Syaandi are a hardy, nomadic race of lizard-like humanoids that tend to prefer warm, arid climates, though they are sufficiently adaptable to be make their homes in many different lands.
Physical Description: Syaandi stand nearly 7 feet tall and weigh 250 pounds. Their grayish skin (sometimes tending toward blue or violet shades, especially in their young) is rough like sandpaper, made up of countless tiny scales, with larger scales on their faces, forearms, and lower limbs. Their faces are blunt and shaped similarly to humans, and while their teeth are sharper and more jagged than a human’s they are not designed for combat. Their fingers are likewise thick and strong, tipped with rugged nails rather than claws.
Their eyes are often a piercing violet or pale blue.
Society: Thriving in arid environments, syaandi expand their influence to become the apex predators of the territories they claim, which often range over dozens of square miles.
Syaandi split their territories among small family units, each staying close to one another for mutual support. During festivals, they gather in greater numbers to engage in mock combat and athletic competitions. Syaandi often use these events to create further family units by marrying off eligible children, all in an effort to keep the entire race viable.
Consummate hunters, syaandi feed and clothe themselves with their kills. They prove fearless in combat and shrug off even the most mortal wounds to keep fighting to the bitter end, even giving up their self-control to enter a focused rage. Though syaandi often craft their own weapons, they also assault travelers and caravans to scavenge additional equipment, reasoning that any group incapable of repelling them would only suffer the horrors of the desert anyway, so they do such victims a favor by dispatching them more mercifully.
Syaandi childbearing benefits from their hermaphroditic physiology, and gestation requires only one month so as not to overburden the parent or family unit. Children learn to handle a sling and spear as soon as they can walk, and syaandi parents abandon any offspring incapable of hunting alongside them. Within their culture, even aging syaandi elders may sacrifice themselves in battle to weaken their enemies rather than slow down the rest of their kind in fleeing a great beast.
Relations: Outsiders who encounter syaandi have difficulty winning their trust, least of all because communicating with them is nigh impossible without magic or telepathy. Syaandi have no tongues and have worked out a complex language comprised of clicks, screeches, and guttural grunts that prove hard to translate.
They can easily grasp concepts from other languages if they take the time to learn them, but in most cases, they demand that interlopers prove themselves to gain acceptance. Such trials include severing a sand glutton’s tentacle and returning with it or tearing off a chag bull’s horn without the use of weapons. Some syaandi even attempt the same trial in competition with them to show their own bravery.
Depending on how well outsiders perform at these tasks, the syaandi family may entertain a newcomer’s requests, accept them into their family, or simply drive them out. Regardless, syaandi make good guides through the wastelands and command premiums goods in return for such assistance. Most people who require help from the syaandi do not balk at their demands.
Alignment and Religion: Syaandi tend towards chaotic alignments, avoiding attachments and large societies in favor of small, independent family groups. They are primarily nomadic, settling wherever the trade or hunting is good and staying long enough to deplete the local resources before moving on. Many syaandi follow a form of shamanic ancestor worship, though some also follow the path of strength, violence, and mayhem.
Male and Female Names: Syaandi do have a concept of gender, but their names do not differentiate based on it. Names typically are formed from a complex series of sounds that indicate the relationship between the speaker and the person they are addressing, often with a coda indicating their current mood relating to that person.
Names can thus change from conversation to conversation.
- Ability Score Modifiers +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, –2 Wisdom: Syaandi are fierce and tough in close combat, but often overconfident and even foolhardy.
- Type: Syaandi are humanoids with the reptilian subtype.
- Size: Syaandi are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Speed: Syaandi have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Senses: Syaandi can see twice as far as a human in low light conditions.
- Special Abilities:
Cornered Fury (Ex)
Syaandi gain a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear effects.
- Scavenger Scent: Syaandi have a keen sense for carrion and death, gaining a limited version of the scent special quality that applies only to corpses, creatures taking bleed damage, and creatures with fewer than 50% of their hit points remaining.
- Unintelligible: Syaandi lack the vocal apparatus to mimic intelligible speech to most races. They can learn to read, write, and understand other tongues, and can communicate with others through magic such as tongues or share language or by telepathy. Lacking such means, they cannot use language-dependent effects to affect creatures not fluent in Syaandu. Syaandi gain a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Sense Motive checks made to communicate nonverbally (treat as passing along a secret message). This does not impair their ability to cast spells with verbal components or to use spell-completion items, but it does prevent the use of spell-trigger items with command words unless they were crafted by a syaandi (though they can activate such items with the Use Magic Device skill).
- Languages: Syaandi begin play speaking only Syaandu. Syaandi with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Common, Draconic, Elven, Gnoll, Gnome, Sylvan, Terran. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
Alternate Racial Traits
The following alternate racial traits may be selected in place of one or more of the standard racial traits above. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.
- Heat Endurance: Some syaandi are particularly well adapted to blazing-hot deserts, gaining a +2 bonus on saving throws vs. fire effects and fire resistance 5, and they can survive in a hot climate as if using endure elements. This racial trait replaces hardy.
- Keen Scent: Some syaandi scouts are carefully trained to sniff out danger and prey, gaining the scent special quality. This racial trait replaces low-light vision and scavenger scent.
- Sand Stalker: Syaandi are deadly desert hunter, gaining a +2 bonus on Stealth checks and reducing the distance at which they can be detected by scent to 10 feet (20 feet if upwind, 5 feet if downwind). When covered in at least an inch of sand or similar loose grit (which the syaandi can do as a standard action), this Stealth bonus is increased to +4 and they can be detected by scent only within 5 feet. If a syaandi takes 1 minute to bury itself in sand, this bonus is increased to +10 and they cannot be detected by scent at all. A syaandi can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 4 times its Constitution score before it begins to suffocate. This racial trait replaces cornered fury and fearless.
- Sandcrawler: Some syaandi are adept at moving through sandy deserts. They do not treat soft sand as difficult terrain and do not take penalties on Acrobatics and Stealth checks made on sandy surfaces. This racial trait replaces scavenger scent.
Favored Class Options
The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.
- Alchemist: Add +1/6 to the alchemical bonuses granted by the alchemist’s mutagen.
- Cavalier: Add 1/4 of a bonus teamwork feat.
- Fighter: Add 1/3 of a bonus Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat.
- Gunslinger: Add +1 foot to the range increment of one type of firearm. In combat this has no effect unless the gunslinger has selected this reward 5 times (or another increment of 5).
- Magus: Add +1 on concentration checks for spells cast while using spell combat.
- Warpriest: Add 1 to your effective level to determine the damage dealt by your sacred weapon.
Alien Codex © 2018, Legendary Games; Lead Designer: Jason Nelson. Authors: Anthony Adam, Kate Baker, John Bennet, Eytan Bernstein, Robert Brookes, Russ Brown, Duan Byrd, Paris Crenshaw, Jeff Dahl, Robyn Fields, Joel Flank, Matt Goodall, Robert J. Grady, Jim Groves, Steven T. Helt, Thurston Hillman, Tim Hitchcock, Nick Hite, Daniel Hunt, Mike Kimmel Marshall, Isabelle Lee, Jeff Lee, Lyz Liddell, Jason Nelson, Richard Pett, Tom Phillips, Jeff Provine, Alistair J. Rigg, Alex Riggs, Wendall Roy, Mike Shel, Neil Spicer, Todd Stewart, Russ Taylor, Rachel Ventura, Mike Welham, George Loki Williams, Scott Young.