The stars of Pash-Mara
In our world’s mythology, the Amazons are a culture of warrior women mentioned at least as far back as the ancient Greeks, and their presence as figures in fiction and mythology has continued all the way into the modern age with DC’s Wonder Woman.
But what should an “amazon” analog look like in your campaign world? D&D, after all, is a universe saturated with magic, and we need not be limited to social or political models.
Some possible ideas:
- Magic radiation within the society’s territory sickens and eventually kills male humanoids but does not affect females (daily Constitution save or gain a level of exhaustion). Males never make it to term.
- The society is blessed (or cursed) by some divine or near-divine power. No male children are born and men are overcome by wanderlust and leave.
- Male children are born, but are raised segregated from females and exiled once they come of age
- Men exist only as eunuch slaves for menial labour
- Men are part of the society but have no status, or status in only very specific and limited domains
- Men are not suffered to live within the borders of the society. At best, male intruders will be driven out, at worst they may be pursued and executed for trespassing.
- Citizens travel outside the society’s borders to find mates, but men are forbidden within the city’s borders.
The Amazon Background
You were born and spent your formative years in a militaristic society where women have absolute authority. Your culture is a proud one, and its history (which may or may not be true) is a cornerstone of your education and your identity. The specifics will depend on your DM’s campaign world — talk to your DM about how your character could relate to the rest of the world.
Regardless of the specifics, you’ve spent your life largely insulated from men and most of what you know about them comes from your society’s myths and your experience defending your borders and territory. Whether you understanding of men is more caricature or accurate depends on whose stories you paid most attention to.
Generally, must be female. Depending on the specifics of the society, male characters might also appear as exiled male offspring, freed slaves, or servants.
Skills, tools and languages
- All amazons are proficient with long and short bows, javelins, and spears.
- History and one of: Athletics, Persuasion or Survival.
- One common language and one of: a musical instrument, a tool for crafting or a gaming set.
A spear useful as both a weapon and a walking stick
A bedroll, a hooded cloak, a set of traveler’s clothes, a blanket, a trinket keepsake from your friends or family, a pouch of common dried fragrant herbs, and a belt pouch containing 10 gold.
Possible background Features
Choose one, subject to DM approval.
She’s just a woman: Humanoid and humanoid-like enemies tend to discount you as a threat. Provided you have not yet acted in combat, and provided they do not have to go significantly out of their way to do so, enemies are more likely to attack someone else first. Foes with an Intelligence lower than 6 are unaffected by such preconceptions.
She’s a savage! Many gruesome tales have been told of your people. What those rumours are and how much truth there is to them is up to you (and your DM). You find it somewhat easier to intimidate men, but conversely expect law enforcement to be keeping an eye on you.
1d8 Personality trait
1 I am fiercely proud of my people and will not suffer the bumbling idiocy or judgement of males more than I have to.
2 I am reserved and observant, preferring to watch from the edges and learn about these unnatural male-dominated societies.
3 I am not one of these meek, kept women, and I refuse to act like one to humour delicate male sensibilities.
4 I am horrified by the subservient status of women outside my community. I advocate for their rights and respect because they deserve better.
5 Male egos are so easily bruised. If I see the opportunity to humiliate a man, especially if I see him treating a woman poorly, I will take it. My talent for pranks at home is legendary — these fools won’t know what hit them.
6 I cannot block the flow of a river, but in time I may be able to change it’s course. I dedicate what I can of my time to suggesting ideas that will erode the dominance of men over women in the outside world.
7 I am better than the best that man has to offer. Anything that he attempts, I will achieve, and I will make sure he knows I have succeeded where he has failed.
8 I am unsure that my people’s way is truly the right way. I am questioning all my preconceptions and trying to absorb what might be worth bringing back to my sisters.
1 Champion of Change: I cannot make these fools see the light, nor bring all these women into the fold, but I can shift the balance through debts of gratitude. (Good)
2 Collector: So many curios and oddities! I must bring one of those home to show my sisters! Ooo, and that one! That one too! (Chaotic)
3 Exemplar: I am representing my community to these outsiders, and as such I need to embody our ideals. (Lawful/Good)
4 Lorebinder: My people have many tales of what goes on in the outside world, and the outside world undoubtedly has legends of our exploits. I intend to connect fact and fiction. (Neutral)
5 Manipulator: Consider, your Highness: If the Princess were become Queen and take a husband not as her king, but as her Prince Consort, your bloodline and legacy your both be preserved.
6 Market researcher: Where there is scarcity, there is opportunity. There are things here we do not have, and there must be goods we produce that would be of value to the outside. (Neutral)
7 Matchmaker: Hmm. That one has potential — strong jaw, tall and fit, seems both respected and successful. I’ll make a note about him. (Any)
8 Pillager: Their defenses are terrible! If my sister come down the river we’ll have our pick of their wealth and their men and be gone before they can muster their defenses! I must send word… (Evil)
9 Proselytizer/Recruiter: Most women would be so much better off wiring our Sisterhood. I will do what I can to guide them into the fold. (Any)
10 Punisher: Scum. They’re all scum, and while there’s too many to punish them all I’ll see to it that the worst of them will pay for their crimes. (Non-Good, Non-Lawful)
11 Scout: In the right context, even mundane information could secure the future of my people. (Neutral)
12 Tomb liberator: Lady Sozhall was a general of incredible skill and genius who was never given her due by her “superior” officers. She would be proud to have her effects drawn into the service of her sisters-in-spirit.
1 I have little patience for men and take hesitation for idiocy or incompetence.
2 I need to be better than anyone else and I don’t take well to eating crow.
3 I have a hard time not interfering in the lives of women I see as oppressed.
4 I was raised on tales of male savagery and am more on guard when surrounded by men than I would be surrounded by wolves.
5 I tend to assume people are trying to pull one over on me and am known to offend people by openly questioning their intentions.
6 I struggle with obeying the authority of those who haven’t earned my respect.
7 I see little difference between “being tactful” and “being dishonest”.
8 I miss the company of my sisters and tend to let my guard down when speaking to other women.
1 I want to find my mother’s mate. She spoke fondly of him and I’d like to meet him.
2 An artifact of my people was stolen, and I will not stop until it is returned.
3 My honour was tarnished before my sisters’ eyes, and I will not return until I have proven myself worthy of their respect once again.
4 I am ready to bear a daughter of my own — now I must find a male worthy of the honour.
5 My scouting party was ambushed and I don’t know how my sisters fared.
6 I was exiled for heretical ideas and intend to either return with proof or die with my blade broken off in the heart of my foe.
7 The magic that protects my people is failing, or is being corrupted and turned against us. Our continued survival depends on finding the source of this change and stopping it.
8 We have nearly exhausted our supply of one of the ingredients for the potion that keeps male humanoids from sickening and dying within our borders. I need to find a new source or a substitute to preserve our way of life.
9 One of my sisters has go havene rogue and I have been tasked finding and bringing her home, willing or not.