Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Foundling -- A Niche For Longpaw PCs

A majority of longpaw children lost or abandoned in the wild can expect little but a horrible death unless they are rescued by their kin or species-mates.  But sometimes -- just sometimes -- an orphaned human or demi-human child gets adopted by a community of beasts and reared as one of their own.

This niche is optional, but can be a great way to bring in players who simply aren't sold on the idea of animal PCs.  Let them play Mowgli or Tarzan instead!

The Foundling
On rare occasions, animals will adopt an orphaned human (or other longpaw) child as one of their own.  Such unique individuals will grow up to prefer the company of their animal family and its species, and have a great deal of trouble interacting with members of their own... especially if they have witnessed longpaw crimes against their adoptive animal family.  Nonetheless, they can become ambassadors of sorts between their parent species and their adoptive species.  Indeed, such Foundlings often become legendary heroes among longpaws, thanks to their unique abilities.

Niche Ability:  Select a Species Trait of your adoptive animal family. This ability is now an inherent trait for you, but comes at the expense of a normal longpaw trait, such as the Versatility of Men, the Tunnel Sense of dwarfs, the Fey Magic of elves, or the Halfling attack bonus with missile weapons.  The longpaw trait you lose and the animal trait you gain are both your choice, but remain permanent throughout your adventuring career.  

In most circumstances, you can use this new Species Trait as effectively as any actual member of your adoptive species.  You can also acquire spandrels based on this adoptive Species Trait, but otherwise must gain rewards and treasure in the standard longpaw ways.

Some Species Traits, such as natural flight or water breathing abilities, are only available in classic fantasy or other high-magic settings. 

Other Abilities:  Add your Foundling level (plus your Foundling niche die result, if any) to all lore checks involving communication between longpaws and your adoptive species, to attempts to communicate with animals other than longpaws and your adoptive species, to find food or water in your adoptive species' preferred habitat, and to applied knowledge about the the geography and other features of the wilderness where you grew up.

Saving Throw: Fear

Threat: Average (+6). This increases to Tough (+3) at 2nd total level, Challenging (+0) at 5th total level, and Formidable (–3) at 8th total level.

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