12 new anthropomorphic races for the d20 system's Dungeons & Dragons 3.5
By Gideon Kalve Jarvis
Dungeons & Dragons and related material is copyright Wizards of the Coast, Incorporated. This work is copyright Gideon Kalve Jarvis and may be distributed and reposted freely (and this author encourages it), so long as the author's name is retained in the reposting.
Whether through the machinations of wizards or the meddling of the gods or simply the quirks of fate, a world can quickly become awash in sentient species, each one trying in its own fashion to find and defend a niche, however small and specialized. And of these many sentient species, a great many take traits from the nonsentient animals, or are related to them directly. The races below are a collection of several of the more common of these beastfolk. Unless otherwise noted, the races below use the human charts for aging, and are immune to lycanthropy (since they are already part animal).
In game terms, the following races were developed for Wizards of the Coast's 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons system, using the D20 rules, as a way to provide an opportunity for "furry" fans to play out some of the species they most enjoy, all of which have been designed for use starting at first level, without need for any level adjustments. Some of these races may not work in a given campaign, while others will fit without need for serious modification. Naturally, since this is a non-profit work, the information here can be taken and modified to suit the individual needs of a given campaign without incident, so long as some credit is given to the author.
To add a species to a game world, especially to an established game, having these new races suddenly pop out of the woodwork can be problematic, but there are a few ideas on how to integrate them. First, the new species could come from a distant and unknown area of the world, and only recently have been discovered or started to set out into the world at large. Another option is that the race has always been around, but in such small numbers or in such insignificant roles that they weren't of sufficient importance to draw any attention until recently, when their present population or social situation changed sufficiently to draw attention to them. Finally, the race might have just appeared in the world, either coming from another dimension or world, or having just been created, by gods, meddling mortals, or any number of different methods.
For those players wishing to add even more variety to their games, the official Wizards of the Coast work, Savage Species, can be invaluable in turning monster races into playable characters, though the rules in that volume sometimes requires a little tweaking for perfection in a given campaign. Later writings in this vein may (if there is any interest shown) include a listing of these races, as well as their statistical information. Also, the various "Races" books (Races of Stone, Races of the Wild, Races of Destiny, Races of the Dragon, etcetera) are also very useful resources for playing a variety of new and interesting species, some of which only require the lightest tweaking in order to turn them more "furry" in nature, if they are not already so (as I do with Raptorans and Catfolk, from Races of the Wild, in making the birdfolk and the urban catfolk, presented below).
As a final note, I am aware that there are more species out there which I have not covered here, and which many people love. I am also aware that while writing up the advantages and disadvantages of various species that I have skimmed in places, or left out sections of an animal's characteristics. Most of this was done for the purposes of game balance, so that the races listed below could be used as starting level characters. Of course there is also a certain element of forgetfulness on my part, and for this I apologize in advance. If any user of this material wishes, they are more than allowed to make the needed adjustments themselves for their games. Or, also if you wish, you can send me a rewritten version of an existing species, or a request for a species which I missed, and I will be more than happy to look it over, and do what I can to include it when I write a second installment of this work. Naturally, the more information about an animal included in the request for addition of a new species or modification to one already presented here, the easier it will be for me to turn it into a Player Character race. If there is interest in it, I also intend to give each race below more personalized deities, and Feats, prestige classes, and equipment to better reflect their natures.
The word means 'smells like honey,' taken from a 5-petalled flower known to the elves for its unassuming appearance and exceptionally sweet fragrance. But while the aranthi race do have the same unassuming, pleasant charm expected of the flower from which they take their name, their scent, when used as a sprayed musk, is one of their most potent weapons, as best befits a sentient species with its roots drawing from skunks as their ancestors. The aranthi were raised from their lowly state through constant exposure to the natural magic found so freely in lands filled with the fey, and so generation by generation, year by year, the skunks who lived in these lands lived out their shy, quiet, peaceful lives, growing steadily larger and more intelligent, until they achieved true sentience, and began to spread their numbers into the wider world, slowly but steadily. They are gradually coming to be a not-uncommon sight in many human cities, chattering happily in their attractive Sylvan-accented voices, as they have found that they enjoy the energy to be found in the bustle of urban areas, though the majority of aranthi are still found in the sylvan areas from which they come.
Personality: These furry fellows are good-hearted by nature, taking very much after their animal forebears in terms of pleasant disposition and agreeable tendencies. Aranthi actually will go out of their way to defuse conflicts before they start, and attempt to find common ground with all those they come in contact with, which makes them natural diplomats. They tend to be a bit too shy to make exceptional leaders, though they make excellent advisors and ambassadors. Shyness is their worst weakness, for it makes them impressionable, and sometimes easily bullied, so long as they do not feel badly threatened. Their natural weapon is a source of quiet confidence as well as mild embarrassment for the race as a whole, so that despite their retiring natures, they always know that they have a defense available for emergencies.
Description: The aranthi have many of the characteristics of skunks, including the stereotypical black-and-white stripes, mottling, or spots; a solidly-built, attractive body; a long, bushy tail (which sometimes hinders their motions in its attractive flowing about their bodies); and a bright, attractive furry face. Aranthi are Medium-sized, and while their body proportions tend to be similar to those of humans, they are most comely in their builds, and the extremes of corpulence are almost nonexistent among the skunkfolk.
Relations: The skunkfolk are among the most agreeable of the sentient species, and so they find it easy to make friends. They are most at home in the company of gnomes, liking the same sorts of pleasant, quiet lives that these small forest and hill-dwelling folk find most attractive, and the good-natured humor that goes with the gnomish way of life. They also get along well with elves, though they sometimes find this long-lived race a bit intimidating and aloof, and with the fey, who regard them almost as family because it was from the fallout of their magical energies that the aranthi first came into being. Aranthi do not have any true racial enemies, though individuals might have fallings out with other individuals or groups.
Alignment: The aranthi tend to be kindly in disposition, but retiring in nature. They are most often Neutral Good in alignment, trying to do the most good while causing the least harm.
Lands: Aranthi live in temperate climes, preferring areas with ample groundcover so that they can gain a measure of privacy whenever they feel the need for it. They often live in the same sorts of areas where gnomes and elves and the fey live, and thus do their best to maintain good relations with these mystic races, largely keeping out of the way and not taking more from their environments than they need to survive. Their communities are small, usually consisting of a few related families, with the oldest females forming a council to decide matters of importance. Though the majority of the skunklings still live in the wilderness, many aranthi have started to move into the big cities, enjoying the excitement and energy found in those places. They have no cities of their own yet, and it is unlikely that they will ever form any, since they enjoy being around other races too much.
Religion: The skunkfolk generally prefer to keep their worship practices quiet. Being such a new species, they have no gods of their own, and instead tend to take after the deities of those with whom they share space, usually the fey and the gnomes, since the elven gods are often a bit too far removed and intimidating for aranthi to really identify with them.
Language: The aranthi speak Common and Sylvan as their starting languages, and can choose from Draconic, Elven, Gnoll, Gnome, and Halfling as bonus languages.
Names: Adatha, Cadara, Golowe, Maranthe. Names are usually similar for males and females, though they almost always have a distinctive elven cast to them. Aranthi will often borrow names from other races in which they have friends, though they do not generally see the difference between boy names and girl names, which can result in some humorous situations.
Adventurers: With a wide world about them, and being such a young race, the aranthi are quite daunted by the possibilities abounding around them, and thus usually choose to keep to their small and secretive communities, living out quiet and uneventful lives removed from most other races and events. However there are more than a few who have started to take an active interest in the world around them, or who have grown bored or disgruntled with their present lot in their geriarchical matriarchy. Thus it is growing increasingly common for younger aranthi to cautiously head out into the wide world, to satisfy curiosity or to find a new place for themselves where they can make a difference. Aranthi, affable and eager to please as they are, are also easily swayed by entreaties by their friends from other races to come on adventures and put their skills to use in the service of others.
+2 Con, +2 Cha, -2 Dex, -2 Wis.
Musk: 1/day can spray musk in a 30' cone, requiring a Fortitude save (DC 10 + Aranthi's Con bonus) or be stunned for 1 round and smell bad (no roll to track by scent, and -2 on all social rolls) for 1 week, lessened to 1d3+1 days if washed off with tomato juice or similar solvents.
+4 on Intimidate checks, due to the powerful reputation that their skunklike ability brings with it.
Favored Classes: Bard and Ranger
Beastfolk-Blooded and Half Breeds
Half Breeds are those who have some of the blood of one of the beastfolk in them. Beastfolk, except where specifically noted, are able to breed with humans, the offspring of such unions being Half Breeds. This is usually only a cosmetic difference, as well as any stigmas that may affect roleplaying, as Half Breeds have the same statistics as a pureblooded specimen of their beastfolk parent. Half Breeds take after the culture and languages of the people by which they are raised, though they may have some trouble fitting in, depending on how prejudiced that culture might be. Very often Half Breeds are sterile, but in those cases where this is not so, further breeding with humans will create a beastfolk-blooded human with a few minor animal traits, and breeding with another beastfolk will produce a normal beastfolk. Matings between two Half Breeds will, naturally, produce another Half Breed.
The difference in appearance for Half Breeds and humans with traces of beastfolk blood in them is that Half Breeds look like beastfolk with human traits, such as the lack of a tail, human eyes or ears, a humanlike face, less fur or scales, or more humanlike legs and hands, while beastfolk-blooded humans look like humans with a few animal characteristics, such as a tail, animal ears or eyes, clawed hands and feet, patches of fur or scale or feathers where hair would be, which is sometimes accompanied by a complete lack of body hair, the beastfolk dermal covering taking the place of hair on the head and animal body parts such as ears and tail.
On the subject of humanlike traits, it must also be noted that the various beastfolk can have quite a lot of variation in the specifics of their species, ranging from having full digitigrade (like canids and felids) or unguligrade (like cervids and equines) legs, long muzzles and bestial eyes and other animal-like features, to plantigrade (humanlike) feet, flat faces, and minimal animal characteristics. Most beastfolk fall into a happy medium between these two extremes, with variations depending on how an individual Dungeon Master wants to play them in a campaign, and how much human blood is a part of the genetic mix of the race.
The birdfolk are one of the most varied among sentient creatures, though despite their differences of appearance, they are each able to produce fertile offspring with other birdfolk of any type, and each tend to fall into one of the following three general breeds: ravenblood, hawkblood, and heronblood. The ravenblood are the subtype to which the kenku belong, tending to take after songbirds and lesser scavengers, with some appearing like ducks and even parrots, being skilled as bards, rogues and other sorts who linger on the edges of the law and society, whether from a carefree attitude or for more sinister purposes. Hawkblood birdfolk take after the raptors - hawks, falcons and eagles, though a few look like swans - and are fierce fighters, staunch supporters of freedom (or at least their own), and often follow paths of a martial bent. They are the most likely of the three birdfolk breeds to have wings. Heronblood birdfolk most resemble herons (as the name suggests), cranes, and peacocks, as well as other graceful, relatively peaceful avians, and prefer lives of quiet contemplation and serene beauty and grace, taking most easily after the paths of the wizard, the priest, or the artist. Of the three birdfolk subraces, they are the least likely to have wings.
Personality: No matter their breed, the birdfolk tend to look down on those without the ability to fly under their own power, including those of their own kind who lack working wings. Hawkblood and Heronblood birdfolk can be quite aloof and even a bit haughty at times, preferring solitude or the company of others of their own kind, or else to bask in the adoration of lesser, flightless beings. The hawkblood tend to be violent and prone to fits of temper against those that thwart or defy them. Heronblood birdfolk, meanwhile, are usually quite serene, calm, and carry themselves with an air of supreme grace. The ravenblood birdfolk tend to be gregarious, and work very well in groups, their flock mentality still quite strong, and lack the pretentiousness that sometimes plagues the other two breeds. All birdfolk have a tendency towards philosophy, even the most humble of the wingless ravenblood, and they often have great verbal talent.
Description: The birdfolk as a rule are covered in feathers appropriate to their breed of bird from their beaks to about halfway down their legs, where the feathers give way to scaly, horny skin. Their legs end in feet that match their breed of avian, though flatter and broader than normal to allow for ease of walking, and their have strong beaks with a fleshy base nearest the head, allowing for some basic expression. Most speech actually takes place inside the throat, and is shaped by the tongue on its way out, rather than by the lips and teeth as in other speaking creatures. Ravenblood average about 5 feet and 75 pounds, while hawkblood and heronblood average around 6 feet and 110 pounds, the light weights of the birdfolk the natural result of their hollow bones.
Relations: Birdfolk, in general, get along very well with humans, another species with great variation and a love of art and music, and those who live in urban, human-dominated areas find passable niches as quickly as possible. However, it is very common for birdfolk, especially hawkblood birdfolk, to come in conflict with humans and numerous other races that attempt to despoil the places they call home, especially the mountains and old forests. Elves and dwarves often share homes with birdfolk, using the lower parts of forests and mountains while the birdfolk take the highest reaches, with neither side molesting the other. In fact, birdfolk generally make excellent neighbors to dwarves and elves, because they are quite happy to warn their neighbors and allies of coming threats.
Alignment: Birdfolk love freedom, regardless of their subrace, and do not see the world with the boundaries that most groundborne species must live with all their lives. Most are Chaotic Good, though many city-dwelling ravenblood birdfolk are Chaotic Neutral. Many heronblood birdfolk are more moderate in their views of the world, while still seeking for the greater good, and so are often Neutral Good in alignment.
Lands: Ravenblood birdfolk seem to thrive best in urban environments, loving the noise and bustle of cities that best suits their noisy natures. They tend not to have lands or cities of their own, but instead live in the cities of other races and make a living using the societal structures already set up, sometimes honestly, and sometimes not, preferring the path of the entertainer to earn their living. Hawkblood birdfolk are hot-blooded, and too fierce and free-spirited to be confined in closed-in cities for too long, and so they find places that are above all the groundborne races, in the old forests and high mountain peaks, and make their aeries there. Heronblood birdfolk find a happy medium, preferring rural regions, near to settlements but not truly a part of them, and eke out a quiet mendicant subsistence through their own efforts, trading their knowledge and wisdom (which can be considerable) with others for the necessities. They do not generally form communities, but may gather into small groups for mutual protection, or small family units.
Religion: The birdfolk worship Re-Horakhty, also known as Horus or Ra, or Thoth, both of the Egyptian pantheon and found in the Wizards of the Coast Deities and Demigods book. Re-Horakhty is a Lawful Good Greater Deity, and allows the Glory, Good, Law, Nobility, Sun and War Domains, while Thoth is a Neutral Intermediate deity, and allows the Knowledge, Magic and Rune Domains.
Language: Avian is the native language of the birdfolk, though they all learn common as well as a matter of survival. They start with Avian and Common, and can choose bonus languages from Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Feline (language of the catfolk, both urban and wilderness), Giant, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Orc, and Sylvan.
Names: Names for heronblood and hawkblood birdfolk tend to be Egyptian in tone, with males having names such as Amon, Mumad, Rahab, Re and Sekh, and females with names such as Atara, Ba, Kunda and Nut.
Adventurers: Adventuring comes easily and often to birdfolk of all subraces. Ravenblood birdfolk do it to acquire stories to tell and the chance at quick wealth. Hawkblood birdfolk feel that a period of wandering and danger is essential to prove the mettle of a growing warrior. Heronblood believe that the only way to acquire true understanding of the world is to live in it and experience all that they can.
Limited Flight - a character may choose Limited Flight as their 1st level starting Feat, which gives the character a set of workable wings, which can either extend from the shoulder blades, or be extensions of the arms themselves. This allows the birdfolk to glide, traveling 20 feet horizontally for every 5 feet of vertical descent. As long as a birdfolk is conscious and the wings are not hindered in any way (such as by the walls of a very narrow pit or being entangled with a net), it can drop any distance and take only 1d6 damage, maximum. Also, those birdfolk who choose this option can fly for as many rounds in one burst as they have points of Constitution bonus, at a speed of 20 feet, with Average maneuverability, for up to 10 minutes each day, varying periods of gliding with periods of flight for long distances. If the Limited Flight Feat is not taken at 1st level, then the birdfolk in question can never take it, and will be forever flightless.
Those birdfolk who take the Limited Flight option at 1st level can take True Flight at 9th level or beyond as another Feat, allowing them to fly at a speed of 20 feet with Average maneuverability, without limits.
+2 Dex, -2 Str
Great Ally - +3 (instead of +2) when aiding or being aided by another, +4 to attacks (instead of +2) when flanking
Mimicry - can replicate sounds at will, using Bluff checks (opposed by Sense Motive) to reproduce exact sounds and voices
Natural Weapons: 2 claws (1d3 each)
+2 Hide, +2 Move Silently
Favored Class: Rogue
+2 Str, +2 Cha, -2 Int, -2 Wis
+4 Spot, +2 Listen
Unerring Direction - a hawkblood birdfolk always knows which direction is north, even when they are unable to see the sky
Weapon proficiency: Hawkblood birdfolk are proficient in all bows and spears, regardless of their class. Those that can fly are able to use bows of one size larger than normal, as though they were Large creatures, by using their hands and feet together to draw the bow.
Favored Class: Fighter
+2 Dex, +2 Int, +2 Wis, -2 Str, -2 Con
+2 Spot, +2 Listen
Can cast Augury, 1/week, as a Cleric of the same level as the character
Favored Class: Cleric
Wild catfolk are a race already spoken of in the book Races of the Wild, under the heading of catfolk. However, while those catfolk emulate the attributes of the big cats, they do not represent the traits of the domestic feline. While there are many catfolk who live and thrive in the wilds, they are comparatively rare compared to other species, and even number fewer than those catfolk who have adapted to life in the urban and suburban parts of the world. Urban catfolk have made the transition to living among other races almost flawlessly, and are generally accepted, if not always well-liked by those among whom they live.
Personality: Catfolk are bright and engaging in personality, and tend to be energetic and sometimes mercurial in temperament, not holding back anything in their expression of emotions, and always seeking to live life to the fullest, while indulging their infamous curiosity. They are surprisingly honest in their desires, and not ashamed of them.
Description: Urban catfolk have the features of a feline and a human melded together, with fur, in almost any variation of coloration and pattern, covering most of their bodies, a flexible tail which provides balance as well as being partially prehensile, and a very feline-appearing head, complete with ears, whiskers, and bright, light-sensitive, slitted eyes.
Relations: Catfolk get along with most races without trouble, and quickly develop live-and-let-live relations with whoever they need to share space. They get along especially well with gnomes, whose love of pranks and curious and inventive minds delight the catfolk. However, there is deep racial enmity between the catfolk and the ratlings and wolfen dating from time out of mind, and neither side appreciates the presence of the other. Individual catfolk may overlook these longstanding racial feuds without social stigma, but these are exceptions to the rule. Despite popular opinion, catfolk actually like being around mouselings, thinking them cute and entertaining companions, though mouselings tend to be far too nervous around catfolk for the reverse to be true in most cases.
Alignment: Catfolk are free-wheeling by nature, and not prone to taking orders well. While they may live in cities, they seldom feel that its rule apply to them. However, they generally lack the maliciousness needed to commit any great crimes, especially against others, though they may engage in mostly harmless mischief. Catfolk, urban and wild, tend to be Chaotic Good in alignment.
Lands: Urban Catfolk seldom have their own cities. Usually they live alongside other races in their urban and suburban areas, gently and usually unnoticeably insinuating themselves into the many niches made by the urban jungle. It is not unknown, however, for catfolk to gather into fallen cities and refurbish them, driving out any former monstrous occupants so as to make their own place to live, and their own society.
Religion: The catfolk worship Bast, found in Deities and Demigods under the Pharaonic deities, the goddess of cats, vengeance, punishment, protection, and pleasure. She is a Chaotic Good lesser deity, and allows the Chaos, Destruction, Protection, Strength and War domains to her clerics. In worlds where Bast is not present, the catfolk usually worship Ehlonna instead.
Language: Feline is the tongue of the catfolk, and though the specifics of the language varies from region to region, it is understood well enough by all catfolk. Catfolk start with Common and Feline as automatic languages, and have Avian, Draconic, Elven, Gnoll, Gnome, Halfling, Squeak Speak, Sylvan and Wolfen as Bonus Languages.
Names: Catfolk names have a lot of 's' and 'r' sounds to them, often taking on a purring aspect. Family names among catfolk are usually two-part descriptors when translated into Common, such as Falling Star, Running Rivers, and Flying Spear. Male names include Densharr, Mrran, and Therrass, and female names include Arrala, Mrress, and Thissa.
Adventurers: Catfolk, urban or wild, have a natural curiosity that all-too-often takes them far from their normal prowls and into all manner of trouble. Thus it is no surprise that the adventuring life should appeal to them. Adventurers, former and present, are looked upon by other catfolk with high esteem, as a source both of interesting stories and useful skills.
+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Strength, -2 Constitution
+2 racial bonus on Move Silent and Listen checks
+8 bonus to Balance checks
Favored Classes: Rogue
A shy and retiring folk by nature, though not timid when called to stand up for their defense, the danali are dwellers in the plains, veldts, and thickly-forested lands of the world, while a few even go so far as to dwell in the less-inhabited mountain peaks. Close relatives of the ibixians (the Goatfolk in Monster Manual III), but vastly less savage and brutish, the danali generally seek to live in peace, not troubling other races more than is absolutely necessary. Most live in quiet gatherer societies, as they are an herbivorous race, living off the lush vegetation of the lands they prefer to inhabit, and not disturbing the natural world more than necessary. Because they are far from the civilized lands, however, they are almost constantly in the midst of dangerous territory, and so they grow up living with the reality of sudden death, and their society has developed to adapt to these constant dangers. They were almost wiped out on more than a few occasions, but thanks to the intervention of other races, they were able to recover and have begun to thrive in their quiet lands.
Personality: To outsiders, the danali seem at the same time both serene and flighty. They are a watchful, careful species, ever alert for danger, and suspicious (though not hostile towards) of new people and events. Flight is more common for them than fighting, though they see nothing wrong with strategic withdrawals, to allow attacks from ambushes, using their natural speed to its best advantage. They feel and show their emotions without restraint, feeling that it is best to get such things out in the open quickly so that they do not endanger the rest of the tribe. At the same time, they live with a knowledge that they are in harmony with the natural world, and most do not agonize over their personal lives. Of far greater importance is survival, and the danali, for all their flightiness and tendency for strong emotions, are a very practical people.
Description: The danali are a slender folk, with all the stunning wild grace of the cervids (deer and antelope) that they most resemble, and which they can be said to call their ancient ancestors, before their rise to full sentience and bipedal stance. Fleet of foot and most charming in manner, the danali prefer to keep to themselves, lacking the muscle mass to compete with the more dangerous races such as wolfen and orcs in direct confrontation. They are one of the most varied of species, taking on characteristics of the cervines to be found in their home, in the form of hoofed feet and an ungulate's gait, fur, muzzles and large ears, with horns on top of their heads, though the females of some varieties lack these horns. Their eyes are various shades of brown. Their fur varies greatly in patterns, as do their horns, ranging from antelope-like forms in warm climates, to whitetail and mule deer appearances in temperate climes, to wapiti, elk and reindeer in the coldest of climes. Because of this great variation, the danali can vary between 4'6 all the way up to just under 7' tall, with the larger sizes being most common in the coldest regions, and smaller breeds living in warmer ones, the very smallest living in the mountains. Regardless of their height, however, danali tend to be very slender and graceful, ranging between 90 lbs. in the warmer climes to around 180 lbs. at their largest and heftiest.
Relations: Danali seem to live in a world filled with enemies, for their preference for fleeing as they fight seems only to encourage the mighty races to try and pillage them. Orcs and wolfen are some of the worst races that are known for troubling the danali, and the danali come as close to true hate as they ever do when considering these savage folk. They are wary of catfolk, who have also been known to take advantage of them on some occasions, though with nowhere near the frequency of orcs and wolfen. Elves are the natural allies of danali, liking their gentle ways and unfettered emotions, and on some occasions it was the actions of the elves that saved this race from the brink of extinction, allowing them to begin to prosper. Dwarves view danali as more unreliable and flighty than elves, but they also recognize that the deerfolk have no malice, and so they will not allow those small communities of danali living in the mountains to be molested overmuch by the giants and other species that make those realms their homes, which has earned them the friendship of the danali, something which the dwarves regard dubiously, but also with grudging acceptance of allies where they can get them. Some human peoples viewed the danali as a resource to be exploited, and contributed to their dangers, while other humans aided the danali, and so the deerfolk generally take this race on a case-by-case basis.
Alignment: Preferring to leave the outside world to its own affairs, and to mind their own, the danali still are willing to help others whenever the occasion permits, and they are not being directly endangered. They do not often have much beyond basic subsistence, but what they do have, they are willing to share. For this reason, most danali are Neutral Good in alignment.
Lands: The lands in which the danali live are those that would be called wilderness by others. Desolate mountains, wide, sprawling veldts, and lush, verdant forests are the places that they call home. Unlike the elves, who meld with nature as they live in one place, the danali bend with nature, living nomadic lives that vary with each season as they travel where there is food, and they will not leave an impact upon the world around them.
Religion: Most danali worship Ehlonna, doing their best to live in harmony with nature. They worship deities of protection and healing and nature, preferring ones with more gentle natures, finding harsher deities too frightening for their tastes.
Language: The danali speak Common and Ibixian, the language of the Goatfolk. As bonus languages, they can select Avian, Elven, Feline, Giant, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, and Wolfen.
Names: Danali are not given names at birth, since there is little assurance of survival for that long, instead getting them after they have entered adolescence. These names are usually descriptors of their physical or personality traits, such as Fleet, Whitefoot, Startail, Sunsmile, or Stormhorn. Surnames come from great acts of an individual, that sometimes carry on to that individual's children, such as Racer, Archer, or River-runner.
Adventurers: Danali often feel the need to repay the many debts of their race's survival back to those who have helped them in the past, either to the still-living or to their descendants, the children of those who were helped going out into the world to help the children of those who helped them. Their passion for life and living can make them welcome additions to almost any group to boost morale, and their native agility and fleetness of foot can give them great maneuverability on any field of battle.
+2 Dexterity, -2 Strength
40' Movement (+10' to normal movement rates, so 30' in Medium armor)
Light Build: Cannot wear heavy armor (mithral can, of course, deal with this problem)
Natural Weapons: 1d6 butting damage, either piercing (if the character has horns) or bashing (if they do not), with x2 damage if used as the attack in a charge; can be used in addition to normal attacks, at a -5 penalty to the character's Base Attack Bonus
Favored Classes: Ranger
Also known as humantaint ophidians, after the race from which they sprang (Fiend Folio), the elapi are a race of serpentine folk who were originally created by the nagas as a slave race. This process was later copied by the yuan-ti with much greater success, producing the ophidians as they are now known. The magic that was intended to bind the elapi to their original creators failed, however, and they escaped the domination of their cruel and evil masters. Some of these escapees were able to breed true through a fortunate failure in the magic that originally created their race, rather than having to rely upon infecting other races with their venomous bite, as normal ophidians must, and it is from these humantaint ophidians that the elapi came. The elapi have escaped from a great evil, and they find their newfound freedom quite relaxing , and have no intention of going back to the way that they were. To advance this goal, the elapi have quickly integrated into the ruling societies as best as they could, the oldest of the race who still remember their former lives before they were transformed into elapi using their knowledge as leverage to worm their way into the cracks of the civilized world, many becoming moneylenders and brokers with the treasures they stole from the nagas, placing a great many of them firmly in a disliked but needed profession, while others insinuated themselves into the vice trade, and still others take part in investments and trading.
Personality: Elapi are shrewd by nature, since this was the only way that they were able to fit back into the societies from which they had been pulled by the horrible transformation that originally set their race apart from humanity. They are almost always treated as outsiders, and often face fear and ostracism, and for this reason they tend to be cold and unemotional, cultivating a talent for picking out the weak and gullible - those who are most susceptible to temptation.
Description: Resembling nothing so much as large serpents with relatively stubby arms and legs, making them rather slow-moving (though their fingers and toes are quite long and slender, allowing remarkable manual dexterity). The elapi can take on almost any variation on the serpentine form, from venomous to constrictors. Height and weight tend to be slightly less than for a human of the same general body type. Elapi have a set of razor-sharp fangs, which are either set in the jaw, or which fold back like those of an adder when not in use, depending on the breed of serpent the snakefolk most resembles.
Relations: Nobody really likes the snakefolk, and the elapi know this. However, they do not really have any enemies, either, besides their creators, who still want them back. And so the elapi work to find a happy medium with the people around them, staying out of sight and out of mind, taking advantage of situations that arise when they can, and trying not to stir up trouble.
Alignment: Most elapi are True Neutral by nature, adapting to circumstances as occasion requires to make the best possible profit, devoted to improving their situation in life and that of their children. Many are amoral, but few are actively malicious.
Lands: The elapi live best among the cities of humans, insinuating themselves wherever there is a niche that might be filled by one who are not afraid to trade their compunctions for profit. They have also set up a few outposts in the wilds, preferring warm lands and deserts (for which they are supremely adapted), and can be found all along the trade routes through these lands, as guides and investors and caterers to the needs of caravan staff and animals.
Religion: The elapi were fooled once into worshipping the nagas as gods. This has left a bad taste in their mouths, and so most of the humantaint ophidians are nonreligious, preferring to leave worship to others. However, they are willing to make deals with deities who serve their purposes best, and many are quite fond of Fharlanghn, the god of roads, and Wee Jas, the orderly goddess of death and magic, while a rare few also seek out Vecna, god of forbidden knowledge. Any god who gives great interest to commerce, temptation, and prosperity, though, is likely to gain at least a passing nod from the elapi.
Language: The elapi speak draconic and Common as their starting languages. Their bonus languages include abyssal, aquan, celestial, halfling and yuan-ti.
Names: Elapi names are sibilant and have flowing, vibrating tones. Male names include Assan, Shemass, Sseth, and Uss while female names include Ashani, Ghassa, Thessalia, and Venassi.
Adventurers: It is not uncommon for elapi to be displaced from where they had called home by mounting prejudice or the changing winds of economics and forced to wander and try and make their living as best as they can. Some actually become quite enamored of the opportunity for vast and quick wealth that is afforded by the adventuring life, and some even develop affection for those of other races who show them kindness, though even these few seldom lose sight of their end goals.
Nonhumanoid build: double costs for armor
+2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma
+2 to Climb and Swim checks
+2 Natural AC
Natural Attack: bite - 1d4 damage; can be added in addition to other attacks, at a -5 penalty to the character's Base Attack Bonus
Favored Class: Rogue
From out of the wild plains they come. The equitra are a stalwart race, nomadic and untamed, mighty warriors, and yet capable of great gentleness, with a strong sense of right and an eagerness to run with the wind. According to the equitra themselves, they are the descendants of heavenly beings, an offshoot of the Equinal Guardinals (found in The Book of Exalted Deeds), brought to the mortal plane to establish themselves and prosper, and show the right way through their strength. Some have taken more after the ways of the plane on which they now live, while others still seek after this ideal. But regardless of where they go, all who look at the equitra in their splendor know them to be beautiful and strong. However, though it is not spoken of much, without constant connection to sources of holy light, the equitra are also surprisingly vulnerable to the maladies and afflictions of the mortal plane for all their strength, and so find it most advantageous to always stay close to the divine.
Personality: The horsefolk are a wild folk, but not an unruly one. They have a love of activity, and are energetic and youthfully boisterous, even when old age is upon them. Most equitra are amiable and pleasant of disposition, and will try to get along with others around them, even those not of their race. They understand that not everybody can be lucky enough to be an equitra, and so will often go out of their way to be helpful. Some can be quite mischievous at times, as a part of their playful energy, and some can be quite impatient with those who cannot keep up with them, but for the most part the equitra are easygoing, so long as they are allowed the freedom to run.
Description: The roving horsefolk of the plains, the Equitra, are a tall and powerful people, ranging in size from 5'8" to 8' tall, and are strong in their ways, and not easily bested in any contest of speed or endurance. While they have a humanoid build, they have similar markings and fur patterns as normal horses, and manes and tails to match, with a rare few having markings similar to those of zebras or okapis and similar creatures. Their long faces and pointed ears allow them to sense all dangers that might come out onto their plains, and their great speed and ferocity in battle truly make them lords of the plains.
Relations: The equitra are lords of the plains, able to move faster for longer and with more power than any other sentient race without the aid of riding beasts. Because of this, they sometimes come in conflict with humans who try to cultivate and fence in the wide open spaces, but are willing to make compromises as long as the lands in which they run are left mostly alone. When equitra meet elves, the two races get along just fine, the equitra recognizing that the elves are people of the forests, and acknowledging that they are adapted to their environment the same way the equitra are adapted to theirs. The danali are one of the only races that can keep up with the equitra. Their short-term speed is no match for the lasting endurance of the horsefolk, but nevertheless the equitra regard the danali as equals, and are perfectly happy to share their space with them, and defend them in times of trial. They consider the stumpy, slow-moving dwarves quite comical, and have an affection for gnomes and halflings, who they seem to think of as wise old children.
Alignment: Most equitra are free-spirited, strong and wild, with a strong sense of right and wrong, leading them to a Chaotic Good alignment. However, this sense of right and wrong will sometimes drive a select few to go out and set things right in the world, and they will often have a Lawful Good alignment instead. The two camps of equitra do not seem to see anything wrong with this odd dichotomy of culture in their own race, and the two factions do not often meet anyway, because they are usually busy doing different things.
Lands: As mentioned, equitra are lords of the plains, their domains stretching as far as they can run. They are omnivores, despite their equine appearance, but eat meat very sparingly, most animal protein in their diets coming from fish at the freshwater streams that run through their running grounds. Humans and halflings are the only other groups that the equitra usually meet on the plains, as well as the danali in the more remote areas. Since they are nomadic, they see no point in direct conflict when their lands are encroached, so long as those coming into the region do not seem likely to stay. Permanent settlements are a sign of less free space, and this can rouse the equitra to great interest in the new community, to see if those moving in will be good neighbors. If it seems unlikely that they will be so, then the equitra will enlist what aid they can from their allies, and do all they can to drive the interlopers out with minimal loss of life.
Religion: Oddly enough, Kord and Heironeous are worshipped with almost equal interest by the equitra. They admire strength and good-natured sport in their gods, as well as a love for freedom and joy in life. At the same time, they also admire justice and righteousness, valuing the power of the gods to protect, to heal, and to wage war on that which is evil and unjust in the world.
Language: Equitra speak Common as their starting language, having accepted the tongue of travelers as their own. As bonus languages, they can choose between Avian, Celestial, Dwarven, Elven, Feline, Halfling, Ibixian and Wolfen.
Names: Names among the equitra are a form of prophecy, or what the mother of a foal hopes that her child will become, integrating events of note that took place between the time of the foal's conception and birth. Last names are according to sire, and are usually named after places of origin, using the equitra method of description. First names include Guiding Star, Runs-With-Rivers and Strongbow, while surnames include Bright Fields, Cold Forest and Tall Mountain.
Adventurers: Equitra adventure either for the fun of it, or because they feel there is something wrong in the world which they should take a hand in correcting. It is not at all uncommon for equitra to become paladins, going forth to crusade directly against evil. Young and spirited equitra often head out into the world to prove their mettle, and they are eager to prove their use to their companions as well as to themselves.
+2 Str, -2 Con
Mighty Runners: All Equitra have the Endurance and Run Feats automatically
Draft Breed: equitra can take Draft Breed as their starting Feat (only available at 1st level), allowing the character to start as a Large-size creature instead of Medium-size
Favored Class: Fighter
Winning tricksters and loveable rogues. These are the foxkin, sometimes called fox spirits, a race with strong ties to the fey. Foxkin draw their life straight from the depths of the world of magic itself, and are infused with great mystical powers as a result. They enjoy the company of others immensely, but they only mate for life with other foxkin. Being so strongly tied to magic and the sources from which the fey draw their powers, foxkin are not bound by the same laws that govern many mortals, and age at roughly the same rate as gnomes.
Personality: There are two distinct camps in the foxkin race. The first and most common camp are the playful but not malicious foxkin, who have a cheery disposition for the most part, are generally calm, rational and quite shrewd, and are given to bouts of manic energy in which they often come up with the most outlandish schemes. Mated pairs of foxkin usually even each other out, with only one of the pair having manic episodes at a time, with the other acting to keep their mate in check. The second and much rarer variety of foxkin are the dangerous, crafty sort, who hide their avaricious and deceitful hearts behind the natural charm of their race. Both sorts of foxkin are amiable and happy to be around others, and most are experts at conversation, especially at the art of entertaining speech without actually sharing any truly valuable information.
Description: Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the foxkin are the very spirit of cunning, and the winning smiles and cheery expressions on their slender-muzzled, pointy-eared faces often hide the very soul of avarice and deceit. Besides their animal-like heads, the foxkin also have furry bodies, with colorations similar to those of normal foxes, and long, bushy tails that are their prides and joys, and always tended with perfect grooming. The best way to tell that something is wrong with a foxkin is to check and see if their tail isn't being groomed properly. Their eyes have normal human ranges, brown being the most prevalent, though green and blue are very common, and violet occurs occasionally. Foxkin range in height from 5' to 5'10 tall, and have lean builds that range from 90 lbs. to 150 lbs.
Relations: Foxkin get along with almost all sentient races, except for the wolfen, who have no patience for the foxkin, who they regard as small and weak and noisy with all their cheery chatter. This feeling is known by the foxkin, but is not shared, as the race in general does not dislike anybody, though they are wary of all, since they themselves are expert tricksters and expect counter-tricks. Most others regard foxkin with the same amusement and guarded wariness that they reserve for traveling entertainers and Halfling caravans.
Alignment: Most foxkin are Chaotic Good by nature, free-wheeling and fun-loving, but not terribly bound to any hard system of morals. They are fiercely loyal to their friends, however, and feel it almost their duty to cheer others and make the world around them a better place. There is, however, a significant minority of foxkin who are Neutral or even Chaotic Evil, using their magical skills and significant cunning for their own gain, or simply to amuse themselves.
Lands: When they have lands of their own, the foxkin prefer quiet places that are out of the way enough that they will not be bothered, but close enough to other civilized folk that they can always have or give entertainment when they want it. They adapt well to city life, and blend just as well into the wilderness. Foxkin do not have territories of their own, per se, but it is not uncommon to come upon small areas in the wilderness where a cluster of fox spirits have set up their homes, using their magical abilities and natural cunning to hide themselves when possible, and defend themselves when it is not.
Religion: More than any other race, the foxkin recognize the place of luck in their lives, and follow after those deities who are tricksters and rulers over luck and fate, in the hopes of drawing some favor from these deities, or just to emulate their marvelous feats. Garl Glittergold is as attractive as Olidamara or Tymora to the foxkin, so long as they can catch Luck when she is in a good mood.
Language: Foxkin speak Common and Sylvan as their starting languages, and can select bonus languages from Avian, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Feline, Giant, Gnome, Halfling, Orc, Squeak Speak, and Wolfen.
Names: Foxkin have more than one name, changing them to suit their present needs. They have common use names, which are the ones by which they are called in daily polite conversation, and these are usually taken from the names of the races nearest to them, usually humans, though they prefer uncommon names, or common ones that have had some minor variations to make them unique. Male use names include Algernon, Kip, Reynard and Thoma, while female use names include Ariel, Brandy, Hepsiba and Wynona. The second layer of names are the nicknames and show names that foxkin pick up, such as Chickenbone, Fan-Dazzler, Flametail and Rat-Catcher, and these names are the ones by which they are known when they are on the road and putting themselves up to be more than what they are, as a way of building confidence as well as inspiring mystique in others. Finally, the last layer of names that foxkin have transcend language, being the primal names that they had before they appeared among the mortal races, consisting more of scent and mannerisms than of anything that can be transmitted by the written or spoken word.
Adventurers: The high life of the road is the life for many foxkin, who seem to greatly enjoy the life of an adventurer, both for its chances at material gain, and for the chance to do some good in the world and perhaps brighten a few lives. The fierce loyalty that foxkin have for their friends is also a driving factor in keeping them tied to parties rather than going off on their own.
+2 Dex, +2 Int, +2 Cha, -2 Str, -2 Con
Keen Scent: can take Scent as a racial Feat if Wisdom is 11 or higher
+2 on Bluff, Sense Motive and Escape Artist checks
+2 to saves versus illusions and mind control
Favored Class: Sorcerer
Originally, the lapids arose from the runoff of a negligent wizard's tower (some versions of the story say that it was an evil cult who let their byproducts and leftover magical concoctions leak out in the hopes of creating monsters of the local wildlife), which flowed into a stream that ran through a nearby field. This field was pockmarked all over with rabbits holes, and every rabbit there drank from the stream at some point. When this wizard (or cult, depending on who you ask) was finally brought to task by an order of druids and their allies, the lapids were discovered during the cleanup of the damages. As the lapids were not evil, and seemed quite healthy and content, they were allowed to go their own way, and have spread from their humble beginnings. The small and the weak lapid would be easy to dismiss as being of no consequence, and indeed this is what happens all-too-often. But the rabbitfolk are not the sort who should be underestimated, for though they are small of size and light of frame, they are also capable of dangerous tactics, using their incredible, magically-powered speed, and can be incredibly brave (or incredibly foolhardy) when the occasion requires. They are a tribal folk, living in warrens they burrow beneath hills and in mounds they build, in a manner similar to that of gnomes and some fey, banding together for the safety that comes in numbers, often staying at the level of a simple hunter-gatherer society, though a few groups are incredibly organized and even expansive on a small scale. One aspect of their race that is of incredible importance is their tendency for telling stories. All lapids grow up hearing and spinning tales of their own, and the best storyteller in a lapid tribe is revered with almost religious awe.
Personality: Lapids give good credence to the term 'dumb bunny,' for they tend to be simple of thought and uncomplicated in their desires. They also tend to be communally-oriented, the importance of the group as a whole outweighing the importance of individuals. Individual achievement is encouraged, though, for it can improve the lot of the community. Most lapids will back down from direct confrontations, though there are a few who are incredibly hot-tempered, and often spoil for fights and confrontations. Despite their tendencies, lapids are an attractive and personable people, their focus on the needs of others and their incredible skill in telling entertaining or educational stories making them easy to like.
Description: A slight and seldom-seen people, the lapid are small in size, ranging from as small as 4' to as tall as 5', with a slight build to their bodies ensuring that they lack much muscle mass or significant bulk on their lean runner's frames. They have long, very sensitive ears, a tail like an upturned leaf or a ball of fluffy white cotton, and large, bright eyes that are usually brown, red, violet or blue, though a rare few (called the Blessed) have startlingly brilliant green eyes, thought to be the result of a dalliance with a deity somewhere in the lapid's parentage. Their fur colorations tend to be similar to those of nonhumanoid rabbits, with variations ranging from albino white to melanism black, though a glossy brown is most common.
Relations: Lapids are on reasonably good terms with the elves, though the elves sometimes worry about lapids overpopulating the regions where they live, a fear shared by most species who know this fecund race. Because of this, lapids are often on their own when defending themselves against the various dangers of the wilds, though not to the point where they will be truly endangered, and never when they are assaulted by evil races. They do not feel any resentment for this, though, feeling it a part of the natural way, and will often give their support to any call for assistance, since glorious battle (even if a lapid spends most of the battle running) can make for wonderful stories. Lapids are very friendly with halflings, loving the many tales told by this traveling race, and not minding much when a few objects turn up missing afterwards. And if they like halflings, lapids are absolutely enthralled by gnomes and their illusory powers. They are similarly interested and even fascinated by foxkin, but they also have a degree of residual instinctive fear towards the fox spirits, and tend to be easy pickings for a clever foxkin to dupe, which often makes them wary of the clever vulpines. Wolfen and orcs are absolutely terrifying to lapids, who see these races as personifications of the unbridled ferocity of the wild world around them, and even the bravest among the lapids will do all that can be done to avoid these races if at all possible.
Alignment: Lapids tend to be Neutral, living simple subsistence lives for the most part, and focusing on what will keep them alive first and foremost. They are inspired to greatness by storytelling, however, and this can spur them on to great acts of good, since they prefer heroes winning in their tales, rather than villains. In their stories and in their daily lives they do not see any less greatness in a trickster hero than a mighty warrior of valor, as long as they accomplish the task to which they set themselves.
Lands: Lapids are a fecund race, and can multiply rapidly when left unchecked. Their tribal lifestyle, however, has a high mortality rate, and they often live in plains on the edges of woods, or just inside the cool green of the forests. These areas are pleasant and hospitable, but there are also few defenses, and so dangerous creatures, evil races, and the difficulty of getting food in hard years usually keep their populations down to reasonable limits. Some lapids have made the transition to city life, and live well enough among other races, though these are a minority, as most lapids truly prefer the great outdoors.
Religion: As a simple, tribal people, the lapids are equally simple in their worship of the gods and the spirits of the natural world around them, not generally differentiating between the two. They love religion, though, for the incredible stories that always come with it. They will sometimes worship Ehlonna, though their understanding of her is only partial, and have a preference for kindly and beneficial nature and fertility deities and trickster gods, who can beat the odds despite their physical weakness or other disadvantages.
Language: Most lapids speak a simple form of Sylvan as their native language, and Common is commonly known as well, both being their starting languages. They are also able to select Elven, Feline, Gnoll, Gnome, Halfling, Squeak Speak, and Sylvan as bonus languages.
Names: Lapids are divided into a variety of different tribes, each named after a place, though this is not necessarily the place where the tribe in question originated or where it lives now. The tribal name acts as a surname, though it is often omitted, as lapids are not as hung up on family as some races. Forenames tend to be simple, often a descriptor of a personality or physical trait, or simply something that the parents thought would be neat at the time, usually something involving plants. Common male names include Bold, Dash, and Redthorn, while common female names include Dreamer, Moonflower, and Softwood. Plant-based first names, such as Blackberry, Dandelion, and Hazel are often used for both sexes interchangeably. Tribal names include Greenfields, Talltree, and Wideplain.
Adventurers: Young lapids often find that they feel stifled with the common, boring life in the warren, and so it is not at all uncommon for them to roam for a time. Since lapids like being with friends, joining parties is the most natural thing in the world for a lapid. Lapids make excellent scouts and rangers with their incredible bursts of speed. Their brash confidence and connection to magic often leads them to become bards or, when their innate magical talent surfaces, sorcerers. They do not usually have the discipline or innate intelligence needed to be wizards.
+2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Str, -2 Int
Slight build: Lapids are considered Small-size, despite their height, due to their small and slight frames
Sprint: a lapid can cast Expeditious Retreat as a spell-like ability as a sorcerer of the character's level, with a range of self only, once per day per seven character levels
+2 to Jump and Listen checks
Favored Class: Bard
Where ratlings can be ruthless in their quest for survival, mouselings are a sharp contrast. While the two species are related, and came from the same source (see the Ratlings for more information), where the ratlings were larger, more aggressive, and more antisocial, the mouselings were smaller, retiring and agreeable. Mouselings are hard and earnest workers, and are known for thrifty living and practical common sense, and they have found it easy to integrate into mainstream society as craftfolk, bookkeepers, librarians and simple farmers. Quite a far trek to come from being the descendants of a wizard's experimental animals.
Personality: Mouselings are bright and curious, loving to explore and see how things work, but at the same time their curiosity is tempered by a shy politeness that often keeps them from prying into other people's things (at least when those people are looking), and their inherent intelligence is made socially acceptable by the unassuming nature expected of the race. The ultimate goal of most mouselings is to find a niche in society (called their 'mouse hole'), and then to stick with it for as long as possible, liking stability and comfort whenever it can be gotten.
Description: Where the ratlings look like dregs from the sewers, a mouseling is a well-groomed humanoid rodent, between 2'6" and 3'11" tall, with a distinct pointed muzzle, a long, naked pink tail, large and sensitive ears and wide, dark eyes, and a fur pattern and color as one would expect from a humanoid mouse.
Relations: Since most mouselings live among other races, usually humans, they do their very best to fit in, make friends where they can, and in general not draw attention to themselves, and for the most part they are successful. They feel continually uneasy around catfolk, especially wild catfolk, and other beastfolk descended from predatory species to a slightly lesser degree, which they intellectually know is a leftover from their rodent heritage, but emotionally cannot seem to completely shake.
Alignment: Mouselings tend to be Lawful Neutral as a culture, preferring to live quiet, unassuming lives and give honest work for honest pay. To mouselings, the rule of law is how weak little creatures like them can be given equal footing with powerful, frightening creatures like catfolk and wolfen, and they cherish the safety that orderly societies bring.
Lands: Mouselings do not have their own lands at all, having instead melded with the lands of the dominant races around them, finding niches in the urban and rural settings that abound, so that they can enjoy the security that better established societies can offer.
Religion: As a people, the mouselings prefer gods like Saint Cuthbert - strong in supporting justice and order, unwavering in punishing the disobedient and unruly. Mouselings like gods that support law, protection, healing, crafts and intellectual pursuits, and worship them most.
Language: Squeak Speak is the tongue of mouselings and ratlings, while Common is essential for their transactions with other species. Mouselings begin play with Common and Squeak Speak, and can select Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Feline, Gnoll, Gnome, Halfling and Sylvan as bonus languages.
Names: Being a magically-created race, and not wanting to create unnecessary barriers between themselves and other races, mouselings prefer to use the same sorts of names that the people around them have, usually adopting the naming patterns of humans, though they sometimes use elven, dwarven or even halfling naming patterns if they think that these can be advantageous to their children as they grow up. Names are a means of survival and prosperity, the same as anything else in a mouseling's life should be, and they choose them accordingly.
Adventurers: Before a mouseling has found their niche in life, or when a previously stable niche has vanished with changing circumstances, mouselings will often find themselves displaced in the world. The more daring among the race occasionally seek out companions who seem likely to advance in the world, and are willing to take the risks involved with the life of an adventurer. The bright and nimble mouselings often find that their natural talents work best in the path of the rogue, though many of them also find that their bookish natures can find excellent application as wizards. Mouselings do not like direct confrontation, and so there are few fighters among their kind, and barbarians are almost unheard of.
+2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Str, -2 Con
+2 bonus of Hide and Move Silently checks
Keen Scent - can take Scent as a racial Feat if Wisdom is 11 or higher
Favored Class: Rogue
For as long as there have been inquisitive minds, there have been test subjects to test the results of experiments. And some of the most commonly used test subjects are mice and rats. When magic is thrown into the mix, almost anything can happen. In the case of the ratlings and mouselings, what happened was their creation. The ratlings speak of their creators as foul and evil creatures, not even related to humanity, who dwelt in the depths of the sewers beneath a major city of humankind. When they first achieved sentience, the ratlings and mouselings could do little against their creators, and were left in their roles as magical test subjects. But in time the ratlings broke free, freeing their rodent cousins and fellow-sufferers, the mouselings, in the process, and killed the ones that had made them and tormented them for so long. The smaller, gentler mouselings ascended from the sewers and took a place in the world above. The ratlings, however, stayed below, choosing to remain mostly apart from others, devoting themselves to the twofold mission of survival and the destruction of evil magic and its effects, the two missions melding into one in their manner of thinking, for they know better than most just what magic, wrongly used, can do. The ratlings are based on the Nezumi from Wizards of the Coast's Oriental Adventures.
Personality: Ratlings are antisocial by nature, being far too concerned with bare survival to be concerned with anything else. When forced into social situations, many ratlings show themselves to be awkward and even quite shallow, never having developed much depth beyond what they do. They are very professional, though, and seldom let emotion get in the way of what needs to be done, though they can also be rather ruthless at times, and even quite savage when under duress.
Description: The ratfolk look just like their names suggest - humanoid rats, with long naked tails, snouts, pink ears, and pronounced incisors, just like their nonhumanoid kin. They are covered in fur of traditional rat colorations, ranging from white all the way to black, and most of the shades and different fur patterns in between. They range between 5' and 5'6" tall, with heights about equal for males and females.
Relations: In almost all situations where they might have needed help, the ratlings have been on their own, and they know better than to expect assistance from other races who have not seen what they have seen or know what they know. They work well with dwarves when the two races meet, both races quickly developing a business understanding and having a similar dislike for what they consider needless chatter. Most other races find the ratlings disconcerting and even a bit frightening, especially with their tendency to live in regions with very bad reputations, and so by and large they do not have a good reputation. Mouselings understand the ratlings, but are frightened by the grim determination and savage ways of their cousins, and so while they might help the ratlings when asked, they try to keep their distance. Felines and wolfen both dislike the ratlings as a matter of principle, disdaining the penchant that ratlings have for lurking in sewers and underground and spending far too much time poking around places known for housing forbidden magic, but these races have worked together in the past against dark forces, usually uncovered by the ratlings, and so the three races, while nowhere near friends, are not usually enemies.
Alignment: Ratlings are a chaotic breed, lacking and not feeling the need for a society or a culture beyond the most basic interactions. Because of how they were created, most take a strong stance against evil, and especially evil magic, having felt of its taint and wanting nothing further to do with it. However, most are not strongly inclined towards good either, doing what they do for the sake of survival and the improvement of their conditions. Most ratlings, therefore, are Chaotic Neutral, with a few being Chaotic Good. A relatively rare few feel the touch of evil as they dwell in dangerous places, far from others, and find it pleasing, turning to the paths of evil. It is a wonder that more ratlings are not swayed in this manner, and yet most seem immune to the seductive lure of evil in the same way that they are resistant to all forms of disease and toxin.
Lands: As a rule, ratlings seem most drawn to places where few other races could possibly survive, especially places that have been polluted by waste from the castoffs of civilization, or tainted with the effects of magic, especially dark magic. What is more, they seem to thrive best in such harsh environments, being able to shrug off the effects of all but the worst diseases and toxins, and being able to stomach and even derive nourishment from substances that other races would find utterly inedible. Almost every city that has a working sewer system has at least one community of ratlings living in it, and many abandoned wizard's towers or magic-infused dungeons will usually have a few ratlings making a living in the less dangerous areas, eking out a living and doing what they can to gradually destroy the twisted magic that is left in these places, gaining experience in recognizing and combating such magic later on in their lives.
Religion: Ratlings are less religious and more superstitious by nature, following after a wide variety of different customs and beliefs that may or may not work to ward off evil and dark magic, depending on circumstances and the whims of the Dungeon Master. Many do follow deities that teach the proper control of magic, like Wee Jas, in the hopes that they will gain protection from the secrets that she can share, or gods of fortune, like Olidamara, recognizing that their own creation was a product largely of random chance, and their survival often determined by luck, be it good or bad, after all their skill and preparation has finally given out.
Language: Squeak Speak is the tongue of mouselings and ratlings, while Common is essential for their transactions with other species. Ratlings begin play with Common and Squeak Speak, and can select Elven, Feline, Gnoll, Gnome, Halfling, Sylvan and Wolfen as bonus languages.
Names: Ratling names have three or more syllables, every two syllables - except for the first, which is a single syllable - separated from the others by an apostrophe, and a great number of clicks and chitters. The first syllable is the sound that stands for the ratling in question, while each pair of syllables afterwards stands for the ratling's parents, the mother's name usually put first, followed by their parents, and their parents after that, extending as far back as can be remembered. Usually, though, a ratling will only use the first three syllables of their name, or a 'use nickname' among other races, such as Longsnout, Quickpaws, Skitter or Wormtail. Common names among the ratlings (using just the first three syllables) include Chet'roptik, Mat'krottch, Rik'tiktav, and Zorr'chiktek.
Adventurers: The life of a ratling is an adventure in itself, most doing their best to stay on the edge of bare survival, watching and waiting and ever standing ready for opportunities that might come. To take that life a step further is an easy step for most ratlings, and so it is not at all uncommon to find ratlings adventuring as the mood takes them. Most are rogues, and many have some wizardly training as well, or follow the paths of the gods that they feel can serve them best in their efforts against the evil magic that they know they will encounter.
+2 Con, -2 Cha
+2 bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks
+2 on saves versus poison and disease
Keen Scent: can take Scent as a racial Feat if Wisdom is 11 or higher
Favored Class: Rogue
They came as a hoary-furred host at first, raging out of the frozen reaches of the world, and none knew what brought them into creation. Some legends hold that they are the offspring of werewolves that bred with animals while in bestial shape, while others hold that they were shaped by the gods of the world's wild, savage places, as embodiments of all that is untamed and dangerous. Whatever the truth, if the wolfen know, they will not tell, for wolves keep their own counsel. Suffice it to say that they are here, and let all nations of the world tremble at the fear of their coming, or rejoice at the arrival of strong new allies.
Personality: Wolfen are dour by nature to outsiders, sullen and unfriendly. This is mostly just a means of showing strength and warrior's fierceness, though, for once the wolfen relax, they can be a very boisterous race, loving to feast and revel as much as any jovial barbarian horde possibly can, trying to squeeze the last drops of enjoyment out of any time for fun, knowing that the next day might be their last. Because they live so close to death for much of their lives, wolfen esteem courage highly, and most do not flinch in the face of even the worst dangers. When a wolfen says something, that wolfen means it. Deception is considered one of the worst possible crimes that can be committed by wolfen, for while they may use subterfuge on the field of battle, their personal interactions are always done with the greatest honesty, and they are always loyal to their friends and packmates, even to death and beyond.
Description: Wolfen are massive, burly creatures with lupine characteristics, looking like a seamless melding of humanoid and wolf. They have thick fur, long furred tails, strong muzzles filled with sharp teeth, and tall, well-muscled bodies. They range in height from 5'9" all the way to 7'2" at their tallest, with males tending towards the higher end of the spectrum, though females are not far behind.
Relations: Wolfen like dwarves for their stalwart courage, their honor, and their devotion to hard work, and even evil wolfen try to avoid fighting dwarves, viewing them as respected adversaries who they feel it a shame to kill. Elves are viewed with suspicion and distrust, seeming flighty and often too haughty for their own good, besides their use of magic and dealings with the strange creatures of the fey. Danali and lapids are considered easy prey, and even good-aligned wolfen must struggle not to take advantage of these races, while equitra are seen as worthy adversaries and occasional friends. As can be expected, wolfen and catfolk do not generally get along, each race getting on the nerves of the other with their behavior, though there are numerous exceptions to this. Orcs and wolfen, regardless of alignment, hate each other bitterly, each viewing the other race as the opposite side of a dark mirror, one that they would just as soon see shattered in pieces. Good-aligned wolfen may make exceptions in individual cases, and even give a lone orc or half-orc the benefit of the doubt, but beyond this, the two races are locked in a struggle where, if it were not for the difference of their preferred places to live, one side or the other would drive their foes into complete extinction. Regarding gender relations, males and females within a pack are considered literally separate-but-equal, with each sex having their own hierarchy mostly apart from that of the other sex, but females being roughly subordinate to males in most cases, though this is more a matter of wilderness practicality than sexism.
Alignment: There are two main camps of wolfen alignment, and each pack of wolfen will generally take after one or the other. Most wolfen that a hapless traveler will meet in the wilds, roving through the forests and trekking across the plains, are Chaotic Evil in alignment, living in a pack where the strongest and smartest make the rules, and those weaker than them finding their places in the rough hierarchy, with constant jockeying for position and prestige. However, there are a significant number of Chaotic Good wolfen packs, and several Neutral ones as well, who tend to make friends with other, similarly-minded races in their general vicinities as quickly as possible, to ensure that they are known to be allies and not mistaken for their evil fellows.
Lands: Wolfen take the wilderness for their own, preferring climes that are temperate to cool. Most packs are nomadic, either living in harmony with or raiding the other races who might live on the lands they travel, depending on the alignment of the pack in question. Some wolfen set up halls and rough villages in places where they are the unchallenged rulers of the area, and follow a simple, rough life of basic vassalage, with the lord and lady of the hall giving out favors to those below them, and receiving allegiance in return, though the wolfen are too wild for this to go beyond small-scale fiefdoms.
Religion: Being a divided people to begin with, each wolfen tribe will find a god that pleases it best, and will stick to it. Many wolfen favor Asgardian deities (from Deities and Demigods), though the alignment of a pack generally determines whether they worship the gods of Valhalla or the gods of the giants. Of the deities in the main books, Erythnul and Kord are favored by evil and good wolfen packs, respectively. Overall, wolfen respect deities of fertility, strength, and war the most and worship them. Wolfen also believe in a world filled with many lesser spirits, and though they do not worship these spirits in the traditional sense, they often make minor offerings to them in the hope that they will get good luck.
Language: Wolfen speak their native language, and most of them can speak Common as well. Common and Wolfen are their starting languages, and their bonus languages include Danali, Dwarven, Elven, Feline, Gnoll, Goblin and Orc.
Names: Wolfen names are often rough and harsh-sounding, and give a listener a sense of strength and savagery. Their names are often quite similar to those of the Norse peoples of Earth. Common male names include Flintclaw, Hrothgar and Sergei, and common female names include Fawnfur, Measka and Sif. Last names are used only when there is more than one wolfen that has the same first name, or if an individual does something of significance and is prepared to defend taking a surname to the other wolfen in their pack. Son/daughter of (depending on the sex of the individual) is the most common method of adding a last name, though some surnames of note include Firewind, Preypacer, and Windrunner.
Adventurers: Wolfen usually stay in their packs. However, it is not uncommon for wolfen to take after a certain alignment preference, but to be born into a pack with a differing alignment. These wolfen usually wander until they find a place, and most are happy to assist bands of adventurers. Also, wolfen find great glory in the combat and great deeds that most adventurers face, and many will follow that path of life for the chance to become legendary. Most wolfen who are powerful enough to take a class are barbarians, considering themselves filled with the power of wild and unseen spirits that drive them mad, many of them painting their bodies, scarring themselves ritualistically, or tattooing themselves in such a way that the ink shows through their fur, to signify their special and fearsome place in wolfen society. Fighters are also quite common, and sorcerers are not uncommon among them, as wolfen often go off alone for long periods, and have opportunity to bring in the blood of any number of magic-strong species into their racial mix. Bards are rare but highly-prized among wolfen, as are clerics, while wizards are regarded as too weak and bookish for their own good, and some packs even consider them to practice unnatural acts with their magic, so any wolfen who might try their paw at the class will face strong prejudice, though not always violence.
+2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma
Keen Scent - Scent is an automatic racial Feat
+2 on Survival and Listen checks
Favored Class: Barbarian