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    Jan 2007
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    Default Re: Codename: Swampgas, Like Frostburn, but with Swamps

    Races of the Murk

    Like their relatives elsewhere, humans have adapted to live in the harshest areas of the Murk, and in general have flourished. Though not as civilized as others, humans in these areas are often the only race to build large settlements in the swamps, and these act as trading centers, scout outposts, and simply places of refuge from a cruel environment. Humans in the Murk are more likely to be Barbarians, Druids, and Sorcerers that Fighters, Clerics, or Wizards, but an eclectic assortment of humans from all walks of life can be found in many of the largest settlements. Most humans in the Murk tend toward the worship of nature deities, particularly Maas and Toloth, though some prefer Kodes for her connection to civilization.


    Swamp Elves
    Whereas swamp orcs and half-orcs are often less violent than their standard cousins, swamp elves are often extremely xenophobic and prone to violence. Preferring to keep their territory for themselves, swamp elves often attack, or at least imprison, all trespassers in their section of the Murk. Swamp elves often have a wild, unkempt, or animalistic appearance, often wear the skin and scales of swamp creatures as clothing, and braid beads, fangs, and twigs into their dark hair. Leaders of swamp elf tribes are often druids or barbarians.

    Swamp Elf Racial Traits
    • +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma. Stronger and tougher than normal elves, swamp elves also suffer from a lack of formal education. Furthermore, their dislike of others and harsh attitudes often put them at odds with those of other races.
    • Medium: As Medium creatures, swamp elves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    • Swamp elf base land speed is 30 feet.
    • Immunity to magic sleep effects, and a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells or effects. Like normal elves, swamp elves go into a trance rather than actually sleeping, and are resistant to effects that attempt to control them.
    • Low-Light Vision: A swamp elf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    • +2 racial bonus on Listen, Spot, and Survival checks. While not as adept at finding secret doors as their brethren, swamp elves have keen senses and instincts that aid their survival in the Bog.
    • Swamp Acclimated: A swamp elf may take the Swamp Traveler feat without meeting the requirements for the feat.
    • Favored Class: Barbarian. A multiclass swamp elf’s barbarian class does not count when determining whether she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.


    Mangrove Dwarves
    No one is quite sure how the scattered bands of mangrove dwarves first appeared – did they branch off from mountain dwarves who left their stony halls, or did the other subraces of dwarves begin as the more primitive mangrove dwarves and then move to the hills and mountains in which they’re usually found? Regardless, mangrove dwarves are rarely seen outside their swampy homes, in which they are usually found building home in the boughs and trees and, in some cases, inside the trees themselves. Mangrove dwarves, unlike their mountain and hill dwarf cousins, often exhibit natural psionic abilities, and many adventurous mangrove dwarves are wilders or soulknives.

    Mangrove Dwarf Racial Traits
    • -2 Strength, +2 Constitution. Mangrove dwarves are physically weaker than their normal dwarf cousins, but just as tough and considerably less gruff.
    • Small: As a Small creature, a mangrove dwarf gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than humans use, and his lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
    • Mangrove dwarf base land speed is 20 feet.
    • Low-Light Vision: A mangrove dwarf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    • Woodcunning: This ability grants a mangrove dwarf a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual woodwork, such as sliding walls, wood-based traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe wooden surfaces, shaky wooden floors, and the like. Something that isn’t wooden but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual woodwork. A mangrove dwarf who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual woodwork can make a Search check as if he were actively searching, and a mangrove dwarf can use the Search skill to find woodwork traps as a rogue can.
    • Naturally Psionic: Mangrove dwarves gain 1 bonus power point 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.
    • Psi-like Abilities: 1/day – float. Manifester level is equal to 1/2 Hit Dice (minimum 1st). The save DC is Charisma-based.
    • +4 racial bonus on Fortitude saves against disease and poison.
    • +2 racial bonus on Appraise and Craft checks related to wooden items.
    • +2 racial bonus on Swim checks. Unlike other dwarves, mangrove dwarves grow up and live around water and are able swimmers.
    • Automatic Languages: Common and Dwarven. Bonus languages: Aquan, Elf, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Sylvan, Terran.
    • Favored Class: Wilder.


    Bog Gnomes
    Bog gnomes are a rarely seen breed, highly shy and elusive, who are adept at folk magic and stealth. Smaller than gnomes, bog gnomes are semi-nomadic, creating temporary villages when they can find dry land to grow meager crops, then packing up and moving elsewhere if things get tough. Adept at hiding in the Murk, bog gnomes are often ruddy brown with brown or greenish hair. Despite their separation from other gnomes, though, bog gnomes still hold illusion magic in high regard, using it as another tool of survival.

    Bog gnomes have the same traits as normal gnomes, with the following exceptions:

    • +2 racial bonus on Craft (Folk Magic) checks. This replaces the standard gnome’s racial bonus on Craft (Alchemy) checks.
    • +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against fey, plant creatures, and reptilian humanoids. This replaces the standard gnome’s attack bonus against kobolds and goblinoids.
    • +4 bonus on Hide checks in swampy areas. This stacks with the bog gnomes +4 size bonus to Hide checks, for a total +8 bonus on Hide checks in swampy areas.
    Speak with Swamp Creature: Once per day, a bog gnome may use speak with animals as a spell-like ability, though he can only communicate with a Bog animal (alligators, snakes, etc.). This replaces the normal gnome’s speak with burrowing mammal ability.
    • Swampwalk: A combination of light weight and innate magic helps bog gnomes traverse the swamps with ease. A bog gnome may walk across the top of mud, quicksand, and mucky ground with no penalty to movement. This cannot be used to walk on water, normal or swampy.
    • Weapon Familiarity: A bog gnome may treat the fish catcher and pincher gauntlet as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons. This replaces the standard gnome’s weapon familiarity with the gnome hooked hammer.
    • Bonus Languages: Add Sylvan to the bonus languages available to a bog gnome.
    • Favored Class: Ranger. A multiclass bog gnome’s ranger class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Often on the move, rangers embody the bog gnome ideal – they are both masters of stealth and consummate defenders. This replaces the normal gnome's favored class.


    Mire Halflings
    Far removed from many of the other halfling subraces, mire halflings are a sinister and dangerous force in the Murk. Usually found with faces painted like skulls and bearing shrunken heads, mire halflings are most often encountered as small groups of head-hunters. Though they live in seclusion, mire halflings are not unintelligent and excel at setting traps and ambushing their targets. Mire halflings are most often rogues, though they prefer to specialize in trapmaking and survival skills (Survival, Use Rope, etc) rather than social skills.

    Mire halflings have the same traits as normal halflings, with the following exceptions.

    • No racial bonus on all saving throws.
    • +2 racial bonus on Fortitude saves versus disease and poison. Like other creatures in the Bog, mire halflings have an innate resistance to the natural hazards of their home.
    • +2 racial bonus on Craft (Trapmaking). Mire halflings delight in setting deadly traps, especially those that poison or slow their prey.


    Swamp Orc
    Orcs always seem to live in areas others consider inhospitable or otherwise uninhabitable, and the Murk is no different. In the remote reaches of large wetlands and swamps, some orc tribes have adapted to life in such conditions.

    Swamp orcs have the same traits as normal orcs, with the following exceptions.

    • +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, -4 Charisma. Swamp orcs don’t have the brute strength of their normal cousins, but they’re tougher and more in tune with their environment.
    • No darkvision
    • Low-light vision: A swamp orc can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    • +4 racial bonus on Fortitude saves against disease.
    • Swamp Traveler: Swamp orcs gain the Swamp Traveler feat as a bonus feat.
    • Favored Class: Druid. A multiclass swamp orc’s druid class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Swamp orcs live much closer to the natural world and are more peaceful than normal orcs, though they are not afraid to fight back as nature itself does. This replaces the normal orc’s favored class.


    Swamp Half-Orc
    In some cases, swamp orcs run into tribes of the wild humans who live in the swamps. Not as prone to violence as their normal cousins, these interactions sometimes result in the birth of a swamp half-orc.

    Swamp half-orcs have the same traits as normal half-orcs, with the following exceptions:

    • +2 Consitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma. Swamps half-orcs are only as strong as a human, but are tougher due to their orcish ancestry.
    • No darkvision.
    • Low-light vision: A swamp half-orc can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    • +2 racial bonus on Fortitude saves against disease.
    • +2 racial bonus on Heal and Survival checks. A swamp half-orc is accustomed to self-sufficiency and is naturally good at hunting and navigating through difficult and deadly terrain.
    • Swamp Acclimated: A swamp half-orc who takes the Swamp Traveler feat may ignore any requirements for that feat.
    • Orc Blood: For all effects related to race, a swamp half-orc is considered an orc.
    • Favored Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass swamp half-orc takes an experience point penalty, his highest-level class does not count. Swamp half-orcs are like their human parents and gains some of their flexible nature. This replaces the normal half-orc’s favored class.
    Last edited by RTGoodman; 2008-07-06 at 11:06 PM.
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