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The Combined

The combined, as they call themselves, are humanoids who use magic to graft and grow animal limbs and organs from reptiles, amphibians, and fish onto their bodies.

This body modification occurs through a magical ritual that lasts several days and includes a series of purifying ceremonies.

The priests and priestesses who perform this ritual are themselves combined. Their order, the Order of Combination, believes that the animals others see as lower – the fish, reptiles, and amphibians – are actually closest to the gods. They take it as their holy mission to help others draw closer to the gods by adopting the forms of these beasts. And because they wish to see all humanoids draw closer to the gods, they offer the ritual of transformation to any who desire it, whether or not they share the Order’s views. Even so, the priests recognize that the ritual is extreme, and respect any who choose not to undergo the transformation, viewing the decision as a deeply personal choice.

These priests of self-experimentation operate out of several remote monasteries, where they study and perfect the magics necessary to perform the combination rituals.

Ancestral Traits

The combined are people of another humanoid ancestry who only choose to become combined as adults. They hail from any other humanoid ancestry, though humans tend to make up their majority. Through the ritual of combination, a body part of one of the holy beasts is magically grafted onto the humanoid’s body, merging the two. Once complete, the added body part is a true part of the humanoid; effects like the dispel magic spell or an anti-magic field have no effect on the animal graft of a combined. Choose an ancestry that represents your ancestry from before you underwent your combination ritual. Then select one trait from that ancestry other than Age, Size, Speed, or Darkvision, and replace it with one from the Ritual of Combination list below. You may choose this ancestry at character creation or, if the GM allows, whenever you have a chance to visit one of the remote monasteries during play. At your GM’s discretion, you may return to the monastery at fifth level or higher and undergo the ritual again, adding a second trait for free from the list below.

The Ritual of Combination. Those who visit the combined monasteries are given the opportunity to undergo the ritual of combination. This multi-day, celebratory affair ends in a magical ritual in which animal parts are grafted onto you. Choose one of the following traits: Bat Wings. Leathery skin connecting the underside of your arms with the sides of your torso allows you to glide for short distances. As long as you aren’t incapacitated, you can reduce falling damage to zero from a fall up to 100 feet in distance. What’s more, when you fall, you can move two feet in a horizontal direction for every foot you fall.

Gecko Fingers. You have sticky, coarse pads on your hands and feet that allow you to climb vertical surfaces. You have a climbing speed equal to your speed.

Shark Gills. You have gills along your ribs that allow you to breathe underwater, as well as webbed fingers and toes. You can breathe in air and water and have a swim speed equal to your speed.

Squid Tentacles. You graft two cephalopodan tentacles onto your torso, allowing you to grab onto objects and foes. When you use your action to attempt to grapple a foe, you do so with advantage. As a bonus action, you can use your tentacles to take the Use an Item action.

Crab Shell. Your skin hardens to resemble the shell of a crustacean. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC is 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use this score to determine your AC if worn armor would leave you with a lower score.

Spitting Viper Venom. You grow venom sacks in your throat and are able to spit venom. When you do so, you spit at a creature you can see within 10 feet and project a spout of noxious spittle. The creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take 1d12 poison damage. At 5th level, the damage increases to 2d12. At 11th level, it increases to 3d12 and at 17th level it increases to 4d12.

Cultural Traits

Combined communities are places of experimentation and radical self-exploration. These communities are usually centered around one of the monasteries at which the ritual of combination takes place. Those who grow up in these communities tend to develop very expansive notions of self-improvement, extending to body modification and, of course, the magical ritual of combination itself. Children of combined are not themselves combined, inheriting only the original ancestral traits of their parents. Upon reaching adulthood, they are given the choice to become combined or to remain as they are born. Some in these communities choose to become combined while others do not, and the members of these communities accept either choice as valid. Those who reach adulthood in combined communities share certain traits.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2 and two other abilities of your choice also increase by 1.

Alignment. Combined communities literally change their bodies, which leads to a broad acceptance of folks changing their minds and forging individual paths as well. The members of these communities tend away from law.

Biomancers. Those who grow up among the combined learn more about humanoid and animal biology and magic than most. You have proficiency in Medicine and Arcana.

Languages. You speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice.

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