Aarakocra

Aarakocra

Description

The aarakocras are a race of intelligent birdlike people who live in mountainous areas. Aarakocras love to soar high in the sky for hours on end, riding the thermal currents and updrafts with their wings spread wide. From a distance, it's easy to mistake them for eagles or some other large bird of prey.

Aarakocras stand about 5 feet tall and have a wingspan of 20 feet. On average, they only weigh about 90 pounds. Midway along each wing they have a three-fingered hand, which is only useful when the wings are folded in. Their wing muscles attach to a bony chestplate, and their powerful legs end in sharp talons that can be drawn back, allowing aarakocras to use their feet as hands. Their heads combine the features of an eagle and a parrot. Their beaks are gray-black, and their eyes are black as well. The males are brightly colored, usually red, orange, or yellow, while the females are either brown or gray.

Aarakocra hatchlings aren't permitted to leave the nest for the first three months of life. After that, they are considered children for only about five years. At this point, they are kicked out of the family's portion of the tribe's communal nest and given a place of their own. Aarakocra can live to be over 100 years old.

Aarakocra have the same life expectancy and age categories as humans.

Racial Traits

Aarakocra have the following racial traits:

  • –2 Strength, +4 Dexterity. Lightweight but fast, the aarakocras are built for speed over bulk.
  • Medium-sized: Aarakocras have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Aarakocra land speed is 20 feet. Their fly speed is 90 feet, with average maneuverability.
  • +1 natural armor.
  • Natural Attacks: A flying aarakocra can attack with 2 talons, dealing 1d4 points of damage each, or he can use a weapon in his talons. An aarakocra on the ground can wield weapons in his wing claws at his base attack bonus and attack with his bite as a secondary attack (-5 penalty on the attack roll, and half Strength bonus on the damage roll), dealing 1d3 points of damage.
  • Weapon Proficiency with javelin.
  • +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (Nature), Listen, Profession (any one) and Spot checks. Aarakocras spend a great deal of their time hunting, building nests, or making tools.
  • Claustrophobic: Aarakocras suffer a –4 circumstance penalty on all attack and skill checks when in an enclosed area.
  • Monstrous Humanoid Type: Aaarakocra are Monstrous Humanoids and spells or effects that affect only humanoids do not affect them.
  • Automatic Languages: Aarakocran and Auran. Bonus Languages: Common, Elven.
  • Favored Class: Fighter.
  • Racial Classes: An aarakocra has 2 levels of their racial class. An aarakocra character receives the maximum hit points for her first racial Hit Die, and rolls her other racial Hit Die normally. She rolls all Hit Dice from class levels and does not automatically get maximum hit points on her first class level Hit Die.

Abilities

Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
–2 +4 0 0 0 0

Age

Starting Age Aging Effects
Adulthood Short Medium Long Middle Age Old Venerable Maximum
15 +1d4 +1d6 +2d6 35 53 70 +2d20

Height and Weight

Gender Base Height Height Mod Base Weight Weight Mod
Male 4' 6" +2d6 72 lb x1d4
Female 4' 4" +2d6 70 lb x1d4

Aarakocra Racial Levels

Beginning Racial Traits

  • Starting Ability Score Adjustments: –2 Str, +2 Dex.
  • Aarakocra land speed is 20 feet. Their fly speed is 60 feet, with poor maneuverability.
  • Natural Attacks: A flying aarakocra can attack with 2 talons, dealing 1d4 points of damage each, or he can use a weapon in his talons. An aarakocra on the ground can wield weapons in his wing claws at his base attack bonus and attack with his bite as a secondary attack (-5 penalty on the attack roll, and half Strength bonus on the damage roll), dealing 1d3 points of damage.
  • Weapon Proficiency with javelin.
  • +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (Nature), Listen, Profession (any one) and Spot checks. Aarakocras spend a great deal of their time hunting, building nests, or making tools.
  • Claustrophobic: Aarakocras suffer a –4 circumstance penalty on all attack and skill checks when in an enclosed area.
  • Monstrous Humanoid Type: Aaarakocra are Monstrous Humanoids and spells or effects that affect only humanoids do not affect them.

Racial Class Skills: The aarakocra’s racial class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Spot (Wis), and Survival (Wis).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Aaarakocras have Weapon Proficiency with javelin, but not with armour or shields. Aaarakocras count as non-humanoid creatures for the purpose of determining the cost of armor.

Natural Armour: An aarakocra gains a +1 Natural Armour bonus at 2nd level.

Speed: At 2nd level, an aarakocra’s base flight speed increases to 90 feet, and maneuverability improved to average.

Level Hit Dice Base Attack Fort Ref Will Skill Points Special
1st 1d8 +1 +0 +2 +2 (2 + Int mod)×4 Flight (60', Poor); Natural Attacks
2nd 2d8 +2 +0 +3 +3 2 + Int mod Dex +2; Flight (90', Average); Natural Armour +1

Characters

Outlook
Aarakocra look down on other races, both literally and figuratively. They pity the poor landbound fools for their lack of mobility, and they often criticize them for a "lack of perspective".

Aarakocras have a need to travel, to see the world unroll beneath their feet. This has thrust many of them out into the wider world.

The aarakocras are a proud people with strong ties to one another. They are hunters of surpassing skill. Aarakocra hunters soar over their chosen hunting ground until they spot game, then dive down at top speed to snatch up their meal and kill it before it even knows what happened to it. For this reason, most aarakocras become fighters, and this is their favored class.

Society
Life as an aarakocra is mostly spent hunting or making tools and weapons. While not every male aarakocra is expected to snatch up the tribe’s meals on a daily basis, those who don’t better have good reasons why not. Children and the extremely old are excused from this duty.

As a young aarakocra nears maturity, his elders teach him to hunt for himself. If he shows a great reverence for the sky and his prey, he may be steered into a career as a cleric.

Tribal life is everything to most aarakocra. The tribe shares a large, roofless communal nest made of thick vines woven together into a gigantic bowl. The eldest member of the tribe, whether male or female, leads the tribe with the help of the tribal shaman (cleric).

Away from the tribe, aarakocras are aloof, whether singly or in a group. They are extremely claustrophobic and refuse to enter any enclosed area unless there is no other choice. To them, being trapped in a room with no way to reach the sky is akin to death.

Language And Literacy
Aarakocras speak their own language, Aarakocran, which to human ears sounds half normal word sounds, and half bird chirping, clacks and whistles. The Aarakocran race has had a long relationship with the Air Elementals, and as such have nearly adopted Auran as their own. They also normally speak Common, having long since realized that they need to be able to communicate with those people on the ground, and Elven, due to the many hymns and songs about Aerdrie Faenya that are in that language. When aarakocras speak, they punctuate their words with birdlike sounds, much in the way of a parrot imitating human speech.

All aarakocras are illiterate, except for those with a player character class other than barbarian.

Magic and Lore
Aarakocra have a single spell particular to their people, the Aerial Summoning Dance.

Deities
Aarakocras almost all worship a single deity: Aerdrie Faenya. This elven weather god is favored by the aarakocras simply because she is the only good deity who speaks to the aarakocran way of life. She has been known to sometimes appear to the aarakocras in the form of a brilliant white, giant bird. The feathers that fall from this bird-god’s plumage are among the most treasured items in an aarakocran nest.

Relations With Other Races
Aarakocras like to keep their distance from other races. Of all the other races, aarakocras feel closest to elves because of their common worship of Aerdrie Faenya and the respectful way in which most elves treat nature.

Aarakocras don’t feel much of anything about the other standard character races. They have an abiding hatred of orcs, goblinoids, and lizardfolk, though, for these creatures will cage and torment aarakocras, given the chance.

Equipment
In battle, aarakocras prefer javelins over all other weapons. They often carry six of them at a time, strapped to their chests in individual sheaths, like a large bandolier. Many of them also carry flight lances.

Animals And Pets: Aarakocras do not raise domestic animals for food or as beasts of burden. They sometimes allow smaller birds to nest around them, but these are more friends than pets. Like the avariels, aarakocras often befriend giant eagles.

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