Archives

Abilen

Sketch of a typical abilen, wearing light armour and carrying a shortbow and short sword

Gentle, civilised catfolk descended from savage beasts

Abilen Heritage Traits

Average Height: 137-167cm (4’6”-5’6”)
Average Weight: 27-45kg (60-100 lb.)
Ability Scores: +2 Charisma, +2 Intelligence or Dexterity

Size: Small
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Darkvision

Languages: Common, Abil, plus any one.
Skill Bonuses: +2 Diplomacy, +2 Insight

Feline Grace: You have a +1 racial bonus to Reflex and Will.

Cultural Savant: At first level, you gain training in one additional skill of your choice.

Through the Crowd: You have the through the crowd heritage power.

Through the CrowdAbilen Heritage Power
You utilise your small frame to slip into the perfect position, right under your enemies’ noses.
Encounter
Free Action • Personal
Effect: Until the end of your turn, you do not provoke opportunity attacks for moving, and you can move through enemy squares.

Known the world over for their hospitality and smooth social skills, the catlike abilen are a fixture of civilised cities. Secluded in Ashar during the War of Empires, they adapted quickly to peace in Alm, ingratiating themselves to friendly nations with a fortuitously-timed trade offer or favourable business deal. Abilen became a necessary part of the new era so smoothly it was barely noticed.

Like the nation of Independence, the abilen’s approach to the recent wars was to take great pains to work themselves into the political and mercantile foundations of all of Alm’s important nations, meaning hostility toward them is widely frowned upon.

Play an abilen if you want…

  • to have feline traits and appearance.
  • to get along easily with friends and strangers.
  • to be a nimble, lightly-armoured adventurer.

Physical Qualities

Abilen are small and slight creatures, with delicate builds and fine features. Their height is as a short human—typically a little under five feet—but they are extraordinarily light, weighing as little as a human youth. Their slender bodies lack the physical bulk of their bestial forebears, but in return grant them natural grace and agility.

Although their shape and stance are humanoid, abilen bear many feline features, especially on their face. They have rounded faces with short muzzles, sharp teeth, and small pointed ears which sit toward the top of their heads. Their soft, sleek fur ranges in colour and markings, and they have tails much like domestic cats. They also sport small claws on their fingers and toes, which retract when they are at rest.

Abilen have lifespans similar to humans, but spend much longer in their prime. They show virtually no signs of aging until their twilight years, when their health typically deteriorates very swiftly.

Playing an Abilen

Despite being beast-kin, abilen evolution has followed a very different path to gnolls and equitarn. The typical abilen is spry but delicate, ill-suited to combat or heavy labour, and hardly a brutal predator. Nevertheless, Ashari business dealings can be ruthlessly efficient, even when they are mutually beneficial.

Though they are native to the desert nation of Ashar, there are few civilised places where abilen have not become part of the community. Between Ashar’s diplomatic efforts and the abilen’s non-threatening image, they have a good reputation that puts them at an advantage in many social situations. They are strongly associated with trade in all nations, and often travel with merchant caravans, going wherever they perceive value.

While abilen do not typically seek out danger, many adventuring companies and guilds are financially linked to Ashar, giving them plenty of opportunities to get a taste for adventure. The typical abilen adventurer is optimistic but practical, planning for both the best and worst outcomes. Most prefer low-risk ventures, seeing adventuring as a job rather than a chance to brawl, but there are always those who prefer high risk and high reward.

Abilen are perceived as… Friendly, easygoing, sharp-witted, practical, mercantile, sanguine, creative, adaptable, sensible.

Names: Adina, Ari, Ashei, Eisha, Janya, Laksha, Leyla, Mia, Myan, Ruhan, Samira, Sanura, Shadi, Shameen, Shema, Tasha.

Abilen names are the only modern use for Abil, the native abilen tongue. They are typically short—no more than two syllables—and usually end in vowel sounds.

Examples of Abilen PCs

Abilen Backgrounds

Merchant Prince

“ I believe there is an opportunity here.”

The heir of a wealthy business empire, you have grown up wanting for nothing. Now, however, you find yourself separated from your former life of luxury. Did you strike out to find your own worth, without the aid of your lineage? Or have been sent forth by your family to prove yourself an adequate heir? How badly do you want to return home—and what will allow you to do so?

Associated Skills: Bluff, diplomacy

Associated ritual: Fluid funds (EPG)

Caravan Minstrel

“ You know, this reminds me of a song…”

Growing up as a traveller on the merchant caravans, you have never felt the desire to settle; to you, home is about what you experience, and with whom you share it. You collect performances like souvenirs—an exotic dance from Ashar, an artful symphony from Sorairo, a bold epic from Brandeis—and better yet, you can share them freely without ever giving them away. Are you travelling with your current group in order to add their heroic chronicle to your repertoire? Or have you decided it’s finally time to be part of the story?

Associated Skills: History, religion

Associated ritual: Call of friendship (AP)

Industrial Saboteur

“I protect something which is bigger than all of us.”

Culturally, abilen value community and cooperation—and they see worldwide economic stability as something more valuable than any individual. Threats to the international marketplace are taken as seriously as anything can be, and the agents of this cause are subtle and without recognition. If an arms dealer runs aground after subverting trade sanctions, if a powerful cartel makes a bad deal and loses its monopoly, why should any special interference be assumed? Only a few are ever aware that the market does indeed possess invisible hands.

Associated Skills: Bluff, diplomacy

Associated ritual: Fool’s gold (AP)

Abilen Feats

Circle of Fate

Prerequisite: Abilen, Awakened or Gremblin

Benefit: When you or one of your allies misses all targets with an attack power, the next creature to attack one of those targets gains a +1 bonus to hit with that attack.

Communal Instinct

Prerequisite: Abilen, Equitarn or Gremblin

Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and a +2 bonus to damage rolls on attacks granted to you by allies. The damage bonus increases to +4 at Paragon tier and +6 at Epic tier.

Community Spirit

Prerequisite: Abilen, Shaman

Benefit: Whenever you summon or dismiss your spirit companion, one ally adjacent to it gains temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier.

Double Dealing

Prerequisite: Abilen, Con 13+

Benefit: Whenever an ally’s healing power causes you to gain hit points, you also gain temporary hit points equal to half the amount healed. Whenever an ally’s healing power causes you to gain temporary hp, you heal hit points equal to half the number of temporary hit points.

Eye of the Storm

Prerequisite: Abilen

Benefit: You gain a +4 bonus to all defences against burst and blast powers used by your allies, and any damage dealt to you by such powers is reduced by half. At the end of your turn, you may end any effect on you, caused by an ally, that a save can end.

Friendly Face

Prerequisite: Abilen

Benefit: During a skill challenge, failed Diplomacy or Bluff checks you make do not count against the total number of failures.

High Spirits

Prerequisite: Abilen, Shaman

Benefit: Allies adjacent to your spirit companion gain a +5 bonus to saving throws versus fear effects.

Insider Information

Prerequisite: Abilen

Benefit: As long as more than one enemy is adjacent to you, any ally who makes a ranged attack against an enemy adjacent to you gets a bonus to the attack roll equal to your dexterity modifier.

Invisible Hand

Prerequisite: Abilen

Benefit: As long as you have combat advantage against an enemy, your weapon attacks gain a +2 bonus to damage against that enemy. This bonus increases to +4 at Paragon tier and +6 at Epic tier.

Marked Merger

Prerequisite: Abilen

Benefit: If an enemy marked by you is adjacent to another enemy marked by you, it suffers a -3 penalty to attack rolls for attacks that don’t target you, instead of the normal -2 penalty.

Opportunity Cost

Prerequisite: Abilen

Benefit: The first time an opportunity attack is made against you during an encounter, you can make a melee basic attack against the attacking creature as a free action.

Settle the Score

Prerequisite: Abilen

Benefit: Once per round, when you hit an enemy by whom you are marked, you may choose to end that enemy’s mark on you.

Strategic Withdrawal

Prerequisite: Abilen, through the crowd heritage power, at least one encounter attack power

Benefit: At the beginning of your turn, if you have no encounter powers remaining, you regain the use of your through the crowd power.

Trade Futures

Prerequisite: Abilen

Benefit: The first time you become bloodied during an encounter, you regain the use of your Second Wind. The first time each day you drop to 0 hp, you regain one Healing Surge.

Trade Up

Prerequisite: Abilen

Benefit: The first time during an encounter you reduce an enemy to 0 hit points, you may shift half your speed as a free action, as long as you end your movement closer to another enemy than when you started.

Unexpected Advance

Prerequisite: Abilen, through the crowd heritage power, paragon tier

Benefit: When you use your through the crowd heritage power, you can spend a standard action to use an at-will melee attack power on an enemy whose square you move through. That attack gains combat advantage against the target.

Vested Interest

Prerequisite: Abilen

Benefit: When and enemy suffering ongoing damage caused by you becomes bloodied for the first time during an encounter, you gain a bonus to damage rolls against that enemy equal to your Intelligence modifier. The bonus lasts until the end of the encounter.

Categories:

Awakened

Example of an Awakened PC

Aberrant humans sensitive to psionics and emotions

Awakened Heritage Traits

Average Height: 165 – 188cm (5’5” – 6’2”)
Average Weight: 59 – 86kg (130-190 lb.)

Ability Scores: +2 Charisma, +2 Wisdom or Intelligence
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Normal

Languages: Common plus any one.
Skill Bonuses: +2 Insight, +2 Perception

Aberrant Soul: Something in you is not of this world, so you are considered an aberrant creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.

Familiar Blood: For all race-based effects and requirements, you are considered to be a human as well as awakened.

Psionic Endowment: You gain one power point, which you can use to augment psionic powers and feats with the augmentable keyword, as if you had the psionic augmentation class feature. You are considered to have the psionic augmentation class feature for the sake of feats, paragon paths and other requirements.

Awakened Awe: You have the awakened awe background power.

Awakened AweAwakened Heritage Power
You use your psionic sensitivity to turn your own suffering into your enemies’ pain.
Encounter • Psionic, Augmentable
No Action • Personal
Trigger: You would spend a healing surge and regain hit points.
Effect: You do not regain any hit points. Instead, you can deal psychic damage equal to your Charisma modifier to one adjacent enemy.
Augment 1:
Effect: You do not regain any hit points. Instead, you or one ally who can see you can make a melee or ranged basic attack as a free action.

The key to humanity’s freedom, the awakened began to appear seemingly at random during the last century, bringing with them the gift of psionic power. It was these individuals who heard the mysterious voices beckoning them to the lands of Alm, and led their people across the seas. Although other humans later came to find the power of the soul within themselves, the inherent psionic nature of the awakened still sets them apart.

The true nature of the awakened is a subject of controversy; some consider the awakened to be the logical progression of human evolution. Others wonder if the awakened were created by outside interference—if an existing psionic race could have gifted their powers to humanity—or suspect that they are the result of an ill-conceived Overseer experiment. Some even hold them as divine beings, shepherds sent to guide humanity’s path.

Play an awakened if you want…

  • to have native empathic powers.
  • to be revered by your people, but kept at arm’s length.
  • to receive visions of the past, and the future.

Physical Qualities

Awakened come from various human stock, but beyond that they don’t share any unique physical traits. They tend to be visually striking, but not necessarily beautiful—rather unusual and interesting, compelling in ways which are difficult to describe. Most are marked in some unnatural but minor way, such as strange eye or hair colours, tattoo-like birthmarks, strangely-shaped pupils, or other quirks.

Playing an Awakened

Most awakened have in common a somewhat introspective nature. It’s difficult to grow up awakened without an acute awareness of being different; even as children, they are usually quiet and thoughtful individuals. Their psionic nature seems to grant them a kind of unnatural magnetism which is difficult to explain, but most view this as a weapon, so it rarely leads to them becoming socially adept.

Having a great sense of the emotions around them, awakened often have difficulty being at peace. A good number seek solitude even when they are well-liked, preferring the “quiet” of keeping their own company. Nonetheless, most are held by their home communities as a sign of good fortune, or at least as special being who must be treated well.

Due to this well-intentioned othering, many awakened never feel truly at home in the place of their birth. For many, the life of an adventurer is simply the natural choice. However, some also believe they feel the call that caused their ancestors to lead humanity out of Parosea. These individuals are driven and determined adventurers, striving to discover new ways to help others.

Awakened are perceived as… Ethereal, bizarre, rare, visionary, emotional, sensitive, introspective, intriguing, restless, lonely, treasured.

Names: As the human, though they may also be given a title by their community, such as “dreamwalker” or “farseer”.

Awakened Backgrounds

Gifted Recluse

I never asked for this!”

Although the awakened are normally celebrated by their communities, you have instead fallen into the role of the outcast. Perhaps you have hidden your true powers, feeling you are unworthy of adoration—or fearing responsibility. Perhaps your empathy is too strong for comfort, forcing you away from company just to hear yourself think. For whatever reason, you have secluded yourself until falling in with your current group. How and why did you join them, and was it against your own wishes?

Associated Skills: Stealth, nature

Associated ritual: Seek rumour (FRPG)

Village Mystic

All big problems are made up of small things.”

While most awakened feel themselves destined for grand purposes, your concerns are for more immediate things—for the people around you and the community they form. The problems you solve may seem trivial to others, but you know that by dealing with them, you tend your community like a garden, keeping fear and hatred from ever taking root. Are you seen as a benevolent oracle, or a mysterious soothsayer? Perhaps even an imperious prophet, levying your aid for status and renown? And what has motivated you to leave the home you care so much for?

Associated Skills: Insight, streetwise

Associated ritual: Object reading (AP)

Messiah

I have a duty—I must show my people the path.”

Like the visionaries who led humanity out of Parosea, you have a duty. Blessed with the ability to glimpse the road ahead, you must guide and protect your people as they seek their destiny. You recognise and accept this duty—but is regret also there in your heart? Do you doubt your own abilities, or is your resolve firm and unyielding? Do you worry for a home or family you left behind, or has your calling kept you from forming such bonds? And what, then, of your current companions?

Associated Skills: Diplomacy, intimidate

Associated ritual: Battlefield Elocution (D366)

Awakened Feats

The following feats include this heritage as a prerequisite.

Circle of Fate

Prerequisite: Abilen, Awakened or Gremblin

Benefit: When you or one of your allies misses all targets with an attack power, the next creature to attack one of those targets gains a +1 bonus to hit with that attack.

Fates Intertwined

Prerequisites: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: As long as you have at least 1 power point remaining, you ignore partial concealment, and treat full concealment as partial concealment.

Independent Thought

Prerequisite: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: You can still take minor actions while stunned.

Lion of War

Prerequisite: Awakened

Benefit: You may use your Wisdom modifier instead of your Strength modifier to determine attack and damage rolls for warlord powers.

Memory of Flame

Prerequisite: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: When you deal fire damage to an enemy not marked by you, that enemy cannot move closer to you until the end of its next turn.

Memory of Pain

Prerequisite: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: When you cause an enemy to take ongoing damage with a psionic or psychic power, the ongoing damage is increased by 1 per tier.

Memory of the Void

Prerequisite: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: Enemies take a -2 penalty to saving throws against fear effects caused by you.

Mindshield

Prerequisite: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: As long as you have at least one power point remaining, you gain a +2 bonus to AC against opportunity attacks.

Categories:

Bannyr

Big-hearted giantkin, hardy and belligerent

Bannyr Heritage Traits

Game mechanics for the bannyr heritage are identical to the dwarf race detailed in the D&D 4e official rulebooks, except as noted below. For all other mechanical purposes (including feats, paragon paths, etc.), bannyr is simply an alternative name for dwarf.

Average Height: 180-208cm (5’11”-6’10”)
Average Weight: 105-174kg (230-380 lb.)

Giantkin: You have the giant subtype.

Plowshares to Swords: Bannyr have a long tradition of turning peacetime tools into weapons of war. You gain proficiency with the battleaxe and the warhammer. This benefit replaces Dwarven Weapon Proficiency.

Burly giants with a penchant for brawling and intoxication, the bannyr have an enduring reputation as fierce—if not especially shrewd—warriors. Once sea raiders from nearby Aethys, they were among the Brandish tribes who first settled in Alm during the Age of Beasts, and would eventually go on the found mighty Brandeis.

As the predominant species among the original Brands, the bannyri are inextricably linked to Brandish culture; even today, most of them still live within Brandeis and embody its cultural stereotypes. Placing great weight on traditional rivalries, they love nothing more than brawling amongst themselves—that is, until an outside force draws their ire.

Play a bannyr if you want…

  • to be a broadly good-natured lout.
  • to protect what is yours with unreasonable force.
  • to approach animosity with a sense of fun.

Physical Qualities

Bannyr look much like oversized humans—so much that scholars have proposed they may have been the “source material” from which humans were made. They typically stand six to seven feet tall, with solid trunks and thick limbs, and rugged chiselled features. Their hands are large and their feet broad, making them sturdy and powerful, but not especially nimble.

Though they aren’t considered beast-kin, bannyr are often likened to bears in Brandish lore; their name itself means “bear hands”, referring to the leathery pads on their palms and the soles of their feet. They also have naturally dark, thick, opaque fingernails and toenails, which can look like claws at a glance.

Bannyr skin, eye and hair colours typically match those of humans, though red and blonde hair seem particularly common in bannyr. Long, braided or knotted hair is overwhelmingly popular, to the point that it has become a traditional point of pride for many bannyr families. Brandish art centres around similar cord and knot motifs, with intricately twisted lines being a sure sign of bannyri influence.

Playing a Bannyr

The bannyr have a reputation for good humour and welcoming hearth. Other creatures often migrate to Brandish territory, and the bannyr take great pride in bragging that their mighty land can support multitudes. This is an important display of strength, passed down by Brayden Bloodmane herself; only the strong can afford gifts like trust or mercy, so what better way to show that Brandeis fears nothing from her enemies? Not coincidentally, this fits well with the ancient bannyri values of indulgence, enthusiasm, and brawling at a moment’s notice.

Though they wander far and wide, bannyr rarely live outside of Brandeis. Most think of themselves in terms of nation before race; all Brands are kin, whether or not they are bannyri. However, they also remain thinly-spread enough to represent a plurality of cultures, each clan retaining its own distinct identity. This is especially true of those who live close to Brandeis’ many borders, who often integrate appealing parts of their neighbouring cultures.

Most bannyri adventurers are bravos, warriors seeking to prove their might and enjoy themselves on the way. Among adventurers, they have a reputation for being sturdy and reliable companions, as much able to lift spirits in a tavern as lift axes on the battlefield.

Bannyr are perceived as… Rowdy, territorial, indulgent, fierce, enthusiastic, rude, friendly, emotional, forthright, loud, boisterous, cheerful.

Given Names: Brayden, Conor, Elwyn, Strathen, Brann, Fionn, Amareth, Amnil, Nolan, Finn, Tiergan, Ellis, Luin, Tharald, Chaia, Lairne, Farley, Almedha, Adnis, Ruskin.

In addition to one or more given names, bannyr also carry a traditional clan name. The eight great clans are those whose lands became the Brandish states—Albion, Ironhilt, Adelhae, Kurast, Navorey, Woodfall, Saffron and Aragon—but there are also countless minor clans associated with each one.

Bannyr Backgrounds

Nothing found.

Bannyr Feats

Nothing found.

Categories:

Eladrin

Insular aristocrats who value honour and tradition

Almish Eladrin Heritage Traits

Game mechanics for the Almish eladrin are identical to the eladrin race detailed in the D&D 4e official rulebooks, except as noted below.

Average Height: 170-195cm (5′ 7″-6’5″)
Average Weight: 59-82kg (130-180 lb.)

Stolen Life: Your distant ancestors linked their bloodlines to the magic of the feywild, giving you the fey origin.

An ancient people who once colonised much of Alm, the eladrin are infamous for their elaborate social structures and restrained dignity. They would have themselves known as the descendants of the first fey, but the truth is a darker secret; in the ancient past, their ancestors attempted to steal eternal life from the feywild, causing a calamity that forever closed Alm’s permanent feywild gates.

Though it is never spoken, the eladrin are actually responsible for two of Alm’s great empires; the powerful Calanshae, built by those who sought to explore and colonise, and the ancient separatist island of Sorairo. Political differences fractured these two factions long ago, and today neither group acknowledges any connection to the other; even the sylvan word “eladrin” is unheard of in Sorairo, where they call themselves only “Soratami”.

With a history of elevating themselves over “lesser” cultures, both Calan and Soratami eladrin are seen as arrogant at best. Even as they are held firmly in check by the Brands and their allies, their countries’ paternalism has won them little affection among non-eladrin, who rightly suspect they still consider themselves superior.

Play an Almish eladrin if you want…

  • to keep your companions at arms’ length.
  • to consider yourself smartest person in the room.
  • to strongly respect—or pointedly defy—your nation’s strict traditions.

Eladrin and Soratami

Prior to July 2022, Skies of Escarnum presented the soratami as a distinct heritage in name only, whose mechanics were synonymous with eladrin. In the interest of reducing “subrace” complications, information included in that description has now been folded into this page, or the page for their homeland of Sorairo.

Physical Qualities

Almish eladrin are tall, slender humanoids known for their grace and regal bearing. They have no facial or bodily hair save for eyebrows and lashes, and tend toward thin builds with narrow shoulders and hips. They display little sexual dimorphism, and their delicate features present a generally feminised androgyny by the standards of a human.

Eladrin skin tone is typically very pale and vaguely pearlescent, giving them an otherwordly appearance that is either instantly enchanting, or mildly unsettling. Like their hair, it comes in a variety of rainbow hues, though invariably in soft, pale pastels. Eye colours have a similar range of hues, but are often strikingly dark by comparison.

Most eladrin wear their hair very long, carefully bound up in elaborate fashion. Those in high society paint both skin and hair with incredibly intricate designs, which are considered all the more beautiful for their ephemeral nature. Adventurers tend to tone this down by necessity, but most still favour complex styles that require significant effort, perhaps to imply their aesthetic superiority.

Playing Almish Eladrin

Most eladrin are raised to be be aloof, insular, and convinced of their own superiority. Perhaps due to their long lifespans, they tend to be conservative and rigid in their ideas, preferring the company of their own kind and the traditions of their own lands. This includes a great importance placed on etiquette and outward appearance, and the belief that it is uncouth to ruin one’s dignified front by allowing excessive emotion. Typically, these ideals create an impression of smug haughtiness that other peoples rarely find endearing.

Most eladrin exist in a world of courtly intrigue, elaborate social rituals and constant deception. Their dealings are polite and civilised, but never kind. Although this encourages widespread distrust, it also considered a sign of respect—the acknowledgement that your fellows have the cunning and the mettle to threaten you.

Although some eladrin reject this attitude when they become adventurers, they often bring it with them, making them something of a gamble as allies. Other adventurers frequently view them as disloyal and paranoid, untrustworthy when the stakes are high. Ultimately, many eladrin adventurers prefer to remain detached, viewing their parties as business associates rather than companions.

Almish Eladrin are perceived as… Aloof, cunning, arcane, proud, aloof, graceful, polite, smug, aesthetic, perfectionist, insular, erudite, honourable, structured, strict, patient, dignified.

Names: Calanish eladrin use elven names, but with a preference for longer and more elaborate words. Name meanings are considered very important in society, as they are an extra change to show off one’s wit with a clever double-meaning or reference.

Soratami eladrin have as many as five given names, forming elaborate titles written with a special alphabet and taken from a limited pool. Every name carries the weight of history—most children hope to have the honour of inheriting names from important forebears. A Soratami’s names belong not to an individual, but to their entire family, and all those who have carried the names before.

Soratami Given Names: Akeshi, Amaya, Baiken, Emiko, Haruka, Hidatsu, Kanae, Koujiro, Kurai, Masaru, Naoko, Saori, Shiki, Tenseikou, Uyoku, Yasuo.

New Eladrin Backgrounds

Nothing found.

Soratami Backgrounds

Courtly Outcast

“My departure was deemed… prudent.”

Although you are a native of Sorairo, you have somehow lost the favour of your peers, cast out of courtly society until you can redeem yourself. What happened to bring such shame upon you—and was it legitimate, or the work of an underhanded rival? Were you cast out by force, or did you leave on your own to save face? Will you eventually win back your former status, or discover something even more valuable?

Associated Skills: History, religion

Associated ritual: Seek Rumour (FRPG)

Shadow Warrior

“There is but one virtue greater than honour, and it is duty.”

The society of soratami is built on millennia of strict political structures and codified behaviour. Soratami leaders need to appear beyond mortal failings, yet they are still mortal; how, then, can they be divine and infallible? To allow your exalted leaders to occupy such a role, you have taken on the heavy mantle of the shadow warrior. Unseen by mortals and by history, you do what your master cannot, sacrificing your own honour to maintain the celestial order.

Associated Skills: Diplomacy, thievery

Associated ritual: Hidden Pocket (MP2)

Trailblazer

“Ignoring the lesser races will lead to our stagnation.”

Though your family may not have been pleased, you are one of the proud few who willingly chose to leave your homeland. Perhaps you see some value in the “lesser races” that your peers do not, or perhaps you are fascinated by their alien ways. Do you aim to bridge the gap between your insular people and the races of the mainland? Or are you happy to leave your own kin behind, if that is what it takes?

Associated Skills: Diplomacy, streetwise

Associated ritual: Comprehend Language (PHB)

New Eladrin Feats

Nothing found.

Categories:

Elf

Children of the feywild, descendants of a race long forgotten

When Alm was still young, its connection the Feywild was deep and powerful. Two gates stood permanently open between the planes of the fey and the mortal, flooding the land with the energy from which all life sprung. Around them grew the twin forests of Heartwood and Deepwood, wildernesses deep and impenetrable, filled with giant vegetation and impossible fey beasts.

Here, sheltered beneath the mighty canopies, a new kind of creature came to be. Equally fey and mortal, they were born into bodies native to the mortal plane, yet connected eternally to life itself—never to age, and never to die. These timeless ancients walked alongside the primal beasts and held the forest as their sanctuary, unconcerned with the world beyond.

It is not understood why, or how, the ancient gates were sealed. Tales of war and calamity abound, but all that is truly known is that the ancient fey have vanished, and the gates now stand closed. Those who failed to retreat into the Wild, so the story says, became the first truly mortal fey—eventually called “elves”.

Play an Almish elf if you want…

  • to be swift, agile and observant.
  • to be at home in the wilds, but not wild yourself.
  • to deal with the impact of colonialism.

Physical Qualities

Almish elves stand a little shorter than a human on average, and are typically of slender build; athletic individuals are typically wiry and sinuous rather than bulky. Their fine features and long, pointed ears are very much like those of eladrin, though they usually project a less haughty demeanour.

Where eladrin are pale, elves have skin of dark, earthy tones—rarely lighter than a moderate tan, usually a very deep brown. They lack the bodily hair of humans, but grow extremely fine hair uniformly over their skin, making it slightly velvety to the touch. Their hair and eyes are most often some shade of green, but red, orange and brown are also common.

Natural elves sport two short, elegant horns curving back along their crown, much like those of an antelope. Although these have no apparent function, they are traditionally decorated with small ornaments or painted patterns—a courageous elf may even carve a pattern into their surface. However, the eladrin-dominated Calanish society encourages that elven infants have their horns removed at birth, to better fit in amongst “polite company”.

Traditional elven craft favours flowing linework that curves endlessly back and forth around itself to form an intricate pattern. Those who make their home in Deepwood usually favour these motifs strongly in their personal belongings, making a point of preserving an aesthetic that the Calans have done much to erase.

Playing an Almish Elf

The elves of Alm have a long and rich history, but all of it has been dramatically overshadowed by the coming of the eladrin. While they formed an alliance as equals, the eldarin saw it as their duty to “enlighten” the elves; ultimately, their success in the war lent them the power to consume and supplant elven customs and beliefs.

Today, elves find themselves quickly reduced to their relationship with this history; as Calans they are either complacent peasants or angry rabble-rousers, or in Deepwood they are noble, savage warriors. Of course, elves are as diverse as any other species, so frustration with this lack of nuance unites them more often than any other factor.

Elves in the greater world know that they must avoid or confront these ideas eventually. Elven adventurers often choose to keep their allies at arms’ length, rather than spending the considerable energy required to educate them. However, some choose a more confrontational path, believing that their companions are worth the effort. Often, such adventurers are motivated by a particular need to explore, that they might become worldly and well-informed beyond reproach.

New Elf Backgrounds

Nothing found.

New Elf Feats

Nothing found.

Categories:

Equitarn

Example of an equitarn PC

Stoic equine giants violently displaced from their traditional home

Equitarn Heritage Traits

Average Height: 290 – 320cm (9’6″-10’6″)
Average Weight: 680 – 907kg (1,500-2,000 lb.)

Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution or Wisdom
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Normal

Languages: Common, plus any one
Skill Bonuses: +2 Endurance, +2 Athletics

Beast Kin: Your ancestors were amongst the many beast-kin who once ruled Alm. You are considered both a beast and a humanoid for the purpose of effects that relate to creature type.

Pack Mule: When determining your normal load, heavy load, or maximum drag load, you treat your Strength score as 5 points higher.

Stubborn: You gain a +5 bonus to saving throws against effects that daze, stun or dominate.

Rock Solid: You have the rock solid background power.

Rock SolidEquitarn Heritage Power
By stopping still and holding your ground, you become a truly immoveable object.
Encounter
Move Action • Personal
Effect: Until the beginning of your next turn, you are immobilised and cannot be pushed, pulled or slid.

Traditional occupants of the Almish grasslands, equitarn are an ancient beast-kin people who resemble humanoid horses. Historically, the equitarn were nomads, who formed small social groups which met and mingled as they traversed the Grasslands. However, they suffered tremendous losses during the War of Empires, which forced many to leave their traditional home and adapt to living in foreign lands.

Although many equitarn were able to return after the war, their displacement and diaspora remain significant cultural scars. Today, many have grown up having little or no knowledge of their traditional home and culture. Nevertheless—wherever they may be—their size and strength makes them popular candidates for any form of manual labour, and certainly for adventuring.

Play an equitarn if you want…

  • to be a massive, unmoveable foe.
  • to act slowly, but decisively.
  • to consider the effects of lingering diaspora.

Physical Qualities

Equitarn are gigantic, barrel-chested humanoids, taller even than jotun and bannyr at their largest. Much like horses, some are naturally thick-limbed and solid, while others are lean and statuesque—even as they tower over most other folk. Sex seems to have little influence on their size or weight.

Equitarn have human-like faces, but with a broad, high bridge to the nose, and an elongated jaw that’s almost—but not quite—a muzzle. They have short, smooth coats that display various equine patterns, and mane-like hair on a scalp that reaches down the neck, even to the shoulders. Their hides and manes come in any colour found among horses, and they typically have yellow, orange or deep brown eyes.

Naturally hardy, equitarn usually opt for simple, sparse clothing that does not hamper movement. They rarely choose to wear armour, but when they do it resembles horse barding—though rare is the equitarn who will willingly serve as a mount. Their fingers and toes are capped with hard keratin not unlike a hoof, so they often go barefoot in any terrain.

Equitarn have somewhat shorter lifespans than humans and grow quickly, becoming full-grown in less than ten years. Though robust, they have low fertility rates; births are typically celebrated, and children cared for eagerly by the entire community.

Playing an Equitarn

The archetypal equitarn is stoic and reserved, wasting few words on emotional matters. They prefer careful reasoning to rash decisions, but once their minds are made up, they are resolute in their choices. Their experience during the war galvanised the cultural importance they place on family and community; wherever they live and whoever they perceive their family to be, an equitarn will likely do anything in their power to keep them safe.

Grasslander equitarn rarely become adventurers for the sake of their own interests, but can frequently be found acting as bodyguards for less hardy creatures. Their traditional culture also values the idea of “long memory”; one should take care to repay debts and answer wrongdoing, for the good of the entire group. Often, dying equitarn pass unsettled scores on to their next-of-kin, a responsibility treated with great solemnity.

For equitarn born in industrialised areas, adventuring is more likely to be a simple career choice; there’s always room in a company for a big, imposing heavy who doesn’t mind carrying an extra pack.

Equitarn are perceived as… Loyal, calm, dependable, stoic, stubborn, cautious, vengeful, patient, placid, momentous.

Example names: Alder, Autumn, Bank, Briar, Bracken, Calyx, Dust, Eve, Maple, Oak, Rust, Smoke, Storm, Teak, Trace, Thorn.

Most equitarn names come from an aspect of nature significant to their birth; a particular type of tree, for example, or the time of year they were born.

Equitarn Backgrounds

Day Labourer

“One, two, three – heave!”

While others of your kind yearn for the freedom of the open plains, your world is that of the city. Wherever goods need to be hauled or structures built, there is always work for a strong pair of arms and a steady back. With a reputation for reliability and diligence, equitarn labourers rarely have difficulty finding work. Do you live up to that reputation, or are you using it to cover a private lazy streak? Who is your current employer, and how do they feel about you taking up with an adventuring party?

Associated skills: Athletics, endurance

Associated ritual: Feat of strength (FRPG)

Herd-Lost Wanderer

“There is nothing left for me here.”

Though you chose the life of the herd, your family was somehow taken from you. What happened to them, and who was responsible? Did they fall to the ravages of nature, or to deliberate warfare—and how were you spared? Do you seek revenge? Do you regard your current group as your new family, or do you believe that nothing can truly replace your old herd?

Associated skills: Nature, endurance

Associated ritual: Long-distance runner (MP2)

Indebted Bodyguard

“I go where you go.”

For some reason, you owe a debt of gratitude to one of your companions. Perhaps they helped you directly, or maybe their ancestor did you a great service. Perhaps you even agreed to inherit the debt of a herd member who passed away. Either way, your duty to repay this debt is even more important than your home and family, and you are a loyal guardian to your charge—whether they like it or not.

Associated skills: Intimidate, insight

Associated ritual: Warded campsite (MP2)

Equitarn Feats

The following feats include this heritage as a prerequisite.

Blade Catcher

Prerequisite: Equitarn

Benefit: While you do not wield any crafted weapons and are not using a shield, you gain a +2 bonus to your AC and Reflex defences.

Bullheaded

Prerequisite: Equitarn

Benefit: You can move through squares occupied by enemies marked by you.

Caveat Imperator

Prerequisite: Equitarn, Leader

Benefit: Whenever an ally charges, you gain a +2 feat bonus to speed until the end of your next turn.

Centre of Gravity

Prerequisite: Equitarn

Benefit: As long as three or more enemies are adjacent to you, any enemy that begins its turn flanking you cannot move away from you during that turn.

Cleave Ranks

Prerequisite: Equitarn

Benefit: When you push, pull or slide an enemy, you can increase the distance of the forced movement by 1, if this puts the enemy in a square that is adjacent to no other enemies.

Communal Instinct

Prerequisite: Abilen, Equitarn or Gremblin

Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and a +2 bonus to damage rolls on attacks granted to you by allies. The damage bonus increases to +4 at Paragon tier and +6 at Epic tier.

Definitive Might

Prerequisite: Gnoll or Equitarn; trained in Intimidate

Benefit: You use your Strength modifier in place of your Charisma modifier on Intimidate checks.

Earth’s Renewal

Prerequisite: Equitarn or Jotun

Benefit: Your total number of healing surges increases by two. You add your Constitution modifier to your healing surge value.

Fortified Defences

Prerequisite: Equitarn

Benefit: When you are wearing heavy armour, you gain a +1 bonus to Fortitude and Will.

Hammer Fists

Prerequisite: Equitarn

Benefit: When you make a melee weapon attack, you can use the hammer fists natural weapon. This is a 2-handed melee weapon in the hammer group. Your hammer fists weapon has a +2 proficiency bonus and deals 2d6 damage. While your hands are free, you are considered the be wielding this weapon. You can enchant and disenchant your fists (as a single weapon). When you disenchant your fists, they do not turn to dust.

Inevitable Might

Prerequisite: Equitarn, Str 15+

Benefit: When you miss all targets with a daily attack power that has no miss effect, each target takes damage equal to your Strength modifier.

Landstrider

Prerequisite: Equitarn or Jotun

Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to exploration speed. When you travel in a group, the group can move at your exploration speed, instead of using the speed of its slowest member.

Mighty Hammer

Prerequisite: Equitarn, Hammer Fists

Benefit: Your hammer fists have a +3 proficiency bonus instead of +2, and grant a +1 bonus per tier to damage rolls.

Mighty Hurl

Prerequisite: Equitarn, Str 15+

Benefit: When you push, pull or slide an enemy with a melee or close attack, you may knock that target prone at the end of the movement.

Natural Armour

Prerequisite: Equitarn

Benefit: When you are wearing light or no armour, you gain a +2 racial bonus to AC.

Rebellious Instinct

Prerequisite: Equitarn

Benefit: When you fail a saving throw against an effect that dazes, stuns, or dominates you, you can make a melee basic attack as a free action. If this attack hits the source of the effect, you get a +5 bonus to your next saving throw against that effect.

Shudderstrike

Prerequisite: Equitarn, Str 15

Benefit: When you make a close or melee attack that targets AC, you may make the attack target Fortitude instead.

Stonewall

Prerequisite: Equitarn, Paragon Tier

Benefit: At the end of your turn, if you did not move during your turn and are immobilised, you gain resist all equal to your Constitution modifier until the beginning of your next turn.

Tower of Fear

Prerequisite: Equitarn or Jotun, trained in Intimidate

Benefit: Foes marked by you suffer a -2 per tier penalty to damage.

Uphill Struggle

Prerequisite: Equitarn, Con 13

Benefit: As long as you are bloodied, you gain a +1 bonus per tier to all defences. When you are on 0 hit points, this bonus is doubled.

Categories:

Felbraug

Example of a felbraug PC

Diminutive rat-folk with an inherent psionic gift

Felbraug Heritage Traits

Average Height: 91 – 137cm (3’6″ – 4’6″)
Average Weight: 27 – 36kg (60 – 80lb.)

Ability Scores: +2 Wisdom, +2 Dexterity or Intelligence
Size: Small
Speed: 7 squares
Vision: Normal

Languages: Fel and Common, plus any one
Skill Bonuses: +2 History

Memory of the Weave: You gain a +2 to all Knowledge skills, and can make checks with Knowledge skills untrained.

Psionic Endowment: You gain one power point, which you can use to augment psionic powers and feats with the augmentable keyword, as if you had the psionic augmentation class feature. You are considered to have the psionic augmentation class feature for the sake of feats, paragon paths and other requirements.

Threads of Fate: You have the threads of fate heritage power.

Threads of FateFelbraug Heritage Power
In a brief flash of psychic insight, you see the ideal point to strike down your foe.
Encounter • Psionic, Augmentable
Free Action • Personal
Trigger: You would make an attack roll.
Effect: You make the attack roll twice and choose one.
Augment 1:
Effect: You make the attack roll twice and choose one. If both attack rolls hit, the target takes extra psychic damage equal to 1d8 + your Wisdom modifier.
Level 11: 2d8 + your Wisdom modifier.
Level 21: 3d8 + your Wisdom modifier.

Diminutive, rodent-like creatures who share a psionic gift, felbraug were stumbled upon by humans when the newcomers colonised Independence. In the layers of ancient buildings below the island’s surface, these mysterious creatures had survived for countless generations in the ruins of what had come before. The felbraug brought with them stories of a “precursor” civilisation from the dawn of time, psions who once harnessed untold forces with their tremendous mental might. Then, some terrible tragedy wiped them from the world, leaving only the felbraug to recall them.

The story is considered apocryphal by most other folk, but Alm’s scattered ruins of advanced civilisation, older even than the fey races can recall, lend some veracity to the claim. In any case, the felbraug were greatly excited by the humans’ coming, and eager to work with them as they found their place in Alm. It is whispered in the deepest tunnels that humans and felbraug are kin, their fates forever interwoven on the loom of souls—and that, in time, they will open the way for the precursors to return to Alm.

Play a felbraug if you want…

  • to be a small, speedy combatant.
  • to share your memory and experiences with other members of your kind.
  • to come from the oldest culture in Alm.

Physical Qualities

Felbraug share many physical traits with rats, though they are humanoid in general shape. Short and delicately built, they seem quite frail, often weighing less than a human child; however, they are as durable as any human adult. As a rule, the sex of a felbraug is all but impossible for non-felbraug to distinguish.

Felbraug sport a single long tail extending from the coccyx, and also a series of very fine tails growing from the scalp, forming what appears to be tight braids of hair. Their hands and feet are particularly delicate, with tiny pin-sharp claws.

Felbraug faces are human-like but childish, with a slightly extended muzzle and soft fur up the bridge of the nose. Like rats, felbraug have prominent front teeth on both jaws, which are barely visible when the mouth is closed. Their ears appear long and thin, similar to elven ears; in fact, they are a rubbery membrane stretched between fine bones, which splays into a fan shape when alert.

Felbraug live only slightly longer than humans. However, their appearance and serene attitude—born of their collective racial memory—give them a certain ageless quality, which has led to the myth that they are much longer-lived.

Playing a Felbraug

Felbraug are mysterious, patient creatures who spend a great deal of time observing their surroundings. Although the depths of their tunnels keep ages-old secrets, they are both inquisitive and open-minded. They are always seeking to learn new things—especially since that means sharing such knowledge with their kin. Although they are careful in choosing quests and companions, they are typically eager to pursue new experiences. However, they are often bemused by the social constructs of other races, such as gender and caste, which seem bizarre to their thinking.

As psionic beings, felbraug make no distinction between the concepts of mind and soul; what are either, if not the sum of one’s every experience, emotion and dream? In turn, they view the presence of consciousness as more important than physical form. A “country” to a felbraug is not a place where one lives, but rather the community of people who live there.

The felbraug race has its own philosophy on life and death. To them, the world is a never-ending ebb and flow, where souls die in one life to begin anew in another. They call this cycle “the weave” or “the pattern”, likening the universe itself to a great loom where endless threads are woven into one cloth. Felbraug share a sort of collective memory, a pool of knowledge from which they can all occasionally draw; they claim that this too comes from the weave, a place where an open mind eye can briefly glimpse the pattern that describes all truths.

Felbraug are perceived as… Thoughtful, introspective, perceptive, wise, exotic, philosophical, curious, patient, mysterious.

Names: Archer, Brewer, Caller, Carter, Hunter, Mender, Runner, Seeker, Smith, Speaker, Trapper, Wayfinder, Weaver, Wright.

Fel names are unpronounceable to non-psionic beings, so they typically adopt the name of their job when dealing with other races.

Felbraug Backgrounds

Contemplative

“There is a lesson to be learned here.”

Like many of your kin, your life has led you to the way of contemplation, the pursuit of enlightenment by harmonising mind and body. The path you walk is that of discovery—every new experience, every piece of knowledge, furthers your understanding of the weave, and of your true strength. Do you walk this path with discipline, through temperance and careful study? Or do you seek enlightenment in joy and beauty? More importantly, how has your path led you here?

Associated skills: Religion, history

Associated ritual: Last sight vision (OG)

Kinseeker

“You are not Fel, but I sense in you the soul of my kin.”

Felbraug revere the weave, the pattern of souls dying and being reborn. Most are reborn into their own race, but sometimes, they join another species for a time, gaining valuable experiences which will be woven into the great pattern once they die. You are one chosen to seek out these “errant felbraug”, to watch over them as they carry out this important duty. Do you serve one of your party members, believing them to be such a soul? Or is your search yet unfulfilled?

Associated skills: Insight, diplomacy

Associated ritual: Comprehend language (PHB)

Loom-child

“The weave guides my path.”

Once every so often, a felbraug is born whose connection to the weave is so strong, they can hear the voices of the ancestors. You are an individual so blessed, who carries the hopes and dreams of those gone before. Your ancestors are always watching over you, but their guidance is not always welcome. Do you agree with their wisdom, or do you think they misunderstand your place in the pattern? Do you find it hard to live up to their expectations, or are you every bit the golden child they believe you to be?

Associated skills: History, perception

Associated ritual:Hand of fate (PHB)

Felbraug Feats

The following feats include this heritage as a prerequisite.

Fates Intertwined

Prerequisites: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: As long as you have at least 1 power point remaining, you ignore partial concealment, and treat full concealment as partial concealment.

Fel Claws

Prerequisite: Felbraug

Benefit: When you make a weapon attack, you can use your claw, which is a weapon in the light blade weapon group. This weapon has the off-hand weapon property and a +3 proficiency bonus, and it deals 1d6 damage. While you aren’t holding anything, you are considered have this weapon in each hand. You can enchant and disenchant your claws. When you disenchant your claws, they do not turn to dust.

Fel Strike

Prerequisite: Felbraug, Fel Claws feat

Benefit: You can swap one 1st-level at-will power you know for the fel strike power.

Fel StrikeFeat Power
The power of your mind is always present, even in the simplest of motions.
At-Will • Psionic, Weapon, Augmentable
Standard Action • Melee Weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Wis vs AC
Hit: 1[W] + Wisdom modifier damage.
Level 21: 2[W] + Wisdom modifier
Special: You can use this power in place of a melee basic attack.
Augment 1:
Hit: 2[W] + Wisdom modifier damage, and the target is dazed until the end of your next turn.
Level 21: 3[W] + Wisdom modifier

Independent Thought

Prerequisite: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: You can still take minor actions while stunned.

Lurking Light

Prerequisite: Felbraug, Kobold or Gremblin; Leader role

Benefit: When you grant an attack to an ally, enemies from whom you are hidden grant combat advantage to that ally until the end of your next turn.

Memory of Flame

Prerequisite: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: When you deal fire damage to an enemy not marked by you, that enemy cannot move closer to you until the end of its next turn.

Memory of Pain

Prerequisite: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: When you cause an enemy to take ongoing damage with a psionic or psychic power, the ongoing damage is increased by 1 per tier.

Memory of the Void

Prerequisite: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: Enemies take a -2 penalty to saving throws against fear effects caused by you.

Mindshield

Prerequisite: Awakened or Felbraug

Benefit: As long as you have at least one power point remaining, you gain a +2 bonus to AC against opportunity attacks.

Mindslip

Prerequisite: Felbraug, Battlemind

Benefit: Whenever you augment your battlemind’s demand power, you may slide yourself or all targets of your battlemind’s demand power 1 square.

Path of Iron

Prerequisite: Felbraug, Battlemind

Benefit: Whenever you use your blurred step power, enemies cannot willingly enter the squares you move through until the end of your next turn.

Read the Weave

Prerequisite: Felbraug

Benefit: During a round in which you are surprised, you can still take a move action.

Scorn Earth

Prerequisite: Felbraug

Benefit: As long as you have at least one power point remaining, you ignore difficult terrain.

Shared Soul

Prerequisite: Felbraug, Ardent

Benefit: You can choose any ally in the area of your mantle as the origin square for your Ardent attack powers.

Swift Shepherd

Prerequisite: Felbraug, Ardent

Benefit: Whenever an ally uses a healing surge granted by your ardent surge ability, you can shift a number of squares equal to your dexterity modifier.

Think Fast

Prerequisite: Felbraug

Benefit: As long as you have at least one power point remaining, you gain a +1 feat bonus to speed. This bonus increases to +2 at 11th level.

Weavewrack

Prerequisite: Felbraug, Battlemind

Benefit: When you use your mindspike power, the target suffers a penalty to damage equal to your dexterity modifier, until the end of your next turn.

Categories:

Gnoll

Mightiest of the beast-kin, the former rulers of Alm

Almish Gnoll Heritage Traits

Game rules for the Almish gnoll are identical to the gnoll race detailed in the D&D 4e official rulebooks, except as noted below.

Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution or Strength

Languages: Bestial and Common.

Primal Beast: Your ancestors were amongst the many beast-kin who once ruled Alm. You are considered both a beast and a humanoid for the purpose of effects that relate to creature type. For the purpose of effects relating to beast form, you are considered to always be in beast form.

In Alm’s distant past, the lands were shared by countless beast-kin tribes of all types. The most powerful of these were the gnolls, whose strength and numbers allowed them to dominate less powerful folk for millennia. Arrayed in matriarchal clans from one side of Alm to the other, these brutal warlords lost their absolute dominance only after the Calans came to power. Even after centuries of war between the two empires, it took the mythic hero Brayden Bloodmane—and the combined might of the bannyri clans—to finally break the gnolls.

Though the pride of conquerors still burns in them, the gnolls are now an empire in decline. The territory of Beasthome is their final stronghold, the only land where they still enjoy complete dominance. Increasingly, their leaders are beginning to understand that if they are to have any place in their changing world, they must begin to form relationships with other cultures.

As it stands, most gnolls are still hostile toward other races. Outsiders are no longer treated as prey, but they are still foes in a war that is ultimately unresolved. The typical gnoll still lives fast, breeds quickly and dies surrounded by their enemies.

Any active advocate for peace can expect to be cast out of their clan, most likely to face a future of scorn and fear. These few often become adventurers—hard-bitten survivors, seeking to rise above their totalitarian history. Many remain outcast to the end, but others make genuine efforts to repair past ills, laying the trail for slow but inevitable progress.

Almish gnolls are perceived as… Savage, proud, unforgiving, warlike, decisive, spiritualistic, domineering, capable, standoffish.

Names: Blackheart, Bladeclaw, Bloodburn, Bonesaw, Deadscar, Denward, Godhand, Longtooth, Redfang, Stonefist, Warcry.

Gnollish names are given in bestial, largely unpronounceable to foreigners. However, to make their achievements known to their enemies, most translate their names into common as well.

New Gnoll Feats

The following feats include this heritage as a prerequisite.

Blood Fury

Prerequisite: Gnoll

Benefit: The first time you bloody an enemy during an encounter, you gain a +1 bonus per tier to damage rolls until the end of the encounter.

Blood Hunt

Prerequisite: Gnoll, Warlord

Benefit: Whenever an ally taking advantage of your commanding presence feature misses all targets, that ally regains an Action Point at the end of their turn and may spend it during this combat.

Blood Magus

Prerequisite: Gnoll

Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus per tier to attack rolls with arcane powers. When you are bloodied, you gain an additional +1 to attack rolls and +2 to damage rolls per tier with arcane attack powers.

Brutal Display

Prerequisite: Gnoll

Benefit: When you reduce an opponent to 0 or fewer hit points, each enemy who can see you suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls and damage rolls until the beginning of your next turn. This is a fear effect.

Definitive Might

Prerequisite: Gnoll or Equitarn; trained in Intimidate

Benefit: You use your Strength modifier in place of your Charisma modifier on Intimidate checks.

Hounding Harrier

Prerequisite: Gnoll, Leader

Benefit: Whenever an ally misses all targets with a basic attack granted by you, you can make a melee basic attack against one missed target as a free action.

Howl of Command

Prerequisite: Gnoll, Warlord, brash assault power

Benefit: At the end of a charge, you can use brash assault in place of a melee basic attack.

Savage Hunt

Prerequisite: Gnoll or Wilderskin

Benefit: If a bloodied enemy is threatened by you and at least one ally, you gain combat advantage against that enemy.

Savage Scion

Prerequisite: Jotun or Gnoll; Paladin

Benefit: You gain a +3 feat bonus to your healing surge value. The bonus increases to +4 at 11th level and +5 at 21st level.

Your paladin powers and paladin paragon path powers are primal as well as divine.

Shield of Blood

Prerequisite: Gnoll, Paragon Tier

Benefit: At the beginning of your turn, you can choose to take 10 damage which cannot be reduced in any way. If you do, you gain resist all 5 until the start of your next turn.

Thirst of the Beast

Prerequisite: Gnoll

Benefit: The first time you become bloodied during an encounter, you regain the use of your ferocious charge power.

Categories:

Gremblin (Almish Goblin)

Pint-sized scroungers, full of community spirit

Gremblin Heritage Traits

Except as specified below, game mechanics for the gremblin are identical to the goblin race detailed in the D&D 4e official rulebooks. For all other mechanical purposes (including feats, paragon paths, etc.), gremblin is simply an alternative name for goblin.

Average Height: 100 – 112cm (3’4″ – 3’8″)
Average Weight: 70 – 100kg (155 – 220lb.)

Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity or Wisdom
Languages: Common, plus any one.

Trash eater: Your remarkable digestion means no food is off limits. You are immune to disease and to consumable poisons.

Goblin Hoard: As long as you are not in combat, you can spend a few minutes to produce a mundane, non-living item of your choice from an unspecified location on your person. The item must be small and light enough for you to carry without exceeding a normal load. The item functions exactly as normal, except it has no sale value and breaks after your next short rest.

Gremblin Scramble: You may choose the Gremblin Scramble heritage power instead of the Goblin Tactics heritage power.

Gremblin ScrambleGremblin Heritage Power
You scuttle beneath your opponent’s attack, leaving them stumbling wildly into under their own momentum.
Encounter
Opportunity ActionClose burst 1
Trigger: An enemy makes a melee attack that includes you as a target.
Target: The triggering enemy
Effect: You shift into any other square adjacent to the target. Then, you slide the target into the square you vacated.

Gremblins have dwelt in Alm since antiquity, but have spent most of their history being regarded as a sub-sentient race by the likes of Calanshae and Brandeis. Even today, many folk regard them as unintelligent monsters, taking their lowly lifestyles as a sign that they simply don’t know any better.

Looking closer reveals the folly of this thinking. Gremblins have a unique culture that values community and safety, and thrives on the excess of more wasteful civilisations. With no tradition of land ownership, gremblins don’t build nations or even cities, but simply settle wherever there is a safe place. Instead of growing crops or raising livestock, they sustain themselves almost entirely by recovering and re-using items discarded by their neighbours.

Thus, gremblins are everywhere in Alm where nearby settlements don’t deliberately drive them out. If they are not met with hostility, they rarely seek out conflict; however, their values are often misunderstood, leading them to mostly stay hidden in their underground warrens. To those who respect them, however, they can be the most stalwart of allies.

Play a gremblin if you want…

  • to make use of other peoples’ garbage.
  • to surprise those who look down on you.
  • to make your party into your family.

Physical Qualities

Gremblins are small, round creatures with solid bodies, short arms and legs, and stubby fingers. They stand less than half the height of a human, even including their ears, though they weigh far more than one might expect. Their skin might be any shade of grey or brown, from an inky black to a warm white, and is usually scattered randomly with darker or lighter patches.

A gremblin has an oval-shaped head, rather like an overfilled dumpling, topped by rabbit-like ears anchored at the very top of the skull. The ears pivot to a wide variety of angles, making them a key component of gremblin body language. They have a powerful jaw with a pronounced underbite, which reveals their short, thick fangs. Their noses are small and snubbed, barely noticeable from a distance.

With large, wide eyes and small pupils, Gremblins can seem permanently on high alert. However, their eyesight is mediocre, and they rely more on their exceptional non-visual senses to experience their surroundings.

A gremblin actually has a slightly longer lifespan than a human, though frequently cut tragically short. Their biology seems strongly tied to periods of wax and wane, so many gremblings are often born at once during times of plenty.

Playing a Gremblin

Gremblins have a reputation for boundless frenetic energy, but the truth is that most need to be quick to survive. Existing in the spaces left by bigger and meaner creatures, they have learned to be alert, observant, and quick to flee. Even as adventurers, they are rarely at rest outside of their secure spaces, and in response they tend to busy themselves with whatever work they can find.

In gremblin communities, family is more important than anything—and everybody is family. In times of hardship, gremblins think nothing of taking essential supplies from those who have an excess, and in times of plenty they are eager to share. This carries over into the adventuring life, where a gremblin typically views everything as community property, and makes it their business to see nothing is wasted.

With no concerns over disease, most gremblins are very hands-on in social situations. Gremblin culture considers it quiet normal to paw, sniff and even lick most everything you come across, including other people—something for which few non-gremblins are prepared.

An adventurer gremblin is new idea to most creatures, so those who choose this life have a difficult road ahead. “Bigguns” often need time to adjust to gremblin values—but once they learn how to share, even humans can make excellent allies.

Gremblins are perceived as… Humble, uneducated, energetic, thrifty, hardy, sticky-fingered, shy, secretive, opportunistic, creative, frantic, wary, gluttonous, cowardly.

Example names: Arby, Banmi, Bao, Brouff, Gumi, Kino, Nodel, Kupo, Maro, Miso, Nacho, Perogi, Poto, Sbubby, Tikel, Zucci. Gremblins collect names like they collect garbage; frequently, and without regard for their original purpose.

Many thanks to the Alpha Flight hosts and chat community of Desert Bus 2021 who kindly contributed their name suggestions for my precious monster babies!—Fox

Gremblin Backgrounds

Nothing found.

Gremblin Feats

The following feats include this heritage as a prerequisite.

Circle of Fate

Prerequisite: Abilen, Awakened or Gremblin

Benefit: When you or one of your allies misses all targets with an attack power, the next creature to attack one of those targets gains a +1 bonus to hit with that attack.

Communal Instinct

Prerequisite: Abilen, Equitarn or Gremblin

Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and a +2 bonus to damage rolls on attacks granted to you by allies. The damage bonus increases to +4 at Paragon tier and +6 at Epic tier.

Lurking Light

Prerequisite: Felbraug, Kobold or Gremblin; Leader role

Benefit: When you grant an attack to an ally, enemies from whom you are hidden grant combat advantage to that ally until the end of your next turn.

Overthrow

Prerequisite: Gremblin, gremblin scramble heritage power

Benefit: When you use your Gremblin Scramble heritage power, and the triggering attack either misses or can no longer target you, the triggering enemy also falls prone.

Shared Scramble

Prerequisite: Gremblin, gremblin scramble heritage power

Benefit: When you use your gremblin scramble power, each ally of yours adjacent to the triggering enemy can also shift 1 as an opportunity action. Instead of sliding the triggering enemy into the square you leave, you can instead choose to slide it into any square vacated by one of your allies in this way.

Skitter

Prerequisite: Kobold or Gremblin

Benefit: When you move through a creature’s square, the movement does not provoke opportunity attacks from that creature.

Categories:

Human

Created beings unsure of their identity or purpose

The humans of Escarnum came to Alm from the continent of Parosea, where they were enslaved by their creators, the supernaturally powerful “Overseers”. Kept from learning magic or training warriors, humans languished under this rule for many centuries—until, by some miraculous fortune, the gift of psionic power began to appear amongst their number.

With this aid—and that of their fellow slaves, the mor—the humans finally managed to overthrow and destroy their masters. Then, under the guidance of the awakened, they left their scarred cradle and struck out over a southern land bridge, toward the promised land of Alm.

Here they found the land rich beyond their hopes, and diverse beyond their imagination. Granted a land of their own by the powerful Brands, they settled for a brief time before their alliance quickly splintered into three factions unable to find peace. Through the Establishing War, these would become the three human nations—Aurion, the Kingdom of Light; Tenebrae, the Kingdom of Shadow; and Kalyvas, the Kingdom of Steel.

Playing an Almish Human

In many ways, nobody in Alm fully knows what it means to be human. As slave masters, the Overseers did everything they could to keep humans from developing a shared culture or history. Now, barely more than a generation from their escape, humanity is still discovering themselves—and deciding what they wish to become.

This lack of commonality makes humans versatile and adaptable, but it also means their nations rarely get along well. Aurion staunchly espouses the merits of their state religion, prescribing a correct set of moral values everybody is expected to uphold. Tenebrae embraces a grim pragmatism that finds the power to survive wherever necessary. Kalyvas finds strength in material permanence, rewarding dedicated study and artisanship. Whichever one happens to be their home, most humans who grow up in the three kingdoms are raised with a strong belief in their nation’s values.

Of course, not all humans care for the three kingdoms. The majority living outside the human nations can be found in the shared territory of Faradh, or in the various city-states of Independence. These individuals are likely to view the animosity between the three kingdoms with scorn, particularly if they left of their own accord.

Almish humans are perceived as… Determined, adaptable, opportunistic, interdependent, youthful, uncertain, passionate, rootless, ambitious, unreliable, selfish.

Names: Acacia, Cassius, Celes, Domiel, Enon, Eth, Eulalie, Evander, Fiolessa, Gaius, Lheraz, Lucien, Mordechai, Pietris, Rahel, Sephora, Tanis, Theron, Tyris, Yaryn.

Categories: