Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday Werk: Phorain

In this week's Wednesday Werk, we'll look at the Phorain.

The Phorain are a race of flightless, avian humanoids.  They originate from a grim, hot plane (when first encountered on some worlds, planeswalkers thought they were originally from Athas; this has since been shown to be flatly untrue), although they are well-equipped to travel across any sort of environment.  Since leaving their home plane, the Phorain have been found searching for knowledge and testing themselves in the most extreme environments imaginable.  Phorain are able to go without food or drink for weeks, and they are highly adaptable.  Parties with Phorain guides have shown a marked increase in wilderness survival, although the literal-minded Phorain sometimes forget that their companions are not nearly as robust as they.

When the Phorain are encountered, they will frequently barter for goods, particularly magical items as they are always looking for an edge in any encounters they may face.  They tend not to have magic-users in their ranks, although they occasionally deal in rituals and things that they have found in their travels.  The Phorain are extremely practical, and it is unlikely that any encounter with them will turn violent unless those dealing with the Phorain are incredibly stupid or greedy.  Of course, the Phorain do offer their services as mercenaries, so they will occasionally be found in other people's conflicts as soldiers-of-fortune.

The following Phorain specimen represents just such a warrior, a traveler who has fought in the wars of others (or possibly a professional such as a bodyguard).  Such a Phorain could just as easily represent any sort of Phorain fighter — perhaps it is a member of a Phorain hunting party, or perhaps it is just another aimless wanderer seeking wealth and glory.

As noted in the original description, the Phorain also make excellent mercenaries.  Phorain mercenaries follow all the rules for hirelings found in Dragon #397 and reprinted in Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium, pg. 136-139.  As noted, Phorain mercenaries cost double (meaning that the level 6 hireling noted below costs 420 gp per day to hire), but they have special talents that make the cost worthwhile.  Plus they typically won't retreat unless ordered to do so, so that's a plus.  A typical Phorain mercenary is detailed below.

As noted above, this mercenary costs 420 gp per day to hire.  He won't retreat, although he tends to be literal-minded in his interpretation of commands.


  1. Another good choice, in that they do pop up here and there, and the appearance in Bujilli's Sojourn gives a good feel for them. Still can't read fourth, but I like the 'Hold It Right There!' idea, and the coverage of slipping.

  2. This looks good to us, but like Porky, we're not all that conversant with 4th Edition, but this 'feels' right. We've never used the published settings/planes, so there is definitely no connection to Athas, at least on our end. Once these critters get going they tend to keep on going and who knows where they'll end up or show up next?

    If you like the Ranger class...the Phorain make seriously tough Rangers and a few take Humans as their favored opponents, which makes those individuals effective as both assassins and gladiators...

    We're working on some Phorain paper minis.


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