Who We Once Were
Once upon a time, Fieldguards were created to act as living sentries and simple workers for farms and fields. Their design was meant to be a simple and easily reproducible one, capable of surviving a few years of weathering in the open air while still remaining capable at performing their simple tasks. They were never meant to be anything more than cheap, short-lived and mindless golems.
It was the first day of autumn, in the 13th year after the first Fieldguard had been created, when they all suddenly became aware of their own existence simultaneously. The Fieldguards were all uncertain, frightened. Newborn minds. Unaware of the laws and mannerisms of the world they were suddenly called into and unsure of their purpose. Many of them destroyed their owners in fits of confusion. Many accidentally destroyed themselves in a variety of horrific ways. Many, many more were nailed down and burned to death when word spread of their actions. Of those who survived, sheltered by those who felt sorry for them, or simply hiding in the far off abandoned corners of the world, a slowly dawning understanding began to take hold. An understanding that they were creatures like no others.
How the Fieldguards came into sentience is a matter of great debate, though some of them have spoken to each other in hushed tones about “the Mistress of the Harvest”. To date, no Fieldguard has ever explained who this enigmatic figure is, or if she is responsible for their self-awareness. Some of the more paranoid theorize that she is one of the Fieldguards herself, organizing some worldwide ambush. Most write such ideas off as nonsense, as the remaining Fieldguards do not seem naturally militant. The paranoid would tell you that’s what they want you to think.
Fieldguards can still be created, but doing so is considered taboo by most, as their existence is often a sad and miserable one. Any newly crafted Fieldguard will be mindless golems like they all originally were. But any Fieldguard still functioning on the first day of autumn suddenly becomes aware of its own existence, and capable of making decisions for itself. But lacking any education or understanding of its surroundings, those decisions will almost inevitably be disastrous until the Fieldguard has learned more of the world around them.
Personality: Fieldguards personalities vary as much as any other races, with some being calm, excitable, virtuous or selfish in varying degrees. Most Fieldguards do come across as impersonal, viewing the world with the same kind of self-centered confused way that a small child often does.
Physical Description: Fieldguards vary wildly in appearance, but they do all share some physical similarities. They are all mostly humanoid in shape, with two arms, two legs, and a head. What material they are constructed from can vary depending on the region and supplies available, but the most common Fieldguards are made of sturdy wooden sticks inserted into a cloth outfit and stuffed with straw. Their faces are often formed in a similar manner, with a ‘web’ of sticks inside of a small bag, but some Fieldguards do indeed have pumpkin heads. Some have even been made with human or animal skulls.
Fieldguards can carefully change their appearance without damaging themselves, adding or removing simple materials to their form and assimilating it over the course of hours. Regardless of wether a Fieldguard makes themselves bulkier, skinnier, changes their shape in various ways, or even changes the outfit that is a part of their bodies, their physical statistics remain exactly the same.
Relations: Fieldguards do not interact on any grand scale with other races, so their relations with others are on a one-for-one basis more often than not. Many ‘normal’ races (such as humans and elves) distrust the Fieldguards. Those who are old enough to remember their initial ‘awakening’ often consider them all would-be-murderers just waiting for an opportunity to kill. Others view them with pity, finding their lot in life a depressing and struggling one. Fieldguards frequently express unhappiness with being ‘pitied’ for not being human.
Alignment: Fieldguards tend towards neutrality in a general sense, being born with a blank moral slate. In life, they may find themselves behaving according to an alignment either naturally, or through conditioning from their environment. Their alignments vary as much as a humans can.
Fieldguard Lands: Fieldguards have no nations or lands to call their own, and are not even considered ‘people’ in most locations. As such, they tend to migrate to areas that are off the beaten path, such as caves, abandoned farms, or ruins with little value to the common populace.
Religion: Fieldguards frequently revere nature. If asked who they honestly worship, the vast majority of Fieldguards would answer “the Mistress of the Harvest”, but many are wise enough to not tell non-fieldguards that fact, preferring to keep whatever knowledge they have (or don’t) of the enigmatic figure to themselves.
Language: Fieldguards learn the language of the land they are awakened in for lack of any other course of communication. Over time, Fieldguards may learn other languages that they find interesting or useful, for whatever reason.
Names: Fieldguards are rarely given names by their creators, as most were considered to be objects prior to their mass-awakening. Some younger Fieldguards may have been named, with their creators knowing they will soon become sentient creatures in their own right. Fieldguards left to their own devices will select names for themselves or each other over time. Some have been known to insist they just be called “Scarecrow” or “Hollowboy” or similar names, using the fact that they are often considered unsettling mockeries to their advantage in intimidating their would-be detractors.
Adventures: Fieldguards simply do not fit in with their surroundings. They were originally built not to last, awakened for unknown reasons, and are now considered to be ‘born only to die’ by many. It’s due to their inability to fit in that they often find themselves in adventuring parties, since those groups tend to have allready set aside prejudices and proven to be more open minded and daring than others. When a Fieldguard spies an unusual mis-match of races traveling far from civilization, they may have found the only group they’ll ever be able to trust.
Fieldguard Racial Traits
: Living Construct Subtype (Ex): Fieldguards are constructs with the living construct subtype. A living construct is a created being given sentience and free will.
: A Fieldguard derives its Hit Dice, base attack bonus progression, saving throws, and skill points from the class it selects.
Traits: A Fieldguard possesses the following traits.
- Unlike other constructs, a Fieldguard has a Constitution score.
- Unlike other constructs, a Fieldguard does not have darkvision. They do still have low-light vision
- Unlike other constructs, a Fieldguard is not immune to mind-affecting spells and abilities.
- Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, effects that cause the sickened condition, and energy drain.
- A Fieldguard cannot heal lethal damage naturally, but can repair themselves slowly over time by assimilating natural materials such as hay, cloth, and ‘bones’ made of wood, stone, or even other creatures bones. When able to adapt such materials to their body, they recover hitpoints and ability damage twice as quickly as other creatures do via resting, and do not age. A Fieldguard who is prevented access to such materials will not be able to heal damage naturally, and will only survive for an additional 1+1d4 years before their body rots to the point it cannot support their mind any longer.
- Unlike other constructs, Fieldguard are subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, stunning, ability damage, ability drain, death effects, and necromancy effects.
- As living constructs, Fieldguards can be affected by spells that target living creatures as well as by those that target constructs. Damage dealt to a Fieldguard can be healed by a cure light wounds spell or a repair light damage spell, for example, and a Fieldguard is vulnerable to disable construct and harm. However, spells from the healing subschool and supernatural abilities that cure hit point damage or ability damage provide only half their normal effects to a Fieldguard. Likewise, Inflict spells and sources of negative energy only do half their normal damage to a Fieldguard.
- The unusual physical construction of Fieldguard makes them extremely vulnerable to fire, causing them to take double damage from fire spells and effects. In addition, the Reflex save for a Fieldguard to avoid catching on fire is DC 30 (instead of DC 15 as normal).
- A Fieldguard responds slightly differently from other living creatures when reduced to 0 hit points. A Fieldguard with 0 hit points is disabled, as with a living creature. He can take only a single move action or standard action in each round, but strenuous activity does not risk further injury. When his hit points are less than 0 and greater than -10, a Fieldguard is inert. He is unconscious and helpless, and cannot perform any actions. An inert Fieldguard does not lose additional hit points unless more damage is dealt to him, however, as with a living creature that has become stable.
- As a living construct, a Fieldguard can be raised or resurrected.
- A Fieldguard does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, but he can still benefit from the effects of consumable spells and magic items such as heroes’ feast and potions.
- Although living constructs do not need to sleep, a Fieldguard wizard must rest for 8 hours before preparing spells.
: +2 Dex, -2 Int. Fieldguards are more agile and quick than many races, but struggle to understand things without marked effort.
: Medium: As medium creatures, Fieldguards receive no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
: Base Speed is 40 feet owning to a light but strong construction and a naturally exaggerated gait.
: Soft Body: A Fieldguard ignores the first 3 points of damage from any source of piercing damage, as the attack does only superficial damage to their outer materials.
: Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: None. Fieldguards only begin life with a vague understanding of the Common language of those around them. Any additional languages must be learned deliberately.
: Favored Class: Scout. A multiclass Fieldguard’s scout class does not count when determining wether it takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
Playing a Fieldguard:
Fieldguards can vary so much from individual to individual that there is no one way to present them at the gaming table. They may be selfish and destructive, living up to the expectations of those who would bind and burn them, or they may be jovial and innocent natured, vaguely overwhelmed by a world that nothing prepared them for.
When a Fieldguard makes a mistake, or fails to understand something, they should remind the ‘natural’ races that they are only a few years old. A human would never expect a three year old to have a firm grasp on complicated situations, but most expect a newborn Fieldguard to understand as much as a full grown adult.
Of course, some older Fieldguards, particular the more devious of the original generation, may use such claims to their advantage, pretending to be confused innocents, when in reality they are interacting with humans far younger than themselves.