New Race: Pygmy Otyughs

Homebrew and House Rules

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The race below has been crafted because I was talking about allowed races and heard 'otyughs' mentioned. At first, I assumed they were talking about higher levels. Then I thought, why limit player access to one of the coolest critters in the Bestiary?

Racial Backstory:
In a sprawling metropolis like [Greyhawk/Absalom/Zobeck/Canterlot], there are a lot of people. Lots of people means lots of...well, we'll call it 'refuse'. And all this refuse has to go somewhere.

That's generally where the sewers come in, obviously. But in worlds where subterranean monsters like ropers and ghouls are commonplace, only the desperate or mad would accept a job keeping those sewers tidy.

It was a problem. Luckily, an enterprising party of adventurers had an easy solution. They journeyed down into the [Darklands/Underdark/some random hole in the ground] and assembled a veritable army of strange aberrations called otyughs. These creatures were willing--indeed, eager--to 'dispose' of the problem. They were led to the sewers and allowed to live there in peace.

And for a while, all was well.

But then things started to go wrong, as things are wont to do. Filth began spilling out of sewer grates and chamber pots, often accompanied by rats--and worse things. Chokers started to take advantage of their ability to fit in tight spaces to crawl out of drains and strangle citizens in their sleep.

The same adventurers from before were sent down into the sewers to interrogate the otyughs, and found that the reason the sewers were not being cleaned was that the otyughs were going missing. Only about twenty remained of the original forty.

Following trails of green blood and muck, the adventurers learned that a guild of human alchemists sponsored by a paranoid nobleman had been attempting to breed a smaller, more easily-controlled sort of otyugh. The adventurers invaded the guild headquarters only to discover that the foul philosophers had been utterly successful. The captured otyughs had been experimented on again and again, and killed in the process, but a new artificial species had emerged.

Although the nobleman was prosecuted for his crimes, the otyughs were outraged by this betrayal. They abandoned the city, moving back to the [Underdark/Darklands/hole in the ground].

The adventurers had not had the chance to inform the otyughs of their new progeny, and never would. The progeny thus remained, raised by the adventurers to eventually return the sewers--and thus the entire city--to order.

Thus were the first pygmy otyughs created.

Racial Description:
Physical Description: Pygmy otyughs look almost exactly like their larger kin. They have three stumpy legs, two long barbed tentacles, and one tentacle at the top with several eyes. They also have very, very large, toothy maws that put goblins to shame. Pygmy otyughs constantly reek, thanks to their style of living, and they generally like it that way.

Society: Pygmy otyughs are fairly social creatures compared to their cousins. Although their unseemly attitudes tend to drive off non-otyughs, their disorganized clusters always welcome new members.

Relations: The relations of pygmy otyughs are as complex as pygmy otyughs themselves are not. Normal otyughs regard pygmy otyughs with a mixture of pity and confusion. Humans and half-elves prefer to see the pygmy otyughs as near-mindless beasts. Dwarves initially respected the otyughs as hardworking creatures, until they realized the otyughs were just, well, eating. Then they decided to avoid otyughs as much as possible. Elves and gnomes think otyughs are gross. Oddly, half-orcs and halflings find common ground here. Half-orcs are welcomed into pygmy otyugh clusters, and halflings share the otyughs' easygoing natures (it helps that pygmy otyughs often go along with whatever anybody else says).

Alignment and Religion: Pygmy otyughs are amicable, but loathe to stick out their nonexistant necks for people they don't know. Most otyughs are neutral. Pygmy otyughs don't always understand the concept of gods, but those that do tend to favor, bizarrely enough, Shelyn. Heavens know what Shelyn thinks of this.

Adventurers: Although pygmy otyughs like to stay close to their lairs, some--especially those without a cluster--choose to roam abroad, seeking companionship from an adventuring party.

Racial Traits:
+4 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -4 Charisma: Pygmy otyughs are very hardy, and cleverer than their cousins, but they're still rather slow and crude.
Medium: Pygmy otyughs are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Slow Speed: Pygmy otyughs have a base speed of 20 feet.
Scent: Pygmy otyughs gain Scent (see the Bestiary for details).
Light Blindness: Abrupt exposure to bright light blinds pygmy otyughs for 1 round; on subsequent rounds, they are dazzled as long as they remain in the affected area.
Triped: Otyughs gain a +4 bonus to their CMB to resist trip attempts.
Darkvision: Otyughs can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Clumsy: An otyugh has tentacles, not hands, and takes a -2 penalty on attacks wielding most weapons and a -4 penalty on skill checks involving finer manipulation.
Ill Appearance: Pygmy otyughs are not immune to disease, nor do they transmit it through their bite, but they do gain a +4 bonus on saves vs. disease.
Tentacles: Pygmy otyughs gain two secondary tentacle attacks, each dealing 1d2 damage. These tentacles have 10 foot reach. Note that secondary attacks take -5 to hit and only add 1/2 the Str bonus to damage.
Bite: Pygmy oytughs gain a primary bite attack that deals 1d6 damage.
Armor: Pygmy otyughs have a +1 natural armor bonus.
Languages: Pygmy otyughs begin play speaking Common. Pygmy otyughs with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Halfling, Undercommon, Orc, Dwarf and Aklo.

Aberration 3 RP
Paragon Abilities (sorta) 1 RP
Slow Speed -1 RP
Scent 4 RP
Light Blindness -2 RP
Triped 1 RP
Clumsy -2 RP
Ill Appearance 1 RP
Filthy 1 RP
Tentacles 3 RP
Bite 2 RP
Natural Armor 2 RP

Total: 13

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Awesome, also, Ewwwwww!

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This is absolutely fabulous. I'm totally stealing these for my future dark ages earth game. Someone has to live in the abandoned cities after all!

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Shelyn cleric coming up...

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Ewwwww... Ewwww.... I remember the first time i fought an otyugh (in baldur's gate 2) and just Ewwww. But i like it. I'll see if I can use it eventually, I'm quite fond of custom races.

The Exchange

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Kobold Cleaver: I'm glad somebody shares my enthusiasm for the otyugh. Every GM has his 'pet' monsters, and otyughs are on my list; they tend to turn up as non-combat encounters, since my players have learned that even a hostile otyugh is incredibly easy to bribe (usually with the kind of stuff you find while cleaning out a crowded fridge.)

I doubt I'll use the pygmy otyughs as you present them, but it did give me an idea for slapping the "Young" template on a few otyughs and giving my PCs a "kindergarten class gone very, very wrong" encounter next time they're in the sewers.

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Yeah, the backstory is meant to be optional. I also considering the pygmies just being a common natural mutation, or just being a smaller relative.

And because "Why not?"...

Alternate Favored Class Bonuses:
Alchemists: Add 1/3 to your natural armor bonus when using the mutagen (maximum +5).
Barbarians: Add a +2 bonus on checks made to stabilize while dying.
Clerics: Add a +1 bonus on concentration checks to continue casting a spell after taking damage.
Druids: Add +1 hit points to your animal companion.
Fighters: Add +1/2 to CMB checks made to grapple.
Gunslingers: Nice try.
Rangers: Add a +1/2 bonus on Knowledge (dungeoneering) checks.
Rogues: Add a +1 bonus on checks to disable traps and pick locks. Past +4, this bonus is reduced to +1/2 (thus neutralizing the clumsiness of otyugh tentacles).

I'm no expert on favored class bonuses, so it's possible some of these are imbalanced.

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KC, have you considered fleshing it out into a full product and pitching it to Purple Duck?

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

The race below has been crafted because I was talking about allowed races and heard 'otyughs' mentioned. At first, I assumed they were talking about higher levels. Then I thought, why limit player access to one of the coolest critters in the Bestiary?

** spoiler omitted **...

I just noticed a small clerical error. "Ill Appearance" grants a +8 bonus on stealth checks when amid waste. "Filthy", which was removed by mistake, is what gives them the +4 on saves vs. disease.

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I need to know the Summoner FC bonus...

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Not all classes do get alt FC bonuses, to my understanding, and summoning didn't seem terribly otyugh-ish to me.

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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
KC, have you considered fleshing it out into a full product and pitching it to Purple Duck?

I wouldn't even know where to send it. :P

The Exchange

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A tiny suggestion on the racial benefits: it should probably be "tripod" or "tripedal" rather than "triped." For easier comprehension.

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Well, I wanted to remain consistent with "Quadruped", but I guess it doesn't much matter.

The reason "triped" sees little use is its only real-life application is...well, nonexistant. Ain't no tripedal animals, see. ;D

Hah! Great!

Scarab Sages

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Sissyl wrote:
I need to know the Summoner FC bonus...

+1/4 to effective Charisma score for purposes of spellcasting and interacting with its Eidolon only. An Eidolon unfortunate enough to be bound by an Otyugh will often gift its master with unusual degrees of magical power, if only so their being bound to them won't feel like such an indignity.

Bard: +1 to Perform checks for the purposes of Countersong and Distraction only. Otyughs are "iffy" at best on the concept of what makes a beautiful performance, but noise and distraction they tend to have a better grasp of.

Occultist: +1/10 additional Implement. Search long and hard enough, and you'd be utterly amazed at what you can find in garbage heaps.

Wizard: +1/4 to saving throw DCs of spells that inflict disease, or the sickened or nauseated conditions. As a noted pioneer of Otyugh wizardry once said: "MRAGHR!!! GURG LIKE FARTY STICK!!!"

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You know I'm going to make a pygmy otyugh bard now!

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Dotting this. It's hysterical and I'll probably end up using these at some point so thank you for this gift to the world Kobold Cleaver!

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