30 November 2015

Campaign Idea: Taken To The Stars

Humankind was definitely unprepared when the aliens came to the Solar system... Three of their strange ships made of emerald crystal appeared on the lunar orbit within a strange energy outburst. The Earth was frozen with surprise and the aliens stayed silent. For a time. After a few hours they started sending signals in all the languages of the Earth, asking for volunteers to be send to them, to be tested and selected for a travel to the stars so they could learn. Before the wary leaders could make their minds and answer the request, the aliens teleported an asteroid to a moderately stable orbit around the moon and shaped it into a space station. That display of technological superiority and sheer power available to the aliens pushed the decision-makers to ignore doubters and scaremongers and to organize expedition to the moon. They had little choice really, for the private entrepreneurs were already preparing to send their volunteers for the meeting with the aliens, with or without governmental permission.

After a few very frantic months of preparations, the rocket carrying the first volunteers was launched. The world waited in the anticipation as they reached the lunar orbit and docked at the alien base only to discover that the station was clearly shaped with humans in mind. There was nothing revealing the appearance or nature of the aliens, nor was there sign of truly alien technology. Everything was build using technologies already known to humans, albeit with blatant disregard for costs—using the most cutting edge materials and the most rare minerals as needed to achieve the best possible results. The aliens were nowhere to be seen either, communicating with the astronauts through the computers of the station. The hosts thanked the volunteers for coming and selected a few of them to follow the light signals until they reached inner dock where they found what was clearly some sort of starship. The rest of the volunteers learned that they were found physically and mentally unfit for the incoming journey; the aliens offered them a ride home using shuttles that were built along with the station or a place to live on the station. In mean time, those who were found fit boarded the ship and launched. The world and the remaining astronauts then viewed as the alien ships surrounded the vessel and disappeared in the burst of energy.

The vessel, like the station appeared to be constructed using cutting edge Earth technology, using prohibitive amounts of exotic materials and prototype technologies. Its computer database is filled with all the technological knowledge of the humankind. And yet, the available plans show a blank spot inside the hull, inaccessible part connected to the rest of the ship through fiber-optic lines. Is that the FTL Drive? The heart of the very helpful, childish, and unable to provide actual answers artificial intelligence that directs the ship?

The aliens inform the travelers that their vessel is currently many parsecs from the Earth and that they have resources and means to explore the galaxy, learn new things, and develop their ship and themselves further beyond the limitations and restrictions of the planet-bound humans. The ship has power source, computing power, and drive they could not dream of, and everything else is up to them...

And then they vanish again.

22 November 2015

Fantasy Races: Luminars

Luminars (adj. luminarian) are people coming from an alien world—a small moon circling a giant but dark and lifeless planet. They were created to resemble mortal beings of other worlds by a lone deity dwelling there. The purpose of their creation is uncertain; different legends and scriptures of the few competing sects give various accounts of their creator's motives. Some claim that they were made to be servants or companions to the lone deity, other state that their god was already dying and formed luminars to act as wardens of its grave with more radical strains of those group teaching that luminars were created solely to be living candles for the god's funeral.

For a hundred of generations luminars lived according to the wishes and guidance of their creator with the last ten generations being instructed to build a magnificent mausoleum of stone and crystal in the most unwelcome wastelands. Then, their creator and benefactor said its farewells, sent all the builders away, and fell silent forever. Luminars were left alone and without god to call their own. It was over twenty generations ago.

Before death of their god, the luminars started building a complex civilization, based upon cities and villages placed in lush humid valleys that form a pattern of cracks in rocky and desert wastelands that cover majority of their world. The valleys are filled with lush and rich vegetation of colors that would be exotic to human visitors but populated by a rather small number of wild species, mostly alien reptile-like beasts and arthropods of sizes ranging from common bugs to gargantuan behemoths. Now, luminarian civilization is composed of a number of independent city-states controlling their valleys and separated by rarely traveled gulfs of desert wastelands. Alchemy, art of growing crystals, and weird technology that utilizes power produced by luminarian bodies are key developments of their civilization and crucial to their survival on their homeworld.

Luminars measure times in "turnings"—rotations of their home moon around its axis taking approximately eight hours; "circles"—amount of time needed for their moon to complete a revolution about its planet, taking about 1100 "turnings" and "generations" which are equal to fifty "circles".

Physical Description: First thing that is noticed about luminars is the glow of air around them comparable in brightness to torch, except giving whiter light. That striking feature aside, luminars are androgynous looking humanoids, with very smooth skin, usually milky, obsidian black or a combination of those two colors, with one of those colors being dominant and the other forming thin veins giving their skin appearance similar to marble. Numerous shards of crystal are embedded in luminarian skin, usually at cheeks, foreheads, back of the neck, shoulders, tops of hands, and outer parts of things. Their hair are thick, hollow, translucent tubes, growing only on their skulls. Luminarian natural glow illuminates their hair and the embedded crystals with rainbow hues. Their eyes are solid orbs of amber, turquoise, sapphire, or ruby, with vertical cat-like pupils. Both sexes lack external genitals, the females can be recognized by slightly bigger breasts.

The death of their god splintered luminars into three major factions: Keepers, who claim they were created to be caretakers of the dead god's grave and losing focus on this duty would slowly drive luminars to self-destruction through false paths of hedonism and nihilism; Inheritors, who believe their race was created as heirs to their dying god's glory and world, and they should honor their god by expanding their civilization and culture; and Unchained, for whom their god's death purpose was to free their race from divine bonds and sign that they either reached maturity to be left alone, or need yet to reach it to enjoy their freedom properly. There are some other, minor factions, including Nihilists who believe that death of their god robbed their race of meaning and purpose and Hedonists who see pleasures of life as the purpose of existence.

Luminarian settlements on their native moon are usually directed by councils of elders who oversee important matter, with two to five magistrates dealing with everyday issues of administration. While there is a tradition of ceremonial militia being organized by council and lead by magistrates, luminars have actual little military or combat experience except for rare adventurers and wasteland hunters.

Luminars have much weaker libido than humans or related humanoids, while they find a degree of pleasure in sexual activities, they lack strong urge to mate beyond simple desire for progeny—which is often augmented with social and economic incentives for parents. Despite this, or maybe because of this, they are very open in their sexuality.

Relations: Luminars are denizens of alien world and only a few of them traveled to meet other races; they have yet to establish meanigful relations with humanoids from other worlds. For now, small groups of luminarian adventurers, traders, and explorers make first contact with many peoples and nations across the many worlds.

Alignment And Religion: Unlike many other races, luminars are perfectly aware that they were created by a deity, who was their creator, and that their god currently lies dead in the mausoleum on their homeworld.

Being directed by their deity for a hundred of generations instilled certain sense of order in luminars, making their traditional culture leaning toward lawful.

Adventurers: A small number of luminars left their moon via portals unsealed after death of their deity and traveled to other worlds driven by curiosity, searching for meaning of their existence, or looking for new places for luminars not following ideals of Keepers. Majority of luminarian adventurers pursue vocations based on intellect and education, with alchemists and investigators being the closest to luminarian science. Luminars have a strong psychic magic tradition with psychics, occultists, and kineticists being quite common. While their civilization lacked any knowledge of arcane magic prior to contact with races from other worlds, wizardry is steadily taking root among them. Divine magic was restricted to paladins after the death of their deity, but now first luminars are starting to worship otherworldly deities or looking for less explicit manifestations of divinity. Druids are completely unknown to them, though, for the environment of their moon was not suitable for creating strong bond with nature.

Names: Luminarian names are generally composed of three short syllables followed by single syllable and then three more syllables. All the syllables used are composed of one consonant followed by one vowel.

Sample Names: Tovena-Na-Kataki, Moketa-Ta-Naro.

Luminarian Racial Traits

Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, –2 Wisdom. Luminars are surprisingly resilient, with highly developed but unguarded minds. They seem to lack intuition and many instincts natural to other humanoids.

Luminars: Luminars are humanoids with luminarian subtype.

Medium: Luminars are Medium creatures.

Normal Speed: Luminars have base speed of 30 feet.

Crystal Affinity: Luminars are adept at working with crystals and gain +2 racial bonus to Appraise, Craft, and Profession checks involving crystals.

Natural Glow (Ex): Light around luminars glow naturally, providing normal light within 20 feet and dim illumination within twice that radius. Luminars can consciously reduce this glow reducing the normal light radius to 10, 5, or 0 feet (which leaves a 5 feet aura of dim light around the luminar) or suppress the light completely as a free action. The glow returns to its normal strength when a luminar is rendered unconscious. When a luminar dies, his or her glow flares for a round into a 60-ft. radius burst of bright light and then vanishes.

Natural Power Source (Ex): Luminars can focus energy flowing through them and recharge technological items. As a standard action, a luminar can provide an item with one or more charges, up to its maximum capacity. Each day luminars can produce a total number of charges equal to their Constitution bonus (minimum 1) in this way. Many luminarian devices are powered with this energy as well, despite not having capacity to store charges for later.

Psychic Talent: Due to their natural psychic talents luminars have Psychic Sensitive feat. Luminars with ability to cast psychic spells replace this feat with Third Eye feat (with a crystal embedded in their forehead taking the role of the eye).

Sleepless (Ex): Luminars are immune to magical sleep effects. They never dream, even when put to sleep via pharmaceutical means. They rest and meditate to refresh their magical abilities instead of sleeping.

Technological Society: Being a technologically advanced people, luminars gain Technologist feat.

Languages: Luminars speak their own language. Luminars with high Intelligence scores can select from Aklo, Auran, Celestial, Common, and Terran.

Luminarian Racial Feats

Luminars can select following feats enhancing their racial abilities.

Natural Power Conversion
You can use other reserves of energy to power technological devices.
Prerequisite: Natural power source racial feature.
Benefit: You can spend two points from your arcane pool, arcane reservoir, ki pool, or phrenic pool or two daily uses of your channel energy, fervor, lay on hands, or vital surge abilities to generate energy charge with your natural power source racial feature. If you have burn class feature, you can accept one burn to generate charge.

Natural Power Reserve
Your body produces more power than other luminars.
Prerequisite: Natural power source racial feature.
Benefit: You can generate two more charges every day. This feat can be taken multiple times.

Luminarian Technology
Luminarian devices are usually made of crystal, glass, metal wires, and ceramics and powered with luminarian own energy, or in case of larger installations with energy drawn from generators that harness power of underground heat and stellar radiance.

Float Stone: A disk of ceramic material with shards of crystal and spiral of copper wire embedded in the bottom side. It can be held at desired height above ground and then charged to float at that spot for the next 24 hours. A float stone is capable of supporting 10 pounds of eight. It weights one pound, costs 100 gp, and can be crafted with a DC 30 Craft (luminarian tech) check.

Glow Stone: A sphere of alchemically grown crystal with embedded copper wires that glows for 24 hours like a torch when charged by luminar. It weights one pound, costs 25 gp, and can be crafted with a DC 25 Craft (luminarian tech) check.

Heat Stone: A ceramic prism with embedded copper wires and pieces of crystal that give heat of a small campfire for 24 hours when charged by luminar. It weights one pound, costs 25 gp, and can be crafted with a DC 25 Craft (luminarian tech) check. It also appears in the form of heat jar focusing its heat inwards to boil or cook things put inside.

Plasma Rod: A short wand-like piece of alchemically grown crystal with copper wire coiled around and ceramic handle. Luminars can use it to focus their energy into a ray of plasma, dealing 1d4 points of electricity and 1d4 points of fire damage on a successful ranged touch attack to a single target within 30 feet. Using this item is a standard action that provokes attack of opportunity (unless the user can make ranged attacks without provoking) and uses one of the chargers from luminar's natural power source ability. Rolling a natural 1 on the associated attack roll overloads the rod—make another attack roll against the target increasing both types of damage by 1d4 with the rod melting or shattering afterwards and dealing the same amount of damage to the user. Rolling multiple 1s on attack roll in a row is cumulative. Standard plasma rod has negligible weight, costs 100 gp, and can be crafted with a DC 30 Craft (luminarian tech) check.

Favored Class Options

Luminars can select following options as their favored class bonuses.

Alchemist: Add +1/2 to number of charges that can be generated with natural power source racial trait each day. 

Investigator: Add +1/2 to Perception and Sense Motive checks made against subjects within normal light provided by the investigator's natural glow ability, and to Survival checks made to follow tracks illuminated by the investigator's natural glow ability.

Kineticist: Add +1/6 to the kineticist's internal buffer capacity or the number of times she can use overwhelming soul archetype's mental prowess to reduce burn.

Metamorph: Gain 1/2 point of DR/adamantine.

Occultist: Add +1/2 to Perception, Knowledge (arcana), and Spellcraft checks made to detect invisible creatures, see through magical disguise, identify spells being cast, and identify magical auras.

PaladinThe paladin treats her natural glow ability as a magical light effect with spell level equal to half the favored bonus invested for purpose of interacting with magical darkness. She can reduce the effective level of this ability as a free action.

The psychic treats her natural glow ability as a magical light effect with spell level equal to half the favored bonus invested for purpose of interacting with magical darkness. She can reduce the effective level of this ability as a free action.

Wizard: Add +1/4 to caster level of spells with light descriptor.

15 November 2015

Monster: The Frostmask

The Frostmask

An anthropomorphic figure in blue robes covered with intricate silver patterns. Its face is covered with featureless ice mask, or is that the face itself?

CR 10; XP 9,600

CE Medium Outsider (chaotic, cold, demon, evil)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., sense heat 60 ft., Perception +20


AC 24, touch 16, flat-footed 18 (+4 armor, +5 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural)
hp 126 (12d10+60)
Fort +9, Ref +13, Will +13
Defensive Abilities frostwraith; DR 10/cold iron and good; Immunity cold, electricity, poison; Resist acid 10, fire 10; SR 21
Vulnerability fire


Speed 30 ft.; air walk
Melee 2 claws +18 (2d6+6 plus 2d6 cold)
Ranged 4 shards of ice +18 (1d6 plus 2d6 cold)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th, concentration +16)
Constant—air walkmage armor (manifesting as a blue robe covered with silver patterns)
At will—create waterfrigid touchgreater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), prestidigitationquench, ray of frost
3/day—cone of cold (DC 19), quickened frigid touch
1/day—icy prison (DC 19), summon monster V (ice elementals only), weather control


Str 22, Dex 20, Con 20, Int 17, Wis 21, Cha 19
Base Atk +12; CMB +18; CMD 34
Feats Combat Casting, Deceitful, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (frigid touch), Weapon Focus (shard of ice)
Skills Bluff +23, Diplomacy +19, Disguise +23, Intimidate +19, Knowledge (nature) +15, Knowledge (planes) +18, Knowledge (religion) +15, Perception +20, Sense Motive +20
Language Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ change shape (alter self, Small or Medium humanoid), profane gift of the Frostmask


Environment any (Abyss)
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Frostwraith (Ex): The Frostmask can phase through the snow and ice as if it was incorporeal being when it desires. This allows the demon to ignore any hindrance and harm caused by snow, ice, and cold effects that do not explicitly affect incorporeal beings.

Profane Gift Of The Frostmask (Su): Tempter at its heart, the Frostmask can offer power to mortals. Once per day, as a full-round action it may grant profane gift to a willing humanoid by touching the recipient for one round. The target gains +2 profane bonus to an ability score of its choice and resistance to cold 10. A single target can not have more than one profane gift of the Frostmask at a time. As long as the profane gift of the Frostmask persist, the Frostmask can communicate telepathically with the target across any distance, use its greater teleport ability to travel to the target's location, and scry on the bearer as if using greater scrying. A profane gift of the Frostmask can be removed with dispel evil (DC 23). The Frostmask can remove its profane gift as a free action dealing 2d6 points of Charisma drain to the target.

Sense Heat (Ex): The Frostmask can sense presence of sources of heat warmer than the local environment as if using blindsense. It can pinpoint exact position of open fires and all forms of active fire magic as if using blindsight.

Shards Of Ice (Ex): The Frostmask in combat can grow and fire icy shards from its fingers with a range of 60 feet.

The demon know as the Frostmask is a bit of enigma. Cunning, manipulative, cordial, and a bit cowardly, it is a trickster spirit first. It's still a fiend, though, and as a demon it bears affinity for destruction and corruption deep within its (frozen) heart. It seems to be particularly interested in thwarting activities of beings attuned to fire—be they gods, genies, devils or other demons.

In combat it grows scythe-like claws but it prefers to avoid direct combat unless it has advantage over its opponents—available allies or minions, unreachable perch from which it can blast enemies with ice and cold, fighting weaker enemies alone.

08 November 2015

Fantasy Races: Troldhrym

Troldhryms' legends say they are descendants of the titans born of primal elements with wild passions burning in their hearts and troll blood flowing through their veins. According to the stories repeated at troldhryms' lodges, their ancestors were the firstborn children of the giants, the hrymthurs, a group of siblings of great stature, great might, and great pride, rivaling that of the gods themselves. Their number varies, depending on the teller of the story, from three, to seven, to thirteen but the legend agree that they were violent and wild lot, reckless and lustful, greedy for glory and generous with wealth. They always sought new challenges, new fights, and new entertainment. Once, the siblings ventured on a hunt but once they brought down a great beast (exact quarry differs depending on version of legend) they argued how to divide the most prestigious spoils for all of the siblings claimed to be the most important to their victory over the beast. The squabble grew into a fight and once the wrath overcame the siblings, lethal blows were struck, resilient as they were, their might was equally matched, so they all ended with mortal wounds, laying in puddles of their heart-blood, still arguing over their valor and laughing at their fate while their lives slowly fled. As they were slowly dying, a troll-crone came out of the dark wood (or the cave, or the swamps, or from the mountain) and found them broken and powerless. It pleased her much, for she and her kin had a grudge toward the siblings and envied them their might and beauty. Yet, as she was skilled in the ways of the witchcraft, she offered aid to the siblings (or they aware of her talents asked her to heal them, or she tricked them into complying, again the legends vary) if they were willing to meet her price. The siblings agreed, preferring to live and fight, and play, and hunt, and argue, and gather new glory, than to die with the shame of kinslaying on their heads. So she cut open her veins and let her blood mix with the siblings blood, gathered secret herbs, and spiderwebs, and minerals and made them into poultices and balms, and powders to soothe wounds and mend pierced intestines. When the siblings were tended to, she demanded their payment from them. She asked them to serve her for seven years (or three, or thirteen, or seven times seven) as her thralls, and she gave them many tasks, and she had them sire sons and daughters with her and their kin, giving rise to many might lines of high trolls. In their servitude, the siblings diminished and much of their great power and great beauty was squandered on impossible tasks (many lesser legends are told of services the troll-crone asked of them) and divided between their trollish progeny. When their thralldom was over, the siblings were different than they were before that fateful hunt, and so they were no longer hrymthurs, but now they become troldhrym.
Depending on the version of the legend and number of the siblings mentioned, some of them had died before the troll-crone saved them, some had chosen to stay with their trollish progeny, some had died performing tasks to the crone. The remaining siblings decided to split to avoid further arguments, and fights, and feuds, and kinslaying, and went different ways. Of the know siblings Eisen went to the land of ice-bound mountains and glaciers where she fashioned herself a husband of snow and frost and birthed the Eisenhrym tribe, Kyros went to the land of burning earth and blazing volcanoes and fathered Kyros'hrym tribe with a lady only known as an ember maid, and the third of the siblings went to live by the sea and be followed by Thernhrym tribe.

Modern troldhrym are still a passionate and reckless lot, though much closer in stature and capabilities to humans than giants. They love legends, heroic stories, bragging, and exaggeration, considering it a natural part of the stories. While troldhrym will gladly tell stories and boasts of triumph and victory, style and drama is deeply important to them, making an entertaining tale of magnificent failure preferable to dull story of efficient success. Interestingly, troldhryms consider bragging and verbal insults an art to the point where insulting one's neighbors, chieftains, and kings is not only allowed but even expected, (although being unimaginative and lacking in style while insulting others can be considered rude and lead to bad reputation, as does insulting people of lower status).

Deception in combat is fully accepted but outside of battle, war, and fighting for survival honesty and truthfulness (adjusted for the expected exaggeration and boastfulness) are considered the norm. Reputation for dishonesty leads to social shunning as does reputation for miserliness for generosity is viewed as properly heroic trait, fitting descendants of the mighty titans.

Magical skills are viewed in terms of either improving one's martial abilities or improving one's practical and survival abilities. There is little interest in academic magic but deep respect for elemental sorcery. Magic intended to compel others, deceive, curse or weaken is distrusted and generally considered a shameful act. Shapeshifting is viewed in a mixed way—it can make one take form of a powerful being increasing one's prowess but it can be also used to deceive.

The troldhrym tribes are ethnic divisions with easily recognizable physical features associated with each tribe. The tribes live far apart, having only marginal contact between each other, but on a rare occasion, a pair of troldhryms from different tribes start a relationship. Usually, the child from such coupling shows the traits of the mother's tribe. Three out of ten mixed-tribe couplings produce child of the father's tribe, and one out of ten is "tribeless", showing a mixture of the traits of all three tribes.

Physical Description: Troldhryms resemble tall, athletic humans, with a pair of tiny horns (of the same color as their hair) on their forehead. They can be easily recognized by their skin and hair color, determined by their tribe. Eisenhrym have pale blue or pale green skin and white or bright grey hair. Kyros'hrym have red, reddish-brown or brown skin and black or dark ash gray hair. Thernhrym have very dark blue or purple skin and pale gold or pale silver hair. The rare tribeless troldhryms have a combination of those colors, such as red skin and white hair, or blue skin with black hair.

Because of their resistance to mundane heat and cold, troldhryms focus on defensive qualities of clothing, preferring to wear armors of some sort at all times. They like to adorn themselves with jewelry and clothing that implies strength, prowess, and wealth, such as furs and hides of dangerous animals, necklaces of claws, and gold rings.

Society: Majority of troldhryms are freefolk living off the land and offering their allegiance to local chieftains who are responsible for arbitrating disputes between freefolk, leading freefolk in defense of the lands, providing for orphans, showing generosity to their followers with gifts and feasts, occasionally organizing raids against holdings of other chieftains, and slaying monsters that would threaten the holding. They are expected to hear to the woes, complains, opinions, and advice of freefolk that follow them. Freefolk can refuse or withdraw their allegiance to a chieftain as they please. Trying to force freefolk into obedience instead of swaying them with gifts and one's prestige is considered to be a deeply dishonorable act that would greatly undermine the chieftain's reputation and turn many (if not all) of his or her retainers and followers against him or her. At times, a chieftain may becomes famous and wealthy enough to gain allegiance of other chieftains, making him a chief of chiefs, or a king. More often, the allegiance is temporary, dictated by presence of a powerful threat, turning such chieftain into a warleader. Some chieftains keep small retinues of pledged landless freefolk. Such retainers are formally freefolk but are provided for by the chieftain giving a military edge of constant armed force. Personal fame and reputation, based on valor, generosity, courage, and practical skills are important qualities for troldhrym and influence their social and ritual standing and determine value of their voice in the chieftain's council. While most troldhrym detest and reject slavery they accept temporary thralldom, either as a voluntary form of repaying one's debts and obligations, or as a result of being taken captive in a battle. The maximum time of thralldom shouldn't exceed thirteen years; there is no stigma attached to an individual after the thralldom ends but having (currently or in the past) a renowned person as a thrall adds to the master's prestige.

Relations: Troldhryms are loud, boisterous, reckless, and often violent; a set of traits that does not endear others to them. Their courage makes them great mercenaries, as long as their employer can stand their bragging and insults. Their attempts at trade are usually unimpressive, turning many would-be merchants into part-time raiders but they lack organization and numbers to threaten bigger settlements of other races. Troldhrym respect dwarven craftsmanship but tend to underestimate prowess and courage of races much smaller than themselves.

Relations with trolls are complex issue for troldhryms. They are clearly considered a distant blood-kin but at the same time they are viewed as failed branch of giantkin, whose passions are reduced to hunger. Given a chance troldhryms prefer to try to push troll packs out of their territory without killing them unless forced to, and they are even willing to suffer a lone troll or two in their lands as long as it keeps to itself and feeds on wildlife or occasional herdbeast without causing harm to people.

Alignment And Religion: Troldhryms are often quite passionate in their actions, whatever their driving motivation might be and their culture has a strong individualistic, independent streak that usually directs them away from Lawful.

Their passion is reserved for personal interaction, and is quite lacking in their religious practices, where troldhryms prefer to make sacrifices to forces of nature and primal elements, rarely venturing forth to worship deities. They are quite superstitious, though, inventing rituals and suspecting active work of spirits in many everyday happenings.

Adventurers: Glory, violence, and wealth attracts troldhryms like mead attracts bees. They become adventurers eagerly and indiscriminately. Bloodragers and barbarians are epitome of troldhryms adventurers, followed by fighters, rangers, and slayers. They rarely become divine casters, or wizards but there are numerous troldhrym sorcerers, often specializing in elemental magic, as well as bards and skalds.

Names: Troldhrym names are usually composed of two or three syllables, with multiple consonants. H, G, R, Y, D, and TH are particularly common letters used. They love using sobriquets referring to their glorious deeds or to their favored insults.

Sample Names: Gyrda The Goldhand, Eisen, Kyros, Hurda The Pigchaser.

Troldhrym Racial Traits

Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Charisma, –2 Wisdom. Troldhryms are driven by passions that are their strength and weakness.

Giantkin: Troldhrym are humanoids with giant subtype.

Medium: Troldhryms are Medium creatures.

Normal Speed: Troldhryms have base speed of 30 feet.

Low-Light Vision: In dim light, troldhryms see twice as far as humans.

Resist Elements (Ex): Troldhryms suffer no harm from being in hot or cold environment. They can exist comfortably between –50 and 140 degrees Farenheit without having to make Fortitude saves. Additionally they have resistance 10 against cold (Eisenhrym), fire (Kyros'hrym) or electricty (Thernhrym). Tribeless troldhryms have cold, electricity, and fire resistance 5 instead.

Relentless (Ex): Troldhryms gain +2 racial bonus to saving throws against fear, pain, and sleep effects.

Trollblood (Su): Troldhryms can call upon the blood of the troll-crone running through their veins as a swift action once per day, gaining fast healing 1 for 1 minute. This fast healing increases by 1 per five character levels.

Languages: Troldhrym speak Common and Giant. Troldhryms with high Intelligence scores can select from Auran, Aquan, Draconic, Ignan, and Terran.

Troldhrym Racial Feats
Troldhryms can select following feats enhancing their racial abilities.

Eisenhrym Frostbinder
You wield cold and frost with deadly power.
Prerequisite: Eisenhrym or tribeless troldhrym.
Benefit: You inflict additional point of cold damage per die with your damaging cold spells and spell-like abilities.

Kyros'hrym Embercaster
You wield fire with deadly power.
Prerequisite: Kyros'hrym or tribeless troldhrym.
Benefit: You inflict additional point of fire damage per die with your damaging fire spells and spell-like abilities.

Potent Trollblood
You can call on your trollblood more often.
Prerequisite: Trollblood racial ability.
Benefit: You can use trollblood racial ability one additional time per day. This feat can be taken multiple times.

Thernhrym Stormcaller
You wield lightning with deadly power.
Prerequisite: Thernhrym or tribeless troldhrym.
Benefit: You inflict additional point of electricity damage per die with your damaging electricity spells and spell-like abilities.

Thick Trollblood
Your troll blood is stronger than usual.
Prerequisite: Trollblood racial ability.
Benefit: Your current fast healing value is added to all magical healing received. You can use your trollblood ability as an immediate action.

Favored Class Options
Troldhryms can select following options as their favored class bonuses.

Barbarian: Increase the barbarian's total number of rage rounds per day by 1.

Bard: Activating trollblood while using bardic performance bestows trollblood on 1/3rd of an ally affected by the performance in addition to oneself.

Bloodrager: Increase the bloodrager's total number of bloodrage rounds per day by 1.

Brawler: Add 1 round to duration of martial flexibility.

Commander: Add 1 additional use of speeches per day.

Fighter: Add +1/2 to fast healing granted by trollblood.

Kineticist: Add +1/2 to damage of kinetic blast damage while using trollblood.

Metamorph: Add +1/2 to fast healing granted by trollblood.

SkaldActivating trollblood while using raging song bestows trollblood on 1/3rd of an ally affected by the song in addition to oneself.

Sorcerer: Add +1/2 to cold (Eisenhrym), electricity (Thernhrym), fire (Kyros'hrym) or force (Tribeless) damage inflicted with sorcerer spells.

02 November 2015

Liber Xpansion

I mentioned in past posts Liber Influxus Communis, a book of base classes containing, among the others, my own metamorph class published by Amora Game. Recently, Amora Game published a follow-up to that book: Liber Xpansion. Again, I had a pleasure of writing some materials included inside—four out of five metamorph archetypes and some of the new evolutions.

Note that at the moment available Liber Xpansion is a work in progress, still being edited with additional materials being redacted and fitted inside.

26 October 2015

City Of Mists: The Infrastructure

City Of Mists: Introduction
City Of Mists: The Law
City Of Mists: The Departments

City Of Mists proper is located on a northern side of its island, around a natural deep harbor, partly covered from the east side by a chain of smaller islands which really are tops of undersea mountains. The crescent shaped port constitutes the Old Town. It contains numerous piers, wet and dry docks, and an impressive array of warehouses, sprinkled with dozens of cheap hotels, bars, and bordellos for sailors. It also contains numerous custom offices and bureaus allowing for quick dealing with bureaucratic paperwork, as long as one does not irritate custom officers at least.

All the port infrastructure is owned by the City Of Mists and administrated (mostly) by the Department of Harbor. Warehouses are usually leased to corporations and private individuals, sometimes for short time but often for years or even decades.

All of the City is connected to a power grid, owned by the city and maintained and administered by the Department Of Infrastructure, which formally holds monopoly over providing electric power anywhere on the island but sometimes sells licenses for use of emergency power generators and small scale solar panels. Interestingly, the department keeps the location and exact type of power plant or plants powering the grid secret—gossip states that the power is generated in rather old nuclear plant or two build in the late sixties as a part of secret deal with American government.

The Department Of Infrastructure is also maintaining majority of the plumbing in the city, providing fresh water from the mountain springs. Its primary uniformed force, the carabiniers are acting as public security force and traffic enforces, and keep units trained in firefighting. Many corporations keep their own firefighting or rescue teams, though. Carabiniers' stations are spread through city, combining role of police precinct, firefighting stations, and minor courts, equipped with jail cells and retaining magistrates empowered to judge minor offenses.

Higher judiciary functions are held in the building complex of the Department of Justice, focusing primarily on legal arbitration between corporations, and to lesser extent with criminal justice. There is a large amount of overlap in law enforcement functions between departments, with investigation branches of departments vying to get their hands on criminal cases that can increase their reputation, gain influential corporate allies, or have high chance of including assets forfeiture, and at the same time try to avoid cases that have low chance of successful prosecution and political, social, or financial gains.

Lack of higher public education negatively influences the local pool of candidates for investigative branches of the departments. In fact, the various department offices often hire foreigners with law enforcement, military or investigative backgrounds, often overlooking troubled past of their candidates such as criminal convictions or disgraceful conduct.

There is no public health care on the island—there are numerous private hospitals, which are legally obliged to provide a basic ER care, but anything beyond that requires having proper health insurance. Some corporations keep their own medical facilities restricted to their employees and shareholders. Outside of the city, in the southern and western parts of the island lie two charity hospitals, formally private but sustaining themselves from voluntary gifts.

There is no public education on the island, either, with a small number of private schools in the city. Many corporations offer their employees some sort of high class tuition for their children, with small classes often providing education in a way favoring the corporate interests. Again, outside of the city the islanders have a few village schools maintained with local funding.

The city has very well developed cellular network with multiple companies competing over private and corporate customers with cheap phone services and high speed internet. All the departments are offered free phones and near-free services, a condition for communication company to operate on the island.

17 October 2015

Evil Alchemy!

A new publication is here. I wrote a number of necromantic-themed alchemical discoveries for Wayward Rogue Publishing for their Vivisectionist Hybrid Class.