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Vanaras are a race of intelligent anthro monkeys with magical powers originating from Hindu mythology - in fact, two important Hindu hero-deities were vanara: Angada helped Rama to find his wife Sita, whilst Hanuman was instrumental in the epic Ramayana.

In /tg/ circles, vanaras are mostly known as one of the many playable races in Pathfinder, originating from their Asiatic kitchen-sink areas in Golarion. What more old-school fans will remember, however, is that Dungeons & Dragons did it first.


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The D&D vanara appeared in the second Oriental Adventures (the 3e one), where they are described as looking like... well, humanoid monkeys; essentially if you took a large Indian Monkey, semiprehensile tail and all, and gave it the torso and limb proportions of a human. Mentally, they're also very monkey-like; curious and bluntly honest, but at the same time incredibly loyal, quite brave, and genuinely kind.

Under the alignment system, they are described as being strongly chaotic and equally strongly good; they show little if any respect for social mores, rules with no purpose they can understand, or codes of discipline, but they hate tyranny and oppression as well all other forms of evil. They can force themselves to tolerate caste systems, but they are never truly accepting of them; different gifts may be given to different people, but valuing those gifts differently is an idea to reject, by their personal philosophy.

+2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength
Base speed 30 feet
Climb speed 20 feet
+8 racial bonus on all climb checks, can always take 10 when climbing, can make an accelerated climb move at 30 feet per round and with only a single Climb check with a -5 penalty
Low-light vision
+4 racial bonus on Balance and Jump checks
+2 racial bonus on Hide & Move Silently checks
Favored Class: Shaman

The 3.5 update in Dragon Magazine #318 says to "Remove the vanara's ability score adjustments" and nothing else.


Vanara Female.png

Actually, not much information is currently available about Pathfinder's vanara. They come from the faux-India region of Vudra and are most common outside of that territory in Katapesh. There are also scattered colonies in Garund, the faux-Africa, but the presence of the savage, demon-worshiping apemen called the charau-ka kind of poses problems for would-be explorers.

Like their D&D and mythological ancestors, Pathfinder's vanara are monkeys with the proportions of humans. Playful and goodly by nature, they also have a scholastic side, and do often become monks. In fact, they have their own monkly archetype, the Treetop Monk, who can use ki to boost its climbing speed, wield wooden weapons with greater efficiency, and spend ki to mimic a Freedom of Movement spell.


+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma
Humanoid (Vanara)
Base speed 30 feet
Climb speed 30 feet
Low-light vision
Nimble: +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Stealth checks
Prehensile Tail: Can be used to retrieve a small, stowed object carried on the vanara's person as a swift action, but cannot be used to wield a weapon.

Alternate Racial Traits:

Tree Stranger: Lose Climb speed, treat all Knowledge skills as class skills. Whitecape: Lose Prehensile Tail, gain a +4 racial bonus to CMD when resisting a bull rush or a trip.


The Races of Pathfinder
Player's Handbook: Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human
Race Guide:
Aasimar - Catfolk - Changeling - Dhampir - Duergar
Drow - Fetchling - Gillman - Goblin - Grippli - Hobgoblin
Ifrit - Kitsune - Kobold - Merfolk - Nagaji - Orc - Oread
Ratfolk - Samsaran - Strix - Suli - Svirfneblin - Sylph
Tengu - Tiefling - Undine - Vanara - Vishkanya - Wayang
Bestiaries: Android - Astomoi - Caligni - Deep One Hybrid - Gathlain
Gnoll - Kasatha - Munavri - Naiad - Orang-Pendak
Reptoid - Rougarou - Shabti - Trox - Yaddithian
Adventure Paths: Being of Ib - Kuru
Inner Sea Races: Ghoran - Monkey Goblin - Lashunta - Skinwalker
Syrinx - Triaxian - Wyrwood - Wyvaran
Ultimate Wilderness: Vine Leshy
Blood of the Sea: Adaro - Cecaelia - Grindylow - Locathah - Sahuagin - Triton
Planar Adventures: Aphorite - Duskwalker - Ganzi