View Full Version : New Race - Tn'lch

2006-03-27, 02:12 AM
An excerpt from the paper "Peoples of Vrennell", by Conrad Ixion, Magus, Twelfth Degree.

The Tn'lch are a race that lies in the vast gap between mammals and insects. They are warm-blooded, with both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton with a rubbery outer surface. Most have two eyes and are bipedal; it becomes difficult to generalize after that. The Tn'lch undergo a strange sort of genetic specialization at age ten, during their "pupa" stage. At this point, a Tn'lch youngster must decide which caste he will enter; a member of the Noble Caste injects him with certain enzymes, and the youth develops into one of several adult forms.
The Noble Caste (or Gial'chni, in their language) appears tall and spindly, nearly seven feet in height, with a brilliant blue exoskeleton, four eyes, and a tiny set of nonfuctional wings. The Gial'chni are the only caste that can make the enzymes that can change other Tn'lch, and as such, only a few pupae are chosen for this caste.
The Soldier Caste (Wu'chni) vary from five to six feet in height, with massive, hardened exoskeletal plates, curving, scimitarlike claws that extend from their wrists, and powerful jaws that can bite through almost anything. They only have two eyes beneath their bulbous, portruding foreheads, and their exoskeleton is typically black. It is also worth noting that the Wu'chni are the only Tn'lch that do not wear clothing.
The Merchant Caste (Clr'chni) appear almost homonid - they typically stand six feet tall, and their tan exoskeletons are so soft to the touch, and have so little segmentation that they can pass for human... if you happen to be exceptionally drunk at the time. Their eyes are still exceptionally large, and they have no body hair (as with all Tn'lch). The Merchant Caste is also the Tn'lch's caste of scholars and mages.
Finally, the Worker Caste (Ia'chni) appear something like tall, homonid beetles; their exoskeletons run the entire range of colors, their limbs are long and lean, but suprisingly powerful, and their long heads seem to seamlessly blend into their necks, which flow into long, ovoid bodies. They have two pairs of long wings that fold beneath a shell on their backs, and can fly easily.
Tn'lch reach adulthood at eleven years of age, and live to be between one and eight hundred years old, depending on their caste. They live in large Hive Cities, broad structures of ceramic, marble, and wondrous substances that members of the Ia'chni actually create within their bellies. These hives are all found in desert areas, especially the Eastern Steppes.
Tn'lch are beings of order, and while they are typically percieved as arrogant and condescending, they associate well with the Helvelings, and nominally well with the Drengu.

Despite the attempts at revolution during the infamous Tn'lch Insurrection (Side note: For those of you that don't remember, the Tn'lch Synod was temporarily held ransom by a group of revolutionaries; the history of the event is fairly complex, but it involved them entering the Decade War in an attempt to subjugate the losing Trollish and Goblin peoples) the society of these insectoids has remained much the same. A carefully chosen Synod of Gial'chni watch over the affairs of the race; each member of a caste has a defined role in society, and performs this role to his or her best abilities. The Tn'lch could very well have become a postmonetary society, but they maintain a currency based in Platinum.
The Tn'lch are a people of unified vision and philosophy; however, they are divided in religion. Many take to the animist religion of the Helvelings. Many more have planted their faith in the Sacred Triune. Still others believe in a sort of divine philosophy, by which they attempt to transcend the "veil of the real". They tolerate all religions equally in their hive-states, as long as you can debate the key points of your religion well.
Magi aren't exactly common amongst the Tn'lch, but the ones they have do their job exceedingly well. Young Tn'lch Magi are often too hard on themselves when things go wrong, and thus lapse into other areas of study. Let it never be said that the Tn'lch do not believe in perfectionism.
The Tn'lch tend to live in especially hot climes, making traditional forms of gardening especially difficult for them. Instead, they grow massive underground crops of fungi, and overground farms of edible cacti, especially hardy peppers, and succulents. Likewise, they maintain herds of Guadons - two-story tall terrapins with hollow shells that the Tn'lch use for transportation and for beasts of burden - and giant tarantulas - which are harvested for both meat, and a digestive juice that the Tn'lch drink like alcohol.

A Tn'lch considers the entire Hive City he comes from to be his family, so much so that they use the name of the Hive in place of a family name. Tn'lch do not suffer from inbreeding, thankfully, or marriages would become a logistic nightmare; a typical Tn'lch family consists of a mated couple and their children. Once a child becomes an adult, he is no longer part of the family, although about half of the time they still act as if they are.

Tn'lch food appears incredibly exotic; the food is always coated with thick, spicy sauces, and what's beneath is never what you expect. They have no "breads" to speak of, but they do have puffy mushrooms that look - and to an extent, taste - like dinner rolls. Their meats are typically insect, arachnid, or lizard meat, and their vegetables are never what they seem to be. Despite the frightening sound of it, it is absolutely addictive. My mouth still waters when I think of their Ceile Bowls - their most common lunch food, a deep bowl of ribbon fungi, sandcrab meat, and sour-sweet orange cacti jelly, served cold.
Tn'lch music is highly austere and ritualized; not suprisingly, operas are the most popular musical form among them. Members of the Gial'chni and Clr'chni are typically the center of these pieces, mostly because of their superior vocal range. However, one performance I went to recently starred a Wu'chni with an amazing sotto bass voice... halfway through the first movement, he hit a low "B" that you couldn't really hear, but you felt in your kidneys. Absolutely astounding.
Tn'lch literature is almost all history; fictionalized, mythic versions of what actually happened, but history nonetheless. They have a tendency to strap on the rose-colored glasses when dealing with their own race, and an equally annoying tendency to treat other races as barbarians... or worse, as younger siblings. I only visited one Tn'lch library; mostly because I couldn't stomach the thought of another librarian standing over my shoulder, offering to read the "Epic of Ime A'ts'ii" aloud for (I kid you not) the "proper dramatic effect". And before you draw the conclusion that I just had the misfortune to run into one of the truly odd ones, my guide (an Ia'chni himself) assured me that almost anyone with a passion for Tn'lch literature would act much the same.



Medium size

Base speed: 30 ft.

Adapted eyesight: Clr'chni can see twice as far as Humans in well-lit conditions. They gain a +4 on all Spot checks in such conditions, and cannot be blinded or dazzled by bright light. Other sight-based effects still affect them normally.

Exoskeleton: Clr'chni gain a +1 natural armor bonus.

Consummate Professionalism: Clr'chni always treat Profession as a class skill, and at every level beyond 1st, gain one free point in Profession.

Heat tolerance: Clr'chni can go twice as long as Humans without water, and go twice as long before making Fortitude saves to combat the effects of heat.

Redundant Skeleton: Clr'chni have both an endo and exoskeleton, and can function fine with just one of the two intact.

Favored Class: Wizard


Medium Size

-2 con, +2 wis. Gial'chni are fragile, but are suited for their tasks as rulers.

Base speed: 30 feet.

Exoskeleton: Gial'chni gain a +1 natural armor bonus.

Improved Eyesight: Gial'chni gain a +4 on spot checks in bright light, and can see 1.5 times the distance a normal human can in such conditions.

Enzyme Control: Gial'chni secrete the enzymes used for controlling Tn'lch growth and development. While the enzymes themselves are fairly innocuous to other races, they have an antidotic effect to most poisons; Gial'chni gain a +4 on saves against mundane poisons.

Natural leaders: Gial'chn gain the Leadership feat for free at twelfth level; if they already have it, they gain +2 to their leadership score.i
Favored Class: Aristocrat. PC Gial'chni may choose Cleric or Rogue as their Favored Class.


I'll make the other castes as I go... do they seem unbalanced? Underpowered? Just right?

2006-03-27, 02:26 AM
I like this race, though I dont think I can pronounce the name. Id make a guess but I doubt Id be correct. ;D

They look to be balanced well, maybe even slightly underpowered. Maybe some minor skill bonuses would do it. Id run them just as they are now though.

I do like your method of describing their culture and such.

Question: Do the Wu'chni caste have hands or just the claws?

2006-03-27, 03:45 AM
I'd give the Gial'chni +2 charisma as well, or instead of wisdom. If they're natural leaders, charisma represents that. That, and important Aristocrats soical skills like Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, ect (andLleadership for that matter) depend on a good charisma score.

2006-03-27, 09:13 PM
I'd give the Gial'chni +2 charisma as well, or instead of wisdom. If they're natural leaders, charisma represents that. That, and important Aristocrats soical skills like Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, ect (andLleadership for that matter) depend on a good charisma score.

Two words: Sense Motive. The Tn'lch prefer leaders with a good head on their shoulders, as opposed to those with powerful personalities.

And, for the record, it's pronounced TUHN-luch. Sort of.

2006-03-28, 01:21 AM
I have to agree with the guy who owns this website when he said:

"And hereís a pet peeve: I donít use apostrophes in the middle of words. It drives me nuts, and yet itís all over fantasy literature and gems as the poor manís method to make something sound exotic. Well, forget it, no apostrophes."

If it's pronounced to be pronounced TUHN-luch then give it a spelling like this Tunluch or Tuhnluch or even Tuhn'Luch. If you want vowels to be pronounced in there, then put some vowels in the word.

But now for other things.

How does the redudant exo-skeleton work? Is it mostly for roleplaying purposes or does it serve a game function.

You describe the exoskeleton of the Clr'chni as being soft but you give them a +1 Armor class Bonus. Does this mean that it is soft compared to the other classes, with harder shells? If it really is soft, should it give an Armor Class Bonus.

I really like the Consumate Profesional trait. It fits very well with this Racial/Caste system.

2006-03-28, 11:53 AM
I designed the Tn'lch back when I was learning Klingon (bloodless P'tagh...). I just borrowed the concept of the apostrophe representing a sudden, brief stop from that language.

In theory, the redundant exoskeleton COULD have game application, if the DM allowed for injuries like broken arms, et cetera. And the exoskeleton is soft to the touch. It's tough further down, and certainly gives about the same protective qualities as a thick layer of lizard scales.

2006-03-28, 12:43 PM
It's called a glottal stop(the sudden stop). It's a non-english thing but it shows up in a few real languages.

Okay, I guess I just misunderstood about the soft exoskeleton. It looks good. I like the race.

2006-03-29, 01:50 AM

Large Size
+4 str, +2 con, -4 dex, -2 cha. Wu'chni are exceptionally tough and resilliant, but tend to be dextrous as bulls in a china shop, and only slightly more charming.

+4 Natural Armor bonus. Wu'chni have extremely tough shells.

Natural Weapons: A Wu'chni has a bite attack that deals 1d8 piercing damage and two claws that deal 1d6 slashing damage. Unlike most natural weapons, a Wu'chni's claws can be sundered; treat the claws as steel Scimitars with double the normal hardness for such purposes. The claws do grow back over time; this takes about four months, but the hardness is half normal at first, gaining one point of hardness per week until it's back at normal. Complete bed rest halves the time.

Hooded hands: A Wu'chni's hands are half-hidden behind thick armor plates and long claw-blades. As such, they suffer a -4 penalty on Dexterity checks involving fine hand movement, particularly Sleight of Hand checks, and a -2 penalty on attacks with light or one-handed weapons besides their natural weapons. If the Wu'chni's claws are lost, the -4 penalty drops to a -2, and the attack penalty is removed entirely.

Improved Vision: Wu'chni can see double the distance a human can in conditions of bright light, as the Clr'chni.

Ponderous Bulk: Ordering armor for Wu'chni is an involved affair; it must always be custom-made due to their odd shapes, and costs about three times the standard rate to armor a creature of similar size. This bulk is a mixed blessing, though; opponents are at -4 to bull rush or overrun Wu'chni.

Inbred Duty: Wu'chni must make a will save whenever they take an action that will directly harm or go against the laws of Tn'lch society. A minor infraction takes a dc15 save, anything else a dc20. Failure indicates that the Wu'chni simply refuses to do it; failure by more than 10 means he is honor-bound to report the person who is attempting to goad him into this behaviour (if any). Because of this, Wu'chni cannot be chaotic.

Favored Class: Fighter


Medium Size

+2 con, -2 wis. Ia'chni are hard workers, but a little dense at times.

Exoskeleton: Ia'chni gain a +2 natural armor bonus.

Wings: Ia'chni have a flight speed of 30 feet, with average maneuverability.

Engineering sense: Ia'chni always treat Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) as a class skill, and gain one free point in it for every level after first.

Natural Synthesis: Ia'chni create various natural ceramics within their gullets, and can cough up about half a pound of malleable material a day. If they have ample amounts of hot peppers, increase this amount to two pounds. The material can replace steel, iron, or stone depending on how it's used in crafting; however, only Ia'chni know how to use it properly.

Ia'chni gain one rank in Craft (Masonry) at first level, representing the work they've learned how to do with their natural by-products.

Dull reflexes: Ia'chni are dextrous, but don't react too quickly. They take a -1 penalty on Reflex saves, and treat Lightning Reflexes as a prerequisite for both Improved Initiative and Quick Draw.

Favored Class: Rogue or Expert


I'm not sure I've got these guys balanced properly; Flight is a fairly powerful ability, so I didn't want to beef up the Ia'chni too much, and it was hard toning down the Wu'chni, especially considering their natural weapons and major armor bonus. Any thoughts?

2006-03-29, 01:55 AM
Hmm, the Wu'chni seem to be about right. The massive penalties they take jsut about balance out the huge bonuses. They look like they'd be murderous fighters.

Not too sure on the Ia'chni though. looks to be just about right.

What color are Tn'Lch?

2006-03-29, 02:06 AM
Clr'chni are a deep tan. They should look vaguely arabian, or egyptian, or some such. Wu'chni have darker shells, typically black, sometimes with painted accents. Ia'chni are light brown with varied accents depending on which hive they're from - sometimes orange specks around the upper legs, sometimes a swirled gray pattern about the neck... just look at a kinda-colorful bug and pick the pattern off it, you'll get the idea. Gial'chni are bright blue-green - the skinny scarabs of the desert bug-people set.

2006-07-30, 04:55 PM
I also don't like apostrophies in the middle of words, but how you pronounced it sounds good. Except for the name I really like them.

Are you trying to make these balanced PC races? If so I would only have trouble with the fighter caste. They seem balanced, but they would make a min-maxer cream his pants.

2010-04-06, 11:52 PM
Hmm, the Wu'chni seem to be about right. The massive penalties they take jsut about balance out the huge bonuses. They look like they'd be murderous fighters.

Not too sure on the Ia'chni though. looks to be just about right.

What color are Tn'Lch?

Definitely the first time I've seen LA 0 large creatures. Except for maybe cows or horses.

I also don't like apostrophies in the middle of words, but how you pronounced it sounds good. Except for the name I really like them.

Are you trying to make these balanced PC races? If so I would only have trouble with the fighter caste. They seem balanced, but they would make a min-maxer cream his pants.

It's all good. Min-maxers suffer for not being able to read or dress themselves (and yet can role play that they've received training from hell).

EDIT: Oopsie daisy thread necro. :smallbiggrin: