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Phanaton racial workup for 3E

by Andrew Theisen

Here's a racial workup that I did some time ago, finally got around to finishing it up. There's supposed to be a phanaton coming out in Dragon soon- it will be interesting to see how they compare.


Phanatons have long inhabited the Savage Coast and other areas, but only within the last few centuries have they achieved any measure of civilisation- gathering into tribes, using tools, and so forth. The phanatons of Jibarú have formed a tribal confederation, developed religion and art, started using tools, and made initial steps toward a system of laws.

Personality: These spiritual folk have a great love of nature. Though normally peaceful, they strive to protect their forest homes and can fight well when pressed.

Phanatons lead a relatively harsh existence, so they tend to be rather serious. Still, they take joy from life; not jokers or boisterous carousers, they have a quiet sense of humour. Phanatons are cautious and not prone to panic, nor are they easily awed by shows of power.

Phanatons are settled hunter-gatherers. They live in small tribal villages, groups of family huts on platforms high in the trees. Each village has a chief who meets periodically with other chiefs to discuss policy. Because the village of Itucuá is the oldest and largest in the land of Jibarú, its chief is considered first among equals; he settles disputes among other chiefs.

Being careful not to deplete their supply, phanatons gather fruits and roots from the area around their villages. They have made only minor attempts at agriculture, sometimes guarding a favoured tree or planting a small vegetable patch. They trap more often than they hunt, with fish and small birds their most common source of meat, and giant spiders a favoured delicacy.

Gathering food is the most common task of phanatons, but religion, learning, and a few crafts are also vital parts of phanaton culture. Most phanatons tend to do things for themselves and their families, but they do cooperate on such major projects as building and village defence.

The family is very important to phanatons, and two or three generations often share the same living quarters. Elders are greatly respected, and the young are cared for and taught by the whole family.

Physical Description: Phanatons are furred humanoids about three feet tall. Looking very much like monkeys, phanatons have slender bodies, humanoid hands, dexterous toes, and four-foot-long prehensile tails strong enough to support their body weight. Membranes of skin stretch from arm to leg, and are used to glide. The creatures' fur has markings like those of a raccoon: brownish grey fur with a black "mask" around the eyes and a ringed tail. Phanatons have eyes of bright green, fiery red, or shiny yellow. They almost never wear clothing, but might wear jewellery of wooden beads.

Relations: Phanatons are wary of most other races, because their forests have often been harmed by them. They get along well with elves and other forest dwellers, such as treants and dryads. They despise spiders and spider-kin, particularly aranea, who have enslaved them in the past.

Alignment: They tend to be good or neutral and are rarely evil. Most are independent, so chaotic alignments are more common among them than lawful ones.

Phanaton Lands: Phanatons may be found in many jungle and deep forest areas across Mystara. There are two major phanaton settlements on Mystara- the kingdom of Jibarú (on the cape of Yalu Bay along the Savage Coast), and atop the Great Escarpment on the Isle of Dawn. Both settlements are near the homes of their former captors, the aranea.

Religion: Phanatons pay homage to the natural world and the Immortals who protect and foster it. Among those they recognise are Uí (also called Ordana), Marau-Ixuí (also known as Terra), and Uatumá) (also called Zirchev).

Language: They have their own language. In addition to human-type sounds, the language uses hoots, chatters, and clicks. The spoken language is still primitive, requiring many gestures. The written language requires an extensive library of symbols representing animals whose sounds come close to the desired syllables. Ideograms conveying ideas complete other written symbols available to phanaton shamans. Common phanatons rarely learn to read or write, though monarchs and chiefs usually acquire the skill.

Names: The phanaton language does not have the "e" and "o" sounds. Thus, the phanatons refer to themselves as Phanatu, or the people. "X" is pronounced "sh" and the last vowel in the name is accentuated. Double names are a sign of nobility.

Male and Female Names: Tapuru, Urua, Maragu, Araca, Ixaituba, Tuaca, Garanui, Axaua, Purucui, Palama, Tapaju, Uruxu, Itupaxingu, Macapui.

Adventurers: Phanatons are rare adventurers, due to their close family bonds. They are inquisitive, and might be tempted to join a band of adventurers for the curiosity value, though they almost inevitably return home. Some phanatons undertake adventuring careers out of necessity, particularly those who have had their homes taken over by aranea.

Phanaton Racial Traits

• +2 Dexterity, -2 Strength. Phanatons are quick, and agile, but their smaller size makes them less physically powerful than larger races.
• Monstrous Humanoid: As monstrous humanoids, phanatons are not subject to spells or effects that affect only humanoids, such as charm person or dominate person.
• Small: As small creatures, phanatons gain a +1 size bonus to Armour Class, a +1 size bonus to attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus to Hide checks. They must use smaller weapons than humans use, and their lifting and carrying limits are three quarters of those of medium size characters.
• Phanaton base movement is 20 feet.
• Gliding (Ex): A phanaton may use its wing membranes to glide at a speed of 40 feet (with a manoeuvrability rating of average). Gliding allows a phanaton to negate damage from a fall of any height and a forward movement rate of 30 for every 10 feet of descent. Phanatons cannot hover while gliding, and, like other flying creatures, a phanaton may only remain aloft if carrying a Medium load or less.
• +2 racial bonus to Balance, Climb and Move Silently checks. The arboreal phanatons are often more comfortable at home in the trees than on the ground.
• +2 racial bonus on Listen checks. Phanatons have keen senses.
• +1 racial bonus on all saving throws. Phanatons' size and reflexes help them to avoid danger.
• +1 racial bonus to attack rolls against spiders and spider-like creatures (ex. Aranea, drider, phase spider). Phanatons have a natural hatred of spiders, and have honed their hunting techniques to combat their kind.
• Phanatons may use their tail to clumsily manipulate objects.
• Automatic Languages: Phanaton. Bonus Languages: Common, Elven, Sylvan.
Favoured Class: Ranger. A multiclass phanaton's ranger class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing (see Experience for Multiclass Characters, page 56 of the Player's Handbook).