Tortoises and turtles are among the slowest animals on land, but also among the toughest. Blessed with the best natural armor, their approach to danger is normally to wait it out by withdrawing into their powerful shells. Known for long lifespans and gentle wisdom, aged gopher tortoises in particular are often sought out for advice by other Tiny and Small animals in their habitat, and even enjoy the respect of larger animals and predators. In classic fantasy worlds, they sometimes take up the practice of magic.
AT (Dam.): bite (1d3)
Beginning HP: 4
Habitat: Temperate (plains, savannah, woodland)
- Improving Armor: A gopher tortoise’s shell becomes thicker and sturdier as she ages. Her natural AC improves by 1 point each at 2, 5, and 8 Total Levels. Thus, at 2nd level, she has AC 2; at 5th level, she has AC 1; and at 8th level, she has AC 0
- Low Light Vision
- Protective Shell: When a 0-level gopher tortoise retreats into her shell, her AC becomes –1 . At 2nd Total Level, her pulled-in AC is –2; at 5th level, her pulled-in AC is –3; and at 8th level, her pulled-in AC is –4.
- Niche Restriction: Gopher tortoises lack the speed to be effective Runners.
- Tunnel Sense: Gopher tortoises do not have a substantial burrowing speed, but are still familiar with underground environments. They get a +1 bonus on all lore checks to notice unusual earthenworks, such as traps, recent burrowing, unsafe tunnels, and so forth.
- +2 bonus on all Herbalist lore checks to identify edible plants and fresh water
- –5 on all Runner lore checks; this becomes –3 at 5 Total Levels
- –3 on all Trickster lore checks; this becomes –1 at 5 Total Levels
- Suitable Niches: Healer, Herbalist, Scout, Seer, Storyteller, Warrior