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[Souldiamond] A howler monkey bat. Lovely.

Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 2:07 am
by Saltwater1
So, I used to be a huge fan of urban legends and cryptozoology. While going through some of my old books looking for writing inspiration, I found several legends about a monster supposedly living somewhere in the Congo called an ahool. This creature had the body and wings of a bat and the head of a howler monkey. It was also big enough to carry off a full-grown man and named for its wailing cry. Now, I really wanted to use this in my D&D world, Souldiamond (which I made a new name for but who cares), but I didn't feel that the idea of a giant screaming bat was very original, fun, or my style. So, over the months I've been picking away at the idea and I've come up with this race. Below is the entry for ahool I've added to my lore bible, as well as a prototype for the mechanical side of things (5e).

"This race was originally home to the jungle continent of Orare. They resemble humanoid bats, with downy fur, large ears, and beady eyes. Ahool do not have wings, as bats do, but instead an excellent climbing ability, as they can use their claws to effortlessly crawl along any surface. Thus, ahool live in underground tribal societies, building huts on the ends of stalagmites. They had a rich culture based around hunting, which was the central element of many ceremonies. Most famously, there is a coming of age ceremony in which a young ahool must go out into the caves alone and return wearing the most impressive hunting trophy they can find.

The ahool are the ancestral enemies of grimlocks, the subterranean race of cannibals. These races had been warring over living space in caves ever since the they met. But, only a few decades ago, the grimlocks won. As the result of a mass alliance among grimlock tribes, ahool were forced out of Orare and fled to the neighboring continent, Votrane. Here, the ahool were introduced into civilization. They quickly became a popular choice for thieves’ guilds, rangers’ departments, and vigilante organizations, due to their climbing abilities and skill at wilderness survival. Unfortunately, this has become a disadvantage for the ahool. Ahool are seen as a violent race and a lower class among other races, making it hard for them to lead normal lives. The ways of civilization has also made it harder for ahool to carry out their hunting ceremonies, and many fear that the old ahool ways are dying."

Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 2, and you Dexterity score increases by 1.
Age: Ahool mature as humans do, but have a slightly shorter lifespan, living until around seventy.
Alignment: The ahool tribes were originally neutral good, helping their fellows and each other. Many ahool still are good, but civilization have corrupted some. Jobs as assassins and rangers have hardened ahool, causing many of them to become chaotic alignments.
Size: Ahool average about 5 feet tall and 90 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 ft.
Darkvision: Accustomed to city slums and wild jungles, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 120 ft. of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern colors in darkness, only shades of grey.
Spider Climb: You can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Born to be Wild: You may pick to be trained in the Wisdom (Survival), Wisdom (Perception), or Charisma (Intimidation) skill.

Basically, what I'm looking for his help balancing the mechanics of the race. As you can see, what I have so far is simple. Darkvision, skill training, and a climbing ability (I don't like giving races the ability to fly, I feel like it breaks things early game). What you would expect from bat beastfolk. I do have a few worries about these, though, mostly that the spider climb is overpowered and the skill training is under powered. I've also considered adding new abilities. I've considered giving the ahool a sonic ability in line with their roots, either deafening nearby creatures or casting a spell of some sort, maybe thunderwave.

Any thoughts from DMs better experienced with this would be welcome. Thanks!

Re: [Souldiamond] A howler monkey bat. Lovely.

Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 2:09 am
by Saltwater1
Sorry for the accidental double post!

Re: [Souldiamond] A howler monkey bat. Lovely.

Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:09 pm
by willpell
Not to be confused with a howler monkey bee, of course....