Dathmorri, The Shameless

“It was agreed that this was the most barbaric and outlandish people that they had passed through on the whole expedition, and the furthest removed from [our] customs, doing in a crowd precisely what other people would prefer to do in solitude…”
-Xenophon, Anabasis.

“…whatever acts we perform at home, these they perform out of doors in the midst of the streets, without blame. And among them is no reverence for the marriage-bed…”
-Apollonius Rhodius, The Argonautica

Playtest Version

This material is still in the process of being playtested. It is fully usable as written, but may be refined or changed in later versions. As always, this content should only be used with GM permission.


Those who visit a dathmorri town or city generally find it a startling and memorable experience. The dathmors are an offshoot of humanity who differ physically in few, if any, ways, but whose way of life is wildly unfamiliar. They live their day to day lives naked but covered in tattoos, and have little concept of privacy–engaging publicly in all manner of activities most folk prefer to do alone, particularly intense flirting, grooming, casual heavy petting and kissing (which they commonly refer to as “shifting”), masturbation, and even sex. To outsiders it seems they have no shame, and to the dathmor, these outsiders seem either ludicrously suspicious or disfunctionally shy. The original dathmorri tribes were pale of skin with thick, curly dark hair that they traditionally wear braided. However, all skin colors as well as hair colors and textures are found among them, thanks to their non-monogamous culture as well as the occasional outsider who adopts their way of life.

Strict Nudity

Dathmors customarily go about their daily life nude or virtually so, displaying colorful, elaborate, and spiritually important tattoos that each individual in their society begins receiving in late childhood and which continue to be expanded from time to time throughout their lives. They will wear loose cloaks in inclement weather, belts and straps to hold tools or other objects, sandals, shoes, or boots for terrain that would be painful to walk upon barefoot, and whatever garments are required by their profession, such as aprons for blacksmiths, but their swift, agile soldiers fight in the nude as a show of bravery and skill. Even when traveling abroad, a dathmor explorer generally finds clothing and armor to be more cumbersome than useful after a lifetime of going without.

Culture Shock

Even more startling to outsiders than the ubiquitous nudity is the apparent lack of any division between public and private activity. Couples will have sex freely in the marketplace even while carrying on a conversation with friends or haggling on prices. “Shifting” is a casual form of groping, heavy petting and manual stimulation of another, sometimes accompanied by kissing, but is viewed as something akin to a massage and is not limited solely to individuals sexually interested in one another, although it is also often used as a type of foreplay. Discussion of what would commonly be considered “private subjects” has no taboo. While marriage is common, it is usually a fairly open relationship and it is not unusual to hear a husband and wife bragging to each other in a tavern of their recent individual “conquests” and the fetishes engaged in during them, in order to arouse each other. Even necessary bodily functions, while strictly limited to proper facilities for sanitation reasons if individuals are in a settlement, are performed in communal latrines that are open to the air to disperse smells and avoid interrupting important conversations.

The Strangeness of Outsiders

Just as foreigners in dathmorri lands find their customs bizarre and discomforting, the dathmors likewise find foreign insistence on hiding themselves and their activities to be unsettling. To dathmorri sensibilities, the only reasons why sex would be actively hidden is if it one partner or the other is ashamed to be engaging in it, or if the act in question is somehow illicit in some way, which would be quite a feat given their open embrace of fetishes, group sex, casual hook-ups, and experimentation. Strict monogamy is viewed as a paranoid and domineering custom, and celibacy is seen as an extreme form of self-destructive ascetism, akin to how most cultures view severe self-flagellation. They have no word for virgin, instead translating the word as “traumatic shyness” and a subject of gentle pity. Foreign insistence on wearing clothing is likewise viewed as an expression of either very low self-esteem, or malign intent to hide.

Proud Artisans

Beyond all the culture shock, the two most commonly commented-upon traits of dathmorri society are the incredible quality of the steel their smiths produce by complex and mystical techniques, and their peculiar, but exceptionally skilled architecture. Dathmorri homes are most commonly built high up around the trunks of tall trees, or spires of rock or canyon walls in less forested environments, with rope bridges and catwalks connecting them. If natural structures for building their elevated structures upon are not available, they will construct these homes perched above their other buildings. In old growth redwood forests, they will even sometimes build entire multi-level cities hundreds of feet above the ground. Their tattoo artists are likewise exceptional, but it is a practice with complex spiritual elements and is effectively a religious order rather than a profession.

Dathmorri Names

Strictly speaking, dathmors generally only have one name, but in a community of any meaningful size, most individuals will also have an ad hoc title settled upon by the community when a particular individual of that name needs to be specified. These titles are usually based on personality, family, occupation, appearance (including that of their unique tattoos), or individual achievements. (For example: Bryn the Bear Fighter, Little Flannan, Old Idris the Alchemist, Aeron the Eagle-Backed, Tadgh Thick-Shaft, Rhiannon Fire Hair, Finlay Man Rider, Gormlath the Cynic, Loud Tavish, or Tierney the Smith’s Daughter). Titles may change as deemed necessary, and the only strict rule is that they be accurate.

Feminine Names: Anwen, Blejan, Blodwed, Bronwen, Ceridwen, Gormlath, Lusech, Mabyn, Morwenna, Nolwenn, Olwen, Rhiannon, Steren, Tegwen

Masculine Names: Alan, Bradan, Corentin, Drust, Elouan, Finnlay, Gwenael, Hefin, Idris, Mochan, Piran, Suvney, Tavish, Winoc

Androgynous Names: Aeron, Bryn, Caron, Eirian, Feidelmid, Flannan, Keelan, Leamnact, Morcant, Paderau, Rouan, Slaine, Tierney, Yanick

New Human Talent: Glory-Clothed

The elaborate and brightly colored tattoos of the Dathmors–unique to each individual–are said to bind fate to those bearers who display them fully while seeking glory through skill or combat.
     Requirements: Native Culture (Dathmorri)

  • Attributes: +1 to any 1 attribute, -1 to any 1 attribute
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Bonus Feat: You gain Dathmorri Exemplar as a bonus feat (see below).
  • Enlightened Crafting: Your maximum Crafting rank increases to your Career Level + 5. Only the highest bonus from any single enlightened ability may apply to each skill.
  • Fearless I: You gain a +4 bonus with Morale checks.
  • Free Hint: Once per session, you may request a free hint from the GM. If they refuse, you gain 1 bonus action die.
  • Heroism: You gain a +1 bonus with all attack and skill checks made during Dramatic scenes.
  • Distinctive: You suffer a -2 penalty and -1 threat range on Blend and Disguise checks. (A threat range reduced past 20 cannot result in a threat)

New Specialty: Dathmor

You have lived your life according to Dathmorri traditions, spiritual, physical, and social.
     Requirements: Native Culture (Dathmorri)

  • Bonus Feat: Dathmorri Exemplar (see below).
  • Beguiling: Once per character per scene when you successfully Taunt a standard character, you may decline the standard result to have the character become fixated on you for 1d6+1 rounds.
  • Nimble Defense: If you are wearing no armor or partial armor, your base defense increases by 2.
  • Secrets of Steel: You inflict 2 additional damage with metal weapons.

New Style Feat: Dathmorri Exemplar

While every part of Dathmorri culture is distinctive and unconventional, from their tattoos (which their warriors believe grant them protection in battle), to their exotic mostly-vertical architecture, to their nearly religious approach to craftsmanship, it is their rejection of body coverings, of monogamy, and of the very idea that some activities should not be public which are most shocking to the sensibilities of outsiders.
     Prerequisites: Study in Dathmorri Culture
     Benefits: Your Appearance bonus increases by +1, you gain 4 ranks in the Crafting skill, you are always considered to have Climber’s Gear, and you gain Thick Hide 3. However, the Disposition of any character who is aware of your Dathmorri culture and doesn’t possess a Study in it worsens by 10, and the Defense Penalties and Armor Check Penalties of any clothing or armor you wear which does not leave you effectively nude are worsened by -2.

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