“I have seen with my own eyes in this brief interval of time … things that no other mortal eye had seen before, glimpses of a world past, a world dead, a world so long dead that even in the lowest Cambrian stratum no trace of it remains. Fused with the melting inner crust, it has passed forever beyond the ken of man other than in that lost pocket of the earth whither fate has borne me and where my doom is sealed. I am here and here must remain.”
– Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot
The Lost Isle is, as far as islands go, rather small. Vaguely circular, the island stretches perhaps 30 miles in diameter. The most remarkable feature of the island, however, is not its size, but rather its geography. The outer reaches of the island are like any other tropical isle – sandy beaches, occasional rocky outcroppings, and blue lagoons. However, approximately a mile inland on all sides of the Island rises a cliff some 500 feet high. In most places, the sheer cliff prevents travel, though there are areas spread sporadically around the island where either a series of caves or a slightly less steep (though still dangerous) cliff allows passage to the interior of the island.
The cliffs themselves are actually rather wide (up to a half-mile in some locations), forming essentially a hollow plateau or mountain (and indeed the geography itself seems to indicate that the island is possibly a former volcano of immense proportions). The top of the cliff is windswept, so few plants (and fewer animals) manage to survive. Relatively flat, the tops of the ridge are ideal for seeing long distances, and on clear days one might be able to see for miles in any direction.
The interior of the Isle is the most diverse and complex. A tropical jungle, the climate is perpetually hot and humid, creating a miserable experience for those not accustomed to such an environment. This is especially true during the monsoon season, when the entire island is inundated with heavy rainfall that turns the various streams into torrential rivers. The trees here can reach up to 250 feet tall in some areas, though most of the trees form a canopy around 120 feet above the ground. Other than the giant trees, the rainforest area is full of smaller tree, ferns, flowers (both beautiful and in some cases deadly), and vines (of the living and non-living variety). The few major rivers, fed by hundreds of tiny tributaries, are deep and swift-moving, flowing toward the ocean through a natural eroded "tunnel" through the base of the plateau. The outflow of the river here has eroded enough of the outer ring of land that the sea essentially reaches all the way to the base of the cliff for miles in each direction.
Below the surface of the jungle, and throughout the plateau that surrounds the jungle basic, the earth is full of tunnels and caverns, most connecting (eventually) to a large central chamber. On the map below, the entrances connected by dotted lines indicate though that specifically connect the outer portion of the island to the jungle, boring through the plateau (indicated by the darker brown coloration).
The Isle is far removed from most major landmasses, and indeed no islands are present within a hundred miles. Reefs and shoals in the area indicate that it was possibly a former island chain, though is seems like these areas have been submerged for centuries and are eroded and covered with sea life. The reefs and shoals themselves are dangerous to ships, and indeed the waters around them teem with sharks, giant squids, and other dangerous creatures. The residents of the closest inhabited islands seem to have forgotten the island (perhaps their ancestors avoided the wrath of its former inhabitants, detailed below in “Secrets”), while the tides and weather keep out many other visitors.
The majority of the fauna of the Isle is like that of most jungle islands. Thousands of insect and bird species abound, while large cats and apes prey on the smaller herbivores. However, the Lost Isle is also home to several creatures that are found nowhere else on the world, and are most likely holdovers from some lost age. Dinosaurs of various species rule the forest, and large, fierce ancestral versions of other animals pose a threat to any but the hardiest of explorers (see the Prehistoric Animal template below). Because of their size, though, there are very few true Prehistoric Animals, though Dire versions of various creatures abound.
Despite the apparent dangers, hidden in the north-central area of the island is a thriving (though small) civilization. The four races collectively known as the saurials, superficially an intelligent offshoot of the dinosaur species, have lived undisturbed here for centuries at least, developing magic and simple technology and living in peaceful coexistence with the flora and fauna (in general).
Prehistoric Animal [Template]
Prehistoric animals are larger and fiercer than their modern versions, and they pose a great danger to those that encounter them.
Creating a Prehistoric Animal
Prehistoric animal is an inherited template that can be applied to any living, corporeal Animal (referred to hereafter as the base creature).
A prehistoric animal uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Size and Type: The creature gains the Prehistoric subtype (see below). The creature’s size increases by two size categories (to a maximum of Colossal) due to this subtype. The changes due to size are laid out on the chart below
Hit Dice: The creature’s hit dice increase to d12s due to its new Prehistoric subtype.
Initiative: The creature’s initiative may decrease due a possible decrease in Dexterity from its new size category (see chart below).
Speed: The creature’s speed increases by 20 feet (4 squares) for all movement modes.
Armor Class: The creature gets a size penalty to AC due to its size change, but its natural armor bonus increases due to its size change (see chart below), and it also gains a further +4 increase in natural armor. (A creature with no natural armor is treated as having a +0 natural armor bonus).
Base Attack/Grapple: Base Attack Bonus is unchanged. The creature’s grapple modifier increases to account for its new size category (see chart below).
Damage: The damage for creature’s natural weapons increases as on the chart below.
Space/Reach: The creature’s space and reach increase due to its new size.
Organization: Organization changes to Usually Solitary
Advancement: As base creature, but size increases due to HD advancement will change. For instance, a prehistoric hyena would normally change from Medium to Large at 4 HD. Instead, a 4 HD prehistoric hyena would be a Gargantuan creature (Medium increases to Huge because of the Prehistoric template, and a further increase of one category to Gargantuan at 4 HD). Size can never increase beyond Colossal.
Challenge Rating: 1-8 HD: +2 CR; 9+ HD: +3 CR
Table 1.1 - Changes to Statistics for Two-Size Increase:
Table 1.2 – Changes to Natural Weapon Damage for a Two-Size Increase:
____________________ Prehistoric Sub-Type: A Prehistoric Animal is an animal in its ancient, larger, more powerful form. It retains most of the qualities of the Animal type, with the following exceptions.
Hit die increases to d12 (instead of d8).
Low-light vision, as well as darkvision to a range of 60 feet.
Sample: Prehistoric Ape
Gargantuan Animal (Prehistoric) Hit Dice: 4d12+27 (53 hp) Initiative: +1 Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares); climb 50 ft. Armor Class: 18 (–4 size, +1 Dex, +11 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 17 Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+28 Attack: Claw +12 melee (2d6+13) Full Attack: 2 Claws +12 melee (2d6+13) and bite +7 melee (2d6+6) Space/Reach: 20 ft./20 ft. Special Attacks: -- Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent Saves: Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +2 Abilities: Str 37, Dex 13, Con 22, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7 Skills: Climb +22, Listen +6, Spot +6 Feats: Alertness, Toughness Environment: Tropical jungles Organization: Usually solitary Challenge Rating: 4 Treasure: None Alignment: Always neutral Advancement: 5-8 HD (Gargantuan) Level Adjustment: --
The creature that crashes through the jungle foliage ahead towers above you, beating its chest and bearing its huge fangs. Its thick fur is matted and reeks of meals long ago lost to the tangles of hair, and it has a wild gleam in its eyes.
A prehistoric ape stands approximately 45 feet tall and weighs in at about 10 tons (or 20,000 pounds). These terrifying creatures are exceedingly rare, which is a good thing – as omnivores, they’re just as likely to eat a tree as they are a human.
A prehistoric ape fights with its claws and teeth, seeking to destroy any opponents with their massive strength. Rare specimens may replace the Alertness feat with Power Attack.
Skills: Prehistoric apes have a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.
The Playgrounder Formerly Known as rtg0922
[Game statistics for the four Saurial subraces, as well as overarching racial characteristics, can be found here or here.]
The major inhabitants of the Lost Isle are the saurials, four dinosaur-like humanoid species that peacefully coexist with the rest of islands fauna from their north-central capital city. The saurials, who speak Draconic, have a relatively egalitarian society, with all taking part in assuring the civilizations survival and leaders only being appointed and followed because of their ability to aid the community as a whole. Most Saurians are Experts, focusing on crafting, foraging, and other practical professions. Others, especially Flyers, have levels in the Rogue class and focus on scouting, while many Bladebacks train as Warriors or Fighters to better defend the population against the dangers of the Lost Isle. Of the magical classes, Adepts are more common than other classes, though the spiritual leaders of the civilization are Druids (many with dinosaur animal companions). The hornhead subrace has spent time learning the ways of wizardry, though the primitive writing system (essentially pictographs) has limited this somewhat. As of now, with such limited contact to outside influences, there are no clerics, monks, or paladins in Saurial culture, though more exposure to the other races (which is sure to come in the future) these will surely come about. A small percentage of the races have exhibit psionic powers, though most cannot distinguish between psionic and arcane arts.
The major leader of the civilization at the moment is the High Priest Regnarak, Old Finhead Druid 12. The only other major leader is the hornheads’ High Arcanist, Palinox (Hornhead Wizard 8).
However, unbeknownst to the saurials, they are not the only sentient race on the Lost Isle (see Secrets below for more details). The saurials, though, have noticed that more of their number have gone missing in recent years, and there hasn’t been any evidence that this is due to the wild animals and normal dangers of jungle life.
High Priest Regnarak
High Priest Regnarak, Finhead Saurial Druid 12
NG Old Medium Humanoid (Reptilian)
Hit Dice: 2d8+12d8 (69 hp) Initiative: +1 Speed: 30 ft. AC: 15 (+1 Dex, +4 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 14 Base Attack/Grapple: +11/+9 Attack: Claw +9 (1d4-2) Full Attack: 2 claws +9 melee (1d4-2) and tail +4 melee (1d3-2) Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. Special Attacks: -- Special Qualities: Animal companion, cold torpor, immune to poison, low-light vision, nature sense, protection from sonic attacks, resist nature’s lure, scent, trackless step, vulnerability to gas attacks, wild empathy, wild shape (4/day, plant), woodland stride Saves: Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +12 Abilities: Str 7, Dex 12, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 19, Cha 10 Skills: Balance +6, Concentration +12, Craft (Sculpting) +7, Craft (Woodworking) +7, Diplomacy +12, Handle Animal +12, Heal +19, Jump +3, Knowledge (Nature) +16, Listen +6, Spellcraft +6, Spot +6, Survival +12 Feats: Alertness, Brew Potion, Natural Spell, Skill Focus (Heal), Toughness Languages: Draconic, Druidic, Sylvan
Typical Druid Spells Prepared (CL 12) 0– cure minor wounds, detect poison, know direction, light, purify food and drink (2) 1st – cure light wounds (2), endure elements, entangle, pass without trace, speak with animals 2nd– animal messenger, barkskin, delay poison, fog cloud, lesser restoration 3rd – call lightning, cure moderate wounds (2), neutralize poison, remove disease 4th – cure serious wounds (2), flame strike, freedom of movement 5th – cure critical wounds, stone skin, tree stride 6th – mass cure light wounds (2) Spontaneous Casting: Spontaneously covert spells to summon nature’s ally spells.
Regnarak prefers to avoid combat if possible. Most of his druidic magic is based around healing and relieving suffering, though each day he prepares a few damaging spells and protection spells in the event that he has to defend himself or others from prehistoric animals, wild dinosaurs, or other dangers. If drawn into combat, he wild shapes into a form more appropriate for fighting, preferring dinosaur forms.
Cold Torpor (Ex): -5 penalty on Fortitude saving throws made to avoid nonlethal damage from cold environments; double nonlethal damage for failing such a saving throw. Protection from Sonic Attacks (Ex): +4 circumstance bonus on saving throws against sonic effects and attacks. Scent (Ex): As described in the Monster Manual. Vulnerability to Gas Attacks (Ex): -4 penalty on saving throws against gas-based effects and attacks (such as stinking cloud, cloudkill, and poisonous gas). Nature Sense (Ex): +2 Knowledge (Nature) and Survival. Wild Empathy (Ex): Influence animal as Diplomacy; +12 modifier. Woodland Stride (Ex): Move through natural undergrowth at no penalty. Trackless Step (Ex): Leaves no trail, can’t be tracked. Resist Nature’s Lure (Ex): +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fey. Wild Shape (Su): 4/day, 12 hours; Tiny, Small, Medium, Large animal or plant. Resist Nature’s Lure (Ex): +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fey. Venom Immunity (Ex): Immune to poison.
Grannar, Animal Companion: Megaraptor; Large Animal; HD: 10d8+53 (98 hp); Initiative: +3; Speed: 60 ft. (12 squares); Armor Class: 18 (–1 size, +3 Dex, +8 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 17; Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+17; Attack: Talons +11 melee (2d6+6); Full Attack: Talons +11 melee (2d6+6) and 2 foreclaws +6 melee (1d4+3) and bite +6 melee (1d8+3); Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.; Special Attacks: Pounce; Special Qualities: Evasion, link, low-light vision, scent, share spells; Saves: Fort +12, Ref +10, Will +5; Abilities: Str 22, Dex 16, Con 21, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 10; Skills: Hide +10, Jump +28, Listen +12, Spot +12, Survival +12; Feats: Run, Toughness, Track.
The Lost Isle was actually “lost” because of its former inhabitant. A millennium ago, the sole resident was the great wyrm red dragon Kothgarix, a being so powerful that he created races, raised mountains, and destroyed all the other islands in the area in his paranoia that someone would try to take his hoard. However, not even he, so powerful he was nearly divine, could fend off the tides of time, and he eventually died in his lair, hidden under the great jungle in a huge cavern network. (A DC 25 Knowledge [History] check reveals information about Kothgarix). However, despite his death, Kothgarix still manages to influence the world in a small way as a vestige, taken away from this world but forbidden from truly passing on.
New Vestige: Kothgarix
Kothgarix, the Near-Divine
Vestige Level: 5th Binding DC: 25 Special Requirements: No
Legend: Like many vestiges, Kothgarix's power grew to near-divine proportions, but he was unable to capitalize on this. The gods prevented him from truly passing on, sending him alone into the void with his paranoia. Now he seeks to impact the world through binders willing to work with him. If the binder possesses the skull of Kothgarix, the binder automatically succeeds on the check to bind Kothgarix.
Manifestation: The dragon-head shaped image of Kothgarix's seal glows red as he begins to manifest, and slowly rises out of the seal and expands until his full form appears above the seal.
Sign: Your eyes turn the color of molten gold and your skin takes on a slight reddish tint, and your tongue forks like a dragon's. Your teeth grow into fangs, and your fingers elongate into wicked claws.
Influence: You become megalomaniacal and vain, but you have a constant paranoia that someone or something is out to get you. You take a -2 penalty on Concentration checks, Spot checks, and Listen checks because you constantly look over your shoulder, even when you should be doing something else.
Granted Powers: Kothgarix grants binders who bind him some of the abilities that he had in life.
Breath of Kothgarix: You gain a breath weapon usable once every 5 rounds. As a standard action, you can breath a 30 foot cone of fire for 6d6 damage. A successful Reflex save (DC 10+ 1/2 EBL + Cha mod) halves the damage.
Dragonsense: You gain darkvision to a range of 60 feet, low-light vision that allows you to see twice as far as a human in low-light conditions, and blindsense to a range of 30 feet.
Weapons of the Dragon: You gain natural weapons in the form of two primary claw attacks and a secondary bite attack. The claws deal 1d6 damage, and the bite deals 1d4 (though you may only apply 1/2 your Str modifier to damage rolls with the bite attack, as opposed to your full Str modifier with the claws). You cannot use this ability if you do not show Kothgarix's sign.
Wyrmshide: You gain a +4 enhancement bonus to your natural armor.
Kothgarix’s hoard, full of gold, jewels, and other priceless items (stolen from unfortunate sailing ships and the inhabitants of the islands that he destroyed) is mostly intact, having never been discovered by the only (known) sentient beings on the island, the saurials.
However, unbeknownst to anyone else, Kothgarix did not live alone in this lair. His experiments with race creation that eventually led to the invention of the saurials also led to another result – a subterranean civilization of savage kobolds, a society of twisted evil barbarians and sorcerers wandering the immense subterranean caverns, but worshipping the ideals of the ancient dead dragon “god” imprinted in their racial memory. The focus of this is their idol, the skull of Kothgarix, a mighty magic item that is passed down from leader to leader.
Skull of Kothgarix:
The skull of Kothgarix is a large, magical artifact crafted from the skull of the great wyrm red dragon that was once inhabited the Lost Isle. In its natural form, the skull is large enough to serve as an altar for various dark rituals performed by its current owners, the evil kobolds in their underground mazes – rituals that usually involve torturing or killing saurials they capture near the entrances to their caverns. (As the final product of Kothgarix’s racial creation experiments, the saurials are held in contempt by the kobolds, who consider themselves to be inferior by-products – and are eager to change this.) It also has the power to shrink itself down to be worn as an amulet.
The skull, in any form, radiates strong magic of all schools and has a strong aura of evil, and it has a permanent 20-foot radius emanation as the desecrate spell (treated as a permanent altar for any evil deity or any dragon deity). The wearer of the amulet (when in that form) gains immunity to fire damage, and gains the frightful presence of a dragon. The radius is 30 feet, and takes effect whenever the bearer of the skull attacks or charges. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 10 + bearer’s HD + Cha modifier) remains immune to the bearer’s frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Dragons ignore the frightful presence granted by the skull of Kothgarix.
Treasure of the Saurials
Armor Check Penalty
Arcane Spell Failure
Saurial Tail Sheathe
Saurial Tail Sheathe: The saurial tail sheathe is an exotic armor style employed by the saurials of the Lost Isle and other creatures with a strong, flexible tail. Creatures with a tail attack (or a creature without a tail attack that has a strong and flexible enough) wear this armor (usually several wide rings of steel, iron, bronze, or hardened wood) along their tail, thus allowing them to deflect attacks with the tail as if wielding a shield. This allows a creature to wield a two-handed weapon (or two separate weapons) and still manage some degree of protection. Furthermore, the extra weight and shielding allows for more powerful attacks, and increases the damage of any tail attack by one size category.
The saurial tail sheathe is an exotic shield, but any Lost Isle saurial with proficiency in heavy shields is automatically proficient with the sheathe. Like other shields, a saurial tail sheathe can have spikes, and doing so changes the tail attacks damage to piercing and bludgeoning damage.
EDIT: Added a vestige I finally finished, did some more proofreading.
The Playgrounder Formerly Known as rtg0922