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Centaur

Centaurs

"Swift and sure, that is the way of the centaur."

--Abryxius Bruile, centaur courser

Far stronger and faster than other humanoid races, centaurs rule huge swathes of the wild. They build peaceful idyllic communities, hunting what and where they wish.

Centaurs inhabit the plains and forests in the tribes of varying size. Even though they build permanent shelters and live in one for many years at a time, centaurs roam from their homes on a regular basis, ranging over great distances in relatively short amounts of time. Centaurs regard such excursions as essential to understanding the world around their homes and they greatly enjoy such activity for its own sake. Although their crafts have not reached the level of some of the humanoid races, it is only because centaurs prefer to venture from their homes often rather than to stay in one place and ply a single trade.

Centaur Racial TraitsEdit

With the lower body of a large horse and the upper torso and arms of a human, centaurs combine speed and strength in their powerful forms. A centaur is as bigand heavy as a horse, standing about 7 feet high and weighing about 2,100 pounds. Brown dominates most of a centaur's coloring, the long hair on the top of the head and the glossy fur of the horselike body ranging from a light tan to a deep, dark, brown. A centaurs humanlike torso has a swarthy, earthy complexion. In some isolated tribes and rare individuals other colorings emerge, such as white, gray, or black, but these are extremely uncommon.

  • +8 Strength, +4 Dexterity, +4 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom
  • Large size: -1 penalty to Armor Class, -1 penalty to attack rolls, -4 penalty on hide checks, +4 bonus on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits double those of medium characters.
  • Space/Reach 10 feet/5 feet
  • A cenaur's base land speed is 50 feet.
  • Darkvision out to 60 feet.
  • Racial Hit Dice: A centaur begins with four levels of monstrous humanoid, which provide 4d8 Hit Dice; a base attack bonus of +4; and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +1, Ref +4, and Will +4.
  • Racial Skills: A centaur's monstrous humanoid levels give him skill points equal to 7 X (2 + Int modifier). His class skills are Listen, Move Silently, Spot, and Survival.
  • Racial Feats: A centaur's monstrous humanoid levels give him two feats.
  • +3 natural armor bonus
  • Automatic Languages: Sylvan, Elven
  • Bonus Languages: Common, Gnome, Halfling
  • Favored Class: Ranger
  • Level Adjustment +2

Centaur SocietyEdit

The tribal society of the centaurs regards freedom and personal choice as the highest virtues. As long as an individual's choices do not hinder the welfare of another centaur of the tribe, these peaceful creatures leave all their decisions in the hands of the individual. The seemingly unorganized society of the centaurs is actually bound by an openness and the camraderie that more civilized cultures have long since lost.

LandsEdit

Centaurs make their lairs in forested areas and prefer to rance through temerate plains and forests. Although centaurs have permanent dwellings, their culture has more in common with nomads and hunters than with the city-building races of humanoids. Like nomadic cultures, centaur tribes range further north during the warm months and concentrate in southern temperate regions during the winter.

SettlementsEdit

Centaur lairs look little like the permanent structures of other races, consisting of a series of beautiful forest glades, peaceful streams and perhaps a few scattered lean-tos. Although these lairs seem simple and unprotected, they provide more protection than the stoutest walls by allowing the swift-moving centaurs to encircle approaching foes or easily flee if pressed too hard.

Power GroupsEdit

A ceantaur druid is usually a tribe's designated leader and speaker, but groups of centaur warriors hold great sway in any given tribe, mainly because their choices of where and what to hunt greatly impact how well the tribe will eat in the coming weeks. These hunters, brave and free-spirited as they are, have their passions tempered by the wisdom of the centaur druids who study the wilderness through which the tribe roams. Although these groups rarely have lasting conflicts, the hunders and druids often wish to pursue differing short-term goals.

BeliefsEdit

Centaurs love and worship nature, and most who wish to devote themselves to a higher power or cause become druids. Nearly all centaur clerics (who are rare) worship the centaur deity Skerrit. Clerics of this nature deity can choose any two of the following domains: Animal, Good, or Plant.

RelationsEdit

Centaurs shun humans. Although they bear them no serious ire, they prefer open lands to the closed-in cities that humans invariably build. Centaurs get along well with elves and with any of the wondering races, such as catfolk, dusklings, and halflings. Centaurs have had too many dangerous skirmishes against tribes of vicious gnolls to be anything other than suspicious of the hyena-headed humanoids, but they are open-minded and intelligent enough to get along with an individual gnoll that proves itself trustworthy.

Centaur CharactersEdit

Because of their unique physical abilities and physiology, centaurs make versatile warriors and scouts. Centaurs who take a few levels in druid or (more rarely) cleric combine powerful ranged attacks with the minor spellcasting abilities much like a multiclass humanoid spellcaster does.

Adventuring  CentaursEdit

Centaur adventurers don't have the problems with outsiders that most centaurs do. Through a combination of confidence, curiosity, and ambition these brave centaurs have come to view the cities and communities of other cultures as places to learn and explore, rather than places to avoid.

Centaurs view adventurers as cultural outsiders. Many other races of the wild, such as gnolls and catfolk, see only a small difference between an accomplished hunter who provides food for the tribe and an adventurer, but centaurs feel uite differently. Although centaurs do not shun adventurers of their own race in the same way that they shun humans, orcs, and some other humanoids, they never make centaur adventurers feel truly welcome, and usually encourage such a character to move on to another area or community after a short time among them.

Character DevelopmentEdit

Centaur characters have 4 racial Hit Dice and a +2 level adjustment. As a result, many of a centaurs early choices are simplified. In the early stages of their careers, centaur characters often have fewer hitpoints than other humanoid warriors of an equal level, causing many centaurs to favor ranged combat. Mastering the use of a powerful composit longbow allows a centaur character to take advantage of his strength, and his high speed allows him to keep his distance from most foes. For melee combat, centaurs prefer two-handed weapons that allow them to take full advantage of their high strength, such as longspears, greatswords, and greataxes.

When playing a centaur, remember that the race's unique anatomy causes problems in certain circumstances. In a four-member party it's quite likely that the centaur character falls in combat, the party will lack the physical strength to move him. In addition, some creatures simply aren't made for certain types of physical activity. Centaurs, despite their great strength, are not capable of climing sheer surfaces, nor do they have much chance of walking a tightrope. In these situations, the DM is the final arbiter of in-game logic.

Character NamesEdit

Centaur given names are multisyllabic and commonly include the letters "z," "x," "r," and "y." Centaur family names usually have only one syllable. Centaurs use a single given name and a family name.

Male Names: Brynzin, Denryx, Kezzryn, Tyrrox, Zerrn.

Female Names: Allyri, Byss, Rynna, Zerry.

Family Names: Bri, Gyr, Hop, Tor, Zym.

Roleplaying a CentaurEdit

The most striking difference between centaurs and humanoid characters is obviously their physiology, but there are interesting differences in their outlooks as well.  Centaurs cover great distances easily and therefore they have less attachment to places and possessions than many humanoid races.

PersonalityEdit

Most centaurs tend to be easygoing, almost mild-mannered; they are usually uninterested in interacting with members of the humanoid races. Centaur adventurers, however, have an innate curiosity that overcomes the typical centaur hesitation to interact with others, and they are generally friendly and outgoing. Even so, centaur adventurers tend to prefer halflings and elves over adventuring companions of other races.

As thinking civilized creatures, centaurs frown upon those humanoids who look on them as potential mounts. It is a grave insult to ask a centaur to serve as a mount, and centaurs usually only offer to carry their companions only in dire circumstances.

Roleplaying Application: You should roleplay the tension between your own curiosity and the stereotypes that your people hold toward members of other races. When you interact with a member of another race, try to convey that you have preconceptions about the character but that you are trying to keep an open mind.

Serving as a mount is beneath you. Only when the life of a close companion is at risk should you deign to carry a humanoid.

BehaviorsEdit

Centaur adventurers know that they can expect a cold welcome should they attempt to return to their homes and for that reason many view themselves as permanent wanderers. This attitude is greatly comforting, rather than confining, to the swift-moving centaur adventurer. Because of this mind-set, however, such characters seldom own more than they can carry on their broad backs.

In combat, centaurs see running as the natural approach to beginning a battle, using their speed to establish a comfortable range before the fighting begins.

Roleplaying Application: Use your increased carrying capacity to be ready for any situation. You are comfortable making your home nearly anywhere, but you do not expect to stay in one place for long. You might seek to collect tokens or mementos from the exotic places that you visit filling your backpacks with these items in the same way that a human might line his mantle with mementos of his own travels.

In combat, you should encourage your companions to fight like centaurs, even to the point of urging to learn feats such as Spring Attack and Shot on the Run.

LanguageEdit

Most centaurs are slow to share their thoughts with others, but this reticence seldom hinders their social skills. When communicating with most humanoids, centaurs keep their statements short and to the point; they are more comfortable and outgoing around halflings and elves.

Roleplaying Application: Although you are neither shy nor intimidated by others, consider your thoughts carefully before sharing them. One carefully worded statement is better than a long, ill-advised discourse. Two favored centaur batte cries are "Swift!" and "Run fast, run sure!" Try to differentiate the way you talk to most humanoids from the way you interact with halflings, elves and trusted friends. There should be a marked difference between the ways you interact with these two groups.