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Driskolt, the Deer-man

The driskolt are a race of deer-like humanoids that grow from the earth in secluded, untouched virgin lands. They are born of the essence of nature, a distillation of that untouched terrain. While rare, they are not uncommon in lands unspoiled by other races. As a race, they are born of a collective intelligence, working in tandem with their brethren despite any distance. It is said that they also speak freely with nature’s creatures, and seek to right the wrongs of those that would bring harm to the world.

The driskolt are nature’s protectors, being born of the world’s need for defense. When nature’s enemies ravage her gifts, the driskolt blossom and grow to protect her.

Physical Description: A driskolt is a humanoid creature, standing nearly as tall as a man, with deer-like features, hoofed feet, and antlers. They are of a kind demeanor. They vary greatly in appearance, as wild as nature itself. They range the colors of all plant life, with most tending towards shades of grey and brown. Their eyes are said to vary, being virgin wood green, morning sun gold, rich brown earth, or deep sky blue.

Society: When a driskolt is first flowered, they sprout from the ground or a large tree, growing in an un-defiled location, far from the eyes of other creatures. They are immediately the size of an adolescent, growing to maturity quickly over the course of a single year. Once they have sprouted, the adolescent driskolt instinctively know the way to the nearest aldeon, or collective home of driskolt. They live in communities grown from their natural surroundings, using druidic magic to shape and weave the natural environment to suit their needs. Their homes are well defended and surprisingly well-camouflaged. Without knowing what one is looking for, a driskolt aldeon could completely elude a passerby. The driskolt are thought to draw their collective knowledge and wisdom directly from nature itself. At the heart of each aldeon is almost always some form of exaggerated living tree. This is a Dreaming Tree, their most sacred spot within the community. It is believed that the tree has some divine powers, granting the driskolt spells and imparting knowledge about the surrounding environs. Should a Dreaming Tree ever be killed, all of the driskolt connected to the aldeon are stricken with a profound sadness. They disband the aldeon, allowing the site to return to its natural state. They will seek out other aldeons and feel lost until they find another community. Many lost driskolt become adventurers. Fallen driskolt are allowed to lie where they fall, quickly decomposing into nurturing mulch. Other races find this practice abhorrent, but the driskolt see this as completely natural. All things return to the world, having been born of it.

Relations with other Races Driskolt are generally peaceful and therefore get along well with most good-aligned races.

  • Dwarves: Few driskolt are familiar with dwarves, finding them a curiosity. They love to stroke dwarves’ beards, complimenting them on their fine fur: something dwarves detest immensely.
  • Elves: Most elves are steadfast allies of the driskolt, and some claim that the elves brought seeds of the driskolt to the prime material plane from the Dreaming. Driskolt recognize them as ancient allies. Elves often live among the driskolt as ambassadors, helping protect one of nature’s rarest gifts.
  • Half-Elves: The driskolt are indifferent towards Half-elves. Their dual bloodlines are a mystery to the driskolt. They sense the elven blood within them, but are still suspicious of their human ancestry.
  • Half-Orcs: As the progeny of humankind and orc, the driskolt steer clear from them, treating them indifferently at best.
  • Humans: Driskolt are naturally afraid of humans, having been on the receiving end of human encroachment for ages. They attempt to hide their existence from men, lest they come looking for them.
  • Hu-hsien: The mystical and mercurial hu-hsien are a rare treat in the eyes of the driskolt. They love to play with them, especially long games of cat-and-mouse, deeply enjoying their company.
  • Orcs & Goblinkind: Truly hated are the orcs and other Goblinkind. The driskolt will actively seek to remove such pests from their lands if they find them and it does not endanger their aldeon. The orcs know of their existence and seek to burn their communities to the ground. Ages of treacherous guerrilla warfare exist among members of these two races.

Alignment and Religion: Most driskolt do not serve gods as a general practice, rather serving nature itself. They also tend to be good and neutral in practice. The average driskolt is of Neutral good alignment, though their communities typically have a more neutral outlook by necessity. Should a driskolt become lost, it is certainly possibly that they could come to follow a nature-oriented deity.

Adventurers: A PC driskolt is often newly-grown, still seeking its purpose. They can be grown anywhere, even in harsh climates, though they tend to be most often found in temperate forests. While they do form natural cities in some deeply wild regions, they are also often found in solitude. A PC hero might be a wanderer seeking to eliminate a blight in the natural order. Other PCs could easily be those lost driskolt, whose knot community was destroyed. They wander looking for community, sometimes finding kinship with other adventurers.

Names: It should be noted that driskolt have little identity of self, and that their names reflect that of their duties and function, as opposed to any personal effect. Also, no role is limited to either sex, the driskolt have complete equality. In addition, though many share the same name, the collective driskolt never seem to have any problem distinguishing among one another, having a collective knowledge shared amongst themselves. Those few that leave their aldeons and become adventurers tend to eventually take names and find self-identity. They find elven or other sylvan sounding names pleasing.

Example Names (Male and Female) Digger, Elf-trader, Forager, Groomer, Grower, Hunter, Aldeon-ward, Lore-keeper, Orc-bleeder, Plant-shaper, Skinner, Tender, Tree-herder, Waterer, Weapon-maker and Weeder.

Table: Random Starting Age
Adulthood Intuitive1 Self-Taught2 Trained3
1 year +1d4 years +1d6 years +2d6 years

1 This category includes barbariansrogues, and sorcerers. 2 This category includes bardsfighterspaladins, and rangers. 3 This category includes clericsdruidsmonks, and wizards.

Table: Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 5’4” +2d8” 110 lbs. +2d8 x 5 lbs.
Female 5’4” +2d6” 90 lbs. +2d6 x 5 lbs.

Standard Racial Abilities[]

  • Ability Scores: The driskolt are vigorous and full of life, recipients of the world’s wisdom. As such they gain +2 Constitution and +2 Wisdom.
  • Type: Driskolt are humanoid creatures with the driskolt subtype.
  • Size: Driskolt are Medium-sized and so have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Base Speed: Driskolt have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Languages: Driskolt begin play speaking Sylvan and a regional common. Driskolt with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following additional languages: Elven, Giant and Treant. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.

Defense

Feats and Skills

  • Forest Camouflage Driskolt gain a +4 racial bonus to Stealth checks in forest terrain.
  • Skill Training Perception and Stealth are always considered class skills for driskolt. If they already have either of those skills as a class skill, they instead gain a +1 competence bonus in that skill.

Magical Abilities

Senses

  • Low-Light Vision: Driskolt have low-light vision allowing them to see twice as far as humans in dim light.

Movement Racial Trait

  • Sprinter Driskolt gain a +10 foot racial bonus to their speed when using the charge, run, or withdraw actions

Alternate Racial Abilities[]

The following alternate abilities may be selected in place of one or more of the standard abilities above. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.

  • Rune-carved Some driskolt carve spiral runes of the Dreaming World into their flesh, reducing their natural armor, but granting them greater access to magical abilities. These runes allow you to cast enchantment spells at +2 effective caster level. This trait replaces the barkskin spell-like ability.
  • Shaggy You are born of the wilds in the great northlands. As such, you have a thick winter coat of fur but lose some of the barkskin of your southern cousins. You lose your weakness to cold. Your natural armor bonus is +1 and you have a +2 racial bonus on Stealth checks while within forest terrain. This trait replaces the forest-born and barkskin spell-like abilities and the forest camouflage ability.
  • Lost One You are one of the lost, a aldeon-less driskolt. Increase your Charisma by +2 and reduce your Wisdom by -2 as you depend more upon yourself and less upon your brethren. You also gain a +1 bonus to Fortitude saves. Due to your lost connection to the Dreaming, you may no longer tree shape. This trait replaces the tree shape spell-like ability.

Driskolt Player Characters[]

The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.

  • Barbarian In the deep wilds there are some driskolt aldeons that are very insular and wild. The driskolt protectors there could be barbarians, having little civilized contact with other races. Those few barbarians are often of the Superstitious or Totem Warrior archetypes.
    • Favored Class Bonus Add +1 to the number of hp gained when using Renewed Vigor.
  • Bard Some driskolt take to song and magic very easily. They find harmony within nature. Driskolt bards are frequently of the Animal Speaker, Archivist or Songhealer archetypes.
  • Cleric Most driskolt do not worship gods, but a lost cleric might venerate a philosophy such as community, good, nature, etc. Driskolt clerics are frequently of the Separatist archetype.
    • Favored Class Bonus Add +1/2 to the cleric’s channeled energy total when healing creatures of the animalfey, and plant types.
  • Druid Driskolt are very often druids. The druid is a revered component of driskolt communities. Many are Menhir Savants or Pack Lords, and those elven druids that help tend the aldeon’ Dreaming Tree are Treesingers. Rumors subsist that the elves have taught some driskolt to be Treesingers as well.
    • Favored Class Bonus Add +1/3 to the druid’s natural armor bonus when using wild shape.
  • Fighter While proper fighters are less common than rangers in driskolt society, they do employ guards and specialized warrior camps. A lost fighter driskolt is most often of the Lore Warden archetype.
  • Magus Melding the eldritch powers of the Dreaming with that of combat, the magi serve as elite defenders of a driskolt aldeon. Those that take up this mantle are often of the Myrmidarch, Skirnir or Soul Forger archetypes.
    • Favored Class Bonus Add +1/4 point to the magus’s arcane pool.
  • Oracle A rare occupation, some driskolt are gifted with the ability to communicate with the aldeon’s divine tree. These oracles assist in reading the instructions that nature provides its children. These Oracles are most often of the Seer archetype and frequently have the Ancestry, Lore, Nature or Wood Mysteries.
    • Favored Class Bonus Add +1/6 to the oracle’s number of revelations.
  • Paladin While not of divine natures, the driskolt are capable of producing paladins. They serve as stalwart leaders in the offense against darkness and evil. Typically, those paladins are of the Divine Defender archetype.
  • Ranger Most all martial driskolt are either rangers or multiclass with ranger. Common archetypes include the Battle Scout, Beastmaster, Falconer, Guide, Infiltrator, Shapeshifter, Spirit Ranger, Warden and Wild Stalker.
    • Favored Class Bonus Add +1/6 to the number of the Ranger’s combat style feats.
  • Rogue With their natural camouflage, driskolt make excellent rogues in natural settings. Most driskolt rogues are of the Chameleon, Investigator, Scout, Sniper, Spy, or Survivalist archetypes.
    • Favored Class Bonus Add a +1/2 bonus on Disable Device checks regarding wilderness traps and a +1/2 bonus to trap sense regarding wilderness traps.
  • Sorcerer Born of the Dreaming, driskolt retain much of their magical nature within and sorcerers are not uncommon. Frequently they are of the Fey or Verdant bloodlines, often with the Wild-blooded archetype and the Groveborn or Sylvan mixed bloodlines.
    • Favored Class Bonus Whenever you cast a spell with a range of personal, you gain a temporary bonus to your hp equal to the spell’s level.
  • Wizard Driskolt wizards are definitely rare, but not entirely unheard of. They are great assets to a aldeon and often work with the druids there. Not surprisingly, some multiclass with druid and become Mystic Theurges.

Racial Lore[]

Characters with Knowledge (nature) may know more about the reclusive driskolt. Make a Knowledge (nature) skill check and compare the results to the below chart. Elves and other Fey creatures gain a +2 competence bonus to this roll.

DC 12 – The driskolt are a race of deer-like humanoids grown from the earth itself.

DC 17 – It is believed that they are born wardens of nature, and that the elves have been aware of their presence for many ages.

DC 22 – The driskolt grow to maturity in a single year. It is said they are born in response to a great need by nature itself.

DC 27 – In truth, the driskolt are born of the sentient Dreaming Trees, an intelligent plant that grows deep within the feywilds. They serve these trees and protect their environs.


This material is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL)

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