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Rakasta for 3.5E

by Joćo Cartaxo

Known as the "cat people" by its neighbours, the rakasta are a proud race of feline humanoids. Rakastan culture is unique, somewhat mystical, and concerned primarily with battle and honour. Rakastas are known to be some of the most efficient soldiers and warriors in all of the civilised lands.

Personality: Rakastas are a proud and emotional race. They are renowned for their quickness to anger if they feel that they have been wronged or insulted and for their great tenacity and bravery in battle. They also place a great value in honour and reputation. Rakastas seek to prove their own valour and skill in combat. They are extremely interested in the world at large and this translates into a wanderlust that demands they explore and experience all things for themselves.

Physical Description: Rakastas stand about 5 1/2 feet tall and usually weight about 130 pounds. They look like a furry human with the head of a cat. Its short fur is usually soft and ranges in colour from light tan to dark brown. Many rakastas have a darker hue on the ears and muzzle. Some specimens have white highlights and the ears and muzzle instead or even white or dark patches at the extremities (feet, hands, and tail). Older rakastas show whitening around the face and ears. The creatures have cat eyes, with vertical pupils. The irises are usually green, but some are yellow or even blue or hazel; a few rare individuals have two colours, most commonly one blue and one green.

Rakastan hands and feet are like those of humans, except for the fur and retractable claws. Rakastas also have non-prehensile four feet long tails, most are covered with short fur. Rakastas are very proud of their tails and spend a great deal of time each day grooming them.

Rakastas wear elaborate armour and use stylised weapons, but otherwise wear simple featureless clothing when not in battle. Rakastas reach the age of majority at 15 and live for just over a century.

Relations: Though rakastas usually consider themselves superior to members of most other races, elves are considered almost equal; humans and dwarves receive a somewhat grudging respect. Rakastas hate goblinoids passionately. In general, they form opinions on most other races on an individual basis.

Alignment: Most rakastas are usually neutral where law and order is concerned, and are indifferent about the affairs of good and evil as well.

Rakasta Lands: Rakastas live and form communities and cities similar to those of humans usually on flat or slightly hilly lands.

They have a feudal style of government mixed with their ancient ways, warrior traditions, and mystical predilection. Their architecture is elegant and ornate with light buildings, mostly made of wood. Their smiths are famous for the intricate and detailed tools, weapons, and armours they make. They are not miners so they rely heavily on ore trade between themselves and other nations in order to maintain a quality of life they demand.

Rakastas in human lands are generally warriors or smiths in search for ore.

Religion: Rakastas have a pantheon of their own. Two important immortals are Belbion, patron of pride, honour, war, and conquests, and Pax Bellanica, patron of rakastan justice and peace.

Language: The main language of the rakasta is Rakastan. This is an older language and seems entirely unrelated to those around them. Rakastas does not use the script of the Common tongue. Instead, it is composed of ideograms that roughly resemble the object being written about at the time. The language is very difficult to learn, as it has 3,000 such ideograms, all with different meanings.

Names: Rakastas use two names, a personal name and a clan name.
Male Names: Hirameki, Jiro, Kamaggi, Kaminari, Kenju, Myojo,
Female Names: Kitahara, Lyn, Tamokka
Clan Names: Fuurifesu, Katamura, Katayama, Tomokato

Adventurers: With war being important to them, most young rakastas will expect to spend some time training to be warriors. Others will travel in the pursuit of knowledge, and new fighting techniques. Some rakastas adventure due to owing a debt of honour to someone or seeking vengeance for a wrong that has been committed against them.

Rakasta Racial Traits

+2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom: Rakastas have natural agility but they tend to act before thinking.

Medium-size: As Medium-size creatures, rakasta have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Rakasta base speed is 30 feet.

Low-light vision: Rakastas can see twice as far as humans in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish colour and detail in these conditions.

+2 racial bonus on Balance checks. Rakastas have improved balance.

+2 racial bonus on a Craft of their choice. Rakastas are excellent crafters.

Keen Senses: Rakastas possess keen senses due to their superb hearing and sensitive whiskers. If these whiskers are ever damaged, they suffer 2 points of Dexterity damage and lose the abilities described below until the whiskers grow back (or are magically healed) which generally happens in 2d4 days.

These senses give them the following abilities:

+4 racial bonuses on Listen checks.

The Blind-Fight feat

When confronted with invisibility within 10 feet of them they get a +4 bonus on any checks made to detect it. This sensing is constant and they don't need to concentrate to use it.

Sonic Sensitivity: The accurate senses of the rakasta come with a price. They suffer + 50% damage against sonic attacks [with the Sonic descriptor] regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed, or if the save is a success or a failure and a -2 penalty to saving throws against sonic effects that don't deal damage (such as thunderstones, a harpy's song, and so on).

Cat fall: Rakastas have excellent balance and reflexes. They always suffer half damage from falls (minimum 1 point of damage).

Weapons familiarity: Rakastas treat War Claws (Kasas) as a martial weapon instead of a exotic one.

Natural attacks: They have one-inch long retractable claws on their hands, which they may attack with in melee. Their claws deal 1d3 points of damage. Rakasta may also bite for 1d4 points of damage. When using these natural attacks, a Rakasta is not considered unarmed. A rakasta may take the full attack action to make all three attacks as if attacking with multiple weapons. The claws attacks are considered primary attacks and suffer no penalties (as per DMG rules), the bite attack is a secondary attack and suffers a -5 penalty on the attack roll and adds only half strength for damage. They can also attack with their claws unextended for 1d3 of subdual damage.

Automatic Languages: Common and Rakastan.

Bonus Languages: Varies by setting, generally is any available in the area (except secret languages).

Favoured Class: The preferred class of the Rakasta is Fighter. A multiclass rakasta's fighter class does not count when determining whether she suffers an XP penalty from multiclassing.