Asura (4e Race)
From D&D Wiki
A diminutive race of clever beings whose monumental intellects tower over all else.
|Average Height: 3'8"-4'2”|
|Average Weight: 55-75 lbs.|
|Ability Scores: +2 Intelligence; +2 Wisdom or Charisma|
|Speed: 6 squares|
|Languages: Common, Choice of one other|
|Skill Bonuses: +2 Arcana, +2 Insight|
|Ingenious Tinkerer:: You gain a +2 racial bonus to any skill checks involving the Master Mixer or Alchemist feats, as well as with Ritual checks involved with creating or modifying magic items.|
|Asura Will: You gain a +1 bonus to your Will defense.|
|Technobabble: You can use the technobabble power.|
A short but tediously intelligent race, Asura are known for their keen understanding of anything and everything arcane. Subsequently, they are also often thought of by other races as being somewhat arrogant and egotistical, with their superfluous knowledge compensating for their stature.
Play an Asura if you want...
- To be clever, quick-witted, and understand magic
- To be small in stature, but huge in intellect
- To be more intelligent than others, and be able to remind them of that fact
- To be a member of a race that favors the artificer, wizard, psion, and sorceror classes
 Physical Qualities
Asura are generally around four feet tall; their bodies slender and small compared to the somewhat exagerrated proportions of their hands, feet, and especially heads. The shape of an Asura's head is much wider than it is tall, looking like an oval resting on its side. An Asura's most notable and distinguishing features are their large, expressive eyes, - evolutionary vestiges of their time as a subterranean race – and their expansive, triangular ears, which drop from the sides of their skull and come in a variety of distinctive shapes and sizes. Their mouths are wide and filled with sharp, pointy teeth; though it is usually agreed that their bark is far worse than their bite.
Though the color varies between golden and blue, most Asura are covered in leathery skin of a uniform gray tone, with blotches of lighter or darker shades along the spine, limbs, and head not uncommon. Their hair is usually kept short and grows only from the scalp, with colors generally similar to the individual's skin tone. There is little discernible difference between male and female Asura, and other races can usually only tell them apart from voice pitch and ear structure, as males tend to have larger, more exotic ears. Expected life-spans of an Asura are slightly longer than a Human, with most living to around 90 or 100 years old.
 Playing an Asura
The most valuable trait to any Asura is their intellect. They see knowledge as power, for there is no problem that can not be solved by the proper and clever application of intelligence. Thus, most Asura devote their lives to the accumulation of knowledge and the persistent discovery of new and exciting truths. For this reason, Asura are often more skilled than other races, for they have the intellectual capacity and ambition to intimately learn the details of an eclectic range of skills. This singular focus on knowledge has created a society of beings who generally have difficulty not reacting with disdain towards other races. It's not that an Asura is so arrogant because he thinks he's smarter than a human; it's because he knows that he is, and that the human likely is not capable of understanding this fact, let alone worth the time it would take to explain it.
Perhaps the most wondrous application of Asuran intellect to reality is their combination of magic and technology, the pairing of which endlessly fascinates Asura. Though they tinker and experiment with all manner of machinations, they are most well known for two such areas of study: golemancy and dimensional displacement. Golemancy is the “art” of creating golems; artificial beings of metal, elements, and magic which the Asura create primarily for physical labor, as well as for fun. Dimensional displacement is the study of planar connections, the arcane implications of which are exretemely enticing to Asura, and particularly ambitious members of the race have been known to construct elaborate portal devices for studying and navigating the places of existence.
The Asura evolved as a subterranean race, and have only recently appeared on the surface within the passed few centuries after being driven from their ancestral lands by great and destructive monsters. They have quickly adapted to surface life in both a physical sense,- in that their eyes are no longer capable of dark-vision - as well as a cultural sense. Because they are so focused upon intellectual endeavors, there is little disagreement in regards to social and political factors amongst the race, and so they have quickly established a flourishing and successful civilization that emphasizes creation and knowledge.
An important aspect of Asura culture is the formation of krewes, which are loosely observed groups that usually develop as task-driven forces of like-minded Asura who all wish to pursue the same avenue of research. Though an Asura can belong to numerous krewes over their life, individuals tend to remain in and focus on the activities of only a single krewe at a time, with many Asura becoming attached to the other members of their krewe and viewing them as a sort of adopted or selected family. Adventuring Asura, while probably more focused on their own edification than anything else, may begin to view their party as a sort of krewe; after all, they all share similar goals and endeavors.
Asura typically follow their own concept of religion, which they refer to as the Eternal Alchemy. This philosophy holds that everything in existence, from the most miniscule particles to the most complex organisms, is but a small facet which serves a function in the harmonious workings of the great machine that is the universe. As this philosophy does not explicitly occlude the concept of deities, - and some would argue even perhaps reinforces it – Asura have no qualms with giving respect to the Gods. However, their intellects usually prevent them from out-right worship; ordinarily, they simply honor and perhaps give consideration to certain deities at certain times, with the most popular being Ioun, the God of Knowledge.
Asura Characteristics: Clever, intelligent, ambitious, cunning, creative, arrogant, curious
Asura names ordinarily consist of a given name, which usually sounds sharp and is but one or two syllables, and a title describing their position, honorary accomplishments, or greatest achievement. Most Asura names also have the same letter twice in succession somewhere in their name. Typically, female names end in a soft vowel, such as -i or -a, while male names tend to end with a consonant.
Male Names: Zaijj, Gixx, Orrik, Splinn, Narrllu, Snaff, Yahk, Flax
Female Names: Jezza, Haia, Zeppa, Gezzi, Dessa, Baali, Wolla, Zojja
 Asura Adventurers
Three sample Asura adventurers are described below.
Zaijj is a male Asura Sorceror on a quest to acquire unusual and powerful artifacts. He is bold and capable, but only so far as his abilities lend themselves; thus, though they may not share his intellect, he has no problem deferring certain tasks to his adventuring party. Through exploration, he is discovering the world to be a strange and remarkable place, with most everything warranting further study.
Baali is a female Asura Artificer living in Ironguard. She prefers to remain in her workshop and tinker with new and exciting innovations, and thus generally dislikes interaction with other people in the city. Regardless, her fabrications are held in high esteem, and she is occasionally called upon by those with knowledge or power to lend her experience to research or an expedition.
Orrik is a male Asura Paladin, his small stature and comparative lack of strength easily overcome by his determination and dedication to justice. Known to be gruff and unflinching, his long life has seen numerous successful adventures. Though he may be growing older, he is still always keenly anticipating the next opportunity to experience the world and learn everything that it has to offer.