Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Human, Hengeyokai
- Classes: Any
- Ability Requirements: Fitness 12, Balance 12, Willpower 14, Appearance 14
- Alignments: Any
- Starting Cash: By class
- Bonus Languages: Rasallesian
- Recommended Languages: Allesian, Auld Cormanthan, Easting, Halardrim, Imaskari, Naric, Sossic, Thayan
- Weapon Slots: +1 slot
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class
- Bonus Proficiencies: Hunting, Land-based Riding, Tracking
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: none
Overview: Rashemen is a nation of semi-barbaric people, a hardy race who are rumored to be either berserkers or witches. The nation borders the territories claimed by the Tuigan hordes as well as the land of Thay. There are those who say that some great enchantment hangs over the region and steals the magical power from men and shunts it to the women. Whether this is true or not, no one seems to know. Still, it cannot be denied that the women here seem to be unusually gifted in the practice of magic. It is often said that even the least handmaid knows one or two magical spells.
Description: Rashemaar are short, muscular humans with the appearance of folk who spend much of their time outdoors, riding and fighting. They favor heavy fur and leather tunics, and typical weapons include a short bow, melee weapon, and light lance. They never use shields of any size.
The Witches of Rashemen dress in fairly simple hooded robes fashioned from black cloth. These are tied about the waist with a sash of orange, and fine gloves of the same material cover the hands and forearms. Over their faces they wear gray-white masks molded from a thick clay. These are excellently made and, from a distance, might even go unnoticed. A closer look, however, reveals their fixed, dispassionate expression.
It is said that the Witches of Rashemen set aside their traditional garb when traveling outside their native land. However, since they also conceal their powers and identities when so doing, it is impossible to say if this is true or not.
Role-Playing: Rashemaar are not often encountered outside their lands. When they are, it is usually because they are on a dajemma, which is a journey to adulthood that every Rashemaar makes.
Whether they are male or female, Rashemaar are a fearless breed, who fight with a savagery and stamina not easily matched. They are hardy brawlers, who enjoy a good strong drink, a bawdy story, making new friends, and topping the evening off with a good old-fashioned tavern brawl.
The Witches of Rashemen are often referred to as aloof and snobbish. A more precise description might be commanding and domineering. In their homeland they are treated with reverence and respect. It is forbidden for any citizen of Rashemen (or outsider, for that matter) to refuse an order from one of these folk.
In combat, the Witches of Rashemen show their enemies no mercy. They take any attack against one of their countrymen or traveling companions as a personal affront. Such insults are often answered with the death of the offender. This outlook is clear in all aspects of the witch’s life. Either someone is a friend or an enemy, and a creature is either good or evil, with no middle ground.
- The semi-barbaric Rashemi are well experienced at using their fists as weapons. A Rashemaar gains weapon specialization in Punching for free at 1st level.
- Each Rashemaar starts off with a suit of Hide armor, a choice of a one-handed melee weapon, a short bow, a light lance, and a steppe pony. All of these items are free.
- Each Rashemaar can enter a mild berserker rage once per day. It lasts for five rounds or until all enemies are slain, whichever comes first. While in this rage, all attack, damage, and saving throw rolls gain a +1 bonus, and a -1 bonus on initiative rolls.
- Over the centuries, the Witches of Rashemen have mastered a form of magic unlike any practiced outside that nation’s borders. The advantages of their unusual art are incredible, and those who are familiar with the secrets of the witches are not surprised that these spellcasters have managed to quell numerous attempts by the nation of Thay to conquer Rashemen.
The most obvious difference between the magic employed by the witches and that woven in the rest of the world is simply that Rashemaar spellcasters do not need to select and memorize their spells in advance. All the magical spells known to these characters are available at any time. The normal limitations of spell level still apply, so that a 1st-level wizard cannot cast more than one 1st-level spell per day. Still, this freedom of access to their spells makes the witches of Rashemen tremendously versatile and dangerous foes.
- No male Rashemaar possess spellcasting abilities. All spellcasting classes (including all priests, mages, specialists, rangers, paladins, bards, shadow-walkers, lone wolves, etc.) are restricted to females only.
Similarly, because of the female’s emphasis on witchcraft, only male Rashemaar may take non-spellcasting classes (including fighters, barbarians, berserkers, harpers, rune casters, psionicists, thieves, or spies).
- Rashemaar are very rarely seen outside their homeland. Thus, there cannot be more than one Rashemaar in an adventuring party at a time.
- Rashemaar in general are not particularly well-versed in combat tactics. “Overwhelm a target or foe with sheer numbers and ferocity, then beat it to death” is the way of the Rashemaar warriors. To reflect this, all Rashemaar characters suffer a +1 penalty on their initiative rolls in combat.
- When one of these characters is injured in combat, there is a chance his feral side will come to the fore. To avoid succumbing, the character must make a successful saving throw vs. paralysis. The magical defense adjustment that he receives for his Willpower score, if any, applies to this roll. If the save fails, the character becomes obsessed with the battle and cannot stop voluntarily. From that point on, it becomes a fight to the death. Anyone who attempts to halt the combat, whether friend or foe, becomes an enemy and is subject to attack.
- As powerful as they are, even the mighty Witches of Rashemen are not without their weaknesses. The drawback to their unusual powers is in the length of time that it takes to cast spells. Since their magic in not memorized in advance, it takes considerably longer for them to summon up the words and complex gestures required to invoke a spell. In game terms, this means the casting time for every spell invoked by these characters is doubled (this stacks with the +1 initiative penalty suffered by all Rashemaar).
All their spells require verbal, somatic, and material components. The exact nature of each of these, when not listed in the rule books, is decided by the Dungeon Master.
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