Saturday, July 10, 2010

Races: The Ki'vali

The stalwart ki'vali are said to have sprung from the blood of an injured goddess. Tall and heavily built, with strong, blunt facial features that appear vaguely leonine, they have three eyes and a pair (sometimes two pairs) of short ivory horns. Their skin is usually dark blue, dark red, or a wide range of gray shades.
  • +2 Strength, +4 Constitution, +2 Wisdom; -2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma. Ki’vali are strong, perceptive, and incredibly vigorous, but ponderous and gruff.
  • Normal Speed: Ki’vali base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Medium: Ki’vali are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Darkvision: Ki’vali can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
  • Durability: Ki’vali receive a +4 to Fortitude saves against poison and disease.
  • Intimidating: Ki’vali receive a +2 bonus to Intimidate checks.
  • Poison Detection: Ki’vali are allowed a Perception check to detect any poisons they may come in contact with. The DC is 10 to detect the poison; if the check equals the save DC, the ki’vali can identify the exact type. This is an extraordinary ability.
  • Sharp Teeth: Ki’vali can bite for 1d4 points of damage plus their Strength bonus when involved in a grapple.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Ki’vali treat bastard swords and any weapon with “ki’vali” in its name as a martial weapon. Their size and strength allow them to easily wield these weapons one-handed.
  • Automatic Languages: Ki’vali begin play speaking Common and Ki’valan.
The original concept for this race was "big, imposing, and look like Japanese oni."  Other details emerged more or less at random.

Question for the readers:  If a race's origin is a bit more complex than is commonly known, how much meta-knowledge should players have at the outset?


  1. If you're looking to make the ki'vali mysterious, it might help to give players hints and rumors that aren't necessarily consistent with one another. I guess it sort of boils down to whether or not the true origin of the ki'vali is ever going to be revealed, or if it's something meant to remain obscure.

  2. Humans will know about ki'vali.  They'll see them on a daily basis, possibly work alongside them, maybe even be friends with them.  The ki'vali have been around for quite some time.

    But as for the origin of the race itself?  Humans and ki'vali alike will probably believe that the goddess of protection really was injured in an apocalyptic battle, and three-eyed children really did spring from drops of her blood. 

    It is possible that some people might figure the story for a metaphor or a fictionalized account. But it's anyone's guess—at least at this point—how close they'd come to guessing the truth.  I suppose it all depends on how much of the past "golden age" I end up revealing to players right off the bat.