D&D Race: The Wild Folk

Update: I’ve got a revised and expanded version of the wild folk done now.

The Wild Folk are a race for D&D, based on the Varna from Arianrhod, the various tribes you meet in the Grandia games, Fam from Ruin Explorers (pictured above), the Mithra and Viera from Final Fantasy, etc. I’ll also probably use it for the Kurumi Project Part 2. This is my first attempt ever at creating D&D material of any kind, so I have no idea if I’ve created anything remotely worthwhile; feedback would be appreciated. Also, I need to write up some racial feats for them.

01/16/09: I’ve made a few updates based on feedback and random ideas I’ve had.

Wild Folk
A primitive, animalistic people, but strong of heart, self-possessed, and very much at home with nature.

Average Height: 4’10”-6’0”
Average Weight: 90-200 lb.
Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light

Languages: Common
Skill Bonuses: +2 Athletics, +2 Nature
Born of the Wild: Regardless of your class, you can select Nature as a class skill. You may re-roll a Nature check once, but you must keep the new result, even if it is lower.
Cornered Animal: Add a +1 racial bonus to attack rolls when bloodied.
Wild Speed: You can use wild speed as an encounter power.

Wild Speed (Wild Folk Racial Power)
Calling up a burst of adrenaline, you surge forward with reckless abandon.
Minor Action Personal

Effect: Add a power bonus of +3 to your move and of +2 to your AC against opportunity attacks until the beginning of your next turn.

Born from harsh wilderness, the Wild Folk are a primitive but hardy, spiritual people.

Play one of the Wild Folk if you want…

  • to be an anime-style fantasy character.
  • to see the world through fresh, bright eyes.
  • to play an agile, tricky warrior who reveres nature.
    to be a member of a race that favors the druid, ranger, and rogue classes.

Physical Qualities
Wild Folk basically resemble humans, but with other traits that make them resemble animals in some way. Some have the ears and/or tails of a particular animal (cats, wolves, and rabbits are especially common), some have long, pointed ears, some have horns, and so on. These traits vary from one tribe to the next, but since they can interbreed freely if they so wish, it’s not unknown for there to be at least some variation within a tribe. The table below gives some examples you can use, but you’re free to make up new ones if you wish.

Roll Tribe Description Suggested Feat
1 Alric Ears and tail of a cat Animal Senses
2 Auril Ears and tail of a wolf Alertness
3 Auria Ears and tail of a rabbit High Jump
4 Falm Extra-long elf ears and a cat-tail Improved Initiative
5 Garn Gazelle horns Fast Runner
6 Farus Ram horns Sure Climber

Wild Folk tend to be a bit shorter than humans, but there are some larger ones around, particularly among the males. Their skin tone varies depending on their native environment, anywhere from the pale folk of the northern reaches to the deep brown people of the hot savannas, but most are of a tan color. They often have yellow or green eyes, and among some tribes these are slitted like a cat. Regardless of their skin tone, Wild Folk often have fair hair, though nearly any color in possible.

The Wild Folk mature more quickly than humans, reaching adulthood around the age of 14, and they are relatively short-lived, seldom reaching more than 50 years, even given the benefits of civilization. However, their elders remain active and vigorous as long as they can, right up until they’re too weak to lift a spear.

Playing one of the Wild Folk
The Wild Folk are a tribal people who inhabit untamed lands. Members of the more civilized races sometimes dismiss them as mongrels or savages, but they thrive because they are a vital, ambitious race. Some have suggested that the Wild Folk are descended from humans or elves and magically mixed with various kinds of animals, they themselves believe that their bodies are as they were shortly after the world was made by the Creator.

Left to their own devices, some tribes of Wild Folk have developed villages and small towns, and given enough time they would have likely built a respectable civilization on their own. Contact with other races came a century or two too early for that, and the results of their mixing with the outside world have been mixed. In some places the Wild Folk have carved their own place in the greater world, while in others they are treated as slaves or animals. They normally hate seeing their fellows—or anyone else—in such a state, but their sense of justice is sometimes held back by lingering tribal divisions.

Some expect the Wild Folk to disdain the trappings of civilization, but this is simply untrue. On the whole, they are pragmatic enough to take full advantage of anything beneficial that they can lay their hands on. More than one elven wizard, genasi swordmage, or dwarven artificer has found an enthusiastic and insistent would-be student in one of the Wild Folk. These ambitions don’t always pan out, of course, but it is seldom for lack of trying.

In contrast, the Wild Folk are a very spiritual people. Although they have been known to take up the worship of the gods of other lands—and even other races!—the Wild Folk are more typically animists, giving praise and thanks to the natural world. There is the Creator who made the world, and the Dark Lady, who watches over the world and brings the embrace of death when the time comes. To them, each day and everything in it are treasures to be savored, gifts that we are allowed to claim if the whimsical Dark Lady allows. Most Wild Folk find the more typical forms of worship—building temples and anointing clerics and paladins—a bit silly. After all, everything is holy, and one need only listen closely to be anointed. When Wild Folk do adopt more common gods, they often gravitate towards the likes of Avandra, Corellon, and Melora, who also revel in freedom and natural beauty. On the other hand, when they do, they sometimes surprise fellow members of those temples by doggedly retaining their original notions of the Creator and the Dark Lady.

Wild Folk adventurers are seeking to “sing loudly,” as they are fond of saying. Whatever they do, they want to have fun and touch the world. Where dragonborn want to become legends and dwarves hope to become a part of their clans’ litanies of heroes, the Wild Folk simply want to experience all there is to experience, and help others do the same. So, they sing.

Wild Folk Characteristics: Clever, curious, fearless, feral, honest, simple, playful, practical, spiritual, unrelenting

Male Names: Api, Bahut, Dawa, Gilan, Ku, Kurnu, Mayu, Mor, Paku, Panya, Uaku, Wira

Female Names: Awa, Aysay, Haa, Lia, Kari, Maki, Maya, Melia, Miki, Oa, Riti, Tia

Wild Folk Adventurers
Three sample Wild Folk adventurers are described below.

Shyla is a Wild Folk druid, formerly of the Klathu tribe of wolf-people. Formerly, because the tribe fell to a band of orcs. She watched her entire tribe slain or enslaved, the forests razed. She escaped with a handful of children. Now that she’s found a home for those children, it is time for revenge. She has joined with others wronged by the Gargen orcs, and together they will set out on a mission of vengeance.

Mao is a Wild Folk ranger who must complete a long quest before he can succeed his father a chieftain. Like all the men of his particular tribe, he underwent an initiation process to prove that he could build canoes, hunt for food, use the bow and knives and spear, and so on. However, a chieftain must undergo a second initiation, to become something more than a man. The task the elders have set for him is a difficult one, but he faces it because he must. He has made friends from outside his tribe who are teaching him about the world, but he is sure that the final test is one he will have to face alone.

Zola is a Wild Folk rogue, abandoned in a human city when she was young. She grew up on the streets, and while she knows little of her own people, she knows the back streets of the city like the back of her hand. While she does make sure to keep her own purse full, she also steals food for orphan children, despite the fact that they’ve become convinced that pulling on her tail is good luck. She’d been dodging the city watch for ages, but when she tried to steal from a wizard, she finally overextended herself. With the city watch and some bounty hunters after the crystal she’s carrying, she talked a band of adventurers into letting her join them, and is well on her way out of the kingdom entirely.

Wild Folk Racial Feats (Heroic Tier)
Animal Senses [Wild Folk]
Prerequisite: Wild Folk
Benefit: You gain a +2 feat bonus to Perception checks where your senses of hearing or smell come into play.

High Jump [Wild Folk]
Prerequisite: Wild Folk
Benefit: Add a +4 feat bonus to Athletics checks made for jumping (see PHB pp. 182-3).

Wild Weapon Training [Wild Folk]
Prerequisite: Wild Folk
Benefit: You gain proficiency and a +2 feat bonus to damage with spears and short bows.

5 thoughts on “D&D Race: The Wild Folk

  1. I saw them as a “one size fits all” race, with a special ability based on their animal ancestor that players pick (ala Genasai) at character creation- Rabbit gets +1 speed/ref and a built in ability, Cat gets +1 init and their own little trick and so on…

    They should have another language, either a set one or players choice.

    Nature should automatically get added to their class skill choices.

    the power should be read as-
    Effect: Move up to an additional 3 squares this turn.
    An idea to add to the ability is “when this ability is activated, enemies take a -2 penalty to opportunity attacks.” to separate it away from running and other generic movement deals.

  2. Wild Movement should likely be an encounter power that lasts one turn, ignoring difficult terrain forever is pretty strong.

    Wild Speed would add +3 to your move and a +2 power bonus to AC against Attacks of Opportunity until the end of your next turn. This way, you can still be slowed during it, but it can also grant you 6 extra squares if you double move. Power bonuses tend to not stack, so the bonus to AOO wouldn’t be overwhelming.

  3. As a fan of rpgs, anime and TRPGs I first off want to thank you for this blog. Its been a fascinating read and resource.

    I love Ruin Explorers (ever since the manga pages in the Japanese Dragon Magazine-i.e. Fujimi Dragon) and had a race inspired by Fam called Wilders (in one campaigns the Wilders replaced Halflings).

    Any chance of you making a 3.x variant of this information. 4E is not my (or my group’s) thing.

    Keep up the great work,

  4. Glad you’ve been enjoying the blog. :3

    Unfortunately I don’t really know 3.x well enough to write stuff for it. If anyone else wants to write a 3.5 version of the Wild Folk they’re more than welcome, but for my part I’m not at all qualified to do so.

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