Upheaval in Zhaltssom
Brief Description: Swamp-dwelling amphibians with a penchant for poison
Physical Description: The anurans may resemble various species of amphibians, but frogs and salamanders are by far the most common and any given tribe will all generally resemble the same animal. Regardless, all anurans have bright or clashing skin tones of varying colors and they possess two flattened nodules on their backs that are capable of secreting a paralyzing toxin. Anuran attire tends to be minimalist, with only a loincloth and straps in most cases, though they will wear slightly more if they venture out of their swamps and they are not utterly averse to wearing armor if there is a good reason.
Anurans live short lives, generally dying of old age by the time 40 years have passed.
Preferred Habitat: Anurans prefer marshlands and swamps for their homes.
Culture and Society: Anuran culture is very primitive, still relying on hunter-gatherer techniques, bone carvings, and spirit worship. No one makes fun of this, however, because the race as a whole is very proficient in using poison. Surprisingly, their use and abuse of poisons is not considered malicious – they use the poisons for hunting and if the tribe’s survival depends on it, not for forcing other races to submit to them. Poisonings of other races by anurans are exceedingly rare and almost always accidental.
Anuran society is tribal, ruled by the wisest (and thus usually the oldest).
History, Myths, and Events: The anurans have existed for well over a thousand years and no one knows how they were first discovered. What is known is that the anurans believe that those races capable of thinking for themselves are not to be harmed. This, combined with their racial attunement to poison, leads them to usually isolate themselves from civilization for the safety of others. Anurans are not completely adverse to trade, though, and can accept the protection of others if their tribe’s survival depends on it.
Occasionally, an anuran will get the bright idea to explore the outside world. Tribal councils rarely approve of this, considering that it is always the immature who do this, and they worry that their penchant for poison will get their race the wrong kind of attention if they get into civilization. Nevertheless, anurans can occasionally be found in the larger cities.
Relations: Their penchant for poison tends to get anurans a wide berth in civilized society, despite a wide-reaching view that the anurans are not evil. Nevertheless, the equus and skinks manage to find common ground with the anurans.
Preferred Classes: Those few anurans that have the ambition to take class levels tend to work their natural use of poison into their trade. As a result, the rogue and alchemist classes tend to be favored. Sometimes rangers and druids appear among the anurans, but these tend to stay back with the tribe as a line of defense.
As Player Characters: (What do players need to keep in mind when playing a member of this race?)
Starting Ages: Between 8 and 15 years
Heights: Between 1’10" and 2’6"
Weights: Between 30 and 50 lbs.
Ability Score Racial Traits: Anurans are nimble and alert, but spindly. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, and –2 Strength.
Size: Anurans are Small creatures and thus gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their CMB and CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Type: Anurans are humanoids with the anuran subtype.
Base Speed: Anurans have a base speed of 30 feet and a climb speed of 20 feet.
Languages: Anurans begin play speaking Common and Anura. Anurans with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Elven, Gnomish, Draconic, Aquan, Ignan, and Dyanast.
Toxic: The bright colors of anurans are not just for show – they serve as a warning that every anuran is capable of secreting a dangerous toxin. A number of times per day equal to its Constitution modifier (minimum 1/day), an anuran can envenom a weapon that it wields with toxic excretions from its body. Applying venom in this way is a swift action. A non-anuran injured by a weapon so envenomed must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the 1/2 user’s Hit Dice + the user’s Constitution modifier) or take 1d2 Dexterity damage. They continue to take this damage once per round for 6 rounds or until a save is successfully made. A dose of anuran toxin loses its potency after 1 hour or one successful attack, whichever comes first.
Poison Use: Anurans are not simply trained to use their own poison – they are skilled in using other poisons in their environment as well. The net result of this is that anurans never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying any form of poison to weapons or other objects.
Poison Resistance: Due to their constant upbringing around poisons, the anurans become highly resistant to them with time. Anurans gain a racial bonus on saving throws against poison effects equal to their Hit Dice.
Terrifying Croak: In case their racial penchant for poison is insufficient to scare off predators or subdue prey, anurans also have the supernatural ability to amplify their voices and scare other creatures. Once per hour as a standard action, an anuran can emit a thunderous croak. Any non-anuran within 30 feet must make a successful Will saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the user’s character level + the user’s Charisma modifier) or become shaken for 1d4 rounds. A target that successfully saves cannot be affected by the user’s terrifying croak for 24 hours. Creatures that are already shaken become frightened for 1d4 rounds instead. This is a sonic, mind-affecting effect.
Weapon Familiarity: Anurans are proficient with nets and blowguns, ideal weapons to be using in jungle and swamp conditions.
Darkvision: Anurans can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.