Heroes of Godsrage
Though the Aluft were created as a single race, they separated themselves into two distinct sub-cultures which became sub-races through selective breeding. There is little difference between the sub-races:
- The “Arail” (meaning intelligent in Aluftian) are those from dynasties that have bread their lines into intellectuals. They have greater intelligence and wisdom and are the wisest of the Aluft. Most priests, wizards and members of intellectual guilds will be of Arail stock.
- The “Naze” (meaning strength) are the progeny of the race’s warrior dynasties. They are bread for strength and battle and are the most fearless of the Aluft. Most warriors or members of the legions will be of Naze stock.
- There is another culture among the Aluft called the “Grounded,” but they are not a sub-race. Born of either sub-race, the grounded have lost their wings or the ability to use them due to wounds or accidents. The grounded feel a great pain of loss beyond any physical pain they may have endured. They live long lives and suffer through bouts of deep depression adjusting to flightless life. Some persevere and become fountains of knowledge for their culture but most leave their cities and seek life elsewhere.
The Aluft are possessed of almost ethereal beauty. They have exquisite features, voices like strings on a harp and skin with the luster of bronze. They appear similar in form to humans though taller, averaging over 6 feet. The extra height comes from longer legs and their arms are likewise longer. They have larger eyes and broader chests but their unique physiology and light hollow bones keep their weight low. Their hair is usually white or black and their eyes range from light blue to green. Aluft keep long hair, though some try more radical styles. They can grow beards but prefer to be clean shaven. Only the eldest Aluft or generals will keep beards. Their clothing is utilitarian and streamlined because if it is heavy, restrictive or too flowing it impedes their ability to fly. Close-fitting tops and breeches are the standard (though they include many straps and buckles for fastening belongings and keeping pockets closed or possessions and coins would drop in flight). Even dangling jewelry is seen as an annoyance.
Their single most identifying features are the beautiful feathered wings growing from their backs. Fully outstretched, the wings span 12 to 15 feet, though when not flying they are folded behind their backs. An interlocking series of ligaments allows their wings to lock in the outstretched position, enabling gliding for long periods without tiring. Typically their wings are white but black tipped feathers start to appear as an Aluft ages. Some occasionally dye a few of their feathers as a decorative art or war paint. In the air, an Aluft is fast, mobile and agile, due to both their light weight and grace in flight.
Though all Aluft once shared a single homeland the differences in beliefs splintered the race into three factions. Members of both sub-races live in all three cities but a PC’s outlook and character might differ depending on its city of origin. Regardless of where they live, all Aluft are brothers and sisters, and none bear any other ill will. An Aluft PC must choose its home city from these links:
Whether Naze or Arail, all Aluft share a similar mindset. They are practical people who feel religion a fundamental part of life. They espouse a “live and let live” philosophy and respect all life, and the ways and property of all beings. Aluft prefer memorizing things to writing them down. As the saying goes, “memories are lighter than books.” They are deep thinkers and take considerable time to decide on issues that do not require instant action. To them any conclusion that cannot be made crystal-clear in debate is not worth consideration and they will often question another’s idea to test its veracity. Debating deep philosophical issues is a favored Aluft pastime but they are capable of swift action when time is of the essence. They attack with savage aggression, seeking overwhelming victory as quickly as possible.
Some people of other races claim Aluft are purposefully contradictory, cautious to the point of rudeness, and generally snobbish to those who cannot fly. This stems mostly from the fact that Aluft typically step back (instead of moving forward) when greeting new people. Many believe them cowardly for this, but one who knows an Aluft realize they seek a greater conversational distance, especially with those they do not know. A proper courtesy would be to also take a step back. Aluft treat newcomers coolly and as in debate, they are slow to judge, slow to anger and even slower to forgive insult or injury.
Aluft are minimalistic, distaining excess, and never seeking to own more than is needed. Their rarely display greed because culture intentionally spurns amassing material possessions. They take only what is fair. While they realize the convenience of coins as a trading medium, they prefer the use of gems which are far lighter and hold greater value.
Aluft are never as happy as they are in the air, even if they are only gliding. They revel in the rush of the wind under their wings and see the endless sky as a place of limitless joy. Perhaps they fell more at home in the air because they always think in three dimensions (and players should remember that). Aluft fly or glide whenever possible. Adventuring Aluft prefer to live in great cities where diversity of opinion can be found along with never-ending opportunities for debate. City-dwelling Aluft typically reside on the upper floors of tall towers while those who settle in small communities prefer to be surrounded by deep forests.
The Aluft have the following abilities and hindrances which are beyond the norm.
Arail: -2 Str, -1 Dex, +1 Int, +2 Cha.
Naze: -1 Dex, -1 Int, +2 Cha.
- : An Aluft’s hollow bones do not support weight as well as solid bones. An Aluft’s Max Press, Weight Allowance and Open Doors ratings from Strength are only three quarters (75%) of what is listed on the Strength rating chart. Aluft PCs do not roll for exceptional Strength.
|Ability||Arail Min/Max Score||Naze Min/Max Score||Class||Naze Level Limit||Arail Level Limit|
|Class||Naze Level Limit||Arail Level Limit||HOo Enkath||14||10|
|HOo Chronis||12||14||Elemental Adherent (Wind)||8||10|
Character Classes: A Player Character Aluft can be a Basic Warrior, Knight, Ranger, Cultist, Holy Orders Priest (Aaroth, Cepheus, Chronis, Enkath or Ninurte) Elemental Adherent (wind), Elemental Trust (Stratomancer), Schools of 8 (Beguiler, Diviner, or Transmuter), Wild Mage, Freewalker, Thief, Smuggler, Bard, or Prophet. In addition, they may choose from the following multi-class options: Warrior/Mage, Warrior/Thief, Warrior/Faith, or Faith/Wizard (rules for Multi-classing). Multi-classed Warriors may be a: Basic Warrior. Multi-classed Mages may be a: Beguiler, Stratomancer or Wild Mage. Multi-classed Faiths may be a: Air Adherent. Multi-classed Rouges may be a: Thief or Smuggler.
Base Movement Rate: 8.
Languages: Aluft begin play knowing two languages their race uses to communicate: Aluftian and Aluft Sign. They can speak, read and write Aluftian. Aluft Sign is a complex form of sign language which has no verbal or written components and is used primarily for long distance communication. They guard their sign language greedily and have been known to use deadly force against people of other races who exhibit the ability to understand it. In addition to Aluftian and Aluft Sign, they have found it useful to learn the following languages: Skye, Aflin, Lemish, Draconic, Jontun, Kinol, Ossin Kinol, Norin Parse, Norse, and Uzivzy.
Bird Sight: Aluft eyes are specially adapted to flying. When they are flying outdoors they can focus their vision to notice details up to one mile away or notice objects partially obscured by forests. There is also an additional membrane over their eyes which allows them to suffer no penalties to see during high-speed winds.
Low Light Vision: Aluft can see four times as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
Wings: Aluft are unique among the common races for their ability to fly. Their entire physiology is geared toward this ability. They possess a special membrane in their respiratory systems that enables them to extract oxygen at high velocities and altitudes. Aluft generally fly below the clouds [6,500 ft] but they can attain a maximum altitude of 25,000 ft before they can no longer extract enough oxygen from the air to remain conscious. Their wings and specific physiology gives them the following abilities:
- Wing-Aided Movement: As long as an Aluft is in a space large enough to spread its wings they can use their wings to help with movement. The lift from her wings gives them a -10 to jump checks and allows them to jump twice as far and high as normal.
- Gliding: (Flight Speed; 25, Maneuverability Class; C) As long as an Aluft is in a space large enough to spread its wings they can use them to glide, negating damage from a fall of any height and allowing forward travel of 25 feet for every 5 feet of descent. The Aluft must be able to move forward while gliding and cannot hover. They cannot glide while encumbered with any load heavier than a Light Load. If an Aluft becomes unconscious or helpless while in midair, her wings reflexively unfurl and powerful ligaments stiffen the wings. The Aluft descends in a tight corkscrew and takes only 1d6 points of falling damage, no matter what the actual distance of the fall.
- Flight: (1st to 4th Level, Base Speed; 50 per round, Maneuverability Class: B) Flying requires a large enough space to spread and flap their wings plus additional space for forward or upward movement. Hovering only requires enough space for their wings plus enough space for their altitude. They cannot fly while encumbered with more than a Light Load or while fatigued or exhausted. At flight’s base speed, an Aluft can fly for a full day (or 14 hours) as this requires no more exertion than walking, though a fatigued Aluft still may not fly. At 2x or 3x base speed they can fly for a number of minutes equal to the Constitution score in a day. They can exert themselves to fly for up to twice as long but they are then fatigued at the end of the flight. They are likewise fatigued if they spend 10 or more straight minutes flying. Because an Aluft can glide before, after, and between minutes of actual flight, they can remain aloft for extended periods.
- An Aluft that has lost more than 50% of its HP is unable to fly unless it succeeds in a Constitution check, if this check fails they must then glide down to the ground. If they have lost 75% of their hit points they cannot continue to fly (no con check allowed) and so must glide.
- Diving: An Aluft can dive to gain greater speed. Though they may dive at their 1x, 2x or 3x speeds, they can dive at 4x (200 ft) or 5x (250 ft ) their base speed in a round. A dive requires that at least 25% of the total distance traveled be downward motion.
- Pulling out of a Dive: any dive at base flight speed (1x speed) and of only 25% can be pulled out of in one round by simply changing to gliding. Dives made at faster speeds or greater percentages can be pulled out in one of two ways; 1) any dive can be pulled out of in one round by making a successful Dexterity check suffering a penalty equal to 1 + the speed rate in the last round of the dive + 1 for each 5% of dive percentage over 25% (thus the check for a 40% dive 3 at 5x speed 5 suffers a + 9 penalty [1+3+5=9]). 2) any dive can be pulled out of in a number of rounds equal to 1 + the speed rate in the last round of the dive + 1 round for each 5% of dive percentage over 25% (thus a 35% dive [2 rounds] at 2x speed [2 rounds] takes 5 rounds to pull out of [1+2+2=5]). Pulling out of steep dives can be quite dangerous as your forward momentum can only be slowed by one speed rate and 5% until you reach 1x speed and 25% dive. Diving is considered time spent hovering for the purposes of calculating fatigue but each round spent pulling out of a dive counts as one round flying.
- Dive Attack: A dive attack works like a charge, but the Aluft must move a minimum of 30 feet and descend at least 10. An Aluft can make a dive attack only when wielding a piercing weapon; if the attack hits, it deals double damage and the target must succeed in a dexterity check or be knocked down and spend the next round getting back up.
- Fire: Aluft wings are susceptible to fire. Their feathers burn quickly once set ablaze and are hard to put out. An Aluft who has taken significant fire damage (1/3 of its total HP in fire damage from one source) will be unable to fly. Only a Heal or Wish spell with keep an Aluft from spending several months resting and recuperating to restore their wings to flying condition.
Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Alufts have an instinctive sense of which direction is north, even when they are underground or otherwise unable to see the sky or other visual cues. Beyond the Material Plane, this ability doesn’t function. They gain the Weather Sense non-weapon proficiencies as a bonus when being created.
Ancestral Weapons Bonus: Because of their rich traditional upbringing Aluft are put through rigorous training with weapons that are strongly identified with their cultural history. This training gives them a natural attack bonus of +1 while wielding an Aluftian Gladius and the Aluft Lance.
Weapon Limitation: Because of their unique physiology Aluft prefer to use weapons which they are able to wield in flight. Two-handed weapons of most types are unusable in flight because they are unwieldy and potentially dangerous around their wings. They also find many missile and throwing weapons hard to use but they have mastered the use of a few. In addition to their ancestral weapons there are a few additional weapons Aluft may use: Aluft Bow, Aluft Gladius, Aluft Lance, Blowgun, Bola, crossbow (any), Dagger, Dirk, Darts, Hand or Throwing Axe, Knives, Mace, Military Pick, Net, Short Sword, Long Sword, Spear, and Warhammer. Though Aluft are not limited to the above weapons they will suffer under an additional -1 penalty tohit should they choose use them due to the apprehension they will feel because other weapons are dangerous to their wings.
Armor Limitations: An Aluft’s strength limits what armor they can choose to wear, due to issues relative to their lowered weight allowance. Finding suitable metal armor will also be a challenge, as armor made for Aluft is hard to come by outside of their cities; because few non-Aluft craftsmen have the slightest idea how to make armor for them. On the rare occasion one may find a grounded Aluft craftsman that has set up shop in a city of another race. An Aluft that desires metal armor will often have to wear piece-mail. True Aluft plate armor is crafted from the alloy “Aluft Steel.” Such armor is nearly impossible to come by outside of an Aluft city.
Superstitious: Aluft suffer from a touch of claustrophobia making them uncomfortable in tight enclosed spaces or when they have been unable to see the sky for extended periods. Claustrophobia triggers in enclosed areas where they cannot fully outstretch their wings (any area where they do not have 5 feet to either side of them even if this space is taken up by people). Even in spacious enclosed areas an Aluft suffers from claustrophobia if it has been unable to see the sky for at least 24 hours (see the rules for Superstition). The Grounded have gotten used to a life that takes them into such areas fairly often and thus do not suffer from claustrophobia.
Species Enemy: +1 racial bonus to attack rolls against Jontun (giants – including half-Jontun): Aluft are trained in the special combat techniques that allow them to fight their common enemies more effectively. Aluft from Crystaliam have managed to put aside their racial hatred in recent years, but whenever things go wrong they tend to blame Jontun first.
|Base Age||Maximum Age|
|Middle Age: 100||Old Age: 150||Venerable: 200|
Relations with other races: An Aluft’s inter-racial relations will be dependent on its city of origin.