Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Character Crunch: Mousefolk

Mousefolk are a subspecies of ratfolk.

Physically, they are similar to ratfolk but have distinctive differences. They are at least a foot smaller than their ratfolk cousins with rounder features, fluffier and lighter colored fur, and brighter eyes. They are omnivorous, like ratfolk, but prefer fruit, vegetables and grains. They are less cautious than most ratfolk, often characterized as overly curious and gregarious. They are nimbler than ratfolk but do not have the subterranean survival skills of ratfolk since they live in agricultural and metropolitan environments.

Mousefolk live on the elven isle of Saesun. "Wild" mousefolk live in small forest communities that ally themselves with their Sylvanar neighbors. "Domestic" mousefolk live in small farming communities or settle in Iaurdin towns and cities. While ratfolk are often mistrusted and marginilized by humans, mousefolk are welcome neighbors. Mousefolk often get jobs as street cleaners, chimney sweeps, house servants, carriage drivers and gardeners.

Mousefolk have the same suite of features that ratfolk except: they get a bonus to Cha instead of Con, they lose Speak with Beasts and Sewer Dweller but gain Nimbleness and Naturally Stealthy. For your convenience, here are their features:

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and your Charisma increases by 1.
Age. Mousefolk mature quickly to adulthood at 10 years of age and live to about 40 years.
Alignment. Mousefolk are friendly, generous and helpful creatures. They tend to stay out of larger affairs. They are most commonly neutral good.
Size. Mousefolk are smaller than ratfolk, standing between two and three feet, and are not as hunched as their rat cousins. Your size is Small.
Speed. Mousefolk are slower than other races but can use their front paws to outpace most humanoids.Your base walking speed is 25 feet but, if you drop to all fours, your base walking speed is 35 feet.
Dark Vision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.
Inquisitive Nose. You gain Perception as a skill and have advantage on all Perception skill checks involving your sense of smell.
Rodent Bones. Your bone structure is impressively flexible and you're used to moving through cramped spaces. You are considered one size smaller when attempting to move through tight spaces and take no movement penalty when doing so.
Nimbleness: You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than yours.
Naturally Stealthy. You can attempt to hide even when you are obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than you.
Extra Languages. You can read, write, and understand the Raskaar language.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Martyrdom: The Twelve Virtues & Sainthood


The Nameless God is absent. This is a charge held by heretics and critics alike. Yet, while he is lost, the Lost God is not forgotten. Like all the gods, he has servants. The good gods of Narya are usually served by hosts of spirits and celestial beings. The most famous among humankind are probably angels.

Angels are celestial beings born from the very essence of positive energy found in the Heavens. Typically, they resemble winged humanoids with idyllic features but some are formed into stranger shapes by their god's purpose. Regardless of form, they seek out good gods to serve as messengers, warriors and overseers. Even chaotic good gods rely on lawful good angels to carry out tasks and can rely upon the angel to carry out any given duty.

Angels are incapable of committing acts that stray from the path of order and good. They destroy evil without hesitation and their judgement is supernatural. Still, this superior power and position in the cosmic hierarchy has spelled tragedy for many angels who allow their pride to get the best of them.

Angels that commit evil deeds are marked and cast out of the Heavens by their kind. These are the fallen. The fallen retain their powers but lose their connection to the celestial plane. Some fallen angels seek redemption by committing themselves to undoing the harm they've caused or living humbly until the gods offer them a chance to prove themselves worthy of the heavens but others become resentful of the gods and become corrupted. Some of the most dangerous fiends were once angels that were brought down in this way.

There are three levels of angel most commonly known:

The deva are the messengers of the gods. They often disguise themselves and live lives on the material plane, either as priests or humble do-gooders, until forced out of their form to fulfill some higher purpose such as aiding a chosen hero. In their true form, deva are beautiful humanoids with feathery wings and lustrous eyes.

Planetars are weapons of the gods. They can use their divine power to create miracles or blights upon the land. It is impossible to lie to a planetar. They are difficult to deal with and are disgusted by dishonesty in even the smallest form. When forced to work with mortals directly, they prefer to aid powerful mortals who seek to battle fiends. Their true form is taller than any humanoid and they brandish greatswords with grace.

Solar wield god-like power that strikes fear into the heart of the most powerful fiends. A solar can kill even some lesser gods with a single arrow. They are less human-like than their lesser counterparts with some even taking on warped appearances. After all, solars spend most of their time in deep contemplation far from the struggles of material or even outsider problems. There are only a few dozen solar known to dwell in the heavens. The rest wait in some dimension beyond time and space, contemplating their purpose, and preparing themselves for the final battle.

The Nameless Gods's most powerful servants are the the Twelve. The Twelve are solar, the most powerful type of angelic beings, that have each taken a vow to hold watch over the world and his children until his promised return. These Twelve are more proactive in the religion of their god and are often represented alongside the Nameless God in Xalhoteccan art. They each are said to represent one of the virtues, morallly excellent qualities, that all people should aspire to live out in their actions. Rather than pray directly to their god, it is more common to pray to one of the Twelve or a corresponding saint that represents that virtue. Each saint's story embodies the virtue and the challenges of doing good.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Monster Mash: Q is for Questing Beast

Is there more comedy or tragedy in equal parts found on the mortal plane than in the ironic quest to find the "Questing Beast"?

A Tradition.
The Glatisant or "Questing Beast" started as a tradition played upon young squires: their mentors would take them into the woods to hunt down a beast that has been troubling the local peasants without telling them anything about the creature. The older knight would treat this hunt with all seriousness. After night falls, the mentor would build up the size, speed and ferocity of the creature before describe the beast:

The creature has the spotted body of a leopard, the neck and head of a great serpent, the legs and hooves of a hart, and a long lion's tail. Its footfalls are silent and it can climb a tree as easily as a spider. You can hear the Glatisant call, the barking of thirty hounds hunting prey, right before it ambushes its prey!

Just as the knight finishes the story, the sound of barking hounds come from nearby, and the knight tells the squire to seek out the beast. Of course, there is no beast. The sound of the barking came from a hidden accomplice with several hounds or a dog call. The squire then spends the night, frightened of his own shadow, scrambling around the woods until morning. When they reveal the trick, the squire is embarrassed but gets to borrow the tradition and use it on the next apprentice.

It is all in good fun... until the gods get involved.

A Cosmic Joke Turned Real. Perhaps, a heroic god was displeased with a family of knights or a trickster god wanted to teach a do-gooder a lesson, but the Questing Beasts was made real.

The Glatisant is a large and solitary ambush predator that hunts small birds, lizards and fish. They spend most of their time lounging about in the branches of trees, running at break neck speed that defies their awkward body shape and barking in excitement when they see humanoids. Their call does sound like dozens of dogs yipping. Their natural instinct is to run from humanoids and they seem to enjoy the chase.

They are most vulnerable when they stop running to cool off with a drink.

The Quest. Many knights are tasked with hunting these creatures by the gods but they are difficult to catch. Some families hunt the same beast for generations, since these creatures live for hundreds of years, and the creature is a symbol found on many family crests. While some knights perhaps driven mad by the quest would slay the beast for a trophy but it is considered bad luck to harm one of these creatures. They are not known to attack humans. It is better to release them back into the wild so that future heroes can prove their mettle by catching the Questing Beast. And who knows, perhaps the Questing Beast will reward this act of mercy by coming to the aid of their favorite Questing hunter in their time of need.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Monster Mash: P is for Psobakka

Something has been digging up the graves and fouling up the corpses. Some nights the graveyard keeper hears a single pair of hooves walking up and down the gravel pathway that winds through the foggy graves and the strangled howl of a wolf. The village priest tells him that is just some of the local boys up to mischief but he knows better. The graveyard keeper locks his door at night. He prays that the trespasser doesn't grow bored of corpses. 

Necromancer's Pet. Psobakka are fiendish creations of evil spellcasters to serve as guards and corpse thieves. As a combination of demonic ritual and necromancy, they are crafted with the tail of a devil, the legs of a horse, the upper torso of a man, and the head of a wolf or jackal embedded with the chaotic yellow eye of a demon in the middle of their head and a jaw full of metallic teeth. They serve their creators, in exchange for souls, by guarding the spellcaster and hunting down more valuable body parts from nearby graveyards.

Anthrophagus Beasts. The psobakka only eat dead flesh. When they kill living humanoids, they often keep body parts as trophies to later be consumed when they start to rot. Psobakka also gain the memories of those they consume. If a psobakka's creator dies, they will consume their dead master and continue to try to carry out his will.

Pack Dynamics.  A powerful necromancer with the proper parts can create a psobakka alpha, a larger and more powerful variant, that often serves as the leader of a pack of psobakka. Psobakka Alpha always tend to be smarter than their lesser counterparts, often requiring multiple brains to function, and have psionic abilities.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Naryan Class Options: Way of the Unblinking Eye Monk

Monks are disciplined warriors who find balance between mind, spirit and body, honing their energy--their ki-- into supernatural techniques that enhance their offensive and defensive abilities in battle. Each monastery has different ideals that inform their disciplines; some are guardians who learn mastery of the body to defend their order, some are stealthy assassins who move like shadows to seek out their enemies and destroy them, and some master the elements to help the people with mage like abilities. Others are scholars who seek knowledge. Some go too far.

Some monks look for answers to questions that no mortal should ask. And sometimes someone answers. The answers they give are not for mortal minds to bear. The monks that survive and keep guard the world from these truths are the monks of The Unblinking Eye. They are corrupted by the void, the mysterious enigmas of space and time, and by forces beyond even the gods. Yet, they manage to contain the madness, tame the impossible and repurpose it as armor and weapons against their foes.

The Unblinking Eye monks are interested in attaining knowledge, protecting forbidden knowledge, and protecting the world from the forces that would corrupt it.

Corrupted Ki

Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, your mind echoes out of itself as it tries to escape the horrible truth. You can communicate telepathically with any creature you can see within 30 feet of you. You don’t need to share a language with the creature for it to understand your telepathic utterances, but the creature must be able to understand at least one language.

Also, you can spend a ki point to add your proficiency bonus to an Arcana, History, Nature or Religion skill check.

Also, your ki has been corrupted by the unknowable knowledge that you learned but cannot unlearn. You gain the ability to disable your opponents with your ki. Whenever you hit a creature with one of the attacks granted by your Flurry of Blows, you can impose one of the following effects on that target:
  • It must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be blinded, deafened, or poisoned until the end of their next turn.
  • It must succeed on an Intelligence saving throw. If they fail, the creature can't cast spells, use psionics, activate magic items, understand language, or communicate in any intelligible way until the end of their next turn.
  •  If the target can hear you (though it need not understand you) or your thoughts, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or take 1d4 psychic damage. The psychic damage increases to 2d4 at 5th, 3d4 at 11th, and 4d4 at 17th.

Fading Spirit
Starting at 6th level, you gain the ability to destabilize reality to blink in and out of existence. As a bonus action, you can spend 2 ki points to cast blur or misty step.

Reforged Mind
 By 11th level, you have learned ways to shield your mind from invasion. Your thoughts can’t be read by telepathy or other means unless you allow it. Furthermore, you cannot be charmed while conscious and have advantage on saving throws against abilities that would compel your actions.

You also have resistance to psychic damage, and, whenever a creature deals psychic damage to you, they must make a Wisdom saving throw or take your monk level in psychic damage.

The Ethereal Eye
At 17th level, by gazing into the void, you have obtained truth. You gain true sight up to 120 feet. You can see in normal and magical darkness, see invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect visual illusions and succeed on saving throws against them, and perceives the original form of a shapechanger or a creature that is transformed by magic.

Furthermore, you can see into the Ethereal Plane and interact/affect creatures and objects within the ethereal plane as if they were part of the material plane.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Naryan Class Options: Oath of the Crusader

We previously covered the Nameless God before and the Crusaders of the Holy Imperium.

Today, we look at the paladins of the Nameless God and their oath, the Oath of the Crusader. Paladins of the Nameless God are zealots who put their god above all others and opposing the gods of other faiths. They believe that they are holy warriors fighting an uneven war against blasphemers and heretics, worshipers of false and traitorous gods, and unnatural forces that would destroy the world in the absence of its creator. They seek to spread the truth, destroy the falsehoods and defend the children of the Nameless God until his prophesied return.

Tenets of the Crusader
The exact words and interpretations of the Oath of the Crusader may change, but they all hold these truths close to their hearts.

There is Only One Truth. There is only one god, the Nameless God. He is the creator. We are his children. He is lost, but not forgotten.

All Other Truths are False. All others 'gods' are false. They betrayed him. I will not suffer their falsehoods. I will spread the truth.

I Am His Sword. I shall destroy those that would prey upon the world in his absence: aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead. I will oppose the authority of the false gods and the outsiders. The unnatural and the traitors are not his children.

I Am His Shield. I shall purge the Imperium of blasphemers and heretics. I will protect the faithful. I will not falter.

The Lost Shall Be Found. Those that follow false gods are lost. It is my duty to bring them into the fold. Those that would oppose their salvation are his enemies.

He Shall Return. His faithful children will be rewarded. His enemies will submit to his glory. The world will be saved.

Oath of the Crusader Spells
You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.

3rd Shield, Protection from Good and Evil
5th Silence, Zone of Truth
9th Counterspell, Dispel Magic
13th Banishment, Freedom of Movement
17th Commune, Hallow

Channel Divinity

Spell-Breaker. You can use your Channel Divnity to call upon the Nameless God to defy the unnatural. As a reaction, which you take when you see a creature within 60 feet casting a spell, you cast the Counterspell spell without expending spell slot as if you cast it at 3rd level.

Crusader's Stand. You can use your Channel Divnity to survive the impossible. As a reaction, until the end of your next turn, if damage would reduce you to 0 points this round, you instead are reduced to 1 hit points and are unaffected by all active conditions.

Aura of the Crusader
Starting at 7th level, you can take an action to pick one creature type: aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead. You and all allies within 10 feet of you are under the effect of a Protection from Good and Evil spell. This effect ends when you pick another creature type from the list.
At 18th level, the aura increases to 30 feet.

Beginning at 15th level, you have resistance to damage from spells and other magical effects.

At 20th level, as an action, you can say the name of the Nameless God.

As an action, your body becomes abjured against death itself. For 1 minute, if you would be reduced to 0 hit points, instead you are reduced to 1 hit point.

Once you use this feature, you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.

Also, during the minute, you can choose to perform an act of martyrdom to become a saint. You succeed at an impossible act but drop to 0 hit points and fail three death saving throws. You cannot be resurrected by any means after performing an act of martyrdom.

No one knows for sure if the miracle you achieved is by the shear force of your own faith, the faith of the Imperium, interference by past saints or by the distant influence of the Nameless God.

Character Crunch: Satyrs, Centaurs & Minotaurs of Geleda

Ability Score Increase You increase your Dexterity by 2 and your Charisma by 1.
Alignment. Satyrs have little to no interest in questions of morality or ethics. They are interested in one thing and one thing only: partying. Some satyrs will stoop to any low to entertain themselves, others play cruel games, and others are more benevolent in their merry-making. Satyrs tend to be chaotic neutral.
Size. Your are similarly sized to a human. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 35 feet.
Merry-Maker. You have proficiency with the Performance skill and in one instrument.
Ram. Your horns are a strong natural melee weapon, which can be used to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal bludgeoning damage equal to 2d4+ your Strength modifier. 
Charging Ram. When you use the Dash action on your turn, you may use a bonus action to make a ram attack. If you hit with a ram attack against a Medium sized or smaller creature, after taking a Dash action, they must also make a Strength saving throw equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier. If they fail, they are knocked prone or pushed away 5 feet (your choice).
Magic Resistance. The satyr has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Extra Languages. In addition to speaking Common, satyrs speak Elvish and Sylvan.

Ability Score Increase You increase your Strength by 2 and your Dexterity by 1.
Alignment. Centaurs are peace-loving nomads that try to avoid conflict but, when pressed, are fierce opponents to evil. They tend to be neutral good but those that have had a bad experience with civilized people may be more chaotic.
Size. Your are similarly sized to a draft horse. Your size is Large. You can carry twice the weight of a medium sized creature and double the weight you can push, pull, lift and drag.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 40 feet.
Runner. You have proficiency in the Athletics skill.
Charge. If you move at least 30 feet towards a target and hit it with a melee weapon attack, they also take an additional weapon dice. You can only use this once per turn.
Hooves. Your kicks are a strong natural melee weapon, which can be used to make unarmed strikes. Each attack with your hooves deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier. Once per round, you may deal an additional weapon dice with one of your hoof attacks.
Trample. When you take the Dash action on your turn, you can move through the squares of Medium sized or smaller creature. They can take a reaction to move five feet into the nearest unoccupied square but, if they do so, they cannot take an opportunity attack against you during this turn. If they do not move, you can make a hoof melee attack against them as a free action.
Barding Required: Armor made for a centaur costs four times as much as a medium sized humanoid and weighs twice as much.
Extra Languages. In addition to speaking Common, centaurs speak Elvish and Sylvan.

Ability Score Increase You increase your Strength by 2 and your Wisdom by 1.
Alignment. Labyrinthine minotaurs follow strict codes of honor and tradition passed down through their culture. They are loyal companions and dangerous foes. Living in the World Below is harsh, often brutal and extremely competitive, and therefore their race tends toward evil.
Size. Labyrinthine minotaurs are smaller than their more monstrous savage cousins. They are Medium size.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Gore. Your horns are a deadly natural melee weapon, which can be used to make unarmed strikes. You attack with your horns (a gore attack) and, if you hit, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d10+ your Strength modifier. If you move at least 30 feet before your hit the creature, they must also make a Strength saving throw equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier. If they fail, they are knocked prone or pushed 10 feet away from you (your choice).
Raging Bull. When you use the Dash action on your turn, you may use a bonus action to make a gore attack and if you hit you deal an extra weapon dice.
Beast of Burden. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
Labyrinthine Recall. Labyrinthine minotaurs can perfectly recall any path they have traveled.
Languages. You can speak, read and write Common.