|Location||Abeir, Akanûl, Calimshan|
Genasi are human-derived planetouched infused with the power of the elemental planes, often as the result of crossbreeding between humans and the powerful genie races or other elementals that dwell in such planes, but sometimes through other means.Template:Fact Physically powerful and cunning, genasi are a varied race with abilities that vary depending on their lineage and individual experience.
Genasi are physically similar to humans in many ways, standing at 5'7" to 6'2" on average, just slightly taller than the average human. Between 130 and 225 lbs on average genasi are also a fair bit heavier, though not significantly. In all other ways though genasi are very distinctive from their human kin. Genasi are in a constant state of elemental energy, having no “neutral” state they can fall back on. Each genasi has a native elemental state, known as a “manifestation,” which is passed down to them through their ancestry. A few, however, learn to master more than one manifestation. Unlike many planetouched races, genasi generally take pride in their unusual features.
Regardless of their elemental manifestation, each genasi’s body is etched with strange lines of energy that glow in a color associated with the element that the genasi is currently manifesting. These lines, called szuldar in Primordial, appear in a pattern that is passed along family lines, sometimes extending into small communities as well. Though the patterns may be similar between relatives in a general sense, however, the specific configurations are unique to each individual and serve much the same purpose that fingerprints do amongst humans and these lines remain unchanged even when a genasi changes their manifestation.
Though szuldar usually remain unchanged throughout a genasi’s life it is possible to alter them through scarring. Some genasi do this deliberately for aesthetic reasons or in order to disguise themselves. Most genasi, however, disapprove of the practice and see it as a loss of self-awareness, valuing the patterns they are born with as a mark of their identity. Proud genasi display these lines with pride, often wearing clothing that leaves at least some skin exposed.
Genasi live on a lifespan comparable with humans, though slightly longer, reaching 75 years on average barring accident or violence. Some members of the race live as long as 90 or 100.
Genasi have a number of special abilities granted to them by their elemental heritage. As a rule, Genasi tend to be both stronger and smarter than most other humanoid races, a trait which serves them well. However, other abilities vary depending on a genasi’s elemental manifestation, although some genasi learn to manifest more than one element at a time or enhance their natural elemental abilities.
All genasi have a primary elemental manifestation, which not only separates genasi into subraces but also plays a major role in genasi culture and psychology. Each manifestation is most common in regions where the element it represents has a strong presence, such as deserts, volcanic wastelands, or even underwater in extreme examples. The most common genasi manifestations by far are the ones who are related to the four classical elements - earth, fire, water, and wind - though storm manifestations are also fairly common and para-elemental genasi are known to exist as well. This manifestation results in a variety of unique traits, and genasi skin and “hair” (more of an elemental substance than actual hair) varies based on a genasi’s manifestation. Likewise, each genasi gains a set of abilties that correspond to their element, such as the ability to empower attacks with the power of lightning and thunder amongst stormsoul genasi or the power to take on the properties of water amongst water genasi.
While many genasi are the result of recent dalliances of genies or other elementals with humans, the majority are not, but rather the children of genasi themselves. Ancestry does play a major role in the individual subrace, or primary manifestation of each genasi child. Generally speaking genasi are attracted to others who share their primary manifestation and as a result most genasi children share their subrace with both parents. Exceptions do exist and when the parents are not of the subrace or have a mixed heritage themselves the likelihood of a child manifesting a manifestation different than at least one of his parents increases. All genasi, however, take after some ancestor of theirs in manifestation, even if that ancestor is not their parent.
Although most genasi manifest a single manifestation some learn to manifest two or more. Often, the reason behind the development of a second manifestation is environmental in nature. Children reared in close contact with genasi of a different subrace, for instance, are more likely to develop another manifestation, as are those who are reared in areas where their manifestation’s element is weak or nonexistant. Hence, a firesoul genasi raised in the middle of the ocean on an island is likely to develop a watersoul manifestation as well.
Genasi who manifest more than one manifestation often develop their second one during adolescence. The initial development of this manifestation can often be uncomfortable, even painful and usually comes suddenly and without warning. With practice, this transition becomes less discomforting, with those well-versed in the transformation experiencing little more than a mild and passing unease. The reason for this discomfort lies in the fact that the transition is more than aesthetic in nature and is actually a fundamental change in the physical makeup of the genasi, like replacing the sand in a bag with water.
Some genasi actually learn to not only acquire new manifestations but to maintain two of them simultaneously. These rare individuals, known as elemental tempests, are living embodiments of two elements, their bodies constantly shifting and changing in a never-ending balance between the two. These genasi, whose own appearance differs by the moment, embrace their inner chaos, including the mild physical strain that constantly hangs over each one's fused body.
Because of their roots in the powers of the Elemental Chaos genasi are by nature changeable and contradictory, meaning most generalizations of the race are hard to justify. However, it is probably fair to say that the psychology of a genasi often depends vastly on what elemental manifestation is manifested by the individual in question and many genasi who can manifest in more than one way think of themselves as possessing multiple personalities.
One of the traits found commonly amongst all genasi is a strong sense of ambition. All genasi have a desire to better themselves and advance their status, either throught pursuit of power, the aquisition of friends, or other means. Nearly all genasi have dreams and aspirations and will pursue these goals throughout their life and though few genasi are truly patient so strong are their passions for these goals that they will often continue to follow them even long after individuals of other races would have given up and moved on.
Genasi have a strong ability to adapt, perhaps only superseded by humans in this regard, and embrace change as an inevitability or even something to be relished. Even lawful genasi embrace this change, and genasi of all kinds value the possibilities the future may bring, such as new allies or new opportunities. In many ways, genasi are the most flexible of races, less stubborn and more willing to accept new ideas for better or worse.
Though genasi can be extremely passionate in a way that might seem violent the race as a whole has a love for family and friends, to the point that few genasi marriages end in divorce. Most genasi families are immensely large and the genasi as a whole look upon every genasi as a potential relative to the point of referring to those they meet as “brother,” “sister,” or “cousin.”
Just as manifestations are important physically to genasi, so are they important psychologically. Genasi of one elemental manifestation usually have different personality traits than those of another, to the extent that those who manifest in more than one way have what some might see as multiple personalities, each associated with a different manifestation. However, to most genasi the primary manifestation, that which defines their subrace, is the most important and the true “core” of their psyche, upon which they can rely for consistency and personal integrity.
The multiple personalities expressed by those who manifest more than one element are not completely different, in the way that personalities developed by the mentally ill are. Each personality shares the same knowledge and has core traits that remain the same. Rather, each personality is more like a different aspect of the same individual, representing perhaps a particular emotion or mood of the genasi in question. Particular emotions might be stronger in one manifestation, for instance, and secondary manifestations are usually less nuanced than the primary one is.
The exception to this rule are elemental tempests, sometimes known as genasi tempests, who manifest two elements simultaneously. Because of this constant state of balance between two manifestations elemental tempest personalities are generally limited to two, both very strong aspects of the same individual. Such genasi might be called mercurial or bipolar and switch between strong emotions on the fly. However, at the core an elemental tempest is typically as sane and well-balanced as any other genasi, with the main differenece being that they have no dominant personality but rather two that work in perfect synchronization.
Order and chaosEdit
One of the fundamental conflicts that belies all genasi is the battle between order and chaos. Regardless of the race’s origins most genasi philosophers believe the genasi are meant to serve one force or the other. By nature, genasi are inherently chaotic and passionate creatures who lack the ability to be stoic or truly hide their emotions. Even the most disciplined of the race are extremely passionate by the standards of other races and rage with more anger and cry with more sorrow than those of other races. Even so, genasi are not necessarily chaotic and the race as a whole is balanced between those who serve order and those who serve chaos.
Some genasi strive to conquer their strong passions and believe they were meant by the gods to convert chaos into law. These genasi are among the most lawful beings of the world, first conquering their own emotions and then seek out other sources of chaos to stamp out and replace with order. These genasi seek only to fit in with those around them and to prevent their passions from controlling their actions. Many of these genasi are good and benevolent individuals but these genasi are also sometimes led astray by their obsessive taste for order, imposing law through force rather than example or argument.
Other genasi embrace their wild and unpredictable nature, seeing themselves as chaos incarnate. Just as many genasi of the opposite viewpoint see themselves as agents of divine order these genasi believe they were created by the primordials to spread liberty. Genasi of this mindset most often give free reign to their passions and can be best described as excitable and wildly emotional. But while these genasi can easily give into selfish desire and evil just as many are servants of good, freeing others from oppressive tyranny or weakening the foundations upon which the corrupt stand.
Genasi as a culture, likely do to the inherently chaotic nature of their psyche and bodies alike, have a strong affinity for change and chaos. Many genasi philosophers, believe that their race was originally created as a compromise between chaos of the primordials and the divinely crafted world of the gods. A few genasi take this to heart and try to eliminate one or the other aspect of their nature, either becoming agents of chaos or disciples of order, but these individuals are considered the exception rather than the rule. Most genasi are simply grateful for the innate connection to the elemental forces that shaped the world they all share.
Genasi culture is shaped in many ways by ambition and pride amongst the race. Genasi everywhere strive constantly to improve their lot in life and the race is inherently competitive within both itself and with other races. As a result, genasi nations tend to be extremely meritocratic by other races’ standards but lack stability as a consequence. A genasi might be a revered leader one week, only to fall into ruin the next.
This has its advantages though and few, if any, genasi look down upon members of another class since any pauper could, in theory, be king the next time the genasi meets them. Genasi culture likewise has no real concept of nobility or royalty. From a genasi political perspective there are only genasi on the rise and those on the decline. This constantly changing nature means genasi have a very different view of their current situation than most races. Unfortunate genasi find it difficult to feel pessimistic, since they truly believe things will change for the better. Likewise, genasi in positions of prestige and power never forget that all their success could be undone at any moment.
Origins of the Planetouched: If you ask someone how the Planetouched got that way, most folk will tell you that it's due to their anscestry. If you go back far enough in a Tiefling's family tree, they say, you'll find that one of their anscestors was a Baatezu or a Yugoloth or some other kind of lower planar creature. Likewise, if you go back far enough in an Air Genasi's family tree, you'll find that one of their anscestors was a native of the Elemental Plane of Air, such as a Djinn. And sure enough, that's the most common way to become Planetouched.
But that ain't the only way...
Each one of the Inner and Outer Planes has permanent settlements in it. No matter how deadly a plane might be, you can count on there being at least a few permanent residences there. It might be a huge metropolis like the City of Brass, or it might be a town like Madhouse on Pandemonium, or it might be a small citadel like the Dustmen's floating retreat on the Negative Energy Plane. Even the Plane of Vacuum has a few small settlements of barmy sods who live there.
Each one of the Inner and Outer Planes also has a fundamental nature that pervades and suffuses every particle of every location within the plane. The Plane of Smoke, for example, isn't simply an infinitely big space filled with smoke. It's an infinitely big space filled with the idea of smoke. And while a basher living on the Plane of Smoke may be able to keep the smoke out of his kip with magic, there's no magic around that can keep out the idea of smoke. Because the idea of smoke is what the Plane is all about.
For those who have already been born, being constantly suffused with the fundamental nature of a plane doesn't have much effect. The process of being born tends to give a person a sense of self that's hard to change. Even babies fresh from the womb are already starting to define themselves on a very basic level. And once you start defining your sense of self like this, the fundamental nature of the plane you're living on won't have much affect on you.
On the other hand, children who are still developing in the womb don't have this sense of self. As a consequence, it's possible for a child to literally be touched by the plane while developing in the womb. Humans are more likely than any other race to have this happen, but it can happen to any race. And even for humans, it's a rare occurrence -- the overwhelming majority of the folks born on the planes are of the same race as their parents, and show no signs of being Planetouched. But every so often, two otherwise normal parents will produce a Planetouched child. That's just the way of the Planes.
Art and leisureEdit
Genasi art is wild and exciting, similar to the race itself. Genasi prefer elaborate and bold designs, using bright and vibrant colors to express the wide range of emotions they feel. Sculptures are often explosive in appearance, resembling surges of power more than anything else. Even for relatively simple or functional items the genasi pour care into giving it a flamboyant appearance, marking it with swirling patterns, gemstones, or elaborate carvings.
Due to the meritocratic nature of genasi society it should come as little surprise that genasi artisans often see their craft as a means of obtaining prestige. These individuals desire nothing more than to be in high demand and so work hard to please their customer base. For this reason many genasi often substitute actual excellence for customization and individuality and while the average genasi swordsmith might not compare with his dwarven counterpart in terms of quality the genasi will work much harder to tailor the blade to his or her customer’s specific needs and wants. This can go so far as to make genasi-crafted items seem uncomfortable or unwieldy in the hands of those they were not intended for.
Genasi love most forms of recreation, particularly competitive ones that allow them to improve their standing amongst other races further. Most genasi prefer recreational activities that are active and physical, allowing them to release their impulses and wilder urges. Physical competitions, particularly those of strength, are common in genasi society and frequently practiced during festivals or other celebrations.
Because of their chaotic and spontaneous nature genasi are not predisposed towards team athletics and prefer sports that favor the individual. Genasi are particularly fond of gladiatorial sports, which allow them to bask in the attention of others while simultaneously releasing pent-up passions. Games that feature genasi are often wild spectacles, loved by crowds.
Family and manifestationsEdit
In genasi culture family plays an important role, likely in part due to the fact that genasi find it difficult to form new friendships and bonds. To most genasi, family bonds are the only ones that are truly reliable and it is far rarer for genasi to become alienated or estranged from members of their family. This is not to say that internal feuds and disputes do not happen, but the vast majority lead to only temporary divides and family members spread over the world will eventually come looking for a reunion.
Most genasi are primarily raised by members of their family that share their primary manifestation. This means that most genasi are raised by their parents, but since some genasi differ in their subrace from their parents they are sometimes raised by others instead or primarily by one parent and the other. However, genasi parents go out of their way to ensure that their children have a chance to interact with genasi of other manifestations, thereby increasing their appreciation for the race as a whole. This is particularly true for families that are made of several manifestations rather than just one or two.
For most genasi, manifestations and the diversity inherent in them are a source of pride and of strength in diversity, though the diversity lies in body and mind rather than culture. Although some manifestations are more common in various regions and hence exhibit cultural differences there are no qualities which could be considered culturally unique to any one manifestation. In spite of this, the genasi consider their manifestation as important an identifier as religion or profession, if not more so.
Because genasi see their manifestations’ diversity as a source of strength the race has an extreme aversion to prejudice against members of one subrace or another. Genasi who are prejudiced on the basis of their manifestation may flare into a dangerous wrath without warning and it is best for members of other races to keep this in mind. Genasi are proud about their manifestation, but also very sensitive, disliking any broad generalizations made in regards to them based on that manifestation.
Magic and ReligionEdit
Because of their elemental origins genasi usually favor elemental magic over other forms of the Art, which they have a particular skill for given their natural elemental abilities. Of those who practice arcane magic wizards are the most common and such individuals usually focus their efforts on researching ways to tie their spells into their manifestations. Though genasi often lack the discipline typical of many wizards they make up for this self-control with a suprising amount of accuracy. For this reason, they also make excellent sorcerers.
As a rule, genasi are not as dogmatic as other races and tend to worship less devoutly and more privately. Most religious genasi have small shrines in their homes and worship whenever they feel like it but never otherwise. As such, few genasi are truly attracted to the faiths of lawful gods with their rigid schedules and highly organized churches.
Relations with other racesEdit
Although most genasi are descended from the powerful genie races, most often the dao, djinn, efreet, and marid, most genasi have no contact with their elemental forbears. Usually, genies look down upon genasi as bastard half-breeds and rarely will respond positively to one they meet. However, when amongst the mortals, genasi take great pride in their distinctive features and abilities.
Genasi as a whole have no longstanding animosity towards other races, at least not intentionally. Humans of Calimshan however, are often oppressed slaves who must obey the whims of their genasi masters, meaning that though genasi do not necessarily see humans worldwide as an enemy, the antagonism between those within Calimshan is high. However, the genasi of Akanûl are not so cruel and in fact look down upon the slavery of humans. Likewise, though Akanûl shares a fair amount of distrust with the dragonborn land of Tymanther, Calimshan does not. Therefore, it is not accurate to say that the genasi race as a whole regard either dragonborn or humans as their enemies, nor vice versa. In fact, many genasi and humans get along extremely well due to the many psychological similarities between the two races and races that enjoy the company of humans are likely to befriend genasi as well.
Likewise, genasi do not have very many friends, even amongst their own race. Genasi are independent minded as a whole and can be fickle. Many genasi who possess more than one manifestation may even use one manifestation when dealing with one group of friends while using a different manifestation to interact with another set. Others are more picky and choose friends who can cope with their changing nature. Of all the races, probably the Tel-quessir view genasi with the least trust, viewing the genasi’s impulsive nature and strong passions with a little disdsain.
Genasi are sparsely populated throughout the world and mostly found as the result of a genie’s short dalliance with some mortal human. There are some exceptions, however, and the powerful influence of genies on the nation of Calimshan and the continent of Zakhara meant that genasi were more common in these regions.
In Calimshan, populations of genasi that had gone hidden for millennia emerged as the souls of Memnon and Calim were released to war with one another once again. The genasi in Calimshan quickly flew to the sides of their favored leader, leaving Calimshan the barren, war-torn landscape it remains to this day and Calimshan is one of the strongest footholds of the genasi race.
Akanûl in particular remains a genasi stronghold and besides Calimshan is the only nation in Faerûn ruled by the race and unlike the desert land is fairly peaceful in its relations with its neighbors.
There are five major subraces of genasi, though unlike in the case of most races, each genasi variety can obtain the qualities of the others through special training and personal experience.
Frequency of Genasi Types: The most common Genasi are those who have their origins in the four Elemental Planes: Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. This is because the most common way to become a Genasi is by having an elemental anscestor. And since the four Elemental Planes each have a well-represented race (specifically, Genie-kind) that can interbreed with humans and demihumans, Genasi related to these planes make up the bulk of the Genasi found in the Multiverse.
The Para- and Quasi-Elemental Planes and the Positive and Negative Material Planes, on the other hand, tend to be limited with respect to the number of native races capable of interbreeding with humans and demihumans. Some of these planes have no races whatsoever which are capable of interbreeding with humans and demihumans (or, at least, no known races), and so Genasi from these planes occur only when a child of two otherwise normal parents is literally touched by the Plane while in the womb. In these cases, planes with a large number of non-planar settlements will produce more Genasi over time than Planes with few non-Planar settlements.
As a consequence of these differing origins, the various Genasi can be ranked according to how common or rare they are. Inner Planes with races capable of interbreeding with humans and demihumans and which possess many large human and demihuman settlements will produce the most Genasi. Inner Planes with no races capable of interbreeding with humans and demihumans, and which have few permanent human or demihuman settlements will rarely produce Genasi.
- Common: Fire, Air, Water, Earth
- Uncommon: Smoke, Ice, Mineral, Lightning, Steam
- Rare: Ooze, Magma, Negative Energy
- Very Rare: Radiance, Ash, Dust, Salt, Vacuum, Positive Energy
- Earth genasi
- Brown-skinned genasi most often bald with golden szuldar that glow along the head.
- Fire genasi
- Red or ruddy bronze skinned genasi with fiery orange szuldar and eyes and flickering flames that usually erupt from the lines located on the head.
- Stormsoul genasi
- Purple skinned genasi with silvery szuldar and most commonly a crown of crystalline silver spikes coming from the head.
- Water genasi
- Genasi with seafoam green skin and bright blue szuldar that glow along a usually bald head.
- Air genasi
- Genasi with silvery skin, light blue szuldar, and most often a set of gray ice crystal spikes along the top of the head.
- Radiance genasi
- Lightning genasi
- Steam genasi
- mineral genasi
- Smoke genasi
- Ice genasi
- Ooze genasi
- Magama genasi
- Ash genasi
- Vacuum genasi
- Salt genasi
- Dust genasi
- Genasi from the Positive energy plane.
- Genasi from the Negative Energy Plane
Although most genasi draw upon the energies of the four classical elemental planes, as well as the para-elemental planes, a rare number are instead touched by the power of the Abyss. Four such variations are known, each corruption of the four classical elements of water, fire, earth, and wind.
- Causticsoul genasi
- Acidic in nature, these green-skinned genasi are bald with green-black szuldar.
- Cindersoul genasi
- Gray colored like ash, these genasi have faint wisps of smoke or flame for "hair" as well as dim szuldar resembling a dying flame.
- Plaguesoul genasi
- With skin the color of dried blood these genasi are marked by their unusual black szuldar and rust-like flakes that emanate from their scalp.
- Voidsoul genasi
- With near-black skin and even darker szuldar these genasi actually cast a shadow of darkness from atop their head.
Ash Genasi In many respects, Scions of the Dying Embers are the opposite of their Smoke Genasi counterparts. Whereas Smoke Genasi prefer the closed-in hustle and bustle of a well-populated city, Ash Genasi have little use for large cities and even less use for crowds. Residents of the Plane of Ash have a very solitary outlook on life, even more so than the residents of the other Inner Planes, and this outlook manifests itself in the Ash Genasi's natural dislike of cities and crowds. This isn't to say that Ash Genasi are anti-social or that they don't like the trappings of civilization; they just prefer a less hectic existence free of large concentrations of civilization. Unsurprisingly, Ash Genasi and Halflings get along quite well. When an Ash Genasi first leaves the Plane of Ash, they normally find themselves square in the middle of Sigil. Given their solitary natures, and given that Sigil is one of the largest, most crowded cities in the Multiverse, most Ash Genasi quickly decide that they've seen enough of the planes for one lifetime and head back to the Plane of Ash. Consequently, Scions of the Dying Embers are rarely found outside their native plane. But occasionally an Ash Genasi's natural curiosity about the Multiverse will overcome her initial reaction to Sigil. And even more rarely, an Ash Genasi will find a portal or vortex that leads to someplace besides Sigil. Regardless of how it happens, these rare Ash Genasi avoid turning tail and heading back to the Plane of Ash, and they head out into the vast Multiverse looking for the secluded areas they enjoy. In some cases, Ash Genasi who leave their plane take a liking to a particular area and settle down to live out a simple, comfortable existence. In other cases, they become Planewalkers, going from planeto- plane experiencing a variety of rustic towns, isolated villages, and remote wilderness regions. Note that a sweltering, unpopulated tropical jungle on a prime world, a relatively clear and difficult-to-reach plateu in Gehenna, and the gatetown of Faunel would all be equally attractive to the average Ash Genasi. In appearance, all Ash Genasi will have one or more of the following traits: ?? Perpetually soot-covered skin ?? Skin that, while not appearing to be sooty, will leave an ashy residue on anything touching it ?? An odor reminiscent of burnt wood ?? Dark grey skin and/or hair Ash Genasi are the only Genasi that don't receive modifiers to their ability scores. However, they more than make up for this lack with their innate abilities. Ash Genasi are immune to the effects of both non-magical fire and non-magical cold, due to the nature of their native plane. Additionally, every five levels they gain a +1 bonus to their saving throws vs. magical fire-based attacks (but not against magical cold-based attacks). Finally, Scions of the Dying Embers can Extinguish Flames once per day. This ability is similar to the Affect Normal Fires ability of Fire Genasi, except that it can only be used to extinguish fires within the area of effect. Ash Genasi can use this ability as though they were a 5thlevel caster. Ash Genasi can be fighters, mages, Fire Elementalists, Necromancers, fighter/mages, fighter/Fire Elementalists, or fighter/Necromancers. Ash Genasi can also become rangers or druids due to their affinity for isolated wilderness areas, but since they have no way to study the necessary wilderness skills while on the Plane of Ash, all Ash Genasi rangers and druids must learn these skills after leaving the Plane of Ash. This means that Ash Genasi rangers and druids will be, on average, several years older than non-ranger, non-druid Ash Genasi of similar experience level. To reflect this, determine their starting age normally and then add 7d4 years. Scions of the Dying Embers can be of any non- Lawful alignment. Dust Genasi In the minds of most cutters, the Quasi- Elemental Plane of Dust conjures up images of decay, decomposition, and disintegration. The Plane is inimical to both life and to created items, and both will quickly turn to dust without the proper magical protection. Amid all this waste and desolation are the Loreseekers of the Eroding Sands -- the Dust Genasi. Dust Genasi are fascinated by the history of things: Buildings, magical weapons, famous (or infamous) bloods, regions, towns, you name it. Most sages and scholars claim this is due to the fact that Dust Genasi are raised on a plane where they routinely see the ultimate embrace which awaits all things, and have therefore developed a curiosity about the life before the decay. On the other hand, some claim that it's the symbolism of accumulated dust (or sands through an hourglass) representing the passage of time. And a few berks say it's because researching the history of dead people and ruined towns is the only thing that matches the dry, somber personality possessed by most Dust Genasi. (Note that this last is woefully inaccurate. While Dust Genasi are indeed more subdued than most other Planar races, only their Magma Genasi cousins match their enthusiasm for research.) Whatever the reason, most Dust Genasi explore the planes in much the same manner as their Magma Genasi cousins. Some Loreseekers of the Eroding Sands focus their research on one particular location, person, or item, and spend the rest of their lives unearthing its history. Other Dust Genasi prefer to dabble, rather than delve. These are the Planewalking Loreseekers, and they accumulate a broad base of knowledge by travelling around the Multiverse. And finally, some Dust Genasi exist somewhere between the two, wandering the planes for the most part, but occasionally settling down for a year or more to more thoroughly investigate a particular item, region or person. All Dust Genasi feature a colored pattern to their skin reminiscent of sand. Additionally, they will have one or more of the following: ?? A thin, perpetual coating of sand on their bodies and/or in their hair ?? A dusty haze surrounding them, extending about 1 foot out from their body ?? The faint howling of a sandstorm in their voice ?? A somewhat flimsy consistency to their body, as though their flesh was filled with sand instead of bones and muscle Dust Genasi receive a +1 bonus to both Dexterity and Constitution, and receive a -1 penalty to their Strength and Charisma. They are completely unaffected by the disintegrating nature of their native plane, and they have a 50% magic resistance to Disintegrate spells (or any other spells which attack via disintegration-like effects), in addition to whatever saving throws may be applicable. Additionally, they gain a +1 bonus to their saving throws vs. Earth-based magic every 5 levels. Finally, Dust Genasi have the ability to Shatter Rock once per day. This is identical to the 2nd-level Wizard spell Shatter, except that it works only by touch, and it affects only rock or stone. Dust Genasi can use this ability on up to 20 cubic feet of rock or stone. Dust Genasi can be fighters, mages, Earth Elementalists, Diviners, or bards. They also have the option of being a fighter/mage or fighter/Diviner multiclassed character. Dust Genasi can be of any non-Chaotic alignment. Ice Genasi The crisp, refreshing chill of a mountain stream fed by melted snow; the biting cold of a deep blizzard. These are at the heart of Ice Genasi. The common joke is that Ice Genasi must be emotionless since they're so cold-hearted, but the truth is that Ice Genasi are among the most passionate of all Genasi (Para-, Quasi-, or otherwise). Like all Para- and Quasi-Genasi, the Children of the Glacier are intensely curious about the rest of the Multiverse, but the curiosity of Ice Genasi takes on a passionate (some berks say "desperate") edge. Common chant says that life on the Para-Elemental Plane of Ice doesn't swing much through any particular emotional extreme, since the natives there do tend to be a touch on the dispassionate side. So when the Ice Genasi venture out into the big, wide Multiverse, it seems they want to make up for lost time and lost experiences. (As such, most Ice Genasi gravitate naturally to the Society of Sensation, which shares a similar philosophy.) In appearance, all Ice Genasi tend towards sharp, angular features. Additionally, they have one or more of the following traits: ?? White or bluish-white hair and/or skin ?? Extremely cold flesh ?? A thin layer of frost in their hair ?? The faint sound of a snowstorm in their voice Due to their extremely curious and outgoing natures, Ice Genasi receive a +1 bonus to both Intelligence and Charisma. Since their curiosity often gets the better of them, they suffer a -1 penalty to Wisdom. Additionally, their health often seems as brittle as a snowflake, so they suffer a -1 penalty to Constitution. Ice Genasi are completely immune to the effects of non-magical cold, and can move across slick, icy surfaces at their normal movement rate without fear of falling or slipping. As such, Ice Genasi are often hired by important primes to explore the arctic areas of various prime worlds. They are affected normally by magical cold attacks (such as the breath of a white dragon), but they gain a +1 to their saving throws against all ice- or cold-based magic every 5 levels. Additionally, Children of the Glacier can cast Frost once per day as though they were a 5th level Wizard. Frost covers various surfaces with a thin layer of ice, but is otherwise ident ical to the 1st-level Wizard spell Grease. Ice Genasi call this ability "composing a rime." (Ice Genasi are, for the most part, incorrigible punsters.) Due to their inquisitive nature and their desire to experience a variety of things, Ice Genasi can be any class except ranger or paladin. They can also be multi-classed, and in fact most of them take the multi-class route since they don't want to restrict themselves to just one set of experiences. A combination of any two of the four main character classes (fighter, mage, cleric, thief) is allowed as an acceptable multi-class for Ice Genasi. If an Ice Genasi chooses to be a specialty Wizard, he/she must choose either Air or Water Elementalism. Similarly, an Ice Genasi specialty Priest must worship a power of Ice, Cold, Air, or Water. Ice Genasi can be of any alignment. Lightning Genasi More than any other Inner Plane, the Quasi- Elemental Plane of Lightning gets lots of visits from Powers. Oh sure, the four major Inner Planes see their share of visiting Powers, and the Plane of Ice gets a few now and again. As for the other Inner Planes, they occasionally get a Divine visitor from time-to-time, but it's soddin' rare (and they visit the Plane of Ooze least of all -- a fact that really torques the Ooze Genasi). But the Plane of Lightning gets 'em on a fairly regular, fairly frequent basis. Sometimes it seems you can't swing a dead wererat without it passing through some God's divine aura. Sages of the Multiverse are wont to speculate on most things, and this subject is no exception. The consensus seems to be that the various Powers of storms, lightning, and thunder are more likely to revel in their area of control. See, most Agriculture deities (for instance) won't usually have an urge to roll around in a big field of wheat. But the various stormrelated Powers seem to really delight in just hanging out in the middle of rampaging thunderstorms. Thus, they're more likely to take a side trip to the Plane of Lightning so they can immerse themselves in the raw, unbridled display of The Storm. Whatever the reason may be for these visits, most Lightning Genasi have experienced the nearness and presence of a Diety at least once in their lives. Of course, since being in the direct presence of a Power is usually enough to turn most cutters to dust and ashes, Lightning Genasis (at least the ones still living afterwards) are usually several miles away when they experience this brief brush with divinity. But divine power being what it is, this is usually enough to have a profound impact on a sod's life, and the Lightning Genasi seem to bear this out. Vassals of the Storm (as they call themselves) are fascinated by Powers. Their experience with the Divine works like an epiphany for most of the sods, and almost all Lightning Genasi are convinced that the True Dark of the Multiverse lies in worshiping the right Power (which is why you'll almost never see 'em in the Athar, and only rarely in the Godsmen). At first, their fascinat ion tends to revolve around Powers of storms, lightning, or thunder (since they're the ones most likely to visit the Plane of Lightning). But when the Lightning Genasi leave the Plane and find themselves in the greater Multiverse, most of 'em discover that there's more to Divinity than just stormbased Dieties. This usually results in a lot of soulsearching and temple-visiting and asking lots of pointed questions to the Priests of various deities. Planewalking Lightning Genasi take this a bit further and wander the Realms of the Powers themselves, going from Realm to Realm and asking their pointed questions directly of the Proxies of these powers. As such (and depending on how respectful the Lightning Genasi is), the life of a Planewalking Vassal of the Storm can be either very rewarding, or very short. All Lightning Genasi will possess one or more of the following physical attributes: ?? Hair that's constantly standing on end, as from static electricity ?? Brief flashes in their eyes, as though reflections from a distant thunderstorm ?? Tiny, harmless sparks that dance around their body and hair as they move ?? The occasional faint rumble of thunder, heard by anyone within 5 feet of the Genasi Vassals of the Storm gain a +1 bonus to Dexterity and Wisdom, but suffer a -1 penalty to Strength and Constitution. They are completely immune to non-magical lightning (or other nonmagical electrical effects) and take only half damage from magical lightning. Lightning Genasi are also immune to any deafening, stunning, or other effects which result from loud, booming noises (magical or otherwise). Note that this only applies to loud, booming noises similar to thunder (such as from Drums of Panic); Lightning Genasi suffer the full effects of the wail of a Howler, the wail of a Banshee, the winds of Pandemonium, etc. Lightning Genasi also gain a +1 bonus every 5 levels to their saving throws vs. air- or electrical-based magic attacks. Finally, Lightning Genasi have a Shocking Grasp ability. The effects are identical to the 1st-level Wizard spell of the same name. Lightning Genasi can use this ability once per day, as though they were a 5th-level Wizard. Lightning Genasi can be fighters, mages, or clerics. Lightning Genasi cannot be multi-classed, but due to their fascination with Powers, they have some interesting class options not available to any other race in the Multiverse. Any Lightning Genasi cleric can, upon gaining a new level, opt to become a specialty priest with enough experience points to put him at the beginning of half his new cleric level (round fractions down). This reflects the Lightning Genasi's tendency to investigate the Powers before deciding which one to follow. (For example, a Lightning Genasi cleric can, upon reaching 4th or 5th level, decide to become a specialty priest. The Genasi will then become a 2nd-level specialty priest with the bare minimum points necessary to be 2nd-level.) This also means that a cleric must be at least 2nd level before becoming a priest, and so no Lightning Genasi can start out as a specialty priest. Lightning Genasi fighters and mages can also be dual-classed (like humans), with the following restrictions: ?? The other class must be a cleric (so only fighter-cleric or mage-cleric dual-classed characters are allowed). ?? The fighter or mage must reach at least 4th level before starting down the clerical path. ?? Once the character has risen sufficiently high in the cleric class (i.e 2nd-level), he may opt to switch to a specialty priest as above. However, at that point the character must renounce his other class forever (since the Gods don't like their priests to be distracted). At the DM's option, this can be waived under certain circumstances, such as if the character is a fighter-cleric dual class and decides to be a specialty priest of a Power of War or Battle. (For purposes of the +1 bonus per vs. air- or electical-based magic every five levels mentioned above, this goes on hold until the specialty priest reaches the same level reached by the cleric before he converted. So you can't reach a +3 bonus as a 15thlevel cleric, become a 7th-level specialty priest, and then get another +1 bonus when the priest reaches 12th level. Nice try, though, berk.) Lightning Genasi can be of any alignment. Magma Genasi "Slow, but burning with intense energy" is the description often used to describe the Explorers of the Lava. Like their close cousins the Earth Gensai, Magma Genasi tend to be ponderous and deliberate in their outward motions. However, this slow, monolithic movement disguises a fiercely active and intelligent mind. As a consequence, the curiosity typical of all Para- and Quasi-Genasi manifests in Magma Genasi as a desire to explore, investigate, and truly understand the Multiverse. For many Lawfully inclined Magma Genasi, this draws them towards the Guvners. But regardless of the Faction to which they belong, Magma Genasi are always among their Faction's most profound philosophers due to their constant inquiry and introspection into the nature of their beliefs and the Multiverse. On a less political note, Magma Genasi almost always become active planewalkers. Hopping from plane to plane and exploring the vast variety of the Multiverse is certainly one way to learn more about it, after all. Other Magma Genasi have gone on to become noted naturalists and researchers, such as Braus Horfand, who wrote the seminal work on the ecology of the Lower Planes. Appearance-wise, Magma Genasi tend to be thick and bulky, but more rounded than their Earth Genasi counterparts. Additionally, Magma Genasi may have one or more of the following: ?? Black or dark brown skin laced with streaks of red or bright orange ?? Skin that's warm (even hot) to the touch ?? A mild odor of heated rock ?? The faint rumbling of a volcano in their voice Magma Genasi add +1 to their Intelligence because of their inquisitive natures, but lose -1 from their Charisma since they prefer researching interesting minutiae about the Multiverse instead of learning standard social graces. Magma Genasi are completely unaffected by either normal fire or by lava, and could swim, breathe, and live in an active volcano if they felt like it (and some do just to keep away unwanted visitors). Furthermore, Magma Genasi gain a +1 bonus per every 5 levels applied to their saving throws vs. magical fire- or lava-based attacks. Finally, Magma Genasi can Heat Rock once per day as though they were a 5th-Level Priest. Aside from the fact that it affects rock instead of metal, Heat Rock is identical to the 2nd-level Priest spell Heat Metal. Magma Genasi can be fighters, mages, specialist mages, specialty priests, or a multiclassed fighter/mage or fighter/priest character. Note that Magma Genasi can't be standard Clerics, since their desire to investigate and understand the Multiverse makes them gravitate towards specific dieties. Magma Genasi who become specialist mages must specialize in either Elemental Earth or Elemental Fire. Specialty priests must pick a Power of Fire, Earth, or Lava. Magma Genasi can be of any alignment. Mineral Genasi Most sods would think a being from the Quasi- Elemental Plane of Mineral would be a little on the hard, unfeeling side. After all, not only is the plane comprised of stones that are harder than rock in most cases, but those stones are also usually razor sharp. A cutter has to be extremely thick-skinned -- in the literal sense -- to survive even a day on the Plane. But canny bloods know that things don't always turn out in the obvious, logical way, especially on the planes. And so it is with Mineral Genasi. Inheritors of the Glittering Stones are singularly large and imposing -- larger than even their Earth Genasi cousins -- and they've got a heart to match. Mineral Genasi grow up on a plane where the entire collected treasury of the Merkhant sect pales in comparison to the riches littering the ground within a mile's radius from thier childhood kip. As such they really don't understand the notion of hoarding wealt h, especially just for the sake of hoarding it (which is why you'll never see a Mineral Genasi in the Merkhants). This doesn't mean that they don't have any use for it. But to them, jink is part of the journey. It ain't the destination. So while they'll keep themselves in good repair and maybe even save some for a rainy day (being prepared ain't the same as "hoarding," after all), you'll never see an Inheritor of the Glittering Stones living in anything more opulent than a modest case. So what do they do with the rest of their jink? 99 times out of 100, Mineral Genasi use it to help the less fortunate of the Multiverse. Again, this goes back to their early environment; Mineral Genasi are raised around vast amounts of material wealth, and they find it a little disturbing to discover that some berks don't have two coppers to rub together. Different Mineral Genasi have different approaches to helping out the poor and downtrodden. Some will open up farms or smithies (or something similar) on one of the Upper Planes (or the portion of the Outlands near the Upper Planar gatetowns). Then they'll give down-on-their-luck sods a chance to come work for 'em and learn a trade. For those less fortunate cutters with a strong streak of pride that don't allow 'em to accept charity, this works out fairly well. Other Inheritors will open up soup kitchens or resthouses to give luckless bashers 3 squares a day and a roof over their head at night. And the rare Mineral Genasi thief will usually find some oppressive rich berk to steal from, and will then give this stolen loot back to the oppressed folk in question. (It should be noted that, despite what a cutter might think, Mineral Genasi rarely join the Ring-Givers. This is because the Ring-Givers give stuff away in hopes that they'll get more stuff in return. Inheritors of the Glittering Stones, on the other hand, are genuinely altruistic. When they help a cutter, they honestly don't expect anything in return.) Planewalking Mineral Genasi tend to think a little bigger with regard to helping out the downtrodden, and they will usually seek out villages, towns, or occasionally entire regions that are downon- their-luck for whatever reason (usually due to marauding bands of raiders, drought, famine, or something along those lines). When this happens, they'll usually attempt to take whatever corrective action they feel necessary to get the village, town, or region back on its feet. In appearance, Mineral Genasi are large, thick and imposing. Their features are sharp and angular, like the gemstones from their native plane. They also have a natural armor class of 8, and will have one or more of the following traits: ?? Rough, dark brown skin or smooth, dark grey skin. ?? A few small (half-inch diameter) crystalline stones of various colors embedded in their flesh (these crumble to worthless dust if somehow removed from the Mineral Genasi) ?? Eyes that seem faceted (like a cut diamond) Inheritors of the Glittering Stones receive a +1 bonus to their Strength (big, thick Earth creatures can pack quite a wallop), but suffer a -1 to Dexterity (big, thick Earth creatures are rarely agile). Mineral Genasi have a natural 50% magic resistance to all spells (or spell-like effects) which would turn 'em to stone. Standard saving throws will still be applicable if the magic resistance fails. Additionally, Mineral Genasi receive a +1 bonus to their saving throws vs. earthbased magic every 5 levels. They also can identify and appraise precious gems and jewelry with 100% accuracy. Finally, Inheritors of the Glittering Stones can Shape Stone once per day, as the 3rd-level Priest spell Stone Shape. They can affect 15 cubic feet of stone or rock in this fashion. Mineral Genasi can be any class but Ranger or Druid. Mineral Genasi Paladins must be Planewalkers, moving from plane to plane, seeking villages, towns, or regions which are being oppressed by raiders, corrupt officials, or what-have-you. (Note: This excludes locations on the Lower Planes, since these locations are evil by nature, and are not therefore oppressed.) Once a Planewalking Mineral Genasi Paladin finds an oppressed area, he is bound by honor to stay until the area is no longer oppressed. Leaving before that time will cause the permanent, irrevocable loss of Paladin status. Mineral Genasi thieves must steal only from oppressive rich berks (like a greedy merchant or a corrupt sheriff) and give the stolen wealth back to the folks oppressed by these knaves. Mineral Genasi can specialize in Earth Elementalism or Necromancy. They can also be specialty priests of Powers dealing with Earth, Wealth or Altruism. Inheritors of the Glittering Stones can be multiclassed fighter/mages, fighter/clerics, fighter/thieves, mage/clerics, or mage/thieves. They can be any Good alignment. Ooze Genasi As one might guess, bashers from the Para- Elemental Plane of Ooze have a hard time getting respect from the rest of the Multiverse. After all, the other Inner Planes have something going for 'em, from the burning majesty of the Plane of Fire to the immeasurable wealth of the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Mineral to the bitter cold of the Para-Elemental Plane of Ice. Whether it's due to the beauty, the power, the riches or the deadliness of the particular plane, the other Inner Planes inspire respect. On the other hand, there's nothing particularly inspiring about Ooze. And Dwellers of the Mud (as they call themselves) get this repeatedly drummed into their heads from the moment they step off the Para-Elemental Plane of Ooze. While some Ooze berks develop a crushing inferiority complex from all this lack of respect, most Ooze Genasi react in both of the following ways: First, they become over-confident overachievers. They push themselves to the limit, and more, just to prove their worth. For Ooze Genasi with the skill to back it up, this can often be a boon. Many Ooze Genasi have skyrocketed to fame and fortune due to their "I can do it if I just try hard enough" attitude. For Ooze Genasi less able to put their jink where their bone-box is, this over-confidence can have sometimes humorous, sometimes deadly, results. While an Ooze Genasi would (almost) never be over-confident enough to do something obviously stupid like trying to best a Titan in a wrestling contest, it's not unheard of for an Ooze Genasi to imagine themselves the equal of a Pit Fiend or an Arcanoloth when it comes to understanding binding contracts and the loopholes therein. T he results of such folly are predictable. Secondly, they try to hold up mud, ooze, muck, and so forth as equally worthy of respect and admiration as the other elements (and para- and quasielements). They're constantly trying to find new ways to inspire folks with mud. From artistic creations made of mud to cosmetic mud-baths to weapons that sling mud, almost all Ooze Genasi strive to increase the respect accorded their native element. So far, the results have been less than impressive. But the Ooze Genasi keep trying. Ooze Genasi always display one or more of the following traits: ?? Skin that seems almost to flow and drip ?? A skin color reminiscent of mud or silt ?? A thin film of moisture covering their entire body ?? The faint aroma of moist earth Their resilient natures provide them with a +1 bonus to Constitution and Dexterity, but their overconfidence results in a -1 penalty to Wisdom and Charisma. Dwellers of the Mud are amphibious and can function in water as easily as air, and they swim at a movement rate of 15. Additionally, they can also function in mud as though they were in air, and many Ooze Genasi prefer to sleep completely submerged in pits of mud or silt. Every five levels, Ooze Genasi also get an additional +1 bonus to their saving throws vs. water- or earth-based magic. Once per day, Ooze Genasi can Create Mud. Create Mud is a lesser version of the 5th-Level Wizard spell Transmute Rock to Mud. By standing on bare earth or rock, an Ooze Genasi can create a 3-ft deep mud pit, centered on the caster, with a radius of up to 50 feet. The duration of this effect is identical to the Transmute Rock to Mud spell. Genasi use this talent most often to give them a place to sleep while on the trail, but since walking through a 3-ft deep pit of mud will slow most bashers down, it also comes in handy for thwarting pursuit. Note that they can only use this ability to affect the ground beneath them. Cave walls (for instance) would be unaffected by this ability, even if the Ooze Genasi were somehow standing on the wall, unless gravity naturally pulled her towards the wall (as on the plane of Pandemonium). Ooze Genasi can be fighters, mages, fighter/mages, or (interestingly enough) paladins. Ooze Genasi paladins (called Silt Knights) occur when an Ooze Genasi (in typical Ooze Genasi fashion) decides that she will be the sworn protector of a particular town (prime or planar), region (prime or planar) or realm. (Ooze Genasi are nothing if not big thinkers.) In adopting this town, region, or realm, the Ooze Genasi swears to defend it from evil at all costs. A Silt Knight might adopt the gate town of Tradegate, for instance, or the Great Glacier of Toril. They're free to leave their designated area at any time (to visit relatives, for instance), but if they undertake a quest that doesn't directly or indirectly relate to the protection of this area, they lose their paladin abilities until such time as they atone for it in the normal fashion of paladins. If the area under protection should somehow get destroyed during the paladin's absence, the paladin immediately (and irrevocably) loses all paladin status, and becomes a fighter of the same level. Radiance Genasi Radiance Genasi (known among themselves as Disciples of the Incandescent Colors) hail from a plane where every moment of their existence is surrounded by, and suffused with, a scintillating, never-ending display of the most beautiful colors and lights in the Multiverse. As a consequence, most of the Radiance Genasi that leave the Plane of Radiance are profoundly and utterly disappointed by the (comparatively) dull and dreary nature of the rest of the Multiverse. And so, in a similar fashion to their Ash Genasi cousins, most Radiance Genasi figure they've seen enough of the Multiverse and immediately head back home. But, like their Ash Genasi cousins, a few stick around. These are the Radiance Genasi who hit the planes and figure "It can't all be this dull and dreary." So they let their natural curiosity take hold and they begin wandering the planes looking for things of Beauty. To their credit, these Genasi usually discover somewhere along the way that "Beauty" can take forms other than blindingly brilliant and beautiful colors, and they gain a respect for the artworks of many cultures (both Prime and Planar). In some cases, Radiance Genasis even learn to appreciate art from cultures most other folks wouldn't consider "beautiful," such as Kobold "dung and worm sculpture" -- a medium most bashers can't appreciate. Fortunately, most Disciples of the Incandescent Colors don't go quite this far in their quest for art and "beauty". It should be noted that occasionally a Radiance Genasi will decide to make their own beauty rather than seeking it out. Probably the most famous of these is the woman known simply as The Coruscate, who has the ability to make achingly beautiful sculptures out of "solid light." How she shapes the lights and keeps them mobile, suspended, and permanent is a dark to everyone but her. And, of course, many of these Radiance Genasi, whether they're searching for "Beauty" or making their own, will twig to the notion that "Beauty" isn't necessarily visual, and they'll begin seeking (or crafting) literature, poetry, music, and so forth. Basically, if it's artistic in any way, there's probably some Radiance Genasi either doing it or searching it out among the planes. Radiance Genasi are visually striking. Their skin is always a vibrant, distinctive color (green, blue, purple, and so on), and their hair is usually a violently contrasting color from their skin. Additionally, they'll have one or more of the following: ?? A faint glow about them (too faint to do anything other than pinpoint their location in a pitch dark room) ?? The ability to change their hair color at will ?? Skin that's warm to the touch Despite their vari-colored skin and hair, most Radiance Genasi are extremely attractive, so they gain a +1 bonus to their Charisma. They also gain a +1 bonus to their Intelligence to reflect their natural appreciation for art in its varied forms. Unfortunately, Radiance Genasi are notoriously frail, so they suffer a -1 penalty to both Strength and Constitution. Radiance Genasi are completely immune to both natural fire and to being blinded by bright light (even if the bright light is magically induced). This isn't to say that they can't be blinded; the Wizard spell Power Word, Blind (for instance) doesn't rely on bright light to achieve the blinding effect, and Radiance Genasi are therefore just as susceptible to that spell as are any other group of berks. However, casting a Continual Light spell (for example) on a Radiance Genasi's eyes won't have any effect. Radiance Genasi also receive a +1 bonus to their saving throws vs. fire-based magic and illusions every 5 levels. Note that this bonus applies to illusions (i.e. magical constructs which rely on fooling the optical senses) but not to phantasms (i.e. magical constructs placed directly in a cutter's mind, bypassing the optical senses entirely). Additionally, Radiance Genasi can create Continual Light once per day, as the 2nd-level Wizard spell. They can use this ability as though they were a 5thlevel caster. Radiance Genasi can be fighters, mages, Fire Elementalists, Illusionists, clerics, specialty priests (must follow a power of fire, light, or beauty), thieves, or Bards. They can also be multiclassed fighter/illusionists, fighter/bards, or Illusionist/thieves. Note that most Radiance Genasi thieves become art thieves. They can be of any alignment. Salt Genasi All Para- and Quasi-Genasi have a natural curiosity about the rest of the Multiverse, but in Salt Genasi this curiosity has flowered into a passion for exploring matched only by their Magma, Dust, and Steam Genasi cousins. And like their cousins, Salt Genasi have focused on the single-minded exploration of one particular facet of the multiverse. Just as Magma Genasi often focus on exploring the naturalistic side of the Multiverse (writing treatises on the life cycle of the Ethyk, for instance, or studying the ecology of Jangling Hiter), Salt Genasi tend to concentrate on exploring the waterways of the planes. Oceans, lakes, rivers, seas, and even swamps and marshes; any reasonably sized body of water is enough to make the average Salt Genasi feel an urge to map its boundaries, explore its expanse, and experience life to the fullest while sailing its surface. Interestingly enough, of all the planar races, none are as enamored of the Prime Material Plane as are the Wanderers of the Brine. This stems from the fact that oceans on the planes usually cover entire layers (Ossa, Thalasia), they're usually fairly homogeneous ("One stretch of Ossa is pretty much the same as any other," is a common saying am ong Salt Genasi), and smaller bodies of water are infrequent in comparison to the amount of land. Prime worlds, on the other hand, often have more water than land. Moreover, the oceans of one prime world are usually vastly different from those of other prime worlds, and in many cases there are vast differences within the same ocean. And for those more interested in rivers, lakes, and other somewhat smaller bodies of water, you really just can't beat the Prime for variety. As if that weren't enough (and you'd certainly think it would be), many Salt Genasi have discovered Spelljamming and have taken to it with the same enthusiasm that they have for exploring oceans on the Prime. In their minds, it's just another type of ocean to explore. And since Spelljamming allows them to go from Prime world to Prime world without needing portals or gates, many Salt Genasi end up on the Prime and never return to the Planes. Because of all this hopping about on the Prime, Salt Genasi who spend most of their time on the Prime call themselves Primewalkers . This is an obvious reference to the more common Planewalker, and a not-so-subtle hint to their fellow Planars that the Prime is also a plane worthy of respect, just like the Abyss or Bytopia. This isn't to say that you won't find Salt Genasi exploring planar waterways. In one particularly interesting case, a Wanderer of the Brine named Hobart Frimax has modified a Spelljamming ship to make it submersible, and is exploring Thalasia beneath the waves. In another instance, a Salt Genasi named Mitel Cannate is busy exploring the layer of Belerin (and staying one step ahead of both the Asuras and the Hydra), on the Plane of Elysium. And Salt Genasi who are more interested in profit than in exploration routinely set up shop as ferrymen on the River Oceanus. However, these are the exceptions rather than the rule. In appearance, Salt Genasi possess one or more of the following traits: ?? An encrusting of salt on their skin and/or in their hair ?? Lips which seem perpetually parched and cracked (although this causes no discomfort to the Salt Genasi) ?? An odor of brine about them at all times The open-mindedness of Salt Genasi (without which they'd view the Prime as a waste of time) grants them a +1 bonus to their Wisdom scores. Their physical appearance, however, causes them to suffer a -1 penalty to their Charisma. Salt Genasi have no need whatsoever to drink, and never suffer the effects of thirst. Salt Genasi can breathe water as if it were air, but their movements underwater suffer the same restrictions as the movements of normal land-based characters. Every five levels they gain a +1 bonus to their saving throws vs. water-based magic. Wanderers of the Brine can Destroy Water once per day, at will. This is the reverse of the 1st-Level Priest spell Create Water, and Salt Genasi can cast it as though they were a 5th-level priest. Their wandering natures prevent them from having the time to intensely study magic, and so they cannot be mages. However, their wandering nature certainly lends itself to picking up the odd bit of magical info here and there, so Salt Genasi can be Bards. They can also be fighters, clerics, or specialty priests (must worship a power of water, sailors, exploring, or the sea). They can also be multiclassed fighter/clerics or fighter/bards, and can be of any non- Lawful alignment. Smoke Genasi Silent, stealthy, and comfortable in shadows, Smoke Genasi are the most urban of all the Para- and Quasi-Genasi. This isn't because the Para-Elemental Plane of Smoke is populated with cities, but rather because once a Smoke Genasi leaves the Plane of Smoke, they discover that they're uncomfortable in wide open spaces where a berk can see for miles and miles on a clear day. This isn't to say that a Smoke Genasi can't function out in the open; they just don't like it (a Smoke Genasi on a mountain top is a miserable berk indeed). Cities (and the bigger, the better) provide Shadows of the Vapors with a measure of psychological security due to the closed-in nature of most cities. And if the city has a lot of smoke and/or smog, so much the better. Small wonder, then, that Sigil has the greatest concentration of Smoke Genasi outside of the Plane of Smoke itself. Para- and Quasi-Genasi are notoriously curious about the Multiverse (or aspects thereof), and Shadows of the Vapors are no exception. However, their curiosity takes the same urban direction that they themselves take; Smoke Genasi are dedicated and enthusiastic city dwellers. This doesn't mean they're always happy and cheerful about their lot in life. They've got the same problems as regular berks, after all. But Smoke Genasi are fascinated by city life like no other race in the Multiverse. They can gaze for hours at the endless ebb and flow of traffic on a city street, watching the intricate patterns of life play themselves out on the cobblestones. Indeed, many Smoke Genasi become merchants or innkeepers precisely so they can more fully experience the life of the city. And the rare Smoke Genasi planewalker travels from city to city on the planes in an effort to compare, contrast, and explore the different urban settings of the Multiverse. Smoke Genasi always have a faint odor of smoke about them, and this odor can often indicate their mood. The pleasant odor of smoked cedar, for instance, may indicate that the Smoke Genasi is in a generous mood, while a sharp and acrimoniously smoky odor might indicate anger or jealousy. Additionally, Smoke Genasi will have one or more of the following: ?? Dark gray hair that moves of its own accord like smoke coming off a fire ?? Mottled gray skin which seems to change coloring and pattern from moment to moment ?? A choking, coughing tone to their speech Smoke Genasi receive a +1 bonus to Dexterity and Intelligence, and a -1 penalty to Strength and Constitution. They're immune to the effects of normal flame, but take normal damage from magical flames. However, they receive a +1 bonus to their saving throws vs. magical fire every 5 experience levels. They can also breathe smoke without penalty and suffer only half-damage from magical clouds (like Stinking Cloud). Note that this only applies to those magical clouds which require inhalation before the detrimental effects occur. Spells like Cloudkill work by contact, not inhalation, and thus Smoke Genasi aren't any more resistant to these spells than anybody else. Finally, Smoke Genasi can create a Wall of Smoke once per day. This is identical to the Wizard spell Wall of Fog, except that a barrier of smoke is created. Creatures within this barrier suffer no damage, but must spend the same number of rounds recovering (clearing their eyesight, regaining their breath, and so forth) that they spent inside the Wall of Smoke, unless they prepared for it (by holding their breath, perhaps, or breathing through a wet rag). Shadows of the Vapors can be fighters, mages, thieves, fighter/thieves, or mage/thieves. They can be of any alignment. Steam Genasi The Quasi-Elemental Plane of Steam is known by many names: The Great Fog, the Obscuring Mists, or simply The Hidden. The very image of the plane conjures up visions of secrecy and mystery and longlost Darks. As with most things in the Multiverse, there's probably something to all these names. That is, if the Steam Genasi are any indication. Steam Genasi call themselves Lanterns of the Mists, and most bashers on the Planes figure this to be a fairly apt description. Like their Magma, Dust, and Salt Genasi cousins, Steam Genasi are ardent, enthusiastic explorers of the Multiverse. But the Lanterns of the Mists specialize in (and excel at) the exploration of the obscure. For some Steam Genasi, this means investigating hidden Darks and unearthing lost (or forbidden) knowledge. This could be anything from uncovering the Dark of why Nemausus has gone missing from Arcadia, to discovering the pattern of a shifting portal in the Hive, to capturing the murderer of the late Colonel Halvart. But for most Steam Genasi -- the overwhelming majority, in fact -- this means taking the first portal out of Sigil and striking off for parts unknown. Steam Genasi have a burning curiosity about those areas of the Planes about which there is little (if any) information. Find a spot on the Planes that nobody knows anything about and you can bet that a Steam Genasi will find some way to get there and return alive to tell the tale. One Steam Genasi, a sod named Strom, is systematically mapping Agathion, the fourth layer of Pandemonium. Another Steam Genasi, Kaul Wildmarten, is exploring the nether reaches of Pelion, on Arborea. And an unknown Steam Genasi is wandering about on the Great Glass Sea, on the continent of Taladas, on the Prime world of Krynn. Given all this exploration of the unknown, it's no wonder why most bashers tend to be respectful of Steam Genasi. For one thing, a lot of the knowledge collected about the lesser-traveled regions comes directly as a consequence of the Lanterns of the Mists. And for another, anybody who wanders into unknown areas of the Planes and lives to tell about it is not someone a body would want to cross. After all, it's one thing to visit Jangling Hiter after consulting with sages and planewalkers to find out the preparations needed to come back from the visit with all your skin still attached. It's another thing entirely to just gad about the lesser-traveled portions of the layer of Minauros without any prior knowledge of who may be out there or what it might take to keep 'em from putting you in the dead-book. Most sods would call such exploring barmy, but experienced Steam Genasi can do it and return six weeks later to toss the chant about it over a cup of mead and a game of dice. Appearance-wise, Steam Genasi are the most human-looking of all the plane-touched. All Steam Genasi have one or more of the following traits: ?? Perpetually wet hair ?? The odor of fog about them ?? A perpetual coating of water droplets on their skin and in their hair ?? A faint haze surrounding them, extending about 1 foot from their skin Interestingly enough (and with only a very few exceptions), Steam Genasi avoid some of the more popular fashion trends evinced by many Planars (especially Sigillians). In particular, Steam Genasi do not pierce their bodies (female Steam Genasi may be occasionally seen with one piercing per earlobe, but even this is rare), nor do they affect the tattoos or body painting prevalent among other Planar races. The Dark of why the Steam Genasi, as a whole, seem to avoid these things remains a mystery. (Along these lines, the humble author of this description pointed out this mystery to a Steam Genasi of the author's acquaintance. The Steam Genasi in question is now assembling a team to investigate. A trip to the Quasi- Elemental Plane of Steam is anticipated, and interested cutters are invited to inquire at the Rotting Treant tavern, off of Bloodmarsh Way, in the Lower Ward.) Steam Genasi have earned a well-deserved reputation for being tough to kill, and this is doubtless due to their +1 bonus to Dexterity and Constitution. However, they do seem more susceptible to mindcontrolling spells (-1 penalty to Wisdom), and they're not particularly powerful (-1 to Strength). Lanterns of the Mists can breathe water as though it was air, but they suffer the same movement penalties underwater as if they were any other land-based race. They gain a +1 bonus to their saving throws vs. water- and necromantic-based magic every five levels. Finally, they can Obscure themselves once per day. This is a spell-like ability identical to the 2nd-level Wizard spell Obscurement, and Steam Genasi cast it as though they were 5th-level casters. Steam Genasi can be fighters, mages, Abjurers, Diviners, or bards. They can also be fighter/mages, fighter/Abjurers, or fighter/Diviners. They can be of any alignment. Vacuum Genasi "There are three types of sages: Those who do not mind admitting when they do not know the answer to a question, and those who do mind. Two types of sages." --Xansost the Slaad Ask a sage to describe the sort of being that would be native to the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Vacuum, and many (perhaps most) sages would mutter something about "creatures of pure thought" and then quickly change the subject. Bring up the existence of Vacuum Genasi and ask these same sages how a "creature of pure thought" could produce a half-breed, and most will have you forcibly removed from the premises. Despite the difficulties in explaining their existence, there's no denying that they do exist. Of course, as things in the Multiverse tend to go, lots of berks wish they didn't. Y'see, the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Vacuum isn't a popular plane. There's no air, no sound, damned few pockets of other Elemental matter, even fewer residents, and almost no visitors. Oh sure, it has the occasional bit of excitement -- after all, in an infinitely large plane, something's bound to happen from time-to-time to break up the monotony. But outside of the Positive and Negative Energy Planes, the Plane of Vacuum is the most difficult Inner Plane on which to survive (since Airy Element and Breathe Element spells don't work on vacuum, among other reasons), and so excitement happens here a bit less on average than on the other Inner Planes. As a consequence, the Offsp ring of the Void are probably the least sophisticated race in the planes. And that's putting it mildly. Think of the most clueless, wide-eyed Prime berk you can think of, and they'll look like Tarsheva Longreach herself next to the average Vacuum Genasi. But whereas Primes are clueless due to their arrogant assumption that their Crystal Sphere is the Center of the Multiverse, Vacuum Genasi are clueless because they have absolutely no experience with things most everyone else takes for granted. Like razorvine. Or tanar'ri. Or smog. And when you couple the natural curiosity about the Multiverse that exists in all Para- and Quasi- Genasi with the cluelessness that exists in all Vacuum Genasi, you'll find that they often act even more clueless than Prime berks. Since they come from a plane that has almost nothing in it, everything is new and exciting to an Offspring of the Void. So Vacuum Genasi spend a lot of time wandering the planes with an excited, awe-filled expression pasted on their faces, and this is true whether they're looking at Mount Olympus or a pile of Bebilith droppings. Most Vacuum Genasi get over it, eventually, if they live. But it usually takes longer for them to shed their "cluelessness" than it does for even the most backward Prime. And even experienced, powerful Vacuum Genasi still have a touch of the "wide-eyed tourist" about them. Growing up in a nearly empty plane is not something one loses easily, after all. Offspring of the Void all look very gaunt, sometimes to the point of seeming emaciated (although they're perfectly healthy). Additionally, they have one or more of the following traits: ?? an area of "dead air" extending about 1 ft. from their bodies, in which sounds seem muted, the air seems a little thin, and/or odors are non-existent ?? hair that's unaffected by even the strongest wind ?? skin that's dry and cool to the touch, and never perspires Because of their gaunt frame, Vacuum Genasi suffer a -1 penalty to Strength. But because they do not need to breathe, they've never had to suffer from air-borne illnesses. Consequently, their Constitution is exceptionally hardy and they gain a +1 Constitution bonus. Vacuum Genasi are completely immune to the effects of vacuum whether natural or induced by magic. Since they don't need to breathe, they're also immune to harmful vapors which do their damage by being inhaled. Additionally, they gain a +1 bonus to their saving throws vs. air-based magic every 5 levels. Finally, Vacuum Genasi can create Silence, 15' Radius with themselves in the center (like the 2ndlevel Priest spell) as though they were a 5th level caster. Vacuum Genasi can be fighters, mages, clerics, or thieves. They can also be multiclassed fighter/mages, fighter/thieves, or mage/thieves. They can be of any alignment.
Genasi should be as varied as any other kind of planetouched. An earth genasi might have the blood of some spirit of soft soil or ooze, or some kind of brittle crystalline elemental. Or they might have skin as tough and shiny as steel. An air genasi might have all the might of a hurricane, or be as delicate as a sprite. All attempts to generalize them will fall short.
Cribbing ideas from the Nephilim game:
Kranach (fire genasi) - flaming hair, claws like a bear, steaming skin. A crackling voice, harsh as a whip. The odor of burning. Ability adjustments: +2 Str, -2 Cha, -2 Wis. Favored class: fighter.
Ambalatee (fire genasi) - Red pupils, irises, "whites," joints, ears, lips, and gums. A growling, choleric voice, sounding close to the bellowing of tigers and lions. Black talons. The odor of sulphur. Ability adjustments: +2 Cha, + 2 Wis, -2 Str. Favored class: paladin.
Aeolus (air genasi) - Blue on blue eyes, cold hands, transluscent skin. Smells of ozone. A voice loud and low, rolling like thunder. Claustrophobic, messy. Hyperactive, noisy, absent-minded. Ability adjustments: +2 Dex, -2 Wis, -2 Cha. Favored class: rogue.
Zestumago (air genasi) - silvery, heel-length hair; long, thin fingers; cloud-white skin with silvery undertones; feathers instead of body hair. Smells of springtime and flowers. Attracts bees. Musical, melodious voice. Gentle, curious. Ability adjustments: +2 Int, -2 Con. Favored class: wizard.
Bogo (air genasi) - Black skin, simian features. Leathery, webbed arms. Colorful garments that shift and change. A gravelly, ever-changing voice. The smell and feel of morning dew. Ability adjustments: +2 Cha, +2 Int, -2 Wis, -2 Con. Favored class: bard.
Bahaflass (water genasi) - Jagged ears, thickly webbed hands. Blue, scaly skin; pointed teeth. Eyes like spiralling vortices. Smells of plants and swamp gas. Voice eery, low-pitched, toneless and harsh. Ability scores: -2 Int, -2 Cha, +2 Str. Favored class: barbarian.
Manala (water genasi) - thin, straight hair. Finely webbed hands and feet. Smooth, undulating skin with layer of fat. Smells of salt. Liquid voice accenting the 'L's. Ability scores: +2 Dex, -2 Str. Favored class: bard.
Ghruuul (earth genasi) - warm, pebbly hide; long arms; glowing orange eyes; small tusks; bald, with a bony crest. Ability scores: +2 Con, -2 Cha. Favored class: fighter.
Mantichora (earth genasi) - leonine mane; coal-black eyes; metallic teeth. Thick, three-fingered hands. Surrounded by cloud of dust. Deep bass voice with rolling 'R's. Ability scores: +2 Cha, +2 Wis, -2 Str. Favored class: cleric.
Gobblyn (earth genasi) - Transparent, slimy skin. Small, thin body. Spidery arms and legs, clawlike nails. Pointed ears. Smells of rot and filth. Shrieking voice like chalk across slate. Ability scores: -4 Cha, +2 Dex. Favored class: rogue.
Yvintuel (earth genasi): Greenish-gray skin, with grainy textures. Black oily hair; pointed ears. The smell of damp soil. Fast speech, deleting his vowels. Active, healthy. Withdrawn and brooding. Confident and calm. Ability scores: +2 Wis, +2 Con, -2 Int, -2 Str. Favored class: druid.
Let me reiterate that most of those ideas are stolen from Chaosium's Nephilim RPG (except Bogo, whose dad was a Spirit of the Air - originally I wanted to base him on a "Nephilim" harpy, but the result would have been another rogue, and there's no point in that). Anyway, the Planewalker's Handbook specifically mentions that some air genasi are spawned by Spirits of the Air, so that was a hole to fill. Genies tend to be pretty fleshy, by the way, so it seems like the genasi descended from them wouldn't look like or have the same abilities as "typical" genasi either.
The half-elementals created by Monte Cook for Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil and reprinted in the new Manual of the Planes seem to be an attempt to create the beings from which standard genasi are derived. Half-elementals are to genasi as half-celestials are to aasimar. They look the same, but they're a bit more powerful, with a wider variety of supernatural abilities. Each of the four types has a different favored class, too. Half-elementals would make another good base to make genasi with alternate talents from.
Genasi in the Planewalker's Handbook have charisma penalties (and reaction penalties piled on top of that) because they're supposed to be all alien, inscrutible, arrogant, and convinced of their own superiority over all non-elemental forms of life. Half-elementals don't have this problem, though, so that's a justification to drop it from genasi. At least sometimes.
Unless genasi are going to get the extra feat and skill points a human gets, they should probably have special abilities. The ones in the PW's Handbook are a good start. It shouldn't be hard to think of others - some interesting ones could come from obscure elemental spells. I'd like to - coming up with variant genasi is fun.
There's something to be said for giving them a higher ECL. Creatures with nicknames like Wind Dukes, Earth Princes, Wave Kings, and Flame Lords should be more potent than humans of the same level. Well, they don't have to be - it could be all bluster - but they probably are. And they're so damn cool that I would play a genasi even if I had to give up a level for it.