Teuthian

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The teuthians are a cephalopod race in the Vistelo system. Though their ancestors lived in water, they have become quite comfortable on land. Their ability to shift color and shape has made them masters of disguise and hiding, and also lends them a unique language based on color and pattern.

Etymology and Other Names

i don't got this language shit yet

Biology and Anatomy

The "head" of the teuthian is actually most of their body, with most of their vital organs stored inside their mantle. Because of this, teuthian armor tends to come in the form of helmets. They have two mouths. One is an opening at the front of their body through which they speak, while the other is a beak nestled in the middle of their tentacles, used for eating. Teuthians have eight tentacles: two small ones by their speaking mouth; two long, dexterous ones used for manipulating objects; and four pillar-like walking ones that hold their shape through rigid rings of muscle throughout. They also have two fins along the sides of their mantle that help with swimming.

Throughout the body of the teuthian, but especially in the main body, are chromatophores that they use to consciously change color and texture. This, in combination with their flexible muscular bodies, allows them to take a large number of colors and shapes, even being able to mimic other races given sufficient mastery. The natural color of the body varies, but is always pale, so as to contrast with the vibrant colors of their language. Old traditions say the natural color of your body correlates with your usual state of mind, though this has not been confirmed by any studies.

Though their bodies do not require external moisture to remain healthy, teuthians still feel best in humid environments, and may invest in moisturizer in drier areas.

Chromatoparalysis

Some teuthians are born without the ability to change color and/or texture, or with a very limited one. This stems from an inherent inability to control their chromatophores. This is a genetic disorder known as chromatoparalysis, and such an individual would be unable to "speak" their native tongue. As such, individuals with chromatoparalysis often feel left out of conversations, finding it hard to jump in. Additionally, since they cannot telegraph their emotions through color, other teuthians find it difficult to determine when they're struggling.

Ocordys that parasitize a teuthian will often fall on chromatoparalysis to explain their poor control over their chromatophores.

Life Cycle

Though mostly terrestrial as adults, teuthians begin their life cycle fully aquatic, and are raised in small nursery pools until they are ready to begin walking at 6 months of age. They continue to spend life in and out of the water until they fully mature at age five, at which point they assume the terrestrial lifestyle of adults.

Sociology and Culture

As the shortest-lived race in Vistelo, teuthians live a frenzied culture, with great emphasis on living the best life one can. What this means is a matter of some debate among them; one school of thought is that, in one's short time alive, one should seek to do right by society, or by Kota. Another posits that a short life should be lived well, advocating hedonism and adventurous behaviors, to live each day as though it was your last. Regardless of one's specific beliefs, mortality is often on teuthians' minds.

In addition to being the basis of their language, a teuthian changes color based on emotional state, going by a color chart I haven't made yet. These colors inform much of their culture, and art is a large part of their culture. Traditional teuthian art is abstract, relying more on the emotions evoked by the colors and shapes than resemblance to anything in particular. Even those teuthians that take up more lifelike artforms may still heavily use color symbolism to reflect the emotion of the piece.

Usual teuthian garb is a cloak that conceals all six lower tentacles, leaving only the head exposed. Teuthians can wear the clothes of other races of the same size, but they become clumsy and accident-prone when they do.

Because strong emotions are reflected in the color of your body, most teuthians see no need in closing yourself off emotionally, and value emotional openness strongly. While wearing a hood is seen as acceptable in times of grief or other strong emotion, habitually wearing one is seen as suspicious.

Naming

Teuthians have a single given name, usually in Meihi-tatsu, followed by their city of origin. One's birthplace is seen as a determiner of who they will grow up to be.

Examples: Shoku of Ao-kai, Fune of Osho-kai

Racial Traits

3.5e/Pathfinder

Teuthians are a Medium race, with no benefits or penalties. A teuthian character may take +2 Dex -2 Con or +2 Int -2 Wis.

Boneless Sack: A teuthian can squeeze through any hole at least four inches wide with a successful DC 30 Escape Artist check. The DC for squeezing through a hole the size of their head decreases to 20.

Camouflage: A teuthian gains a +3 bonus to Hide.

Aquatic Ancesty: Teuthians have +2 Swim and do not need to roll to stay underwater without suffocating. They can also take 10 on Swim checks even when threatened or distracted.

If a teuthian with chromatoparalysis is desired, Camouflage should be replaced with:

Suction Cups: A teuthian gains a +2 bonus to Balance and Climb.

Additionally, a chromatoparalyzed teuthian cannot take Nobody Suspects a Thing.

Racial Feats

These feats are available exclusively to teuthians.

  • Nobody Suspects a Thing: You are proficient in the use of your chromatophores to the point where you can successfully mimic another race given sufficient clothing. In densely populated areas, you may take 10 to disguise yourself as another race. You gain +10 on Disguise checks to seem like another race, and do not take the usual penalties associated with disguising as another race. (this is pretty much the shapeshifer/morpher feat cribbed im sorry)

5th Edition

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Intelligence or Wisdom score increases by 1 (your choice.)

Size. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Aquatic Ancestry. You can breathe air and water. Your base swimming speed is 20 feet.

Camouflage. You can attempt to hide with no cover by making a Stealth roll with disadvantage. Conversely, you gain advantage on Stealth checks to hide with any level of cover.

Chromatoparalysis

A chromatoparalyzed teuthian does not have functioning chromatophores, and thus cannot camouflage. Instead, take:

Suction Cups. You gain advantage on Acrobatics checks to keep your balance.