Races of the Hollow Earth: Fomorians

Fomorians are humanoids who live in the permafrost of the north of the Hollow Earth. Once they lived on the surface, and were the enemies of the elves, whom they fought for control of Ireland. Their leader, Balor, was slain, and most of their people was destroyed by the conquering elves. In order to preserve their species, the Engineers took the Fomorians into the Hollow Earth, settling them beneath Iceland in a land called Tech Duinn in elvish.

Fomorians speak both elvish and their own tongue. They both hate and are irresistibly attracted to elves. Fomorians do not “breed true” – they mutate with each generation. The elven form is considered by most fomorians to be the most desirable and beautiful, and very rarely a fomorian will closely resemble an elf, but most fomorians are born with deformities and variations inexplicable to any conventional understanding of the principles of heredity. Human-sized parents can give birth to giant children, and giants can father children smaller than halflings. Fomorians and elves can interbreed, and the children of such unions tend to exhibit less deformities and more closely resemble the elven parent. The effect does not persist to the next generation, however. It is rare that fomorian/elven unions are formed by mutual consent, unfortunately, with most “beautiful” fomorian children born to elven parents dragged back to Tech Duinn in chains. The fate of such elves is generally grim and awful.

Fomorians
Fomorians! Art by Peter Saga

Age

Fomorians are extremely long-lived, although unlike elves, they are not immortal. If you are playing with the maximum age rules, a fomorian’s maximum age is 420 + 2d100.

Age (Description)Years
Child0-60
Youth61-110
Adult111-220
Middle Aged
221-319
Old320-419
Venerable420+

Mutations

In their most “pure” form, fomorians resemble elves, although their skin pigmentations vary dramatically and without any indication of heredity. lmost all fomorians develop mutations in the womb and/or in childhood which distort this elf-like form. Fomorians born from fomorian/elven unions tend to develop fewer mutations than those with two fomorian parents (even if one of those parents was half-elven themselves). Unfortunately fomorians idealize elven standards of beauty, and most fomorians therefore detest their own appearance.

Most fomorians will roll on one or both of the mutations tables several times. Some mutations can be rolled multiple times – where this is the case, it is marked in the tables. Other mutations can only be rolled once – if a fomorian rolls the same “once only” mutation twice, they should re-roll until they roll a different mutation. Based on the number of mutations a fomorian has, and their severity, one can classify them as a common fomorian or a beautiful fomorian. Such a distinction is artificial, of course, but nevertheless a useful abstraction to understand a fomorian’s place in fomorian society. A small proportion of fomorians mutate into giants. Irrespective of their birth, the enormous size and sheer physical power of these giants makes them high status individuals, especially in times of war. Even gigantism does not “breed true” in fomorians, however; two giant parents may have a child of ordinary size. Irrespective of the severity of mutations, fomorians possess an inate ability to identify other fomorians on sight, so a fomorian will never be so mutated that another fomorian does not recognize him or her as their kin.

Major Mutations Table

d20
Mutationd20Mutation
1Goat-head, with horns. Gain an additional horn attack for 1d6 damage.11Prehensile feet. Can use feet as hands.
2Halfling-sized. Generate height and weight as per procedures for halflings. Cannot use large weapons, medium weapons must be used two-handed. 3 in 6 Stealth skill.12Stretched to be unnaturally tall for their frame. Double the base modifier when determining the fomorian’s height. Note, this can combine with halfling-sized. Can be rolled multiple times.
3One leg. Base exploration speed becomes 60′, base combat speed 20′.13Fur. The fomorian’s whole body is covered in fur, usually of a colour which contrasts sharply to their skin colour.
4One arm. Cannot use weapons which require two hands.14Tusks. Gain an additional gore attack for 1d6 damage.
5One eye. No depth perception. -2 to missile attacks at short range, -4 at medium, -6 at long.15Hound’s snout and smell. +2 bonus to Search rolls for living (or recently deceased) targets. Increases to +3 against elves.
6Bloated. Double the base modifier when determining the fomorian’s weight. Can be rolled multiple times.16Hardened skin. The fomorian’s skin becomes even more leathery. +1 natural Armour. Can be rolled multiple times.
7Arms in wrong places. -2 to Dexterity ability score. Cannot throw. Can be rolled multiple times.17Over-muscled. The fomorian’s Strength is determined by rolling 1d6 and adding 12.
8Bestial. The fomorian possesses an animal-like appearance and temperament. -2 to Charisma, +1 to Strength, +1 to Dexterity. Can be rolled multiple times.18Hunchback. Reduce height by 1d6 inches (1d3 inches if already halfling-sized). Can be rolled multiple times.
9Poison bite. Gain an additional bite attack for 1d3 damage. Enemies taking damage from this attack must save against Poison to resist falling unconscious as if affected by the Sleep spell cast by the same level caster as the fomorian.19Oversized cranium. Hit die reduces from d8 to d6. Gain the ability to cast spells as an elf of the same level. Spells granted at random, one for each spell “slot”. Gains spells with each new slot. Each known spell is automatically prepared after 6 hours rest.
10Tail. 3 in 6 Climb skill.201d4 Minor Mutations. Can be rolled multiple times.

Minor Mutations Table

d6Mutation
1Unnaturally long tongue, which can extend up to 1d8 inches from the fomorian’s face. Can be rolled multiple times.
2Elven magic. The fomorian gains the ability to cast magic as per an elf of the same level, in exactly the same way as an elf can. If combined with oversized cranium, the fomorian can additionally prepare spells (either those automatically known through the oversized cranium mutation or from a spellbook) up to the normal daily limits in addition to the spells automatically prepared thanks to oversized cranium. The number of spells the fomorian can cast per day, however, is unaffected.
3Cat’s eyes. The fomorian gains infravision, the ability to see in the dark up to 60′. This is spoiled by the presence of light sources, which, if they exist in the fomorian’s field of view, restrict the fomorian to only being able to see what those light sources illuminate.
4Elven reflexes. The fomorian is only surprised on a 1 in 6, as are elves.
5Ultra fertile. If the fomorian falls pregnant or impregnates someone else, the resulting pregnancy will produce a litter of 1d8 fomorians. Can be rolled multiple times, each time giving an additional +1d8 offspring.
6Unnaturally long fingers, giving the fomorian +1 to the Tinker skill. Can be rolled multiple times.

Common Fomorians

Common fomorians are generally the product of unions between two fomorians. Sometimes a fomorian/elf union will produce a common fomorian, but all fomorian/fomorian unions produce common fomorians. They are not necessarily “low status” fomorians – most fomorian kings are common fomorians. Common fomorians have thick skin, which approaches leather. This affords some natural protection, but is irrespective thought of as unappealing by fomorians, who idealize the soft skin and flawless complexions of the elves. Common fomorians also tend to be slightly bigger and bulkier than the elven ideal. The default method for determining height and weight for common fomorians is given below, but may be modified by mutations rolled on the major mutations table:

  • Roll 2d6 for adult fomorians, 2d4 for young fomorians. Take this value as the modifier.
  • For adult female common fomorians, height = 4’6″ + modifier“, and weight = 85 + ( modifier x 5 ) lbs.
  • For adult male common fomorians, height = 5’0″ + modifier“, and weight = 120 + ( modifier x 5 ) lbs.
  • For young female common fomorians, height = 4’6″ + modifier”, and weight = 70 + ( modifier x 5) lbs.
  • For young male common fomorians, height = 4’8″ + modifier”, and weight = 85 + ( modifier x 5) lbs.

The basic game statistics for common formorians of first level are given below. These can easily be “scaled up” by increasing the number of hit dice (and thus increasing the attack bonus and saving throws).

Common Fomorians

Armour 13, HD 1d8, Speed 120′(40′), Attack Bonus +1, Claw attack for 1d4 damage or as per weapon, Save as Elf 1, Morale 8, 1d3 Major Mutations

Beautiful Fomorians

So-called beautiful fomorians are rare, and are exclusively the product of fomorian/elf unions. Beautiful fomorians are accorded a high-status in fomorian society irrespective of however low-ranking their parents were. They are highly sought after sexual partners, and often marry royalty and high-ranking nobility, even if their fomorian parent was a simple commoner. Beautiful fomorians have only minor mutations, and although their skin may be brightly coloured, it is no thicker or harder than the skin of any elf. Likewise, beautiful fomorians share the same basical physical dimensions of elves:

  • Roll 2d6 for adult fomorians, 2d4 for young fomorians. Take this value as the modifier.
  • For adult female beautiful fomorians, height = 4’5″ + modifier“, and weight = 80 + ( modifier x 3.5 ) lbs.
  • For adult male beautiful fomorians, height = 4’5″ + modifier“, and weight = 85 + ( modifier x 3.5 ) lbs.
  • For young female beautiful fomorians, height = 4’5″ + modifier”, and weight = 66 + ( modifier x 3.5) lbs.
  • For young male beautiful fomorians, height = 4’3″ + modifier”, and weight = 70 + ( modifier x 3.5) lbs.

The basic game statistics for beautiful formorians of first level are given below. These can easily be “scaled up” by increasing the number of hit dice (and thus increasing the attack bonus and saving throws).

Beautiful Fomorians

Armour 12, HD 1d6, Speed 120′(40′), Attack Bonus +1, Damage as per weapon, Save as Elf 1, Morale 8, 50% chance of 1d3 Minor Mutations

Giant Fomorians

During adolescence, approximately 1 in 100 common fomorians experience a rapid acceleration in growth, and grow into a 13′ tall giant by the time of adulthood. Beyond this vastly accelerated growth, giant fomorians also experience additional mutations compared to their smaller kin. Their sheer size guarantees their status in fomorian society despite their deformities – giants are the most deadly weapons in any fomorian army.

Giant Fomorians

Armour 16, HD 13d8, Speed 90′(30′), Attack Bonus +13, Smash attack for 4d8 damage, Save as Fighter 13, Morale 10, 1d6 Major Mutations (re-rolling any results of halfling-sized)

Fomorian Player Characters

It is possible to create a fomorian player character. All such player characters are assumed to be common or so-called beautiful fomorians, rather than giants.

Mutations

All fomorians have a random skin tone, irrespective of the skin tone of their parents, ranging from “natural” skin tones as seen in humans, through to bright colours, blackest black, and albino white.

Common fomorians start play with 1d3 Major Mutations.

Beautiful fomorians start play with 1d6 – 3 Minor Mutations (negative number = no mutations).

Experience Progression

Fomorians with the oversized cranium or elven magic mutations (or both) progress using the experience points progression of elves.

Beautiful fomorians without spell-casting ability progress using the experience points progression of specialists.

Common fomorians without spell-casting ability progress using the experience points progression of fighters.

Hit Points

Common fomorians gain +1d8 hit points per level up to level 9, after which they gain +2 hit points per level.

Beautiful fomorians gain +1d6 hit points per level up to level 9, after which they gain +2 hit points per level.

All fomorians have a minimum for 4 hit points (modified by Constitution) at level 1.

Saving Throws

Fomorians save as elves of the same level.

Other Special Abilities

Fomorians can use the press and defensive fighting options when fighting in melee.

Common fomorians have a base Armour of 13, as opposed to 12.

Beautiful fomorians have the regular base Armour of 12.


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