Olman (Greyhawk)

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The culturally dominant people thousands of years ago, in an age where gods where more inhuman and less good than today. The Olman eventually abandoned their empire and left their gods for shamanism. Today they live in semi-barbarism, often exploited by other peoples.

Strong Abilities

Constitution, Wisdom, Charisma.

Cultural Traits

Fatalism, Piety, Grandiosity, Tradition

Real-World Model

Central native americans. The Olman are the shattered and oppressed survivors of a great but alien civilization.


Olman goods are almost universally evil, and often chaotic. This makes even good Olman societies seem cruel and bloodthirsty to others. Good Olman submit to the demands of these gods while trying to make the best they can of life. Evil Olman relish their gods' lust for blood and pain and often advance in their service, attaining high social rank even in a society that is not otherwise evil. An Olman high court can be very evil and cruel, yet administer a prosperous land where many people lead good lives.


Olman love competition, especially team sport. Ball games, ritual dances, and military drill if common, popular, and brings great status. The greatest competitions have an unusual first prize; the champion team earns the honor to be human sacrifices. This is the ultimate honor, but it is rare and only employed by the greatest city-states or in times of desperation.


Incest, Nudity, Sadomasochism.




Conventional, group marriage, or theogamy (marriage to the gods or reenactment of divine marriage). Strictly regulated by tradition. Matrilinear. Barbarian tribes tend to Conventional or group marriage.


Olman magic is graphic and ceremonial, seeking to impress and terrorize as much as possible. Their gods rarely grant protective or healing spells. They lack wizards or bards, and their sorcerers find themselves gifted with destructive spells that affect large areas.


The Olman pantheon is dominated by evil gods who demand human sacrifice and ritual cannibalism, yet their society is not evil. These gods are tolerant of worshipers of other alignments, as long as they proper sacrifices are made. Good people can support such a society because it maintains the social order and the continued existence of the world. Olman have a trait that allows any alignment, even to those serving evil gods.

Most Olman today have rebelled against the demands of their cruel gods and live in small primitive communities allied to local spirits. However, it seems such tribes cannot advance and build cities without divine patronage. Olmans generally think foreign gods are merely their own gods in disguise. Olman who subjugate themselves to foreign gods tend to either misinterpret their teachings to be as cruel as those of their own gods, or to lose their Olman identity and be assimilated.

The Olman world passes through ages where different gods claim domination. The gods gather at the end of each age to renew the sun and select a ruler amongst themselves. The current sun is the sixth, after the fall of the previous five suns. The current sun god is Camazotz, god of bats, but he was not strong enough to make the other gods sacrifice (and thus renew) themselves at the beginning of the age. This is why all the Olman gods are currently weakened and their empires have fallen.

  1. Nahui-Ollin (Earthquake Sun - Nanauatzin) - This world was destroyed by earthquakes and demonic incursion. (This may be related to the Crystalmist turning into the Hellfurnaces, ca -4800)
  2. Nahui-Ocelotl (Jaguar Sun - Tezcatlipoca) - Inhabitants were giants who were devoured by jaguars. The world was destroyed.
  3. Nahui-Ehécatl (Wind Sun - Quezalcoatl) - Inhabitants were transformed into monkeys. This world was destroyed by hurricanes. -1900 CY.
  4. Nahui-Quiahuitl (Rain Sun - Tlaloc) - Inhabitants were destroyed by rain of fire. Inhabitants survived by becoming birds. -100 CY
  5. Nahui-Atl (Water Sun - Chalchiuhtlicue) - This world was flooded turning the inhabitants into fish. This is believed to a mythic representation of the flight from Hepmonaland into the Amedio. This happened around CY -1200.
  6. Nahui-Aztlán (Cave sun - Camazotz) - This is a stillborn sun waiting for death but lasting overlong. Begins in -490, still ongoing.

Toci is often identified with Beory (or Oerth), the global earth-mother.

Name Translation Rank Alignment Sphere Domains Forms
Camazotz the Sixth Sun Death Bat Lesser CE Bats, Insects, Sun, Volcanoes Animal (Feather), Earth (Caves), Fire (Arson), Madness (Nightmare), Trickery
Camaxtli The flayed one Lesser LE East, Suffering, Renewal, Spring Destruction (Torture), Healing (Resurrection), Nobility (Martyr), Plant, Sun (Light)
Chalchiuhtlicue She of the Jade Skirt Lesser CG Water, Childbirth, Fertility Community (Family), Healing, Luck, Plant (Growth), Water,
Ciuacoatl Snake woman Lesser CE Childbirth, Ghosts, Hunger Charm (Lust), Community, Death (Undead), Repose (Souls), Strength (Resolve)
Huhueteotl or Nanauatzin Aged god, Humble god Intermediate LN Fire, Home, Hope, Rebirth Community (Home), Fire, Healing (Resurection), Nobility (Martyr), Strength.
Huitzilopochtli Hummingbird of the South Lesser LE Blue, War, Youth, South Destruction, Liberation (Revolution), Nobility (Leadership), Sun (Day), Strength (Ferocity)
Mictlantecuhtli Lord of the Underworld Intermediate LE Death, North Animal, Death, Evil (Fear), Repose (Ancestors).
Quezalcoatl Plumed serpent Intermediate N Air, Knowledge, Warriors, White, West Animal (Feather), Knowledge, Liberation, Nobility (Leadership), Travel
Tezcatlipoca Smoking mirror Intermediate CE Jaguars, Obsidian, Strife, Sorcery Death, Earth, Fire (Smoke), Magic, War
Tlaloc Cloud Serpent Intermediate LE Rain, Storms, Fertility Air, Plant (Growth), Scalykind, Water (Oceans), Weather (Seasons).
Tlazolteotl Eater of filth Lesser CE Sin, Forgiveness, Sex Charm (Lust), Luck, Madness, Protection (Purity), Trickery,
Toci Grandmother Greater N Nature Charm (Love), Community (Home), Earth, Healing, Plant (Growth).
Xochipilli Flower prince Lesser CN Love, Games, Beauty, Dance, Flowers Charm, Knowledge (Thought), Liberation, Rune (Language), Strength.
Yacatecuhtli God of the nose Lesser CE Merchants Artifice (Toil), Charm, Knowledge, Luck, Travel (Trade),


Animal Aspect

You have an affinity for one of the ancient warrior totems of the Olman.

Benefit: Once per day as a swift action you can enter a sacred rage, letting something bestial come over you. You take on an animalistic appearance, retaining your normal form and attributes but distorting your normal human features to be like a jaguar, eagle or other predator native to Olman lands. For the rest of the fight you gain DR 2/Iron. This is overcome by normal iron or steel, like most normal melee weapons are made from, but still protects against wooden weapons like the club and against natural attacks. This DR stacks with barbarian damage reduction.

Giver of Blood

Lawful and even good Olman can worship deities of chaos and evil, accepting the burden of placating these evil powers for the benefit of the people.

Benefit: If you worship an evil or chaotic deity, you can ignore all alignment restrictions based on class or patron deity. Performing the required functions of your position in a cult does not change you alignment, as long as you perform them piously and without excess. Nor does casting aligned spells affect your alignment, but the results of such spells can affect your alignment as normal. If you worship a patron of an alignment different from yours, base all alignment-derived powers of your class (channel energy, casting aligned spells and so on) on your patron's alignment.

Jungle Tribesman

You are a member of one of the Olman tribes that succeeded the Olman empire and prosper in the jungle wilderness.

Benefit: You gain a +2 trait bonus on initiative checks and Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks when you are in jungle terrain. When traveling through jungle you leave no trail and cannot be tracked (though you may leave a trail if you so choose). If you have jungle as a favored terrain, add +2 to the favored terrain bonus instead of the above benefits.

Olman Throwback

You belong to a group of Olman who have been assimilated by invaders or colonists, and live as a client people in their societies, but your heritage is still alive inside you.

Benefit: You have a suppressed affinity for the faith and practices of the old Olman. Select one class from this list: Barbarian, Oracle (for an Olman deity), Sorcerer, Witch. This class is a favored class for you (in addition to your normal favored class).

Native Guide

You have become a guide for explorers from faraway lands.

Benefit: Select one skill from this list: Knowledge (local), Knowledge (geography), Survival. The selected skill is a class skill for you, and you get a +1 trait bonus to checks using this skill.