Upheaval in Zhaltssom
Brief Description: Chatty avians with an affinity for the air
Physical Description: The accipiti resemble various types of birds, having beaks, feathery bodies, and scaly legs with talon-ed feet. However, the accipiti also have tremendous eyes that are well-attuned to seeing in all light conditions. They are also incredibly agile, but suffer from having hollow bones, thus being more susceptible to long-term injury. The accipiti are also notorious for being easily distracted by movements and even their own voices at times.
Accipiti live around 175 years.
Preferred Habitat: The accipiti prefer to live in mountain regions and arid deserts, but the occasional flock will live in cities and grow accustomed to the noise of others.
Culture and Society: Accipitus culture tends to have a bustle about it that compares to human cities many times larger than the flock. This is because the accipiti have the strongest oral tradition among all the races, and every member of the society is likely to contribute some form of poetics or song to this tradition. Occasionally, other art forms will arise, the most frequent of which is dance.
Accipitus society and government is pretty much hands-off – leaders tend to pursue their own interests more than worrying about helping the flock.
History, Myths, and Events: A race attuned to the air was well-believed for a long time considering that an earth-based race had already been found a thousand years ago. However, the existence of the air-attuned race was not found until 500 years ago, when felids who were excavating an ancient library were beset upon by avian attackers from further up the mountain. Luckily, some of the felids were able to convince the avians to stand down and help them with the excavation in exchange for access to the secrets within. Thus the accipiti were recognized, and some went back with the felids to experience the outside world.
The accipiti believe that voices are by far the most important means of preserving knowledge. As a result, the species does not write down as much as it probably should.
Relations: The accipiti get on the nerves of most other races, especially the skinks and vermis. The accipiti get along best with the felids and canids, and the few that know who the cerati are will make efforts to befriend them.
Preferred Classes: Accipiti love language in all of its forms. Many accipiti that take class levels will prefer the bard, using that love of language to chronicle the deeds of others. The accipiti also surprise the other races by being one of the few with a proud summoner tradition – and the most intentional such tradition. Accipitus summoners go out of their way to develop their eidolons into the smartest around – accipitus eidolons are very knowledgeable and the most likely to harness magical abilities of their own.
As Player Characters: (What do players need to keep in mind when playing a member of this race?)
Starting Ages: Between 15 and 30 years
Heights: Between 5’11" and 7’2"
Weights: Between 100 and 140 lbs.
Ability Score Racial Traits: Accipiti are an exceedingly nimble race, but they’re somewhat fragile and quite easily distracted. They gain +4 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, and -2 Wisdom.
Type: Accipiti are outsiders with the native subtype.
Size: Accipiti are Medium size and thus have no bonuses or penalties.
Base Speed: Accipiti have a base speed of 40 feet.
Languages: Accipiti begin play speaking Common and Skyspeak. Accipiti with high Intelligence scores an choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Energy Resistance: Accipiti have electricity resistance 5.
Gift of Tongues: Accipiti are skilled talkers and take well to learning languages. They gain a +1 racial bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks, and they learn one additional language every time they put a rank in the Linguistics skill.
Elemental Affinity (air): If an accipitus is a sorcerer with the air elemental bloodline, it treats its Charisma score as 2 points higher for all sorcerer spells and class abilities. Furthermore, an accipitus that can cast domain spells that correspond to the elemental plane of air casts such spells at +1 caster level. This trait does not give accipiti early access to level-based powers; it only affects powers that they could already use without this trait.
Magical Linguist: The accipitus affinity for air extends strongly to language as well. Accipiti gain a +1 bonus to the DC of spells they cast that have the language-dependent descriptor or that create glyphs, symbols, or other magical writings. They also gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against such spells. An accipitus with a Charisma score of 11 or higher also gains the following spell-like abilities (the caster level is equal to the user’s character level): 1/day — arcane mark, comprehend languages, message, read magic
Gliding Wings: Due to the nature of their feathery arms, the accipiti take no damage from falling (as if subject to a constant non-magical feather fall spell). While in midair, they can move up to 5 feet in any horizontal direction for every 1 foot they fall, at a speed of 60 feet per round. They cannot gain height with these wings alone; they merely coast in other directions as they fall. If subjected to a strong wind or any other effect that causes an accipitus to rise, it can take advantage of the updraft to increase the distance it can glide.
Sky Sentinel: The accipiti are used to fighting above and below their opponents due to their air affinity. As a result, they gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls, a +2 dodge bonus to AC, and a +2 bonus on Perception checks against flying creatures. In addition, enemies on higher ground gain no attack roll bonus against an accipitus.
Enhanced Vision: Accipiti can see twice as well as humans in conditions of dim light. They also have darkvision with a range of 60 feet. (Remember that darkvision is strictly in black and white, but low-light vision is in color.)