View Full Version : New Races for a Custom Campaign

2010-04-17, 07:43 PM
So, I'm planning on starting up a custom campaign on a tidally locked world, having been inspired by the recent thread here at GitP. I've statted out the three main playable races I plan on having available to the players, and I'm wondering what the playground thinks.

There won't be any standard races in the campaign, so I'm more worried about the three races being balanced with one another than with the standard races. That said, here they are.

Tidally Locked Races

The Jhaerini are the most numerous of the common races on [planet]. They are sociable, and generally friendly towards outsiders. Jhaerini are sometimes siezed by a strong wanderlust, having gotten their start as a civilization as roaming herdsmen. They often find it difficult to settle down in one location for any long stretch of time.

Physical Description: The Jhaerini are a slender, almost insectoid people, standing between 5 and 6-1/2 feet tall, but weighing only 100-175 pounds. This is the result of adaptation towards the sunside of the planet, where vast sandy deserts reign. They have large, splayed hands and feet, which, combined with their relatively low weight, allows them to move easily through the loose sands in the narrow desert belt.

Relations: The Jhaerini readily mix with any other friendly race, freely sharing food and water with guests. However, no outsiders truly know anything about Jhaerin culture. Though generous and friendly, any questions about tribal interactions, rites, or rituals are ment with polite avoidance.

Alignment: Jhaerini tend towards a neutral alignment, polite but firm.

Jhaerin Lands: The Jhaerin do not believe in land ownership, as by necessity they had to travel over many miles and past many other tribes. They believe that the bounty of the deserts they roam belongs to all people. However, if threatened, the tribes will quickly band together to repel raiders or defend their people, and taking into account their numbers, it is lucky for the other races that the Jhaerini are friendly nomads, for if they ever turned their efforts towards a more imperial focus, there is little that could stand in their way.

Religion: The Jhaerini worship the sun as a god. Its constant presence in their lives is both reassuring and, at times, threatening, changing as fate smiles or frowns upon them. The god is worshipped in two aspects: as giver and taker. The Jhaerini realize that without the sun, there would be no life, but they also know that in the desert, the sun can take life away as easily as it gives it.

Language: The Jhaerini speak their own language, a whistling and melodic language that sounds almost like an improvised song. Most Jhaerini also speak common, especially those whose travels have taken them into other lands.

Names: Jhaerini have four names: their tribe name, which is the same for all members of a tribe, their family name, their shared name, and their private name. A Jhaerini in official dealings, or who is uncomfortable, will always refer to himself only by his tribe name. If questioned, they will freely give their family name, and if have no predilections against giving their shared name to good acquaintances. Their private name, however, will be known by no more than a handful for the Jhaerin's entire life. The only people likely to know a Jhaerin's private name are his immediate blood relatives, friends he considers close enough to be treated as family, and the person the Jhaerin intends to wed.

Adventurers: Jhaerin frequently become adventurers, especially if siezed by the wanderlust, or if those they consider friends decide to take up the dangerous life of adventuring. Naturally, most of the Jhaerini who decide to become adventurers either retire early or die young, since adventuring is just about the most dangerous career one can pursue.

Racial Traits
Medium: As Medium creatures, Jhaerini have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.

Jhaerini base land speed is 30 feet. They have a burrow speed of 10 feet.

A Jhaerini player character may select any one ability score to receive a +2 inherent bonus, because upon reaching adulthood, Jhaerini undergo a ritual in which they choose what they'd like to specialize in, granting this bonus.

A Jhaerini player character may select any one skill whose key ability is the ability score he selected as his racial bonus and treat it as a class skill.

Automatic Languages: Jhaerini. A Jhaerin who has an Intelligence score of at least ten also speaks common.

Favored Class: Any


Personality: The Mir tend towards small, close-knit family groups. They rarely live in numbers exceeding twenty, and are extremely territorial about the area their family has claimed. Within the family group, there is always one clearly dominant alpha male, who is the only male allowed to mate. Mir respect strength and combat ability, and little else, often resorting to physical violence to solve any dispute. Strangely enough, when not fighting, most Mir are preternaturally calm, showing no outward signs of emotion whatsoever. However, they are easily provoked, and most other races will not even realize they are offending the Mir until they are set upon. Other Mir will not leap into action unless the fight involves an obvious outside threat. Otherwise, they will simply impassively stand by and watch.

Physical Description: The Mir are large, brutish humanoids, tending towards bulky muscle and knobbly joints. The only parts of them not covered in thick, wiry hair are their palms, the soles of their feet, their faces, and their chest and upper abdomen. They have long arms, ending in almost comically oversized hands, allowing them their ability to dig quickly. Their legs are short in comparison with their arms, with wide, flat feet ending in long, clawed toes.

Relations: Mir rarely leave their own family group unless it is to try to start their own, and are generally distrustful of outsiders, even those of their own race. As such, they tend to avoid other races as much as possible. However, if an outsider can prove themselves strong and fit, Mir will often show them the same deference they show to other Mir of considerable strength.

Alignment: Mir tend towards the Chaotic side of the spectrum, respecting no law but strength, and believing firmly in survival of the fittest.

Mir Lands: Mir are highly territorial, and will mark their family group's lands with terrifying sculptures made from the bones and sinews of animals and rival alpha males, as well as any outsiders who trespassed on the family's lands.

Religion: Mir actively engage in ancestor worship, believing that the spirits of their forefathers all the way back to the beginning of time watch them and judge their every action. They revere one spirit above all others, and know it only as The Great Father, said to be the first and strongest of all Mir.

Language: Mir speak Common.

Names: Mir have only one name, that of their family, until they can start their own family, at which point they choose a name of their own. Mir family names tend to be simple, leaning towards the monosyllabic and inevitable sounding guttural and harsh.

Adventurers: Mir adventurers are almost always young males seeking to prove their strength to the ancestors in order to earn the right to found their own family. Sometimes a young male will be kicked out of his family group, if he rebels against the alpha and fails to usurp him, and they will occasionally become adventurers as well. It is also not unheard of for a female Mir to leave her family in order to escape the overwhelmingly male-dominated Mir culture.

Racial Traits
Medium: As Medium creatures, Mir have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.

Mir base land speed is 30 feet. They have a burrow speed of 10 feet.
+2 Con, +2 Str, -2 Int: The Mir are a strong and hardy people, but are not open to new ideas or ways of thinking.

Darkvision: Mir have darkvision out to 30 feet, and Low-Light Vision twice as far.

Monstrous Aspect: Mir are brutish with an unusual anatomy, and so are considered monstrous humanoids whenever it would be beneficial to them

Automatic Languages: Common

Favored Class: Any


Personality: The typical Golenn has a powerful mind, and their personalities are often defined by their logic and devotion to intellectual pursuits. However, the ways in which they pursue knowledge, experience, and self-improvement are nearly as numerous as the Golenn themselves.

Physical Description: The Golenn are the most physically unusual of the three primary races, sharing more in common with an earthworm than a human. They have slender, segmented, wormlike bodies, with only two appendages in the form of tentacle-like arms located towards their head end. Indeed, it is only by the location of their arms that Golenn can be distinguished front from rear. The shade of their soft, stretchy skin can be anything from a pale, light pink to a deep, vibrant purple. Golenn have no gender, and reproduce by splitting into two smaller Golenn.

Relations: The Golenn enjoy the company of other species, as they delight in discovering new ways of thinking and new perspectives on various ideas.

Alignment: Most Golenn tend toward neutrality, though there are many whose personal opinions and ways of thinking shift them to another alignment.

Golenn Lands: Though the Golenn originate from the shadeward side of [planet], they have since spread throughout the habitable areas. They lay claim to no lands, but the other races tend to avoid the cold shadeward ice plains, leaving them for the Golenn.

Religion: Golenn as a species do not worship any higher beings. Though individual Golenn may choose otherwise, most Golenn believe that through experience and personal improvement, they can reach perfection of self, a state that they call Pharrash. Reaching Pharrash is the ultimate goal of every Golenn.

Racial Traits
Small: As a Small creature, a Golenn gains a +1 size bonus to AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than Medium creatures, and his lifting and carrying limits are three quarters of those of a Medium character

Golenn base land speed is 10 feet. They have a burrow speed of 30 feet.
+2 Int, +2 Wis, -2 Cha: Golenn are exceptionally intelligent and cunning, but their unusual physiology makes them unable to express themselves well to other races, and their strange ways of thinking alienate them from other races.

Aberration: Golenn are not subject to spells or effects that affect humanoids only, such as charm person or dominate person

Blind: Golenn have no eyes, having evolved in an underground environment.

Blindsight: Golenn have Blindsight to a range of 30 feet. As a standard action, they may spend one power point to increase this range to 60 feet until the start of their next turn.

Naturally Psionic: Golenn gain 2 bonus power points at 1st level. This benefit does not allow them to manifest powers unless they gain that ability through another source, such as levels in a psionic class.

Repletion: A Golenn can sustain its body without need for food or water. If it spends one power point, it does not need to eat or drink for 24 hours.

Suspended Animation: At will as a free action, a Golenn can spend one power point to enter a state of suspended animation. While in suspended animation, a Golenn does not need to eat, drink, or sleep. While suspended animation does not cause a Golenn to stabilize if at negative hit points, they do not need to roll to stabilize until they leave suspended animation. Each day that a Golenn stays in this state, the power point cost doubles. Any nonmagical effects that a Golenn may be under, such as exhaustion, fatigue, or anything resulting from extreme weather, do not take effect until the Golenn leaves suspended animation.

Languages: Possessing no mouthparts for conventional speech, Golenn can communicate telepathically with any creature within 30 feet of them. However, as their mind is so alien, they must share a language with the creature they are attempting to speak with. A Golenn may spend one power point to increase the range of their telepathic communication to 60 feet.

Favored Class: Any

Golenn Aging

Golenn do not age as most creatures do. They age and grow very, very slowly, starting at Small size and not reaching Medium until they are well over 300 years old. As a Golenn ages, its brain slowly deteriorates as their body grows. The ultimate fate of all Golenn who do not die as younglings is to end up one of the King Worms of the Great Desert. By that time, unfortunately, the ancient Golenn cannot even be called sapient, having degenerated into little more than a predatory animal.*

*Note: This is for fluff purposes only. Golenn player characters in this campaign will all be in the youngest age category. I haven't yet statted out the ancient Golenn, or anything beyond what you see here.

2010-04-17, 08:10 PM
Golenn and Mir are both a little unbalanced: Mir are tipped toward being good at melee roles, and Golenn toward caster / psionic roles.
By granting bonuses in ability scores that favour a certain role, you are steering that race into following that role - especially where optimising players are concerned.

Golenn having a burrow speed faster than their land speed is a bit odd. Is that what you meant, or is it a mistake? Aside from that, usually small creatures have slower speed than medium - this is part of balancing out their AC and attack bonuses.

You'll need to put a duration on golenn's extended blindsight ability.

There may be other issues - but it's rather late where I live, and I'm sleepy. I may have missed something.

Aside from this, the fluff is good, and the tidally locked world is a theme I've been thinking about running.

Will there be humans in your world?

2010-04-17, 08:15 PM
Ah, I must have forgotten to give the blindsight a duration. I had intended to only last until their next turn; that's been fixed.

How should I change around the stat bonuses for the Mir and Golenn? Maybe drop the Con bonus and switch it to, say, Wis? I don't even know what I would switch around on the Golenn...

I meant for the Golenn to have a faster burrow speed. They have no legs, and have to drag themselves by their relatively weak arms when on the surface. Underground, they move like a worm, undulating, stretching and contracting their bodies to move. Should I maybe bump their burrow speed back to 20?

All the races have a burrow speed as a an evolutionary effect of the strong winds that are constant on the planet. Most buildings will also be like icebergs: a lot of them will be subsurface.

And no, there will be no humans. These three races will be it, essentially.

2010-04-18, 05:14 PM
Bump? Still hoping for a few more opinions/ideas, and saw that this had fallen off the first page.