Tabaxi

Tabaxi

Description

Wherever the plains take me, that is where I will wander.
- Marrash of the Flying Eagle Tribe, tabaxi scout


The great tribes of the tabaxi roam where they will, putting passion into every day of their varied lives.

Tabaxi nomads roam the grassy plains, living in tribes segregated by their visual differences. Tabaxi tribes range from friendly to hostile; encounters with tabaxi depend more on an individual tabaxi's mood and the circumstance more than any tribal mind-set. Quick in movement and thought, the tabaxi rely on short bursts of energy to accomplish nearly every task, making the other races seem plodding and dedicated in comparison.

Racial Traits

Tabaxi resemble a cross between a large predatory cat and a human, with a sleekly muscled humanoid body and the head and mane of a feline. Most male tabaxi wear their thick hair in braids, while females keep theirs short and sleek. The most common tabaxi have feline characteristics reminiscent of lions, including thick manes for the males. Other groups have the characteristic markings and appearance of leopards, tigers, or cheetahs. Tabaxi have thicker nails than other humanoids, but not the powerful claws of their feline counterparts, and they make unarmed attacks just like humans. Many tabaxi favor the use of charms and totems that they braid into their hair for luck in battle, success on the hunt, and good fortune in other such endeavors.

Tabaxi speak Common and a language called Tabaxi (each tribe speaking a dialect). Brighter tabaxi often learn the languages of gnolls and halflings.

Tabaxi characters posess the following racial traits:

  • +4 Dexterity, +2 Charisma.
  • A tabaxi's base land speed is 40 feet.
  • Low-Light Vision: Tabaxi can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Racial Skills: Tabaxi have a +2 racial bonus on Listen and Move Silently checks.
  • +1 natural armor bonus.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Tabaxi. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Gnoll, Halfling, Sylvan.
  • Favoured Class: Ranger.
  • Racial Classes: A tabaxi has 1 level of their racial class. A tabaxi character receives the maximum hit points for her racial Hit Die. 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
0 +4 0 0 0 +2

Age

Starting Age Aging Effects
Adulthood Short Medium Long Middle Age Old Venerable Maximum
14 +1d4 +1d6 +2d6 35 53 70 +2d10

Height and Weight

Gender Base Height Height Mod Base Weight Weight Mod
Male 4' 10" +2d10 120 lb x2d4
Female 4' 5" +2d10 85 lb x2d4

Tabaxi Racial Levels

Tabaxi have a single Racial Class level, which covers all racial features as noted above.

Racial Class Skills: The tabaxi’s racial class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), and Spot (Wis).

Level Hit Dice Base Attack Fort Ref Will Skill Points Special
1st 1d8 +0 +0 +2 +0 (2 + Int mod)×4

Society

Tabaxi maintain a tribal society similar to that of many nomadic human cultures.

Lands: Tabaxi roam the open grasslands in temperate and tropical regions, shunning the colder lands even in the heights of summer. Wandering tribes of tabaxi rarely come close to the large cities of other races, but they occasionally camp within sight of a smaller town or village in order to trade. Tabaxi roam great distances in their travels and do not become attached to a specific range or territory the way that nomadic tribes of humans sometimes do.

Settlements: Tabaxi encampments balance defensibility with ease of escape from a dangerous area. Generally circular in nature, tabaxi encampments center on a communal area where children play and the elders care for them and practice their crafts. The tents and lean-tos of individual families range out from this center, with the most able warriors occupying tents on the perimeter of the encampment.

Power Groups: With no large nations or powerful alliance of tribes to bind them together, tabaxi experience little of the politics and power struggles that define the societies of other races. Instead, most tribes receive guidance from three sources: the outriders, the druids, and the chieftain. The outriders are the most skilled scouts of the tribe, and they govern the direction that the tribe hunts and travels, unless the chieftain overrules their choice. The druids, the primary source of healing and magical power within the society, hold a great deal of influence over most aspects of tabaxi life and often advise the chieftain on important matters. The chieftain makes decisions on everything that affects the tribe as a whole.

Beliefs: A deeply spiritual people, tabaxi usually worship one deity to the exclusion of others. Most tabaxi follow the precepts of Obad-Hai, and their most prominent religious figures are druids devoted to the service of the god of nature. Tabaxi revere Obad-Hai more for his connection to nature's power and his governance of plants and animals than for his connection to the primary elemental forces such as fire or water.

Other tabaxi, particularly adventurers and travelers, pay homage to Fharlanghn. While most tribes of tabaxi move around in a nomadic fashion, a few travel much more than others and keep Fharlanghn as their primary deity.

Relations: Tabaxi get along well with members of just about every other race. They admire those who live in the wild more than city dwellers. Because of this, they seek out the company of halflings, wood elves, and gnolls. Tabaxi have a hard time understanding the slow, steady approach that dwarves take to life, and the two races have little in common. Because they are such opposites in both temperament and physical abilities, tabaxi and dwarves rarely enjoy the other's company, although no real animosity exists between the races.

Characters

Agile and charismatic, tabaxi characters make excellent rogues and rangers.

Adventuring Tabaxi: Adventuring tabaxi feel the restlessness common to their people more acutely than most. The thrill of discovery and a great sense of curiosity drive these adventurers to break from their tribes and wander other lands. Beyond simple wanderlust, some tabaxi find the heat of combat exhilarating, and the rush of danger draws the tabaxi adventurer ever onward.

Tabaxi admire adventurers and see accomplished adventurers as great assets to the tribe. The nomadic life of the tabaxi is fraught with danger and unexpected encounters, and the life of the typical tabaxi is more akin to that of an adventurer than the life of a typical human or elf.

Character Development: Tabaxi should select feats and skills that take advantage of their high Dexterity or mitigate the drawbacks of their +1 level adjustment. The easiest way to do this is through ranged combat - it turns the tabaxi's high Dexterity into a bonus on attack rolls and keeps the monsters at a distance, minimizing the tabaxi's lack of a Hit Die relative to other characters of the same ECL.

Character Names: Tabaxi favor names that begin with "D," "M," or "N" and contain multiple "s" and "r" sounds. A tabaxi clan name translates into Common as a participle (a verb made into an adjective by adding "-ing") followed by a noun.
Male Names: Densharr, Mersharr, Nermissar, Therrass.
Female Names: Dessirris, Mianissa, Morasha, Nera, Thessana.
Clan Names: Flying Eagle, Hunting Tiger, Running Brook, Screaming Arrow.

Roleplaying a Tabaxi

Catfolk respond to the varied experiences of life with passion and emotional intensity. They accomplish as much in their quick but short-lived bursts of activity or emotion as other races do at their relatively plodding pace. Tabaxi relish both the heated ferocity of battle and the warmth of a quiet meal with trusted companions.

Personality: Tabaxi share a quick and engaging confidence that makes them seem always ready for the next challenge. Quick to anger and just as quick to forgive, tabaxi live a life filled with emotion. Members of most races find tabaxi pleasant company despite their mercurial temperament, finding their free-flowing emotion and enjoyment of life refreshing and captivating. The emotional tabaxi have a darker, dangerous side as well, and they are as likely to meet an insult with a drawn weapon as they are to shrug it off with a jest.

Roleplaying Application: let your emotions come to the surface at every opportunity. When you form an opinion, express it. React passionately to most encounters, drawing weapons when a fight is eminent and offering welcome to those who seem friendly. Don't be shy about criticizing the things you don't like. Don't be stingy with praise for those things you enjoy.

Behavior: Tabaxi move in quick bursts of speed rather than in one steady gait. Even when covering long distances, they intersperse short dashes with short periods of rest. Members of other races find this style of movement almost impossible to emulate, but to tabaxi it's much less tiring than simply trudging on at a steady pace.

Tabaxi also place great importance on small tokens that serve as physical connections to their memories, and they view these special tokens as having physiological importance if not true magical power. Adult tabaxi carry several such tokens with them at all times, ranging from objects as large as weapons and armor that served well in past battles to items as subtle as a small brooch that the character wore on an important day in the past. For tabaxi, this tradition is a deeply personal experience, and the highest compliment a tabaxi can pay someone is to present one of his tokens as a gift and explain its significance.

Roleplaying Application: if you use miniatures while exploring a dungeon, you can represent your actions visually by moving a short distance ahead each time the group clusters or falling behind a bit as the group moves on and then catching up in a burst of speed. If you don't use miniatures, or if you only use them during combat, emphasize the way you move by describing your movements as jumping or dashing rather than walking. Take the time to be clear about your character's position relative to the rest of the party.

You should pick a minor token that has special meaning to you at least once a level. Although these tokens may sometimes be weapons or items that helped you or your companions through a trying battle, most should be simple items that others would never suspect hold such meaning. As a sign of great respect and friendship, you can present one of these items to another character or to an NPC, but you should do this at most every few levels. Such tokens might include the dagger a friend gave you a long time ago, the fletching from the arrow that killed the first game animal you took down, or a well-worn bowl that your grandfather carried with him on his adventures.

Language: Tabaxi have their own language, which they use primarily for conversation with other members of their race. Regardless of whether they communicate in Tabaxi, Common, or some other language, tabaxi express their opinions quickly and expect others to do the same. Tabaxi can listen to others patiently enough, but once they have expressed a clear opinion, they expect the conversation to come to a conclusion quickly. They have little time for those who attempt to persuade or debate by simply restating their opinion. They grow bored when others take a long time to reach a point or who view an exchange of opinions as a trial of endurance.

Roleplaying Application: Don't debate - take the time to listen to others and then express your opinion or view. Only express your opinion once, but don't be abrupt or blunt. Maintain an open attitude toward the thoughts of others. Express your emotions openly in conversations, magnifying most responses to represent greater heights of emotion.

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