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Aarakocra of Krynn

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Clive Squire


This creature, as tall as an elf is covered in shimmering bright feathers in a multitude of shades of orange and yellow. Three small fingers can be seen half way down its wings, and like its legs, end in sharp eagle-like talons. Its face is a blend of parrot, eagle and human aspects.

Aarakocra – CR 1
Often NG Medium Monstrous Humanoid
Init: +3; Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Listen +3, Spot +7.
Language: Common, Auran.
AC: 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10
   (+3 dex)
Hp: 7 (2 HD)
Fort: +2, Ref: +5, Will: +3.
Speed: 20ft, fly 90ft (average)
Melee: 2 talons +2 (1d4+1) or
Melee: Bite +2 (1d3+1) or
Melee: Javelin +2 (1d6+1)
Ranged: Aarakocra Javelin +5 (1d6+1)
Space: 5ft; Reach: 5ft
Base Atk: +2; Grp: +3
Attack Options: Impaling dive.
Special Actions: Summoning Dance.
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 16, Con 9, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Feats: Fly-by-Attack.
Skills: Balance +5, Craft +1, Knowledge (nature) +1, Listen +3, Move Silently +6, Spot +7, Survival +4.
Advancement: By character class; Favoured Class: Ranger; see text.
Possessions: Aarakocra javelins (see below)

Bite (Ex): When grounded, an Aarakocra attacks with their beaks.

Impaling Dive (Ex): A favoured attack of the Aarakocra is to make a dive attack at an opponent while holding two Aarakocran javelins as a single attack. The impaling dive works just as a charge action, except that the Aarakocra must move more than 100ft and the Aarakocra gains a +4 circumstance bonus to the attack roll and doing double normal damage.

Summoning Dance (Su): A group of Aarakocra that contains at least one divine spellcaster can act in unison, performing an aerial dance over three consecutive rounds to summon an air elemental as if using the appropriate summon monster spell for the groups casting level. The casting level of this effect is equal to the divine spellcasters casting level plus one per additional Aarakocra who takes part in and completes the summoning dance.

Skills: Aarakocra gain a +4 racial bonus on all Spot skill checks. While airborne, Aarakocra gain a +4 bonus to all Move Silently skill checks.

Aarakocra are feathered humanoids that resemble a cross between a parrot, and eagle and a humanoid and aspects of a parrot and eagle.

Strategy and Tactics

Aarakocra prefer to attack from a safe distance, if possible. They fly up and unleash a volley of missiles and javelins at opponents before flying back out of reach. If caught on the ground, the Aarakocra closes to melee range as quickly as possible to make the most out of its bite attack. Aarakocra that are caught on the ground that still have their javelins, save using them, using their beak attacks.

Aarakocra Tribal Protector

Flying high above you, this lithe bird-man unleashes a volley of serrated javelins at you.

Aarakocra Tribal Protector – CR 2
Male Aarakocra Fighter 3
NG Medium Monstrous Humanoid
Init: +4; Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Listen +4, Spot +9.
Language: Common, Auran.
AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 12, Dodge.
  (+4 dex, +2 armour)
Hp: 38 (5 HD)
Fort: +7, Ref: +7, Will: +3.
Speed: 20ft, fly 90ft (average)
Melee: 2 talons +8 (1d4+3) or
Melee: Bite +8 (1d3+3) or
Melee: Javelin +9 (1d6+3)
Ranged: Aarakocran Javelin +9 (1d6+3)
Space: 5ft; Reach: 5ft
Base Atk: +5; Grp: +8
Attack Options: Impaling dive, power attack.
Special Actions: Summoning Dance.
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 18, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 12.
Feats: Dodge, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Aarakocran javelin).
Skills: Balance +5, Intimidate +6, Listen +4, Move Silently +7, Spot +9, Survival +3.
Possessions: Aarakocra javelins (6), mwk leather armour, potion of cure light wounds (4), pouch (tied around thigh), tiger's eye agates (10 each 10stl.), rock crystal gemstone (40stl.), 39stl.

Bite (Ex): As Aarakocra, above.
Impaling Dive (Ex): As Aarakocra, above.
Summoning Dance (Su): As Aarakocra, above.
Skills: Aarakocra gain a +4 racial bonus on all Spot skill checks. While airborne, Aarakocra gain a +4 bonus to all Move Silently skill checks.

Aarakocra tribe protectors, like the one presented here, are the tribe's first line in times of war or conflict. They train intensively in combat, both ranged and melee as well as techniques that help them to avoid opponents blows.

The Aarakocra tribal protector presented here had the following ability scores before racial adjustments, Hit Dice ability score increases and equipment bonuses: Str 14, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 12.

Strategy and Tactics

Aarakocra tribal protectors normally circle the nest area, ever watchful for intruders and enemies. The tribal protectors normally loose a volley of javelins at opponents before closing to melee range and using their Power Attack feat to dispatch the opponent quickly. Should an opponent prove to be resilient, they withdraw and harass the opponents with hit-and-run tactics, trying to pick off weaker opponents or weaken stronger ones ready for a mass attack by the tribes forces.

Aarakocra Shaman

This shamanistic female bird-lady, has strange designs painted on her feathers in ritualistic patterns. At her sides you see feathers and odd fetishes dangling from leather straps. She squawks a prayer to her unseen patron as she unleashes the raw power of nature at you.

Aarakocra Shaman – CR 3
Female Aarakocra Druid (Chislev) 5
N Medium Monstrous Humanoid
Init: +3; Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Listen +10, Spot +14.
Language: Common, Auran, Sylvan, Elven.
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10
  (+3 dex)
Hp: 29 (7 HD)
Fort: +6, Ref: +6, Will: +10.
Speed: 20ft, fly 90ft (average); Woodland Stride
Melee: Mwk scimitar +5 (1d6–1) or
Melee: Javelin +4 (1d6–1) or
Melee: 2 talons +4 (1d4–1) or
Melee: Bite +4 (1d3–1) or
Ranged: Aarakocran Javelin +7 (1d6–1)
Space: 5ft; Reach: 5ft
Base Atk: +5; Grp: +4
Attack Options: Impaling dive.
Special Actions: Spontaneous casting (summon nature's ally), summoning dance, wild shape 1/day (5 hours).
Druid Spells Prepared: (CL 5th)
  3rd – call lightning (DC17), cure moderate wounds.
  2nd – barkskin, delay poison, hold animal (DC 17).
  1st – calm animals (DC 15), charm animal (DC 15), entangle (DC 16), obscuring mist.
  0 – create water, detect poison, flare, light, purify food & drink.
Abilities: Str 9, Dex 16, Con 9, Int 14, Wis 18, Cha 12.
SQ: Animal companion, wild empathy +6 (+2 magical beasts).
Feats: Augment Summoning, Endurance, Toughness.
Skills: Balance +5, Craft (carving) +4, Craft (weaponsmithing) +4, Diplomacy +3, Intimidate +5, Knowledge (geography) +3, Knowledge (nature) +9, Listen +10, Move Silently +6, Spellcraft +6, Spot +14, Survival +12.
Possessions: Aarakocra javelins (3), dagger, mwk scimitar, pouch (worn about thigh) potion of cure light wounds (2), potion of barkskin +2, jasper gemstones (50stl and 25stl.), 38stl.

Bite (Ex): As Aarakocra, above.
Impaling Dive (Ex): As Aarakocra, above.
Summoning Dance (Su): As Aarakocra, above.
Skills: Aarakocra gain a +4 racial bonus on all Spot skill checks. While airborne, Aarakocra gain a +4 bonus to all Move Silently skill checks.

The typical Aarakocra shaman is resourceful and capable, helping the warriors with hunting and interpreting the will of Chislev. She ensures that the tribe are well fed without over hunting the hunting grounds.

The Aarakocra shaman presented here had the following ability scores before racial adjustments, Hit Dice ability score increases and equipment bonuses: Str 8, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 12.

Strategy and Combat

Aarakocra shaman tends to steer away from direct involvement in combat unless forced to wade in. They cast their spells, charming local animals and plant life to hamper and attack any opponents, giving valuable assistance to the tribe's protectors. Should the battle go bad for the tribe, she calls an obscuring mist to allow fighting Aarakocra to withdraw and re-group.

Sample Encounter

Aarakocra usually hunt in groups of between 4 and 10 hunters, although occasionally a solitary Aarakocra is found in the wild, following the tracks of some powerful game to test his mettle and earn respect within the tribe.
  EL 2: A lone Aarakocra tribal protector is scouting out around the boundaries of the nesting area when he spots the glint of shining metal and investigates.
  Goldfeather, a seasoned Aarakocra fighter has spotted the approaching characters while he was on patrol. After following the party for a while, checking their number and status, he hopes to bargain with the outlanders for some shiny metal or trinkets.
  EL 7: A group of six tribal protectors and an Aarakocra druid are hunting for despoilers of a sacred place.
  The Aarakocra druidess and six tribal protectors, as described above, are hunting through the forest for servants of Morgion that have been despoiling their hunting grounds by creating Bloodraging creatures (see Bestiary of Krynn), while dispatching the foul creature the dark servant escaped and is now being sought before he can create more bloodraging creatures.

Ecology

Aarakocra are hunters and gatherers, living off of the lands in their hunting grounds. Any game within an Aarakocra's hunting ground is considered potential prey, including any domesticated animals from humanoid farms and settlements.
  Environment: The Aarakocra live on high, pristine mountainous temperate forests. They share a communal hunting ground, which can be as much as 100 miles square.
  Typical Physical Characteristics: The avian Aarakocra stand between 4ft – 5ft tall and have a wingspan of around 20ft. the Aarakocra's bones, like most birds, are hollow, making them weigh only around 90Ibs. Aarakocra have three-fingered hands midway along their wings, which is almost as useful as a human's hands. The Aarakocra have powerful legs, which end in sharp talons and function as an extra set of hands. Aarakocra talk in rough, squawky voices.
  Alignment: Aarakocra as a people usually are neutral good in alignment, seeking to live in harmony with the natural surroundings of the mountainous aeries.

Monster Lore

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (nature) can learn more about the Aarakocra. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including information from the lower DC's.
  DC 11 – This creature is an Aarakocra, a feathered humanoid. This result reveals the monstrous humanoid traits.
  DC 16 – The Aarakocra have powerful claws and are skilled at attacking from the air using ranged weapons.
  DC 21 – Powerful Aarakocra divine spellcasters can perform an aerial dance that acts as a summoning spell, bringing a creature of air to fight for the Aarakocra.

Society

Aarakocra are communal race, sharing large areas of Krynn's skies and forests for hunting and nesting. Aarakocra nests are usually large open-sky structures, made from local woods and plants shaped by Aarakocra druids and priests. The Aarakocra are lead by a single leader, usually the eldest Aarakocra who is assisted by a priest or druid. Male Aarakocra are trained from hatching to hunt on the wing, while female Aarakocra are taught the skills of crafting the tools for the tribe and nurturing and the young hatchlings.

Aarakocra have an intense fascination for shining objects, they love any object that is polished or shines, such as metallic armour or weapons, jewellery and gemstones. They barter such items from outlanders and place them within individual tribal member's nests as a sign of prestige.

Typical Treasure

Typically, Aarakocra don't tend to carry large amounts of treasure with them when out hunting. Each Aarakocra will carry one or two javelins or other light ranged weapons and perhaps a small satchel containing odd objects that the Aarakocra have found during the hunt. An Aarakocra has the standard treasure for a creature of its Challenge Rating, about 300stl., which is made from the Aarakocra's weapon, armour with the remainder being in the form of gems and gold or silver coins.

For Player Characters

The Aarakocra have mastered the arts of making weapons that are lighter than they normally should be for there size. The Aarakocra are masters of manufacturing their racial weapon, the Aarakocran javelin, a lightweight and unusually sturdy weapon with a flattened serrated edge along one side of the tip made from ironwood. The javelins are normally used to skewer game or make slashing rips in dense vines or opponents. The Aarakocran javelin counts as a light weapon for the purposes of Two-Weapon Fighting and Weapon Finesse. The Aarakocran javelin is not a double weapon, the wielder chooses to use either the slashing edge of the weapon for the standard critical multiplier or the more effective, but rarer, piercing aspect of the weapon for the greater critical multiplier.

Cost: 10stl.
Damage (small): 1d4
Damage (medium): 1d6
Critical: x2 (slashing) or x3 (piercing)
Weight*: 1 lbs.
Range: 40ft.
Type: Slashing or Piercing.

*Weight is for a Medium weapon. Small weapons weigh half as much and Large weapons weigh twice as much.

Creatures with Class Levels

NPC Aarakocra advance by character class, most become rangers. A few become spellcasters, although material components are problematic. Aarakocra clerics and druids tend to worship Habbakuk, the Blue Winged Father; Chislev, the Mother of the Sky; or Zeboim, the Tempest's Daughter. Aarakocra that take up the study of the arcane, usually become sorcerers, focusing on the schools of Aeromancy and Summoning.
  Level Adjustment: +1.

Creatures in Krynn

Aarakocra are reclusive creatures that prefer to avoid contact with other races, when possible. They can be found throughout the high forests of Mithas and Kothas where they work with other bird-folk, such as the Kyrie. There are few places left in the world untouched enough that the Aarakocra feel at home and in peace.

The coming of the Dragon Overlords changed great swathes of ancient hunting ground, decimating the small tribes that lived there. Now, the few tribes that remain on Ansalon can be found in only the most ancient on forests, such as Darken Wood or the forests of Silvanesti or Qualinesti.

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