Despite the tumultuous history your race has with technology, you carry on with inventing new devices, consequences be damned! Magic is of course the means to your scientific pursuits, but the attainment of knowledge about and mastery of the natural world is your ultimate goal. Let other mages use gems to control magic—your expertise lay in utilizing mechanical devices to similar ends with the hopes that someday you’ll strike on a huge discovery, the kind that would ensure the prosperity of svirfneblin for ages to come.
Scientific Equipment. Starting at third level, your natural carrying capacity is considered to be halved (Your Strength score multiplied by 7. 5, rounded down) at all times as you are burdened with the evenly distributed weight of numerous hoses, levers, clamps, beakers, nozzles, cinches, wicks, flasks, gears, sprockets, widgets, and all other sorts of small mechanical devices. You are considered to be proficient with these gizmos and knickknacks, but suffer disadvantage when trying to use them to improvise a function (like a pump or similar devices). Your scientific equipment grants you your science dice. If you ever lose your scientific equipment, you cannot use any ability that uses science dice until you regain your scientific equipment. You can replenish it in one day of shopping, costing 5 gp x your HD.
Svirf Science. You learn three tricks of svirf science of your choice, which are detailed under “Svirf Science” below. Many types of svirf science enhance another action in some way. You can use only one svirf science trick per attack. You learn two additional svirf science tricks of your choice at 7th, 10th and 15th level. Each time you learn a new svirf science, you can also replace one svirf science you know with a different one. You are proficient with all types of svirf science you know.
Science Dice. You have four science dice, which are d8. A science die is expended when you use it. You regain all your expended science dice when you finish a short or long rest. You gain another science die at 7th level and 15th level.
Saving Throws. Some of your svirf science tricks require your target to make a saving throw to resist the svirf science’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows: Svirf Science DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity or Intelligence modifier (your choice)
At 3rd level, you gain proficiency with 2 types of tools of your choice.
At 9th level, your explorations have yielded a sufficient amount of odd samples, from strange rhizomes to troll’s brains to allow you to create a unique, tailor-made diet of potions, draughts and pills that enhances your health and endurance. You may add your Intelligence modifier in place of your Constitution modifier to your hit point total at each level, as well as when expending Hit Dice to recover hit points. This effect is retroactive to 1st level.
At 13th level, you have ingested your fair share of strange substances and concoctions and have begun developing a latent mutation in your own body. You can use your action and expend one or more science die or dice to cause this mutation to trigger a combination of effects that combine alter self, false life and your choice of either enhance ability’s bear’s endurance, bull’s strength or cat’s grace, with the crucial difference that the mutation lasts for 1 hour and does not require concentration to maintain. Since the mutation is not a magical effect, it cannot be dispelled. The effects are at their minimum spell level, but for each science die beyond the first you use to activate this ability, you treat all of the effects as though you had cast them using one spell slot higher than their minimum. While you are subject to the mutation, you suffer disadvantage on all ability checks using two of your mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma) of your choice. You can only be affected by one mutation at any given time.
At 17th level, your mutation capability is greatly enhanced. You choose two of the following enhance ability effects on each activation: bear’s endurance, bull’s strength or cat’s grace. Additionally, you add regeneration to the effects of your mutation and you only suffer disadvantage on all ability checks using one of your mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma) of your choice. Additionally, when you roll initiative and have no science dice remaining, you regain 1 science die.
The svirf science types are presented in alphabetical order.
Aggressive Pheromones. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one or more of your science die to trigger a small contraption containing a blending of rage inducing spores and irritants. You add the science die to the attack’s damage roll. This additional damage is acid damage. The target must also make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the target is so utterly aggravated by your assault, it has disadvantage on all attack rolls against targets other than you until the end of your next turn.
Brain-in-a-Jar. You are rather eccentric, to say the least, having prepared for the ultimate eventuality. While you do look normal, you’ve had massive surgery done on your scarred head. As a reaction to dying due to hit point damage, you may expend any number of science dice. Roll the dice and multiply them with one another. If the total of the result of the multiplication exceeds the number of excess damage you have taken from the attack that has killed you, your head pops open as your brain-in-a-jar is propelled from your body, landing at a point you designate within 100 feet. The container with your brain has a damage threshold of 5 and 10 hit points and is studded with sensors that allow you to still see and hear, but has a speed of 0. The container can fire a limited array of magic missiles, one use of the spell per science die expended when firing your brain from your body. The effective spell slot used is also equal to the number of science dice expended— if you expend 3 science dice, for example, the magic missile would behave as if cast as a third level spell. As long as your body has not been utterly destroyed (such as via immersion in lava or disintegrate), a Wisdom (Medicine) check against DC 20 allows an ally to stitch your body back together again and reinsert your brain-in-a-jar. On a failure, your body requires raise dead to become inhabitable again, but only requires half the cost in material components (a diamond worth 250 gp). However, unlike regular uses of raise dead, for as long as your brain-in-a-jar is not destroyed, you do not take the penalties associated with returning from the dead.
Cognatogen Mutation. You have ingested your fair share of strange substances and concoctions and have begun developing a psychotropic variant of your mutations. You can use your action and expend one or more science die to trigger this mutation to trigger a combination of effects that combine alter self, false life and your choice of either enhance ability’s eagle’s splendor, fox’s cunning or owl’s wisdom, with the crucial difference that the cognatogen mutation lasts for 1 hour and does not require concentration to maintain. Since the cognatogen mutation is not a magical effect, it cannot be dispelled. The effects are at their minimum spell level, but for each science die beyond the first you use to activate this ability, you treat all of the effects as though you had cast them using one spell slot higher than their minimum. While you are subject to the mutation, you suffer disadvantage on all ability checks using one of your physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution) of your choice. You can only be affected by one mutation at any given time. You must be 15th level to take this svirf science.
Combat HUD. When you take the Attack or Move action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks and use a bonus action to flap down your stylish combat HUD to predict the actions of a creature you can clearly see, while also directing your allies to strike. When you do so, choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you and expend one science die. That creature can immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack against an enemy you can see, adding the science die to the attack’s damage roll.
Counterspell Vacuum. Whenever you witness a spell being cast that has you as its direct target, as one of the targets or that includes you among the creatures in the spell’s area of effect, you may use your reaction to draw forth the equivalent of a powerful, unreliable magic vacuum cleaner that looks disturbingly like a metal proboscis. You expend any number of science dice. Roll each of the dice. If one of the rolls exceeds the spell level of the spell that prompted your reaction, you instead suck it into your counterspell vacuum, negating its effects entirely. For example, if you expend two science dice to try to counter a level 6 spell and roll a 4 and a 6, you cannot absorb the spell. If your science dice fail to exceed the sell’s level, its effects are resolved normally.
Dampening Field. You have installed a field of unreliable force on your person. When another creature damages you with a melee or ranged attack, you can use your reaction and expend one roll of your science dice to reduce the damage you take by the number you roll on your science die + either your Dexterity or Intelligence modifier (your choice).
Discoball of Doom. You have developed a scintillating, mirrored ball of glass and light that you can throw by foregoing an attack when you take the Attack or by foregoing a Move action on your turn. You expend one science die as you charge the discoball of doom and throw it at your target. The discoball of doom is treated as a dart that deals bludgeoning damage, but upon impact, it erupts in a glorious cascade of stroboscope effects and colorful light. The target and all creatures within 10 feet of it must make a Dexterity or Constitution (creature’s choice)saving throw or the next melee attack against them, provided it is executed within 1 round after throwing the discoball of doom, gains advantage. Discoballs of Doom generate light and thus trigger both light blindness and light sensitivity.
Energy Damper. You have developed a powerful dampening field you can use to mitigate some types of lethal energy. As a reaction to being targeted by an attack, spell or effect that deals acid, cold, fire, lightning or thunder damage, you may expend one science die to gain resistance against the triggering energy type for the purpose of resolving this attack.
Escape Hologram. You have mastered a weird little device that generates a flickering image of you in your space that distracts enemies, allowing you to concentrate fully on running away. You may expend one science die when taking the Disengage action to also gain the benefits of the Dash action.
Extending Attack. You have a stretching mechanism attached to your weapons. When you make a melee weapon attack on your turn, you may expend one superiority die to increase your reach for that attack by 15 feet. You suffer disadvantage on this attack, but you add your science die to the attack’s damage roll.
Kinetic Dampener. You have strapped a strange kind of dynamo to your feet, one that powers a small generator that can deflect attacks. When you move, you can expend one science die, rolling the die and adding the number rolled to your AC against attacks while you are moving.
Magnets. When you take the Attack or Move action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks or movement and use a bonus action to expend a science die to draw forth a comically huge magnet. Make either a melee or ranged attack against a creature up to 60 feet away, adding your science die to the attack’s attack roll. If you hit, the target takes no damage, but must make a Strength saving throw at disadvantage. On a failed save, it drops a metal object you choose that is then propelled at high velocity up to 100 feet towards your magnet, landing either in your hands or at your feet, your choice. Alternatively, you may target a creature wearing metal armor. If the target creature is Large or smaller, it must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, you can drag the target up to 15 feet towards you.
Slug-boots. You have mastered an almost frictionless formula for svirf slug slime. When you take a Move action, you may expend one science die to coat your boots in this slime. The slime increases your speed by 30 feet for 1 round and allows you to glide effortlessly over difficult terrain (excluding that resulting from moving through creature’s spaces). This svirf science allows you to even glide at full speed while prone and allows you to move over water and other non-damaging liquids… however, stopping tends to be an issue. At the end of your movement, you must succeed a Dexterity saving throw (DC 15) or continue moving for 1d6 x 5 feet and fall prone at the end of this additional movement. If you collide with anything during this additional movement, you take bludgeoning damage equal to 1/2 the additional feet you slid.
Sniper’s Assist. You have a powerful targeting device in a monocle-like structure that connects to your head. On your turn, you can use your action and one science die to aim your ranged weapon at a creature you can clearly see. On your next turn, you add either your Intelligence modifier or Dexterity modifier (your choice) to your next ranged attack roll against the target in addition to your usual bonuses and you add both the result of your science die and the modifier chosen to the damage roll of your attack if you hit.
Stimpack. You have developed a powerful combat stimulant that you can inject into yourself or allies adjacent to you. On your turn, you can use your action and expend any number of science dice to inject a stimpack into yourself or an ally. When you do so, that creature gains temporary hit points equal to the total sum of science dice rolled + your Intelligence modifier. The target also gains advantage on Strength checks and his carrying capacity doubles for the duration. The stimpack’s effects last for 1 hour per science die expended. After the duration has worn off, the recipient automatically incurs 1 level of exhaustion.
Underworld Races and Classes © 2017 AAW Games LLC; Designers: Thilo Graf and Mike Myler