Spirit Folk

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Spirit Folk are an "oriental flavored" race of humanoids who have appeared in Dungeons & Dragons throughout two editions, gracing the pages of both the Gary Gygax-written Oriental Adventures for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1e and the Wizards of the Coast splatbook of the same name for 3rd edition, in addition to the Unapproachable East splat for Forgotten Realms 3e.

Spirit Folk are essentially "Oriental Elves" in terms of campaign placement and inherent abilities, although their backstory as the result of unions between humans and nature spirits means they are technically a kind of Planetouched. Although they lack the trademark D&D elfish ears, they retain the more important traits: small, slender build, beautiful fine-featured faces, longevity and innate mystical abilities. Spirit Folk are defined by their natural ties to one particular aspect of the natural world, which gives them certain powers; several subraces have appeared over the three sourcebooks they've featured in.

Traditionally, there are only three types of Spirit Folk, tied to Bamboo, Rivers and the Sea, but Unapproachable East added a fourth in the Mountain Spirit Folk.

AD&D 1e[edit]

Universal Traits:

Ability Score Minimums: Strength 6, Dexterity 12, Constitution 6, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 9, Charisma 14
Ability Score Maximums: Strength 18, Dexterity 18, Constitution 14, Intelligence 18, Wisdom 18, Charisma 18
Class & Level Limits: Samurai 12, Kensai 9, Bushi Unlimited, Monk 17
Infravision 120 feet

Bamboo Spirit Folk:

75% chance to recognize & identify normal plants.
50% chance to recognize & identify normal animals.
Leave no trail when moving alone & on foot through woodland, forest and grassland.
When traveling in a group, tracking attempts suffer a -20% (-4 on a D20) to follow the group.
When in woods & forest, can Hide in Shadows with a 75% skill rate.
Know the language of 1 type of forest animal per level.
+1 bonus to all saving throws vs. spells, rods, staves, wands and misc magical items that involve the elements of earth or wood.
Sacred Grove: A Bamboo Spirit Folk's essence is tied to a specific grove of bamboo deep in a specific forest. Entering this grove will instantly heal the spirit folk of all their wounds and diseases. Damage to the grove is inflicted upon the spirit folk, and they die if it is destroyed. This grove cannot be moved or changed through, for example, transplanting shoots elsewhere.

River Spirit Folk:

Can breathe fresh water as if it were air.
Swim speed equal to normal movement rate.
When swimming, all items they carry remain perfectly dry.
Once per day, can cast Lower Water (10 feet) for 5 rounds on a river or stream.
+1 bonus on all saving throws versus spells, rods, staves, wands and misc magical items involving the element of water.
-1 penalty to all saving throws vs. fire-based atacks.
Can speak with fish.
River of Life: A River Spirit Folk's essence is tied to a single river so long as it flows in its natural banks. Bathing in this river will cure the spirit folk of all injuries and diseases. If it afflicted by drought, the spirit folk's ability scores and maximum hit points will decrease. If it floods, the spirit folk will become wild and uncontrollable. If it targeted with engineering changes, like a dam, then the spirit folk will weaken and ultimately die unless they can restore the damage.

Sea Spirit Folk:

Can breathe salt water as if it were air.
Swim speed equal to normal movement rate.
When swimming, all items they carry remain perfectly dry.
Once per day, can attempt to predict the weather for the next 24 hours, with a 75% chance of success.
+1 bonus on all saving throws vs. fire-based attacks.
Once per year, can ask a single direct favor from the sea and have it granted, such as conjuring desired weather, the recovery of a particular item from the bottom of the ocea, etc.
If Honor rises to 85, the Lord of the Sea will grant a single free gift of recognition to the spirit folk. Examples of such a gift include a valuable treasure, a special service, or an ocean-related magic item, such as a Pearl of Rising Tide.

3e[edit]

Because the Forgotten Realms splatbook was not officially connected to the 3e Oriental Adventures, the only major difference is that Mountain Spirit Folk were not given the "Spirit Subtype" ability featured in the Bamboo, River and Sea Spirit Folk. This ability is easily retconned in, and so the four subraces are presented in one for ease; Unapproachable East's River Spirit Folk was statistically identical to the Oriental Adventures version, and so that means only Mountain was unique.

Universal Traits:

Medium
Base land speed 30 feet
Low-light Vision
Humanoid Type, Spirit Subtype: Spirit Folk are affected by all spells that specifically target either Humanoids (Charm Person, Hold Person, etc) or Spirits (Protection from Spirits, Invisibility to Spirits).
Favored Class: Any

Bamboo Spirit Folk:

+2 racial bonus on Wilderness Lore checks
+4 racial bonus on Hide checks when in woods or forests.
Trackless Step: Bamboo Spirit Folk leave no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects with the words "earth", "rock", "stone" or "wood" in the name of the effect, shugenja spells of the earth element, and wu jen spells connected to earth or wood.
Can Speak With Animals 1/day for 1 minute as if a 1st level caster.

Mountain Spirit Folk:

Climb Speed 30 feet
+8 racial bonus on all climb checks, can always take 10 when climbing, can make an accelerated climb move at double the listed speed and with only a single Climb check with a -5 penalty, retain Dexterity bonus to AC whilst climbing, opponents get no special attack bonus against them whilst they are climbing.
+2 racial bonus on Balance, Jump and Tumble checks.
Can speak with birds as per the Speak With Animals spell for 1 minute 1/day, as if they were a 1st level caster.

River Spirit Folk:

Water Breathing
Swim speed 30 feet
+8 racial bonus to Swim checks made to perform a special action or avoid a hazard, can always Take 10 on a Swim check, can "Run" whilst swimming so long as they do so in a straight line.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects with the word "water" in the name of the effect, shugenja spells of the water element, and wu jen spells connected to water.
Can speak with fish as per the Speak With Animals spell for 1 minute 1/day, as if they were a 1st level caster.

Sea Spirit Folk:

Water Breathing
Swim speed 30 feet
+8 racial bonus to Swim checks made to perform a special action or avoid a hazard, can always Take 10 on a Swim check, can "Run" whilst swimming so long as they do so in a straight line.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects with the Fire descriptor.
Can make a Knowledge (Nature) or an untrained Intelligence check with a +2 racial bonus against DC 15 to predict the weather for the next 24 hours.
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