View Full Version : Shroud (Race)

Tar Palantir
2007-08-16, 08:17 PM
The shroud, a little known inhabitant of the Underdark, is often mistaken for a wraith or a shade of some sort. Having a vaguely humanoid shape, it appears for all intents and purposes to be a living shadow, grey and insubstantial. The main difference between it and other similar beings is that the shroud is completely corporeal, only appearing insubstantial thanks to years of adaptation to the most dangerous environment on the Material Plane.

The shroud is a race suitable for NPCs in an Underdark campaign or for PCs. They are not truly evil, but are naturally distrustful of surface dwellers and may kill them outright unless they have a good reason not to. They are stealthy and agile, and as such make good rogues. It is not unheard of for them to become sorcerers, wizards or even fighters.

Personality: Shrouds are usually distrustful and distant. They tend to stay in the shadows in social settings, preferring to let the surfacers handle interaction with others. Shrouds are often self serving and uncaring, but will often risk anything for their few trusted friends. Treachery and deceit come naturally to them, and they are even less likely to trust others of their own kind then they are to trust surfacers.

Physical Description: Shrouds usually stand around 5 1/2 feet tall, and are thinly built, similar in stature to most elves. They appear to be constantly flickering shadows, grey and translucent. Their facial features are limited to darker shapes for eyes and a mouth, and as such other races can rarely tell one from another. They have no hair, and only another shroud can tell a male from a female. They also tend to be extremely lightweight for their size, often weighing only 50 to 75 pounds. They do not usually wear clothing, and favor armor enchanted to mimic their shadowy appearance. They reach adulthood around 20 years of age and can live to 200 with care.

Relations: As a group, shrouds get along poorly with almost anyone who even knows that they exist, especially other shrouds. Elfs and halflings are more accepting of individual shrouds than other races, particularly humans, who shun and fear them. On rare occasions, elves have even been known to ally with shrouds against their common foes, the drow.

Alignment: Shrouds tend towards chaos, as they trust know one and are likely to break their word just to get them first. They tend to be neutral as far as good and evil go, as they look to themselves first and morality almost never.

Shroud Lands: Shrouds inhabit the Underdark, a fast series of caverns deep underground. They have no large cities, as they do not trust each other to gather in great numbers save in war. They use their natural skills in stealth to ambush trespassers in their lands. Their communities are rarely constant, likely to break apart frequently do to mistrust and infighting.

Shrouds in human lands frequently live on the outskirts of large cities, stealing to survive. They are often hired as assassins by those wealthy enough to afford them.

Religion: Shrouds as a whole do not have a particularly favored god, but many favor Olidammara, and the more cruel often worship Nerull or Vecna. Many shrouds follow no particular god at all, trusting to their own skills, rather than divine favor.

Language: Shrouds speak Undercommon, the language of the Underdark. Those that travel to the surface also learn Common, and will frequently pick up the languages of those they frequently come in contact with, whether elves on a crusade against the drow or dwarves mining for precious minerals.

Names: Shrouds typically have three names. The first is their common name. This is the name they share with outsiders and with most of those they meet. The second is their tribe name, the name they use with other shrouds and those few surfacers they trust. The final is their secret name, which they learn through a special ritual when they come of age. This name is told to no one, no matter how trusted, for it gives anyone who knows it great power over them. They must obey anyone who knows their secret name without question, a compulsion more powerful than a geas. The one who knows their secret name knows them, completely and utterly.

Shrouds choose their common names, which are intended to impress and intimidate others. They can be based on the names of others, words of other languages they have taken a fancy to, or even random sounds that they think have the desired effect. Their tribe names are frequently words in Undercommon, chosen to describe the shroud or their accomplishments. None know if secret names share anything in common, for obvious reasons.

Common Names: Dakara, Thinsolu, Digamay, Paros

Tribe Names: Elghinn Barra, Venorik Velvel, Senger d' Ulnen

Adventurers: Shrouds most commonly become adventurers as a way to escape from civilization, to leave behind cities full of potential traitors and make their own way. Others seek to use their innate talents to further their own cause, usually the accumultaion of wealth and knowledge. Some shrouds travel the world in search of secrets, and guard them zealously.

Shroud Racial Traits:

+2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, -2 Charisma. Shrouds are nimble and quick, but also frail and reserved.

Medium: As Medium creatures, shrouds have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Shroud base land speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision: Shrouds can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but is otherwise like normal sight, and shrouds can function well with no light at all.

+2 Racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently Checks: The shroud's very nature makes them nigh invisible in poor light, and they are also very light on their feet. In addition, Hide and Move Silently are always considered class skills for a shroud, no matter what their class.

+2 racial bonus on Bluff checks or Sense Motive checks made to tell or detect lies: Lies are a part of life to shrouds, and they can tell and detect them better than most.

+2 dodge bonus to Armor Class in conditions of poor illumination: in dim light, a shroud's shadowy form is difficult to distinguish, and as such they are difficult to hit. You lose this bonus if you are flat footed or lose your Dexterity bonus to AC, and also against enemies with low light vision or darkvision.

An +2 circumstance bonus to Hide checks when in shadowy illumination: Shrouds naturally blend into the shadows, and poor light makes them extremely difficult to detect. This bonus stacks with their +2 racial bonus to Hide checks.

Hide in plain sight: a shroud can Hide while being observed as long as they are in an area with darkness or shadows of some kind.

Automatic Languages: Common and Undercommon. Bonus Languages: Elven, Dwarven, Terran, Draconic, and Gnome. Shrouds commonly know the languages of their subterranean foes and those of the surfacers they frequently come in contact with, in addition to Draconic, the language commonly used for secret knowledge.

Favored Class: Rogue. A multiclass shroud's rogue class does not count when determining whether they take an experience penalty for multiclassing. The stealthy, treacherous nature of the shroud makes them ideal rogues.

Tar Palantir
2007-08-17, 11:59 AM
What, no comments at all? No constructive criticism, no "this race sux lol!!!!!1!!!!!1!!!" spamming idiots, no nothing? I feel so neglected. :frown:

2007-08-17, 01:19 PM
Seems mostly balanced, maybe a little on the weak side. I like the idea overall.

Tar Palantir
2007-08-17, 03:34 PM
Maybe increase the dodge bonus to +4, or is that too much?

Sir Conkey
2007-08-17, 05:18 PM
I think that this is a pretty nifty looking race, personally I go for heavy hitters who can give as well as they take but my friend would probly love this race

2007-08-18, 10:44 PM
It's got good flavor, definitely, but I think that shrouds' racial traits are far too weak to match it. For example, the description you gave them of appearing like wispy shadows definitely requires more than a measly +2 to Hide, and their light frame can easily account for a +4 to Move silently. Their innate Hide in Plain Sight makes them powerful scouts and sneak-attackers.

Give them a +4 to hide and an additional +2 in shadowy illumination and give the Shroud a +1 level adjustment, and you'd have a solid race built up.

2007-08-19, 01:42 AM
You know..........I just posted a thread looking for ideas for a new players handbook (i dont really know what els to call it:smalltongue: ) and im wondering if you would allow me to add this race. Oh and dont worry there will be a page in the back of the book called the Thank You List, if you let me add the race your online names going in it!:smallwink:

Tar Palantir
2007-08-19, 09:30 AM
I want to keep it at no level adjustment, so I think I'll give an additional +2 to hide in shadowy illumination, but leave the others at just +2. And Azaa, sure you can use it. Feel free to share my genius with the world. [/modesty]

2007-08-19, 12:43 PM
Cool the book will be called Players Handbook Fans Ideas.

So just if you want to see the race in it.:smallsmile: