Duskling

Dusklings of the Weird West are secretive creatures who lurk in the shadows and rarely interact with the frontier races or even the natives. They rely on their wits and stealth for survival.

  • Humanoid.
  • -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma. Dusklings are small and thus weaker than most races, but they are hardy and nimble folk. Their seclusion from other societies makes it difficult for them to relate to others.
  • Small size: As a Small creature, a duskling gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
  • Dusklings have a +4 racial bonus to Move Silently checks.
  • Duskling base speed is 30 feet despite their small size.
  • Low-Light Vision: Dusklings can see twice as far as humans in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day — silence (must be centered on the duskling's body), expeditious retreat (self only). A duskling with a Charisma score of at least 10 also has the following spell-like abilities: 1/day — ghost sound, mage hand. Caster level equals the duskling’s hit dice; save DC 10 + duskling’s Cha modifier + spell level.
  • +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusions of the Shadow subschool and spells with the Darkness descriptor.
  • +1 caster level for spells of the Shadow subschool and spells with the Darkness descriptor.
  • Light Sensitivity: Dusklings are dazzled in areas of bright light, including direct sunlight and the area of a daylight spell. In such areas they take a -1 penalty to attack rolls and search and spot checks).
  • Automatic Languages: Sylvan and Desert Common.

Duskling Society: Dusklings (even lawful ones) resist strong authority. Their society is based around clan groups of ten to fifty individuals who share family ties, with the oldest living ancestor governing each group. When that elder dies, the clan splits and each fragment is led by one of the former leader's children. The authority of a clan elder is far from absolute. Every duskling with a grandchild sits on a council of elders whose purpose is to advise the ruling elder. In practice, this council can overrule the ruling elder's decisions in some clans but not in others.

Personality: Dusklings are secretive and mysterious, and they prefer it that way. They are slightly xenophobic. They are very clever and cunning. Dusklings move quickly and waste no action.

Physical Description: Dusklings stand between 3 and 4 feet tall, and weigh from 40 to 80 pounds. Their skin is dark indigo and their hair ranges from dark blue, gray, and black. Their eyes are deep blue, emerald green, or purple. They have a wild, feral look about them — their hair grows long and unkempt, and their faces are long and somewhat vulpine. The men sometimes grow long, full beards.

Relations: Dusklings usually avoid the other races if they can. They are not territorial like the other native races. Their small size makes them vulnerable in an open fight; they instead relying on stealth and speed for survival. When they do interact with other groups, they are very watchful, ready to dart away into hiding at a sign of trouble. Lizardfolk and goliaths find this to be cowardly (amusingly so for lizardfolk, detestably so for goliaths), while raptorans are more understanding of their caution. The frontier races find dusklings to be the most curious of the native races, at least in behaviour. Some people don’t even believe they exist, taking them to be a mythical creature conjured out of the darkness. Dusklings, for their part, try to steer clear of the frontier races if possible. While they have at least some history with the native races, the frontiersmen are new and therefore dangerous.

Alignment: Dusklings can be of any alignment.

Lands: Dusklings inhabit hidden parts of the desert, from caves to ravines to dense forests. Anywhere with significant shade and shadow to hide their presence is acceptable. Their main concern in declaring land is that it is out of sight and away from easy access by outsiders. They are semi-nomadic, striking camp and finding a new one if their current camp is in danger of being discovered. Their structures and camps are designed to be quickly struck if a speedy escape is necessary. They live in small groups of 10 to 25 to make it easier to stay out of sight.

Religion: Dusklings are not a particularly pious race. They feel a deep connection to darkness and the nighttime, and have a connection to the Shadowlands.

Language: Dusklings speak Sylvan and Desert Common, but use short, quick phrases and speak in a quiet voice. They use as few words as necessary to get their point across, resulting in a succinct, blunt manner. They often use terms for darkness, night, shadow, and hiding to indicate something good, and terms for light, daytime, and exposure to indicate something unfavourable.

Names: Duskling names are short, usually monosyllabic, with focus on vowel sounds.
Male Names: Aal, Bo, Din, Eer, Ty, Ud.
Female Names: Bee, Lia, Fay, Oos, Ya, Hun.

Classes: Dusklings tend toward classes which enhance or make use of their stealth and shadow-related skills, such as shadowcaster, swordsage (concentrating on the Shadow Hand discipline), rogue, assassin, and shadow dancer. Duskling spellcasters often concentrate on illusion spells, particularly the Shadow subschool. Some dusklings become druids, totemists, rangers, and other classes that are closely related to nature. Dusklings also commonly become binders. Dusklings mostly avoid classes for which their small size is a disadvantage.

Adventurers: Dusklings rarely become adventurers in the traditional sense. Apart from the rare daredevil, duskings may adventure to investigate arcane secrets, particularly those of vestiges or the Shadowlands. Some dusklings form strike teams to harry the other races who are competing for resources or to try to drive them away from their homes.

Character Options: Dusklings can qualify for the Extra Silence and Silencing Strike feats from Races of Stone as if they were whisper gnomes. Many dusklings take feats that enhance or utilize their stealth and shadow abilities, such as Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus (Illusion), Stealthy, or Craven. Many dusklings take the Magic in the Blood feat (which they specially qualify for as a result of their race) to improve the utility of their spell like abilities. Many dusklings have the Magic-Blooded or Shadow template, or the Dark template listed here.

Dark Duskling template
Dark is an inherited template that can be added to any duskling. Dark dusklings tend to be even duller in color, with more gray and black skin tones and hair highlights, than normal dusklings. In general, they also weigh less, as if part of their very substance was mere shadow stuff. Dark dusklings are rarely good.

  • Dark dusklings gain the augmented subtype.
  • +10 feet to all modes of movement.
  • Darkvision out to 60 feet.
  • Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): A dark creature can use the hide skill even while being observed (except in natural daylight, in the area of a daylight spell, or similar).
  • Resistance to cold 5.
  • Superior low-light vision.
  • +2 racial bonus on hide and move silently checks.
  • Level Adjustment +1.
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