As we conclude Advanced Arcana Week here at Necromancers of the Northwest, we unveil a brand-new race: the spellborn. There are half-dragons, and half-fiends, and even half-celestials, so why not half-spells? That’s right—spellborn are the children of humans and magic spells, and have a number of unique abilities, offset by some potent weaknesses. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to play as a part-spell, this is your chance!
A spellborn comes about when a human and a magical spell come together to create a child. Some spellborn are the offshoot of living spells (see Advanced Arcana V for more information on living spells), while others are the results of couplings with illusions which are a little too real, conjured outsiders, or clones and simulacrums. Very rarely, a spellborn might emerge from a more normal coupling happening in a magically charged area, such as a mage’s magnificent mansion, rope trick, or even a hallow spell, in which the magic of the spell… takes advantage of the situation. Whatever the case, spellborn are intrinsically tied to magic.
Physical Description: Spellborn look like overtly magical humans. They have all the same proportions of a normal human and inherit some of their human parent’s traits, including skin, eye, or hair color. However, spellborn also bear one or more highly distinctive marks that they aren’t human. These can include hair made of fire, eyes which always glow emerald green, skin made of quicksilver, rubbery arms and legs, and myriad of other things. Sometimes, these traits might reflect the spell the child was born from; for instance, a child resulting from a pairing of a human and a creature created with a shadow conjuration spell might be wispy and ethereal in appearance, while a child of a human and a simulacrum might have ice cold skin and gleaming rubies for eyes. Other times, the look is unrelated. In any case, spellborn typically live about twice as long as humans, but age at the same rate. Venerable spellborn of either gender tend to find themselves hard-pressed to keep long, snowy white beards from growing on their faces.
Society: Spellborn have no society of their own, being a race born of exceptional circumstances, but integrate well into human societies which are welcoming of magic. In societies where witches are burned and magic mistrusted, spellborn are often seen as cursed or wicked and are quickly ostracized. Many spellborn wander the world as adventurers, sometimes seeking to understand their heritage, a thing their parents are often either unaware of or very reluctant to explain, with some going so far as to actively deceive their children as to the circumstances of their birth. Other spellborn are simply looking for the same fame and fortune that many humans leave home to find. Spellborn are all gifted in the magical arts and are naturally attracted to mage colleges and academies when seeking a place to fit into the world. Since the attitudes of spellborn are so similar to the attitudes of ordinary humans, they find they adapt well to wildly changing circumstances.
Relations: Spellborn generally get along well with other races, provided the prejudices of those races do not interfere. Spellborn generally have trouble getting along with dwarves and other magically disinclined peoples. On the other hand, most other races view spellborn as a novelty, something of a curiosity to be gaped at or inquisitively probed for information they don’t have. Because of their exotic appearance as well as their mysterious and often misunderstood origins, many races find themselves romantically attracted to spellborn. In such cases, spellborn produce offspring as a human would, only breeding true with another spellborn.
Alignment and Religion: Like humans, spellborn adhere to a wide variety of alignments and religions, generally adopting local faiths and attitudes or rebelling specifically against them. Because spellborn parents are often ashamed or confused about how they came by such a child, they tend to be distant and have less of an overall influence on the spellborn’s attitudes than the parents of other races. The spellborn’s natural inclination towards magic and adventuring makes worship of gods of the arcane or of travel particularly appealing.
Adventurers: Gifted with magic and driven by curiosity, fear, or desire, spellborn are much more likely than other races to become adventurers. Even spellborn living in quiet communities often find that their uniqueness will drive them to stand out, and thus either achieve greatness of their own accord or have it hoisted upon them by the community. Spellborn adventurers are almost always spellcasters of some kind, with martially inclined spellborn tending toward classes like magus, ranger, war priest, or paladin over fighters and barbarians, while mentally focused spellborn choose full caster classes. Roguish spellborn are more likely to be bards than true rogues.
Names: Spellborn may have names common to the human community they grew up in, or may have exotic names reflecting their magical origin, which often include some part of invocation or magical word. Common examples for either males or females include Alzakam, Hokus-Horas, Metrios, Synthiam, Valisir, and Zok.
Standard Racial Traits
Ability Score Racial Traits: Spellborn characters gain a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature, as they take after their human parents.
Type: Spellborn are humanoid creatures with the spellborn and human subtypes.
Size: Spellborn are Medium creatures, and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Base Speed: Spellborn have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Spellborn begin play speaking Common. Spellborn with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Defensive Racial Traits
Magic Defense (Su): Spellborn are naturally resistant to magical attacks, and gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws made to resist spells and spell-like abilities.
Magical Racial Traits
Antimagic Weakness (Ex): Spellborn are vulnerable to attacks against spells. A dispel magic spell targeting a spellborn deals 1d6 points of damage per 2 caster levels to the spellborn, and spellborn suffer 2d6 points of damage per round they remain within an antimagic field.
Magical Nature (Su): Spellborn are inherently magical and receive a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks and on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. This bonus stacks with Spell Penetration and similar effects.
Spell-Like Abilities (Sp): All spellborn can cast detect magic as a spell-like ability at will. Further, each spellborn can select a single 0-level spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, and can cast that spell at will. The spellborn’s caster levelf or these spell-like abilities is equal to his Hit Dice, and any saving throw DCs are equal to 10 + the highest of the spellborn’s Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifiers.
Spell-Link (Su): A spellborn that can cast spells chooses a single spell of each level he knows. He never has to make concentration checks when casting that spell, and when he casts that spell, he treats his caster level as though it were 1 level higher than normal.