Eclipse – The Veltine of the Twilight Isles

   Here we have the mechanical details for the last of the four major races for the Twilight Isles setting. Like the others, this is a very powerful race for a mere +1 ECL – a consequence of using one or more (rather cheesy) design tricks to enhance each.

   There are several reasons for doing that. For this particular setting I wanted “race” to be a major choice, with a large – and ongoing – impact on the characters abilities. I wanted the races to be able to survive in a setting which is extremely dangerous and which only offers a very limited amount of living space – factors that would (and, indeed, did) drive the usual races into extinction in short order. I wanted players to opt for the basic races I was providing – and their integration with the setting – rather than having them wanting to bring in races which did not belong in the Twilight Isles. Finally, I opted to forestall the usual player search (and there’s always at least one) for the most powerful possible combination of race and/or template which they could put together; these races are already about as powerful as can reasonably be managed for +0 and +1 ECL races.

   The Veltine – still primarily isolated on their small archipelago – haven’t preserved much of their history. It is believed (based on the variations in their lesser forms) that the race was founded by a mixed group of adventurers of several elder races, at least one of whom possessed some form of totemistic magic or shapeshifting power and the ability to pass it on – albeit imperfectly. While that ability is still an innate part of the Veltine, it doesn’t always express itself properly. In fact, evidence suggests that – over the generations – the Veltine have been gradually stabilizing as the shaggy monstrosities that are so widely feared and distrusted.

   In their “natural”, or at least most common, form, the Veltine are massive, hairy, fanged, clawed, predators. They prefer a meat-heavy diet, and tend to operate best in relatively small groups. Some can assume, or are trapped in, a much lesser but more humanoid form. Others can assume, or are trapped in, a four-legged predatory form – almost as powerful as their usual semi-humanoid form, if far less versatile.

   Unlike the other major races, the Veltine can survive in reasonable comfort with little or no shelter from the elements and with little or nothing in the way of tools – and thus do not stress or value such things nearly as much as the other races do. Secondarily, they are physically far tougher, but have fewer innate magical abilities, than any of the other major races – something which means they are often viewed as something more akin to wild beasts than to a civilized race.

   The Veltine, naturally enough, take pride in that. For them, civilization is a choice, not a crutch, and they feel that they have chosen the superior course – becoming civilized without allowing civilization to deprive them of their natural abilities.

   Veltine Racial Modifiers:

  • Use of Charms and Talismans: Shaping, Corrupted and Specialized for increased (level one and weak level two) effects/can only produce the effects for which the user has the appropriate foci ready, can only support a limited number (seven and three) of minor charms and more notable talismans at one time, charms and talismans are modestly expensive (and thus are limited by wealth and lifestyle) and take some time to attune for use (6 CP).
  • Use of Relics: Double Enthusiast, Specialized in Relics for Increased Effect (may use 4 CP worth of relics, 6 CP)
  • Animalistic Tendencies: Attribute Shift/-2 Cha, +2 Wis (6 CP)
  • Bestial Form: Shapeshift, with Attribute Modifiers, Hybrid Form with Clear Speech, and Dire Form (Base of 27 CP), Specialized/wolf-forms only, Corrupted/comes with strong wolf instincts, which Veltine must sometimes make Will checks to avoid giving in to (9 CP)
    • When in Hybrid or Dire Wolf form: Str +6, Dex +6, Con +4, Low-Light Vision, Scent, +20 Ground Movement, +3 natural armor, 1d8 natural weapons, +4 bonus when tracking by scent, monstrous appearance,
  • Inherent Toughness: +5d4 Hit Dice (40 CP).
    • Technically this means that children do not quality for the Dire Wolf abilities. They do, however, qualify for the standard wolf-mods. The difference between a L0 pup (in wolf or hybrid form: Str +2, Dex +4, Con +4, Low-Light Vision, Scent, +20 Ground Movement, +2 natural armor, 1d6 natural weapons, and +4 to track by scent) and a L1 adult (as above) is fairly obvious., if not overwhelming
  • Adaptive Shift: Thanks to instinctive low-level shapeshifting, Veltine can use their strength to help absorb damage, as well as to enhance their flexibility, agility, and precision. Augmented Bonus/Adds Str Mod to Con Mod for HP, Specialized/only for base racial and level one through level three hit dice (9 CP), Augmented Bonus/Adds Str Mod to Dex-Based Skills, Specialized/only while in Hybrid and Dire Wolf forms, makes the use of heavy armor impractical (3 CP), Augmented Bonus, Adds Dex Mod to Str-Based Skills, Specialized/only while in Hybrid and Dire Wolf forms, makes the use of heavy armor impractical (3 CP).
  • Sprint Regeneration: Grant of Aid with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized for Double Effect/restores hit point damage only, Corrupted/will not work against damage caused by tissue-destroying effects, such as fire, acid, or amputation (8 CP)
  • Blaze of Wrath: Imbuement/Enhanced Natural Weapons, Corrupted/requires the expenditure of a point of Mana to activate for the duration of a fight (one hour maximum) (4 CP). A Veltine can imbue his or her fangs, claws, and blows with a bit of his or her natural magic, transforming them into magical weapons.
  • Force of Will: Berserker, Corrupted/requires the expenditure of a point of Mana to activate (4 CP): Veltine have the standard berserker package.
  • Thick Fur: Immunity/natural weather conditions (Common, Minor, Trivial, Corrupted/only in Hybrid and Wolf forms, 2 CP). At least in their furry forms, the Veltine are resistant to normal extremes of temperature and weather, and can survive them unprotected with ease.
  • Skill Bonus: Veltine have a natural +4 racial bonus to Survival (4 CP).
  • Racial Disadvantages:
    • Accursed/Formlocked. Young Veltine are almost always born in “hybrid” form, and cannot naturally change forms. While the ability is inherent, it requires special training or a great deal of practice to bring it out. Those rare children unfortunate enough to be born in humanoid form are far weaker than the rest, and rarely survive long enough to learn. Children born in full wolf-form – and thus lacking hands and limited to very crude communication even with other Veltine – are usually considered inferior at best, and rarely get a chance to learn to shapeshift.
    • Blocked/Poor. Veltine don’t have as materialistic a civilization as most races, don’t need as much in the way of tools or protection as the other races do, and don’t develop the broad-based social support systems that members of the other races do. Their Wealth Level is always treated as one level lower than whatever they actually purchase.
    • Inept/-2 penalty on Charisma-linked skills. The Veltine are a bit primal – and it makes most other creatures nervous.
    • Net: -10 points.

   With a net cost of 94 CP, the Veltine would normally be a +2 ECL race or a +3 ECL Template – and at the upper limits for either. Fortunately for them, however, the entire package is corrupted. Like the other races of the Twilight Isles, the Veltine can only use Relics who’s cost can be covered by the points available from their Enthusiast allotment, and can only tolerate (Con) “points” worth of regular magic items – and the “point” cost of any given item is up to the game master (as a rule, low-level single-charge items are little trouble, spell storing items are only moderately troublesome, and permanently-active personal enhancement items are very troublesome). Annoyingly enough, this limit also affects temporary external spells – although their short-term nature means that the limit is increased by the user’s (Con Mod). While this is, in their case, a function of their natural attunements being disrupted by having too much in the way of unnatural energies about, it remains a nuisance. Unfortunately for the Veltine, thanks to their far more physical attunement, for them this only counts as being Corrupted – reducing the total to 63 CP, right at the limit for a +1 ECL race.

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One Response

  1. […] ECL Twilight Isles Veltine (Culture and Racial Traits) – with an explanation of the races of the Twilight Isles. Also, the Veltine in Depth: More […]

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