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Noble Hyena

The hyena is a carnivorous dog-like species of animal, native to open savanna plains and grassland. There are four known species of hyena, the spotted hyena, the striped hyena, the brown hyena and the aardwolf.

Hyenas are scavenger mammals meaning that the hyena tends to eat another animals kill, rather than the hyena actually catching its own food. The hyena is well known for its cackling laugh-like scream, which the hyena is believed to use in order to alert other hyenas of a source of food. This hyena call is thought to be able to be heard by other hyenas for up to three miles.

All four hyena species have a bear-like stance as the front legs of a hyena are longer than the back legs of a hyena. The striped hyena, the brown hyena and the aardwolf all have a striped mane on the top of the hyenas neck that stands up when the hyena is frightened. The main of a spotted hyena is considerably shorter and appears to stand on end the majority of the time.

Hyenas group together in packs with the den of the hyena pack generally being in the center of their territory. The hyena pack will tend to hunt for food as a group and the hyena is exceptionally strong jaws in relation to the body size of the hyena.

Species Descriptions

Hyenas have one of the worst reputations in the animal kingdom — both natural and noble — as cruel scavengers whose mocking, laughing call heralds savage attacks of terrifying brutality. While this reputation may be a bit unfair for the natural hyena — they fill a much needed ecological niche, feeding on the parts of animals left behind by more “honorable” predators, and thus limiting the spread of disease — noble hyenas have definitely made some questionable choices in the past, either in how they challenge, or who they serve.

Noble hyenas are often attracted to power. This sometimes causes them to affiliate themselves with ambitious animals or humanoids of any race or species, especially if promised a share of the glory. Some noble hyenas have entered into service with various evil humanoid tribes (especially gnolls), wherein they pledge the service of their pack, but they do not, themselves, serve.

This is not to say that all noble hyenas are unrepentantly evil or self-serving. There are quite a few individuals who attempt to mitigate the evil done by their brethren by embarking on a life of humble heroics.

Noble Hyena Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: +4 Dexterity.
  • Size: Small.
  • Size Threshold: 2nd Hit Die.
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Natural Weapons: Bite (1d4).
  • Natural Armor: +2 natural armor bonus.
  • Senses: Low-light vision (Ex), scent (Ex).
  • Bonus Feat: Alertness.
  • Skills: +4 racial bonus to Stealth checks in areas of tall grass or undergrowth.
  • Family: Mammal.
  • Noble Animal Type: Noble hyenas have the noble animal type except where superseded by other species traits and features.
  • Social Group: Pack.
  • Automatic Languages: High Fauna and Hyena.
  • Bonus Languages: Bat, Camel, Canine, Common, Crocodilian, Elephant, Equine, Feline, Herdspeak, Lizard, Monitor, Raptor, Rodent, Serpent, Simian, Songbird, Ursine, and Woodland.

Racial Feats

The following feats are available to a noble hyena character who meets the prerequisites.

  • Linked Feat

Noble Hyena Class

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills

The noble hyena’s class skills are Bluff (Cha), Perception (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Survival (Wis).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Noble Hyena
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Ability increase (Dex +2, Con +2), speed increase +10
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Trip, speed increase +10

Class Features

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

Ability Increase

Your Dexterity and Constitution increase by +2 at 1st level.

Speed Increase

Your Base Speed is increased by 10 ft. at each level.

Trip (Ex)

At 2nd level, you gain the Trip special attack. If you hit with a bite attack you can attempt to trip the opponent (+2 check modifier) as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip you.

Alternative Racial Traits

You can exchange one or several of your character’s normal racial Traits, but of course you cannot exchange the same racial trait more than once.

As with any alternate or optional rule, you must first get the permission of your GM to exchange any of your character’s normal racial Traits for those listed here.

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Favored Class Alternatives

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, noble hyenas have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to all noble hyenas who have the listed Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.

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Section 15: Copyright Notice

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