Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Race: The Kavarli

I've been working on the races that will be available for play in Acteos.  The only of the standard non-human races I'm including is the dwarf.  Accompanying the human and the dwarf will be the Kavarli (detailed later in this post), Liontaur (centaur-like lion-humans), Rashka (humanoid felines), and Sylvans (sort of like wild-elves with antlers).

This doesn't mean the standard non-human races have no place in Acteos.  I can think of perfect spots for halflings, gnomes, and half-orcs.  I just don't have much interest in writing about them at the moment.  Elves, well... I've grown to prefer a less Tolkien-esque elf and love a more chaotic, mythological elf.  Indulging life in their hills while charming humans to life enslavement.  So, elves will get an entry in the monster section.  The Sylvans are my take on a playable race that's elf-like but not.

At any rate, I wanted to post and show off one of the races I've just finished up.  This is, as is usual for this kind of post, unedited.


The Kavarli are a massive, human-like people that are descendants of the elemental spirits of earth.  Their name translates to “children of stone” in their language.  They stand on average between 7 and 8 feet tall, and have rough, gray skin that feels like touching warm stone.  They value strength, honor, and combat prowess, but birthright rules above all else.  While Kavarli society is centered in the distant land of Ber’ruln, many Kavarli immigrated to Acral many generations ago.  Ber’ruln, which means “nature’s birth”, is an island that is said to be a major source of elemental power.

It is Kavarli tradition that their leaders be male, often the first-born son of the previous leader.  However, female Kavarli that prove themselves as warriors have no issues with taking roles of leadership and commanding the respect of their people.  It is more common for a female Kavarli to take on the role of their people’s shaman.  It is believed that the spirits of the earth share a special bond with female Kavarli.

Tough as the Earth: While unarmored, a Kavarli has a base Armor Class of 7 [12].  When factoring AC while wearing armor, start from the usual base AC of 9 [10].
Fearless Warrior: Kavarli gain a +2 bonus to all saving throws to resist fear effects.
Powerful Build: Kavarli treat all two-handed weapons as one-handed weapons.  This means that a Kavarli can wield, for example, a two-handed sword in one hand and gains a +1 bonus to damage when wielding it with two hands.
Child of Stone: While human-like, Kavarli are not quite human.  They are not susceptible to spells or effects that only affect human-like targets, such as Charm Person.

Art by Shaman's Stockart.  Used under license.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Teleportation and Magical Travel in Acteos

I've always seen Dimension Door, Teleport, and similar spells to be a little too powerful for my liking.  One of my goals in Acteos is to rein in their power while still providing magical travel as a viable option for higher level characters.

What I've done is restrict Dimension Door-like travel to locations the caster can perceive.  Of course, you can still teleport to the other side of the wall if you cast other spells that allow you to perceive what's there.  So the capability is still there, the caster just has to work a little harder for it.  Long-range teleport is handled by a network of teleportation patterns, which restrict the use of teleportation to specific locations, which I'll talk about in a bit.  I've also folded both Dimension Door and Teleport into one 4th-level spell available to all mages that handles both modes of teleportation.

Below I present such changes as a Magic-User or Cleric spell, ready to drop into your existing Swords & Wizardry (or other OSR) game.