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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Death Elves race ((Campaign world))

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    When there is a Necromantic secret that someone wants to know, even the Undead turn to the Death Elves, or the Vai’Kesh. The Death Elves, as a culture, obsess over death and all its glory, and because of this, have invented some of the most potent Necromancy techniques in the world. They are cold, slow, and everlasting, all due to the rituals that they partake in. The most well known thing about them, and the most curious aspect of them, is this, though; they are dead, but alive at the same time. The Living Dead – not Undead, for the Lichs of Greyholme can affirm that if you only ask. Their souls are somewhere in the Astral Nether.
    Personality:
    The Vai’Kesh are very cold and detached, but get interested in things that die. Possessing a racial ability to talk with the dead, the most impartial of creatures, gives them an interest in those who are dead. They tend to deliberate in their decisions a lot, and choose the path which allows them to remain the most neutral whenever possible, although more proactive Vai’Kesh, typically adventurers already, are willing to get more involved in things. Vai’Kesh, interestingly enough, find Undead to be a mistake and destroy them actively whenever possible, claiming that they have violated death in a way not intended for the human soul. They go to battle often with the Undead, which proves for interesting combat, as many of their warfare techniques are similar.
    Physical Description:
    The skin of a Vai’Kesh is an ashen gray/black with ritual scarring and glowing blue mushroom paste paints. Their ears are shorter than those of normal Elves, nearly shrunken into the sides of their smaller than normal heads, but are still pointy. Vai’Kesh often go shirtless and decorate themselves with mushroom paints of various glowing colors. They also wear golden bands, silver bands, and obsidian bands of armor and bracers. Their weaponry is often cruel, sharp, and curved wickedly; it is believed that the farmed invented the Kama, but the Vai’Kesh invented the sickle. Their eyes glow a yellow, bestial color, and their voices are deep and grating, filled oft with malicious intent. Vai’Kesh are undying, enjoying eternal life without having to resort to a complete Undeath.
    Relations:
    Vai’Kesh hate Undead with all their hearts, and only their mages draw distinction between the intelligent and mindless feasting ones. They find other Elves to be annoying at best, distracting at worst, and to be killed and dissected whenever possible, physically and spiritually. Orcs are mostly unknown to them, but they are knowledgeable in spiritualism, which provides a bridge of common interest between the Vai’Kesh and the Orunai.
    Alignment:
    Death Elves believe only in the power of the spirits, but conform to ritualualized actions in order to increase the power of their worship. They don’t mind good or evil; Necromancy is viewed as evil by most people, but it is simply the gateway to the eternal life that the Vai’Kesh are deserving of in their mind. Still, Necromancy is a corruptive art; either people resist it with all their heart, or accept the corrupting influence for more power.
    Religion:
    The Vai’Kesh worship the dead spirits of the world, impartial creatures as they are. They also worship Mai’Vai, the Age Reaper, who preserves the balance of death over time. Without the permission of Mai’Vai, the Vai’Kesh know that no Necromancy could function, particularly not the kind of Necromancy which shields Vai’Kesh from death for eternity. Their god is depicted as a man surrounded with glowing black light in an all white robe with skeletal hands. He has a skull for a head, and his eyes are pits. No shoes cover his skeletal feet, and he floats in a large, black obsidian throne that is utterly featureless.
    Vai’Kesh Lands:
    Vai’Kesh lands are one of two kinds of places: Dead forests shrouded under eternal, unmoving cloud cover against the sunlight, or dark mountains at which they are at the peaks. Their capital is something they call the Ghostfence, with something in the center they call the Ghostgate. The Ghostgate is a mountain with a portal at the top into the Astral Plane. On one side of the Ghostfence is an ultradense forest with dead, withered trees that often lack leaves and have dense mushroom undergrowth. The lands are haunted by restless aggressive spirits, patrolled by mounted Vai’Kesh spirit cultists, and filled with danger.
    Language:
    Vai’Kesh is a language that is spoken only at rituals. Vai’Kesh speak in Old Elven when they need to communicate to one another; Vai’Kesh, however, is the language of the spirits, the Language of the Death Elves themselves. Speaking it can bring great danger to the speaker, which is a danger that they embrace fully. The Language is needed to enact the racial Elven magic of the Death Elves.
    Adventurers:
    Vai’Kesh are commonly skilled in combative arts or magical arts, but often choose to learn both, mixing melee combats with deadly Necromantic touch spells and self-enhancement spells. They travel for Necromantic secrets, of to learn of the outside world in general.


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    Game Rule Information:
    • +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom: The Vai’Kesh have a powerfully manipulative personality that can make even the dead spirits of the Nether interested. Their will has eroded under the power to affect death itself
    • -2 to Will Saves: The Vai’Kesh allow possessor spirits into their lives on a frequent basis, in exchange for information.
    • +4 to Knowledge checks; the Vai’Kesh are filled with an unearthly knowledge of the world around them. They can make all Knowledge checks untrained.
    • Weapon Familiarity: Vai’Kesh Cleaver. The Vai’Kesh Cleaver is added to the list of weapons that the Vai’Kesh is familiar with.
    • Spirituality: Vai’Kesh can talk to spirits for various purposes. They can cast Commune & Speak w/ Dead 1/day each as by a 20th level Cleric. This makes them vulnerable to possession by a possessor spirit. The possessor spirits are one of four types, as determined by a d4 dice roll. The DC to resist these possessor spirits is DC 25, but it lowers by five with the aid of another Vai’Kesh. It can be lowered by one for ever non Vai’Kesh assisting, but the person must make an initial DC 15 Will Save or be stunned as they attempt to repeat the Vai’Kesh words. The possessor spirits are as follows:

    Roll of 1 Rage Spirit Character enters a Barbarian Rage, as per 1st level Barbarian class features. They attack whatever creatures are near in melee with their bare hands for 10 rounds or until defeated.
    Roll of 2 Chaos Spirit The person so possessed by a gleeful, hellion Chaos Spirit must act in either complete honesty or complete dishonesty for the next two weeks.
    Roll of 3 Thief Spirit A person so possessed by a conniving thief spirit gains 3+character level ranks in Sleight of Hand and must steal something new from their party every minute for the next 10 minutes.
    Roll of 4 Delusion Spirit You hear Ghost Sounds and see Major Images for the next day.

    Last edited by Brom; 2007-12-19 at 12:46 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    EvilElitest's Avatar

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    Default Re: Death Elves race ((Campaign world))

    Cool evil elves, i'll talk in more detail later
    from,
    EE

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Death Elves race ((Campaign world))

    You don't need to spoiler everything you know; might want to give people a peek at the race, or a little background info, then spoiler the long parts.

    Ths race seems pretty weak actually; balanced ability bonuses, terrible will saves (-1 from the ability penalty, then another -2), +4 to a rarely used skill (not to mention that you can't roll knowledge untrained for higher than DC 10; might want to add a note letting them use all knowledge rolls as trained), a weapon familiarity (more on that in a second) and a give-and-take ability (also more in a second).

    The weapon familiarity: generally the way this is written is "Race may treat Racial Weapon as a martial weapon instead of an exotic weapon" if it's exotic, or "Race gains proficiency in the racial weapon" if it's normally martial. Is it a particularly strong weapon? If so, you might have the problem that every single Vai'Kesh PC will use this weapon. If not, then this ability doesn't have much of a benefit; it's nice to have, but really only for flavor.

    Spirituality: this is a very useful ability to have, Commune or Speak With Dead. However, the drawbacks are potentially very bad, and it's a high will save to resist (as mentioned, they have terrible will saves) (I assume you have two more to add). As written, this ability would only be used when it's absolutely necessary.

    I like the flavor of this race a lot, and it's definitely not overpowered, which is the most common result when people homebrew races. It's actually, in my opinion, pretty significantly underpowered. It doesn't really seem like Vai'Kesh have a niche; what are they good at? Based on the game rules information I mean. They have a little boost to Cha, which is nice for Sorcerers and Bards, and a little for Clerics and Paladins, but no one else cares. They have low Wisdom, so they aren't good as Monks, Clerics or Druids, and not great as Paladins or Rangers. The additional penalty to Will saves means that in any class with poor Will Saves (read: melee classes) they're going to be very vulnerable in that area. The weapon proficiency is nice, but to use it they'd have to be a melee class, and as I just mentioned there are problems with that.

    My advice: you say that they're experts of Necromancy, so give them +1 on save DC of Necromancy spells, like how Gnomes get +1 to illusion. The Wisdom penalty doesn't make a whole lot of sense based on the fluff, and it just gets worse with the will save penalty. Replace -2 Wis with -2 (something else) or drop the will save penalty. If you do that, I think it should be well balanced at LA 0 and also attractive for a player to use. Of course, if that doesn't fit your ideas, there's lots of other things you could do.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Death Elves race ((Campaign world))

    Vai'Kesh Cleaver

    The Vai'kesh cleaver is a brutal cleaving weapon which is used by the Vai'Kesh zealots to reap maximum damage in their slaughter.

    The weapon is curved, like a falchion, but wavy, like a flamberge. It is normally an exotic weapon. It gives a +4 on attack rolls made after declaring you use the Cleave feat, and a +4 on rolls made to disarm and opponent. It does 2d6 damage.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Death Elves race ((Campaign world))

    They are meant to be kind of insane. A common Vai'Kesh cultist call ((cultist soon to be a base class in and of itself in my campaign)) is ''Sanity is for the weak!''

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Death Elves race ((Campaign world))

    Quote Originally Posted by Brom View Post
    Vai'Kesh Cleaver

    The Vai'kesh cleaver is a brutal cleaving weapon which is used by the Vai'Kesh zealots to reap maximum damage in their slaughter.

    The weapon is curved, like a falchion, but wavy, like a flamberge. It is normally an exotic weapon. It gives a +4 on attack rolls made after declaring you use the Cleave feat, and a +4 on rolls made to disarm and opponent. It does 2d6 damage.
    Is it one-handed or two? Two-handed it's fine, for one-handed that's a lot of damage.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Death Elves race ((Campaign world))

    Two handed but with an intriguingly short blade. It's only about as long as a long sword and not much wider....it just TEARS flesh.

    Niche wise, I would say definately a bard/rogue. People don't cast off of Charisma in my game unless they are warlocks, in which case that wouldn't be too uncommon for the Vai'Kesh. Their blood is usually empowered by spirits instead of demons or something.

    Knowledge untrained. Right. I should add that.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Death Elves race ((Campaign world))

    Not to derail my own thread, but please look at the Blood Elves, below.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Death Elves race ((Campaign world))

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67003

    Please check out the blood elves in that link. Another of my races I want evaluated. Anyways, any more evaluation for Death Elves?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Death Elves race ((Campaign world))

    Quote Originally Posted by Brom View Post
    Two handed but with an intriguingly short blade. It's only about as long as a long sword and not much wider....it just TEARS flesh.

    Niche wise, I would say definately a bard/rogue. People don't cast off of Charisma in my game unless they are warlocks, in which case that wouldn't be too uncommon for the Vai'Kesh. Their blood is usually empowered by spirits instead of demons or something.

    Knowledge untrained. Right. I should add that.
    They'd make pretty good bards, the Knowledge bonus helps there more than usual, if it adds to Bardic Knowledge checks. Rogue it would be okay, but you have the issue of low will saves; cleavers don't seem to be particularly rogue-ish weapons though. I guess my issue with the cleaver is that it's a great melee weapon, so one would assume the race would be inclined to be good in melee (without the major drawback of being extremely gullible and prone to craziness). I'll take a look at Blood Elves tomorrow, for now I sleep.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Death Elves race ((Campaign world))

    They were definately intended as either Dark Loremasters of sorts, the kind of person willing to talk to and violate the privacy of anyone in order to discover power and dark rituals, or to be crazed, insane warriors of the barbarian or cultist class.

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