|Average Height: Varies|
Average Weight: Varies
|Ability Scores: Varies|
Languages: Common, choice of one other
Skill Bonuses: +2 Streetwise, +2 Arcana
Without homeland, the Vistani roam the world and its reflections. They weave enigmatic stories of their past, and their ways are inscrutable to outsiders. Vistani clans, full of folk of differing races, rove outside the politics and concerns of civilized places. Their magic and guile allow them to safely traverse the dark gulfs between settled areas and cross the walls between worlds. To sedentary people, these numinous vagabonds bring exotic goods, news, services, and skills. They take away new friends, orphaned children, and survival essentials, as well as more valuables than, perhaps, they honestly earned.
Play a Vistani if you want...
- to come from a culture that allows you to defy racial stereotypes despite your race.
- to access to a wandering “nation” of potential allies with a culture full of mystery and adventure.
- to be a member of a bloodline that favors the avenger, druid, fighter, invoker, ranger, or rogue; or any arcane class.
Vistani is not a race but a supernatural blood connection between folk of various races who have grown up in or joined Vistani clans. If you wish to play a Vistani, choose a PC race as normal, and then select the Vistani Heritage feat at 1st level to gain your connection to the Vistani. If you select the Vistani Heritage feat after 1st-level, your Dungeon Master can require you to explain how your character became Vistani. The most likely way is a Vistani Blooding ritual, which must be earned during the game— the DM is final arbiter of who can receive such an honor. Similarly, your DM can disallow retraining of bloodline feats if you have no explanation of how your character loses his or her link to the Vistani. Vistani clans contain persons of various races, most of whom have little physical resemblance. Vistani share an uncanny similarity in eye color, which is glossy black. Every Vistani also has the violet scar from his or her Blooding, which other Vistani can intuitively identify. (This mark turns black on Vistani outlaws.) Otherwise, as a people, their manner, decoration, and customs unify them and set them apart from others of similar racial stock.
Playing a Vistani
Vistani Characteristics: Adaptable, arcane, brazen, cunning, curious, dogged, fiery, hedonistic, impish, lively, mystical, overconfident, proud, restless, seductive, suspicious, tolerant, unconventional, vengeful
Each Vistani is a complex and sometimes contradictory array of emotions and motivations. As a people, they are bold, candid, intrepid, and witty; but they can be cynical and aloof toward non-Vistani. They respect individuality and competence, knowing that life demands adaptability rather than rigid rules. As nature teaches, each situation calls for a particular action.
More than a few civilized folks consider the Vistani to be morally lax. It is true that a Vistani might lie or steal as such actions suit, especially for the sake of survival and future success. Vistani are whimsical and willing to do “small wrongs” to acquire what they desire. However, few Vistani are given to hate and cruelty, or are willing to greatly harm others without due cause. When such a reason is given, though, few are as fierce in their retaliation as a Vistani.
The relaxed nature of Vistani morality is based in an utter belief in the power of fate, and the power of an individual to escape a poor fate through wisdom and right choices. A Vistani might peddle something worthless for the coin he or she needs, knowing that only those bound by destiny to give the money shall do so. Further, only those who have ill fortune would dare rely on an untested remedy. If someone detects the deception, the Vistani peddler laughs it off and congratulates the wise one for his or her insight into the actual state of events. The peddler might even return cash to those who are upset, depending on how he or she is treated.
This derives from the fact that self-determination is universal to the Vistani psyche, as is a sense of personal accountability. A Vistani that has a grievance is honest about the problem and expects to be dealt with fairly. He or she demands respect, returns respect or lack of it in kind. Vistani promises are given sparingly, worded devilishly, but followed scrupulously. When a disagreement is resolved, a Vistani considers it a sign of weakness to hold a grudge. Anything he or she puts effort to—craftwork, forgiveness, thievery, lovemaking—is done with gusto and optimism.
As profound a personal liberty to a Vistani is a desire to rove. Few Vistani stay in one place for more than a week, or a month at the outside. Then they desire to move on and see more of the wide world. Travels likely bring a Vistani back the same way again, but Vistani blood seems to engender a desire for wayfaring and adventure.
Vistani are also mystics at heart. Each Vistani finds magical wonder in the world and feels eldritch energy in his or her veins. Supernatural powers are common among them. Their divinations and imprecations are legendary, as is the Vistani ability to heal. Every Vistani hopes to have at least a little skill at magic.
Those who grew up wandering with a Vistani clan adopt Vistani customs of decoration, which vary from clan to clan but share some traits. Vistani like to maintain an attractive and clean appearance. One prefers only as much clothing as is necessary for comfort. What he or she wears is loosely fitted, except where intended to accentuate certain features, and brightly colored. Patterns and stripes, showing influences from numerous other cultures, are common. Vistani accessorize with veils, scarves, hats, sashes, and bandanas, as well as plenty of jewelry, feathers, and fur. Males who can grow facial hair usually do. A Vistani who has hair on his or her head often wears that hair long and pleasantly unkempt.