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Thread: Cynocephali: Dog-folk for Dog Jokes

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    Default Cynocephali: Dog-folk for Dog Jokes

    this page on the homebrewery.

    So, many people like to make dog jokes about gnolls. I prefer to treat them like hyenas (in case previous homebrew didn't make that clear) so I figured I'd write up the Cynocephali from ancient greek mythology to fill the equivalent.

    Fluff
    Living in mountain peaks or remote islands away from civilized lands, the cynocephali closely resemble humanoid dogs. They are renowned for their skirmishing ability, striking with throwing spears and arrows from afar as they make their retreat behind mountain passes. In many places they have formed alliances those in the valleys below, exchanging meat, amber, and spices for grain and worked weapons.

    Wealth among the Cynocephali is measured in quantity, often in the size of an individual's flock of sheep and goats. They typically wear finely tanned hides, and metal armor is rare among their native lands.



    Cynocephali Racial Features

    Ability Score Increase
    Your Strength, Constitution, and Wisdom scores each increase by 1.

    Age
    Cynocephali mature slightly slower than humans, and they’re considered young until they reach the age of 35. They typically remain vigorous until they reach about 150, at which point old age rapidly sets in. Plenty live to 170, but only a few past 200.

    Alignment
    Cynocephali live in communal groups, often living in caves or on the move through maintain ranges and isolated islands. Most communities lean strongly toward law and good as a method of keeping the peace between themselves and their neighbors, although communities where this breaks down tend to take as hard turn for evil and chaos. A truly neutral Cynocephalus is a rare sight.

    My sources listed some discrepancies between greek descriptions/that one saint and the race as described by Marco Polo. I can't read Greek, Latin, or Italian, so I'm not sure about the accuracy.

    Cynocephalus Weapon Training
    You have proficiency with the javelin, spear, shortsword, and shortbow.

    Keen Smell
    Thanks to your sensitive nose, you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception), Wisdom (Survival), and Intelligence (Investigation) checks that involve smell.

    Languages
    You can speak, read, and write Common and Cynocephali. Cynocephali sounds almost identical to barking, and is mutually intelligible with Worg and other languages of creature related to wolves. Most Cynocephali know only a little bit of Common, but those who deal with outsiders (and that includes you as an adventurer) pick up enough Common to get by in other lands.

    I'm not sure how to put this. Separate languages that are understandable between each other already exists as a concept in Primordial, which is split between Auran, Aquan, Terran, and Ingan. The text is otherwise stolen from the svirfneblin, as the race was described as not being able to actually speak. I'm not sure how to handle adding a sign language for the race, but they'd be a prime candidate for having individually developed one.

    Prolific Hunters
    Whenever you make an Intelligence (Nature) check related to determine what sort of beast tracks or materials came from, you are considered proficient in the Nature skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus. This bonus also applies to determining tracks or materials did not come from a beast, although you then gain no bonus to determine what sort of creature (if any) the tracks or materials came from.

    Based on Stonecunning, but something you'd kind of expect from constant hunters.

    Steady Recovery
    An injured cynocephalus often surprises those of other races with their ability to recover from wounds. You regain one additional hit die at the end of a long rest, and the maximum number of hit dice you can have is increased by one. The size of this additional hit die it equal to the size of the hit die you gain at 1st level.

    I'm not sure about the strength of this. It's kind of a lot at 1st level, but I don't think it keeps up with Dwarven Toughness.

    Size
    Cynocephali are about the same size as humans, ranging from 5 to 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.

    Speak with Wolves
    Through sounds and gestures, you can communicate simple ideas with wolves, dogs, and similar beasts. Cynocephali compete with such animals, but growls and grunts are typically close enough to the language for the two to share ideas.

    Speed
    A cynocephalus' gait is steady but quick. Your base walking speed is 35 feet.
    Last edited by sandmote; 2021-01-21 at 04:51 PM.