Buomman

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A typical moaning monk of the Astral Plane.

Buommans are a minor planar race hailing from Dungeons & Dragons, and one of several such races included in the Planar Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition. They are descendants of humans who migrated to the Astral Plane, and are commonly known as "Moaning Monks", for their culture has developed into a strange monastic form, predominantly centered around their vow to only communicate in musical tunes; their "language", Buommi, consists of low, booming songs. Their shrine-villages and monastery-cities are built from astral debris, which they believe serves as anchors for the essence of long-forgotten deities - they are close-lipped, however, on if their melodic prayers are intended to coax these dead gods back to life or if they meant to keep them dead and dreaming.

Which could be interesting if your setting involves the Cthulhu Mythos.

Buommans appear more or less like humans, though with long, sagging faces and elongated hands and feet (a feature most prominent in the fingers and toes). On average, buomanns are slightly shorter and slightly heavier than humans. A male buomman has long hair and bushy brows; a female buomman has no apparent body hair. Buommans reach adulthood at about the same age as humans, and the eldest members of the race can live to be 120 years old. The typical buomman is quiet, withdrawn, and deferential. Though they appear capable of understanding languages, they "speak" no tongue other than Buommi.

Buommans often spend their entire lives in ascetic contemplation within the confines of the shrine or temple in which they were born. From time to time, though, a buomman (particularly a buomman monk) departs his or her home to explore the Astral Plane, or other planes, out of curiosity about the outside worlds. Sometimes these individuals gravitate to service with wandering githzerai, and occasionally venture back to Limbo with them. Buommans avoid confrontations with evil outsiders, more out of caution than from fear or dislike. If buommans have any enemies, they are most likely found on the planes of Pandemonium and the Abyss. Buommans get along quite well with creatures from the Elemental Plane of Earth or the Elemental Plane of Water. Needless to say, such a monastic lifestyle means buommans are almost universally lawful, with the majority split near-equally between lawful neutral and lawful good; lawful evil and true neutral buommans are a minority.

Despite their obviously religious society, buommans eschew traditional religions, seeming, as they do, to worship their temple homes in the Astral Plane. A few who travel extensively develop an affinity for Fharlanghn, the god of roads. But few buommans become clerics of any deity, because their vow against speaking (described below) makes spellcasting difficult. Those who wish to learn to cast spells with verbal components must acquire the Nonverbal Spell feat.

Whether a buomman believes that the astral bodies that his race dwells upon are dead deities, sleeping deities to be awakened, or sleeping deities that must never rise is up to the individual buomman. Neutral buommans usually believe in the dead deities theory, while lawful good buommans believe that the deities are sleeping and will someday awake to spread their majesty again. Lawful evil buommans fear the return of these deities, and sing their songs to prevent them from awakening.

Buommans communicate with one another by means of their low, throaty songs, but the concepts they convey appear to be more abstract than informational. Contrary to rumor, a buomman does not constantly sing, but instead sings as part of rituals that mark his daily life. The buommans have a song for arriving, a song for leaving, a song for waking, a song for sleeping, a song for eating, and countless other songs for far less concrete concepts. Except for these songs, buommans choose not to speak any recognizable language, though they are capable of learning any language they choose. The average buomman, for example, understands Common; he simply never speaks it.

For a race that has collectively taken a vow against speaking, buommans have a wide variety of names - all of which are based on musical notes. For example, a buomman female might express her name as a short melody in the key of D sharp, and a different buomman female might express her name as the same melody, but in B sharp. The name of the race reflects this tradition, being based on the deep, sustained note that every buomman learns to vocalize before he or she can walk: "buomm."

For the convenience of other races, buommans do not mind accepting nicknames, but they prefer those that have no harsh consonants. "Jak," for example, would be an uncomfortable appellation, while "Moony" would suit a buomman just fine.

Most buommans who feel the urge to explore are younger members of the race. They usually set out with the goal of gathering information for the temple (which usually means seeing the multiverse), with the intent of returning to the ascetic life when they become tired or homesick. Some few actually do return, late in life, to introduce new concepts into their insular societies.

PC Stats[edit]

+2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma. Buommans have great insight and willpower, but their reserved nature leads to poor interpersonal skills.
Humanoid (Extraplanar): Buommans are humanoids native to the Astral Plane. They gain the extraplanar subtype when not on the Astral Plane.
Medium: As Medium creatures, buommans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
A buomman's base land speed is 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision: A buomman can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
Skills: +2 racial bonus on Listen and Perform (sing) checks. All buommans have uncanny hearing and an innate sense of tone and pitch.
Buommans take a vow against speech at an extremely early age, after which they simply refuse to engage in traditional forms of communication. A buomman who breaks this vow takes 1 point of Wisdom damage and takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls, saves, and checks for 24 hours afterward. (If the buomman breaks the vow again before 24 hours have passed, he takes an additional point of Wisdom damage, and his penalty on attack rolls, saves, and checks persists for another 24 hours.) A buomman spellcaster who wishes to cast spells with a verbal component must use the Silent Spell metamagic feat or else have the Nonverbal Spell feat.
Automatic Languages: Buommans speak Buommi and understand Common. Bonus Languages: Aquan, Githzerai, Terran.
Favored Class: Monk.