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Scincids

Scincids are skink-persons, short, squat, and highly practical.  (Gnome-like?  You bet!)

Pronounced “skin-sids,” scincids are skinkmen, four foot tall and wider of build than varanids.  Scincids are in many ways similar to varanids but wider faced, nonvenomous, less often upright, and both wider- and more flexibly pawed.  Very dark green-gray, blue, and blue-yellow in color, they tend to let their tongues hang out of their maws unless eating or talking.  (They also tend to snore fiercely and comically.)

Oddly fond of non-squamids, the scincids also tend to be better received by humans, unhumans, and gmothi than their more common, more military cousins.  Scincids tend to strike humans as “funny” and “warm.”

That said, the scincids are even less “human” than the monitorlizardmen:  Though, like the varanids, the scincids’ voiceboxes were long ago re-blueprinted for communication with humans and unhumans, the skinkmen’s minds remain in a lizard-like underbrush, where objects are understood very immediately and pragmatically.

Great builders, trapsetters, and (when trained) carpenters and smiths, the scincids are nevertheless poor abstract thinkers.  Scincids often do not properly understand jokes, customs, metaphors, religions, and (for entirely different reasons) why their colleagues do not wish to share their traditional jam of damselfly peppered with mildly toxic scorpions.

Perhaps more problematic, in terms of practical mercenary and “adventuring” work (whatever the latter means), is the fact that scincids tend to constantly steal whatever they find visually arresting or potentially useful.  (The flipside being, they often give away “useless” human-ish things like banknotes…)

Scincids come from the huge island of Gemgarran to the north of Arakha.  There, where there is very little non-insect life and not nearly as much radiation and fungal decadence as in Pala or Latura, the scincids lived at a Stone Age level until the last hundred years.  (There, they still have no “government” or even “family” organizations that we would understand.  They have begun, however, to form trade groups of sorts and to collaborate on larger undertakings, such as the opening up of certain marshlands to habitation or the construction of facilities for the manufacture of weapons—to defend themselves from the Palans; see below.)

But in Arakha, where the scincids increasingly immigrated over the last thousand years for reasons largely of curiosity, they became citizens of modern Pala and tended to take artisanal work.  And then…

In the ramp up to the Second Unhuman War, large numbers of scincids were trained as expert marksmen by the Arakhan and Vennari governments.  They excelled and made no complaints—on Gemgarran, the skinkmen had always fought internecine battles…  They did not, however, understand war.  These scincid sharper cohorts tended to see the absolute worst of the Second War, and they came away with a dim view of both non-squamid-kind and the varanids of Arakha, who they saw as manipulative and, in many instances, cowardly.

Today, the average scincid of Pala is wary, a true mercenary in many senses.  Further, almost every scincid has an innate distrust of unhumans and will be hesitant, at least at first, to work with one.

Ability modifiers:  +2 DEX, +1 CON, +1 WIS, -2 INT.

Size:  Small.  Land speed 20 feet.

Hell science classes allowed:  Malmain.

Species bonus:

  • Small size:  +1 size bonus to Armor Class.  +4 size bonus on Hide checks.  Carrying capacity is 3/4 human.  Must use smaller melee weapons; cannot use heavy weapons.
  • Sprinter:  Base movement is normal when sprinting (so sprinting is much faster, per human); base movement slows to 1/2 human after CON/4 rounds.
  • Fangs and claws:  d4/1/1 damage, -0/-2/-2 attack, automatically proficient.
  • Pragmatic:  +2 Craft, Use Device.
  • Simple and hardy:  +1 bonus on all saving throws.  +2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear:  This bonus stacks with the +1 bonus on saving throws in general.
  • Bugeater/half-warm blooded:  Does not eat as much as other characters, except gmothi and artificial lifeforms.
  • Favored class:  Thief (Gearfilcher).

Species malus:

  • Squamous:  Requires wetskin to travel without losing 1 CON/day outside of wetlands (1 bonus at start must be spent on Archaetech: Wetskin).
  • Very literal:  -2 to bluff, sense motive, and any enigma-related check.
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