Three Races (Drowned, Deathtouched, God-touched)





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    Three Races (Drowned, Deathtouched, God-touched)

    Hello all!

    In the interests of providing some variety in my new campaign, I wanted to create two not-quite-human races.

    Both of these races are humans who were altered in some way when young by spiritual forces. I'm also open to ideas for other spirit-touched races, but I'm looking at only a very small number of such.

    At the moment, I only have a bare-bones idea behind each, and was looking for some ideas for mechanics and additional cultural hooks. Both races are technically human, and would be part of the human culture they were born in.
    In the campaign I'll be using them in, they would not be shunned, but they are obviously different from others, and thus stand out.


    Deathtouched (I'm also open to suggestions of a different name)

    -Deathtouched were touched by the spirit of a dead child whilst in the womb, and were changed by this.
    -Normal animals shun them
    -They have the natural ability to see ethereal spirits and objects at night time
    -Their held and worn gear counts as ghost touch at night.
    -Would they be more resistant to death effects, or less resistant?

    Drowned

    When a child is to be named, they are taken to the river or ocean and bathed in it by a Shaman. Sometimes, the babe disappears during this ceremony becoming water. Usually they disappear for good, but sometimes they come back changed, marked by the water gods forever after.
    -I'm not looking for a fully aquatic race (that is, not water breathing)
    -Ability to communicate with fish and water spirits?
    -good swimming ability (either a bonus, or actual swim speed, I'm undecided)
    -ability to commune with the ocean/river?


    Anyway, thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Sound of Azure; Wednesday, 19th July, 2006 at 12:52 AM.
    Sound of Azure- Synaesthetic Antipodean

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    The Inspired Knight, the Shadowhand Banite (FR),the Spell-less Contemplative
    My re-imagining of Borble's Battle Mage is in need of feedback.
    -Please comment if you have the time. Opinions and commentary are always welcome!

 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sound of Azure
    Drowned

    When a child is to be named, they are taken to the river or ocean and bathed in it by a Shaman. Sometimes, the babe disappears during this ceremony becoming water. Usually they disappear for good, but sometimes they come back changed, marked by the water gods forever after.
    -I'm not looking for a fully aquatic race (that is, not water breathing)
    -Ability to communicate with fish and water spirits?
    -good swimming ability (either a bonus, or actual swim speed, I'm undecided)
    -ability to commune with the ocean/river?
    You might want to look at the Sea Kin in Races of Destiny--they have a swim speed and can hold their breath for Con x 8 rounds, plus a couple of other thematic abilities.

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    These both sound like cool, original ideas. I love the idea of human-derived "races," largely because they don't require the addition of whole, separate civilizations in the campaign setting to support them conceptually.

    I really like the possibilities in the "shunned by animals" angle of the Deathtouched. It's something that could be both a hinderance and an advantage, depending on circumstances, and that's really cool.

    Anyway, the first thing I'd recommend for the Drowned's racial traits would be the effects of some tangible, physiological alterations made by the river spirits. Say, for example, that they've got water instead of blood. Naturally, they'd be mostly ignored by blood-drinking creatures. Maybe they're also cold to the touch, and invisible to heat-sensing things (if such exist in your setting). Furthermore, their whole metabolism might be weird and less biological: Maybe they just smell like water, and can't be tracked by the Scent ability. Maybe they have some resistance to cold. Maybe they don't require food, as long as they have water.

    As for communing with river and ocean spirits, one way to show that in play would be to let them negotiate (Diplomacy check) with a body of water for information about its contents, or even things and events along its banks. The larger the body of water, of course, the more difficult the negotiations. Bribes might be necessary, depending on how you see water spirits in your campaign: They might want gold dropped into their waters, or blood, or maybe they just want to be praised with song or prayer (Performance check).

    Alternatively, you could cut the spirits out of the mechanic and just let the Drowned taste the water and be able to "smell" whatever exists upstream.

    Also, for an ability halfway between water-breathing and expanded lung capacity, maybe a "drowned" Drowned doesn't die, but instead falls into a state of torpor, reclaimed by the water spirits. He or she would be helpless until rescued somehow (and might require some special act to be awakened).

    Disjointed suggestions, I know. I'm thinking on my feet, here.

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    Thanks Sukael, I'll definitely have a look at that. They have interesting flavour, I hope?

    GreatLemur-

    Some really cool suggestions!

    After some thinking, I'm going to use the river "smell" sense(I think a certain range per character level would be ideal) and communing abilities as special Racial Feats. That way, it's not too powerful early on, and also that players have some say in the nature of their powers.
    Along the way, I'll likely do the same with the Deathtouched.

    I particularly like the ideas you've presented over physiology for the Drowned....from their flavour, it makes sense that they are biologically different. I'm thinking they'll be a bit like a Water Genasi, overall.

    Interesting suggestion for "drowning". I'll have to think about this a bit, but it seems a good fit.

    Thanks a lot, the creative juices are flowing!
    Sound of Azure- Synaesthetic Antipodean

    Old 3rd Edition Projects
    Selan-My campaign setting based on South-East Asian themes and myths. -Please leave a comment!
    Game world and discussion Classes (Spirit Eater class under construction) Races
    Smootrk's Geisha My contributions:- The Crimson Sakura and the Tui Na Masseuse
    The Inspired Knight, the Shadowhand Banite (FR),the Spell-less Contemplative
    My re-imagining of Borble's Battle Mage is in need of feedback.
    -Please comment if you have the time. Opinions and commentary are always welcome!

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    The Varunastra/ Drowned- Draft One

    Varunastra/Drowned

    When a child is to be named, they are taken to the river or ocean and bathed in it by a Shaman. Sometimes, the babe disappears during this ceremony becoming water. Usually they disappear for good, but sometimes they come back changed, marked by the water gods forever after.
    The Varunastra, or Drowned are humans whose essence has been changed by contact with water spirits or gods. Their name is variously translated as “Power of the Water Deva”, or “Weapon of the Water Deva”. Marked different from all other people and never seen as average or mundane, Varunastra are either seen as a great blessing, or a curse of bad fortune by those around them.

    Personality: Varunastra tend to have very even temperaments, and have a close affinity for water. Most engage in activities that are closely associated with rivers, such as fishing and sailing. However, some resent the impact the water spirits had on them, and try to ignore the inner call to the water. They tend to adopt the mannerisms of the culture in which they were raised.
    Physical Description: Marked by their impossibly blue eyes and pale, clammy skin, Varunastra are markedly different to ordinary humans. Their features tend to be smooth and flowing, and their skin cold to the touch, but otherwise follow the appearance of their human parents.
    Relations: Varunastra have no culture of their own, and inherit the prejudices of their parent culture, but tend to get along with those who respect waterways.
    Alignment: Varunastra are still essentially human, and tend to no particular alignment, not even neutrality.
    Lands: Varunastra have no lands of their own, living amongst humans in coastal zones and close to rivers and lakes. Because of their connection to water, they are often seen as lucky in communities from such areas.
    Religion: While they have an affinity for the oceans and rivers, Varunastra follow the religious practices of their parent culture. Many feel drawn to religions promoting closeness to nature.
    Language: Varunastra speak Common, or the languages of the culture they were born into.
    Names: Varunastra take their names from their parent culture.
    Adventurers: Varanastra excel in many fields, and typically have a deep love for natural waterways. Some tire of the attention they receive amongst their communities and strike out on their own.


    Varunastra Racial Traits
    Medium: As Medium creatures, Varunastra have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    Spirit Subtype: Varunastra have the spirit subtype, which means they can be affected by spells that specifically target spirits, such as protection from spirits and invisibility to spirits. Their human ancestry makes them humanoids, however, so they are also affected by spells such as charm person and hold person.
    Swim Speed 15 feet. Varunastra gain a +8 racial bonus to all Swim checks and can always choose to take 10 with swim checks, even if rushed or threatened. Varunastra may use the run action while swimming, as long as they swim in a straight line.
    Sea Longing: Varunastra that remain out of sight of the ocean for more than one week (or 7 days if not using an earth-like world) longs to be close to the sea, and suffers a -1 penalty to all Wisdom-based checks until they return to a shore that connects to it.
    Speak With Fish: Once per day Varunastra may use speak with animals to speak with any fish as a supernatural ability. The Varunastra’s caster level with this ability is equal to their character level, and lasts for one minute per character level. The Varunastra must be in contact with the water the fish is in to use this ability. If contact is broken, the effect ends.
    Water Affinity: A Varunastra with Kaiu Ainu levels may substitute the Water domain for one of the domains they normally have access to. Those with Shaman levels often choose River as one of their domains.
    Scentless: A Varunastra does not leave a scent, and cannot be have their location pinpointed by the scent ability. Creatures with the scent ability may not add the scent bonus to Survival checks when tracking a Varunastra.
    Favoured Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass Varunastra suffers an XP penalty, their highest level class does not count.

    -----

    * I'm considering making the Sea Longing penalty greater, become cumulative over time, or both.
    * I want to implement the suggestion above about the race being mostly water. Unsure how to, however. I'm loathe to give them resistance to critical hits and sneak attacks (this seems too powerful).
    *Is Scentless too powerful? Not sure how to guage it. It's not pass without trace or anything, but it seems strong.
    *The race's name is based on the Deva Varuna. I'm aware that in myth Varuna was not just a lord or the seas and rivers, but I felt it appropriate in my campaign.
    Last edited by Sound of Azure; Monday, 31st July, 2006 at 01:24 AM.
    Sound of Azure- Synaesthetic Antipodean

    Old 3rd Edition Projects
    Selan-My campaign setting based on South-East Asian themes and myths. -Please leave a comment!
    Game world and discussion Classes (Spirit Eater class under construction) Races
    Smootrk's Geisha My contributions:- The Crimson Sakura and the Tui Na Masseuse
    The Inspired Knight, the Shadowhand Banite (FR),the Spell-less Contemplative
    My re-imagining of Borble's Battle Mage is in need of feedback.
    -Please comment if you have the time. Opinions and commentary are always welcome!

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    Kalimatra/ Deathtouched

    Draft one. Opinions? I am perhaps worried that I have given them too much. If something needs to go, I'll remove the sleeplessness, and give them resistance to sleep effects only.

    Kalimatra / Deathtouched

    The spirits of those who have died prematurely often gather where there is the potential for new life in the material realm, be it a verdant grove, or a near where a woman is pregnant. The being formed when a spirit has bonded to a human is called Kalimatra, or Deathtouched. Their name can be translated as “Death’s hands”, or “The Black”. They are often met with suspicion and mistrust where spirits are seen as pernicious influences.


    Personality: Kalimatra often seem remote and subdued in their emotions.
    Physical Description: Kalimatra have dark, dead seeming eyes, and pale skin.
    Relations: Kalimatra have no culture of their own, and inherit the prejudices of their parent culture, but often get along with spirits.
    Alignment: Kalimatra are still essentially human, and tend to no particular alignment, not even neutrality.
    Lands: Kalimatra have no lands of their own, living amongst humans wherever they might be. Because of their connection to the dead, they are either seen as lucky or cursed, depending on the beliefs of the community.
    Religion: While they have an affinity for the dead, Kalimatra follow the religious practices of their parent culture. Many feel drawn to religions promoting veneration of the dead.
    Language: Kalimatra speak Common, or the languages of the culture they were born into.
    Names: Kalimatra take their names from their parent culture.
    Adventurers: Kalimatra excel in many fields, and typically hold great respect for spirits and the world of the dead. Some tire of the attention they receive amongst their communities and strike out on their own.


    Game Rule information
    Kalimatra have the following game statistics.

    Racial Traits

    Medium: As Medium creatures, Kalimatra have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    Spirit Subtype: Kalimatra have the spirit subtype, which means they can be affected by spells that specifically target spirits, such as protection from spirits and invisibility to spirits. Their human ancestry makes them humanoids, however, so they are also affected by spells such as charm person and hold person.
    Death Ward: Kalimatra receive a +2 racial bonus against death effects and spells.
    Dead Truce: Dead beings recognise Kalimatra as one of their own, and will not attack them. Mindless Undead simply ignore them; Intelligent undead receive a will save (DC 10 + ½ character’s hit dice + cha modifier). If the Kalimatra attacks the undead, they are no longer bound by the Dead Truce.
    Forsaken: Animals begin with a starting attitude one worse than usual (this means that domestic animals will usually be unfriendly, and wild animals hostile).
    Negative Infused: Kalimatra only receive half the benefit from Conjuration (Healing) spells due to their connection to death. They take only half damage from negative energy effects.
    Nocturnal Spirit Sight: Kalimatra are able to see spirits and ethereal objects at night time, whether they have manifested of not.
    Touch of the Spirit Realm: At night, all of the Kalimatra's held and worn gear counts as ghost touch.
    Unresting: Kalimatra do not sleep, and are immune to magical and mundane sleep effects. Kalimatra spell casters must still rest 8 hours to replenish their spells.
    Favoured Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass Kalimatra suffers an XP penalty, their highest level class does not count.
    Last edited by Sound of Azure; Wednesday, 19th July, 2006 at 01:14 AM. Reason: Fixed ability, added one ability
    Sound of Azure- Synaesthetic Antipodean

    Old 3rd Edition Projects
    Selan-My campaign setting based on South-East Asian themes and myths. -Please leave a comment!
    Game world and discussion Classes (Spirit Eater class under construction) Races
    Smootrk's Geisha My contributions:- The Crimson Sakura and the Tui Na Masseuse
    The Inspired Knight, the Shadowhand Banite (FR),the Spell-less Contemplative
    My re-imagining of Borble's Battle Mage is in need of feedback.
    -Please comment if you have the time. Opinions and commentary are always welcome!

  • #7

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    I love your race ieas, but I bleieve the races should have a favoured class. The races are no longer human and it would go along with their flavor. Also, the deathtouched are weak, while the drowned are sometimes really good and sometimes terrible. I really like the ideas. Keep working on it.

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    Shoot! I forgot an ability!


    Varunastra: Favoured Class = Druid? Ranger? Other?
    Kalimatra: Favoured Class = Cleric? Necromancer? Other?

    See Edit above
    Last edited by Sound of Azure; Tuesday, 18th July, 2006 at 06:50 PM.
    Sound of Azure- Synaesthetic Antipodean

    Old 3rd Edition Projects
    Selan-My campaign setting based on South-East Asian themes and myths. -Please leave a comment!
    Game world and discussion Classes (Spirit Eater class under construction) Races
    Smootrk's Geisha My contributions:- The Crimson Sakura and the Tui Na Masseuse
    The Inspired Knight, the Shadowhand Banite (FR),the Spell-less Contemplative
    My re-imagining of Borble's Battle Mage is in need of feedback.
    -Please comment if you have the time. Opinions and commentary are always welcome!

  • #9
    Hey, good stuff.

    I like em. They have a neat concept behind them and aren't just another 'animal dudes' race.

    Im thinking the unresting thing probably is a bit much. But it is kinda cool, so something along those lines would be good. Perhaps they just dont feel tired much and are light sleepers, often just lying and stareing vacantly when others have dozed off long ago. They wouldn't be 'active sleepers' either, barely moveing and tending to look rather dead, their breathing scarcely noticeable.

    The ineffective healing thing would likely be very tough on them, but is fitting and cool. Is there any way to over come that?
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    Cheers, Edge.

    Hmmm, One vote for Kalimatra being too weak, one saying it's a little strong.

    Honestly, the sleep thing was what worried me.
    Possible solution: +2 on saves against Sleep effects.
    Could also add: +2 on saves against fatigue and exhaustion.


    As far as counteracting their racial weakness, I'm in the process of writing up some racial feats for these spirit-touched, as well as regional feats for my setting. I think it should be possible.

    How about this:

    Released from the Black Gate (Racial)
    You have forged a closer connection to the middle world.
    Prerequisites: Kalimatra, Base Fortitude Save +3 (+4?)
    Benefit: You may benefit fully from Conjuration (Healing) Spells.
    (You take full damage from negative energy effects) OR (Negative energy attacks deal 1 point less damage per die to you (minimum 1 point per die)).
    Sound of Azure- Synaesthetic Antipodean

    Old 3rd Edition Projects
    Selan-My campaign setting based on South-East Asian themes and myths. -Please leave a comment!
    Game world and discussion Classes (Spirit Eater class under construction) Races
    Smootrk's Geisha My contributions:- The Crimson Sakura and the Tui Na Masseuse
    The Inspired Knight, the Shadowhand Banite (FR),the Spell-less Contemplative
    My re-imagining of Borble's Battle Mage is in need of feedback.
    -Please comment if you have the time. Opinions and commentary are always welcome!

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