Umber Hulk (4e Race)
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If the ankhegs fear them... we should too.
|Average Height: 5'6"-7'8"|
|Average Weight: 180-270|
|Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution or Dexterity|
|Speed: 6 Squares squares|
|Languages: Common, Umber Hulk|
|Skill Bonuses: +2 Dungeoneering, +2 Endurance|
|Grappling Step: You ignore difficult terrain if that terrain is the result of rubble, uneven stone, or earth.|
|Powerhouse: You move at your normal speed even when it would normally be reduced by armor or a heavy load. Other effects that limit speed (such as difficult terrain or magical effects) affect you normally.|
|Tough Body: You have a +1 racial bonus to Fortitude.|
|Weird Eyes: You can use confusing gaze as an encounter power.|
The umber hulks are odd creatures that resemble a mix between a gorilla and an arthropod. They are believed to have been magically created mutants, whose makers have long died out or receded from the natural world. According to early writings, they are recorded as one o the oldest creatures in the cosmos, meaning they were likely made by one of the creator god races as an early life form. Their first recorded instance goes as far back as the Dawn War. Some sages believe they came about as raw matter coalesced and the Primordials were in the midst of creation. They have become a staple of sorts for other, later, advanced races to use as slaves as times changed, driving them underground.
Play as an umber hulk if you want...
- To be a huge insectoid.
- To be a creature with true primal instinct.
- To be a member of a race that favors the fighter, barbarian or warden classes.
The umber hulk look like large insects with thick, powerful limbs. Their face is adorned with a large pair of mandibles, antennae and odd eyes said to drive people to fear and madness. Behind their mandibles is a mouth of razor sharp teeth. These mouthparts make speaking Common a chore to them, and so their own language of Umber Hulk consists of more rudimentary sounds like clicking and gnashing. Above their main pair of ape-like crazy eyes is a small pair of compound eyes. Umber hulks, true to their name, is a bulky creature with armored plates as tough as steel, and thus rarely wear much clothing to cover up. Their clawed arms and legs were muscular and had powerful grip. Instead of a nose, they have gills on the sides of their heads. As their name suggests, their hides were mostly black, although their front was usually burnt brown or yellowish gray.
Attitudes and Beliefs
Umber hulks are deceptively stupid looking, and they were given this name by other races who thought themselves superior to these seeming brutes. The hulks in turn are happy to let them think so and thus lower their guard, making them susceptible to attack. While not a big fan of magic, complex plans, or tactics beyond brute strength or numbers, umber hulks are perfectly capable of rational thought and scheming. Their expertise with underground tactics allows them to outmaneuver others in battle, lending an element of surprise. Umber hulks usually see little benefit in the company of others, but are forward-thinking enough to change tactics when need calls for it.
Umber Hulk Communities
According to rumor, the umber hulks have huge underground cities connected by convoluted passages connected to multiple lairs were units of 2-4 hulks would live. Each lair is marked with a unique claw signature. They are usually solitary and have no working relations with other races. However, due to the rise of many of other powerful races like illithids and neogi, the hulks usually find themselves an enslaved minority in other societies. They have commonly been made guards due to their obscene strength and underground expertise. This does not mean they are always submissive, however, as many hulks can turn on masters on a dime.
Umber Hulk Adventurers
Umber hulks are commonly solitary, thereby having no relations that might tie them down. They move about in search of means of survival, migrating when the situation calls for it. As adventurers, an umber hulk cares most about utility and little for anything else that does not contribute to their surviving.
Fighter: Drawing from their expert martial prowess, umber hulks make ideal fighters due to their strength. They are savage and repeated strikers, trying to pulverize enemies to mush.
Barbarian: With their strong defensive carapace, the barbarian is an obvious choice for the umber hulk. Coupled with their strength, they make for terrifying forces on the battlefield, caring little for collateral damages.
Warden: There are some rare umber hulks who develop the want to protect those, particularly the ones who may have been a brood maker. They use their powerful natural defenses to fend for the weaker.
Three sample umber hulk adventurers are described below.
Krk-Rktarr is an umber hulk warden who has left her lair after the destruction of her eggs by an enemy goblin raid. She seeks the heads of those little gremlin things and will join forces with any team who will deliver her the pleasure of vengeance. Having never resolved her motherly instinct, she sees her allies sometimes as her surrogate children.
Lsh'Krakk is a barbarian umber hulk that has long defended his lair from encroaching orcs. While not exactly a fan of elves, he was once rescued from a raid by one. Since then, he has moved his home multiple times around, but never leaving elven territory. Orcs remark that a strange creature aims to foil their invasions into the elven cities, and it itself is not an elf, but rather some large, hulking form.
Thrss-Mik is a fighter umber hulk that escaped slavery from grimlock territory. Running from the others who would wish to return him under the yoke, he came to the upper world, where he looks for places to rest before moving on. Eventually, he may come to realize his need for companions on the run.
Roleplaying an Umber Hulk
When creating an umber hulk adventurer, here are a few points to consider.
Independent. Umber hulks tend to be very self-reliant. They rarely see good in bonding with others unless necessity forces them to.
Deceptive. The appearance of an umber hulk is normally enough to make one think them mindless brutes. In a pinch, they will feign subservience and bestial mentality to show they are of little threat.
Resourceful. Umber hulks do not like wasted energies or efforts. If a simpler method works, they will not get more complicated. Any goods that have no use are discarded, and even the bodies of allies can serve as something useful.
Umber Hulk Characteristics: Resourceful, simple, self-reliant, tough
Umber Hulk Male Names: Kr'Tosshk, Lik-Took, Kik'Trishk, Onk'Troosh
Umber Hulk Female Names: Kah'Jask, Fr'Traahk, Crss-Frokk, Genssh