View Full Version : The Wisp is Approaching... [3.5 Race, PEACH]

2009-08-03, 01:57 AM
A few warnings in advance... This all got started when my friend Moral Wiz asked me if I thought I could homebrew a naturally psionic Outsider race that would be unable to interact with the Material Plane except through taking possession of specially prepared individuals. I said I might, and decided to give it a try, but started taking liberties with the vaguely described idea almost as soon as it entered my hands. In particular, what he described somewhat reminded me of the Wisp from the DS game Knights in the Nightmare, and my first draft of the race was modeled on that, but the idea just kept evolving in strange directions until it finally became what I'm about to present. What I'm not sure about, though, is balance. I don't really know how expensive I should make the ritual to prepare bodies for possession by wisps, I'm only slightly confident in the DC 25 Psicraft check, and I've got no earthly idea what sort of LA a thing like this would qualify for.

That is where I desperately need your help, GitP homebrewers.

Anyway, here is what I've got so far...



Wisps are mysterious natives of the Deep Ethereal plane. Though they are numerous in the Deep Ethereal, they only rarely brush with other planes, and even those visits generally prove uneventful, given their partial blindness to the corporeal world. On occasion, though, they become aware of a mind with which they are able to communicate, and contact is made.

From what little data is available regarding the wisps, they seem to be divided into three primary factions: one xenophobic, one benevolent, one manipulative.

Personality and Relations: The personality of a wisp mostly depends on the faction it belongs to, as does the manner in which it relates with other races. The one thing they all seem to share in common is their fervent belief in their superiority to all other forms of life.

Xenophobes are an insular people, only leaving the Deep Ethereal by accident. They will immediately break off any telepathic link established with them while they brush with a Material, Outer, or Inner plane, and will immediately attack any non-wisp they encounter in the Ethereal. They are primarily known to the inhabitants of the Primes as environmental hazards, just another danger of traveling through the Ethereal plane.

Benefactors view themselves as missionaries of a sort, bringing the wisdom of the wisps to the poor, benighted folk who dwell on other planes. They actively seek out telepaths and present themselves as spirit advisors, often posing as long-dead ancestors returned from the grave. They generally dole out advice with good intentions, but their general lack of understanding of life on foreign planes often renders their proverbs useless to other races. They take this “refusal” of their truisms as yet more proof of the inferiority of non-wisps.

Manipulators think themselves destined to rule the planes. All the planes. All non-wisp creatures are slaves for them to command. Manipulators usually approach telepaths with offers of power, talk them through the rituals which prepare them for possession, then seize their bodies. They then use their new mouthpieces to further their dreams of conquest.

Physical Description: A wisp appears as a faintly glowing cloud of smoke roughly the size of a human being. Wisps have full control over the color of their glow. A wisp's glow pulses in intensity when it broadcasts telepathically or uses psionic powers.

Alignment: The alignment of wisps can be difficult to determine, as their systems of morality seem completely alien to most other intelligent life. It can be said, in a general sense, that xenophobes and benefactors tend toward neutrality, while manipulators tend toward evil, but this is only a rough estimate. Even the cruelest manipulator may hold no more malice in its heart than a human cattle farmer herding his charges toward the slaughter.

Religion: As far as can be told, wisps revere no deity. They understand the concept of religion, though, and they themselves are hardly above posing as gods when dealing with impressionable telepaths on the material planes.

Language: Wisps can broadcast telepathically to any intelligent creature, but they can only hear and understand the thoughts of other telepaths.

Names: Wisps have never been known to refer to themselves by any original name. Even the name of their race is simply a nickname based on their appearance in the material planes. Some benefactors or manipulators may take on names from the races they contact, but these are merely temporary aliases assumed for ease of communication.

Adventurers: The average benefactor or manipulator may be considered an adventurer of a sort, but most wisps have no real ability or reason to go dungeon delving or dragon slaying. If a wisp joins an adventuring party, it will almost assuredly be a ploy to advance a personal agenda.

Wisp Racial Traits

– Strength, -4 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -4 Charisma. Wisps have no strength to speak of, being incorporeal clouds even on their home plane, and their “bodies,” such as they are, are extraordinarily frail. They tend to be somewhat more intelligent than humans, but their lack of understanding of other creatures makes social interaction difficult.
Outsider: Wisps are comprised of the stuff of the Deep Ethereal plane, and thus possess most of the traits of an outsider. They do not, however, possess any weapon or armor proficiency.
Incorporeal: Wisps are incorporeal on all planes.
Medium size: Wisps have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Wisps have a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect maneuverability.
Manifestation (Su): As the ghost ability, except wisps, being limbless, cannot manipulate any object directly, even weapons with the ghost touch property.
Ethereal vision (Ex): On the ethereal plane, wisps have darkvision out to 60 ft.
Material blindness (Ex): Unlike most creatures, wisps cannot see the material plane from the ethereal plane, and, in fact, cannot see the material plane while manifested in it.
Broadcast telepathy (Su): Wisps can make themselves understood telepathically by any intelligent creature within 60 ft, but can only receive messages from other telepathic creatures.
Mindsight: Wisps receive mindsight as a racial bonus feat. Wisps' mindsight is not blocked by their material blindness.
Naturally psionic: Wisps gain 2 bonus power points at 1st level. This benefit does not grant them the ability to manifest powers unless they gain that ability through another source, such as levels in a psionic class.
Ritual possession (Su): Wisps may take control of a properly prepared living, corporeal body with a move action, and leave it as a free action. The ritual to prepare a body for wisp possession takes an hour to execute, requires X gp of material components, and requires a DC 25 Psicraft check to complete. The material components are consumed regardless of whether or not the ritual succeeds. On success, the potential host begins to continuously transmit a distinctive psionic buzz which may be perceived by any telepathic creature within two miles. This buzz merely serves to alert wisps to the presence of a vacant host, and disappears when a wisp actually takes possession of the host. When possessing a body the wisp uses the physical scores of its host and its own mental scores. Wisps may access the knowledge of their hosts at will, using the host's modifiers instead of their own on skill checks, but they may not utilize any of their host's feats or class features in this manner. Wisps may not be directly targeted by attacks while possessing a corporeal body, and the death of a host merely shunts the wisp harmlessly back into the ethereal plane.
Automatic languages: None. Bonus languages: None. Wisps cannot speak, and their telepathy knows no language barriers. Wisps who bother to actually learn any language, then, are very rare.
Favored class: Psion.
Level adjustment: I'd sure like to know.

2009-08-03, 11:34 PM
Gratuitous bump and plea for replies.