Star Log.EM: Ydreft (SFRPG)
This Star Log.EM-installment clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
The introduction for the ydreft establishes something hardcore: Hailing from a small planet called Yggdroth, the ydreft have a highly collectivist society; their planet is studded with fungi, and those visiting should better beware, for a nasty fungus dubbed Xhalzykan, or “mind-slaver”, and a vast myriad or other lifeforms exist on the home-world of the only vaguely humanoid fungus-folk.
Ydreft begin their life as spores expelled from ydreft spires, growing slowly after being attached to a spawning surface, starting as white mold. Development into an adult ydreft is rapid and takes but a decade. They possess a total of six sturdy stalks, two of which are used analogue to hands, while the remaining four (the pdf erroneously states 6) act as options for terrestrial locomotion. These can be furred, frond-like or have the guise of feather-like extensions. After a century of life in this mobile form, ydreft go dormant and expand to incredible size, becoming completely sessile, ginormous spires that are nigh immortal…and so the cycle continues…though it should be noted that ydreft mystics have managed to communicate with these spires, adding a unique twist to the whole ancestor-worship/communion-angle.
The society of the fungus folk is collectivist and utilitarian, their spirituality centered on the strange spires, and as the race has no dominant death concept, is bereft of the classic influence of deities. While we do not have “As an ydreft you…/others think about you…”-sections, we do cover their take on adventuring, nomenclature, etc. The race gets its own proper subtype graft.
Racial stat-wise, ydreft get +2 Con and Int, -2 Dex, 4 Hit Points, are Medium and have a speed of 20 ft. Ydreft have a fly speed of 30 ft. with average maneuverability, courtesy of hyphal wings. A nitpick: The racial feature should specify whether the fly speed is considered to be extraordinary or supernatural; I assume the former, but considering how strange they are, one could make a case for the latter as well. Being plant-like, ydreft count as both humanoids or plants, whichever is more detrimental, but they do get a +2 racial bonus to saves vs. mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep and stunning unless such an effect would also affect plants. Ydreft can root themselves as a swift action to root (or unroot) themselves; they can’t move when rooted, but get +2 to KAC versus bull rush and trip. The unique aspect here? The ydreft’s stalk-limbs may be rewoven! Ydreft have 2 “wings”, 2 “legs” and 2 “hands”, and they may reweave up to two limbs to serve a different purpose. This allows for the wielding of more items, increased speed or flight – and, obviously, taking limbs away will make them slower. An ydreft with only one leg-stalk, for example, has only a 10 foot base speed; an ydreft with no “legs” has but a 5 ft. speed.
The pdf contains two new feats: Enhanced wings upgrades fly speed to 50 ft. (good maneuverability) and takes the reweaving engine into account. Expanded Reweaving is AWESOME: You can grow climber limbs, fins and even natural weapons! Awesome! I love this race!
Editing and formatting are very good – apart from aforementioned minor nitpicks, I have nothing to complain about. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard, and the artwork by Jacob Blackmon really drives home how weird these fellows are. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
David N. Ross’ ydreft are frickin’ AWESOME. The fungus folk actually play differently and in an interesting manner; the reweaving engine allows for meaningful decisions AND drives home how odd these guys are. The flavor is great as well, and the expansion of the ydreft’s reweaving? Amazing. I should probably penalize these fellows for the fly speed snafu, but frankly, I don’t want to. This is the type of amazing racial design I wanted to see from SFRPG; this is not just another fungus-dude; these guys are unique and bring something fresh, creative, dare I say…ALIEN to the table! And that’s what SFRPG races, in the best of cases, should be capable of doing. Final verdict? 4.5 stars, rounded up, and this gets my seal of approval.
You can get these awesome fungi here on OBS!