Thursday, May 29, 2014

[ACKS] Bug-Men Racial Template

A relatively rare, though influential, sentient species in my Barbarian Conqueror King setting is the Bug-Men race. This upright insectoids do not resemble orderly hive-based social insects, as the typical sci-fi depiction of insectoid aliens usually is, but rather cockroaches: they are opportunistic to the extreme, resilient, shady and anarchic. A Nest-Mother may have much respect from the many males who frequent her nest to mate with her, but she does not have real command over them, nor does she gain a telepathic connection with any male. Typically, the males go around making dirty deals and selling suspicious artifacts, while the female builds her own nest and grows her own magical power, then devotes much resources to reproduction en-masse and may grow her own "hive of scum and villainy" with her own spawn. For the male, however, the pinnacle of life entails the hoarding of many trinkets, which may or may not have any value in the eyes of teh human onlooker.

Physically, a Bug-Man male resembles a 4' tall upright, slender, humanoid cockroach, walking on four legs and using two limbs for fine manipulation. It has multi-faceted eyes and a mouth with two mandibulae and two maxillae, as well as two antennae each 1' long projecting from its head. A female, however is much wider, and grows over time; she starts her adult life around the height of a male (though much wider) but, eventually, when she settles in a nest and becomes a Nest-Mother, reaches 6' in length and much mass. Bug-Men range from yellowish-brown through dark brown to black in color; their eyes are shiny black. Males lack wings; female have four wings and may fly, as described below.

Bug-Men thrive wherever there is an opportunity for commerce, subterfuge and infiltration. They excel in the criminal underworld, using their opportunistic nature and keen senses to strike shady deals with other sentients. They live in the shadows of civilization, living on its refuse. Thus, some Bug-Men are, ironically enough, Lawful - because, if civilization falls, so does its bounty and so do the many opportunities for success it offers. Many others are Neutral, but very few are Chaotic. Bug-Men usually worship the gods of Humans around them, though they are rarely devout, and much more interested in striking temporary deals with the divine rather than forming long-lasting relationships; they speak their own language, but also that of the Human society around them.

Note that Bug-Men classes take either Bug-Man 0 (males) or Bug-Man 2 (females); Bug-Man 1, 3 and 4 are included for the sake of completeness.

All Bugmen require a minimum Dexterity and Constitution of 9 or better.

Class category Values:
  • Fighting: Due to their short stature, Bug-Men can never use two handed swords or longbows, regardless of their Fighting Value.
  • Divine: Bug-Men are rarely devout, and thus may not have a Divine Value higher than 1.
  • Arcane: Bug-Men may have any value desired in this category.

Bug-Man 0 (XP Cost 350): at Bug-Man 0, the class will have the following four custom powers:
  • Insect Senses: The Bug-Man, owing to his acute senses, particularly those granted by his long antennae, gains a +4 bonus on any proficiency throws to hear noises and detect secret doors. With a proficiency throw of 18+ he can notice secret doors with just casual observation. He gains a +1 bonus to avoid surprise. This is effectively the Alertness proficiency selected as a custom power.
  • Arcane Dabbling: The opportunistic Bug-Man is an expert collector of relics and trinkets, and thus may attempt to use wands, staffs, and other magic Items only useable by mages. At 1st level, the character must make a proficiency throw of 18+ on 1d20 or the attempt backfires in some desultory way (Judge’s discretion). The proficiency throw required reduces by 2 per level, to a minimum of 3+. This is effectively the Arcane Dabbling proficiency selected as a custom power.
  • Infravision: Bug-Men are nocturnal creatures and thus posses 30' "infravision" (actually, sensing minute movements of air with their antennae).
  • Inhumanity: Bug-Men are alien beings and thus suffers a -2 penalty to the reactions, loyalty, and morale of Humans, Lizardmen and Gecko-Men and. The character gets a a +2 bonus to the reactions, loyalty, and morale with Bug-Men (costs 0 custom powers).
  • Mercantile Network: Bug-Men know other Bug-Men traders, as well as Human traders, all over the land. Whenever the character buys and sells equipment, hires retainers, and engages in mercantile ventures in a market they have previously visited, he treats the market as if it were one market class larger than its actual size. (Class I markets remain Class I markets).
  • Insect Resilience: Like cockroaches, Bug-Men are hard to kill. When a Bug-Man is required to consult the Mortal Wounds table, the player may roll twice and choose the preferred result to apply. The character also subtracts his class level from the number of days of bed rest required to recover (renamed Savage Resilience).
  • Chitinous Carapace: The Bug-Man has a rigid chitinous carapace which increases his unarmored AC to 1 (renamed Scaly Hide).
  • Insect Immunities: The hardy Bug-Man possesses the survivability of a cockroach, and thus is immune to all forms of disease, including magical diseases caused by spells, mummies, or lycanthropes, as well as to all forms of poison, including magical poisons. This is effectively the Divine Health proficiency selected as a custom power combined with a renamed Wholeness of Body (costs 2 custom powers).
Bug-Man 1 (XP Cost 570):  at Bug-Man 1, the class will have the following four custom powers in addition to the above:
  • Friend of Insects and Fungus: The Bug-Man is well-schooled in the world of insects. He can identify insects, other arthropods and fungi with a proficiency throw of 11+, and understands the subtle body language and moods of arthropods and fungal creatures (though they may not understand the character). He gains +2 to all reaction rolls when encountering normal and giant insects, and can take giant insects as henchmen. This is a variant on the Beast Friendship proficiency, selected as a custom power.
  • Infravision: The character has 60' "infravision" (actually, sensing minute movements of air with their antennae).
  • Longevity: The character becomes ageless and enjoys a lifespan three times longer than normal. He also becomes immune to ghoul paralysis. This is effectively the Elven Bloodline proficiency, selected as a custom power.
  • Antennae for Potions: The character make a proficiency throw of 11+ to determine the magical properties of a potion or oil on taste. Starting at 5th level, the character may brew potions as if mages of their class level. This custom power counts as 2½ custom powers if selected.

Bug-Man 2 (XP Cost 800):  at Bug-Man 2, the character is a fully-blown Bug-Man female, and the will have the following four custom powers in addition to the above:
  • Speak with Insects: Bug-Man females have an innate knack of communicating with insects of all kinds, at an almost magical level. The character can speak with Insects as per the Speak with Animals spell at will, though, unlike the original spell, this power only works with insects (natural, giant or otherwise).
  • Flying: The female Bug-Man gains a flying movement rate of 30' per turn (this costs 5 custom powers).

Bug-Man 3 (XP Cost 1,000): Bug-Man 2 + Thievery 1.

Bug-Man 4 (XP Cost 1,200): Bug-Man 2 + Thievery 2.

Experience Point Progression After 8th Level
Bug-Men increase the amount of experience required to gain each level after 8th by 25,000XP.

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