Gritaur (3.5e Race)

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Two Gritaurs.

Gritaurs are a fairly recently created race. A few hundred years ago the Southern Empire was collapsing, unable to bring its rebellious northern provinces under control. To counter the aerial troops available to the northerners the imperial mage corps created a new race, supposedly perfectly suited to act as flying or land-based scouts and skirmishers. Despite serious cost overruns and some spectacular failures, the project was declared a success in record time.

Unfortunately for the Empire the gritaurs where brought in too late. They did their job fairly well but were completely outmatched by the numbers and experience of their opponents. Near the end of the war, the Empire tried for one last great offense, bringing in every gritaur they could spare as support. However one suspicious gritaur used hir scouting skills to spy on the commanders for the offense and found out that the gritaur's mission was to be a suicide - the Empire was changing its tactics, and the gritaurs would be sacrificed to make way for the other troops.

Infuriated by this news most of the gritaur forces deserted the Imperial army on the day of the assault. As the news spread gritaurs in other units also left. Hunted by their former employers and seen with hostile eyes by the northeners they formed into smaller groups and set about making their living away from all others.


Gritaurs are psychologically fairly close to humans. One minor difference is that due to their history gritaurs tend to be extremely suspicious of authority, which many people who meet them interpret as a love of independence. Gritaurs are in fact happy to work for others, and gritaur societies usually have clear leaders. But it takes quite a while for a leader to gain a gritaur's trust, and gritaurs that take employment in other societies usually make it clear that they will leave immediately if their employer betrays them in any way. Since the definition of "betrayal" is up to the gritaur few people really trust them in return.

The major difference is that gritaurs are all fully functional hermaphrodites which makes sexual divisions a non-issue. That doesn't mean there aren't other issues: Gritaurs are not well designed for bearing young, and on average 20% of all childbirths result in the mother dying and almost 40% of all children are stillborn! Even with healing magic available those numbers are no more than halved.

This means that gritaurs view sex from a female position negatively, but highly respect mothers. This carries over to other races as well, which can cause some problems when gritaurs usually ignore the king for the queen, for example. It also makes for some confusion when people from other races assume that a gritaur they meet is female due to the way she looks, while the gritaur in question acts like a man.

Physical Description[edit]

Gritaurs are small human/griffon centaurs. The upper body looks like a young - thought fairly heavily built - human woman. The impression of youth comes from the small breasts and very large eyes, not from actual age. They also have pointed elf-like ears which has caused some to speculate that elves went into their creation as well, but there is nothing that supports this. The head of a gritaur reaches about 5' up.

Below the human waist is the eagle part of a griffon, scaled to size. Even so, it's still quite large, reaching a little less than 3' in height with a wingspan of around 20'. The forelegs are bird-like, covered in feathers down to the knee and end in short but wicked talons. When walking the claws are bent up so that they aren't worn down from scratching the ground. The talons can grip objects quite effectively, but except for a few legendary individuals the fine control isn't up to wielding weapons.

The hindquarters are lion-like, but with longer and more muscled legs making walking easier over long distances. The tail is very long, 4-5', powerful and dexterous. In flight it's used as a rudder to manage fine control, but it can serve as an extra hand to grab and hold simple objects or unruly children. At best a gritaur can lift half its light load (38 lbs. for STR 11 due to increased carrying capacity) with its tail fully extended, but the grip is strong enough to hold, but not lift, a load equal to its heavy load (230 lbs. for STR 11) for a short while.

Hair color is typically light to dark brown, eyes are brown or green, skin color is white or dusky, feather color is brown or sometimes black, often with lighter color on the primaries, and fur color is sandy gold.


Gritaurs are neutral to most other races, but they have a problem with elves as that race figured heavily in their creation and subsequent betrayal. The Southern Empire was an elf/human society, while there were few elves in the northern countries. Even though most elves have never heard about it gritaurs will usually try to avoid becoming involved with them.


Gritaurs are typically true neutral or CN. Some individuals are good and/or lawful, but very few are evil.


Gritaurs prefer mountainous terrain where their flying ability is most useful. It also has the advantage of removing them from most sources of conflict as most other mountain races are cave-dwellers. They often have friendly relations with dwarfs, and sometimes come into conflict with goblinoids of various kinds. Most conflicts are solved by the gritaurs simply moving to another territory, though.


Gritaurs have no native religion. As a created race they already know where they come from, and any devotion is usually to whichever deity a certain gritaur feels have helped hir. Druids are fairly common.


Gritaurs speak either Common or Elven, depending on where they originated.


Naming conventions vary between tribes/clans, but strangely enough gritaurs often use elven names.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution: Gritaurs are larger, tougher and slightly faster than humans. But the way they're put together limits their effective strength.
  • Medium: Though heavier than humans gritaurs are not large enough to count as more than medium-sized (but see below).
  • Gritaur base land speed is 40 feet (8 squares). Gritaur fly speed is 60 feet (average). Medium armor reduces fly speed to 50 feet (poor), gritaurs can not fly with heavy armor.
  • Powerful build: Thought not large-sized gritaurs are heavier than a first glance would lead one to believe. They benefit from a +2 bonus on grapple checks, +2 bonus on ability checks made in a bull rush, overrun, or trip.
  • Quadruped: Gritaurs benefit from an additional +4 bonus when resisting bull rush, overrun, or trip attempts due to their extra legs. They also have lifting and carrying limits two times those of Medium bipedal characters thanks to their size and extra legs.
  • Prehensile tail: Though a gritaur can use its tail to strike in close combat and to hold simple objects it does usually not have enough control to make any complicated operations. However a gritaur can take a feat Tail Training that allows it to wield a medium-sized weapon melee or thrown weapon and gain a +2 bonus to grapple checks. The tail is still treated as off-hand, but the Multiweapon Fighting feat eliminates the penalty (if the gritaur already has Two-Weapon Fighting it gets Multiweapon Fighting for free).
  • Clawed feet: A gritaur can gain the special abilities Rake and Pounce as feats.
  • Unusual body structure: Armor, except for helmets, weight 50% extra and cost 100% extra for gritaurs. Footgear is even worse, to cover all four feet it weights 100% extra and costs 200% extra.
  • Low-Light Vision: A gritaur can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Racial Skills: A gritaur’s monstrous humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 5 × (3 + Int modifier). Its class skills are the same as a Ranger. Note that gritaurs are better educated than most monster races.
  • +4 racial bonus on Spot checks. Gritaur eyes are extremely keen.
  • +1 natural armor bonus. The feathers provide good protection, and there's a lot of redundancy in the organs.
  • SPECIAL: The advantage of flying movement varies drastically between different campaigns and power levels. It's suggested that in high-level campaigns and other campaigns where inherent flying movement does not provide a significant advantage gritaurs should gain a +2 bonus to WIS to compensate.

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Gritaur Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
12 years +1d4 +1d6 +2d6
Table: Gritaur Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
40 years 50 years 60 years +2d6 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: Gritaur Random Height and Weight
Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
4' 4" +2d6 250 lb. × (2d4) lb.

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