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The Satyrs of Karameikosby Joaquin Menchaca
This describes the satyr race of Karameikos for use within Dungeons & Dragons, 3rd Edition and Mystara campaign. The Satyr in D&D3e is presented as a static monster with little flexibility in augmenting the race to smoothly integrate the race as a player character (MM160). The material presented here will allow players to use a Satyr as a 1st level character.
There is little reference in GAZ1: The Grand Duchy of Karameikos (GDK) by Aaron Allston to the race other than they are Forest Folk and that there are some in Karameikos.
Many of the ideas and inspirations for this come from PC1: Tales of the Wee Folk (Mystara Creature Crucible Series), The Complete Book of Humanoids (D&D2e), and a non-D&D game called Changeling: The Dreaming, by White Wolf.
A lot of imagination comes from War Craft III by Blizzard Entertainment. This puts the satyrs in a different light, as they become powerful opponents guarding mines and other treasures. For the soul stealers used in War Craft III, Babylon 5 has some interesting episodes about this role, which can later be rolled into a prestige class.
I hope you find the added dimension to this significant sylvan race enjoyable and integrate it into your campaign.
Those that come to know of Satyrs, hear of tales describing a merry and passionate race of Forest Folk that drink, frolic, play music, and dance in the forests. Though this might be true, many seldom know of other side of satyrs, where there are mighty forest warriors with lightning speed and reflexes. At some point, the harsh forests of Karameikos have forged the satyrs into force of nature to be reckoned with. They are very organized and continually and aggressively patrol their territory. They can be friendly to strangers, but resent intrusion into their territories. From small organized warbands, they deal fatal blows to enemies of nature.
The Satyrs are masters of trickery and stealth, often combining the two to confuse and mislead their enemies. Their warriors are formidable with a stamina that is legendary granting them a physical advantage over other races. They most feared satyr are the soul stealers, that can through powerful song magic enslave others to their passionate inner desires.
Despite the more recent militant side, the satyr of Karameikos are intellectuals. They make good confidants and are excellent philosophers, with an uncanny zeal that makes their mental contests rival their drinking ones. Poetry, debate, and philosophy, music deeply fascinate them. Once this contemplation grows too extreme, they will thrust themselves into other pursuits, often encouraging their intellectual friends to delve into these pursuits together and broaden their horizons.
Commonly known by other Forest Folk, the satyrs are wild and passionate, and satisfy their lust and desires with abandon. Many Forest Folk feel that wisdom is found in passion; if true then the satyr must be the wisest of all Forest Folk. They are well known for their lack of restraint. They love to frolic and play their pipes, and never miss an opportunity to chase after wood nymphs or other comely creatures. Though the satyrs are not known for their beauty, they never lack for lovers.
Satyrs take the opportunity to organise and throw wild woodland celebrations, especially during warmer periods of the year where these celebrations can last all night long.
Personality: Satyrs simply want to have fun, and do not understand seriousness or violence generally. A satyr will seem unpredictable to other players, often changing the object of their desire from moment to moment and are quick to act on their impulses. They understand that humans and demi-humans think differently, and they can suppress some of their urges with great difficulty, but will be quick to point out how absurd it is to try to keep a reign on feelings, and often attempt to teach other companions how to loosen up and have fun.
A satyr's great passion is prone to unpleasant moments as well. With the slightest provocation, they may explode into a torrent of fury or a fit of weeping.
Physical Description: A satyr is lean and furry with a torso, head, and arms of a human, but they have furry hind legs resembling a goat, cloven hooves, and small black horns jutting through their coarse curly hair on top of their heads. They wear their hair long and rarely shave. What few clothes they do wear are usually durable and easy to remove.
Relations: Most of the satyrs relations are with other sylvan and Forest Folk, and seldom with civilised nations. In fact, many do not even know that these lands have been conquered by Thyatians, or the ruling family of the Karameikos. They do know of Traladarans, and are well disposed toward them, especially the more comely females. The satyrs join the centaurs to attack common enemies, and as such relations are very good with the centaurs. The barter with food, drink, poems, and music, as well as other lore. Any races that are destructive in nature and destroy nature will always be at odds with Satyrs and other Forest Folk. They Satyrs have a weakness toward beautiful women, and especially Dryads, as their passion for the fairer sex is insurmountable.
Alignment: The Satyrs are generally chaotic in nature, but have been known to organise in face of an imposing threat. Satyrs generally range from good to neutral in terms of morality.
Satyr Lands: The Satyrs live deep within the forests of Karameikos, away from known civilisations. Some Satyrs are known to live in Haven for periods of time, taking up more intellectual pursuits.
Religion: The chief Immortal is Silenus (Faunus), patron of wine, fertility, and prophecy. The Immortal Zirchev is deeply respected as are his followers, because Zirchev has long been a friend to the Forest Folk.
Language: All Satyrs speak a ruff dialect of an ancient language that existed before any known civilisation, that can be called satyr for all intents and purposes. This language is shared by dryads as well. The satyrs also speak a language shared amongst many Forest Folk that is referred to as sylvan. This language is a very ancient language spoken by fey before the eve of all known civilisation.
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Adventurers: A satyr adventurer has a deep passion to explore the world beyond that of the forest. Adventurers usually are solitary satyrs, as it will be nearly impossible for a satyr to leave his trago or tribe. Usually, only under extreme conditions will a satyr leave his trago, such as when his trago was bothered by evil forces, or enslaved.
Satyr Racial Traits
These are traits presented in Player's Handbook style. Some of these traits are mentioned on page 160 of the Monster Manual (MM160), while other traits come from The Complete Book of Humanoids (2nd Edition) by Bill Slavicsek [ISBN: 1-56076-611-5].
Note that Satyrs will start off with the Hit Dice of their perspective class, rather than the 5d5+5 hit points, mentioned in the Monster Manual.
These are the bonuses that the satyrs receive:
* +2 Constriction, +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: The Satyrs have great fortitude and are lightning fast and agile, yet they are easily distracted, especially from attractive females of humanoid races, and with their bestial outward appearance, they are not as comely as other races.
* Medium: As Medium-size creatures, satyrs have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
* Satyr base speed is 40 feet
* Lowlight Vision: Satyrs can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish colour and detail under these conditions.
* +4 natural armour class bonus due to their thick leathery skin.
* +2 racial bonus to Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Perform, and Spot checks.
* Gore: A satyr can gore an opponent for 1d6 points of damage. A satyr gets a +2 bonus when using this natural attack.
* Temptation's Curse: Satyrs are very susceptible to distraction, especially from a female with a Charisma of 16 or better, or from an expensive bottle of wine.
Under these conditions, a satyr will need to make a Will check to avoid becoming distracted. Once a satyr becomes distracted, he receives a -2 to all attack rolls and skill checks, -2 to armour class dodge penalty, and automatically loses concentration if casting a spell until the distraction is satisfied. A satyr will receive a -4 penalty to Will saves against mind affecting attacks.
* A satyr gains the bonus feats of Alertness, Dodge, and Mobility.
* Automatic Languages: Satyr and Sylvan (Akalian) * Bonus Languages: Draconic, Elven, Centaur, Korred, Traladaran. A satyr in Karameikos may learn Traladaran through other Forest Folk, but is unexposed to other human languages. A satyr can learn other languages of Forest Folk.
* Favoured Class: Bard. A multiclass satyr's bard class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing (see PHB56).
The satyr are nomadic and forage from the land. They travel in small families composed of relatives, friends, lovers, and even enemies called a trago. Non-satyrs can be admitted into the trago. The leadership varies depending on circumstances and Charisma of the leader. The circumstance depends on the task at hand. For example, if the satyrs are warring against a group, the leader will be the one with the most tactical experience and ability to command others in a time of urgency; a satyr who knows what he is talking about. If the satyrs are organising for a grand party with invitations for other Forest Folk, the most imaginative, creative, organized, and passionate would become the leader in this event.
Karameikan Social Standing
As satyrs are only in the tales of Hin and Traladarans, and their existence is strongly disputed by civilised Thyatians, there is no social standing for any Satyr. The Satyrs furthermore have no concept of money, as they trade most of they goods and services through bartering. They trade with the centaur for drink and occasionally food.
Sometimes the satyr might possess something of value, such as crafted jewellery, gold nuggets, gems, etc. and would be willing to trade their goods for other artwork, weaponry, poems, songs, and drink. Such items given to the satyr as gifts will be an inspiration toward all satyrs and will make friends quickly, especially for great pieces of art and music, as rare wines, food, and drink. This gives the players ample role-playing opportunity and chance to use many skills.
Generally with Dungeons & Dragons, 3rd Edition any race can play any class, despite how outlandish, bizarre, or freakish the combination may be, or whether it fits in the campaign scope. This game master will not part from this path. Thus if a player wants to play a hin paladin/pscionist/monk/wizard, but they will find themselves wholly unique within Mystara.
The satyrs favour classes that will allow them to use trickery and subterfuge, but also classes that will develop their martial skills, and magic that draws power from nature. Thus, the ranger and druid classes are quite popular. The bard is an extremely popular class as satyrs have a love for music, poetry, philosophy, and intellectual discussions.
Below are the list of classes are how common they are. Very Rare represents that no one studies this career; rare represents maybe a few people study this profession; uncommon represents more than a few study this profession.
Classes, Common: Bard, Druid, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue
Classes, Uncommon: Barbarian, Psychic Warrior, Pscion, Sorcerer
Classes, Rare: Monk, Cleric
Classes, Very Rare: Alchemist, Paladin, Wizard
A common prestige class are the shadow dancers (DMG) that are used to learn about the happenings within the forest and also act as hidden units, so that the opposing force can misjudge the numbers of the current warband.
Another popular prestige class is the trickster, which uses enchantment and illusionary magic to throw the opponent off-guard.
The most feared group of satyrs are the soul stealers that can put their victims into a comatose state as their minds swim in the dream world.