Xephs are a race of dark-skinned, innately psionic humanoids from the world of Dungeons & Dragons, whose mental powers manifest as an ability to telekinetically boost their speed. They appeared in the Expanded Psionics Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition and haven't appeared since.
The lands of the xephs, at least in the generic not!Greyhawk of 3e, are said to lie in a great rift "far to the east", where psionically illuminated forests glimmer within a valley so deep it is plunged into permanent darkness. Here, the xephs thrive, aided by their psionic powers and bodies both seemingly designed to enhance their capacity for motion. Xephs stand about 5-1/2 feet tall and are slender and graceful, usually weighing about 140 pounds. Males are typically taller and heavier than females. Xephs’ skin is typically brown, and their eyes are dark. Their hair is usually black and straight; some wear it clipped short, while others shave their heads except for a topknot and weave that hair into a single long braid. Some have noted a certain resemblance to the gith in their appearance, making them wonder if xephs might not be a forgotten branch of the family tree that has forgotten its kin - or deliberately wishes to avoid them and their pointless blood feud.
Unlike the gith they vaguely resemble, xephs are quick to laugh or joke, welcoming of strangers, and especially charitable to those who really earn their confidence. However, if they are betrayed by a friend, xephs are dwarflike in their resolve to seek justice and redress. Xephs value artful sculpture, beautiful paintings, expensive clothing, and other art objects. They prefer to avoid a fight rather than wade in, but they are not timid if combat is their only recourse. Xephs get along well with humans, half-elves, and halflings. They think that elves might be a little too good to be true, while they view half-orcs and half-giants with some suspicion. Xephs and maenads tend to rub each other the wrong way; xephs see maenads as too stiff (little realizing the reason why), while maenads envy xephs their free and easy attitude. Members of other races are welcomed into their luminiscent forest homes, although they are warned that some ancient xeph temples are forbidden to non-xeph on religious grounds.
The xeph race can mostly be compared to the diabolus in their cultural inclination towards "benevolent anarchy" (Chaotic Good). Whilst the xephs are not as philosophically attached to chaos as the diaboli are, and in particular their preponderance of soulknives gives them a strongly lawful contingent, they are in general a Goodly aligned race. One thing all xephs have in common is at least some degree of wanderlust. They love to travel and explore, and whilst their culture is not nomadic, individual xeph tend to spend significant portions of their time roving for the sheer joy of moving. This has two effects; firstly, despite their isolation, xeph communities tend to be surprisingly wealthy; the combination of the xeph love of travel and their artistic skills means they readily conduct trade with other races. Secondly, their primary god is Fharlanghn, the Dweller on the Horizon. He is the deity of travel, roads, distance, and horizons, all of which are concepts that stir the xeph soul.
As you might expect, xeph adventurers are extremely common. Typically, their motivation is just the thought of travel and exploration in and of itself, and they can be found in overland caravans and aboard seagoing ships all over the world. An adventuring xeph may also be motivated by the desire to see new wonders, feats of might, psionics, or magic great enough to inspire the xeph to greater works of personal art.
Xephs speak their own language, which uses the same alphabet as Common. Some also learn Sylvan, the language of fellow wanderers. A xeph’s name is granted to her by her parents on her fourth birthday. Most xeph names are used and reused down through the generations. Xephs who travel usually take the name of their city of birth as a second name, a reminder of where they originally began their journey through life.
- Male Names: Assim, Bahram, Behrooze, Cyrus, Jamsheed, Ksathra, Majeed, Mehrdad, Nasim, Shatrevar, Xerxes.
- Female Names: Amira, Azar, Cyra, Darya, Jaleh, Marjan, Narda, Shahin, Soraya, Zenda.
- Second (City) Names: Asha, Dareh, Feroz, Kurush, Melchior, Saeed, Val.
- +2 Dexterity, –2 Strength
- Medium size
- Xeph base land speed is 30 feet
- Darkvision out to 60 feet
- +1 racial bonus on saving throws against powers, spells, and spell-like effects
- Naturally Psionic: Xephs gain 1 bonus power point at 1st level
- Burst (Su): Three times per day, a xeph can put on a burst of speed to increase her speed by 10 feet, plus 10 feet per four character levels beyond 1st, to a maximum increase of 30 feet at 9th character level and higher. These bursts of speed are considered a competence bonus to the xeph’s base speed. A burst of speed lasts 3 rounds.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Xeph. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Elven, Gnoll, Goblin, Halfling, Sylvan
- Favored Class: Soulknife