Upheaval in Zhaltssom
Brief Description: Fire-attuned bears who reject the ideas of individuality
Physical Description: The ursin take the form of stout bears with light fur colors. These colors tend to transition to deeper reds around the arms. Ursin attire tends to be crude and relies on a single solid item of clothing rather than any sort of complexity.
Ursin live about 70 years or so.
Preferred Habitat: The ursin prefer caverns with easy access to the surface. Generally speaking, these will be near the edges of mountains, though sometimes forests are involved.
Culture and Society: Ursin do not have a proper society or culture as such, instead being something of a collective. More than any other race, ursin rely on community and reject the notion of self inasmuch as personal property and privacy are concerned. This is not to say that they produce no useful goods – in fact, clans that put their collective efforts to it can produce excellent sculptures and other works of art. It’s just that such efforts are credited to the clan as a whole and not to any one member.
Ursin actually have a coming-of-age ritual where the adolescents are encouraged to explore the outside world, returning if they feel that world does not suit them. Most do eventually return, but sometimes an individual stays on the outside. Ursin encountered outside of the clan territories share much of the same beliefs about their new communities, but have necessarily needed to learn concepts such as property and privacy. Occasionally, they struggle with these, as such beliefs do not come naturally to them.
History, Myths, and Events: No one is sure how the ursin were discovered, but the race has been around for a number of centuries at the minimum. Their one notable belief is that individuality has never worked and will never be useful to a society. Their “proof” is the gluttony and greed of the leaders of civilizations around them. No matter how thriving the civilization around them, ursin will always see individuality as a sign that the society has failed.
Relations: Ursin are actually treated with some contempt by dwarves, who compete with them for resources in mountain regions. Regardless, other races with a sense of community, such as the canids and skinks, tend to be able to relate well to the ursin’s situation.
Preferred Classes: Ursin take class levels with surprising frequency, believing that their own training strengthens the clan as a whole. Most ursin will focus on their martial sides and train as fighters, but some take a wilder approach and become barbarians.
As Player Characters: (What do players need to keep in mind when playing a member of this race?)
Starting Ages: Between 20 and 35 years
Heights: Between 4’7" and 5’8"
Weights: Between 200 and 280 lbs.
Ability Score Racial Traits: The ursin are strong and durable, but their fiery nature has left them without much in the way of common sense. They gain +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, and -2 Wisdom.
Type: Ursin are outsiders with the native subtype.
Size: Ursin are Medium size and thus have no bonuses or penalties.
Base Speed: Ursin have a base speed of 30 feet and a climb speed of 20 feet.
Languages: Ursin begin play speaking Common and Ignan. Ursin with high intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Gnomish, Draconic, Canis, Felis, Aquan, and Dyanast.
Energy Resistance: Ursin have fire resistance 5.
Cave Dweller: Ursin do not like fragile homes, preferring the sturdy surroundings of caves. As a result of dwelling in caves so long, they gain a +1 bonus on Knowledge (dungeoneering) and Survival checks made underground. Additionally, Knowledge (dungeoneering) and Survival are always class skills for them.
Elemental Affinity (fire): If an ursin is a sorcerer with the fire elemental bloodline, it treats its Charisma score as 2 points higher for all sorcerer spells and class abilities. Furthermore, an ursin that can cast domain spells that correspond to the elemental plane of fire casts such spells at +1 caster level. This trait does not give ursin early access to level-based powers; it only affects powers that they could already use without this trait.
Bite: Ursin have strong jaws and thus get a natural bite attack that deals 1d3 points of bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage on a hit. The bite is a primary attack, or a secondary attack if the creature is wielding manufactured weapons.
Elemental Assault: The fire within the ursin burns so strongly that they can set their arms on fire to amplify their attacks. Once per day as a swift action, an ursin can call on the elemental power lurking in its veins to shroud its arms in fire. Unarmed strikes with its elbows or hands (or attacks with weapons held in those hands) deal +1d6 points of fire damage. This lasts for 1 round per character level. The creature may end the effects of its elemental assault early as a free action. This is a supernatural ability.
Ferocity: Ursin are not to be trifled with and have been known to fight on despite crippling wounds. If an ursin’s hit points fall below 0 but it is not yet dead, it can continue to fight. If it does, it is staggered, and loses 1 hit point each round. It still dies when its hit points reach a negative amount equal to its Constitution score.
Darkvision: Ursin can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.