Sunday, 26 August 2012

F is for Fetchlings (maybe)

According to the Advanced Race Guide

Fetchlings: Long ago, fetchlings were humans exiled to the Shadow Plane, but that plane’s persistent umbra has transformed them into a race apart. These creatures have developed an ability to meld into the shadows and have a natural affinity for shadow magic. Fetchlings—who call themselves kayal—often serve as emissaries between the inhabitants of the Shadow Plane and the Material Plane.

With the following Racial Characteristics
+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, –2 Wisdom: Fetchlings are quick and forceful, but often strange and easily distracted by errant thoughts.
Native Outsider: Fetchlings are outsiders with the native subtype.
Medium: Fetchlings are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Fetchlings have a base speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision: Fetchlings can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Fetchlings can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Skilled: Fetchlings have a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (planes) and Stealth checks.
Shadow Blending (Su): Attacks against a fetchling in dim light have a 50% miss chance instead of the normal 20% miss chance. This ability does not grant total concealment; it just increases the miss chance.
Shadowy Resistance: Fetchlings have cold resistance 5 and electricity resistance 5.
Spell-Like Abilities (Sp): A fetchling can use disguise self once per day as a spell-like ability. He can assume the form of any humanoid creature using this spell-like ability.
When a fetchling reaches 9th level in any combination of classes, he gains shadow walk (self only) as a spell-like ability usable once per day, and at 13th level, he gains plane shift (self only, to the Shadow Plane or the Material Plane only) usable once per day. A fetchling’s caster level is equal to his total Hit Dice.
Languages: Fetchlings begin play speaking Common. Fetchlings with a high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aklo, Aquan, Auran, Draconic, D’ziriak (understanding only, cannot speak), Ignan, Terran, and any regional human tongue.

Accordingly he clocks in at a total of 17 RP, putting he far our of touch with the 10 to 12 point range that I'm shooting for our campaign setting but 5 of those RP come from his plane shift ability (see yellow highlight). So, by losing the plane shift he drops back to 12 and becomes very much playable in a setting like Porphyra.

I'm not where I sit on fetchlings and I don't think my problem is with them in general but with the plane of Shadow in general. In 3.X the plane was described thusly:

- The Plane of Shadow is a world of black and white; color itself has been bleached from the environment. It is otherwise appears similar to the Material Plane.
- Despite the lack of light sources, various plants, animals, and humanoids call the Plane of Shadow home.
- It is magically morphic, has enhanced shadow magic and diminished light magic.

It is not evil-aligned (in fact its mildly neutral-aligned) nor is have an affinity with negative-energy and yet time and time again it is seen as this dark evil place that is filled with powerful undead creatures like the nightshades.

I think if we can break away from the idea of the Plane of Shadow being a source of evil, I could find a place for fetchlings, plus they would make good rooks. Here is a fetchling rook as a 1st level player character (taking +1 hp for favored class).

Somar, Aspiring Rook
Male fetchling rook 1
CN Medium outsider (native)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception -2
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12
(+2 armor, +2 Dex)
hp 10 (1d8+2)
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +1
Defensive Abilities shadow blending; Resist cold 5, electricity 5
Speed 30 ft.
Melee heavy mace -1 (1d8-1)
Ranged heavy crossbow +2 (1d10/19-20); 10 bolts
Fetchling Spell-Like Abilities (CL 1st; concentration +4)
   1/day - disguise self
Rook Spells Known (CL 1st; concentration +4)
   1st (2/day) - cause fear (DC 14), sleep (DC 15)
   0th (at-will) - arcane mark, befuddle (DC 14), detect magic, flare (DC 13)

Schism shcade
Str 8, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 17
Base Atk +0; CMB -1; CMD 11
Feats Eschew Materials (B), Spell Focus (enchantment)
Skills Acrobatics +6, Disguise +7, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (planes) +7, Sleight of Hand +6, Stealth +8, Use Magic Device +7; Racial Modifiers +2 Knowledge (planes), +2 Stealth
SQ schism boon (darkness descriptor), summon silhoutette
Languages Alko, Common
Gear leather armor, backpack, scroll case, belt pouch (27 gp)

 Somar needs more gear before he goes out adventuring but he has a nice selection of spells and abilities for slipping around in the darkness.

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