Divine Fractures of Enlightenment
General Overview The shodan have been residents of Argul for as long as the other races; humans, elves, dwarves, etc. It is commonly believed they appeared in Argul right alongside them, so they are not viewed as a ‘new’ race but one that shares just as much history. That being said, the history of Argul is very muddled from before the Alexi-Eyva pact forming the Argul Confederation. What exactly the shodan were up to before the confederation is equal part fact and guessing to fill in the blanks. Shodan value their privacy and traditions, and while they are often slow to make friends at both the personal and national levels, once an outsider is accepted as a comrade, the resulting alliances can last for a lifetime.
From birth, the bones of the spine continue developing, eventually piercing the skin. Because there are no muscles found within the tail itself, there is no voluntary control or accurate feeling with it. Around 8 to 10 years of age, the tip of the tail starts to sprout prominently sharp edges. At age 16, the tail starts to stiffen, beginning the process up to which the tail ultimately separates from the shodan’s body. And sometime around age 18, the tail has hardened enough to become tougher than steel, though the last few months of the process becomes very inconvenient and quite painful for the shodan; all are usually bedridden until it is finished. At the end, the tail naturally falls off and becomes a sacred object to the shodan that signifies his or her step into adulthood. While to outsiders some of the bone-objects may look alike, each one is unique to the respective shodan on an intimate, almost spiritual level. After the shodan has recovered from the ordeal, all shodan are taught on some level to use the tail — now a spear-like weapon.
As mentioned, shodan feel a special bond to their own spears as it is a part of themselves. For this reason, practically all shodan would never willingly leave behind, gift, or sell their spear. And since this is fairly common knowledge in throughout the confederation, someone who is not a shodan that is in possession or who tries to sell one of these weapons will be met with high suspicions. On the flip side of that coin, they are highly valuable in the black markets and by wealthy collectors.
On rare occasions ‘Shan Hunters’ crop up, who’s business methods are similar to slavers – the forceful taking of the shodan’s bone spear, or the shodan child itself – for the sole purpose of profit. For the latter, one of the most heinous of crimes in Argul is the surgical removal of the tail before the natural process is completed. Nine out of ten victims do not survive the ordeal, and all that do eventually take their own lives. For that reason, the crime is akin to simultaneous torture, violation, and murder, and punished with execution without exception. Nevertheless, rarity and risk begets greater demand and greater profits; even in Argul, there is no shortage of degenerates, and the fools who seek their coin. All shodan are required to take mandatory combat-training before they set out into the world, and part of that reason is for self-protection against these would-be thieves and abductors.
Physical Description Shodan for the most part look like humans, but with a few apparent characteristics that reveal their kind. First, shodan are naturally more athletic than humans, and are taller on average. Observing a common human and a common shodan growing in the same environment, the shodan will always be the stronger and faster of the two. Only by comparing a strong human and a weak shodan will there be fair comparison. Second, their complexions and hair colors on average tend to be darker than that of humans — though like any race, unusual specimens appearing among the shodan is possible. Lastly, the main differing aspect of a shodan is the tail of bone that marks a shodan child, or the unique spear carried by adult shodan warriors. However, without the tail or spear, a shodan would be difficult to tell apart from a human on first glances.
|18 years||+1d6 years (19-24)||+2d6 years (25-30)||+3d6 years (31-36)|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|5 ft. 2 in.
5 ft. 0 in.
(5 ft. 4 in. – 6 ft. 6 in.)
(5 ft. 2 in. – 6 ft. 4 in.)
(130 – 220 lbs.)
(100 – 170 lbs.)
Society Shodan civilization is for the most part seen as tribal by others. Their homeland of Brayh Shan is barren, rocky, and stormy. Because of this harsh environment, shodan houses are typically low and sturdily constructed, often built into the faces of cliffs, out of hills, or as holes in the ground. Shodan villages from the outside would probably seem quite fallow by the standards of other races, but they are by no means a destitute race. Material wealth or any signs of supplementation is left for the inside of their houses, not making it easily visible to strangers. Yet, the shodan’s values of wealth or aesthetics is different to begin with, and most would still be led to believe that the shodan lead simple, ascetic lives. In cities where the environment is more forgiving, shodan cities can afford to be more cosmopolitan, so styles can be expected to vary.
Outside of Brayh Shan, where shodan are valued as mercenaries, they tend to have more transient ways of life. For those that make permanent livings amongst other races, they adapt to their settings as well as any. Though, for shodan that have spent most of their lives within Brayh Shan, impressions are generally off-putting for both sides.
Relations Associations between shodan and other races are for the most part tolerable. Shodan tend to view other races with some aspect of annoyance, but do not let it interfere with public relations. As lifestyles between those of shodan and the more industrious races, like humans and dwarves, have such a disparity, the shodan tend to view them as being “unnecessarily busy” or “too noisy”. But similar to elves, they will respect individuals who they deem as worthy. In general, a shodan’s serious and disregarding nature will come off as elitism or discourtesy, but those that come to understand their personalities will find them honorable, genuine, and steadfast.
Alignment and Religion Shodan are driven by tradition, and they respect authority based on their beliefs of meritocracy. While they are often stereotyped as antisocial, they have a strong sense of honor and what they see as right and wrong. For religion, their strongest sense of spirituality belongs to their bonds with their bone spears that can rival the priests of deities. It would not be far from the truth to describe the bone spears as the soul of the shodan race. The shodan believe everything has its nature in life that it cannot deviate from, though not necessarily its place. A poor man who wishes to change his circumstances in life to become wealthy is following within his nature as someone who struggles to achieves his goals. But for the same man to then become apathetic would be erroneous, and will undoubtedly invite strife to return. For that reason, their beliefs tend to align the most with the Green Faith, but those beliefs can change or be converted just like anyone. Most shodan are lawful of good or neutral varieties, with neutral good and true neutral alignments being the next most followed.
Adventurers As an extension of their culture, all shodan who are capable are expected to do mercenary work early within adulthood. How they do so is up to the individual – though sometimes groups will venture together. How much a shodan earns from this work is seen as a sign of merit that affirms their ability, like how a game hunter would mount the head of his best kill. However, shodan are not greedy; they do not bargain, hoping to milk employers for the best possible rate. This is akin to thievery, and any shodan caught doing so will be harshly reprimanded by their fellow warriors. If a shodan is paid a measly sum, it is his fault for taking the job. Consequently, most attempt to give shodan fair rates to make sure they accept, but sometimes the whole process devolves into a mire of expectations and counter-expectations. Though the majority of shodan mercenaries are melee-specialists, shodan mages, assassins, shamans, and more simple jobs like herbalists are surely imaginable.
The vast majority of shodan who become warriors use their bone spears as their main weapon. Even those that follow less combat-oriented professions will still prefer the spear as their weapon of choice should it be needed.
Male Names Valam, Kand, Jiren, Cauthon, Padin, Coulol, Norion, Lesten, Sarinean, Baoth, Guarc, Adral
Female Names Therava, Elyra, Dilivia, Zonase, Lenone, Tenyna, Deniad, Veluene, Irathera, Rosulin, Setelle
Standard Racial Traits
Ability Score Racial Traits: Shodan characters are athletic with powerful and lithe bodies, though they are blunt when socializing. They gain +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, and -2 Charisma.
Size: Shodan are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Base Speed: Shodan have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Shodan begin play speaking Common. Shodan with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Deft Grip Shodan gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting disarm attempts while wielding spears.
Fearless Shodan gain a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear effects.
Natural Armor Shodan gain a +1 natural armor bonus to their Armor Class due to the naturally high toughness of their bones.
Shodan Bone Spear All shodan when they reach adulthood receive their personal Shodan Bone Spear, and are automatically considered proficient with it. Bone Spears have different statistics dependent on how the tail developed. See the Shodan Bone Spear table at the bottom for more details.
Weapon Familiarity Shodan are proficient with all weapons in the spear weapon group.
Feat and Skill Racial Traits
Rough Terrain Adaptation Shodan receive a +2 racial bonus on Climb and Survival checks.
Low-Light Vision Shodan can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Alternative Racial Traits
Shodan Bone Spear Oath Shodan who invoke commitment to using their personal bone spear gain Weapon Fealty as a bonus feat for their shodan bone spear without having to meet prerequisites. This trait replaces weapon familiarity.
Spear Finesse Any shodan who possesses the Weapon Finesse feat may extend its benefits to any spear they wield as long as the weapon is appropriately sized. Note that this does not give the shodan the feat itself, but merely modifies its effects. This trait replaces natural armor.
Stability Shodan receive a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting bull rush or trip attempts while standing on the ground. This trait replaces solid grip.
Tail Bone Mutation On very rare occasions, instead of growing the stiff tail of bone that eventually becomes a spear, the bones of the spine develops in a more unusual way. The tail grows similarly, but instead of hardening and falling off, the shodan gains some voluntary control of it. The tail is not prehensile, as the bone is still quite too heavy to be able to freely move with the weak muscles developed for it. Still, it can be used as a primary natural attack by the shodan. The length of these kinds of tails are always proportionally the same to each shodan, and they always have one prong for the purposes of the damage die and critical modifier. Determine whether the prong is wide or thin by rolling on the table like you would for a Shodan Bone Spear. This trait replaces shodan bone spear.
Unbreakable Spear Bond Some shodan are so attached to their bone spears that it affects their mental fortitude. The shodan gains a +4 racial bonus to Will saves to resist effects and spells that would cause him to drop his personal bone spear. This trait replaces fearless.
Urbanite Shodan who live in societies outside of their own kind learn to conform to the increased importance of interaction with others. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks to influence attitudes and Sense Motive checks made to get a hunch about a social situation when interacting with those who are not shodan. This trait replaces rough terrain adaptation.
Favored Class Options
The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.
Barbarian Add +1 to the barbarian’s total number of rage rounds per day.
Bloodrager Increase the bloodrager’s total number of bloodrage rounds per day by 1.
Brawler Add +⅓ to the brawler’s effective level when determining the number of times per day he can use martial flexibility.
Cavalier Add +½ to the cavalier’s bonus to damage when charging against targets of his challenge.
Druid Add +⅓ to the druid’s natural armor bonus when using wild shape.
Fighter Add a +½ circumstance bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls with a weapon of the fighter’s choice (maximum bonus +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus and similar effects.
Hunter Add 1 hit point to the hunter’s animal companion. If the hunter replaces his animal companion, the new animal companion gains these bonus hit points.
Monk Add +¼ point to the monk’s ki pool.
Paladin Add +¼ to the bonus the paladin grants her allies with her aura of courage and aura of resolve special abilities.
Ranger The ranger’s animal companion gains +½ competence bonus to attack rolls against the ranger’s favored enemies.
Rogue Add +⅓ on critical hit confirmation rolls made while using sneak attack (maximum bonus of +5). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus and similar effects.
Skald Increase the skald’s total number of raging song rounds per day by 1.
Slayer Gain ⅙ of a new slayer talent.
Summoner Add +1 hit point to the summoner’s eidolon.
Swashbuckler Gain a +⅓ bonus on all critical hit confirmation rolls made while using the precise strike deed (maximum bonus of +5). This bonus doesn’t stack with those gained through Critical Focus and similar effects.
Warpriest Add ¼ to the warpriest’s effective level when determining the damage of his sacred weapon.
Shodan Bone Spears
The spears of the shodan vary widely, changing the damage dice, the type of damage, critical range, etc., of the weapon. A player must roll on the table to represent the concept that shodan do not decide what kind of bone spear their bodies create. However, a player may choose the length of the bone spear if he or she so wishes.
|d%||Number of Prongs||Length||Wide or Thin Prongs|
Number of Prongs This determines the damage dice and critical modifier of the spear. The damage die of one prong starts at 1d6, two prongs is 1d8, three prongs is 1d10, four prongs is 1d12, and five prongs is 2d6. Adjust damage dice for size variations as appropriate. One and two prongs have a critical modifier of x3, while three, four and five prongs each have a x2 critical modifier. A spear with five prongs gains the deadly special ability.
Length This determines the number of hands needed to wield the spear and a few other aspects. If the length is short, the spear is a light one-handed weapon and weighs 4 lbs. At medium length, the spear is two-handed weapon and weighs 7 lbs, but can be wielded in one hand by a shodan or anyone who is proficient with shodan bone spears. At long length, the spear is always a two-handed weapon, weighs 10 lbs, and it has the reach special ability. Both medium and long length have the brace special ability, while both short and medium length have a throwing range of 30 feet.
Wide or Thin Prongs This determines the damage type and the critical range of the spear. Wide prongs means the weapon deals slashing damage, while thin prongs means piercing damage. Both can only be rolled if the spear has two or more prongs (reroll if the spear has one prong), but it means the damage type is both slashing and piercing. With thin prongs, the wielder must roll a natural 20 to get a critical threat. For wide and both, the critical threat range is 19-20.
Miscellaneous For any creature that is not a shodan, the Shodan Bone Spear is an exotic weapon. All Shodan Bone Spears are automatically masterwork. While the material of these spears is bone – albeit a special kind – consider them to be mithral for the purposes of HP, hardness, and cost.
Prerequisites: Dex 13, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus with the chosen weapon, Shodan, Spear Finesse racial trait
Benefits: Choose a two-handed weapon from the spear weapon group. At the beginning of each of your turns, you may choose to hold the weapon in a half-grip stance called half-spearing. A weapon wielded in this way is considered a one-handed weapon and can only be wielded by one hand, receiving your strength modifier to damage instead of 1-½ times your strength bonus, and it loses the brace and reach special weapon features. The weapon must be of a size appropriate for you.
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Half-Spearing, Shodan, Spear Finesse racial trait, base attack bonus +6
Benefits: While wielding the weapon chosen with Half-Spearing, you can wield it in two-hands and still use feats and abilities that require a one-handed piercing weapon, or having a hand free, such as a swashbuckler’s Precise Strike deed. However, numerical benefits gained from these abilities or feats while using Spear Mordhau are only half as effective (rounded down).
Prerequisites: Con 13, Endurance, Shodan
Benefits: You gain a +2 racial bonus on Fortitude saves against stunning effects, and against abilities, feats and other effects that center around damaging or targeting the bones of a target, such as the Neckbreaker feat.
Prerequisites: Con 17, Endurance, Diehard, Steel Skeleton, Shodan, base fortitude save +6
Benefits: You are considered to be immune to critical hits against abilities, feats and other effects that do not work against such creatures, such as the Stunning Fist feat. This feat does not grant immunity to critical hits or effects that work off of critical hits.
You have spent much of your life living amongst humans and have become skilled at impersonating them.
Benefits: You gain +2 trait bonuses on Disguise checks to appear human and on Diplomacy checks when interacting with humans, and one of these skills becomes a class skill for you.
Spiritual Spear Bond
You were raised in a way that has made it difficult for you to accept most religious beliefs and often causes you to be treated as a pariah to outsiders. As a result, you have turned your back on traditional religious teachings.
Benefit: As long as you wield a spear and do not worship any deities, you gain a +1 trait bonus on all saving throws against divine spells.
When you hurl your spear against a foe with reckless abandon, you often land particularly telling blows.
Benefit: You gain a +2 trait bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls made as part of a throwing attack with spears.
The toughness of your bones is particularly more unyielding than most.
Benefit: You gain a +1 trait bonus to AC against bludgeoning weapons.
Savage when Cornered
Select one terrain type from the ranger’s favored terrain list.
Benefit: While in this terrain type, you are considered to have the Ferocity universal special ability.