The Known World of Mystara introduced many strange and wonderous creatures to Dungeons & Dragons, even way back when it all begin. Alongside races like the Rakasta, Lupins, Aranea and Diaboli, one of the older races in the setting are the Phanatons.
Originally introduced in the module X1, better known as the Isle of Dread, Phanatons are a race of beast-folk native to that terrible place. Roughly the size of halflings, phanatons resemble a "cross between a raccoon and a monkey", which in the original artwork amounted to a big monkey with a raccoon's head and a tail in the black & white banded coloration of a raccoon's. Phanaton feet, although capable of gripping and enhancing their climbing skills, aren't dexterous or long enough to be used to wield weapons or other items, and the same applies to their 4ft long prehensile tails. Perhaps their most unique physical feature is the fact they bear patagia - wing-like membranes of fur and skin, connecting each wrist to its adjacent ankle - like a flying squirrel, which allows these forest-dwelling creatures to glide on currents of wind.
Phanatons are peaceful forest-dwelling creatures, often aligned with woodland protectors like wood elves, dryads and treants. Omnivorous, they favor fruits and vegetables, but their favorite meat comes from bugs. Specifically, spiders; they are absolutely nuts for the taste of spider-meat, and voraciously prey on giant spiders that might enter their territory.
Incidentally, this may be part of the reason to blame for their long-running enmity with Aranea - who, after all, happen to be giant spiders with genius-level intelligence. The two races despise each other, and phanatons have a tendency to fly into berserk furies and blindly attack the spellcasting spiders. It probably goes without saying that such phanatons tend to end up as a snack.
Although introduced in X1, Phanatons owe a lot to Dragon Magazine, as they were promoted to playable twice over in its pages.
The Basic D&D version of Phanatons appeared in Dragon Magazine #188, as an appendix to that issue's copy of The Voyage of the Princess Ark. Spanning 9 levels, the Phanaton racial class is divided into two versions; the Common Phanaton and the Phanaton Shaman.
- Level 1: 0 XP to reach, 1d8-1 Hit Dice
- Level 2: 1,800 XP to reach, 2d8-2 hit dice
- Level 3: 3,600 XP to reach, 3d8-3 hit dice
- Level 4: 7,200 XP to reach
- Level 5: 14,400 XP to reach, 4d8-4 hit dice
- Level 6: 28,800 XP to reach, 5d8-5 hit dice
- Level 7: 56,600 XP to reach
- Level 8: 112,200 XP to reach, 6d8-5 hit dice
- Level 9: 225,000 XP to reach, +2 hit points
Phanaton Shaman: Phanaton Shamans can cast Druidic spells, but require a minimum of 12 Wis and 12 Cha to do so. If using the Wrath of the Immortals ruleset, Phanaton Shamans can devote themselves to one of the three Immortals they worship; shamans of Ui can Move Silently and Hide in Shadows as per a thief of equal level, but only in the trees; shamans of Mother Earth can Speak With Animals like a Mystic, and shamans of the Huntsman add Tracking and Alertness to their skill list.
- Level 1: 0 XP to reach, 1d8-1 hit dice
- Level 2: 3,000 XP to reach, 2d8-2 hit dice, can cast 1 first-level spell per day
- Level 3: 6,000 XP to reach, 3d8-3 hit dice, can cast 2 first level spells per day
- Level 4: 12,000 XP to reach, can cast 2 first level spells and 1 second level spell per day
- Level 5: 24,000 XP to reach, 4d8-4 hit dice, can cast 2 first level spells and 2 second level spells per day
- Level 6: 48,000 XP to reach, 5d8-5 hit dice, can cast 2 first level spells, 2 second level spells, and 1 third level spell per day
- Level 7: 96,000 XP to reach, can cast 2 first level spells, 2 second level spells, and 2 third level spells per day
- Level 8: 200,000 XP to reach, 6d8-5 hit dice, can cast 2 first level spells, 2 second level spells, 2 third level spells, and 1 fourth level spell per day
- Level 9: 400,000 XP to reach, +2 hit points, can cast 2 first level spells, 2 second level spells, 2 third level spells, and 2 fourth level spells per day
Both normal and shamanic phanatons can climb to levels higher than 9th at a cost of 300,000 XP per level, and gain +2 hit points each time they gain a new level. Constitution bonus to hit dice only applies for levels 1-8.
Regardless of racial class, all phanatons gain the Glide, Flight and Pass Plant abilities at level 1, 4 and 7 respectively.
Glide allows a phanaton to move forward horizontally when they jump, covering a distance equal to three times their starting height at a rate of 50 feet per round. A gliding phanaton cannot fight, cast spells, or otherwise do anything that would require the use of its hands; it has to keep all four limbs spread in order to catch the wind. For every 100 cn of weight they are carrying, a phanaton's gliding rate is slowed by -20 feet per round.
Flight is the ability of experienced, 4th level phanatons to catch updrafts and the wind to propel themselves back up into the air, gaining 10 feet of altitude for every 60 feet covered in normal winds (or for every 30 feet covered in strong winds).
Pass Plant is the magical ability of all 7th level phanatons to emulate the druid spell of the same name, which they can do 1/day.
All phanatons have the following racial maximums for ability scores: 16 Strength, 15 Intelligence, 15 Wisdom, 18 Dexterity, 18 Comeliness, 18 Charisma. Common Phanatons receive -2 Str, -1 Int and +2 Dexterity at character creation, whilst Phanaton Shamans receive 2 Str, -1 Int, +1 Wis and +1 Dexterity at character creation.
Phanatons suffer a -1 penalty to Charisma checks against humanoids and a -2 penalty to Charisma checks against humans and all demihumans other than elves.
The phanatons have a natural AC of 9, with a +2 bonus to AC and all saving throws due to their small size and agility.
It goes without saying that when phanatons resurfaced in issue #351, a tie-in to the return of the Isle of Dread as part of Dungeon's Savage Tides adventure path at the time, they were a lot simpler than their Basic D&D depiction above. In fact, their depiction in #351 was actually a reprint of their statblock from an earlier issue, #339, but with some more attention dedicated specifically to the Isle of Dread's inhabitants.
- -2 Strength, -2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity
- Base Speed: 20 feet
- Low-light vision
- Natural Weapon: Bite (1d4 damage)
- Forest Awareness (Ex): +1 racial bonus to all saving throws when in forest terrain.
- Gliding (Ex): Can negate damage from a fall by gliding, covering 20 feet of horizontal terrain for every 5 feet descended. They have a glide speed of 20 feet with average manueverability, cannot glide if carrying a medium or heavy load, and falls from the air if it becomes unconscious or helpless whilst in midair.
- +4 racial bonus on Move Silently (increases to +8 in forests), +2 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, Listen and Spot.
- Favored Class: Rogue
|Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition Races|
|Basic Set:||Dwarf - Elf - Hobbit - Human|
|Creature Catalog 1:|| Brownie - Centaur - Dryad - Faun - Hsiao |
Leprechaun - Pixie - Pooka - Redcap - Sidhe
Sprite - Treant - Wood Imp - Wooddrake
|Creature Catalog 2:|| Faenare - Gnome - Gremlin - Harpy |
Nagpa - Pegataur - Sphinx - Tabi
|Creature Catalog 3:||Kna - Kopru - Merrow - Nixie - Triton|
|Dragon Magazine:|| Cayma - Gatorman - Lupin - N'djatwa |
Phanaton - Rakasta - Shazak - Wallara
|Hollow World:|| Beastman - Brute-Man - Hutaakan |
Krugel Orc - Kubbit - Malpheggi Lizard Man
|Known World:|| Bugbear - Goblin - Gnoll |
Hobgoblin - Kobold - Ogre - Troll
|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|