Mandragoran

Mandragorans are an exotic plant-like humanoid species known for their unique, tapered, headvines called “nahmaun gorah”. They live in a very stratified society. Known for their deliberate and patient manner, they like to weigh the positive and negative aspects of a situation before making a decision. They are not slow to act though. Quite the contrary: the mandragorans can be very quick when the occasion calls for it. Thanks to their patient attitude and dependability, mandragorans have aptitude as merchants. Many mandragorans take great pains to ensure their position by making all agreements as written contracts.

They consider signed contracts as binding and unbreakable for their part. Many would rather die than dishonor their part of a written contract, even if the other concerned party has dishonored their part of the contract. Paper is sacred and the written word is just as sacred as the paper it is written on. The spoken word is another matter altogether. Many a foreigner has found themselves were deceived by the spoken words of a mandragoran when a written contract was not involved.

The mandragorans feel a strong connection to the land. Many become wu shih or wood witches. They respond quickly to threats to the land. The mandragorans say that the decision to commit to the land’s defense was made long ago. Hesitation to enforce that decision is a violation of a sacred contract and obligation.

Personality

The mandragorans value knowledge and nature, viewing life as an eternal journey towards learning. They yearn for new experiences and to learn ever more. They are a deliberate, meditative, cautious, and introspective people preferring to observe, plan, and prepare before doing anything rash. Rarely does an individual mandragoran rush into anything. They even eat slowly. However, they are not timid and can be deadly when provoked. Just because it is rare to see a mandragoran in a rage does not make them any less dangerous. They can be quite literal, adhering to the letter of the law over its spirit, though usually only when it benefits them. They can be quite clever at manipulating the words in a contract to their benefit.

Physical Description

The average adult ranges in height from 5’ to 6’6”. They normally weigh anywhere from 80 to 180 pounds. Their skin colors include shades of blue, green, red, white, and grey and almost always bears patterns of one of the other color tones. The formation and coloring differ from individual to individual, sometimes taking on the appearance of veins. This color pattern is most prominent on the face. While they must breathe, they lack a prominent nose. (They create minute amounts of oxygen on their own within their own blood stream. This has no game effect.)They have no body hair. Normal eye colors include green, blue, violet, purple, silver, gray, or more rarely red. They have soft and supple, leaflike scales that are most prominent on their head and headvines, but turn almost imperceptible along much of the rest of the body.

A mandragoran’s nahmaun gorah, or headvines, grow from the top and back of their heads in a manner that often appears somewhat asymmetrical. The nahmaun gorah vary with each individual. Some have one or two long, large, head-vines while others may have a great many shorter, thinner ones. These headvines can move as well as a cat swishes its tail, but the longer and thicker the nahmaun gorah, the stronger and more prehensile it is. The tails indicate position within their rigid social system.

More tails indicate lower rank and fewer tails mean higher standing. They train and tend their tails through ceremonies and meditation with the use of medicines, like an expert gardener tending a tree to grow a certain way. Mandragorans have complete control over the senses in their headvines and can activate or deactivate any sensory input from them. Furthermore, the ends of these tails are so sensitive that they have the same sense of touch as the mandragoran’s ingertips and are considered erogenous zones. They can taste what they touch, should the mandragoran decide to do so. This sense allows them to taste foodstuffs without consuming them.

Mandragorans have a unique physiology. Their plant-like nature provides them with a higher resistance to toxins and poisons than other races. They gain some sustenance from the sun’s light and can be harmed if they go for long periods without it. Mandragorans must hibernate for two weeks out of every year during the winter when their metabolism slows to a crawl; they do have a measure of control over exactly when during the winter they go into this annual hibernation. They are omnivorous, preferring vegetables to meat. They must occasionally consume bones. Mandragorans try to keep this secret for fear of being labeled carnivores.

It is very rare to see an obese member of this race. Obesity is a sign of a degenerative sickness. Any in this condition will probably die of the disease within the year as their bodies continue to grow and retain fluids in an increasingly unhealthy fashion.

Their skeletons do not have as much bone in their composition. The smaller parts of their skeletal structure are tough, fibrous cartilage, while the larger and more prominent portions, such as the skull, spine, and major limbs, are bone. Their spinal bones and cartilage are stronger than those of humans, and more lexible. However, their cartilage lacks the rigidity of bone, which causes them to have less strength than most humanoids their size.

Mandragorans also release pollen spores that other species can ind intoxicating and beguiling. These spores communicate their emotional state to others, and are also important to the mandragoran reproductive cycle. They reproduce and procreate like most humanoid species. However, mandragorans release pollen spores from their nahmaun gorah during the act of procreation. Without sharing pollen they cannot bear offspring.

Relations

Their affinity for nature, passion for life, and cautious nature help the mandragorans to get along well with the yueren, faen, ruishishen, and many shenxue. Their thirst for knowledge gives them something in common with naga and puts them in good standing with that race, unless they compete for the same knowledge. Mandragorans are less likely to get along with qahngol, goushen, naga-born, and bakemono, finding them abrasive or uncouth. They tend to be indifferent towards sanesaram, humans, and dahren. The introspective nature and long-term perspective of the verrik gives them some common ground with the mandragorans.

Outlook

Mandragorans have an exotic beauty that appeals to many other races. This, coupled with their cautious, deliberate nature, allows for a good reputation. However, the mandragorans are also known for their stubborn and restrictive demeanors. When they decide how to handle a given situation, they can be harsh and rigid, like a root that has taken hold and refuses to grow elsewhere.

They have a heavily stratified society lead by hereditary priests and scholars. Below them are the magic users, followed by the landed aristocracy and noble warrior-retainers. Next come the craftsmen, the entertainers, the menial laborers and the slaves. Last of all are the outcasts and untouchables. Characters born to the first caste may be of most any class (except rogues and kusa and similar types) that allow them to focus their skills on academic and spiritual matters. By the same token, a magister or other magic user is not necessarily restricted to the second tier caste; circumstances may place him in another caste.

It is possible for someone to change their caste through extraordinary circumstances. Usually, your children get to be of another caste as a result of your accomplishments, while you remain where you are. This is a good reason for many mandragoran adventurers to satisfy their curiosity and become a hero when they come home, ensuring a place for their children in the next higher tier.

The caste system exploits the fairer sex. Three-fourths are female. A much higher percentage are on the lower tiers than the males. As a result, many of them are exploited and taken advantage of.

Mandragoran Lands

The mandragoran homeland is a land with numerous types of terrain. They also inhabit many other lands in the southern part of inhabited lands. The mandragorans build cities in the middle of great swaths of natural woodlands, untamed jungles, and well-tended groves. Their cities are marvels of stonework and living plant life. It seems as though they actually grow their homes and cities.

Religion

Metaphysical and spiritual matters are of great importance to mandragoran society. The rigid caste system exemplifies this with hereditary priests and scholars of the state religion leading their society.

Language

Mandragorans speak sylvan and the common tongue of the land they hail from, usually Mandrasengali, though they often learn many other languages.

Names

Mandragorans use personal names and family names like many other cultures; however, when speaking with outsiders they use a third name. This third name derives from their caste and immediately tells someone not of their village what caste they are from.

Caste names

Sarman (brahmin - priests, scholars), Varman (kshatriya - oficials, warriors), Gupta (vaisya - craftsmen, merchants), Dasa (shudra - peasants).

Family Names

Aggarwal, Arun, Bhat, Chandra, Chennapragada, Chhavvi, Choudhari, Darsha, Dhiri, Djikah, Jai, Kanmani, Kingwar, Kumar, Mandar, Manju, Manohar, Mantri, Mavalvala, Mehra, Mrudaya, Nageswar, Nara, Naran, Narang, Naseer, Neela, Oshanti, Panth, Parmar, Parwan, Pundarik, Purva, Rabindra, Rai, Rajan, Raji, Raman, Rana, Ranga, Raviram, Sadashiv, Sahar, Sainin, Salagame, Sameer, Sanat, Sandeep, Sangawar, Sashi, Sathyanna, Semerkant, Sen, Sethi, Shan, Sharma, Shastri, Singh, Somu, Sreeram, Srivas, Subbarao, Sunamon, Sunettra, Tarpana, Thamma, Thuvaradran, Ubriani, Uttara, Vaisakhi, Varsha, Vedula, Veer, Vellore, Vijaya, Vish, Vishnavi, Vyapari, Yamini, Yavar.

Male Names

Agnimitra, Ahima, Ajakasva, Akila, Akopa, Ashok, Ashoka, Avik, Bahadur, Balin, Balistha, Balram, Candra, Caru, Damodar, Damya, Devaki, Dhruvas, Dustara, Ekada, Ekdak, Ganha, Gaur, Ghanji, Haran, Harshad, Hiresh, Hridaya, Ishan, Itar, Janak, Jayakar, Kalidasa, Kalmali, Kamal, Kavi, Khanaka, Kharan, Kulin, Lokesh, Mahendra, Malkiat, Manohar, Maniram, Mustar, Namhan, Nami, Nanak, Narasimha, Naresh, Natha, Niranjan, Ojas, Phoolendu, Prabat, Pravar, Pritam, Raj, Ram, Ranjit, Rupak, Sagar, Sahisnu, Samir, Samraj, Samudra, Siddharth, Sundar, Sunil, Sushanti, Svati, Tapan, Tarak, Tej, Thotin, Varayu, Vasan, Virabahu, Virajas, Virupa, Visri, Vitarka, Yanja.

Female Names

Abisa, Abjaa, Ahilyaa, Amalaa, Anjasi, Asti, Astriti, Asuraa, Badari, Balajaa, Bhagraa, Cahanaa, Chiha, Damayanti, Dasi, Datti, Devaki, Devamani, Devi, Dhiti, Druti, Dulari, Fari, Gaurang, Hasumati, Indira, Indrakshi, Jhanita, Kalamali, Kalyani, Khalaa, Kishori, Kumaradevi, Kumari, Kundalaa, Lakshmi, Leela, Malathi, Malini, Mandaraa, Meenaa, Mira, Nimi, Oghavati, Padmaa, Padmavati, Pari, Prani, Priya, Ramadevi, Rani, Rathamtari, Revati, Rohenaa, Salila, Saphala, Sarala, Sarasa, Sarita, Saroja, Sashi, Sauraa, Savitri, Shalakaa, Shanti, Sharath, Shikha, Sita, Sonia, Sumana, Sumanth, Sumitra, Sunandaa, Suniti, Talaa, Tara, Uma, Usha, Vadavaa, Vimi, Vuma.

Adventurers

Mandragorans adventure for many reasons, but the primary motivation is for power and wealth. Many mandragoran merchants brave unexplored lands and ancient tombs for treasure or the new trade route they might establish. Some adventure to escape their rigid society. Others adventure to learn rare and forbidden knowledge to sell at a high price, while many mandragoran mercenaries ply their trade in other lands for profit.

Favored Drink: Water or Tea; Favored Food: Bones, though mandragorans know that gnawing on bones makes them look barbaric and vile – so most mandragorans try to hide this. Favored Weapon: Bows.


Mandragoran Racial Traits

  • +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma, and -2 Strength: Mandragorans are quite beautiful, sociable, self-disciplined, and intuitive, but they are not as strong as other humanoids due to a lack of rigid bone material in their bodies.
  • Humanoid: Mandragoran have the humanoid (mandragoran) type and subtype.
  • Medium: Mandragorans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Mandragoran base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Low-light Vision: Mandragorans can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
  • Camouflage: Mandragorans gain a +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks while in marshes or forested areas.
  • Disciplined Nature: The patience and self-discipline of the mandragorans allows them to overcome and endure most any pain or nuisance. Once per day, when the mandragoran makes a Will saving throw, she can roll the saving throw twice and take the better result. She must decide to use this ability before the saving throw is attempted.
  • Poison Resistance: Mandragorans receive a racial bonus on saves against poison equal to their Hit Dice.
  • Head-Vine Tails: Mandragorans have a long, flexible vine-like tails on their heads that can be used to carry objects. They cannot wield weapons with their head-vines, but they can retrieve small stowed objects carried on their persons as a swift action. A mandragoran’s head-vines have a sense of touch as sensitive as their fingertips and they even have the ability to taste with their headvines. They can deactivate the senses in the head-vines (and only in the head-vines) as a standard action.
  • Spore Scent: Mandragorans generate spores that emit a strong, pleasant scent that can make other creatures predisposed to harmonious dealings. Bluff and Diplomacy are always class skills for mandragorans. They also gain a +1 circumstance bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Handle Animal checks with any living creatures within 30 feet of the mandragoran. Mandragorans receive a -2 circumstance penalty to Disguise checks due to the strength of their individual spore scent. On a windy day, the range can be as much as 60 feet to any downwind creature, but only 5 feet to any creature that is upwind (at the DMs discretion). This ability does not work on undead or creatures that do not have a sense of smell.
  • Spore Thought: Mandragorans communicate empathically by discharging spores that express their emotional state. The mandragoran can show what surface emotions she is feeling with this ability, and her basic needs, drives, and emotions. Fear, friendliness, hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain, desire, rage, uncertainty, hatred, curiosity, and any other sort of emotions, sensations, and moods can all be relayed to a target of this form of communication. The range of this ability is equal to that of the mandragoran’s spore scent ability; however, the mandragoran can also limit the range of this ability to touch if she should so desire.
  • Healing Light: Mandragorans who spend at least eight hours a day in sunlight and rest fully at night may heal one extra hit point per day per character level. If the mandragoran is only in sunlight for less than eight hours, but more than four, she heals at the normal rate. Those that do not spend at least four hours a day in light cannot recover any hit points naturally, even with a full day of rest.
  • Automatic Languages: Common (Mandrasengali) and Sylvan.
  • Bonus Languages: Any.

Alternate Racial Traits

The following racial traits might be selected instead of existing mandragoran racial traits.

  • Mandragoran Magic: Mandragorans with this racial trait are treated as one level higher when casting spells with the light descriptor, using granted powers of the Plant domain, using the bloodline powers of the verdant bloodline or the revelations of the oracle’s wood mystery, and when determining the save DC of alchemist poisons (this ability does not give mandragorans early access to level-based powers, only affecting the powers they could use without this ability). Mandragorans with Charisma of 11 or higher also gain the following spell-like abilities: 1/day— detect poison, light, stabilize, and goodberry. The caster level for these effects is equal to the mandragoran’s level; the DCs are Charisma-based. This racial trait replaces the camouflage and healing light racial traits.
  • Desert Flower: Some mandragorans, like certain desert plants, can survive on only a little water for an extended period of time, allowing them a measure of protection against extreme desert conditions. Mandragorans with this racial trait receive a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue, exhaustion, or ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, or hot or cold environments. This racial trait replaces the spore scent, spore thought, and poison resistance racial traits.
  • Poison Leaf Skin: A number of times per day equal to her Constitution modifier (minimum 1/day), a mandragoran with this ability can exude a mildly poisonous irritant from her skin that causes anyone touching her to receive a -1 penalty to all ability checks, skill checks and attack rolls for 24 hours. Grappling, throwing, unarmed strikes, natural weapon attacks (bite, claw, slam, etc.), touch attacks, and spells with a range of touch are all subject to this ability. This penalty can be avoided if the creature touching the mandragoran is immune to contact poisons or has protective clothing (i.e. gloves) and/or armor. Applying the poisonous irritant is a swift action that has a duration in rounds equal to the mandragoran’s Constitution modiier (minimum 1 round). This racial trait replaces the disciplined nature and healing light racial traits.
  • Thorns of Fury: Mandragorans with this racial trait have thorns, just as certain plants do. They can use these thorns with their unarmed strikes to cause aggravating wounds that inlict an additional +1 piercing damage with each strike. This additional damage also applies each round to anyone grappling or grappled by the mandragoran. They also gain a +1 bonus to their CMD against grapple attempts. This racial trait replaces the disciplined nature and healing light racial traits.
  • Water Lily: Mandragorans with this racial trait come from a subspecies that has adapted to life in the lakes, rivers, and oceans. They gain a +4 racial bonus on Swim checks, can always take 10 while swimming, and may choose Aquan as a bonus language. They are proicient with longspear, trident, and net. This racial trait replaces the spore scent, spore thought, and poison resistance racial traits.

The Mandragoran Paragon

Mandragoran can take levels in mandragoran paragon at any time. Not all mandragoran take paragon levels; and of those who do, not all take all six of them.

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Knowledge (magic) (Int), Knowledge (Mandragoran) (Int), Sneak (Dex), and Survival (Wis).

Skill Points: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

Table: Mandragoran Paragon Class
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells
1 +0 +0 +0 +2 +2 Wisdom +1 level of existing class
2 +1 +0 +1 +3 +2 Charisma, Spell-like abilities, Woodland Stride +1 level of existing class
3 +2 +1 +1 +3 Spell-like abilities, Trackless Step, free access to the mandragoran spell template +1 level of existing class
4 +3 +1 +1 +4 +2 Wisdom, Gender Transformation, Spell-like abilities +1 level of existing class
5 +3 +1 +2 +4 Limited Regrowth +1 level of existing class
6 +4 +2 +2 +5 Plant-like Immunities (poison, sleep effects, paralysis, and stunning), Spell-like abilities +1 level of existing class

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Mandragoran with levels only in paragon mandragoran are proficient with all simple weapons and light armor.

Wisdom/Charisma Increase (Ex)

Starting at 1st level, the mandragoran paragon’s Wisdom score gains a +2 bonus. At 2nd level, she gains a +2 Charisma bonus. At 4th level, she gains a +2 Wisdom bonus.

2nd-Level Spell-like Abilities (Sp)

At 2nd level select one 0th level or 1st level druid spell; the mandragoran paragon can use this as a spell-like ability once per day. This spell-like ability is in addition to any other spell-like abilities the character already has. Use the mandragoran’s character level as her caster level and her Wisdom as the key ability.

Woodland Stride (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, a mandragoran paragon may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect her.

3rd-Level Spell-like Abilities (Sp)

At 3rd level select any one 2nd level or lower druid spell; the mandragoran paragon can use this as a spell-like ability once per day. This spell-like ability is in addition to any other spell-like abilities the character already has. Use the mandragoran’s character level as her caster level and her Wisdom as the key ability.

Trackless Step (Ex)

Starting at 3rd level, a mandragoran paragon leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. She may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

Gender Transformation (Ex)

Starting at 4th level, the mandragoran paragon can change gender to the opposite gender through a week-long ceremony. The transformation is permanent (unless the ceremony is performed again) and is considered the mandragoran paragon’s natural form, but does not affect any of the character’s abilities.

4th-Level Spell-like Abilities (Sp)

At will – scentless (see below). 3/day – charm person and one 2nd level or lower druid spell you select. These spell-like abilities are in addition to any other spell-like abilities the character already has. Use the mandragoran’s character level as her caster level and her Wisdom as the key ability.

Limited Regrowth (Ex)

Starting at 5th level a mandragoran paragon become dificult to kill. Her natural healing rate doubles and she cannot die from hit point damage as long as her limited regrowth ability is still functioning (although she still falls unconscious when her hit points are below 0). Fire and acid damage, cause her limited regrowth to stop functioning on the round following the attack. During this round, the mandragoroan paragon can die normally.

Limited Regrowth does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation. The mandragoran paragon can regrow lost portions of their bodies within 1d2 days and can reattach severed limbs or body parts if they are brought together within 1 minute of severing. Holding the severed portion against the mass enables it to reattach as a full round action. Severed parts that are not reattached wither and die normally. A mandragoran paragon must have a Constitution score to have the limited regrowth ability.

Plant-like Immunities (Ex)

Starting at 6th level, a mandragoran paragon is no longer subject to effects that specifically target Humanoids, such as charm person. Plants are immune to all paralysis, poison, sleep, and stun effects. She no longer needs to sleep, but she must still rest and meditate for 8 hours to recover spells. Unlike creatures of the Plant type, a mandragoran is not immune to Mind-Affecting or Polymorph effects though she does gain a +4 racial bonus to saves against these effects.

6th-Level Spell-like Abilities (Sp)

At 6th level select any three 3rd level or lower druid spell; the mandragoran paragon can use any one of these as a spell-like ability once per day. This spell-like ability is in addition to any other spell-like abilities the character already has. Use the mandragoran’s character level as her caster level and her Wisdom as the key ability.


Scentless

School: abjuration; Level: Druid 1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: V, S, M (red herring)
Range: touch
Target: one creature or object
Duration: 10 minutes/level (D)
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)
The scent ability does not help creatures find the target of this spell; it has no scent for the duration. At the end of the duration, its scent trail reappears.

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