Thursday 23 July 2020

Murder and Blood-Guilt: the Forlarren for Blood & Treasure

I've always been fond (if that's the right word, and probably isn't) of the Forlarren, and having noted their absence from B&T Monsters and B&T Monsters II, I thought I'd convert them, using Pathfinder's Forlarren as a model. Then I encountered Purple Duck Games' Monstrous Races: Second Horde, which offers Forlarren as a playable option. I wanted Forlarren in the New Kingdoms to be a bit more common, rather than just being the grisly outcome of the Demonic 'seduction' of a Wood Nymph. In the Demon-Cultists of Elaar I had a pretty plausible source for magic that would seek to create Forlarren-like abominations, and in the extensive list of Nymph 'sub-races' in B&T Monsters II, I found a certain amount of inspiration for various Forlarren lineages. Hope you like them.


These pitiable Fey creatures are anathema to most decent folk, as they live their lives overcome with self-loathing and murderous rage. This unwholesome combination arises from their mingled heritage: they represent the outcome of malign experimentation by the crazed Demon-Cults that subjugate Elaar. That once-fair land has long been overcome by the forces of Chaos, and one result of this domination has been a sequence of bizarre, profane hybridisations. In the case of the Forlarren, they represent the fusion of the faerie beauty of the Nymph peoples with the pure, putrid elemental matter of the Abyss. This experimentation has led to several different varieties of Forlarren dependent upon their Fey and Demonic antecedents. Of particular note are the Cambionites, the Lampadaeans, Pyreans, Hyperboreans and the Dretchenn.

Forlarren, although found mostly in the wilds of Elaar (or in Elaar’s benighted cities, living in miserable servitude to the Demon-Priests) have spread across the face of the world - possibly empowered by the Chaos energies released by Shroudfall - and can now be found in many places. They are most often seen in the slums of human cities, the Chaos-tinged wilderlands of Old Yrena and the Kolsec lands and the Dumir Wastes. Some have even made their way to the wilds of Avronakiya (where the Dretchenn and Hyperborean lineages are most often found).

Forlarren tend to carve out niches as brigands, infiltrators, cultists and hired killers - but few like working with them, never knowing when the Forlarren’s desire to inflict cruelty, pain and death upon others will be visited upon those who are brave - or foolhardy - enough to work with them.

Of the main Forlarren lineages, the Cambionites are most likely to be found in cities (often in the company of Tieflings, Half-Orcs and other misbegottens), wielding their charm as others might deploy a brutal weapon. The Dretchenn are also found in cities, working as particularly repulsive and cowardly goons - or pursuing a private path as a serial killer.

Most Forlarren average 66” in height , but Dretchenn and Lampadaeans are substantially shorter, averaging 60” and 58” respectively. All Forlarren are hairless, have the legs of a goat, sharp claws, slick grey skin, a bestial mien and dark, wrathful eyes, but otherwise vary somewhat in appearance. Common (or “Mongrel”) Forlarren are as described above, but other lineages differ in the following manner:

Cambionite:  Born of the infusion of the subtle, charming Cambion with a Wood Nymph, these Forlarren are swarthily handsome, with vestigial horns jutting out an inch or so from their foreheads. They have a sardonic smile and are more muscular than the usual Forlarren, whilst their skin is the colour of blood illuminated by sooty torchlight, as might be found in some hopeless subterranean torture chamber. They also possess a blood-hued forked tongue that flits across their plump lips when they contemplate a particularly clever cruelty. They favour rich clothes and fine jewellery.

Dretchenn: Ugly products of the blending of the repulsive Dretch with the Oreads (“Mountain Nymphs”), the Dretchenn are the most numerous of the various Forlarren “breeds”. They are pot-bellied, jowly and have dark-grey skin that flakes incessantly, causing them considerable irritation. Nonetheless they have powerful arms and legs - all the better to run away with. They tend to wear ragged clothing, often stolen from their victims.

Hyperborean: When the vile stuff of the Hezrou demons is mingled with the warlike Nymphs of the Taiga the result is pure abomination: bloated amphibian heads (in which the sensitive might perceive the trapped memory of a Nymph’s beauty), awkward bodies with mismatched arms (one slender, one saggily-muscled) and an urge to violence that transcends that of other Forlarren. They wear crude hides and furs, and love adornments of bone and tattoos depicting the agonised deaths of those they have slain. 

Lampadaean: The unholy merging of Torch Nymph and Vrock demon, these Forlarren retain much of the Nymph’s beauty and grace, but as if somehow twisted and sickened. They have long, vulturine necks, hopeless grey eyes and a strange, hardened top lip, as if caught in mid-transition from human mouth to vulture’s beak. However, Lampadaeans are the Forlarren most capable of suppressing their innate desire for murder.

Pyrean: These Forlarren are born of the fusion of the battle-loving Marilith and the Fire Nymph. Their beauty remains, almost untouched, although given an unwholesome twist by the dry redness of their skin and the sullen cast of their eyes and mouth. Always quick to seek combat, the eyes of Pyreans are kindled to bright, fiery light during battle and their skin begins to radiate an unpleasant (but non-damaging) heat. For this reason, they are often encountered in loose-fitting robes of crimson and gold that can be shed quickly in a fight revealing the armor beneath.

Although Forlarren are potentially long-lived, they seldom live for more than 50 years, as their horrendous desire for murder and their overwhelming self-hatred almost inevitably conspire to lead them to a dark, despairing end. They commence play with the following tongues: Vaerylle, Urugraz and one local human language (usually Avronakiyan, Yrenaic or Urdrinn).

All Forlarren are swift, perceptive and somewhat foolish, their intellects corrupted by their dark longings. They gain +1 to Dexterity and Wisdom, but take a -1 penalty to Intelligence. Those of a specific lineage gain the following variations:

Cambionites: Lose their bonus to Dexterity, but gain +1 to Charisma.

Dretchenn: Lose their bonus to Wisdom, but gain +1 to Constitution and take a -1 penalty to Charisma.

Hyperborean: They retain the bonus to Dexterity and Wisdom, but take a -2 penalty to Intelligence.

Lampadaeans: Lose their bonus to Dexterity, but take no penalty to Intelligence.

Pyreans: Lose their bonus to Wisdom, but gain a +1 bonus to Strength and Constitution. 

Regardless of lineage, Forlarren have the following minimum/maximum ability scores: STR 7/18, INT 3/17, WIS 3/18, DEX 8/18, CON 6/18 and CHA 3/18. They roll 1d4 + 2 for their Heritage score.

All Forlarren can use their claws in combat, doing 1d4 damage.

Common Forlarren can cast each of the following spells once per day: faerie fire, heat metal and light. They may add their unmodified attack bonus as damage to any fire spells they cast (if multi-classing, use the lowest attack bonus), and foes save against a Forlarren’s fire spells at -1.

Other lineages modify these talents - and gain their own unique abilities - as follows:

Cambionite: instead of casting light, Cambionites may cast hypnotism once per day. They retain the enhanced damage to any fire spells they cast, but the -1 penalty to the saving throw of foes is applied to any Enchantment spells they may cast.

Dretchenn: Dretchenn lose the ability to cast daily spells but retain enhanced fire damage and the -1 penalty to a foe’s saving throw against their fire spells. Instead, of casting daily spells, a Dretchenn can, three time a day vomit up a grisly caustic mess that sickens anyone within 20’ for 1d4 rounds.

Hyperborean: Hyperboreans lose the ability to cast light, instead casting cause fear. They lose the enhanced damage and modified saving throws for fire spells, but instead add +1 to hit with bows and gain the ability to speak with burrowing animals.

Lampadaean: Lamapadaeans lose the ability to cast light and faerie fire, instead casting sound blast once per day. They retain the enhanced damage and modified saving throws with regard to fire spells. They also, upon rolling a natural 20 when making a melee attack, force a foe to pass a saving throw (with Charisma modifier added) or take 1 point of Wisdom damage.

Pyrean: Pyreans are treated as Common Forlarren with regard to special abilities, but also gain resistance to fire.

All Forlarren have the following classes open to them: Anarchist, Anticleric, Antipaladin, Assassin, Barbarian, Beastmaster, Blackheart, Bounty Hunter, Chaos Mage, Chthonic Druid, Demonologist, Diablo, Fey Mage, Fighter, Magic-User (Conjuror, Evoker, Transmuter), Pariah, Priest (Death, Fighting, Trickster, Weird), Scout, Shadowdancer, Sorceror (Demon or Fey bloodline only), Thief, Warlock.

Cambionites may also select the following: Alchemist, Bard, Charlatan, Duellist, Enchanter, Illusionist, Saboteur, Sentinel, Slave Girl, Venturer.

Dretchenn: Poltroon, Thug.

Hyperboreans: Marksman, Sentinel.

Lampadaeans: Abjurer, Alchemist, Defender, Necromancer.

Pyreans: Alchemist, Saboteur.

Forlarren may also pursue the following multi-class options: Assassin-Conjuror, Assassin-Demonologist, Demonologist-Fighter, Demonologist-Thief, Fighter-Conjuror, Scout-Conjuror, Thief-Conjuror. Cambionites may also select from the following options: Alchemist-Demonologist, Alchemist-Thief, Duellist-Conjuror, Duellist-Thief, Sentinel-Conjuror.

Hyperboreans gain the following options: Marksman-Sorceror, Sentinel-Scout, Sentinel-Conjuror.

Lampadaeans may select the following: Alchemist-Demonologist, Alchemist-Thief, Assassin-Necromancer, Defender-Thief, Defender-Conjuror, Defender-Abjurer.

Monday 20 July 2020

Snakey Charmers: The Ir-Ukyn for Blood & Treasure


Although their great empire is no more, and they are mostly scattered, dwelling in primordial swamps, the Ir-ukyn retain an almost mythical hold on the human imagination. These lizard-like humanoids once used their mastery of mental powers to hold sway over large human populations, and they retain these powers still. The fear remains that one day they will seek once more to dominate humankind. Most Ir-ukyn, however, are content with their current state of eclipse and the quiet satisfactions of life in the wild. Most Ir-ukyn practice a Neutral alignment, although there is a small but significant minority of Chaotic (usually Lawful Evil) disposition who long for their former pre-eminence.

Ir-ukyn average, 68” in height and have a movement rate of 30’. They are powerfully-built saurian bipeds with long tails. They are covered in varicoloured scaled hides. Ir-ukyn possess hypnotic reptilian eyes. They live for up to 90 years and begin play with their own language, Ir-ukyn

An Ir-ukyn’s powerful physique grants them +1 to Constitution and +1 to Strength, but are awkward and slow, and possessed of a cold and rather repellent demeanour, giving them a -1 to Dexterity and Charisma. They have the following minimum/maximum ability scores: STR 9/19, INT 3/18, WIS 3/18, DEX 3/17, CON 5/19, and CHA 3/17. They roll 1d6 + 1 for their Heritage score.

Ir-ukyn – despite their aloof manner – have the ability to wield significant charismatic power: when they cast enchantment spells, they are treated as if they are two levels higher (for spell duration, etc.) and advanced enchantment spells are treated as if they are two levels lower for the purpose of learning them. In addition, they may double their percentage chance when rolling to discover the presence of psionic powers and the strength of such powers.

Ir-ukyn also have a powerful tail slam attack (1d6 damage) and gain a +1 to Survival, Tracking, Move Silently and Hide in Shadows task checks in swamps and forest. Their tough reptilian hide grants them a +1 bonus to their AC.

Ir-ukyn have the following classes available to them: Anticleric, Assassin, Barbarian, Beastmaster, Defender, Demoniac, Druid, Fighter, Magic-User (Abjurer, Conjurer, Diviner, Enchanter, Evoker, Illusionist, Necromancer, Transmuter), Priest (Death, Fighting, Weird), Psychic, Ranger, Ronin, Scout, Sentinel, Shaman, Sorceror.

They may also pursue the following multi-classing options: Assassin-Psychic, Assassin-Enchanter, Assassin-Sorceror, Enchanter-Ronin, Enchanter-Scout, Psychic-Ranger, Psychic-Ronin, Psychic-Scout, and Psychic-Sentinel.

Wolves of War: The Ulfarga for Blood & Treasure (& RMFRP)

  Ulfarga (Lupine Beastkin) Wild-hearted but honourable wolf-like humanoids, Ulfarga represent one of the largest populations of any Beastki...