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Noble Ape

Apes are the largest primates and the orangutan, an ape, is the largest living arboreal animal. Apes are traditionally forest dwellers, although chimpanzees may range into savanna. Except for gorillas, apes are agile climbers of trees. Their diet is best described as vegetarian or omnivorous, consisting of leaves, nuts, seeds and fruits, including grass seeds, and in most cases other animals, either hunted or scavenged, along with anything else available and easily digested.

Species Description

Noble Apes tend to be highly inquisitive, always investigating anything they detect that may be considered out of the ordinary. Aside from that, Noble Gorillas and Noble Orangutans treasure peace and quiet, while Noble Chimpanzees can run the gamut between fun-loving pranksters and brutal killers.

Noble Chimpanzees occupy a strange place among the noble wild hierarchy. While most of the other animals do not take them seriously, those same animals are often waiting with dread for the next time the noble chimpanzees decide to go on the warpath. For their own part, the noble chimpanzees don’t understand why they have such a volatile reputation; when they decide to utterly destroy a rival chimp troop (or even a pride of lions) it’s always done for a very good reason. Of course, they never tell anyone what that reason is; it’s not any of their business.

Apart from their occasional killing sprees, however, most animals and humanoids enjoy the company of noble chimpanzees. Their ready wit, antics and self-effacing humor make them very popular socially. But it pays to always keep in mind the beast that lies in wait behind their smiling eyes.

Noble Gorillas, on the other hand, have a reputation as being the gentle giants of the forests and jungles where they live. This is in direct opposition with the image that many humanoids have of them; but then, they don’t know them very well. Many noble animals of different species will often go to noble gorilla clerics for spiritual advice.

And while noble gorillas prefer to be peaceful, they can be an unholy terror when aroused; so many animals will place them under their protection.

Noble Orangutans are also very peaceful creatures, preferring flight to fight. Unlike noble gorillas, however, these apes enjoy the company of other animals and even humanoids, and they form lasting friendships with members of many species.

Noble Ape, Common Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity.
  • Size: Small.
  • Size Threshold: 3rd HD. Smaller noble apes (gibbons, etc.) do not increase in size and do not have a Natural Talent Track.
  • Base Speed: 30 ft., Climb: 30 ft.
  • Natural Weapons: Bite (1d4), Fists (1d3).
  • Hands: Unlike most animals, noble apes have hands to grasp tools. While their “natural” cousins still have not grasped the higher concepts involved in using tools, a Noble Ape can use tools and weapons without any problems.
  • Senses: Low-light vision (Ex), scent (Ex).
  • Bonus Feat: Smaller noble apes do not have a Natural Talent Track, but instead get Skill Focus (Perception) as a Bonus Feat. Larger noble apes (Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orangutans) do not get this bonus feat, instead, they use the Natural Talent Track. Additionally, all noble apes are treated as having the Improved Unarmed Strike feat for purposes of determining whether or not they are considered”armed,” but not for purposes of prerequisites for other feats, abilities, or class features.
  • Natural Talent Track: Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (Perception).
  • Skills: +8 racial bonus to Climb checks. Apes can always take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. Cannot Swim. Apes have insufficient body fat to stay afloat in water, and therefore cannot swim. Apes cannot purchase ranks in the Swim skill and automatically fail Swim checks.
  • Family: Mammal.
  • Noble Animal Type: Noble apes have the noble animal type except where superseded by other species traits and features.
  • Automatic Languages: High Fauna and Simian.
  • Bonus Languages: Bat, Camel, Canine, Common, Crocodilian, Elephant, Equine, Feline, Herdspeak, Hyena, Lizard, Monitor, Raptor, Serpent, Songbird, Ursine, and Woodland.

These rules can also represent gibbons and other apes by limiting them to the 2nd level of the ape character class.

Noble Ape, Chimpanzee Sub-Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma. This replaces the noble ape’s ability adjustments.
  • Skills: Chimpanzees gain a +10 racial bonus to Climb checks, replacing the ape’s +8.
  • Social Group: Troop.

In all other ways, the noble chimpanzee shares the same species traits and level progression as the noble ape, although a noble chimpanzee may never advance in the noble ape class above 3rd level.

Noble Ape, Gorilla Sub-Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: +4 Strength, +2 Dexterity. This replaces the noble ape’s ability adjustments.
  • Social Group: Company.

In all other ways, the noble gorilla shares the same species traits and level progression as the noble ape.

Noble Ape, Orangutan Sub-Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Strength, +4 Dexterity. This replaces the ape’s ability adjustments.
  • Skills: Orangutans gain a +10 racial bonus to Climb checks, replacing the ape’s +8.
  • Social Group: Troop.

In all other ways, the noble orangutan shares the same species traits and level progression as the noble ape, although a noble orangutan may never advance in the ape class above 3rd level.

Noble Ape Class

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills

The noble ape’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Survival (Wis).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Noble Ape
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Bonus feat, natural armor +1
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Ability increase (Dex +2)
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Bonus feat, natural armor +2
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 Ability increase (Str +2), natural armor +3

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the noble ape class.

Bonus Feat

At 1st and 3rd levels, the Noble Ape character gains a bonus feat from the following list: Aggressive Attitude, Alertness, Brachiation, Threat Display, Toughness.

Natural Armor

At 1st level you gain a natural armor bonus of +1. This bonus increases to +2 at 3rd level and +3 at 4th level.

Ability Increase

At 2nd level your Dexterity score increases by +2. At 4th level your Strength score increases by +2. These ability increases are independent of adjustments due to size increases.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Noble Wild. Copyright 2009 by Lee Garvin and Skirmisher Publishing LLC.