Numistians are a planar race of traders native to a demiplane or a series of demiplanes located on the Astral Plane. They are shopkeepers, craftsmen, slavers, and entertainers. Anything that could be sold, a numistian could sell it. Over the ages, numistians have spread throughout the multiverse, and some groups of numistians have even lost track of where they originated.
Nowadays, most numistians encountered are native born; their parents or grandparents decided to set up permanent shop in the Prime Material plane. The race can be encountered nearly anywhere, however, with some that are native to where they are encountered, and others just passing through on the way to a sale. Numistians rarely get homesick, unless home is also where the money is.
Numistians, despite their alien heritage, have the distinct advantage of
appearing familiar to most other races. Some can even pass as human or elven,
with certain features covered or disguised. While distrust will be
apparent when dealing with any new race, the numistian should find
miniscule prejudice among humans, elves, dwarves and other races with similar features.
Numistians also adopt the style of the area that they do business in.
Clothes are important to a numistian, and whatever a society considers
most fashionable, a numistian will deem most desirable. This alone will
help them fit in well with the majority, as they are not fixated on
racial traditions or cultural preferences prevalent in most other races.
In campaigns with different money systems, the numistian should be
slightly adjusted to reflect the type of currency available. Simply
convert the coin values presented in this text to whatever common
currency that your campaign uses.
Numistians are presented here as a fairly fresh race to the
world. The relative anonymity of their home world rendered it nearly
nonexistent to the realm of the adventurers. The Gamemaster
can introduce this new astral realm and its inhabitants as he sees fit.
Numistians do not need to be intertwined with your existing campaign
history. This allows them to be placed in virtually any campaign setting
with little work. As is, they require almost no adjustment to your
world to begin play immediately.
However, if the back story will not work with your campaign, there are
alternatives. In games with a different cosmology, the numistian can
come from an alternate dimension, or even a free-floating demiplane. If
other planes of existence are absent entirely, the numistian could be a
natural creature, descended from a fanatic race of merchant people. They
could also be the living representatives of a money god; a sacred race
of capitalists and entrepreneurs.
Whatever the case, the numistian will make a welcome addition to any game as bookkeeper of the group, an unusual option for a player seeking to play a greedy character, a challenge for the player who wants their character to be rich, or even a fun alternative for those who want to be well-dressed with an eye for the finer things in life.
Physical Description: Numistians look similar to humans, with long, narrow noses and slightly pointed ears. However, it would be difficult to describe the height and general appearance of a numistian, as both are variable. At rest, they appear as a wrinkled, elderly individual, roughly 3 feet tall. At this height, they are fairly squat and might even be mistaken for a very short dwarf. However, they can double their height to 6 feet, or appear as any height in-between.
When they increase height, their skin stretches taught and appears smooth and youthful. At 6 feet tall, they look somewhat elven, with narrow features and long, delicate limbs. Thus, with a minor disguise, they can infiltrate nearly any mortal community — short or tall. If age is respected in the community they are in, a numistian may appear a bit shorter and older. If youth would be an asset, they can appear tall and vibrant. The numistian is a natural marketing chameleon.
However, numistians do have a few distinguishing and immutable traits. First, their pale skin has a metallic luster which can appear coppery, silvery, or even golden. Second, they have a third eye in the center of their forehead. While the two eyes in the normal position are often a cloudy blue or grey, the third eye is perfectly round, cat-like, and brilliant green. They often hide this eye with the aid of a hat, helmet, or turban.
While males have no hair on their heads, or most of their bodies, they do tend to grow long white, pale blue, or grey colored beards and mustaches, regardless of their age. Females have long hair on their heads of the same colors as the male’s beards.
Numistian gender cues are entirely superficial. Males and females, from the waist down, are identically featureless. Neither gender has nipples, though females have the slight suggestion of breasts. Both genders tend to dress in clothing common to the realm that they are traveling in, though they do prefer the fanciest styles. A numistian’s clothing often appears ill-fitting because of their ability to change height and girth.
Ecology & Society: Biologically, the numistian is a complete alien. First, they have no
organs; they are basically a dry husk filled with glittery sand, coins,
and a collapsible skeleton.
An injured numistian actually bleeds sand and coins. Numistians have no
sense of taste, and do not eat food, nor drink liquids. Instead, they
ingest gold, silver, and copper coins. In some unknowable way, these
coins act as nourishment and are eventually absorbed by the numistian’s
body. In a sitting, they eat as many coins as the cost of a typical
meal. Of course, they can eat more if desired.
Numistians can however smell things and can sniff out precious metals. They can generally tell what sort of metal is nearby and in what quantity. Their two normal eyes are very close to a human’s in acuity, though many suffer from nearsightedness. This is compensated by the third eye which is highly sensitive, and has low-light vision and provides the numistian with its detect coins racial trait. Their pointed ears are as keen as an elf’s.
All numistians carry a certain amount of mystical coins within their body. This money appears to bleed from them when they lose hit points. The type of coin changes with the numistian’s level—copper for a numistian of under 6th level, silver for those between 6th and 12th level, and gold for those over 12th level. The coins, however, are completely insubstantial and disappear as the numistian is healed. One mystical coin bleeds for every hit point lost.
A numistian’s mystical coins also serve as a reproductive tool. When a male passes half of his mystic coins to a female, a numistian infant is conceived. Six months later, a small golden egg is expelled from the mouth of the female. The egg hatches immediately when placed on a small pile of gold pieces, and the infant ravenously eats all of the coins.
Growth is dependent on how much money the child eats. The child reaches adult-size when it consumes at least one thousand gold pieces in coins. Emotionally and mentally, numistians mature similarly to humans. Numistians also have a lifespan similar to humans, though they remain vibrant and healthy most of their lives. Towards the end of their lifespan, they begin to bleed coins spontaneously from their coin pool. It is subtle at first, starting with only a few coins a day. Numistians have even been known to hide this disorder for months. Eventually, the condition worsens and the numistian succumbs to death from old age.
To a numistian, money is life. They live for the clatter of coins, the thrill of the sale, and the pride of being wealthy. Each numistian goes about his own quest in his own way. Many are innovative entrepreneurs, seeking out new markets or interesting ways to sell old ideas. Others seek riches through treasure hunting or pirating. Some numistians may even hone one particular skill to perfection and use it to make their livelihood.
Whatever the means, numistians are all business. They have little time for romance, find entertainment to be more of a commodity than a pleasure, and generally shun any emotional endeavors that will not give them some sort of gain. Still, they know the intricacies of charm, the flair of personality, and the power of good humor—as all are needed to be successful in the world of commerce. Cold-hearted as their true nature may be, a numistian’s demeanor is friendly and warm. Unfortunately, loyalty, honor, and amity may easily go to the highest bidder.
Relations: Numistians make a point to get along with all races, as all races have money to spend. They are often students of culture; learning the language and customs of a race to better interact. Their accommodating demeanors grants them acceptance by most core races. Their weakest relations are with elves, which tend to view the motives of the numistian to be disingenuous, and often have trouble trusting them. Their strongest compatibility is with dwarves, who share their love of gold and direct approach towards acquisition of that gold.
Relations to Remarkable Races: Numistians harbor no prejudices towards other races, save perhaps the mahrogs who they rarely interact with. They are especially close with the industrious oaklings who recognize the importance of having good merchant contacts. Boggles often share business associations with the numistians, who are always on the lookout for the next great invention.
Alignment and Religion: The overwhelming majority of numistians are lawful, though those of good, evil, and neutral alignments are mixed evenly. A chaotically aligned numistian is typically a ruthless pirate that even his fellow kinsmen would scarcely deal with.
Adventurers: Numistians often excel at certain human callings, particularly in the religious sector. A numistian can easily relate to the selfless zeal with which one pursues a religion, as they do the same with money. In addition, nearly all faiths that have temples or churches require finance. Numistian clerics and paladins often become extremely successful evangelists; collecting both large sacks of coin and throngs of new followers. While a pleasant percentage of spoils stays in their personal accounts, the organizations for which they collect benefit nicely from a numistian’s exploits.
Of the other adventuring numistians, rogues are most often encountered. These treasure-seekers make their coin through plunder, theft, and con-artistry. Still other numistians turn to the arcane arts, searching for a way to turn magic into money, either directly, or by selling their services to those who need them.
Male Names: Auran, Argent, Cash, Cupro, Curren, Darragh, Deynar, Golden, Merko, Odwulf, Orro, Otho, Prospero, Quarto, Rich, Theomund, Udolf, Wellington, Welth, Yen
Female Names: Ada, Aurana, Argenta, Casha, Dolla, Darlelle, Edris, Goldie, Merka, Neda, Odella, Pay, Penny, Prospera, Salla, Silves, Tresha, Thriva, Udela, Victa.
The following feats are available to a numistian character who meets the prerequisites.
The following classes and/or prestige classes are available to a numistian character who meets the prerequisites.