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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

PFRPG: Mongrelkin Race

Okay, so for my next post, I shall give you the mongrelkin race! This is a race I created for a friend who wants to run a campaign with only mongrelkin characters. Here is what she had to say about her inspiration for that campaign:

"As I played Dungeons and Dragons, I was always more attracted to playing monsters. I think the most normal character I ever played was a half elf with lycanthropy. Monsters come with prejudices against them. If you stumble upon a band of goblins in the forest, all PC's know it's safe to assume they are evil and it won't affect your Good alignment to slaughter them. So I played monsters. Even if it didn't come out overtly in the story, each of my PC's had to reconcile my race and my place in the team.
So when I was introduced to AD&D Mongrelfolk in Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, one of my favorite webcomics, I fell in love. I tried to research this race, which drops out of the Monster Manual, to reappear as a bland non-racial monster that could disguise itself as most races later on, only to disappear again.

The appeal of mongrelfolk was in it's original form, how Michael Terracciano remembered them. Assymetrical, hideous, unable to hide. I tried to find a way to create a character based on the original stats, but it was too difficult.

Terracciano had his own idea as to why Mongrelfolk were what they are, and it was brilliant for Dominic Deegan. But I had my own ideas. I decided that I wanted Mongrelfolk to be mostly genetic, less magical. Working backward, I designed a hidden city where all the monstrous misfits could leave Dwelhu (Dwarven, Elven, and Human) prejudices and live as people. Centuries of cross breeding (and a little unexplained magic) broke the genetic code and Mongrelfolk emerged.

I put this city in the dangerous Eastern Wilds of a world I had already used for two other campaigns (in two different eras) and decided to make a third.

Of course, prejudices against monsters are mostly valid, and Haven (the monster city) is full of evil and corruption, but that doesn't exactly make it much different than most Dwelhu cities. My campaign begins as a group of young mongrelfolk leave Haven to prove their worth in the Rite of Adulthood, a trial that lasts a year in Dwelhu lands."


This race relies heavily on the Advanced Race Guide Playtest, which is no longer available since the Advanced Race Guide has finally been published. I will list some of the race features that can be purchased a the end of the Racial traits section. The official D&D monster/race is the "mongrelfolk" can be found in the Fiend Folio (3e) and Races of Destiny (3.5e). The Pathfinder equivalent monster is the "mongrelman" which can be found in the Bestiary 2. Since I am not sure if the name "mongrelfolk" is copyrighted by WotC and I did not like the name "mongrelman," I decided to name the race "mongrelkin" (I know, really original).

Mongrelkin Racial Traits
Type: Humanoid (human)*
+2 to One Ability Score:  Mongrelkin characters get a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.

Size: Choice of Medium or Small*
Normal Speed: Mongrelkin have a base speed of 30 feet.
Asymmetric: Due to their unusual shapes, mongrelkin take a -4 penalty on Disguise checks.
Diffused Blood: Mongrelkin count as humans, dwarves, elves, giants, gnomes, goblinoids, halflings, and orcs for any effect related to race.
Mixed Heritage: Mongrelkin receive 4 bonus Race Points (RP) that they can use to purchase additional racial traits, and may take further weaknesses to be able purchase more powerful racial traits (see below).
Sound Mimicry: Mongrelkin can perfectly imitate specific voices. To do so they make a Bluff check opposed by the listener's Sense Motive check to recognize the mimicry, although if the listener isn't familiar with the person mimicked, it takes a –8 penalty on its Sense Motive check. Mongrelkin have a +8 racial bonus on their Bluff checks to mimic voices (including accents and speech patterns) they have listened to for at least 10 minutes. Mongrelkin cannot duplicate the effects of magical abilities (such as bardic performance or a harpy's captivating song), though they may be able to mimic the sound of those abilities. This ability does not allow Mongrelkin to speak or understand languages they don't know.
Languages: Mongrelkin begin play speaking Pidgin. Mongrelkin with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Common, Halfling, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Gnomish, Goblin, and Orcish.
* Mongrelkin may buy the half-undead subtype or large size by taking weaknesses (see below).

Additonal Traits [Here are just a few from the Advanced Race Guide Playtest]

Climb (1 RP): Prerequisites: Normal speed trait; Mongrelkin with this trait have a climb speed of 20 ft., and gain the +8 racial bonus on Climb checks that a climb speed normally grants.
Darkvision 60 ft. (2 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Darkvision 120 ft. (3 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait can see in the dark up to 120 feet.
Defensive Training, Lesser (1 RP): Choose one subtype of humanoid. Mongrelkin with this trait gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against humanoids of the chosen subtype. 
Defensive Training, Greater (3 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait gain a +2 dodge bonus to Armor Class.
Dual-Minded (1 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait gain a +2 bonus on all Will saving throws.
Flight (4 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait have a fly speed of 30 ft. with clumsy maneuverability. Special: This trait can be taken more than once. Each time it is taken, the Mongrelkin’s fly speed is increased by +10 ft. and the maneuverability improves by one step for each additional 2 RP spent.
Gift of Tongues (2 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait gain a +1 racial bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks, and they learn one additional language every time they put a rank in the Linguistics skill.
Half-undead (5 RP): Half-undead Mongrelkin are strange or unholy fusions of the living and the undead. Half-undead Mongrelkin have the following features. 
• Darkvision 60 ft. 
• +2 racial bonus on saving throws against disease and mind-affecting effects. 
• Half-undead Mongrelkin take no penalties from energy draining effects, though they can still be killed if they accrue more negative levels than they have Hit Dice. After 24 hours, any negative levels they’ve gained are removed without any additional saving throws. 
• Half-undead Mongrelkin are harmed by positive energy and healed by negative energy. Half-undead Mongrelkin with the fast healing special quality still benefit from that quality.
Large (7 RP): Large Mongrelkin gain a +2 size bonus to Strength and a –2 size penalty to Dexterity. Large Mongrelkin take a –1 size penalty to their AC, a –1 size penalty on attack rolls, a +1 bonus on combat maneuver checks and to their CMD, and a –4 size penalty on Stealth checks. A Large Mongrelkin takes up a space that is 10 feet by 10 feet and has a reach of 5 feet.
Low-Light Vision (1 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait can see twice as far as a race with normal vision in conditions of dim light.
Natural Armor (2 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait gain a +1 natural armor bonus.
Natural Armor, Improved (1 RP): Prerequisites: Natural Armor trait; Mongrelkin with this trait gain a +1 natural armor bonus. Special: This trait can be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.
Natural Attack (1 RP): Choose one of the following natural attacks: bite, claw, gore, slam, or wings (if the Mongrelkin has flight).  Mongrelkin with this trait receive one natural attack f the chosen type. Bite is a primary attack, or a secondary attack if the Mongrelkin is wielding manufactured weapons, claw, gore, and slam are primary attacks, while wings is a secondary attack. The damage is based on the Mongrelkin’s size. Special: This trait can be taken multiple times. Each time, pick a different natural attack.
Plagueborn (2 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against disease, ingested poisons, and becoming nauseated or sickened.
Powerful Swimmer (1 RP): Prerequisites: Swim trait; Mongrelkin with this trait receive a +10 ft. bonus to their swim speed. Special: This trait can be taken twice. Its effects stack.
Reach (1 RP): Prerequisites: Large; Mongrelkin with this trait have a reach of 10 feet.
See in Darkness (4 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait can see perfectly in darkness of any kind, including that created by deeper darkness.
Scent (4 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait gain the scent ability.
Spell Resistance, Lesser (2 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait gain spell resistance equal to 6 + their level.
Spell Resistance, Greater (3 RP): Mongrelkin with this trait gain spell resistance equal to 11 + their level.
Sprinter (1 RP): Prerequisites: Normal speed trait; Mongrelkin with this trait gain a +10 ft. racial bonus to their speed when using the charge, run, or withdraw actions.
Swamp Stride (1 RP): Prerequisites: Normal speed trait; Mongrelkin with this trait can move through difficult terrain at their normal speed while within a swamp. Magically altered terrain affects them normally.
Swim (1 RP): Prerequisites: Normal speed trait; Mongrelkin with this trait have a swim speed of 30 ft. and gain the +8 racial bonus on Swim checks that a swim speed normally grants.

Weaknesses [These can be taken to give Mongrelkin the ability to purchase some of the more expensive additional traits]
Light Blindness (–2 RP): Prerequisites: Darkvision or see in darkness trait; Abrupt exposure to bright light blinds Mongrelkin with this weakness for 1 round; on subsequent rounds, they are dazzled as long as they remain in the affected area.
Light Sensitivity (–1 RP): Prerequisites: Any darkvision trait; Mongrelkin with this weakness are dazzled as long as they remain in an area of bright light.
Resurrection Vulnerability (–1 RP): Prerequisites: Half-undead subtype; A raise dead spell cast on a Mongrelkin with this weakness can destroy it (Will negates). Using the spell in this way does not require a material component.
Weak Ability Score, Major** (-3 RP): Mongrelkin with this weakness take a -4 penalty on any single ability score of their choice.
Weak Ability Score, Minor** (-1 RP): Mongrelkin with this weakness take a -2 penalty on any single ability score of their choice.
**New weakness not in Advanced Race Guide Playtest.