Monday, June 16, 2014

Secrets #2: Strange Races update and previews

Basically, I'm not satisfied with my write-ups, so I'm going through and tweaking/revising/expanding or editing them. Artwork is also a drain on my time, although I think I'm about done there.


Here's the illustration for the bast.



















And here's the revised & expanded writeup for the crabmen.

Crabmen (Armamen)
Crabmen, or armamen, are bipedal, humanoid crabs the size of ogres. They have an insect-like head, a thick exoskeleton, a large pair of pincers arms, and a smaller set of humanoid arms below those. Most armamen are reddish-brown or brown, but occasionally a crabman is born with a much more vibrantly colored carapace of blue, white, yellow, or purple. These chromatically endowed crabmen are smarter and wiser than their brethren, and can become spellcasters. They speak their own language of hisses and clicks, and adventuring armamen can speak the local tongue as well. Crabmen mature quickly but slowly.

Crabmen are somewhat stolid and conservative in their worldview. Uncertainly, indecision, and change make them uncomfortable – a happy day, to a crabman, is one just like the day before. They keep to themselves and are slow to trust strangers. Most crabmen avoid conflict if possible, but defend their territory vigorously.

Armamen live in small communities along coastal waters or large rivers. They are primarily scavengers and scour the shoreline daily for food. Their communities are led by the elders with the advice of the spellcasting crabmen. They worship a few simple gods that manifest as monstrous sea creatures. The pantheon is led by a monstrous lobster god; its foe is a titanic kraken. An oracular mollusk is the guardian of magical secrets; for this reason armamen magic-users etch their spells onto pearls, which they carry in small pouches.

Racial Abilities & Classes
Crabmen cannot wield weapons or wear armor (their pincers are too crude; their arms too weak), but they can attack twice in a round with their pincers, inflicting 1d6 points of damage with each attack, and have a natural AC of 3 [16]. They also begin play with an extra Hit Die (1d6). Crabmen can swim at a speed of 9 and breath water or air at will.
Crabmen can become Fighters (4th level). Crabmen with an Intelligence of 16 or higher can become Magic-Users (3rd level); those with a Wisdom of 16 or higher can become Druids (3rd level). A crabman with Intelligence and Wisdom scores of 16 can become a Druid/Magic-User; if both scores are 18 the crabman can advance to 5th level in both classes.

Secrets & Lore
  • Crabmen (like so many other races) were servants of the Aten Empire, used as longshoremen and fishermen and housed in a great ghetto in A’aten. Many crabmen have continued in those professions in the Feathered Realm, but others have spread out into the islet-studded estuaries around A’aten. Many of these small islands hold ruins abandoned by the aten for one reason or another.
  • Once in a great while, a confluence of tides and tainted water instills a temporary madness in the armamen, giving them an insatiable and almost uncontrollable hunger for violence and slaughter. It has been so long since the last confluence that only a few elderly sages even know of the armamen weakness. The aten had an antidote, but the secret of its manufacture was lost when they were driven from power.

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