Friday, November 22, 2013

Nibelung (Race for tabletop RPGs)

Before humans built their cities, before they gained speech and fire, Giants, Titans, and Gods waged war across the land. When they fell, insects and men fed ignorantly, instinctually on their fallow flesh. Some laid eggs within. These creatures, fed from birth and incubated in the flesh and blood of fallen Gods, Giants, and Titans, grew into those magical races which populated the land after the Gods left.

Nibelung began life as maggots feeding on the flesh of the Titan of the Forge, the Giants of Earth, or various fallen Gods. The other gods gave them sentience, as punishment. The maggots became curious, and burrowed to the surface of their hosts. When they saw the terror and majesty of the bodies they had fed on, the Nibelung wept; they changed.

Each swore to forge the materials over which they were given majesty in beauty and terror equal to that upon which they had fed. Most have forgotten all that. They do not die, except from violence.

*All Nibelung have -to all rolls in direct sunlight.
*Nibelung can see in darkness as a human can in bright light.

From Alex Alice's amazing Siegfreid graphic novel.

Nibelung of the Forge
These creatures are 3-4 feet tall, with tufts of shaggy hair in odd places and stag's horns which grow with age. Their skin is brown, red, or purple. They have the urge to make things which involve fire, so: forging metal, cooking, brewing, etc. They do not produce offspring, but occasionally an adolescent will wake deep underground with no memory and begin wandering the world. They despise sunlight, but crave the dim glow of a fire or forge.
as PCs:
*Ability Adjustments: -1 STR & CHA, +1 CON & WIS
*+2 to forging, brewing, etc

as PCs or NPCs:
*Given access to a forge and tools, they can make or repair any small metal item (dagger, helm) in 8 hours, medium (shield, short sword, hand axe, armor +2 AC) in 20, and large (long sword, battle axe, armor +4 AC) in 36, and large weapons or armor +6 AC in 72. The times listed are hours spent at the forge. Conversation and light activities can take place, but nothing that takes them too far from the forge.
*They can brew potions or salves that will heal HP equal to their level at the time of brewing, one per 4 hours over a fire. They need a fire, sufficient roots, fungus, seaweed, and/or mushrooms.

as NPCs: use the stats not described above as Deep Elves or Duergar in your system.

Earth Nibelung on the right; Again, art from Alex Alice's Siegfried

Nibelung of the Earth
Standing 4-5 feet tall, these creatures have a thin body of wood and leaves, with a patch of branches on their back amongst which fungus grows. Each carves a mask for their face, which holds their memories. It takes months to carves a new face, but they covet memories and only carve a new one when in need. Swamps, caves, and deep forest are their typical habitat. It is said they each forge threads of fate into the weave of time.
as PCs:
*Ability Adjustments: -2 STR, +1 INT and CHA

as PCs or NPCs:
*Can see into the past, present, or future as follows. Can cast spells from the Divination school as a Wizard of the same level.
-Seeing into the past requires a sacrifice of 5 GP per day (so it takes 25GP to see 5 days into the past; the gold or gems are left gray and dull.)
-Seeing into the Present requires still water and silence.
-Seeing into the Future requires a sacrifice of blood - 5 HP (from any willing creature) per day into the future sought, and must be done in calm circumstances in a familiar place.
-DCC Spell Checks are recommended.
-All of the Divination above requires an object taken from the person or place scryed upon.

as NPCs: Use the stats for forest Elves or Gnomes in your system.

Nibelung have a different relationship with gods than mortals do, and cannot be Clerics, Paladins, or any other class involving Divine power.
Nibelung Magic-Users of any kind have a chance of accidentally casting a random Summoning spell (1-10 instead of the intended spell; 11-20 in addition to; 21-99 no Summon; 100 Summon in addition to as if five levels higher).

Upon reaching 10th level, some Nibelung begin to change into Dragons. If they choose this path, they have max HP equal to the GP value of all items in their possession, and crave more.

And what of Nibelung of the Gods? If you have encountered any, I'd love to know about them...

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