Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Campaign Design - Race: Saurian Khülen

Saurian Khülen
(adapted from Dragon Magazine #328)

Saurian Khülen are an offshoot of the khülen race that owe their ancestry to humans and natural lycanthropes who possessed the ability to take on dinosaur forms. This reptilian race cannot assume full dinosaur forms as their lycanthrope cousins, but they can still manifest savage saurian features through a change they call "shifting". few know much about the history of the saurian khülen, whether members of that race or the particularly brave scholars of other. Yet what the race lacks in knowledge about their origins, they make up for in legend and deeply rooted belief.

Fearful of the saurian khülen's monstrous changes, those outsider they encounter often see them as freaks and monsters. Thus, most saurian khülen live by hiding among races that would fear and revile them, should their secrets be revealed. Although they conceal themselves now, all saurian khülen know the tales of their ancient origins and dream one day of claiming a homeland of their own.

Saurian khülen are a unique race that breeds true. When they breed with normal humans, they produce human offspring; on rare occasions, if two such children or grandchildren meet and produce children of their own, they sometimes give birth to saurian khülen.

Personality: Saurian khülen realize that most other races perceive them as nothing more than particularly monstrous lycanthropes and that their transformations inspire nothing less than abject terror in those races. As such, they remain a secretive, even paranoid people who raise their children to hide their abilities from others.

The reptilian heritages of saurian khülen often color their personalities. Those of predatory blood tend to act quickly and aggressively, with a savagery that shames even the most feral lycanthropes, while those who descend from herbivores exhibit stubborn defensive natures. Saurian khülen descended from omnivores commonly display the most socially acceptable balance of traits.

Physical Description: A saurian khülen's reptilian heritage significantly influences his appearance. Ranging from 5 to 7 feet tall with little appreciable difference between the builds of males and females, saurian khülen often exhibit ophidian pupils, skin of faintly reptilian shades, and extensive tattoo-like bodily markings. Members of this race possess nearly hairless bodies, the thin and short hair that grows on their heads being the only exception. What hair they do grow is often brightly colored and frequently displays stripes and tufts of wild, contrasting colors ranging from normal human shades to wild reds, oranges, and violets..

When they shift, saurian khülen might exhibit a host of changes, growing long hard spines, elongated limbs, curved reptilian teeth, or any of countless other lizard-like features. This change is so pronounced that it's impossible to hide and often terrifies those unfamiliar with the race - and sometimes even those who know what to expect.

Relations: Saurian khülen make most members of other races incredibly uncomfortable. seeming too much like lycanthropes for most peoples' comfort and possessing the terrifying ability to transform into what most others view as nightmarish monsters, fear often keeps even the best-intentioned outsiders at bay. As such saurian khülen frequently hide their heritage, dyeing their hair or claiming to be descended from either mammalian khülen or even orcs. Although they find such lies demeaning at best, those who hope to blend in with the societies of other races often discover that even orcs find acceptance more readily than their people.

Saurian khülen find friendship among other khülen, who understand the prejudice of toher races. Intelligent reptiles also often prove quite friendly to saurian khülen, seeing them as distant cousins. Oddly, saurian khülen feel a deep hatred for yuan-ti.

Alignment: As a rce with strong ties to nature, saurian khülen tend toward neutrality. As individuals, their alignments are often influenced by the presence of predatory blood in their veins. Those saurian khülen descended from particularly savage hunters often find their reptilian instinct and quick tempers make them ill-suited to the mewling complaints of law-abiding creatures, favoring a more chaotic rtule of "might makes right". On the other hand, saurian khülen descended from herbivores and omnivores tend to be much more even tempered, blending into society and taking on a range of alignments with little instinctual complaint.

Saurian Khülen Lands: Saurian khülen lack a true homeland, most living secret lives among members of other races. The greatest concentrations of saurian khülen can be found in lands where reptilian folk can be found in great numbers, such as Polthia, the Di'delis Swamp, and the Tozlu Desert. Small settlements made up entirely of saurian khülen sometimes exist on the edge of civilization, supporting themselves through hunting and trade, but generally remaining aloof from other races. Outsiders who pass through such settlements regularly leave unharmed, but always feel uneasy while there and seldom return.

Religion: Most saurian khülen tend to worship savage or elemental deities, to whom they feel a distant kindship, as well as the reptilian deities of other races. Many saruian khülen can be found among the followers of Belial, Oxoßi, and Vaßatar, but many others hold Þunor or Vali as their patrons. Due to their affinity with the natural world, large numbers of saurian khülen follow the druidic religious traditions, and due to their reptilian heritage, many gravitate to the Cult of the Dragon.

Language: Khülen generally speak the language of the region they live in. Khülen from Polthia or the Di'delis Swamp speak Sûlic. Khülen from the Tozlu Desert speak one of the many dialects of Tozlan, and khülen from Rhadynnic regions such as the Freeholds speak Rhadynnic or Sorglish.

Names: Khülen from Polthia and the Didelis Swamp have Sûlic names such as Aivvit, Herko, Idga, Mielat, and Simit for males and Elve, Merja, Riida, and Virva for females. Khülen from the Tozlu Desert, naturally enough, have names drawn from the languages common to those areas. Most khülen outside of Polthia and the nomadic regions of the Tozlu Desert who do not use Sûlic names have names drawn from the culture they live within, favoring typical Rhadynnic and Sorglish names.

Note: Saurian khülen are an offshoot of the standard khülen race
  • Type: Saurian khülen are humanoids with both the reptilian and shapechanger subtypes.

  • Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma.

  • Size: Medium size.

  • Speed: Saurian khülen have a base speed of 30 feet.

  • Shifting (Su): Once per day a saurian khülen can enter a state that is superficially similar to a barbarian’s rage. Each saurian khülen has one of seven saurian khülen traits that manifest when the character is shifting. Each saurian khülen trait provides a +2 bonus to one physical characteristic and some other advantage as well. Shifting is a free action and lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 plus the saurian khülen’s Constitution modifier. (If a saurian khülen trait or other effect increases the character’s Constitution modifier, use the newly improved modifier). A saurian khülen can take feats to improve this ability. Every khülen feat a character takes increases the duration of shifting by 1 round. For every two khülen feats a character takes the number of times per day she can tap into the ability increases by one. Shifting is a natural ability and neither an affliction or a curse, and cannot be passed by claw or bite attacks or cured. The seven saurian khülen traits are:

    • Beasthide (Su): While shifting, a beasthide saurian khülen gains a +2 bonus to Constitution and natural armor that provides a +2 bonus to AC.

    • Broadwing (Su): When shifting, a broadwing saurian khülen gains a +2 bonus to dexterity and can slow his descent while falling. A saurian khülen using this ability take damage from a fall as if it were 40 feet shorter than it actually is.

    • Junglerunner (Su): While shifting, a junglerunner saurian khülen gains a +2 bonus to Dexterity and increases his base land speed by 20 feet.

    • Longtooth (Su): While shifting, a longtooth saurian khülen gains a +2 bonus to Strength and grows fangs that can be used as a natural weapon, dealing 1d6 points of damage (plus an additional +1 for every four character levels) with a successful bite attack. A saurian khülen cannot attack more than once with their bite attack even if their base attack bonus is high enough to give multiple attacks. The saurian khülen can use their bite attack as a secondary attack (taking a -5 penalty on their attack roll) while wielding a weapon.

    • Raptorleap (Su): While shifting a raptorleap saurian khülen gains a +2 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus on Jump checks, and trats all Jump checks as though he had a running start.

    • Razorclaw (Su): While shifting a razorclaw saurian khülen gains a +2 bonus to Strength and grows claws that can be used as natural weapons. These claws deal 1d4 points of damage (plus an additional +1 for every four character levels) with each successful attack. They can attack with one claw as a standard action or with two claws as a full attack action (as a primary natural weapon). They cannot attack more than once with a single claw, even if their base attack bonus is high enough to give them multiple attacks. They can attack with a claw as a light off-hand weapon while wielding a weapon in their primary hand, but all their attacks in that round take a -2 penalty.

    • Widetail (Su): While shifting, a widetail saurian khülen temporarily gains a +2 bonus to Constitution and grows a thick tail that can be used as a natural weapon, dealing 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage (plus an additional +1 for every four character levels he has) with a successful tail slap attack. he cannot attack more than once per round with a tail slap, even if his base attack bonus is high enough to give him multiple attacks. He can use his tail slap as a secondary attack (taking a -5 penalty on their attack roll) while wielding a weapon.

  • Saurian Vision: Saurian khülen gain low-light vision. A saurian khülen can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.

  • Saurian Strength: Saurian khülen gain a +2 racial bonus on Balance, Climb, and Jump checks. A saurian khülen's reptilian heritage enhances many of his physical skills.

  • Lycanthrope-Blooded: The blood of lycanthropes flows through the veins of every saurian khülen. They are treated as lycanthropes for the purpose of race-restricted spells, feats, magic items and anything else that only works for those with lycanthrope blood. In addition, khülen may choose to become Outdoorsmen if they desire to do so.

  • Automatic Languages: Sûlic, Rhadynnic, Sorglish, or Tozlan.

  • Favored Class: Barbarian.

  • Favored Class: Warrior.

  • Exclusive Class: Spirit Shaman (from Complete Divine).

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