Tohr-kreen I

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Tohr-kreen I
Climate/Terrain:Any but the Forest Ridge
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Very to Genius (11-18)
Treasure:R,S (C)
Alignment:Chaotic neutral
No. Appearing:1 (75%) or 1-4 (25%)
Armor Class:3
Hit Dice:7-12
THAC0:7-8 HD: 13
9-10 HD: 11
11-12 HD: 9
No. of Attacks:5 or 3
Damage/Attack:1-6 (×4)/2-7 or by weapon
Special Attacks:Poison
Special Defenses:Dodge missiles on a roll of 11 or better
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:L (8-10')
Morale:Champion (15-16)
XP Value:7 HD: 2,000
8 HD: 3,000
9 HD: 4,000
10 HD: 5,000
11 HD: 6,000
12 HD: 7,000
Psionicist: add 2,000

Tohr-kreen are larger, cultured versions of thri-kreen. They are more civilized than their smaller cousins, and not nearly as aggressive. However, when they do fight, they are more deadly than the thri-kreen. They are occasionally met travelling about Athas, but none are native to the known lands. Rumors say that they may be from a city located far away, but no tohr-kreen will ever reveal the whereabouts of this city or if it even exists.

A tohr-kreen resembles its smaller cousin and may even be mistaken for one. They resemble a huge praying mantis with the sandy yellow coloring of a mantis warrior. They have dark purple or black eyes and wear a leather harness to carry weapons and other possessions. Tohr-kreen grow to as much as 10' high and 13' long and weigh from 300 to 400 pounds. They carry normal weapons and shields, or the special weapon that the thri-kreen have developed, the gythka. They have also developed an improved version of the chatkcha, called a kyorkcha. A tohr-kreen encountered on the road usually has a specially made backpack, filled with art treasures and books it can't part with.

Tohr-kreen speak the language of the thri-kreen, and their own language as well. Additionally, they speak 1-4 other languages.

Combat: Tohr-kreen are vicious fighters in combat, stopping at nothing to win. The fact that a tohr-kreen comes from a more advanced culture than a thri-kreen is not apparent to anyone who has to face one in combat.

In melee tohr-kreen can attack with their four front limbs, doing 1d6 damage with each limb. They can also use a paralyzing bite. Their paralytic poison is much stronger than that of their smaller cousins. A save vs. paralyzation at a -4 penalty must be made or the victim is paralyzed for 2d6 rounds. If the save is failed, the victim must also save vs. poison or take an additional 20 points of damage from the shock to his nervous system.

Tohr-kreen also use weapons, favoring long pole arms and two-handed swords. It is possible for a tohr-kreen to use two two-handed swords at once, one on each side. They may also carry a shield, which improves their AC by 1. They are adept at the use of the gythka, the wicked bladed pole arm that the thrikreen have developed. They have improved on the design of the chatkcha, the throwing wedges of the mantis men. They have developed the kyorkcha, a missile weapon similar to an edged boomerang, with spines along the side, thrusting out to do additional damage. A gythka causes 1d10 points of damage when used as a melee weapon, and it may be thrown for 1d6 +2 points of damage. The kyorkcha does 1d8+2 points of damage when thrown, and if it misses its target, it automatically returns to the thrower. The typical kyorkcha is edged on both sides, but 25% of them are blunt near the back curve. Such weapons can be used to knock out a foe. The tohr-kreen has a -1 penalty attack roll penalty when using a kyorkcha in this manner. The chance of causing unconsciousness is 3% per point of damage caused. Only 25% of the damage caused is permanent if the weapon is used in this fashion. A typical tohr-kreen carries 2-5 (1d4+1) of these weapons, and 50% of all kyorkchas are actually made of metal. Metal kyorkchas do an extra point of damage.

A tohr-kreen may dodge missiles as a mantis warrior, but they are larger and have a harder time getting out of the way. They need a roll of a 11 or better to dodge a missile. They can leap 30 feet up or 70 feet forward.

Tohr-kreen with psionic powers all prefer the telepathic and psychometabolic disciplines over any others.

Tohr-kreen have a 5% chance per level to possess a magic weapon, shield, or miscellaneous magic item and a 90% chance to carry 1d8 magic potion fruits. No tohr-kreen can ever cast mage spells, although they have no qualms about using magical items.

Tohr-kreen do not like cold weather. If the temperature drops below freezing, tohr-kreen receive a -1 penalty to their initiative and attack rolls. They also have a -1 penalty to save versus magical cold attacks. A tohr-kreen traveling through the mountains usually has a specially cut cloak to help protect them from the cold, or else a magical device like a ring of warmth.

Habitat/Society: Tohr-kreen come from far away. They are supposed to have a culture somewhere, but no one has ever been able to find it or to make a tohr-kreen tell where it is. It is not known if the tohr-kreen who leave their home are under a geas or just extremely stubborn. Those who know the thri-kreen believe that either explanation is equally likely.

Tohr-kreen encountered are usually lone travellers; there is only a 25% chance that more than one are encountered. They are not reluctant to visit the abodes of demi-humans, always in an attempt to learn new things. Tohr-kreen are also purchasers of artworks, usually small adornments that they can wear or small paintings that are nice to look at. A tohr-kreen's taste differs from the rest of Athas, so an item an artist may consider junk could get an offer from a tohr-kreen of 10 times its supposed worth, while a highly priced item is passed over entirely.

Tohr-kreen never stay in one place long, and it is not really known if they return to their faraway home or if they have been banished forever. Tohr-kreen are very reticent to talk about their home or their background, although their are eager conversationalists about almost any other subject. Tohr-kreen have become fast friends with humans and demi-humans, even being accepted by certain broad-minded elves.

One trait cited to prove that tohr-kreen are more advanced than their thri-kreen cousins is that a tohr-kreen has no interest in eating elf flesh. A tohr-kreen seems to consider the eating of intelligent beings cannibalism and will never consider it. Of course, few elves believe this, and a tohr-kreen may be called upon to defend itself if it encounters them.

The tohr-kreen also differs from the mantis warriors in that a tohr-kreen does not share the fascination for the hunt. They are just as single-minded as a mantis warrior, but their purpose has passed that of mere survival. In most, the quest for knowledge has replaced the need for the hunt. A human entertaining a tohrkreen guest may leave him at night reading in the library, and return in the morning to find that the tohr-kreen has not moved, except to fetch more books or scrolls.

Tohr-kreen and thri-kreen do share the same feeling about clutch-mates. Someone who befriends a tohr-kreen has made a friend for life. With their reserved natures and nomadic lifestyle, this is not a common occurrence. A tohr-kreen.s clutchmate can count on his friend to defend or avenge him, as the case may be.

Relations with thri-kreen are usually civil, although tohr-kreen seem to think of mantis warriors as barbarians, uncultured and uncouth. Generally, a tohr-kreen does not make friends with a thri-kreen, treating them as poor, uncultured cousins. The thri-kreen understandably resent this and look upon tohr-kreen as uppity snobs. The fact that the tohr-kreen are unquestionably better in battle usually keeps relations from getting too strained, however. A tohr-kreen may travel with a pack of thrikreen, for a while. However, the thri-kreen's constant search for food and preoccupation with the hunt generally becomes boring to a tohr-kreen, and he usually leaves after only a short while.

Tohr-kreen have much better stamina than a thri-kreen. They also never need to sleep and can exist on ½ of the water that a thri-kreen requires (¼ of a gallon per day).

One trait that tohr-kreen share with most humans is fear and loathing of mages, defilers in particular. A tohr-kreen has little respect for someone who does not seek to oppose defiling magic, feeling that anyone who allows the world to be destroyed for the sake of magic is not worthy of their notice. They are wise enough not to actively oppose the sorcerer-kings, and they do their best to avoid contact with any king's templars. Negotiation and even bribery are used if templars attempt to arrest or detain a tohr-kreen. If this fails, the tohr-kreen is 75% likely to explode into action, killing or subduing the templars and fleeing the city. If the tohr-kreen does not immediately fight, it is only because he is awaiting a better opportunity.

There is no record of a female ever laying a clutch of eggs in the lands of Athas. They either return home to lay their eggs or the scarcity of tohr-kreen makes it difficult for them to find mates.

A tohr-kreen can crossbreed with a thri-kreen, but again, there is no record of this ever happening in Athas. They have also broken the cycle that causes so many thri-kreen to die before reaching maturity; unlike thri-kreen, the mantis nobles never eat their young, even the ones who do not survive. This raises the survival rate of the young to almost 50%. A young tohr-kreen has 2HD, a THAC0 of 19, and attacks for 1 point for each arm and bite. A tohr-kreen larvae gains a Hit Die every two years and matures in fourteen years. Tohr-kreen show no effects of aging until they reach at least 50 years and may live for as long as 75 years.

Ecology: Tohr-kreen come from the steppelands north of the Ringing Mountains. Since they have the same, or better, survival traits that a thri-kreen has, it is always assumed that their homeland is a barren desert. This is by no means sure - it may just be a racial trait. Whatever the truth of the matter, a tohrkreen is very hard to kill. All tohr-kreen possess survival proficiency in all terrain types except the Forest Ridge.

Tohr-kreen weapons are very rare and very valuable. A gythka or a harness in good condition is worth as much as 25 sp. A kyorkcha is worth 2d6 sp to a collector and 1d6 sp to a warrior. Mantis men particularly prize the kyorkcha and pay double collectors. prices. A metal kyorkcha is worth 1d4 gold pieces, twice that to a thri-kreen or to a collector. A metal kyorkcha with a blunt side may bring as much as 5 gp from a gladiator or warrior, since it can be used without cutting an unarmored hand. It requires two proficiency slots to learn to use the kyorkcha, and a tohr-kreen or thri-kreen who is proficient in it must provide the training. For obvious reasons, this is very rare. A tale is told of a sorcerer-king who has a tohr-kreen gladiator in his stable, said gladiator being forced to teach the other members of the stable the use of this weapon. This weapon is an exception to the normal rules pertaining to gladiators; the kyorkcha is not automatically known. A gladiator need only spend one proficiency slot to learn it, however.

Tohr-kreen skulls may be hollowed out to make excellent great helms. An exoskeleton may be mounted intact as a trophy, and one sorcerer-king is alleged to have three of these large, magically animated skeletons guarding his water supplies.

Tohr-kreen usually have 1d6 valuable gems earmarked for art or book purchases. Since tohr-kreen have photographic memories, they need only read a book once. All tohr-kreen encountered can read and write, a fact that they share only with clutch-mates or close friends.