Originally, the manscorpions were a race of primitive, brutal, barbaric savages known as the Sohktars, until they were defeated by the ancient Nithians and driven westward towars the savage coast. There, they came to the land of Nimmur, home of the enduks - a race of priests and scholars who just happened to be winged minotaurs. At the time, the enduks were at war with the orc tribes of the Dark Jungle, and because both races ostensibly worshipped the Immortal Ixion (by the name of Idu), they formed an alliance and drove the orcs back.
The Sohktars began to learn from the enduks, assimilating into Nimmurian culture and learning its language, writing and customs. This gave the dark Immortal Atzanteotl, known to both Nimmurian races as Menlil, a chance to infect the Sohktars with his poison, filling their hearts with hatred of their enduk allies and an envious desire to claim Nimmur for themselves.
So, the manscorpions turned on the enduks, and ultimately drove them away; it was only the aid of the Ee'aar, the winged elves of Mystara, that kept the flying minotaurs from perishing. For this act, Ixion cursed the manscorpions with a lethal allergy to sunlight, causing them to try and claim Nimmur as their own from underground homes and through the use of special makeup that blocks out the deadly rays of the sun.
Still... by the "present" of Mystara (as in, the Orc's Head sourcebook for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition), a growing band of manscorpions has turned from its evil ways and earned redemption, allowing for players to come from this race.
Manscorpions resemble a centaur, but with the lower body being a giant scorpion instead of a horse. Their upper torso is humanoid, but their skin is completely hairless, and their hands consist of two thick fingers and a long thumb, all with talon-like nails; this gives them the semblance of a scorpion's pincers.
Originally, manscorpions had dark skin and sandy-colored chitin, but now only the UmShedu, the redeemed manscorpions, look like that; those who still labor under Ixilon's curse have transparent flesh, which reveals pulsing organs and flowing black blood. To hide this repugnant sight, and protect themselves from the sun, they slather themselves in a thick layer of enchanted makeup, the color of which depends on the manscorpion's caste; workers wear brown, warriors wear red, gold denotes a noble, and priests wear black makeup with mystic runes painted on with silver makeup. All afflicted manscorpions wear monstrous-looking masks that conceal a visor of dark glass to protect their sensitive eyes.
All manscorpions possess a fierce and angry spirit, for all they try to appear aloof or reserved, and they are naturally inclined to be competitive and aggressive.
The Um-Shedu have managed to harness these traits and turn them towards a positive goal, but the typical Nimmurian manscorpion is greedy, self-serving and brutal. Traits that are only made worse by their curse, which has left them paranoid, secretive and frustrated. When both of these are added together, it's no wonder they tend to be warlike and lacking in empathy.
All PC manscorpions are believed to be the redeemed Um-Shedu, who have weaker venom but who have lost the sunlight vulnerability of their evil kinsfolk. The sourcebook makes some token acknowledgement of the idea of playing a cursed manscorpion seeking to win redemption through adventuring, but no hard rules are provided.
- Ability Score Minimum/Maximum: Strength 3/18, Dexterity 3/18, Constitution 8/18, Intelligence 3/18, Wisdom 3/18, Charisma 3/18
- Ability Score Adjustments: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution, -1 Intelligence, -1 Wisdom
- Racial Class & Level Limits: Fighter 12, Wizard 12, Cleric 12, Thief 7, Bard 10, Psionicist 7
- Multiclass Options: Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Priest, Fighter/Psionicist
- Racial Thieving Skill Adjustments: +5% Open Locks, -20% Move Silently, -5% Hide in Shadows, +5% Detect Noise, -25% Climb Walls
- Cannot become Specialist Wizards
- Um-Shedu Clerics must wiorship Ixion or Ilsundal
- Available Kits: Inheritor, Noble, Swashbuckler, Defender, Honorbound, Militant Wizard, Mystic, War Priest, Scout, Bandit, Spy
- Sting Attack: This attack forces the victim to roll a save vs. poison. For an Um-Shedu, the victim suffers a -1 penalty per three levels of the PC, to a maximum of -4. On a failed save, on the second round after being stung, they fall asleep for 2d8 rounds and cannot be roused until they receive a Neutralize Poison spell.
- Um-shedu manscorpions re immune to the venom of other manscorpions, and receive a +2 bonus to saves vs. poison from other sources.
- A manscorpion receives a bonus proficiency in either art (sculpture, painting, etc) or charioteering.
- A manscorpion cannot begin with proficiency in astronomy or astrology.
- Manscorpions cannot swim, although they can hold their breath as long as a human.
- Natural AC of 7; armor inferior to this only improves the manscorpion's AC by 1 point, whilst with superior armor, use the superior value +1.
- Charisma penalty of -1 when dealing with humanoids and -4 when dealing with demihumans and humans (-2 and -5 for non-Um-Shedu manscorpions).
|Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Races|
|Core:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
|Dark Sun:||Aarakocra - Half-Giant - Mul - Pterran - Thri-kreen|
|Dragonlance:||Draconian - Irda - Kender - Minotaur|
|Mystara:|| Aranea - Ee'ar - Enduk - Lizardfolk (Cayma - Gurrash - Shazak) |
Lupin - Manscorpion - Phanaton - Rakasta - Tortle - Wallara
|Oriental Adventures:||Korobokuru - Hengeyokai - Spirit Folk|
|Planescape:||Aasimar - Bariaur - Genasi - Githyanki - Githzerai - Modron - Tiefling|
|Spelljammer:||Dracon - Giff - Grommam - Hadozee - Hurwaeti - Rastipede - Scro - Xixchil|
|Ravenloft:||Broken One - Flesh Golem - Half-Vistani - Therianthrope|
Book of X:
| Alaghi - Beastman - Bugbear - Bullywug - Centaur - Duergar |
Fremlin - Firbolg - Flind - Gnoll - Goblin - Half-Ogre - Hobgoblin
Kobold - Mongrelfolk - Ogre - Ogre Mage - Orc - Pixie
Satyr - Saurial - Svirfneblin - Swanmay - Voadkyn - Wemic
|Dragon Magazine:||Half-Dryad - Half-Satyr - Uldra - Xvart|