Xvarts are a race of small, blue-skinned, black-haired, orange-eyed, goblin-like humanoids native to the Bandit Kingdoms region of Greyhawk. They can more or less be described as "goblins, but smarter, cleaner, and not as evil" - despite the fact they're supposed to be Chaotic Evil and, in fact, they're no more related to goblins than kobolds are.
Tribal by nature, xvarts have little interest in fighting humanoids, who they consider bigger and scarier than they are, and will normally avoid conflict with humanoids unless starvation or the depredations of adventurers gives them a cause to make raids on human settlements, or something bigger and nastier has come along and forced them to do its bidding. They do look down on kobolds and like to kick them around to feel bigger, however. Dwelling in deep, remote forests or underground caves, xvarts will fight to protect their own against other humanoids, but aren't known to war with themselves, unlike goblins. Furthermore, their lairs tend to be well-patrolled and surprisingly clean - especially compared to the typical goblin's squalor.
Xvarts worship Raxivort, a fiendish demipower who created them and who claims dominion over rats and bats. As a result, they have the ability to speak to these animals and so their lairs tend to feature them as allies, especially giant or dire variants thereof. They consider the rat and bat strains of lycanthropy to be holy blessings, and so are often allies for wererats and werebats that happen to share their territories.
Xvarts appear in one mountainous area in the first Baldur's Gate videogame, where you end up massacring the entire tribe and then face off against their guardian, Ursa: a rather pissed-off cave bear.
Xvarts appeared in 4th edition's Monster Manual 3 - this means they're actually one of the few races that've actually appeared in every single edition, which isn't bad for a race defined as a low-quality knock-off goblinoid. The 4e version renames them Xivorts and ties them to the gnome race; like spriggans and svirfneblin, they're a gnomish subrace born out of their long slavery to the formorians. Specifically, the xivorts descend from the gnomish slaves of formorian colonies either in the Shadowdark or in close proximity to a portal leading from the Feydark to there: a prolonged exposure to the eerie energies of the Shadowdark gave them both their ability to speak to rats & bats and a natural affinity for shadow magic that manifests in an innate ability to reactively teleport from danger. Whilst the bulk of the race was freed from slavery by a hag coven that wanted to piss the formorians off, others still linger in slavery. Even the free xivorts are a dangerous menace, because they want to make all of the bigger races suffer for what they went through. Races of their own size are okay, though; in fact, they regularly team-up with evil gnomes and halflings.
The Xvarts have the dubious honor of being a race who received a 5th edition rewrite that pretty much changed everything about them in Volo's Guide to Monsters. In 5th edition, Raxivort was once a fiend of some kind who used to serve as the treasurer for Graz'zt, until he stole a powerful magical artifact called the Infinity Spindle. This ascended him instantly to the rank of demigod, after which he fled Graz'zt's domain and founded his own territory in Pandemonium. Naturally, even if he'd outgrown the power that the Spindle could give him already, Graz'zt was kind of pissed off at this, and so got creative about expressing his displeasure: he went and told pretty much everyone what the Infinity Spindle could do. Naturally, a lot of unpleasant characters went after Raxivort, scaring the piss out of him. So, he used the Spindle to visit world after world, creating countless inferior magical duplicates of himself to throw off any efforts to track him down. Those magical constructs are the Xvarts.
So, yeah, they went from actually being fairly peaceable, for goblin-folk, to being shoddy knock-offs created as expendable body-doubles. Worse, the xvarts know this, and so they seethe with jealousy and frustration. Greedy, conniving, and obsessed with loot, they're constant thieves who steal everything they can that looks like it might be valuable. Also, because they're desperate for their "father's" approval, they tend to kidnap people and sacrifice them to him. On the rare occasions they do entice him to show up - Raxivort appears like any other xvart, save for being nine feet tall - their creator steals all of the treasure that the "lucky" tribe has gathered and then pisses off without saying a word. What an asshole. He will sometimes grant low-level warlock powers to an xvart who manages to steal magical items and sacrifice them to him, though.
Yeah, this does kind of make the 5e xvarts into essentially a race of thieving, evil, Smurf knock-offs. And as a result this makes them far better then they have ever been.
AD&D 1e Stats
- Minimum Ability Scores: Strength 3, Intelligence 2, Wisdom 2, Dexterity 3, Constitution 2,, Charisma 2, Comeliness 2
- Maximum Ability Scores: Strength 14, Intelligence 16, Wisdom 16, Dexterity 18, Constitution 16, Charisma 16, Comeliness 8
- Increase Charisma by (2 * level of experience) when interacting with members of own tribe
- Available Classes: Shaman (10), Fighter (7), Magic-User (8), Thief or Thief-Acrobat (12), Assassin (12)
- Available Multiclasses: Witch Doctor, Fighter/Shaman, Fighter/Magic User, Fighter/Witch Doctor, Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Assassin, Shaman/Thief, Shaman/Assassin, Magic-User/Thief, Witch Doctor/Thief
- Thief Score Adjustments: +r5% Open Locks, +5% Find/Remove Traps, +10% Move Silently, +15% Hide In Shadows, +5% Hear Noise, -15% Climb Walls, -5% Read Languages
- Thief-Acrobat Adjustments: -2' Pole Vaulting, -1' High Jumping, -2' Broad Jumping, +10% Evasion, +5% Falling
- Infravision 6 feet
- -1 penalty on "to hit" rolls and on saving throws when in bright light.
- Base movement speed 6 feet
- Base Armor Class: 10
- Can communicate with rats and bats; can call off an attack from such creatures if can roll (Charisma + 2) or less on 1d20.
D&D 3.5 Stats
- -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma
- Base land speed 30 feet
- Darkvision 60 feet
- Speak With Animals (Sp): For up to 1 minute per day, an xvart can communicate with Rats and Bats, and all variants thereof, as if using a Speak With Animals spell.
- +2 racial bonus on Move Silently.
- Favored Class: Fighter
|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|