Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Zurian (War Breed)

Zurian (War-breed)
No. Enc.: 2d6 (3d10)
Alignment: (10%) Chaotic, (60%) Lawful, (30%) Neutral (But all are unstable, -2 reaction to all non-Zurians)
Movement: 90' (Passwall  & Planeshift Ability*)
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 4+
Attacks: 1 (Weapon)
Damage: 3d4
Save: F5
Morale: 10

Special: Use Discern Weakpoint, Detect Ley-Line, and Locate Portal at will. Zurian War-Breed can use Passwall and Planeshift up to 3/times per day at no cost. A fourth attempt results in 2d4 damage, and subsequent attempts cost an additional 1d4. Zurian War Breed actively cultivate various forms of vampirism as a chosen weapon. Upon physical death they have a base 60% chance to rise as an undead vampire, if their body is not completely destroyed. The unlucky 40% who fail to make the transition take the form of lesser undead and serve as droogs, stooges and disposable cannon fodder for their vampiric masters.

Tall, dark and fearsome the Zurian War Breed are a specialist sub-type of pseudohumans devoted to the mastery of personal martial prowess. They almost never use missile weapons unless it is to demonstrate their significant skill in the use of an antique fire-arm or their accuracy with some complicated alien weapon system such as a customized heat ray projector taken from a fallen Sarmakian or something similarly gauche and show-off-ish as that.

All War Breed regenerate at a rate of 1/hp per hour. They can also restore lost hit points by draining them from opponents in melee combat, regaining 1 hit point for every 20 hit points of damage they inflict. Certain sorcerous weapons and special items allow this rate to be improved or adjusted, but such things are mercifully rare.

It might be helpful to consult the Alternative Forms of Vampirism Table for some idea of what approach or particular technique any given War Breed might be using, at least as a further option.

War Breed are not bothered by the whole casting-spells-while-wearing-armor silliness that seems to trouble lesser species. They are intrinsically dual-classed Fighter/Spellcasters and wield weapons or spells with equal skill and panache. (Treat their spell-casting abilities as being at a level equal to half their total hit dice.)

War Breed form small cadres of no more than thirty oath-sworn vassals. Some also attract various followers, familiars, servitors, or champions and many freely employ undead slaves and bound-spirits in their retinues, but these beings are not counted as truly being part of the War Breed's personal, core cadre.

Source: Zurians were inspired by some wild speculation of the best sort found in The Book of the Damned by Charles Fort, first published in 1919. You can download a copy of The Book of the Damned from Sacred Texts, or from Project Gutenberg.  There's a nifty hyper-text version of TBotD that can be accessed via Resologist's site, if that's more your speed. As an aside, the Complete Works of Charles Fort are available from Sacred Texts...which is also very handy. And yes, the Zurians really do build their castles and fortresses in such a way as to completely fuse and vitrify the outside into a dense, hardened glass-like surface by the sorcerous/technological application of great heat. They also tend to be great aficionados of heat rays as a lovely way to evaporate enemies at a distance...

Other sources of inspiration came from the depiction of Lord Shiva as having blue skin, perhaps a slight nod to the Vhadagh of Michael Moorcock, and the very real medical condition known as methemoglobinemia which produced the so-called 'Blue People of Kentucky.' All half-Zurians have a better than 80% chance to have full-blown methemoglobinemia, but all of them have bluish tinges to their skin, eyes and blood. Hair coloration in Zurians and half-Zurians seems to be randomly determined and encompasses a wide range of tints and hues beyond the 'norm.'


  1. Well done. I also like the discussion of inspirations, I really enjoy that sort of thing as it aids the "kitbashing" in stealing jewels from the internet and adding them to one's own game.

  2. Thanks Trey. We've been enjoying our Biblio-archaeological rooting-around in Mr. Fort's books and have found his stuff to be truly inspiring.


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