Saturday, April 11, 2015

Insectoids


The saurians were the only intelligent life form on the Shattered Isles before the place became unstuck from its original universe. They call themselves the One True Race and dismissively refer to everyone not from the isles as ephemerals. The fact that several other races have immigrated to the isles and not disappeared along with their worlds annoys saurian philosophers to no end, but the rest of their society is quick to capitalize on the opportunities this represents whenever possible.

The first immigrants to the islands were the equally xenophobic insectoids, many of whom never meet anyone from outside their own massive tower-hives. While these powerful psychics aren’t trusted by the saurians (or anyone else for that matter), their chitin weapons, armor, and tools are highly valued in saurian culture, so the insectoids are left alone for the most part. 

In their original hives, the insectoids form a hive mind dominated by the queen of that tower-hive. The insectoid worldview is, if anything, even narrower than that of the saurians. Beyond the hive itself, there is nothing worth caring about except threats to and opportunities for that hive. No two hives have ever been known to work together against a common threat.

These beings are often sent by their queen to trade goods with the saurians for food and other useful items, but they’re hardly ever comfortable with the task, and are highly anxious to get back. Insectoid adventurers usually come in three varieties: those performing some function for their queen, those whose hives have been destroyed, and those who’ve been exiled for some truly heinous act (a fate much worse than death).

RULES AND JUNK:
Note: This is intended for the type of ruleset that uses race as class. If you're using some other D&D that has half orc bards or whatever running around, you can either: 1. let this be the only racial class in your campaign or 2. just ignore the part about automatically advancing as a mage.
>Avg. height/weight: 6’/160 lbs
>Adventuring Age: 10 — 30
>Ability Scores: 4d6 INT, 2d6 END, 2d6 STR
>mantis-like forelimbs are natural weapons, flight at normal walking speed, natural armor as chain mail
>natural weapons act as scythes, or if you use damage-by-class, natural weapon attacks do fighter-level damage
>hit points, saving throws, and other mechanical stuff advances as a magic user (ignore the spells per day chart)
>psychic powers instead of vancian spells
>using powers requires a successful willpower saving throw (or save vs. magic or mind save or whatever); if the save fails the power still has its effect as normal, but costs 1d8 HP (1d2 in my house rules which use super low hit points in comparison to normal D&D)

PSYCHIC POWERS:
Telepathy: Allows the insectoid to communicate without speaking at a distance up to 1 mile or to read surface thoughts of unwilling targets (they notice a tingling sensation). Once formed, the connection lasts for one hour. This ability can also be used to detect the presence, number, and relative location of intelligent and semi-intelligent beings in a 60’ radius.

Telekinesis: Allows insectoids to pick up objects weighing up to 50 lbs per level with their minds. These objects can be “thrown” to do 1d6 damage per 50 lbs, using INT for the attack roll. This ability can also be used to perform delicate operations like picking locks. This would probably require some sort of a skill check but every version of this game seems to have it's own version of that mechanic so every DM will probably have to figure out their own thing. If your game usually uses DEX for lockpicking, use INT instead. In my game you already use INT combined with something called cunning (advances kinda like a reflex save), so I have insectoids use insight (advances kinda like a will save) in conjunction with INT.

Psychic Shield: Protects the insectoid from hostile psychic powers and provides a +4 bonus to armor class. Lasts 10 minutes.

Hypnotism: A chosen victim must save or obey the insectoid’s every command. Victims are allowed another save once per day, and any time they are ordered to do something against their personal moral code. This only works on intelligent beings, and only one being can be hypnotized at a time.

Phantasm: The PC describes an illusion that fools all the senses of any creature, in normal range of those senses, that fails its save. If it seems reasonable that the targets would be scared off by the illusion, then they're saving to avoid running away in terror. The phantasm is under the control of the insectoid (who has no problem maintaining the illusion while fighting or even walking and chewing gum) for 10 minutes, at the end of which it dissolves into nothingness.

Clairvoyance: The insectoid can see and hear through solid objects at a distance of 60’. This ability is blocked by 2’ of solid stone or any thickness of lead. This ability is only active as long as the PC is actively concentrating on it, rather than moving or performing any other actions.

Precognition: The insectoid can see what would happen to it up to one minute in the future, as a direct consequence of performing a particular action. If the answer is unclear to the DM, so is the vision the insectoid receives.

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