Saturday, January 19, 2008

Vagabond: Corsaphos

An old bit of design here- one of several races I proposed for a community project to develop an original sci-fi setting. Since the agreement at the time was to have limited psionics play a factor, I had them play a large role in this particular race. The original project has long since flopped, but I've held on to my own ideas and have been mulling them over ever since, so I'll probably have more to offer at a later date. For now, "Vagabond" should be a usable working title. Hit the link for the details on this particular race; the system in mind is d20 future.

The corsaphos hail from the moon of a gas giant orbiting towards the outer edge of the system. Their 'religion,' as the other races insist on referring to it, is the art of Coqueri: the disconnection of soul and body. Scientists have found that the higher and lower consciousness of the corsaphos function with an unusual degree of independence, and it is theorized that Coqueri is the brief strengthening of this separation through mental discipline and force of will.

• -2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma. The corsaphos can be insightful, but are also very distant, rarely appearing to be fully involved in the task at hand.
• Small: As a Small creature, a corsaphos gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
• Corsaphos base land speed is 20 feet.
• Naturally Psionic: Corsaphos gain 2 bonus power points at 1st level. This benefit does not grant them the ability to manifest powers unless they gain that ability through another source, such as levels in the Psion advanced class.
• Resistance (Su): Corsaphos can use psionic energy to augment their resistance to various forms of attack. As an immediate action, a corsaphos can spend a power point to gain a +4 racial bonus on the next saving throw they make, as long as it occurs before the beginning of her next action.
• Repletion (Su): A corsaphos can sustain her body without need of food or water. If she spends a power point, a corsaphos does not need to eat or drink for 24 hours.
• Corsaphos gain a +2 bonus on fortitude saves against cold but take a -2 penalty on saves against heat. Their homeworld's temperatures are far below human standards.
• Coqueri (Su): Once per round, a corsaphos may use a move action to complete task that would normally take a standard or full-round action. This action must require minimal physical action and/or focus on the corsaphos’s physical surroundings, at the gm’s discretion. In general, any action dependent upon a character’s physical ability scores cannot be performed, including all forms of attack. Psionic powers are the exception to this rule, and may be used conjunction with coqueri even if they are an attack of some sort or otherwise focus on the character’s surroundings. This ability is usable a number of times per day equal to half the corsaphos' character level, rounding up.

By human standards, the average corsaphos is an accomplished artist and philosopher; however, their society has no such positions, seeing such talents as personal qualities similar to open-mindedness and self-control. Other races can find them disturbingly Machiavellian in their outlook; the concept of the ends justifying the means is accepted in their society as fact. One must simply be able to justify *all* of the ends their means bring about. Other irritating social traits include a virtual inability to focus entirely on the “here and now” or make small talk. That being said, they are respected for their insight and loyalty to friends.

Design Notes: If you play a Corsaphos who is not psionic, all of your racial abilities are still quite usable. Corsaphos telepaths and battle minds aren’t necessarily superior to other races, just different; players must weigh the advantage of their racial abilities against penalties incurred by size and ability scores.

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