Taer

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The Frazetta Man of the Unapproachable East.

A Dungeons & Dragons race introduced in Unapproachable East, a 3rd edition sourcebook covering the "East Asiatic" regions of the Forgotten Realms, the Taer are race of savage, white-furred arctic-dwelling man-apes of such fury and bloodthirstiness that even orcs and gnolls think they're a bunch of crazed lunatics!

No kidding: it's even stated that taers have the ability to literally turn off their cognitive thought to descend into a bestial rage.

Despite that, they're not entirely irredeemable. They actually have a fairly complex clan-structure, with long-held oral histories and generations-old wisdom used to preserve strict rules about how to conduct themselves within the clan. It's just that they're not very innovative and have issues seeing those who aren't members of their clan as being "people". In fact, taer clans maintain a comprehensive code to govern their violent tendencies, but the code only applies to members of one's clan - anyone else, you can do whatever you want with.

Adventuring taer, obviously, are nearly always outcasts who fled to the lowlands to escape the murderous clutches of their former fellows. Such an outcast was typically defeated in (or failed to pursue correctly) the endless taer measurement of fitness. The ones who survive instead of being beaten to death by an angry mob are those who figure out to extend their concept of "clan" to some other set of intelligent creatures. Given that taer clans are not especially large, these outcast taers are more comfortable joining a small group, such as a group of bandits, an adventuring party, or even a small village. Given their thuggish impulses and fearsome reputation, most taer adventurers tend to be brigands or mercenaries, but some rare individuals are taken in by bands of good-hearted heroes and prove surprisingly redeemable. In fact, whilst most taer clan are obviously evil, with their willingness to prey on nontaer and ruthlessly exploiting their traditions to achieve the highest possible status within their clan, adventuring taers tend strongly towards neutral alignments - they are fiercely loyal, but they do often measure their companions' actions by taer expectations. They also tend to be morally neutral as well; they value the complex rules of their clan life, but yearn for wild freedom, which keeps them at the balancing point of law and chaos.

Regardless, an adventuring taer tends to be quite successful, so long as their band focuses on facing physical threats. These powerfully built ape-like creatures stand about 5-6 feet tall - and that's in their usual knuckle-dragging crouch; they're closer to 7ft tall when they stand up straight - and weigh up to 180 (females) to 220 (males) pounds, all it in the form of a mound of muscle clad in thick white fur that serves as camouflage in their snowy homes - only their faces and hands are bare of fur. Not only are they intimidating to look at, they're also monstrously strong and durable; taer are capable of literally rending humanoids limb from limb with their bare hands, and that's before they fly into their infamous berserker furies.

The taer mentality is one of analogies and metaphors, centered around the mythid sagas handed down by the storytellers of the clans. Taers see themselves as characters in a life-story that began long before they were born and will go on long after they are dead. Taers who leave their clans and learn to regard people of other races as fellow tribesfolk (as opposed to prey) slowly weave their new experiences into their old worldview, constructing new myths to explain what they cannot understand any other way. Although infamous for their ability to literally "turn off" cognitive thought and descend into bestial rage in the blink of an eye to meet a physical challenge, this is actually a surprisingly spiritual element for the taer; for days after entering a berserk fury, a taer ponders the experience and seeks to explain what happened.

Taer mythology is based around a complex pantheon full of spirits and mythical figures, but the most recognizable inclusions are certain malevolent human deities - namely Auril and Loviatar - and the giant deities, predominantly Grolantor and Thrym.

For obvious reasons, no race really gets along well with taers, but the clans will sometimes forge short-lived alliances with frost giants, ogres and white dragons - creatures mighty enough to challenge the taer's typical perception of other races as enemies or prey. Their native tongue is a dialect of the Giantish language, although they do commonly learn Draconic and Orcish languages as well - adventuring taer have usually picked up enough of the Common parlance to make themselves understood. They do often learn the human languages of Auran, Damaran and Rashemi, although it's a rare taer who has figured out how to understand more than two languages.

Taers name themselves after landmarks and natural phenomena, preceded by a simple clan name. Examples include Hrusk Mountain Thunder, Vulg Falling Ice, or Chark Smoking Sky.

A taer standing amongst other Unapproachable East PCs of the same gender.
A taer standing amongst other Unapproachable East PCs of the same gender.
+4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -4 Intelligence, -2 Charisma
Giant
Medium
Base speed 30 feet
Climb speed 30 feet
+8 racial bonus on all climb checks, can always take 10 when climbing, can make an accelerated climb move at double the listed speed and with only a single Climb check with a -5 penalty, retain Dexterity bonus to AC whilst climbing, opponents get no special attack bonus against them whilst they are climbing.
Racial Hit Dice: Two levels in Giant, granting 2d8 Hit Dice, BAB +1, Fort +3, Ref +0, Will +0.
Racial Skills: 5 * (2 + Int modifier) skill points to spend on Climb, Hide and Spot.
Racial Feats: One free feat from racial hit dice.
Arctic Camouflage: A taer has +4 to Hide checks in snow-covered locales.
Weapon Familiarity: Greatclubs and Longspers are Simple Weapons for Taers.
Natural Armor +2
Natural Attacks: 2 Slam attacks (1d3) at normal attack bonus, 1 Bite attack (1d4) at a -5 penalty.
Cold Subtype (Ex): Immune to Cold Damage, vulnerable to fire attacks - take half again (+50%) damage as normal from fire, regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed, or if the save is a success or failure.
Level Adjustment: +1
Favored Class: Barbarian