Dromite

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Dromites, also known by the derogatory nickname "Bug-Men", are a race of psionics-wielding, halfling-like insectoids which can almost pass for humanoids, until one gets close enough to spot their chitinous growths, compound eyes, and small antennae. They originated in the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition splatbook "Expanded Psionics Handbook" and have not reappeared since. They are known to inhabit the Eberron campaign setting, specifically the psionics-focused continent of Sarlona.

Physiology[edit]

The 3ft tall dromite resembles a slender, androgynous humanoid with greyish-colored, hairless skin. Extensions of convoluted chitin rise from multiple parts of its body, almost as a kind of natural armor; it most visibly rises from the dromites' head in lieu of hair, extending down the length of its spine, but other prominent patches include shoulders, torsos and the backs of their hands. The race has striking eyes - sparkling, almost luminescent orbs, subdivided into hundreds of tiny cells - and sports a pair of small, fleshy antennae that emerge from its temples. These antennae are mobile, and their motions emphasize the dromites' moods or actions. An asexual species, they have no real modesty taboo; clothing is worn for practical purposes, and typically consists of nothing more than heavy boots and a sturdy harness.

Despite their lack of conventional genders or anything approaching a sex drive, dromites form close emotional bonds with others of their race, especially within the confines of self-selected groups known as life bonds. These relationships are similar to what other races refer to as marriages, but a life bond usually contains more than two members. As older members of a life bond die, new members are brought in, so a life bond persists long after the original members are no longer a part of it.

Dromites reproduce by pooling psionic energy to temporarily transform individuals into males and females; this has become central to their culture, with each dromite cityhive electing two individuals each year to stand as the hive's Grand Queen (designated female) and Exalted Consort (designated male). Despite these grandiose titles, the duo's only responsibility is spending that year breeding ceaselessly, producing dozens of dromite eggs which are then nurtured in secluded hatcheries; when the infants hatch, they are adopted by a life bond and reared by it until they reach maturity.

Culture[edit]

Dromites exist in city-hives, large social gatherings whose physical territory is always closely guarded, usually being constructed underground for safety. Despite their propensity for psionics, dromites are not a hive-mind; indeed, their culture divides itself into four castes based on personality type:

  • Those of the Fire Caste are often quick to anger, but also quick to laugh and forgive.
  • Those of the Ice Caste are analytical, slow to make decisions, but often right.
  • Those of the Voice Caste are consummate artists, reveling in all types of performance, especially song.
  • Those of the Glimmer Caste always move at high speed, rarely resting in their pursuit of life’s tasks.

Each caste identifies with the energy type associated with its creed: fire, cold, sonic, and electricity, respectively. There is no social emphasis placed on castes, and life bonds may include members of different castes.

Dromites who are curious about life beyond the city-hive have little trouble securing permission to venture forth and seek their fortunes. Unless a city-hive is actively expanding its borders, an excess of population leads to cramped quarters. Thus, even the less than willing are sometimes pushed out into the world, on a mission not of their choosing.

Though the Grand Queen and the Exalted Consort are predominantly concerned with the physical requirements of producing a year's worth of offspring for their city-hive, they are revered by the non-gendered dromites almost as living gods, and as such, when they deign to speak on a topic, even though day-to-day running of the city-hive is handled by councils, everybody listens.

Dromites are named by their adoptive parents, and are given both a personal name and the life bond's group-name to use as their family name.

PC Stats[edit]

3.X[edit]

+2 Charisma, –2 Strength, –2 Wisdom: Dromites are selfwilled go-getters, but do not always show the best judgment.
Monstrous Humanoid: Dromites are not subject to spells or effects that affect humanoids only, such as charm person or dominate person.
Small: As a Small creature, a dromite gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but it uses smaller weapons than humans use, and its lifting and carrying limits are threequarters of those of a Medium character.
Dromite base land speed is 20 feet.
Chitin: A dromite’s skin is hardened, almost like an exoskeleton, and grants the character a +3 natural armor bonus to AC and one of the following kinds of resistance to energy: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5, or sonic 5. The player chooses what type of energy resistance is gained when the character is created. (This choice also dictates which caste the dromite belongs to.) This natural energy resistance stacks with any future energy resistance gained through other effects.
Naturally Psionic: Dromites gain 1 bonus power point at 1st level. This benefit does not grant them the ability to manifest powers unless they gain that ability through another source, such as levels in a psionic class.
Psi-Like Ability: 1/day—energy ray. A dromite always deals the kind of energy damage that its chitin has resistance to (for example, a dromite who has resistance to cold 5 deals cold damage with its energy ray). Manifester level is equal to 1/2 Hit Dice (minimum 1st). The save DC is Charisma-based.
Scent: Its antennae give a dromite the scent ability. A dromite can detect opponents by scent within 30 feet. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range. When a dromite detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed—only its presence somewhere within range. The dromite can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. Whenever the dromite comes within 5 feet of the source, the dromite pinpoints the source’s location.
Blind-Fight: Its antennae also give a dromite Blind-Fight as a bonus feat.
Compound Eyes: This feature of its anatomy gives a dromite a +2 racial bonus on Spot checks.
Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Gnome, Goblin, Terran.
Favored Class: Wilder.
Level Adjustment: +1.

Pathfinder (3PP)[edit]

+2 Charisma, +2 Dexterity, –2 Strength: Dromites are self-willed go-getters and naturally agile, but are weaker due to their small size.
Type: Dromites are of the Humanoid (Dromite) subtype
Size: As a Small creature, a dromite gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but it uses smaller weapons than humans use, and its lifting and carrying limits are threequarters of those of a Medium character.
Speed: Dromite base land speed is 20 feet.
Languages: Dromites begin play speaking Common. Dromites with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Gnome, Goblin, and Terran.
Chitin: A dromite’s skin is hardened, almost like an exoskeleton, and grants the character a +3 natural armor bonus to AC and one of the following kinds of resistance to energy: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5, or sonic 5. The player chooses what type of energy resistance is gained when the character is created. This choice is permanent and stacks with any future energy resistance gained through other effects.
Naturally Psionic: Dromites gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a dromite takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
Dromite Psionics: 1/day—energy ray. A dromite always deals the kind of energy damage that its chitin has resistance to (for example, a dromite who has resistance to cold 5 deals cold damage with its energy ray). Manifester level is equal to 1/2 Hit Dice (minimum 1st).
Scent: This special quality allows a dromite to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. Dromites with the scent ability can identify familiar odors just as humans do familiar sights. Dromites can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range. When a dromite detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed—only its presence somewhere within range. The dromite can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. When the dromite is within 5 feet of the source, it pinpoints the source’s location. A dromite with the scent ability can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom (or Survival) check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10 (no matter what kind of surface holds the scent). This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry’s odor is, the number of creatures, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Survival skill. Dromites tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.
Compound Eyes: This feature of its anatomy gives a dromite a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
Psionic Aptitude: When a dromite takes a level in a favored class, it can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.

See Also[edit]