|Date Created:||October 13th, 2007|
|Editing:||Please feel free to edit constructively!|
|“||Could you but see the eyes inside your own, the minds in your mind, you would see how much we share.||”|
|—The All-Knowing Vortigaunt|
Vortigaunts are hive-minded creatures that have recently freed themselves from complete oppression by the creature known as Nihilanth. Unused to strong levels of individualism, they enunciate individuals (such as humans), by adding 'the' to their name. In appearance, a Vortigaunt is somewhat humanoid with two legs and two arms, but has an additional arm protruding from its chest. This extra limb is a feature also found in the other bipedal, sapient species from Xen, including the Alien Grunt and Nihilanth. This similarity, along with other shared features such as red eyes and back-jointed legs, is strongly suggestive of a common ancestry with other intelligent Xen lifeforms. Apparently, this third arm is used for feeding, as both Vortigaunts and Alien Grunts are often seen bending over slain victims while feeding off of it. Vortigaunts have a mottled green-brown skin, sharp teeth, and clawed hands. Vortigaunts have a slightly hunched posture, and their faces are dominated by a large, single red eye, surrounded by five smaller eyes. They stand roughly 5 and a half feet tall and weigh around 150 pounds.
Vortigaunts are powerful warriors in combat, using their potent 'vortal energies' for offense before closing in to melee range. They are usually unarmored save for their own tough skins, as any sort of physical protection that interferes with their thoracic limb results in loss of their vortal charge attacks.
Vortessence Manipulation (Ex): The source of most of the Vortigaunt's ability, the Vortessence, the source of their life, stands at the heart of their disciplines. Manipulation of it is never done lightly, and yields some very impressive results. Most of these abilities require Concentration checks of varying difficulty. Vortessence manipulation has some very diverse effects.
All forms of vortessence manipulations uses the vortigaunt's innate stores of bio-energy.
- Vortal Charge:</span id> Their energy attacks are facilitated through Vortessence Manipulation. A vortigaunt's vortal charge deals 1d6 points of electricity damage for every HD he has. A vortal charge may be treated as a natural weapon.
- Powering Machines: Using a nonlethal variant of the vortal charge, the Vortigaunt can restore power to a powerless machine on a successful Concentration. DC varies with the intricacy of the machine in question. This extends to generators and in limited quality to suits with personal protective shielding like Black Mesa's HEV protective systems.
- Flux Shifting: The Vortessence allows communication through a combination of sounds and telepathy, which is called 'flux shifting' in English. This method of communication differs from any known Earth language in that it requires both (or all) speakers to vocalize at the same time. The process of communication by flux shifting involves building an encrypted harmonic audio stream through paired or cooperative vocalization. This composite sound is called the 'flux', which functions as a sort of carrier wave over which information may be transmitted between the participants. The decryption of information exchanged through flux depends on itself, thus requiring the vocal input of all participants. Vortigaunts can create a flux intuitively, and do not need to concentrate on it. Vortigaunts have two vocal organs in addition to their mouth; one that that aids in creating and sustaining the flux and one that articulates the information sent over the flux.
Higher Vortessence Manipulation (Ps): By completely immersing themselves within the Vortessence, the Vortigaunts are able of much greater feats. In this state, the color of their bodies turns into a highly luminescent blue. It is said that in this state, their telepathy no longer has limitations in the form of distance or even extradimensional barriers, and it allows them full access to the combined knowledge of the Vortigaunt race. This state of manipulation can only be unlocked if all Vortigaunts involved succeed in making simultaneous Concentation checks of DC 30. Certain imbibed substances that contain enormous amounts of energy, like the bio-extract that feeds unhatched Antlion larvae, facilitate easier access to this higher manipulation (resulting in a -5 to the required DC). In this state, every member of the ritual gains +4 to Intelligence and Wisdom, but loses their Dexterity mod and their deflection bonus to AC and can only take single move actions while they pursue the activity that requires them to use this power. Due to the steep demands of this technique in the shape of skill checks, it requires Vortigaunts of quite high level to perform this.
- Resuscitation and Greater Healing (Su): Through the higher manipulation, the Vortigaunts are able to channel all their healing ability, able to resurrect a being on the brink of death (when the heart has stopped, or even minutes after clinical death, provided the body's structure is largely intact). This restores a subject that has been 'dead' no longer than 10 minutes to life while healing up to 10 points of damage for every HD of the lowest HD Vortigaunt involved in the endeavour.
- Time Stop (Ps): The higher manipulation allows the Vortigaunts involved brief respite from time's surceeding events. This functions as a time stop spell lasting 4 rounds.
Vortigaunt Traits: All vortigaunts possess the following racial traits.
Yet to be edited.
- +2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom.
- Medium size.
- Base land speed is 30 ft.
- Armor Class: The Vortigaunt's skin is tough, as is the sinew that moves beneath it. They have a natural armor bonus of +3. They also have a deflection bonus equal to their Wisdom modifier to Armor Class on account of their unique brand of energy manipulation.
- traits: darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision. NOTE: Xenotheric outsiders cannot be 'banished' or 'dismissed'.
- traits. These are explained upon under Vortessence Manipulation. This broad ability allows them to do many things, including channeling energies for attacking, defending and healing and facilitating their hive-mind existence.
- Attacks: 2 Claws melee (base damage 1d4) or vortal charge ranged (1d10)
- Unaccommodating Physique: Vortigaunts seem unable to wear any boots or gloves, but in some cases can wear forms of clothing that provide some degree of cover for the torso. In most cases, their thoracic arm disallows them wearing any sort of protective gear. Such gear, or indeed any item of clothing over the torso would impair their ability to attack. Due to having no opposable thumbs, they are vastly unable to operate any sort of ranged manufectured weapons, including guns, (cross)bows. They also always treat thrown weapons as improvised due to their lack of proper finger placement, always suffering a -4 penalty to also these attacks. They may however use melee weapons normally, given they are proficient with them.
- resistance to electricity 10.
- power resistance 10 + HD.
- +2 to Will saves to counter mind-affecting effects.
- Vortigaunts adopt Concentration and Heal as class skills, regardless of the class he takes.
- +4 racial bonus to Listen, Search and Spot checks.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Vortal Flux-Shifting.
- Favored Class: Unresolved.
- Level Adjustment: +3.