Monday, January 3, 2011

General Rules: Monsters - Isen (Arctic Dwarf)

Isen (Arctic Dwarf) (adapted from Hammer & Helm: A Guidebook to Dwarves)
Medium Humanoid (Cold)

Hit Dice: 1d8+2 (6 hit points)
Initiative: -1
Speed: 20 feet
Armor Class: 13 (-1 Dex, +3 armor, +1 shield); touch 9, flat-footed 13
BAB/Grapple: +0/+0
Attack: Battleaxe +0 melee (1d8, slashing, 20 x3)
Full Attack: Battleaxe +0 melee (1d8, slashing, 20 x3)
Space/Reach: 5 feet by 5 feet/5 feet
Special Attacks: None
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 feet, cold immunity, vulnerability to fire, stonecunning
Saves: Fortitude +6, Reflex -1, Will +0
Abilities: Str 10, Int 11, Wis 11, Dex 8, Con 14, Cha 8
Skills: Appraise +5, Craft: Blacksmithing +2, Spot +2, Survival +2 (+4 in arctic or underground areas)
Feats: Great Fortitude
Environment: Any cold and underground
Organization: Solitary or accompanied by dwarves
Challenge Rating: ½
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: usually neutral good
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +0

The isen are a race of dwarves bonded with elemental cold. They inhabit arctic regions, being mostly immune to the environmental hazards. In the Three Worlds, they are most commonly found in the Dekkulde Islands. Although far from cruel, the isen are aloof and seldom concerned with the plight of others. When they contact other races, it is usually to exchange their worked goods for raw materials that fare poorly in colder climates.

Isen look like dwarves with pale blue skin, white hair, and beards. Their eyes hae small pupils and light irises, usually pale green or gray in color. Isen dress is fashioned to blend in with the environment rather than provide warmth - members of other races find it slightly disconcerting to see them comfortable in light clothing under frigid conditions. Isen favor light armor because snow often slows their travel, and they already move slower than most humanoid races.

Isen build underground fortresses as do other dwarves. Most others find little comfort in these strongholds, as they use ice as readily as rock. Although as skilled as most other dwarves, isen do not have the dwarven affinity and love for craft.

Druids have a special role in isen society, and groups of them make most important decisions. Unlike the druids of most race who live away from large settlements, isen druids have a great deal of influence over how and where isen communities are built. as a result, these tens to remain small and hidden, having little impact of the wilderness around them. Befriended by the druids, the few animals able to withstand the arctic clime wander freely through isen communities. Travelers unfamiliar with the arctic can easily pass within a few hundred feet of an isen village without noticing its presence.

Isen depend on their isolation to protect them from most threats. Most avoid combat if possible. If their community is menaces by a particularly dangerous monster, they typically rely on magic or befriended animals to drive the threat way. Since isen are immune to cold, their settlement defenses typically involve frigid water. Arctic rivers offer ready escape routes while threatening would-be invaders with slow death by freezing.

If they must fight, isen form organized and disciplined groups, usually fighting delaying actions until spellcasters can arrive to turn the environment against the attackers.

Vulnerability to Fire (Ex): Isen take double damage from cold spells and effects except on a successful saving throw.

Stonecunning (Ex): Isen receive a +4 racial bonus on checks to notice unusual stonework. They can also search for stonework traps and intuit depth as dwarves can.

Skills: Isen gain a +4 racial bonus to Survival checks made to find food and survive in arctic or underground areas..

Isen Characters
Isen breed true with dwarves. The child of an isen-dwarf union is always a dwarf; because of this, the isen race dwindles with each generation. Isen are considered dwarf-blooded for all purposes, including feats, prestige classes, magical effects, and magic items.

An isen's favored class is druid. Most isen NPCs with class levels are experts competent at two or more Craft skills and most isen leaders are druids. Adventuring isen are usually motivated by a desire to contact other races and cultures, finding their race's isolationism too confining.

Isen have the same age categories as dwarves.

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