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.
A New Monster: Chordevoc
Here is a sample new monster from Races of the Wild.
Hit Dice: 1d8+1 (5 hp)
Speed: 10 ft. (2 squares), fl y 60 ft. (good)
Armor Class: 18 (+4 Dex, +2 size, +2 natural), touch 16, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/-9
Attack: Talons +6 melee (1d3-1)
Full Attack: Talons +6 melee (1d3-1)
Space/Reach: 2-1/2 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: --
Special Qualities: Blindsense 60 ft., low-light vision
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +2
Abilities: Str 9, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 5
Skills: Hide +16, Listen +8*, Move Silently +6, Spot +6*
Feats: Flyby Attack, Weapon Finesse[B]
Environment: Warm plains
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Alignment: Always neutral
Level Adjustment: --
This sizable bird is bigger than a housecat. It has smoky gray plumage with white and black bars. Its wide but stubby beak is fringed with long bristles that resemble a cat's whiskers. The large eyes are black, rimmed with silver. The body seems very short, and the wings seem very long.
The chordevoc is a nocturnal bird bred by the halflings. Its call sounds like a soft whistle, not unlike a teakettle just coming to boil. Many people find the sound similar to the call of a screech owl, but those who have heard both know the chordevoc's call is shriller.
When left to feed on its own, a chordevoc corkscrews through the air, zigzagging and sideslipping so much that observers often have difficulty telling the bird's true flight path.
Halflings keep chordevocs primarily as guards and hunting companions, but sometimes simply as pets. Wild populations of chordevocs exist, but they are fairly rare, usually consisting of widely scattered pairs or lone individuals that have escaped or become orphaned from the halflings who raised them.
Chordevocs are bred to attack, and they're well equipped for combat in spite of their miniature size and fairly low Strength scores. A chordevoc prefers to fight on the wing, swooping in to slash with its talons (it uses both as a single attack), then veering away to fly out of reach.
Blindsense (Ex): A chordevoc notices and locates creatures within 60 feet. Opponents still have total concealment against a creature with blindsense.
Skills: A chordevoc's feathers provide excellent camouflage, granting it a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks.
*A chordevoc has a +4 racial bonus on Spot and Listen checks. These bonuses are lost if its blindsense is negated.
Training a Chordevoc
Chordevocs resist most attempts to tame or train them. To be trained, a chordevoc must have a friendly attitude toward the trainer. A chordevoc usually has an indifferent attitude toward a halfling, but that attitude improves to friendly if the halfling supplies the bird with treats for at least a week and otherwise treats it well. A chordevoc is hostile to most other creatures. Changing a chordevoc's attitude requires a wild empathy check, or a Diplomacy check if the character has some way to communicate with the creature (such as access to a speak with animals spell). Training a friendly chordevoc requires a Handle Animal check. A halfling can train a chordevoc without penalty, but the Handle Animal DCs for any other trainer increase by 5. The time required depends on the tricks or task the chordevoc must learn, as noted in the Handle Animal skill description on pages 74-75 of the Player's Handbook.
A chordevoc egg is worth 25 gp on the open market, but eggs are seldom offered for sale. A chick is worth 150 gp. A chick is ready for training by the age of six months and can live for 150 years. Adult chordevocs are generally trained for hunting or for guarding. A fully trained chordevoc costs at least 250 gp on the open market, if it is offered for sale at all.
Chordevocs as Animal Companions
A halfling who has the animal companion class feature can choose a chordevoc as an animal companion. A nonhalfling can also have a chordevoc companion, but his effective level for the animal companion class feature must be 4th or higher, and the character's effective level for determining the chordevoc's abilities is reduced by three. For example, if a 4th-level raptoran druid has a chordevoc companion, the chordevoc has only 1st-level companion abilities.