There are two sorts of player character in the 1 Astromundi Cluster: natives and outsiders. The bulk of this chapter is devoted to native player characters who have spent their lives within the Astromundi Cluster and are familiar with it. Importing characters from another campaign is easy enough to do, and will require little adjustment to the characters themselves. This is covered in Chapter One of Adventures in the Shattered Sphere.
Races of the Astromundi Cluster
The Cluster is a place with many strange and wondrous races, no two of which are quite the same. Native player characters may be of any human race, elves, dwarves, gnomes (who exist on the fringes of Clusterspace society), and lizard men. Naturally, there is no restriction what sorts of character races may be brought into Clusterspace. Below are descriptions of the races native to Clusterspace, and any changes that need to be noted between them and their groundling counterparts.
The human races, unlike those in other spheres, are quite varied in their abilities and character generation reflects this. Long years of isolation and a lack of outside marriages has refined the various human races, enhancing certain traits while down-playing others. Following are individual descriptions of the various human races. The normal minimum/maximum attributes of 3/18 still apply despite modifications.
These men and women are the most varied of the human races due to the large number of citizens within the Sun Mage Empire. Antilan facial features are rarely seen, as members of that race always wear full face masks. Most often, the masks depict various religious symbols or family and personal sigils of identification, but many are also fanciful beasts. The more intricate a mask, the more highly placed the wearer in Antilan society, so masks are a source of pride for this race. As eating and drinking are very difficult and undignified with the mask on, most Antilans will choose to eat alone when possible. Without their masks most Antilans are nervous and jittery.
Antilans are normally deeply tanned (except on their faces), taller than average, and quite thin, giving a slightly elongated cast to their features. Hair color varies wildly from darkest black to near-white and every normal shade in between. Though it is normally worn long, members of the wizard class commonly shave their hair and have tattoos representing their particular school inscribed upon their foreheads. Eye coloration varies, though colors unusual to other races are common among the Antilans. Pale purple, brownish-red, and gold-green are the most prevalent, with black and grey being almost unknown.
This race has no restrictions or special benefits as regards to attributes, but mages from the Antilan Empire will always have an extra first level spell in their spell books (they cannot memorize extra spells). Mage characters with an Intelligence of 17 will have two extra spells and the lucky few with an 18 in this score will receive three extra first level spells. These spells should be chosen by the DM, and represent the heightened magical awareness of the Antilan magiocracy. It should also be noted that mages from the Antilan Empire are automatically members of the minor nobility, and will most likely be adventuring on behalf of another, more important power. These characters are not Sun Mages, and should not be given access to sun magic.
All other character classes are available to an Antilan player character, including psionicists. These special characters are in great demand, as only they can effectively fight the illithid threat.
TABLE 1: Antilan Average Height, Weight, and Age
|Height||65”||60”||2d12 + 1d6|
|Age base||20 years||+ 1d6|
|Maximum||100 + 5d10||-|
The Calidian race is made up of stocky men and women, short and powerfully built. Disinclined toward magic, the majority of the Calidian populace is either mercenary or merchant. Bards sometimes arise in the more aristocratic colonies, but are something of a rarity among this race. Thieves are universally despised by the Calidians, restricting any of this race from taking up such a profession. The Calidians respect priests, but religious men are not a common sight among this very pragmatic people.
Calidian characters add 1 to Constitution and Strength and subtract 1 from Dexterity and Wisdom.
TABLE 2: Calidian Average Height, Weight, and Age
|Age base||15 years||+ 1d4|
This race of blond warrior-merchants is renowned for their height and girth. They are truly giants among men, powerfully built and well-proportioned. They are also known for great stamina and shrewd business sense.
Thoric are the easy to spot at a distance, with their typically golden hair and great height. Men wear their hair short, though a long braid is common among the warrior class. Women wear their hair down and braided in intricate patterns. Beards are common among the men and are often worn in twin braids. Their eyes are blue or green, with an occasional golden-eyed baby born. Such children are considered especially lucky, and will be afforded special treatment throughout their lives.
The fighter class is the best represented among the Thoric, with most children trained with at least one weapon and often several. Clerics are common as well, and bards are gaining surprising popularity among a people not known for their mirth. Mages are virtually unknown among this race of humans, as are psionicists, and both are distrusted by the Thoric.
When determining Thoric attributes, subtract 2 from Dexterity, and add 2 to Strength.
TABLE 3: Thoric Average Height, Weight, and Age
|Age base||15 years||+ 1d4|
Varan are shorter and thinner than the majority of other races. Their skin is olive-colored and their eyes have a slight epicanthic fold. They wear their hair very short, with men shaving it just above their ears and women letting it grow to just above the collar. Hair and eye color are usually dark.
The Varan are something of an outcast race due to their alliance with the illithids, but by no means are they all evil. Still, most have learned to “bend” the laws and a few are outright thieves. The rogue class is well represented among the Varan, as are the mage and psionicist classes. The Varan do have clerics in their population, but these are becoming more and more rare as the illithids impose their religion on their human allies. Fighters exist, but these are mainly bodyguards for the illithids.
Varan characters add 2 to Dexterity and subtract 1 each from Strength and Charisma.
TABLE 4: Varan Average Height, Weight, and Age
|Age base||15 years||+ 1d4|
The nonhuman races of Clusterspace are essentially the same as those found in other spheres. The main differences are in appearance and attitude, and these are covered below.
Dwarves of the Cluster are short and stocky (use the tables on p. 24 of the Player’s Handbook for average height and weight), but do not wear beards. Instead, they weave items that they believe to be important into their hair. These items relate to important events in the life of a dwarf, and it is said that a dwarf’s entire existence is tied up in his hair.
In the Astromundi Cluster, most dwarves are not as contemplative and grim as those found elsewhere. In the Cluster, this race has a “let’s get it done” attitude. They do good work, but are often reckless in its completion. As mercenaries this has proved both a liability and an asset, because dwarven tactics are always a surprise, but they don’t always work.
Dwarven hair is almost always gray in color, regardless of the dwarf’s age. Red or blond highlights are not uncommon, though these fade with age. Their eye coloration can be virtually any shade, including those not normally found in nature. Many people believe that the dwarven race is constantly covered with dust, but that is merely the light gray coloration of their coarse-feeling skin.
The Astromundi Cluster has not been good to the elven race. Seeking refuge, they instead stumbled into a violent sphere wracked with disaster. Their subsequent defeats at the hands of marauding goblinoids and narrow escapes have conspired to make them a bit paranoid.
Elves native to the Cluster are typically suspicious and untrusting, often bordering on the paranoid. Among their own kind they are at ease, but nowhere else can they truly relax. This has led them to become quite warlike and given them a reputation for short-temperedness. Although regarded as fierce savages by many, they are polite and well-mannered in the company of other races (when outnumbered).
Whether this is a part of their paranoia and fear of reprisal or true consideration is a matter for debate.
Many hundreds of cycles have passed since the elves first entered Clusterspace, and in that time their appearance has changed considerably. First, they are much shorter than elves encountered elsewhere, and virtually hairless. Despite their lack of hair, they are quite comely and exquisitely proportioned. There is not a ruler in the Shattered Sphere who would not desire an elven woman in his harem. Tattoos are common among both sexes, though males tend toward ritual scarring of the chest and arms. Women prefer more subtle body markings, often highlighting their exotic features with richly colored tattoos about the eyes and mouth. Their skin color is typically pale gold with the occasional elf born with a blue or purplish tint to the flesh. Their eyes nearly colorless, and the pupils are barely visible. In some cases, the eyes have an oily sheen, but this is not the rule and is regarded as a sign of magic.
The elven race is limited in classes just as they are in other spheres. In addition, mages are quite rare, while fighters are more common. Elves of the Cluster have no potential for psionic powers.
TABLE 5: Elven Average Height and Weight
The lizard men of the Astromundi Cluster are identical in attributes and abilities to those found in the SPELLJAMMER® boxed set, but are quite different in attitude. Player characters use the information provided in the boxed set.
The lizard men were shunned and despised by all other races for many hundreds of Cycles. It was only after they were reduced to a mere handful that they began to gain acceptance, and then only as backward primitives. This has made them somewhat shy and uncertain of themselves. Lizard men rarely speak, and when they do they have little to say.
At this time the lizard men are divided into two groups: those who want to isolate themselves from the other races, and those who wish to participate more fully in the Cluster. The former group will never be player characters, as they are simply too xenophobic and timid to go adventuring.
The second group is the more daring. Members of this lizard men faction desperately want to explore the sphere, in the hopes that they will find others of their kind and revitalize their race. To this end, adventurer lizard men are becoming more outgoing and will sign on with any group that will take them to the far-flung reaches of the Shattered Sphere. Player characters always come from this second group.
Lizard men are colored differently here than in other spheres, their scales ranging from bright red to a nearly black crimson. Their eyes are normally the same color as their scales. Tribal talismans worn on necklaces are popular among the traveling lizard men, both as a means of identification to members of their race and as an introduction to other races.
Deities and Clerics in the Shattered Sphere
Clerics in the Astromundi Cluster have a smaller variety of deities to worship than do their groundling cousins. Despite the vast number of individuals living within the Astromundi Cluster, almost all of the humans were at one time members of a single race, and so share common gods.
The other humanoid races each have but a single god. The dwarves claim to have no need of more than one deity to watch over them, as they are more than self-sufficient. The elves do not speak of their religion, nor of the goddess who watches over them, but it is said that they number too few to earn more than a single deity. The lizard men have a god, but pay it only lip service as their philosophy calls for taking responsibility for oneself. And it is well for the humanoids of the Cluster that the illithids have but a single god, rather than an entire pantheon.
The human gods correspond to gods of groundling pantheons, and though in Clusterspace they carry different names, the gods and the duties of their priests remain essentially the same.
Players with access to Legends and Lore and PHBR3, The Complete Priest’s Handbook should feel free to create specialty priests tailored specifically to the following deities (subject to DM approval, of course). If neither of these books is available, a generic priest as detailed in the PHB can be created and the listings below used as cultural flavor.
This is the chief god of the Antilans, a suitably hard and angry god. Corresponding to the Aztec deity Ometeotl, Pyrax is represented among his people by the central sun, Firefall. Pyrax seldom involves himself in the affairs of his mortal followers, but it is said that his pleasure or displeasure can be read by the alignment of Firefall’s clusters. The Antilans refer to the central sun as Pyrax, in deference to their god, and will take offense if any around them do not do so as well.
A god of the Calidians, Munigur corresponds to the Norse Frey. Like the Calidians themselves, Munigur wishes peace to be maintained, and rewards those of his followers who strive toward this end.
Another god of the Antilans, Gelanicus is the goddess of death, and as such corresponds to Hel of the Norse mythos. Whereas male priests worship Pyrax life-bringer, the female members of the Antilan priesthood venerate Gelanicus. Gelanicus is a secondary god in the worship of the Antilans.
The manifestation of the Egyptian god of evil is worshipped almost exclusively by the Varan, but Seltaine is a god whose worshippers are deserting him. The Varan who formerly held him in highest esteem are now in service to the illithids, who discourage Seltaine’s religion. The Varan not strongly allied with the illithids no longer worship Seltaine, who they believe responsible for too many misfortunes. The neogi, who previously had no gods, may have begun to worship Seltaine, however, so this god cannot be discounted just yet.
God of the Thoric, Hordent is the Cluster’s representation of the Norse god Thor. He is the perfect representation of the brave Thoric, and is worshipped wherever that race travels.
A deity of the traveling Calidians, this deity is a slightly altered version of the Celtic Manannan mac Lir. The deity has been adapted as the god of wildspace, rather than the sea, and his religion has adjust accordingly. Tradifos is said to be the protector of those who travel through space, as long as they protect wildspace from the incursions of evil. Followers of Tradifos must keep on the move or station themselves in a busy port town.
Worshipped by the Thoric, Yul is the Cluster manifestation of the Greek Hades. Representing both death and wealth, this god perfectly summarizes the difficult Thoric lifestyle wherein one must risk the one to get the other. Priests of Yul are not particularly favored by the Thoric, but are respected as is the god they serve.
Fiira is a relatively new deity, with only a few worshippers, but he is rapidly gaining popularity among the oppressed slaves of the Antilans. Fiira is the Astromundi version of the Indian Savitri whose priests must aid those victimized by criminals. Fiira is also a sun god, and priests of this new religion preach that the god has been angered by the assignation of a false god to Astromundi’s sun. The slaves like this religion because it tells them that their Anti-Ian oppressors will one day be struck down by the very sun that gives them their power. Of course, the Antilans hate this new religion, and the Sun Mages actively oppose its worship at every turn.
The Dwarven god of battle and mining, Chodak is the manifestation of Clanggedin Silverbeard. The leaders of dwarven communities are often priests (or priestesses) of Chodak.
The male and female halves of the same god, this is the manifestation of the elven god Solonor Thelandira. This god’s male half is the god of battle, and its female half the deity of hunting. Elven clerics are rare, but some do exist.
Worshipped by the lizard men, little is known about Sstasa. The lizard men simply say that Sstasa is the god of everything, and feel no need to elaborate. Sstasa has no priests.
Dread lord of the illithids, Lugribossk’s name is spoken only in whispers. No one has ever seen a priest of Lugribossk, but the grisly remains of their religious ceremonies occasionally float into port.
Native characters begin with the normal number of NWPs, and may take any of the space proficiencies listed in other SPELLJAMMER° products.
Characters native to the Astromundi Cluster may purchase any equipment found in a groundling campaign, and may also purchase the special equipment listed in the next chapter. They may start the game with such technological items as wheel lock pistols, if the DM determines their background would allow such. In any event, Thoric characters have easy access to technological items, while Antilan characters rarely use any item of advanced technology.
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