There are many races of reptilian humanoids in the world, but few are as secretive and little understood as the scalzians. Nearly indistinguishable from the far more numerous throngs of humanity, scalzians conceal themselves amongst the crowds of 'warm bloods', a race in hiding from the eyes of those that do not understand them.
According to scalzian legend, their race came into being when an ancient race of true serpent-folk began magically modifying their human slaves in order to create servitors who shared traits with their overlords. The goal was to create a new species, capable of breeding with the fecundity of humankind while carrying the serpentine traits of the serpent-folk. It was a desperate move, designed to combat the dwindling numbers of the scalzians' creators.
These result of these experiments were the scalzian, creatures that looked human but shared several snake-like traits with their progenitors: they were cold-blooded, had a slender, sinuous build, and retractable fangs that were, in a small number of cases, capable of delivering a mild toxin.
Whether the scalzians could have bred true with the serpent-folk remains unanswered. The first scalzian had only just reached maturity when the humans rebelled, overthrowing the serpent-folk and slaughtering any of the 'abominations' they discovered. Perhaps as few as a hundred scalzians escaped destruction, and went into hiding amongst the very people who had tried to annihilate them.
Personality: Scalzians often come across as reserved and stand-offish, with a very sober and restrained outlook on life. This reserved stance is a product of their need to always conceal who they truly are. Scalzians always think before they speak, carefully considering every word and every act they take against the necessity of remaining hidden from the prying eyes of humanity.
Scalzians tend to be adept at deflecting questions and obfuscating the truth. They are a subtle folk, rarely working directly toward a goal when they can use subterfuge and misdirection instead. Their plans are often designed to come to fruition over the longer term, sacrificing immediate results for fewer risks. It is not uncommon for a scalzian to lay plans that will not see completion until his children or grandchildren are fully grown.
Physical Description: Scalzians are slightly shorter than humans, with a slender, light-boned build. They generally have tapering or heart-shaped faces with oval eyes. Their hair is dark and often quite thin, while their skin has a coppery tone. They rarely have facial hair, and their eyes are usually black or brown. Elderly scalzians of either gender are usually bald.
Scalzians favor loose-fitting clothes, as these help disguise their comparatively slender builds. They avoid ornamentation such as jewelry or elaborately tailored clothes, but often wear headgear or wigs.
Relations: Scalzians try to conceal their presence from other races as much as possible. This is especially true of their dealings with humans, as the latter still have murky and half-remembered legends of the scalzians and the oppressors that created them. Unfortunately, these stories often conflate the scalzians with their far more malevolent progenitors, who committed many atrocities against their slaves. This causes most humans to treat known scalzians with fear and hostility.
Alignment: Leading lives of secrecy and concealment, most scalzians are pragmatists rather than idealists, doing what they need to do to stay alive. Most make an active effort to avoid becoming the kind of monsters that the humans believe them to be, tending towards neutral alignment with respect to good and evil.
Scalzians respect laws and authority (being a good citizen helps to avoid attention) but they are not above circumventing the law when they need to and often put their needs and the needs of their immediate families ahead of those of the wider community. Scalzian have a slight tendency toward chaotic alignments, but lawful scalzian are not uncommon.
Scalzian Lands: The scalzians have never possessed a land of their own, and seem unlikely to do so at any time in the near future. Their numbers are too few and too scattered for them to establish a homeland of their own, and any attempt would have to be made far from any human kingdom.
Most scalzians live in human communities, as their physical resemblance to humans makes it easy to conceal their true identities. Some scalzians do live amongst other races, if those races are accepting of humans. It is rumored that more desperate scalzians, tired of hiding amongst humanity, have begun establishing themselves amongst the tribes of goblinoids. If there is any truth to these rumors, it is a development that their fellow scalzians look upon with dismay.
Religion: Many scalzians have adopted the faiths of the humans who surround them. Knowing themselves to be a created race, they do not reverence any deity as their creator, and all but a debased few reject outright the bloodthirsty gods of their long-dead progenitors.
Language: Scalzians speak Common and Draconic. They generally speak Draconic amongst themselves, but learn Common as part of concealing their true identities.
Names: Scalzians usually adopt human names for their dealings with other races. Centuries of hiding among human communities has resulted in many scalzians favoring their human names over those of their traditional tongue, leading to conflicts between the older generations who fear the loss of what little culture the scalzians still possess. The younger generations generally ignore such arguments, often stating that a people who spend their lives pretending to be something else can no longer be considered to have their own culture.
Scalzian Male Names: Colubrid, Crotalus, Gyal, Stoerer
Scalzian Female Names: Boidae, Elapidae, Nerodia, Tantilla
Scalzian Family Names: Ahsp, Coraba, Mamaba, Veper
Adventurers: Finding themselves bereft of a homeland and constantly concealing their true identities, it is little wonder that many scalzians turn to the life of an adventurer. Such a career allows them to travel widely, never staying in one place for too long and forming close attachments only with those alongside whom they daily risk their lives. Adventurers are a diverse and idiosyncratic group of people, less prone to the prejudices and suspicions of the wider community.
Scalzian Racial Traits
• +2 bonus to Dexterity and a -2 penalty to Strength. Scalzian are fast and agile, but their slender build and light bone structure makes them physically weaker than the average human.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, scalzian have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Scalzian base land speed is 30 feet.
• Scalzian type is Humanoid (Reptilian).
• Low-Light Vision: A scalzian can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
• +2 racial bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy checks. Scalzians are used to lying about their true natures and negotiating with others.
• Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against telepathic powers manifested by psionic scalzian. This adjustment stacks with those from similar effects. The scalzian s facility at influencing others extends even to the realm of mind-magic.
• +2 bonus to Disguise checks made to disguise themselves as humans. This cancels out the normal -2 penalty for impersonating a member of another race. Scalzians are well-practiced at adopting the guise of humans.
• +1 natural armor bonus. Although it appears all but identical to human flesh, scalzian skin is much more resilient.
• Cold-blooded: Scalzian physiology is susceptible to intense cold. They suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws against cold-based attacks, and a 2 penalty to Dexterity when in temperatures below 40° Fahrenheit.
• Torpor: Despite their appearance, scalzian physiology is substantially different from that of humans. They do not need sleep, but require four hours of inactivity each day, in which they absorb ambient heat from the environment in order to regulate their bodies' functions. A scalzian who is an arcane spellcaster must still get eight hours of rest in order to prepare new spells.
During their period of torpor, the scalzian is fully aware, but their bodily functions slow to a minimum. If they are roused and must act during this time, they are treated as fatigued until such time as they can return to their state of torpor and complete the required four hours' rest.
• Fangs: Scalzian have retractable incisors they can use to bite opponents in combat. This is a natural bite attack that inflicts 1d2 points of lethal damage.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Draconic. Bonus Languages: Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Goblin, Orc. Scalzian speak the languages of the people amongst whom they conceal themselves, as well of those of their most common enemies and allies.
• Favored Class: Psion. A multiclass scalzian s psion class does not count when determining whether they take an experience point penalty.
• Level Adjustment: +0
If your campaign does not feature psionics, change the scalzian favored class to sorcerer.
Scalzian receive a +1 racial bonus to the DC of any enchantment spell they cast rather than the bonus to Telepathic powers.
|Race||Adulthood||Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer||Bard, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger||Cleric, Druid, Monk, Wizard|
|Race||Middle Age||Old||Venerable||Maximum Age|
|Scalzian||40 years||60 years||80 years||+2d20 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||4' 8"||+2d10||95 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|
|Female||4' 4"||+2d10||70 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|