Catfolk

Catfolk, also known as jaskirri, are a race of natural explorers who rarely tire of trailblazing, but such trailblazing is not limited merely to the search for new horizons in distant lands. Many catfolk see personal growth and development as equally valid avenues of exploration. While most catfolk are nimble, capable, and often active creatures, there is also a strong tendency among some catfolk to engage in quiet contemplation and study. Such individuals are interested in finding new solutions to age-old problems and questioning even the most steadfast philosophical certainties of the day. They are curious by nature, and catfolk culture never discourages inquisitiveness, but rather fosters and encourages it. Many are seen as quirky extroverts by members of other races, but within catfolk tribes there is no shame attached to minor peculiarities, eccentricities, or foolhardiness. All but the most inwardly focused catfolk enjoy being the center of attention, but not at the expense of their tribe, whether it’s the one the catfolk are born into or the tribe they choose through the bonds of friendship with other creatures. catfolk tend to be both generous and loyal to their family and friends.

Physical Description: In general, catfolk are lithe and slender, standing midway between dwarves and humans in stature. While clearly humanoid, they possess many feline features, including a coat of soft fine fur, slit pupils, and a sleek, slender tail. Their ears are pointed, but unlike those of elves, are more rounded and catlike.

They manipulate objects as easily as any other humanoid, but their fingers terminate in small, sharp, retractable claws. These claws are typically not powerful enough to be used as weapons, but some members of the species—either by quirk of birth or from years of honing—can use them with deadly effect. Feline whiskers are not uncommon, but not universal, and hair and eye color vary greatly.

Society: While selfexpression is an important aspect of catfolk culture, it is mitigated by a strong sense of community and group effort. In the wild, catfolk are a hunter-gatherer tribal people. The pursuit of personal power never comes before the health and well-being of the tribe. More than one race has underestimated this seemingly gentle people only to discover much too late that their cohesion also provides them great strength.

Catfolk prefer to be led by their most competent members, usually a council of sub-chieftains chosen by their peers, either though consensus or election. The subchiefs then choose a chieftain to lead in times of danger and to mediate disputes among the sub-chiefs. The chieftain is the most capable member of the tribe and is often magically talented. catfolk who settle in more urban and civilized areas still cling to a similar tribal structure, but often see friends outside the tribe, even those from other races, as part of their extended tribe. Within adventuring groups, catfolk who do not consider themselves the obvious choice as chieftain often defer to the person who most resembles their cultural ideal of a chieftain.

Relations: Adaptable and curious, catfolk get along with almost any race that extends reciprocal goodwill. They acclimate easily to halflings, humans, and especially elves.

Catfolk and elves share a passionate nature, as well as a love of music, dance, and storytelling; elven communities often gently mentor catfolk tribes, though such elves are careful not to act in a patronizing manner toward their feline friends. Gnomes make natural companions for catfolk, as catfolk enjoy gnomes’ strange and obsessive qualities.

Catfolk are tolerant of kobolds as long as the reptilian beings respect the catfolk’s boundaries. The feral nature of orcs stirs as much puzzlement as it does revulsion among catfolk, as they don’t understand orcs’ savagery and propensity for self-destruction. Half-orcs, on the other hand, intrigue catfolk, especially those half-orcs who strive to excel beyond the deleterious and hateful nature of their savage kin. catfolk often view goblins and ratfolk as vermin, as they disdain the swarming and pernicious tendencies of those races.

Alignment and Religion: With community and unselfish cooperation at the center of their culture, as well as a goodnatured curiosity and willingness to adapt to the customs of many other races, most catfolk tend toward good alignments. The clear majority of catfolk are also chaotic, as wisdom is not their strongest virtue; nevertheless, there are exceptions with cause.

Adventurers: Natural born trackers, the huntergatherer aspect of their tribes pushes many catfolk toward occupations as rangers and druids by default, but such roles don’t always speak to their love of performance art, be it song, dance, or storytelling. Catfolk legends also speak of a rich tradition of great sorcerer heroes. Those catfolk who internalize their wanderlust often become wizards and monks, with many of those monks taking the path of the nimble guardian. While catfolk cavaliers and inquisitors are rare (steadfast dedication to a cause is often alien to the catfolk mindset) individuals who choose these paths are never looked down upon. catfolk understand that exploration and self-knowledge can lead down many roads and are accepting of nearly all professions and ways of life.

Male Names: Carruth, Drewan, Ferus, Gerran, Nyktan, Rouqar, Zithembe.

Female Names: Alyara, Duline, Hoya, Jilyana, Milah, Miniri, Siphelele, Tiyeri.

Catfolk Characters

Catfolk characters have several similarities despite their different appearance.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.

Size. Catfolk are Medium humanoids.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Cat’s Luck. Once per day as a reaction you can grant yourself advantage on a single Reflex saving throw. You must decide to use this ability before the roll is made.

Darkvision. Thanks to your feline heritage, you possess excellent night vision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.

Land Upright. If you fall, you always land on your feet, even if you take lethal damage from the fall.

Nimble Climber. With their clawed hands and feet, catfolk are well-suited to climbing trees and other obstacles. You gain proficiency in Athletics checks to climb. In addition, provided your hands and feet are free and uncovered, you gain the ability to climb faster than normal; climbing no longer costs you extra movement.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and speak Catfolk. Catfolk language is a complex system of growls, howls, and purrs with no written equivalent. Its intricate variations make it difficult for a non-catfolk to learn speaker to understand accurately. Most catfolk written records utilize Common or the language of the largest population in the area.

Subrace. There are many varieties of catfolk, with a wide range of fur and eye color. Most can trace their lineage back to a certain region based on the adaptations they have retained from their distant past. Choose one of these subraces.

City-born

Although the catfolk race originates from more natural surroundings, many have lived in large cities for so long that they have formed effectively their own subrace. Often driven by curiosity, city-born catfolk are at home in the twisting back alleys and rooftops of a large city.

Ability Score Increase: Your Intelligence score increases by 1.

Clever Cat: Catfolk’s generally friendly disposition doesn’t preclude craftiness. Some of them see social obstacles as games to be played and won. You apply your proficiency bonus to Insight, Deception, and Persuasion skill checks.

Curiosity: Catfolk are naturally inquisitive about the world around them, though some are more curious than others. You have proficiency on Investigation and History checks. Once per day you can grant yourself advantage to an Investigation or History check.

Jungle-born

The Jungle-born catfolk excel at stealth and subterfuge and are at home in the giant trees which make up their preferred home. Those who have left their homeland to go adventuring are often loners, unwilling to depend on other races for support. They tend towards chaotic alignments compared to other catfolk.

Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 1.

Cat’s Claws. Jungle-born catfolk retain more developed claws than other members of their race and can use them to make attacks. The claws on your hands are longer and stronger than other catfolk and can be used to make unarmed attacks. On a hit this attack deals slashing damage equal to 1d3 + your Strength modifier. If you use your hands to make a normal bludgeoning unarmed attack, you must make a Reflex save equal to the target’s Armor Class or damage your claws. Damaged claws cannot be used to make unarmed attacks but heal naturally after 24 hours.

Jungle Stalker. Jungle-born catfolk often live in deeply forested terrain and they have become naturally sure-footed to maintain their hunting prowess in these dangerous environments. You gain advantage on Athletics checks to climb trees and Acrobatics checks to move through difficult terrain caused by plants (such as jungle, forest, etc.) In addition, you have proficiency in the Perception, Stealth, and Survival skills.

Savannah-born

Savannah-born catfolk inherit the traits of the large feline predators of the endless plains. They are social and community-minded and work together with a spirit of unselfish cooperation. They tend more toward lawful alignments than other catfolk.

Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 1.

Keen Smell. You have advantage on Perception checks that depend on smell.

Surprising Charge. When you take the Dash action, you treat your speed as if it were 10 feet. For example, with a base speed of 30 feet, you would Dash (30 plus 10) feet plus an extra (30 plus 10) feet, for a total of 80 feet. Once per day you can use this ability and attack at the end of your movement. If you began your movement hidden, you remain hidden until after you make your attack.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Dragon’s Hoard #21 © 2022, Legendary Games; Authors Jason Nelson, Miguel Colon, Alex Riggs, Mike Myler, Robert J. Grady, Michael “solomani” Mifsud, Darrin Drader, Matt Kimmel, Scott D. Young.

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