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Month Index: April, 1995


From:     "Richard J. Pugh" <rjpugh@??.??????.com>
Date:     Sun, 16 Apr 1995 20:05:56 -0700
Subject:  Re: Tabaxi, ver 1.1
After integrating some comments, here they are again.  Keep the comments
coming. :)

Richard

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tabaxi
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 jewels made from stone, bone, shells, or whatever 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.  The space faring tabaxi have in effect become a distinct
sub-race of the parent race, which is still primal in nature.

Most of the space faring tabaxi groups have taken the cultural models of the
Shou Lung or the Wa,  and adapted them as 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 expanded
it to contain a spirituality similar to Taoism.  Meditation and the search
for spiritual tranquality is a standard part of every tabaxi's life.

___________________________

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

Notes: The dexterity benefit reflects the tabaxi emphasis on agility and
speed over strength.  The wisdom penalty is to reflect the fact that tabaxi
sometimes act without thinking ("Curiosity kills the cat.") The charisma
penalty only applies to non-tabaxi.  Members of other races tend to see
tabaxi as aloof and withdrawn.  While being the same height as humans,
should use the half-elf table when determining weight, to account for their
lighter build.  Tabaxi age at the same rate as humans.

Tabaxi 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.  Many tabaxi do not wear armor at all.  Tabaxi can use
  shields as they will, however.

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, and a variety of jewels.  Female tabaxi have a
liking for oriental hair pins, for example.   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 cotton.

The following classes are available to tabaxi:

Warrior (no level maximum)
  This includes those warrior kits that are appropriate to the
  campaign.  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
  encouraged.  If a GM wants to try using a primal tabaxi, then the
  various barbarian kits might be a good class to experiment with.
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.
  On the plus side, they are also not restricted in level
  advancement.
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 many of the various rogue kits.
  As with warriors, rogue kits with an oriental flavor should be
  encouraged.  This includes yakuza, and (shudder) ninjas.

Note that tabaxi are not normally permitted to be mages.  They certainly
have the potential, and if an adventurous GM want's to try a tabaxi mage, go
ahead.  Culturally, 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 very 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 it.

** In addition to having acute hearing, they also have an acute sence of
smell.  If a GM wishes, a tabaxi rogue 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 |http://freenet.buffalo.edu/~ac916
==============================================================



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