I am giving myself permission to look away from the Dust to Dust rulebook writing long enough to post this. I've been thinking of creating some completely new races for whatever my next D&D campaign might be. I came up with one a few days ago, and another two last night. I haven't decided if the standard set of D&D races would be available alongside these options. Included below are rough drafts of stats for one of those races in D&D 3.5 and 4e terms.
Veytikka are a humanoid race typically despised by their neighbors, but living among them as vagrants. They are carrion-eaters by preference, and will consume the flesh of any being that is not a veytikka, as long as it has had a few days to decay. Once they do begin to eat, they leave almost no trace behind, aside from stains that have soaked into surfaces. To avoid drawing the ire of other races, they are much more circumspect about their eating habits while in cities. The main reason they are permitted to stay in the cities of other races is that they have the useful ability to perceive across the veil of death, and even communicate for short periods of time. Among their own kind, they speak a language they call Veyti; they also use this language when communicating with the dead.
Their skin tones range from a pure white to slate gray. Their faces are distinctly inhuman, with slightly elongated snouts, pointed ears, and black tongues. Eye colors include brown, green, and red. Veytikka have long, retractable claws, but just as often use weapons they have found or made. They are highly resistant to all forms of disease - necessary, given their diet. When their hands are empty and they are not significantly encumbered, they can move on all fours for increased speed.
In their interactions with others, veytikka are friendly, but possess an intensity that others find unsettling. They avoid showing their anger openly, but hold it tightly inside. Revenge, like dinner, is a dish best served only when it has fully ripened. Many are surprised to discover that a veytikka's home is almost indistinguishable from the home of a human of the same level of wealth, though most veytikka live in some measure of poverty.
Ability Scores: +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom
Medium: As Medium creatures, veytikka have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Veytikka base land speed is 30 feet. When their hands are empty and they are at Light encumbrance, veytikka can increase this speed to 40 feet by moving on all fours.
Claws: A veytikka's claws deal a base of 1d6 damage, and are able to strike incorporeal creatures.
Keen Smell: A veytikka receives a +4 competence bonus to Spot checks for anything that she could reasonably smell.
Resistance to Disease: +4 racial bonus to Fortitude saves against disease.
Sight Across the Veil: Veytikka can cast deathwatch as a spell-like ability at will.
Voice Across the Veil:Veytikka of character level 5 or higher can cast speak with dead as a spell-like ability three times per day. Additionally, veytikka are skilled at communicating with ghosts and similar spirits of the dead, gaining a +4 competence bonus to Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate checks when interacting with them.
Lore of the Dead: Veytikka can use the Gather Information skill in graveyards or old battlefields to speak with the dead there. This typically costs twice as much money as using the Gather Information skill in its normal setting, as the veytikka persuades the spirits with small gifts of silver coins.
A veytikka's natural weapons, or magical weapons, have a 20% miss chance against incorporeal creatures, rather than the normal 50% chance.
Automatic Languages: Common and Veyti. Bonus Languages: TBD
Favored Classes: Warlock or Sorcerer
Average Height: 5'7"-6'5"
Average Weight: 150-210 lb.
Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma
Speed: 6 squares
Languages: Common, Veyti, choice of one other
Skill Bonuses: +2 Endurance, +2 Perception
Necrotic Resistance: You have resist necrotic 3 + one-half your level.
Knowledge of the Veil: You gain a +1 racial bonus to all attacks, ability checks, and skill checks against creatures of the undead type.
Voice Across the Veil: You gain Voice Across the Veil as an encounter power.
Voice Across the Veil - Veytikka Racial Power You communicate with spirits, finding guidance from the voices of the dead. Encounter Minor Action - Personal Effect: During this turn, you gain one of the following benefits: +2 bonus to your next attack roll, a bonus to your next damage roll equal to your Charisma modifier, or a bonus to your next skill check equal to your Charisma modifier.
Next up: the beruch, a red-skinned people with quartz-like, calcified growths.