Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Relic Hunters: Beastmen

Nomadic tribes devolved by the touch of Chaos. The tainted desert holds their holy sites, and many relic hunters fall to tooth and claw and obsidian blade.

The savage foe is a common trope in pulp settings, and Relic Hunters is no exception.  Here, the role is filled by the beastman: the animalistic, mutated descendants of the original inhabitants of the Empire.  These guys are the threatening outsiders of the setting, standing in for Indians, native tribesmen, orcs, or whatever else you need.  The different tribes/packs allow them to act as savage foes, noble enemies, or potential allies as required.

New Race: Beastmen

Beastmen are the chaos-tainted inhabitants of the desert that used to be the heart of the Empire. They roam the obsidian wastes in tribes (or packs, depending on how the word is translated).

As their name suggests, beastmen look like a combination of man and animal, the exact breed of which is not always easy to tell. They often bear fur, claw, and fang, but some are known to have scales, horns, hooves...or all of the above.

Beastmen player characters are those that have left their pack for some reason—cast out for some reason, perhaps, or left as a sole survivor after some disaster or massacre. Among humans, they will face distrust, suspicion, and even outright hostility.

Racial Edges & Hindrances
  • All Thumbs: Beastmen are unfamiliar with complex devices. They suffer a -2 to Repair skill at all times, and if a 1 is rolled whenever using a mechanical or technomagical device, the device breaks.
  • Keen Sense: Beastmen receive a +2 to notice with a chosen sense.
  • Natural Weapons: Could be fangs, claws, hooves, horns, spines, or any number of other possibilities. Choose a single weapon at Str + d6 (bite, horn) or two at Str+d4 (claws, hooves).
  • Tough: Living in the desert makes beastmen hardy. They begin with a d6 in Vigor.
  • Outsider: Widely regarded as dangerous savages at best or animals at worst, Beastmen suffer a -2 to Charisma when dealing with those not of their kind.
Character Concept: Wildrunner
Scouts and hunters for the beastman packs, wildrunners are used to surviving in a place where even the sand can draw blood—and a renegade might be willing to show you where the holy sites are. Survival, Tracking, and Fighting are key skills, as well as edges like Woodsman that give bonuses to such skills. Throwing makes an excellent secondary fighting skill.

New Equipment

Atlatl: This throwing stick doubles the range of a spear or javelin, but requires an additional action to load.

Obsidian weapons:  The beastmen have mastered the knack of producing weapons from the volcanic glass of the plains.  These weapons are incredibly sharp but fragile: they do +1 damage, but shatter under any of the following circumstances:
  • A successful attack against a character wearing armor harder than leather.
  • A successful called shot against the weapon.
  • A roll of 1 on the Fighting die.
  • A missed Throwing attack.
The glass is not suitable for producing blades larger than a knife or spearhead, although some tribes have set obsidian flakes into the sides of wooden clubs to make a swordlike weapon.

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