Serpent Kingdoms
Saurials: More Lizardkin
By Darrin Drader and Sean K Reynolds

Somewhere near the Dalelands, in a hidden place known as the Lost Vale, lies a colony of intelligent reptilian humanoids said to hail from another world. These creatures, known as saurials, were stranded in Faerūn by the actions of an evil deity. More intelligent than lizardfolk and inclined to be peaceful and civilized, the saurials have maintained a thriving community in near-complete isolation for nearly fifteen years. Tales of these so-called dragonfolk pervade many cultures, but few humans have actually seen them.



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Saurials: More Lizardkin for Serpent Kingdoms

Bladeback
Medium Humanoid (Reptilian)
Hit Dice: 2d8 (9 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+4 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+2
Attack: Claw +2 melee (1d4+1)
Full Attack: 2 claws +2 melee (1d4+1) and tail -3 melee (1d3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Qualities: Cold torpor, low-light vision, protection from sonic attacks, scent, vulnerability to gas attacks
Saves: Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +2
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 12
Skills: Craft (any) +4, Diplomacy +4, Jump +4
Feats: Iron Will
Environment: Temperate and warm forest
Organization: Solitary, pair, pack (3-5), or tribe (6-30)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually neutral good
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +2

This bipedal lizard looks taller and stockier than a human; in fact, it's built much like a half-orc. A line of sharp scales runs down its spine from its head to the tip of its tail, which is about as long as its body.

Bladebacks are the most straightforward and trusting of the saurial subraces. Highly social, they mix well with all kinds of saurials, and even with outsiders in the rare instances that they come into contact with creatures from outside the Lost Vale. Slow to anger, bladebacks work hard to understand the motives of others, but they are passionate once they have been pushed to the point of aggression. Bladebacks often become village leaders or advisors to those in power.

Like most saurials, bladeback adventurers are usually motivated by curiosity about the world around them. However, their trusting and open nature sometimes gets them into trouble that they can escape only through the use of force.

Bladebacks speak Draconic. They understand (but do not speak) Common, Elven, Sylvan, and Celestial.

Combat

Bladebacks seldom initiate battle because they would much rather learn about the creatures they meet. If attacked, however, they can employ their claws and tails with deadly efficiency.

Cold Torpor (Ex): Bladebacks are warm-blooded creatures, but they retain heat poorly in cold environments. Thus, a bladeback takes a -5 penalty on Fortitude saving throws made to avoid nonlethal damage from cold environments, and it takes double the normal amount of nonlethal damage for failing such a saving throw.

In cooler climates, bladebacks can easily die from exposure in an environment that a human would find merely uncomfortable. Thus, they usually bundle up to keep warm.

Protection from Sonic Attacks (Ex): Because a bladeback's earholes are well protected, it gains a +4 circumstance bonus on saving throws against sonic effects and attacks.

Scent (Ex): Bladebacks have the scent special quality, as described in the Monster Manual.

Vulnerability to Gas Attacks (Ex): A bladeback's metabolism and reliance on scent make it vulnerable to attacks conveyed through gas, including stinking cloud, cloudkill, and poisonous gas. It thus takes a -4 penalty on saving throws against gas-based effects and attacks.

Bladebacks as Characters

Bladebacks have the following racial traits.

  • +2 Strength, +2 Charisma: Bladebacks are naturally strong and outgoing.
  • Medium: As Medium creatures, bladebacks have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Speed: Bladeback base speed is 30 feet.
  • Base Hit Dice: A bladeback has 2d8 Hit Dice in addition to Hit Dice from its character levels. These racial Hit Dice give it a starting base attack bonus of +1 and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +0, Ref +3, and Will +0.
  • Racial Skills: A bladeback gets 10 skill points for its racial Hit Dice. The class skills for these skill points are Craft, Diplomacy, and Jump.
  • Feats: A bladeback may choose one feat for its racial HD. (Most choose Iron Will.)
  • Natural Armor Bonus: A bladeback has a +4 natural armor bonus.
  • Natural Attacks: A bladeback can make two claw attacks and one tail attack. Each claw attack deals 1d4 points of damage plus Strength modifier, and the tail attack deals 1d3 points of damage plus Strength penalty or one-half Strength bonus.
  • Special Qualities: A bladeback has cold torpor, protection from sonic attacks, scent, and vulnerability to gas attacks, as described in the Combat section above.
  • Automatic Languages: Draconic. Bonus Languages: Common, Elven, Sylvan, and Celestial. Bladebacks have difficulty with other languages. Although they can understand and read all the bonus languages they know, they cannot speak them without spending skill points.
  • Favored Class: Cleric.
  • Level Adjustment: +2.

About the Authors

Darrin Drader was born in Pullman, Washington in 1973, and he attended Washington State University there. He has lived in western Washington for the past eight years and is thrilled to be an employee of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Darrin has done design work for Asgard Online Magazine, D20 Weekly Online Magazine, Dragon Magazine, Star Wars Gamer Magazine, Bastion Press, and of course, Wizards of the Coast, Inc. His most recent credits include the Book of Exalted Deeds and Serpent Kingdoms.

Sean K Reynolds spends a remarkable amount of time on trains, where he defeats bandits, solves complex mathematical equations, and shushes noisy children. Then he wakes up. Check out his website.


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