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Alternate information on phanatons

by Daniel Boese

I've found this in my varied collection of text files, and thought some listers might be interested.. OD&D stats in the next post. :)

The Phanaton as a Monster
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Tropical or Subtropical jungles and forests
DIET: Omnivore
INTELLIGENCE: Average (8-10)
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Good
MOVEMENT: 9, Gl 15
THAC0: 20
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d4 (bite) or by weapon
SPECIAL DEFENCES: +2 bonus on all saving throws
SIZE: S (3' tall)
MORALE: Average (8)
120 (warrior)
270 (chief)
2,000 (king)

Phanaton are odd, seldom-seen intelligent forest-dwellers that have very strong ties to nature.

A phanaton looks like a cross between a raccoon and a monkey, though its face has an almost human quality in terms of subtle expressions. A phanaton is roughly the size of a halfling, and has a 4-foot-long prehensile tail, that can grasp objects like a fifth limb. For example, when fighting in trees a phanaton wraps its tail around a branch for support. In addition, a phanaton has membranes of skin stretching from arm to leg; these can be spread to glide from branch to branch.

A phanaton's coloration resembles a raccoon, with a dark mask over the eyes, grey-brown fur, and a ringed tail, The phanaton's hands are like a monkey's, including opposable thumbs. A phanaton's eyes are bright green, fiery red, or shiny yellow. In the dark, phanaton eyes can give travellers quite a scare.

Phanaton speak the languages of elves and treants, as well as their own language that consists largely of hoots, chatters, and clicks and can be mistaken for animal noises. They can also use sign language with strangers.

COMBAT: Their gentle nature makes phanaton slow to attack strangers, though they fight fanatically to save the natural beauty around them from extinction. As a rule, phanaton will not opt for direct attacks on bigger or more numerous foes. Phanatons use the forest setting in order to launch harrying sneak attacks; they are naturally quiet, which gives opponents a -3 penalty to surprise rolls. When among trees, phanatons can move silently like thieves with a 75% chance of success.

Phanaton hate aranea (a certain species of pony-sized, poisonous, spell using, intelligent spiders) and planar spiders intensely and will attack them on sight, casting aside all tactics and stealth.

Phanaton use simple weapons such as clubs, staves, and nets. Most of their weapons are fabricated simply with materials at hand. Phanaton rarely use metal weapons.

Phanaton have extremely acute senses and therefore have an empathy with their forest surroundings. This gives them a +2 bonus on all their saving throws.

When a group of 10 phanaton is encountered, the group will include a warrior (/n'chala/) with 2 Hit Dice and 10 hit points. In a group of 30 phanaton, there is a clan warchief with 3 Hit Dice, at least 15 hit points, and a +1 bonus to all damage rolls. The warchief has 2d6 warriors as guards. Each of these n'chala fights as a 2 hit dice monster and has 1d6+4 hip points. For every 100 phanaton, there is a tribal subchief who has 6 hit dice, 30 hit points, and a +1 bonus to all damage rolls. The subchief has 2d4 bodyguards, who each have 3 hit dice, and 15 hit points. If 300 adult phanaton are encountered, they are led by a tribal king with 8 Hit Dice, 50 hit points, and a +2 bonus to all damage rolls. He has four warriors who act as bodyguards. Each of these bodyguards has 6 hit dice, 30 hit points, and a +1 bonus to all damage rolls.

For every 30 phanaton, there is a 2nd level shaman. For every 100 phanaton, there is a 4th level shaman. Shamans dress in bone, claw, and animal skull ornaments.

HABITAT/SOCIETY: Each phanaton tribe is made up of clans. Phanaton clans have 3d10x10 adult members plus an additional 25% of that number in offspring. Clans live in villages built on platforms of wood and woven vines connected by a network of rope bridges. (They'd feel right at home in Solace on Krynn.)

Phanaton can live for 80 years. Their litters have 1d6 kits. The kits grow to maturity in six months.

Though phanaton do not have a written language, they love to pass down stories and legends from generation to generation. In fact, many phanaton names are followed by a list of the phanaton's ancestors' accomplishments.

Phanaton are the allies of treants and dryads, and are usually very friendly with elves - especially wood elves. The aranea are their traditional enemies.

Phanaton often run afoul of humans, humanoids, and demihumans who attempt to cut down forests. Phanaton try to halt timber efforts by secretly sabotaging equipment and playing annoying, non-lethal tricks on the woodcutters.

The phanaton shamans can make a bone talisman, called a phanaton-friend talisman, which allows the bearer to understand and communicate with them without needing magic. It is only awarded to beings who have proven themselves true friends of the phanaton race. Any phanaton who sees the talisman recognises that the character has been marked as a phanaton-friend. If the possessor performs any deed against a phanaton, however, the talisman crumbles into powder.

Known colonies: Isle of Dread (Thanegioth Archipelago), Orc's Head Peninsula (Savage Coast), Eastern Thothian Plateau (Isle of Dawn).

ECOLOGY: A healthy woods or jungle is often a sign of phanaton influence. These creatures enjoy tending the woods around them, cultivating favourite plants, clearing away dead plant matter, and ensuring that the balance of nature in their area is maintained.

Phanaton are omnivorous. They prefer to eat fruits and vegetables, but they also eat meat; they find spiders to be especially delicious.

The Phanaton As A PC Race

ABILITY SCORE ADJUSTMENTS: The initial ability scores are modified by a +1 to Dexterity and Wisdom and a penalty of -1 to Strength and Constitution.


Ability Minimum Maximum
Strength 3 16
Dexterity 6 19
Constitution 3 16
Intelligence 3 18
Wisdom 6 19
Charisma 3 18


Class Maximum Level Kits
Fighter 8 Myrmidon, Pirate/Outlaw, Wilderness Warrior, Tribal Defender, Wilderness Protector
Ranger 12 [Unknown: I don't have the handbook]
Paladin - -
Mage 7 Wokan, Witch, Savage, Hedge Wizard
Illusionist - -
Cleric - -
Druid 14 Jungle or Forest branches
Shaman 7 -
Witch Doctor - -
Thief 12 Bandit, Scout, Adventurer, Beggar, Cutpurse, Humanoid Bard
Bard - -
Psionicist ? Wokan, Savage

Multiclass Combinations: Fighter/Mage, Fighter/Druid, Fighter/Mage, Mage/Thief, Fighter/Mage/Thief Fighter/Shaman, Ranger/Shaman, Shaman/Thief

THIEVING SKILL RACIAL ADJUSTMENTS: PP: -10%, OL: -10%, FRT: -, MS: +10%, HS: +5%, DN: +5%, CW: +15%, RL: -15%

HIT DICE: Phanaton player character receive hit dice by class.

ALIGNMENT: Phanaton tend toward chaotic good. PC phanaton can be any alignment, but tend toward chaotic good.


BACKGROUND: see above


Height in Inches: 32/30 + 2d8

Weight in Pounds: 50/48 + 4d4

AGE: Starting: 15 + 1d4 Middle Age: 40 Old Age: 53 Venerable: 80 Maximum Age Range: 80 + 2d10

LANGUAGES: Elvish, Treant, Phanaton, common

ROLE-PLAYING SUGGESTIONS: Phanaton prefer ambushes and sneak attacks over direct conflict. They love nature and are very druidic, no matter what their actual class.

Phanaton warriors prefer simple weapons such as nets and staves. They rarely use any metal weapons.

They seldom wear clothing, as it interferes with their gliding, but enjoy wearing decorations, makeup and jewellery of various sorts.

SPECIAL ADVANTAGES: Opponents are -3 to surprise when the phanaton is in a forest or jungle setting. The phanaton also has a +2 bonus on saves, and when among trees has the ability to move silently as a thief at 75%. They can bite for 1d4 damage. They have a base move on the ground of 9, and 15 while gliding.

SPECIAL DISADVANTAGES: Phanaton will attack Aranea on sight, casting aside all stealth and tactics.


SUPERSTITIONS: Hatred of spiders


NON-WEAPON PROFICIENCIES: Alertness, Animal Lore, Animal Noise, Artistic Ability, Cooking, Craft Instrument, Danger Sense, Direction Sense, Healing, Herbalism, Hiding, Hunting, Local History, Musical Instrument, Natural Fighting, Rope Use, Set Snares, Survival: Forest/Jungle, Tightrope Walking, Tracking, Weather Sense

Phanaton notes from the Red Steel box:

Fifteen centuries past, the phanaton began to rise from complete savagery, forming tribal groups and a few semi-permanent settlements.

The past century, with a rash of colonisation in the East, and the growth of settlements in the centre of the coast, the mages of Herath began expanding to the south. There, they came into conflict with the phanaton, who banded together even more firmly, having recently developed primitive government and law.

The phanaton of the Orc's Head Peninsula are peaceful primitives dwelling in tree-houses far above the forest floor in their homeland of Jibarú. The phanaton are closely tuned to nature, and are protectors of the plants and animals of their homelands. Phanaton society is similar in many ways to shazak society (see following), though it has a much higher proportion of druids. Latecomers to civilisation, phanaton are just beginning to institute a central government and systems of laws. They seem to be headed toward a collective tribal government with an advisory council of druids and shamans.

During the recent wars, the phanaton were attacked by manscorpions. Though a few villages were lost, most of their inhabitants escaped and were eventually able to drive back the manscorpions, who were unaccustomed to fighting in any kind of foliage.

Most of Jibarú is free of the Red Curse. It has some native Inheritors, but these are rare.

The origin of phanaton is unsure, but it seems likely that they came from somewhere else and spread simultaneously to the Known World and the Savage Coast. Ironically, the so-called savage race of phanaton is less primitive than their cousins in other parts of the world.

Afflicted are rare sights in the lands of the phanaton, but are accepted so long as they do not cause problems. The phanaton are somewhat awed by Afflicted, and afford them great respect.

Immortals: Ordana is revered in Jibarú as Uí. As Uí, Ordana is the head of the phanaton pantheon, patron of the forest and protector of its people. Ordana gave the phanaton the impetus toward civilisation, so they might defend themselves from the aranea, whom Ordana hates as manipulators of life. Ordana promotes commerce between phanaton and Wallara.

Terra is revered in Jibarú as Mother-Earth or Marau-Ixuf. In Jibarú, she is the patron of birth, life, and death. It was Terra who caused the early phanaton to be predators, to balance the aranea threat. She encourages commerce between the phanaton and the Wallara.

Zirchev is revered in Jibarú as the Huntsman or Uatuma. In Jibarú, he is the patron of the hunt, as well as bravery and charm. He guides phanaton hunting parties in times of crisis.

Kudos to Dungeons & Dragons adventure module M5, "Talons of Night". Much history of the phanaton and aranea races is found there which was left out of the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix.

The Night Spider is an Immortal (pretty much a god) in the Sphere of Entropy, or Death. Mighty heroes had discovered her truename and sought to permanently destroy her evil. The Night Spider fled from her home plane to a small planet on the Prime Material Plane (not knowing that it would eventually rise to prominence) later called Mystara. With her came Chaotic planar spiders (who would become the ancestors of the aranea) and phanaton slaves.

Ages ago, planar spiders exiled to the Prime Plane for their evil founded the city of Aran on the Isle of Dawn, east of the future Empire of Thyatis. Here they created the only known works of that arachnid civilisation (using the enslaved race of phanaton that accompanied them here). Mighty webs intertwined with pearlescent pillars of magical stone to create a lustrous city that scintillated in the rising dawn. Yet the planar spiders' Chaotic descendants soon interbred with lesser giant spiders and so formed the degenerate intelligent spider race known as aranea.

On the Isle of Dawn, aranea live in the dense forests or jungles surrounding the crumbled ruins of Aran, spinning their web homes high in the trees. Part of each web hut is roofed with bark, leaves, and vines held together with webbing. In the covered parts of their lairs, the aranea keep their crude tools, magical research, and crude furniture of web, vines, bark, and wood. They spend much of their time researching magic (allowing use of several spells that are exclusive to the aranea).

Several powerful planar spiders, including an exiled Immortal, serve as rulers and living deities for the degenerate aranea. More prominent aranea clan groups have enslaved the local phanaton to perform manipulative tasks for them.

The aranea and planar spiders are their ancient foes (an enmity that predates the exile of these planar spiders on the Isle of Dawn). Bold bands of phanaton attack these spider folk on sight.

"During the feast, an elderly shaman recites the legend of the people's origin:

"Long ago, the people and the spider folk lived together in harmony in another place; a world made of lush forest and mighty thorns. The people and their spider allies were caretakers of a mighty talisman, a small, white, stone bird. All was peaceful until the greatest spider, 'She-Who-Dwells-in-Darkness', enslaved the people, stole their ancient and holy white bird, then brought them to this place.

"Long did the people serve their evil masters; but after generations, the spiders became weak and the people escaped. They stole the white bird from under She-Who-Dwells-in-Darkness and sought the door to the old place (for only the white bird could open the door). But the Spider had hidden the door in a dark lake deep beneath earth, far below even her own black pit. In despair, the people cast the white bird into the great river, knowing that some day, the holy bird would return and take them home."