Smart Ass (3.5e Race)

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A "race's compendium" race created by

Smart Ass[edit]

Years ago, deep in the forests of the Apple Chains, a powerful but absent-minded wizard named Abaddon was hopelessly lost. After three months of fruitless wandering, Abaddon became desperate for companionship and wove a mighty spell on his donkey to increase its intelligence and ability to speak. Now with a friend to talk to, being lost didn't seem all that bad. The ass called himself Balaam and asked Abaddon to fill his new brain with knowledge. Together, they explored the forest looking for a way out and talked of Abaddon's profession of wizardry. Balaam's intelligence soon increased to genius levels as he pored over Abaddon's spellbook while the wizard spent hours attempting divination spells to get their bearings again.

One day, Balaam insisted that Abaddon carry half the supplies on his back. Abaddon said that it was the ass's job to carry the supplies. Balaam blew the old wizard to bits in a hail of magic missiles. Now without the foolish human, Balaam easily found his way back to civilization. Upon arriving in the city of Nock, Balaam stole a sexy female donkey from one of the barbarians' stables. He lead her back to the dense mountainous forests, and after much study duplicated the intelligence spell Abaddon had used on him. Thus the world became populated with smart asses.


Smart asses tend to be know-it-alls and don't know when to shut up. Many find this quality irritating, but it does come in handy every now and again. They are an intelligent donkey race that likes magic and is rather arrogant.

Physical Description[edit]

Smart asses look just like regular donkeys, though they sometimes wear cloaks or magical jewelry such as necklaces or earrings. Their ability to speak, of course, gives them away immediately. Their life expectancy is equivalent to a human's.


Smart asses are at best tolerant of humanoids they view as intellectually inferior, which is most everyone. They have a particular snobbish dislike of half-orcs and get along best with human or elven wizards. When around regular asses, smart asses feel obligated to "improve" them the same way they have been improved. When the owners aren't looking, smart ass wizards try to turn regular donkeys into smart asses. They usually fail as the spell required is very difficult (see "Improving Other Asses" under Racial Traits below).


Usually neutral.


In big cities, smart asses are too often mistaken as regular donkeys. Though the error is quickly recognized and corrected by the offender when the supposed beast of burden suddenly begins to swear at him, smart asses find even the slightest affront to their dignity as unacceptable. To avoid these situations, smart asses usually live in lightly populated mountainous areas.


Wizardry being the most popular profession among smart asses, most worship Boccob or Wee Jas. Others who feel a connection to their more animal roots worship Obad-Hai. A few even worship their father Balaam as a god.


All smart asses speak Common. Learning other languages is extremely popular among them as it is considered a mark of intelligence to be multilingual.


The major motivation for smart asses to pick up adventuring is to pursue greater knowledge and understanding. A smart ass adventurer is most likely a wizard. Though due to their inability to use weapons, smart ass monks are not unheard of either.


Most use Human names.

Smart Ass Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Intelligence, −2 Charisma: Smart asses live up to their name.
  • Medium: As medium creatures, smart asses have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Type: Animal
  • Smart ass base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Quadruped: Smart asses carrying capacity is one-and-a-half times as much as a biped character with the same Strength.
  • +2 racial bonus on Balance checks.
  • +2 racial bonus on Listen checks.
  • +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks when impersonating a regular donkey.
  • -8 racial penalty on Ride checks. Smart asses can only ride heavy horses and cannot ride in combat or any faster than a slow trot.
  • -10 racial penalty on Climb checks.
  • Stubborn: Smart asses have a +2 racial bonus to saves against attempts to force the smart ass to do something he doesn't want to do. This includes compulsion-type spells.
  • Low-light vision.
  • Scent.
  • Natural Attacks: Bite (1d2) and 2 Hooves (1d4).
  • Bonus Feats: Smart asses gain Endurance and Eschew Materials as bonus feats.
  • Barding: Smart asses cannot wear normal armor or use shields. They can wear barding instead, but need a humanoid friend to help them don it.
  • Hooves: Smart asses have no hands and therefore cannot wield weapons or shields effectively. They cast spells with somatic components with head bobs, foot stomps, ear twitches, and tail flicks. Most have also learned to write by holding a quill between their teeth and are able to do other simple tasks with their mouths or hooves as well. Attacks from a smart ass's hooves count as unarmed attacks and apply to unarmed monk abilities.
  • Intellectualize Ass: Smart ass wizards almost always try to make another smart ass out of any regular donkey they come across. The spell intellectualize ass can be cast once per day as a standard action targeting one donkey and does not use a spell slot. The smart ass must make a caster level check (DC 38) in order for the target donkey to become a smart ass. If the check fails by 6 or more, the spell does nothing. If the check fails by 5 or less, the target donkey only gains an Intelligence score of 6 and minor speaking ability (no smarter than your average troll), and even this wears off after one day. If the check succeeds, the target donkey is a full-fledged smart ass with two levels of commoner. The new smart ass is under the control of the DM. Most new smart asses will say "thank you" and abandon their owners in pursuit of their own interests. Some may decide to accept the smart ass wizard who improved them as their mentor. These may become cohorts (see Leadership Feat). If the new smart ass was treated particularly well, he may decide to stay with his former owner, but insist on a daily wage for his continued work.
Still, the best way to create a new smart ass is to get a male and female smart ass to mate. They will pass their abilities to their children. A smart ass would never lower itself to mate with a donkey, so half asses aren't a possibility.
  • Awaken Ass: A regular donkey, like all animals, can also be affected by a druid's awake spell which does give them human intellect (see PHB). Intellectualize ass is a more powerful version of the awake spell. Simply awakening an ass does not make it a smart ass.
  • Spell-Like Abilities: At will—mage hand (max. range of 5 feet), 1/day—intellectualize ass (DC 38, wizards only).
  • Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Any.
  • Favored Class: Wizard.

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Smart Ass Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
15 years +1d4 +1d6 +2d6
Table: Smart Ass 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: Smart Ass Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 4’ 10” +2d10 120 lb. × (2d4) lb.
Female 4’ 5” +2d10 85 lb. × (2d4) lb.

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