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Thread: Dwarf, Badlands

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    Default Dwarf, Badlands

    Okay so in my campaign world there is a magically twisted desert wasteland (I will admit it was inspired by 2e Dark Sun). Well I wanted to put a race of barbaric, magic resistant dwarves in as potential enemies if the PCs ever decide to go there. So I wanted some advice on what CR to make them. And for completeness's sake what LA.

    • +2 Str, +4 Con, -2 Int, -4 Cha: Badlands dwarves are strong and resilient, but they are barbaric and almost bestial in their interactions with others.
    • Size: Medium-sized
    • Type: Humanoid (Dwarf)
    • Speed: 20-ft.
    • Dwarf Traits: Badlands dwarves share all the racial traits of dwarves except where noted below
    • Exceptions: Badlands dwarves lack familiarity with dwarven weapons, as well as the bonus to attack rolls versus goblinoids and orcs, and dodge bonus to AC against giants.
    • Magebane Blood: Badlands dwarves may not choose to fail their saving throw against an arcane spell, or against a spell-like ability. They may not use arcane spells of any sorts, or invocations.
    • SR 12 + Character level versus arcane spells and spell-like abilities (does not apply against divine spells, psionic powers, or psi-like abilities). They may not choose to lower their SR.
    • Magical Backlash: When a Badlands dwarf makes a Fortitude or Will save against an arcane spell or a spell-like ability (but not divine spell, psionic power, etc) the magical powers backlash at the caster dealing 1 Int and Cha damage per 3 hit dice (rounded down) of the Badlands dwarf. In addition the Bad Lands dwarf gains an enhancement bonus to both Str and Con equal to the total amount of Int and Cha damage dealt for 1 minute. If the Bad Lands dwarf rolls a nat 20 on his save this ability causes ability drain instead of ability damage. If a Badlands dwarf rolls a nat 1 on a save versus an arcane spell or a spell-like ability they instead suffer 1d3 Str and Con damage.
    • Magical Anathema (Su): Bad Lands dwarves gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls against creatures able to cast arcane spells or use spell-like abilities. In addition they add half their hit dice to weapon damage against such creatures. This is increased to their hit dice when using unarmed strikes or natural weapons.
    • CR: +1?
    • LA: +1?
    • Favored Class: Warblade


    Fluff
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    Born and bred in a land twisted and made barren by the ancient (~10,000 years old) taint of arcane magic, Badlands dwarves are extremely resistant to its effects. Despite their resistance to arcane magic the Badlands dwarves show several signs of their homeland’s taint. They are larger than normal dwarves, standing just over 5’ in height. Their hair and beards continue onto their necks and down their backs forming something like a mane.
    Unlike most dwarves, the Badlands dwarves dwell near the surface of their territory, in tribal villages little more than caves. The Badlands lack numerous mountains to make dwellings in, and deep caves run the risk of digging into ancient ruins now filled with aberrant monsters. They are desert dwelling, bandits whose villages are supplied primarily through raiding other settlements. They have little of the work ethic of normal dwarves, or cunning that many evil subraces of dwarf show, and often end up the slaves and servants of more powerful creatures of the Badlands; if not snacks.
    Badlands dwarves have a tribal society, where rule is based on combat prowess. They are extremely loyal to family, and have been known to give their lives for their next of kin. Members of the same clan will almost always be a tight knit group, and within a clan they manage to avoid the backstabbing machinations so often the downfall of evil groups. Within a tribe they are not as fortunate, but even so every member of the tribe is brought up to believe one thing as an un-alterable truth: the survival of the tribe matters more than all else. To save their tribe most any Badlands dwarf would give his life. This does not mean that they will not murder, lie, and cheat fellow tribesmen for power, but that they will not push it to the point that it endangers the tribe. Inter-tribal warfare is common, though.
    Their society is fairly barbaric and oppressive. Other races have no place in it, except as easy sources of resources and occasionally food (within the harsh Badlands, humans are a relatively good food source). Slavery is not uncommon, whether captives from other tribes (normally female, they tend to give the males a mercifully quick death) or even members of the tribe. In some cases entire clans exist as slaves to another higher ranking clan.
    Despite the high level of importance Badlands dwarves place on family there are those dwarves who choose to (or are force to) give up all claims off relation to their kin. These dwarves are called the Kinless, although another type “the Forsaken” also lose all claims of kinship. The Kinless can either be those who enter into one of the two priesthoods approved by Bad Lands dwarf tribes, or those born with psionic powers.
    The former give up their clan and family when entering the priesthood, and in exchange for living on the outskirts of the clan and providing such necessary services as in-battle buffs for raiders, after battle healing, and communing with the ancestor spirits, are provided with the largest (all next to the chief’s) dwelling, share of wealth, food, and women. Despite this even a priest’s children are not considered his blood, and if the mother is not a member of the tribe by blood then the children will be given to the chief’s clan as adopted members, in truth little more than slaves.
    These priests serve one of two orders. There are the Speakers of the Dead (typically adepts, rarely clerics), distinguished by their black robes and completely shaved heads and bodies. These priests serve as the link between the tribe and its ancestors and are said to channel the spirits of these ancestors. They gain their spells from said ancestral spirits, and other death spirits, although the powers these spirits can grant is limited to 5th or in exceptional cases 6th level spells. Occasionally a priest attracts the attention of Hades who will agree to empower them further in the name of said spirits, but these cases are rare. The Speakers of the Dead are exclusively male and their children are considered to be chosen champions of the tribe reborn anew.
    The second order is the Scions of the High Blood. These priests (typically clerics, and occasionally paladins of tyranny) normally wear heavy armor with red sigils painted onto it, and they completely shave the front of their head and their face, placing red battle paints across it in the name of their lord. They serve the High Blood, whose exact identity is uncertain. He is apparently some sort of high king over all the varied Badlands dwarf tribes as all chiefs ultimately swear allegiance to him. Their legends even place him as a member of their species, and state that he is still alive. Few, if any, have ever seen him though, so his true nature is in doubt. His priests are able to use up to 5th, and occasionally 6th, level spells like those in the service of divine spirits. Unlike the Speakers of the Dead, Scions of the High Blood may be both male and female, and have a greater proportion of female warriors compared to male warriors than is average amongst the Badlands dwarves.
    Psions, and other forms of psionics users, are also considered Kinless. Although the honors reaped upon them do not rival those of the priests, they are still cared for by the tribe as long as they get results in battle and raiding. When their powers develop they are ejected from their clan and forced to become Kinless. They are tolerated for their usefulness, and recognized as a necessity for survival in the harsh environment of the Badlands by the tribes. They are given enough to live comfortably, by the uncomfortable standards of the Badlands, but not in the (relative) luxury the priests and chief enjoy. Unlike priests they are never allowed slaves of any sort, nor wives. During the Full Moon they are given greater privileges and can even break many tribal laws (including the one just mentioned), and during this time their word is next to only the chief’s in importance. During the first full moon of Winter they are even allowed to return to their clan and cast off their Kinless status for 3 days.
    The Forsaken are those Badlands dwarves who have turned to non-native gods for worship, or otherwise turned to forbidden arts or grievously broken tribal law. Depending upon their transgression they are killed, or banished. The most minor form, allows them to stay near to the tribe and even work with the tribe during raids and missions, but be unable to participate in the daily life of the tribe and given only the slimmest pickings from the raids.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2010-08-13 at 11:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Dwarf, Badlands

    I would give them a penalty to dex, not wisdom. Takes wisdom to survive in a wasteland. That way you have more clerics (or even druids in this case) using spells to create water and purify food and water and such.

    As you have them now, the only caster type they don't take a mental stat penalty for are Intelligence casters, most of which are arcane.
    Last edited by Andion Isurand; 2010-08-10 at 05:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Dwarf, Badlands

    Changed their stats so it's now an Int penalty instead of Wis; seeing as how they are barbaric savages that makes more sense.

    Also the Dark of the High Blood:
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    The High Blood is not in fact a god, but a Badlands dwarf who was affected by the ambient magic of his homeland in a way unlike any of his kin. Where his kin normally exhibit a natural anathema to magic, he showed true mastery of the arcane arts in addition to a racial resistance to them. The High Blood was cast out from his tribe as an abomination, left tied to a stone to serve as food for whatever predator wandered by first. Even then the High Blood's powers were extraordinary for he surpassed his kin in every way imaginable. The priests and psionicists of the tribe managed with difficulty to subdue him long enough to tie him to the stone, but he managed to survive and escape. What happened in the following years is known only to the High Blood himself, but he managed to survive for centuries and even amass a group of followers. After 2000 years the High Blood is still alive and a very powerful sorcerer, having shown no signs of aging past his prime. His followers, the core of the Scions of the High Blood, are the largest single tribe or organization the Badlands dwarves have ever known (the unorganized native religion is still more common/popular).
    The High Blood himself cannot grant spells to his followers, but at some point in his wanderings he made an ally of a cadre of spirits and through some pact they grant divine powers to his worshipers. The High Blood is an extremely potent sorcerer who has had thousands of years to lay his plans. Even so the ultimate goals of the High Blood are unclear, it is possible he desires godhood, or possibly to unite his people and create a new empire in the Badlands, if so it is strange he has not yet acted on his desires. Whatever his intents the High Blood is cautious, possibly waiting now only for the recent activity of long sealed Bale Liches to ebb before moving to action. Even so he is confident enough to have turned down an offer of patronage from Enyalius, the god of conquest, and seems unwilling to bind himself to any power (save the aforementioned spirits).

    The High Blood is a Lv 21~24 Badlands dwarf sorcerer (possibly sorcerer 6/paladin 2/Abjurant Champion 5/eldritch knight 10+) with the following racial traits in addition to the norm for his race:
    • +6 Str, +4 Dex, +10 Con, +4 Int, +6 Wis, +10 Cha; this replaces the standard Badlands dwarf racial modifiers.
    • Speed: 60-ft
    • Lacks the Magebane Blood ability
    • Has +6 hp per HD.
    • SR is 25 + Class Levels; unlike normal for Badlands dwarves this SR applies universally and may be voluntarily lowered.
    • +6 Luck bonus to AC, attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, skill checks, ability checks, and saving throws.
    • Universal energy resistance 10.
    • DR 15/epic
    • Fast Healing 10
    • Spell-like Abilities (Caster Level 20): At will Greater Arcane Sight; 3/day Haste, See Invisibility, Greater Dispel Magic; 1/day Polymorph, True Seeing, Blasphemy.
    • Control Magic: Arcane magic used near the High Blood has a tendency to go wrong in his favor. Whenever any arcane spell is cast within 100-ft of the High Blood the caster must make an opposed CL check or the High Blood is treated as the caster if he chooses. If the High Blood fails the CL check or chooses not to take control of the spell its caster instead suffers 1d4 ability damage to the ability score of choice.
    • CR + a lot.
    • LA: -

    If you can't tell I got most of it from the Paragon creature template just toned down a bit. Then I upgraded the spell-likes slightly and added Control Magic as something thematically appropriate. The spirits the High Blood is allied with would be CR 17~19 creatures most likely, with an array of spell-like abilities, druid (or spirit shaman) casting, and other abilities based upon what they are spirits of. I see them as likely spirits of war, battle, and destruction; possibly famine or plague as well. I still need to flesh out the details of his pact with these spirits.


    Don't know if the High Blood will ever be important in any game I run, but I just wanted to figure out what he was.
    Peanut Half-Dragon Necromancer by Kurien.

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    Default Re: Dwarf, Badlands

    Spell resistance that can't be lowered is a drawback. You know that, right?

    Honestly, just because of that, I wouldn't want to play one of these guys, though the 1 LA for modifiers that, while decent, aren't nearly as good as you could get even with a decent template is also off-putting.

    Anyway, this is just odd. Ability damage and drain at level 1 are nuts and shouldn't exist, so the possibility that the PCs could be hit by such things at level 1 is nutty. The inability to be buffed and damaging allies for trying alone makes this race unplayable, or at least very weak, and the entire concept of "this race absolutely cannot be this class" is also a design I dislike.

    EDIT X2: Also, +1d8 against arcane casters at first level is pretty powerful, while it's mostly worthless later on.
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2010-08-13 at 02:20 AM.

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    Default Re: Dwarf, Badlands

    +4 Con and +2 Str is in noway penalized by -4 Cha and only a -2 in Int

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    Default Re: Dwarf, Badlands

    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith View Post
    Spell resistance that can't be lowered is a drawback. You know that, right?

    Honestly, just because of that, I wouldn't want to play one of these guys, though the 1 LA for modifiers that, while decent, aren't nearly as good as you could get even with a decent template is also off-putting.

    Anyway, this is just odd. Ability damage and drain at level 1 are nuts and shouldn't exist, so the possibility that the PCs could be hit by such things at level 1 is nutty. The inability to be buffed and damaging allies for trying alone makes this race unplayable, or at least very weak, and the entire concept of "this race absolutely cannot be this class" is also a design I dislike.

    EDIT X2: Also, +1d8 against arcane casters at first level is pretty powerful, while it's mostly worthless later on.
    Yes I know SR that can't be lowered is a disadvantaged, SR in general is a double-edged sword at best if the DM isn't removing the time required to lower it. I made it arcane only so that they still have the chance to be buffed while still providing their role as monstrous dwarves that evolved to resist magic.

    I changed the ability damage so that it only applies with Fort or Will saves (as Reflex is dodging the magic as opposed to resisting it) and doesn't kick in till 3rd level but also advances with level, and I changed the Magical Anathema ability so that now it is a bonus based on level instead of a random die. Hopefully these changes smooth out their power curve (both are stronger at Lv 20 than before but much weaker at Lv 1).

    Really I wouldn't play one of these either, and they aren't designed with players in mind any more than derro, half-dragons, or hobgoblins were. I tacked an LA on because it's 3.X and creatures have LA.

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlanteanTroll View Post
    +4 Con and +2 Str is in noway penalized by -4 Cha and only a -2 in Int
    Which is why there is LA. That and their anti-mage abilities.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2010-08-13 at 11:42 AM.
    Peanut Half-Dragon Necromancer by Kurien.

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    Group: The Harrowing Halloween Harvest of Horror Part 2

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    Default Re: Dwarf, Badlands

    If it isn't designed for players, make it a monster with no LA listed, not a race.
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2010-08-13 at 12:18 PM.

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