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    eek [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    THE VULSUNE

    Mysterious and attuned with the workings of the world, the vulsune are a race who more closely resemble foxes then humanoids. Of all the mortal races, the vulsune are the most long-lived, many living for over two millennia, and their own legends providing accounts of heroes who live even longer. Scholars of other races often frazzle themselves over trying to unravel the source or cause for the vulsune’s elongated lifespan, but if the vulsune know the secret, they speak nothing of it. Instead, the vulsune preach that a long life comes from a personal fulfillment and a life balanced between the self and nature.

    TYPICAL VULSUNE
    The average vulsune is wary but curious, occasionally letting their curiosity getting the better of their good judgment. Regardless of this natural curiosity, the vulsune are wizened fighters, scholars, and sorcerers. They are virtually unmatched in skill with the katana, a variant of bastard sword with which they are renown for using, and many vulsune choose to learn the ancient techniques of battle that their ancestors perfected. To the vulsune, one’s heritage is an important part of culture, and to dishonor one’s family can result in what seems like an eternity of shame to other mortal races. However, most vulsune are forgiving people who all but expect redemption from those who wrong them. This doesn’t mean, however, that the vulsune are ignorant to concepts such as malice or evil, though they believe that no person is too far past redemption.

    PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
    Vulsune are tall and thin, giving them a frail appearance. An average vulsune stands at 5’ 10” and weighs 85 lbs, with males slightly heavier and taller than females. Their bodies are covered with a thick, rich coat of fur that ranges in color from a vivid red to a fiery orange to a subtle gray. Rare among the vulsune are those with an ebony coat, and black fur is often perceived as an omen of greatness. This coat-color typically remains the same hue over the Vulsune’s entire body, with the exception of patches of lighter fur on their stomach and on the tips of their tail. These places are often lighter shades, such as a light orange, gray, or white. Vulsune who have a lighter coat and a darker torso are often treated mistrust among their people, for such a color scheme is often an omen for a dark heart. A vulsune reaches physical maturity at 50 years, though their minds mature much quicker than this.

    Vulsune appear almost entirely humanoid, with several major differences. Their feet have the typical structure of an animal's paw, though their shape is closer to a human's foot. A vulsune’s paws have a strong leathery coating on the bottom for protection, so it is not entirely uncommon for a vulsune to forgo the use of shoes, though vulsune who travel to other lands (especially cooler ones) often employ the use of boots, shoes, and other footwear. A vulsune’s head is also fundamentally different from a typical humanoid’s; they have elongated snouts similar to foxes and their ears are mounted firmly on top of their heads, also resembling a fox’s ears. Finally, a vulsune has a long, fox-like tail. This tail aids the vulsune in balancing, and a tail is a symbol of honor among vulsune; the worst dishonor a vulsune Lord can place on another vulsune is removing their tail.

    Vulsune eye color ranges from any of the normal human eye colors, and includes both brilliant gold and pale gold. Vulsune, like other races, have particular hairstyles; like other races, the hair on the top of their heads grows at a faster rate than their coat, which allows them to have distinguished hairstyles. Males favor either spiking their hair or pulling it back, while females have no particular preference; female vulsune are just as likely to have an extravagant hairstyle as a female from any other common race.

    With a full fur coat, vulsune do not need clothes for warmth, though they often wear simple, elegant garments regardless. In the vulsune culture, clothing is more of an art then a necessity, so vulsune typically sport clothing that is colorful and earthy. Vulsune clothing traditions, therefore, seem particularly unusual to outsiders, for with the exception of their more private bodily areas the vulsune tend to place their clothing on a whim rather than use it as protection from the elements. Vulsune who travel abroad into the lands of other races, however, typically abide by that race’s clothing standards, though their outfits are usually extravagant when compared to the norm.

    Relations With Other Races
    The vulsune typically address humans and half-humans as they would their own young, for they consider humanity’s trademark ambition and determination to be rather childish and unrefined. An adult, so says an adult vulsune, has ambition and determination, but also knows patience and discipline. As a result, the vulsune tend to give greater respect to the more disciplined of humans, such as monks and paladins.

    The vulsune are also particularly friendly with the good elves, especially the wood elves, whom the vulsune share a love and harmony of nature with. The vulsune openly disprove of the lack of respect for nature that the high elves tend to exhibit, who view nature as something to be manipulated rather the respect and cherish. The vulsune have little to no relations with the aquatic elves, who shy away from surface folk. Finally, the vulsune deplore the evil methods and ways of the dark elves; though this usually doesn’t result in a pity for the dark elven people as a whole.

    While the vulsune have no particular qualms against the dwarves, the dwarven people dislike the vulsune for their rather savage appearance. Many dwarves question the extent of the vulsune’s civility and theorize that they are as deceptive and tricky as the foxes they closely resemble. Whether or not the dwarves have a legitimate reason for distrusting the vulsune isn’t known, as none but the dwarven king himself is allowed to behold the Book of Grudges, and even he seldom attempts to read the weighted tome.

    Like most people, the vulsune have difficulty distinguishing Halflings from human children, but as they treat all people, regardless of age, with respect, the Halflings rarely notice any difference. The vulsune and Halfling peoples have a similar lighthearted outlook on life, and both races have something of a prankster streak. The vulsune also enjoy the company of the gnomes, for both cultures have an extremely long and proud tradition of folklore and storytelling, and neither ever misses an opportunity to compare tales.

    The vulsune tend to get along less well with savage races, especially the orcs and goblins. Both races share a vicious love for death and violence, as well as a strong tendency for evil. Vulsune are naturally wary against orcs and goblins, though like any other race they are willing to give members of these races a chance to prove themselves, though vulsune are often unintentionally critical of Good goblins and orcs. The vulsune also have a healthy sense of respect for the militaristic culture of the hobgoblins, who are much more disciplined in their actions, but none the less they are still prone to the death marches of their goblin cousins. The vulsune believe that although a warrior has his place, he too must also learn to sheath his sword; a concept that the hobgoblins find fool hearty.

    Among all other races, the vulsune get along less well with the yuan-ti. Whether resulting from the ancient feud between snakes and foxes, or an unspeakable crime long since committed, the vulsune are the least friendly and hospitable to a yuan-ti, and most vulsune aggression is focused in on the yuan-ti. While the vulsune seldom start wars, against the yuan-ti they are more than willing to fight.

    Alignment
    Most vulsune value balance over all others, so in terms to Law and Chaos, vulsune sway more towards neutrality, believing that a free, creative spirit coupled with a healthy respect for authority is the best way to live life. Virtually all vulsune value life and freedom over all else, so they tend towards Good over Evil.

    Vulsune Lands
    The vulsune inhabit the woods and forests in the northeastern corner of the world. Referred to outsiders as the Eventide Forest, the woods span for countless miles, wedged between the Thor’s Spine mountain range and the Eventide River. The vulsune are not arrogant enough to claim the entire forest as their domain; they predominantly inhabit the forested peninsula that overlooks the East Sea. While technically still apart of the Eventide Forest, the vulsune refer to the land in which they inhabit as Yakusoku no Tei, the Spirit Lands. Unlike other races, who alter their homes by force, the vulsune coax, persuade, and bargain with the forest in order to make it accommodate them. This is done through the use of the Spiritspeakers, the public enclave of vulsune druids. While these druids answer to the druidic society as do all other druids, the Spiritspeakers protect nature by helping the vulsune settle within it peacefully. Using their powers, trees are coaxed into favorable positions and buildings forged from their still-living branches.

    Vulsune culture and society revolves around the wisdom of elders. Individual towns and villages are governed by an aged vulsune, usually highly honored within that village or town, and groups of forests and towns are grouped into sectors. Traditionally, there are four sectors of the Spirit Lands. The Water Sector encompasses all the Spirit Lands that boarders the ocean. The Fire Sector lies closest to the inland, and is the warmest of the sectors. The Earth Sector is located to the northwest, bordering the Thor’s Spine mounts. Finally, the Air Sector is located in the heart of the Spirit Lands, in the Valley of Breezes.

    Each of the councils bows to the Emperor of Spirits. Despite his title, the Emperor of Spirits is not true royalty, for the ancestors of Yakusoku no Tei themselves select whom will arise as the next Emperor of Spirits. This ritual is enacted with a powerful series of artifacts that, according to the vulsune, date back to their creation by the gods. Whenever an Emperor of Spirits passes on, the Council of Ancestors consults the spirits of the woods again, who then pick a new emperor.

    As a whole, vulsune have little very little contact with the outside world. They tend to stick to their homeland, though those that leave the Spirit Lands tend to blend many of the cultural traditions of the foreigners that they meet with their own. Vulsune who leave the Spirit Lands are often either ambassadors or merchants, giving advice to leaders of other nations or selling some of the fine vulsune produce to outsiders.

    Religion
    The vulsune’s primary deity is Isis, the goddess of life. The vulsune have respect for all forest and animal deities, and there aren't many good gods and goddesses that the vulsune won't pay homage to.

    Language
    The vulsune language is extremely similar to the common tongue; it even shares the same alphabet as it. However, the vulsune’s language, called kokugo, (though many people refer to it as foxtrot) retains a very musical blend of words and sounds that makes it reminiscent of Elven.

    Common Names
    The vulsune typically pick common words as first names (the vulsune language mirrors the real Japanese language). As surnames, they are most likely to combine essences of nature together, sometimes with body parts at the like.

    Male Names
    Chiyo, Ebisu, Juro, Kenji

    Female Names
    Maru, Megumi, Rei

    Family Names
    Embertail, Sunblossom, Whisperwallow, Stonepaw

    Adventures
    Vulsune typically adventure for a cause. Most vulsune are uncomfortable with changing scenery, and many of them dislike leaving their forest home for long. Whether it be to establish peaceful relations with their neighbors, to instruct another sect of clerics on new procedures, or to battle the forces of evil, vulsune are rarely out and about for no reason.

    Vulsune Racial Traits
    +2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution: Vulsune are wise and perceptive, but their bodies are frail.
    Medium Sized: Vulsune suffer no penalties and gain no bonuses due to their size.
    40 ft. Movement Rate: A vulsune can move 40 feet per round.
    Mind of the Fox: Although they're extremely intelligent, average to above average when compared with other humanoids, their minds still operate similarly to a fox's mind, which this causes them to be susceptible to spells and effects that are normally reserved for animals. Vulsune are affected by mind-affecting spells, abilities, and effects as if they had the animal creature type. A vulsune is treated as a Magical Beast if it would give them a better Will saving throw against the effect, and a vulsune is always entitled to a Will saving throw against a spell or ability that would normally only work on creatures with the Animal creature type.
    Low Light Vision (Ex): A vulsune’s eyes are more sensitive to light then most creatures. A vulsune can see twice as fair in low light conditions, such as moonlight, starlight, or torchlight, then creatures without Low Light Vision.
    Natural Reflexes: Vulsune have finely tuned reflexes. A vulsune gains a +1 racial bonus to Reflex saving throws and to their Initiative.
    Perceptive: Vulsune have a heightened sense of awareness regarding their surroundings. A vulsune gains a +2 bonus to Listen, Search, and Spot checks.
    Will-O-Wisp: Vulsune have a strong tie to the Spirit World, a bond that manifests in a limited ability to conjure and control spirit fire. A vulsune with a Charisma score of 11 or higher is able to cast either produce flames or faerie fire a number of times per day equal to their Charisma modifier (minimum once per day). A vulsune can only use this ability a maximum number of times per day equal to the lower between their Charisma modifier and their ECL.
    Weapon Familiarity: Tradition mandates that warrior vulsune learn the arts of the katana. A vulsune treats the bastard sword as a martial weapon instead of an exotic weapon.
    Automatic Languages: Common, Foxtrot
    Bonus Languages: Any (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
    Favored Class – Druid: A vulsune's Druid class does not count when determining if the vulsune takes an experience penalty due to multiclassing.
    Last edited by Golden-Esque; 2009-10-25 at 02:51 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Posted for DragonDei :O.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Originally posted by Golden-Esque
    +2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution: Vulsune are wise and perceptive, but their bodies are frail.
    When I think foxes, I think cunning...intelligence...but whatever. It's your race, not mine, and these aren't foxes--just something similar. So far, it looks good. In the DMG, it says to balance a wisdom bonus, you should penalize either intelligence or charisma, but constitution seems fair.

    Originally posted by Golden-Esque
    Will-O-Wisp: Vulsune have a strong tie to the natural world. This closeness to nature allows the vulsune to have minor control over fire, granting the vulsune the supernatural ability to cast either produce flames or faerie fire a number of times per day equal to the vulsune's Charisma modifier (minimum once per day). A vulsune casts these spells with as a sorcerer whose level equals the vulsune’s character level would.
    Revise this to make more sense and to be more readable. "A Vulsune with a Charisma score of at least [insert 10 + spell level] is able to use these abilities a number of times per day equal to the Vulsune's Charisma modifier (minimum 1)."

    EDIT:
    Originally posted by Golden-Esque
    Bonus Languages: Any non-secret languages
    This should say: "Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic)."

    Originally posted by Golden-Esque
    Perceptive: Vulsune have a heighten sense of awareness about their surroundings. A vulsune gains a +2 bonus to Listen, Search, and Spot checks.
    Should be heightened. Also, "about" could be changed to "regarding" to fit better in the sentence...better flow, if you will. You could always go PHB style and just say they have keen senses, too. It certainly would be shorter and easier.
    Last edited by Temotei; 2009-10-25 at 01:35 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque
    Natural Reflexes: Vulsune have finely tuned reflexes. A vulsune gains a +2 racial bonus to Reflex saving throws and to their Initiative.
    Little strong; +2 Reflex is a feat that is well I've seen it be useful but isn't super optimizing. The +2 to Initiative is more important but still weaker than a feat so strong but not necessarily OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque
    Will-O-Wisp: Vulsune have a strong tie to the natural world. This closeness to nature allows the vulsune to have minor control over fire, granting the vulsune the supernatural ability to cast either produce flames or faerie fire a number of times per day equal to the vulsune's Charisma modifier (minimum once per day). A vulsune casts these spells with as a sorcerer whose level equals the vulsune’s character level would.
    I'd say that a multiple time per day 1st level spell is strong at Lv 1, maybe maximum uses per day equal to your character level or charisma bonus whichever is lower.

    Those two coupled with the 40-ft speed might be a little strong, but the Con penalty does hurt a lot more than most.

    tl;dr: My advice would be cap the Will-O-Wisp at character level per day or charisma modifier whichever is lower and maybe reduce the initiative or Reflex bonus by 1.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Originally posted by Zaydos
    My advice would be cap the Will-O-Wisp at character level per day or charisma modifier whichever is lower and maybe reduce the initiative or Reflex bonus by 1.
    Agreed. Or make it 1/day, similar to a gnome.
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    smile Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei221 View Post
    When I think foxes, I think cunning...intelligence...but whatever. It's your race, not mine, and these aren't foxes--just something similar. So far, it looks good. In the DMG, it says to balance a wisdom bonus, you should penalize either intelligence or charisma, but constitution seems fair.
    That's a fair observation about foxes :). I gave them the Wisdom boost for several reasons. First, I interpreted the fox's cunning as more of a "street smarts" kinda thinking, which fits Wisdom a little better. Part of the problem with Intelligence and Wisdom as separate stats is that the line between them can be blurry in some aspects.

    I ended up with the Constitution Modifier after a little bit of research on foxes; they're not very sturdy, you see. Part of the reason Humanoid Animal came into existence was to try and counter that; plus I though humanoid foxes getting mesmerized by fascinate animal was hilarious.

    Revise this to make more sense and to be more readable. "A Vulsune with a Charisma score of at least [insert 10 + spell level] is able to use these abilities a number of times per day equal to the Vulsune's Charisma modifier (minimum 1)."
    Can do, will do, did do.

    This should say: "Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic)."
    Can do, will do, did do.

    Should be heightened. Also, "about" could be changed to "regarding" to fit better in the sentence...better flow, if you will. You could always go PHB style and just say they have keen senses, too. It certainly would be shorter and easier.
    As DracoDei (the guy that looked at the one of the homebrewed racial Prestige Classes I made for the Vulsune, the Spirit Samurai) noticed, my spelling is kinda bad at times :). I'm usually pretty good at catching it all, but when you have such a huge body of text, some errors are bound to slip notice ^_^.

    I opted not to use the phrase "Keen Senses" for a specific reason. For my races, as I'm sure you've noticed, I like to give all of the traits little names. Keen Senses is its own trait name; I can't recall off of the top of my head, but I don't think that Keen Senses grants the bonus to Search checks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Little strong; +2 Reflex is a feat that is well I've seen it be useful but isn't super optimizing. The +2 to Initiative is more important but still weaker than a feat so strong but not necessarily OP.
    I'm gonna go on a limb and say that Lightning Reflexes is just an underpowered feat :).

    I'd say that a multiple time per day 1st level spell is strong at Lv 1, maybe maximum uses per day equal to your character level or charisma bonus whichever is lower.
    Yeah, two Level 1 Spells is generous, but the two spells share the same uses per day, and neither of them are all that game-breaking (conjure small balls of fire, or outline things in magical light).

    Those two coupled with the 40-ft speed might be a little strong, but the Con penalty does hurt a lot more than most.
    My original draft had the vulsune suffering from encumbrance more than other characters (sort of a reverse dwarf), but in the long run most DMs "Rule of Cool" encumbrance to begin with. But yeah, they're definitely not a weak race choice, but I don't think they're good enough to merit LA +1, which was the goal.
    Last edited by Golden-Esque; 2009-10-25 at 02:22 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    I made a race of humanoid foxes a while back and I ended up giving them a Wis bonus: http://forum.mydndgame.com/index.php/topic,136.0.html (interrestingly enough, someone else on here made a r\ace called Vulpines which had a Wis bonus and a Con penalty after I first posted my race).
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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei221 View Post
    Agreed. Or make it 1/day, similar to a gnome.
    1/Day doesn't seem like it's enough to me. Lower between Charisma modifier and ECL is fine by me.
    Last edited by Golden-Esque; 2009-10-25 at 02:28 AM. Reason: lower and higher mean different things.

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    Thumbs up Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Fennac View Post
    I made a race of humanoid foxes a while back and I ended up giving them a Wis bonus: http://forum.mydndgame.com/index.php/topic,136.0.html (interrestingly enough, someone else on here made a r\ace called Vulpines which had a Wis bonus and a Con penalty after I first posted my race).
    I know you did. My first draft of the vulsune were also called the vulpine. You pointed it out to me before :P. That someone else . . . was . . . me!

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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Sorry about the confusion (I forgot who you were).
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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Fennac View Post
    Sorry about the confusion (I forgot who you were).
    Quite understandable. I took Memory Lapse as one of my new spells last level.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Originally posted by Golden-Esque
    I'm gonna go on a limb and say that Lightning Reflexes is just an underpowered feat :).
    Be that as it may, you should probably tone it down just a little. This is like getting a feat and a half, plus two Dash feats, and two 1st-level spell-like abilities. As well, Weapon Familiarity with "katanas" could be considered a feat (Exotic Weapon Proficiency). Plus +2 on three skills, all related to observing (equivalent to one and a half feats). So...6 feats, and 2 spell-like abilities. Roughly. I always thought the "+2, +2 skills" feats were weak. Same with Dash. And Exotic Weapon Proficiency. Hehe
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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    I'd say with the level cap on daily produce flames they seem fairly good. I forgot about the humanoid (animal) earlier which at low levels is a little painful but at high levels there are some useful druid spells for buffing animal companions. I doubt they could be significantly abused but wanted to note them, and like I said it's painful at low levels. Still think the init or reflex modifier might should be reduced by 1 but that's borderline.

    A vulsune druid sounds interesting at high levels, wild shape and then animal growth yourself and your animal companion at once. 17th level you throw in Nature's Avatar shared with your animal companion and then find a way to double pounce
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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei221 View Post
    Be that as it may, you should probably tone it down just a little. This is like getting a feat and a half, plus two Dash feats, and two 1st-level spell-like abilities. As well, Weapon Familiarity with "katanas" could be considered a feat (Exotic Weapon Proficiency). Plus +2 on three skills, all related to observing (equivalent to one and a half feats). So...6 feats, and 2 spell-like abilities. Roughly. I always thought the "+2, +2 skills" feats were weak. Same with Dash. And Exotic Weapon Proficiency. Hehe
    I still consider being affected by Animal Trance to be a pretty big penalty, especially at lower levels.

    As a matter of fact, here's an example of the spells that work on the Vulsune.

    1st Level
    Calm Animal, Charm Animal, Hide from Animals,

    2nd Level
    Animal Trance

    3rd Level
    Dominate Animal

    Of those, I think the biggest penalty is being affected by Dominate Animal, which is a 3rd Level, compared to Dominate Person, which is a 5th level spell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    I'd say with the level cap on daily produce flames they seem fairly good. I forgot about the humanoid (animal) earlier which at low levels is a little painful but at high levels there are some useful druid spells for buffing animal companions. I doubt they could be significantly abused but wanted to note them, and like I said it's painful at low levels. Still think the init or reflex modifier might should be reduced by 1 but that's borderline.

    A vulsune druid sounds interesting at high levels, wild shape and then animal growth yourself and your animal companion at once. 17th level you throw in Nature's Avatar shared with your animal companion and then find a way to double pounce
    Read Humanoid Animal. Vulsune are only treated as Animals against Mind-Affecting abilities. Things like Animal Growth have no effect on them. The idea is that although they're animal-like enough for them to be dominated and fascinated, their bodies are still humanoid to the point where Animal Growth (and similar body spells) don't work.

    EDIT: I went back and changed the Humanoid Animal Feature's name to be less misleading and more noticeable. It's now called "Mind of the Fox" and it gives better fluff as to why the vulsune are affected like that.

    EDIT EDIT: I caved and lowered Natural Reflexes to +1 to Reflex saving throws and Initiative.
    Last edited by Golden-Esque; 2009-10-25 at 02:51 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    Really, it depends on how many druids and bards are in your campaign. I see your point on these spells, though. Especially if you have a campaign with a bunch of crazy druids...anti-fox people. They like wolves better, maybe.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Race] - The Vulsune

    It seems like a nice race but it is definitely a very strong LA +0 race, like dwarves.

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