Beastfolk, Arthrophages (3.5e Race)
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Their name, translated, means “bug eaters,” and that is exactly what the Arthrophages are. Descended from deep jungle creatures of long snout and sharp claws, these anthropomorphic anteaters are actually quite good-natured and easy-going – as long as you aren’t a bug. Then all bets are off, for this race claims descent from a race cursed into their present form by demonic insects from another plane of existence. A perpetual vendetta against all arthropods is the end result of that ages-old feud from time out of memory, and it is one that the Arthrophages pursue with great relish.
As mentioned, Arthrophages are quite friendly and laid back, so long as one isn’t one of their racial enemies. This race tends to take life pretty easy when they are on their home terrain, and they get along well with most other races. However, just because they have nothing wrong with other races, does not mean that they are especially open with them, and this race is exceedingly adept at engaging visitors to their lands with hours of interesting conversation, without actually divulging any details of importance during the process.
Arthrophages take after the shambling form of humanoid anteaters and other, similar creatures of every stripe of existence, ranging from the truly massive giant anteaters of the plains, to the diverse burrowing armadillo species, to the smaller echidnas of dry forests and the pangolins of the deep jungles. The race ranges in height from around 5’6” to a good seven feet tall, and they tend to be quite well-devloped in physique, from long hours spent climbing trees and burrowing in the earth for the bugs that are their only food. Without exception, this race have long, toothless snouts, coupled with very long, sticky tongues that they use to lap up termite and ant larvae, and thick, powerful claws that they use to rip open the nests of these tiny treats.
The bug eaters have such a specialized niche that they seldom come in conflict with any non-arthropod species. They could not really care less about the doings of other races, preferring instead to keep largely to themselves, and focusing their efforts on becoming better bug hunters. This often leads them into conflict with intelligent arthropodal species and those races who revere them, such as the aranea, formians, thri-kreen, and the spider-loving drow. This last conflict, and their tendency to clear away overlarge and potentially damaging groups of vermin, endears the Arthrophages to the elves, who often enlist their aid when they find that they need an extra boost of ability against specialized foes. They also trade rather extensively with roaming bands of halflings, who are one of the few races that Arthrophages consider true racial friends – something helped along by the bug eaters’ lack of concern for material possessions.
Arthrophages are utterly devoted to their way of life, and their racial mission. They do not have time for much else beyond this, and so they tend to be Neutral in alignment, though some have tendencies towards Lawful and Good alignments.
Roaming where the food supply and their holy mission takes them, the Arthrophages do not have any lands of their own, per se, though many bands do have regular nomadic grounds over which they travel. Arthrophages live and travel in small bands of individuals, many of whom are related, leading a nomadic way of life as they wend their slow, casual way through the dense forests and lush tropical jungles that they prefer as their primary habitat.
While the Arthrophages have a host of tribal beliefs and customs and taboos, they do not really have any organized religion. They may worship deities of nature from time to time, but for the most part the bug eaters follow their own path, relying on their own strength.
Arthrophages speak Common as their primary language, and can select Elven, Feline, Halfling, and Wolfen as bonus languages.
The names of the Arthrophage people are generally impossible for most other races to pronounce, thanks to the unique structure of their mouths. Because of this, Arthrophages often take on shortened versions of elven or halfling names instead, since these are the races with whom they have the most dealings.
Adventuring life comes easily for Arthrophages, and the travels of their nomadic bands are often rife with exciting exploits. Few bug eaters actually leave their bands, though, preferring the safety that comes in numbers. A rare few, however, will head out into the world to try and gain more experience, so that they can better engage in their racial mission, and some are willing to leave the comfort of those they care about in order to act as expert assistance in companies of adventurers who might have need of an Arthrophage’s specialized racial abilities.
- +2 Constitution, -2 Dexterity :
- Monstrous Humanoid
- Arthophages base land speed is 30 feet: Burrow 10 feet
- Bug Hunters: +1 on attack rolls against arthropod vermin (insects, arachnids, and invertebrates of all kinds), and +1 on damage rolls, provided only natural weapons are used. Also gain a +2 to all rolls to track, identify, or otherwise know things about arthropods, allowing untrained checks even if normally not possible.
- Climbing Claws: A potent natural weapon that allows 1d4 slashing damage unarmed attacks, and give a +2 to all Climb checks.
- Nature’s Bulwark: Arthrophages, as a 1st level character option, may select to use their starting Feat to have long spines or sharp scales, taking after echidnas or pangolins, respectively. If this is done, any successful attacks made to an Arthrophage with a Small or natural weapon will also deal 1d3 piercing or slashing damage (selected when this character option is taken) to the attacker (no Strength bonus allowed to this damage).
- Thick Hide: +2 natural armor bonus to AC.
- Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Elven, Feline, Halfling, and Wolfen.
- Favored Class: Ranger
- Level Adjustment: 0
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