Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I chose to live in the ether, to be starlight and legend

 
A city of wonder and light. Art By: Yakov Chernikov
 
Pictures Mangled by Me: Any picture with this in its caption means it is a collage I made using 19th and early 20th century illustrations. All these illustrations are public domain, meaning I didn't rob anyone by using these pictures for my own gains.

Author's Note: This is a more complete, and edited, version of my Stellatine write up. I am still trying to work out how to make these guys in Into the Odd and Pits & Perils, any advice would be greatly appreciated. I used the Pathfinder Race Builder rules to create the stats for the game, but I had to make up my own traits, so I am unsure how balanced they are, advice on this would be appreciated as well.

LINK to previous, and unedited, Stellatine writeup.

Beneath the City is void, and darkness covers its depths. And the spirit of the City moved over the abyss, casting its image upon it. From the reflection came the spirit of the Stellatine, from the void came their physicality. (Ad Initio 1: 2 – 3)

A woman dressed for Spark Night. Art By: Leon Bakst

They are the Stellatine, the darkness of their skin broken by points of prismatic light. Humanoid in form, their skin a quintessential night, androgynous unless self-willed from it. Their form is mutable, constructing from their own light new features and even 'appendages' to fit their own identity. Blank faces morphing neon features, creating identities out of light.

The Stellatine have a demeanor as bright as the light of their many faces, always ready to experience a new sensation. Despite their current liveliness, they were once the dour caretakers of the Infinite City, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood enveloped in dark cloaks. At the end of the Storyteller Wars they changed, somehow freed from a weight that kept them subdued.

Claiming that their god and creator, the City itself, had freed them from their toil to live the lives they were denied as part of their service. From their emancipation the Engineer Kraken and Labor Nautilus arrived through the city gates to pick up their old toils.

A man garbed for the coming festival. Art By: Leon Bakst

They are the founders of Spark Night, ostensibly to celebrate the end of the Storyteller Wars, though it seems to have been founded to simply celebrate the beauty of life. On this night the Stellatine come together to wreath the city in lights, outlining every building and street in prismatic illumination.

During the festival men and women dress in as little as possible, propriety is thrown to the wayside, painting themselves with light itself. Horded during the rest of the year, the Stellatine freely hand out these luminous pigments for men and women to wear, with true artists of the medium giving an idealized form for a few hours. At the setting of the sun until its next rise, the city becomes a carnival that can range from innocent entertainments to neighborhood wide acts of carnal pageantry.

Someone made luminous by Stellatine makeup and magic. Art By: Odilon Redon

In the city, the cobbled streets are smoothed to lanes of velvet night. Broken bits of glass, scattered in the destruction of castoff bottles, become pinpoints of starlight in the shifting festival lanterns. People, dressed in bright and varied colors move up and down the under-lit sidewalks. The cloth they wear now light itself, luminous makeup smoothing skin and sharpening features, leaving tracers in the wake of their passing. Everyone a Nagel portrait, perfect in lanterns' dim glow. In dawn's slow radiance people stumble home, their paint fading in morning's light, some abandoning temporary lovers, others propped upon one another to sleep off the headaches that are soon to follow.

On the other nights of the year, the Stellatine fill the pubs, clubs, and theaters, filling them with the light of their bodies and personalities. Their voices and movements casting out their radiance in a way that has little to do with light. They are the quintessential life of the party, but find difficulty in places and situations where grandiose acts are not possible.

A Stellatine adopting a more feminine form. Picture Mangled By: Me
  
OSR / AD&D / LotFP
+/- 0 Strength (3 / 18)
+/- 0 Dexterity (3 / 18)
+/- 0 Constitution (3 / 18)
+/- 0 Intelligence (3 / 18)
- 2 Wisdom (3 / 16)
+2 Charisma (8 / 19)

Special Abilities -
Faerie Fire: 1/Day per Level – Caster level equal to character level.
Infravision: 60 feet.
Reduced Needs: The Stellatine have no need to breathe, eat, or drink. They do require sleep.
Fear No Light: The Stellatine cannot be blinded.
Identities of Light: The Stellatine may create faces and sexual characteristics from the light of their bodies, allowing them to express different identities. The faces are always the same, though they may subtly change to express different sexes.

Drawbacks -
Light is Life: Stellatine need light as others need food. They must bask in sunlight, or the Light spell, for an hour a day or they begin to suffer from starvation as per system rules. A Stellatine may subsist on the light from torches or campfires, but require two hours of uninterrupted time in order to gain sustenance. They may also gain nourishment from candle or lamplight, but require three hours in order to gain sustenance.
The Light of Truth: The Stellatine are particularly bad at hiding their emotions, the lights of their bodies always shifting to match their particular mood. As such, they take a -3 / -15% / -1 out of 6 (depending on the system used) on all rolls requiring them to hide their feelings. 

A Stellatine in masculine form. Pictures Mangled By: Me
 
Pathfinder / DnD 3.X
I have put question marks next to traits that I created in order to express the race according to my ideas. I had to guess at what these traits might be worth.

Type: Outsider (Native) – 3 RP
Size: Medium – 0 RP
Base Speed: 30 feet – 0 RP
Ability Modifiers: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Wis – 0 RP
Languages: Common and Stellatine (Linguist) – 1 RP
Racial Traits:
Lightbringer: Stellatine are immune to light-based blindness and dazzle effects, and are treated as one level higher when determining the effects of any light-based spells or effects they cast (including spell-like and supernatural abilities). If a character has an Intelligence of 10 or higher, they may use Faerie Fire at will as a spell-like ability. - 2 RP.
Darkvision: 60 feet. (Native Outsider)
Reduced Needs: The Stellatine have no need to breathe, eat, or drink. They do require sleep. - 3 RP (?)
Identities of Light: The Stellatine may create faces and sexual characteristics from the light of their bodies, allowing them to express different identities. The faces are always the same, though they may subtly change to express different sexes. - 1 RP (?)

Drawbacks:
Light is Life: Stellatine need light as others need food. They must bask in sunlight, or the Light spell, for an hour a day or they begin to suffer from starvation as per system rules. A Stellatine may subsist on the light from torches or campfires, but require two hours of uninterrupted time in order to gain sustenance. They may also gain nourishment from candle or lamplight, but require three hours in order to gain sustenance. - 1 RP (?)
The Light of Truth: The Stellatine are particularly bad at hiding their emotions, the lights of their bodies always shifting to match their particular mood. As such, they take a -2 on all rolls requiring them to hide their feelings. - 1 RP (?)

Total: 8 RP