Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Gecko-Men of Queddar

(pictured here is a real fan-fingered gecko, for inspiration)

The two main civilized races of my Barbarian Conqueror King setting are Men and Lizardmen; both have built mighty civilizations and impressive works of culture and craftsmanship. At the edges of civilization, however, there are other sentient species, two of which show enough variety in their personality and alignment to be potential player character races: Gecko-Men, who hail from the desert caves and cliffs of Queddar, and Bugmen, who lack a clear homeland and thrive wherever the opportunity for trade, scavenging and theft is open to them. Both are uncommon in the countryside of kanahu, but can be found in the city-states, though usually as a small minority compared to the vast masses of Men and Lizardmen.

Gecko-men look like upright, humanoid Fan-Fingered Geckos, thin and nimble, with large, lidless eyes (with slit pupils) dominating their faces. Their scaly skin ranges in colour from light grey, through yellowish-beige to brown, sometime spotted with yellowish spots. Unlike a Lizardman, however, their scales are gentle and soft, and thus give them little protection beyond what a Human skin can provide. There are very little external differences between males and females (unless the female is gravid and thus bloated), though a Gecko-Man will recognize the sex of a fellow Gecko-Man or Gecko-Woman at a glance (humans who are unfamiliar with Gecko-Men cannot recognize Gecko-Man gender; if familiar with them, they'll correctly recognize the gender on a roll of 11+). Gecko-Men prefer to be active after dark, and, in their natural habitat, wear very little clothes, but a good amount of jewellery.

Most Gecko-Men live in the deserts of Queddar, where their tribes inhabit barren stone cliffs and deep caves in the rocky parts of that wasteland. They are, first and foremost, hunters. A Gecko-Man (or, indeed, Gecko-Woman!) is content to spend countless hours motionless on a cliff wall, hanging from it with his or her adhesive toe-pads, lurking for prey to come - dinosaur, giant insect, or otherwise. When the prey comes near enough, however, the Gecko-Man acts quickly, with lighting reflexes, and with spear or bow it will bring the animal down and secure sustenance for him and his tribe for a few more days. From this predatory nature, arise the common psychological characteristics of the Gecko-men, and, first among them, seemingly endless patience and the penchant for plotting elaborate plans, which may lay dormant for years, then close on their subject like a well-placed trap.

Gecko-Man character classes are created using the Gecko-Man racial category and experience points. Requirements, class category values, hit points per level after 9th, and experience point progressions are modified as noted below.
All Gecko-Man classes require a minimum Dexterity of 12 or better and Constitution of 9 or better.
Class category Values:
  • Fighting: A Gecko-Man character may have any Fighting Value as desired.
  • Divine: Gecko-Men may not have a Divine Value higher than 2.
  • Arcane: Gecko-Men may not have an Arcane Value higher than 2.

Gecko-Man 0 (XP Cost 250): at Gecko-Man 0, the character is a fully-fledge Gecko-man (or Gecko-Woman). At Gecko-Man 0, the class will have the following four custom powers:
  • Low-Light Vision: Gecko-Men have eyes that are so sensitive to light that they can see twice as far as normal in dim light. Low-light vision is colour vision. A spellcasting Gecko-man with low-light vision can read a scroll as long as even the tiniest candle flame is next to her as a source of light. Gecko-Men can see outdoors on a moonlit night as well as they can during the day. However, Gecko-Men suffer a penalty of -1 to attack throws when in bright sunlight.
  • Ambush: When attacking with surprise, a Gecko-Man gets a +4 bonus on attack throws and deals double damage on the attack.
  • Gecko Climb: A Gecko-Man, having adhesive toe pads, may climb on most walls with no need for a proficiency roll, at 1/2 speed. Additionally, they may climb on any sheer surface (such as glass) or walk on ceilings using a proficiency roll of a Thief of their level; on such surfaces, climbing is done at 1/4 speed.
  • Detachable Tail: A Gecko-Man wounded a mortal wound may sacrifice his or her tail. Sacrificing the tail will make the Gecko-Man roll on the Mortal Wounds table with a +20 bonus. HOWEVER, a tail is important to a Geckoman's health, as well as balance, and as long as he is tail-less, he will suffer a -2 penalty to his Dexterity and Constitution scores (if either of these scores is reduced to zero by this, the Geckoman must roll on the Mortal Wounds table with no bonus) until the tail regrows. Regeneration takes 2d3 months.
  • Difficult to Spot: The Gecko-Man has the ability to seemingly disappear into rocky and rocky-desert surroundings with a proficiency throw of 3+ on 1d20. In dungeons, if the Geecko-man is motionless and quiet in cover, he can escape detection with a proficiency throw of 14+ on 1d20.
  • Inhumanity: The character suffers a -2 penalty to the reactions, loyalty, and morale of humans. The character gets a +2 bonus to the reactions, loyalty, and morale of Geckomen.

Gecko-Man 1 (XP Cost 450): Gecko-Man 0 + Thief 1.

Gecko-Man 2 (XP Cost 650): Gecko-Man 0 + Thief 2.

Gecko-Man 3 (XP Cost 950): Gecko-Man 0 + Thief 3.

Gecko-Man 4 (XP Cost 1,350): Gecko-Man 0 + Thief 4.
Experience Point Progression After 8th Level
Gecko-Men increase the amount of experience required to gain each level after 8th by 25,000XP.

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