Hork-Bajir (3.5e Race)

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The Hork-Bajir were a race created by the original inhabitants of their homeland using powerful magic. After a horrible disaster, the valleys in which this race lived were rendered almost uninhabitable. To maintain the environment, huge trees had to be created in order to keep the atmosphere in a breathable condition. In order to maintain the trees, a race had to be created, and thus, the Hork-Bajir were born. Historically, their population had been controlled by attacks by gigantic aberrations and natural population crashes when food ran out, but recently, the Hork-Bajir have begun to expand.

Personality and Society[edit]

Most Hork-Bajir spend most of their day gathering and eating tree bark, getting water from veins in the trees, and spending about half of the day asleep. Females with children spend less time gathering food; her mate does more of that for her and their children. Hork-Bajir have concepts of marriage and parenting, and are known to be very loyal to each other; the bonds of love are strong between husband and wife. Unlike other less civilized races, polygamy is unheard of among the Hork-Bajir. Only if the male or female dies will the other seek to find a new spouse.

Males are the protectors and providers of the Hork-Bajir race, and they are naturally protective of their wives and children. Some outside observers have called this ethic a sort of "inborn chivalry", which was probably programmed by the race which created them in order to ensure that the weaker females are healthy and that no abuse of them takes place; this would be conducive to a healthier race overall. Male Hork-Bajir are in charge of their society and do not let most females tell them what to do (except for a female seer telling average Hork-Bajir things), but they place high priority on the health and comfort of their females, to the point that they will even allow their wives to ride on their backs when climbing trees if she is tired (males are more than strong enough to climb a gigantic tree and carry a female, as long as she can hold onto him.) Among male seers, battle magic has a high value, as it is seen as a means of defense for themselves and others; males also care more about their souls than the females do, and even among the less intelligent general population, we find that most of the stories about the spirits are told by males. The Hork-Bajir have a far richer oral tradition than the intelligence of the general population would lead one to believe.

Females are smaller, weaker, softer, and more emotional than the males, but are no less important to the race. A single female can give birth to hundreds of children over her lifetime if she lives long enough, and females are in charge of caring for the children above all else. Females have softer skin and weaker muscles than the males, but they have a more sensitive sense of touch, and often enjoy indulging it; they admit that they are more physical beings than their husbands and have no problem with it. The same applies true for the female seers, who, if anything, are able to use their intelligence to aid, rather than hinder, their hedonism. Since they care about the body so much, we find that the female seers are experts at anatomy, and can point out all of the organs in their body, their pressure points, joints, nerves, muscles, and other areas. Rather than use stories or rational means to convey ideas, the females are concerned about their emotions and express them by means of non-verbal communication. Hork-Bajir music and dance (aided by a superior sense of balance) are female inventions; the music is created by striking vines that had been soaked in rainwater which are stretched between two points in a hollowed-out tree.

Hork-Bajir societies are sometimes led by a seer, who is a very rare individual (1 in 10,000) with great intelligence; it does not matter to the Hork-Bajir if the seer is male or female, as long as the seer truly is intelligent. If a seer is not present, the strongest male is the leader. In the extremely rare event that there are both a male and female seer, the male will be in charge, with the female as second-in-command (and as his wife.)

When the Hork-Bajir do fight each other, it can be very violent and it isn't uncommon for limbs to be severed. Rarely, males may fight for dominance and the violence can be terrible by the standards of other species. For the Hork-Bajir, it isn't bad at all, as they know they can regenerate almost any injury, and so they don't consider it to be very harmful. Virtually the only reason a female would fight is in self-defense or the defense of her children; males will fight for self-defense, protection of their wife and children, and for dominance on rare occasion.

The general personalities of the Hork-Bajir are driven by their artificially-crafted instincts; they arrange their societies in a certain way because they were made to do so. While they have free will regarding the particulars, it is very rare for a Hork-Bajir to possesses the willpower to overcome his or her instincts, even among the seers (except for a very few evil seer males.)

Physical Description[edit]

With a body covered in blades, one would think that Hork-Bajir are natural killing machines. In fact, their many green blades which grow out of their arms, legs, and tail are used for harvesting tree bark for them to eat. The sharp claws on their hands and feet are used to help them climb the massive tress on which they depend for food and a habitat. Their skin, which is tough enough to be its own suit of armor, was made so that the Hork-Bajir could be kept reasonably safe from their own blades; their regenerative ability was created for this purpose as well.

Males have three horns on their heads, females have two. Each of the Hork-Bajir's four limbs has four digits; three fingers on each hand plus a thumb, three toes on each foot plus a spur on the end. The arms are covered with blades in three places, the most useful being the wrist. The Hork-Bajir have greenish-brown skin which is as tough as tree bark. The Hork-Bajir have darkvision in their red, reptilian eyes, enabling them to see in the night up to 60 feet away. Their long tail has two blades on it, and can be used to help the Hork-Bajir hold his place in a tree. Their long, flexible necks are useful for increasing their field of vision from a stationary position.

Hork-Bajir are immune to most diseases, can heal wounds which would be mortal to most other races in seconds, and can even regrow lost limbs. A Hork-Bajir can cut open his skull, pull open the wound, show his brain to onlookers, and press the wound together; in a few seconds, the bleeding will stop and the injury will begin to rapidly heal (leaving a scar for some time.) Their regenerative process is related to their growth; Hork-Bajir take only 2 months to develop in the womb, and only two to three years to be fully grown. Most Hork-Bajir can outrun a human within thirty seconds of his birth, and can swim and climb instinctively at a rate far superior to humans (especially their ability to climb.) In addition, the same instinct which enable a Hork-Bajir to use his blades for harvesting tree bark can be put to use in combat with deadly results.

Internally, the Hork-Bajir have been designed with amazing complexity and detail. Their organ systems are designed to survive on a diet of bark, and can extract nutrients from even this otherwise ill-suited source. The Hork-Bajir have three hearts, and an a amazingly efficient system which enables them to be immune to all but the strongest of poisons (damage must be at least worth 3d6 poison damage to have effect on them, and even so, the final effect is halved.)


For the most part, the Hork-Bajir want to be left alone and simply live in trees and raise their families in peace. Outside races have frequently tried to exploit the land in which they live, and this has caused tensions between the Hork-Bajir and other races. Adding to the pressure is the fact that the Hork-Bajir population has been booming, and there isn't enough food for the race (an unforeseen event which the race's creators have overlooked.) Pressure to expand into other lands is growing, and the Hork-Bajir are slowly starting to realize how dangerous they can be...

Another issue is that of the Hork-Bajir being attacked by evil alchemists for their blood. Hork-Bajir blood is a powerful alchemical agent which is useful for healing potions or elixirs which speed a creature's prenatal rate of growth. Teratogenetors (monster-creating mages) have been known to attack and subdue Hork-Bajir, but rarely kill them, as this would reduce the number of potential blood suppliers.

Compared to Hork-Bajir, most other races are soft, weak, and fragile. While Dragons and Trolls are more dangerous than they are naturally (at least, the trolls are more dangerous than Hork-Bajir females), few other major races can make that claim. The Hork-Bajir are not as intelligent as most other humanoids, and as such, lack many of the tools needed to conquer large areas and administer them such as metal implements, or agriculture. In their case, the Hork-Bajir are naturally provided with what other races need to develop artificially; the Hork-Bajir's skin as at least as good as many suits of armor, their claws are as good as many weapons, their healing powers are superior to most medicines, and their ability to live off of tree bark makes it easy for them to survive in many climates (though by no means all.)

When asked about their lack of technology and the lack of the motivation of the seers to develop crafts, tools, and wares, the seers respond that they have no need for any of it, as they were given all they needed in their bodies, and from nature itself.


Most Hork-Bajir are true neutral; their actions are typically guided by impulses, instincts, and emotions, not by logic or reason. On the other hand, the Hork-Bajir known nothing of money or greed, and rarely start fights. The Hork-Bajir aren't very intelligent or wise, and may act in an unreasonable way when frightened, hungry, thirsty, or in pain, but they rarely have bad intentions towards others.


The Hork-Bajir fight with the blades, claws and fangs they naturally possess; outside of some bows and arrows and a few occasionally thrown spears, they don't use manufactured weapons. In a fight, the Hork-Bajir are surprisingly skilled, and know how to use all of their size and strength in conjunction with all their blades; a single motion by a Hork-Bajir can decapitate a human and they can move their limbs faster than the eye can see.

Thanks to their amazing healing powers, bladed bodies, and natural armor, it isn't uncommon for the Hork-Bajir to win fights against other races in which they kill the entire opposing force without taking a single death of the own. The best way to beat them is by using magic; once, much of their population was killed off when a magically-modified disease swept through their valleys.

The males take the lead in combat for obvious reasons, being far stronger and tougher. The females mainly serve as scouts or stay behind with the elderly to defend the children.


The Hork-Bajir live in a series of warm valleys with many tall trees (the tallest is over 2000 feet tall.) At the base of the trees (known as "the deep") live a great number of huge aberrations created by the original race of the valleys. There is a blue, oxygen-rich mist in the deep which obscures it from view.

The Hork-Bajir have been expanding into other lands lately; as large, prolific breeders, they find that they constantly need more resources to survive.


The Hork-Bajir have two main, equal deities; father deep, who gives them soil and groundwater, and mother sky, who gives them air and rainwater. There is no organized priesthood, but the basic values of their religion are that whatever leads to the expansion and health of the race are good, and whatever does the opposite is bad. The Hork-Bajir believe that their souls go to mother sky upon death, and that their body ought to be buried in father deep; to that end, their bodies are buried at the base of trees.

For the Hork-Bajir, nature is about balance. Health and growth are a result of being in balance with nature, while illness and Aberrations are believed to be the result of an imbalance in nature. The Hork-Bajir homelands are filled with aberrations which live in the deep down at the base of the trees. The Hork-Bajir believe that unnatural actions (such as the destruction of the trees, or some kind of great personal misconduct) cause nature to produce unnatural beings, which come back to plague them later.

Seers are believed to be those who are sent by mother sky and father deep whenever the people have need of them. As a result, the words and ways of the seers are treated with religious importance.


While the more intelligent Hork-Bajir (see below) can speak common, most Hork-Bajir have traditionally spoken a language of their own devising, with only about 500 words. Since the Hork-Bajir have begun to be exposed to the outside world, more words from common have filtered into their language, so that they often speak to outsiders in a mix of common and their own language.

Without a doubt, the Hork-Bajir language is heaviest on the "t" and "k" unvoiced stops, and the "h" sound. Voiced stops (d, g, b) are present but not as common. Fricatives/continuants are not very common at all, except for perhaps "f", and voiced fricatives are practically nonexistant; only "zh" (and the blend "j" or "dzh") ever show up. Since the Hork-Bajir language only has about 500 words, most words are quite short, and this combined with the frequent use of "t" and "k" makes the Hork-Bajir language sound very choppy and seperated.

Some words include:

Kawatnoj: Children

Kalashi: Wife

Ghafrash: Possibly means "kill" or is a profanity.

Darkap: Fail

Fellana: "Thank you"

Hruthin: Outsider or alien.


Surnames are passed down the father's line. Females keep their last names after they marry.

Some first names include:

Male: Jara, Dak, Fal, Jagil, Hahn, Bek, Mab.

Female: Ket, Toby (copied from a human name), Delf, Tila.

Some last names include: Hamee, Hajool, Tunad, Hullan, Halpak, Kahet.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • For all: +4 Strength, -2 Dexterity, +6 Constitution, -4 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma; Hork-Bajir weren't made for intelligence or advanced civilization, but they are quite strong and fantastically durable.
  • Monstrous Humanoid.
  • Medium-Sized: As Medium creatures, Hork-Bajir do not gain bonuses or penalties due to size.
  • Hork-Bajir base land speed is 40 feet: climb speed is 30 feet.
  • Natural Weapons: Hork-Bajir have wrist- and elbow-blades which they may use to make claw attacks as primary natural weapons that deal 1d6 slashing damage. They also possess tail blades which may be used as a secondary natural weapon that deals 1d6 slashing damage, and forehead blades that also deal 1d6 slashing damage as a secondary natural weapon.

A Hork-Bajir wielding a weapon in one hand may use its claw in the other as a secondary natural weapon, along with the rest of its natural weapons.

  • Natural Armor: A Hork-Bajir's leathery hide gives it a +2 natural armor bonus.
  • Regeneration: Acid and fire deal normal damage to a Hork-Bajir. If a Hork-Bajir loses a limb or body part, the lost portion regrows in 3d6 minutes. The Hork-Bajir can reattach the severed part by holding it to the stump. A Hork-Bajir can also be killed by dealing non-lethal damage to him until he is unconscious upon which a coup de grace to sever/crush the head can finish him off. Hork-Bajir regenerate 1 hit point per round, increasing by 1 hp/round at 5th level and every five levels thereafter (up to regenerating 5 hp/round at 20th level).
  • Scent: The Hork-Bajir have an excellent sense of smell, and can use this to their advantage in both peace and war.
  • Darkvision: The Hork-Bajir can seen in the dark out to sixty feet.
  • Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Any
  • Favored Class: Ranger.
  • Seers: 1 in every 10,000 Hork-Bajir is born a seer; a very intelligent individual with the ability to lead the others. For this rare individual, there are intelligence, charisma, and wisdom bonuses of +2 each, instead of the penalties. Seers are just as likely to occur in either sex of Hork-Bajir, and all strength, dexterity, and constitution stats still apply. To make a Hork-Bajir a seer, the DM can assign it, or can allow the player to become one at creation in lieu of the normal 1st-level feat. A Seer's favored class is Druid, not Ranger.
  • Level Adjustment: +2

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Hork-Bajir Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
5 years +10 +15 +20
Table: Hork-Bajir Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
200 years 250 years 300 years +10d8 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 7' 5" +2d8 300 lb. × (2d4) lb.
Female 6' 11" +2d8 250 lb. × (2d4) lb.

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