Of Kings and Men
“Vile creatures from the Dark Lands, the Giants once ruled the entirety of the land between the Raven river and across the Plain of Wonders, up to the border with Gnoll and Orc lands. They were also found strewn across the Solemn Plains and Mountains of Tiressea. Little is known of their now-annihilated civilization, for most Giants were violently exterminated by the Clans in the later ages.
Some, however, still remain, in the dark corners of the mountains or in the deepest caverns. Sometimes, they are found by human travelers or new settlers, and this sometimes causes the giants to kidnap these people and produce their equally vile offspring – the halgiants.
Shorter than giants, but no less strong, these creatures are dim, misshapen and ugly. They possess only the most rudimentary form of intelligence. However, it is no fault of their own, for it is a well-known fact that giants are horrible, ugly creatures with not so much as a dram of intelligence.
Halgiants often find themselves working for the Clans as expert warriors or share the fate of common beasts of burden. It is not a cruel fate, for these wayward creatures are given rest, food and are treated with some degree of respect in human communities.
They have no culture of their own and have adapted to the life of humans and Clan rule. Some wander back into the mountains after a time, seeking out their fathers or mothers in order to find out more about what Giants were in the apex of their power."
- Strength +8, Constitution +4, Dexterity -4, Intelligence -2, Wisdom -4, Charisma -4
- Giant: Halgiants are not subject to spells or effects that affect humanoids only, such as charm person or dominate person.
- Base land speed 30 feet, will not get slowed down by encumberance or armor
- Powerful Build: The physical stature of halgiants lets them function in many ways as if they were one size category larger. Whenever a halgiant is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the halgiant is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to him. A halgiant is also considered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature’s special attacks based on size (such as improved grab or swallow whole) can affect him. A halgiant can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty. However, his space and reach remain those of a creature of his actual size. The benefits of this racial trait stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subject’s size category.
- Racial resistance 5 against fire or cold
- Level Adjustment +2
The Thinking Dead
“The Thinking Dead are an ancient race of humans that were so corrupted by the magical energies coursing through their veins that their entire civilization was decimated by various arcane spells and extraplanar horrors that their foolish wizards unleashed.
The few that have risen and we have had a chance to speak with seem to not remember what happened before their resurrection. We can only assume that this means that the resurrection process eliminated all memories they had of their life before undeath.
However, we can only surmise from the remains uncovered by Clan explorers that their civilization was once centered around a great city that has long since lost it’s name. All that remains of it is a set of great craters beyond the Mountains of Tor and the ruined homes and city walls that surround it. Few venture there, for there are many different types of undead there and the arcane magic that once destroyed the land still pulses strong, resulting in creatures that are an affront to our reality.
The bodies of the Thinking Dead are no different from our skeletons, for the most part. Many of them tend to take great pains to ensure their bones are preserved thoroughly enough to last for many years. Even so, they are quite a disturbing sight – bleached bones, dust falling from their ancient joints, glowing magical “eyes” set deep within their hollow eye sockets and sparks of magical energy that seem to appear out of thin air and travel along their bones. Unfortunately, ages upon ages of wandering the earth have left them weak and brittle, but the magic powers bestowed upon them by the Gods are still the same, if not more powerful than they were before. They are also as intelligent as humans, as is to be expected.
Thinking Dead tend to be rare and very few dwell in one area together. They tend to wander the lands or settle down in small communities where they can put their arcane powers to some use. The most powerful of them are taken to the castles of the Great Clans, where they most often become either court wizards or teach humans their knowledge of magic."
- Strength -4, Dexterity -2, Intelligence +2, Constitution -4. Thinking Dead stats cannot be less than 2. Even if they should be less than 2, they are still 2. A Thinking Dead may never have strength or constitution above 10.
- Prior Race: A thinking dead must pick a prior race. They gain the benefits (stat bonuses, skill bonuses and special abilities) of their previous race, but also receive their level adjustment. A negative level adjustment never stacks (you can increase your adjustment to 0 or more, but may never lower it to -2 or less).
- Undead: any spells or effects that works on undead works on a thinking dead, and any effect that works on a living does not work on a thinking dead.
- Base land speed: 20 feet.
- A thinking dead has darkvision to 60 feet.
- A thinking dead gets a bonus equal to their spellcaster class levels to damage done by spells of the Necromancy school. A thinking dead also gains +1 to the Save DC of all Necromancy school spells. If the thinking dead is a specialized wizard, he may replace the Necromancy school with his special school.
- A thinking dead does not need to eat, breathe or sleep.
- A thinking dead can’t use anything but simple weapons and robes, regardless of class. Prior race does not matter in this.
- A thinking dead is immune to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, and energy drain. Immune to reduction to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects and poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects as well as immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
- Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).
- A thinking dead is not at risk of death from massive damage, but when reduced to 0 hit points or less, it is immediately destroyed.
- A thinking dead is not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities, even though resurrection and true resurrection can affect undead creatures. This resurrects them only as their former race, and they lose any features that a thinking dead gives them, including ability scores penalties and level adjustment.
- Level Adjustment: -1. A thinking dead must buy this back by receiving bonus XP at level 3.
“Orcs are the dark people of the Western continent Erdon, known for their cruelty and practice of slavery. They are tall, grey- or brown-skinned and lack any sort of fat when compared to humans, but have far more muscle mass and are usually toughened by years and years of physical labour, either in their homeland by the Sea of Endless Troubles or in slums of human settlements. Many remain nomads, travelling across the lands in search of temporary places to settle until they can move again.
They were one of the first races that appeared, having been uplifted by the Gods hundreds of years before the Dark Ages. In their own legends, they speak of a time when the first Orcs lived by a distant sea and of a great journey to the East when they came into contact with a people they call the Abysians, who burned and wrecked everything in their path. Many Orcish legends are still untranslated due to the relative difficulty of finding Orcs knowledgeable about them and who happen to be willing to share.
Their faces are horrible, highlighted by small, beast-like eyes and short, upturned noses that resemble pig snouts. Their foul mouths are large and often held open due to the presence of long, sharp teeth and long, angled tusks. Orc breath has become almost legendary due to this reason. Their faces are also often lined with hundreds of scars and marks from both constant in-fighting and their lack of even the most rudimentary of healing knowledge. It is a misconception, however, that all orcs are extremely thick, for their leaders exhibit great ferocity and intelligence, and even aptitude for magic or commanding.
They have always been a savage, slaver people and thus have not created a sophisticated culture of their own. Most elements of their culture, including their dark spells and Gods, apart from their most prominent God – Kilug -, have been cobbled together and altered from the civilizations – such as the Dwarves and Elves – they conquered in the Dark Ages.
They fought in many wars against mankind, often exterminating any cities they conquered, and have earned the burning hatred of many humans. This has only been strengthened by the continuous defiance the Orcs show by not adopting the conventional legal systems or moral scales of the Clans and Freeholds. Elves and Dwarves share a similar dislike for this wretched race due to their many years of slavery under them.
However, Orcs have shown themselves to be of great use in war and as mercenaries. The few who are willing to accept human traditions are almost always taken into service in human armies. Some may even rise to command positions.
Still, the distrust for Orcs is maintained and often considered healthy. While they do not seem to be outright hostile to humans and often work together, the tales of massacres that Orcs enacted or their violent raids spread far and wide. Not to mention that the most recent conflicts are still remembered throughout the lands."
- +4 Strength, –2 Intelligence, –2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma. An orc’s starting Intelligence score is always at least 3. If this adjustment would lower the character’s score to 1 or 2, his score is nevertheless 3.
- Humanoid (Orc).
- Medium: As Medium creatures, orcs have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
An orc’s base land speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision: Orcs can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and orcs can function just fine with no light at all.
- An orc has a -2 racial penalty to diplomacy & gather information when talking to any race other than orc
- An orc has a -2 racial penalty to appraise & diplomacy when trading with any race other than orc (diplomacy penalties stack)
- An orc has a +2 racial bonus to survival & knowledge: Dungeoneering
- An orc has a +4 bonus to intimidate against any race other than orc
- Light Sensitivity: Orcs are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Orc. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Abyssal, Infernal, Gnoll and the ancient languages of Miir and Ssala.
- Favored Class: Barbarian. A multiclass orc’s barbarian class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty.