The Xindi, a Semi-incorporeal Race


Homebrew and House Rules


For your gaming enjoyment, I give you the Xindi

The xindi are semi-incorporeal humanoids who once ruled a vast empire. When their civilization fell, they were cursed and become otherworldly shadows of their former selves. Driven into the desert, they work to rebuild, and create a society that won't repeat the mistakes of the past.

Almost none of their race traits come from the race builder, so their RP value is just a series of judgment calls. Based on my estimates and collaboration with others, they have an estimated 12 RP.

As always, any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated.


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I would definitely change the name -- Star Trek: Enterprise used that exact name for a major race in that series (right down to the spelling).

Scarab Sages

Overall, OP. Far better than most races for many roles.

First off, you technically gave them the Incorporeal subtype, and with it the incorporeal special quality. So in total they have:

Average stats
medium size, normal speed
Darkvision or blindsense 10' (I would personally always pick the blindsense because it covers a fair number of common enemies and the ability to guarantee know when things are close to you is quite valuable)
DR/magic = lvl/2 [min 1] (it is the worst kind of DR, but this is still something that very hard to get, and very good to have)
+2 vs some nice stuff
+2 (I assume racial/circumstance bonus) to stealth
Unarmed strike Ghost touch (This one is cool and flavorful) or increased miss chance (because of the incorporeal subtype the miss chance is the correct choice 100% of the time)
CL/DC bonus and some cantrips
Weapon proficiency w/ 2 weapons or 2 skills as class skills

Overall not too bad, the DR is probably the largest offender here, without it the race would probably be good, but not likely OP... bu this is what incorporeal gives you:

Immunity to Critical Hits, Precision damage (sneak attack mostly), being tripped or grappled, falling damage, and non-magical weapons
DR/50% to magic not tailored to incorporeals, miss chance 50% to non-damaging spells.
Deflection bonus = Cha bonus
Ability to phase though objects
Attacks that ignore armor, natural armor, and shields.
Free Weapon Finesse and Agile Maneuvers (also no strength score)
And "they cannot take any physical action that would move or manipulate an opponent or its equipment, nor are they subject to such actions" aka they can't hold any non-ghost touch gear.

Just do what most every other humanoid race does and go "Humanoid (the name of your race)" aka "Humanoid (Xindi)" or invent a new subtype like "Humanoid(Specter)" and and put the incorporeal bit in an ability farther down. Just don't reuse a subtype that has qualities associated to it.

Full text of Incorporeal:
An incorporeal creature has no physical body. It can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons or creatures that strike as magic weapons, and spells, spell-like abilities, or supernatural abilities. It is immune to all nonmagical attack forms. Even when hit by spells or magic weapons, it takes only half damage from a corporeal source (except for channel energy). Although it is not a magical attack, holy water can affect incorporeal undead. Corporeal spells and effects that do not cause damage only have a 50% chance of affecting an incorporeal creature. Force spells and effects, such as from a magic missile, affect an incorporeal creature normally.

An incorporeal creature has no natural armor bonus but has a deflection bonus equal to its Charisma bonus (always at least +1, even if the creature’s Charisma score does not normally provide a bonus).

An incorporeal creature can enter or pass through solid objects, but must remain adjacent to the object’s exterior, and so cannot pass entirely through an object whose space is larger than its own. It can sense the presence of creatures or objects within a square adjacent to its current location, but enemies have total concealment (50% miss chance) from an incorporeal creature that is inside an object. In order to see beyond the object it is in and attack normally, the incorporeal creature must emerge. An incorporeal creature inside an object has total cover, but when it attacks a creature outside the object it only has cover, so a creature outside with a readied action could strike at it as it attacks. An incorporeal creature cannot pass through a force effect.

An incorporeal creature’s attacks pass through (ignore) natural armor, armor, and shields, although deflection bonuses and force effects (such as mage armor) work normally against it. Incorporeal creatures pass through and operate in water as easily as they do in air. Incorporeal creatures cannot fall or take falling damage. Incorporeal creatures cannot make trip or grapple attacks, nor can they be tripped or grappled. In fact, they cannot take any physical action that would move or manipulate an opponent or its equipment, nor are they subject to such actions. Incorporeal creatures have no weight and do not set off traps that are triggered by weight.

An incorporeal creature moves silently and cannot be heard with Perception checks if it doesn’t wish to be. It has no Strength score, so its Dexterity modifier applies to its melee attacks, ranged attacks, and CMB. Nonvisual senses, such as scent and blindsight, are either ineffective or only partly effective with regard to incorporeal creatures. Incorporeal creatures have an innate sense of direction and can move at full speed even when they cannot see.

Ghost Touch, Improved should use a swift action instead of an immediate action, swift actions are done on your turn, immediate actions are done off your turn. I'm going to guess it is meant to be used on your turn.

Spectral Energy Resistance is good, but in my opinion not OP. Energy resistances are good, and if this were combined with the Unscathed trait it would be quite close to OP, then again some would say the same about Fate's Favored and the Half-Orc's Sacred Tattoo.

tl;dr: Axe the DR, change the subtype, change Ghost Touch, Improved to use a swift action, and it's probably good in my books.


David knott 242 wrote:

I would definitely change the name -- Star Trek: Enterprise used that exact name for a major race in that series (right down to the spelling).

Xhindi are invisible spirits in eastern european folklore, and about the only ghost-like creature whose name I like but haven't already used elsewhere. I just dropped the h because I thought it looked better and wanted to avoid confusion about the pronunciation.

I really don't care if Star Trek also used the name, especially Enterprise.

Timebomb wrote:

Overall, OP. Far better than most races for many roles.

First off, you technically gave them the Incorporeal subtype, and with it the incorporeal special quality.

... Just do what most every other humanoid race does and go "Humanoid (the name of your race)" aka "Humanoid (Xindi)" or invent a new subtype like "Humanoid(Specter)" and and put the incorporeal bit in an ability farther down. Just don't reuse a subtype that has qualities associated to it.

I specifically said in the type section that they are basically corporeal, but count as incorporeal for the purposes of spells and effects which target incorporeal creatures. I see no need to add a new subtype when the entry specifically addresses this issue.

Quote:

So in total they have:

Average stats
medium size, normal speed
Darkvision or blindsense 10' (I would personally always pick the blindsense because it covers a fair number of common enemies and the ability to guarantee know when things are close to you is quite valuable)
DR/magic = lvl/2 [min 1] (it is the worst kind of DR, but this is still something that very hard to get, and very good to have)
+2 vs some nice stuff
+2 (I assume racial/circumstance bonus) to stealth
Unarmed strike Ghost touch (This one is cool and flavorful) or increased miss chance (because of the incorporeal subtype the miss chance is the correct choice 100% of the time)
CL/DC bonus and some cantrips
Weapon proficiency w/ 2 weapons or 2 skills as class skills

Overall not too bad, the DR is probably the largest offender here, without it the race would probably be good, but not likely OP...

I don't think being able to detect three creature types within 10 ft is inherently better than being able to see anything that isn't invisible within 60 ft. One is potent but very situational, the other is generally useful in wide variety of situations.

The damage reduction is nice, but it is hardly OP. At low levels it is barely there, and while it keeps up mathematically, it falls behind situationally. It also serves a necessary function by simulating the damage resistance of incorporeal creatures, but toned down to be reasonable for a PC race which is only partially incorporeal.

The +2 racial bonus to stealth is offset by -10 penalty to almost every disguise, and some sleight of hand checks.

The miss chance bonus is not absolutely better. As previously established, they do not have the incorporeal quality, so that doesn't enter into it.

Quote:
Ghost Touch, Improved should use a swift action instead of an immediate action, swift actions are done on your turn, immediate actions are done off your turn. I'm going to guess it is meant to be used on your turn.

The reason I went with an immediate action instead of a swift was because you can apply it to shields or armor as well as weapons, in which case you would probably want to do that before being attacked. To a lesser extent, it is also in case you wanted to use it to make an attack of opportunity. It's not likely to come up, but I saw no reason to rule it out either.


Would it really be so bad if they got their own subtype. They kind of already do since there are no incorporeal humanoids. Just call them semicorporeal and explain what it means. No more confusion.

Also, what's the race point breakdown? How did you get 12 as your total?

Nitpicking aside, I like the flavor. It's well thought out and unlike any other race I've seen. Very original, very cool.


Entil'Zha wrote:
Would it really be so bad if they got their own subtype. They kind of already do since there are no incorporeal humanoids. Just call them semicorporeal and explain what it means. No more confusion.

Sigh, I suppose. The entry has been updated.

Quote:
Also, what's the race point breakdown? How did you get 12 as your total?

Humanoid Semicorporeal -1 rp (adds pretty much exclusively negative effects)

Darkvision 2 rp (as usual)
Spectral Damage reduction 3 rp (It's nice, but nowhere near as balance altering as dr 5/magic, which you can get for 4 rp)
Xindi Resitstances 3 rp (It's about the same as hardy at 3 rp, and definitely less than greater lucky at 4 rp)
Ghost touch 2 rp (Very situational, very character specific)
Transparent 0 rp (+2 to stealth but -10 to almost all disguises, and sleight of hand checks for objects not already in your posession)
Ruach Magic 2 rp (as enclave protector)
Weapon familiarity 1 rp (As usual, and even then it only makes them martial. If 1/2 rp were allowed, that's what this would be)

Total cost: 12 points.

Quote:
Nitpicking aside, I like the flavor. It's well thought out and unlike any other race I've seen. Very original, very cool.

Thank you. I try very hard to make races that are interesting and original. In this case, I realized this was something I'd never seen before and thought I'd try to make it happen.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Having a varyingly desolidified race of originally npc sorcerers, I appreciate your take on the concept. I was hoping it would be closer to mine so I could steal...er...consult or borrow a bit from it. While it doesn't really come close, I greatly appreciate you work and the fluff. Well thought out back stories are too often neglected in favor of a few spare paragraph entries. While these don't come close to the ones I'm working on, the magical disaster aspect has to be used for one of my 'ancients' races. Since several exist, no reason I can't make one Zindi.

Again, nice work!


Bwang wrote:

Having a varyingly desolidified race of originally npc sorcerers, I appreciate your take on the concept. I was hoping it would be closer to mine so I could steal...er...consult or borrow a bit from it. While it doesn't really come close, I greatly appreciate you work and the fluff. Well thought out back stories are too often neglected in favor of a few spare paragraph entries. While these don't come close to the ones I'm working on, the magical disaster aspect has to be used for one of my 'ancients' races. Since several exist, no reason I can't make one Zindi.

Again, nice work!

Thank you very much.

I have always felt the fluff was just as important as the crunch when it comes to races, if not more so. The fluff is all that keeps goblins from being "fast halflings." And with original races, it's all the more important because we don't necessarily have that common understanding of them, so we need more blanks filled in.

I'm curious about your desolidified race. Do you have them in a viewable form somewhere? It's always fun to see someone else's take on a concept.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Well, I don't have them to hand at the moment, but they were victims of a spat between two high end mages. The village is unstable, shifting in and out of an accidental pocket dimension, think Brigadoon. Every one there is a born sorcerer(I need to craft just the right bloodline for this) and don't intreface to well with the 'real world'. I had a phasing in and out mechanic that never quite worked. They had to stay in the area of the village while young till they gained some control of the curse and boon of the effect. Able to concentrate, they could avoid critical confirmations, SA damage or Favored Enemy damage simply by phasing out a bit. Bonuses to saves and other Benefits were balanced by healing and negative HP problems, along with dissipating in our world. Feats for the race were designed to be a touch powerful, but carrying a nasty twist, ala witch's curses.

A Feat allowing walking on air also risked rapid disapation. Another allowed them to pierce other people's bodies for hth damage, but with the downside of both taking damage. One of my players came up with 'misting' a vampire like power, but with lots of disapation.

I didn't give them a bonus to Cha cuz that would be making them too powerful. No plus to a stat or skill point, they are country rustics after all.

The village is only a few hundred, but they age like elves and reproduce at half-ish the pace of humans. Those who wander pick up a lot of languages and most know several growing up. They are semi-literate, but love bards and travelers who visit the region were the effect is weaker.


Ooh, I like the idea of a Brigadoon inspired people. And trade offs are fun, though I usually avoid them myself because of hard it can be to make them work well. It all sounds quite interesting.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Makeitstop wrote:
Ooh, I like the idea of a Brigadoon inspired people. And trade offs are fun, though I usually avoid them myself because of hard it can be to make them work well. It all sounds quite interesting.

It got started when one of my players brought the book to a game for a telst the next day. He caught a lot of ribbing, but the eventual result was a bs session about having an encounter of that type. The next night I was in a party stuck in a displcer beast and blink dog fight. Something clicked.

The 1980ish version phased in over time, leaving the residents semi-incorporeal during the process and 'real' for a random time. Getting caught when outsiders phase out could 'infect' you, while villagers that failed to get back faded. The group I was running were heavily into Romance novels and actively worked the lost love angle and glitched into the tragedy of their sidekick from the village getting left behind and fading away. I make it sound incidental, but it really dug deep into player psyches and made for a memorable night.

As for the village, everyone has some magic and life integrates it at every level. Remember that these are magic using peasants of weak education, not PCs. With only a few hundred adults, and tethered by their phasing, they were a minor threat at best and I used them as a plot device.

In 2002 (?), one of the old players wanted to play one as an innocent aboard and we hammered out the race. Gone was the Brigadoon background, for the most part, and reduced chance of phase death. I was trying to keep the racial adjustment down and bought Mythic Races about that time so I had a path to pretend to follow.

Now, they are on the race list for my game at 8 points extra.


Dot. Been watching for awhile and like the idea of this one.


Update: Added a line to ghost touch stating that your natural armor (if any) applies against attacks made by incorporeal creatures, as it really should. Buffed the enhanced life sense feat to give a bit more range. Also added language explicitly stating that you can tell what type of creature you are detecting with sense life. And added 3 traits and a list of favored class bonuses. And finally, added a little bit to the fluff.

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