Inspired by one of the more bizarre speculations of medieval natural philosophy, the Antipodeans are a great way to change a ordinary encounters with NPCs into a head-scratching WTF moment for your players!
Strange people who are perpetually upside-down.
NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1-12
HD: 1 (d6) (or by Character Class and Level)
MOVE: 30′ (as per Encumbrance)
AC: 10 (or by Armor Type)
ATTACKS: 1 Weapon (plus applicable Strength bonus)
SPECIAL: Reversed Personal Gravity
SAVES: By Character Class
INT: Average (as per Human)
TREASURE: As per Level
Sages speculate that there is another realm on the opposite side of the mundane world. Known as the Antipodes, it is said to be a place where everything is upside-down, relative to the gravity of ordinary experience. The existence of such a bizarre place would account for the strange reports of people who walk on ceilings, and look up to see down!
Antipodeans are seem to be ordinary humans in most respects. Their personal gravity is reversed, however. Up is down to them. Their hair falls upwards, and their clothing likewise hangs up. Likewise, all their personal equipment seems to obey this same gravity. An Antipodean who drops his hat will have it fall upwards, relative to an ordinary person’s point-of-view. An Antipodean who jumps down from above with fall back up at the end of their arc of movement.
Naturally, Antipodeans are most frequently encountered indoors, especially underground. An Antipodean who enters an open space in the mundane world will fall up and off the Earth. Some sages speculate that such unfortunately Antipodeans will eventually land back in the Antipodes, but such an idea requires consideration of the most outrageous kind of speculative geometry.
It is said that anyone who travels deep enough into the dark Underworld will eventually cross over into the Antipodes. Such hapless explorers from the mundane world will then find themselves in a situation identical to that of Antipodean visitors!
The Antipodean adventurer NPCs typically encountered can have any character class open to normal Humans. However, the average Antipodean does not actually posses a character class, just like ordinary humans. Usually, though, only exceptional Antipodeans will brave the strange (to them) terrors of the mundane world.
Antipodean society is said to be also upside-down, relative to that of ordinary humans. Wealthy people are despised. Woman and children usually have higher social status than adult men. Corruption and vice are socially expected, but virtue actually flourishes in secret. The Antipodeans are even said to be worshiped by their gods!
Antipodeans attack each other as a way of saying “Hello”, behaving “normally” once (un)friendly relations have been established. If the Antipodeans are actually friendly to the adventurers, they will thus seem to initially act hostile. If, however, they are actually hostile, they will praise their opponents, and perhaps give a gift. In Antipodean culture, the only way to wipe away the shame of being given a gift is to give an even more valuable (and thus more insulting) gift.
If an Antipodean and an ordinary human were somehow to mate, any child produced would share the personal gravity of the mother. So, a child born to an Antipodean mother and normal father is an Antipodean, and the child of a ordinary woman and an Antipodean man is an ordinary human. Would- be suitors of Antipodeans are advised by ancient stories that the accepted way to woo one is with vile insults and theft.
Combat: Antipodeans fight in the same manner as ordinary humans, and with the same kind of weapons. Their reversed personal gravity can make missile weapons used by Antipodeans behave in strange and unexpected ways.
Reversed Personal Gravity: Antipodeans, and everything they take with them from their home in the Antipodes, always function as if normal gravity was reversed. From their point of view, it is shocking to see mundane humans walking “downside-up”. Any items taken from an Antipodean will always retain the same reversed gravity, seeming to be weightless, and falling upwards if they are not held down. Arrows shot by Antipodeans will arc downwards, and eventually fall up. Even Antipodean foodstuffs and drinks have this quality, making it nearly impossible for ordinary humans to consume them. Items from the mundane world taken by Antipodeans likewise retain their original gravity, falling down (not up) if the Antipodeans let go of them.