Neanderthal (3.5e Race)

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In their typical lifestyle, Neanderthals live in familial groups with the primary focus of hunting. Depending on the availability of large game, weather conditions and various other factors, the entire tribe may hunt big game, or the adult males will hunt big game and the rest of the tribe will hunt small game and seek edible vegetation. Offspring may choose to leave the group to either join another or start their own at adulthood. Interaction with civilization has changed their lifestyle; now pelts to trade for metal items they cannot forge themselves is just as important as food, many careers in manual labor have been opened up, and the path of the adventurer has been laid before them. But all in all, the Neanderthal is still the same rugged survivor it was before it was rediscovered by civilization.

Physical Description[edit]

The True Neanderthals have been extinct, for reasons unwritten by history, for millennium. All that remains of their race is an ancient line of half breeds with modern man, which would more correctly be labeled Neanderthalers. These descendants maintained the large nose, broad shoulders, barrel chest, large brows and thick fingers of their Neanderthal ancestors, as well as their range of hair colors (red to brown to black). However, it was probably features from their human ancestors (legs capable of fast and sustained running, superior social systems and tribal labor distribution, etc) that saved them from extinction.


Due to their strength, primitive lifestyle and brutish appearance, it is easy for races or individuals unfamiliar with Neanderthals to write them off as just another sort of orc or hobgoblin. Since they are raised in family groups and infrequently come in contact with anyone outside it, they do not learn social skills as children. However, a few weeks is usually all it takes to notice the strong behavioral resemblance to humans. After this point, a Neanderthal is usually treated as nothing more than a strong, but slightly dim and funny looking, human.


The Neanderthal race has been dealt a cruel hand. Despite all their social ineptitude, they have the potential to be equal or even greater than other races as barbarians, fighters and rangers, but otherwise tend fall behind. In other classes, they grow in skill as humans do, and unlike elves, dwarves, halflings or even orcs, they have no racial bonuses to compensate for it. And they know they have nothing to compensate. That said, they do their best to dominate the roles of barbarians and rangers (being a fighter is a lot more complicated than you think it would be). Usually acting as the group's muscle, its guide in the wilderness, or more frequently both, the Neanderthal is the best option for filling that niche without dealing with races even less suited for the social side of an adventure party.


Usually chaotic.


Most Neanderthals dwell in the frozen lands of their ancestors, but have been known to move south and create colonies in mountains. They can survive anywhere game, particularly large game, is plentiful.


The primary god of the Neanderthals is Kord of the Suel pantheon, which is not surprising, since many Neanderthals resemble Kord. However, it should be noted that before their discovery of the Suel pantheon, Neanderthals held physically powerful creatures in similar regards to gods, often assembling shrines to their skeletons.


Traditionally, they speak Neanderthal and Common. It is a language based upon a trade pidgin of Dwarven, Giant, and Orc. While they are as capable as most other races at learning new languages, they can only speak certain languages because of their anatomy.


Names among the Neanderthal are not terribly long or hard to pronounce. A simple 'Ulf' or 'Mruw' will usually do.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma: In the frozen wastes of the Neanderthal homeland, brute strength and ruggedness are necessary for survival. Creativity, good looks and perfectly honed social skills are not.
  • Humanoid (Neanderthal)
  • Medium
  • powerful build
  • Neanderthal base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Diehard feat
  • Illiteracy: Neanderthals do not automatically know how to read and write. A neanderthal may spend 2 skill points to gain the ability to read and write all languages he is able to speak.
  • All skills are treated as cross-class regardless of actual class except for the following: Climb (Str), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str).
  • Automatic Languages: Neanderthal, Common Bonus Languages: Can only speak Giant, Dwarven, Orc. Can learn to read and write any other language.
  • Favored Class: Barbarian

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Neanderthal Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
15 years +1d4 +1d6 +2d6
Table: Neanderthal Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
35 years 53 years 70 years +2d20 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: Neanderthal Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 7’ 1” +2d10 300 lb. × (3d10) lb.
Female 6’ 5” +2d6 220 lb. × (3d8) lb.

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