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Bambola

Bambola are living dolls, a form of sentient construct. Originally constructed by Giuseppe and Malingo in
the village of Odiare, they have since found ways to replicate themselves and spread in small numbers
throughout the core. Bambola are akin to dread golems in that they draw their animating force from
human emotions; a bambola must interact with humanoids regularly or they began to weaken,
eventually reverting to inanimate dolls.

Appearance: Physically Bambola are constructed of wood and bronze mechanisms inside a porcelain
shell; this outer shell makes them look like living humans at first glance. Bambola are about half the
height of an average adult human; in other words, about the size of a prepubescent child. Most bambola
are designed to look like idealized children, their porcelain features flawless and beautiful. A few instead
look like miniature adults. The first generation of bambola were designed with skin as white as snow;
subsequent generations are usually modeled after humans in whatever region they were created.

A bambola wearing sufficiently covering clothes can easily be mistaken for a human child or miniature
person. The magic that animates them softens their porcelain faces, allowing them to move their facial
features as though made of flesh and blood; only careful examination reveals subtle oddities in the way
a bambola’s face creases and curves as they express themselves.

Without clothes a bambola’s artificial nature becomes much more apparent: most of their joints are
clearly artificial doll joints, and they lack genitalia. Bambola in public take care to conceal their doll
hands and necks using gloves and scarves.

Personality: Bambola vary in personality, but are almost always extroverted, and usually marked by a
mixture of childish curiosity and bitter cynicism. They are a young race, still learning much about the
world around them, but they already understand that they do not quite “belong”. Bambola typically live
in human settlements, disguising themselves as human urchins. They interact with humans to feed, but
also to learn and escape boredom.

Though it is not a universal trait, it is common for bambola to be rather vain. They often take great pains
to maintain their porcelain features, checking daily for any sign of cracks or discoloration. Of course, for
many this is a purely practical habit, as visible damage could ruin their ability to pass for human.

Bambola tend to take interest in mundane dolls, though not to any sort of obsessive extent. They will
pause to examine any porcelain doll they encounter, and dislike seeing such dolls damaged. Bambola
also like cloth dolls, but have a strange dislike of puppets and wooden dolls. This is actually because of
their experiences with Malingo and his Carrionettes.

Bambola are particularly fascinated by religion and spirituality, seeking answers to questions about their
place in the world. While many religious philosophers of other races would argue that Bambola lack
souls, because they were not created by the gods, Bambola believe otherwise. They argue that while the
first mortals may have been made by the gods, all subsequent mortals were made by their own mortal
parents; if these later mortals have souls, why should the bambola, made by man, not have souls as
well?

Dread Bambola

Bambola sometimes become particularly obsessed with a particular living individual, drawing almost all
of their emotional sustenance from this one person. A bambola that falls too deeply into this state may
become a dread construct, powered by its own obsession rather than that of the one who made it.
These dread bambola develop a telepathic link to the target of their obsession, similar to the link
between a dread construct and its creator.

Like other dread constructs, dread bambola inevitably become hated by their target, and they sense this
disgust and return in kind. Whereas normal bambola simply accept their unnatural nature, having no
baseline to compare it too, dread Bambola come to truly understand and feel the same revulsion that
constructs invoke in the living.

Other bambola tend to fear and avoid members of their race who become obsessed in this manner, but
in a twist of dark irony only dread bambola have the power to create more of the living doll people.

Relations: Bambola tend to be fond of all other races in Ravenloft, always desiring love and friendship
with others. They do find dwarves somewhat dour, but admire their string work ethic. They tend to be a
little jealous of elves for that race’s connection to the natural world, but usually ignore these feelings.
Bambola of course tend to like human, and especially adore human children. Unfortunately, members of
other races who learn the true nature of the Bambola rarely return this affection.

Alignment: Young bambola tend towards moral good, or neutrality in the case of more pragmatic
individuals. They have a slight inclination towards chaos, but bambola of any ethical orientation can
easily be found. While bambola almost never start evil, the constant rejection of other races can wear
them down and turn their hearts to darkness; even bambola who avoid obsession and transformation
into dread constructs may eventually stop caring about “fleshy”” morality.

Bambola Lands: Bambola originated in the domain of Odiare, but none remain there now (at least not
permanently). Bambola are primarily found in the civilized crescent, particularly the domain of Borca.

Some are also found in Darkon, and that domain is home to the only settlement comprised exclusively
of Bambola; the village is kept hidden from outsiders, known only to high ranking members of Azalin’s
government (the darklord doesn’t really care whether the Bambola are “natural” or not, so long as they
pay their taxes and avid trouble). Curiously, first-generation Bambola appear to be immune to the
memory altering affects of Darkon; younger Bambola can be affected, becoming convinced that they
were built in Darkon regardless of whether they truly were.

Outside of the core, the only significant population of Bambola is a group of second-generation Bambola
who took up residence in Paridon after fleeing their dread maker.
Religion: Bambola tend to be highly religious. Most worship Ezra, particularly the Mordent and Borca
sects. The remaining Bambola usually worship Hala or the Morning Lord, though a very few have taken
up worship of the lawgiver.

Language: Due to their basic programming, all Bambola speak about 100-200 of the most common
Italian words. Otherwise they speak the native language of the domain in which they were built.

Names: Bambola usually have Italian names, a way of remembering their heritage.

Bambola Racial Traits

 Size: Small
 Type: Construct (living construct)
 Ability Scores Adjustments: +2 str, +2 cha, -2 wis. The construction of bambola makes them
strong but fragile, and their childlike temperament can sway others but is partially a result of
their lack of common sense. They have no constitution score.
o Should they have a constitution score or not? If they do, they get a -2 modifier.
 Construct Defenses: Bambola are immune to poison, disease, aging effects, sleep effects, bleed
damage, dehydration, energy drain, and death effects. Bambola gain a +2 bonus on saves
against effects that cause exhaustion or fatigue (other than “starvation”, see Emotional
Animation below). Bambola do not need to eat, breathe, or sleep, though they can choose to
eat or breath to gain benefits and must rest 8 hours to regain spells.
 Healing
o Option 1: Bambola take half damage from negative energy effects and gain half benefits
from positive energy effects. They can be fully healed or harmed by repair construct and
damage construct.
o Option 2: Bambola are unaffected by positive and negative energy. Otherwise same as
above.
 Sensitive: Bambola do not have the normal construct immunity to mind-affecting effects.
 Complex Design: Bambola are subject to critical hits.
 Emotional Animation: Bambola must spend at least one hour each day interacting (meaning the
subject is aware of and communicating with the bambola) with a living sentient humanoid. If
they do not, they suffer the same affects as a living creature that fails to eat or drink for a day.
 Skill Penaltiy: Bambola take a -2 penalty on swim checks and handle animal checks. The hollow
bodies of bambola tend to fill with water when submerged, hindering movement. Natural
animals sense the unnatural nature of bambola, and react poorly.
 Skill bonus: Bambola get a +2 bonus on disguise checks to pass as a human child.
o Alternate trait: Bambola can freeze like a gargoyle, hiding in plain sight by pretending to
be an inanimate doll.
 Low-light vision. (Darkvision?)
 Favored Class: Cleric (Change to Bard?)
History
Bambola were first created in the domain of Odiare, by the dollmaker Guiseppe and his other creation,
that domain’s darklord, Malingo. The first bambola were created after the grand conjunction as a one-
time joint effort by Malingo and Guiseppe. Malingo was planning to once again purge the domain of
adults, so Guiseppe convinced him that the two should work together to produce guardians for the
children.

The first bambola were thus created with the intention that they would replace the adults of Odiare.
The doll folk were sent out to meet the children of Odiare, but they were soon discovered by the adults
as well. To Malingo’s shock, the adults were far less revolted by the bambola than the last generation
had been by Malingo himself. In a fit of jealous rage, Malingo turned against the bambola; the doll folk
in turn learned about Malingo’s plan and were horrified, fleeing into the mist rather than aiding him.

The mists took the first bambola to the core. Arriving first somewhere in the civilized crescent, the
Bambola were left lost and confused until they encountered an individual from Borca. Since the Borcan
tongue matched their own language, they were able to converse with this person; they thus set out to
Borca, so that they could at least communicate with those around them. These conversations also led
the bambola to the realization that humans feared animate constructs, so they began disguising
themselves as children.

In Borca, the Bambola began making a living pretending to be wandering orphans. Eventually they
encountered the priests of Ezra, and were drawn in by the clergy’s words of souls and salvations. The
priests initially assumed guardianship of the bambola under the mistaken impression that the latter
were human children; when the true nature of the doll folk was revealed, the priests were horrified.
Remarkably they refrained from violence, so the bambola simply asked the priests why they found the
doll folk so horrible.

The priests insisted that the bambola were unnatural and lacked souls, since they were created by men
rather than the gods. The bambola (who had learned a surprising amount about human biology by this
time) countered that humans were also created by humans. The priests, thrown off guard, took a
different route and argued that living things created more life, then pointed out that the bambola could
not create more of their own kind. This troubled the bambola, who sought unsuccessfully to make more
of themselves and prove the priests wrong.

Eventually many of the first generation bambola fell into madness and obsession, becoming dread
constructs. Ironically, it turned out that doing so gave them the very power they had sought; the dread
bambola could now create more doll folk. Hundreds of second generation bambola were thus created,
as the dread bambola began to dream of conquest. But just as the first generation bambola had rejected
Malingo, the second generation Bambola soon turned on and fled their own makers, spreading across
the core.

Classes
Bard
Bard is the second most common class for Bambola, after cleric. The childish doll folk tend to love music
and dancing, and they always love being the center of attention. Their natural charisma combines well
with the bard’s talent for manipulating others.

Barbarian

Bambola are heavily associated with “civilized” society, so they have a strong aversion to the path of the
Barbarian. Generally only Bambolas with a serious chip on their shoulder choose to embrace the path of
the berserker.

Cleric

The tendency of bambola to be fascinated with religion often leads them down the path of the cleric.
Getting official training can be tricky, but a remarkable number manage somehow; more and more often
this is by studying under a senior bambola cleric. Bambola clerics make full use of the classes healing
ability to gain the adoration of their allies.

Druid

Druid is the rarest class for bambola to follow: the doll people are not part of nature, and nature seems
to know this. The natural aversion animals feel towards bambola makes this class largely impossible.
Still, there are a few whose longing to belong leads them to take up the druid’s mantle. These bambola
druids tend to be almost fanatical, desperately trying to prove their worth to the natural world.

Fighter

Bambola fighters are relatively uncommon, as most doll folk prefer to avoid direct combat when
possible. Still, some bambola have enough of a passion for battle to become fighters, while others see
taking levels of fighter as a necessity in a hostile world.

Paladin

Bambola paladins are surprisingly common, considering the rarity of paladins as a whole. Bambola with
a marital bent and sufficient devotion to the cause of good may choose to pursue their spiritual passion
as paladins rather than clerics. The charisma and popularity of the paladin can also draw Bambola, but
those who follow the righteous path out of a desire for love often fall from virtue.

Ranger

Bambola rangers are usually found in domains with large areas of wilderness, such as the southwest
core. Bambola are usually more interested in society than nature, and have a hard time getting along
with animals. Bambola who do become rangers tend to focus more on the hunting and mobility aspect,
while eschewing animal companions.

Rogue

As creatures who must hide their true nature constantly, bambola are inevitably drawn to the path of
the rogue. Bambola rogues thrive as pickpockets and sneak thieves, their childlike appearance allowing
them to avoid suspicion so long as they can conceal their true nature. Many may follow the path of the
dashing rogue or the conman, relying on trickery and deceit more than on stealth.

Sorcerer

Bambola are magical constructs, so it is perhaps inevitable that some manifest an innate talent for
magic. Bambola sorcerers bloodlines’ do not represent their actual ancestors per se, so much as they
represent what forces seem to resonate most with the bambola’s own mystical animating force.

Wizard

Even more common than bambola sorcerers are those who develop magic talents though study.
Bambola take great interest in the supernatural origin of their race, and are thus drawn to study; some
wind up taking this study further and develop into spellcasters. Bambola wizards often seek to find a
way to make more of their kind without becoming dread bambola; others follow the dangerous path of
seeking to become more life-like than before.

Other Classes

Alchemist

Some bambola’s especially those in Paridon, wind up taking an interest in alchemical philosophy.
Alchemical philosophy teaches that flesh and soul are one, and that true life can be created artificially,
ideas that vindicate the bambola’s conviction that they are every bit as “real” as living creatures.
Bambola alchemists learn mutagens as formulas that twist their animating forces and physical
compositions, and draw on their innate animating magic to power their infusions. Bambola alchemists
often demonstrate an excess of their race’s inherent curiosity, and perhaps and excessive lack of
common sense as well.

Cavalier

Bambola cavaliers are rare, but surprisingly potent. On one hand, being a cavalier means being the
subject of intense scrutiny by many individuals, something that makes it very hard for a bambola to
disguise their true nature. On the other hand, the association of cavalier and charisma and the chance to
be beloved by many is a powerful draw. The biggest problem of course is that bambolas usually pretend
to be human children, and who will follow a child into battle?

Gunsligner

Bambolas are often associated with the domains where gunpowder is most common, so it is not
surprising that some bambolas of martial bent choose the path of the gunslinger. The ability to destroy
foes from a distance is also appealing to the fragile bambola. However, the childish nature of the doll
people makes it hard for them to muster the grit needed for this class; most bambola gunsligners use
the mysterios stranger archtype, drawing their determination from charisma rather than wisdom.

Inquisitor

Despite their fascination with religion, bambola almost never become inquisitors. They know all too well
what it means to be unwelcome, to be attacked for what you believe in, to be at odds with others who
share your own religion. Bambola are open-minded in seeking their spiritual path, and cannot bring
themselves to use that path as a reason to hurt others.

Magus

Bambola magi are rare, but only because they can rarely obtain the needed training; the ability to
combine physical and mystical combat is something many bambola would gladly possess.

Oracle

Bambola oracles are extremely rare; though the race has a great passion for religion, it is usually not
marked by the wild certainty and faith without philosophy that comes with being an oracle. Bambola
also tend to lack the physical flaws that are a requirement of oracles, due to their idealized artificial
bodies. Perhaps most importantly though, bambola simply don’t like the notion of fate; they prefer to
believe that they are free to determine their own future.

Vigilante

Bambola are perhaps more likely than any other race to become vigilantes; after all, almost all bambola
live under a false identity. The vigilante’s social focus goes well with the bambola’s natural charisma,
and with their need for social interaction. Bambola vigilantes usually have the assumed identity of a
mundane child, while in truth pursuing a career as a bounty hunter, thief, assassin, adventurer, or all of
the above.

Witch
The witch class is usually a bit too “primal” for the bambola, representing a connection to fey forces very
much at odds with the artificial nature of the doll people. Perhaps more importantly, witches are often
recluses, which is at odds with the extroverted and needy nature of the bambola. Still, members of this
race do often have a passion for mystic secrets, and for deceit, and thus may choose to make the
witches pact in their quest for deeper mysteries.

Bambola and Monsters

Vampires

Since bambola lack blood, they are of no use to vampires as a source of food. They can be charmed or
dominated however, so may be used as willing or unwilling minions.

The Created

Bambola are effectively created themselves, so they tend to have more sympathy for other constructs. A
bambola encountering a dread golem will often make at least some effort to negotiate at first, revealing
their own construct nature to earn the creature’s trust. This rarely works as well as the Bambola would
like.

The Ancient Dead and Liches

Bambola in large part have no special feelings towards these creatures, nor do these undead have a
universal reason to treat Bambola differently. It should be noted that bambola themselves don’t
generally seek immortality, for the obvious reason that they are not mortal.

Werebeasts

Bambola are generally as revolted by werebeasts as anyone else, but some harbor a secret jealousy of
werecreatures. As beings who do not belong in nature, some bambola envy the way werebeasts
combine man and nature into one. Wiser bambola recognize that werebeasts are in fact fully unnatural,
possessing sadism and pride alien to normal animal predators.

Ghosts

Interestingly, ghosts with the malevolence ability can usually possess bambola. Unlike living beings,
bambola can survive this possession, though they are rendered helpless as the spirit takes command of
their bodies. Bambola are often fascinated by ghosts, since the spectral undead are proof that the soul is
real. Many secretly hope to someday see the creation of a Bambola ghost, vindicating their belief that
they have souls as well.

Hags

Hags utterly despise Bambola, even more so than they hate most people. Some, who equate hags with
fey, speculate that hags hate bambola for the same reason animals do; the doll people are unnatural. In
some sense this is true, as the hags do hate bambola for being unnatural, but this is not because hags
find the unnatural revolting. Instead, it is because existing outside of nature means bambola are
immune to, and often oblivious to, the corrupting influence of hags.

Hags also hate bambola for the doll folk’s idealized beauty. Any bambola unlucky enough to be captured
by a hag is sure to find its features twisted and ruined by the spiteful crone.