Saturday, January 16, 2021

OSR: Playable Races of Nukaria (part 3)

This is a post detailing the races that people the hostile, wild lands of Nukaria's frigid South. 

For the people of the humid, tropical North, look here.  For the people of the temperate Equatorial lands, here.  And if you have favor something more exotic, you can find the Spirit-Touched here and the Half-Dragons here.

Common Races in the Cold South:

Bealars and Bealettes (Beavermen)

                                                           by photoman356


The Blue People as they are known, are a race of blue-skinned humanoids with pointed ears and raven hair.  Their eyes are pure black and they have claws instead of nails.  From their veins flows purple blood, and they blush mauve or violet.  They are a crepuscular species, sensitive to bright light and skilled at operating in the half-light of the stars and moons.  Their religion is one of Moon Worship- unlike other peoples, their homeland has four moons, each of which has a name and separate domain.  Similarly, the Sun is an evil spirit to them, a tormentor and terror of blistering light and searing flame.  They practice strange rites in the witchlight of the stars, where bald-headed priestesses sacrifice animals to their selenic Gods. They are suspicious of other races and largely keep to themselves, restricting foreigners to their borders.  This is of no great loss, say those travelers who have pierced their lands, as they live desolate and humble lives amid the rough country south of the Cold Gates. 

Reroll Stat: COG

Ability: Quarrians have amazing night vision, able to see color and as well as a human can in low-light conditions, as long as their is some light.  Additionally, it takes 10 minutes for their eyes to shift into night vision mode in low-light or 1 minute in near-perfect darkness.  However, if they see any sources of bright light while using their night vision, they must save or be blinded.

Quarrians are sensitive to light and heat.  They receive a -2 penalty to all checks if made when the sun is at its height (12 to 4 pm) or in bright light.  They are fine in the early morning or evening, but once it gets later than that they have trouble seeing.

                                                          by bakarov


The Dwarves are a populous race of infertile males ruled by a ruling class of fertile nobles and their massive, egg-laying Queens who squabble and meddle in each other's affairs, engaging in petty sectarian conflicts for honor and revenge.  Dwarves themselves are honorable, industrious and grievance-minded.  They have the memory of a Loxodon and never forget a slight, no matter how small.  They are also a proud and industrious race, their individual skills usually impressive, but even more so is the size of their population.  Because of their Queens' constant egg-laying, Dwarves almost always outnumber their neighbors, which often allows them to demographically replace the local populations without fighting.  This strategy is often effective, but it just as commonly teaches the locals to not tolerate the presence of the Dwarves, but instead to initiate pogroms against them and drive them into other lands. 

Reroll Stat: CON

Ability: Dwarves are a hardy race.  They can eat almost anything and have resistance to poison damage.  They also make all saves against non-magical poisons with advantage.

Weakness: Dwarves, due to their common origin from a single Mother tend to be extremely similar in constitution.  This makes them easy prey for diseases.  Dwarves have disadvantage on all saves against diseases and disease causing effects.    

                                                      by JazylH

Vulkari or Vulturemen

The Vulkari are an ancient race that once reigned over almost the entire Southern region, their empire stretching from the Lands of Endless Snow in the South to the ice-choked shores of the West, to the Eastern Valleys and the Cold Gates.  Their kingdom was without rival and their enemies were powerless against them.  But the great men who forge empires seldom have offspring that can match them.  And successive generations of unmatched dominance led to decadence and corruption, which brough the inevitable decline and eventually, the collapse.  That was ages past, and now the Vulkari dwell largely only in their ancient homeland, which they defend zealously, though no one has tested their armies in almost a century.  Yet despite their ancient retreat, the signs of their conquest are everywhere.  Many of the oldest buildings still standing in the South were built by them or scavenged out of pieces left behind by the Vulkari.  Similarly, many races use the Vulkari script to write their languages, though they usually have different pronounciation. 

Reroll Stat: COG

Ability: Vulkari can fly, though they are not fast or agile in flight.  Additionally, they can only fly if they jump off a high place, are thrown into the air or have an ability, spell or magic item that can help them get airborne.

Weakness: Vulkari are light-weight, with hollow bones, little meat on their bones and generally no fat.  They take +1 damage per die from blunt weapons or bludgeoning damage.  Their enemies know this, as it is common knowledge. 

                                            source unknown


While the Batlings might appear to be a brutal race, they are actually much more genial than most people assume.  Batlings come from underground, having emerged from the enormous cave systems riddling the Spine of Tarraq many hundreds of years ago. For this reason, they cannot fly, but are excellent climbers.  They dwell in rocky places that other races cannot easily reach, scampering up and down their mountain-fortresses with bare hands.  They are known to be excellent mountain-guides, able to guide parties through the mountain passes at all times of year.  Most of them live in canyone-cities and cave-towns, sheltering from the cold in dark places lit by braziers and bonfires, most kept lit by dried dung.  They are also known for their husbandry of enormous insects, which they raise in warm caverns, far from the cold surface.  Other than those animals, they are also known to raise goats and other creatures that can climb as well as them, as well as some kinds of bird.  And while most Batlings are simply hard-working, they have a dark reputation for luring travelers down wrong paths in the mountains to kill and eat them, or to kidnap and enslave their women.  Batling women are also known to be lasvicious, which has to account for at least some of the rumors.  The rest are, debatable.

Reroll Stat: DEX         

Ability: Batlings have the ability to eat sounds, gobbling them up and preventing anyone from hearing them.  Batlings can eat a number of sounds equal to their CON modifier a day, with a minimum of 1.  If an object's sound is "eaten", that object continues to function but makes no sound.  Similarly, if the sound of a creature's voice is eaten, that creature cannot speak or cast spells for 1 hour, unless those spells do not require vocalization (Psychomancer).  Creatures who have their voices eaten may then save once each hour after the first.  On a successful save, the creature regains its' voice.     

Weakness: Batlings are covered in soft, down fur that helps keep them warm.  But this fur is also a disadvantage, as it catches fire easily.  Batlings take +1 fire damage per die.  They also are at increased risk of overheating in hot climates because of their fur.  To compensate for this, many Batlings cut their fur short in warm climates, but this means that they cannot stand the cold and must wait for it to regrow before returning South.      

                                              by Watchful Crow Arts

Bealars or Beavermen

The South is full of many mild, slow-flowing rivers and enormous, calm lakes.  The rest of the land is harsh and brutal, with craggy mountains, rock-scarred gulleys, towering fjords and treacherous passes, for every raging river there is a gentle lake.  Yet this mystery has a simple explanation, the Bealars.  A short, hairy folk with teeth of iron and wide, flat tails, the Bealars are a humble people of fisher-farmers and craftsmen.  They are most famous for their dam-cities, which they build by blocking rivers and building enormous, artificial lakes.  They then build dwellings and other structures in the dam itself and atop the lake. 

Bealars have a reputation for being hard to defeat in battle, not because of their skill, but because once a Bealar dam-city has been built, it is virtually impregnable.  These floating cities are incredibly difficult to take, and since Bealars raise schools of fish in the lakes they create, they tend to be able to hold out for years.  And sieges are even more difficult than taking their cities by force of arms, because it is impossible to surround a Bealar city.  If you do, they will just open one of the gates holding back the water in the lake and send a wall of water to sweep you away.  This impregnable defense means that Bealars are actually excellent colonizers, able to root themselves into an area and remain there for a very long time.  Despite this fact, they are often good neighbors who only want to live peacefully.  They are excellent craftsmen, especially with wood and trade carvings and fish with their neighbors.

Reroll Stat: STR       

Ability: Bealars have iron teeth and powerful jaws that can chew through anything softer than steel, if given enough time.  They are famous for being able to gnaw down trees, after all.

Weakness: Bealars are rather slow and clumsy on land.  They take a -2 penalty to all initiative rolls.  This penalty does not apply in the water, however.  Bealars are excellent swimmers.    

                                             source unknown


The Wolfmen of the Frozen South are well known for their fierce and warlike culture, impeccable honor and iron-clad family structure.  These wild barbarians dwell in the vales and high vallies of the Cold Gates, spilling down the slopes in the long and brutal winters to ravage the hillsides and carry away booty.  They are a menace to the more civilized of the Southern races, poorly understood and regarded as an almost irrational force, practicing strange customs and doing things no other race follows.  They are often flattened into caricatures in the stories of the other tribes, but Wolfmen are just another people.  They practice fierce monogamy, raise their children communally and shun many of the accountrements of civilization, which they regard as a corrupting, weakening influence.  They are not aligned with Chaos, however, but with their own iron traditions, which they guard zealously and practice with dutiful reverence. 

Reroll Stat: CON

Ability: Wolfmen can howl, and this sound can carry over vast distances.  To another Wolfman, or one who has been trained to understand a particular clan or tribe's howl, or moon-song as they are sometimes called, these howls can carry a large amount of information.  A Howl can carry a message of up to 20 words, that only someone who knows your tribe or clan's howl pattern can interpret correctly. 

Weakness: Wolfmen are strongly disliked by many in the South, and even in other lands, their fearsome reputation precedes them.  People will scorn you and some towns will bar you from entering or staying over night.  In other places, you may endure mockery, insults or subtle sabotage.     

                                                 from here

Ursai or Bearmen

The Ursai are a race of solitary paragons and sage warriors.  They are a small people, large in individual stature but slow to breed.  They have few children, but raise them well, instructing them in firmness, gentleness and honor.  Ursai do not have a homeland of their own, instead their people are scattered throughout the lands of other peoples, with Ursai rarely gathering together except for on the days of great religious significance.  Ursai are not Moon-worshipers, but they do avidly track the movement of the heavenly bodies for signs, to tell the date so they know when to gather, to attempt to predict the future and to know the will of their ancestors.  They do not worship any Gods of their own, and their religion is syncretistic, mixing traditional beliefs with the worship of whatever spirits or Gods reign over the area the Ursai lives. 

Ursai are often sought out for their wise council on such matters, as well as for their skill in diplomacy.  This is one thing that is not well known, but Ursai are actually excellent negotiators, as they consistently have to deal with those smaller and weaker than them, but also more numerous than them.  So they tend to develop easy-going personalities who will compromise on most, but not all things.  But no matter how gentle they are, never forget that everyone has a limit past which they will not go.  And when you find such a line, it is best avoided, especially if your opponent is ten feet of fatty armor and rock-hard muscle. 

Reroll Stat: STR

Ability: Bearman have natural armor.  When not wearing any other armor, Bearman have Armor equal to 5+(CON modifier).

Weakness: Bearman are huge, giving them a large reach.  However, this can be a disadvantage.  If a creature smaller than them (Bearmen are large creatures) gets within 5 or fewer feet to them, they get a penalty to hit that creature.  If the creature is Medium, that penalty is -2 to attack and defense rolls if the Bearman is using any weapon other than bare hands, or -1 if the Bearman is.  If the creature is Small, the penalty rises to -4 or -2.    

                                                      source unknown


A race of herbivore warriors and nomadic foragers, the Caribusa are known for their hardiness and determination.  As one of the most numerous of the Southern races, they compete fiercely with the Dwarves and the Bealars for control of the peatlands.  Unlike many herbivore races, Caribusa are fierce and warlike, raiding each other and their neighbors during the summer and autumn months.  Their warriors cut off one antler and hang bells from the other, fighting with a spear and a long knife called a Kimpaki.  And while the Dwarves can match them in population, they are omnivorous.  Dwarves can eat almost anything, but even they can only eat some plants.  Caribusa, by contrast, can eat moss, mature pine needles and even lichen. This enables them to range further and stay longer without needing to return home or maintain supply lines.  They are one of the few races who have perfected the "hit-and-run" strategy, only be rivaled by the Equatorial humans.  The only difference is that while the humans chase their prey until exhausted, the Caribusa get their prey to chase them. 

Besides their warlike ways however, they are in many ways, not nearly as odd as warlike herbivores might seem.  Polygamy is extremely common for them, with Kings and successful warriors maintaining harems of women.  These harems, along with the women in general, handle the majority of the work in a tribe- gathering wood, maintaining supplies and helping plot the route the herd will take.  The men spend all their time fighting or protecting the herd; any man that does or cannot engage in such activities is the object of scorn.  Caribusa are also known to abandon those who cannot keep up with the herd.  In the past this would mean leaving the elders and the lame to be devoured by wild beasts or preyed upon by the herd's enemies, but these days those who cannot keep up will usually commit ritual suicide and have their body cut apart and laid out as an offering to the herd's ancestors and the evil spirits that mean to do the herd harm.  They are a people who love honor more than life, and thus gladly choose death before dishonor.  And if someone who is meant to die will not do the honorable thing, their relatives will cover their shame by doing it themselves, then lying about the courage of their fallen kinsmen.   

Reroll Stat: CHA

Ability: Caribusa have the ability to levitate.  By concentrating for at least a minute, they can float up to 10' off the ground.  They can levitate for up to 10 minutes or until they lose their concentration.  Whenever they take damage or need to focus on doing something else, they must save or lose their concentration.  When it snows, the Caribusa gain the ability to transform their levitation into flight, but must maintain concentration to stay in the air.     

Weakness: Both male and female Caribusa grow antlers.  These can be used as natural weapons (1d6) but they also function as handles through which a Caribusa can be grappled.  Whenever someone makes a grappling check against a Caribusa, that creature makes that check with advantage.  

                                                             by Reptile Cynrik

No comments:

Post a Comment