Asura, Guild Wars (5e Race)

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These alchemagical inventors may be short in stature, but they're intellectual giants. Among the asura, it's not the strong who survive, but the clever. Other races believe they should rule by virtue of their power and strength, but they're deluding themselves. In due time, all will serve the asura.

Physical Description[edit]


By human standards, asura are very short. They typically have slender builds, with the head, hands, and feet in somewhat exaggerated proportions. The head in particular is a wide, flat ellipsoid whose width is extended further by large, highly articulate ears which usually drop from the sides of the head. Asura eyes are large and come in a variety of colors; their size is the evolutionary result of being a subterranean race, as small frames can easier traverse their traditional homes in the depths. Their mouths are wide and filled with pointed, shark-like teeth. Asura typically have grayish skin and dark hair. Male and female asura are very similar in appearance; they are mostly differentiated by voice and ear structure.


The asura value intelligence and intellectual superiority over all other attributes. Individual asura will dedicate an entire lifespan to building a portfolio of successful projects or becoming the foremost expert of some tiny aspect of the arcane. They constantly seek to prove their own intellectual superiority, and by extension the superiority of the asura race. This typically results in asura being arrogant to the point of rudeness towards others, especially towards non-asura races. The asura have quickly established their intellectual and magical superiority over the other races and view them as useful primarily for heavy lifting, taking risks, and asking stupid questions.

Asura magical technology is second to none. Their experiments with magic are evident through the impressive floating structures found around and within their cities. Many asura study the difficult art of golemancy, and golems are often used for defense and general work. The golems' complete absence of intelligence and huge size complements the asura perfectly. The most important contribution of the asura to Faerun society is the asura gate network, a set of portals which links many of the major cities of Faerun. To maintain this, they have retained a neutral attitude to all races.

Rather than organized government, the asura prefer to utilize krewes: small, efficient task forces led by the most experienced member, designed to allow any individual asura to reach their maximum potential in any particular task. The asura also have a group known as the Arcane Council who are responsible for the mundane parts of asura city life. The members of this council rotate - membership into this council is granted by performing a task which benefits the asura as a whole. The role is rarely desired as it means an individual asura cannot spend time advancing one's own research.

The asura education holds three forms. First, children learn in small groups in labs. When they're old enough, if they qualify, they join one of the three asuran colleges: The College of Statics, College of Dynamics, and College of Synergetics. Thirdly, before graduation, asura will often study under mentors as an assistant. After graduation from college, asura typically join a krewe and a lab until they can become their own krewe leaders.

Asura have a strong sense of family and extended family, they affectionately refer to their children as "progeny" or "offspring". They also venerate their parents, and grandparents. Asura traditionally cremate their dead. Asura tend to practice serial monogamy, in that they have a serious romantic relationship with only one other asura at a time. Most of these relationships are equal partnerships which often (but not always) have a firm, pre-determined end date. Most often, such relationships come out of two asura who fall in love with the same beautiful concept. These marriages of the mind produce rapid development of ideas, increased conceptual paradigms, and/or children. Relationships that break up tend to feature more fights about who gets the inventions than who gets the kids.

Asura believe in the Eternal Alchemy - the idea that all beings and magic in the world are a part or function of a greater purpose or "machine". Asuran life is built around the research of the Eternal Alchemy - the asura join one of three massive colleges dedicated to this research, each covering different fields. It is believed once complete mastery is gained over the Eternal Alchemy, mastery will be gained over all of Faerun. There are various asura who proclaim that Eternal Alchemy is not a religion, but rather a science.

The Inquest is a meta-krewe which believes that the Eternal Alchemy could be controlled and manipulated like any other machine. Members of the Inquest thrive on controlling power and knowledge, and their experiments are less ethical and more dangerous than those performed by other asura. They have no qualms about experimentation on sentient beings.


Being paranoid and egotistical inventors and builders, the asura of old tended to protect their inventions and knowledge closely, often resulting in the loss of knowledge, and in turn history, when the individual died. Though this has changed in the past few centuries, little is known about the race before their surfacing outside of their regular contact with other underground races such as the dwarves, gnomes, and dark elves - the last of which they view as a threat. However, their asura gate network spanned the Underdark and the full asuran civilization. The asura had several grand cities and built many citadels over places of arcane power. One of these was the Central Transfer Chamber which housed the original network of asura gates and was built over the hibernating Elder Dragon Primordus. The network was powered by magic seeping out of Primordus, whom the asura mistook for a statue while it slept.

Primordus's dragon champion, The Great Destroyer, stirred from beneath one of the asura's citadels and used the gate network to send swarms of monsters throughout the Underdark. The Great Destroyer annihilated much of asuran civilization, forcing survivors to the surface until its death beneath the maw of its hibernating master. Since then, the majority made a home among the magical ruins found along a tropical coast, where they quickly learned how to harness the magical energies to advance their research and establish a foothold above ground.

Now, few asura held any interest in returning to the depths. Instead, the asura have extended their network of gates, powered by different means across Faerun over the years, zealously guarding their advancements and demanding significant compensation for use of their devices, as well as enforcing their use for peaceful activities only (e.g. tolerating the building of a gate in a besieged city to transport supplies and troops there, but not allowing any opposing group to stage an assault by using those gates). As such, they play a prominent role in most interracial dealings and travel.

Asura Names[edit]

An asura's name often consists of a short, sharp first name with one or two syllables. Feminine asura names typically end in -i or -a vowel sounds, but are not required to do so. Masculine names often end in a consonant sound. Both male and female Asuras often have two of the same letter in a row somewhere in their name, this being a cultural norm, but it is certainly not required. Asura do not have a last name, instead opting to use job titles, a krewe name, or honorifics to differentiate themselves. Those who choose to take a last name of a style similar to humans are rare and are considered eccentrics, and their surname is often ignored by other asura.

Male: Snaff, Blish, Gorrik, Phlunt, Kudu, Zott, Brakk, Pirakk, Chammi

Female: Zojja, Taimi, Ludo, Haia, Oola, Canni, Zrii, Elli, Dessa, Fimm

Asura Traits[edit]

A small race of advanced magical inventors.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2 and your Charisma score increases by 1.
Age. Asura mature at the same rate as humans, but have been known to begin talking as soon as one day after birth. An asura will live 5-10% longer than a human, assuming no laboratory mishaps.
Alignment. Asura can be of any alignment.
Size. An asura is usually between two feet ten inches and three feet eleven inches tall. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Laboratory Safety. You have advantage on all Dexterity, Strength, and Constitution saving throws against magic.
Artificer's Intuition. Whenever you make an Investigation check related to magic items, alchemical objects, or technological devices, you can add twice your proficiency bonus, instead of any proficiency bonus you normally apply.
Technobabble. You know the vicious mockery cantrip. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for this spell.
Tinker. Asuran technology usually involves the use of both electrical parts and magical gemstone foci. You have proficiency with tinker's tools and jeweler's tools. Using those tools, you can spend 1 hour and 50 gp worth of materials to construct a Tiny magical device (AC 5, 1 hp). The device ceases to function after 48 hours (unless you spend 1 hour repairing it to keep the device functioning), or when you use your action to dismantle it; at that time, you can reclaim the materials used to create it. You can have up to three such devices active at a time.

When you create a device, choose one of the following options:

Personal Recorder: Pressing the buttons on this handheld device allow it to record audio, then play it back. Holds up to 10 minutes of audio.

Calculator: The grid of numerical symbols on this small device allows the user to solve mathematical equations significantly faster than one could with an abacus. Can also be programmed to play games.

Holographic Projector: When activated, this device produces an intangible image of an object or creature in a 2 foot cube above the device, as with minor illusion. Though incredibly detailed, the image is semi-transparent and only renders in a single color of your choosing; any creature can use its action to examine it and determine that it is obviously an illusion without making an ability check. If the creature already knows what a hologram is, it automatically recognizes the image as an illusion without using an action.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Asuran. Asuran as a language embodies the eclectic research note, half-mathematical and half-structured.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

2′ 10″ +1d20 60 lb. × (2d4) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

(one vote)

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