Wendigo (4e Race)
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Savage, bestial versions of their former selves, wendigos escaped a cold, lonely death. Now they are marked by the desperate measures they resorted to.
|Average Height: As base race|
|Average Weight: As base race|
|Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution|
|Size: As base race|
|Speed: 7 squares|
|Vision: Low-Light Vision|
|Languages: Common, choice of one other|
|Skill Bonuses: +2 Athletics, +2 Perception|
|Survivor: +5 on Endurance checks to resist the effects of starvation and extreme cold|
|Hunger: If you eat a full day's worth of rations during a short or extended rest, you gain temporary hit points equal to your level at the end of the rest.|
|Frozen Heart: You gain resist cold equal to 5 + half your level.|
|Former Life: Pick another playable race. You count as that race for the purposes of taking feats, paragon paths, and epic destinies. If using Lineage feats, you may choose one that requires you to be a race other than your Former Life race, to represent the abilities you still have.|
Wendigos are not a true race. Rather, they are creatures that have resorted to cannibalism to survive, typically during winter. Creatures who live through these circumstances and become a wendigo find something within them that allows them to survive. Many tap into a deep well of primal anger, while others escape death thanks to a simple refusal to give up. Many owe their transformation to a higher purpose they swore themselves to, and an unwillingness to let that purpose go unfulfilled. Forever changed, wendigos are ultimate survivors, thriving where others would wither and die.
Play a wendigo if you want...
- To play a race driven by savage hunger.
- To be the result of a brush with a slow, icy death.
- To be a survivor, overcoming obstacles that would spell doom for lesser adventurers.
- To be a member of a race that favors the Fighter, Barbarian, and Ranger classes.
While they look similar to the way they did before their brush with death, there are certain traits common to all wendigos. Exaggerated teeth, ideal for tearing meat, replace their previous ones. Hair starts to grow in thicker and rougher than it did before, and fingernails thicken and take on a slight edge, allowing them to cut open their prey without use of a knife. Most wendigos possess a predatory gleam in their eyes, hinting at what they have lived through. Tense stances, fingers curling instinctively to form clawing gestures, and nervous twitches are all common marks of the wendigo.
Playing a Wendigo
Wendigos are tragic and terrifying creatures. After the event that changed them, they carry a stain on their souls, left by their choice to devour another sentient creature to survive. They will never fit into any but the most depraved society. A constant hunger for meat, particularly that of other intelligent creatures, drives them to either murderous habits or to flee their homes to avoid temptation. Some take up adventuring as a means of getting away from loved ones they may hurt.
Many become paranoid about starvation, and stockpile food with obsessive zeal. Some wendigos also come to fear cold weather, despite their innate resistance to it. Memories of slowly freezing while hunched over the raw, bloody meat of their companions drives them to flee the cold. Nearly all wendigos begin to see other creatures as potential food first, and potential friends, allies, and companions second. In general, wendigos are neurotic and unpredictable.
Wendigo Characteristics: Savage, Angry, Paranoid, Violent
Names: As base race
Three sample wendigo adventurers are described below.
Wesley was once a fairly ordinary half-elf ranger, hired to guide a merchant caravan through a mountain range before the snow set in. An early blizzard trapped the entire caravan, and they resorted to cooking and eating several who died. Wesley does not understand what happened to him, but he started avoiding others when he caught himself wondering if the barmaid would be better stewed or roasted. He's taken up traveling with adventurers strong enough to put him down if he ever loses control, and has made each of them promise that they will do so if needed.
Gorak, formerly a half-orc barbarian, belonged to the Long fang tribe of orcs, infamous for their raids all along the northern settlements. They practiced ritualistic cannibalism, and Gorak never noticed the point at which he stopped being a half-orc and started being a wendigo. When the tribe was wiped out, he convinced the adventurers that did it that his human side was enough to redeem him. They have become sickened by his habit of eating the flesh of his fallen enemies, but they cannot deny that he terrifies the servants of evil and, if he isn't exactly heroic, at least fights for the right side.
Marden was a human fighter serving under the banner of the Unbroken Shield mercenary company. While trying to defend a castle against a siege, supplies ran out. The soldiers of the Unbroken Shield gave in to cannibalism to survive, and when the snows began to melt several weeks later, they lived up to their reputation by breaking though the enemy forces to reach their opponents' commanders and slaughter them. Marden hasn't realized that he changed so drastically during the siege. He attributes his increased physical prowess and ravenous hunger to "head tricks," as he puts it. After all, who wouldn't come out of something like that a little wrong in the head?