Races of the Wild,starts by exploring a couple of existing races --- elves and halflings -- more deeply, and then adds a new one -- raptorans - the D&D game. Races of the Wild provides detailed information on the psychology, society, culture, behavior, religion, and folklore of elves, halflings, and raptorans. It also gives you new prestige classes, feats, spells, magic items, equipment, and guidelines for crafting adventures and campaigns using the material within this tome. Our sneak peek includes a look at the raptorans, an overview of the new prestige classes, an expanded skill description, new feats, a new spell, a new psionic power, and a new monster.
Here are the new prestige classes appearing in Races of the Wild:
Arcane hierophants wield a blending of arcane magic and divine magic with a heavy emphasis on nature and the elements. Though they possess the learning and discipline commonly associated with wizards, they also have practical knowledge of the natural world commonly associated with druids. Like druids, they can change shape into animal and elemental forms, but they also can wield powerful arcane spells.
Champion of Corellon Larethian
Many evil warriors believe that elves, while dangerous in ranged combat, have no stomach for melee. They expect that elves would fall like leaves in an autumn windstorm once the battle becomes the work of sword and axe rather than arrow and spell. These warriors have never encountered a champion of Corellon Larethian.
The champion of Corellon is a noble elf fighter, an elf knight or lord who can stand up to any orc or human warrior. All elves admire the grace, discipline, and skill necessary to become a swordmaster, and the champion of Corellon is the very paragon of elven swordsmanship. Clad in shining elven mail or plate, the champion relies on quickness, agility, and an almost scholarly study of the most difficult and advanced techniques of swordplay instead of brute power.
As the name suggests, a champion of Corellon Larethian holds a special place in elf society. Large temples of Corellon Larethian often host groups of champions who serve as elite temple guards, advisors and bodyguards to elf rulers, and questing knights in the service of the whole elf race.
As a luckstealer, you're part spellcaster, part professional gambler -- and 100% mischief-maker. You're the halfling who fleeces local card sharks out of their hard-earned gold, then disappears in a puff of smoke when the swords come out. Not that you flee, of course -- you're just moving to the perfect ambush spot and signaling the rest of your caravan to rob the town treasury while the locals are busy fighting you.
Also known as "elf-friend" or "star-friend," a ruathar is a person of some other race who has earned the special friendship of the elven folk. While many individuals who render the elf people some notable service are known as elf-friends, a ruathar is truly blessed -- the recipient of a powerful magical ritual that infuses him with the real and lasting blessing of the elf race. The elves extend the invitation to become ruathars to very few individuals indeed, but those so honored have a home among the elf people for the rest of their days if they so desire.
Elves can become ruathars, but such characters are somewhat unusual. An elf becomes a ruathar when he renders a great service to an elf realm that is not his homeland, or when one or more of his nonelf companions receive the honor in recognition for a deed he also shared in. When an individual elf is singled out for this kind of recognition in his homeland, he is usually called "star-friend" rather than "elf-friend."
The skypledged represent a mystical tradition among the raptorans that hearkens back to an ancient pact with powerful lords of the Elemental Plane of Air. The skypledged are a tangible manifestation of that pact, exchanging divine power with one another and with powerful air elementals.
The stormtalons are consummate aerial warriors, using both their weapons and their razor-sharp foot talons to dive on their hapless foes. They are elite protectors of the raptoran race, sent by the high chieftain whenever a raptoran flock is in trouble.
Many halflings are rogues; everyone knows that. Some towns are careful to befriend halfling caravans, offering honest work and a fair deal in the expectation that halflings won't steal from friends. Other settlements are standoffish and suspicious, relying on vigilance and harsh laws to discourage any larcenous intent. Still other places greet halflings with violence, cruelty, and scorn, sheltering brigands and thieves who feel free to murder and rob those who are smaller and less numerous than they are. Halfling caravans avoid such settlements from then on -- but the halfling whisperknife seeks them out, repaying murder, theft, or humiliation in the same coin.
Wildrunners give themselves almost wholly to nature, seeking to return to their untamed roots and eventually become fey creatures. Though seemingly barbaric, wildrunners retain their civilized learning and judgment while tapping into the primal forces within themselves and within the land. Some wildrunners choose to live after the fashion of untamed animals, unfettered and beholden to nothing but their own desires and their fundamental needs. Most, however, become guardians of the land and of the communities that gave them birth.