Saturday, June 23, 2018

Néandr and Idaltu

The four core races of D&D aren't human, elf, dwarf, and halfing. They're all human: H. sapiens, H. sapiens idaltu, H. neanderthalensis and H. floresiensis. Elves and dwarves belong with the Folk, ineffable and inherently magical. The demihuman classes never really had a lot to set them apart, so why set them apart all that much?

I did a post a while ago on the florens, and you're all pretty well acquainted with the manun, so here are the other two peoples among Mother's children.Everything listed applies on top of whatever old school class you are using, and presumes LotFP.

Tom Bjorklund


Stocky and hirsute, the néandr were first born into the Snows and thrived in those cold days. In these warmer ages they have retreated to the mountains and tundra where it is more comfortable for them, but they can still be found in healthy numbers throughout the lands of their cousins. The shape of their mouths and throats can make it difficult to speak many other human languages, and so they will typically stick to their own or speak simply.

Clan Membership: A néandr who has not been exiled from their clan might always find sanctuary and support from their kinsmen and their allies. Conversely, their clan’s enemies are also their enemies, and an individual might be called on by their elders to perform a task for the clan.

Old Man's Song: Néandr with a WIS of 13 or an INT of 15 know the sacred language used in oral histories. It is possible to hear it up to 5 miles away (given clear air and strong lungs), so long as the listener understands it. 

Clans of the Néandr

Roll twice for allies and twice for enemies. Repeated rolls indicate factions within a clan.
  1. Roving Tusk – Heavy fur collars and ivory mead-horns. Headbutt hellos and iced mead.
  2. Fire-Belly – Bright red tattoos on bared stomachs. Fire-eaters, fire-breathers, spice merchants.
  3. Stone-Head – Born under the ceaseless stony vigilance of Azad, god of the Old Men.
  4. Blacktooth – Betel-leaf chewers and tale-spinners. Never entirely trustworthy, by purpose.
  5. Redwood – Spirit-keepers of the misty rain-forests. Adherents of balance in all things.
  6. Hearth-Keeper – Keep the fires going, the stewpots full, and the communal halls warm.
  7. Chalk and Tar – Paint their skin white and black before entering battle. Badlands nomads.
  8. Mound-Builder – Descendants of those who built the ancient funerary grounds.
  9. Stone-Raiser – Astronomers and architects, who build the star-hearth ritual sites.
  10. Seeking Wolf – Tamers of wolves and lovers of DOG. Paired with a pup at birth.
  11. Iron Mountain –Purplish-grey skin; disciples of cold, snow, steel, stone, and blood.
  12. Cloud People –White-haired; commune with the gods who live high in the cloud palaces.
  13. Bone-Eater – Huge-framed cannibals and scavengers of meat; fair and honorable warriors.
  14. Pearl Moon –Oracles and dream-readers, finding omens in the reflections of the great lakes.
  15. Wide River – More comfortable  in the water than out; taller, sleeker, less hairy than most.
  16. Corn-House – Adobe huts on the cliffside, corn-husk dolls, masters of making do with little.
  17. Marsh Fisher – Stilts, spears, and reed hats. Secret meanings and swampland slang.
  18. Blue-Tongue – Long distance runner-messengers. They cannot ever divulge a secret.
  19. Woven-Beard – Pride is their downfall; they have become too good at war for their own sakes.
  20. God-Drum – History-keeping priesthood that may call the clans together in times of need.
Tom Bjorklund


They were the first among Mother's children to master the arcane arts and settle themselves in cities. There are few of them left today; their ancient golden age was achieved through magical means, and those means came with the condition that their age would fade away in due time. They have come to terms with this, though it took a long while.

Magic Tongue: Arcane language is a core part of Idaltu education, and so they have deep knowledge of all manner of magical shorthands (see: Read Magic). This skill is extended to decrypting codes and ciphers in languages that they know normally with an hour of focus and quiet.

The Star of Your Birth

Idaltu magical practices came about as part of their studies of astronomy, and so the two fields have always been taught intertwined with each other. The traditional zodiac signs are linked with an associated spell, as well as the more folkloric broad personality traits. Planets are more associated with the broad social stratum of Idaltu civilization.

  1. Red Watcher in the East  – Careful, distant, collected, cold, consistent (Summoning)
  2. The Summer Eagle  – Lively, outgoing, (Feather Fall)
  3. The Dancer – Wild, untamed, joyous, free, unrestrained (Charm Person)
  4. The Fox – Clever, coy, quick-witted, little sense of consequence (Faerie Fire)
  5. Mouth of the Whale  – Vast, encompassing, overwhelming (Message)
  6. The Bull’s Horns  – Possessing of a mighty presence; stubborn, unstoppable (Knock)
  7. Weaving Girl  – Innocent, daydreamer, lax, contented (Sleep)
  8. The Belt  – Striving, seeking, improving, admonishing (Hold Portal)
  9. Little King in the North – Caring, calculating, maker of difficult choices (Unseen Servant)
  10. The Windmill  –  Heroic, foolhardy, noble, incompetent, friend (Shield)
  11. The Old Bear  – Solitary, enduring, of few connections and rare emotion (Enlarge)
  12. The Arrowhead  – Direct, cutting, no mind for norms or propriety (Magic Missile)

Planet in Ascension

  1. The Messenger – Athletes, clowns, merchants, explorers
  2. The Shining One – Courtesans, aesthetes, lovers
  3. The Marcher – Soldiers, workers, farmers, craftsmen, commoners
  4. God's Red-Eye – Priests, scholars, scientists, wizards
  5. Ring-Bearer – Rhetoricians and artisans
  6. Lunatic King –  Princes and philosophers
  7. The Depths – Those whose souls cannot be named
  8. The Small One – The forgotten and overlooked

1 comment:

  1. The pictures featured here are from Bjorklund's Facebook, which is updated more regularly than his site, but has the regrettable quality of being Facebook.

    Spells for the Idaltu are subject to change as you or I wish, I am not 100% happy with them. Skerples' Orthodox Spells would come in handy.