Today's article is a real gem, introducing a brand new player character race: the corite. Strange and alien, while at the same time clearly familiar, corites are a race apart, and not just because they're made of crystal.
Corites are an unusual race of crystalline life forms, which dwell in large, secluded colonies deep underground. Isolationist by nature, they nonetheless send humanoid members of their race out to serve as ambassadors to other races.
Physical Description: A corite’s body is comprised of a single, living crystal, and is faintly luminous. Most corites have no color, and are only semi-transparent, making them appear to be a sort of pale white color, but they vary in both hue and clarity, with colors including reds, greens, blues, and yellows, and some being as transparent as a window, while others are almost completely opaque. In general, corites consider vibrant colors and greater amounts of clarity to be signs of beauty.
Corites do not have genders. Any two corites can produce an offspring: doing so requires a strange process by which the two “parent” corites maintain physical contact while vibrating slightly, until their vibrations allow them to synchronize the touching portions of the bodies, which break off to form the “child.” All corites are “born” with the same basic shape, which is a polyhedron with between eight and twenty sides, no more than 1 foot in diameter. Very early in the corite’s life (at age 1-2), the corite’s body transforms, taking the shape of another living thing. This occurs through an imprinting process that is not very well understood by outsiders, and may not even be understood by the corites themselves. Once a corite completes this transformation, it is locked in its new shape permanently.
The shape a corite takes once it imprints can be practically any living creature, including plants and fungi; however it is very rare for any corites with non-humanoid shapes to be found outside of their colonies, and the statistics presented here apply only to those of humanoid form. Though all corites have a shape that resembles a living creature, they are not exact, and are instead close approximations, made up of smooth, flat surfaces and well-defined edges. Their internal anatomy is nothing like the creatures whose shapes they approximate, and corites do not eat or sleep in the traditional sense, nor do they breathe. Corites sustain themselves on energy: either magical energy or radiation is preferred, although thermal energy can be used in a pinch.
Society: Corites are found in large underground colonies in secluded locations, almost always near sources of magical energy or radiation. Their time is largely spent tending large “groves” of crystals which they foster in the heart of their settlements. Corites are very protective of these crystals, and do not allow outsiders near them, so little is known about them. Some theorize that corites that reach a certain age lose the ability to speak or move, and transform into these crystals. One psychic, who claimed to have communed with one of these crystal groves, stated that the corites are naturally inclined to simply take the form of large crystalline structures, and that they have only begun adopting animal and humanoid shapes in recent decades as an attempt to better understand these life forms. Supposedly, many of the corites that remain as parts of these crystal groves are still quite skeptical about the entire experiment, and worry that the imprinted corites are losing their way.
Although they are well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the various shapes that their bodies can take on, most corites view these differences as secondary to ones of color and clarity. A bright red, transparent corite in the shape of a tree would consider itself to have much more in common with a bright red, transparent corite in the shape of a dog than it would a green or white corite, or one that is nearly opaque, even if they were almost identical in shape. Humanoid corites are something of an exception in this regard, as they are often tasked with leaving their colonies, either in search of energy sources, or simply to serve as ambassadors to humanoid races, and so tend to absorb much of outside cultures, distancing them from others of their race.
Relations: Corites are very distrustful of most humanoid races, and many humanoid races are puzzled by corites, at best, and frequently they look at the corites with a mix of fear, disgust, and greed. Corites and dwarves have a long and antagonistic relationship built on misunderstandings that led to tragedy: many corites believe that all dwarves would as soon shatter them and sell the pieces as look at them, while dwarves paint corites out to be malicious tricksters who spoil mines and make false deals. Corites have difficulty distinguishing humans, elves, and halflings, believing all three to be of the same race (the halflings’ notably reduced height doesn’t seem to factor into their considerations). Corites often have difficulty understanding gnomes’ eccentricities, but take a philosophical view to such things, and in fact, prefer the company of gnomes over most other humanoid races.
Alignment and Religion: Corites have a strong tendency towards neutral alignments, and tend to be very even-minded and patient in their outlooks. They have great difficulty understanding concepts like deities and afterlife, but they seem to have a good grasp of organized religion, drawing similarities between structured, hierarchical, and faithfully obedient religions and their own societies.
Adventurers: It is rare for corites to become adventurers, and of those who do, nearly all are humanoid in shape. Humanoid corites (who make up less than 10% of the race’s population) are by far the most commonly called upon to venture outside of their colonies, either to actively spend time with members of humanoid races, or else to go in search of sources of energy (the latter generally only occurs if the colony’s current source of energy is in danger of being expended in the next hundred years or so, which, depending on the colony and the energy source, may be an almost constant occurrence, or may be only once in a thousand years or more).
Corite Names: In their colonies, corites communicate with a series of single tones, in a variety of pitches and length, and also by pulsing the glow within their bodies. The names that they possess in these languages do not readily translate into most humanoid languages. As a result, most corites that spend any extended amount of time with humanoid creatures tend to choose their own names, or ask others to name them. They often choose names that are a combination of a color and an abstract concept, such as Emerald Inspiration, Azure Thirst, or Crimson Memorial.
Standard Racial Traits
Ability Score Racial Traits: Corites have a strong sense of self and great patience and empathy, but they move somewhat awkwardly. They gain +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma, and –2 Dexterity.
Type: Corites are humanoids with the corite subtype.
Size: Corites are Medium creatures, and they have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Base Speed: Corites have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Corites begin play speaking Common and Corite. Corites with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except for secret languages, such as Druidic).
Defensive Racial Traits
Brittle (Ex): Although their bodies are tough, they are also fragile, and a well-placed blow can deal devastating damage to a corite’s crystalline body. All critical threats made against a corite are automatically confirmed. Additionally, weapons with a critical multiplier of x2 are treated as though their critical multiplier were 1 higher for the purposes of critical hits made against a corite, while weapons with a critical multiplier of x3 or greater are treated as though their critical multiplier were 2 higher.
Damage Reduction (Ex): Corites have DR 2/adamantine. At 6th, 12th, and 18th levels, this damage reduction increases by 1 (to a maximum of 5/admantine at 18th level).
Sonic Vulnerability (Ex): Corites suffer half again as much damage (+50%) from sources that deal sonic damage, and they suffer a –2 penalty on saving throws made to resist sonic effects. Additionally, whenever a corite suffers sonic damage, it loses its racial damage reduction for 1 minute.
Magical Racial Traits
Light (Sp): Corites are constantly affected as though by the spell light. They can resume or suppress this ability as a free action, and even convey messages through simple codes by causing the light to blink on and off.
Sonic Resonance (Ex): Corites are naturally adept at manipulating sonic vibrations, and treat their caster level as 2 higher for the purposes of spells they cast with the sonic descriptor.
Senses Racial Traits
Darkvision: Corites can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Corites can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Skill Racial Traits
Alien Outlook: Corites suffer a –4 penalty on Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks, due to their lack of familiarity with humanoid culture.
Other Racial Traits
Crystalline: For the purposes of effects targeting creatures by type (such as a ranger’s favored enemy and bane weapons), corites count as both humanoids and constructs. Corites gain a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against mind-affecting effects and stun effects, are not subject to fatigue or exhaustion, and are immune to poison and disease. For the purposes of spells and effects that affect crystalline objects and creatures differently than others, a corite is treated as a crystalline creature. Corites do not need to breathe. While a corite can starve if it goes too long without being in close proximity to a magic aura, radiation source, or source of thermal energy, this process takes weeks to occur, and for all intents and purposes, corites do not need to eat.
Sleepless: Corites do not sleep. Instead, they must spend eight hours each day in a trance-like state, during which they are fully aware, but completely paralyzed. It takes roughly 10 minutes to enter this state, and although they can choose to exit the state at will, it takes them 10 minutes to do so. If a corite would be affected by a sleep effect, it becomes paralyzed for 10 minutes instead.