Dromites are a race of small insectoids, who make their homes in the Fissure Land, a desert which lies to the west of the Flatlands. Their society survived Kenazdakar better than most, and is a complex hierarchy of different castes. They are well known for their psionic aptitude.
Dromites are generally about 3 to 4 feet tall and fairly stocky, with tough chitinous plates covering much of their bodies. The colour of this chitin is determined by their caste; red for Fire, pale blue for Ice, white for Voice and green for Grinder. The rest of their skin is normally some shade of brown. Dromites have large, compound eyes and a pair of antennae. Their mandibles are inside their mouths, so not normally visible.
The Dromites have one great Hive City, Ikendar, but many of them live in smaller hives throughout the desert. Within the hives, caste dictates much of a Dromite’s duties and privileges. The Fire Caste are the warriors, charged with defending the hive. The Ice Caste are scholars and engineers, maintaining and developing systems for cooling and agriculture. The Voice Caste handle politics, trade and diplomacy, and the Grinder Caste manage most of the manual labour. Of course, status within the caste is more mutable, so a Fire Caste guardsman has the potential to rise through the ranks to become a general, and a Grinder Caste builder can aspire to being the chief architect of the hive.
Dromites have most contact with Ratfolk and Giants, and some contact with the nearby Orcs and Dwarves. They maintain fairly good relations with all three of these races, though especially with the Giants with whom they share an innate psionic ability. Unfortunately for the Dromites their lands lie close enough to the Elves that they occasionally suffer elven raiding parties, though these are thankfully rare.
Alignment and Religion
Dromites, like Ratfolk, tend towards neutrality due to the balance of law and chaos in their lives. Individually, Dromites are curious and inventive, but each of them also recognises their duty to society and most respect the social hierarchy. Dromites are not especially religious, though most accept the various spirits of the desert and take care to appease them.
A Dromite’s reason for adventuring normally depends on his caste. Fire Caste warriors may seek work as mercenaries, aiding their hive with the wealth they gather. Ice Caste dromites often see adventure as a research opportunity, which will let them bring new technology and knowledge back to their hive. Voice Caste merchants must travel far afield, as must diplomats, and some simply wish to learn more of the cultures they must negotiate with. The Grinder Caste are the least likely to travel afield, though overcrowding may lead them to seek work abroad to aid their hive, and some also travel to learn new skills.
Dromites have no gender, being asexual, so there are no separate male or female names. Also, in addition to their personal names, Dromites identify themselves with the names of their Caste and Hive.
Niks, Rask, Sask, Neksak, Leksa, Heneks, Seleks, Seksa, Aksa, Olak, Leik, Svek, Hakkor.
- +2 Charisma, +2 Dexterity, –2 Strength: Dromites are self-willed go-getters and naturally agile, but are weaker due to their small size.
- Insectoid Blood: Dromites are of the humanoid (insectoid) subtype.
- Small: Dromites are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
- Slow Speed: Dromites have a base speed of 20 feet.
- Chitin: Dromites receive a +1 natural armor bonus and one of the following kinds of energy resistance of their choice at creation: cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5, or sonic 5. This choice is permanent and stacks with any future energy resistance gained through other effects.
- Naturally Psionic: Dromites gain the Wild Talent feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. If a dromite takes levels in a psionic class, he instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
- Dromite Psionics: Dromites gain the following psi-like ability: 1/day—energy ray. A dromite always deals the kind of energy damage that its chitin has resistance to (for example, a dromite who has resistance to cold 5 deals cold damage with its energy ray). The manifester level for this effect is equal to 1/2 the dromite’s level (minimum 1st).
- Compound Eyes: Dromites receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
- Psionic Aptitude: When a dromite takes a level in a favored class, it can choose to gain an additional power point instead of a hit point or skill point.
- Languages: Dromites begin play speaking Common and Dromite. Dromites with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Giant, Orc.
Psion: Dromites have a natural aptitude for psionics. See the psionic aptitude racial ability.
Wilder: The dromite’s natural psionic ability can also be seen in Wilders. In the Fire and Grinder Castes, wilders are more common than psions. See the psionic aptitude racial ability.
Ranger: A sizeable number of Dromites live outside their hives, dedicating themselves to smelling out and destroying threats to their people, or to guiding caravans through the desert. Alternate Favoured Class Benefit: +1/3 dodge bonus to AC against the Dromite’s favoured enemies.
Academic: This is the most common occupation for a Dromite of the Ice Caste.
Aristocrat: The diplomats and administrators of the Voice Caste serve as a sort of aristocracy for the Dromites.
Labourer: Many Grinder Caste Dromites have this occupation.
Military: This is the primary occupation of the Fire Caste.
Rural: As well as builders and miners, the Grinder Caste provides farmers and fishermen.
- Scorcher: A Dromite Wilder with a focus on fire-based powers. He uses powers like Energy Adaptation to increase his resistance to fire, allowing him to use fiery attacks at close range without being harmed. Naturally, the Warrior surge makes sense with this concept, and allows the scorcher to survive better at such close ranges.
- Field Tester: An Ice Caste Fighter, who has left his secluded laboratory (Cloistered occupation) to try out some of his inventions against monsters.
- Carrot and Stick: A Voice Caste Psion specialises in manipulating and herding enemies into traps that his Grinder Caste Rogue companion quickly constructs.