Excerpts 10/01/2004

Shining South
By Thomas M. Reid

In other parts of Faerûn, travelers speak of the wonders they have seen in the Shining South, a wondrous land of ancient cultures and fallen empires. Tales and songs tell of lands scorched by heat, people ruled by drow, traders who could negotiate the name away from an Amnian, and wizards who use magic for tasks mundane to miraculous.

This book gives you everything that you need to explore the Shining South in your own Forgotten Realms campaign. The region makes a great destination for adventure, or a place for your heroes to hail from. Its 14 detailed chapters cover Races of the South, Skills and Feats, Prestige Classes, Magic and Spells, Magic Items, Monsters of the South, Adventuring in the South, Dambrath, Estagund and the Shining Lands, Halruaa, Luiren, The Shaar and the Great Rift, Border Areas, and Adventures. Our sneak peek offers a look at new regional feats, new spells, new monsters, and part of the chapter describing the realm of Halruaa.

Shining South: New Monster


Tasloi, 1st-Level Warrior
Small Humanoid
Hit Dice: 1d8+1 (5 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), climb 20 ft.
Armor Class: 13 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +1 small wooden shield), touch 12, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-4
Attack: Short sword +2 melee (1d4-1) or javelin +3 ranged (1d4-1) or net +3 ranged (0)
Full Attack: Short sword +2 melee (1d4-1) or javelin +3 ranged (1d4-1) or net +3 ranged (0)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, light sensitivity
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +1, Will -1
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 13, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 6
Skills: Climb +9, Hide +9, Listen +3, Move Silently +5, Spot +3
Feats: Alertness
Environment: Warm forests
Organization: Gang (4-9), warband (10-24 plus 1-6 Medium dire rats), band (10-100 plus 100% noncombatants plus 1 3rd-level elite per 20 adults, 1 leader of 5th-7th level, and 4-24 dire rats), tribe (40-400 plus 1 3rd-level elite per 20 adults, 1 or 2 lieutenants of 4th or 5th level, 1 leader of 6th-8th level, 10-100 dire rats, and 2-8 spider eaters)
Challenge Rating: 1/3
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually chaotic evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +0

This small, long-legged humanoid has a flat head and a green hide covered with black hair. It shuffles forward, dragging its knuckles as it moves.

Tasloi are jungle inhabitants whose race is thought to be thousands of years old. They are quick and nimble in the trees and prefer to spend their time among the branches.

A tasloi stands about 3 feet tall and weighs between 30 and 40 pounds. They walk in a crouching posture, dragging their knuckles at times. Their skins are green in color and thinly covered with coarse, black hair. Tasloi have catlike eyes that are gold in color.

Tasloi speak their own language, but some clever individuals may speak Common or another human dialect.


Tasloi normally attack from above, dropping from the surrounding treetops onto their unwary opponents. If they gain surprise, they use their nets to ensnare adversaries, otherwise attacking with their short swords and javelins. They use hit and run tactics in order to wear down tough foes, always avoiding a stand-up fight. If they manage to down an enemy, tasloi always try to abscond with the body -- food for the group.

Light Sensitivity (Ex): Tasloi are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.

Skills: Tasloi use their Dexterity modifier for and get a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks. A tasloi can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. Tasloi have a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks. *In thickly forested areas, the Hide bonus increases to +8. Tasloi cavalry (mounted on Medium dire rats) exchange Alertness for Mounted Combat and have a Ride bonus of +5, reducing Listen and Spot to +0 each.

The tasloi warrior presented here had the following ability scores before racial adjustments: Str 12, Dex 11, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8.

Challenge Rating: Tasloi with levels in NPC classes have a CR equal to their character levels -2.

Tasloi Society

The tasloi live in loosely structured bands consisting of several families. Their lairs are usually a series of large trees interconnected by vines and ropes. Each tree sports platforms, 50-100 feet above the ground, upon which the tasloi live. Some tasloi work and live on the ground, along with the village's "livestock."

That livestock is a number of dire rats and, occasionally, several spider eaters. The rats are kept as pets and used to aid in construction, maintenance, and protection of the community. Medium dire rats are used as mounts. If the village has any spider eaters, these beasts are reserved as steeds for the most powerful tasloi in the settlement.

Tasloi as Characters

Tasloi leaders tend to be rogues or fighter/rogues. Tasloi clerics worship and aspect of the goblin deity Maglubiyet and may choose to two of the following domains: Destruction, Evil, Planning, or Trickery. Most tasloi spellcasters are adepts.

Tasloi characters possess the following racial traits.

-2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma.

Small size: +1 bonus to Armor Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, -4 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits 3/4 those of Medium characters.

Tasloi base land speed is 30 feet.

Tasloi have a climb speed of 20 feet.

+4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks. In thickly forested areas, the Hide bonus increases to +8. Tasloi uses their Dexterity modifier for and get a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks. A tasloi can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.

Low-light vision.

Special Quality (see above): Light sensitivity.

Automatic Languages: Tasloi. Bonus Languages: Common, regional dialects, Sylvan.

Favored Class: Rogue.

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