Friday, December 17, 2010

Halflings and Gnomes of Averlorn

HALFLINGS: Halflings are considerably different in Averlorn than in most settings. Though a few live a gypsy-like existence wandering from village to village, most are decidedly urban, making their way in the cities and towns of men and dwarves. Halflings are seen as pests by most humans and given their associations with rats of all sorts—which serve as both the halfling cow and dog at the same time— humans find them extremely unsavory creatures.

Halflings adore the lowly rat to the point of obsession and keep them as pets, admiring their tenacity and adaptability. Their close affinity to these creatures grants them virtual immunity to the diseases associated with vermin of all sorts. Halfings in The Hovels borough of Grand Oryx have bred giant rats to extreme proportions and use them as mounts for select dignitaries and sheriffs. They are prohibitively expensive, surly and short lived, but every self-respecting halfling considers them a “must have” status symbol.

In game play, Halflings gain a very limited version of the 1st level druid spell Animal Companion at 2nd level. This spell takes an hour or more “to cast” and is really, a spell like ability rather than an actual spell. They can make an attempt once per day and of course, they are limited to rats and giant rats. A Halfling may keep up to 2 + CHA bonus of rat pets. Of course, their human and elf associates will be thoroughly disgusted by this cultural trait, but Halflings won’t be deterred by ignorant and petty squeamishness.

GNOMES: The gnomes of Averlorn are very magical creatures, cousins of the fae and masters of illusions and trickery. Gnome communities can be found in both forests and hills, but very rarely in the cities of men. In game play, gnomes with an 18 INT enjoy unlimited advancement in the Illusionist class and gain a 15% bonus to learn any illusionist spell. Upon achieving name level as an Illusionist, gnomes may attempt to cast magic user spells from scrolls with a base 60% + Illusionist Level. Whether or not the attempt is successful, the individual spell is removed from the scroll.

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