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Denver, Colorado, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Phoenix Cyclopaeans

Thought I was done after Dwarves, Gnomes, Elves, and Humans?

I'm not completely boring.



Cyclopaeans are physically inspired by classical mythology.  However, in Phoenix, they are neither giants nor blacksmiths.  In the default setting, they live in hostile terrain - usually high mountains - and generally avoid contact with other humanoids.  They are a foot taller than comparable humans and a bit heavier.  Cyclopaean society tends to be clan based and semi-nomadic, with brute force required for survival.

Cyclopaeans have a special connection with The Rift - which will be described another time.

Mortal Cyclopaeans

Famous for their single eye, Cyclopaeans are fierce combatants – brutish yet cunning, and quick to anger but equally quick to forgive.  They usually live on mountain slopes, where other races leave them alone.

There are two major categories of Cyclopaean clans – those that follow the Great Eye, and those that listen to the spirits of the land itself.

Clans that follow the Great Eye are… strange.  The Great Eye is neither good nor evil – it is maddingly incomprehensible.  Most humans, dwarves, or elves that interact with these clans would say the same thing about the Cyclopaeans.

Those clans that focus on the spirit of the land itself are not always much more comprehensible.  While a human might worship a god that they believe lives on the top of a tall mountain, the Cyclopaean believes the mountain itself is a god.  So is the river that the mountain gives birth to, and so is the rumbling volcano that periodically throws temper tantrums.

Attributes

Mortal Cyclopaeans have a maximum Strength and Will of 25, and a maximum Intelligence of 10.  All other attributes have the standard maximum of 20.

Traits
(Cyclopaeans receive all of these)

Dark Eye
The ever-watchful eye of a Cyclopaean is the subject of legends.  At any given time, a single target within both line of sight and line of effect can unnerve that target, resulting in a penalty to their damage and checks equal to 1 + Half-Level.  This does not stack with other Cyclopaeans also keeping an eye on the same target, and it does not function on mindless creatures like automatons or zombies.

During combat, the target can be changed during maintenance.

Noxious Origin
Toxic Defense +5.  According to legend, the Cyclopaean race was created in toxic environments.  To this day, they remain quite resilient when faced with such materials.

Shallow Perception
Having only a single eye, Cyclopaeans suffer from a lack of depth perception.  All weapon and power ranges are reduced by 1 (powers that have the Ranged descriptor in their attack).

Tough
Wounds +5.  Cyclopaeans have evolved to match their harsh environments.

Culture
(Being raised in a Cyclopaean culture allows selection of two of these abilities)

Frenzy
You can fight like a frenzied animal.  During maintenance, you can choose to gain a bonus up to your level to all Damage rolls; however, you also take the same number as a penalty to all Defenses.

Improvised Weaponry
You can use almost anything as a weapon, so long as you can pick it up.  Tree trunks, chairs, dead gnomes – the possibilities are endless.  The GM is the final arbiter on what weapon group a given improvised weapon belongs to, although many such weapons are likely to be striking.

When using improvised weaponry, you gain a bonus equal to your level on damage rolls.  However, if the damage dice explode, then the object breaks and can no longer be used as a weapon.

Quintessential Cyclopaean
Gain the Athlete and Mountaineer specialties.

Rift Clan
Divine Defense +5.  You belong to a clan that associated itself with the Great Eye, which speaks through the Rift.  The Rift naturally opposes divine influences, and your exposure to its strange energies has rendered you similarly resistant.  Once marked, you cannot be a prophet or cleric of any supreme power except for the Great Eye.  The scar is given to you by a servant of the Great Eye, and the shape usually represents your clan.

Being a member of a Great Eye clan precludes membership in a Spirit Clan.

Spirit Clan
Your clan has forsaken the Great Eye and seeks wisdom from the most ancient of spirits – the mountain, the great river, the ocean.  You know that these spirits have existed before and will exist after every civilization ever known.

You do not hold conversations with spirits this ancient – you accept that you are insignificant and exist only in a fleeting moment when compared to a mountain or a canyon.  But you can listen to them.

Your connection with the natural world grants you a bonus equal to your level to all ability checks when in a wilderness environment.

Additionally, you can listen to a nearby spirit as a ritual.  You don’t need to be in physical contact, but you must be able to see the geographical feature in question.  At the GMs discretion, the closer you are, the more detail you can interpret.

When listening, you get empathic feelings from the spirit, more than actual words, although periodically a single word or two might be interpretable.  If a check is required, it is FAI – generally, the more detail or smaller a feature, the higher the check.

These spirits of nature feel pain from the unnatural – so a mountain containing a demonic portal would feel pain emanating from that spot.  A canyon would feel burdened by a large city.  A river could feel nausea when polluted by blood from a large battle.

These spirits do not notice normal life such as humanoids, animals, or the likes, nor would they notice individual unnatural entities unless their power is significant.

Being a member of a Spirit Clan precludes membership in a Rift Clan.

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