- To win, you have to survive, no matter what.
Of all the intelligent races, there are several that are aligned with animal spirits. The story of their origin is vague, but no matter where you go, the same general outline is agreed upon. That outline goes something like this:
In the Dawn Times, there were several civilized intelligent races. Who was the First Race is a matter of debate, but there is no doubt that there were Elves, Dwarves, and Humans very early, followed closely by Gnomes and Halflings. For a very long time, these were the dominant races.
After the Dawn Times but still very long ago, there were many animal Gods who wished to also have a race of intelligent creatures to worship them. As a result, there came to be hundreds of intelligent races, many of them aligned with animal spirits. This was a period of great strife and chaos as all the multitude of races strove among themselves.
Eventually, the Gods decided there would be a great contest, and from the hundreds of intelligent animal races there would be chosen five, to match the number of the First Races. The details of the contest can be found in thousands of myths all over the world, but in the end, there were indeed five animal races chosen to Bear the Spark of Civility.
Those five races exist to this day. The races that lost the contest were understandably bitter, as they were relegated to a lesser role. Some races, like the centaurs, moldered away into decline. Other races embraced their lesser status as a matter of pride, like the gnolls.
Of the five races who won that Great Contest, all are available as player races, as they have the Spark.
One of those races is the Nagdyr.
Nagdyr are an animal totem race of the Rat. They are small and quick, gimlet-eyed and pugnacious, brash and quick to take offense. They tend toward greed and gluttony, although even the most slothful Nagdyr rarely lets himself go so far that he can't make a quick dash to safety in a pinch.
Nagdyr are luxuriously furred, with bare skin on their hands, feet and bellies. Their fur can be coarse to fine to decadently soft. Their pelts range from black to brown to tawny to white, their skin from black to tan to pink to white. Their eyes are usually limpid black, although red to pink eyes sometimes appear. Their faces are strongly muzzled and extremely expressive, with even more range of expression than most humanoids. They have long sensitive whiskers that they are very prideful of, and touching a Nagdyr's whiskers without permission is considered terribly insulting. They do not have tails and their legs and feet are plantigrade, meaning human-shaped, not animal-shaped.
Nagdyr are frequently called ratfolk, a name which is extremely offensive to them. Given that a nagdyr certainly LOOKS like an anthroform rat, perhaps the appelation has some merit. But it is never a good idea to make a nagdyr angry with you. They tend to hold mean grudges.
Nagdyr tend to be extremely pugnacious. Think of every stereotype of the 'angry little tough guy', and you're getting close to the default nagdyr personality. They are a small race, but their aggressive attitude is more suited to a race of extradimensionally powered tigers than three-foot-something bundles of fur and bad disposition. Not all Nagdyr are full of meanness, but they are certainly inclined that direction.
Nagdyr are one of the very few intelligent races that have no tradition of marriage, and little in the way of family. Nagdyr females typically only give birth once in their lives, and multiple births are the rule. Quadruplets are the most common birth, with as many as six children not being rare. Twins are considered extremely auspicious, and being born a twin in Nagdyr culture gains you instant notoriety. Twins are much rarer among Nagdyr than they are among humans. Single children are literally unheard of. No Nagdyr is ever born alone.
In the absence of marriage or family, Nagdyr women instead form loose gangs and pool their children to raise them. Nagdyr men tend to be loners and nomads, although they will often form into loose packs for mutual protection in more hostile cultures, like Humans or Half-orcs. Nagdyr men, either singly or in packs, scuttle around the fringes of the female gangs. Nagdyr men rarely know or care which children are theirs, if any, and will only rarely contribute anything directly to the raising of any child. Instead, many Nagdyr men will have a favored woman or two and will bring her gifts and tribute, to please her and help her in her life. Nagdyr gangs tend to be only semi-settled, and will move from one home to another with little warning while remaining in a general range. It is rare for a Nagdyr gang to remain in the same location for longer than a year or so, but it is equally rare for a Nagdyr gang to abandon their home range completely.
Nagdyr do occasionally form their own settlements, in which case they form small settlements of ramshackle looking but surprisingly sturdy buildings, usually tucked away out of site in a terrain feature like a small canyon or a dense forest grove. That said, most of the time Nagdyr prefer to live in a larger settlement of another intelligent race. Nagdyr love Dwarves, although the sentiment is not returned, and Nagdyr will live with halflings in preference to all others. Nagdyr will live with humans, there are a lot humans and they have a lot of cities, but humans tend to be a bit hard on nagdyr, so such relations are thorny at best.
Growing Up Nagdyr
Nagdyr are always in a hurry from the point of view of other races. Nagdyr do not live long lives. Nagdyr are mentally adult at the age of nine and physically adult by ten, and reach each age category in half the time that humans do. As a result, if they are not killed beforehand most Nagdyr die of old age between the ages of forty and fifty. They have a distinct childhood, adulthood, middle age and senesence, although their middle age typically lasts almost to the end of their lives. When a Nagdyr declines they do so quickly and decisively, not for them the long, drawn-out decades of infirmity that plagues half-elves or dwarves.
Nagdyr do not feel slighted by their short lifespan, however. Most Nagdyr cram more living into their first thirty years than an elf will manage in thirty decades. Nagdyr feel that life is short, so to hell with what anybody else thinks. They go for it with both hands, eyes wide open in glee and teeth bared, ready to bite off a chunk.
As a result, Nagdyr tend to skip a lot of schooling, learning everything they ever know in the school of hard knocks. A Nagdyr gang doesn't bother to send any of their children to a school, and since they tend to roam around a lot, they never really develop a sense of attachment to things. In a Nagdyr's mind, it is perfectly good to have less, and do more. Nagdyr do not get along 'well' with any other races, except perhaps the Tengu and Gata, both of whom feel some of a Nagdyr's aggressive dash through life, seeking to see and taste it all. Nagdyr are despised by Dwarves and Barani, even though Nagdyr typically adore living with Dwarves. Even Changelings, those consummate joiners, tend to avoid the Nagdyr. Nagdyr lives are a lot of fun, but not very... comfortable.
Nagdyr don't really do well in jobs, either. In their mind, life is far better spent in a myriad of ways rather than toil. That said, Nagdyr have a lot of artistic talent, and can become incredibly accomplished artisans with remarkable speed. Nagdyr are not born thieves, although a lot of them drift into the life of easy money and high risks and a short, fun life. Very few Nagdyr are contemplative thinkers, but they do exist. It is rare for a Nagdyr to grow so powerful that they can cheat death, but it is not unheard of either. Nagdyr tend to be attracted to flashy and violent professions, and Nagdyr seem to have a real knack for alchemy and the darting, slashing sorts of melee combat.
Surprisingly enough, Nagdyr are important additions to the local economy wherever they settle. Nagdyr like to live in structures that are best described as 'run down', and are inveterate pokers and scrabblers and explorers. As a result, the home range of a Nagdyr gang tends to have a much lower rate of monster incursions, because the Nagdyr sniff out and uncover such things much earlier than other races. This is an intangible benefit and one that they get very little 'credit' for, but wise rulers do not seek to drive away a Nagdyr population, ever.
Aside from their extremely valuable role as watchers and finders, Nagdyr also find a lot of work in larger societies. Nagdyr don't give two figs about most rules imposed from outside their gang, and Nagdyr males don't even have that restraint. As a result, if there is a black market, Nagdyr are in it, always seeking the fastest and highest returns for their efforts. Nagdyr rightly feel they don't have any time to waste being cautious or prudent investors, and Nagdyr tend to 'bite' on just about every confidence scheme they see.
In addition, Nagdyr do a lot of work in less-wholesome professions, like spreading sewage and tanning hides. Nagdyr have a very high 'ick' threshold and such jobs tend to pay very well because nobody else will do them. Surprisingly, Nagdyr have a considerable degree of artisanal talent, and Nagdyr scrimshaw and beadwork and etchings can be incredibly artistic and valuable.
Female Nagdyr tend to be loyal to their gang first, their children second, and themselves third. Female Nagdyr will indeed sacrifice themselves for the good of their gang and family without hesitation. Young female Nagdyr often join the same gang that raised them, but not always. Female Nagdyr who have decided to seek out a new gang are called 'bachelorettes' and in many ways take on many of the mannerisms of a Nagdyr male until they settle down.
Male Nagdyr are loyal to their favored women (if they have any) and then themselves, first, most, and always. A male Nagdyr will rally to the defense of his favored women with fearless resolve, but aside from that, it's all about him. Other male Nagdyr are seen as acquaintances and slightly more trustworthy business partners than other races, and that's it. That said, in more hostile cultures (such as Humans) male Nagdyr often associate in loose packs, one or two such packs hanging around each gang.
If there are several Nagdyr bachelorettes in a pack, it is not uncommon for them to slowly settle down in a range and begin to behave like a gang. This is how the Nagdyr expand their range.
When a Nagdyr turns ten years old, they are either accepted into the gang as a member, or tossed out, depending upon gender and inclinations. Males are always thrown out, and females often are, to become bachelorettes.
Lifespan and Burial
Nagdyr live short, busy lives, with lots of laughter and anger, lots of raging fights and heartfelt declarations of joy and even the occasional friendship. If you can get a Nagdyr to call you a friend, you'd better like them a LOT, because they're never, ever going to turn away from you. The trick is, Nagdyr very rarely get that close to anyone, even a gang member or a child.
Nagdyr practice rudimentary burial customs at best. Gangs will bury their dead in makeshift cairns and may erect a haphazard shrine for a few years. Male Nagdyr might get a round of drinks in their memory from the other members of a pack, if they had one. Aside from that, Nagdyr are not concerned with what happens after they pass away.
Relations with Others
Nagdyr are viewed as pests by the short-sighted, and tolerated with difficulty by the more 'settled' races. Dwarves and Barani dislike them. Halflings find Nagdyr to be a lot of fun, as long as you keep the nice silver out of sight when they're around. Nagdyr tend to be much more popular with the rulers of a community than they are with the people of a community, as the presence of a Nagdyr population tends to make towns and cities much safer in the long run. Sadly, this benefit is not well known and Nagdyr face more than their fair share of scorn.
Starting Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Weight Weight Modifier Male 2 ft. 9 in. +2d4 in. (2 ft. 11 in. - 3 ft. 5 in.) 40 lbs. +(2d4x3 lbs.) (46 - 64 lbs.) Female 2 ft. 7 in. +2d4 in. (2 ft. 9 in. - 3 ft. 3 in.) 30 lbs. +(2d4x3 lbs.) (36 - 54 lbs.)
Adulthood Intuitive Self-Taught Trained 10 years +1d4 years (11 - 14 years) +1d6 years (11 - 16 years) +1d8 years (11 - 18 years)
Nagdyr have no class or alignment restrictions.
Standard Racial Traits
All Nagdyr have the following Standard Racial Advantages:
- Attributes: Nagdyr may choose to gain one of the following ability score bonus sets when creating their character. No ability score may ever be modified above a 20 or below a 7.
- +2 to two different stats, -2 to one stat
- +2 to one stat, +1 to three different stats, -2 to one stat
- +4 to one stat, -2 to two different stats
- Size: Nagdyr are size Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a -1 penalty to their Maneuver Offenses and Maneuver Defense, and a +1 size bonus on Stealth checks.
- Type: Nagdyr have the Humanoid type, with the Nagdyr subtype.
- Base Speed: Nagdyr have a base speed of 20 feet.
- Languages: Nagdyr begin play speaking Common.
- Bonus Languages: Characters with a positive Intelligence modifier gain one bonus language per +1 of their modifier, selecting from the following list: Dwarven, Elven, Goblin, Halfling, Orc and Tengu. Once the character's intelligence is high enough to have acquired all six of these bonus languages, they no longer gain bonus languages for increasing their Intelligence. Characters can also learn new languages by placing ranks in the Linguistics skill.
- Normal Vision (Ex): Nagdyr have normal vision, and require bright light to see without penalty.
- Scent (Ex): Nagdyr have the Scent ability.
Major Racial Traits
Choose one of the following Major Racial Traits:
- Scuttle (Ex): A Nagdyr with this racial trait has a base speed of 30 feet. At 12th level their base speed increases to 35 feet, and at 25th level it increases to 40 feet.
- Cornered Frenzy (Ex): A Nagdyr with this racial trait gains a +1 racial bonus to all attack rolls when the Nagdyr is flanked by enemies. This bonus to attack rolls improves to +2 at 10th level, +3 at 20th level and +4 at 30th level.
- Iron Stomach (Ex): A Nagdyr with this racial trait gains a +3 racial bonus to Fortitude saving throws made to resist poisons or diseases. At 10th level, the Nagdyr gains a +1 racial bonus to all Fort saves. At 20th level, the racial bonus to all Fort saves improves to +2. At 30th level, the racial bonus to all Fort saves improves to +3. Note that racial bonuses do not stack, so by 30th level, the Nagdyr's resistance to poison and diseases is completely replaced by the bonus to all Fortitude saves.
- Wiry (Ex): A Nagdyr with this racial trait gains a +1 racial bonus to STR. This bonus may be applied to his STR even if he has already added a racial ability score modifier to STR, though his total modified STR cannot exceed 20. In addition, at 10th level, the Nagdyr gains an additional +1 to his STR, and at 25th level, he gains a further +2 to his STR.
- Probably Compensating A Little (Ex): Nagdyr with this racial trait are treated as size Medium creatures for purposes of wielding weapons. This means they can wield size-medium weapons with no size or handiness penalties, and they can wield size-large weapons with the normal -2 size and -2 handiness penalties (a total of -4 to hit). At level 10, the Nagdyr can reduce the handiness penalty by 1 for a size-large weapon. At level 20, they may also reduce the size penalty by 1 for a size-large weapon. At level 30, they reduce the handiness penalty by an additional 1. These penalty reductions stack with the reductions offered by feats such as Vice Grip and Iron Grip, though this can never cause the penalties to go above a zero.
Minor Racial Traits
Choose one of the following Minor Racial Traits:
- Industrious (Ex): A Nagdyr with this racial trait may add a +1 training bonus to any Profession skill in which he has at least 1 skill rank. This bonus increases to +2 if he has 12 or more ranks in the skill, or +3 if he has 24 or more ranks in the skill.
- Squirmy (Ex): When prone, a Nagdyr may slide 5 feet in any direction as part of standing up from Quelled, Prone or Splayed. This slide is forced movement which does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Standing up is still a move action which provokes attacks of opportunity. The slide is executed before the stand, so it is quite possible for a Nagdyr to squirm away from a foe and stand up outside of their reach, thus escaping harm.
- Surprising Leverage (Ex): A Nagdyr with this racial trait gains a +1 training bonus to Might checks. This bonus improves to +2 if he has at least 12 ranks in the skill, and to +3 if he has at least 25 ranks in it. In addition, Nagdyr with this trait improve their chances of a critical success with Might checks by 1 (requiring a natural result of 19 or 20 to crit with the skill check, instead of only a natural 20).
- Comeuppance (Su): Any time the Nagdyr with this racial trait is subjected to an attack which targets his Maneuver Defense, the Nagdyr gets a bonus attack resolved after the initiating attack occurs. The Nagdyr must be able to reach the target in order to make this bonus attack. If the Nagdyr wishes, the Comeuppance bonus attack may be a combat maneuver against the enemy that just used a maneuver. However, if a combat maneuver is used, the Nagdyr must be able to perform it without provoking an attack of opportunity from the target. Note that if the maneuver that triggered Comeuppance also provokes an attack of opportunity, the Nagdyr may make both this bonus attack and the attack of opportunity against the target.
- Skulduggery (Ex): A Nagdyr with this racial trait gains a +1 training bonus to Knowledge (Local) checks. This bonus improves to +2 if he has at least 12 ranks in the skill, and to +3 if he has at least 25 ranks in it. In addition, Nagdyr with this trait improve their chances of a critical success with Knowledge (Local) checks by 1 (requiring a natural result of 19 or 20 to crit with the skill check, instead of only a natural 20).