HD&D: The Genasi

The genasi was one of the races offered during the first Design Call earlier this year. No-one took it up, so I thought I’d have a go myself. The genasi was introduced into the second edition game in the wonderful Planescape setting. They found their third edition feet early on in Monsters of Faerun, and appeared in fourth edition in the recent Forgotten Realms Players Guide. The HD&D version is shamelessly based on the fourth edition take on the race which (in contrary to much of the rest of fourth edition) is by far the most interesting and entertaining.

The following is light on background content, and doesn’t contain any information or guidance on how genasi fit into the world of Iourn. That will come later, at present I want to shine the spotlight on the mechanics. I’ve been working up to play a genasi in Marc’s 4e game, so I’ve looked at the powers and abilities of the race quite closely. For HD&D I’ve tried to keep everything I liked, and remove all the troublesome limitations that 4e imposed on the race. I’m quite pleased with the result, although I wonder if I have made the genasi too versatile.

The statistical information for the genasi’s general abilties, racial traits, talents and feats are present below. They are followed by my own critique of the race. Notice the racial modifiers to ability scores follow the de facto rules I highlighted in a recent post. Any mention of bonuses to armour class, assume that we are implementing a system that mimics Damage Reduction, not Damage Conversion (see more recent post).

The HD&D Genasi

The genasi are a race of humanoids whose bloodline has become augmented by powerful elemental forces. Sometimes referred to as half-elementals, this term is wholly inaccurate. Genasi are a true breeding race. They do not hail from elemental stock, nor do they necessarily count ancient elemental beings such as the genie, as part of their family tree. Their line is gripped by powerful and chaotic elemental forces, that have profound effects upon the appearance, character and the powers of the genasi.

Average Height: 5’5″-6’7″
Average Weight: 130-300 lbs

Ability Scores: +2 Int, +2 to one other ability score
Size: Medium
Speed: 30 feet
Vision: Normal

Unarmed Attack: Punch or Kick (Strength)
Unarmed Damage: 1d4 + Strength Modifier

Language/Scripts: Any four
Skill Bonuses: +2 Athletics, +2 Knowledge (elemental)
Defence Bonus:+1 Fortitude

All genasi have at least one elemental manifestation. Fourth edition desribes the fire, earth, wind, water and storm genasi. For an Iourn campaign, it is more fitting to look at genasi who hail from the one of the six established elements; but it would seem a shame to rule out something as interesting as the stormsoul genasi. Therefore on Iourn, the genasi’s manifestation is usually one of the pure elements (earth, air, fire, water, life or death), but may take the form of a secondary, or para-element (such as storm, ice, magma or steam). As to their appearance, I’ll let 4e speak for me:

“A genasi’s body is etched with energy lines that glow in a colour associated with the element that the genasi is manifesting. The energy lines on a genasi’s body appear in a pattern that is common between members of the same family and sometimes between natives of the same area. The specific configuration of energy lines on each genasi’s face and head is distinctive, varying between individuals the way fingerprints differ between humans. Even when genasi change their elemental manifestation, each one retains his or her unique facial energy lines. To show off the energy lines etching his or her body, a genasi often wears clothes that leave at least some portion of his or her body uncovered. Genasi skin tones and ‘hair’ also vary depending on which element an individual is manifesting. Genasi don’t have actual hair — the substance that appears to cover their heads during different manifestations is a magical expression of their elemental nature.” (Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide, p11)

The following is a list (and description) of the initial genasi available to HD&D players:

Brightsoul: These genasi manifest the element of life, as personifed by the god, Vítaeous. They have golden skin; their energy lines and their eyes are intense white. A glowing nimbus of radiant energy circles the head, and cascades over the genasi’s back and shoulders like long hair. Brightsouls are roughly the same height and weight as humans. Brightsouls have the Brightsoul Resistance and Nimbus of Radiance racial traits.

Dusksoul: These genasi manifest the element of death, as personified by the god, Mortis. They have black skin; their energy lines and their eyes are metallic grey in colour. A bony crest half-covers their otherwise bald head, and they possess other bony protuberances around their joints. Dusksouls are roughly the same height and weight as humans. Dusksouls have the Dusksoul Resistance and Necromatic Allegeince racial traits.

Earthsoul: These genasi manifest the element of earth, as personified by the god, Terranor. They have brown skin, with golden energy lines and eyes. Their bald heads are punctuated only by the energy lines that cross it. Earthsouls are usually taller and heavier than humans. Earthsouls have the Craghide Armour and Earthshock racial traits.

Firesoul: These genasi manifest the element of fire, as personified by the god, Calafax. They have ruddy bronze skin, with fiery orange energy lines and eyes. Blazing flames emenate from the energy lines on firesoul’s head. Firesouls are roughly the same height and weight as humans. Firesouls have the Reaching to the Blaze and Firesoul’s Mantle racial traits.

Watersoul: These genasi manifest the element of water, as personified by the god, Sharrash. Their skin is seafoam green, and their energy lines and eyes are a vivid blue. Blue and green crystals form in long strings from energy lines in their head. These strings resemble heavily-beaded hair. Watersouls are slighter than humans. Watersouls have the Aquatic Affinity and Watersoul Resistance racial traits.

Windsoul: These genasi manifest the element of air, as personified by the god, Zephyre. Their skin is silver; light blue energy lines criss-cross their bodies. Spikey ice crystals that glow blue and grey stick out of the windsoul’s head. Windsouls are roughly the same height and weight as elves. Windsouls have the Windsoul Resistance and Mingling with the Wind racial traits.

Stormsoul: These genasi manifest the para-element of lightning: the thundering chaos that exists where air and radiance meet and combine. They have purple skin, silvery energy lines and eyes, and glowing chrystalline silver spikes on their head. Stormsouls are roughly the same height and weight as elves. Stormsouls have the Promise of Storm and Stormsoul Resistance racial traits.

Racial Traits

Aquatic Affinity (Watersoul Genasi Racial Trait)
Watersoul genasi are amphibious creatures equally at home within the water, as they are without.
Continuous Effect | Mundane
No Action
Area of Effect:
Personal
Effect: The watersoul genasi can breathe water as well as air. In addition, the genasi gains a Swim speed equal to her Speed. She gains a +10 racial bonus on Swim checks and can always Take 10 while swimming, regardless of the situation.
Special: The watersoul genasi gains Swim as a favoured skill regardless of class.

Brightsoul Resistance (Brightsoul Genasi Racial Trait)
The Brightsoul’s elemental heritage grants the character an intrinsic resistance to radiant damage.
Continuous Effect | Supernatural, Radiant
No Action

Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: The Brightsoul genasi gains Radiant Resistance 5. At 11th level this improves to Radiant Resistance 10. At 21st level, it improves again to Radiant Resistance 15.

Craghide Armour (Earthsoul Genasi Racial Trait)
The skin of an Earthsoul genasi is hard enough to blunt blades and shatter the weapons raised against it.
Continuous Effect | Supernatural, Earth
No Action
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: The thick skin of the Earthsoul Genasi makes him remarkably resistant to damage. He gains a +5 racial bonus to his armour class, as well as Force Resistance 5. The force resistance increases as the earthsoul gains levels, although the bonus to his armour class does not. At 11th level the force resistance improves to 10. At 21st level, it improves again to Force Resistance 15.

 Dusksoul Resistance (Dusksoul Genasi Racial Trait)
The Dusksoul’s elemental heritage grants the character an intrinsic resistance to necrotic damage.
Continuous Effect | Supernatural, Necrotic
No Action

Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: The Dusksoul genasi gains Necrotic Resistance 5. At 11th level this improves to Necrotic Resistance 10. At 21st level, it improves again to Necrotic Resistance 15.

Earthshock (Earthsoul Genasi Racial Trait)
The earth moves in response to your stomping foot, or slapping hand. The ground buckles, and your enemies are thrown to their knees.
At-Will | Supernatural, Earth
Move Action
Area of Effect: Close Burst 5 ft radius
Target: All creatures in burst that are touching the ground
Attack: Unarmed Strike vs. Fortitude
Effect: The ground buckles and cracks beneath your opponents. All the targets you successfully hit are knocked prone, and take 1d8 + Strength Modifier damage.
Special: You can only use this trait if you are standing on solid ground. You may use this trait no more than once per round.

Firesoul’s Mantle (Firesoul Genasi Racial Trait)
The Firesoul’s elemental heritage grants the character an intrinsic resistance to heat and fire.
Continuous Effect | Supernatural, Fire
No Action

Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: The Firesoul gains Fire Resistance 5. At 11th level this improves to Fire Resistance 10. At 21st level, it improves again to Fire Resistance 15.

Mingling with the Wind (Windsoul Genasi Racial Trait)
The air quickens, swirling faster and faster around the windsoul genasi; slowly it lifts him from the ground.
At-Will | Supernatural, Air
No Action
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: The windsoul genasi creates tornado-force winds, centred on his own body. The genasi can then use this highly localised force to push him into the air. Mingling with the Wind is not easy, and it is certainly not subtle. The sound of the wind as it circles the genasi can be heard with a DC 15 Listen check, making it an unsuitable for stealth missions. The wind does not otherwise inconvenience the genasi. While this power is in effect, the genasi gains a Fly speed. He is always able to Take 10 on fly checks regardless of the situation. The windsoul’s manouevrability while flying, the height he can reach above the ground and the speed at which he can travel is dependent upon his level, as indicated in the following table:

Level

Maximum Height

Maximum Speed

Manoeuvrability

1-2

5 ft

20 ft

Clumsy

3-4

10 ft

20 ft

Clumsy

5-6

20 ft

30 ft

Poor

7-8

40 ft

30 ft

Poor

9-10

70 ft

40 ft

Average

11-12

110 ft

40 ft

Average

13-14

Unlimited

50 ft

Good

15-16

Unlimited

50 ft

Good

17-18

Unlimited

60 ft

Perfect

19-20

Unlimited

60 ft

Perfect

Using this trait is not an action. Instead it is part of another action: the Move action the genasi takes to fly. If a windsoul genasi falls from any height, he can use this power (with a DC 10 Fly check) to allow him to land on the ground without taking any damage, even if he falls from a height greater than one he could attain under his own power. See the description of the Fly skill for more information on flying.
Special: The windsoul genasi gains Fly as a favoured skill regardless of class.

Necromantic Allegience (Dusksoul Genasi Racial Trait)
It is said that the dusksoul genasi is one step from undeath. The broiling necrotic filth that riddles its insides even fools undead creatures into thinking the genasi is one of them.
Continuous Effect | Supernatural, Necrotic
No Action
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: Mindless and feral undead treat the dusksoul genasi as one of their own. They will not attack the genasi except in self defence, even if summoned or otherwise compelled to do so. Free-willed undead still sense dusksouls as undead creatures, although many are educated enough to know the difference. How a free-willed undead responds to a dusksoul differs with circumstances, and the undead in question. However, such creatures are likely to be better disposed toward the genasi (at least at first).

Nimbus of Radiance (Brightsoul Genasi Racial Trait)
The brightsoul genasi draws upon the radiant energy within her body, and transforms herself into a powerful beacon against unnatural forces.
At-Will | Supernatural, Radiant
Standard Action
Area of Effect: Close Burst up to 20 ft radius
Target: All creatures in burst
Attack:  None
Effect: The genasi begins to glow with a radiant light. The radius of this illumination is controlled by the genasi; it provides bright light equal to the defined radius and dim light in an equal radius beyond that. For example, a brightsoul could create a bright light in a 0-5 ft radius, and a dim light in a 5-10 ft radius. The maximum radius of the area of bright light is 20 ft. Any creature vulnerable to radiant damage, that starts its turn within the area of bright illumination, takes radiant damage equal to its vulnerability. The brightsoul does not need to make an attack roll, and no damage is rolled. A brightsoul genasi can maintain a Nimbus of Radiance indefinitely as long as she is conscious.

Promise of Storm (Stormsoul Genasi Racial Trait)
Sparks dance across the skin of the Stormsoul genasi; arcs of electricity play between her fingers; her eyes crackle as she summons the lightning that lives within her.
At-Will | Supernatural, Lightning
Standard Action
Area of Effect: Ranged 25 ft
Target: One creature
Attack: Light Thrown vs Reflex
Effect: As a standard action the stormsoul genasi can send an arc of electrical energy to one target within range. The lightning inflicts 1d8 + the genasi’s Constitution modifier in lightning damage. After lightning comes the thunder. At the beginning of the genasi’s next turn, as a free action, the genasi unleashes a mighty crack of thunder that inflicts 1d6 thunder damage to all creatures within a five foot radius of the genasi. The genasi cannot surpress or otherwise prevent this sonic discharge.

Reaching to the Blaze (Firesoul Genasi Racial Trait)
The Firesoul genasi draws on the elemental fires that burn inside her. The flames on her body dim briefly as a ball of searing fire forms in her hand. With a gesture she launches the fire at the nearest enemy.
At-Will | Supernatural, Fire
Standard Action
Area of Effect: Mêlée or Ranged 50 ft
Target: One creature
Attack:  Unarmed Attack vs Reflex (in mêlée) or Light Thrown vs Reflex (at range)
Effect: The genasi conjures a ball of roaring fire in her hand. This can either be used as a mêlée attack, or it can be thrown at any creature within fifty feet. In either case, the weapon can only target one opponent. The firepulse inflicts 1d6 + the firesoul’s Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma modifier (whichever is higher) in fire damage.

Stormsoul Resistance (Stormsoul Genasi Racial Trait)
The Stormsoul’s elemental heritage grants the character an intrinsic resistance to electrical damage.
Continuous Effect | Supernatural, Fire
No Action

Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: The Stormsoul genasi gains Lightning Resistance 5 and Thunder Resistance 5. At 11th level both resistances improved to 10. At 21st level the improve again to 15.

Watersoul Resistance (Watersoul Genasi Racial Trait)
The Watersoul’s elemental heritage allows the genasi to neutralise and mitigate acid-based attacks.
Continuous Effect | Supernatural, Air
No Action

Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: The Watersoul genasi gains Acid Resistance 5. At 11th level this improves to Acid Resistance 10. At 21st level, it improves again to Acid Resistance 15.

Windsoul Resistance (Windsoul Genasi Racial Trait)
The Windsoul’s elemental heritage grants the character an intrinsic resistance to electrical damage.
Continuous Effect | Supernatural, Acid, Water
No Action

Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: The Windsoul genasi gains Cold Resistance 5. At 11th level this improves to Cold Resistance 10. At 21st level, it improves again to Cold Resistance 15.

Racial Talents

Calling to the Wave (Watersoul Genasi Racial Talent)
Watersoul genasi have the ability to manipulate and animate water. They can send rolling waves of destruction toward their enemies, or use the power in a more creative and cunning manner.
At-Will | Supernatural, Water
Standard Action
Area of Effect:
 A single body of water within 5/ft level of the genasi; launched as a Ranged or Ranged Burst attack.
Target: Anyone in the area of effect
Attack: Light Thrown vs Fortitude (if appropriate)
Effect: The watersoul genasi has the power to agitate or animate any body of water, or substance that is mostly composed of water – such as soup or beverages – within 5 feet per experience level. This power has no effect on the water contained within a living creature, or creatures made entirely of water (such as elementals). The genasi can manipulate up to 5 cubic foot (40 gallons) of water per five levels,
but can only maintain control for one combat round. During that time the water can be compelled to move from one location to another, to rise up, form discernable shapes or perform any reasonable act at the discretion of the GM.

The genasi can hurl this water at his enemies in the form of a thundering wave of destruction. The watersoul selects an origin point for the wave within range of this power. The water can then strike any single target within 5 ft/level from this point. The wave can travel over land as easily as over water. The wave strikes the target with considerable force. The genasi makes a light thrown attack against the target’s Fortitude Defence. If successful consult the following table:

Genasi Level Water Displaced Damage Area of Effect Knock Back
1-5 5 cubic feet 1d10 Single target 5 ft
6-10 10 cubic feet 2d10 Single target 10 ft
11-15 15 cubic feet 3d10 Ranged Burst 10 ft rd 15 ft
16-20 20 cubic feet 4d10 Ranged Burst 10 ft rd 20 ft
21-25 25 cubic feet 5d10 Ranged Burst 20 ft rd 25 ft
26-30 30 cubic feet 6d10 Ranged Burest 30 ft rd 30 ft

If targets that are thrown back into immovable objects (such as walls) they take 1d10 damage per ten feet travelled. The genasi must displace the required amount of water to have a desirable effect. For example, if a 22nd level stormsoul can only displace 15 cubic feet of water, then the wave will only have the effect as if it had been launched by a genasi of level 11. If the body of water contains less than 5 cubic feet then no wave can be formed. This use of the power only affects targets of Large size or smaller.

There are numerous other potential uses for this power including, but not limited to: extinguishing fires, forcing open stubborn doors, drenching companions and self-propelled surfing across large bodies of water. The GM has the final say on what is possible, and should take into account the amount of water that is available. The use of this power to form a wave is not subtle, and likely to destroy delicate objects it comes into contact with. It’s no good for watering plants.

Death’s Kiss (Dusksoul Genasi talent)
You are able to use the necrotic energy that festers in your veins as a terrible weapon.
Recharge | Supernatural, Necrotic
Standard Action
Prerequisite: Dusksoul  Genasi, 11th level
Area of Effect: Mêlée (touch)
Attack: Unarmed Strike or Athletics vs Fortitude
Effect: You draw upon the dark and bubbling necromantic filth that fills you soul and inflict it upon an unsuspecting opponent. A successful attack roll has a number of deliteriously effects. Firstly, the target gains Vulnerability 5 to necrotic damage (this increases to Vulnerability 10 at 21st level). The vulnerability remains until the Disease element of the attack (see below) has been cured. Secondly, the skin around the area of contact blackens and begins to decay. This inflicts 1d6 necrotic damage per two levels of the dusksoul (plus the newly conferred vulnerabilty). Thirdly, and most insidiously, the touch inflicts a potentially devastating flesh eating disease as outlined below:

The tabular format of diseases doesn’t work well in plain HTML (at least not as far as I can manipulate it in WordPress). I haven’t posted the rules for diseases yet, but they work in a very similar method to 4e. The Initial Effect takes place immediately. Then every day afterward the victim makes a Fortitude saving throw. The DC to maintain the disease at the current level is the same as the Genasi’s Fortitude Defence. The DC to improve is the Genasi’s Fortitude Defence +5. If both target DCs are missed then the disease worsens. If the victim is suffering the initial effect and rolls high enough to improve the condition then he is cured. Magical spells can still be used to cure this disease.

Initial Effect: The target gains no benefit from any healing magic, and can no longer heal wounds naturally.
Secondary Effect: The flesh blackens and begins to fall off the victim’s body. Any wound that the character takes is considered a critical hit and inflicts maximum damage.
Final Effect: The target dies.

You can deliver a Death’s Kiss with any part of your body (hand, foot, mouth) but you must make a successful attack roll. You don’t effect an enemy just because he has grabbed you. If used on inanimate living objects such as fruit, plants or the like, the touch kills and withers up to a cubic foot of material with each touch.

Dual Manifestation (Genasi Talent)
You are able to manifest two different elements simulataneously.
At-Will | Supernatural, Elemental
Standard Action
Prerequisite: Genasi, Extra Manifestation Talent, 11th level
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: You can use two different elemental manifestations at the same time. Choose two of the elemental manifestations that you can access; you can use all four of the racial traits associated with those manifestations. If you have access to more than two manifestations, you can swap one or both of them as a standard action. However, you may never manifest more than two elements simultaneously.

A genasi manifesting two elements at the same time, appears as either a genasi of one elemental type or as a broiling combination of two elements. For example a genasi manifesting firesoul and watersoul at the same time may appear as a firesoul genasi, a watersoul genasi or as a mixture of the two.

Elemental Tempest (Genasi Talent)
You can draw upon the power of your elemental heritage in destructive and devastating ways.
Special (see below) | Supernatural, Elemental
Standard Action
Prerequisite:
Genasi, 11th level.
Area of Effect: See below
Attack: Light Thrown vs Reflex (if appropriate)
Effect: This talent allows you to conjure a variety of elemental affects depending upon the element you are currently manifesting. The brightsoul is associated with radiant damage; the dusksoul with necrotic damage; the  earthsoul with force damage; the firesoul with fire damage; the stormsoul with lightning and thunder damage; the watersoul with acid damage; and the windsoul with cold damage.

Firstly, you gain Resist 5 to the elemental damage associated with your manifestation. This is above and beyond any energy resistance conferred by your racial traits, or the Manifest Resistance feat. In these special cases the energy resistance stacks. This use of the talent is a Continuous Effect.

Secondly, you may supercharge any spells or similar abilities with an elemental descriptor (including this one) that is the same as your elemental manifestation. You add one additional die of damage to any damage dealing spell. This increases to two extra dice at 21st level. For example, an eleventh stormsoul genasi wizard casting a lightning bolt spell would inflict 11d6 damage instead of 10d6 damage. This use of the talent is an At-Will effect.

Thirdly, you can unleash a furious explosion of elemental energy. This can either be a Ranged attack against a single foe within 5 ft/level; or a Close Burst against all creatures within a 20 ft radius of the genasi. The elemental burst inflicts 1d8 damage per level of the genasi. The damage inflicted is the same as your current elemental manifestation. If you are dual-manifesting you can choose whether the elemental explosion inflicts energy damage from your first manifestation, your second manifestation or a combination of the two energy types. Stormsoul genasi can also utilise their lightning and thunder powers in this way. This use of the talent is a Recharge effect.

Embers of Life (Brightsoul Genasi talent)
The radiant energy that courses through your veins has a profound healing effect upon you.
Recharge | Supernatural, Radiant
No Action
Trigger:
You are reduced to zero hit points or less, and are dying
Prerequisite: Brightsoul Genasi, 11th level
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: If you are reduced to zero hit points, and the damage does not kill you outright, then the radiant energy that courses through your body begins to heal your wounds at a fantastic rate. At the beginning of your turn, the round after you were reduced to zero hit points, you are immediately restored to one quarter of your total hit points.

Extra Manifestion (Genasi Talent)
You have access to more than one elemental manifestation, and can swap between the two.
At-Will | Supernatural, Elemental
Standard Action
Prerequisite:
Genasi
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: Choose a new Genasi elemental manifestation in addition to the one you already possess. As a standard action, you can swap between the two manifestations. When you swap, you loose access to the racial traits you were exhibiting, and gain access to the two racial traits associated with the new manifestion. For example, a Firesoul Genasi could use this talent to become a Watersoul Genasi. The character would lose access to the Reaching to the Blaze and Firesoul’s Mantle traits, and replace them with Calling to the Wave and Aquatic Affinity. None of the genasi’s other abilities or attributes are affected by the change.

Changing from one manifestation to another is physically traumatic. Changing manifestation is not like changing a suit of clothes. The genasi rebuilds himself on a fundamental level, shifting organs, enlarging or elongating bones, and adopting the racial characteristics (skin and energy line colouration) of the new form. Only the pattern of the genasi’s energy lines remain the unchanged. After the transformation, the genasi is still broadly recognisable as the same person by those who are familiar with her. However, those who do not know her (and especially those who do not know genasi) may not be able to tell the difference. The physical transformation is accompanied by a mental transformation, the same genasi in a new manifestation may adopt different personality quirks and outlook. The genasi have a well-deserved reputation for schizophrenic behaviour.

Special: You may select this talent more than once. Each time select a new elemental manifestation. As a standard action you can shift between any of the manifestations that you know. There is no limit to the number of different elemental manifestations a genasi can exhibit.

Malefic Conflagration (Firesoul Genasi Racial Talent)
You can superheat your opponent’s innards, boiling them to death from the inside out.
Recharge | Supernatural, Fire
Standard Action
Prerequisite: Firesoul  Genasi, 11th level
Area of Effect: Ranged 5 ft/level
Attack: None
Effect: Select a single foe within range of this power, to which you have line of sight. As soon as you use this power, the blood and other vital fluids of the target begin to boil. The target takes 5d6 + your Charisma, Intelligence or Wisdom modifier (whichever is higher) in fire damage. No attack roll is required.

At the beginning of the target’s next turn they must make a Fortitude saving throw with a DC equal to the Firesoul’s Will Defence. If successful then the target suffers no further ill effect. If unsuccessful then the target gains Vulnerability 10 to fire, takes the same damage again and bursts into flames. At the beginning of the target’s turn on each successive round, the target must repeat this saving throw and continues to take the above fire damage (+10 for the vulnerability).

If a target is reduced to zero hit points while under the effect of this power, then the target explodes in a messy conflagration that inflicts 1d6 damage per level of the genasi to all targets within a 20 ft radius. A character who is killed in this manner cannot be brought back from the dead by anything short of 9th level magic.

Master of the Storm (Windsoul and Stormsoul Genasi Racial Talent)
You have the ability to control and alter natural and supernatural weather effects, being them to your will.
Recharge | Supernatural, Air, Thunder, Lightning
Standard Action
Prerequisite: Windsoul genasi or Stormsoul genasi, 11th level
Duration: 1 minute/level
Area of Effect: Close Burst 10 ft/level
Attack: None
Effect: The genasi can call to the elements, resulting in a rapid and significant shift in the local weather conditions in an area that directly surrounds him. The genasi is able to increase the wind-speed within the area of effect (and up to a height of 10 ft/level) by one speed category per three levels. The speed of the wind makes movement, flight and missile fire increasingly difficult as can be seen on the following table:

Wind Speed (mph)

Missile
Weapon
Penalty

Checked
Size

Blown
Away
Size

Fly
Penalty

Light (0-10)

0

Moderate (11-20)

0

Strong (21-30)

-2

Tiny

-2

Severe (31-50)

-4

Small

Tiny

-4

Windstorm (51-74)

Impossible

Medium

Small

-8

Hurricane (75-174)

Impossible

Large

Medium

-12

Tornado (175+)

Impossible

Huge

Large

-16

The penalty to missile fire applies to hand held missile weapons such as crossbows, bows and thrown weapons. It doesn’t apply to siege weapons or to magical ranged attacks. If the wind speed is sufficient to “Check” a character then that character must, on its turn, make a DC 20 Fortitude check (if on the ground) or a DC 25 Fly check (if in the air) to move in a desired direction. If the wind speed is sufficient to “Blow Away” a character then that character must, on its turn, make a DC 25 Fortitude check (if on the ground), or a DC 30 Fly check (if in the air) or be blown back 2d6×10 feet. If this throws a target outside the bounds of the storm they are instead snatched up by the wind funnel and expelled 10 feet per level of the genasi above the ground. Flyers can recover. Those with no means of flight are in a pretty pickle.

In addition to the windspeed, the Genasi can choose to unleash heavy rain in the area of the storm. In addition to drenching all the participants it also has the effect of reducing visibility. All individuals within the area of effect are granted concealment. This is normal concealment (-2 to attack rolls) up to Windstorm force, and total concealment (-5 to attack rolls) are speeds greater than that.

While the storm is in effect the genasi can (once per round) unleash a lightning bolt at any one foe within range of the storm as a Move action. The bolt inflicts 3d8 lightning damage  + the genasi’s Constitution modifier. As an after effect of the lightning, every one in the storm takes 1d6 thunder damage from crack of thunder.

The genasi is immune to the deliterious effects of the storm. He can move through the storm without being incommoded by the wind, and see clearly regardless of the precipitation. Equally, he never takes any damage from the thunder that he may inadvertantly create. This ability can only be used outside. The storm is centred on the point that the genai conjured it. If the genasi moves, the storm does not move with him.

Stone Prince (Earthsoul Genasi Racial Talent)
You take your strength and your endurance from the power of stone.
Continuous Effect | Supernatural, Earth
No Action
Prerequisite: Earthsoul genasi
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: You gain an additional +2 racial bonus to your Strength score, as well as one additional hit point per level. This bonus increases to +4 Strength and +2 hit points per level, at 11th level and +6 Strength and +3 hit points per level at 21st level. These bonuses only apply when you are manifesting the earth element, or dual-manifesting earth and another element.

Racial Feats

Elemental Strike (Genasi Feat)
You can embue your mêlée attacks with elemental energy.
At Will | Supernatural, Elemental
No Action
Prerequisite:
Genasi
Area of Effect: Your mêlée weapon or natural attack
Attack: Light Thrown vs Fortitude
Effect: You encase your mêlée attack in elemental energy that is dependent upon manifestation: Brightsoul (radiant), Dusksoul (necrotic), Earthsoul (force), Firesoul (fire), Stormsoul (lightning or thunder), Watersoul (acid) or Windsoul (cold). When you attack with this mêlée attack you deal an additional 1d6 of the appropriate energy damage. Note that a firesoul’s Reaching to the Blaze racial trait already allows him to encase his natural attacks in fire. If you are dual-manifesting (or you are a stormsoul) you must choose which energy type is applied to the attack.

Friendly Storm (Windsoul or Stormsoul Genasi Feat)
You are able to carefully manipulate and mitigate the power of the storms you conjure in order to make them safe for your allies.
At-Will | Supernatural, Air, Lightning, Thunder
No Action
Prerequisite:
 Windsoul or Stormsoul Genasi, Master of the Storm talent, 11th level
Area of Effect: Up to 1 ally/2 levels with the area of effect of your Master of the Storm talent
Effect: You can designate up to one ally per two levels to be unaffected by the effects of your Master of the Storm talent. Such allies suffer no penalties to vision despite the level of precipitation inside the storm; they can move freely regardless of the strength of the wind; and they never take damage from the thunder that sounds in the storm. Once you decide which allies are unaffected by the storm, you cannot change your mind for the duration of the Master of the Storm talent.

Kiss of Contagion (Dusksoul Genasi Feat)
The terrible disease imparted by your Death’s Kiss ability is contagious!
Continuous Effect | Supernatural, Necrotic
No Action
Prerequisite:
Dusksoul Genasi, Death’s Kiss racial talent, 11th level
Area of Effect: The target of your Death’s Kiss talent
Effect: Anyone who touches the someone who has been the successful target of your Death’s Kiss talent has a chance of catching the disease himself. Everyone who touches the body must make a Fortitude Saving throw against a DC equal to the Dusksoul Genasi’s Fortitude Defence. If that saving throw fails then the unfortunate catches the disease, and suffers its Initial Effect. From that point on the new target makes saving throws to ward off the disease’s continued mark in the same way as the original target.

Note that the subject of this feat only suffers the effect of the disease. They do not gain vulnerability to necrotic damage, nor do they automatically take any necrotic damage as the initial target would have done. Only the initial target of the disease is contagious. Any subsequent character who catches Death’s Kiss will suffer its effects, but will not pass it on.

Persistant Conflagration (Firesoul Genasi Feat)
The terrible power of your Malefic Conflagration can leap from foe to foe until it someone dies by its hand.
At-Will | Supernatural, Fire
Immediate Reaction
Trigger:
Target succeeds in saving throw against Malefic Conflagration.
Prerequisite: Firesoul genasi, Malefic Conflgation talent, 11th level
Area of Effect: Ranged 20 ft from subject of Malefic Conflagraton talent
Attack: Light Thrown vs Fortitude
Effect: If the subject of your Malefic Conflagration succeeds in a saving throw against the talent, then the effect does not end. Instead it leaps to the next nearest foe within range. As soon as the current target succeeds in his saving throw, you can take an immediate action to make a Light Throw attack roll against any target you desire as long as: You have line of sight to the original target and the new target; The new target is within 20 feet of the original target. If you miss with your attack then the power ends. If you succeed then the new target takes 5d6 + Int, Wis or Cha Modifier damage and, at the beginning of his next turn, starts making Fortitude saving throws just as if he had been the original recipient of Malefic Conflagration.

The Malefic Conflagration continues to leap from target to target unless: You do not have line of sight with either target; You are unable or unwilling to spend an Immediate action at the appropriate moment; The Malefic Conflagration reduces a target to zero hit points (this expends the use of the talent); There are no targets within range when the original target succeeds in his saving throw.

Rekindle Flame of Life (Genasi Feat)
You are able to use the radiant energy in your body to affect you allies instead of yourself.
Recharge | Supernatural, Radiant
Immediate Reaction
Trigger:
An ally is reduced to zero hit points or less (but not killed)
Prerequisite: Brighsoul Genasi, Embers of Life racial talent, 11th level
Area of Effect: Ranged 5 ft/level
Target: One creature
Effect: You can direct the effect of the Embers of Life racial talent to affect one ally within range of this power. If that ally is reduced to zero hit points or less (and not killed outright by the damage) then you can restore them to a quarter of their hit point total as an immediate reaction. Using this feat counts as a use of your Embers of Life talent, and therefore you cannot use it again (to heal either yourself or someone else) until after you have taken a short rest.

Manifest Resistance (Genasi Feat)
You are even more resistant to energy than other genasi of your kind.
Continuous Effect | Supernatural
No Action
Prerequisite:
Genasi
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: This feat applies to the Craghide Armour, Firesoul’s Mantle, Brightsoul Resistance, Dusksoul Resistance, Watersoul Resistance, Windsoul Resistance and Stormsoul Resistance racial traits. The energy resistance imparted by those racial traits increases by +5. For example, 21st level Stormsoul Genasi would normally have Resist Lightning 15 and Resist Thunder 15. With this feat, that protection would increase to Resist Lightning 20 and Resist Thunder 20. This has no effect on the bonus to armour class imparted by Craghide Armour.

Sonic Constipation (Stormsoul Genasi Feat)
As a stormsoul genasi you can delay the booming of thunder that follows your lightning strike.
At-Will | Supernatural, Thunder
Move Action
Prerequisite:
Stormsoul Genasi
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: When you use the Promise of Storm racial trait you can delay the crack of thunder that follows your initial lightning strike. You can delay the thundering burst for up to one round per level. Holding in the sonic energy costs you a Move action each round. For each extra round that you delay unleashing this power, the damage inflicted increases by 1d6. For example, a fifth level genasi could hold the thunder back for five rounds and then unleash a blast that inflicts 5d6 damage. The area of effect (5 ft radius) is unchanged.

Memory of Stone (EarthsoulGenasi Feat)
The extra power and durability of your Earthsoul heritage lingers when you take on other elemental manifestations.
Continuous Effect | Supernatural, Earth
No Action
Prerequisite:
Earthsoul Genasi, Stone Prince talent, Extra Manifestation talent, 11th level
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: The bonuses conferred by your Stone Prince talent persist if you manifest an element other than Earth, or dual-manifest two elements, neither of which is Earth.

Swift Manifestation (Genasi Feat)
You can swap between elemental manifestations more quickly than other genasi.
At Will | Supernatural
No Action
Prerequisite:
Genasi, Extra Manifestation talent
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: With this feat you can swap between your available manifestations as a Move action instead of a Standard Action. From 11th level you can swap between manifestations as a Move Action or a Swift Action (whichever is more advantageous). From 21st level you can swap between manifestations as a Free action.

Critique

More than any other race we’ve looked at in HD&D, the genasi could be almost a class in its own right. I love the idea of the genasi taking on multiple manifestations, and switching their skin and their personality as easily as other races might change their clothes. This is what appealed to me about the 4e genasi, and the HD&D genasi invokes that feeling even better – notably because switching manifestations is a standard action instead of taking five minutes as it did in 4e. In HD&D genasi can change their manifestation at a random whim, which is as it should be for this mercurial race.

Because of the way HD&D works, I’ve tried to keep the unique elements of each genasi subrace limited to their Racial Traits. All genasi has the same ability score modifiers, defence modifier and skill bonuses. That’s deliberate. Swapping racial traits gives more than enough variety, and I felt that reculating skill modifiers, ability scores and defences every time you swap between forms would just be too much hassle.

Some of the genasi talents are power (especially in combination with specific feats), however, we need to put them in context of spells. A single spellcasting talent can give a wizard of a cleric a potentially limitless list of potent magical effects that are roughly the same power level as many of the genasi’s level-dependent abilities. Yes, the genasi doesn’t have to buy lots of talents to work his way up to these potent effects, but at the same time these effects are rather limited in their use and utility.

Take Malefic Conflagration for example. Personally, I can’t see a genasi wizard ever picking up the talent. He wouldn’t need to. He can do that sort of things with his spells. However, it would give a genasi fighter or rogue a interesting little aside in their list of class talents. In fact if I was playing a genasi I could almost see myself picking up more racial talents than I would class talents. I know I’d want as many Extra Manifestation talents as I could afford, and the Elemental Tempest talent is also very tempting. Of course, Dual-Manifestation is a must.

Anyway – I really like this race. I think it takes the fourth edition genasi and gives the race more flavour and utility without significantly ramping up the power. What do you think?