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Noble Raccoon

Raccoons are a small, furred animal with a ringed tail and a black “mask” on its fox-like face. The original habitats of the raccoon are deciduous and mixed forests, but due to their adaptability they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and urban areas. The diet of the omnivorous raccoon, which is usually nocturnal, consists of about 40% shellfish and insects, 33% plant foods, and 27% small animals.

Raccoons may be from 25 to 35 inches (64 to 89 cm) long and weigh more than 40 pounds (18 kg). Its fur has long, coarse, black-tipped guard hairs, ranging from light to dark gray. The under-fur is yellowish brown. There are black rings around the animal’s eyes, and its muzzle is white. The short bushy tail is gray or yellowish with a black tip, and is circled by several black rings. Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur which insulates against cold weather.

Two of the raccoon’s most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask, which are themes in the mythology of numerous tribes. Raccoons are noted for their intelligence, with studies showing that they are able to remember the solution to tasks for up to three years.

Raccoons engage in gender-specific social behavior. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season, and other potential invaders. Home range sizes vary anywhere from 3 hectares (7 acres) for females in cities to 50 km2 (20 sq mi) for males in prairies. After a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young, known as “kits”, are born in spring. The kits are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersion in late fall. When not under external pressure, raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, however their average life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years.

Species Descriptions

For the noble raccoon, every latched door is a challenge, every open window an invitation, and every notion of property a funny, funny joke. They are constantly amused by the endless variety of methods that humanoids and even some animals will use for the sole purpose of keeping them out of their stuff. They see themselves in the lovable rogue role rather than the ruthless bandit role, and so occasionally enter a humanoid family (especially gnomes) as a “pet.”

Noble Raccoon Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: -4 Strength, +4 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom.
  • Size: Small.
  • Base Speed: 30 ft., Climb 20 ft.
  • Natural Weapons: 2 claws (1d2), and 1 bite (1d3).
  • Natural Armor: +1.
  • Vestigial Hands: Unlike most animals, noble raccoons have vestigial hands that can be used to grasp tools. While their “natural” cousins still have not grasped the higher concepts involved in using tools, a noble raccoon can use tools and weapons with only a -2 awkwardness penalty (provided they are of an appropriate size).
  • Senses: Low-light vision (Ex), scent (Ex).
  • Bonus Feat: Alertness.
  • Skills: +4 racial bonus on Disable Device checks and Escape Artist checks.
  • Family: Mammal.
  • Noble Animal Type: Noble raccoons have the noble animal type except where superseded by other species traits and features.
  • Social Group: None.
  • Automatic Languages: High Fauna and Woodland.
  • Bonus Languages: Bat, Camel, Canine, Common, Crocodilian, Elephant, Equine, Feline, Herdspeak, Hyena, Lizard, Monitor, Raptor, Rodent, Serpent, Simian, Songbird, and Ursine.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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