Baluška (3.5e Race)
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Out of all the strange and curious races in the infinite planes, the strangest might be the baluška. To some they are elves, others they are dwarves. They are humans and halflings, gnomes and orcs. The only thing related between them all seems to be the growth of plant matter often inconspicuously placed on their bodies, in their hair, on their backs, or otherwise out of sight. And why? Its because of one thing, the baluška are not what they claim to be. The baluška are sentient plants embedded in humanoid bodies, whose psychotropic bodies appear different to each creature which looks at them. Hormonal intellect paired with neurological speed and ability, they walk among men as hidden dopplegangers and saboteurs.
Baluška personality varies, but is usually a reflection of the society they are attempting to blend into. That said, they're never quite perfect at it; most baluška get subtle things wrong which leads to a bit of an uncanny valley. They prefer to hide in non-diverse or xenophobic societies so none question why they look different to others. Once inside the society, their motives begin to show. Sinister baluška may be interested in slowly turning the civilization into a body farm for more of its spawn, while good aligned baluška might simply be trying to help others. Most are merely focused on establishing nature-friendly policies to ensure the continued survival of their race, as well as a curiousity of the non-plant species in the world.
A baluška can look like nearly anything, but the truth is they don't look like much of anything at all. In their original forms, baluška are barely animated plants resembling spineless cacti with a bone-hard shell and fluid interior. Their roots are a mess of slightly animated vines with hooks on them for digging into and assimilating bodies, and a mouth in the center like a starfish. Rough eyespots line their outer casing. They rarely grow much larger than a small dog in size. In this form, their though processes and movements are slow and plodding, and while sapient, they are incapable of speaking. They feed off nutrients on the surface, in the groundwater, and a combination of sunlight and meat. The real magic begins when a baluška plant finds a humanoid corpse.
If a baluška plant discovers a corpse it will begin assimilating the biomass ito itself, using the creature's neurological system and repairing damaged or rotted soft tissues with a thick ectoplasmic flesh. This former humanoid mass animates, with the baluška embedded somewhere with at least a portion of it sticking out of the body, often on the neck, shoulders, head, or stomach. When other humanoid creatures observe this reborn body, they witness a creature of their own average race. In reality, the body has taken on a blank and expressionless dull green sheen devoid of major features and more resembling a doppleganger. Its new skin shimmers with a faint prismatic pattern from the psychic energies coursing within. All creatures vulnerable to mind affects see their own. Mindless creatures or creatures immune to mind-affecting effects see the baluška's true form.
Baluška have both genders as a plant, but usually adopt the gender of the body they assimilated for use in terms of personality and how they appear. They encounter other baluška and release spores that bud in the area into newborn baluška patches, which eventually migrate off to find their own body hosts.
A baluška, due to its illusory abilities and apparent resemblance to dopplegangers whenever riding a host body, are not trusted by others. In turn, while some baluška are certainly using their gifts to spy, sabotage, and otherwise make life difficult a great many simply wish to live in peace. As a result, they take great care to avoid attention of who they really are.
Some baluška, usually the ones which have been discovered, run off from civilization and become adventurers within tolerant groups which do not mind its multi-faceted appearance. They usually make for great social sneaks and clever infiltrators.
Most baluška are neutral, but their personalities vary from place to place.
Baluška are found within the civilizations of other humanoid species, but the baluška plant itself can be found in any climate with a ready supply of animals or insects, such as jungles and forests.
Baluška do not have a unified religion of their own, but many worship nature itself, or have some druidic leanings.
As a solitary plant, baluška do not speak and only "communicate" through hormones.
As a creature, baluška speak Common, plus one language of their choice (usually the racial language of the land it lives in).
Baluška do not have names of their own, only hormonal markings. Instead they adopt the names of those around them, and nicknames.
- Baluška has no particular bonuses or penalties, and do not assume these penalties with whatever body they appear to be.
- Monstrous Humanoid (Augmented Plant, Psionic): Baluška only have a partly humanoid biology, and their true intellect lies within the plant embedded in their form.
- Medium: As a Medium creature, a Baluška has no special bonuses or penalties due to its size.
- Baluška base land speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision: A 60 can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and a Baluška can function just fine with no light at all.
- Low-Light Vision: A baluška 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.
- Autonomous Plant (Ex): If a baluška hits -10 hp, it does not actually die but its plant-self separates from its host body. If the body has not been destroyed, such as being turned to ash or mauled to pieces, the baluška plant will crawl out of its former body and begin seeking a new form. It can only travel 500 feet each day in this form, and when it finds a suitable body it will convert it within 1d10 days, "returning to life". A baluška can only assimilate Medium or Small humanoids or monstrous humanoids. In this form, a baluška plant cannot use any of its class features and is considered an object with hardness 5 and 5 hp per HD it formerly possessed, and normal healing and vision. A creature can purposefully bring the baluška plant to a suitable body and encourage its growth using long term care via Heal checks. If doing so, the rejuvenation time is cut in half (minimum 1 day).
- Green Biology (Ex): A baluška is half-plant, and draws partial sustenance from the sun. As a result a baluška does not sleep and is immune to sleep. It only needs a human's worth of drink once a week and food once a month to survive, as long as it gets at least 8 hours of sunlight.
- Green Durability (Ex): A baluška's partly psionic biomass is more plant-like than normal. This grants the baluška 25% fortification, and a +4 bonus to saving throws against mind-affecting effects, poison, paralysis, polymorphing, and stunning. In addition, a baluška never bleeds out when dying or from bleed damage, or from effects which rely on bleeding (such as a wounding weapon).
- Psi-Like Abilities (Ps): 1/day- sense link, synesthete. Manifester level equals your character level. The saves are Charisma based.
- Psychotropic Skin (Ex): The skin of a baluška affects the minds of others, making them see the baluška as an average member of their own race. This functions like disguise self, but even simulates tactile and other sensation. There is no save, but true seeing can bypass, as can a Spot check to pierce the disguise. Unless the baluška has gone out of the way with a disguise they are treated as having taken 10 with a +10 bonus to their Disguise check. Creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are immune to a baluška's psychotropic skin, as are non-anthromorphic creatures. The psychotropic skin can only mimic humanoid shaped beings (including monstrous humanoids and many outsiders).
- Racial Hit Dice: A baluška begins with two levels of monstrous humanoid with the augmented plant subtype, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +1, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +3, Ref +0, and Will +0.
- Racial Skills: A baluška’s monstrous humanoid plant subtype levels give it skill points equal to 5 x (2 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Bluff, Disguise, Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nature), and Survival.
- Racial Feats: A baluška's monstrous humanoid levels give it one feat.
- Slippery Mind (Ex): A baluška gains the slippery mind class feature of a rogue. If they obtain this feature again (such as taking levels of rogue), the baluška can attempt the save a third time on its third round.
- Baluška have 1 extra power point per HD.
- Baluška gain a +2 bonus on Bluff checks, but a -2 penalty on Diplomacy checks due to their slight behavioral quirks. They also have a Knowledge Local and Knowledge Nature. Disguise, Knowledge Local, and Knowledge Nature are always considered class skills.
- Automatic Languages: Common and one select language of choice (except Druidic).
- Bonus Languages: Any (except Druidic).
- Favored Class: Bard, Druid, and Rogue
- Level Adjustment: +0
- Effective Character Level: 2
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|100 years||200 years||300 years||+2d% years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||5' 0"||+1d4||120 lb.||× (1d4) lb.|
|Female||5' 0"||+1d4||120 lb.||× (1d4) lb.|
|Effective Character Level||2 +|
|Favored Class||Bard +, Druid + and Rogue +|
|Identifier||3.5e Race +|
|Level Adjustment||0 +|
|Rated By||Leziad + and Foxwarrior +|
|Rating||Rating Pending +|
|Subtype||Augmented + and Psionic +|
|Summary||The baluška are sentient plants embedded in humanoid bodies, whose psychotropic bodies appear different to each creature which looks at them. +|
|Type||Monstrous Humanoid +|