Anthromorphs (3.5e Race)
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Note: this race requires a high-magic world OR a world that has suffered some sort of arcane catastrophe.
Anthromorphs are humanoids with bestial appearance traits. In most cases, this manifests as light fur, exotic facial features. In rare cases, an anthromorph can have a tail or clawlike fingernails. Exact traits vary, since an anthromorph can appear to be related to any animal.
Arcane magic is a wondrous and powerful force. Like any force, it has its side effects. One of these effects resulted in babies being born with animalistic mutations. While initially considered dangerous freaks, most are simply treated as exotic subraces.
For the high-magic world, this process is ongoing. Members of any race can give birth to an anthromorph. There is no easy pattern to follow, though many attribute the phenomenon to ley lines, wild magic areas, evil druids, stone circles, or catastrophic spell failure. Why is it really happening? Use what fits your setting best. The anthromorphs don't know themselves.
In the Arcane Catastrophy scenario, all people in an area gain anthomorphic traits during the catastrophe. There are no new spontaneous anthromorphs, but attempts to "breed out" the mutations have been wholly unsuccessful.
Either way, any offspring of anthromorph parents has a 50% chance of taking after either parent. If a cat anthromorph mates with a dog anthromorph, they will give birth to either a puppy or a kitten, not some oddball mix. An elf/anthromorph pair will produce either anthromorphs or full elves.
Anthromorphs suffer from the kind of ethnocentricity humanity is good at. Other races consider them mongrels, offering either pity or scorn. They congregate in like-species groups, dogs with dogs, parakeets with parakeets, etc. They can't even agree on a racial name. "Anthromorph" is a label given them by scholars. Most refer to them as half-breeds, mongrels, or worse. Because of this, they are unable to manage the racial unity that might raise them as equals to the other races. Anthromorphs are prized as exotic dancers, paid concubines (since more accurate terminology would be censored), and slaves (if the society allows them). With uncommon exception, anthromorphs are second-class citizens.
Anthromophs tend to be squatters. They live where they can. They are as commonly found in city slums as in peasant villages. It is uncommon for an anthromorph to own any land.
Anthromorphs are at least as varied as humans. Little ones, big ones, tough ones, weak ones, smart ones, stupid ones. Sometimes the bestial traits are attractive, sometimes not.
Anthromorphs tend to favor classes that require little formal training. They tend to become barbarians vs. fighters, rangers or paladins. They are more likely to be rogues vs. bards or monks. They are more apt to become sorcerers vs. druids, clerics, or wizards. However, they are capable of any class and have no racial preference.
Some anthromorphs have strict codes of honor they follow regardless of others. Some flaunt the laws at every given moment. Some are kind-hearted. Some are willing to do anything to get what they want. While there is no overriding trend, most anthromorph commoners revert to lawful/neutral in order to avoid trouble.
Anthromorphs are normally meek. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. The anthromorph adventurer could be out to make a name for himself, trying to get ahead financially, or out for social equality. A few are rebellious, keeping a chip on their shoulder at all times. These rarely survive long. More commonly, they accept their status and try to prove they are worth knowing. If treated well by open-minded individuals, they can develop a fierce loyalty.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, anthromorphs have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Anthromorph base land speed is 30 feet.
- 1 extra feat at 1st level. Anthromorphs are as adaptable as humans.
- Anthromorphs are considered a lesser race by everyone else. Any use of a social skill for positive effect (ie. Diplomacy) suffers a penalty of -2. Any use of a social skill for negative effect (ie Intimidate) gains a bonus of +2. These modifiers are reversed when an anthromorph is dealing with her own "people" (ie leopards with leopards, lizards with lizards, etc)
- Anthromorphs have a variety of cosmetic bestial traits. These traits make them look different but offer no special attacks, no natural armor, no special abilities. These traits are chosen at creation and never change, though the usual means of altering or hiding features can be used. There is a -2 circumstance penalty to mundane disguise checks. Illusions or altering spells work normally.
- Alignment: Any
- Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Speak Language skill.
- Favored Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass human takes an experience point penalty, his or her highest-level class does not count.
- Level Adjustment: +0
In general, it will be harder for an Anthromorph to obtain specialized training. Any PrC requiring entry into an exclusive organization may, at the DM's discretion, not be available to any anthromorph.