The Unearthed Arcana introduced racial variants to the game. Those variants can be found on A’arat’ among most of the humanoid and goblinoid species. In this world, these variants are actually mild fonts of their elemental connection, living conduits from those planes of primal energy. So, they have been adjusted a bit to reflect that connection. Here are the modified elemental races of A’arat’, including some new ones.
RACES OF ELEMENTAL AIR
Traits typically associated with air include an intuitive, imaginative, and emotional nature, heavily individualistic and constantly changing. It is also connected to the concepts of creativity, freedom, speed, and sexual openness. Creatures with strong ties to air tend to be curious and investigative, creative and self-redefining, and quick of mind and body. Politically, they believe in sacrifice for a cause or belief, though which one is served may be subject to change or modification if new light is shed on the cause, or thought dictates a slightly different course. They tend to long but tenuous relationships and are not keen on direct conflict. Members of Air Races often differ in appearance from their typical cousins. Common features include light blue or pale white skin, light blue to white to pale yellow hair, and flesh that is cool to the touch. Eyes tend to light grey or vibrant shades of blue. They are usually chaotic in alignment, but not always, and tend to be gifted in intelligence and often dexterity. Otherwise, they are the same as Air Races, as listed in Unearthed Arcana. Please note that the breathless trait, here, is actually caused by a tiny spark of a portal from the elemental plane of air, which provides needed atmosphere and can banish it as well. Members of these races do breathe, but they simply do not need an external access to breathable air, having their own internal supply.
ELEMENTAL RACES OF EARTH
Traits associated with Earth include Insight, thoughtfulness, community, fertility, order, and stoicism. Creatures with strong ties to Earth tend to be serious, logically inclined traditionalists that seek strength in unity and ordered living. Many are meticulous researchers, masterful strategists and community organizers. Politically, they believe in self-reliance and benefiting from their own efforts, but combining efforts to create bulwark societies that can withstand the ravages of time and chaos. Earth is typically associated with Law and Constitution, as well as earthy Wisdom. Members of Earth races often vary in appearance from their typical cousins. Common features include roughly textured skin that tends to Browns and Grays, eyes like black pits of various colored gems, large frames and extremities, hair of dull brown or iron gray or mildly green versions of more common colors, and a metallic sparkle or sheen to skin, teeth, nails, and horns. Otherwise they’re the same as Earth races from Unearthed Arcana. Please note that the stability ability comes from a rapid strong exchange of elemental Earth with the elemental plane of Earth. That Bond allows a kind of a sticky connection between an individual and the Earth with which he is in contact. This ability can be used to generate non valuable Earth material at a rate of approximately 1 oz per round, at-will, by touch, with a concentration check. That can be beneficial in the long term for minor projects or generally inconsequential matter creation, but it requires an extremely creative mind to turn such a minor creation into some kind of consequential action. Earth races are not usually known to possess that kind of creativity.
ELEMENTAL RACES OF FIRE
Fire is often associated with creative passion, forceful action, and destruction. Members of fire races are sensualists, often artisans and artists, and rather bellicose. Politically, they are concerned with furthering the goals of the society, church or association with which they most closely associate, often becoming its most ardent proselytizers and enforcers. Fire is thought to be most closely tied to fervor in alignment and actively pushing or exemplifying ideas, as well as with Charisma and, to a lesser degree, Strength. Common fire racial physical features include ruddy skin, red or orange hair that waves like flames, unusually warm skin, yellow or dark grey eyes, and large yellowish or red teeth and nails. Otherwise, they are the same as fire races from Unearthed Arcana. A member of a fire race resists fire and heat due to their connection with the elemental plane of Fire, which constantly infuses them with a small amount of Elemental fire, and leads them to not be affected by lesser flames. In a pinch, this infusion can be centered on a single point on the surface of the individual, generating enough Heat to cause a single point of damage to susceptible materials, such as dried leaves, Twigs, or paper. This can be used as a touch attack, but requires a full round of concentration to generate a single hit point of damage, and failure to connect with an attack within the following round will result in a single hit point of damage to the individual attempting to use this attack.
ELEMENTAL RACES OF LIGHT
Light has always been associated with truth and knowledge, but also with a sense of benevolent caring and giving, selflessness, and protectiveness. Some also equate it with beauty, but pure light can also reveal ugly flaws. It is associated with Good and Strength, but also somewhat with Charisma. People of light races tend to be honest, giving, caring and protective with a simple and positive outlook on life, so the very nature of light means that they come in almost any alignment and follow any path that appeals to them. Note that they will have at least one of the character traits listed above, even at their most wicked. A great preponderance of them are leaders, healers, protectors, teachers and seekers of truth. Physically, they have paler skin than other sub-races of their kind, their hair is usually golden, silver or white, and their eyes seem to Sparkle in the light and shine in the Darkness. Light folk are the same as others of their race with the following exceptions:
– +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against creatures of the Shadow or Darkness subtypes, including creatures of extra planar type and from the demiplane of shadow and the negative material plane.
– -2 penalty on all saving throws against spells, spell like abilities, and supernatural abilities with the Shadow or Darkness subtypes, or used by creatures of the Shadow or Darkness subtypes, including those from the negative material plane and the demiplane of shadow.
– Healthy Glow: These individuals are surrounded by a dim aura of light that can be surpressed or resumed, at-will, as a swift action. It outlines the person as the spell Faerie Fire and provides illumination similar to a candle that does not flicker. Anyone touched by this thin aura heals at double the rate they would normally, for as long as contact is maintained, as well as by any means involving normal, light-based or positive energy-based magical, supernatural or extraordinary power. This aura is considered an extraordinary ability.
RACES OF ELEMENTAL SHADOW
Shadow and darkness are considered to be the breeding grounds of secrets and lies, children of entropy and greed or lust for power. They are closely associated with selfishness, illicit behaviors, and tyranny. Though many equate them with ugliness, shadows may hide a myriad of flaws, and create the illusion of beauty with adroit ease. They are usually associated with Evil and Dexterity, but a keen and calculating Intelligence can lie in darkness. People of Shadow races tend to be secretive, greedy, power-hungry, and prone to insane or aberrant behavior, falling most easily into the roles of the shadowy puppet master, stealthy thief, or information broker. Politically, they tend to espouse power of the individual, unless they are in power, at which point they espouse their own superiority. Though they tend to Evil, there are many who embrace Good and focus on their nimble or intellectual characteristics. Even the latter will often be more comfortable reserving comment than bursting out with a string of truth. Shadow races are not deeply touched by Shadow, but it is pervasive enough to make most members darker than those of other sub-races in skin tone, hair color, eye color, and temperament. Black hair is most common, though blue-black and lead gray do occur. Eyes tend to black, violet or some other purple, or dark grey, but very dark versions of blue and green are not unknown. Skin tends to be very dark, with black, dark brown or grayish hues predominating. Shadow folk are the same as others of their race with the following exceptions:
– +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against creatures of the light or positive energy subtypes, including of extra planar type and from the demiplane of rainbows and the positive material plane.
-2 penalty on all saving throws against spell, spell like abilities, and supernatural abilities with the light subtype, or used by creatures of the light or positive energy subtypes, including those from the positive material plane and demiplane of rainbow.
– Veiled in Shadows: members of Shadow races have an affinity for shadows and gain +4 to Hide skill checks in areas of shadow. In fact, shadows and darkness within 30 feet of them respond to their presence are and dim light in the vicinity by one step. Undead in this area are unaffected by lighy less than daylight or its equivalent and gain double healing from negative energy effects. Individuals of this sub-race are sought after by light-sensitive people from the Underdark and by intelligent undead, to serve as traveling companions.
RACES OF ELEMENTAL WATER
Water races are creatures of sensation, but their response to it is more careful, critical or passive than that of fire or air races, being more calm and focused. Water is also associated with healing and comfort, constraint and contentment, and the long-term change of erosion, with major ties to reservist behavior and Wisdom, and lesser ties to Constitution. Politically, they are traditionalists more comfortable with proven systems and simple answers than radical new ideas, though sometimes they will make major shifts and then wait to see how those changes affect things in the long view. Common water racial features include lightly-scaled flesh with a clammy feel, blue to green hair, and large dark watery eyes. They are the same as water races from Unearthed Arcana, otherwise. The improved swimming ability of members of Elemental water races is actually caused by a displacement of liquid from one area of their body to another. While this does not allow them to actually create liquid more than to remain damp at any given moment, it does allow them to displace any liquid that touches them to any other part of their body, at-will, as a swift action. So, for example, if they are struck by an acid splash during combat, they may elect, with a swift action, to relocate that to the tips of the fingers of their off hand, where it will slip off into the air harmlessly. This is sort of relocation allows a fortitude saving throw against any liquid-based attacks against the individual. That is to say, the attack could be mostly harmless, unless those fingertips are already touching something else that is susceptible to acid damage. Similarly, this allows them to essentially skate along the ground at half their normal move speed, downhill, or at one-quarter speed, uphill, during times of heavy fog or rain, or if the ground is wet or icy.
RACES OF SPIRIT FORCE
Though not technically an elemental race, all indicators point to their inclusion in this category, as they are intrinsically tied to several highly interconnected metaphysical concepts and show the same close association impact on their character and physical features. Spirit is a concept associated with the balancing and collecting forces of nature and the universe, with the profusion of life all about and the quiet void underlying everything. It is an integrating yet separating, simplifying yet often complicating force that seeks to balance all things in their abundant variety and constant evolutionary pathways. It is seen as the epitome of Neutrality, peace, and homogeneity. The active Spirit Force seeks to establish balance in all things while the passive spirit force is the peace of the Void in constant meditation. It is both associated with and divorced from all alignments and ability. Law provides order, chaos provides variety, good provides creation and healing, and evil provides culling and ambition. All things in balance are seen as working together to a perfect variable existence, not to be confused with a blissful utopia. People of Spirit Force are centrists, forever seeking that point of compromise which affords longevity and balance, though they have been known to be radicals when the balance has tipped too far or too long toward any given extreme. They tend to be calm, centered, lively conversationalists, fond of playing devil’s advocate and promoting self-reliance and personal purpose. They are frustrated by stoicsts, rebels without sufficient cause, despots, greedy hoarders, and senseless destroyers, though they may ally with any of these, if there is some value to be garnered or nurtured in the association. Members of spirit races often vary in appearance from their typical cousins. Common features are usually not immediately or obviously noticeable, though very perceptive or long associated folk can spot these qualities right away. Hair tends to hazy brown or gray, with hairstyles falling to complex and balanced arrangements or simple styles easily maintained. Bald by nature or choice is abnormally common among this ilk. Skin tends to robust and healthy colors, though with an odd semi translucent quality that allows veins and arteries to show more clearly. Eyes tend to be black or very pale, with a heavy preponderance of gold or silver flecks that strongly influence the base color. Spirit Force folk are the same as other members of their race, with the following exceptions:
– +1 racial bonus to attacks and Caster level of spells used against creatures of the incorporeal or construct subtypes, as well as extra planar creatures of any kind, and with abilities of any kind related to ethereal and incorporeal states of being.
– -2 to saving throws against spells, spell like abilities, and supernatural abilities originating from creatures of the incorporeal, construct, or extra planar subtypes.
– Balanced Power: Individuals of this race are gifted with power in accordance with their actual alignment. If they are neutral on either axis, they can be treated as neutral when it is beneficial to do so and they can see ethereal and incorporeal beings, but not others usually invisible to the natural eye, as if those were only a bit transparent. They suffer a -2 penalty to social checks with other people who cannot see these unseen beings. If they are neutral on only one access they can interact with those beings as if they were completely corporeal except in regards to forcing them physically or damaging them in any way. In the latter case, they are treated as plainly visible but physically incorporeal. If they are neutral and actively so, then their above-mentioned bonuses and penalties extend to any creature not neutral on at least one alignment access. If they are neutral and passive instead, they can communicate telepathically at short range in the same way that people speak, which is by focused effort of mind, instead of voice, as long as they share a language in common with those mentally hearing or speaking. Any person attempting to speak will also be speaking mentally, for purposes of this ability. These are all extraordinary abilities, usable at will, following the same time sensitivity rules as regular speech.
OTHER NOTABLE ELEMENTALLY LINKED RACES
Those with an Elemental bloodline