Tabletop Tuesday: I Made a Race for Pathfinder

I picked up playing Dungeons and Dragons shortly after Shane and I started dating. At the beginning, it was definitely something I picked up to impress the super-cute nerdy guy who didn’t know me that well yet, but it’s evolved into one of our favourite couples activities.

The first game we ever played together was Pathfinder, which if you aren’t familiar with it, is extremely broken compared to other versions.

Even for a Pathfinder game, I ended up being really powerful (I was a witch with a 50-something Int score because our DM let us stack magical items), and we actually won the campaign.

I definitely thought that was a normal thing for D&D. Silly me.

After that, we played a couple of 5e games, but for me they were rather lacklustre. I wasn’t nearly as powerful, and every time I tried to play a monk, I’d make it to about level 4 before we’d die. It was pretty depressing, and it put me off D&D for a while.

But then, Shane told me he was going to run a Pathfinder game.

I immediately got to picking out my race and class. It didn’t take me long to figure out I wanted to try to be an unchained summoner (because I’d been obsessed with the summoner in FFXIV and its carbuncles), but the race was a little harder.

I hummed and hawed over being a sylph for a while, until Shane told me I’d be allowed to make my own (stronger) race if I wanted. There were just two rules:

  • I had to keep it to 20 RP
  • I wasn’t allowed to build it exclusively for a summonerI had to have a good reason for every feature I picked.

Challenge accepted.

Four hours later, I had created a new race. It had started out as a vision of Lulu, the sorceress support from League of Legends, but had slowly evolved over the course of those four hours into a different story altogether.

A little backstory:

When I was a kid, I was heavily involved in things like the Red Maple and Silver Birch awards. Basically, the award committees would pick six or so books for a given grade, and ask some volunteer students to read as many of them as possible and then vote on the winner.

One year, there was a book based on the old Scottish folktale of Tam Lin. In the story, a young woman, Janet, is given an old ruin in a faerie-haunted wood, Carterhaugh, as her dowry. Despite warnings to stay away, she goes to the old ruin, where she meets a mysterious fellow named Tam Lin.

I won’t ruin the whole story on you, because it’s actually quite good, but essentially, Tam was kidnapped and enchanted by the faeries as a child, and because of a ritual they perform every Hallowe’en where they give a tithe to the Devil, Janet needs to save him from certain death.

That story really stuck with me. Maybe it was because I’ve always loved stories from that part of the world, or maybe it was because it was a perfect role reversal of the damsel-in-distress trope. But either way, as my race evolved into basically a set of elves and sylphs who had been cursed together into one race as retribution, it also evolved into a not-so-subtle reference to that story.

Heck, I even named them after the Scottish word for “tithe” just because it was so central to both stories!

So without further ado, here’s the race I created! Obviously check with your DM about RP limits (this technically counts as an Advanced race, in D&D terms), but as far as I’m concerned, if you’re reading this you’re welcome to use it for your own game, too.

Teindkin

Teindkin are a kindly, although secretive, race of fey forest folk. They descend from a society of elves and sylphs that coexisted in the forest; their legends say that their ancestors’ first encounter with the fey ended in a poor joke that turned the elves and sylphs into a single race as punishment for washing themselves in the pure water of a mountain spring. They retain the playful and mischievous nature of the sylphs, always appreciating and sometimes actively seeking out a juicy piece of gossip. But they do lean more toward the elves’ way of things when it comes to aloofness and privacy.

Physical description: Teindkin are small, delicate beings that can pass for human children at first glance. They carry their fey heritage in their appearances and in their quick, flashing movements, and trinkets have been known to disappear or reappear in their presence. Teindkin tend to resemble their forest habitats; they have an airy aura to them, and favour flowing clothes in shades of brown and green. They typically have light blonde or soft green hair that floats on the breezes that surround them.

Society: They are typically very kindly, although secretive and not above a bit of stealth. They live above the trees in elaborate wooden forts, high above well-traveled paths. They will hide themselves in the trees, disguising themselves among the leaves and the whistling winds, and watch travelers who pass by, carefully choosing those in need of a rest to stay in their villages for a night. Naturally, this is how they gather their information about the outside world—and they’re known to trade with and sell to adventurers in need. They favour intellectual classes (especially scholarly or medicinal pursuits), although they have been known to wield small weapons and bows—and although rarely, sometimes quarterstaffs.

Relations: They have a friendly but distant relationship with both elves and sylphs, each looking at teindkin as having the worst traits of the other. They tend to look down on their sylph kin, although they would never say such a thing—and will always treat sylph visitors as favoured guests. Dwarves have absolutely no patience for them, as they have every hated trait of the elves and the worst part of sylph nature, too.

Alignment and Religion: Teindkin balance the tendencies of both of their ancestral races, and although they tend to disregard the rules of the outside world, will lean toward the good. Rather than any kind of religion, they observe a spiritualism that is tied to the purity of mountain springs and the rivers that flow from them through the forests. Few travel to the spring of their origins anymore, but they all carry a bit of the fey world in their blood.

Traders and scholars: Few teindkin feel the call of the outside world, but those who do typically venture forth either in search of new business deals, greater wealth, and higher learning. It is not uncommon to see them join monasteries or clergies in search of greater knowledge, and they like nothing better than to help their fellow beings through healing. Those who depart in search of wealth do not always get their acquisitions honestly, and they are not above using roguish traits to get what they want.

Standard racial traits

Ability score racial traits: Teindkin are clever and quick, but delicate. They gain +2 to Int, Wis and Cha, +4 to Dex, and -2 Str.
Type: Teindkin are outsiders with the native subtype, and ties to the Fey World.
Size: Teindkin are Small creatures. They gain +1 size bonus to AC and attack rolls, +4 size bonus to Stealth checks, and -1 to combat maneuver checks and CMD.
Speed: Teindkin have a base speed of 30 ft.
Languages: Teindkin begin play speaking Common and Auran. Those with high Int scores can learn any languages except Druidic and other secret languages.

Defense racial traits

Breeze-Kissed: Teindkin are surrounded by swirling winds, gaining a +2 racial bonus to AC against non-magical ranged attacks. They can calm or renew these winds as a swift action. Once per day, a teindkin can channel this wind into a single gust, making a bull rush or trip combat maneuver attempt against one creature within 30 feet. Doing so exhausts the user’s breeze-kissed ability for 24 hours. This is a supernatural ability.

Eternal Hope: Hope for the teindkin flows like the river from a mountain spring. Teindkin gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects. Also, once per day, after a natural roll of 1 on a d20 roll, teindkin may reroll and use the second result.

Other racial traits

Curiosity: Teindkin are naturally inquisitive about the world around them. They gain a +4 on Diplomacy checks to gather information, and Knowledge (history) and Knowledge (local) become class skills for them. If they choose a class that has either of these knowledge skills, they gain a +2 racial bonus instead.

Climb: Teindkin have a climb speed of 20 feet, and gain the +8 racial bonus on climb checks that a climb speed grants.

Darkvision: Teindkin can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 ft.

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