Thursday, November 20, 2014

A New Race - November 2014 RPG Blog Carnival

Johnn Four took the helm of this month's RPG Blog Carnival with the topic of races.  How are they played? What flavor makes PCs or NPCs of a particular race special, and not just a batch of modifiers?

I think that many of us have doodled with races, either making our own, or modding up canon races.

Even in my brief ruminations, I have a bunch of elves who are nowhere near trees. My lizard-folk are an ancient and perhaps degraded race, seeking renaissance. And I cobbled together a quick mechanism for making any critter an intelligent 'uplifted' class.


So, something new... among the classic creatures of myth (and gaming) are the centaurs.

Might they have a smaller, more canine, cousin?

Centdogs, dogtaurs?

How about Canivirum?

close, but not sure why the artist didn't commit to canine hind legs.

With the upper body of a humanoid and the legs and body of a dog, this liminal creature runs in loose packs in deciduous forest and plains climates. Much smaller than the familiar centaurs, the canivirum have been likened to a halfling-dog melding (much to their disdain). Semi-nomadic, their tribes/packs live by hunting and herding.  They have few industries of their own, but maintain a trade in wool and hides.  They live for the hunt, and love nothing more than a good challenge. To this end, individuals or parties requiring more exotic hides or meats have been known to offer a group of canivirum but a modest bounty to bring back the required beast (or its component parts).

Racial prerequisites: Con 12/Dex 9
Maximum Level: 8th; Level progression and saving throws as per Ranger, with subclasses, as described below
HP/Hit Dice: 1d8
AC: 8/12: any armor allowed, but costs 2X normal for customization. Shields as normal.
Weapons: no polearms or longbows; racial proficiency is with a short, thrusting spear (similar to Zulu assegai) and sling (+1 to hit/damage for both)
Movement: 15
AL: neutral or lawful
Languages: Racial + 1
Special: Pack Attack - when two or more canivirum attack a foe in concert, each receives +1 to hit as they circle and dodge their way through a target's defenses.  Likewise, the foe takes a -1 penalty to hit from the coordinated actions of the canivirum.  See also sub-types, below:

The canivirum generally tend to one of three sub-types.

Herder - Herders hold a natural influence over herd animals. They may tend semi-feral sheep and goats or work in concert with hunters, below, to corner or drive large prey herbivores.  Herders with Wis scores of 13+ may, at 3rd level, access cleric spells in the following progression:
Spell Level/
PC Level





Hunters - The seekers and providers of the pack, hunters have increased tracking ability by sight and smell, as ranger, but beginning at 95% proficiency. They also receive an addition +1 to-hit for missile weapons (additive for slings, above).

Guards - Larger stalwarts watching over the pack, with +1 damage in melee or unarmed combat, gaining an additional +1 per two levels. Their natural wariness makes them unlikely to be surprised (1 in 6 chance).


As "wandering monsters" or an NPC group, canivirum may be encountered in herding/hunting packs of 2d4+2, with one 'Alpha' leader of one to three levels higher than the remaining pack members. Pack-groups may be exclusive (2/3 chance), or a combination of sub-types (1/3 chance):

Alternatively, nomadic parties will be encountered in family-tribal packs of 12-20 individuals, with males and females sharing hauling duties of travois containing belongings and portable shelters.

(I must attribute this creative exercise to my wife, who came up with 'dogtaurs' during a stream-of-consciousness moment - as I have mentioned before - I do not understand the workings of her mind....)

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