When Wizards of the Coast created their Magic of Incarnum splatbook for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition, they created an enigmatic and mysterious race of reptilian humanoids called the mishtai. Long ago, this race sought to harness the power of the soul - incarnum - to evolve themselves, seeking to achieve perfection in form and mind. And then, somehow, they vanished. In their wake, they left two splintered races, their spiritual and maybe literal descendants: the Rilkan and the Skarn. Unfortunately, these shared origins do not breed familial love between the two races - in fact, they absolutely hate each other.
Even though the mishtai failed, the skarn are determined to succeed. Their entire culture revolves around this pursuit of physical and mental perfection, and their hatred for their sibling race stems from their ardent belief that the rilkans descend from mishtai libertines whose refusal to pursue the "great goal" resulted in the failure of the quest for true perfection and the sundering of the races into their present state. This informs everything about their culture - indeed, adventuring skarns tend to favor multiclassing or pursuing the "hybrid" classes, to better exercise both body and mind.
With a hyper-lawful attitude and a strong cultural belief in their own superiority, skarns don't tend to get on well with any other races. Likewise, their reverence for their self-improvement through incarnum alone leaves them with little interest in the gods, although supposedly they're not entirely atheistic.
As with the rilkans, skarns are among the silliest-looking races of D&D, appearing as strongly built humans with 6-12 inch long spines protruding from the backs of their arms, calves and spines. Picture a human with Hydralisk parts.
- +2 Strength, -2 Dexterity
- Base Speed 30 feet
- Humanoid type, Reptilian subtype
- Natural Weapon (Spines): A skarn can make one attack with their arm-spines each round, using either their primary hand or their off-hand. Doing so can't be combined with using either a weapon or a shield held in the same hand. A skarn's spines inflict 1d6 Piercing damage, and when used as an off-hand attack, only half of the skarn's Strength bonus can be applied. A skarn with a soulmeld bound to their arms chakra treats their spine attacks as having the Lawful property for penetrating damage resistance.
- +2 to Intimidate and Climb checks.
- Favored Class: Incarnate