Ran (5e Race)
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|“||The Ran? Bunch'a frog things w' no place in th' world. Oft shitless b' don' bet 'gainst 'em in a drinkin' contest.||”|
|"Though typically associated with a unique cuteness and an open heart, some Ran can possess terrifically imposing statures
and, to many an ignorant soldier's dismay, unsavory dispositions." (Clangor's "A Soldier's Anthology of Uncommon Allies" 481)
A curious thing it is to try and generalize such a diverse collection of creatures as the Ran, whose uniquities are vast and the variability from one Ran to another is, arguably, as endless as their human allies. If you must boil their appearance down to a short phrase, for brevity's sake, then yes, they are frogs. Or, frog-like at least. However, such a general and ignorant classification of who these people are is not only impolite but also, at least by the standards of any respectable sociologist, wildly misguiding. Luckily, the following passages will allow those who are unfamiliar with the exceptionally disparate Ran to get a grasp for who they are. To begin with the most pressing matter would be to regard their stature, which, quite frankly, is one of their most varying characteristics. Your average Ran will stand proud at just over three feet, similar to their close Halfling friends, but can land anywhere within a foot of that in either direction (Some extreme cases can even begin to match that of a short human!). The next topic of conversation would surely be their hide. The oily skin of these creatures can vary anywhere from a dull muddy brown to a vibrant emerald green and, in substantially rarer ethnicities, can even hold a stronger pigment such as ruby red or deep ocean blue. Regardless of the hue, the nature of their self-moistening flesh guarantees that the color will appear polished and healthy.
Posture is certainly noticeably similar between groups but that's more a product of habitat than innate spinal tendency. Those of the swamp tend to have more of a curve to their back, with wider frames and large brows to shade their eyes from the slime of their natural homes. There also seems to be a common strain of skin hardening, not unlike scales, at certain parts of the body that, while not offering protection from any blow, serve as callouses and give the skin a rough sandpaper feel to it at parts. Their counterparts that lay claim to the forests and up high in the trees tend to have much smoother skin with less markings and fit your typical imagining of a "frog". That being said the majority do have noticeably proper posture and are more agreeable if only because those humanoids interacting with them see more of themselves in the Branchkin, the name of those that live in the trees, than they do their swamp dwelling siblings.
Beyond that, it's a toss up. The varying features between each individual are so noticeably different that to attempt to generalize would be a crime against those who do or do not hold such features. These additional bits come in many forms; feelers, warts, strange deformities, bone-like ridges or spikes, etc., and the list goes on and on and can be any combination of these or even none at all.
The history of the Ran is not clear but as they exist in ancient tomes of almost any immortal race it is without a doubt that they have been around for a long time. However long that may be or what exactly they may have accomplished is unknown regardless as the Ran don't keep any written texts on history and prefer to keep their scribbles to poem or storytelling, and even then they prefer to do so through oral tradition. What is known is that throughout history they have been a stalwart ally to almost every race, to the point where they could be described as an ally of peace as opposed to any one race or faction, and have always sided with those encouraging personal freedom and the preservation of life whenever forced to choose one ally at the expense of another. Some tomes claim that the Ran are the children of Eldath herself and were brought to the world to bring peace and merrymaking as a whole to all the other civilizations who might judge one another. Whether or not that tale holds any stock is beyond any actual Ran as they certainly didn't come up with it and probably couldn't tell you who "Elfdance" is anyway. In truth, the Ran are most likely closely related to the Elves of the forest and some magic spell turned awry may have cursed them to live as these ugly, compared at least to your standard wood elf, forms. The only concrete evidence here is that they have similar habitats and that it is possible to breed with one another (though historically that has only happened a small number of times and is not recorded anywhere).
In recent history the amphibious Ran have begun to migrate to larger cities to further explore the different cultures and invite others into their own homes so they might better understand them. While their numbers dwindle due to a lack of mating, they have only risen in prominence as many cities are home to Ran in political seats, eager to usher in peace between the other, more easily swayed to war, races, and many bards sharing their stories of adventure and romance across the land.
Always simple minded, there aren't many Ranan groups larger than thirty or so individuals and things like conquest or gluttony are beyond them, most civilizations only boasting a survivable treasury. That isn't how your typical Ran lives though, most of them dispersed throughout cities all over the globe in all different climates. Those groups that do begin to grow in size until the settlement is comparable with a small town have surprisingly similar values even thousands of miles away lead by completely different diplomats and that's primarily because the Ranan people hold a universally agreed upon set of basic rights that no bureaucrat would dare tread on. Those being, a strict adherence to each and every individual's personal freedoms to do as they like and live happily. With that in the minds of nearly all Ran, crime rates are astoundingly low as to rob or harm another would be in direct offense of that person's freedoms and the Ran are nothing if not understanding. This can make them saps, sure, and traders have a knack for being abused by the more cynical and manipulative races but most Ran would concur that the good outweighs the bad on that front.
One thing that is, arguably, unideal, with regard to that obsession with personal freedom, is that mating is not exceptionally common as Ran lack any meaningful production of hormones that would encourage them to engage in a mating process. In fact, it is exceptionally common for entire villages to be completely asexual. These wouldn't be terrible circumstances if birth rates weren't so noticeably dwindling and, long-lasting they may be, there may come a time where we can't find them wandering our streets anymore. You couldn't convince one of them that however, and even if you could they would never do something so intimate that they weren't otherwise interested in.
More often than not, Ranan names don't follow any key format or structure and seem to be devised at the whim of the parent. Inspiration for the names also seems to be rather random and two syllables may be plucked from two different cultures to form something wholly unique, and admittedly rather strange. Although rarely used, if a Ran were to associate themselves with some surname it would be their mother's given name, though this is purely up to the child and, on the topic of children choosing their name, it's not uncommon for a child to pick a different name for themselves once nearing maturity. Any common seam is purely by chance but people can associate names ending in 'im' as more feminine and the hard 'O' sound as more masculine.
Male: Abel, Appo, Band, Dill, Eaeart, Glen, Lenni, Loowen, Moneue, Mynt, Oap, Ooli, Ooqil, Pa, Poe, Remi, Wale
Female: Amea, Bimde, Cili, Ely, Fae, Glisim, Hillim, Isoldi, Iman, Lia, Nysa, Palim, Qiae, Talim, Van, Wynim, Yoe
Ranan Racial Traits
Do not take them for fragile creatures, while few races are as amicable and good-natured, the amphibious Ran will never allow their principles to go undefended.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength and Dexterity scores each increase by 1.
Age. Ran reach maturity around age 16 and can live as long as three hundred years on a healthy diet.
Alignment. The Ran have a tendency toward lawful good, though neither chaos nor neutrality are far from common. Regardless of morality, you will never see a Ran who doesn't value community and will stand by their families and friends at the expense of their life. More important still is their freedom and to threaten to rob one of such is to make an attempt on their life. Evil is incredibly unusual within Ran communities with an exception maybe once a century.
Size. Ran are usually over 3 feet tall and weigh nearly 50 pounds. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Amphibious. You can breathe air and water.
Unfaltering Will. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed and magic can't put you to sleep.
Prey Instinct. You are proficient in the Perception skill.
Languages. You can speak, read and write Common and two extra languages of your choice. Being that the Ran interact and deal with many other races, they typically cannot be pinned to any specific common tongue or dialect and, with their being raised around several languages, and being quite curious by nature, are exceptional linguists. Like humans, the Ran are fond of dispersing words borrowed from other languages throughout their speech.
Subrace. There are two subraces of Ran that are known to live in the world; Swampkin and Branchkin, and they vary quite substantially. There are certainly those who claim to be a medium between the two but there is always a rather clear association and there has yet to be a Ran who has ridden that intermediary line perfectly, if well. Choose one of these subraces.
Known for their resilience and impressive stature, compared to their counterparts, those Ran who naturally find their homes in murky swamps are known as Swampkin. Though their abode is not all that separates them. Coloration, for instance, is typically like their home, dull and brownish. Although not entirely fair a generalization, it is commonly agreed that Swampkin are also much more strong-willed and easily angered; though, if anything, that may be a product of their distant settlements. Your height cannot be less than 3'8" and, being dense, you must weigh at least 50 pounds by maturity. Beyond being thick by nature, Swampkin have notable metabolic issues when it comes to processing fat and can easily gain weight if they aren't careful.
In contrast to their swamp dwelling brethren, Branchkin are typically much more approachable and find themselves easy diplomats or musicians for their likability and, although they loathe it being said of them, cuteness. These amphibians have found home in mass tree houses near the tops of forests, interwoven by long stretches of hanging wooden paths. Physically they tend to have more vibrant shades of hide; bright greens, muted teals and even bright reds and blues in more uncommon variants. The Branchkin tend to be more slender and smaller than other Ran but make up for it by being likable by just about anyone. You maximum height is just under 4 feet and you can only weigh more than 40 pounds in cases of poor waistline management.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Natural Diplomacy. You are proficient in the Persuasion skills.
Talent. You are proficient in one tool or musical instrument of your choice.
Forest Dweller. You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.
Random Weight and Height Table
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||2' 8"||+3d6 Inches||35 lb.||× [1 + (1d4 x .1)] lb.|
|Female||2' 4"||+2d6 Inches||30 lb.||× [1 + (1d4 x .1)] lb.|