I have tallied the results (both of them!) and have settled on a mixture of versions 2 and 3 of the kagandi described in this post. Of course, both responses wanted me to have written something about the race relations of the setting before they chose a preference. I am not, unfortunately, awesome enough to design something before the initial moment of its design. Anyway, what I want from this race is a group that will go adventuring with humans, veytikka, and beruch without it being a constant race war. The levels of conflict typically played out between elves and… everyone, but mainly dwarves, is acceptable. There may be some members of this race that don’t like other races, but a mixed group of PCs is well and good, and your character will react to a kagandi NPC based on who he is, not just his race. (Compare this to orcs. And yes, I realize that many campaigns do involve goodly orcs – you know perfectly well that they’re the exception among games as a whole, not the rule.)
The kagandi are a widespread race, equal in number to humans. On average they are slightly larger than humans. Kagandi skin is more leathery than human skin, and ranges in color from jet black to mahogany brown to emerald green; these colors also sometimes show up as streaks of color in other skin tones. The majority of kagandi live within two days’ travel of the ocean or other large bodies of water.
Kagandi physiology requires certain nutrients found in fish, and they begin to suffer significant malnutrition after two weeks without it. They discovered, however, an alchemical process that duplicates this nutrient, allowing them to move farther inland. Kagandi alchemy is years ahead of human alchemical guilds, such that many humans apply to study within kagandi guilds. Most are turned away, but a few are admitted after they swear binding oaths of secrecy.
In addition, kagandi have an idiosyncratic reaction to ulishau root poison. Ulishau root grows in the Fens of Vashtal’s Gift, but the poison is exported to kagandi communities everywhere. While they suffer from the poison, kagandi gain sorcerous power; they claim that this is in fact a bargain that the first of their people made with the god Vashtal in the dawning of creation.
Kagandi first encountered humans over a thousand years ago, as kagandi explorers landed on the shores of the human homelands in the east. Early conflicts gave way to an extended period of peace, shattered almost seven hundred years ago in the War of Fallen Towers, as a faction of kagandi ship captains, guildmasters, and other people of note organized attacks on the human settlers that they saw as intruding into their domains. This war eventually engulfed almost all human and kagandi nations (and resulted in a massive population boom among the veytikka). Humans and kagandi alike were ruined by years of warfare; large areas of human-settled land were ruled by kagandi, and vice versa. Instead of reverting these lands to their previous owners, they stayed in their current hands, and the races began to live together; uncomfortably at first, but no one really wants to go back to war, and they have found ways to profit from one another.
Kagandi and humans tend to separate themselves by neighborhood. In port cities, as much as 75% of the population may be kagandi, whereas cities far inland may have only a single family. While some groups of kagandi and humans try to stir their fellows up against the other race, most people are more concerned with the world’s actual dangers and, more recently, the mysterious beruch who have arrived on their strange ships.
- Ability Scores: +2 Dex, -2 Con
- Medium: As medium creatures, kagandi have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
- Kagandi base speed is 30 feet.
- Low-light vision: a kagandi can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- Familiarity with Alchemy: Craft (alchemy) is always a trained skill for kagandi. They receive the Kagandi Alchemical Lore feat for free.
- Sorcery of the Fen: When a kagandi consumes ulishau root poison and voluntarily fails her saving throw, she gains the spellcasting abilities of a 4th-level sorcerer for three days, or increases her existing spellcasting abilities as a sorcerer by three levels for three days. The character does not gain hit points, skill points, or any other class benefits of sorcery. The kagandi does not avoid any of the damaging effects of ulishau root poison. The kagandi’s spells known are determined the first time she takes ulishau root poison and do not change thereafter, unless the character gains a sorcerer level.
- Poison Tolerance: Though otherwise not especially hardy, kagandi are resistant to poison, receiving a +2 racial bonus to all saving throws against poison.
- +2 racial bonus to Climb, Listen, and Swim.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Kagandi. Bonus Languages TBD.
- Favored Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass kagandi takes an experience point penalty, her highest class level does not count.
Kagandi Alchemical Lore
Story Requirement: Must be kagandi, or trained by kagandi alchemical guilds
Benefit: You have learned how to apply the knowledge of many fields to your practice of alchemy. You receive a +2 synergy bonus to Craft (alchemy) for having 5 ranks of Decipher Script, Heal, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (nature), and Knowledge (the planes). You may not receive this synergy bonus more than three times (total bonus of +6) from this feat.
4th edition Stats
- Average Height: 5’10”-6’6″
- Average Weight: 200-260 lb.
- Ability Scores: +2 Dex, and +2 to Int OR +2 to Cha
- Size: Medium
- Speed: 6 squares
- Vision: Low-light
- Languages: Common, Kagandi, choice of one other
- Skill Bonuses: +2 Athletics, +2 Nature
- Familiarity with Alchemy: Kagandi receive the Alchemy feat for free. If they would receive this feat for free from another source, such as the Artificer class, they create alchemical goods as if they are two levels higher.
- Poison Resistance: Kagandi have resist poison equal to 5 + one-half their level.
- Kagandi Sorcery: Once per encounter, a kagandi may cast a sorcerer at-will power, chosen at character creation. The character’s highest ability score is used in place of Charisma for purposes of attack and damage bonuses, and the character may apply any weapon or implement he wields to this spell. While under the effects of ulishau root poison, the character gains a +2 attack bonus and a +2 damage bonus when using the power granted by kagandi sorcery. This damage bonus increases to +4 at paragon tier and +6 at epic tier.