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Taladas: Time of the Dragon Lords

Skills & Powers: Taladas

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This book allows DMs of AD&D 2nd Edition games to bring the Player's Option: Skills & Powers rules to their Taladas campaigns. Options for each PC race of Taladas are provided, as are new magic secialisations for wizards in this land. In addition, there is a master reference of every weapon available in Taladas (including the weapons of the minotaurs, kender, and gnomes) with its price in steel pieces, as appropriate for Taladas, and the spheres of each Taladan religion (including those introduced in the Tome of Magic).


Excerpt from Skills & Powers: Taladas

Kender

Kender are very are on Taladas and the majority of those known are from the Marak region and are thus not a race well-loved by others. However, there are small groups of kender who retain attitudes similar to their Ansalonian cousins. In addition, their natural curiosity has prompted many of this race to travel from distant lands, Ansalon included.

Adult kender resemble young teenaged humans; aside from their pointed ears, they could pass as human youths. Most kender stand about four feet tall, although some reach five feet in height. Despite thin limbs, kender are well muscled.

Although fair-skinned, kender tan quickly, becoming nut-brown by midsummer. Their eye colour varies: pale blue, sea green, olive, light brown, and hazel. Hair colouration for kender ranges from sandy blonde to dart brown, with a few boasting coppery red or red-orange hues. Kender cannot grow beards or moustaches. Kender ears are pointed, much as elven ears are.

"True" kender, such as those who dwell in Ansalon, are rare in Taladas; the only concentration of true kender is in the Rainward Isles. True kender share a childlike nature: curious, fearless, irrepressible, independent, lazy, taunting, and irresponsible with others' possessions. They wear durable, rustic clothing of bright natural colours, with vests, belts, or short cloaks that contain many pockets. In these pockets and belt pouches, kender carry a countless assortment of curios and junk.

Marak kender are differentiated from "true" kender by their attitude towards life. Similar in appearance to "true" kender, they favour more sombre colours for their dress. This, however, is only a minor outward manifestation of their difference. While still a curious race, they are suspicious, distrustful, even paranoid of others. Their curiosity drives them to check everything and everyone out "just for safety's sake." They take things not because they are thieves, but to make sure the odds are always in their favour.

Kender may become multiclassed, including the combinations of fighter/thief, ranger/thief, fighter/priest, or priest/thief.

Players who choose kender for their characters have 40 character points to spend on racial abilities. These points can be spent to customise a kender from the general list below, or they can be used to purchase the race's skill package. Only 5 points can be retained for use later in the character creation process.

Kender Standard Racial Abilities (40)
Fear immunity Sling bonus
Handling skills Stealth
Infravision Taunting
Resistance

Kender Abilities

If the player wishes to create his own customised kender character, he can pick and choose from the list of kender abilities listed below. Abilities cost 5 to 10 character points; refer to the descriptions below.

  • Aim bonus (10): The PC gains a +1 to his character's Dexterity/Aim subability score. The character's Aim may be up to 5 points higher than his Dexterity/Balance.
  • Appearance bonus (10): The PC gains a +1 bonus to the Charisma/Appearance subability.
  • Balance bonus (10): The PC gains a +1 bonus to the Dexterity/Balance subability. The character's Balance may be up to 5 points higher than his Dexterity/Aim.
  • Disbelief (5): The kender refuses to believe anything which she has not seen with her own eyes, and gains a bonus of +2 to all saves vs. illusion/phantasm. This character may not be a priest.
  • Disguise (5): In order to gain acceptance in other communities, the kender is skilled in the practice of masquerading as a member of another race—usually, humans, half elves, and elves. To succeed, the character must have access to a variety of clothing, and has a percentile chance equal to the PC's Charisma/Leadership, +1% per level.
  • Fear immunity (5): The kender is immune to normal, magical, and psionically induced fear. Still, kender are not stupid and will recognise danger quickly. The character's reaction will tend toward fascination and curiosity rather than fear.
  • Fleetness (5): The character is unusually fleet of foot, and has a normal movement rate of 12. When running in a straight line, he has a movement rate of 15.
  • Handling skills (5): Even kender who are not handlers have an inherent ability to act as a low-level thief: Pick Pockets 25, Open Locks 25, Find/Remove Traps 25, Move Silently 25, Hide in Shadows 25, Detect Noise 25, Climb Walls 50, Read Languages 10. These skills do not increase as the kender goes up in level, but Dexterity and armour modifiers do apply.
  • Health bonus (10): The PC gains a +1 bonus to the Constitution/Health subability.
  • Infravision (5): The PC possesses infravision to 30 feet.
  • Innocence (5): The character's natural charm (or calculated manipulation) allows her to get out of trouble easily. When attempting to convince NPCs of her innocence or get out of trouble with the law, the character gains a bonus of +4 to reaction rolls.
  • Intuition bonus (10): The PC gains a +1 bonus to the Wisdom/Intuition subability.
  • More handling skills (5): The kender can use the following thief skills from Player's Option: Skills and Powers—Bribe 25, Detect Illusion 10, Detect Magic 10, Escape Bonds 25, Tunneling 10. These skills do not increase as the kender goes up in level, but Dexterity and armour modifiers do apply.
  • Resistance (5): The PC gains a bonus to saves vs. poisons and magical attacks from rods, staves, wands, and spells based on his Constitution/Health score. Kender—unlike dwarves and gnomes—are not hindered when using magical items.
Score Bonus
4-6 +1
7-10 +2
11-13 +3
14-17 +4
18-2 +5
  • Sling bonus (5): The PC gains +1 to hit with hurled weapons and slings.
  • Stealth (10): The PC has a bonus to surprise opponents, but only if not wearing metal armour. The PC can move so quietly that opponents' suffer a -4 penalty to surprise. If the kender must open a door or move aside some other obstruction, this penalty is reduced to —2.
  • Taunting (5): Kender PCs can taunt others into reckless acts. Their tone and insults are so annoying that enemies may become enraged. If enemies fail a saving throw vs. spells, they act with mindless rage for 1d10 rounds and suffer a penalty of 2 to THAC0, AC, and other rolls. Long-time companions of the kender are immune to this effect.

    For 10 CPs, the character imposes a penalty of -1 to her enemies' save to resist this ability. This increases by -1 per every three levels of the character.

Copyright ©1996-2001 James O'Rance.