Races (Years of Gold)
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Pansaer is home to a multitude of races, although not nearly as many as more high-fantasy worlds. Many creatures that are races on their own right in other worlds, like Greyhawk or Eberron, are unique monsters born of a variety of causes in Pansaer. Some are brought to life by the Word and the Law, others are particularly rare mutations of more common races, while others still are the last remnants of ages-old races that have died out except for them. They are few, while the Five are numerous.
The Five - humans, dwarves, dunners, goblins and goliaths - represent the most numerous humanoid races that have sapience and notable cultures in Pansaer. This number of races is somewhat lower than basic 3.5e or most other custom settings, but is meant to enforce a feel of coherency within the setting. All races are modified to only give attribute bonuses to physical stats (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution) so as to encourage casters of all races. Some of the races described below, including dunners, goblins and goliaths, have separate pages for when you want to use them in other settings: the racial traits on this page are balanced specifically for the Years of Gold setting, and are not an automatic fit elsewhere.
Languages work very differently in Years of Gold than in other settings, and a member of a race won't gain the usual compliment of languages: see Languages at Variant Rules for more information. Years of Gold also doesn't incorporate favored classes: players are able to vary their choice of class freely from level to level.
- 1 PC races
- 2 Other races
- 2.1 Anubals
- 2.2 Beastmen
- 2.3 Centaurs
- 2.4 Daemons
- 2.5 Dragons
- 2.6 Elementals
- 2.7 The faerie
- 2.8 Giants
- 2.9 Giant spiders
- 2.10 Lycanthropes
- 2.11 Mephits
- 2.12 Stygians
- 2.13 Undead
|An archetypal human fighter.|
Humans are the most numerous of the five great races, although not far ahead of dunners and goblins in numbers. They awoke in the northwest reaches of the continent, where they had a prehistoric culture that's largely forgotten. The only remnants of humanity's past are haunted ruins, but their glory days were great: they spread southwards, and the benevolent conditions of those lands allowed them to briefly gain supremacy of the continent. Thanks to their ability to adapt to all sorts of surroundings, humans can be found in all regions of Pansaer, except the highest peaks of the Caragos Eavorn and the hottest areas of the northeastern deserts.
All sentient races are defined more by their culture than by their racial heritage, but to no race does this hold true like it does to humans. While a man of Redford is likely to be thin, tall, brown of hair and put his faith in Auri, a man of Dharuum is more likely to be short, strong, dark of hair and trust in the divinity that is his Sultan. After all, it's been over three thousand years since the dawn of humanity: they've had time to adapt.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, humans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Human base land speed is 30 feet.
- 1 extra feat at 1st level. This feat must be chosen from among the feats marked as Skill feats.
- 4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level.
|An archetypal dwarf cleric.|
Dwarves, the dwellers of the world underground, are a somewhat rarer sight on the continent, especially in the western kingdoms. Alone among the five great races, dwarves came to be underground. Their ancestral home is in Caragos Eavorn, and it is there that their race still holds power. This seclusion from other races made dwarf culture, language and physique vastly different from that of others. Their thick skins, low body water percentage and hardy bodies are better-suited to the harsh northeastern deserts than most other races, so they are among the only races with permanent dwellings there.
Dwarves are culturally diverse and shaped by their surroundings, but a few features have stood the test of time in all dwarven populace: they're often adept at physical tasks, especially of the repetitive variety, and they offer prayers to Morran more often than the other races, considering the titan their creator. The dwarves of the eastern lands are dark of skin and wear light tunics and robes, while their mountain brothers prefer dark colors, and armor as their clothing. The dwarves of the western kingdoms are divided: some integrate to the overall cultural sphere there, while others exclude themselves from those cultures on purpose and create enclaves of dwarven society within the area.
- +2 Constitution: Dwarves are by far the stoutest race of Pansaer, a fact that has led them to thrive in both the mountains and the northeastern desert.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, dwarves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Dwarf base land speed is 20 feet. However, dwarves can move at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load (unlike other creatures, whose speed is reduced in such situations).
- Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and dwarves can function just fine with no light at all.
- Stability: A dwarf gains a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
- +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison. Dwarves have a natural resistance to venom that borders on the unnatural (perhaps living close to giant spiders is to blame).
|An archetypal dunner monk.|
Originally hailing from massive forest that Ghaer was in the dawn of time, dunners are a race of short but stocky humanoids. They stayed in their ancestral home for long centuries, but when early humans came to the east, dunners found their sea-vessels to their liking, and soon they had spread across the continent. Dunners are a wily folk with thick arms and legs, strong muscular bodies and keen minds. The defining feature of dunners is the thick, coarse hair that grows on their heads, chest, arms and legs. In many ways they resemble monkeys, except that they don't have tails.
Dunners may at first strike people as indifferent or even cruel, but this isn't at all true: rather, they are fiercely independent and believe that everyone ought to take care of themselves. They have no problem with the other races and often mingle with them, and thus all areas of the continent have at least a dunner minority. They universally wear less clothes than most other races, thanks to their natural body hair.
- +2 Dexterity: Dunners are immensely nimble and capable of extreme feats of agility.
- Small: As a Small creature, a dunner gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but they use smaller weapons than humans use, and their lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
- Dunner base land speed is 20 feet. They also have a climb speed of 20 feet.
- +2 racial bonus on Balance and Jump checks: Dunners are agile and sure in their movements, owing to their woodland heritage.
- +8 racial bonus on Climb checks: All dunners are exceptional climbers. A dunner must make a Climb check to climb any wall or slope with a DC of more than 0, but they can always choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened while climbing. If they choose an accelerated climb, they move at double their climb speed and make a single Climb check at a -5 penalty. They cannot run while climbing. They retain their Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus on their attacks against a climbing dunner.
See Dunners (3.5e Race) for a more in-depth description, as well as racial traits for use in other settings.
|An archetypal goblin wizard.|
Sometimes, looks can be deceiving. So too is the case with goblins: a race of short, wiry goblinoids with sharp teeth, long noses and skin that ranges from dark green to muted brown. However, they are not the wild, monstrous creatures that folklore of other realms makes them - if anything, they are the very opposite of that. Goblins came to be at the wellsprings of Kwazir, the river that brings life to the east. They're still at their most numerous there and elsewhere in the east, but they've spread to the west as well, where they've been welcomed rather poorly.
Goblins tend to be intelligent, thoughtful and thorough in everything they do, with a penchant for perfectionism and obsession. Their long, nimble fingers are capable of building all sorts of devices, and their diplomatic skills and honey tongues make them fantastic traders, merchants and diplomats. People also tend to underestimate them - which suits them just fine. Goblins have a very high pain threshold, which makes them stand out from other races. They rarely complain about physical anguish unless it's insurmountable, and many of them are fascinated with piercings.
- +2 Dexterity: Goblins are quick in their movements, and their manual dexterity is unrivaled.
- Small: Small: As a Small creature, a goblin gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
- Goblin base land speed is 20 feet.
- Darkvision: Goblins can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and a goblin can function just fine with no light at all.
- +2 racial bonus on Disable Device and Open Lock checks: goblins have long, thin fingers, perfectly suited to handling all sorts of devices.
- +2 racial bonus on Concentration checks: all goblins have a high resistance to pain, and most are calm and collected by nature, so concentrating on a task comes to them naturally.
- Endurance: Goblins gain Endurance as a bonus feat. If a goblin would later gain Endurance as a bonus feat, she can select any other feat for which she qualifies. Goblins have incredible stamina for their size.
See Goblins, Pansaer (3.5e Race) for a more in-depth description, as well as racial traits for use in other settings.
|An archetypal goliath barbarian.|
Strongly in touch with their ancient roots and on bad terms with the titan-gods they see as their ancestors, the race of goliaths is easily the fewest in numbers of the five great races. Perhaps this is because they never truly spread out from the Tumbling Fells, their point of origin. Whether it is from the hate of the titans or from natural causes, goliath numbers have been dwindling for hundreds of years. Many of those that remain steadfastly cling to folklore and traditions.
Goliaths are towering humanoids, somewhat bestial in appearance with long canine teeth and angular facial features. Their wild looks belie a level nature that prefers balance and continuity in all things. Goliaths live in the wilds, although many have traveled to the cities of both east and west, as their dwindling numbers would otherwise leave them stranded in the wilds.
- +2 Strength: Goliaths are powerfully built and exceptionally strong, partly from their natural physique and partly from growing up in harsh conditions.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, goliaths have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Goliath base land speed is 30 feet.
- Natural Wrestler: Goliaths have a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks, and don't provoke an attack of opportunity when beginning a grapple. The massive bodies and strong limbs of the goliaths make them exceptional wrestlers, and they often further hone this ability through practice.
- Animist Guidance (Su): Once per day as a free action, a goliath can invoke the animal deity that governs over them (or the deities in general if they are a Navenfri) to gain a +2 insight bonus to all saving throws for a number of rounds equal to his or her character level.
See Goliaths, Pansaer (3.5e Race) for a more in-depth description, as well as racial traits for use in other settings.
What follows is a list of the many creatures and races that populate Pansaer. This is not to be taken as a precise listing: many rarer, even one-off beasts can be found in the wide lands. The races listed here are the most numerous, most influential or otherwise most noteworthy (asides from the Five), and their existence should be common knowledge - or oft-repeated legend - to the inhabitants of the part of the continent where the race lives. If the DM wants to include more creatures or races in the setting, they are free to do so, but should carefully consider the feel of the world.
Some of the races described below are available, if not suggested, for use as player character races. They tend to have unconventional capabilities and features (uncommon size, resistances and immunities, powerful abilities) that can make them unfit or unbalanced for the purposes of the campaign, so consult with your DM before you use one. The races that are fit for player use have racial traits listed.
A naturally-occurring race common in the Red Wastes and somewhat rarer in southeastern Pansaer, anubals are ebony-skinned, jackal-headed protectors of tombs and master mummifiers. They're well-adapted to the harsh deserts that make up most of the east, and their natural powers make them respected, feared, venerated or hated - depending on who you ask. Closely related to them are anubal hounds, constructs built by the jackal-headed wardens.
Anubals play a large part in the cultures of the east. Death is less feared in those parts, and mummification the norm, so as masters of burial rites anubals are an important part of everyday life. They never associate with humans in any great amount or live in the cities (except Dharuum), but they take solitary apprentices from all races and walks of life. These people become master morticians, and are pillars of society in the east.
- +4 Dexterity, +4 Constitution, +6 Intelligence, +6 Wisdom, +6 Charisma: Anubals are physically capable, but their true strength lies in their immense mental capacities.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, anubals have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Anubal base land speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision: Anubals can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and an anubal can function just fine with no light at all.
- Racial Hit Dice: An anubal begins with six levels of outsider, which provide 6d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +6, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +5, Ref +5, and Will +5.
- Racial Skills: An anubal's outsider levels give it skill points equal to 9 × (8 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Appraise, Concentration, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Listen, Profession (mortician), Sense Motive, Spellcraft, and Spot.
- Racial Feats: An anubal's outsider levels give it three feats.
- +4 natural armor bonus.
- Spell-Like Abilities: At will—cure light wounds, death knell, inflict light wounds; 1/day—cause fear, mass cure light wounds, mass inflict light wounds. Caster level 6th; save DC 11 + anubal's Cha modifier + spell level.
- Lifesense (Su): An anubal notices and locates living creatures within 60 feet, just as if it possessed the blindsight ability. It also senses the strength of their life force automatically, as if it had cast deathwatch.
- Level adjustment +4.
See Anubal Warden (3.5e Creature) for a more in-depth description.
Perhaps related to the natural mutation of lycanthropes, beastmen are a race of horrid amalgamations of man and beast. They are less a true race and more a loose collection of creatures born with animal features, driven out of civilized lands, and banding together for power and safety. They are technically sentient creatures, but their animal instincts and painful mutations often drive them to violence. Hence, they are hated where they are met.
Some suggest that Mieli has a hand in the birth of these creatures - this is quite possible, considering Mieli's insatiable sexual appetite and interest in crossbreeds. Where the forest titan is venerated, beastmen are occasionally tolerated, even accepted, although such communities are rarer than even the beastmen themselves. And they are rare indeed, since most are killed at birth by their horrified parents. Only a few tribes have sprung up, where the rare fertile females give birth to hundreds of monstrous children. The three types of beastmen listed below are not the only types that exist, but they are by and far the most common.
The beastmen of Remoras prairie, sometimes called (somewhat misleadingly) dogmen or dogs of war, are the most numerous, and often have canine, porcine or caprine features, although other animal hybrids are possible. They are by far the most numerous of beastmen, since Mieli is often venerated in her more warlike and savage aspects in the north, and a few tribes incorporate both dogmen and other humanoids. Those dogmen who band into tribes or who live alone tend toward tightly hierarchical personal structures and possess a natural skill for skirmish warfare, but this could just as well be the influence of the cursed prairie they live in.
- Strength +2, Constitution +2: Dogmen are hardy creatures, although its hard to say whether its a part of their physical condition or instilled into them by harsh life.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, dogmen have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- A dogman's base land speed is 30 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: A dogman can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- +1 natural armor bonus.
- Natural Weapons: A dogman's primary natural weapon is their bite (1d6).
- Scent: A dogman's exquisite sense of smell allows them to pinpoint their foes. A dogman can detect opponents by scent within 30 feet. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk, can be detected at triple normal range. When a dogman detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed — only its presence somewhere within range. The dogman can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. Whenever the dogman comes within 5 feet of the source, the dogman pinpoints the source’s location.
- Level adjustment +1.
Ghaer beastmen are far rarer, but often more powerful than others of their condition, and their mutations include the features of big cats as well as sorcerous powers. They are called maneaters, although how common cannibalism is among them is debatable: there are far too few maneater societies to draw definitive conclusions from. It's questionable whether it makes sense to even call them a race, since two maneaters can look, think and behave as different as day and night. Nonetheless, their population is too big to be sustained by natural mutations alone, so it seems at least some of them are capable of procreating.
- +2 Strength, +6 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, +6 Charisma: Maneaters are charismatic creatures with an intimidating presence, but can also move and fight with all the strength and speed of the animals they resemble.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, maneaters have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- A maneater's base land speed is 40 feet.
- Darkvision: Maneaters can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and a maneater can function just fine with no light at all.
- Spell resistance equal to 14 + class levels.
- Racial Hit Dice: A maneater begins with four levels of outsider, which provide 4d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +4, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +4, Ref +4, and Will +4.
- Racial Skills: A maneater's outsider levels give it skill points equal to 7 × (8 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Appraise, Bluff, Concentration, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Listen, Move Silently, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, and Spot.
- Racial Feats: A maneater's outsider levels give it two feats.
- +2 natural armor bonus.
- Natural Weapons: A maneater's primary natural weapon is their bite (1d6), and they have 2 claws (1d4) as secondary weapons.
- Spells: A maneater character casts spells as a 4th-level sorcerer. If the character takes additional levels of sorcerer, these levels stack with the maneater's base spellcasting ability for spells known, spells per day, and other effects dependent on caster level.
- Level adjustment +4.
Minotaurs, hulking bovine behemoths, live in quasi-civilized societies on the larger islands of the Wasted Sea, and some have spread onto the continent proper. Some believe them related to the giants, which matches with their size and the ability of some of their elders to learn Or, the eldest tongue. Minotaurs themselves consider themselves the favored children of Mieli. Their religious practices in the Waste Sea include cannibalizing those of their foes they consider the most worthy, since this allows the defeated to join with the godlike. The largest island off the northern coast, the Tear, sports slab citadels that harbor minotaur armies, ready to set sail on longships that are adorned with the bones of their enemies.
- +8 Strength, +4 Constitution: Minotaurs are as hideously powerful and durable as they appear.
- Large: As a Large creature, a minotaur takes a -1 size penalty to Armor Class, a -1 size penalty on attack rolls, and a -4 size penalty on Hide checks, but they gain a +4 size bonus on grapple checks, use larger weapons than humans use, and their lifting and carrying limits are double those of a Medium character.
- A minotaur’s base land speed is 30 feet.
- Racial Hit Dice: A minotaur begins with five levels of monstrous humanoid, which provide 5d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +5, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +1, Ref +4, and Will +4.
- Racial Skills: A minotaur’s monstrous humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 8 × (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1). Its class skills are Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Search, and Spot. Minotaurs have a +4 racial bonus on Search, Spot, and Listen checks.
- Racial Feats: A minotaur’s monstrous humanoid levels give it two feats.
- +4 natural armor bonus.
- Natural Weapons: A minotaur's primary natural weapon is their gore (1d8).
- Powerful Charge: A minotaur typically begins a battle by charging at an opponent, lowering its head to bring its mighty horns into play. In addition to the normal benefits and hazards of a charge, this allows the beast to make a single gore attack that deals 4d6 + Strength modifier points of damage.
- Natural Cunning: Minotaurs possess innate cunning and logical ability. This gives them immunity to maze spells, prevents them from ever becoming lost, and enables them to track enemies. Further, they are never caught flat-footed.
- Level adjustment +3.
Centaurs are a fairly young race, born from a mad whim of Mieli, the forest titan. Mieli assumed the form of a pitch-black mare and forced the sultan of Dharuum to copulate with herself as both a punishment for his supposedly blasphemous actions and to sate Mieli's sick appetites. From the union was born the race of centaurs, who the eastern folk now live with. This connection to the divine, as well as their ability to navigate the harsh eastern desert unlike most others, has made centaurs a venerated race: in many of the more conservative and religious areas, they are considered outright sacred.
Centaurs have the spirit of Mieli in them: at once peaceful and sagely, at another spiteful and wild. All centaurs have obsidian skin in both the horse and the man part of their body, another reminder of their divine origin. They often serve as sages and warriors in the court of Dharuum, and as messengers in Irid and Eros. They have no cities of their own, but rather live among other races. In cities where they are common, areas of the city will often be set side for centaurs to occupy, and have living quarters suitable for the equine physiology.
- +6 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +4 Constitution, +2 Wisdom: Centaurs are physically imposing, and have strong minds - until the wildness takes them.
- Large: As a Large creature, a centaur takes a -1 size penalty to Armor Class, a -1 size penalty on attack rolls, and a -4 size penalty on Hide checks, but they gain a +4 size bonus on grapple checks, use larger weapons than humans use, and their lifting and carrying limits are double those of a Medium character.
- A centaur’s base land speed is 50 feet.
- Racial Hit Dice: A centaur begins with four levels of monstrous humanoid, which provide 4d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +4, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +1, Ref +4, and Will +4.
- Racial Skills: A centaur’s monstrous humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 7 × (2 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Listen, Move Silently, Spot, and Survival.
- Racial Feats: A centaur’s monstrous humanoid levels give it two feats.
- +3 natural armor bonus.
- Level adjustment +2.
|A succubus is|
given material form by
and a powerful wizard.
- Live in the underworld
- Concentrations: None
There are no hells or abysses for the people of Pansaer to visit, but this does not mean there are no demons or devils. Men are tormented by their demons every day, after all: demons like greed, hate and addiction. Due to the nature of the Word and the Law, a powerful wizard can bind these mental, conceptual demons into physical, definitive forms, however briefly. Sometimes they occur naturally: in places where reality grows thin, or where events of great importance or terror take place, dreams and nightmares can take the shape of a monster. These temporary creatures are called daemons in academic settings, but have geographic names as well: they are called jinn in most of the Sultanate, luonto in Tull and the Fells, wights on the western side of Caragos Maride, and many other names besides.
Every such being is unique, born from the specific conditions of its creation: a conjurer who dreams up a a demon of lust to attend to their pleasure will shape the demon into a form both consciously and unconsciously. They are also exactly as wild and uncontrollable as our imaginations tend to be, which makes them dangerous, even in those cases where they are not actively antagonistic towards all life. Creatures formed in this way cannot hold onto their physical form without expenditure of incredible magical concentration or similar forces. Thus, they dissipate quickly unless such means are used.
Any outsider - demon, devil, yugoloth, djinn - can be used to represent a Pansaerian demon, although bear in mind that the descriptions of such creatrues (and on occasion even their capabilities) are not uniform. These creatures lose all inappropriate subtypes, such as Baatezu, Tanar'ri and similar subtypes (no such division exists), and the Extraplanar subtype.
- Live in Caragos Eavorn
- Concentrations: None
The dragons were spawned in the early ages of the world, when the titans still vied for control of the world. Whether they were created by older beings still as a living weapon, or hatched out of some primordial madness, none can now say. They fought the titans with the elder gods and lost, and were driven to hide in mountain lairs and deep forests. They are asexual and seem to reproduce only by means of asexually or magically spawning more of their kind - an event that hasn't happened since the early days of the continent - so the only dragons that live nowadays are all at least old, with the age categories being somewhat modified.
In the low-magic, no-easy-flight world of Pansaer, dragons are much more of a challenge than they would normally be, and considering they're a tough challenge in standard D&D, that says a lot. Only around a hundred dragons have ever existed, and nowadays even the wisest scholars can only guess at their numbers; twenty is a common estimate. Their rarity makes dragon relics priceless treasures: the dragon skull in the Sultan's Palace in Dharuum is a wonder of the world.
The dragons are represented by those of baseline D&D, metallic and chromatic alike, but function as unique individuals that don't necessarily concur with the descriptions given. Considering the awesome, almost godlike power the dragons wield, it is entirely possible that any given dragon will have created slaves or companions in its likeness, if not equal in power; this is the origin of draconic races, such as lizardfolk and wyverns.
The age categories are modified to account for the timeline of Pansaer. They are now as follows:
- Live in all regions of Pansaer
- Concentrations: None
Elementals are not drawn from elemental planes in Years of Gold (since no such planes exist), but are rather formed by application of the Word and the Law that govern the world. Gifted wizards often use elementals to battle each other, with a greater elemental meaning greater power. They also arise spontaneously on occasion, especially in areas where the rules of the world grow thin, such as the haunts of powerful creatures and ancient places of power. Elemental creatures lose the Extraplanar subtype.
- Live in all regions of Pansaer
- Concentrations: Dunas, Ghaer
The faerie is a collective term for many naturally-occurring creatures of Pansaer. Perhaps a more accurate name would be "nature's children", as all faerie are tied to a given natural feature: this feature can be as small as a lake, or as big as a specific biome. The faerie tend towards shyness and avoid other races, since civilization is anathema to them: towns and cities are fashioned from the bones of the earth, then fed with all growing green things. They aren't antagonistic towards humanoids, however, and can be contacted, interacted with and pacified by those who know how to interact with them. The types of faerie listed below are not the only ones, but they are the ones with the most interaction with other races.
Many faerie have a strong connection to Glade, the strange realm of existence that is intrinsically connected to Wild Mieli. Glade isn't a separate dimension per se; rather, entering Glade is like moving deeper into existence, to a wilder place at the heart of reality. Every natural place, be it a meadow, a river, a mountain or a forest, is Glade - the question is how much. The oldest surviving forests, Dunas and Ghaer, are the most connected to Glade, and thus sport the most faerie.
Dryads and naiads
No faerie is as connected to the land as are dryads and naiads. These creatures, apparently born from the very thing they are bound to and protect, are only a hair's strand removed from elementals. Dryads are the shepherds of trees, and each is bound to a single tree of great age, while naiads are the guardians of bodies of water, fiercely protecting the water that gives them life. Both types of faerie are occasionally sought out for their powers: dryads for their ability to speak to the forest, and naiads for the prophecies they can speak.
Some believe that any tree that grows old enough gains, nay, deserves sentience. The exact numbers differ: some believe it takes a century, others insist a millennium is required. There might be truth to this: in the eldest of forests, the trees are said to move of their own accord, thinking their own indecipherable thoughts and fulfilling goals that those not of root and bark can only guess at. Treants are most common in Dunas, but appear in scant numbers in other old forests as well. Awakened plantlife resemble the places they are born: humid, overgrown Ghaer gives birth to a different breed of creature than the dry twig-and-leaf monsters of the coast of the Wasted Sea.
|"Ours. All ours."|
The bastard children of the titans of yore, giants (and trolls, ogres, lesser titans, as well as all other creatures of the Giant type) are an eternal foe to the folk of Pansaer. They have mere crumbs of the power their ancestral mothers and fathers hold, but that power is plenty enough to terrorize the continent with. Each race of giants is associated with one of the titan-gods, and consider themselves that titan's children. Whether they're actually related is questionable (although in Mieli's case, not so much). Groke is no titan, and thus doesn't have giant descendants.
fire giants and sun titansMM2 are Auri's descendants, and live in the sun-scorched Red Wastes. The two races are related but not in good terms: indeed, the constant strife between them is one contributing factor to their rarity - a blessing to the rest of the Sultanate. Collectively called the sunborn, Auri's giants are characterized by massive egos, a tyrannical view to life, and an affinity for fire.
Fog giantsMF and shadow giantsFF are Luni's children, and bide their time in the hidden places of the world. They are fewer in numbers than the offspring of the rest of the titan-deities, but they tend to be more powerful as well. They are also a lot less antagonistic of other races, in that they don't actively seek out and destroy other creatures: the moonborn are content on dwelling on their own superiority, and with sufficient gifts and exaltations, can even be persuaded to provide divinations and prophecies. Nonetheless, they are exactly as dangerous as the rest of their kind when moved to action.
Frost giants, storm giants and bog giantsFF are heirs to Ahti, and live near and in water, as well as in floating sea-cities. They are seldom seen, since the mountain lakes and glaciers of the frost giants, floating citadels and underwater fortresses of storm giants and peat dwellings of bog giants tend to be located in out-of-the-way places. The stormborn, as they are called, despise all non-giants (and indeed all other giants as well), which leads them to wreck havoc on those they consider trespassers on their lands.
Mieli is a special case amongst the titan pantheon. The Hunter, insatiable that she is, has spawned several lineages of offspring, including the comparatively noble races of stone giants and forest giantsMM2, as well as the more monstrous trolls and fomoriansMM2 in affairs with legendary beasts. Mieli's more bestial children, such as the aforementioned trolls and the centaurs (see above) come about due to Mieli's appetites often drawing her to copulate with powerful animals.
Cloud giants are the sole scions of Morran, and live only on the tallest peaks. They are exceptional smiths and artificers, and their architecture is centuries ahead the rest of the races of the continent. They do not share, however: they despise every other races with misanthropic passion, and are the only giants to go out of their way to wage war on other races. Their highest aspiration is to commit genocide on all other inhabitants of the world they consider theirs. Only their remoteness, and the fact that their warfare is mostly directed towards the other giants surrounding their peaks, keeps them from being a threat to the continent as a whole.
Hill giants, mountain giantsMM2, ogres and ettins are thought to be the children of the lesser titans that Auri's pantheon defeated. Why they weren't destroyed along with their ancestors, none can tell. Perhaps they weren't worth the trouble. The nobler giants uniformly hunt the lesser giants, considering it their duty to wipe the "false inheritors" from the face of the earth. They, in turn, are far more numerous, and tend to band together both to protect themselves and to better terrorize those smaller than them, creating a vicious pecking order.
Ogres are the only kind of giant that have peaceful (if strained) contact with other races. Most of them live in communities that attack settlements and are hunted in turn, but those who are secluded from these tribes turn to other means of staying alive. They are not a kind race - far from it - but they can control the hatred all giants feel for other races, and those born into humanoid cultures are farther and farther removed from this heritage for every generation. Perhaps the superiority is learned. Still, Brimhaven is the only major city to accept ogres, and even there they are second-class citizens.
- +8 Strength, -2 Dexterity, +4 Constitution, -2 Intelligence: As the muddled offspring of dead powers, ogres are lacking in intellect and agility, but make up for it in raw strength.
- Large: As a Large creature, an ogre takes a -1 size penalty to Armor Class, a -1 size penalty on attack rolls, and a -4 size penalty on Hide checks, but they gain a +4 size bonus on grapple checks, use larger weapons than humans use, and their lifting and carrying limits are double those of a Medium character.
- An ogre’s base land speed is 40 feet.
- Darkvision: Ogres can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and an ogre can function just fine with no light at all.
- Racial Hit Dice: An ogre begins with four levels of giant, which provide 4d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +3, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +4, Ref +1, and Will +1.
- Racial Skills: An ogre’s giant levels give it skill points equal to 7 × (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1). Its class skills are Climb, Listen, Spot, and Survival.
- Racial Feats: An ogre’s giant levels give it two feats.
- +5 natural armor bonus.
- Level adjustment +2.
|A troupe of goblins face a giant spider|
in the Red Wastes.
- Live in Caragos Eavorn, Lowlands of Hundon
- Concentrations: Carag Ka'thull
The horror of the underground world and the bane of the dwarves that inhabit the mountains, giant spiders are a common danger in Pansaer. Unlike their small, household cousins, giant spiders are intelligent creatures: they are born with a glimmer of intellect that grows as the spider grows older. The largest of the giant spiders are matriarchal monstrosities with wit to challenge wizards with. Indeed, rumors speak of spiders so venerable that they've studied the arcane arts and become master wizards themselves. It would be naive to think of giant spiders as "evil", but thinking them a fine fit into other societies is equally naive. They have a mind all their own, so different from that of humanoids that true communication is difficult. Besides, they eat sentient creatures, which always puts a dent in diplomacy.
Giant spiders live within the mountain range of Caragos Eavorn, in tunnels where the sun never shines. They've also made nests in the barren prairie that surrounds Remoras, as well as the Lowlands of Hundon. Since the spiders are intelligent, some extremely small forms of trade take place between them and other races: they provide people with amazing silk, and receive food in return; in darker parts of the world they're often paid in slaves to devour. Giant spiders speak Or, the language of the gods (a gift from their patron deity Groke), and rarely learn other languages.
Giant spiders have an Intelligence score that grows with their size (along with other increases, level-based and otherwise). Remember that they behave accordingly: giant spiders are capable of setting ambushes, stalking prey, remembering faces, even begging for mercy. Typical Intelligence scores for giant spiders are as follows:
|This goliath has received more than just|
guidance from the Bear.
Only a very specific form of lycanthropes exist on Pansaer: the animal-goliaths of Ghaer and the Tumbling Fells. Believed to be men possessed with animist spirits, they are revered (from a distance) by other goliaths. And there might very well be something to it: these lycanthropes don't spread their condition like a disease; rather, it is a natural phenomenon associated with the titan Luni, and is on a person from birth. Lycanthropes are not vicious or evil, and often remain in the goliath tribes they were born in, invariably achieving high positions thanks to their natural powers. During full moon, lycanthropes remove themselves from civilized areas and wander the wilds in their animal forms. Very rarely, a member of a race other than goliath can become a lycanthrope, although it's a once-in-a-century occurrence.
The mephits of Pansaer are a naturally-occuring (if strange) race of the continent, unlike in other settings where they are extraplanar creatures. They were created when the world was forged anew, and spread into the world. A special quirk of mephits is their inhuman adaption to conditions: evolution tends to take a long while, but mephits can turn into completely different species in just a few generations. The extent of this rapid evolution is also amazing: a mephit exposed to searing conditions will soon develop a form to match, while an aquatic surrounding will produce a wholly different breed; the two couldn't be farther from each other. Mephits lose the Extraplanar subtype.
- Live in all seas of Pansaer
- Concentrations: The Wasted Sea
There are few places to hide from the gaze of the gods. A few of the eldest forests, a few of the highest mountains might provide shelter from the angry eyes of the titan-gods, but only one place is vast enough to hide the lesser gods of gone millenia: the sea. The ocean that surrounds the lone continent of Pansaer extends seemingly endlessly in all directions, although the old salts say that one should never sail so far as to lose sight of land. The sea gets strange the farther you go - and the deeper you go.
Sure, Ahti governs the waves. But the sea is deep, and Ahti is only one god. Plunge deep enough and you find the stygians: the degenerate remnants of elder gods that produce even more degenerate offspring in turn. They resemble twisted versions of sealife: a given stygian might appear as a rake-thin, albino moray eel, while another has an unmistakably crustacean visage. Some would argue that it is sealife that resembles the stygians. For the very oldest of their numbers are almost godlike in power, and are the direct descendants that once vied for that very status.
- Live (?) in all regions of Pansaer
- Concentrations: None
Undead creatures are the dead remains of once-living beings animated and made capable to act by rewriting the Word and the Law to accommodate such unnatural horrors, however briefly. These creatures range from skeletal and fleshy puppets to shadows that walk on their own to twisted reflections of once-living people. Indeed, the undead share a lot with the daemons (see above), the difference being that the undead are tied to the physical world through the bodies or soul-stuff they are made of, and are thus usually longer-lasting. Specific races of undead, such as vampires (rare, but they exist), mummies (found in the Red Wastes) and ghouls (a cannibal race from the west) make exceptions to this rule.
The changes to how resurrecting the dead in Years of Gold works (namely, it is all but impossible) means that creating undead is not quite the sin it is in other realms, since it's impossible to mess with the resurrection of sentient beings. Necromancy is more akin to a morbid form of puppetry. The necromancers of the east, called carriomancers, are accepted (if not always well-liked) as creators of free workforce. In the west the practice is far less common, and the average person will react to reanimation with hostility, but at least as an academic pursuit it is accepted.