June 24, 2010 by Jeff
In Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea, WotC created a new monster, the Quom. They are fanatical followers of a dead god who constantly hunt the planes looking for any fragment, no matter how small, of their deity with the hopes of some day bringing it back to power. I really like the Quom. They have a built in story, they are a threat but can also be characters in the story that help the party just as easily. And they have abilities and situations that make them engaging.
Recently on Twitter, Tracy from Sarah Darkmagic was asking about Monster NPC stats for the Quom like we were introduced to in the back of Monster Manual 1. There is no racial entry for the Quom which could be used for Player Characters, but why not. I could very easily imagine dozens of reasons that one could join the party. And while I am not WotC, and as such don’t have the rights, so to speak, to give you the Quom race, I am creating a new race heavily inspired by the Quom which I am calling the Kwom.
The Kwom search the planes seeking to bring back the glory days of their race by finding the remnants of their long dead god.
Average Height: 4’3” – 4’9”
Average Weight: 150-210
Ability Scores: +2 Dex, +2 Str or Wis
Speed: 6, fly 3 (when in Astral Sea)
Languages: Supernal (any creature with a language can understand what a Kwom says, this does not assume that the Kwom can also understand them)
Skill Bonuses: +2 Bluff, +2 Insight
Life With a Purpose: You are driven by your purpose. You gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls against creatures with the Immortal keyword.
Determined: You gain access to the Implacable Determination encounter power.
Mentally Light: When you take damage for falling the damage is determined using the actual distance of the fall minus 10 feet.
When their god was destroyed near the start of time the Kwom were the sole race that had been created by their deity and they were created as a completely loyal servitor race. Over the ages the Kwom have evolved to become a race of people still loyal to their god but for the first time in their existence they have the potential to become free and independent of the life they were created for. They have a deep seeded disdain for most things divine, since they hold them responsible for the death of their god, but have found that they are willing to work with the agents of other gods if it suits their purposes.
Play a Kwom if you want…
- to be a serious, hard nosed character with connections to the gods.
- to be decisive in your actions and able to staunchly react to the things happening around them.
- to be a member of a race that favors the rogue, fighter, rune priest, and druid classes.
Kwom have an appearance that evokes an image of an alien dwarf. They are stocky, well muscled, hard nosed people. Where they differ from dwarves, however, is significant and meaningful. They are always completely bald and have grow no facial hair beyond eyebrows. Their skin comes in varieties that hint at their other-planar home, including shades of green, blue, and purple.
Kwom are infused with the energies of astral dominions as a result of life in the upper planes and as such have extended lifespans. They often will live to be 500 years old and until they reach the last decade of their lives they continue to look as young as they did when they first reached maturity.
Playing a Kwom
The Kwom have lived in the Astral plane since their creation as a servant race near the beginning of time. When their god was destroyed during the war between the gods and the primal forces that created the worlds we know today, it was devastating to the Kwom. In the beginning they were scattered around the planes unable to find a place of their own until they started to find each other again. And slowly they not only found each other, but also found that pieces of their god still existed in the planes. They came to believe that if they could find enough of their god they could return him to existence.
It has been time beyond counting, however, and the Kwom seem no closer to their goal now as they ever were and some have started to question if this quest is worth it. Most Kwom maintain loyalty to the old cause but occasionally one is driven to ask questions that make the others quite uncomfortable. These Kwom are often sent out to search on their own, often to the material world, where they live lives as hermits and keep to themselves until they either choose to rejoin the rest of their kin or they live out the rest of their lives.
The most likely Kwom you are going to find in an adventuring party is one who has been exiled from the rest of it’s people and has found a new reason for living. Reasons could range from the accumulation of power to finding a place of belonging amongst the mortal races of the world it now calls home.
Kwom Characteristics: Driven, stoic, emotional, grim, focused, serious.
Male Names: Dru, Balar, Koru, Chalam, Piam, T’dor, Qris.
Female Names: Qim, Hala, Sra, Chala, Prim, Tar’sha.
Well, there’s my Quom inspired race, the Kwom.
A few design notes:
Supernal is an odd choice since the Player’s Handbook 1 and Dungeon Masters Guide 1 say you can’t have it at 1st level, but from the monster entries for the Quom it’s clear that it is the native language of the people and I like that flavor. So I left it in there. Plus being understood but not always understanding leads to some fun role-playing possibilities.
The Mentally Light power is intended to give some of the “flying on the Astral Sea” flavor to the race. Since the monster is going to usually be encountered on the Astral Sea I felt like this was part of the flavor of who these guys are. Sure, they’re built like a hairless dwarf, but they can slow their decent by sheer force of will.
I also had daily racial power that I was considering for these guys called “Two Faced” that mirrors the idea that their heroes grow faces on the backs of their heads. I decided after some feedback that it’s probably safer not to make that a part of the race. Maybe it can/should be reworked into a racial feat or part of a racial paragon path. If you’d like to see either of those, or other things for the Kwom race let me know in the comments.
I’m curious what you think. Is the race playable? Well balanced? Does it capture the spirit of the original race with the right tweaks to make it into a race that can be used easily in your party? What would you have done differently? And if you use the Kwom, please let me know, I’d be curious to hear what you do with it.