Aarakocra, Bullywugs, and Centaurs

Aarakocra

Ability Score Adjustments: +1 Dexterity (maximum 18), -1 Strength and Constitution (maximum 16 each).

Player Classes: Aarakocras can be warriors, barbarians, clerics/tribal shamans, and thieves.

Hit Dice: Aarakocra receive Hit Dice by class.

Alignment: Aarakocras tend towards neutral good. Aarakocra PCs can be any alignment.

Natural Armor Class: AC 7.

Monstrous Traits: Broken speech; aarakocra make bird sounds when speaking, even when speaking the common tongue.

Superstitions: Fear of enclosed spaces.

Racially Preferred Weaponry: Daggers, darts, javelins, special aarakocra flight lances.

Racially Preferred Nonweapon Knowledges: Alertness, animal noises, danger sense, direction sense, hunting, mountainous survival, weather sense, and weaving.

Special Advantages
The bird-men have the ability to fly, with a movement rate of 36 and a maneuverability class of C. Aarakocra’s talons cause 1d3 points of damage and can strike twice in a round. Their beaks also cause 1d3 points of damge. They receive no attack penalties for aerial missile fire. When using two javelins, an aarakocra can make a diving attack. They must dive at least 200 feet to use this special attack. The attacks are usually accompanied by a blood curdling shriek, gaining a +4 bonus to the attack rolls and cause double damage.

An aarakocra shaman/cleric of 7th level or higher can, with four other aarakocras of the same religion, summon a friendly air elemental with three rounds of chanting and aerial dancing. It will perform favors, although it will not endanger its life for them.

Special Disadvantages
Aarakocra are very claustrophobic. Those who engage in combat in enclosed areas (buildings, dungeons, etc.) receive a -3 penalty to their attack rolls.

Background
Aarakocra are a race of intelligent bird-men that live among the highest mountain peaks of Krynn. The average aarakocra stands about five feet tall and has a wingspan of twenty feet. Halfway along the edge of each wing is a hand with three human-sized fingers and an opposable thumb. An elongated fourth finger extends the length of the wing and locks in place during flight. The hands cannot grasp while flying, but are nearly as useful as human hands when an aarakocra is perched and its wings folded back. Their powerful legs end in four sharp talons that can unlock and fold back to reveal another pair of functional hands. These humanoids have hollow, fragile bones. Their faces combine the features of both parrots and eagles. They have gray-black beaks and black eyes. Plumage color varies, but males generally have red orange and yellow coloration, while females tend towards brown and gray.

Aarakocra live in small tribes which control hunting territories and share a communal nest. The eldest male serves as leader, the second oldest as shaman. The aarakocra are rivals of the kyrie and often fight over living space, especially those tribes on the island of Karthay where aarakocras have been known to work with minotaur barbaric tribes to hunt kyrie. Aarakocras that live in the Abanasinia region often trade with the phaethons that live among the Sentinel peaks.

Languages: Aarakocra, Common, Giant Eagle.

Role Playing Suggestions: Aarakocra are reluctant to engage in ground or grappling combat because of their fragile bones. They love gems and other shiny objects. Their religious ceremonies are simple affairs involving whistled hymns. The aarakocra chief religions are the Gods of Nature (Habbakuk, Chislev, Zeboim), depending upon the alignment and/or location of aarakocra tribes. The first day of each new month is of religious significance.

These bird-men enjoy peace and solitude. They love their freedom, and are extremely claustrophobic. Most of them will not enter a cave, building, or other enclosed area without a very good reason. Aarakocra PC adventurers must have clear motivations. Some leave on a quest to aide their people, others because they do not fit with the rest of the tribe. Aarakocra who learn common intersperse the language with their native bird-like sounds. Caws, screeches, and whistles punctuate their broken sentences in typical bird-like fashion (similar to a parrot that mimics human speech). Aarakocra fighters prefer heavy fletched javelins when they must go to battle. An aarakocra can carry up to six javelins in individual sheathes strapped to his chest. While flying, he can clutch a javelin in each of its lower hands, throwing them or stabbing opponents when necessary. Aarakocra who have left their home territory and traveled to more civilized lands will sometimes wear pieces of studded leather armor to provide additional protection. They never carry shields.


Bullywugs

Ability Score Adjustments: +1 Dexterity (maximum 19), -1 Intelligence and Charisma (maximum 14 each).

Player Classes: Bullywugs can be fighters, barbarians, clerics/tribal shamans, and thieves.

Hit Dice: Bullywugs receive Hit Dice by class.

Alignment: Bullywugs tend to be chaotic evil. Bullywug PCs can be any alignment but are often neutral.

Natural Armor Class: AC 6.

Monstrous Traits: Appearance, chaotic tendencies, webbed hands and feet.

Superstitions: Bullywugs fear dry heat and areas that have little standing water.

Racially Preferred Weaponry: Bullywugs normally employ weapons such as clubs, daggers, short swords, spears, and tridents. Those bullywugs who adventure from their swampy lands can employ any weapon they wish.

Racially Preferred Nonweapon Knowledges: Direction sense, fishing, hunting, survival (swamp), weather sense, wild fighting.

Special Advantages

Bullywugs employ a hop attack which can carry them up to 30 feet forward and 15 feet upward. A hop attack gives them a +1 bonus to their attack rolls. If they are using impaling weapons, these cause double damage. Bullywugs receive swimming as a bonus proficiency.

Bullywugs have chameleon abilities that make them 75% undetectable in natural surroundings. This lets them ambush opponents, whose surprise rolls to receive a -2 penalty (-6 if attacked by the bullywug’s hop attack).

Special Disadvantages

Bullywugs must wet their entire bodies three times a day (at least a waterskin full of water is required). If they are unable to find moisture, they begin to lose Constitution at a rate of 2 points per missing bath. If their Constitution falls to zero they die from dehydration.

Background

Bullywugs are bipedal frog-like amphibians inhabiting swamps, marshes and other dank locations. They are covered with a smooth, mottled olive-green hide that gives them a natural protection. They have the faces of enormous frogs, characterized by wide mouths and bulging eyes. Like frogs their hands and feet are webbed. They wear no clothing, but do make use of crude armor weapons and shields.

Bullywugs have learned to cooperate with each other in order to survive and to work together when hunting. They are skilled hunters and fishermen, and can use and build snares and nets.

These frog-men grow up in a savage society. Males are dominant, while females are looked upon as nothing more than egg bearers. Only leaders and their goddess Zeboim are shown any kind of respect. Bullywug Tribal Shamans can advance only as high as 7th level and will always be male. Adventuring bullywugs who have found the more sophisticated clerical teachings and study of the gods can advance as far as anyone else can.

Bullywugs need to keep their skin moist which is why they favor the swamps and marshes. Since they live so deep within the swamplands of Krynn, bullywug tribes and settlements are almost never seen. Generally, bullywugs have been spotted in places like Nordmaar, the swamps south of Xak Tsoroth, the Plains of Dergoth surrounding Skullcap, and since the Nightmare of Silvanesti during the War of the Lance, bullywugs have been known to travel and settle in northern Silvanesti and among the waterways. Bullywugs love treasure, even if the regular benefits of wealth are lost on their society. Coins, jewels, and magical items are hoarded whenever they can be found.

The average bullywug does not display the greed or lust of power seen in other chaotic races. They rarely fight among themselves, except when the leader grows too old or when the smaller, more savage bullywugs meet the more larger and advanced cousins. Bullywugs tend to harm their environment, often hunting and fishing an area until its natural resources are depleted. Most hate humans and attack them on sight.

Languages: Bullywugs speak their own froglike language, while those who adventure or are more in a leadership role can grasp the common tongue.

Role Playing Suggestions: Bullywug PCs are assumed to be the larger, more intelligent type. These range in size from 6 to 7 feet tall, and are broader than their tribal relatives. They are more aggressive and better organized, and better equipped than the normal bullywugs.

Often it is the females who decide to leave the lair and take up the life of an adventurer, for the opportunities in their own society are extremely limited. While bullywug PCs tend to remain chaotic, they sometimes shed their evil natures as they try to find a place for themselves in the outside world.

Of course, as most other humans and humanoids fear and detest bullywugs, life for adventurer bullywugs is difficult and dangerous. The successful ones will learn to depend on and cooperate with whatever adventuring group they can latch onto, for their survival depends on cooperation.

The main religion of bullywug society is the worship of Zeboim. When adventuring bullywug shamans or clerics leave the tribe to take up life on the road, it is often to flee the wrath of their chaotic evil goddess. The clerical bullywug often takes up service with another god. Depending on their manner, its usually a god or goddess of nature or war.


Centaurs

Ability Score Adjustments: +1 Constitution and Wisdom (maximum 19 each), -2 Dexterity (maximum 16). Wendle centaurs also get a +1 bonus to Intelligence (maximum 19).

Player Classes: Centaurs can be fighters, rangers, barbarians, sorcerers, Wizards of High Sorcery, clerics, druids, mystics, and bards.

Hit Dice: Centaurs receive Hit Dice by class. In addition, they receive 4 bonus hit points at first level.

Alignment: Most centaur subspecies tend to be neutral or chaotic good. Endscape centaurs tend to be neutral or chaotic evil. Centaur PCs can be any alignment but are often neutral or chaotic good.

Natural Armor Class: AC 5 (Wendle centaurs have a natural AC of 4.

Monstrous Traits: Appearance.

Superstitions: Centaurs have a fear of dragons and giants due to their destructive tendencies to the wild. They see omens and portents in nature.

Racially Preferred Weaponry: Basic centaur weaponry usually consists of composite long bows, medium horse lances, great clubs, long and broad swords and horsemen-style weaponry (maces, flails, picks, sabres). Different subraces of favor particular weapons: Abanasinia and Endscape centaurs favor huge scythes with razor-sharp blades that inflict 2d4 points of damage.

Centaurs do not normally armor themselves in their own environment but adventuring centaur warriors or centaurs at war may don specially designed centaur chain mail armor that covers both their humanoid and equine body portions.

Racially Preferred Nonweapon Knowledges: Agriculture, animal lore, animal noises, armorer, artistic ability, bowyer/fletcher, brewing, drinking, eating, fishing, hunting, leatherworking, natural fighting, running, setting snares, survival (forest), tracking, weaving, winemaking.

Special Advantages

Centaurs can make at least three melee attacks in a round: one with their weapons (or more depending on class, level and weapon specialty) and twice with their front hooves. Hooves cause 1d6 points of damage each. Centaurs armed with lances can charge for double damage, but cannot attack with their hooves in that same round. In addition:

  • Abanasinian centaurs gain a +2 bonus to all saving throws.
  • Crystalmir centaurs can move extremely fast, able to gallop at a movement rate of 30 for short bursts.
  • Endscape centaurs gain +1 damage with melee weapons and +2 damage with each of their hooves.

Special Disadvantages

Centaurs take damage as large creatures. They have difficulty negotiating underground settings. Endscape centaurs have a strong tendency to always to drink wine or beer to excess if the opportunity presents itself.

Background

The background of the centaur race is separated into the different subspecies as follows:

Abanasinia Centaur: The Abanasinians comprise the vast majority of Krynnish centaurs; in fact, few races have seen any other subraces. These centaurs developed on the plains of Abanasinia in southern Ansalon, migrated south to the forests of Qualinesti, then quickly spread north throughout the rest of the continent. Today, there are few major forests without a herd or two of these centaurs.

The Abanasinians are the biggest and most handsome of the centaurs. Adults exceed 1,000 pounds and are at least six feet tall. They are usually a single color, such as chestnut brown, blonde or black. Their broad backs and powerful legs enable them to gallop for long distances without tiring and also enable them to carry heavy weight; a large Abanasinian could carry three human soldiers on his back with no noticeable strain. They are extremely robust creatures and superb hunters and fighters. They are playful and spirited, but they can also be quite temperamental, refusing to cooperate with their allies for variety of minor reasons. Abanasinians remain loyal to their friends for their entire lives and hold grudges against their enemies for just as long.

Crystalmir Centaur: This variety of centaur was named for the Crystalmir lake, located near the town of Solace in Abanasinia. Originally a subspecies of the Abanasinian centaurs, the Crystalmirs did not migrate as far as their more adventurous cousins, and today are largely confined to Ansalon’s southern forests and plains.

The Crystalmir are strong and sturdy, though less so than the Abanasinians. They rarely exceed 1,000 pounds in weight or six feet in height. They have lean bodies, slim necks, and high-set tails. They are usually blonde or light brown in color, with black or chestnut highlights; a few herds are solid black or white. Crystalmirs are shy and reclusive, the most reluctant combatants of all the centaurs. Their usual reaction to strangers is to run away as fast as they can. They seldom cooperate with humans or other intelligent races, refusing even to speak with them until they are completely convinced the outsiders mean them no harm.

Endscape Centaur: The Endscape are the most savage of the centaurs. Originally from the forests of the Endscape Peninsula north of Kern, this species is now largely confined to the northern regions of Ansalon. But since they have no permanent settlements, Endscape herds can be found just about anywhere.

Endscapes average five to six feet tall, though their leaders are a foot taller. Endscapes have shaggy coats and tails. The hair on their heads often grows to their waists. They are black or gray in color, occasionally brown or blonde. By human standards, Endscapes are the least attractive of centaurs. The males have short, scraggly beards and pock marked faces; the females have beady eyes and flabby bellies. Endscapes are lawless creatures that attack for the sheer thrill of it, mercilessly preying on the weak and the helpless. They are fond of strong wine and are frequently inebriated. Endscapes enjoy making drunken raids on human villages, burning buildings, stealing food and weapons, and generally terrorizing the populace. Male Endscapes are fascinated by human women, and have been known to kidnap them.

Wendle Centaur: The Wendle centaurs arose in the Wendle Woods of Goodlund in eastern Ansalon. Incessant annoyance from nearby kender communities eventually drove most of the Wendles from the area, and now they populate the various forests and plains in the eastern regions of the continent.

The Wendles average four to five feet in height. They resemble smaller versions of the Abanasinians and are sometimes mistaken for Abanasinian young. However, the Wendles are distinguished by their golden eyes and stubby tails. Instead of ribcages, Wendles have plates of solid bone. The Wendles are the smartest of all centaurs. They are more interested in philosophy, history, and other intellectual pursuits than other centaurs, and they are always better sources of information. However, Wendles can be argumentative and stubborn. They are wary of strangers and seldom cooperate with them.

Languages: Centaurs speak their own dialect, plus Common and whatever local dialect the herd is surrounded by.

Role Playing Suggestions: Centaur player characters are either young stallions and mares who have not yet found their life mates, or widows and widowers who have lost their mates and have taken up a life of adventure in order to ease their pain. They are a strong, proud race, easily offended and impulsive. Centaurs live in balance, they must eat a lot to power their great bodies, and have been known to over-indulge when it comes to wine and ale. Under the influence of alcohol, centaurs display rowdy, boorish, and aggressive behavior.

Those centaurs deciding to explore the world as adventurers usually do it to satisfy an innate curiosity and wanderlust that sometimes becomes a compulsion. They make excellent companions, good fighters, and hardy travelers. While they might sometimes offer a two-legged companion a ride, centaurs do not consider themselves pack animals or sources of transportation. In fact, they often become insulted if the role is suggested. They also do not tolerate horse jokes, though otherwise they have good sense of humor.

Regardless of subspecies, centaurs worship the gods of nature first and foremost. The other gods do have clerical representation in some centaur herds but the most diversity in religious belief is shown by those centaur PCs who have adventured and seen more of the other gods. After the Chaos War, centaur mystics and sorcerers started to appear in the various herds. They still pay homage to the lost gods of divine and arcane powers, but the practical nature of the centaurs made due. Once the gods returned the majority of the centaurs rejoiced, especially those of Crystalmir and Abanasinian subspecies who have a kinship with the Forestmaster in the Darken Woods.

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