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View Full Version : Caught in the struggle between ignorance, despair, and hope...



Jaerc
2008-01-29, 06:09 AM
The asherati are what we-- the rest of the world, even --name them; it is the word for sun men in the clipped, Jh'ygsef tongue.

But the chosen people of the Pharunic pantheon call themselves the shamalinan. Most don't even remember what that means. Once they held their glory proud, and the ancestors of modern shamalinan grasped the awesome might of the Mandate.. Now the shamalinan, the children of The First Gods, hardly know or can even envisage those ancient times. They are condemned-- to live out clannish, brutal lives in the Red Wastes, caught in a struggle between ignorance, the despair of the dying, and hope for The Prophet.
~Sir Davon Mandamus


Shamalinan Racial Traits
Humanoid (Human)
Medium. Base speed 30 feet.
+1 natural armour

Bonus Feat: A shamalinan may choose one feat from the following list as their bonus feats: ???
Chosen People: Once per day, as a free action, you can call upon the Pharunic gods and gain a +2 sacred (or profane) bonus on any one dice roll.
Code of Conduct: Shamalinan are the sworn flesh of the Pharunic gods. If at any time a shamalinan's devotion fails or it acts against the interest of the Pharunic pantheon, a shamalinan experiences physical agony, akin to burning to death. This manifests in many ways, as chosen by the DM, but a common iteration is as follows. The shamalinan gains a -6 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, and skill and ability checks. Furthermore they suffer a -30 penalty to hit points (to a minimum of 1) for at least the duration of the day.
Gift of Fire (Su): Shamalinan inherently know a single 3rd level (or lower at their choice) fire or heat themed spell or invocation, maneuver, meld, mystery, power, or utterance. A shamalinan may use this ability once per day as a standard action. The AL for this is equal to the shamalinan's HD and the save DC, if applicable, is (10+1/2HD+Cha bonus). Additionally they are always considered Practiced with all abilities that fall under this category. Finally whenever a shamalinan uses such an ability he can choose to change any damage it deals to raw divine energy.
Heat Endurance: Shamalinan gain a +2 bonus on saving throws and Constitution checks to resist fire and heat effects. A shamalinan can exist comfortably in temperatures of up to 120 F without having to make Fortitude saves. A shamalinan has base protection against heat, level 1.
Sustainment of Waste: Shamalinan have no need to eat or imbibe liquids. Instead they must immerse themselves fully within sand once per day for 1 hour. A shamalinan may survive for 1 day per Constitution bonus without immersion after which they begin to die; and suffer as if effected by dehydration.
Water Vulnerability: When completely wet, a Shamalinan takes a -4 penalty on all attack rolls, ability checks, and skill checks. If a shamalinan is immersed in water, it cannot hold it's breath and must immediately begin making Constitution checks to avoid drowning.

Automatic Languages: ? Bonus Languages: Any (with the exception of secret languages) .
Favored Class: Any two.
LA: +1

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So, I'm looking for critique on the wording of abilities, as well as opinions on the LA of this race.

Shishnarfne
2008-01-29, 10:07 AM
What's the effective CL and save DC for the ability granted by Gift of Fire?

The Code of Conduct Penalty seems a bit harsh (maybe lose racial abilities like Gift of Fire and Chosen People instead).

I'll leave off commenting on the possible choices of bonus feats/languages... I'm not really sure what you have in mind there.

I don't know what "base protection against heat, level 1" means in the description of Heat Endurance (is this phrase from Sandstorm?).

The drowning could be a problem rather quickly in some campaigns...

I'm not sure how well this LA scales with level: At low levels, the access to a 3rd level spell (e.g. Fireball or Scorching Ray) once a day is a fairly significant benefit. At high levels, it's hardly worth mentioning. So this race would be, on the whole, likely less useful at high levels (unless you plan on using the multiple favored classes to multi-class enormously), but have significantly more firepower at level 2...

This is a race I might play in a lower level game, but at about ECL 5-6, when the party starts getting more 3rd level spells, I don't think it'd be worth it.
However, it is much too powerful for no level-adjustment. So, maybe some static ability bonuses might help make this more worthy of a +1 LA (e.g. +2 Con or something).

Jaerc
2008-01-29, 10:55 AM
The CL should be = to character level. The DC would be 10+1/2HD+Cha.

Violation of the code is very harsh. It's supposed to be; from an in-game perspective it is only levered when a shamalinan turns against their very core ethos. From a mechanical view it's I would imagine that to fulfill the punishment condition is rather challenging to fulfill, unless the DM designs such a disaster to take place.

In terms of bonus feats; I will generate a short list in the future of material primarily pulled from CD, CC, and SS. Bonus languages may be longer in coming. More design of the linguistic families of Nordgard is low priority right now.

Protection against heat 1 is a phrase from Sandstorm, it primarily means that shamalinan have a larger temperature threshold before they need to start making dealing with the optional environmental hazard rules presented in that book.

When it comes to favored classes: I ought to explain myself. I waive the standard multiclassing penalties associated with them, like most DMs. But to retain the rules subsystem I use a variant cooked up by Otto the Bugbear that grants minor bonuses associated with your favored class.

Most LA races rapidly lose value as level increases I perceive that as a flaw in the system. That said, I'll consider giving them another flat bonus that is always useful. +2 Con is one option, though I am sure there are other more colorful ones.