Beastfolk, Xi-Coatl (3.5e Race)

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The vast majority of lizardfolk are a barbaric people, living crude, primitive lives far-removed from civilization in the depths of swamps and darkest jungles, worshipping strange reptilian gods, and often falling into the company and sway of the forces of evil, especially evil dragons. There are generally tales of the days when lizardfolk and similar reptilian beings ruled the world, but these days are past and gone, and are not likely to come again. However, not all of the lizardfolk have sunk into tribal barbarism. A rare few bands of lizardfolk, however, instead of following the majority into barbarism and the worship of a variety of weaker gods and evil creatures instead chose to turn to the coatl and to good dragons as their exemplars, and from these wise feathered serpents, these bands of lizardfolk gradually developed an advanced society – or maintained the society which they had, if rumors from the past are to be believed. With a gentler outlook on life and bearing the name of the first coatl to guide them centuries past into the ways of wisdom, these civilized lizardfolk have recently begun to take the first steps out of their hidden jungle cities. One of these is that they have opened up relations with the rest of the mammal-dominated world, and now seek to take their place in it as civilized equals.


Almost as a rule, Xi-Coatl are a calm race, unhurried and contemplative, right up until the moment that they decide to act. Then they swing into action with incredible swiftness and nigh-unstoppable power, subduing all opposition to their chosen course of action, and dominating their field of endeavor. This method is applied as much to social encounters as to combat, and it is quite normal for a Xi-Coatl to sit back and listen to an discussion for a period of time, then interpose into the conversation to lay out a well-considered solution. Other races describe the Xi-Coatl as inscrutable and close-lipped, but not unfriendly, and often eager to learn. The civilized lizardfolk are noted for great thoughtfulness and contemplative wisdom, and also for a deep and very heartfelt love for their families, and especially for children, even those not of their race.

Physical Description[edit]

Xi-Coatl are a physically imposing race, varying in size between 5’10” all the way up to almost eight feet tall at their most massive. Females are notably smaller than males, however, and are obviously female in shape, though they usually lack mammary glands (unless there is human blood in their ancestry). As lizardfolk, they take after various reptilian species, iguanas and crocodilians being the most common variants, though some can take after various dinosaur species, with an upright bipedal stance, strong and well-formed bodies, and high-domed heads that give their faces a rather intellectual appearance that sets them clearly apart from other lizardfolk. While many of the Xi-Coatl have bright coloration, most do not, and so body painting and scale tattoos are common practices.


Because of their shared distrust of evil reptilian species, Xi-Coatl are perhaps the only race that gets along with the elapi, and the two races are actually able to interact in a peaceful manner without treachery on the part of the snakefolk. Dwarves recognize the patience and contemplation of the Xi-Coatl, elves get along with them because of their devotion to nature, and halflings are enamored of the civilized lizardfolk because of their strong love and devotion to their families. While gnomes do not have anything against Xi-Coatl offhand, they find them rather boring, and not very fun to play pranks on because they seldom get the joke, and are too easy as targets anyway. The birdfolk and the Xi-Coatl generally regard each other as near cousins, and maintain affectionate relations.


Due to their contemplative natures and deep interest in the protection and nurturing of families, as well as understanding of other peoples, the Xi-Coatl are most often Neutral Good in alignment.


Since they only recently have begun to make their presence known, the Xi-Coatl have had plenty of time to have developed their own elaborate and extensive realms in the depths of forgotten jungles, dense swamps and harsh deserts. There they have large and well-built cities of mortar and brick, laid out in angular fashion, with pyramids and blocky houses adorned with various intricate decorative carvings being quite common. The work of building roads to connect these cities to the outside world is presently underway, though considering the dangers of the intervening terrain, it is unlikely that these building projects will be completed anytime in the near future.


Xi-Coatl worship the draconic gods Tamara (Neutral Good), who allows the Dragon, Good, Family, Healing, and Sun domains, and either the scimitar or the claw as a favored weapon, and Bahamut (Lawful Good), who allows the Air, Dragon, Luck, Nobility, Protection and Storm domains, and has a bite or the heavy pick as favored weapons. On worlds where these gods are not present, the Xi-Coatl worship whatever good-aligned draconic deities are available, and deities of nature, family and healing after that.


The Xi-Coatl speak Draconic and Common as their starting languages. Their bonus languages include Aquan, Avian, Elven, Feline, Gnoll, Goblin, Orc, Wolfen and Yuan-Ti.


Naming conventions among the Xi-Coatl follow matriarchal lines, as befits an egg-laying species, where fatherhood is harder to track than motherhood. Xi-Coatl names tend to be reasonably sibilant, but not overly so. Trilling ‘r’ and long ‘a’ sounds are also quite normal. Also common are Aztec - and Inca-sounding names. Typical male names include Amalek, Hissar, and Oaxa, and common female names include Bessak, Guada, and Lumas. Notable matriarchal last names include (when translated into Common) Dragon’s Egg, Great Clutch, and Sun Scales.


Presently most Xi-Coatl are focused upon building up their position in the world as a civilized race, and maintaining their culture while they are doing so. Because of this, there are very few adventurers from among the civilized lizardfolk. However, revenge is a powerful motivator for this race, despite their civilized veneer, as is the desire to be proven in the world of mammals. A young Xi-Coatl could easily be sent out into the world to learn about its ways, or to gain the skills needed to slay a malodorous individual who has violated sacred laws. Because of this, most Xi-Coatl adventurers are loyal to their people first, and their party second, but they are highly-motivated individuals, and eager to learn much and to prove themselves when they get the chance.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Strength, -2 Dexterity
  • Monstrous Humanoid
  • Medium-size
  • Xi-Coatl base land speed is 30 feet
  • Low-light Vision
  • Saurian Throwback: A Xi-Coatl can select the Gigantism racial Feat (described in the “Feats of the Beastfolk” document) at 1st level without restriction.
  • +2 natural armor bonus to AC.
  • Iron Lungs: Xi-Coatle can hold their breath for four times longer than normal
  • Natural Weapon: Either a strong and toothy maw (bite attack, piercing, slashing, and blugeoning damage), a set of horns (gore attack, piercing damage, x2 if used in a charge), a thick-skulled head (headbutt attack, blugeoning damage, x2 if used in a charge), or razor feet (2 claw attacks, slashing and piercing damage); choose one at character creation. All attacks deal 1d4 damage each.
  • Powerful Tail: +2 to Balance, Jump, and Swim checks.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Draconic. Bonus Languages: Aquan, Avian, Elven, Feline, Gnoll, Goblin, Orc, Wolfen, Yuan-Ti.
  • Favored Class: Druid or Dragon Shaman.
  • Level Adjustment: 0

Xi-Coatl Subrace: Chromashifter[edit]

The elusive chromashifter Xi-Coatl are a cunning folk with great skill at deception and intrigue. They are the spies and police officers of the Xi-Coatl, ensuring that the enemies of their race lose the element of surprise, and also ensuring that domestic tranquility prevails at home. Though they are adept at their jobs, they are not especially well-liked because of their secretive ways, and tend to be rather shy and reserved when forced to make direct contact with others. Chromashifters tend to be Neutral in outlook, focused upon their jobs first and foremost, and take after the appearance of actual chameleons, anoles, and other reptiles with color-changing abilities.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma
  • Monstrous Humanoid
  • Medium-size
  • Chromashifter base land speed is 30 feet
  • Low-light Vision
  • Stunted Growth: A chameleon can select the Dwarfism racial Feat (described in the “Feats of the Beastfolk” document) at 1st level without restriction.
  • +2 natural armor bonus to AC.
  • Dextrous Appendages: +2 to Balance and Climb checks.
  • Camouflage Adaptation: +4 to Hide checks, +6 if motionless for more than a full round.
  • Adjustable Eyes: +4 to Spot checks, and can automatically make Search checks when near secret doors, like elves.
  • One With the Enemy (Sp): Alter Self: 1/day— Caster level is equal to the chromashifter's character level.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Draconic. Bonus Languages: Aquan, Avian, Elven, Feline, Gnoll, Goblin, Orc, Wolfen, Yuan-Ti.
  • Favored Class: Rogue.
  • Level Adjustment: +1

Xi-Coatl Subrace: Death Lizard[edit]

Death lizards are a dangerous subrace of the Xi-Coatl that came from a union of a symbiotic microorganism that developed in the mouths of some of the race, producing a lethal toxin. They take after the appearance of Gila monsters, monitor lizards, and similar reptiles with such traits. This symbiotic relationship, which happened less than a century after the Xi-Coatl split from normal lizardfolk, also resulted in a slower metabolism for the Death Lizards, as well as a hardier immune system, which caused them to become slow, lazy, and resulted in a gradual moral decline as they became eager to find ways to get ahead in their society without having to work hard. Because of this, most Death Lizards are Chaotic Neutral in outlook, looking out for themselves first. Among the Xi-Coatl, Death Lizards often take the role of executioners, and also find employment as bounty hunters, bringing down wrongdoers who flee the law of the Xi-Coatl after committing crimes not even their reasonably benevolent laws can tolerate.

Note: The saurials from the Forgotten Realms © setting may be considered a subrace of the Xi-Coatl (or else the Xi-Coatl are a subrace of the saurials), where the listed species of the saurials are humanoid versions of the herbivorous dinosaurs, while Xi-Coatl are humanoid versions of the carnivorous ones, or can even act as a template for other dinomorphs of various types.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Constitution, -2 Dexterity
  • Monstrous Humanoid
  • Medium-size
  • Death lizard base land speed is 30 feet
  • Low-light Vision
  • Lethal Bite: Bite attack (1d4 piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning damage). This bite has a deadly poison to it that deals 1d2/1d2 Constitution damage on a failed Fortitude save with a DC of 10 + the Death Lizard’s Constitution bonus.
  • Saurian Throwback: A death lizard can select the Gigantism racial Feat (described in the “Feats of the Beastfolk” document) at 1st level without restriction.
  • +2 natural armor bonus to AC
  • Powerful Tail: +2 to Balance and Jump checks
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Draconic. Bonus Languages: Aquan, Avian, Elven, Feline, Gnoll, Goblin, Orc, Wolfen, Yuan-Ti.
  • Favored Class: Ranger.
  • Level Adjustment: 0

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
years + + +
Table: Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
years years years + years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male ' " + lb. × () lb.
Female ' " + lb. × () lb.

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