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Noble Canine

Canine is a grouping of carnivorous and omnivorous mammals that includes dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals, coyotes, and many other lesser known extant and extinct dog-like mammals. Wild canines are found virtually everywhere, and inhabit a wide range of different habitats, including deserts, mountains, forests, and grassland. They vary in size from the fennec fox at 9.4 in. long, to the gray wolf, which may be up to 6.6 ft. long, and can weigh up to 180 lbs.

With the exceptions of the bush dog, raccoon dog and some domestic breeds, canines have relatively long legs and lithe bodies, adapted for chasing prey. All canines are digitigrade, meaning that they walk on their toes. They possess bushy tails, non-retractile claws, and, with a few exceptions, a dewclaw on the front feet. They possess a baculum that, together with a cavernous body, helps to create a copulatory tie during mating, locking the animals together for up to an hour. Young canines are born blind, with their eyes opening a few weeks after birth.

Species Descriptions

The first species to commit entirely to Serve was dog. Alongside their beloved humans, dogs have helped to shape civilization since its very beginning. Other species may have followed suit, but dogs are humanity’s most trusted — even beloved — partners.

Wolves were a different story. While some packs chose to serve the elves, others chose to side with goblins.

And still others chose to challenge all that was good in every race, making dark deals and dabbling in forbidden magics, eventually changing their very nature.

Thus, the Worgs were born, to the everlasting shame of non-evil noble wolves the world over. Other wolves choose to serve dryads and other fey. Most wolves, however; good, evil, or neutral; choose to challenge the humanoid races.

Foxes and coyotes, of course, chose to challenge humanoids as well — albeit in a particularly puckish fashion. They delight in sneaking through fences and making off with a hen or two (or perhaps a whole sheep). Foxes in particular relish their ability to obtain entry to a farm, rob the henhouse, and leave no trace of how they got in.

Noble coyotes on the other hand, while they do consider livestock to be fair game, tend to look fondly on humanoids; particularly humans, halflings, and gnomes.

They like to teach “lessons” to the two-legged folk in the form of complicated pranks. In the case of gnomes, this can sometimes become a good-natured war of practical jokes, sometimes lasting for generations.

These rules can also represent noble dingoes, noble jackals, or any other canine species.

Noble Canine Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: -2 Strength, +4 Dexterity, +4 Constitution, +2 Wisdom.
  • Size: Tiny.
  • Size Threshold: Noble Dogs gain a size category for each level of the Noble Canine class that they take, but are not considered to have a size threshold otherwise (some noble dogs are simply of smaller breeds). They also do not gain negative levels when they grow. If a noble dog advances to 2nd level in the Noble Canine class, and therefore grows to size Medium, it does not gain the changes to its statistics normally gained for this size increase. Instead, he simply gains +2 to Strength and +2 to Dexterity.
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Natural Weapon: Bite (1d3).
  • Natural Armor: +1.
  • Senses: Low-light vision (Ex), scent (Ex).
  • Bonus Feat: Skill Focus (Perception).
  • Skills: +4 racial bonus to Survival checks when tracking by scent.
  • Family: Mammal.
  • Noble Animal Type: Noble canines have the noble animal type except where superseded by other species traits and features.
  • Social Group: Varies.
  • Automatic Languages: Canine and High Fauna.
  • Bonus Languages: Bat, Camel, Common, Crocodilian, Elephant, Equine, Feline, Herdspeak, Hyena, Lizard, Monitor, Raptor, Rodent, Serpent, Simian, Songbird, Ursine, and Woodland.

Noble coyotes, dogs, foxes, and wolves all use the noble canine character class if they wish to advance in their natural abilities, although noble coyotes and noble foxes can only ever take the 1st level.

Noble Canine, Coyote Sub-Species Traits

In all other ways, the noble coyote shares the same species traits and progression listed for noble canines, except that they can never advance in the noble canine class beyond 1st level.

Noble Canine, Dog Sub-Species Traits

  • Size Threshold: Noble Dogs gain a size category for each level of the Noble Canine class that they take, but are not considered to have a size threshold otherwise (some dogs are simply of smaller breeds). They also do not gain negative levels when they grow.
  • Skills: +4 racial bonus to Acrobatics checks made to jump.
  • Social Group: Pack.

In all other ways, the noble dog shares the same species traits and level progression listed for noble canines.

Noble Canine, Fox Sub-Species Traits

In all other ways, the noble fox shares the same species traits and level progression listed for noble canines, except that they can never advance in the noble canine class beyond 1st level.

Noble Canine, Wolf Sub-Species Traits

In all other ways, the noble wolf shares the same species traits and level progression listed for noble canines.

Noble Canine Class

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills

The noble animal’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Perception (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Noble Canine
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Bonus feat, speed increase +10
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Bonus feat

Class Features

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

Bonus Feat

At each level, the Noble Canine character gains a bonus feat from the following list: Agile Maneuvers, Aggressive Attitude, Athletic, Cautious Attitude, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Endurance, Mobility, Run, Skill Focus (survival), Spring Attack or Threat Display.

Speed Increase

At 1st level your Base Speed increases by 10 ft.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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