf's name is not his own. It belongs to his clan. If he misuses it or brings shame to it, his clan will strip him of it. A dwarf stripped of his name is forbidden by dwarven law to use any dwarven name in its place.

Male Names: Barendd, Brottor, Eberk, Einkil, Oskar, Rurik, Taklinn, Torderk, Traubon, Ulfgar, Veit.

Female Names: Artin, Audhild, Dagnal, Diesa, Gunnloda, Hlin, Ilde, Liftrasa, Sannl, Torgga.

Clan Names: Balderk, Dankil, Gorunn, Holderhek, Loderr, Lutgehr, Rumnaheim, Strakeln, Torunn, Ungart.


Adventurers:
A dwarven adventurer may be motivated by crusading zeal, a love of excitement, or simple greed. As long as his accomplishments bring honor to his clan, his deeds earn him respect and status. Defeating giants and claiming powerful magic weapons are sure ways for a dwarf to earn the respect of other dwarves.


Settings:
Badland dwarves are native to the Greyhawk setting.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
+2 Con, -2 Cha
Darkvision
Defensive training vs. giants
Hardiness vs. poisons
Hardiness vs. spells
Heat Resistance
Offensive training vs. orcs
Offensive training vs. goblinoids
Waterwise
Weapon Proficiency (Dwarven Waraxe)


Source: D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook, Sandstorm, Dungeon #98, Bright on Blight Lands (Living Greyhawk), From the Ashes, Rary the Traitor
« Last Edit: February 15, 2023, 03:33:52 PM by MAB77 »
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MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.

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Feytouched Template
« Reply #104 on: February 03, 2023, 06:56:18 PM »
Quote
Feytouched

* Playing this template requires that you fill an application form and receive approval of the Community Council.

The feytouched are second generation descendants of a union between a sylvan or shadow fey and a mortal. The blood of the fey still runs strong in these grandchildren's veins and marks them with unusual gifts.

Do note that our feytouched follow the rules from the Van Richten's Guide to the Shadow Fey sourcebook. They are a different breed of fey-blooded people than the feytouched presented in the D&D 3.5 Fiend Folio. The latter is not supported on this server. This template is restricted to Ravenloft native characters and may be combined with another racial template.


Physical description:
The feytouched have the general appearance of their non-fey blooded parent race with one or two distinguishing features related to their unusual ancestry.

It is worth noting that these features are not determined by the fey that originally produced the bloodline but by the form the half-fey parent assumed in its infancy. Half-fey children do not look unusual at birth, partly because they have not yet chosen a form. As they age, they instinctively choose a breed, generally within the first year of life. Often, this breed is the same as their fey parent, but not always. It seems to also be tied to the child's natural disposition and alignment. Their breed no longer changes after this point. They have lost the mutability of their fey parent.

The feytouched features are inherited from the half-fey parent's breed. These features are not as obvious as those of their half-fey parent but remain somewhat remarkable. A feytouched is usually able to function as a member of its non-fey parent society, but will likely face some persecution because of its obvious ancestry. Examples of feytouched features are presented in the The Breeds of Fey section below. Feytouched are not limited to these features. Traits like animalistic features, warty-skins, a few feathers growing along one's hair, or strikingly colored eyes, are common as well.


History:
There is no common history to the feytouched other than the fact that a fey and a mortal produced a child. In Ravenloft, feytouched are as likely to have a sylvan as a shadow fey as a grandparent. They are most often found in heavily forested domains or those bordering the Shadow Rift.

Children formed by the union of mortals and the fey are rare, but not unheard of, on the Demiplane of Dread. Sometimes these children are born of love, other times whimsy. Each fey makes its own decision whether it will help raise the child or not. If the fey raises the child, the child is generally taken to fey lands where it will be more accepted. If the child is abandoned by the fey, its mortal mother or father must raise the child in secret. Inquisitors and ignorant townsfolk quickly dispatch a wicked fairy spawn if discovered. For this reason, fey sometimes switch their baby with someone else's normal baby, as a gift to their mortal lover.

First generation fey children are the sons and daughters of a fey and a mortal creature. Note that the fey's oneness with nature allows them to breed with nearly any mortal being. These fey children are obvious abominations to the judgmental and must typically live with the fey or in secret. Assuming they survive that long, they can live for twice as long as their mortal parent. Second generation fey children are the feytouched, the offspring of a first generation child and a humanoid. These children are still very extraordinary in appearance and ability, and they typically live half again as long as a normal person. It is possible for them to lead somewhat normal lives among its non-fey parent society, albeit with some persecution. Third generation fey are the offspring of a second generation fey child and a humanoid or giant. These children still have enough fey blood in their veins to give them an unusual trait or two, and perhaps even a minor power and a bit of extra longevity. Fourth generation fey and later bear only the slightest resemblance to their fey ancestors. There may be some lingering discreet traces of their ancestry in their features, but they are, for all practical purposes, a normal member of their non-fey blooded parent's society. Red hair, slightly pointed ears, or unusual magical aptitude are a few of the signs of fey blood.


Society:
Feytouched characters are born and raised within the community of their non-fey blooded parent. They are more commonly found in, but not limited to, heavily forested domains or those surrounding the Shadow Rift. They are aware of their unusual heritage, but were raised without any significant contacts with the fey. The Shadow Rift and fey society in general is a much a mystery to them as it is for anyone else.


Personality:
The feytouched are more than just the equivalent of tieflings with fey blood. They are fey themselves. The fey of Ravenloft are the embodiment of the inhuman aspects of Nature. Their fascination for humanity comes from their obsession with mortality, a concept their immortal minds do not fully comprehend, but which they find utterly tantalizing. Therein lies the danger of their interest with mortals. As mortal fey themselves, the feytouched may have a greater understanding of mortality but their innate ties with nature, and the pull of their fey heritage, still manifest themselves in the form of peculiar quirks and obsessions. Many will adopt personality traits and interests inherent to their half-fey parent's breed although that is not systematic. Feytouched may play any role they desire, but they hardly ever fulfill them in conventional ways. Their heightened longevity may also impact their relation to time. Fey usually live for the present time with little care about the future. They see little need to rush into completing anything. These are aspects to consider when applying for this template.


Relations with other races:
Feytouched are not inherently biased against any particular race, but are usually kept at arm's length by most. They are feared for their unusual heritage and often blamed for situations not of their making. As such they may be slow to trust and confide in others.


Alignment:
Feytouched characters can be of any alignment. Their temperament is often influenced by the breed of their fey-blooded parent, tempered by the societal constraints of their non-fey parent's society. See the The Breeds of Fey section below for examples of fey personalities.


Religion:
There is no common religion to the feytouched. One is likely to follow the beliefs of its parents.


Language:
Feytouched have the language of their non fey-blooded parent as their main language, but several of them also learn to speak sylvan.


Names:
The names of feytouched will vary based on the society into which they were raised.


Adventurers:
Feytouched characters adventure for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they seek acceptance in a society that fears them, or their fickle nature simply consumes them with a strong wanderlust. A feytouched can be of any character class. Its favored class generally follows that of their parent's breed as listed below in The Breeds of Fey section. The fey's grace, agility, and tricksy nature gifted to a feytouched makes one an effective bard, beguiler, rogue or sorcerer. It is also common for one to have an affinity with nature, choosing the path of the druid or ranger instead. Rarest of all is a feytouched cleric, favored soul, or paladin. By their own immortal nature, the fey seldom see the need for the worship of gods, nor do they follow the ideals of chivalry. This sentiment is usually passed on to their mortal descendants.


Settings:
Feytouched is a racial template restricted to native Ravenloft characters that can be applied over any subrace or race.


The Breeds of Fey

The sylvan and shadow fey are found in equal measure in the demiplane of Dread. The distinction between the two types of fey lies in their origin. The shadow fey originate exclusively from the Shadow Rift. Any fey creature born in other domains is a sylvan fey. A feytouched character is therefore considered a sylvan fey regardless of its ancestry.

The fey's oneness with nature allows them to breed with nearly any mortal beings. While it may seem impossible that a tiny fey creature would mate with someone the size of a human, note that many fey creatures actually have the ability to change their shape and size. Those that do not may have access to powerful magic or other mystical means.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of fey creatures that can be found in Ravenloft. The half-fey parent of a feytouched character could be a member of any of these breeds.

Alven
A diminutive race of winged shadow fey easily mistaken for pixies and other such creatures. They are fond of flowers and plants, having great skill as farmers and gardeners. Their voices are soft and high-pitched, so listeners must pay close attention.
  • Favored class(es): Druid or ranger
  • Alignment: Usually chaotic good
  • Usual feytouched features: Bright orange hair, olive tinged skin, high-pitched voice

Baobhan Sith
Also called black sprites, they are cruel sylvan fey related to pixies. They take their greatest pleasure from the suffering of the weak and helpless.
  • Favored class(es): Rogue
  • Alignment: Always chaotic evil
  • Usual feytouched features: Long pointed ears, pointed teeth, wicked smile

Brag
Brag are a wild-eyed race of shadow fey, builders and laborers who are fond of hard work and amusing tales. They are skilled engineers and love to carry on very technical conversations about such matters as stoneworking, engineering, architecture, and the like.
  • Favored class(es): Monk
  • Alignment: Usually lawful neutral
  • Usual feytouched features: Black eyes and nails, pale skin, occasional small patches of horse hair over the body

Dryad
Dryads are wild, mysterious sylvan fey found deep in secluded woodlands. They defend trees from any who would fell them and sometimes come into conflict with humans and others who would take wood from the forests. They are known to charm those intruding in their groves.
  • Favored class(es): Druid
  • Alignment: Usually chaotic good; half-dryads can be of any chaotic alignment
  • Usual feytouched features: Pointy ears, amber, violet, or dark green eyes, bright gold or red hair

Fir
The fir are a clever, cunning breed of shadow fey who are fascinated by clockwork, machinery, and other works of precision and engineering. They are tinkers and inventors who delight in fine work and quality craftsmanship. They tend to speak in long, flowery prose, especially when discussing craftsmanship and inventions.
  • Favored class(es): Sorcerer
  • Alignment: Always neutral, usually good or evil
  • Usual feytouched features: Long fingers and nails, silver hair, occasional small patches of fine brown fur over the body

Grig
Grigs are mischievous and lighthearted sylvan sprites. They have no fear of big people and take great joy in playing tricks upon them.
  • Favored class(es): Rogue or sorcerer
  • Alignment: Always neutral good
  • Usual feytouched features: Light blue skin tinge, forest-green hair, brown hairy legs

Gwytune
Gwytune are the arcanists and wizards of the shadow fey. These exceptionally rare shadow fey are obsessed with the accumulation of arcane magic. They prefer a life of scholarly pursuits.
  • Favored class(es): Wizard
  • Alignment: Usually lawful neutral
  • Usual feytouched features: Wizened features, ram's horns, long dexterous fingers, golden eyes, auburn hair, skin with a very faint lilac tinge

Muryan
Muryan are the warriors of shadow fey society. Both violent and aggressive, they are known both for the bloodthirsty, berserk rages that overtake them in battle and the smooth grace in which they conduct them.
  • Favored class(es): Fighter, but some become barbarians or rangers
  • Alignment: Usually chaotic neutral
  • Usual feytouched features: Extremely long, unkempt hair

Nymph
These sylvan fey are nature's embodiment of physical beauty, and the guardians of the sacred places of the wild. They are so unbearably lovely that even a glimpse of one can blind an onlooker. A nymph’s demeanor is wild and mercurial. Like nature itself, she embodies both great beauty and fearsome danger. She can be kind and graceful to mortals who revere the wild places of the world, but also quick to strike against mortals who take more than they need or who treat nature thoughtlessly.
  • Favored class(es): Druid
  • Alignment: Usually chaotic good; half-nymphs can be of any chaotic alignment
  • Usual feytouched features: Sleek figure and long, thick hair, radiant skin and perfect teeth, full lips and gentle eyes

Pixie
These sylvan fey sprites are merry pranksters that love to lead travelers astray. They can, however, be roused to surprising ire when dealing with evil creatures. These sprites love to trick misers out of their wealth. They do not covet treasure themselves but use it to taunt and frustrate greedy folk.
  • Favored class(es): Sorcerer
  • Alignment: Always neutral good
  • Usual feytouched features: Pale skin, pointy-ears

Portune
The portune are a somber and scholarly breed of shadow fey who practice medicine and healing. They are especially fond of clever wordplay. They are compassionate fey who do not like to see others suffer. When they find wounded humans and demihumans, they always pause to do what they can for them.
  • Favored class(es): Bard or sorcerer
  • Alignment: Usually lawful good
  • Usual feytouched features: Pitch-black skin, occasional small patches of reptile skin over the body, white hair, white eyes without pupils

Powrie
Powrie are evil and sinister shadow fey who delight in violence, murder, and cruel torture. They are deadly predators who are relentless in their attacks, allowing nothing to stop them. Powrie are insulting and offensive, even to their allies. For that reason, those of foul temperament are often said to have the voice of a powrie or a red tongue.
  • Favored class(es): Rogue, many also preferring the assassin and shadowdancer prestige classes
  • Alignment: Always chaotic evil
  • Usual feytouched features: Needle-like teeth, snake eyes, gray skin, wiry hair and beard, wicked smile

Satyr
Satyrs, also known as fauns, are hedonistic sylvan fey that frolic in the wild places of the world. They love fine food, strong drink, and passionate romance.
  • Favored class(es): Bard
  • Alignment: Usually chaotic neutral
  • Usual feytouched features: Tuft of red or chestnut brown hair over the body

Shee
The shee are the most artistic of all the shadow fey, patronizing art of any kind. Their voices are soft and soothing. They never seem to lose their temper, maintaining a calm appearance and speaking in measured tones.
  • Favored class(es): Bard
  • Alignment: Usually neutral
  • Usual feytouched features: Pale hair and skin, amber eyes, feathered brows

Sith
The darkest of the shadow fey, the sith are methodically cruel and have a fascination with death. Sith have a great respect for the dead and their places of rest, often decorating their homes with bones or remnants of departed friends, foes, or allies. They always speak in soft somber whispers. They also have a very morbid sense of humor that many find unsettling.
  • Favored class(es): Rogue, many also multiclassing into wizards, specializing in necromancy
  • Alignment: Always lawful evil
  • Usual feytouched features: Pale skin, long white hair, whispering voice

Teg
The teg are a feral race of shadow fey. They are wild and difficult to control, ever-eager to indulge their own animalistic desires and needs. The teg are hunters by nature, stalking animals for meat and hides. They delight in killing. but even more they rejoice in the hunt. The longer a prey eludes them, the greater their joy at the hunt and the deeper their satisfaction when it is at last brought down.
  • Favored class(es): Druid, though some are also rangers
  • Alignment: Usually neutral evil
  • Usual feytouched features: Cat eyes, fox ears, clawed fingers, pointed teeth


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show

Racial Type: Fey
Hit Dice: d6 (if lower)
Ability Modifiers: +2 Dex, -2 Con, +2 Cha*
AC Bonus: +1 (Fey luck)
Feat: Low-Light Vision
Spell-like abilities (1x/day): Faerie Fire, Daze, Charm Person
Effective Character Level (ECL): +1
Outcast Rating increases by +6 (or more if picking more major traits)

* These modifiers are applied in addition to the standard modifiers for your chosen base race or subrace.

Feytouched humans lose the extra skill point bonus on level ups. This is a hardcoded side effect of having the creature type changed to Fey.
Otherwise, Feytouched characters keep all the regular features of their non-fey blooded parent race.


Source: Van Richten's Guide to the Shadow Fey, Ravenloft Gazetteer V, D&D 3.5 Monster Manual I, Dragon Magazine #313
« Last Edit: November 26, 2023, 08:39:05 AM by MAB77 »
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Draconic Ancestry Template
« Reply #105 on: February 10, 2023, 08:18:38 AM »
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Draconic Ancestry

* Playing this template requires that you fill an application form and receive approval of the Community Council.

As the name implies, this creature template applies to mortals descended from a dragon ancestor. The blood of the dragon manifests itself in subtle ways, granting special abilities and distinct features.


Physical description:
Draconic ancestry characters vary greatly in appearance. Most are perfectly able to hide their unique features and pass for members of their non-dragon kin, while others will have traits marking them as outcasts and might never find acceptance. All dragon-descended characters have talonlike nails (not full-fledged claws), which can be filed or painted over. They also have one or two minor draconic features hinting at their unusual lineage. Possible traits include, but are not limited to, patches of scales covering up a small part of the body, subtle coloration, sharp teeth, a subtle scent, pointed or webbed ears, reptilian eyes, slitted pupils, webbing between fingers, a ridge along the back, shimmering or sparkling eyes, and a slight gleam to the skin.

Features that are too obvious and cannot be easily hidden will raise a character's outcast rating. Major draconic features like full horns, tails and wings are not allowed. Since this template does not change a character's race or subrace, they can continue disguising themselves as members of their race/subrace.


Psychology
The dragon-descended – those with some draconic traits but not true dragons – stand apart from society. For many, this status (or lack thereof) leads to isolation and unhappiness, though some have learned to make the most of their natural advantages.

The ancestry of a draconic character is diluted compared to that of a half-dragon. Such beings might retain superficial details of the ancestral dragon variety, but such is not necessarily the case. They more often inherit some of their ancestor's personality traits.

A touch of dragon in one's bloodline can come from a number of situations. Sometimes it's the result of arcane meddling, mixing elements of draconic blood with that of other creatures. More often, a draconic creature is descended from the union of a half-dragon and some other being.

The descendants of dragons retain some of the characteristics of their forebears, probably due in part to dragons' tendency to mate with creatures of similar bents. Ogres, orcs, drow, and members of other brutal or harsh cultures reinforce their existing tendencies with the blood of evil dragons. The playful nature of copper dragons is most commonly manifested in gnome and halfling descendants. Draconic elves display the patience and wisdom of gold and silver dragons. Draconic kobolds can reflect the personalities of any sort of dragon, but they are most likely to resemble the evil or neutral dragons of earth and deep places.

A draconic humanoid can sometimes pass as a typical member of her race, with her draconic features complementing her existing talents. Such individuals usually enjoy normal lives unless their society is intolerant of even minor variation. Even so, a draconic character's sharp claws can be difficult to explain. Some hide this obviously alien feature, while others exploit it-claws are handy in a fight.

Other draconic beings are visibly different, to the extent that they are sometimes mistaken for half-dragons. They are liable to experience loneliness and misunderstanding similar to that of half-dragons, so they are drawn to others like them.

Draconic characters might not understand why they are different from their kinfolk. The influence of a dragon bloodline could be so far buried in the past that the appearance of such a being is a random fluke. A draconic character knows she is different somehow and might feel an unaccountable longing to see real dragons, but she might never know the truth of her lineage.

Tips for the Application: Is your character aware of their draconic heritage? Did the character's people once live in a closer relationship with true dragons? What is their attitude toward a child with dragon blood? Do they recognize the character for what they are?

Dragon Heritage and Behavior

The presence of dragon blood in one's heritage, however slight, affects one's outlook on life. Draconic characters share some tendencies of the dragons from whom they are descended, but these characteristics are not overwhelming. The following suggestions usually apply to half-dragon characters, but can serve as inspiration to dragon-descended characters.

Black
You are sly and incisive, which might suit you well for the paths of the rogue and assassin. You tend to be unpredictable and violent. Your tendencies might favor rapid advancement in societies that value them but make you the object of suspicion in most others.

Blue
You are vain and acquisitive, proud and fierce. These latter qualities serve fighters and barbarians well, while a rogue might make the best use of the former. Your lawful alignment allows you to be a monk, although you are more interested in physical perfection than mental discipline. You love to display your prowess and boast about your achievements. You prefer to do things on your own, which can cause friction in a group situation.

Green
You are belligerent and tyrannical, preferring to strike first and ask questions later. You like to throw your weight around, so you make an excellent brawler or barbarian. Brutish and warlike cultures value these qualities, but in a civilized setting, you might be a mercenary or a gladiator. If you become a cleric, you tend to serve a deity of strength, conquest, and violence.

Red
You are haughty and covetous, valuing personal wealth and glory above all else. You're a natural sorcerer, since you rely on the force of your personality to acquire riches and power. Greed and pride drive you toward a life of adventure. You can't get enough of preening and admiring yourself in front of a mirror.

White
You are brutish and hedonistic, especially enjoying visceral pleasures. Likely born in the cold northlands, you are uncomfortable in warm environments. The children of white dragons make excellent wilderness travelers, particularly rangers.

Brass
You are the chatty type. You love to engage in conversation, which is to say talk at length without letting another get a word in. The bard class is a natural choice for you. You're usually good-hearted, despite earning a reputation as a bore.

Bronze
You are curious and brave, and you have a soft spot for animals. As a child, you probably had a favored pet or even a bedraggled stray to keep you company without prejudice or question. Perhaps you ran away from your community to take up a life in the wilderness. The children of bronze dragons have a natural affinity for the druid and ranger classes. Those born into wild elf communities are often treated as equals.

Copper
You love tricks and jests, but you're a bit greedy. This personality lends itself well to the bard and the rogue classes and complements a halfling's demeanor perfectly. You might have reacted to your unusualness by becoming a prankster or used your inherent magic to produce entertaining effects. You desperately want to be liked by everyone you meet, and you become petulant if rejected.

Gold
You are wise and patient. You value examining and discussing a situation at length more than undertaking hasty action, but you are committed to a course once you have made a decision. You have a strong sense of justice. The offspring of gold dragons are most likely to become clerics or paladins, usually serving deities of justice and order.

Silver
You're a people person. That's how you were conceived, after all – silver dragons love to spend time among humanoids. The individuals around you might not respond as you wish, either putting you on a pedestal or turning a cold shoulder, but you persist in trying to form friendships and can be deeply hurt when your affection is not returned. Silver half-dragons are drawn to classes that aid and support others, becoming clerics who focus on healing or druids within rural communities


Dragon-Descended Life
The nature of a dragon-descended creature's life depends greatly on how he is perceived by and how he interacts with the nondraconic beings around him. Draconic characters are tougher, stronger, and more self-confident than those who do not have dragon blood. Many exploit these advantages to the fullest.

Leisure
Draconic characters don't live much longer than their ordinary kin, even though their draconic stamina gives them a better chance of surviving to old age. Thus, they do not focus on long-term activities as much as half-dragons.

A draconic creature's interests are often colored by the nature of her dragon ancestor. Thus, a descendant of a lung dragon has a philosophical bent and might be scholarly or interested in art. Someone with green dragon blood tends to be aggressive, interested in boxing or other contact sports. The scion of a brass dragon can happily spend hours in conversation.

Sharp claws make it difficult to pursue activities that require fine manipulation. Draconic pastimes therefore tend to those focusing on physical strength and endurance. A draconic creature might be a champion long-distance runner, for example.

Arts and Crafts
Because delicate craftwork does not come easily to clawed hands, draconic creatures rarely focus on crafts requiring intricate detail. Other than that, their interests span the range of those favored by their mundane kinfolk.

Dragon heritage still tilts a draconic creature's preferences. Descendants of greedy, selfish dragons show little interest in artistic pursuits, especially if they are members of boorish societies. Those with the blood of aesthetically inclined dragons are more attracted to the arts.

In particular, draconic characters prefer the performing arts. Singing in particular is a strength. Performers, already viewed as odd, have no trouble assimilating a not-quite-human member into the troupe. Talent is the only criterion. Draconic characters tend naturally toward the bard class.

Technology and Magic
Where half-dragons truly are of the dragon clan and are strongly inclined to all things arcane, draconic characters are far enough distant from their ancestors to feel less tied to magic. Certainly, they carry the potential for arcane power and can awaken it more readily than those without a draconic heritage-it just doesn't infuse their beings in the same way. As a result, draconic characters are just as likely to engage in technological invention as in arcane study.

If a draconic character is interested in magic, she looks to amplify her existing talents. She's not usually interested in pure power but sees magic as a useful tool, and she has a better aptitude for understanding and operating magic items than others of her race.

Love
Unlike half-dragons, who are so often lonely, draconic characters are less likely to be rejected by the society they live in. Ultimately, how they are treated depends largely on their appearance.

If her dragon blood complements features seen as attractive within her society, a draconic character might be a rare beauty to her people. (Claws can always be trimmed and painted, after all.) An elf with silver dragon ancestry might have shimmering eyes, a slight gleam to the skin, and a graceful carriage that all enhance her beauty.

On the other hand, if the dragon ancestor is incompatible with a society's standards of beauty, its descendant might never find a mate. A dwarf descended from a black dragon, with a gaunt face, sunken eyes, and a hint of horns would be seen as aberrant. Clan responsibilities might give her a home and a role, but not a husband.

Draconic characters who display strong draconic features can be mistaken for half-dragons. Their obvious monstrousness keeps them apart from society, sometimes condemning such unfortunates to despair or even self-hatred. As with half-dragons, they react intensely should they find someone who truly cares for them. Half-dragons and draconic characters can make devoted couples, and most of their offspring are draconic. Such children, raised in an environment of intense caring, usually grow up to be confident and well-adjusted individuals.

War
A draconic character who is integrated into her society is as likely as any other to enter a military profession or serve in a community militia. Indeed, her physical superiority makes her well suited to a martial career. Gifted with a strong personality, a draconic character has the potential to rise to a position of command.

A draconic character who is isolated from her community is more likely to leave early, making her own way in the world and relying on her physical abilities to survive.

Death
A draconic character eventually learns that she isn't as easy to kill as those around her. She's less likely to succumb to a disease or a poisonous bite, and she can endure greater wounds than her kin. This usually leads to one of two results.

The first is a sense of invulnerability. Even more than is typical for youths, the draconic character begins to believe she can take on any challenge and survive any peril. She becomes reckless with her life, seeking out ever-greater thrills. Such creatures end up either dying young, perhaps as an unsuccessful adventurer, or becoming distinguished for the ability to accomplish unlikely tasks.

The second reaction is crushing guilt. Facing the same enemies in battle or assaulted by the same natural forces, the draconic character survives while her family and companions do not. She already knew she was different somehow, and now she seems unjustly favored by fate. She might withdraw completely from society, leaving the community for a hermit's existence. Alternatively, she might decide to throw away her life in some grand gesture, such as killing a terrible monster, which can also lead to an adventurer's life-if she ends up surviving.

Dragon deities and draconic ideas of the afterlife are not important to draconic characters, who are too far removed from their dragon ancestors to feel much connection. They see life and death, and whatever follows, much as their community does.


Dragon-Descended Society and Culture

Where draconic characters are usually included in their communities, half-dragons are rarely part of the culture into which they were born. Each individual creates his own cultural space, perhaps corresponding to a physical place, in which he nurtures his personal values. This is a safe refuge for a bullied outsider or a pressured student, where the unfair expectations of others cannot intrude. Outside this safe zone, a half-dragon must choose between trying to fit in with his surroundings and asserting his individuality.

Attempting to conform to the standards of a biased community is very difficult, but such efforts receive a warm reception in an unbiased culture. This warmth, unfortunately, can be coupled with condescension and unwarranted interest in everything the half-dragon does. People who truly want to be open and understanding often have their actions interpreted as condescending. This behavior can be as irritating to a half-dragon as outright discrimination.

Many half-dragons don't bother trying to be the same as everyone around them. They know they're not the same, and it's denying their true nature to pretend they are. Such behavior is also true of draconic characters who have abnormal features or whose draconic personality is at variance with community standards. They might even take a perverse pleasure in shocking their humanoid neighbors, going out of their way to be exotic. This can include wearing revealing clothing that emphasizes draconic qualities, highlighting claws with color, affecting a crest or horns if they do not already sport such features, and similar things. They might indulge in vandalism, setting fires with their breath, for example.

Draconic misfits could fall in with a bad crowd, if any such will have them, but more often, they strike out on their own as soon as they are able. These pariahs are the most likely to seek a life of adventure. In an adventuring band, draconic appearance and abilities are interesting and useful rather than freakish.

No true half-dragon communities exist. For one thing, these crossbreeds are much more rare than humanoids such as half-orcs. As well, despite the pain and loneliness that defines most of their existence (or perhaps because of it), half-dragons just don't get along that well with one another. The prejudices held by chromatic dragons toward metallic, and vice versa, still express themselves in half-dragons, and the vastly differing personalities even within similar dragon types can lead to friction. Half-dragons also have an inclination to wander, which works against founding stable settlements.

Instead, small bands of half-dragons and their draconic companions sometimes form itinerant encampments. Such groups move from fair to festival to market, although they are sometimes driven away by suspicious townsfolk before they can even unpack. They usually set up in out-of-the-way locales not too far from a humanoid town in which they can acquire needed supplies and sell their wares, keeping the camp hidden and well-guarded.

Such groups contain from three to six half-dragons, usually specializing in different trades; sometimes they are professional adventurers and represent the typical mix of classes found in a party. They are accompanied by draconic mounts, hunting creatures, or pets (often augmented animals) and may have hangers-on with or without dragon heritage.

A traveling camp is a haven of comfort in a hostile world, but because of the frictions that arise between the dragon-descended, its composition is always in flux. Older members leave to pursue their own interests, although they might return after a time to revitalize and enjoy the company of others who accept their nature. New members might sign on for a while to fill an open role. Camp followers, such as farriers or seasonal workers, drift in an out as their work demands. Sometimes nondraconic adventurers are part of the group while it fulfills a specific mission.


Dragon-descended and Other Races
Usually, draconic characters approach other races in much the same way their humanoid kin do, having been raised in the same culture and absorbing the same values and prejudices. However, the draconic essence within such a character can lead to stronger links with the other races of the dragon.

Dwarves
Nondwarf draconic characters usually see dwarves as killjoys, too hardworking and taciturn to enjoy life. The artistic inclination that comes with dragon blood lets them appreciate dwarven craftwork on an aesthetic level, but their more outgoing and individualistic nature puts them at odds with the dwarves' regimented society.

Elves
Given that draconic characters are more self-sufficient, artistic, and individualistic than their kin, they have a lot in common with elves. What they don't share, unless they have elf blood, is long life and a somewhat distant approach to others. Draconic characters can become fascinated by elves, and in such cases they try to spend as much time around them as possible. If a character's dragon blood isn't from a variety of dragon that elves see as an enemy, or if a character's draconic nature isn't obvious, elves respond kindly if distantly.

Gnomes
Draconic characters share an artistic bent with gnomes, and the two races get along better than many. Draconic characters are less likely to have their ordinary kin's impatience with this lively race, though the nature of a character's dragon heritage can color this.

Half-Elves
Draconic characters treat half-elves much as exotic humans, with all that entails. Individuals are judged on a case-by-case basis, though half-elves are arguably given more leeway due to their unusual racial heritage.

Half-Orcs
Brutes: That's typically how a draconic character without orc blood sees these crossbreeds. She feels no kinship with their mixed race, and their crudeness is offensive. Besides, half-orcs think all the wrong jokes are funny. An unusual half-orc, such as a monk, might be acceptable to a draconic character, especially if they are forced to work together in an adventuring party. In general, though, the two races avoid each other.

Halflings
Draconic characters who have chaotic tendencies get along very well with halflings. The two races also share an inborn love of fun and pleasure that manifests in the form of drinking contests, hearty meals, and friendly competitions. Draconic characters often enjoy gambling, and in this they find kinship with halflings.

Humans
As is true of half-dragons, the attitude of draconic characters toward humans depends on the sort of humans they meet. But since their dragon nature isn't generally as obvious as that of half-dragons, draconic characters have less trouble in bigoted societies than individuals who are clearly monstrous. Draconic characters usually get along with humans and are sometimes inclined to hook up with troupes of performers. The two races share the inquisitive, wondering traits that draw them to a life of adventure, and both work well within a party of glory seekers.


Alignments:
Characters with the draconic ancestry favor alignments typical for the society in which they were raised.


Religion:
Draconic characters are close enough to their nondragon kin that they end up sharing the racial or social religious preferences of that race.


Language:
Characters with the draconic ancestry speak the languages of the society in which they were raised. Despite their ancestry, they have no particular affinity for the draconic language, unless they are students of arcane magic.


Names:
Characters with the draconic ancestry have names that are consequent with their base race and society.


Adventurers:
Although the dragon-descended are naturally inclined toward arcane magic, their superior physical and mental abilities make them fit for most classes.

Bard, Hexblade, Sorcerer
These classes are natural career choices for dragon-descended arcane wielders. Magic comes naturally to them. The innate power in theirs veins bolster both their strength, resilience, confidence and their magic aptitudes.

Barbarian & Fighter
Naturally hardy and intimidating, dragon-descended make excellent warriors. As part of an army or mercenary unit, their self-confidence makes them efficient leaders. Among savage peoples, one who is born to draconic heritage is naturally suited to be a berserker. Such characters might become war leaders, but many are solitary ragers who challenge everyone they meet.

Cleric, Favored Soul, Paladin & Voodan
Much like their ancestors, dragon-descended are not especially attracted to divine magic, but make for charismatic leaders in their respective churches. They are especially well suited to the role of a paladin, and although rare, are usually in greater number than priests. Favored souls are virtually unknown among them, as is the practice of Voodan.

Druid & Ranger
Dragon-descended druids and rangers are uncommon. Those who do not fit into their humanoid society might end up as solitary hunters and wanderers. The progeny of dragons often possess an elemental affinity and latent connection with the environment. Their stamina aids in survival, and keen draconic senses give them advantages in tracking and avoiding natural hazards.

Monk
Dragon-descended monks are rare. While as capable of introspection and self-perfection as anyone else, their dragon traits often pull them into a different direction. Still, their great might, fine health, and innate armor is a great asset that would help a dragon descended monk survive in difficult conditions.

Rogue
Dragon-descended are good at intimidation. They make fine thugs, interrogators, and crime bosses. Those who are interested more in scouting and gathering information benefit from their draconic senses and greater constitution. Characters who inherit a calculating or sneaky parent's traits can often turn these to good use as rogues.

Beguiler, Wizard & Warmage
Dragon-descended beguilers, wizards and warmages are not as common as dragon-descended sorcerers, but they can still be strong in the arcane arts. What holds many back is a lack of access to arcane schooling, but in some cultures (especially among elves), dragon-descended youngsters are pushed toward wizardry.

Warlock
Draconic characters are common as warlocks as well, since they often find that the powers that create warlocks do not discriminate against individuals of mixed heritage.


Settings:
This template is restricted to characters native to the following settings: Eberron, Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Mystara and Planescape. These are the settings in which the blood of the dragons is known to be passed in humanoid's lineages.

Eberron
Half-dragons and their progeny do exist on Eberron. However, to have draconic ancestry is both extremely rare and incredibly dangerous. The mysterious dragons of Argonessen, as well as the elves of Aerenal, do not lightly suffer such abomination to exist and would likely take action to quickly extinguish such a bloodline once discovered. The survival of such bloodline is entirely dependant on the discretion of the dragon-descended scions and their ability to cover their unusual heritage.

The dragons of Eberron are of the ten usual breeds of metallic (brass, bronze, copper, gold, silver) and chromatic (black, blue, green, red, white) dragons in terms of size, power and abilities. There ends the similitude with the dragons of other settings. On Eberron, any creature can be of any alignment, this is especially true for dragons. A red dragon may be a kind and helpful sage, while a bronze dragon may be a despicable villain. A dragon-descended character is likewise not beholden to the alignment and traits of the progenitor of its lineage, but traits common to most dragons like pride, resolve and, sometimes, a dash of greed are likely to manifest.

Forgotten Realms
This is possibly the setting where the presence of dragon-blooded humanoids is the most documented. Although rare in itself, dragons and their progeny are prolific. It's been witnessed in the jungles of Chult, in the Underdark, throughout the Sword Coast, the Dalelands, the Spine of the World, in far away Kara-Tur, literally everywhere across the world. It is a common source of sorcerous power. It is not uncommon for members of the Cult of the Dragon to sometime have traces of chromatic dragon ancestry themselves, or maybe even for Cormyrian paladins to have a touch of silver dragon heritage. Virtually all breeds of dragons are capable of producing offspring with humanoids. These descendants tend to retain behaviours and traits reminiscent of the draconic progenitors of their respective bloodlines, but this isn't true in all cases.

The dragons of Forgotten Realms are numerous and varied. The following represent only the most common types of dragons that may be encountered, sorted by their usual alignment. Other breeds of dragons are known to exist, but are rarer.
  • Lawful Good: Bronze, Gold, Silver
  • Lawful Neutral: Emerald, Sapphire
  • Lawful Evil: Blue, Green
  • Neutral Evil: Brown
  • Chaotic Good: Brass, Copper, Song
  • Chaotic Neutral: Crystal, Fang, Song, Topaz
  • Chaotic Evil: Black, Deep, Red, Shadow, White
Characters from Kara-Tur may also trace their ancestry to lung dragons, winged, reptile-like creatures of ancient lineage. They are known and feared for their size, physical prowess, and magical abilities.

Of all the lung dragons, the chiang lung (river dragon) and the shen lung (spirit dragon) are the most likely to take human lovers, and either can bear or father children by them. The offspring of such a union, known as spirit folk, are quite beautiful by human standards. Their appearance and mysterious nature make them intensely attractive. Their grace often passes on to their descendants.

The Lung Dragons
  • Yu Lung (Carp Dragon, N)
  • Chiang Lung (River Dragon, LN)
  • Li Lung (Earth Dragon, N)
  • Lung Wang (Sea Dragon, N)
  • Pan Lung (Coiled Dragon, LN)
  • Shen Lung (Spirit Dragon, LN)
  • T'ien Lung (Celestial Dragon, LN)
  • Tun Mi Lung (Typhoon Dragon, NE)
Greyhawk
Dragon-blooded descendants on Oerth are as common as on Toril, and may still be encountered most anywhere across the Flanaess. The pull of draconic ancestry appears to be stronger in the Greyhawk setting than in any others. The dragon blood in one's veins will steer one's life and beliefs in certain directions. Dragon descendants all adopt traits and behaviours typical of their lineage's draconic progenitor. A Greyhawk dragon-descended character is required to start play with an alignment matching that of the progenitor dragon, and is expected to do its best to maintain that alignment throughout the existence of the character.

The dragons of Greyhawk are the same as those of the Forgotten Realms, including lung dragons, with the exception of the Greyhawk dragon. Also known as a steel dragon, the Greyhawk dragon is either lawful good or lawful neutral.

Mystara
While the presence of dragon-descended humanoids on Mystara is undocumented, several types of dragons, and their dragon-blooded cousins, the drakes, are known to be able to take humanoid forms and to occasionally take humanoid lovers.

The traditional dragons of Mystara do not follow the standard division of other settings. Law vs Chaos is a much more important theme than Good vs Evil in the Mystara setting. Dragons of a given type will always be of the same ethical alignment, but their moral alignment may differ. Dragon-blooded descendants always share the ethical alignment of their draconic ancestor. Of these dragons, the amber, gold, and red dragons are naturally able to shapechange in humanoid forms. Other dragons require magical assistance to do so.
  • Lawful Dragons: Gold (almost always good), Crystalline, Ruby, Sapphire (most usually neutral)
  • Neutral Dragons: Blue, Jade, Onyx, White (they are all usually true neutral)
  • Chaotic Dragons: Red (almost always evil), Amber/Brown, Green, Black (most usually neutral)
In addition to the above, the Savage Coast is also home to the crimson (neutral evil) and red hawk (lawful neutral) dragons.

Drakes are medium sized creature, resembling a small dragon with tiny wings and without front legs. They each have shapechanging abilities and usually hide within humanoid communities. Mandrakes (the creature, not the plant) are known to assume human forms, wooddrakes assume elf and halfling forms, and colddrakes can change themselves into dwarf and gnome forms. These three types of drakes are chaotic creatures. They can be either good or evil, but rarely neutral. They have an acute sense of humor, being very fond of pranks and tricks.

Planescape
Planescape is literally the setting encompassing the whole of the D&D multiverse, connecting all the multiple planes of existence together. Draconic beings of all types can be found across the planes, and so can their progeny. The planes are also home to unique breeds of planar dragons that are equally valid to select as draconic ancestors. Though many of those live in inhospitable environments, they are all able to produce half-dragon offspring and therefore spark new lineages of draconic descendants. The descendants of planar dragons gain no particular advantages over the descendants of dragons from prime material worlds and similarly exhibit traits and behaviours reminiscent of their draconic ancestors.

Planescape characters can select any type of dragon as its ancestor, in addition to the following planar ones. The following list shows dragons by plane of origin and alignment. More detail can be found in the supplement Draconomicon.
  • Acheron: Rust (Lawful Neutral/Lawful Evil)
  • Any Lower Planes: Styx (Neutral Evil)
  • Any Upper Planes: Oceanus (Neutral Good)
  • Carceri: Tarterian (Chaotic Evil/Neutral Evil)
  • Ethereal: Ethereal (Neutral)
  • Gehenna: Pyroclastic (Lawful Evil/Neutral Evil)
  • Limbo: Chaos (Any Chaotic)
  • Mount Celestia: Radiant (Lawful Good)*
  • Pandemonium: Howling (Chaotic Neutral/Chaotic Evil)
  • Ysgard: Battle (Neutral Good)
* These are not related to the radiant dragons of the Spelljammer setting.

All other settings have particularities preventing the presence of draconic blood in one's lineage.

Birthright
Cerilian dragons do exist, but cannot take humanoid forms nor do they willingly mingle with younger races. They are all part of the same ancient race, predating even elves and dwarves. They once existed in great numbers, but now only a handful live in the Drachenaur Mountains and in lands far across the sea. While they are extremely intelligent and preserve knowledge and lore older than mankind, the dragons greatly dislike being troubled by intruders, and view any nondragons as dangerous vermin to be exterminated if they venture too close to a dragon's lair.

Dark Sun
Dragons on Athas are unlike the standard D&D dragons. They are powerful defilers and psionicists that, through mass-murdering rituals, ascended to become draconic beings of frightening power. Only a single being is known to have completed its transformation into a full dragon. Other sorcerer-kings have attempted, or are on their way, to ascend as well, but for the most part are trapped in between humanoid and draconic form. While these beings can have offspring of their own, draconic powers are acquired only through these gruesome rituals, never through bloodlines. One of the sorcerer-kings did create a race of dragonborn-like creatures to serve him, the dray, but they do not crossbreed with other humanoids.

Dragonlance
Of all the dragons of the world of Krynn, only two sorts have the power to assume human or demihuman shape, the gold and silver dragons. Of these two, only silver dragons enjoy taking the smaller shape to mingle in human and elven company. It is extremely rare that a silver dragon would enter into a romantic relationship with a mortal. For a variety of reasons, tragedy always dooms such relationships. More importantly, such a couple cannot bear children without divine intervention requiring the dragon to first become fully mortal and lose all traces of draconic heritage. As such, the blood of dragons is never found among Krynnish mortals.

Gothic Earth
Dragons are virtually absent from Gothic Earth. Characters from this setting cannot be descended from dragons.

Ravenloft
There are too few dragons in the Domains of Dread. They are creatures of myths and legends for most of its inhabitants. It is exceptionally rare for the Mists to capture one, and of those, they are most unlikely to have cordial relations with humanoids. If draconic ancestry creatures exist in Ravenloft, none have been documented so far.

Spelljammer
Only one type of dragon native to Wildspace is known to be able to naturally assume humanoid form: the radiant or celestial dragon. However, this dragon despises mammalian beings, at best regarding them as intelligent rivals for territory. There are a few cases of radiant dragons being friendly to humankind, but these are isolated cases, and the dragons could not possibly imagine taking a human as a mate.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show

Ability Modifiers: +2 Str, +2 Con, +2 Cha*
Saving Throw Bonus: +2 vs Mind-Affecting Spells
Increased AC +1
Nails: 1d2 (Small sized characters), 1d3 (Medium sized characters)
Feats: Low-Light Vision, Darkvision
Skill bonuses: Antagonize +2, Spot +2
Effective Character Level (ECL): +1
Outcast Rating increases by +4 (or more if picking more major traits)

* These modifiers are applied in addition to the standard modifiers for your chosen base race.


Source: Draconomicon, Races of the Dragon, D&D 3.5 Monster Manual I, D&D 3.5 Monster Manual II, Monsters of Faerun, D&D 3e Oriental Adventure, AD&D 2nd. Edition Monstrous Compendium - Mystara Appendix
« Last Edit: May 16, 2023, 09:18:59 AM by MatticusCaesar »

MAB77

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Athasian Dwarf
« Reply #106 on: February 13, 2023, 08:28:30 AM »
Quote
Athasian Dwarf


On Athas, dwarves aren't subterranean miners. They are a long-lived but slowly dying race known for their relentless focus on a single task to the exclusion of all others. They are short, stocky demihumans capable of amazing feats of strength. They are known for obsessive attitudes about the tasks they perform and as such, are considered extremely reliable workers.


Personality:
The saying that a dwarf's first love is hard work is true. How a dwarf behaves depends greatly on his focus. No dwarf is more content than while working toward the resolution of some cause, be it labor or combat. This task, called a focus, is approached with singleminded direction for the dwarf's entire life, if need be, though most foci require considerably less time, such as "dig a new irrigation ditch," "convince the merchants of House Stel to improve our trade terms," or "slay the gaj that's been terrorizing our outpost." The only time constraint for a focus is that it must take more than a week to complete, anything less is nothing more than a simple task. A dwarf does not ignore such short activities, but he derives no satisfaction from their completion. At all times, the dwarf must be progressing toward the completion of the focus, changing direction for no more than a few days at most.

Each dwarf has a focus that guides his actions during every waking moment.  It is possible for a dwarf to have more than one focus, providing both are somehow related. For example, a dwarf whose focus is to construct a new village for his clan to adopt may also have a short-term focus to locate the best builders in all of Athas for this village. A dwarf who dies while resolving a focus is doomed to spend the remainder of its existence as a banshee, forever wandering the wastelands in vain attempts to finish his work.

If you're roleplaying a dwarf, you should be able to describe your current focus in a single sentence without a moment's hesitation. You can change your focus anytime you like simply by telling the DM, although most dwarves don't change their focus until the task is completed or it's apparent that it never will be completed. Think carefully about choosing a focus that'll make your goals diverge from those of the other PCs. Your focus should make for interesting roleplaying, but it shouldn't form a wedge between you and the other players.


Physical Description:
Dwarves stand an average of 4½ to 5 feet tall. They tend to have disproportionate statures because of over-muscled bodies and sometimes weigh as much as 200 pounds despite their height. Their massive hands permit them to hold weapons that seem too large for their size. Equally large feet help keep their bulging frames standing. Deep-set eyes sometimes give the impression that the dwarves are constantly observing, silently watching and judging the actions of those around them.

Other than a distinctive build and usually hairless heads, dwarves do not stray too far from a human appearance. However, endless hours laboring under the scorching, Athasian sun has brought them deep copper tans and calloused bodies. There is a joke spread by the humans that dwarves use no whetstone to sharpen their weapons; instead, they are said to rely upon their own skin to keep their blades sharp.

Dwarves have an average life span of about 250 years.


Relations:
Dwarves categorize people according to their relation to their focuses, not by race, gender, or other characteristics. If someone can aid a dwarf in the resolution of his focus, he'll be at least marginally polite and helpful. However, standing between a dwarf and his focus makes the person an enemy, and not relating to his focus at all makes the being irrelevant.


Alignment:
A dwarf's respect for those who fulfill their stated objectives gives most a lawful outlook.


Dwarf Lands:
Dwarves adapt to virtually all types of terrain on Athas, comfortably settling in mountains. deserts, or near human city-states.

Free dwarves settle in communities, called clans, bound around their families. Ties of the blood are honored and respected above all others, except the focus. Debts and glories earned from one generation in a clan are passed down to the family members of the next generation. There is no way to break free from these nebulous ties, for such a concept is entirely foreign to the mind of the dwarf. Many foci of clan dwarves center around the benefit of the family.

Few communities surpass 300 in number. These communities usually spring from a few extended families linked by a common ancestor whose focus was to start the settlement ages ago.

Most free dwarves earn their money through commerce with the world around them. Dwarven-forged metal is considered to be among the best in all of Athas. Many smiths swell the boundaries of their clan’s economy by purchasing or finding scraps of steel and converting it to arms or armor. Though dwarves despise haggling because it wastes too much time that could be directed toward better things, they set their prices fairly.

In the cities, dwarves who do not craft metal usually hire out as mercenaries. Dwarven mercenaries are highly prized; it is hard to buy their loyalty once it has been purchased by another. Some desperate dwarves find their ways into the gladiatorial pits of the nobles, sacrificing freedom to send money to the homelands.


Religion:
Most dwarves worship one of the dragon-kings, although many heed the words of elemental clerics, especially those of earth and fire.


Language:
The dwarven language is deep and throaty, with hard, guttural consonants that usually end the brief sentences. Since their tongue often makes non-dwarves hoarse after a few hours of speech, dwarves are willing to learn the common language spoken by merchants throughout the land. Because the language is so difficult, dwarves view with respect those who attempt their language for extended periods, in return for the honor they feel is being demonstrated to them.


Names:
Dwarves once had an elaborate naming structure that detailed a particular dwarf's heritage by describing his ancestors. The naming system was unwieldy, however, so it has fallen into disuse, and dwarves have adopted human naming conventions.


Adventurers:
Dwarven adventurers are driven by a focus that puts them in harm's way, such as "map the Jagged Cliffs region," "overthrow the dragon-king," or "make enough money to buy the freedom of my family."


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
+4 Con, +2Wis, -2 Cha*
Darkvision
Increased Hardiness vs. poisons (an extra +2 saving throw bonus is added)
Hardiness vs. spells
Offensive training vs. goblinoids
Effective character level +1

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Con, -2 Cha adjustment for standard dwarves. An extra +2 Con, +2 Wis will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.


Sources: Dragon Magazine 319, Dark Sun Campaign Setting (AD&D), Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium II
« Last Edit: May 31, 2023, 09:17:13 AM by MAB77 »
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MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.

MAB77

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Athasian Elf
« Reply #107 on: February 13, 2023, 08:38:10 AM »
Quote
Athasian Elf


On Athas, elves have pointed ears and dwell in the wilderness, but comparisons to traditional fantasy elves end there. The elves of Dark Sun are clannish, nomadic desert-dwellers said to be as fast - and as mercurial - as the sirocco. They are perhaps the most prolific non-city dwelling race of demihumans east of the Ringing Mountains. Though many of the tribes follow different customs, all elves share one thing in common - a propensity for raiding and warfare.

Elves are tireless wanderers, scouring the desert sands for whatever sustenance and riches they can find. They travel on foot in tribal groups, engaging in thieving and raiding, then disappear in a cloud of dust. Some tribes trade on a more-or-less regular basis with the city-states, but elves are known for their willingness to fleece customers not of their tribe.


Personality:
An elf would rather live a short, happy life among friends than toil for centuries like a dwarf. Many take a perverse pride in the stereotype that labels them as untrustworthy thieves and bandits. Most elves make a respectable living as herders, but a few choose the lucrative profession of merchant or the more dangerous raiding and thieving. The elf is well-equipped for either job because he is versatile at communication, is well-versed in a variety of landscapes, and is able to move much cargo across vast territories in a short time.


Physical Description:
The elves of Athas are lithe and tall, averaging 6½ to 7½ feet tall. They are extremely muscular despite their lean stature. However, the years of exposure have taken a toll on their frames, leading to a weaker constitution. Both males and females wear their hair long.  Sun-baked, wind-carved features dominate the chiseled elven faces. To survive the harsh elements of the deserts, elves are forced to clad themselves in dark, protective clothing, such as voluminous robes. Often, elves will stitch clan symbols throughout their clothes, though never on outerwear, such as cloaks. These articles are painted or weaved to better camouflage the elf within the desert terrain. The elves consider such distinctive garb part of their elven culture, and are likely to continue wearing such attire even within the confines of weather-resistant shelters.

Years of conditioning have instilled within the elves the ability to run quickly over sandy and rocky terrain. Elves have a higher resistance to heat and cold. An elf rarely lives past the age of 140


Relations:
It is said that the only thing harder than finding an elf you can trust is finding an elf who trusts you. Elves either ignore or hold in contempt those not of their tribe, especially nonelves. They share an intensely strong tribal unity that does not extend beyond tribal borders. Outlander elves are as much potential enemies as any other creature. With considerable effort, outsiders can gain acceptance by an individual or an entire tribe, but only through extensive service, sacrifice, and bravery. In much rarer instances, even such noble actions are not enough. Stories abound in taverns that tell of tribal leaders who mandate self-inflicted wounds, such as dagger-drawn tattoos or hot-iron brands. The chance for this earned confidence does not increase because the newcomer is an elf. An elf living among other races carefully tests the friendship of would-be allies before letting his guard down.

The elf's natural enemy is a thri-kreen, who is likely to view the elf as a potential meal. An elf rarely lives past the age of 140.


Alignment:
Elves tend strongly toward chaotic alignments. Whether elves are good or evil depends on what's standing between them and their next drink of water.


Elven Lands:
Some elven tribes have taken up residence in the city-states - usually in their own ghetto - but most roam the sandy wastes, coming into the cities only to trade. Many tribes of elven bandits congregate along major trade routes where they can pick off heavily laden caravans.


Religion:
Few elves serve the dragon-kings - or anyone else for that matter. Many of the larger tribes have druids that provide a measure of spiritual guidance, and clerics of fire and earth aren't unheard of either.


Language:
Many elves speak common, especially those who frequently deal with humans, but the elves do have their own language. This collection of short, usually monosyllabic words is fired off rapidly, making the language difficult for non-native speakers to grasp. As a result, elves find themselves forced to decrease their pace, which they find quite distasteful, when talking to outsiders. Because of this, elves to tend speak far less often to outsiders, an action that leads many to call the elves a bit aloof.


Names:
Elves take a simple name in their own language, and among the tribe they'll append a descriptive term, such as "Vilyaa the Tall," if a particularly common name is causing confusion. Elves separated from their tribe often take the tribe's name as a de facto last name. Tribe names include Night Runners, Silt Stalkers, Silver Hands, Sky Singers, Water Hunters, and Wind Dancers. Many elven names have doubled vowels, indicating that the vowel sound is stretched out slightly.


Adventurers:
An elf's wanderings often develop into adventures whether he likes it or not. Some elves can't resist the temptation to fleece locals as they travel, while others find themselves the target of prejudiced harassment.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
+4 Dex, -2 Con*
Sleeplessness
Bonus Proficiencies (Longsword, Rapier, Shortbow, Longbow)
Skill Affinity (Listen)
Skill Affinity (Search)
Skill Affinity (Spot)
Increased Listen, Spot & Search bonus at 5th and 15th level.
Endurance
Hardiness vs illusions
Low-light vision
Longstrider spell 1x/day
Effective character level +1

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Dex, -2 Con adjustment for standard elves. An extra +2 Dex will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.


Sources: Dragon Magazine 319, Dark Sun Campaign Setting (AD&D), Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium II, The Elves of Athas
« Last Edit: February 13, 2023, 08:41:49 AM by MAB77 »
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MAB

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MAB77

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Athasian Half-Elf
« Reply #108 on: February 13, 2023, 08:48:49 AM »
Quote
Athasian Half-Elf


The half-elves of Athas have no true home: They are regarded as outsiders in both the human-dominated city-states and the elven tribes of the wilderness. Unlike their parents, half-elves have no culture or community to call their own, but the flip side to being an outsider is being able to come and go as you please. Just to get through the day in a world that regards them as halfbreed mongrels, half-elves have become adept socially, using keen perception and a diplomatic demeanor to deflect prejudice.


Personality:
Most half-elves grew up as orphans or in broken homes, and most live uneasy lives in human or elven communities that don't truly accept them. This intolerance they are subject to has given half-elves their greatest attribute—self-reliance. As loners, usually without permanent residence, half-elves survive the rigors of life in the wilderness completely on their own. The skills involved in survival, such as locating food, water, and shelter, are only half of the challenge they face — half-elves must also learn to deal with the absence of companionship, the complete lack of conversation and basic friendship.

Half-elves pride themselves on their self-reliance. Despite their self-reliance, when faced with elves or humans, half-elves often find themselves looking for acceptance. For instance, when among elves, a half-elf will go out of his way to prove just how elven he is, by running great distances with them and observing other social and cultural rituals with the elves. These efforts, however, are mostly lost on the elves and therefore serve no purpose. The half-elf's behavior is seen by some as slightly irrational, but only by those who are comfortably wrapped in the blankets of racial acceptance; having none leaves half-elves out in the bitterest cold.


Physical Description:
Half-elves are generally tall, between 6 and 6 1/2 feet tall, but more meaty than their elven counterparts. Their facial features are clearly more deeply defined than those of a human, but based solely on their countenance half-elves can usually pass for either an elf or a human.


Relations:
A half-elf's life is typically hardened by the intolerance of others. Neither fully human nor fully elven, half-elves rarely find acceptance with either race. Elves are especially intolerant, at times driving mothers of half-elven infants from their camps into the desert. Humans are more apt to accept halfelves as allies or partners, but seldom accept them into their homes, clans, or families. Rarely do half-elves congregate in great enough numbers to form communities of their own, so they remain outsiders, forever wandering from situation to situation without a people, land, or village to call home.

Coincidentally, faced with intolerance from the races of their parentage, many turn to completely alien races for acceptance. Dwarves, halflings, and even thri-kreen have no basic dislike of half-elves—nor do they grant them any favor. At the very least a half-elf dealing with these races can expect no automatic prejudices. Also, some half-elves turn for companionship to the animal world, training beasts of the air and sands as servants and friends.


Alignment:
Half-elves have no affinity for a particular alignment.


Half-Elven Lands:
Unlike half-giants and muls, half-elves do not consider themselves a separate race, and therefore do not try to form half-elven communities. As such, rarely do they congregate in great enough numbers to form communities of their own, so they remain outsiders, forever wandering from situation to situation without a people, land, or village to call home.


Religion:
There are more half-elves than one might expect among the ranks of the templars, because a regimented life spent in dragon-king worship avoids many of the day-to-day difficulties of being a half-elf. Those half-elves who embrace their outcast nature often become elemental clerics, because fire, wind, water, and earth regard half-elves for who they are, not for who their parents were.


Language:
Half-elves speak Common. Those with connections to the elven tribe of a parent learn Elven as well.


Names:
Half-elves adopt the naming conventions of whatever society they live in.


Adventurers:
Almost by definition, half-elves have to make their own way in the world, without a family or community to help them. Thus, the adventurer's life appeals to many.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
+2 Dex
Sleeplessness
Hardiness vs. Illusions
Partial Skill Affinity (Listen)
Partial Skill Affinity (Search)
Partial Skill Affinity (Spot)
Low-light Vision
Effective Character Level +1

* At character creation, remember that the game engine does not apply ability score adjustment on humans. The +2 Dex adjustment will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.


Sources: Dragon Magazine 319, Dark Sun Campaign Setting (AD&D), Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium II, The Elves of Athas
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MAB

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Athasian Halfling
« Reply #109 on: February 13, 2023, 08:57:49 AM »
Quote
Athasian Halfling


Feral creatures who live in the few forests remaining in the world of Dark Sun, the halflings of Athas are out of place in the city-states of the Tablelands. Yet, like how a wild creature held in a zoo can adapt to its surroundings, so too can a halfling find adventure in the cities, as well as the deserts, of Dark Sun.


Personality:
Stories, song, and fine arts are of paramount importance to halflings, who have a rich oral history and collection of mythic tales. Halflings often feel sorry for creatures who have to scrabble madly for water and food, as they have little difficulty obtaining either in their forest homes. This attitude sometimes appears patronizing to others.

Strict carnivores, halflings tend to view all animals, including humans and their ilk, as lunch. Combat honor is a valueless concept to halflings. In battle, halflings resort to what others might call dirty tricks. Having strong ties to the land, halflings are likely to create their weapons from organic sources. A popular tenet among halfling warriors is that a weapon built from the same material as an opponent offers special advantages to the wielder.


Physical Description:
A halfling is a very short humanoid, standing no more than 3½ feet in height. The hair, eyes, and skin color of halflings tends to be as varied as their human counterparts. Proportioned like humans, they are quick and muscular, possessing a strength that belies their size, but they have the faces of wise and beautiful children. Halflings live to be as much as 120 years old, but once they reach adulthood, their features never succumb to their years— it's very difficult for an outsider to determine a given halfling's age. A halfling weighs 50 to 60 pounds and is virtually always in peak physical condition. Many decorate their skin with war-paint, tattoos, and piercings.


Relations:
Halflings have a mixture of pity and curiosity about the people of the city-states, but they're socially aware enough to realize that they will always be a novelty to the larger races. After they've been among humans and other races for a while, most halflings overhear enough tales about cannibal halflings to last a lifetime. However, most don't foul their dealings with those they meet by telling them that most of those stories are true. The halfling's meat-only diet means that halflings see all living creatures more as food than as equals. This perception leads them to expect other races to feel similarly. As a result, at no time is a halfling likely to trust any other member of any other species.


Alignment:
Halflings have no particular alignment preference, although those who travel to the city-states have a tendency to be more chaotic than those who remain in their forest homes.


Halfling Lands:
Halflings are native to the Forest Ridge, a wooded mountain range northwest of the city-states. There the halflings have many villages and even larger settlements. Most halflings, except the chaotic and more brutal renegades near the Ringing Mountains, share a common outlook on life. This universal perception results in considerable racial unity despite geographical and political separations. Though divided politically into separate villages and communities, halflings have great respect for their race as a whole. It is rare that one halfing will shed the blood of another, even in extreme ideological confrontations. Political differences between them are settled wherever possible peaceably, through ritual and custom, most often under the direction of their clerical leaders, the shaman witch doctors. Other races find halfing culture a difficult concept to understand.

Their culture is fabulously diverse, but difficult for other races to comprehend. A complete history of their culture, if such a thing existed, would speak volume upon volume of complex social change, inspirational clerical leaders, and in-depth personal studies of the halfling and his duty to his jungle home. Conspicuous in their absence would be references to great wars of conquest or tremendous monetary wealth—the yardsticks by which other races measure cultural success. Halfling culture cares for the individual's inward being, his identity and spiritual unity with his race and environment. Their culture does not provide for more traditional values, and vices such as greed and avarice are particularly discouraged.

On a personal level, halflings relate very well to one another, well enough to have built a considerable culture rich in art, song, and other expressive communication. They tend to rely heavily on their culture for communication, a culture that both parties in a conversation are assumed to understand.


Religion:
Halflings let their village druids, known as witch doctors, tend to their spiritual needs, although elemental clerics are not unheard of. Rare indeed is the halfling who venerates a dragon-king.


Language:
The halfling language is comprised of a collection of mimicked animal sounds such as whistles, cawing, and chatter. Halflings can also speak the common tongue.


Names:
Halfling names reflect their tribal heritage, full of aggressive consonants and references to the natural world. Common appellations include Windborne Garkala, Kaishak Treetopper, and Shethac Two-Streams.


Adventurers:
Almost by definition, half-elves have to make their own way in the world, without a family or community to help them. Thus, the adventurer's life appeals to many.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
+2 Dex, +2 Wis*
Skill affinity (move silently)
Increased move silently bonus by +2 at level 5, and by +6 at level 15.
Lucky
Fearless
Good aim
Racial attack bonus when using slings
Small stature
Effective Character Level +1

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Dex, -2 Str adjustment for standard halflings. An extra +2 Wis, +2 Str will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.


Sources: Dragon Magazine 319, Dark Sun Campaign Setting (AD&D), Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium II,  Windriders of the Jagged Cliff

These links provide more information on halflings, though some of it may not be canon:
The Good and the Green
Halfling Advice
« Last Edit: February 13, 2023, 09:41:41 AM by MAB77 »
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MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
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MAB77

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Athasian Human
« Reply #110 on: February 13, 2023, 09:07:30 AM »
Quote
Athasian Human


Humans are the dominant culture in the explored parts of Athas. Among the races, they are known for their versatility and willingness to adapt to the harsh realities of life on Athas.


Personality:
Humans tend to be ambitious and individualistic: even the tyranny of the dragon-kings hasn't stamped out human diversity. Other races often don't know what to expect when meeting a human for the first time, because predicting their behavior based on cultural norms is difficult. "It's human nature," they say with a shrug whenever humans take some action for no apparent reason.


Physical Description:
Humans on Athas tend to be dark-skinned with brown or black hair, although exceptions exist. Templar and noble humans tend to display the greatest variety of hair and skin coloration. An average human male stands between 6 and 6 1/2 feet tall and weighs 180 to 200 pounds. A human female is somewhat smaller, averaging between 5 1/2 and 6 feet in height and weighing between 100 and 140 pounds.

On Athas, centuries of abusive magic have not only scarred the landscape — they've twisted the essence of human appearance, as well. Many humans in Dark Sun look normal, and could pass unnoticed among humans of other campaign settings. Others, however, have marked alterations to their appearance. Their facial features might be slightly bizarre; a large chin or nose, pointed ears, no facial hair, etc. Their coloration might be subtly different, such as coppery, golden brown, hueds of grey, or patchy. The differences may be more physical, such as webbed toes or fingers, longer or snorter limbs, etc. A player with a human character should be given broad latitude in making up these alterations to his form, if he so wishes. Ultimately, none of them will give him any benefit nor any hindrance to game play — his appearance is strictly a roleplaying asset.


Relations:
Humans tend to get along well with the races they comingle with (dwarves, muls, elans, and maenads), although their friendly attitude sometimes seems patronizing. Half-giants and thri-kreen are regarded as somewhat fearsome and dangerous. Elves, and to a lesser degree half-elves, are considered flighty and untrustworthy. Aarakocras, halflings, and pterrans are viewed as fascinating and exotic.


Alignment:
Humans have no natural alignment tendencies, although the culture of each city-state pressures its inhabitants to adopt the alignment of its dragon-king.


Human Lands:
Most humans live in one of the seven city-states: Balic, Draj, Gulg, Nibenay, Raam, Tyr, and Urik. Others live in the smaller outposts and communities near oases in the desert, and some few are part of hunter-gatherer tribes in the heart of the wasteland.


Religion:
Most humans worship (or at least venerate) the dragon-king of the city-state where they live. Some few follow the teachings of elemental clerics or join the druids in their nature-worship.


Language:
Humans speak Common, the trade tongue, which is by far the most prevalent language on Athas. Most can read and write - even slaves are taught basic literacy so they can read various signs and inscriptions.


Names:
For most humans, a single name suffices. Templars often take an honorific based on their rank in the religious hierarchy. Nobles also have a family name, which is generally referred to after the word "of," as in "Agis of Asticles." Members of a merchant house take the house's name as their own last name. Freemen occasionally refer to their occupations to avoid confusion, as in "Barek the Weaver."


Adventurers:
Human adventurers tend to be daring and relentless no matter why they're adventuring - whether for fame, fortune, or belief in a cause. Their versatility makes them suited to any class.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
Quick to Master
Skilled


Sources: Dragon Magazine 319, Dark Sun Campaign Setting (AD&D), Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium II
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MAB

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Mul
« Reply #111 on: February 13, 2023, 09:24:17 AM »
Quote
Mul


* Playing a mul requires that you fill an application form and receive approval of the Community Council.

Sterile crossbreeds of humans and dwarves, muls have great stamina. Accordingly, the templars, noble families, and merchant houses breed them as slaves. Many of the same attributes that make them effective manual laborers serve them well in gladiator arenas.


Personality:
Muls often have gruff, taciturn personalities, seen as a sort of social defense mechanism in the slave pits most call home. Many lash out in spite whenever they can avoid the consequences, having never known a friend or companion. Those muls who have escaped the toil of the typical slave (usually by excelling as a gladiator, being set free, or escaping) handle social situations better, but most remain wary of strangers and anyone who hasn't proven their trustworthiness.


Physical Description:
Muls are the product of crossbreeding a human and dwarf parent to create offspring who have the best physical characteristics of both races. Once grown, muls retain the incredible endurance and raw strength of their dwarven heritage and the agility and long limbs of their human side. Such strength combined with dexterity and leverage makes muls very powerful humanoids. Adult muls are 6 to 7 feet tall and weigh 250 to 275 pounds, but some particularly strong muls weigh as much as 300 pounds.

Muls are always lean, their metabolisms devoted to muscle growth and near-continuous activity. Their skin is usually fair, though is occasionally the coppery color of their dwarven parent. Their faces are very human, though subtly altered. Their foreheads set off larger-than-normal eye ridges and their ears are pointed and swept back against the side of the head. Almost all muls, male and female, are bald. Slave muls are tattooed at an early age to denote ownership, occupation, parentage or, in the case of mul gladiators, to denote teams, weapon preferences, or victories.

Mul head tattoos can have a variety of meanings and there are several messages that can be gleaned from a mul's highly decorated head. The basic design denotes the mul's ownership. For instance, the centered three-eyed skulls are the marks of the guard slaves of the templars of Urik, while swirling ram's horns indicate the Merchant House of Tsalaxa. Specific weapons can also be tattooed, showing the gladiator's favorites. Weapon handlers need only look at the mul to see what weapon he might need in the coming match. Hash marks at the base of the skull, lust above the neck, denote victories, while pictograms in the same spot usually portray beasts or monsters the gladiator has killed in the arena. Enslaved muls tend to accept their tattoos as a part of their existence. Free muls hate them and what they represent. Mentioning their tattoos might cause free muls to fight to defend their honor.

Muls live an average of 90 years.


Relations:
Muls are somewhat antisocial, but they don't have a particular enmity for any race. They get along slightly better with their forebears (humans and dwarves) and half-giants, who are often fellow slaves. Fewer than 20% of all muls are free. Even then, they are always in danger of being captured by slavers and returned to servitude, so they disappear from the well-traveled lands. Most free muls barter their fighting skills for coin, but many turn their backs on combat and seek the ways of the priest, psionicist, or even merchant.

The elf tribes have some respect for muls, as well, noting their incredible endurance as more elf like than human. A mu1 who finds himself among the Sky Singers or other elf tribes may do better passing their tests and initiations.

Muls often take humans and less often, dwarves, to be lifelong mates These childless couples are apt to take orphans into their households, and the harsh climate and wars of Athas provide a seemingly endless stream of orphans. Emotionally, muls are unfettered, subject to the full range of happiness and despair, love and rage.


Alignment:
The taskmaster's whip has instilled a lawful attitude in most muls, although those who have fled from slavery are usually chaotic (ex-slaves almost always have a hard time with authority figures). Mul slaves who are treated poorly - which are almost all of them - can nurture such hatred and spite in their hearts that they become evil.


Mul Lands:
Muls have no racial history or culture. They are sterile so they have no cause to gather into family groups or communities. And since most muls live out their lives as slaves, they aren't allowed to congregate outside their specific function. These conditions make the muls' existence, even free muls, isolated and lonely.


Religion:
Most muls are heavily indoctrinated into the worship of whichever dragon-king rules the city-state where they were born. Like half-giants, some enthusiastically take to the state religion, while others curse it under their breath each day.


Language:
Muls raised by both parents speak either Common or dwarf and have an 80% chance to speak the other fluently. Muls reared without their original parents, as is often the case, only learn Common, the common language of slaves, and their command of it is dictated by how important their owner thought language skills would be to their function. If they learn other languages, it's often from captured slaves.

Life as a mul:
Muls are very often born into the gladiatorial pits. Slave owners order the union of a human and dwarf for the express purpose of bearing a mul to become a gladiator. As infants, muls can bring a great price on the block. Their incredible strength and speed make them excellent warriors, and the mobs in the cities adore their mul champions.

Mul slave trade is very profitable. A single mul can have many owners in his life, sometimes bought back and forth among many households in a single city. Free muls who allow themselves to be captured by slavers are easily sold into bondage again. A slave trader can make as much on the sale of a mul as he might with a dozen humans.

Once born into slavery, the mul's difficult life is just beginning. Often the parents of the mul child resent the act they were put through and shun the child. These outcasts live a hard existence for the first few years of life, left without attention to grow wild and savage. Eventually the mul child is taken from the general slave population and raised in a secluded environment. There the child is nourished and minimally educated. By adolescence, the child begins training in the profession chosen by its master, usually combat or heavy labor. The latter are given specific instruction in construction techniques and the management of other slaves. Construction muls are eventually returned to the general slave population. Those destined for the arena, however, receive far different treatment.

A successful mul gladiator is a money maker for his owner. An owner of a mul gladiator with a few victories wants to keep the success alive, treating his property like he would any other good investment. A winning mul gladiator might have a complete retinue of other slaves to tend his every whim, oiling his body, bringing him food and drink on command. The line between owner and slave becomes somewhat blurred, but the mul is never allowed to forget that he is wholly owned. "Pampered like a mul" is an expression often bandied about common folk, but it burns in the ears of the muls who have lived it.


Names:
Muls favor one simple name, generally a human one. They don't have families, so they don't take last names except in unusual circumstances. To avoid confusion, some muls will add an appellation such as "Rikus the Gladiator" or "Kalaa the Stone-Grinder." ((Please note that nicknames cannot be part of the character's name on POTM. They can be mentioned in-character.))


Adventurers:
Muls generally come to the adventurer's lifestyle in one of three ways. Some escape slavery and must remain one step ahead of their former masters. Others win their freedom through luck or skill - often by success in the gladiator arena. Finally, some are former soldiers under the command of the dragon-kings or in the pay of the merchant houses.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
+2 Str, +4 Con*
Natural Healer
Regeneration (1 pt at level 10, 3 pts at level 15)
Effective Character Level +2

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha adjustment for standard half-orcs. An extra +4 Con, +2 Int, +2 Cha will be applied once the subrace is selected in-game.


Sources: Dragon Magazine 319, Dark Sun Campaign Setting (AD&D), Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium II
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MAB

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Rhul-Thaun (Athasian halfling variant)
« Reply #112 on: February 13, 2023, 09:41:14 AM »
Quote
Rhul-Thaun (Athasian halfling variant)


The rhul-thaun, the people of the cliffs, are living remnants of a bygone age. Their culture is based upon a period of time no longer spoken of even in the legends of the other races of Athas. Because of this, rhul-thaun society is unique in all the world.

During the Blue Age, the rhulisti made Athas their own. They tamed the forces of nature and learned to work with the elements rather than struggling against them. The present-day rhul-thaun retain some of their ancestors’ knowledge, although much of it is buried in the rituals and traditions that govern the halflings’ society. There are many reasons why the rhul-thaun are different from the other halflings of Athas, and special in their own right compared to all of the races known to the Tyr Region. Physically and mentally, the rhul-thaun peculiarities are worth noting.


Personality:
To the rhul-thaun there is no world view, there is no existence, without a purpose. Everything in nature, they believe, has a purpose within its ecosystem—even in the harsh deserts beyond the cliffs that so confuse and frighten them. It follows then, that everything else should also have a purpose in life. This idea is instilled in every member of their society, from the very young to the very old.

The individual’s purpose often takes the form of an occupation. In his lifetime, each individual chooses a role that in some way benefits the community as a whole as well as himself.

Each rhul-thaun must know the purpose and function he or she fulfills, to know one’s place in the broader scheme of things. Alone, one must define a purpose of one’s own. When rhul-thaun are feeling tense or anxious, simply focusing on their purpose usually makes them feel more at ease. A rhul-thaun without a purpose soon gives in to despair.

The sanctity of life in all its forms is pivotal to the halflings. While they are not beyond hunting for food and killing to defend their homes, they respect all living things. Rhul-thaun never take a life casually—even the lives of those creatures other races would consider vermin, like rats and insects. In accordance with their beliefs, there are life-taking rituals to be performed before and after killings take place. This philosophy of the exalted nature of life has been preserved and passed down, directly from the rhulisti, for centuries.


Physical Description:
Like the feral halflings of the outside world, the rhul-thaun are short with wiry, nimble bodies. The average height for rhul-thaun males is 3 feet, while females are
an inch or two shorter.

Light of bone and build, the physique of the people of the cliffs is sinewy and tough. Even with an abundance of water, however, their lives are still quite harsh, fostering a need for strong, sturdy bodies. Their skin is fairer than that of most Athasians and appears to be smooth and wrinkle-free throughout most of their lives. Their resilient musculature betrays little of the deterioration caused by time, and they are active even in old age. Rhul-thaun hair color is black or brown, but rare individuals are blond or, more rarely, red heads. A typical member of the race has virtually no body hair other than on his head. Facial hair is unknown to them (its presence on members of other races would probably cause them to believe that person to be an animalistic, monstrous, or barbaric individual). Eye color varies greatly, with green, gray, and brown being most common.

A rhul-thaun proverb states that “age is a measurement of experience, not an assurance of ability.” These halflings do not judge an individual by his age unless he is obviously very young (and therefore inexperienced) or very old (and deserving of respect). It is difficult to tell the age of the rhul-thaun by appearance alone. Not only does the skin of the halflings remain relatively smooth and unblemished throughout their lives, but most healthy members of the race remain active and spry until death. Rhul-thaun live 150 years, longer than halflings of the Tyr Region. Their environment is a healthy one, and most individuals live full, hearty lives.


Relations:
Rhul-Thaun have close to no contacts with the other major races of Athas. Most react with hesitant friendship toward newcomers while others are unable to hide their distrust, speaking against the outsiders and wishing to hide their culture’s secrets from them.

Halflings from the outside world who encounter the rhul-thaun find the experience unsettling. Despite many similarities, the two groups have very little in common when it comes to their fundamental philosophies of life. Isolated, recalling their great past, the rhul-thaun respect nothing more than life and are loathe to destroy it. But the feral halflings, whose history has devolved to legend and whose culture has been corrupted over the years by neighboring cultures, look upon every living thing as a potential source of food.


Alignment:
A Rhul-Thaun's focus on purpose gives most a lawful outlook.


Rhul-Thaun Lands:
Rhul-Thaun live in the Jagged Cliffs. Their focus of purpose also includes the entire society. As a people, they need to feel that they have a status and a mission within the vastness of the world. This is why many believe that High Lord Rhan, who promised to return with the knowledge of that purpose nearly 14,000 years ago, will return. He is their messiah who will lead them to a higher purpose and a greater destiny.

In addition to purpose, structure and order are the linchpins of rhul-thaun culture. All of the rituals that make up their lives have cloaked their perceptions in structure. Their government is a surprisingly complex web of judgment makers, administrators, lawkeepers, and minor bureaucrats, all of whom are there to keep order.

Rhul-thaun society is well defined and divided into extended families called clans. The clans are large enough, and the actual blood relations so distant, that intermarriage among clan members is common and without risk to the children who may be born as a result. The clans are defined more in terms of political alliances than actual ties to family and kin.

Moreover, the idea of the delineating structure of the clans is a fading notion. The halflings identify themselves more closely with their communities than with the clans. Nevertheless, halfling clans still provide a point of reference for each individual. Everyone has the right to take his clan’s name as his surname, and each clan owns colors, patterns of clothing, and hair styles that identify affiliation.

Each clan has a leader or group of leaders called har-etuil. They act as clan chieftains and judges. Each has a physical base of operations called a clanhouse. The clanhouse is used for meetings, important ceremonies (like marriage and naming rituals), and various community events.

Murder, the killing of another halfling, is a very serious crime among the rhul-thaun. Even in dangerous situations, when the lawkeepers have cornered a band of thieves or two feuding clans clash, lives are never taken without careful consideration. However, when the decision to kill is made (and justified to one's own conscience), it is done swiftly and without hesitation. To hesitate before taking a life is the way of outsiders. The destruction of a nonhalfling is more easily justified in the minds of the rhul-thaun, however, than killing their own.


Religion:
Like many Athasian societies, the rhul-thaun have developed what might be called a "religion", one centered around the elements. Their religious convictions are not strong, however, and the priests supporting them are few. Elemental clerics and their followers can be found in most halfling settlements, but their influence is slight. The priests serve the elemental powers of earth, air, and water. Water is the most commonly revered element, and air, particularly among windriders, is also wellserved. Earth too has its place, but serving fire is forbidden. They see fire as a destroyer, a taker of life.

Although life-shapers are not holy men and life-shaping is not a religion, many halflings have elevated these men and their hidden rituals to something that closely resembles worship. The life-shapers wield power not only because they provide the things that support the entirety of rhul-thaun civilization, but also because most of the population holds them in reverence. It is difficult not to look with awe upon those who provide homes, transportation, tools, weapons, protection, food, clothing, and virtually every other necessity and luxury within the culture.

Some venerate the memory and promises of High Lord Rhan Thes-onel. Indeed, he has become a minor deity of a sort. They wait for his return with the fanatical assurance that he will bring with him a purpose for his people. Most realize that no halfling could live long enough for Rhan to still be alive, but they speculate that his coming will be in the form of a spirit, a vision, or a sign of some mystical nature.


Language:
Rhul-Thaun speak Rhul-Thaun, a language directly descended from the speech of the ancient rhulisti. Time has modified the language, but it still sounds like its forbearer. Both are breathy, elegant tongues, pleasant to virtually every ear. To represent the breathy forms of the spoken language, an “h” is often inserted between a consonant and vowel when words are written. Most of the halflings of the Jagged Cliffs do not speak any language but their own. Multilingual rhul-thaunians are extremely rare. Since their contact with the outside world is slight, there is little need to learn other tongues. In fact, the opportunity to study a language other than their own virtually never presents itself.


Names:
Rhul-thaun names are usually formed by combining two existing words to describe that which is being designated. For example, those in charge of keeping law and order are the vher-elus, or lawkeepers. It is common for an object, idea, or even a person to have more than one name. Multiple names describe different aspects of the same thing, and thus are all equally valid and accurate. Usually, however, once a name comes into common usage, popular consensus determines which name is most frequently used. Typical male names include Bal-orean (Strong arms), Bal-olech (Strong back), Dhev-ovaun (Cliff racer), Ser-ogoth (Master of wealth) and Thar-osul (Swift fighter). Typical female names include Fen-aghoun (Beautiful charmer), Yihn-aruth (Sturdy climber), Wir-avios (Wind lover) and Val-agoth (Wealthy woman).

Beyond these given names, every individual can also join the name of his clan to the end of his own. Thus, Val-agoth becomes Val-agoth of Taen, or simply Val-agoth Taen. The clan designators are used less today since the importance of the clan has declined in modern rhul-thaun society. The clan names are too numerous to list here, but all are short, one-syllable rhulisti names like Bein, Glahr, Taen, and Sul.


Adventurers:
Many of the rhul-thaun are curious to discover what lies beyond their ledges, so a Rhul-Thaun halfling may certainly accompany a party wherever its adventures take them.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
+2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Str*
Fearless
Good aim
Lucky
Skill Affinity (Move Silently)
Skill Affinity (Listen)
Sling Attack bonus
Small Stature

* The game engine automatically applies the default +2 Dex, -2 Str adjustment for standard halflings at character creation. An extra +2 Wis will be applied once the subrace is acquired in-game.


Sources: Dragon Magazine 319, Dark Sun Campaign Setting (AD&D), Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium II,  Windriders of the Jagged Cliff
« Last Edit: April 22, 2024, 09:16:21 PM by EO »
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MAB

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MAB77

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Tarek
« Reply #113 on: February 13, 2023, 09:52:33 AM »
Quote
Tarek


With strong brows, long arms, thick hides, and a maw full of sharp teeth, tareks are well adapted to the wastes of Athas. These large brutish beings are a terror to behold; sweeping down on unknowing caravans with the blessings of their earth shamans upon them. Of the many races that wander the Tablelands, tareks have a bond with earth and stone like no other. It is whispered by those who know of such things that the tarek people were created by a fearsome entity of elemental earth.


Personality:
Tareks are violent and aggressive. They place great value and honor in physical prowess. While tareks will use weapons, they shun armor of any sort. Instead, they rely on their own tough hides and natural combat agility to protect them.


Physical Description:
Tareks are big, musclebound, and hairless bipeds that inhabit the hilly and mountainous areas of Athas. They have square, big-boned heads with sloping foreheads and massive brow ridges. Their flat noses have flared nostrils, and their domed muzzles are full of sharp teeth. Their powerful arms are so long that their knuckles drag along the ground. Tareks have a distinct musky odor that can be detected from as far away as 15 feet.

Tareks move with jerky, awkward strides except when engaged in combat. Then they exhibit a style and grace usually uncommon in creatures of their size and build. To watch them engage in combat is to watch fluid motions that are as artistic as dance — unless the viewer happens to be on the receiving end of the deadly spectacle.

Tareks have an average life span of 50 years (though few creatures ever get to die naturally on Athas).


Relations:
Tareks hate wizardly magic in all its forms. They go out of their way to destroy defilers, and they’ll even chase away preservers who use their magic in the vicinity of a tarek community. This hatred of magic translates into a strong dislike for elves, since elves often deal in the business of spell components and have an innate love for all thing magical. Tarek raiders often attack elf tribes that wander too close to their territory as an automatic response to the probable proximity of wizardly magic.

On the other hand, tareks have a great deal of respect for all types of priestly magic. The elemental forces that hold sway over the world receive as much reverence as the violent tempered tareks are capable of giving. However, tarek tribes tolerate only one kind of cleric in their midst — earth clerics. Tareks respect the earth and everything connected with its elemental nature. They consider themselves to be born of the earth, and feel a kinship with the mountains and hills they choose to live among. “Solid is the tarek, strong like the earth, and numerous as the soil,” sing the earth clerics of the tarek tribes.

They sometimes wage great wars with the gith, as both of these races seek to control the same territory. If they hate elves because of their association with magic, then they hate gith because the gith are seen as abominations to the elemental earth forces. Gith set up lairs beneath the mountains tareks hold sacred, defiling the earth with their very presence (at least according to the teachings of the tarek shamans). As such, tarek communities see it as their sacred duty to keep gith out of the mountains and hills they have selected as their homes.


Alignment:
Primarly Lawful Neutral.


Tarek Lands:
Tareks gather in tribes, building small communities in the hills and mountains of the Tyr region. These communities often sustain themselves by raiding, and visitors are not welcome. Unless a group of visitors include an obvious elemental cleric, tarek warriors rush out to kill or drive the intruders away. In rare instances, members of a community will be sent out to trade with merchant caravans, but few traders will blindly conduct business with these representatives. More often than not, such representatives are decoys for an unseen raiding party. More than one caravan has been taken by surprise while negotiating a deal with tarek traders.


Religion:
Tarek tribes tolerate only earth shamans and clerics in their midst. Tareks respect the earth and everything connected with its elemental nature. They consider themselves to be born of the earth, and feel a kinship with the mountains and hills they choose to live among. “Solid is the tarek, strong like the earth, and numerous as the soil,” sing the earth clerics of the tarek tribes.

Tarek shamans constantly commune with nature, and thus live near to but outside the tarek community they are attached to. This lends them an air of mystery that helps strengthen their role in the tribe. They serve as advisers to tribal chiefs and leaders, direct the spiritual life of their tribes, teach tribal legends and traditions, and act as medicine men for their communities. They also direct the rituals and ceremonies that make up much of the tribal lifestyle.


Language:
Tareks speak their own language, as well as the common language of the Tyr region (Common). Their voices are harsh and gutteral, as fearful in tone as their appearance and just as powerful.


Names: Male Names: Chilod, Foreg, Kilorthrak, Rathgikek, Lywfenk, Trathsuyl, Kissfedg

Female Names: Felorn, Kester, Kisal, Zikulg,  Gystun, Tragun


Adventurers:
Tarek leave their tribes for many reasons. These reasons can include a time of wandering if the tarek is an earth priest, or perhaps they have grown tired of the brutal lifestyle of the tarek people and seek a more civilized life. A brave warrior may also have been sent on a quest for the tribe or an earth shaman.

In the "civilized" lands of the Tablelands, tareks sometimes have difficulty adjusting to the soft culture of the city-dwellers. Tareks often have to restrain themselves from challenging others to prove their strength on a regular basis. However, if a matched pair of tareks enters the arena, their savage nature as gladiators can provide them bloody outlets.

Many tareks are brought to the civilized world against their wishes as slaves. As a slave, a tarek will usually be used as brute force labor or sent to the arenas as a gladiator. Should a tarek be freed from slavery, some will continue with the civilized life, often adventuring or joining a slave tribe - a lifestyle that is reminiscent of their tribal roots.

Tarek culture raises brutal xenophobic raiders and few tareks have remorse or a conscience to hold them back. Whether raised in a tarek tribe or a gladiator school, tarek young are subjected to severe training and toil. As a result tarek usually take time to warm to others, if at all. Many remain violent destructive sociopaths, but a few can overcome their upbringing. A tarek who has befriended members of another race is a fierce loyal ally.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
Racial Type: Monstrous Humanoid
+2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha
Darkvision


Source: Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium II
« Last Edit: September 16, 2023, 01:20:11 PM by MAB77 »
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Blooded One
« Reply #114 on: March 06, 2023, 08:32:06 PM »
Quote
Blooded One


* Playing this template requires that you fill an application form and receive approval of the Community Council.

"Blooded" creatures, often referred to blooded ones, are humanoid creatures changed through a magical process into strong, fierce, and loyal creatures by the Red Wizards of Thay or Hazlik and his wizards in Hazlan.


Physical description:
Blooded ones look much like their base race, but their skin is dark and mottled with red, and their eyes are a deep yellow.


History:
Over the centuries, the evil masterminds of the Red Wizards have continuously pressed their finest researchers to breed for them a race of ultimate warriors, violent but intelligent and entirely loyal to Thay. Time after time, the wicked wizards failed, but eventually they stumbled onto an idea. Instead of breeding a new race, they'd simply take an existing race and put its young through a process that would transform them into the kind of creatures the Red Wizards sought. Thus, the blood orcs were born.

The wizards perfected a procedure that involves immersion in a pool of alchemically treated blood - a crimson baptism from which the infant emerges tougher than ever, ready to become one of the finest warriors of Thay. This process can be used on any humanoid, but the Red Wizards prefer orcs, whose evil natures make them more useful for the wizards' ends. It's now rare to find a legion that doesn't have at least one unit of blood orcs in it.

The Red Wizards are experimenting on other races with the techniques used to create blooded ones, too, so it may be only a matter of time before even more "blood" races are seen in the armies of Thay.

Hazlik brought with him knowledge of the process to create blooded ones to the Demiplane of Dread. Orcs, and half-orcs, being extremely rare in Ravenloft, Hazlik has instead opted to use calibans, which he raises to guard Veneficus and the Red Academy.


Creation:
To prepare the mixture for a single blooded one, an arcane spellcaster must know how to brew magical potions and expend one day and rare material components – in addition to the fresh blood of at least two medium-size or four small humanoids. The creature to be changed must be immersed in the alchemical mixture for at least 24 hours and is entitled to a Fortitude save (DC 16) to resist the change if it is unwilling.

The blooding process can be applied only to a young creature (any creature that has not yet reached the age of adulthood for its race). The mixture is virulently poisonous to adults, who must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 16) upon initial exposure to the bath or take 1d10 points of temporary Constitution damage. Creatures failing this save must make a second save 1 minute later.


Society:
Blooded calibans, or Thayan orcs and half-orcs for that matter, are given what few others of their kind are granted, a sense of belonging, a family and a purpose. That isn't to say their upbringing was a soft and happy one, sheltered from prejudice. If anything, being groomed as a guard to Hazlik and his wizards, or as a soldier for the Red Wizards of Thay, is as harsh an upbringing as can be expected, but at least they have always been able to rely on members of their unit for support. Their upbringing molded them into a cohesive and disciplined group which executes orders without questioning. A strong bond forms among them. Their shared trauma and background ensures they understand one another very well.

In Thay, blooded ones patrol together and serve in their own units. They are highly disciplined and display a strong loyalty to their commanders first, to their unit second.

Blooded ones who flee or are dismissed from service struggle to adjust to the outside world, and find no solace among their former companions who remain in their masters' service.


Personality:
Blooded ones are fierce, loyal, and physically powerful. Because of those traits, they make excellent shock troops and elite guards. They are wary of strangers and reluctant to form new bonds, but once someone has proven their might and earned their respect, they will find a steadfast and powerful ally.


Relations with other races:
Whilst blooded ones share many traits with orcs, half-orcs and calibans, because of their transformation and upbringing, they look down upon those races as uncivilized and primitive. Their strongest sentiments are directed to humans: blooded ones have been raised to obey humans, and are thus more prone to listen to and naturally follow them. However, some blooded ones, especially those who escaped or were expelled, resent humans for the way they have been treated and used.

In Hazlan, blooded calibans openly serving Hazlik or the Red Academy are given a wide berth by both Mulan and Rashemi. They are not welcome in any establishments nor are they allowed to purchase goods as humans would, but none would dare attack them or stand in their way, lest they anger Hazlik and his wizards. Blooded calibans in turn keep a low profile, and avoid upsetting the Mulan or endangering their Rashemi serfs, for they know their masters' punishment will be swift and brutal.


Alignment:
Blooded ones are usually lawful evil. They are fierce and loyal since they have been trained their entire life to act as soldiers or guards for their evil masters.


Religion:
There is no common religion to blooded ones. Thayan ones will likely pay homage to one of the non-chaotic deities primarily worshipped in Thay such as Bane, Kelemvor, Kossuth, Loviatar, or Shar.

Hazlani blooded ones are only exposed to the Church of the Lawgiver, and most will be devout worshipers, though none will ever serve in the clergy. The Hazlani Branch has an ambivalent position about them. Whilst they are considered abominations, the clergy recognize it is best not to speak ill of them in fear of angering the Red Wizard himself. The Hazlani Branch has thus proclaimed that the Iron Tyrant has granted Lord Hazlik, as divinely appointed ruler, the power to purify calibans of their evil taint, and that should they serve dutifully all their lives at their proper station, that of lowly guards and enforcers for their masters, they may yet find a place in the Iron Paradise, where the Lawgiver shall grant them a more seemly form. Rogue blooded ones, on the other hand, are promptly dispatched to the Hell of Slaves. This proclamation has not been recognized by the Himmelsk Naeve, furthering the schism between the two branches of the faith.


Language:
Thayan blooded ones speak Common, Orc and Thayan. Hazlani ones speak Common and Vaasi.


Names:
Blooded ones are usually given a new first name typical of their master's culture, with the last name being that of the wizard, or family, they serve.

Mulan Male Names:
Aoth, Balser, Bareris, Enevold, Ehput-Ki, Hassan, Kethoth, Kyrill, Marcus, Momme, Mumed, Ossur, Preben, Ramas, So-Kehur, Taico, Thazar-De, Urhur, Zoltan

Mulan Female Names:
Alvina, Arizima, Cattia, Chathi, Elida, Helma, Kaisa, Leila, Malvina, Murithi, Nephis, Neya, Nulara, Sefris, Thola, Trine, Umara, Zilla, Zolis

Rashemi Male Names:
Alpagu, Borivik, Cengis, Doukan, Faurgar, Haydar, Jandar, Kanithar, Kubilay, Madislak, Mengu, Nisami, Ozalan, Ragap, Ralmevik, Shaumar, Toktamop, Vladisak

Rashemi Female Names:
Adelet, Cemiyet, Cemre, Bengi, Feyza, Fyevarra, Gunay, Hulmarra, Immith, Imzel, Julide, Navarra, Roxelana, Shevarra, Sobehat, Tammith, Yuldra, Zumrut

Common Thayan Names:
Ankhalab, Anskuld, Fezim, Hahpet, Nathandem, Sepret, and Uuthrakt.


Adventurers:
Blooded ones adventure for a variety of reasons. They may be on a mission on behalf of their master, have run away or been expelled from their unit. They are a disciplined lot accustomed to highly regimented lives, mostly being groomed as shock troops. The vast majority are fighters, though some may be trained as rangers to act as scouts. More rebellious blooded ones or those more attuned with their base race may choose the path of the barbarian.

A blooded one of any other class would be a rare exception. Few, if any, ever display magical talents nor any affinity with magic. They are also not welcome in the clergy of their masters' culture. They are very ill-suited to artistic pursuits and all classes requiring guile to get by.


Interaction with the Red Academy Faction:
Hazlani blooded ones transformed by Hazlik or his wizards may opt to start in the Red Academy where they will act as guards (rank 0). Since they are transformed for a single purpose, they will not be allowed to rise in ranks in the Academy.

Thayan blooded ones or blooded ones created by rogue Hazlani wizards cannot join the Red Academy faction since Hazlik would not trust the creations of rival wizards.


Settings:
Blooded is a racial template that can be added to any humanoid. However, on Prisoners of the Mist, it is restricted to half-orcs from Thay (Forgotten Realms) and calibans native to Hazlan (Ravenloft).

In an unofficial project called Teeny Tiny Tales of Terror, the authors of the 3rd edition Ravenloft books included blooded one as a possible template within the Ravenloft setting.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show

Ability Modifiers: +2 Str, +4 Con, -2 Int*
AC Bonus: +2
Feat: Improved Initiative
Spell-like abilities (1x/day): Blooded One War Cry (all blooded ones within 30 feet (including itself) gain a +1 morale bonus on all attack and damage rolls for 2d4 rounds)
Effective Character Level (ECL): +1

* These modifiers are applied in addition to the standard modifiers for your chosen base race or subrace.


Sources: Unapproachable East, Teeny Tiny Tales of Terror
« Last Edit: January 26, 2024, 01:58:32 PM by EO »

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Hagspawn
« Reply #115 on: March 06, 2023, 08:43:29 PM »
Quote
Hagspawn


* Playing this race requires that you fill an application form and receive approval of the Community Council.

Sons of malicious, predatory mothers, hagspawn are especially feared for their brutal strength, resilience to magic and foul disposition. They are not a complete race, as there are no females of their kind.


Origin
Sons of malicious, predatory mothers, hagspawn are not a complete race, as there are no females of their kind and they cannot reproduce. Hags continue their awful lineage by taking human males for mates through charm or coercion, usually murdering and devouring the hapless captive later. The female children of a hag quickly grow into hags like their mothers, but the male children are hagspawn, brutish and ill-tempered half-human outcasts who inherit many of their hideous parent's worst qualities.

In Ravenloft, hags typically only produce female offspring. However, in extremely rare cases, for reasons unknown, a hag may give birth to a male offspring, a hagspawn. While hags do not have any maternal instinct, exchanging their female offspring with healthy babies to be raised by unsuspecting humanoids, they particularly despise and hate their male offspring, seeing them as abject failures. Were hags humans, those babies would be left to die, but, either out of sheer malice or spite, hags instead leave them as foundlings, or worse, exchange them for healthy babies. Legends also speak of hags using foul magics to transfer their offspring directly into the womb of a female humanoid. Hagspawn born that way are generally mistaken for calibans.

Usually abandoned while young, when not outright killed or left to die by the distraught parents, hagspawn frequently fall into lives of violence, murder, and brigandage, using the physical strength and toughness of their monstrous heritage to intimidate the smaller and weaker folk around them. Feared and hated by normal humans, hagspawn must make their way in the world by dint of their strength, hardiness, and sheer determination.


Physical Description:
Hagspawn resemble brutish humans at first glance. They are tall and powerfully built, with long arms, big hands, and a distinctive hunched posture. Their hair is long and lank, usually greasy black, and their red eyes gleam with malice. Their faces are heavy-featured and coarse, and their skin coloration often hints at their mother's kind - pallid blue for the sons of annises, sickly green for the spawns of green and bog hags, yellowish for the scions of sea hags, blue-white for the offspring of bheur hags, leathery yellow-brown for those borne of shrieking hags, and pale green or blue for the sons of silats.

In lands where hags are scarce, a hagspawn might pass for a loutish and ill-favoured human, but those who are familiar with tales of hags, such as the folk living in the Eastern regions of Faerûn or Tepest in Ravenloft, know them all too well.

Note that hagspawn cannot be born of night hags since these creatures are fiends, rather than hags. Their descendants are half-fiends and tieflings.

Age, Height & Weight tables
AdulthoodMiddle AgeOld AgeVenerableMaximum Age
15
40
60
80
120
Base HeightHeight ModifierBase WeightWeight Modifier
5'0"
+2d10
125 lbs
x(2d4) lbs


Personality:
All too often, hagspawn are filled with the malice, violence, and resentment of their monstrous parent. They are quick to take offense and view even the most innocent remark as a hidden slight. People regard them as ill-tempered monsters, and many hagspawn perpetuate distrust of their kind by behaving exactly as expected. They look out for themselves first and regard companions as temporary allies to be discarded when convenient. Unlike many other evil-natured creatures, though, hagspawn are capable of working furiously to achieve a desired end and do not shy away from physical hardship or danger if the reward seems worth the risk.

Many hagspawn overcome their evil tendencies and strive to get along as best they can in human society, enduring the suspicions of their neighbors while proving themselves through their actions. Stoic and uncomplaining, a hagspawn of this sort can be a great force against evil.

Gifted with unusual strength, tough hides, and an innate resistance to magic, hagspawn naturally gravitate to physical combat. They favor large, powerful weapons and are notoriously reckless with their own lives, counting on their superior brawn and ferocity to see them through.


Society:
As outcasts, hagspawn are not welcomed in any society. They do not form communities of their own either, but can be found in any domain.

In Ravenloft, the spawn of annises and green hags are more common in domains of the Eastern Core, especially around Tepest, Nova Vaasa and Eastern Darkon. The offspring of sea hags tend to concentrate in coastal areas bordering the Nocturnal Sea and the Sea of Sorrows. Bheur hags' often dwell in the Frozen Reaches and the heights of the Balinoks, the Mountains of Misery and the Sleeping Beast. The sons of shrieking hags dwell primarily on the Vaasan Plateau. The spawn of bog hags are most common in the vicinity of marshes and mire, notably the Great Moor of Mordent or the Boglands of Darkon. Rarest of all would be the hagspawn of silats, hags dwelling in desertic domains.


Relations with Other Races:
Hagspawn don't get along well with anybody, although they have a certain sympathy for half-orcs, tieflings, calibans, and other outcasts. Hagspawn are infamous for their evil tempers, violent natures, and depraved crimes. As a result, they generally can expect no welcome from the xenophobic people of the Core and the domains beyond. The best they can hope for is for a measure of tolerance, provided they keep themselves out of sight and out of trouble.

Perhaps not too surprisingly, it is the Church of Hala that takes the most sympathetic view towards hagspawn children. Reasoning that these children are victims of circumstances beyond their control, they will do their best to provide an environment where the young hagspawn may grow and be encouraged to curb its natural tendencies toward evil. Such hagspawn sometimes grow to become stalwart allies in the fight against hags.


Alignment:
A typical hagspawn is a malefactor through and through. Those who conquer their violent heritage don't fit in with very lawful societies but do best where an individual is judged on his own merits.


Religion:
Hagspawn most often adopt a faith that appeals to the lonely, embittered, and vengeful. On Toril, Bane, Shar, and Cyric are common patron deities, although the elemental fury of Talos and the battle skill of Tempus also speak to the hagspawn's violent nature. In Ravenloft, hagspawn from Tepest are more likely to be drawn to the worship of Morrigan or Arawn. In the southern domains of the Core, they may join Nerullite cults, and in Darkon, the Powers of Death of the Eternal Order. In Nova Vaasa and Hazlan, they may even call upon Mytteri. Good hagspawn most often worship the deity of whatever community they eventually find a home in, such as Hala.


Language:
Hagspawn usually learn to speak Common, Giant and the human language of their native region.


Names:
Hagspawn usually take simple human names for themselves in the language of their home region. Some claim their father's surname, while others who do not care to hide their heritage call themselves "Hagson," or use their monstrous mother's name if they knew her, something extremely uncommon in Ravenloft.


Adventurers:
In one sense, almost all hagspawn are adventurers, with dim prospects for staying at home and living as normal members of a human community. Many are wandering brigands, thugs, and sellswords, never staying too long in any one spot lest their neighbors blame them for some crime or misfortune. Hagspawn make good fighters and rogues and are well suited to a life of violence and robbery.

A hagspawn's favored class is barbarian, but they also make good fighters, rangers, and rogues. Given the circumstances of their birth, hagspawn are loners by nature, and few become the leaders of anything at all. Hagspawn clerics usually worship evil, violent deities.


Settings:
Hagspawn may only come from the Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft settings.

Hagspawn usually hail from the world of Toril (Forgotten Realms), the only world in which hags officially are known to produce male offspring. They are more common in Eastern lands like Rashemen where a significant number of hags reside.

In an unofficial project called Teeny Tiny Tales of Terror, the authors of the 3rd edition Ravenloft books included the hagspawn as a possible creature within the Ravenloft setting. This project also provides further information as to where various types of hags, and therefore hagspawn, reside within Ravenloft.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show

Racial Type: Monstrous Humanoid
Ability Modifiers: +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Cha*
AC Bonus: +2
Darkvision
Immunities: Enchantment spells affecting humanoids only (Daze, Charm Person, Dominate Person, Hold Person & Mass Hold Person)
Spell Resistance (11 + Character Level)
Outcast Rating as Calibans.
Effective Character Level +2

* The game engine automatically applies the default +2 Str, -2 Int and -2 Cha adjustment for standard half-orcs at character creation. An extra +2 Con, +2 Int will be applied once the subrace template is acquired in-game.


Sources: Unapproachable East, Van Richten's Guide to Witches, Teeny Tiny Tales of Terror
« Last Edit: March 06, 2023, 10:09:30 PM by EO »

MAB77

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Eneko
« Reply #116 on: March 11, 2024, 08:58:47 PM »
Quote
Eneko


* Playing this race requires that you fill an application form and receive approval of the Community Council.

Descendants of ogre refugees that mingled their bloodline with that of nomadic half-giants, the Eneko count themselves as children of the Sundering of Sarlona, and Syrkarn's true inheritors. The peaceful ogre-folk have made an independent life for themselves in the shadow of the indomitable Riedran Empire, and they intend to keep it that way.


Physical description:
The Eneko are an ogre/half-giant hybrid that now breeds true. Eneko are slightly shorter than their half-giant kin, averaging at around 6'4" tall. Their skin carries a green tint that inspires their belief in an ogre mage ancestry, and some Eneko sport vestigial horns and prominent canine teeth. Large and muscular, they tend to weigh a solid 250-350 pounds. They age slower than humans, reaching adulthood in their late 20’s and living an average of 120-140 years

Quote
Developers' Note: Vestigial horns cannot be represented in-game using VFX for the time being, but can be described in the character's description. They would be very short, close to stubs.


History:
Born from the mingling of half-giant nomads hailing from Xen'drik with refugees from the Ogre kingdom of Borunan, the Eneko have since developed a racial identity all their own. The wreckage of the violent wars known as the Sundering over a thousand years ago left the old Yuan-ti empire of Syrkarn desolate, the survivors having fled to Xen'drik. But the fertile plains were a welcome home for refugees fleeing Riedra, and Sarlona's newest children. Ever since they've held the land despite all that would try to take it from them, and they show no signs of letting go.


Outlook:
Eneko are a proud people, with an unwavering sense of duty to their community. Never seeking power beyond their station, they perform their chosen role to the best of their ability and expect those they trust to do the same. Most interpersonal conflicts in their communities come from a break in that expectation, with someone taking power that isn't theirs or credit beyond their due. But when the work is good, they'll take all the time allowed to them to celebrate the fruits of their labor.


Society:
Eneko live almost exclusively in Syrkarn, except for adventurers. They tend to live life as either nomadic hunters or more settled farmers, often going through a cycle between them throughout their lives. The young will take to the Hunt, learning the ways of the world in the woods after they're old enough to leave the home. As they age, they'll return to their farming communities to settle down, raise a family, and take up a vocation, before moving on as a nomad once more in their twilight years. The empire of Riedra casts a long shadow over Syrkarn, but a perfect storm of circumstances has allowed the country to remain independent, and this independence is something the Eneko take an undying pride in. The people of Syrkarn would go to the ends of the earth to see that freedom preserved, no cost is too great to pay.


Relations with other races:
On Eberron, Eneko make their homes with humans in communities of similar numbers, the differences between them respected as room for specialization rather than something to discriminate along. One taken by the mists will be in for the rudest of awakenings when their green-tinted skin and giant stature will see them outcast to the margins of society.


Alignments:
Like any other sentient beings on Eberron, an Eneko may be of any alignment. They are as likely to be good or evil, with their traditional lifestyles suggesting that most of them would ethically tend toward neutrality.


Religion:
Eneko living the agrarian lifestyle tend to worship Arawai in her aspect as Rowa of the Enduring Trees. Throughout the year they celebrate her name in the hopes of another year of plenty, offering up to her a portion of grain and produce in return. On the other hand, those who live the life of the nomadic hunter offer their prayers instead to Balinor in his aspect as Banor the Bowhunter. Brother of Arawai, the two gods represent a balance of civilization living in harmony with nature. A few Eneko, acting in isolation from the rest of their society, are part of a mysterious cult to a figure known as Karrak the Final Guardian. Little is known about this cult beyond the trouble they bring, though rumor among scholars is that Karrak may be an aspect of The Keeper of the Dark Six. Unlike the worship of Rowa and Banor, these enclaves are exclusive to Eneko and forbid human participation.


Language:
An Eneko's native language is Riedran, but it isn't uncommon for them to learn Common, Dwarven, Giant or Quori.


Names:
The Eneko tribes typically use a first name and a clan name. Because clan names are fixed in number, Eneko traveling outside their homeland often add their place of birth or vocation as a de facto third name.
Male names: Alimbida, Ametzama, Baraxil, Eusko, Iker, Kaxen, Kusko, Perutxo, Txartiko, Urtungo.
Female names: Agosti, Denlilla, Eninnuta, Immasa, Iziaka, Jhaszuurra, Nahia, Ospinu, Szagani, Urumea.
Clan names: Dgatumdut, Galgalmemean, Garranan, Hrursaggat, Ididignaam, Lagaskiaker, Maraandun, Numanigar, Tartarredar, Tumagin


Adventurers:
Harvests aren't always plentiful, and peace with Riedra is never to be taken for granted. Whenever the going gets tough, the tough are quick to rise to the challenge to ensure the safety and welfare of their community. Equipped with the experience of the hunt, rangers make up a majority of Eneko adventurers, with rogues, fighters, clerics, and barbarians making up most of the rest. However, the blood of ogre mages in their history means the occasional born sorcerer comes as little surprise.


Settings:
Enekos are exclusive to the Eberron setting.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
+2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Dex, -2 Cha*
Darkvision
Hardiness vs. Poisons
Endure Element spell once a day
Large Size
ECL +1

* At character creation, remember that the game engine automatically applies the default +2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha adjustment for half-orcs.

Sources: D&D 3.5 Secrets of Sarlona
« Last Edit: June 10, 2024, 12:50:17 PM by EO »
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MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.

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Yuan-Ti Tainted One
« Reply #117 on: May 11, 2024, 10:02:26 AM »
Quote
Yuan-Ti Tainted One


A Yuan-Ti Tainted One and a Broodguard

* Playing this template requires that you fill an application form and receive approval of the Community Council.

Tainted ones are yuan-ti servitors created from humans who drink a distillation of yuan-ti venom mixed with certain roots and herbs. The recipe for this mixture is a closely guarded secret that, despite much energetic spying, hasn’t yet spread to all yuan-ti tribes.


Physical description:
Tainted ones fully retain their human appearance. Though their bodies do not show signs of their tainted blood, their personalities and mannerisms do: they often develop habits such as frequently licking their lips, drawing out their sibilants, or keeping large serpents as pets.


History:
Tainted ones have no history of their own, but all have in common the fact that they were once humans made into yuan-ti servitors through dark and nefarious means.


Outlook:
Tainted ones are thralls to the yuan-ti. They are usually sympathetic to the goals and mindset of their masters, often trying to mimic them in deeds and attitudes. Not being raised within yuan-ti society, they have little hope of progressing beyond their station as lowly servants. Nor does their transformation into tainted ones entirely negate their human upbringing. The process renders most tainted ones docile and compliant with their master's wishes, but it's not always the case. They pick up the deceitful nature of the yuan-ti, and possibly a measure of their arrogance. However, they often mask these traits in the presence of others as their schemes demand.

On Ravenloft, tainted ones find themselves masterless. Cut off from any yuan-ti tribes they become free to pursue their own goals. While some may carry on their infiltration mission and prepare the day for the eventual return of their masters, most are just happy to pursue any position of power that will include underlings to do their bidding.


Society:
Within yuan-ti societies, tainted ones are included in the warrior and merchant castes. They rank below purebloods but above broodguards and slaves.

Though tainted ones serve primarily as spies and agents in human cities, they are also frequently employed as bodyguards and stealthy strike forces by pureblood yuan-ti working in human settlements. Tainted ones who outlive their yuan-ti masters often become free agents in the shadowy underworlds of the human cities where they formerly served. A few even betray their masters, pitting the agents of one yuan-ti tribe against another, or arranging for humans to catch and destroy their masters. A few masterless tainted ones make their livings as slavers, poison dealers, and fences for yuan-ti of many tribes seeking to do business in a given city. Such businesses are lucrative, and rumor has it that at least one tainted one amassed sufficient wealth to purchase his escape back into true humanity by hiring a good-aligned archmage to cast a wish spell upon him.


Relations with other races:
Tainted ones are infiltrators of human societies. They present themselves as such and keep their yuan-ti affiliation a secret. They regard most other races as inferior, but their precise attitude varies according to the degree of serpent nature each breed of yuan-ti possesses.


Alignments:
Like the rest of yuan-ti society, tainted ones are usually both chaotic and evil, though their caste system is fairly rigid and they cooperate well in their schemes.


Religion:
Tainted ones usually adopt the faith of their yuan-ti masters. Cults to serpentine gods and demons are common. The majority of Faerûnian yuan-ti worship Varae, Merrshaulk, Sss’thasine’ss, Set, and Sseth, with Sseth reigning supreme since Merrshaulk fell into slumber. Other notable patrons include Apep, Demogorgon, and Sertrous. On Oerth, Merrshaulk is the supreme deity for yuan-ti of the Amedio jungle. Those of Hepmonaland pay hommage to Tlaloc. Cults to Demogorgon and Sertrous also exist.


Language:
Tainted ones know the languages they knew before their transformation, and usually learn Draconic (yuan-ti dialect) within a few months of becoming infected.


Names:
Tainted ones have names befitting their original human culture.


Adventurers:
Tainted ones may be of any adventuring class.


Settings:
Tainted ones are restricted to characters of the Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk settings.

Yuan-ti of Forgotten Realms
The yuan-ti of the Forgotten Realms call themselves the vrael olo, the favored ones. Long ago, the reptilian creator race known as the sarrukh bred the first yuan-ti by magically experimenting with and breeding humans with snakes and themselves. When they fell from power, the resourceful yuan-ti rose to claim their creators' power and the empire of Mhairshaulk. They too eventually fell from power, forced into hiding from rebellious slaves. Yuan-ti are scattered throughout the continent of Faerûn and beyond, though they still favor warm weather and tropical areas. They are particularly active in places such as the Chultan Peninsula, the Forest of Wyrms, and Hlondeth.

The process of creating tainted ones and broodguards was devised by House Hss'tafi, a tribe of yuan-ti residing in the Serpent Hills, and their agents now operate throughout the North. Their techniques have since spread to the yuan-ti of Hlondeth and the Chultan peninsula, and tainted ones can now be found throughout Faerûn.

Yuan-ti of Greyhawk
The yuan-ti of Greyhawk mostly dwell in Hepmonaland and the Amedio Jungle. Those of Olman ancestry worship Tlaloc as their patron deity. They control the cities of Alocotla, Xapatlapo, and Xuxulieto. Yuan-ti hailing from the Amedio jungle hold Merrshaulk as their patron deity. They hope to wake him up of his torpor with enough sacrifice and acts of depravity in the belief that he will then shed his skin and devour the world. They may dwell in other places further south as well. Oerthian Yuan-ti typically inhabits subterranean complexes, most often originally built by other races, as the lack of hands in so many of their kind makes building difficult. They may also adopt natural caves, or even build tunnels under the cities of other races. They fill their lairs with traps and with corridors too narrow for anyone but snakes to slither through.


Game Stats:
Spoiler: show
+2 Con
Alertness feat
Poison Bite
Poison Immunity
Spell Resistance (12 + (Character Level/2))
Poison 1x/day
Polymorph Self (Viper form only) 3x/day
Effective Character Level +2

* These modifiers are applied in addition to the standard modifiers for your chosen base race or subrace.

Quote from: Note from the Dev team
The spell-like abilities for this template will be enabled as of the next HAK update.


Sources: Monsters of Faerûn, Races of Faerûn, Serpent Kingdoms, Dwellers of the Forbidden City, The Scarlet Brotherhood, Elder Evils
« Last Edit: May 23, 2024, 08:29:18 PM by EO »
Best Regards!
MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.