Lizardfolk Biology (Paludia Supplement)

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Overview- Lizardfolk are, on average, larger and stronger than average human beings. They aren't as intelligent as humans, and they don't possess as much eye-hand coordination or memory retention. Thanks to their tails, however, they have better balance and are better at swimming than humans. They are also more difficult to injure, but have far less stamina than humanity. Additionally, the limbic system and r-complex of lizardfolk are several times as powerful as those of humanity (especially the r-complex), resulting in greater drives and desires for base functions. This comes at the cost of much of the function of the neocortex.

Basic Biology[edit]

These features are common to lizardfolk:

Skin- Lizardfolk are covered with keratinous scales over their entire body. On average, this protects them as well as a suit of light leather armor would protect a human. Some species have small spikes protruding from their skin at points, but these are never significant enough to count as extra armor and are for decorative purposes only. As reptiles, the lizardfolk don't sweat, and this is reflected in the composition of the skin. Some species are known to have been magically manipulated to have harder scales. For most species, their natural armor is sufficient to protect against small cuts and bruises, as well as some insect bites, but is of relatively little use when it comes to surviving attacks from a sword, spear, or arrow. Lizardfolk scales tend to be thickest on the hands and feet, and thinest on the eyes. Skin colors range from green (which is the majority color) to brown, and even black in some cases. For the most part, their skin coloration helps the lizardfolk blend into the environment. A few species of lizardfolk are chameleonic, but those are very much the exception. There are even some rare albino lizardfolk, as well as those who are colored tan (similar to humans.)

Senses- Lizardfolk have a keen set of senses, including eyesight. Lizardfolk vision is better than human vision at seeing moving objects, but inferior when it comes to seeing still ones. The eyes of lizardfolk come in a many different colors; red and green are the most common hues, but gold, orange, and blue eye colors are also present. The pupils of their eyes are shaped like a vertical slit; similar to a crocodile's eye (which looks sort of like a cat's eye.) Some species have a second eyelid, but these species are very much the exception. Lizardfolk can hear lower pitches than humans can, but cannot hear a higher pitch sound. They also have a superior sense of smell to humans. Their sense of touch is also at least as good as that of humanity's and some species can even sense sudden or minor changes in water pressure if they are swimming. The lizardfolk have an average sense of taste, roughly on par with that of a human's. Male lizardfolk are better at sensing motion and shape than females, while females have a slightly easier time distinguishing between exact shades of color.

Teeth and claws- In addition to natural armor, lizardfolk have natural weapons; their teeth and claws can cause an average of 1d4 damage. While this might be a useful attack against small animals and weaker opponents, it serves relatively little use in combat against armed foes. Their claws are useful in climbing. A majority of the lizardfolk have five fingers (with an opposable thumb) and four toes, with three main digits on each foot and a smaller spur off to the side (in some species.) They are better than climbing trees than humans are, as their claws help them to grip wooden surfaces better. It is also worth noting that lizardfolk can kick with the claws on their feet as well as slash with the claws on their hands. In addition, the lizardfolk have sharp teeth, with few blunt edges. As a result, chewing is harder for them than it is for humans; chunks of meat are often swallowed whole.

Cold-blood- Lizardfolk are ectothermic, which means that they require heat from their surroundings in order to keep their metabolisms running. They become sluggish in cold environments and can overheat more easily than mammals do in a hot climate. In a cool climate, a constitution check needs to be made over 6 hours, or else the lizardfolk will take nonlethal damage. The specifics of the constitution check and the nonlethal damage are up to the DM. In very hot environments, the same nonlethal damage applies. (In addition to normal damage as described in the D&D rules for heat and cold.) Being cold-blooded means that lizardfolk use anaerobic respiration when they exert themselves, and they cannot metabolize the build-up of lactic acid as fast as humans. Hence, the lizardfolk have inferior endurance, especially the females, who have even more serious problems metabolizing lactic acid. In a long fight, a lizardfolk will tire faster than a human and will probably retreat if the fight isn't won in a couple of minutes.

In order to heat up, lizardfolk spend time basking in the sun. To cool down, they have to spend time in cool water or in the shade.

Pulmonary and Circulatory systems- Lizardfolk have 4-chambered hearts, and alveoli in their lungs. Their lungs are quite efficient and have a high capacity, enabling them to hold their breathe for a long time.

Sleep Cycles- Lizardfolk are diurnal, meaning that they are awake in the day and asleep at night. An average male requires an average of 8 hours of sleep, while a female requires an average of 10 hours of sleep, although many females prefer to sleep for 12 hours.

Diet- Paludian lizardfolk are carnivores with little to no capacity for consumption of plant matter, outside of medicinal herbs. Commonly caught prey includes fish, amphibians, small lizards, mammals of all sizes, birds, and on occasion, crocodiles. Only a very few tribes (less than 10%) would eat human meat under normal circumstances, though all tribes would be willing to do so if they faced starvation. Food shortages aren't uncommon, and starving lizardfolk will do almost anything to survive.

Fertility- Exact fertility numbers are unknown, but it can be said that when a lizardfolk female reaches the age of fertility, she will spend at least a quarter of her life from that point on carrying the next generation. This correlates to at least seven children per female. Of course, the mortality rate for children is very high, with only about 1 in 3 children surviving to adulthood.

Limbs- All lizardfolk have four limbs with claws on their digits. The lizardfolk's legs are larger and stronger than their arms. Some species have webbing in two or four of their limbs, while others have none. Contrary to common mythology, the lizardfolk races generally cannot naturally regenerate limbs or digits (with some minor exceptions), but some tribes do possess magic spells which can make regeneration possible.

Reproduction- While lizardfolk can mate for procreation at all time of the year, there is a special time of the year in mid-spring in which the females are especially receptive and eager. This time is referred to as "heat." Lizardfolk are oviparous, meaning that they lay eggs, which are often laid in a nest made of grass.

Sexual Dimorphism[edit]

Without exception, within the same species, male lizardfolk are larger, heavier, stronger, faster, more durable, more resistant to pain, fatigue and sickness, and less easily tired than female lizardfolk. Additionally, male lizardfolk have higher average intelligence and are wiser than female lizardfolk. This is due to the need for the males to do the hunting and fighting for the tribe. Additionally, male lizardfolk naturally live longer than females, but the habits of war and violence tend to equalize their lifespans with the females. In no case does a female lizardfolk ever control a tribe, clan, or village; the purpose of the female lizardfolk consorts is to make heirs, not to rule. If a chief were to die and a daughter or wife was his only relative, then the strongest males would fight to see which one of them was the strongest, and the winner would become the new chief.

It should be obvious that male lizardfolk are excellent front line soldiers. With more strength and constitution than an average human, they ought to make great fighters. At home, they are excellent hunters and fishers, and can apply their hunting skills to aid whatever party of adventurers they may join. The males can also make skilled rangers.

Female lizardfolk are often unable to take care of themselves, as they aren't very good at competing with males for hunting or fishing grounds; the very few that have ever tried have been outclassed in every way. As a result, they have to find a mate or else depend on male relatives. In isolation, a female lizardfolk actually would be able to do some hunting or fishing, but even the least competition from a male will be enough to see her outdone. Female lizardfolk are more flexible than their male counterparts, but not nearly so much so that they would get any bonus to dexterity because of it.

For game purposes, to get the stats of a female lizardfolk, first calculate the stats normally for the male, and then factor in the following:

-4 strength, -4 constitution, -2 intelligence, -2 wisdom. Female lizardfolk also only have +2 natural armor instead of the male +5 natural armor (in common lizardfolk, but in no case do females have more than, or as much natural armor as the males, no matter the species.) Females can only hold their breath for only three times its constitution score before drowning (instead of 4X for the male.) Females by necessity, are supposed to lay eggs and raise children, thus ensuring the continued survival of the race. Biologically, this necessitates certain physiological adjustments that may impede the females from combat, but in no way reduce their value to the race; in fact, their value actually increases in some ways because they can lay eggs. Lizardfolk females are acutely aware of this, and very few females will live their lives without reproducing.

In comparison to a human, a typical female lizardfolk has -2 strength, constitution, wisdom, and -4 intelligence (minimum of 3). In an adventuring party, this can prove to be quite a problem. Being neither good at combat nor skilled in magic, they female lizardfolk would at first glance appear to be a liability for any party. However, this weakness can be turned into a strength... of a sort. Having little combat proficiency frees the female lizardfolk PCs from having to develop such skills, enabling them to class as bards and rogues and develop other skills. With little need to give them fighting skills, one can develop a female character's non-combat skills, and use them to the party's advantage. Female Paludian lizardfolk bards receive a +2 charisma bonus upon entering that class and lose it when leaving it. This reflects the exotic, eye-catching nature of the females; this is only able to be exploited by a class which requires the female to be looked at and paid attention to. For a female fighter or paladin, appearance and grace matter less, and the rest of the world knows it, so only the bard would logically receive a bonus for being eye-catching in a performance.

Skills for the female lizardfolk that are worth focusing on include Balance, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather information, Move Silently,Open Lock, Perform, and Sleight of hand. Chances are, one can easily fit an exotic, alluring female lizardfolk into a party, especially if one's party needs someone agile and charismatic (while there is no particular bonus for dexterity, it ought to be focused on in order to make the PC worthwhile.) These can be good PCs because they can excel in certain niche roles that a party might need from time to time, such as having to send someone to balance on a narrow plank in order to get an item, or having to sneak through a dark room.

During the prime mating season (spring, roughly 1/4 of the year), females receive a special +4 modifier to certain charisma checks to represent the release of pheromones and their greater desire to mate (though females always wish to mate more than the males do, but even more so during mating season), but it wears off after the season ends. In the wider world, female lizardfolk are considered to be rare, exotic and eye-catching, whereas the ferocious males simply intimidate and frighten others. Hence, the outside observer can see a dichotomy between the two roles of the lizardfolk sexes; male strength vs female exoticness.

There is one native Paludian class which allows female lizardfolk to circumvent some of their disadvantages, that of the Hierodule, a divine casting class with no offensive capability. The education required for this class enables the females to avoid the -2 intelligence and -2 wisdom penalty, and this will apply only for the female if her first class is that of Heirodule. For no other class does the training for being a Heirodule apply, so if the female should switch classes, the penalties to intelligence and wisdom apply.

Injury and Diseases[edit]

Having evolved in an environment full of bacterial diseases, lizardfolk have developed significant resistance to such pathogens. Unfortunately, their lack of exposure to viral diseases has made them just as vulnerable to viruses as they are resistant to bacteria. A healthy lizardfolk who survives the loss of a limb can usually escape lethal bacterial infection in the wound. Viral infection is another matter altogether.

Under periods of stress, a lizardfolk's immune system weakens precipitously, taking a proportionally greater drop in efficiency than a human under the same conditions.

Demographics[edit]

The lizardfolk are in a near-perpetual state of high fertility balanced out by a high death rate. If left alone, the lizardfolk population of a certain area will increase rapidly until it grows to fit the size of its resources. Then, when further growth is impossible based on limitations of food, water, or space, there will generally be either a conflict or a migration, the former happening more often than not. Due to low life expectancy and a high fertility rate, the population of any lizardfolk settlement tends to be young.

Settlements that are located near a good supply of food but have insufficient room for accommodating a large population often spawn satellite villages surrounding a main town. It should be noted that this setup is rare, due to the fact that most lizardfolk villages are rarely located near enough food to support several settlements.

Common lizardfolk[edit]

These lizardfolk are the basic kind seen here. Note that the 200-250 pound weight range is for the males only. Like all other species of lizardfolk, the males are much heavier, larger, stronger, and more durable in every way than the females, who only weigh between 90-120 pounds (on average), are at least a foot shorter, are nowhere near as strong, and have softer skin, weaker bones, and less resistance to pain, fatigue, and injury. The females also have a lesser capacity for logic and reason, being creatures of hormones, feelings, and passions. The common lizardfolk are the most numerous type of in Paludia, forming a plurality of the entire lizardfolk population in Paludia.

The common lizardfolk live in the more isolated parts of the marshes and jungles of Paludia, and as such, have less access to trade and commerce than the lizardfolk who live next to major rivers and waterways. Their living in the densely forested parts of the jungles and marshes has made them good at climbing trees, and invaders who trespass on their territory can expect to be attacked by vicious warriors dropping down from the understorey.

Here is a picture:[1]

Crested lizardfolk[edit]

The second most common type of lizardfolk, these denizens of the swamps and jungles have long crests running down the lengths of their heads. They are similar to common lizardfolk with a few other key differences. First, they have longer feet and toes and a spur on the side. This makes it somewhat harder for them to balance and jump than it is for regular lizardfolk to do. They also have a fin on the end of their tail. This species evolved near the water, and thus is naturally inclined for swimming. They get a +6 on swimming, but only a +3 on jump and balance checks.

Their presence near the water has enabled the crested lizardfolk to take advantage of sea-borne trade, and as a result, a plurality of lizardfolk traders and merchants are crested ones. The first lizardfolk seen by foreign traders are often crested lizardfolk, and their habits and settlements have often formed the perceptions of lizardfolk by sailors and merchants. These lizardfolk are commonly depicted in drawings in foreign lands most often, and a majority of lizardfolk who travel abroad or even take the rare step of becoming sailors on foreign vessels are indeed crested lizardfolk.

While the amount of wealth possessed by the common lizardfolk is greater in absolute terms, the amount of wealth per capita among the crested lizardfolk is the greatest among all lizardfolk in Paludia. Crested chiefs are more likely to enjoy foreign luxuries, crested champions sometimes have weapons shipped in from abroad to arm themselves with, and crested princesses are the most likely to own golden jewelry. Even so, the crested lizardfolk are still on average poorer than almost all other humanoid species.

The cause behind this greater wealth isn't because of greater intelligence or strength, but the root cause is biological. While all lizardfolk are good at swimming, the crested lizardfolk are adept at it. This has given them greater affinity with the water, and with affinity comes the ability to navigate up the many rivers and waterways of Paludia. This, in turn, has put them into an excellent position to trade, at least in comparison with other lizardfolk.

Torvadian lizardfolk[edit]

Torvadian lizardfolk are a wilder species of lizardfolk who have stronger jaws (whose bites cause 1d6 damage) than most other lizardfolk, but are shorter (rarely over 6 feet) and slower than the common lizardfolk. Their skin color tends to be brownish-orange, and is somewhat softer than that of common lizardfolk (natural armor bonus +3; females have a natural armor bonus of +1 only.) They also tend to be less intelligent (intelligence -4.) These lizardfolk are often taken as slaves; a prominent example of this is in the city of Lixus.

These lizardfolk have little access to to magic; most of their magical skill is in one class, the shaman.

The Torvadian lizardfolk are among the poorest in all of Paludia, due to their low cognitive capacity.

Amnisian lizardfolk[edit]

These lizardfolk live in underwater caves and swim through underwater rivers. They have the ability to breathe air and water, have webbed limbs, and they possess darkvision, as well as a second eyelid, but they are much weaker than other lizardfolk. The males only stand about 5'6, the females, 5'0. They have a +10 bonus to swimming, but no jump or balance bonuses. Males have a natural armor bonus of +2, while the females have no natural armor bonus at all. The Amnisian lizardfolk can live on land, but rarely do so; they usually mate, lay eggs, and raise their children in the water.

As a result, there are few Amnisian villages; most tribes live in small bands underwater, and live off of a diet of fish. On land, the Amnisian lizardfolk are slow and easily tired. The Amnisian lizardfolk have little knowledge of civilization, but they do have a primitive writing system; on land, they often press their claws into mud to form symbols, or else scratch symbols into soft materials. The Amnisian lizardfolk are very primitive, even by lizardfolk standards; they seldom use any weapon or tool that is more complicated than a wooden fishing spear or stone knife.

Due to their isolation, Amnisian lizardfolk have little to no concept of money, and as such, are excluded from most economic activities.

Lorcatian lizardfolk[edit]

In the distant past, an evil Green dragon modified some common lizardfolk to become more heavily armored warriors. Thick scutes (also known as osteoderms) were placed underneath their scales and another layer of strong but flexible shingles called osteoscutes were placed between the outer scales and the inner scutes. The result was that their natural armor became stronger at the cost of their mobility; they are twice as well-protected as common lizardfolk (+10 AC for males, +4 AC for females), but only about 3/4 as fast. The green dragon also gave them the ability to regrow limbs and to resist poison attacks. As a result, poison attacks are only half as effective against these lizardfolk. These lizardfolk are very aggressive and will usually attack adventurers on sight.

An interesting feature of the Locratian lizardfolk is that their osteoderms have annual growth rings.

Blackscale lizardfolk*[edit]

Large, black lizardfolk with an affinity for acid. These lizardfolk differ from their other brethren so much that a specific explanation of their abilities is required:

  • +8 Strength, +4 Constitution, -4 Charisma.
  • Large size. -1 penalty to Armor Class, -1 penalty on attack rolls, -4 penalty on Hide checks, +4 bonus on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits double those of Medium characters.
  • Space/Reach: 10 feet/10 feet.
  • Darkvision out to 60 feet.
  • A blackscale lizardfolk's base land speed is 40 feet.
  • 8 Racial Hit Dice: A blackscale lizardfolk begins with four levels of monstrous humanoid, which provide 4d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +4, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +1, Ref +4, and Will +4.
  • Racial Skills: A blackscale lizardfolk’s monstrous humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 7 x (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1). Its class skills are Balance, Jump, Spot, and Swim. A blackscale lizardfolk has a +4 racial bonus on Balance, Jump, and Swim checks.
  • Racial Feats: A blackscale lizarfolk’s monstrous humanoid levels give it two feats.
  • Weapon Proficiency: A blackscale lizardfolk is proficient with the greatclub and all simple weapons.
  • +7 natural armor.
  • Natural Weapons: 2 claws (1d6) and bite (1d6).
  • Special Qualities (see above): breathe water, resistance to acid 5.
  • Automatic Languages: Draconic, Common. Bonus Languages: Aquan, Goblin, Gnoll, Orc.
  • Favored Class: Barbarian. A multiclassed blackscale lizardfolk's Barbarian class does not count when determining whether it takes an XP penalty.
  • Level Adjustment: +3.

For a picture, see here [2]

Viletooth lizardfolk*[edit]

Lizardfolk who have genetic relations to black dragons, these inhabitants of the swamp possess a poisonous bite. As a result, this race of lizardfolk has the most assassins of any species in Paludia.

Quanak lizardfolk*[edit]

Psionic lizardfolk who stand 6 to 7 feet tall with 3 to 4 foot long tails. They are skilled with poison weapons, especially blowguns.

Quanaks, like their brethren, have a patriarchal society whose primary goal is the propagation of the species. In addition, they also wish to enlighten their barbaric cousins. To accomplish this, they attempt to negotiate with groups of lizardfolk to add them to the quanak tribe. If negotiations fail, they make raids against the lizardfolk, taking the young and females. Because of this practice, the typical quanak dwelling has as many noncombatants as adults, and most of these are nonpsionic females and hatchlings.

Quanaks usually make their homes in swamps and marshes, or in areas with lots of water and vegetation. Their architecture is simple in design, consisting of the local floral, but it blends in with the surroundings. Travelers can come within a hundred feet of a village and never know it was there.

The patron deity of quanaks is Semaunya, whose chief concern is their survival.

For more information, see[3] here.

Lizard King lizardfolk*[edit]

These lizardfolk follow Sess'Innek, the demon lord. They are powerful warriors, and very aggressive. They have been known to conquer tribes of non-demonic lizardfolk.

Here is a picture [4]

Poison Dusk lizardfolk*[edit]

A smaller species, these lizardfolk are known for using poison arrows. See here for a picture[5]

This race is known for using agility over brute strength. That fact alone makes the Poison Dusk special in Paludia.



(*)These are from D&D, not an original creation.



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