Upheaval in Zhaltssom
Brief Description: Kangaroo people, hailing from planes of law
Physical Description: Broadly speaking, the macropods resemble humanoids with the features of kangaroos. This includes large feet, strong legs, and strong tails. There are some small variations in size, but most macropods look quite the same.
Macropods rarely live longer than 50 years.
(Special Note: Since it’s inevitable that some characters will try it, a word on pouch-riding. Generally speaking, the vast majority of macropods who have pouches – with a reminder that only female macropods have pouches naturally – are going to forbid anyone other than their own children to ride in their pouches. Even with those that do allow it, keep in mind that said pouches are usually used as incubators, which ultimately means they are warm and slimy (though the ‘slime’ is actually mucous membranes, the effect is comparable). Also, in tense situations or when the macropod feels the rider is being unruly, the pouch constricts, which will restrain the rider. Lastly, since the weight of the rider counts towards the carrying weight of the macropod, most macropods could only carry a rider of about 30 pounds or less and that’s if they’re not carrying anything else.)
Preferred Habitat: Macropods will live anywhere that there is a truth to understand. However, the macropods prefer natural places and smaller villages, as larger cities tend to try to force lies into everyone that inhabits them (or at least, that’s their view).
Culture and Society: The macropods are still trying to develop their own social identity as a race. For the time being, they have taken on some of the customs of the vermis, but rather than fully embracing mechanical pursuits the way the vermis have and expecting some failures, the macropods prefer to understand how things work and get them right the first time. Macropods have a tough time understanding the concept of failure and can be rather crippled by it. This integrates into the society they’ve developed so far – grace and understanding are paramount, children must be brought along to learn the truth quickly and keep them safe from falsehoods, and lying (or indeed, any failure to be straightforward with others) is severely frowned upon. Those few macropods that do learn to grasp the concept of failure almost invariably wind up counseling others in coping with it.
History, Myths, and Events: While there was an ongoing theory that a law-aligned race had hidden itself in Zhaltssom due to the presence of the chaos-aligned vulpes, it wasn’t until 20 years ago that a vermis expedition uncovered a town full of kangaroo-like scholars studying relics from the arvicol empire. Rather than putting up resistance, the scholars saw a truth that they were not alone in their research and willingly worked with the vermis to unlock some of the secrets of the relics. Seeing that the scholars had little other reason to stay, the vermis offered to bring them along on their return to civilization. This “enlightenment” is how the macropods came to appear in society.
Aside from the whole angle about truth, no one yet understands what the macropods believe. Indeed, even the macropods are unsure why they pursue the truth, only knowing that they must continually strive for it.
Relations: The macropods tend not to think very well of chaotic races such as the anurans or the vulpes, and many other races have a neutral reaction towards them. However, they are the only race too young to truly comprehend what the arvicols did, and the macropods understand on a primal level the arvicols’ need to rebuild themselves into a civilization again. Macropods thus are one of the few races that will readily deal with the arvicols.
Preferred Classes: Many macropods continually search for truth, and this approach best lends itself to the monk and cleric classes. Occasionally they develop some zeal and train as paladins. Macropod rogues are a rare breed – bards are more likely, as a focus on understanding pervades the race.
As Player Characters: (What do players need to keep in mind when playing a member of this race?)
Starting Ages: Between 8 and 14 years
Heights: Between 5’6" and 6’8"
Weights: Between 160 and 270 pounds
Ability Score Racial Traits: The macropods are agile and rely much more on instincts and understanding than true learning. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, and -2 Intelligence.
Type: Macropods are outsiders with the native subtype.
Size: Macropods are Medium size and thus have no bonuses or penalties.
Base Speed: Macropods have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Macropods begin play speaking Common and Verem. Macropods with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Draconic, Skyspeak, Aquan, Ignan, Terran, Dyanast, and Soleno.
Strong Footing: Macropods, as the name might suggest, have very large feet. With them come some very strong legs. Even before taking their strong tails into account, macropods have great jumping abilities and are hard to knock down. Macropods have a +4 bonus to their CMD to resist bull rush and trip attempts, and they are always considered to have a running start when making Acrobatics checks to jump.
Laws of Reality: The macropods have come to understand the workings of reality as a set of laws. This gives them an advantage in perceiving things that should not normally be real and dismantling these imposed realities. Macropods have a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusion spells or effects, a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance, and a +2 racial bonus on dispel checks.
Darkvision: Macropods can see perfectly fine in the dark to a range of 60 feet.