View Full Version : Races of Blackspire - Azcatian Gnoll [RACE/PrC/PEACH]

2008-06-03, 03:11 PM
For my campaign setting, I need to create races and prestige classes to flesh out the world with. I decided to start with the Azcatian gnolls, as that's where the players in my current players are in the world, Azcatia. I'm good for the fluff, but it's included for completeness. What I really want help with... is the crunch. Thankyou anyone who looks. :)


"'ey, I an I's no fool, seen? I's witnessed before the world ended. Shining cities, Magic energy ev'rywhere. Look where we ares now!"

Azcatian Gnolls are approximately 5'7 in height and weigh around 140lbs, with the females being larger than the males. These gnolls outwardly resemble regular gnolls, but with a major difference - their fur is marked all over with very fine markings. These markings are a side-effect of being imbued with psionic energy, but are also a receptacle for spare power points. Inwardly, these gnolls are a completely different species to regular gnolls. Not only do they have innate psionic talent, but their whole body requires psionic energy to live, just as humans need clean air. Without it, they slowly become sickly. This is mostly taken from their own store of psionic energy, but azcatian gnolls also like to feed on other sources, such as the power point store of other creatures. Azcatian gnolls can sap the minds of willing or unwilling psions, draining them of their energy. This is seen as scavenging behavior by other races' standards, but to Azcatian Gnolls, it's what they do.

Azcatian Gnolls love Psionic items. They just cannot get enough of them - leading them to horde broken or trivial psionic trinkets from an age long past. If they see something they feel comfortable around, they will most likely take it - but this is a habit they can surpress, that is, they aren't compelled to do it, but feel that urge anyway (unlike some races, they have been conditioned to feel comfortable, but years of racial training stops them from being kleptomaniacs).

Constitution +2, Intelligence +2, Wisdom -2, Charisma +2.
Size Medium.
A gnoll’s base land speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Detect Psionics at will
Psimosis (Su): As a standard action, a gnoll can steal a number of power points equal to it's charisma modifier (or 1, whichever is higher) from a creature it touches. A successful Will save (DC10+1/2HD+cha mod) negates the theft. Power points stolen in this manner persist for 1 round, then fade away. They cannot be used to replenish the gnoll's power point supply. Charged psionic items can also be drained in this manner, giving the gnoll temporary power points equal to (2x Power Level -1). Only one charge per item can be drained per day, however, as gnolls find this taxing on their stamina.
Racial Hit Dice: A gnoll begins with two levels of monstrous humanoid, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +2, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +0, Ref +3, and Will +3.
Racial Skills: A gnoll’s monstrous humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 5 (2 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Knowledge (Psionics), Listen, Spot, Psicraft.
A gnoll manifests as a 2nd level Psion. It has no favored discipline, which means it cannot take discipline powers unless it takes a level in Psion.
Racial Feats: A gnoll’s monstrous humanoid levels give it one feat.
Automatic Languages: Gnoll, Azcatian. Bonus Languages: Common, Ancient.
Favored Class: Psion.
Level adjustment +2.

Adulthood: 14
Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer: +1d4 years
Bard, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger: +1d8 years
Cleric, Druid, Monk, Wizard: +1d10 years

Middle Age: 56
Old: 95
Venerable: 120
Maximum Age: +2d12

Base Length: 5' 0"
Length Modifier: +2d6"
Base Weight: 90lbs
Weight Modifier: x2d6lbs

Most Azcatian Gnolls become psions, and are most likely to choose Nomad as their specialisation, due to their wanderlust and to make travelling easier.
Adventuring Race: Azcatian Gnolls adventure purely to seek psionic items. With their innate ability to detect psionics, the gnolls are easily integrated into parties as a "divining rod" of sorts. As well as their natural ability to manifest and their strength makes them the perfect backup manifester. However, their lust for psionic items (which they feed off to sustain their psionic ability) often leads them into trouble. Gnolls also have an innate discomfort when staying in one place for more than a short while, as their ancestors, the real gnolls, were also nomadic.
Character Development: Give suggestions for making a character with this race.
Character Names: Azcatian Gnolls usually name themselves, quite strangely, after arcane spells, and siblings might share the same line of spells as names, or name themselves differently based on how they view themselves. As well as an arcane spell name, they also have personal names their parents give them. These names are very much the same as regular gnoll names, but aren't as commonly spread. Usually, a gnoll is outwardly known by his spell name.

Azcatian Gnolls are natural psions, so most try to augment their talents, but some branch off, becoming Psychic Warriors or Warminds instead. Being natural wanderers, they dislike being in one place for long periods of time.
Personality: An Azcatian gnoll is usually very docile and much less violent than their primitive ancestors, They are placated by psionic energy, and a lack of it will make them touchy and edgy, as if they were going through withdrawal. Natural wanderers, azcatian gnolls will try to gravitate towards places with the most ambient psionic energy. As well as being wanderers, Azcatian gnolls are incredibly superstitious, believing that karma will get them if they do not balance the scales so it is not against them. Thus, for every evil act they do, however unintentionally, they try to at least do something for someone else that is beneficial to them - though that person in some vile individuals is themselves.
Behaviors: Azcatian Gnoll behavior is quite different from human behavior, as they have an artificial society based on the presence of psionic energy. The more gnolls around, the greater the resonance. This means that gnolls are likely to stick together. Strange habits, such as licking items, can be explained by the activation of their innate abilities. They have psionics-sensitive sensors on their tongues, and this behavior also marks the item as the gnoll's own. Azcatian gnolls never linger in places without psionic energy, such as The Waste - in fact, they try to avoid them at all costs, but if there is a promise of a greater prize, they will not think twice about it.
Language: The gnollic language is the same as a regular gnoll, however, the dialect is slightly skewed towards the other native language, Azcatian. Gnolls have trouble pronouncing certain words (ones with too many esses, for example), and will avoid them at all costs, or skimp on their speech when saying that word.

Azcatian Gnolls are a thoroughly artificial race, created by infusing regular gnolls with psionic energy to create super soldiers for a war long ago. As a result, their society is likewise artificial, conditioned to make them ready for war at any time. Without a war to fight, Azcatian Gnolls are incredibly docile, content to travel from place to place searching for abandoned psionic trinkets to sate their lust for psionic power.
Alignment : Azcatian Gnolls have no set alignment, though they are most commonly neutral in terms of morality, not bothering with the absolute good and evil in the world. Being a regimented and artificial race, they naturally follow orders and as a result, are more lawful than the average human.
Lands : Azcatian Gnolls live in the country of Azcatia, and very rarely leave the high-psionic fields there.
Settlements : Azcatian Gnolls do not make villages - they cart themselves around in elaborate caravans, full of all their belongings. Usually, Azcatian Gnolls travel in parties of around twenty to thirty. This is intimidating to those who want to keep their psionic possessions if the gnolls are less than courteous about their excavations.
Beliefs : Gnolls have no official religion and there are no gods specifically dedicated to azcatian gnolls. After the Blackspire Incident, there developed a cult of mostly Azcatian Gnolls, dedicating themselves to Skepsis, the God Machine. These are a highly secretive creed, however.


Cognizise Markings [racial]
Your markings can store power points just like a cognizance crystal can.
Prerequisites: psimosis, Manifester Level 1st
Benefit: When you steal power points, you can store them inside your markings to save them for later. This allows you to store power points equal to your character level -2 (minimum 1) just like a cognizance crystal. You may cast psionic powers from this pool seperately from your normal pool, just like a regular cognizance crystal, except it only replenishes when you steal power points with your psimosis ability.
Normal: Stolen power points only persist for 1 round.

Disciplined Manifester [racial]
You have a talent for a certain discipline of psionics.
Prerequisites: Azcatian Gnoll, can only be taken at character level 1st
Benefit: You gain access to a single psionic discipline with your racial manifesting. You gain a +2 bonus on Psicraft checks made to identify, manifest from a power stone etc to do with that discipline. After this choice has been made, any levels you take in psion must be the same as the discipline you chose.

Philosophical Manifester [racial]
You are more introspective than the average gnoll.
Prerequisites: Azcatian Gnoll, Wis 13, can only be taken at character level 1st
Benefit: You gain access to a single psionic mantle, being able to learn powers from it, and gaining the mantle's special ability. You gain another mantle at 8th level, and a third at 1th. The ability, if tied to Ardent level, uses your manifester level instead. Taking this feat means that you cannot choose a discipline to specialise in.

2008-06-03, 03:12 PM
Runemarked Psion

Magic, Psionics... they all come from the same place. To say that to master one is to forsake another... this is a lie. Here, let me show you some proof!
- Prismatic Ray, a gnoll Runemarked Psion

The intrinsic energies of psionics ebb and flow within the veins of gnolls, creations of Blackspire to carry out tasks humans could not. But magic, also, has a place within them. Though mysterious and often at odds with the well-ordered psions, these few magically skilled gnolls embrace this quirk, and learn to use magic as if they were born to cast. Often secretly meeting, these special individuals are shunned by the psionic community, who do not understand the logic in the right amount of dribbliness in a ritual candle, the perfect wood for an evocation wand, the exact amount of magical oils to be applied to a newly crafted item for it to maintain it's magical aura. It just doesn't make sense to the psions, but these special runemarked psions... it is second nature. Truly, magic is an art rather than a science, and to blend together the lifegiving
psionic energies with the mysterious and unexplainable magic.

One does not make themselves a Runemarked Psion, one is born one. If a gnoll shows a more than mediocre talent at magic, then the Order of the Magic Circle finds them. Once accepted, a Runemarked Psion learns much, much more about magic than the average individual ever could themselves.

To qualify to become a Runemarked Psion, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
Skills: Knowledge (Psionics) 9 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 5 ranks, Psicraft 9 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks, Use Magic Device 5 ranks
Feats: Magical Aptitude, Cognizance Marking
Manifesting: Must be able to manifest 4th level powers.
Special: Must own a spellbook of some sort, be it a real spellbook or a binder full of scrolls, and display an ability to cast those spells using Use Magic Device or similar brute force to the Order of the Magic Circle.

Class Skills
(PrC Name)’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Psicraft (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skills Points at Each Level : 2 + int

Hit Dice: d4

BAB Fort Ref Will Abilities Manifesting
1. +0 +0 +0 +2 runemarking, cantrips --
2. +1 +0 +0 +3 spell knowledge +1 level of existing manifesting class
3. +1 +1 +1 +3 empower rune +1 level of existing manifesting class
4. +2 +1 +1 +4 spell knowledge +1 level of existing manifesting class
5. +2 +1 +1 +4 swift rune +1 level of existing manifesting class
6. +3 +2 +2 +5 spell knowledge +1 level of existing manifesting class
7. +3 +2 +2 +5 unstoppable rune +1 level of existing manifesting class
8. +4 +2 +2 +6 spell knowledge +1 level of existing manifesting class
9. +4 +3 +3 +6 contingent rune +1 level of existing manifesting class
10.+5 +3 +3 +7 spell knowledge, arcana revealed --

Weapon Proficiencies: Runemarked Psions gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Cantrips (Ps): At 1st level, a Runemarked Psion harbors minor magical skill. She learns a number of arcane cantrips equal to 1+her manifesting stat modifier. Once every 5 rounds, she can expend her psionic focus to cast a cantrip, using her manifester level as the caster level.

Runemarking (Ps): Far from actually being able to cast spells, a Runemarked Psion can 'prepare' arcane spells in her markings, changing them to look like mystical sigils. She may store a single charge of an arcane spell in her markings. This costs a number of power points equal to (2 x the spells level -1), taken from her marking's power point supply. She must prepare this charge from a scroll she possesses, and though it doesn't use up the scroll, the runemarked psion must make a Spellcraft check (15+spell level) to prepare it. This process takes 10 minutes, and if the spellcraft check fails, the time is still used up. Using a Runemark is a standard action. If she has rune power points left over, she can prepare another in the same ten minutes, but for each she must make another Spellcraft check. Displaying a Runemark in front of non-magical azcatian gnolls imparts a -2 penalty on all social skill rolls to influence them.

Empower Rune: At 3rd level, a Runemarked Psion can empower any rune she prepares. A rune augmented as such costs an additional 4 power points.

Swift Rune: At 5th level, a Runemarked Psion can quicken any rune she prepares. A rune augmented as such costs an additional 7 power points.

Unstoppable Rune: At 7th level, a Runemarked Psion can activate a rune she prepares without provoking an attack of opportunity, and can do so even while grappled without being hindered. A rune augmented as such costs an additional 2 power points.

Contingent Rune: At 9th level, a Runemarked Psion can activate a rune instinctively, without even having a conscious thought. A rune prepared in this manner is set off not by the Psion's action, but by a condition, as the contingency spell. A rune augmented as such costs an additional 9 power points.

Spell Knowledge: At 2nd level and every even level afterwards, a Runemarked Psion gains innate knowledge of a single spell (up to a maximum level of the normal powers she can manifest), casting it as a psionic power. She must have a scroll of this spell or a written copy of the spell to study for one week. She may not do anything else but study during this period for 8 hours a day. At the end, she has a flash of inspiration, and learns the spell as a power.
Each spell costs a certain number of power points to manifest. The higher the level of the spell, the more power points it costs. The table below describes each spell's cost.

Table 1-2:
Level Power
1 1
2 3
3 5
4 7
5 9
6 11
7 13
8 15
9 17

The Runemarked Psion uses her manifester level for determining the effects of the spell being manifested, with one significant exception. Spells that deal a number of dice of damage based on caster level (such as magic missile,searing light, or lightning bolt) deal damage as if cast by a character of the minimum level of the class capable of casting the spell. Spells whose damage is partially based on caster level, but that don't deal a number of dice of damage based on caster level (such as produce flame or an inflict spell) use the Runemarked Psion's normal manifester level to determine damage. Use the Runemarked Psion's normal manifester level for all other effects, including range and duration.

For example, a fireball deals a number of dice of damage based on the Runemarked Psion's manifester level, so when manifested it deals 5d6 points of damage (as if cast by a 5th-level wizard, which is the minimum level of wizard capable of casting fireball).

An Runemarked Psion can pay additional power points to augment the dice of damage dealt by a spell. Every 1 extra power point spent at the time of manifesting increases the spell's effective caster level by 1 for purposes of dealing damage. The damage-dealing spell's caster level cannot be increased above the Runemarked Psion's manifester level, or above the normal maximum allowed by the spell.

For example, even at 7th level, our Runemarked Psion's lightning bolts deal only 5d6 points of damage (just like a 5th-level wizard) unless she spends extra power points. If she spends 1 extra power point (making the lightning bolt cost 6 points rather than 5), the spell deals 6d6 points of damage. A second extra power point would increase the damage to 7d6 points, but she can't spend more points than this, since her manifester level is only 7th. Were she 10th level or higher, she could spend a maximum of 5 extra power points on this spell, raising the damage up to 10d6, the maximum allowed for a lightning bolt spell.

Similarly, her magic missile spell shoots only one missile unless she spends extra power points. An extra 2 power points increases the caster level from 1st to 3rd, granting her one additional missile. She can spend a maximum of 6 additional power points in this manner, increasing her effective caster level to 7th for damage purposes and granting her a total of four missiles. If she were 9th level or higher, she could spend a maximum of 8 extra power points, granting her five missiles (just like a 9th-level caster).

Spells that allow a character to recall or recast a spell cannot be learned.

Because the spells are now effectively psionic powers, they are no longer affected by metamagic feats. However, metapsionic feats can affect them as they would a psionic power.

As with casting a spell, manifesting a spell may require certain components (see page 174 of the Player's Handbook). Some of the components remain unchanged, such as verbal, somatic, and XP cost. Spells with expensive material components (non-negligible) require you to spend an additional 2 power points when manifesting the spell in lieu of the material components. If you happen to have the material components, no additional power point cost is assessed. Spells with a focus are treated the same as those with a material component. If the spell has an expensive material component and a focus, the additional power point cost would be 4.

Arcana Revealed: At 10th level, a Runemarked Psion discovers the true bond between magic and psionics. She may activate magical items as if she were a Wizard of her class level.

You are magical, but do not forget you are also a psion. Whilst your psionic ability isn't as strong as someone who focuses entirely on it, your spell versatility more than makes up for it. At 10th level when you gain Arcana Revealed, you will be a vertiable toolbox.
Combat: A Runemarked Psion does not alter his combat strategies from his original psion roots, but certain spell choices may influence strategies in some situations. High level Runemarked Psions often try to put contingencies up with their runemark such as Freedom of Movement.
Advancement: Usually, Runemarked Psions go back to their psion training when they finish this class, as there is only so much a psion can alter in his own mind to be able to cast magical spells. Sometimes, a Runemarked Psion will study magic further, but only the wisest make total use of it.
Resources: Carrying a lot of scrolls and wands is the best way to go for a Runemarked Psion. It might be worth their while to study long and hard at the Library of Azcatia, where most old spellbooks seem to end up. Getting as much out of your innate ability to cast is definitely worth the trouble.

This is impossible. You can't just say a few magic words and wave your stick around and expect things to happen! Changing the world takes time and energy! All this hocus pocus is trickery and lies!
[size=1]- Disjunction, a Gnoll Psion, before getting polymorphed into a toad.
Mages are intrigued by you. Gnolls are frightened of you. Each and every person in the world views you as an enigma. How can a psion cast magic spells? Be it the artistic minds of the mage world baffled by the psion's strict mental training, or the psion's anger at magic's seemingly alchemical qualities, both factions will be a little wary of you.
Daily Life: You wake up, and the first thing on your mind has to be the rituals. Revelling in the candles you arrange into a circle, meditation with the strong odor of insense clearing your mind, everything in your day has an artistic flair, but not in an illogical manner. The candles must be placed in a certain way, the insense must be mixed in the exact same way you did yesterday. Everything must make sense to you, or you will be uneasy for the rest of the day. This is, of course, only a portion of Runemarked Psions. Some are completely like psions, and some are the spontaneous and unpredictable mages.
Notables: There have been several notable Runemarked Psions since their founder, Prismatic Ray, first discovered how he could mesh together magic and psionics. The Order of the Magic Circle doesn't care for good or evil, and as a result there have been clashes between members of this class. A most vile example of this class would be Deathknell, who murdered mages for their spellbooks, and destroyed the minds of Psions to get their powers, to sate his unnatural craving for power.
Organizations: The Order of the Magic Circle is the only organisation to officially accept Runemarked Psions, and it contains only Runemarked Psions. Other organisations, such as the Azcatian Mage's Guild, contain a couple of Runemarked Psions, and they aren't specificially banned.

2008-06-03, 03:15 PM

Table: The Gnoll Paragon
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Manifesting
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 psionic insight, improved psimosis —
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 instinctual senses +1 level of Azcatian Gnoll
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Ability boost (Cha +2) +1 level of Azcatian Gnoll

Azcatian Gnoll paragons have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Gnoll paragons prefer Intelligence, as it powers their innate manifesting ability and allows them to think on their feet, and sharpens their mind when identifying psionic items. Charisma is also important in persuading other gnolls to follow them, and conning unwise market traders into giving a huge discount on that item they wanted...

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills
The gnoll paragon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Knowledge (Psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int) and Spot (Wis)

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the drow paragon class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Gnoll paragons are proficient with all simple weapons.

Manifesting: At every level except for 1st, the character gains additional power points per day and access to new powers as if she had gained a level in Psion (effectively advancing her own racial manifesting). She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus feats, metapsionic or item creation feats, psicrystal special abilities, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of azcatian gnoll paragon to her racial manifesting level, then determines power points per day, powers known, and manifester level accordingly.

Psionic Insight (Ex): At 1st level, an Azcatian Gnoll gains a +2 bonus to Appraise and Psicraft checks relating to psionic items.

Improved Psimosis: An Azcatian Gnoll Paragon steals a number of extra power points equal to her paragon level when she uses Psimosis.

Instinctual Senses: At 2nd level, an azcatian gnoll paragon no longer has to concentrate on her detect psionics psi-like ability to gain the benefit of the first round of concentration. She still has to concentrate to get the additional information, however.

In addition, she may concentrate on this ability to gain information in a 10ft by 10ft sphere rather than a 60ft cone.

Ability Boost (Ex): At 3rd level, an azcatian gnoll paragon's Charisma score increases by 2 points.

2008-06-03, 03:27 PM
You say psionics is like air to them. So do they suffocate in anti-psionic fields?

2008-06-03, 03:32 PM
You say psionics is like air to them. So do they suffocate in anti-psionic fields?

Hmm. I think it's more a case of it's unhealthy for them to be without it, but they can survive for a long while, albeit in discomfort. We can survive in polluted air, but we don't like to, as they can survive in anti-psionic fields, but they don't like to, and it's unhealthy for them in the same way pollution is to us. Nothing stat worthy, however. I should change that fluff, then.