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New Race: Hempterra


GMs can use this space to discuss issues, ideas, and questions regarding gamemastering Pure Steam.

Posts: 70

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:22 am

Post Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:05 pm

New Race: Hempterra

HEMPTERRA
Image

The green heart of Southern Ullera is the birthplace of the hempterra where they make their home in the jungle canopies and use the mighty rivers as their roadways. But hempterra are extremely adaptive and the clans that have left their homeland have quickly evolve in new terrains. They are great scholars and craftsmen and their arts are highly prized. As invenerate collectors and explorers their are few regions on Geir where their traders and adventurers have not ventured. While insect behaviors and instincts put them at a disadvantage in social interactions with most humanoids, they have an affinity for insects and often train vermin as mounts and companions.

Physical Description: A hempterra has thin limbs and triangular head covered by a hard smooth chitin exoskeleton. Most average around 3 feet tall and 35 pounds but a few will grow much larger. They have four digits on each hand, plant eating mandibles, and a pair of lacy wings folded across the back. Every hempterra is born with a camouflage pigmentation matching their home terrain. To take advantage of this, the hempterra will wear little to no clothing when its to their advantage. Every year the hempterra molts an exoskeleton revealing a shiny new one beneath. When growing into adulthood these molts are accompanied by sudden growth, but later in life the hempterra can develop new racial abilities (see racial feats). In place of clothing and ornaments, many hempterra adopt body paint and pasted on jewels weather permitting.

Society: Hempterra are born sterile. To earn the right to become parent, they must prove their value to the community or earn renown through their deeds. While hempterra have a high birth rate very few earn the privilege of procreation creating a oligarchy composed of breeders. They are instinctively protective and submissive to breeders even to their personal detriment. One of the side effects of become a breeder is that the creature grows tremendously in size and permanently immobilized. A massive entourage of family members act as caregivers and expendable minions. Hempterra communities are composed of multi-cell complexes suspended beneath the jungle canopy, cliffsides, or pillars. They rely on gliding to move from building to building for added security. Hempterra are still skilled wood carvers and weavers but have embraced steamworks and revolutionary technology with a passion. They value magic and science equally and prize accomplishments in both. In warfare, hempterra favor hit-and-run strategies and prefer to snipe or bomb from afar. They often use giant vermin as beasts of war and burden in the jungle, but use war canoes and steamboats to patrol their waterways. The leaders of their society grow extremely acquisitive and possessive. Once a community claims a territory as they will not share or forgive trespass.

Relations: Many humanoids are repulsed or frightened by insect life and shun or attack hempterra communities; a situation not helped by the social handicaps of the species. While individually hempterra vary wildly in temperament, in large numbers they are usually adversarial and hostile to intruders. They consider nearby communities to be resource rivals and usually have far better relations with distant communities than their own neighbors. As a result trade and diplomacy is focused on the global rather local arena. In war and law enforcement, hempterra never take prisoners as they consider even their own people as expendable; a trait many consider barbaric. Hempterra driven to prove their worth to the community and are acquisitive not for their own profit, but to gain wealth for their family. Most races see the hempterra as arrogant with their rigid faces and odd mannerisms; but in reality most hempterra have poor self-esteem and social anxiety.

Alignment & Religion: Hempterra are conditioned from infancy to value the welfare of the community over the individual. Most hempterra are lawful in alignment, but once they reach breeder status they often have a dramatic change in alignment and become far more selfish and cocksure and turn toward chaotic alignments. They usually honor elemental forces and prize natural wonders rather than a identify with any deity, but cultists do exist and one notorious enclave has been enslaved by a Blood Queen.

Adventurers: Hempterra are immensely curious about the world and often leave home to go exploring. Many smaller enclave encourage this as a right of passage and a way to gain wealth and worldly experience for when they return to become breeders. Alternatively, they might be sent as an expendable minion on a mission of discovery, espionage, or vengence by a clan leader. In spite of their social handicaps, hempterra are often valued by adventure groups for their eagerness and cooperative spirit. They tend to favor brains over brawn and make excellent alchemists, druids, gearheads, monks, and wizards; as well as vermin mounted cavaliers.

RACIAL TRAITS
+2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution: The hempterra is industrious and clever, but frail.
Insectoid Blood: Hempterra have the humanoid (insectoid) subtype. Any effect that targets vermin also affects them.
Small: Hempterra are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Slow Speed: Hempterra have a base speed of 20 feet.
Exoskeleton: The chitinous exoskeleton of a hempterra provides a +1 natural armor and makes them surprisingly strong in spite of their size
Natural Camouflage: Hempterra have evolved to adopt an exoskeleton pigmentation to blend into their birth environment. The hempterra gains a +4 to stealth when wearing light or no armor in one terrain type, but suffer a -4 penalty in all other terrain types.
Insect Affinity (Ex) Hempterra have a -2 penalty on Charisma based skill checks except with other insectoids, but +2 racial bonus for 'ride' or 'handle animal' skills with vermin.
Hypnotic (1/day) (Ex) Hempterra can generate a hypnotic drone with their insect parts and gain +1 to DC will all spells and contraptions with the 'fascinate' keyword. They can also force a re-roll saving throw for one target of any 'facinate' effect once per day.
Gliding Wings (Ex) Hempterra have a pair of lacy folding wings they can use for gliding (DC 15 Fly check to fall safely from any height. DC 15 to glide laterally 5ft per 20 ft fallen).

ALTERNATE RACIAL TRAITS
Ant Haul (Sp) The hempterra can cast ant haul as a spell-like ability once per day. The caster level equals the hempterra's experience level. This trait replaces the Hypnotic trait.

Venomous Stinger (Ex): A number of times per day equal to the hempterra's CON modifier (1/day minimum) the hempterra can inject a dose of venom with its barbed stinger as a standard action. This natural attack inflicts 1d2 piercing damage plus Paralytic Venom: Injury; save Fort DC 10 + the 1/2 user's Hit Dice + the user's Constitution modifier; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Dex; cure 1 save. This trait replaces the Hypnotic trait.

Swarming (Ex): Some hempterra clans have evolved to fight together en masse. Up to two hempterra can share the same square at the same time. If two hempterra in the same square attack the same foe, they are considered to be flanking that foe as if they were in two opposite squares. This trait replaces the Gliding Wings trait.

Pheromone Affinity (Ex): Hempterra with this trait has a small set of antennae that can detect and interpret pheromones. Instead of a bonus to ride and handle animal skills they gain a +2 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking and a +2 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks to discern a message sent by pheromones. This trait modifies the Insect Affinity trait.


RACIAL FEATS
All-Around Vision
Prerequisite: Hempterra, Compound Eyes feat
Benefit: Your extra set of eyes have grown into multifaceted organs on opposite sides of your head providing you with all-around vision. As long as you can see, you are immune to flanking.

Compound Eyes
Prerequisite: Hempterra
Benefit: After your last molt, you have grown a additional set of eyes that provide Darkvision 60ft

Catapult Jump
Prerequisite: Hempterra
Benefit(s): Once per day as a swift action, you can bend the exoskeleton of your legs to launch you like a catapult, adding a +10 bonus on your Acrobatics check to jump; if you have at least 10 ranks in Acrobatics, the bonus increases to +20. If you take this feat twice you can make a catapult jump a number of times per day equal to your Constitution modifier.

Ecdysone Growth
Prerequisite: Hempterra, CON 11+
Benefit: You permanently increase your size from small to medium to gain a +2 to STR and -2 to DEX; but swap all size modifiers to your new size.

Fiddleback
Prerequisite: Hempterra, Perform (string) 3 ranks
Benefit: You can use your own body as a masterwork 'string' musical instrument.

Vestigial Arm
Prerequisite: Hempterra
Benefit: Same effect as the alchemist's discovery of the same name. The hempterra can only have two vestigial arms maximum.
Davin Perry
~ Pure Steam Developer & Writer

Posts: 26

Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:58 pm

Post Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:02 pm

Re: New Race: Hemptera

I like it! I've always wished there were more playable insect races in Pathfinder. Did you have a specific region of Geir in mind for this race like you did with the Khamzeer?

Posts: 70

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:22 am

Post Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:34 am

Re: New Race: Hemptera

Sluagh wrote:I like it! I've always wished there were more playable insect races in Pathfinder. Did you have a specific region of Geir in mind for this race like you did with the Khamzeer?


Yeah, just looking for feedback to make it better. Hempterra probably arise in South Ullera
Davin Perry
~ Pure Steam Developer & Writer

Posts: 26

Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:58 pm

Post Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:43 am

Re: New Race: Hempterra

I don't really have anything to offer by way of improved mechanics or rules, which definitely aren't my forte. However, if I assume correctly, you're basing the race on Order Hymenoptera which also includes bees and ants. Traits or Racial Feats that let you take on characteristics that reflect these other species would add some great flavor, such as a natural stinger weapon, a survival skill bonus (navigation skills of bees and ants), the swarming trait (like ratfolk have) or an ability to carry extra weight. If I were making an insect race myself, I would go even further and make them as versatile in form and function as the Zerg/Tyranid/Vord/etc, but that might go beyond the scope of a single race and veer into monster territory. Hope this helps!

Posts: 70

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:22 am

Post Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:12 pm

Re: New Race: Hempterra

I was aiming at a humanoid grasshopper or locust with the initial build, but I think those sound like great alternative racial traits.

I think Zerg might work best as a template added to other creatures. That seems to best match their modus operendi.
CR +1
New Type: Aberration
Darkvision 60ft
Burrowing 10ft speed
OFFENSE
Create Spawn (Ex): creatures killed by zerg are reborn as zerg in 1d4 rounds
Spontaneous Evolution (Ex) (1/day): same effect as alchemist's mutagen at creature's HD level.
DEFENSE
Resistance to Acid 5 at HD 1 to 5, 10 at HD 5 to 10, 15 at HD 11+
Creep Runner (Ex): Creep is difficult terrain for everything but zerg and increase running multiplier by one.
Fast Healing 2
Davin Perry
~ Pure Steam Developer & Writer

Posts: 26

Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:58 pm

Post Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:46 am

Re: New Race: Hempterra

I was just thinking about Mazan's somewhat vague southern border and that it's rather strange that Ullera's version of the Aztec Empire is located in the Arizona/New Mexico area rather than southern Mexico. Your new race, being from Southern Ullera, could be the reason for this. I imagine the hempterra swarm could have pushed back the ancient Mezoqua until they were finally able to establish a barrier or magical line of defense against the encroaching forces. Maybe a carnivorous jungle?

Posts: 70

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:22 am

Post Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:05 pm

Re: New Race: Hempterra

Sluagh wrote:I was just thinking about Mazan's somewhat vague southern border and that it's rather strange that Ullera's version of the Aztec Empire is located in the Arizona/New Mexico area rather than southern Mexico. Your new race, being from Southern Ullera, could be the reason for this. I imagine the hempterra swarm could have pushed back the ancient Mezoqua until they were finally able to establish a barrier or magical line of defense against the encroaching forces. Maybe a carnivorous jungle?


Yes, exactly. :D I've always envisioned the Ulleran Rain Forests as extremely dangerous, filled with fey, living plants, giant vermin, and other hazards driving "humans" northwards into the desert and southwards into the mountains and coasts. Ancient Mezoquan ruins swallowed by the jungle, choked rivers, and an impenetrable canopy to airships would be great places for adventures to encounter the hempterra.

I've always felt that interesting conflicts create great stories and an encroaching swarm on the nation of Mazan is an powerful dynamic for their martial expansion into Northern Ullera and opens up new story lines such as...
*A united human nations counter-assault
*Peace Talks/Arbitrage for Mazan or a diplomatic/exploratory/espionage FSU mission to contact the hempterra
*A second front in the Sunken Islands is established by the hempterra that threatens the FSU.
Davin Perry
~ Pure Steam Developer & Writer

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