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Noble Weasel

Weasels are a small, aggressive, fur-bearing animal found in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. It is related to the mink and ferret. The weasel has a small, flat, triangular head with short, rounded ears. It has short legs and a long, slender neck. Weasels range in length from 6 to 24 inches (15 to 60 cm), including the tail. The animal has a strong musky odor. The fur is brown above and white or yellowish below. In cold regions, the fur turns white in winter, though in some species the tip of the tail remains dark. A white weasel is sometimes called an ermine.

The weasel is swift and energetic. If it feels threatened, it may attack animals many times its size—including humans. Animals that prey on weasels include hawks, owls, foxes, and rattlesnakes. Weasels feed chiefly on rabbits, shrews, and various rodents. In many instances weasels kill more animals than they can eat. Weasels hunt chiefly at night.

Weasels commonly nest in the burrows of animals they have killed, or in hollows under rocks or trees. Both the weasel and ferret are polygamous with pregnancy occurring directly after mating, with no induced ovulation. The females ordinarily bear four to six young, which they rear without assistance from the males and which become independent at the age of two to three months.

Ferrets are a carnivorous mammal related to the weasel. It has a slender body, short legs, and a flat, triangular head. It is yellowish white, sometimes brown. They have an average length of 20 inches (51 cm) including a 5 inch (13 cm) tail, weigh about 1.5–4 pounds (0.7–2 kg), and have a natural lifespan of 7 to 10 years. Ferrets are sexually dimorphic predators with males being substantially larger than females.

Ferrets are crepuscular, which means they spend 14–18 hours a day asleep and are most active around the hours of dawn and dusk. Unlike their polecat ancestors, which are solitary animals, most ferrets will live happily in social groups. A group of ferrets is commonly referred to as a “business”. They are territorial, like to burrow, and prefer to sleep in an enclosed area.

Ferrets are obligate carnivores. Their natural diet consists of whole small prey, i.e., meat, organs, bones, skin, feathers, and fur. Ferrets have short digestive systems and quick metabolism, so they need to eat frequently.

Species Descriptions

The wily weasel and the mischievous ferret. One is sneered at, their very name synonymous with dishonesty and cowardice, while the other is considered to be amusing and endearing. Why is this? Because noble ferrets are masters of public relations, while noble weasels are masters of skullduggery.

Noble weasels often find employment as assassins for some noble animal leaders, or even for the occasional humanoid master (elves and kobolds both have been known to use noble weasels in this manner). Their reputation for cowardice is completely undeserved; even a non-noble weasel will take on a bear to defend his family.

Of course, noble weasels don’t believe in a “fair fight.” They believe that if the fight is fair, it’s already lost. Noble ferrets, on the other hand, are flighty and easily distracted. They like to play almost as much as otters, and they like shiny things almost as much as ravens.

In fact, an adventuring party that included a noble ferret, a noble otter, and a noble raven would have a lot of fun, but they would end up accomplishing very little. With a more level head to guide them, however, a noble ferret is an invaluable addition to any team.

Noble Weasel Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: 3 Strength (Noble weasels always begin play with a Strength of 3 — this can be increased through level advancement as usual), +4 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
  • Size: Tiny.
  • Base Speed: 20 feet, Climb: 20 ft.
  • Natural Weapons: Bite (1d3).
  • Attach (Ex): If a noble weasel hits with a bite attack, it can use its powerful jaws to latch onto the opponent’s body and automatically deal bite damage each round it remains attached. An attached noble weasel loses its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class.
  • Senses: Low-light vision (Ex), scent (Ex).
  • Bonus Feat: Weapon Finesse.
  • Skills: +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks and a +8 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Climb checks. Noble weasels use their Dexterity modifier instead of their Strength modifier for Climb checks. A noble weasel can always take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.
  • Family: Mammal.
  • Noble Animal Type: Noble weasels 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.

Noble Weasel, Ferret Sub-Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: 3 Strength (Noble ferrets always begin play with a Strength of 3 — this can be increased through level advancement as usual), +4 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom.
  • Attach (Ex): The noble ferret does not gain the Attach special attack.
  • Skills: +4 racial bonus to Escape Artist checks.
  • Social Group: Business.

In all other ways, the noble ferret shares the same species traits as the noble weasel.

Racial Feats

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

  • Linked Feat

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 weasels have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to all noble weasels 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.