View Full Version : Chelonyms [Race]

The Demented One
2006-08-11, 11:26 PM
The Chelonyms
Chelonyms are a race of ancient reptilian humanoids, much like turtles. These beings would be little different from kobolds and lizardfolk, were it not for a unique occurrence in the races ancient past. Somehow, the ancient Chelonym race did a great favor for the demigod known as Great A’tuin–a favor that allowed A’tuin to become a true god. As his first act of divinity, he bestowed a great boon upon the race: he revealed to every Chelonym its truename by scribing it on their shells. The Chelonyms began studying truenaming en masse, developing a sophisticated culture and intellect in the process.

Not, as most think of them, slow, Chelonyms are merely meticulous. Chelonyms rarely finish any task without ensuring they have performed every necessary duty and planned for every contingency. Being all but immortal, Chelonyms are exceedingly patient, and are perfectly content to spend years in waiting for something, grandiose or mundane, to occur. Chelonyms are fairly peaceful, preferring contemplative study to combat. There is, however, something of a martial tradition among them–many Chelonyms become monks, most of which take the Disciple of the Word prestige class.

Physical Description
Chelonyms look very much like lizardfolk, the key differences being the Chelonym’s heads, which are squatter and rounded, and their thick, leathery, turtle-like shells, each of which is uniquely and exquisitely patterned.

The Chelonyms are a fairly isolated race, and have little contact with others. Elves who meet them tend to hold them and their knowledge in high regard. Humans and dwarves are prone to think of them as slow, weak cowards, and dismiss them out of hand. While gnomes and halflings lack this disrespect, they are outrageously bored by the Chelonyms, though they would never let them know of it. Orcs and half-orcs take an unusual liking to the turtlefolk. This is not out of any respect or admiration, but instead, they find the chelonym’s meticulousness and attention to detail to be keenly amusing.

The meticulousness and attention to detail that is so integral a part of the Chelonym psyche means that almost all are Lawful, and even those who are neutral lean to it. Chelonyms have no overall leaning towards good or evil, though Great A’tuin does not accept evil clerics.

Chelonym Land
Most Chelonym communities have remained independent of outward control. They tend to be small communities built on shores and bays, with easy access to water. Some Chelonyms have built great cities in systems of caves that exit onto beaches, sometimes even entering the Underdark.

Chelonym Religion
Most Chelonyms worship their patron god Great A’tuin. Great A’tuin is Lawful Neutral and offers the domains of Knowledge, Law, Truespeach*, and Water. Other gods worshipped by the Chelonyms include Boccob, Wee Jas, Zuoken, and the god of their lizardfolk cousins, Wastri.

* See below for details.

Chelonym Language
The Chelonymic language is nearly as complex detailed as truespeach itself–and indeed, truespeach played a great role in the early linguistic development of the turtlefolk. There is a Chelonymic word for every variety of every thing in every set of circumstances imaginable, and the words are so long as to be utterly without ambiguity. Most people, upon hearing two phrases in Chelonymic, cannot tell they are of the same language–the Chelonymic language has no real patterns to it that cannot be heard by someone that did not grow up speaking it. Because of the immense complexity of the Chelonymic language, it is difficult for those without the Chelonym’s natural grasp of truespeach to learn. A non-Chelonym must have at least 2 skill ranks in Truespeak to learn Chelonymic.

Chelonym Names
Chelonymic names, like the language, are all extremely long and detailed. They have no equivalent to “John Smith”–each Chelonymic name is unique, even if by a single accent on a single syllable. Each Chelonym has three names–a given name, generally chosen by the parents for purely aesthetic names, a descriptive name, which describes in utter detail a quality of the Chelonym or the circumstances of its birth, and a true nickname, an two or three syllable abbreviated form of the Chelonym’s personal truename. Most use their true nickname when conversing with non-Chelonyms, as it tends to be the name most like the outsider’s own.

Given Names (Both Genders)
Avorametrinthos, Deddrensalhaxi, Duhastmichgefragt, Efluvenestilothapenth, Lavalorinzwindetchatte, Oneirajalztkithrikan, Quirqalepentahos, Zwitterschasleit

Descriptive Names (Both Genders)
A’tuinexiphothemporstum (He who has rejected our god the Great A’tuin due to the death of both his parents due to a fire caused by an accidentally dropped torch while he was on a small island not listed on most cartographer’s charts forty degrees to the north of his home while of the age of twenty-five years, three months, and two days at high noon), Maiiahunumayarabt (She whose shell was cracked on the central scale by a cold iron bastard sword wielded by a drunken dwarf named Olaf Greyeye who believed she had killed his wife), Zenthrithikantor(He who unnamed the Great Red Wyrm Darragath through the highest of divine magic and was rewarded with a staff of darkwood encrusted with gold)

Many Chelonyms go through a rite of passage of sorts in which they go out into the world and attempt to learn the personal truename of as many creatures as possible, which leads many to adventure. Others seek to recover lost magical items or secrets of truenaming. Some rogue linguists go out into the world to see if there is anything so new that no Chelonymic word exists for it–and then name it, seizing a great honor for themself. Still more simply wish to see the world with all the patience and meticulousness of their race.

Chelonym Racial Traits
* +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -2 Strength, -2 Dexterity. Chelonyms are hardy of body and keen of mind, but they are no mighty warriors or graceful thieves.
* Reptilian: Chelonyms are humanoids with the Reptilian subtype.
* Medium: As Medium creatures, Chelonym have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
* Chelonym base land speed is 30 feet. Chelonyms also have a swim speed of 20 ft.
* Chelonyms have a +1 natural armor bonus to AC.
* Hold Breath: A Chelonym can hold its breath underwater for a number of rounds equal to 6 times its Constitution modifier.
* Known Personal Truename: The truename of a Chelonym is patterned upon its shell. By studying the secrets of their shell, all Chelonyms learn their personal truename by the time they reach maturity.
* Truespeach is always a class skill for Chelonyms.
* Utterances: All Chelonyms know a single 1st level utterance of their choice from the Lexicon of the Evolving Mind.
* +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. In addition, a Chelonym can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
* Automatic Languages: Common and Chelonymic. Bonus Languages: Aquan
* Favored Class: Truenamer
* LA: +1

Random Starting Ages{table]Adulthood
Simple Class1
Moderate Class2
Complex Class3
[tr]80 years+3d8+5d8+8d8
1e.g., Barbarian
2e.g., Fighter

Aging Effects
[tr]Middle AgeOldVenerableMaximum Age
250 years400 years700 years+6d% years
Random Height and Weight
GenderBase HeightHeight ModifierBase WeightWeight Modifier
Male4'1"+3d490 lbs.x (1d4) lbs.
Female4'5"+3d690 lbs.x (1d6) lbs.
Chelonyms in Faerun
Chelonyms in Faerun were originally natives of the shores of Kara-Tur, and the bulk of their population remains there. However, in ancient times, a contingency of a few hundred turtlefolk migrated to Faerun, and established small communities along the borders of the Moonsea and the Sea of Fallen Stars.

Chelonyms in Eberron
Chelonyms in Ebberon are native to Q’barra, and civilized, if not quite so populous, cousins of the lizardfolk. While their myths claim the truename-revealing markings on their shell are a reward granted by Aureon–who they call A’tuin, or Auteon–for an unspecified task, though few Chelonyms actually believe this. Some believe the markings are related to the dragonmarks borne by other creatures, and the dragons of the Chamber have indeed shown something of an interest in the turtlefolk.


Recitation of the Fortified Shell [Racial]
Your recitation hardens your shell against your foes’ blows.
Requirements: Chelonym, Recitation of the Fortified State, Truespeach 12 ranks
Benefit: While under the effects of your recitation of the fortified state feat, you gain the light fortification ability.

Recitation of Impassable Scales [Racial]
Your recitation renders you all but invulerable
Requirements: Chelonym, Recitation of the Fortified State, Recitation of the Fortified Shell, Truespeach 20 ranks
Benefit: While under the effects of your recitation of the fortified state feat, you gain DR 5/–.


Truespeach Domain
Deities: Great A’tuin
Granted Power: You gain a +2 sacred bonus on all Truespeach checks.
Truespeach Domain Spells:
1. Comprehend Languages
2. True Prayer of the Faithful*
3. Tongues
4. True Prayer of the Chosen*
5. Lesser Truename Binding*
6. Hidden Truename*
7. Truename Binding*
8. Truename Dispel*
9. Unname*

*From Tome of Magic

Argent Shell
Level: Evolving Mind 1
Duration: 5 rounds
Save: None (Normal) or Fortitude negates (Reverse)

Any natural armor bonus the subject has to AC is converted to a deflection bonus for the duration of this utterance.

The subject loses any natural armor bonus to AC it has for the duration of this utterance.

Fortifying Voice of A’tuin
Level: Crafted Tool 3
Range: Touch
Target: 1 object
Duration: Permanent

The target object gains an enhancement bonus to its hardness equal to half your truenamer level.

Airkissed Seas
Level: Perfected Map 1
Duration: 1 hour

You fill all water in the area of the utterance with bubbles of air. Air-breathing and water-breathing creatures can both breath normally in the area. In addition, moving through the area is easier. Only a DC 10 Swim check is required to move through it; a creature may move at its normal speed on a success and half its normal speed on a failure. Creatures with a swim speed may swim normally. Finally, within the area, all underwater combat penalties on melee attacks are negated.

Substitution Levels

Chelonym Truenamers embrace their divine heritage, channeling the blessings of Great A;tuin through truespeach.

HD: d6

To take a Chelonym Truenamer, a character must be a non-evil Chelonym who worships Great A’tuin and be about to take his 1st, 6th, or 9th level of Truenamer.

Class Skills
Chelonym Truenamers have the same class skill list and skill points per level as a normal Truenamer, except that they add Swim to their list of class skills.

Evolving Mind
Crafted Tool
Perfected Map
+0+2Truename turning1––
+2+5Truename Communion61
+3+3+6True Prayer of the Chosen921[/table]

Truename Turning (Su)
A 1st level Chelonym Truenamer gains the ability to turn undead as a cleric. There is no limit to the number of times a day he may do this, but when he attempts to turn undead, he must make a Truespeach check. His effective cleric level is treated as being either his half his truenamer level, rounded up, or half the result of the check, rounded up, whichever is lower. He takes a -2 penalty on the check for every other time he has attempted to turn undead that day. A Chelonym Truenamer may not use divine metamagic with this class feature. This class feature replaces the standard Truenamer’s Known Personal Truename class feature.

Truename Communion (Su)
A 6th level Chelonian Truenamer may discover the personal truename of a creature by entering into communion with his god. He must a number of Knowledge (Religion) checks, with a DC of 15 + (2 x the subject’s CR), equal to half the subject’s HD, minimum one. He gains a +4 sacred bonus on all these checks, and also gains a +2 synergy bonus on these checks if he has 5 ranks or more in Truespeach. All the standard DC modifiers for researching truenames applies to the DC’s of these checks. Each check made requires the Chelonym Truenamer spend a week in meditation and spend 25 xp to contact Great A’tuin or a suitable herald of the god. This class feature replaces the standard Truenamer’s Truename Research class feature.

True Prayer of the Chosen (Sp)
A 9th level Chelonian Truenamer gains the ability to use true prayer of the chosen as a spell-like ability. There is no limit to the number of times he may use it per day, but when he uses it, he must make a Truespeach check. His caster level for the ability is equal to either his class level or half the result of the check, rounded up, whichever is lower. If his caster level would be lower than 7th, he may not use this ability. This class feature replaces the standard Truenamer’s See the Named class feature.

2006-08-11, 11:32 PM
I like the Discworld reference.

2006-08-12, 11:16 AM
Wow, A+, The_Demented_One! I really like this. :D (And they don't even have tentacles! ;) )

Far as I can tell, the racial mods/abilities look good and balanced. I can't really judge the truname recitations, though. The inclusion of the Truename Domain is a nice touch!

Though, if I was playing one, I'd be a bit concerned about this:

The truename of a Chelonym is patterned upon its shell.

The Demented One
2006-08-12, 12:10 PM
Though, if I was playing one, I'd be a bit concerned about this:

It isn't just written out on its shell. Instead, he spends years meditating on it, and at some point in its life before adulthood, the patterns of the shell just "click" for the Chelonym--and bam, instant truename. Another truenamer, or even another Chelonym, could never learn his truename just from looking at his shell.

2006-08-12, 12:13 PM
It isn't just written out on its shell. Instead, he spends years meditating on it, and at some point in its life before adulthood, the patterns of the shell just "click" for the Chelonym--and bam, instant truename. Another truenamer, or even another Chelonym, could never learn his truename just from looking at his shell.

That's a relief! Or...hmmm...I'd be thinking about moving to Chelonym-country and selling weak acids and steel files for a living. These guys would have to be looking for any way to obscure the name once they learn it! ;D