View Full Version : Scyldings [Race]

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2007-02-25, 09:26 PM
Iron-skinned and bone-eyed humanoids of sorcerous extraction, resolute and eerie.

Legend states that the first Scyldingaer were emigrés, travelers from some far and unknown land, perhaps even one beyond the known world entirely, and seen by those they met on the shores of their newfound homes as profoundly 'other'.
The truth, however, is somewhat stranger and far less definitive- it is known that the Scyldingaer, the 'shield men', were once human, but what changed them from men into the strange and (to some) grotesque forms they now inhabit is unknown. Most scholars speculate that forbidden magical experimentation is the answer- but they do so quietly, as the Scyldings are known more for justice than mercy, and have pushed aside any questions of their origins (and intentions) with a mailed and heavy hand in the process of gaining their present, more or less noble, place.
Personality: In times past, Scyldingaer were known as 'clockwork knights', a title stemming from the mistaken belief that they were constructs; however, the second portion of that title suits them admirably, as most Scyldings are courtly, companionable, and polite even to their worst enemies. While not 'friendly' in the sense of outgoing, Scyldings are even-tempered and slow to anger or judgment. They often strike others as being reserved as a product of their tendency to deliberation, and even to their closest friends they can be less than forthcoming. Still, while the more locquacious races may condemn their quiet gentility, others are more than willing to settle for an avuncular silence in lieu of a grating tide of noisy fellowship.
Physical description: Scyldingaer, for the most part, look like armored warriors, as a product of their race's unique relationship to their arms; very few can boast of having seen a Scylding without their iron shell, as such a state is profoundly uncomfortable (and ultimately fatal) to the breed.
Those who have, however, speak of deep blue-black skin with a dry, papery texture, seemingly incapable of sweat, and heavily muscled, androgynous physiques in members of either sex.
A Scylding's face is an unappealing sight, as they have niether lips nor eyelids- their teeth are continually bared in a disconcerting rictus, their eyes glistening and ever-staring. While they suffer no ill-effects from this lack of protective membranes, most Scyldings elect to wear a mask or helm and goggles or lenses of some sort to offset the inevitable distaste more ordinary humanity feels toward an exposed eye.
In moments of great exertion, a Scylding's veins and arteries may bulge forth; those who observe closely at such a time will note that they are not the usual red, but a glinting copper- indeed, actual metal. In the palms of the hands and at certain locations along the arms, legs, and chest, these veins break the surface, giving a Scyldingaer the appearence of being lightly wrapped in wire.
Relations: Scyldingaer are polite but cool to members of almost any race. They tend to react less well, however, to those flightier species that take exception to their literally plodding ways and their unabating commitment to rigorous debate and lenghty reasoning-out, and more favorably to those that share (or at least understand) their mannerisms. The reaction of a Scylding to any given profession is likely to be based on their first experience with a member of that profession- Scyldingaer have extremely long lives and long memories to match.
Alignment: Scyldingaer tend strongly towards law, perhaps as a consequence of the need to maintain their own bodies rigorously, perhaps simply as a reaction to the exigencies of the martial lifestyle most live and espouse. In terms of good and evil their repute is more mixed- a Scylding's inclination in that regard is more likely to be personal than cultural.
Scylding Lands: Given their courtly mannerisms, it is hardly surprising that Scyldings maintain quite a few literal 'courts' scattered throughout the land- most of these are strongly lawful monarchies, each ruled by a single individual known as a "Shield". Solid, long-lived, and difficult to assasinate, Scyldings make superb and reliable rulers, a fact that is not lost on those in their purview. Most Scylding lands are located near centers of travel and trade, places which could (In the view of most Scyldings) benefit from a steady, armored hand.
Religion: Scyldings are tolerant of, and often practitioners of, religion, though more often as soldiers of the sword than of the book. Almost any formal creed numbers a few such among its stalwart defenders.
Language: Scyldings speak common; most also speak the trade koine native to their place of origin. They have no spoken language of their own, and no written script- however, all Scyldings know a crude code of martial handsigns which they can use to communicate basic tactical messages to one another.
Names: More often than not, a Scyldingaer has no name, but merely a self-granted title or self-inflicted description; for instance, a Scylding with notably scuffed and dented armor might christen himself 'Worn'. Such names tend to change in the wake of particularly important events or escapades, or simply when the need to avoid notice arises.
Adventurers: Scyldingaer are given to adventuring by nature, for the most part as a reaction to their very nature- they are, quite obviously, built for battle, and most seek it out as a matter of course. Many also develop a fixation on providing for their 'shell', ornamenting, repairing, or otherwise improving their bonded armor with each new quest.

Scyldingaer Racial Traits:

+2 str, +2 int, -2 cha, -2 dex: Scyldings are forceful and rigorous of mind and body, but unsettling and reserved, and their bodies are stiffer and more ponderous than those of other humanoids.
Medium: As medium creatures, Scyldingaer have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
Clockwork Knight base land speed is 20 feet; however, their speed is not reduced when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Ironhand: At any time, a Scylding can mentally invoke the copper veins in their palms, causing them to fuse with any weapon they hold, rendering them very difficult to disarm; a Scylding using his Ironhand ability gains a +10 bonus to their opposed check to avoid being so disarmed. Activating or deactivating this power is a free action.
Ironbind: A Scyldingaer wearing any armor primarily composed of metal can choose to take six full hours to bind that armor to his body; the armor warps, splits, and shapes itself until it nearly forms a second skin, nigh-indistinguishable from a natural part of the Scylding's anatomy.
The base Armor bonus of Ironbound protections is increased by one; its armor check penalty is reduced by two, while maximum dexterity bonus is increased by two. The arcane spell failure chance of Ironbound armor is reduced by 10%.
Ironbound heavy armor does not prevent you from runing at quadruple speed, as ordinary heavy armor would.
If a Scyldingaer removes his Ironbound equipment completely, or if that equipment is destroyed or forcibly removed, they immediately take one point of constitution damage; for each hour they remain unarmored (whether in their initial armor, or a replacement) they take on additional point of constitution damage. A Scylding reduced to one point of constitution by this effect immediately drops to zero hit points and falls unconcious, and cannot be healed or revived until re-armored.
Ironbound armor can be enchanted, modified, or replaced, although doing so may necessitate removing it (and incurring the requisite damage).
Conductive: A Scylding has a 25% chance of ignoring electrical damage of any kind, grounding it harmlessly on his or her armor (roll d%). Any time he fails to ignore such damage, the damage recieved is doubled.
Favored Class: Fighter or Arcanist.

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2007-02-26, 02:56 PM
As a consequence of the fact that I've completely and utterly reshaped this idea (based on my second thoughts about the original concept), I'm bumping this up a tad. I do hope you all won't mind, and that you'll provide me with a bit of feedback, if you don't mind too terribly.

2007-02-26, 03:12 PM
Very good concept, interesting and original (at least to me). It shows that you've put some effort on this. One of the best custom races that I saw here, if not the best.

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2007-02-26, 03:42 PM
Very good concept, interesting and original (at least to me). It shows that you've put some effort on this. One of the best custom races that I saw here, if not the best.
Thanks...and yes, I do try and put some effort in.

I don't know about 'original', since the concept of an "armored humanoid" is an old one, if not often applied to player races.