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Month Index: April, 1995

From:     Richard Pugh <rjpugh@??.??????.com>
Date:     Thu, 13 Apr 1995 12:52:52 -0700
Subject:  Re: Tabaxi characters
Here is my second foray into the realm of alternate races for
characters.  This time we have the feline humanoids, the tabaxi.  Those
of you with the original Fiend Folio may remember them.  I also put a
variation in the
original "Rhyme."


A character race for Spelljammer

The Tabaxi, or cat-men, are a race of human-sized, feline humanoids.
They are quite lithe and move with the smooth grace of cats.  They have
human like faces and build, but with pointed cat-like ears, a tail, and
retractable claws.  They are covered with a coat of fur, whose
thickness and pattern varies from one group to another.  Among
themselves they rarely wear clothing, but do wear simple jewels made
from stone, bone, shells, or what ever else is available.  Their eyes
are usually green, blue or yellow, and are slit-pupilled.

The Tabaxi are native to the planet Trabarax in Trabaspace: a largely
forest and jungle world, with a few mountain and grassland ranges.
People who have visited Trabarax say that it reminds them of the
continent of Africa on Terra.  In their native habitat, the tabaxi are
somewhat nomadic and nocturnal.  Their society is basically matriarchal
in structure, with the strongest female directing the actions of the
pride.  They have a spoken and written language, use human-like tools
and weapons, and on occasion have traded with other races.  In general,
however, they are not known for making extended contact with other
races unless such actions are necessary.  Tabaxi player or non-player
characters in a spelljammer campaign, however, are not from these
simple, nomadic prides, but are descendants of those tabaxi taken from
their home world by the Rama T'Alain, and sold as slaves to other space
faring races.

This dessimination of tabaxi across the known spheres has resulted in
scattered enclaves of space faring tabaxi in a variety of locations.
Oerth and Toril, for example, have respectable tabaxi populations in
their more isolated areas.   The Shou Lung and the Wa, both of Toril,
used tabaxi labor in a variety of the colonization efforts.  Today,
most of these outposts are no longer used by the humans that built
them, but some of them are now used by the tabaxi.  In space faring
tabaxi have in effect become a distinct sub-race of the parent race,
which is still primal in nature.

Most of the advanced tabaxi adabten the Shou Lung and Wa cultural
model, while still using a matriarchal social structure.  They have, in
effect, adapted the ways of oriental human cultures for their own.
Some humans chuckle at this, calling the tabaxi "Copy Cats," but
apparently the tabaxi don't care.  Their society is still largely
matriarchial, with most major government and military positions being
held by women.   Many of these tabaxi groups maintain their own fleets
of spelljammers, but none of them are very large, and they are usually
designed for commercial purposes.  On the average, ships with
all-tabaxi crews are rare.  If one encounters a tabaxi space traveler,
he or she is probably a crew member on a ship run by another race, or
as a member of a mercenary or adventuring group.

The religion of the primal tabaxi is one of earth and nature worship.
As far as spellcasting is concerned, tabaxi shammans can be considered
druids.  Space faring tabaxi still follow this system of beliefs, but
have adapted a spirituality similar to Taoism.  Meditation and the
search for spiritual tranquality is a standard part of every tabaxi's


Tabaxi characters

Tabaxi can function as both PC's and NPC's, depending on the flavor of
the spelljammer campaign.  Keep in mind that tabaxi tend to follow the
model of Oriental human cultures.  A GM might want to include a few
tabaxi crew members on a Shou Lung dragonship, for example, if only as
a curiosity.

PC tabaxi are subject to the following adjustments:

Ability         Range      Adjustment
Strength        3/17         -1
Dexterity       5/19         +2
Constitution    3/18         0
Intelligence    3/18         0
Wisdom          3/18         0
Charisma        3/17         -1

In addition, they also have the following special abilities:

* Night vision of up to 30 feet.
* Plus 1-2 on all open hand attacks.  This is a result of their
  retractable claws, which they would naturally extend if fighting
  without a weapon.
* +1 on suprise and initiative checks.

They also have one noteworthy penalty:

* They will *never* wear any armor higher than leather, regardless
  of class.  Due to the fact that they have a full coat of fur, they
  will overheat in a very short time if wearing armor.  If a tabaxi
  PC puts on any armor higher than leather, they will faint within
  one turn.  In fact, many tabaxi do not wear armor at all.  Tabaxi
  can use shields as they will, however.

In fact, tabaxi don't have to wear clothing at all (in the wild they
usually don't), but when associating with members of other races they
will.  They tend to wear clothing styles favored by oriental humans,
usually adorned with bright colors and complex patterns.   Clothing is
primarily decorative for them when they aren't hunting or working.  In
these cases, they tend to wear purely functional cloths of leather and

The following classes are available to tabaxi:

Warrior, Ranger (no level maximum)
  This includes those warrior kits that are appropriate to the
  campaign.  Those tabaxi warriors with sufficient statistics can
  opt to be Rangers.  In fact, this should be encouraged.  Oriental
  warrior kits, such as sammurai, kensi and bushi, should also be
Priest (no level maximum)
  Tabaxi priests (usually called shammans) are similar to Druids
  in outlook. They are restricted to the same weapon selection as
  druids, and have access to the same spell schools.  However, they
  are not entitled to the language bonuses and shape changing.
  They are also not restricted in level advancement either.
Rogues (no level maximum)
  Tabaxi make excellent spies and prowlers.  In some areas they have
  outdone halflings as the prime suspects in thievery.  Their natural
  dexterity makes them naturals for all of the various rogue kits.
  As with warriors, rogue kits with an oriental flavor should be
  encouraged.  This includes yakuza, and of course, ninjas.

Note that tabaxi are not permitted to be mages.  They certainly have
the potential to be mages, and if an adventurous GM want's to try a
tabaxi mage, go ahead.  Culturally, however, tabaxi prefer to leave the
powers of the universe to the shammans.

Tabaxi: adjustments for rogues:

Pick pockets:         -10%
Open Locks:           -5%
Find traps:           +10%
Remove traps:         -5%*
Move silently:        +15%
Hide in shadows:      +15%
Detect noise:         +15%**
Climb walls:          +15%
Read Languages:       0

* While tabaxi are good at detecting traps, they are not as good at
removing them.  Where possible, a tabaxi will go around a trap (after
detecting it) rather than try to go through it by removing or disabling

** In addition to having acute hearing, they also have an acute sence
of smell.  If a GM wishes, a tabaxi can use the "Detect Noise" ability
to pick up the scent of another individual or substance.

Richard J. Pugh, MLS         |RJPugh@??.??????.com
  Electronic Librarian       |RJPugh@???.com
Admin: spelljammer@??.??.uk  |

Previous Message: Re: Why?
Next Message: Re: Tabaxi characters
Month Index: April, 1995

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Tabaxi characters    Richard Pugh    13 Apr 1995 19:52:52
Re: Tabaxi characters    Eugene Shumu1insky    14 Apr 1995 10:32:52
Re: Tabaxi characters    Richard J. Pugh    15 Apr 1995 16:02:39
Re: Tabaxi characters    Eugene Shumu1insky    16 Apr 1995 18:40:18

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