Pathfinder Beastfolk to D&D 5E: Galidines

galidine

Galidine

Originally created as human-mongoose hybrids, galidines have always been valued for their fast reflexes and hunting instincts. Galidines and ophidians tend to dislike each other, especially on first impressions – something about each just rubs the other the wrong way.

Honest to a Fault

Galidines value honestly very highly, and in turn can be honest to a fault. They judge each new person they meet on their own merits, and watch their behavior carefully. A galidine will usually give someone the benefit of the doubt, at first, but after one significant misstep it is easy to lose a galidine’s trust and hard to win it back.

Skeptical and Precise

The intervention of gods or spirits are not reliable enough to satisfy most galidines, and they tend to veer away from over religion. They demand evidence behind any claim, and are careful not to say something they can’t back up. Galidines tend to be superb investigators, researchers and explorers, and their maps and charts are sought-after by other species.

Galidine Names

Galidine names tend to be compound names composed of four or more syllables

Ability Score Increases. Your Dexterity increases by 2 and your Intelligence increases by 1.

Age. Galidines live about half as long as humans, becoming fully mature at about 10 years and living until they are 50.

Alignment. Galidines with their tendency to honesty and precision tend toward Lawful alignments, and it is unusual for one to be Evil. Many galidines are Lawful Neutral.

Size. Galidines have long bodies and comparably short but dexterous limbs. They stand between 5 and 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30.

Bestial Nature. Due to their animalistic origins, galidines are able to speak with mongooses and meerkats.

Darkvision.

Flexible. Galidines’ flexibility grants them advantage on Acrobatics rolls to escape a grapple.

High Strung. Galidines can choose one of two advantages – either they gain a +2 on initiative rolls, or they gain advantage on all attacks of opportunity they make.

Sharp Teeth. You are proficient with a bite attack which deals 1d4 piercing damage and uses the higher of your Strength or Dexterity score.

Vigilant. You are proficient in either Investigation or Perception.

Languages. You can read and write Common and Sylvan.

 

Pathfinder Beastfolk to D&D 5E: Boriwogs

boriwog

Boriwog

The humanoid boars known as boriwogs are well-known for their toughness and ferocity in battle. They are also quite vain, often preening and vying with one another for status. Before the Collapse, they were often used as bodyguards and and mercenaries or slave-warriors.

Vain and Fastidious

Boriwogs are broad and stocky with two fingers and a thumb on each hand. They are proud of their appearance, taking care to style and color the hair and bristles on their heads and to always dress as well as they can afford to dress. They are very concerned with cleanliness – they enjoy bathing in warm medicinal mud, but will wash thoroughly afterward. Boriwog communities are well-cared-for and thoroughly decorated, and they often engage in conspicuous consumption as a way to demonstrate their wealth and status.

Bristling and Independent

Boriwogs can be hot-tempered and vain, and they are always concerned with their own status in comparison to others – especially other boriwogs. With their long pre-Collapse history of taking orders in one form or another, post-Collapse boriwogs bristle at being told what to do by pretty much anyone. They will often hire themselves out as individual bodygaurds and mercenaries, or might form a small fighting force under a particular charismatic and successful leader. Some boriwogs turn to arcane studies and become wizards, following a path that already lends itself to seeking personal power.

Boriwog Names

Rolling r’s and long, round vowel sounds – Rombol, Borion, Kamor, Olgram, Gortrund, Magrol.

Boriwog Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution increases by 2 and your Intelligence increases by 1.

Age. Boriwogs live about half as long as humans, coming of age around 8 years old and by 40 years old considered elderly.

Alignment. Independent-minded boriwogs tend toward the Chaotic, and don’t necessarily lean toward Good or Evil.

Size. Boriwogs often stand around 5 feet tall and weigh around 200lbs. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Bestial Nature. Due to their animalistic connections to their past, boriworgs can speak with boars and domestic pigs at will. Many boriwogs would never do this in public, however.

Charge! When a boriwog charges at least 20’ in a straight line before making a melee attack, she gains advantage on the melee attack and deals an additional 1d6 bludgeoning damage.

To the Death. Their ferocity enables boriwogs to continue to fight when they should be dead. After an attack drops a Boriwog to 0 hit points, she gains one hit die’s worth of temporary hit points and can continue to fight until she is dropped to 0 a second time. The temporary hit points last for one minute.

Slashing Tusks. Boriwogs are proficient with a bite attack using their tusks. This attack deals 1d4 damage and uses the higher of the Boriwog’s Strength or Dexterity bonus.

Languages. You can speak, read and write Common and Sylvan.

 

Pathfinder Beastfolk 4: Wolf, Hound and Swarm of Bees

This fourth and final installment of beastfolk from the BySwarm project includes the last one which is definitely the weirdest – intelligent humanoid bee-swarms.

Lupines

lupineLupines have formed the backbone of the Sascrian military for generations (even more generations as the Wolfmen reckon). They serve as the mobile, brutal shock troops of Sascria, and are feared abroad as much as they are honored at home.

Personality

Lupines are fiercely self-confident, particularly when they are part of the Sascrian military, in which they serve as elite shock troops. Posturing and status are very important to every Lupine – they will always seek to determine exactly where they fall in a hierarchy, and will test superiors to make sure they are deserving.

Physical Description

Lupines are large and muscular, slightly hunched, and covered with layered fur ranging in color from light grey to nearly black. Their undercoat is white, and they shed relentlessly in warm weather. Lupine eyes are piercing in color and shine golden in the dark when they catch a bit of light.

Relations

Because of their reputation, outside of Sascria Lupines are often mistrusted and relegated to manual labor or mercenary work. They fall into jobs like bodyguard and bouncer when they have a less adventuresome spirit.

Alignment and Religion

Lupines tend toward Neutrality. Their own nature is a balance between fierce self-reliance and pack mentality. They tend to ferociously defend their allies and also hunt their foes without mercy.

Adventurers

Within Sascria, Lupines are almost universally Fighters and Rangers, often serving in the Sascrian military or sometimes discharged from it and working as adventurers-for-hire. Outside Sascria, it is rare that Lupines go to school or are fully integrated into society, and they are more often Barbarians. Lupines respect and fear magic, and think of it as something that other people do. There are some, however, who delve into their animal nature and find they have a talent for the ways of the Druid.

Names

Lupines often dispense entirely with personal names and go by their epithet instead. Skull-breaker, Scar, Ghost-runner, Shatterbone and so on serve to both identify Lupines and to spread their reputation, whatever it might be. Amongst themselves, they maintain hierarchy with those in authority often coming up with insulting nicknames for those under their command, or simply beneath them in social rank.

Lupine Racial Traits

Medium-sized

+2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence. Lupines were bread for endurance and skill rather for deep, rational thought. Sascrian Lupines who tend toward the scholarly life are often simply beaten down by their peers and made to serve in the military anyway.

Brutality: because of their widespread reputation as merciless shock troops, Lupines receive a +2 racial bonus to Intimidation and a -2 racial penalty to both Bluff and Diplomacy

Fangs: Lupines receive a bite attack, made at -5 and dealing 1d4 damage

Pack Mentality: When a Lupine is flanking a target, he gets a +1 to his Combat Maneuver Bonus against that target. When two or more Lupines are flanking their opponent, this bonus increases to +2. Lupines do not question orders from superiors they fear and respect, and as a result of this tendency to obey are at a -2 to save against [Mind-Affecting] spells, regardless of school

Taste for Blood: Because they eat only meat, Lupines’ meals and cost of living are twice what they would normally be. The extra cost is ameliorated somewhat by the fact that the meat does not need to be cooked.

Winter-bred: Lupines have damage reduction 5 against cold

Languages

Lupines automatically speak Common as well as the dialect where they received their training – most often, that means Sascrian.

Houndings

houndingHoundings were the first attempt of the Sascrian Wizards to create companion beastfolk who would serve as personal slaves. It was a simple decision to draw upon the domestic dog for source-material and information. What was unexpected was how utterly charming and loveable

Personality

Houndings are the most socially adept Beastfolk, and tend to integrate seamlessly into most Human cultures.

Physical Description

Houndings have diverse appearance, depending on the type of domesticated dog they were derived from. The majority, however, are literally hound-ish. Houndings are around the same height as the average Human, but tend to be heavy-boned.

Relations

Houndings were designed to be like domestic dogs – they really want to get along with everyone, and the do.

Alignment and Religion

Houndings tend toward the Good. They natrually tend toward cooperation.

Adventurers

Houndings tend to be either filled with wanderlust or complete homebodies. They tend to gravitate toward the Bard class, making the most of their social abilities, or the Ranger, since they are natural, peerless trackers.

Names

Houndings often simply take appropriate cultural names, and many of them specifically detest dog-ish nicknames some Humans insist on giving them.

Houndings Racial Traits

+2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma. Houndings are tireless and charming, but long generations of domestication of the dogs from which they were created has dulled them a bit.

Best Friends: As dogs were domesticated, they became the most adept animals at reading Human emotions and at making their emotions clear to Humans in turn. Houndings gain a +2 racial bonus to Sense Motive checks and Humans gain a +2 racial bonus to Sense Motive when dealing with Houndings. Houndings also gain a +2 racial bonus to Diplomacy, Gather Information and Perform.

Bestial Nature: Houndings can communicate with domestic and wild dogs at will. They do not, however, speak wolf.

Scent: This functions exactly as the Scent ability http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/rules-for-monsters/universal-monster-rules#TOC-Scent-Ex-

Sharp Senses: Houndings receive a +2 to all Perception checks

Buzzkin (Apini)

Buzzkin are beastfolk created by mingling human stock with that of honeybees. They were originally created to fill a vital role in the Sascrian Mageocracy’s agrarian workforce, namely they were experts in cross-pollination and the interbreeding of new plant species. There are three sub-types of Buzzkin – queens, drones and workers. Queens are the largest Buzzkin and are responsible for leadership and reproduction in a hive. Drones are the male Buzzkin, and they mate with the queens and do most of the manual labor in a hive. Workers are all females who are not queens – the smallest Buzzkin – charged with much of the labor and defending the hive from intruders. With the exception of queens, Buzzkin rarely work independently, and rather form small teams that act as a single unit.
Physical Description

Buzzkins tend to short in stature, and almost childlike in appearance. They have the torso & wings of a bee with the arms, legs, and head of a human, and are capable of flight. Buzzkin tend to prefer warmer climates, and are capable of hibernation in colder weather. Buzzkin drones are able to build hives, pollinate flowers, and produce honey in the same manner as normal bees, while Buzzkin queens are able to birth entire generations of Buzzkin larvae. There are typically only one or two queens born each generation in a given hive, and all but one of the queens are normally driven off and must found their own hives.
History & Relations

Sascria’s original intent was to breed only queens and drones – ‘surplus’ female larva were killed off magically and alchemically. Over time, the queens were able to communicate via drone messengers between hives, and hatched a plan to raise a generation of worker-warriors and win their freedom from the Magocracy. The Buzzkin learned the alchemical formulas used to kill the ‘surplus’ female larva and created antidotes in secret, administering them, and raising the resulting female warrior-bees in secret.

The revolt was sudden and violent, but once the Sascrian overseers were stung to death, it was an easy task for the Buzzkin to pack up their meager belongings and simply fly away, founding new hives in remote areas of Gondal. There, they opened up limited trade with Humans and other Beastfolk, trading special hybrid crops, honey and alchemical admixtures for raw materials and crafted goods. Many Beastfolk who fled Sascrian captivity ended up living near Buzzkin hives, and alliances were formed, most notably with the Ursians.

Over time, the desire grew for vengeance against Sascria, but the idea was rejected time and again because of the incredible arcane power of the Magocracy and the Arcane Schools.

Then, there came the Collapse…

Personality & Society

Buzzkins are often noted as accomplished artisans and crafters, especially in fields relating to gardening, herbal healing arts, alchemy and the cross-pollination of new plant strains.

The Buzzkin share a hive mind mentality with other members of their hive, which they use for limited communication (see racial traits below). Regardless of hive mind connection, however, Buzzkin are very tight-knit and share a very rigid and complex social structure. Under the old mageocracy, Buzzkin queens were accorded status and privilege akin to that usually reserved for artisans, master craftsmen, or even minor nobility, while Buzzkin worker drones were at best treated as a marginalized worker class and at worst treated as a slave caste.

Despite being extremely intelligent and quite capable of complex reasoning and problem-solving, Buzzkin worker drones typically have a very limited sense of independence. A typical drone lives to serve his queen and better his hive by performing the tasks assigned to him to his utmost capabilities. The average Buzzkin drone simply wouldn’t choose to seek personal advancement over the advancement of his hive.

Buzzkin queens, on the other hand, are allowed far more independence, and are free to act on individual goal separate from those of the hive. They are trained to think “outside the collective” in this fashion so that they may deal with threats to the hive and make decisions that affect the future of their hive. In this manner, Buzzkin queens are praised for their creative problem-solving skills.

The new breed of Buzzkin workers seem to fall somewhere in the middle ground between the queen and drone breeds. They are much more self-reliant than drones, but still subservient to their queens. Their role as tacticians also allows them to think in a much more non-linear fashion that the average Buzzkin drone. Buzzkin workers also recognize the need for personal strength and advancement as an extension of their duty to better defend their hives, as anything which makes them stronger also makes them better defenders.
Alignment & Religion

Buzzkin have an extremely strong work ethic, and tend to be lawful in alignment. If they have a religion, it is entirely unknown to outsiders. Occasionally a small swarm of Buzzkin workers might develop an independent streak, and these are the most likely to become adventurers.
Adventurers

Buzzkin adventurers are most likely to be of the worker breed. Indeed, some worker Buzzkin have begun adventuring as a means of bettering themselves and their hives. Occasionally, a Buzzkin queen might venture out from the hive, either to further her own agendas or for trade or diplomatic relations, but such an expedition will almost always be accompanied by a contingent of worker-warrior guards and drone servants.

Buzzkin drones can become superb Alchemists and powerful Bards, though their musical taste is alien to say the least to most Humans and other Beastfolk. Buzzkin workers who take up a life of adventure are often Barbarians, Fighters and Rangers.
Names

Buzzkin drone and worker names tend to be short and often involve doubled letters which are attempts to transliterate sounds from the Buzzkin lanugage. Names like Zzak, Riik, Vvrax, and Sevv are common. Buzzkin queen names tend to be just the opposite, usually filled with vowels and very flowery – Lulorieni, Felianne, Siliansili and the like.
Buzzkin Racial Traits

Small Humanoid Swarm

Drones are always male and workers are always female.

-2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom. Buzzkin working together are about as strong as other Small races, but they are very nimble and perceptive.

Hive Menality: Though the Small swarm is composed of, on average, four Tiny individual creatures, they cannot accomplish anything complex individually – nothing more complex than scouting ahead or gathering tiny objects.

Pheromone Communication: Buzzkin can communicate with each other silently as long as they are no more than 10′ apart via pheromones. This is the equivalent of telepathic communication, and occurs at the same approximate rate as speech.

Swarm Traits: Small Humanoid Swarms have the vulnerabilities of all swarms. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/swarm.htm). Small humanoid swarms such as Buzzkin function for the most part as if they are small humanoids. Small humanoid swarms do not attack by engulfing an opponent’s square in combat, but can attack like any other Small creature, and have a base reach of 1 with any weapon. In combat, each individual memeber of the small humanoid swarm wields a tiny weapon – the aggregate of these multiple tiny weapons are treated as a small weapon for the purposes of calculating damage. Unlike other swarms, a small humanoid swarm is subject to both flanking and critical hits. When there is a rules-related question, treat the small humanoid swarm as a small humanoid creature.

Vulnerable to cold: The temperature at which buzzkin must make Survival rolls to avoid damage from cold weather is 20 degrees higher than for other (mammalian) races. Cold attacks deal 150% damage to Buzzkin.

Wings: Fly speed of 30′ with perfect maneuverability (ability to hover, etc.)

Drones: Drones receive +2 to Craft: Alchemy and all of their Alchemical bombs (including alchemist fire/cold/etc.), extracts and mutagens have +1 to numerical effects or their duration multiplied by 1.5 – chosen at creation.

Workers: Worker Buzzkin are individually smaller than drones, but have stingers which drones lack. A worker’s sting is only usable once per day. The workers can attack with their stingers at their full attack bonus, dealing 1d4 damage. If they hit and deal damage, they deliver their poison. The Fortitide save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 Buzzkin class level + Wisdom bonus. The damage is initial and secondary 1d6 Dex. Unlike their smaller cousins, Buzzkin workers who sting do not die, they simply cannot produce more than one dose of venom per 24 hour period.

Pathfinder Beastfolk 3: Bear, Otter and Snake (Oh My!)

Ursidians

ursa 2Ursidians are a race of hulking omnivores originally bred to be elite pit fighters in Sascria.

Personality

Ursidians can be slow unless they are roused. They are not necessarily stupid, but they are deliberate thinkers and poor negotiators. Bearkin prefer to be solitary, and are not comfortable in large groups, towns and cities.

Physical Description

Bear-kin are among the largest Beastfolk ever created. They retain the small, dark eyes of the bear ancestors wedded to tall, powerful, large-boned humanoid frames. Their hands and feet retain claws, but are adapted for more dexterity and for walking upright.

Relations

Originally, Ursidians and Buzzkin hated each other, but since they have become staunch allies. The Buzzkin’s skill in alchemy and their ability to fly is allied with the Ursidians large size and prowess in battle.

Alignment and Religion

Ursidians tend to be solitary, living at most in small familiar groups while they raise children. They are often willing to leave well enough alone, though they are loyal to allies. Bearkin tend toward neutrality.

Adventurers

Ursidians who become adventurers most commonly focus on melee combat, playing to their obvious strengths. Since the Collapse, some Ursidians have demonstrated a capacity for divine magic, and become Clerics of their clan totems or of a great bear-god who lives beneath the earth.

Names

Lots of long, rounded vowel sounds; attempts to transliterate from the Ursidians’ own language. Brom, Aurorum, Goroom.

Ursidian Racial Traits

+2 Strength, -2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom. Ursidians are large and powerfully built and are close to their animal ancestors, which gives them both a natural insight and wisdom as well as a lack of manual dexterity.

Bear Claws: Ursidians have two claw attacks, each of which deal 1d4 damage and are made at a -5 penalty. Ursidian claw attacks can be made as part of a full attack action as long as the Ursidian has an empty hand. Ursidian claws also give them a +2 to Climb checks.

Bestial Nature: Ursidians are able to communicate with bears of all types at will.

Hibernation: In cold weather, Ursidians become sluggish and sleepy, and must sleep at least 10 hours per night, and are most comfortable with at least 12 hours.

Hulking Frame: Ursidians receive a +1 to both CMD and CMB due to their large size and powerful build – they are hard to disarm, grapple with, or knock down. Ursians also deal +1 damage with two-handed melee weapons.

Solitary: Ursidians are not particularly social, and take a -2 penalty to social rolls made in large groups, especially in the case of public speaking. One-on-one or among a few allies, this penalty does not apply.

Languages

Ursidians speak Common and Sylvan.

Selkies

selkieThe Selkies of the Whale Islands have long since left their history as magical experiments behind. Selkies live in autonomous, small communities, always near large rivers, large bodies of water, or the sea. In appearance, Selkies are somewhat similar to Galidines, but where Galidines tend toward high-strung watchfulness, Selkies are simply goofballs. The people of the Whale Islands, the Ardyn, live in peace with the Selkies but do not intermingle with them, except in the area of shared interest – the sea. Selkies are superb swimmers, but they also make natural sailors.

Wanting more time to enjoy themselves, Selkies have become masters of aquaculture, raising fish, crabs, frogs and crayfish in netted shallows and weirs along rivers. Unlike the Galidines they sometimes resemble, Selkies were not originally bread primarily for fighting, and so while they do have some sharp teeth, they cannot make bite attacks in combat.

Personality

As mentioned above, Selkies tend to be fun-loving and playful, and have trouble treating anything but a life-and-death situation very seriously. Many of their cultural advancements have been aimed at creating more free time for themselves, and any technology or practice that creates more work is readily abandoned by Selkie communities. Selkies can be laid back, but will make sure that they goof off at least once a day. This goofing off may or may not create some trouble – Selkies who get into trouble are often a bit surprised by it, as if they assume that everyone is as easygoing as they are.

Physical Description

Selkies look a bit like Galidines with long, flexible, sleek bodies – but of course Selkies will maintain that they are far better looking. Selkies have wide hands and webbed feet to help with swimming, and long, powerful arms that they use to propel themselves through the water (which, in a pinch, can also swing a weapon pretty hard).

Relations

Selkies get along well with most Ardyn, the humans who live with them on the Whale Islands, and when they travel to other places, they can often fit in relatively well anywhere. Selkies just don’t appear very threatening to most people, whether they are trying to appear threatening or not.

Alignment and Religion

You have to travel a long tie to find a Selkie with a Lawful bone in her body – Selkies are creatures of Chaos, and often tend toward the Good, preferring to live in peace and plenty but willing to help those in need when they are able. Neutral Selkies tend to prank and joke for the sake of pranking and joking, and often at inappropriate times. Evil Selkies certain exist, and they see all of life as one big joke – and they are determined to have the last laugh, no matter who else it hurts.

Adventurers

Selkies love music, and make excellent Bards. They also tend to eschew many of the trappings of Human civilization, making them prefer the life of the Barbarian or the Ranger. Occasional Selkies feel the call to become an Oracle, and they almost always worship their own version of the Trickster deity. Many Selkie communities will also have a Witch who provides useful spells and periodic healing.

Names

Selkies have their own language, adapted for use underwater, that almost no non-Selkies know. Their real names are in this language, and they only use it with each other. With outsiders, Selkies tend to choose odd, descriptive names like Shell-cracker, Swift, Bubble, Sharp-tooth and Fisher.

Selkie Racial Traits

Medium-sized

+2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma

Bestial Nature: Selkies are able to communicate with otters at will.

Just Joking: Selkies enjoy jokes, pranks, puns and the like, and it is often very hard to tell whether they are kidding or not. Still, it makes them likeable, at last in small doses. Selkies receive a +2 racial bonus to both Bluff and Diplomacy

Low-light vision: Selkies can see twice as far as Humans in low light, above and below the water

Natural Swimmers: Selkies have a swim speed of 20 and are extremely maneuverable underwater. They can hold their breath and remain highly active for 5 times longer than a Human.

Taunting: Selkies can turn their playful cleverness into some serious trash-talking. At level 1, every Selkie is able to make a Feint against a single opponent as a move action instead of a full action

Languages

Selkies begin play speaking Common as well as their own language, Selkie, which they only use with each other.

Ophidians

 

 

ophidianThe Ophidans are a sly race of Beastfolk uniquely designed to be assassins. They were created by the School of Metamorphosis as a hybrid of snakes and humans. Though the original Ophidans were made by using specific snakes, they were modified over time to have the maximum of reflexes, senses, and venom, making them much more deadly than they previously were. As these modifications were made, the Ophidans were also changed to minimize the outward appearance of their serpentine relation, causing them to become unstable and short-lived. The average Ophidan may live twenty to thirty years before they completely unravel and die. Ophidans tend to have solitary natures, but can very easily put on different faces. It’s thought that compulsive lying is a trait among many Ophidans.

Personality

Ophidians are cold and calculating, and sometimes have trouble understanding the mammals around them. Decisions for Ophidians are always clear-cut, black-and-white affairs, and if they take the concerns of allies or family into account, it is because they learned how.

Physical Description

The wizards who created the Ophidans created them to be as human as physically possible, so very few serpentine traits remain still. Their eyes are one of their main defining features- all Ophidans have slit pupils, though the distribution of the amounts of which snakes they mix with the most determines the direction in which the pupil is slit and the color. The same factor will determine their hair color, though most Ophidans have extremely fine hair. Most Ophidans will wear their hair relatively long, though they will cut it short from mourning. They also have fangs and slightly forked tongues, causing many Ophidans to have a subtle accent. Though almost all Ophidans are fair-skinned, some will have small patches of scales on their wrists or necks. Females of their race will usually be a height of 5’4” to 5’9”, and males will usually be of a height between 5’7” and 6’.

During the magocratic society, most Ophidans were assassins, thieves, or otherwise used in stealth operations. They used a clan affiliation amongst themselves, defining themselves by their families. Despite their reputation for being incurable liars, which is, to some extent, true, they are extremely loyal to their families, or, in more recent times, employers. Since the collapse of magocratic society, some of the Ophidans have maintained their affiliations, while some have broken free and become loners, though many Ophidans prefer to stay out of sight and with their clans.

Relations

Even in societies that accept or relatively accept the Beastfolk, most Ophidans are treated with mild suspicion and disdain because of their former employment in the magocratic society. The opinion of them is slowly changing in more war-torn lands, where they prove themselves to be capable and surprisingly loyal warriors, but most Ophidans keep minimal contact with society as a whole because of relatively poor opinions of them.

Alignment and Religion

Ophidians, designed to be killers and naturally callous, tend significantly toward Evil.

Adventurers

Ophidians most often become Rogues. Some leverage their natural hunting instincts to become effective Rangers.

Names

Lots of fricatives and especially sibilants.

Ophidian Racial Traits

Medium-sized

+2 Dex, -2 Con, +2 Wis

Bestial Nature: Ophidians can speak with serpents and vipers at will as a magical ability.

Darkvision 60′: Ophidians can see 60′ out even in total, nonmagical darkness, with a modified form of infravision

Hatred: Ophidians and Galidines have an acute hatred for each other, and will almost never agree to work together

Poison-mastery: When working with mundane and magical poisons, Ophidians do not risk poisoning themselves. They also receive a +2 bonus to Fortitude saves against mundane and magical poison

Venomous Fangs: Ophidians have a bite attack at -5 (their bite counts as a light weapon for Weapon Finesse). It only deals 1 damage, but if their bite deals damage, the Ophidian can choose to inject her opponent with venom. Ophidian venom is similar to any viper venom. The Fortitude save DC is equal to 10 +1/2 the Ophidian’s character level + her Con bonus, and the venom deals initial and secondary damage of 1d4 Constitution. Ophidians can only use their venom at most once per day, and their venom cannot be saved and applied to weapons. (The save DC is much higher than that for viper venom in the SRD intentionally – the Con damage is reduced to 1d4 because attribute damage is more powerful in PF)

Tremorsense 20′: Ophidians can sense vibrations due to movement within a range of 20′ even in magical darkness, but do not have a wide range of hearing otherwise, suffering a -2 penalty to Perception checks when listening

Pathfinder Beastfolk 2: Big Cat, Tortoise, Bird of Prey

Here are the next three beastfolk races I’m featuring. Some of these were late drafts but never finally polished and put together, but I think there is more than enough here to be helpful in your game:

Pantherians

panterian 2Not every attempt at creating beastfolk went as planned – not by a long shot. In most cases, the experiments were altered or aborted entirely. Lost resources were simply chalked up to the cost of creating new and exciting slaves for the pits or for other kinds of service. The Pantheria are an example of how things can go terribly wrong indeed.

Personality

Pantheria are either lone hunters or form into small familial prides. They retain enough intelligence and human nature, however, to band together when faced with an outside threat, and some Pantheria build homes and use simple tools. Others are more lost to their animal natures and stalk their island as highly intelligent apex predators.

Physical Description

Pantheria are long-boned and lithe and have the relaxed musculature of the great cats, capable of bursts of tremendous speed and strength when needed. In coloration, they take after one of the families of great cats – lions, tigers, leopards and jaguars.

Relations

The Pantheria sometimes tolerate trade with other beastfolk, as long as they do not appear to be easy prey, in which case they are eaten. Pantheria consider Humans to be relatively unappetizing, but would rather devour them than speak with them. One of the few tenets of their society that they maintain is their white-hot hatred of Human magic and Humans in general.

Alignment and Religion

Pantheria follow their own animistic religion of the hunt and of the renewal of nature. They believe that by devouring an opponent or rival’s heart and other key organs, they gain his or her power for themselves. From a Human point of view, they tend toward Evil, though of course the Pantheria do not see it that way.

Adventurers

Pantheria who have PC classes obviously tend toward Barbarians and Rangers. Religious leaders of the Pantheria are almost exclusively female, and they are often Druids or Witches. Few Pantheria if any leave their island home to adventure, though it is not unheard-of for young males seeking status as manhunters will cross to the mainland and make raids on outlying villages, carrying back treasures and trophies alike.

Names

Racial Traits

+2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom. Pantheria are nimble and athletic, and are more bestial than other beastfolk.

Bestial Nature: Pantheria can communicate with any great cats at will because of their bestial background. Domestic cats are naturally terrified of them, but they can communicate as well.

Failed Experiment: Pantheria, rather than being susceptible to mind-controlling magic, turned out to be resistant to it, and because of this were able to gather their strength and win their freedom in a bloody rebellion. Pantheria have a +2 save bonus to all [Mind-affecting] spells.

Vengeance: Pantheria gain a +1 attack bonus against all Human arcane spellcasters

Night-Eyed: Pantheria have low-light vision

Primitive: Pantheria do not trust things they associate with Humans, including some simple technologies. Pantheria cannot use Crossbows and do not wear metal armor, though they do make use of metal weapons. Pantheria also begin play illiterate – in order to become literate, a Pantheria must spend a skill rank.

Red in Tooth and Claw: Pantheria have two claw attacks and a bit attack which can be used as part of a full attack. Each claw deals 1d4 damage, as does their bite attack, and all are made at a -5 to their base attack bonus. Pantheria claws give them a +2 bonus to Climb checks.

Languages

Testudo

testudo 2Testudo are humanoid tortoises created by School of Metamorphosis Wizards before the Collapse to be effective wartime workers during a time when raw materials for armor were becoming scarce. It was decided that, given the relative ease of magical manipulation and availability of slaves, it might be beneficial to grow armored workers rather than pay to equip them. After the war was over, they Testudo were left to their own devices. Though they are heavyset and have the carapace and plastron of their tortoise ancestors, the Testudo tend to be bookish and quite conservative, and most of them eschew adventure. They are long-lived – no Testudo has yet died of old age, and they were created over 200 years ago. Testudo are universally vegetarian, and aggression does not come naturally to them. The reproduce by laying and fertilizing one large egg at a time – as long as the egg’s internal temperature is maintained, it does not have to be actively cared for. Hatchlings that result, however, are cared for assiduously. Testudo are not entirely reptilian.

Personality

Tesdudo tend to be bookish and conservative, concerned with lore, organization, and in things remaining much as they are. Testudo are not wont to challenge authority, nor are they prone to be innovators. They are conservators, and often feel that much of what Humans forget is in fact precious. Testudo carefully consider their options before choosing.

Physical Description

Though they are not true reptiles, Testudo retain the plastron and carapace of their tortoise ancestors. This means that they are wider and bulkier than other races, though not significantly heavier on average. Unlike tortoises, Testudo cannot pull their limbs inside their shell – it is a good bit of protection nonetheless. Testudo have short, thick fingers and toes and broad hands and feet. Their arms and legs tend to be short, and they never grow hair.

Relations

Testudo potentially get along with everyone, as long as you are not too loud and don’t make a lot of sudden moves. Galidines can make Testudo nervous, but they are useful for running and fetching things when the Testudo can’t be bothered.

Alignment and Religion

Testudo are quite Lawful, and do not tend toward great altruism nor are they particularly malevolent. If virtue is the balance between extremes, then Testudo are the picture of virtue.

Adventurers

Testudo are superb Alchemists when they try their hand at the art, and some even become Bards since they enjoy both gathering lore and knowing a little bit about everything. There is a school of Testudo Monks who practice a hard-hitting, methodical form of martial arts, drawing upon the strengths of their odd physiology. Testudo who have an interest in religious lore sometimes become Paladins, devoting themselves not only to a particular religious path, but also to the preservation of traditional values in general.

Names

Testudo might be encountered in any urban area, and simply choose appropriate names from the local culture.

Testudo Racial Traits

-2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence. Testudo are large, strong and resilient, but lack agility and can be slow to act.

Bestial Nature: Testudo are able to communicate with turtles and tortoises at will.

Bookish: Testudo receive one free Knowledge as a class skill at character creation, regardless of class. If all Knowledges are already class skills, then the Testudo receives a +2 to a Knowledge of her choice.

Carapace and Plastron: +1 Natural Armor. Testudo can wear armor, but it has to be custom-made and is bulkier than normal armor, and their nonmagical armor costs 150% of normal and weighs 150% of normal. When a Testudo is attacked by an opponent who is flanking her, her carapace grants DR 2/- against the attack. At the DM’s discretion, this DR can be applied to area attacks which hit the Testudo when she has fallen prone, hiding under her carapace (a move action to duck-and-cover before the attack goes off)

Resistant to Change: Testudo receive a +2 to all Will saves. They are very hard to convince or sway by any means.

Slow Breath: Testudo receive a +2 racial bonus to Concentration, and they can hold their breath 5 times longer than a human with the same Constitution score.

Sluggish: A Testudo’s base movement speed is 20. Testudo in heavy armor just don’t get around.

Languages

Testudo speak Common as well as the Sylvan language that is common to Beastfolk of all kinds.

Egalit

egalitThe Hakinu are a species of beastfolk that resemble humanoid birds of prey – hawks, eagles, falcons and owls.

Hawks, Eagles and Falcons

+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Intelligence

Owls

+2 Wisdom, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma

All Egalit

Medium – While slightly taller and slimmer than average humans, they are still of medium size.

Low-Light Vision – All egalit have can see twice as far as humans in dim light.

Keen Senses – Egalit receive a +2 racial bonus on all Perception skill checks.

Shinies – Due to their attraction to shiny objects, egalit receive a +2 racial bonus on Appraise skill checks for any object with metal or gems.

Bestial Nature – Due to their animalistic connections to their past, Egalit can speak with natural birds of prey at will as a supernatural ability.

Talons – While egalit have human-like hands, their fingers end in powerful talons that are useful for grasping and holding opponents. They receive a +2 racial bonus to CMB and CMD for grapples. They also receive a +2 racial bonus to Climb checks.

Sharp Eyes – All Egalit share incredible long-distance eyesight. On a clear day, an Egalit can see detail over a mile away. This does not mean that Egalit are better at sensing ambushes nearby; it only means that when an Egalit focuses on a distant object, she can see detail long before a Human could even see the object.

Pathfinder Beastfolk: Mongoose, Rat and Boar

A few years ago I was part of this cool collaborative game design project called BySwarm. Basically, it was crowd-sourced RPG design and worldbuilding, open to anyone who came to the website and wanted to be part of it. It went amazingly well and was a great experience. Unfortunately, the ultimate goal was to publish a Pathfinder module in our new setting and go from there, but the project didn’t come to full fruition.

One thing we did was design a lot of cool beastfolk-style races for our setting using the initial version of the race design system that is in the Race Guide. They’re all work I’m proud of, and not just because I contributed a lot of that work. They’re also the kind of thing that might be helpful to other DMs and GMs putting together their own settings, so I’m sharing them here. The project has been defunct for a few years now, but if it comes to it, all rights reserved, BySwarm LLC. There are a lot of races, so this will be a three-part series.

Galidines

galidineGalidines are beastfolk who were developed from human-mongoose hybrids. They were magically designed for enhanced reflexes and employed as thief-catchers.

Personality

Galidines are high-strung and honest to a fault, often trusting strangers a bit more than they should – until that stranger gives them reason to mistrust them, at which point they will be subjected to eternal vigilance and skepticism. Galidines take a critical and even scientific viewpoint in most situations, and want to be offered proof and evidence in all situations. This can be a virtue when Galidines are involved in tracking or investigation and a hindrance when they are called upon to make small-talk.

Physical Description

Galidines have light-colored fur and tend to have a lanky, thin build. They almost never appear to be at ease – their stance and expression bespeaks readiness and watchful intensity, and relaxing comes to them only with difficulty.

Relations

Galidines and Ophidians have an intense mutual hatred, which one would expect given their respective backgrounds. Aside from Ophidians, Galidines tend to judge each new person they meet on their own merits. They value honesty very highly, and readily give their trust as long as they have no reason not to. When betrayed or lied to, however, it is almost impossible to win the trust of a Galidine back.

Alignment and Religion

Many Galidines are Lawful in alignment and few are Evil. Because most Galidines are skeptical, critical sorts, they do not naturally gravitate to religious belief. The intervention of the gods and various spirits does not seem to be dependable enough to a Galidine, who values regularity and dependability.

Adventurers

Though they normally shy away from outright crime, Galidines make excellent Rogues. Galidine adventurers are also often Rangers and Fighters, focusing on fighting in light or medium armor and using their agility and intelligence to outwit opponents. A few Galidines have discovered arcane magic and have begun training as Wizards – this was not a legal option for them in old Sascria, but since the Collapse and the spread of beastfolk across Gondal, many new options have opened up to them.

Names

Galidine names tend to be compound names composed of four or more syllables

Galidine Racial Traits

Medium-sized

+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom. Galidines are nimble and clever but often lack insight and tend not to trust their own intuition.

Bestial Nature: Galidines are able to communicate with mongooses, though mongooses are rare. Galidines also receive a +1 to all attack rolls made against Ophidians.

Flexible: Galidines receive a racial +2 bonus to Escape Artist due to their incredible flexibility

High Strung: Galidines get one extra attack of opportunity per round – 2 without the Combat Reflexes Feat or their Dexterity bonus +1 with the Feat. They also receive a +2 racial bonus to Initiative.

Honest to a Fault: Galidines receive a -2 to Bluff and Intimidation and a +2 to Perception and Sense Motive checks. Galidines receive a -2 penalty to saves against [mind-affecting] spells because of their credulity

Low-Light Vision: Galadines can see twice as far as Humans in low-light conditions but still cannot see in complete darkness

Sharp Teeth: Galadines have pointy teeth that do 1d3 base piercing damage. They can make a bite attack in close combat at -5

Languages

Galidines begin play speaking Common and one local language from the country or region in which they were raised.

Muroideans

Muroideans, more commonly know as Ratkin, Ratfolk or Ratlings, are, as their common monickers imply, Beastfolk designed by School of Metamorphosis Wizards before the Collapse. It began as a common kind of experiment – scholars observed the tenacity and resourcefulness that rats showed in reaching and devouring food stores. Strategists felt that a rat-based hybrid might be useful as sappers or saboteurs.

One thing they did not take into account was that rats also have a very rapid reproduction rate to go along with their resourcefulness. A few escaped and…propagated. Regardless of the original plans for them, they are now a very common race of Beastfolk, found in any urban area, living as scavengers and improvisers.

In Sascria, Ratlings, as they are called, are hardly seen as sentient by most Humans. They are treated much like the rats they are derived from – though they are certainly a more dangerous version. There are standing bounties on Ratlings – their tails are collected and can then be turned for gold or favors from powerful organizations.

Personality

Muroideans are hardy, resourceful and cunning. Generosity is not something that comes naturally to them, and it is only rare that one will demonstrate what might be called “camaraderie”. They are materialistic, and always know what is theirs as well as what they want. Single-minded in seeking a goal, they are also always wary of rivals and other threats.

Physical Description

Muroideans are smaller than Humans, standing on average 3-4 feet tall. They have a hunched posture and long feet with long toes ending in claws and they have claws rather than fingernails on their long-fingered hands. Muroideans’s noses are almost perpetually moist and their eyes tend to be pale in color.

Relations

In Sascria, Muroideans are treated little better than large vermin, and are considered a pest species unless they are specifically in the employ of the Sascrian government or one of the Arcane Schools (in which case, they carry papers and are forced to proffer them at every turn). Outside Sascria, some of this stigma persists, but they are not hunted anywhere else like they are hunted at home.

Alignment and Religion

Some might think of Muroideans as tending toward Evil because they have learned that being selfish will sometimes be all that keeps them alive in a hostile environment. They are also always the ‘underdogs’, and because of this they have learned to fight suddenly and viciously and to flee when possible. In a situation where they do not feel their lives are always in danger, some Muroideans might even learn some altruism, or at the very least, to live-and-let-live. Constantly under threat in Sascria, however, they are vicious and mistrustful.

Adventurers

For the Muroidean, the life of the Rogue is almost an assumption. Many Ratlings who get the better of their hunters, however, have turned to the study of the arcane arts as either Wizards or even Alchemists, stealing and hoarding Sascrian texts and putting their secrets to use. Outside Sascria, these arcane Muroideans have the best chance of gainful, lawful employment.

Names

Muroideans tend to choose vulgar forms of Sascrian names.

Muroidean Racial Traits

Small-sized. Muroideans are small in stature but very fast, particular when frightened, and their movement speed remains 30.

-2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence. Though they are small, Muroideans are nimble and far more intelligent than the Sascrians who hunt them assume.

Bestial Nature: Muroideans can communicate with small rodents at will.

Scamper: A Muroidean receives a +2 bonus to Climb and Stealth checks. Muroideans also take a -2 penalty to saves against fear effects – they are naturally prone to flee danger and err on the side of living to fight another day.

Shining Eyes: Muroideans have low-light vision

Vermin: Muroideans receive a +1 to saves against all types of disease, including magical

Versatile: Muroideans are automatically proficient with improvised weapons.

Voracious: A Muroidean can eat anything that is even remotely edible. Because of this, the cost of their meals and standard of living is 50% of normal. Muroideans also receive the Scent ability, and rely on their keen noses in complete darkness.

Languages

Muroideans automatically speak Common as well as the Sascrian dialect, even outside their supposed homeland. Bonus languages include Sylvan and Undercommon

Boriwogs

boriwogBoriwogs are beastfolk that resemble human-boar hybrids. They are known for their ferocity and toughness, and they were typically used as guards or even a sort of mercenary slave before the Collapse.

Personality

Boriwogs tend to be vain types, fastidious and careful with their clothes and hygiene. Amongst themselves, Boriwogs are prone to duel over minor insults. They are often gruff and intolerant of prejudice against boriwogs or other beastfolk.

Physical Description

Boriwogs are broad, stocky, and about as good-looking as one can imagine when dealing with the concept of “porcine.” Instead of hair they have long, semi-flexible bristles which some enjoy manipulating with pomade and various dyes. Others go with a more insane look to increase their intimidation factor.

Relations

Of the beastfolk, the Boriwogs are some of the most likely to find a place in larger Human society, often as personal bodyguards. Many would rather go hungry than work as menial laborers, even though they have the physical strength for it. Some Boriwogs also show a capacity for scholarly pursuits.

Alignment and Religion

Boriwogs have an independent streak, and lean toward the Chaotic, valuing personal expression and independence that can turn a simple dispute into a deadly fight.

Adventurers

Naturally, Boriwogs tend to become Barbarians and Fighters, and some also become Cavaliers, riding through battle and enjoying how much attention they can draw to themselves. A few Boriwogs have dabbled in the arcane arts of the Wizard, and those who do are attracted to the school of abjuration.

Names

Rolling Rs and long, round vowel sounds – Rombol, Borion, Kamor, Olgram, Gortrund.

Racial Traits

+2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma. Boriwogs are large and powerfully built and they possess surprising porcine intelligence. Despite their preoccupation with appearance, however, they are still pigs.

Medium – These medium size creatures are typically a little shorter and stouter than the average human.

Bestial Nature: Due to their animalistic connections to their past, Boriworgs can speak with boars and domestic pigs at will as a supernatural ability. Many Boriwogs would never do this in public, however.

Charge!: When a Boriwog charges, she receives a +1 racial bonus on a single melee attack made at the end of the charge. Additionally, she receives a +1 racial bonus on a single CMB roll to bull rush at the end of a charge.

To the Death: The ferocity of Boriworgs enables them to fight until they are dead. They may continue to take a move or a partial action each round when they fall below 0 hit points. They do not bleed when below 0 hit points and are alway

Tusks: Boriworgs grow tusks from their elongated, boar-like faces. These tusks are considered a light slashing weapon that do 1d3 damage and may be used during a full attack action at -5 to the character’s base attack bonus.

Languages

Boriwogs begin the game speaking Common and Sylvan.

 

An Update, in Lieu of Content

I’m not sure what to do with this blog right now, but I don’t want it to die, and I thought I’d post a little update on what I’m doing. Parsec is done (at last!) after a very successful Kickstarter campaign, and I’m proud of the end result. I have heard from some groups that are playing it, and I’m glad to hear it, and I hope many more are that I’m not hearing about.

I still find time to listen to podcasts, mostly when I am relaxing and playing Oblivion (I finished Skyrim first and then went backwards to Oblivion). The ones that I’m most excited to find in my feed are:

Aldasaga (Tolkien and Old Norse) is a special kind of awesome, and started relatively recently. The focus of the podcast is the works of JRR Tolkien and how they draw from Norse myth. In short, they draw from Norse myth more than I’d thought, and so far the podcast is fascinating.

Freakanomics is the only way I can tolerate listening to things about economics. I know I should understand it to be a participant in society and so on, but it’s just so…dismal. Freakanomics focuses on the surprising or counter-intuitive aspects of economics, including how the President of the US has almost no impact on the US economy. The topics are presented in a way that is likely to inform and entertain actual human beings.

This American Life is possibly the best podcast, period. It is Ira Glass going through amazing stories that follow a different them for each show. If you want to be moved and amazed, give them an hour and it’s almost guaranteed.

WNYC’s Radiolab is like This American Life’s little brother. Jad and Robert, the hosts, take a theme, but their themes are often related to science, technology and a little bit of philosophy. They approach these topics through stories much the way that TAM does, and like TAM they are consistently excellent.

Writing Excuses is the best podcast on the art, craft and business of writing, period. Each episode is only 15 minutes and they are currently in season 7. If you are a writer, or are interested in writers, then this should be a number one listening priority.

On the other hand, I’m doing a lot of writing, which feels good. Well, I’m doing as much as I can, given that I’m also a stay-at-home dad most days. I have continued to work on Never Pray Again with my Two Friars and a Fool collaborators, though I have taken a break from that. I wrote a ton on it for a few months, and sort of burned myself out until I can see more from Aric and Nick that I can respond to and be inspired by.  I am also collaborating on a number of projects: some supplements for Parsec focusing on Mars and the Asteroid Belt, a Victorian Gothic horror game called Clockwork, and a more-than-an-ebook adventure for bySwarm’s Dark Golden Age setting. Lastly, Reckoning, our horror rpg, is limping along, mostly neglected because of all of these other things going on.

In addition, I always have a few projects on my many back burners. I’ve been working on a poetry portfolio, theoretically as part of a possible Master’s in Fine Arts program application, and I’ve been learning that I am terrible at territory. I also have a few games percolating, including Fivefold Qi and still poking around with Heroes of Karia. I am also trying my hand at some fiction: a long-form story called Dragonblade and two short stories, one about a person who hires assassins to kill himself and the other about a superhero sidekick who turns villain. These are for a thematic anthology on sidekicks, and I may not finish them in time but they still interest me to see through.

Is that a lot of writing? Hell yes. And it’s awesome, and I want to keep writing as much as I can for as long as I can.