Half-Vistani

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The blood of the Mist-roaming gypsies brings exotic allure and magic to once-sarosanct human bloodlines.

The Half-Vistani, also known as the Giomorgo in the Patterna (Vistani language) are a player character race in the Dungeons & Dragons setting of Ravenloft. As their name suggests, they are the result of crossbreeding between humans and the Vistani, the mystical gypsies of the Demiplane of Dread.

In a nutshell, the Vistani themselves can't be PCs, because they're overpowered and that would ruin their intended use as clumsy DM railroading tools. So, instead, they can play the result of forbidden romances between the two races. This means that, ironically, this fundamentally human subshoot is even more heavily slapped with the edgy "broken families" origin than half-orcs are. Why? Because even when the conception of a half-vistani is voluntary - and they are very prone to being born of rape - the relationship never lasts. The Vistani suffer a curse that forces them to live a nomadic life, and when the xenophobia and superstitions of the giorgio (the Vistani's word for Ravenloft's native humans) combines with the Vistani's own arrogance and self-superiority, fracturing is inevitable.

As a result, most giomorgo are abandoned either before birth (those born to giorgio mothers) or afterwards; when the mother is a Vistani, she is simply exiled with her child. Even those few who are brought up amongst the vardos of the Vistani suffer; they are always held at arm's length, for their blood is seen as polluted and they are not welcomed into the Vistani's camps any more than grudgingly. There is a reason why, in the 3e Ravenloft Campaign Setting, their racial writeup includes the sentence "Broken homes are the giomorgo's birthright".

Exactly how much they suffer as a result of this varies from edition to edition, but for the most part, they get shit on pretty badly, as they look like the Vistani but lack their terrifying abilities to ward off the ignorant asshole natives of their homeland, while at the same time being scorned by their full-blooded counterparts.

From their Vistani heritage, giomorgo inherit angular, aquiline features, dusky or olive complexions, and deep brown or black hair & eyes, although depending on their human heritage and luck of the genetic draw, they can look quite different to their mist-gypsy parents. It's usually quite easy for giomorgo to disguise themselves and pass as humans, although the mystical senses of the Vistani allow them to see through any disguises; the Blood is the Blood, even as foul and as muddied as it is in the giomorgo. Some may also try to disguise themselves as full Vistani, though any true Vistani will view this as an insult.

Although giomorgo do not suffer the curse of their Vistani parents that compels them to wander, they are still mystically damned. They have a connection to the moon which causes them to be filled with lunatic energies as it waxes; the three nights of the full moon fill them with wild, uncontrollable passions and can drive them to temporary violent insanity. But, on the plus side, whilst nowhere near as powerful as a true Vistani, a giomorgo always has some innate affinity for wilderness survival, and likewise inherits certain mystical skills from their ancestral tasque.

When they first appeared in 2nd edition's Domains of Dread, mention was made of the Giamarga, which are Half-Vistani and Half-Elf. However, these are said to be so rare that DMs should forbid players from wanting to play one, and so they were never statted officially. Ironically, the more flexible racial mechanics of 5th edition and Pathfinder allows giamarga to appear there alongside their giomorgo siblings.

In the 3e Ravenloft Campaign Guide, Half-Vistani are mistakenly referred to as "giogoto", which is actually a Vistani word referring to a giorgio who has proven themselves a friend of the Vistani.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2e[edit]

The Half-Vistani appears as a PC race in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook Domains of Dread with the following outline:

Ability Score Modifier: +1 Intelligence, +1 Wisdom, -2 Charisma
Class Restrictions: Gypsy, Psionicist, Fighter*, Ranger*, Avenger*, Mage* - Generalist and Arcanist only, Cleric*, Thief*
Classes marked with a * are restricted based on Tasque
Affinity for Nature: By spending 1 round in examination, a giomorgo can always accurately identify a plant or animal's species and properties, as if they were a druid, and tell if water is safe to drink.
Fire Building: A giomorgo can always start a fire in 1d4 rounds, provided with fuel and a meanings of ignition. Giomorgo are so adept at this that they ignore normally restrictive conditions, such as damp fuel.
Tralaks: Giomorgo can attempt to decipher the tralaks - glyphic sigils used as written messages by the Vistani - by rolling a D20. On a 1-19, they understand the symbol's meaning. On a 20, they misunderstand it completely.
Moon Madness: On the three nights of the full moon, a giomorgo is filled with lunatic energies. When the moon rises, the giomorgo must make a Madness check; on their first failure, they slip away and run wild under the stars. On their second failure, they become aggressive during this nocturnal wandering. On their third failure, they act like a wild, violent beast until the moon changes its phase. Even if they succeed, they are still restless; they cannot heal wounds without magical aid, are utterly unable to memorize new spells, and suffer a -2 penalty on all saving throws until they can rest undisturbed for 8 hours.
Vistani Heritage: All giomorgo can trace their lineage to one of the tasques, the tribal communities of the Vistani, which give them additional traits based on which tribe they belong to. If rolling randomly for ancestry, use a d100: on a 01-40, the giomorgo is a Kamii, on a 41-60, they are an Equaar, on a 61-80, they are a Vatraska, an 81-90 grants a Naiat, a 91-97 a Corvara, a 98-99 a Canjar, and a 00 a Zarovan.
Kamii: Can only take the Gypsy, Psionicist, Thief, Fighter, Ranger or Avenger classes. Can identify metals in the way a druid identifies plants or animals. Can automatically recognize the realm a metal item hails from if it was forged in Raveloft. If it is of extraplanar origin, the Kamii Giomorgo has a cumulative 5% chance per character level to identify its world or plane of origin. A Kamii Giomorgo has a 25% chance to identify any curses placed upon a Vistani-manufactured item before the curse affects them.
Equaar: Can take all Half-Vistani classes. Begin play with the Animal Lore and Land-Based Riding Proficiencies. Can purchase Tracking for a single slot, regardless of chosen class.
Vatraska: Can become any Half-Vistani class, although Clerics are rare. Automatically begin play with Herbalism and can purchase Healing for one slot, regardless of class. Can identify Poisons in the same way a druid identifies plants or animals. Give access to herbal/floral ingredients and 10 minutes (one turn) to work, a Vatraska Giomorgo can concoct an antidote to any poison - but this antidote is so potent the imbiber must pass a save vs. poison or die. By spending 1d6+1 days on gathering and refining the ingredients, a Vatraskan can create 1d4 doses of herbal sleeping draught, as either liquid or powder, which forces an imbiber to successfully save vs. poison or fall asleep for 1d4 hours.
'Naiat: Can be any Half-Vistani class, but favors the Gypsy class. Automatically begin play with the Singing and Dancing proficiencies. Can purchase Musical Instrument proficiency as if a Bard. If specialized in Violin, can affect reactions and inspire allies as if a Bard. +1 bonus to reaction rolls, +2 if the character goes out of their way to be friendly.
Corvara: Can only take the Thief, Fighter and Mage classes. Begin play with the Set Snares proficiency. Corvaran thieves gain +10% to Pick Locks.
Canjar': Can only take the Mage class. Can leave one 1st level spell slot and one 2nd level spell slot open each day, using these slots to cast any spell recorded in their spellbook when needed.
Zarovan: Can only take the Mage class. When taking an Initiative roll, throw 1d6 and 1d10. If the d6 produces a roll of 1-3, then the result of the d10 can be subtracted from the initiative roll. If the d6 produces a roll of 4-6, then the result of the d10 is added to the initiative roll instead. If the modified initiative number is greater than ten, then the giomorgo acts last in that round.

Dungeons & Dragons 3e[edit]

The 3e version of the giomorgo appears in the Ravenloft Campaign Setting, by Sword & Sorcery, the D20 branch for White Wolf.

+2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma
Medium Size
Base speed 30 feet
+2 racial bonus to Wilderness Lore checks, increasing to +4 to checks made to light a fire
Diluted Blood: A giomorgo is treated as being a Human for all special abilities and effects that tie into race.
Moon Madness: During the three nights of the full moon, a giomorgo cannot prepare spells or heal naturally, and must succeed on a DC 15 Will save each night or run wild under the night sky.
Conceal the Taint: By succeeding on a Disguise check as if attempting to address minor details, a giomorgo can pass as a pureblooded human, removing its Outcast Rating until and unless its disguise is penetrated.
Tribal Heritage: Choose one of the Vistani tribes. A giomorgo gains a bonus and a favored class depending on which tribe it belongs to.
Canjar: +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft Checks, Favored Class: Wizard.
Corvara: +2 racial bonus on Open Lock and Sense Motive checks, Favored Class: Rogue.
Equaar: +2 racial bonus on Handle Animal and Ride checks, Favored Class: Ranger.
Kamii: +2 racial bonus on any metal-based Craft checks, can identify metals and where a metal item originated with a successful Appraise check, Favored Class: Rogue
Naiat: +2 racial bonus on Perform checks, base Outcast Rating is 0, Favored Class: Bard.
Vatraska: +2 racial bonus on Heal and Profession (Herbalism)O checks, Favored Class: Cleric.
Zarovan: Racial bonus of (1d0-1d4) to Initiative checks (roll at the start of each encounter), Favored Class: Sorcerer.
Outcast Rating: 2

Dungeons & Dragons 4e[edit]

The closest thing 4th edition version of the Half-Vistani appears in the 4e Raveloft Player's Guide, which is a free download that can be found on the Fraternity of Shadows website.

Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 square (30 feet)
Vision: Normal
Skill Bonus: +2 Insight
Curse of the Blood: Racial Encounter Power, Range 10, Immediate Reaction triggered when an enemy deals damage to you, targeting the enemy that dealt damage to you. The target takes a -1 penalty to all defenses against your attacks until the end of your next turn, and whilst this curse lasts, attacks of yours deal bonus damage equal to your Wisdom modifier.
Group Intuition: You grant non-giomorgo allies within 5 squares a +1 racial bonus to Insight checks.
Human Blooded: You can take racial feats with both the Giomorgo prerequisite and the Human prerequisite.
The Sight: You know the Fortune Telling ritual and can cast it without needing the Ritual Casting feat.
Lunatio: +5 racial bonus to saving throws against Madness or Sanity Loss.
Tribal Heritage: Gain a skill bonus based on your parental tribe:
Canjar: +2 Arcana
Corvara: +2 Thievery
Equaar: +2 Nature
Kamii: +2 Bluff
Naiat: +2 Acrobatics
Vatraska: +2 Heal
Zarovan: +2 Perception

However, for those who are unable to use 3PP material, the closest thing you have to half-Vistani is the Vistani Heritage line of feats from Dragon Magazine #380. The initial feat requires you to be of any humanoid race and grants a +2 to Diplomacy with other Vistani on top of mastery of the Vistani Blooding ritual and the Evil Eye of the Vistani power, an Encounter ranged attack that uses a mental stat vs. Will and if successful grants combat advantage and an inability to move any closer to the half-Vistani for the turn. It also offers a rather grand number of feats to select later on.

  • Advantageous Eye (Your power now gives combat advantage to everyone)
  • Black Vistani Cat (Requires an arcane class and a black cat familiar; you can now use your power with the cat acting as the origin point without provoking)
  • Cosmic Eye (Requires Sorcerer with Cosmic Magic; your power now deals fire and radiant damage equal to your Cosmic Power bonus)
  • Covenant Eye (Requires a divine class with Channel Divinity; you can sacrifice your use of Channel Divinity to recharge your power)
  • Enmity's Eye (Requires Avenger; whenever you use your power on your oath foe, you do not provoke. If nobody is near you when you use it, you can also roll twice to add +1d6 extra radiant damage.
  • Eye Wand (Requires Wizard with Wand of Accuracy; if you miss with an attack augmented by your wand, you can use your power as a free action on the same target)
  • Eye of Death and Despair (Requires Assassin with Assassin's Shroud; when you use your power on an enemy under a shroud, your target is now immobilized and grants combat advantage for a turn)
  • Eye of Paranoia (Your power forbids the target from making reactions or immediate actions and cannot make opportunity attacks)
  • Fell Vistani Hound (Requires Ranger with wolf companion; your pet now has combat advantage whenever you flank an enemy)
  • Maledictor's Eye (Requires Invoker with Covenant of Malediction; your power now slides targets one square and whenever they miss an attack, you can slide them again)
  • Nature's Vindictive Eye (Requires Druid with Wild Shape; you can now use your power while in beast form as a minor action without provoking)
  • Orb of the Eye (Requires Wizard with Orb of Imposition; your power is now considered an at-will for purposes of your orb's power)
  • Persistent Eye (Requires epic tier; your power's effects are now save-ends)
  • Prophetic Preparation (Requires level 11 Wizard; You can now swap one unprepared daily utility power for one prepared daily and utility spell as a free action)
  • Visage of Vistan (Requires Warlock with Vestige Pact; you now have the Vistan Vestige, which augments Eyes of the Vestige by sliding a target 1 square while giving a Pact Boon that allows you to slide a target of Warlock's Curse by a number of squares equal to Int Bonus whenever another victim of the curse dies)
  • Vistani Fencer (+4 to attacks with light and heavy blades against a target of your power)
  • Vistani Foresight (Requires epic tier; add +2 to Initiative and gain another Action Point every long rest)
  • Vistani Guardian (You can master and perform Warding or Binding rituals. Once per day, you can ignore the material costs of one such ritual that you have mastered)
  • Vistani Healer (You can master and perform Restoration rituals. Once per day, you can ignore the material costs of one such ritual that you have mastered)
  • Vistani Jongleur (You can master and perform Bard rituals. Once per day, you can ignore the material costs of one such ritual that you have mastered)
  • Vistani Knife Fighting (Whenever you miss a melee or close attack on a target of your power, you can either shift a square or move your full speed as a free action.
  • Vistani Pathfinding (You can master and perform Exploration or Travel rituals. Once per day, you can ignore the material costs of one such ritual that you have mastered)
  • Vistani Seer (You can master and perform Divination or Scrying rituals. Once per day, you can ignore the material costs of one such ritual that you have mastered)
  • Vistani Thief (You can master and perform Deception rituals. Once per day, you can ignore the material costs of one such ritual that you have mastered)
  • Warlock's Eye (Requires Warlock; your power can now add damage as if it used Warlock's Curse, even if you used that power already on that turn)
  • Wild Magic Eye (Requires Sorcerer with Wild Magic; your powers' damage is now the same type as your wild magic and adds damage as if it were subject to Chaos Power)

You also gain access to the Vistani Execrator Paragon Path if you have this particular feat and are either any arcane class or have the Covenant of Malediction feature (key to Invokers).

Dungeons & Dragons 5e[edit]

There is no official 5e version of the Half-Vistani, Though a commonly accepted homebrew is found in the "Heroes of the Mists" PDF on the Dungeon Master's Guild website.

Ability Score Increase: +2 Wisdom
Medium
Base Speed 30 feet
Evil Eye: You know the Guidance cantrip at level 1, can cast Hex once per day upon reaching level 3, and can cast Bestow Curse once per day upon reaching level 5. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Moon Madness: During the three days of the full moon, whilst indoors or underground, you suffer Disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks and Intelligence (Investigation) checks. Furthermore, to take a short rest or a long rest, you must first succeed on a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw.
Nature Affinity: You are always considered Proficient in Wisdom (Survival) when making Survival checks relating to navigation, identifying plants and animals, or starting a fire. When making a Survival check for such a purpose, double your proficiency bonus.
Subrace: Choose between the three Tasques or the Giamarga subrace for your final racial modifiers.

Boem Tasque

Ability Score Increase: +1 Charisma
Sly Wit: Proficiency in Deception.
Tool Proficiency: You have Proficiency in one of the following tool sets: Forgery Kit, Musicial Instrument, Thieves Tools.

Kaldresh Tasque

Ability Score Increase: +1 Intelligence
Desensitized: Advantage on Saving Throws vs. being Frightened.
Tool Proficiency: You have Proficiency in one of the following tool sets: Herbalism Kit, Land Vehicles, Brewer's Supplies, Carpenter's Tools, Jeweler's Tools, Smith's Tools, Woodcarver's Tools.

Manusa Tasque

Ability Score Increase: +1 Intelligence
Bend Time: You can take a bonus action or reaction whilst incapacitated. After doing so, you must complete a long rest before you can do so again.

Giamarga

Ability Score Increase: +1 Dexterity
Fey Ancestry: Advantage on saves vs. Charmed, immune to magical sleep.

Pathfinder[edit]

The Pathfinder version of the Half-Vistani can be found in the fanmade netbook Domains of Dread, which is a free download that can be found on the Fraternity of Shadows website.

+2 to one ability score
Medium size
Normal speed (30 feet)
Not of the Blood: Giomorgo have the Humanoid type with the Human and Crossbreed subtypes, but not the Vistani subtype.
Evil Eye: Can cast Daze, Hold Person and Ill Omen, each 1/day. Caster level equal's the giomorgo's level, DC is 10 + spell level + giomorgo's Charisma modifier.
Survivor: +2 racial bonus to survival checks.
Moon Madness: During the nights of the full moon, the giomorgo is Shaken so long as it remains indoors at night.
Tribal Heritage: Gain a racial skill bonus based on a specific tribe.
Canjar: +2 Spellcraft
Corvara: +2 Disable Device
Equaar: +2 Handle Animal
Kamii: +2 Craft (any metalworking)
Naiat: +2 Perform (any)
Vatraska: +2 Heal and +2 Craft (Alchemy) to mke poisons & antitoxins
Zarovan: +2 to Initiative checks, must make a new initiative check each round of combat
Darkling: Can cast Doom 1/day via the Evil Eye.

Giamarga: These are half-vistani half-elves. Use the Half-Vistani racial profile with the Elf subtype added and replace the Tribal Heritage ability with Low-Light Vision and a +1 racial bonus to Perception.

Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Races
Core: Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human
Dark Sun: Aarakocra - Half-Giant - Mul - Pterran - Thri-kreen
Dragonlance: Draconian - Irda - Kender - Minotaur
Mystara: Aranea - Ee'ar - Enduk - Lizardfolk (Cayma - Gurrash - Shazak)
Lupin - Manscorpion - Phanaton - Rakasta - Tortle - Wallara
Oriental Adventures: Korobokuru - Hengeyokai - Spirit Folk
Planescape: Aasimar - Bariaur - Genasi - Githyanki - Githzerai - Modron - Tiefling
Spelljammer: Dracon - Giff - Grommam - Hadozee - Hurwaeti - Rastipede - Scro - Xixchil
Ravenloft: Broken One - Flesh Golem - Half-Vistani - Therianthrope
Complete
Book of X:
Alaghi - Beastman - Bugbear - Bullywug - Centaur - Duergar
Fremlin - Firbolg - Flind - Gnoll - Goblin - Half-Ogre - Hobgoblin
Kobold - Mongrelfolk - Ogre - Ogre Mage - Orc - Pixie
Satyr - Saurial - Svirfneblin - Swanmay - Voadkyn - Wemic
Dragon Magazine: Half-Dryad - Half-Satyr - Uldra - Xvart