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Savage Coast Races: Tortleby Trevor Mellis
Tortles are humanoid tortoises. They walk upright with a ponderous, rolling gait. The creatures have leathery, reptilian skin and shells that cover their backs and bellies. An adult tortle stands about 6 feet tall and weighs more than 500 pounds.
Personality: Despite their ancestry, tortles are not especially slow, either mentally or physically; however, they are thinkers who might ponder a question a little longer than most before answering. Most tortles are peaceful and slow to anger. While they have the same range of emotions as humans, tortles are not as demonstrative and often seem cold and distant to more passionate races.
Physical Description: Tortles have no hair; their skin is mostly olive or blue-green. Their back shells are usually shinier and darker than their skin, while their front shells tend to be lighter, with a yellowish cast. A tortle's mouth is beak-like and toothless and can deliver a vicious bite.
Tortles are stocky, but most of their weight comes from their shells, so they tend to remain at the same weight throughout their adult lives, never growing fat or thin. Their arms and hands are shaped like those of humans, but thicker. Tortles can wield most weapons as easily as humans. Also, they usually wear no clothing, though some may wear cloaks, belts, or harnesses for carrying tools and supplies.
Relations: Tortles are peaceful and reclusive, and tend to get along well with races with similar habits and personalities. They are especially friendly toward the peaceful lizard folk (like the caymas, shazak, and the wallaras), for few races are able to look past the reptilian aspects of their species. Other than using the slash and burn farming method (which leaches nutrients from the soil), tortles generally live in harmony with nature.
Alignment: Tortles tend to be lawful and good; chaotic or evil individuals are quite rare.
Tortle Lands: Tortles prefer warm climates and enjoy sunning themselves; they have little tolerance for cold.
Tortles are most common in Bellayne and Renardy and on the beaches south of Renardy. Most modern free tortles live along the beaches in small family groups, typically in huts made of mud and wood.
Religion: Sages and priests are common among tortles. Tortle clerics usually follow Mother Ocean (Calitha, patron of Water and Strength) or Father Earth (Ka, the patron of Earth and Life).
Language: Tortles speak their own language, simply called tortle, and most also speak Common.
Society: A typical tortle lives about 50 years. The creatures mate only once in their lives and invariably die within a year afterward. (Tortles who do not mate can live to become extremely old, with little loss of vitality.) Mating takes place in late summer, egg-laying during the fall. All females ready to produce eggs gather in a specially prepared compound, which the males guard against all attacks. Tortle eggs are considered delicacies, so the location of the egg-laying grounds is always defended. Each female lays 4-24 eggs, which hatch about six months later. Some young fall prey to predators, but most survive to be raised by adults, usually under the tutelage of aunts and uncles.
Tortle Racial Traits
- +3 Constitution, -3 Dexterity. Tortles are extremely hardy, but their large shells make them clumsy.
- Medium Size. Tortles gain no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Tortle base speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision 60': Tortles can see in the dark up to 60 feet away. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and tortles can function just fine with no light at all.
- Shell: A tortle's shell prevents the use of any form of armour, but grants the tortle a natural AC of 16. As a full-round action, the tortle may withdraw its head, legs, and arms into its shell for protection. While in its shell, a Tortle enjoys a natural AC of 20 and a +2 bonus to all save throws, but cannot move or cast spells.
- Arcane spell failure: Because of its shell, a tortle has a 20% chance for arcane spell failure, in addition to any penalties incurred by using a shield. For this reason, few tortles are wizards.
- Swim: Tortles gain a +10 racial bonus to Swim checks. While swimming, a tortle's movement rate is reduced to 15'.
- Hold Breath: A tortle can hold its breath for one hour, plus or minus 10 minutes for every Constitution bonus or penalty point.
- Bite: A tortle's bite inflicts 1d6 points of damage per hit, plus any Strength bonuses or penalties. This is a standard melee attack.
- Automatic languages: Common and Tortle. Bonus Languages: lizard-folk, troll, caymas, shazak, wallaras, and merman.
- Favoured class: Cleric. A multiclass tortle's cleric class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty.