When I’m writing a hex crawl for NOD, I like to let my mind wander once and while and create a new species or two on the fly. I’m going to collect a few of these Nodian oddities here, with some guidelines for using them as a playable race. To start with, I have three from Mu-Pan …
The Didi are small (halfling-sized) creatures. They look like nothing but skin and bones, with large, round heads and pointed ears. Didi’s are covered with velvety, platinum-blond fur and have ugly, wan, drawn faces. Despite their appearance, they are uncommonly kind and renowned for their knowledge of the healing arts. The didi dwell underground. Seemingly immune to the chill environment of their subterranean home, they do not wear clothing, though they often don leather armor or aprons when they prove useful to their work.
Didi have a knack for medicine and herbcraft. Those under their care heal +1 hit point per night of rest and receive a +1 bonus to saving throws against the effects of diseases. Because of their frail physiques, they suffer a -3 penalty to their constitution roll at character creation, though this penalty cannot reduce their constitution score below 3. Didi have magic resistance equal to their wisdom score (i.e. a 13 wisdom grants 13% magic reistance). Didi can see in the dark as well as dwarves.
Didi are permitted to advance as cleric/magic-users (up to 5th level max.), cleric/thieves (5th/7th level max.) or as pure thieves (9th level max.). Didi clerics worship nature spirits and deities of darkness, healing and generosity.
KETEKete are tall humanoids with stark white skin, black eyes and toothless mouths. They have no hair and wear kilts and tunics of interlocking steel rings (i.e. chainmail, though sometimes so light as to be no more protective than padded armor). Kete are surrounded by an aura of heat, and they require no teeth because food simply burns away in their mouths. This heat aura gives them an unarmed attack damage of 1d4 (or +1 to damage for monks) and the blurry aura gives them a -1 [+1] adjustment to Armor Class. Kete suffer only half damage from fire attacks and enjoy a +1 bonus to saving throws against dragon fire and fire spells. Once per day they can sheath themselves in roaring flames, causing 1d4 points of fire damage to all within 10 feet of them and possibly setting flammable objects aflame.
Kete cannot wear or use objects constructed of wood, leather or cloth (hence their chainmail clothing). They can advance as fighters up to 6th level (7th level with a strength of 14+), thieves of 8th level (9th level with dexterity of 15+) or fighter/thieves up to 5th/7th level.
There are few creatures in Mu-Pan as strange as the zoushou. They look like large, grotesque human heads balanced atop four human legs, forcing them to walk like a crab or to hop about. Zoushou have deep, purple skin. Their long toes allow them to grasp items with fine manual dexterity. While they cannot wield weapons or use shields, they can wear armor that is specially made.
Zoushou can leap five feet vertically and up to 1d6+5 feet horizontally. They can kick in combat for 1d4+1 points of damage. Because of their rugged bodies, zoushou characters begin the game with 2 hit dice (though they are still limited in the total number of hit dice they can have based on their class). Three times per day, they can use x-ray vision per the ring of x-ray vision. In place of this, they can focus this vision one time per day on a single subject within 20 feet, inflicting 1d6 points of damage.
Zoushou advance as fighters up to 5th level (6th level with strength of 13+) or thieves up to 7th level (8th level with dexterity of 15+).
Note: For players of Ruins & Ronin, didi can advance as shugenja up to 6th level, kete can advance as bujin up to 7th level and zoushou can advance as bujin up to 6th level.
At some point I’m going to have to commission art for these oddballs. Should be fun!