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. Modern 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 around its planet, taking about 1100 "turnings" and "generations" which are equal to fifty "circles".

Physical Description: First noticeable luminarian trait 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, though the females can be recognized by slightly bigger breasts than males.

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 little real 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 a technological 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 weight. 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.

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