Mortal Races - The Loah'

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The Loah'

Loah' are an ancient race of space and dimension travellers. Their huge living ships, called Leviathans, crossed the emptiness between the stars for millennia. However, other races that thought they were related with illithid always distrusted them. Around 30.000 years ago, during an aquaforming and colonisation attempt of Naboria, the Loah' fleet was surprised by a beholder fleet. The unarmed colony ships settled down while the battle raged in space. The stranded colonists never knew the result of the battle, as they never got any messages from the mother ship. Many colonists died in the half-aquaformed planet, but some survived and began colonisation. They split in many groups for better resource management and grounded the first empires. Now they have lost knowledge about aquaforming and space travel. It is supposed that some spell jammer helms still exist, but that is more legend than lore.

[Loah'] [Kurr] [Bo'ro] [Age, Height and Weight]


Loah' resemble human-sized octopuses with ten arms, two small yellow eyes and a small opening for respiration and speech in front of the head and a bigger mouth hidden between their arms. Their skin is basically brown, but they have the same mimicry abilities as octopuses, so that they can alter the colour patterns of their skin at will. Loah' normally wear robes in brilliant colours, especially red, orange, yellow and green in dazzling patterns, which serve as identification for each house. These patterns are almost intelligible by other races, but kurr mages have learned them too. Kurr bodyguards always recognise at least the pattern of their house. Loah' can reproduce these patterns easily with their mimicry ability, but reproducing false patterns is illegal.

Loah' are grouped in houses, each ruled by the wisest member. Each city holds up to 20 houses of different size, with their heads building a council. Some houses are represented in many cities but never over the borders of an empire. Each house must have at least five members. If the number of members falls bellow five, the house ceases to exist. Surviving members are called lih'we (to wander alone). They wander away as they are forbidden to join other houses and live as wandering soldiers and sages or retire as hermits. Lih'we are normally respected and welcome, but some have become renegades and outlaws.

There are three major groups of loah': the Equatorial, the Nordics and the Pyrian.

Equatorial Loah' (The Chosen of Loah'hirr): These are the standard Loah' and are the most numerous. They inhabit the whole Southern Hemisphere and the equatorial seas. Loah' love magic and life. They are experts in alteration and transmutation and have become life shapers. They alter any form of living matter to fit their goals. So they created the kurr and other minor non-sentient species long time ago. Every loah' is a wizard or wizard multiclass. They tend to specialise in elemental (water), summoning or alteration magic. As unlife represents a horror for them, they don't specialise in necromancy. Only loah' that become priests of Loah'hirr do sometimes neglect studying magic.

Despite their resemblance with octopuses, loah' are not bound to water and may act on land almost as well as underwater. They can stay on land for a number of days equal to their CON. After that time they start losing one point of CON per day until they die. They recover two points of CON for every day they spend back in water. This fact is not known to most drylanders, who often make the error of sub-estimating a landed loah'.

Although they are powerful, loah' are normally very peaceful, love arts and music. However, in times of need, they are deadly opponents. Loah' can live up to 10.000 years, reaching maturity after 175 years. Loah' mate for life and can reproduce every 1000 years. The female lies up to 15 eggs that need 1 year to hatch. Mortality is high, and only three to five children survive the first five years as larvae. After that they transform into their typical and more resistant octopus form and grow slowly till maturity. Loah' have following traits:

  • Alignment: neutral (any)
  • Class restriction: must be wizard or priest or multiclass of these.
  • ECL +4 (30% XP penalty in AD&D)
  • Medium Size, no difference between males and females. Half of body length is tentacles.
  • Abilities: -2 Str, +2 Dex, +3 Int, +1 Wis. Loah' have -4 Cha penalty when handling with non-loah'.
  • Movement: 20 ft., 40 ft. swim (6, 15 swim).
  • Infravision: 90 feet, works also underwater.
  • Natural armour: AC 6, can be improved up to AC 2 with life shaping. (2E); 14 can be improved to 18 with life shape (3E).
  • Attacks: A loah' can strike with 4 tentacles each round for 1d3 points of damage each. If two or more tentacles hit, the loah' can do 10 points of constriction damage per round. On land a loah' needs six tentacles to keep balance. Underwater, a loah' gets an extra tentacle attack per every 3 levels (up to ten). Characters with the two weapons style (feat) get an extra weapon attack. Buying this twice lets the character use four weapons. Buying this thrice lets the character use up to eight weapons. Always half of the weapons are off-hand. A character can substitute two weapons with a two-handed weapon, thus allowing up to four two-handed weapons.
  • Natural thieving skills:
    Hide (mimicry): 80% + 2%/level (2E); +16 bonus (3E)
    Escape bonds: 70% + 2%/level (2E); +14 bonus (3E) - a loah' can pass though a hole of at least a 10th of its size.
  • Life shaping (self): A loah' can modify his physical characteristics by concentration. He can modify his armour by 1 point + 1/3 levels, up to a modifier of 4. This requires one round to complete. He can rise any physical attribute (Str, Con or Dex) by one point per every four levels. Doing so requires 1d10 rounds of concentration and drains 1d4 hp/turn. This ability can be used once per day.
  • Life shaping (other): This ability allows a loah' or group of loah' to induce changes on living matter. It takes one hour per level or HD of the target, but changes are permanent and do not require a system shock check as by the polymorph other spell. A single loah' can double the original mass of the target or reduce it to a 10th, maximise hit points, raise/lower any attribute by up to two points, modify armour class by one per two levels, or polymorph into a non-magical creature of equivalent size. Five or more loah' working together can ignore size restrictions and create any living creature with lesser magical or psionic abilities. Ten or more loah' can create any living creature they can imagine. Every extra ten loah' reduce the time required by one hour (min. 1 hour). This is very draining, reducing all participating loah' and the target to 1d10 hp each and then inflicting 2d6 points of damage. The loah' must total the same number of HD of the target in order to use this ability. Although only few loah' die after a life shaping, the use of this ability is restricted to especial cases.
  • Special defences: Loah' subtract 2 point per die of damage (min. 1 point/die) from water and cold based spells and spell like effects. They also gain a +2 bonus to saving throws against these spells.
  • Special hindrances: Loah' sustain 1 extra point per die of damage from fire and heat based spells and spell like effects. They also suffer a -1 penalty to saving throws against these spells.

Nordic Loah' or Eloah': Eloah' ("hard" loah') are smaller than loah' but their heads and arms are covered by small armoured plates and are generally stronger. They are warlike and aggressive and are less bound to magic. They inhabit the Northern Hemisphere, concentrating below the ice capes of the North Pole. There are half as many eloah' as loah'. Many eloah' chose to be pure fighters.

  • Class restriction: any class allowed. Eloah' suffer a 30% penalty to XP (2E); Eloah' have an ECL +3
  • Medium size, no difference between males and females. Half of body length is tentacles.
  • Abilities: +2 Str, +1 con, +1 Int, -6 Cha (for non loah', -2 for loah')
  • Movement: 6, 12 swim (2E); 20 feet, 30 feet (swim) (3E)
  • Natural armour: AC 2, can be improved up to AC -2 with life shaping. (2E); 18 can be improved to 22 with life shape (3E).
  • Life shaping (other): as loah'. Spell-casters only.
  • All other abilities as loah'.

Pyrian loah' or loah'te: The loah'te (warm loah') dwell near volcanos and on warm water currents. They resemble the loah' in every aspect, except that they have lost the immunity to cold and suffer no extra damage from heat or fire. They are still resistant to water based spells. Loah'te population equals a third of the loah' population. Loah'te have learned to work metal using the heat from volcanos and produce metal weapons and tools for handle with other races. Their heads are more elongated and their skin is normally red and black.

There are two other minor but important groups of loah':

Man'loah': the man'loah' (thinker loah') make only a fifth of the total loah' population. They have larger heads and shorter tentacles than loah' but other characteristics remain the same. The man'loah' follow the principle of mind-over-matter and have developed psionic powers. Man'loah' characters have one wild talent. Priest and mages are replaced by psionists. However, the psionic potential is limited and psionists cannot reach beyond the tenth level.

  • Abilities: -4 Str, +2 Int, +4 Wis.
  • Favoured Class: any psionic class.

The ancient loah': unknown to most people, there exists a very small house (150 members) of loah' living in exile in an almost closed coral rift near the equator at the base of an extinct volcano. These loah' are very long living, the fifteen oldest members were on board of the colony ships, 30000 years ago. They have kept all the technical knowledge they brought to Naboria, and even expanded it. They are masters of biotechnology and techno-wizardry. Their ich'atar were destroyed at the crash, but they secured some of the lesser ship helms. They lost any connections to other loah' even through low loah'at. At those times of trouble, they could only hear the cries of pain of dying loah' so that they choose not to hear. Later they grew suspicious of other loah' and kept hidden. Now they explore the world in secrecy, while they wait for a fleet to come along. Their ith'amun, master pieces of biotechnology, are equipped with the lesser helms, so that they often fly into space to look for an approaching fleet. Their warriors are equipped with deadly living and half-sentient exoskeletons and magical weapons. The house holds ten priests, ten psi-warrior, thirty mages, fifty warriors and fifty warrior-mages. They have no kurrs, but instead they created semi-intelligent bio-constructs to assist them in day-to-day activities.


The Kurr

The kurrs were once humans and elves that were life-shaped into a new race by the loah'. They resemble strong humans with black skin, pointed ears and yellow eyes. They are fully adapted to underwater life, but have no fins and no hair and their hands and feet have swim skins between the fingers/toes. They swim with quick and strong movements of their body and extremities. They have an array of sensory organs that provides them with the effects of blind sense in 120 feet range. By concentrating, they can "see" their complete surrounding. Note that this is a natural complex of organs so that it cannot be dispelled of be affected by magical darkness. There is a loah' spell called "blind kurr" which negates this ability while inducing a massive sensory deprivation. Long periods under the effects of this spell can drive a kurr mad or even kill him.

They are driven by strength, and children are set out on wilderness to be proved. The weak ones die of fall ill and are killed by their parents. Young kurrs exercise for hours each day to gain more strength and a better constitution. Almost 90% of the kurrs are fighters, the other are warrior-mages or priest of Loah'hirr.

The social status of a kurr depends of the renown of the loah' house where they serve, and from their responsibilities. Bodyguards and temple guards are the highest on the kurr society.

  • Alignment: LN (evil), any alignment is possible for PC.
  • Medium/Large size.
  • Abilities: +2 Str, +2 CON, -1 Int, -1 Wis.
  • Natural AC. 9 (2E); 11 (3E).
  • Movement: 6, 15 swim (2E); 20' land, 40' swim.
  • Blindsense: 120" only underwater, Low-light vision: 60" on land.
  • Natural Attacks: 2 attacks for 1d3 points of damage with their fists.
  • Special abilities: Kurr are excellent warriors and they get one extra attack/round while underwater, even if not a fighter. They can use any weapon underwater as per free action. Kurr are able to swim even at great depth without taking damage from high pressure. They can also exist on sweet water, but doing so is unpleasant to them.
  • Special defences: Kurr have natural resistance against water and cold-based spells, they subtract 1 point per die of damage (min. 1/die)
  • Special hindrances: Kurr sustain 1 point of extra damage per die from fire and heat based spells. On land they gain two negative levels and their carry capacity is halved. They can survive outside water for a number or hours equal to twice their Con score, thereafter they lose one point of Con every hour. After losing 5 points of con they begin to drown as explained in the PHB. Con is regained at one point per hour spent under water.
  • Favoured class: Fighter (multiclass allowed).
  • ECL +2; Kurr suffer a 20% penalty to XP (2E).

Apart from the standard kurr, there are three sub-classes of kurr, which are created for special purposes and are normally slaves:

Sharkian: A mixture of kurr and shark, sharkians are quick deadly machines created for law enforcement along viaducts. They are 20% larger than normal kurr and their heads resemble a shark's head. They have also fins on their back, arms and legs to permit a faster movement rate. Apply +1 Str, +1 Dex, -1 Int, -1 Cha to the standard kurr. They get an extra bit attack for 1d6 damage. (In 3E they get the feat multi-attack). Their movement rate increases by two. Like most sharks, they must be in constant movement to breath. If held or somehow immobilised, they begin to drown. Further, sharkians are not able to breathe air at all and cannot produce bo'ro offspring with land races.

Crab: Crabs resemble normal kurr covered with reddish armoured plates. Crabs serve as bodyguards and law enforcers on temples and official buildings. Some are also used in armies. Crabs are very tough but slow. Apply +2 con, -2 Dex, and -1 Cha to the standard kurr. Natural AC is 4 (16 in 3E).

Cetacean: Cetaceans are huge workers, thrice a normal kurr, designed for hard labours. They are very gentle and peaceful. Apply +4 Str, +4 con, -1 Dex, -1 Wis to the standard kurr. Cetaceans get Endurance for free and are able to breathe air with no restrictions. Due to their nature, cetaceans have no access to the warrior classes. For 3E, the favoured class of cetaceans is bard.


The Bo'ro

Bo'ro is composed by the words bo' (half) and roairh' (human). Roair means "basic matter", which points to the fact that the loah' used humans to create the kurr. The bo'ro are the half-breed between kurrs and humans or land elves and are often found only in settlements near the coast. Half-breeds with sea elves have the same characteristics as kurrs but are dark blue or dark green instead of black skinned. Bo'ro looks like dark skinned half elves with yellow eyes. They can live underwater, what they prefer, but they can also survive on land a number of days equal to their con plus their level. They must then return under water or they lose a point of Con each day till they die. Unlike kurr they do no suffer penalties on land. They have the same array of sensorial organs as the kurr, which provides them with the effects of Blindsight in 90' range. Note that this is a natural complex of organs, so that it cannot be dispelled of be affected by magical darkness. There is a loah' spell called "blind kurr" which negates this ability inducing a massive sensorial deprivation. Long periods under the effects of this spell can drive a bo'ro mad or even kill him.

The social status of a bo'ro depends of the status of the kurr family that raised him. They stay under the kurr in the social hierarchy. Bo'ro have no special importance to the loah', but they are tolerated. Some have reached a high rank through glorious deeds but others have become dangerous renegades. Some bo'ro join drylander pirates in the seek of adventure.

  • Abilities: +1 Str, +2 Dex, -1 Int, -1 Wis.
  • Alignment: any.
  • Multiclass: allowed.
  • Medium size.
  • Movement: 12, 15 swim (2E); 30 ft,40 ft swim (3E)
  • Blindsight: 90 ft underwater, Low-light vision: 60 ft on land.
  • Natural Attacks: none.
  • Thieving skills: as for half-elves.
  • Special abilities: Bo'ro can use any weapon underwater as per free action but they prefer using piercing weapons. They are able to swim even at great depth without taking damage from high pressure. They can also exist on sweet water with no problems.
  • Special defences: Bo'ro have a natural resistance against water and cold based spells, they subtract 1 point per die of damage (min. 1/die).
  • Special hindrances: Bo'ro sustain 1 point of extra damage pro die from fire and heat based spells. Most bo'ro are mistrusted by kurr, especially in places far away from the coast.

There have been rumours of bo'ro offspring from elves, halflings and other races, both aquatic and terrestrial, but they all share the same characteristics as bo'ro.


Age, height and weight

Table 1: Aging Effects

Race MaturityMiddle AgeOldVenerableMaximum Age
Loah' 175 250 5001000 10d1000
Kurr 15 35 57 75 3d10
Bo'ro 15 35 57 75 3d10

All Loah' except the Eloah' use the same height and weight entries. There are no differences between males and females.

Table 2: Height and Weight

Race Base HeightModifierBase WeightModifier
Loah' 150 cm 6d10 50 Kg x0.8
Eloah' 120 cm 4d10 40 Kg x1.0
Kurr, male 220 cm 6d10 100 Kg x0.8
Kurr, female 200 cm 6d10 90 Kg x0.8
Kurr, sharkian260 cm 7d10 120 Kg x1.0
Kurr, cetacean660 cm 6d20 500 Kg x1.5
Bo'ro, male 150 cm 5d10 50 Kg x1.0
Bo'ro, female 145 cm 5d10 45 Kg x1.0


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