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Awakened Gargoyle

Most gargoyles are created by magic, in a means similar to the creation of a construct.

Physical Description

Awakened Gargoyles are nearly indistinguishable from their monstrous cousins. They are carved from stone, and have distinctive monstrous features. They have sharp clawed hands and feet, thin tails, bat- or dragon-like wings, and bestial or beak-like faces with horns or shocks of carved mane. Awakened Gargoyles are too heavy to fly properly, but are adept at gliding.

Society

Awakened Gargoyles are often solitary creatures, unless they form bonds with other humanoids, or manage to find a means to awaken other guardian gargoyles. They are obsessed with finding a means to procreate and identify themselves as sapient beings, like other species, but acutely aware of how unlike them they are. Most gargoyle wings will cluster around the eldest, or the gargoyle who awakened them. Awakened gargoyles are frequently territorial, a remnant of their specific-purpose origins.

Relations

Awakened gargoyles are often mistrustful of other races, assuming they seek to enslave, subvert, or harm them. This semi-xenophobic attitude often works against them, since members of other races often assume that Awakened Gargoyles are monsters, who should be attacked or destroyed. Occasionally, these differences can be overcome, particularly if the social grouping of gargoyles has a wise or experienced leader, in which case a clan of gargoyles can make a steadfast and incredibly powerful ally.

Bêtes: Awakened Gargoyles are very uncomfortable about the implications of the Bêtes. The idea that something could come to sentience, then revert to a more animalistic nature is highly disconcerting to creatures who just gained sapience themselves. Bêtes sense this, and are often skittish around Awakened Gargoyles, particularly young ones.

Crenelet: With their diminutive features and heightened intelligence, awakened gargoyles look upon crenelet with fondness, much the way a human might relate to a halfling. Crenelet see awakened gargoyles as dull siblings, who have a chance at potential, but are more often a target of pranks and ridicule.

Dwarves: With their master proclivity to work stone, Awakened Gargoyles often have great respect bordering on reverence for dwarves. More often than not, however, this feeling is met by a sense of revulsion, or outright hostility, if the dwarf believes the Awakened Gargoyle to be a monster.

Elves: As a long-lived race, elves respect some of the challenges Awakened Gargoyles must face with their nature. However, as they are creatures outside the natural order, elves are often highly distrustful of Awakened Gargoyles, viewing them more as non-dangerous runaway golems as opposed to actual living beings.

Feyborn: As creatures born of and obsessed by the natural order, Feyborn view Awakened Gargoyles as aberrations, and are immediately distrustful, with a sneering prejudice bordering on hostility. Awakened gargoyles, on the other hand, are amazed by the natural beauty and pervasive aura of life and rebirth most Feyborn carry about them.

Gnomes: Gnomes tend to be inclined to try and “help” or “fix” Awakened Gargoyles. This sentiment is often initially met with matched enthusiasm which gradually evolves into dread.

The Five Clans

There are five distinct bloodlines or “clans” of gargoyles, each of which have their own physical traits and features. Unlike Awakened Gargoyles, which are asexual, clan gargoyles have gender and sex, and have learned how to procreate, in a method quite dissimilar from most other biological species. Where most biological entities depend on eggs, gargoyles use a substance called lifestone, which is formed from the body of one parent, and carved by the other. As a result, over time, specific pockets of population have come to share traits, in a manner similar to the shared traits normally observed in biological reproduction.

Some gargoyles continue to awaken from constructs crafted by magic users, which does create a continuing population of monstrous gargoyles, as well as the generic gargoyles, outlined above.

Gargoyle societies are often ranked by age first, then number of children. A gargoyle cannot procreate again until the offspring they collaborated in dies or matures. This makes them a very slow-growing race, but given their natural semi-immortality, that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Nearly all members of the clans live amongst other members of the same or other clans in small societies called wings.

Wings are like large extended families, who contain members of many clans who gravitate around some sort of central leadership, and often stick to a general geographical location or physical structure.

Wings tend to ally themselves in larger hierarchies tied to a philosophical governance and higher leadership, known as a tribe. There are four tribes outlined in this text, but absolutely no reason there could not (or should not) be more.

Random Starting Ages

The race breakdown below reflects one of these gargoyles – they are asexual, cunning, and dangerous. A member of the gargoyle race is soulless (created via Craft Construct to create a guardian gargoyle) and gains sentience due to age, or through magical intervention by an extraplanar being or other magical effect. These gargoyles cannot procreate, and their awakening has removed much of their construct-based invulnerability, but remnants of those powers linger. The “age” of a gargoyle therefore relates to their time of awakening, as opposed to actual physical age.

Adulthood Intuitive1 Self-Taught2 Trained3
10 years +1d6 years
(43 – 58 years)
+2d4 years
(45 – 70 years)
+2d6 years
(47 – 82 years)

1 This category includes barbarians, oracles, rogues, and sorcerers.
2 This category includes bards, cavaliers, fighters, gunslingers, paladins, rangers, summoners, and witches.
3 This category includes alchemists, clerics, druids, inquisitors, magi, monks, and wizards.

Creating a Gargoyle PC

In order to create a gargoyle character, use the ‘Awakened Gargoyle‘ as a template, and the choose any clan. Each clan has optional racial abilities that are exchanged.

I Just Want To Play A Gargoyle!

Gargoyles are a complex race, with a base racial archetype, five custom clans (bloodlines), and four tribes (though more are rumored to exist in moldy tomes and bardic legends). When playing a deep gargoyle character, you are picking more than a simple stereotypical racial identity. A gargoyle’s heredity – their clan and tribe, greatly alters choices like alignment, community, and motivation. If you don’t want to delve too deeply into these details, use the Awakened Gargoyle race (the most “stereotypical” gargoyle). This leads to the simplest backstory for a gargoyle adventurer, who may or may not have any ties to kin or lair. If multiple PC’s are going to be playing gargoyles, GM’s should consider carefully the clan/rookery/ tribe details offered later in this text, and keep the details in mind when PC’s are working up character concepts. Players are encouraged to do so as well, to more fully embrace the depth of the racial elements of the character they are choosing to play. When creating a gargoyle character of a clan bloodline, start with the template for an Awakened Gargoyle, then alter per the blocks below. Gargoyles are an advanced race (each clan around 20 points) and should be considered +1 character level for parties below 6th level.

Half-Elves: To Awakened Gargoyles, half-elves represent something of a glimpse of what might be. The offspring of humans and a near-immortal race rarely reciprocate this reverence, and are usually indifferent to Awakened Gargoyles, once they have determined them not to be a threat.

Halflings: Much like Crenelet, halflings see prime targets for pranks and hijinks in most Awakened Gargoyles. However, they can also be protective of the dim-witted or downtrodden, and will usually be quick to see past a gargoyle’s beastly façade.

Half-Orcs: Awakened Gargoyles see half-orcs as staunch allies. Often mistaken for monsters, and dealing with hostility often, the kinship is often easily distinguished by both sides, leading to mutual respect and friendship.

Humans: Awakened Gargoyles are mystified by the curiosity and adventurous spirit of humanity. Humans, on the other hand, are wary of anything which is physically immortal, and are apt to share the elven view of Awakened Gargoyles as “runaway constructs”. Unlike the elves, however, humans are able to change their view much more easily, if the Awakened Gargoyle is capable of proving they are more than just a “smart golem”.

Lesene: Awakened Gargoyles view their wingless cousins with not-inconsiderable disdain, and more than a little fear. The decision to forsake the skies, as well as magical protection in exchange for some magical abilities seems like a poor choice to most awakened, and most Lesene, already aloof and sulky, are more than happy to let the misunderstanding be.

Trumeau: Awakened Gargoyles represent both the best and the worst to Trumeau, who mirror the sentiments precisely. Awakened Gargoyles see the “human-ness” about their cousins, but also the danger in bargaining with extra-planar powers so evident in their features. Trumeau see Awakened Gargoyles as creatures who can be taught the ways of clan and hierarchy, and be brought into a larger society, but who are prone to make mistakes and lack identity until they grow.

Voussoi: Awakened Gargoyles often make fast friends with the otherwise sullen Voussoi, in part because of their dullard nature, in part because next to a Voussoi, an Awakened Gargoyle looks genteel. Voussoi likewise enjoy the company of Awakened Gargoyles, who they feel superior to mentally, instead of just physically, as they do with most other gargoyles.

Alignment and Religion

Awakened Gargoyles are neutral. They have no motivations or governing factors beyond those that they make for themselves.

Between this mental outlook, and their innate resistance to divine magic, few find themselves under the sway of divine entities, though some will take on the role of protectors of churches or temples for faiths which support the balance of living things, or faiths with clergy willing to help them try and achieve a means of reproduction.

Adventurers

Awakened Gargoyles can be anything, though it is very difficult for them to become clerics, paladins, and inquisitors, due to their innate resistance to divine magic.

Male Names: Konjakos, Tachmarkarr, Jadmar, Rhaokjachim

Female Names: Chadastsya, Iskast, Sondirra, Thiemjasksda

Standard Racial Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: Physically Specialized: Awakened gargoyles get +2 to Strength, Dexterity and Constitution, -4 to Intelligence, and -2 to Wisdom and Charisma.
  • Type: Gargoyles are monstrous humanoids with the Earth subtype.
  • Size: Gargoyles are medium creatures.
  • Base Speed: Gargoyles move at a 20′ rate and are never slowed down by encumbrance or armor.
  • Languages: Gargoyles begin play speaking Common and their own language – a pidgin of Terran and Infernal. Gargoyles can take any other language their creator(s) might imbue them with, or that they learned in life, but they are always illiterate. Awakened Gargoyles with high Intelligence scores can spend a language slot to gain literacy in any language they can speak, or they can choose from the following as a bonus language: Draconic, Terran, Elven, Dwarven, Celestial and Infernal. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
  • Agelessness: Gargoyles are immortal insofar as they never die of old age, though they can be slain as any other creature by magic, disease, poison, or physical damage. Gargoyles do not lose physical statistic points as a result of aging. Instead, for every century they endure, they gain either an additional racial trait, or a +2 to Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma.
  • Climb: Gargoyles have a climb speed of 20 feet, and gain the +8 racial bonus on Climb checks that a climb speed normally grants.
  • Gliding Wings: Gargoyles take no damage from falling (as if subject to a constant non-magical feather fall spell). While in midair gargoyles can move up to 5 feet in any horizontal direction for every 1 foot they fall, at a speed of 60 feet per round. A gargoyle with gliding wings cannot gain height with these wings alone; it merely coasts in other directions as it falls. If subjected to a strong wind or any other effect that causes a creature with gliding wings to rise, it can take advantage of the updraft to increase the distance it can glide.

Offense Racial Traits

  • Claws: Gargoyles receive two claw attacks. These are primary natural attacks. The damage is based on the creature’s size.
    Size Damage
    Small 1d3
    Medium 1d4
    Large 1d6

Defense Racial Traits

  • Natural Armor: Gargoyles gain a +2 natural armor bonus to their armor class.
  • Spell Resistance: Gargoyles possess spell resistance equal to 5 plus their class levels. Against magic from divine sources, double the effectiveness of this resistance. Gargoyles cannot drop spell resistance against any clerical magic which is disrupted by spell resistance, even beneficial magic, though they can choose to do so for arcane spells. An Awakened Gargoyle must bypass its own spell resistance to use divine magic items, or cast divine spells.

Weakness Racial Traits

  • Stony Hide: Gargoyles stony skin makes them vulnerable to bludgeoning attacks. Gargoyles take +1 damage per die dealt of bludgeoning damage.
  • Slumbering Vulnerability: While in their Stony Slumber form, gargoyles take double damage from bludgeoning weapons. This weakness stacks with the Stony Hide vulnerability.
  • Soulless: Awakened Gargoyles are soulless, and not part of the divinely manipulated cycle of souls – they cannot be resurrected or reincarnated if slain.
  • Vast Metabolism: Gargoyle metabolisms work very quickly. Though omnivorous creatures capable of eating even minerals and stone, Gargoyles prefer meat to any other type of food – cooked or uncooked. Gargoyles must consume 1/10th their body weight in sustenance, daily, or they begin starving. Gargoyles only need to drink half as often as other creatures.

Other Racial Traits

  • Stony Slumber: An Awakened gargoyle holds itself so still that it appears to be a statue while it sleeps. A gargoyle that enters Stony Slumber can take 20 on Stealth checks to hide in plain sight as a stone statue while sleeping. A gargoyle must fall asleep naturally to use this ability – magical sleep or sleep-inducing toxins or diseases prevent the gargoyle from striking an effective enough pose to pass as a statue. Once asleep in this manner, the gargoyle will always sleep for eight hours, unless physically awakened or attacked.
  • Prehensile Tail: Awakened Gargoyles have a long, flexible tail that can be used to carry objects. They cannot wield weapons with their tails, but they can retrieve small, stowed objects carried on their persons as a swift action.

Favored Class Options

The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.

  • Alchemist: Awakened gargoyles occasionally dabble in the arts of alchemy. They frequently use alchemical bombs to overcome the dense flesh of other gargoyle rivals. They are most often of the Beastmorph, Crypt Breaker or Grenadier archetypes. Add +1/2 to the alchemist’s bomb damage.
  • Bard: While also rare, the mournful, mysterious song of an awakened gargoyle has chilled the bones of many passersby. Awakened gargoyles are often of the Arcane Duelist, Daredevil, Sandman, Soundstriker or Thundercaller archetypes. Add 1/4 to any Bardic Knowledge checks.
  • Fighter: Awakened gargoyles, much like all gargoyles, make exceptional fighters. They use their natural features to great success in combat. Awakened gargoyle fighters are most frequently of the Archer, Brawler, Mobile Fighter, Unarmed Fighter or Unbreakable archetypes. Add +1/4 to CMB for bull rush or overrun maneuvers.
  • Magus: As creatures of magic themselves, awakened gargoyles mix their combat prowess and magical abilities well, and make for uncommonly good magi. Awakened gargoyles are often of the Hexcrafter, Spellblade, Spire Defender and Tovenaar archetypes. Add +1/4 to the magus’s arcane pool.
  • Monk: At its heart, the monk is a disciplined and enlightened warrior. Some awakened gargoyle have mastered these abilities to devastating effect. Most awakened gargoyle monks are of the Martial Artist, Monk of the Empty Hand, Monk of the Sacred Mountain and Terra-Cotta Monk archetypes. Add +1/4 damage to unarmed attacks made with the gargoyle’s natural attacks.
  • Ranger: While most awakened gargoyles are born of urban areas, this makes them no less capable of learning the ways of the world. Often, they are pushed away from civilization, and must exist on the fringe, and the way of the Ranger suits them well. Those who do take up the mantle of the Ranger are often of the Falconer, Skirmisher or Urban Ranger archetypes. Add a +1/2 bonus on wild empathy checks to influence avian animals and magical beasts.
  • Rogue: As secretive creatures, the awakened gargoyle is predisposed towards the way of stealth. They are most often of the Burglar, Chameleon, Roof Runner, Scout and Thug archteypes. Add +1/2 bonus on Disable Device checks regarding stone traps and a +1/2 bonus to trap sense regarding stone traps.
  • Shadow Assassin: Unknown to most of the world is that there exist secretive rookeries of gargoyle assassins. These killers are dangerous in the extreme, able to exist nigh-undetectable in urban settings. Add +1/6 additional shadow styles.
  • Sorcerer: Awakened gargoyles are creatures made purely of stone, and given sentience. The residual magics within them often come forth as sorcerous bloodlines, usually the Arcane or Stone bloodlines. Awakened gargoyles are most often of the Seeker archetype. Select one bloodline power at 1st level that is normal/ly usable a number of times per day equal to 3 + the sorcerer’s Charisma modifier. The sorcerer adds +1/2 to the number of uses per day of that bloodline power.
  • Summoner: Awakened gargoyles who choose the path of the summoner are not unheard of. They can be very dangerous with flight-giving eidolons and packs of summoned avian creatures. They are most frequently of the Broodmaster and Synthesist archetypes. Add DR 1/2 magic to the summoner’s eidolon. Each additional time the summoner selects this benefit, the DR/magic increases by +1/2 (maximum DR 10/magic).
  • Witch: Some awakened gargoyles give in to strange elemental energies, or make pacts with extraplanar forces for the opportunity to glean new powers. Awakened gargoyles are frequently of the Dimensional Occultist archetype. Add +1 hp to the witch’s familiar.
  • Wizard: Despite their fateful origin and dislike of wizards, some awakened gargoyles do take up wizardry. Those that do find the path painful, but the rewards immeasurable. They frequently choose the arcane bomber or primalist archetypes. Add +1/2 to the number of uses per day of arcane school powers. This increase only applies to arcane school powers available at 1st level and normally usable a number of times per day equal to 3 + the wizard’s Intelligence modifier.

Sever, Awakened Gargoyle Barbarian

Sever was the longtime guardian of the Oracle Niantalus, whose visions brought all manner of adventurers and scoundrels seeking answers. When Niantalus felt age was beginning to wear too heavily upon him, he began a regimen of fasting and drinking the milk of the black lily. After nearly ten years of this, Niatalus went into a trance, ordering Sever to entomb him, and guard his resting place. A century later, Niantalus emerged a greater mummy, and Sever was ordered to continue guarding his master, as the undead oracle continued to delve the mysteries of the future. Centuries passed, and Sever gradually began to awaken from his construct state – as he did so, he began to experience boredom for the first time. To combat this, the awakened gargoyle would explore the barren mountaintop on which his master’s barrow lay.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Scions of Stone. Copyright, June 25, 2013, Total Party Kill Games. Author(s): Bernie McCormick and Brian Berg.