Originally created by the gods to bring peace to the chaotic lands of Evindale, this race was fashioned from all the races within and as a result, is equally liked… and hated.
Humans possess exceptional drive and a great capacity to endure and expand, and as such are currently the dominant race in the world. Their empires and nations are vast, sprawling things, and the citizens of these societies carve names for themselves with the strength of their sword arms and the power of their spells. Humanity is best characterized by its tumultuousness and diversity, and human cultures run the gamut from savage but honorable tribes to decadent, devil-worshiping noble families in the most cosmopolitan cities. Human curiosity and ambition often triumph over their predilection for a sedentary lifestyle, and many leave their homes to explore the innumerable forgotten corners of the world or lead mighty armies to conquer their neighbors, simply because they can.
Physical Description: The physical characteristics of humans are as varied as the world’s climes. From the dark-skinned tribesmen of the southern continents to the pale and barbaric raiders of the northern lands, humans possess a wide variety of skin colors, body types, and facial features. Generally speaking, humans’ skin color assumes a darker hue the closer to the equator they live.
Society: Human society comprises a multitude of governments, attitudes, and lifestyles. Though the oldest human cultures trace their histories thousands of years into the past in Iviria, when compared to the societies of common races like elves and dwarves, human society seems to be in a state of constant flux as empires fragment and new kingdoms subsume the old. In general, humans are known for their flexibility, ingenuity, and ambition.
Relations: Humans are fecund, and their drive and numbers often spur them into contact with other races during bouts of territorial expansion and colonization. In many cases, this leads to violence and war, yet humans are also swift to forgive and forge alliances with races who do not try to match or exceed them in violence. Proud, sometimes to the point of arrogance, humans might look upon dwarves as miserly drunkards, elves as flighty fops, halflings as craven thieves, and half-elves and half-orcs as embarrassments—but the race’s diversity among its own members also makes humans quite adept at accepting others for what they are.
Alignment and Religion: Humanity is perhaps the most heterogeneous of all the common races, with a capacity for great evil and boundless good. Some assemble into vast barbaric hordes, while others build sprawling cities that cover miles. Taken as a whole, most humans are neutral, yet they generally tend to congregate in nations and civilizations with specific alignments. Humans also have the widest range in gods and religion, lacking other races’ ties to tradition and eager to turn to anyone offering them glory or protection.
Adventurers: Ambition alone drives countless humans, and for many, adventuring serves as a means to an end, whether it be wealth, acclaim, social status, or arcane knowledge. A few pursue adventuring careers simply for the thrill of danger. Humans hail from myriad regions and backgrounds, and as such can fill any role within an adventuring party.
Names: Unlike other races, who generally cleave to specific traditions and shared histories, humanity’s diversity has resulted in a near-infinite set of names. The humans of a northern barbarian tribe have much different names than those hailing from a subtropical nation of sailors and tradesmen. Throughout most of the world humans speak Common, yet their names are as varied as their beliefs and appearances.
The bird-like Tengu hail from the forested regions of Erinnal where the race grew to immense population in the early moments of creation. While considering themselves the first race, this is only a matter of fact to them (though up for debate with the humans) and never something held over another’s head. This does not prevent other races — mainly humans — from holding the prejudiced notion that Tengu think themselves better and as such, may blindly think the Tengu as aloof.
It is said Sythlia, the goddess of the material plane, herself is Tengu although she has yet to come forward and prove or disprove this.
A disproportionate number of tengu become adventurers when compared to the other races. As they enter adulthood, a drive to “leave the nest” sends many young tengu on an adventure, a quest to come into their own. Others take up traveling adventure to better appreciate their flock’s niche or to seek out a place to where all tengu might flock. Still others become adventurers out of necessity; exiled or ostracized tengu often have little other choice.
Alchemist: The shifting forms and quixotic bombs of the alchemist clash with a tengu’s drive for a perfected form, both physical and martial. Tengu alchemists are often regarded as a lesser tengu, boldly defying traditional methods of training in exchange for quick mutagens and extracts.
Barbarian: Often regarded as demon-possessed, tengu barbarians struggle to earn a place in tengu society, their bestial fighting prowess sometimes a hindrance on the graceful training and introspection of more traditional tengu warriors. Still, some tengu barbarians claim to be able to speak with their spirit self while enraged, forgoing martial perfection in exchange for spiritual reverence…
Bard: Tengu appreciate vocal diversity in a way only an avian race can. From common morning songs to epic poems littered with mimicry, the tengu bard is considered a herald of the perfected voice.
Cavalier: The high-minded orders and chivalric notions of the cavalier are often pleasing to tengu with a strong devotion to the flock, but as a race accustomed to living on the edges of larger civilizations, the penchant for drawing that much attention to one’s self is sometimes problematic.
Cleric: Their connection to the Spirit World often leads tengu along a spiritual path, forming a close bond with a like-minded deity. Other philosophical tengu worship an ideal, rather than a personified deity, but they are no less respected for their pursuit of perfection in spiritual form.
Druid: Like clerics, druids are respected in tengu society for their devotion to an idealized cause. However, druids who come to see civilization as a blight to nature’s advance quickly find themselves ostracized in tengu culture. Still, tengu histories say the Spirit World and the natural world remain close sisters in the cosmos.
Fighter: One of the most common choices for adventurous tengu, the fighter epitomizes their drive for perfected martial form. Tengu fighters invariably train in swords of all types.
Inquisitor: In a flock where tradition is threatened by encroaching outsiders or influential, change-minded insiders, tengu inquisitors emerge as Guardians of the Flock. Guided by tradition, tengu inquisitors seek out threats to their culture’s way of life, both at home and abroad.
Monk: The tengu life-quest for the perfected physical and martial form is epitomized by the monk. Combining their sword training with the whirling strikes of martial art, the tengu monk is both respected and revered by his cultural peers.
Oracle: Oracles represent an aspect of some greater power. As impressive as it is to become a conduit for this power, it is still but a fraction of the power’s whole. For this reason, few tengu become oracles. Those that do take great pains to reduce or minimize their power’s curse, as this represents the fettering chains that keep the tengu oracle from striving toward perfection.
Paladin: Just as with the cleric, tengu who devote themselves to an ideal find respect amongst their kind. Tengu paladins seek adventure to test the conviction of their devotion against temptation and corruption.
Ranger: When the flock survives near a hostile enemy, the rangers of the flock become the first line of defense against encroachment. Respected tacticians, tengu rangers often set out on their own to deal with issues the community cannot.
Rogue: A natural fit for tengu, rogues allow the tengu race to live amongst the other races, moving information and even goods while remaining unnoticed in the shadowy nooks and alleyways. There is perhaps no more respected citizen that the law- and tradition-abiding tengu rogue.
Sorcerer: Every few generations, the tengu ancestral link with the Spirit World manifests in the form of a sorcerer. Treated no different than his rookery mates, the tengu sorcerer is watched closely by the elders of his flock.
Summoner: Tengu summoners extend their race’s drive for perfection to their eidolons, constantly making minute changes to the spirit form that serves them. Eidolons that take on devilish or demonic appearances are considered abominations amongst the tengu.
Witch: The mystic connection with the Spirit World sometimes leads a tengu down the path of the witch, questing after the natural world’s arcane secrets, but most tengu regard witches in the same light as over-zealous druids, whose devotion to the flock has wavered to the point of exile.
Wizard: Many tengu wizards claim to tap into the Spirit World itself to harness its energies to power their spells. Whether or not this is frowned upon by the tengu elders changes from flock to flock, measured more by the wizard’s actions than by any reverence for arcane mysteries.
Tengu are a secretive race. Living, successfully, in the shadows and slums amongst other races, they develop a reputation for being sneaky or cunning. Tengu instead devote themselves to their flock traditions, their sense of duty, family, and constant drive to perfect their training leaving little room to befriend outsiders. Still, some tengu flocks that live among other races for generations slowly adopt similar traits as those races. Other tengu revere mysticism more than martial pursuits and harbor a deep connection with their race’s spirit-world past. Such tengu often possess different racial traits than more traditional tengu.
Ironclaw: While most tengu train from an early age with blades of varying lengths, some tengu do not have access to such weaponry. Nevertheless, the instinct to perfect a martial form is deep within the tengu spirit. Tengu with this racial trait possess two claw attacks that inflict 1d8 points of damage on a hit. This ability replaces the swordtrained racial trait.
Mystic: Some tengu possess a link with the Spirit World from which their race was spawned. Tengu with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (planes). Tengu with a Charisma score of 10 or higher can cast guidance once per day as a spell-like ability. Tengu with a Charisma score of 13 or higher can cast speak with dead once per week as a spell-like ability. The caster level for these effects is equal to the tengu’s level (DC 10 + spell’s level + Charisma modifier). This ability replaces the gifted linguist racial trait.
Skybound: Some tengu view their avian appearance as a sign that their race was meant to soar the skies. Known for spending hours or days atop trees, buildings, mountains, or any other structure of any height, eyes to the sun, feeling the wind play across their feathers, these tengu long to float among the clouds. Tengu with this racial trait gain Fly as a class skill and can take ranks in Fly without having a natural fly speed and can use Fly to negate falling damage (see Fly skill) without a having a fly speed. This ability replaces low-light vision and sneaky.
Subtle: As tengu “nests” grow in humanoid communities, often the humanoid neighbors develop a mistrust or fear of the silent, mysterious tengu. Rather than remain invisible to the community at large, and in order to better appease their curiously distrustful neighbors, tengu go to great efforts to mask their numbers within the community, purposely passing as humans, dwarves, elves, or whatever race they live near. Tengu with this trait gain a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Disguise. This ability replaces the sneaky racial trait.
Trustworthy: Other humanoid races are often intolerant and territorial. Tengu who manage to live alongside such races become natural diplomats and negotiators. Tengu with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus to Diplomacy and Sense Motive. This ability replaces the sneaky racial trait.
Called Halflings by others and Tirfolk (Children of the Gods) in their own tongue, they make up about 20% of the population of Evindale.
Optimistic and cheerful by nature, blessed with uncanny luck and driven by a powerful wanderlust, halflings make up for their short stature with an abundance of bravado and curiosity. At once excitable and easy-going, halflings like to keep an even temper and a steady eye on opportunity, and are not as prone as some of the more volatile races to violent or emotional outbursts. Even in the jaws of catastrophe, a halfling almost never loses his sense of humor.
Halflings are inveterate opportunists. Unable to physically defend themselves from the rigors of the world, they know when to bend with the wind and when to hide away. Yet a halfling’s curiosity often overwhelms his good sense, leading to poor decisions and narrow escapes.
Though their curiosity drives them to travel and seek new places and experiences, halflings possess a strong sense of house and home, often spending above their means to enhance the comforts of home life.
Physical Description: Halflings rise to a humble height of 3 feet. They prefer to walk barefoot, leading to the bottoms of their feet being roughly calloused. Tufts of thick, curly hair warm the tops of their broad, tanned feet. Their skin tends toward a rich almond color and their hair toward light shades of brown. A halfling’s ears are pointed, but proportionately not much larger than those of a human.
Society: Halflings claim no cultural homeland and control no settlements larger than rural assemblies of free towns. Far more often, they dwell at the knees of their human cousins in human cities, eking out livings as they can from the scraps of larger societies. Many halflings lead perfectly fulfilling lives in the shadow of their larger neighbors, while some prefer more nomadic lives on the road, traveling the world and experiencing all it has to offer.
Relations: A typical halfling prides himself on his ability to go unnoticed by other races—it is this trait that allows so many halflings to excel at thievery and trickery. Most halflings, knowing full well the stereotyped view other races take of them as a result, go out of their way to be forthcoming and friendly to the bigger races when they’re not trying to go unnoticed. They get along fairly well with gnomes, although most halflings regard these eccentric creatures with a hefty dose of caution. Halflings coexist well with humans as a general rule, but since some of the more aggressive human societies value halflings as slaves, halflings try not to grow too complacent when dealing with them. Halflings respect elves and dwarves, but these races generally live in remote regions far from the comforts of civilization that halflings enjoy, thus limiting opportunities for interaction. Only half-orcs are generally shunned by halflings, for their great size and violent natures are a bit too intimidating for most halflings to cope with.
Alignment and Religion: Halflings are loyal to their friends and families, but since they dwell in a world dominated by races twice as large as themselves, they’ve come to grips with the fact that sometimes they’ll need to scrap and scrounge for survival. Most halflings are neutral as a result.
Adventurers: Their inherent luck coupled with their insatiable wanderlust makes halflings ideal for lives of adventure. Other such vagabonds tend to put up with the curious race in hopes that some of their mystical luck will rub off.
Dwarves are a stoic but stern race, ensconced in cities carved from the hearts of mountains and fiercely determined to repel the depredations of savage races like orcs and goblins. More than any other race, the dwarves have acquired a reputation as dour and humorless craftsmen of the earth. It could be said that dwarven history shapes the dark disposition of many dwarves, for they reside in high mountains and dangerous realms below the earth, constantly at war with giants, goblins, and other such horrors.
Physical Description: Dwarves are a short and stocky race, and stand about a foot shorter than most humans, with wide, compact bodies that account for their burly appearance. Male and female dwarves pride themselves on the length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids. A clean-shaven male dwarf is a sure sign of madness, or worse—no one familiar with their race trusts a beardless dwarf.
Society: The great distances between their mountain citadels account for many of the cultural differences that exist within dwarven society. Despite these schisms, dwarves throughout the world are characterized by their love of stonework, their passion for stone- and metal-based craftsmanship and architecture, and a fierce hatred of giants, orcs, and goblinoids.
Relations: Dwarves and orcs have long dwelt in proximity, theirs a history of violence as old as both their races. Dwarves generally distrust and shun half-orcs. They find halflings, elves, and gnomes to be too frail, flighty, or “pretty” to be worthy of proper respect. It is with humans that dwarves share the strongest link, for humans’ industrious nature and hearty appetites come closest to matching those of the dwarven ideal.
Regardless of where the dwarf comes from or of what alignment, most have a built-in desire to see the Empire of the Spine returned to its fabled glory. (Of course, how that happens is up for debate.)
Alignment and Religion: Dwarves are driven by honor and tradition, and while they are often satirized as standoffish, they have a strong sense of friendship and justice, and those who win their trust understand that, while they work hard, they play even harder—especially when good ale is involved. Most dwarves are lawful good.
Adventurers: Although dwarven adventurers are rare compared to humans, they can be found in most regions of the world. Dwarves often leave the confines of their redoubts to seek glory for their clans, to find wealth with which to enrich the fortress-homes of their birth, or to reclaim fallen dwarven citadels from racial enemies. Dwarven warfare is often characterized by tunnel fighting and melee combat, and as such most dwarves tend toward classes such as fighters and barbarians.
The long-lived elves are children of the natural world, similar in many superficial ways to fey creatures, yet different as well. Elves value their privacy and traditions, and while they are often slow to make friends, at both the personal and national levels, once an outsider is accepted as a comrade, such alliances can last for generations. Elves have a curious attachment to their surroundings, perhaps as a result of their incredibly long lifespans or some deeper, more mystical reason. Elves who dwell in a region for long find themselves physically adapting to match their surroundings, most noticeably taking on coloration reflecting the local environment. Those elves that spend their lives among the short-lived races, on the other hand, often develop a skewed perception of mortality and become morose, the result of watching wave after wave of companions age and die before their eyes.
Physical Description: Although generally taller than humans, elves possess a graceful, fragile physique that is accentuated by their long, pointed ears. Their eyes are wide and almond-shaped, and filled with large, vibrantly colored pupils. While elven clothing often plays off the beauty of the natural world, those elves that live in cities tend to bedeck themselves in the latest fashion.
Society: Many elves feel a bond with nature and strive to live in harmony with the natural world. Most, however, find manipulating earth and stone to be distasteful, and prefer instead to indulge in the finer arts, with their inborn patience making them particularly suited to wizardry.
Relations: Elves are prone to dismissing other races, writing them off as rash and impulsive, yet they are excellent judges of character. An elf might not want a dwarf neighbor, but would be the first to acknowledge that dwarf’s skill at smithing. They regard gnomes as strange (and sometimes dangerous) curiosities, and halflings with a measure of pity, for these small folk seem to the elves to be adrift, without a traditional home. Elves are fascinated with humans, as evidenced by the number of half-elves in the world, even if they usually disown such offspring. They regard half-orcs with distrust and suspicion.
Alignment and Religion: Elves are emotional and capricious, yet value kindness and beauty. Most elves are chaotic good.
Adventurers: Many elves embark on adventures out of a desire to explore the world, leaving their secluded forest realms to reclaim forgotten elven magic or search out lost kingdoms established millennia ago by their forefathers. For those raised among humans, the ephemeral and unfettered life of an adventurer holds natural appeal. Elves generally eschew melee because of their frailty, preferring instead to pursue classes such as wizards and rangers.
The cruel truth of life, the one thing that truly is the same among all races of the world is everyone dies. From the most humble farmer to the most heroic of warriors, everyone meets there end. But what happens when ones time comes to soon? When ones will to continue on is stronger even than the grip of death? A Revenant is born.
Revenant are a generally calm, cool and collected, though their individual personalities are generally shaped from their base race. They have no cities of their own, instead they wander or make a place for themselves wherever they are accepted. While not utterly shunned by most races they are not generally trusted, death is not something one is supposed to shake off and many of those who come into contact with one assume they have their hands in shady dealings.
Physical Appearance: A Revenant Physical Appearance is based on their base race. With one exception, their skin always appears a few shades paler. Their wounds heal similar to other living creatures, except they heal into bluish grey scars
Society: Revenant have no real societies of their own. Instead they try to become accepted amongst the societies they were involved with during life. Though sometimes it take many years for an individual to become accepted. The exception to this is in Iviria where there are seen as mortals blessed by the namesake demigoddess though no special treatment is given.
Relations: Generally they retain the same outlook towards races as they did in life.
Alignment & Religion: A Revenant’s alignment and religious beliefs are as varied as the races and cultures they are born from. Though death does have a way of changing ones outlook so many tend toward neutrality. Most believe coming back is a gift from the gods and as such tend to gravitate more towards gods that have death or undead in their portfolio.
Adventurers: Revenant adventurers nearly always have a goal. Sometimes they adventure to avenge a fallen loved one, to take revenge on those that harmed or killed them, even to champion a specific cause. Some Revenants do not venture out at all, but instead hermit themselves away pulling strings, sending others to do their dirty work for them.
Revenant Racial Traits
Living Dead Subtype (Ex): Revenant are undead with the living dead subtype. Sometimes the will to continue on can be stronger than death, in these rare circumstances a Revenant is born. Revenants are living dead that combine aspects of both undead and living creatures, as detailed below.
- Darkvision out to 60 feet-Immune to Poison, Sleep Effects, Paralysis, Disease, Nausea, Fatigue, Exhaustion, effects that cause the sickened condition, and energy drain.
- A Revenant cannot heal damage naturally
- As living dead, Revenants can be affected by spells that target living creatures as well as by those that target undead. Damage dealt to a Revenant can be healed by a cure light wounds spell or a inflict light wounds spell. However spells such as Cure and Heal are only half as effective on Revenants. They are also more vulnerable to harmful magic as spells like Circle of Death and Undeath to Death will both effect an Revenant.
- A Revenant responds slightly differently from other living creatures when reduced to 0 hit points. A Revenant with 0 hit points is disabled, just like a living creature. He can only take a single move action or standard action in each round, but strenuous activity does not risk further injury. When his hit points are less than 0 and not greater than his constitution score, a Revenant is inert. He is unconscious and helpless, and he cannot perform any actions. However, an inert Revenant does not lose additional hit points unless more damage is dealt to him, as with a living creature that is stable.
- As a PC may be automatically raised as a Revenant if they died an unnatural death, Revenants may not be resurrected or raised. Any death experienced may be stopped normally but once beyond their Charisma in Hit Points they permanently die.
- A Revenant does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, but he can still benefit from the effects of consumable spells and magic items such as heroes’ feast and potions.
- Although living dead do not need to sleep, a Revenant wizard must meditate/rest for 8 hours before preparing spells.
Base Race: When creating a Revenant you choose your base race, this is the race your character was before dying. Your choices are (Dwarf, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Human or whatever other races your DM deems acceptable) Once chosen this can never be changed. Your base race determines your base speed, size modifiers, weapon familiarity and starting languages.‘ Revenants cannot have been elves.
Ability Modifiers: +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma: Revenants are Tough and Smart. But death has made them take a much harder outlook on things, to most they come off as to cold and calculating.
Unnatural Perception: +2 bonus on Perception
Unnatural Presence: +2 bonus on Intimidate
Weapon Familiarity: Revenants are proficient with the weapons of their base race.
Languages: Revenant speak the same starting languages as their base race, Revenants with high intelligence may choose any language as their bonus language, except for secret languages.
Speed: A Revenants speed is determined by their base race.
Medium or Small: As Medium undead, Revenant have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size. If the base race chosen was a Small creature, a Revenant gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
Special Notes: Though Revenants have some aspects of a template rolled into their Race they are not a template. They are meant for those who are interesting in starting out as an undead character without a level adjustment.