Sherrikar (3.5e Race)
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Though they are generally friendly, Sherrikari are combative & have a sense of humour that is both very physical & slightly surreal to most outsiders. Due to the lack of a native written language, Sherrikari have limited knowledge of history, but with their combative nature their society prizes living in the moment, so this is not generally a major concern for them.
The Sherrikari are a tribal people whos settlements are lead by a matriarch, though other senior positions that deal with the day-to-day running of the community are generally held by older males. Decisions that affect the whole community in a significant way are usually agreed on by vote, with each individual holding a number of votes equal to the number of moults they have undergone (see Life Cycle & Reproduction, below).
Lacking a native written form of language, Sherrikari society is very much focused on living in the moment. They hold little regard for the mistakes of history & though other races may feel that this means they are doomed to repeat those mistakes, a typical Sherrikar cares little for this attitude, citing the fact that they are still there, so the mistakes of history can't have been that terrible. The world is a dangerous place & there are so many ways to die that wasting time on the past is considered a sign of ignorance, resulting in a lack of focus on the very real dangers that are all about. As a result of this, Sherrikari do not pass on grudges the way that other races do - an enemy in war from one generation is as likely to be an ally in the next. This is not to say they are naive & a Sherrikar that is wronged by an individual is no more likely to forgive them than a member of any other race, but the issue is unlikley to go beyond the individual.
Another way this focus on the present manifests is in their architecture, which is often only designed to last a few years & rarely survives past a decade. Their settlements often migrate slowly, with new dwellings being constructed on one side of the settlement as older buildings become uninhabitable through disrepair. An ancient Sherrikar settlement may have a "wake" several leagues long, often following one bank of a river or similar natural feature.
Averaging at around 6 ft. 6 inches tall, Sherrikari are powerfully-built upright-walking insectoids with 4 upper limbs, a pair of powerful, reverse-articulated lower limbs & compound eyes that are slightly larger than those of most humans in relation to the sizes of their heads. They posses a pair of scent glands on their heads in the form of small, domed mushroom-like horns, over which they can exert limited concious control. These scent horns are used for communication. The upper limbs are each equipped with small, but sharp claws in place of fingernails. Sherrikar do not favour one forelimb over the others, being equally adept at using all of their 4 manipulatory appendages. Due to the way they communicate (see Language, below), most races find their odour unusual, if not unpleasant, which has lead to the derogatory nick-name of "stink-bugs" or just "stinkers". Sherrikari are usually yellowish-green in colour, with darker stripes running vertically along their limbs & bodies. There is little external distinction between the sexes, though females exhibit a slightly wider range of heights & are marginally shorter on average.
Life Cycle & Reproduction
Reproduction is through egg-laying, which occurs once per year. Females will produce clutches of 15-40 small (1/2 inch diameter) eggs, depending on age (older females generally lay more eggs until venerable age is reached, at which point they go through the menopause in a manner suprisingly similar to humans). Regardless of how many eggs are in a clutch, only around 50% will hatch, the others being re-consumed by the mother to replenish her energy supplies in preperation for looking after her young. While the eggs can only be laid once per year, the... erm... "male fertilising agent" can be acquired at any time since the last clutch was laid, being kept in a special sac in the female's abdomen until it is required. Young Sherrikari hatch as non-sentient, maggot-like larvae that require vast quantities of fresh vegetation to survive, eating near-constantly for the next year & a half until they enter a cocoon. Half a year later, the young emerge as black-chitined, phisically minature versions of the adults, though they are still non-sentient. For the next 3-5 years the young will often be kept as pets by the parents, consuming small mammals, birds & other insects in their carnivourous phase - care must be taken at this stage to avoid sibling cannibalism. When the young reach around 3 ft. tall, they enter a second cocoon stage, emerging as junior, omnivorous, sentient Sherrikari around 3 months later. From this point, a Sherrikar is biologically an adult & will not go through any more metamorphoses, though it will moult it's exoskeleton once every 2-3 years.
Many other races - particularly gnomes - prefer to keep a Sherrikar at a distance due to the smell. They rarely take offense at this, being fully aware of the effect their odours have & though they usually try to maintain more pleasant odours among other races, they only have limited control of their scent so they are not always successful. Though there is no direct link between the species other than the cosmetic similarities, Sherrikar often get along particularly well with Thri-Kreen.
As a physically powerful race, the Sherrikari have a natural advantage in combat & their society has evolved to incorporate this. Many a Sherrikar makes a healthy living as a mercenary & entire villages have been known to hire themselves out to local lords & monarchs of other races when there is conflict. As such, Sherrikari have a strong leaning towards chaos & due to their lack of grudge-bearing, disregard for history & mercentile nature often have little consideration for the morality of good & evil. That said, they are rarely deliberately cruel, prefering to get on with life rather than go out of their way to make the lives of others miserable for extended periods.
Sherrikari are native to wooded regions in temperate to tropical climates, though as they do not lead an arboreal lifestyle their settlements can be found in just about any environment that is not too cold. They generally inhabit settlements of between 80 & 150 adults, plus a large number of young, which are kept in special corrals that abutt the parental dwellings while they go through their pre-sentient phases. It is rare to find a Sherrikar living among other sentient races for extended periods due to their scent, though some have found homes in docks & industrial areas where strong odours are common enough that the addition of Sherrikar pheromones is of minor consequence.
The Sherrikari are a species that are good at fighting & often worship gods with domains in war, strength, destruction or protection.
The native language of the Sherrikari is made up of a combination of squeals, clicks, growls & smells, which are emmited by their powerful scent horns over which they have limited concious control. While a Sherrikar has no better sense of smell than a human, they make up for this with the pungency of their odours, which can linger for weeks in enclosed spaces. Their language has no written equivalent, though almost all Sherrikari learn how to speak, read & write in common for convinience when dealing with the rest of the world. While they are capable of pronouncing most languages, they tend to have an unusual accent & generally ignore the syntax, putting all the right words in place, just not necessarily in the right order. Often the words are accompanied by a variety of unusual smells as the Sherrikar subconciously communicates through it's pheromonal manipulation as well as verbally.
Sherrikari do not have names among their own kind, using their racial pheromones to identify individuals. Among other races, they will usually take a name for convinience that they feel to be appropriate to the society they are in at the time, though they often make mistakes in this & it is not uncommon for a male Sherrikar to take a femenine name, or contract a persons full name into a single word (eg while in a halfling settlement, the Sherrikar known as Maryhigginbottom performed many great feats of strength in defense of the town).
- +4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, −2 Intelligence, −4 Charisma: Sherrikari are strong, nimble & hardy, but have a straightforward approach to problem-solving & a lack of regard for emotional matters. They also smell wierd.
- Monstrous Humanoid (Insectoid): While they walk upright, their legs are reverse-articulated & they have 4 arms. They also have a chitinous exoskeleton & compound eyes. That's pretty mostrous by most people's standards! As such, they are immune to spells that target humanoids such as charm person, etc.
- Medium: As medium creatures, Sherrikari have no size-based modifiers.
- Sherrikar base land speed is 40 feet: Sherrikari are faster on their feet than most creatures their size.
- Natural Weapons: A Sherrikar has 4 natural attacks from his or her claws, doing D4 slashing damage each. Sherrikari do not have an "off" hand, being able to use each of their forelimbs with equal skill & strength, effectively giving them the Ambidexterous feat 3 times. They also automatically count as having the Multiattack monstrous feat.
- Natural Armour: Sherrikari have naturally tough exoskeletons that resist damage well. A sherrikar has a natural armour bonus of +1 for every 4 class levels or part thereof. Every time this bonus rises, a Sherrikar nust shed it's old exoskeleton, a process taking 4 hours during which time the character can take no other actions & is considered incapacitated. After the shedding, the new exoskeleton takes a number of days equal to the new natural armour bonus +3 to harden, during which time the natural armour bonus is negated.
- Low-light Vision: A Sherrikar can see 3 times as far as a human in starlight & similar low levels of illumination.
- Negative Bouyancy: Sherrikari are denser than most species & have significant difficulties in water. Gaining ranks in Swim costs double the usual amount of skill points.
- Difficult Healing: Due to their dense exoskeletons, Sherrikari are harder to heal than most races & only receive 3/4 the ammount of healing that normal creatures recieve (rounded down), regardless of source. This effect applies at all times unless the Sherrikar has recently moulted (see Natural Armour, above) & returns once the new exoskeleton has fully hardened.
- Difficult Linguistics: Since most languages lack a nasal component, Sherrikari find learning additional languages more difficult than most races. A Sherrikar only gets a bonus spend 4 skill points to learn a new language rather than 2. Also, other species incapable of conciously manipulating their own smell can never learn to "speak" language for every 2 points of Intelligence modifier it possess & must Sherrikar without magical aid & in order to understand it takes 2 bonus language "slots" or 4 skill points. Furthermore, when attempting to improve the attitude of an NPC that is unfamiliar with Sherrikari, the DC is 5 points higher due to the wierd manner of speach & odd smell. The one benefit of their unusual language is that Sherrikari can converse silently among themselves if required, though this communication is limited to basic concepts & emotional states. Casting spells with verbal components still requires speach.
- Cold-blooded: While they are not in any greater danger of suffering damage through cold conditions than warm-blooded creatures, Sherrikari become more sluggish in any situation where Survival (cold) checks would be required, automatically gaining a -4 modifier to Intelligence, Dexterity & Initiative (the modifier to initiative through the changes to Dexterity stacks with the direct modifier). This effect applies until the Sherrikar is no longer in such conditions.
- Easily Tracked: Due to their pheromonal emmisions, DCs for tracking any group that includes a Sherrikar by scent are reduced by 5 (to a minimum of 2).
- +5 Climb, +5 Jump, +2 Spot, −2 Search, −2 Knowledge (History), −2 Ride, −2 Handle Animal: Due to their extra limbs, Sherrikari gain a +5 competence bonus on climb skill checks. This bonus is reduced to +2 if 1 limb is being used for another purpose (such as holding a weapon) & negated if 2 limbs are being used for another purpose. Sherrikari lower limbs are reverse-articulated & are especially well-suited to jumping. Sherrikari posses compound eyes that are excellent for picking out movement at long distances, but lack the focus for detailed searches. Due to their lack of a written language & lack of regard for the subject, they have limited knowledge of history. Their unusually potent odours make interactions with non-sentient animals more difficult.
- Automatic Languages: Sherrikar, Common. Bonus Languages: Any non-secret (but see Difficult Linguistics above).
- Favored Class: Fighter.
- Level Adjustment: +1
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|35 years||50 years||65 years||+3D8 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||5' 11"||+2D6||180 lb.||× (3D10) lb.|
|Female||5' 6"||+2D8||170 lb.||× (3D8) lb.|