The material below is Open Game Content from a 3PP Source
Ashmalkins as Characters
Ashmalkins are genderless; nothing is known about how they reproduce except that it does not occur unless several ashmalkins are together and near a living tree for a period of at least a week. For the purposes of speaking in languages that lack a convenient genderless pronoun, each ashmalkin will choose to be referred to as “him” or “her.”
This choice is essentially a matter of whim, although once a pronoun is chosen most ashmalkins will stick with it.
Ashmalkins are much like human toddlers: tiny, fragile creatures who love destruction and who believe themselves to be immortal. Whether or not they truly could live forever is unknown because ashmalkins typically rush towards their violent deaths at a frightening pace. Ashmalkins get great enjoyment from killing other things, one another, and themselves. Hyperactive and obsessive by nature, ashmalkins grow bored very easily. The things they find most interesting are death, magic, and the kind of alchemy that makes things go boom.
Few members of the standard races have ever heard of an ashmalkin, much less encountered one—those who have generally wish they hadn’t. Ashmalkins are very interested in meeting people from other civilized societies, especially gnomes, but they make few friends due to their erratic behavior and malicious sense of fun. Ashmalkins do get along well with the more quick-witted Unseelie fey, and they may find a bond with certain tieflings, fey-touched, and others whose nature partakes of chaos, strangeness, or evil at a fundamental level.
The greatest emotional bond in an ashmalkin’s life is not with another ashmalkin, but with a stirge. All but the lowliest members of society have a favorite stirge that they raised from the egg, and some of the most respected ashmalkins have trained and bonded with thousands of stirges. The communal life of a nation is closely tied with the life of the stirge nest it is associated with, and nation and nest share many similarities—both are busy, bloody, and a hazard to travelers.
Among other ashmalkins, the most important aspect of an ashmalkin’s identity is his politics. Royalists support one or another of the factions within the Unseelie Court. Republicans oppose the rule of the court. One common schism within republican politics divides those who favour or oppose the party currently in power; another separates those who believe each nation should rule itself from those who advocate a government with authority over many different nests. Anarchists and libertarians are also common among ashmalkins. Magocrats, who support rule by wizards, are widely considered the most dangerous political agitators, because wizards often do have the strength to seize power but rarely have the good judgment to use it wisely.
Ashmalkin society is thoroughly chaotic and cruel, and individual ashmalkins often achieve degrees of wickedness considered noteworthy even in the Unseelie Court. More than any other creature of chaos, ashmalkins love laws, the more complicated and contradictory the better. They also love punishments; public tortures and executions are a favorite entertainment.
Ashmalkins are native to the plane of Faerie, but they are one of the most skilled fey in crossing over via the passages between planes. Most ashmalkins are born in Faerie, but those who hatched into settlements on our plane are encountered almost as frequently. Many exceptional ashmalkins spend more time in the lands we know than they do in Faerie, their home plane. Some are the last survivors of once-great nations—others flee the infamy of having betrayed their own nation or the Seelie Court. Due to their deeply fey natures, ashmalkins generally retain the extraplanar subtype regardless of their place of birth.
Ashmalkins are fascinated by gods, but they generally lack the patience for prayer, the inner peace needed to find devotion, and the behavioral control necessary to abide by any religious tenets. Few ashmalkins ever discover or cultivate the potential for channeling divine power; those who do often focus on natural energies or an abstract faith in Chaos or Evil. However, depending on their line of work, many ashmalkins make the appropriate sacrifices or offerings to appease the God of Rogues, the God of Death, or the God of Slaughter.
An ashmalkin hatches from the gall knowing its first name, and adopts the name of its Caucus as its last name. Ashmalkins often lie about their names, but almost never change them.
Ashmalkins with great ambition often run afoul of the endless insane politics of their nations and the Unseelie Court. Those with talent and a desire to better themselves frequently strike out on their own in search of new experiences. Many ashmalkins are led towards a life of adventure by their immense curiosity and by the fact that they grow bored easily.
- –6 Strength, +8 Dexterity, +4 Intelligence, -4 Wisdom: To those larger than themselves, ashmalkins seem to be exceptionally agile and quick, but quite weak. (Among creatures their own size, ashmalkins are considered relatively muscular but slow moving.) Most ashmalkins have a capacity for learning that greatly outpaces their ability to make good decisions and are quite stunted in their spiritual development.
- Diminutive: As a Diminutive creature, an ashmalkin gains a +4 size bonus to Armor Class, a +4 size bonus on attack rolls, a +12 size bonus on Hide checks, and a –12 size penalty on grapple checks. However, its lifting and carrying limits are one-sixteenth those of a Medium character, and almost all items, magical and otherwise, that are made for Small or Medium creatures are too large for an ashmalkin to use effectively.
- Space/Reach: 1 ft./0 ft. An ashmalkin never threatens a square and thus cannot make attacks of opportunity. Unless it is wielding a reach weapon, it must move into an opponent’s square to make a melee attack, provoking an attack of opportunity.
- Ashmalkin base land speed is 10 ft.
- Low-light vision: An ashmalkin can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of shadowy illumination. It retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions. An ashmalkin spellcaster with low-light vision can read a scroll as long as even the tiniest candle flame is next to it as a source of light. An ashmalkin can see outdoors on a moonlit night as well as it can during the day.
- Racial Feats: An ashmalkin character receives Mounted Combat as a bonus feat. Ashmalkins are literally born to ride stirges, and find it quite natural to fight from the saddle.
- Feather Fall: An ashmalkin can use the feather fall ability as a free action, as per the spell cast by a 5th-level wizard. This is a supernatural ability.
- Stirge Affinity: Ashmalkins have an innate kinship with stirges. They gain a +2 racial bonus to Handle Animal and Ride checks related to stirges. An ashmalkin character with the Improved Familiar feat may select a stirge as his familiar regardless of his level or alignment.
- Weapon familiarity: Ashmalkins may treat shocklashes as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Sylvan. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Aquan, Auran, Ignan, Infernal, and Terran. Ashmalkin characters are conversant with the shared language of the mortal world as well as the native tongue of their Faerie homeland. Because ashmalkins often travel between planes, they may also have had the opportunity to learn the languages of other realms of existence.
- Favored Class: Wizard. A multiclass ashmalkin’s wizard class does not count when determining whether it takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Ashmalkin society is steeped in wizardry, and the specialization of necromancy particularly appeals to many gifted ashmalkins.
Ashmalkins suffer negative modifications to their Strength and Wisdom scores. When making an ashmalkin player character, generate their raw ability scores normally (by dice roll or point buy). If their raw ability score for Strength or Wisdom is higher than 10, apply the -6 Strength or -4 Wisdom modifier; otherwise, consult the following chart to determine their modified (final) Strength or Wisdom scores:
This table is designed primarily for the benefit of DMs who need to quickly generate the personality for an ashmalkin non-player character. Players may draw inspiration from this table and are welcome to generate their personality traits randomly if they wish. To use the table, roll 1d10 for each column. The religion trait should be rerolled if it yields a result inconsistent with the ashmalkin’s alignment.
Ashmalkin Trait Generator
|1||luxuriant thistles||leering||royalist (King)||Faerie Plane||chaotic evil|
|2||balding thistles||quibbling||royalist (Queen)||Faerie Plane||chaotic evil|
|3||discolored warts||deceitful||royalist (pretender)||Faerie Plane||chaotic evil|
|4||thistled warts||sarcastic||republican (ruling party)||Faerie Plane||chaotic evil|
|5||gangly||gullible||republican (opposition)||Material Plane (swamp)||neutral evil|
|6||squat||boastful||republican (federalist)||Material Plane (swamp)||neutral evil|
|7||misshapen||inquisitive||republican (local rule)||Material Plane (swamp)||chaotic neutral|
|8||plump||impatient||anarchist||Material Plane (underground)||chaotic neutral|
|9||scrawny||pedantic||magocrat||Material Plane (underground)||chaotic neutral|
|10||blotchy||obsessive||libertarian||Material Plane (forest)||neutral|
|D10||RELIGION||FIRST NAME||CAUCUS NAME||ADVENTURER||HOBBIES|
|1||Chaos||Swizbek||Bashbott||Wing Jockey||stirge racing|
|2||Evil||Myxl||Pinchprickle||Wing Jockey||stirge rodeo|
|3||God of Slaughter||Igbey||Cutcutie||Wizard||hunting|
|6||God of Death||Urgloo||Toolwart||Wizard||gambling|
|9||God of Rogues||Goograw||Cackbanger||Expert||politics|