Dragonlance

Kender

2105



Kender
Climate/Terrain:Tropical subtropical, and temperate/Plains, forests, jungles, hills, and mountains
Frequency:Rare
Organization:Family
Activity Cycle:Any
Diet:Omnivore
Intelligence:Varies (6.18)
Treasure:Varies (typical individual: O,X; typical lair: P,M,Q,X)
Alignment:Varies, but usually lawful or chaotic neutral
No. Appearing:1-20
Armor Class:8 (10)
Movement:6 (9)
Hit Dice:1
THAC0:19
No. of Attacks:1
Damage/Attack:1-6 or by weapon
Special Attacks:See below
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:See below
Size:S (3-4’ tall)
Morale:Fearless (20)
XP Value:Varies

Kender are diminutive humanoids who are insatiably curious and utterly fearless, with an uncanny knack for getting into trouble.

Kender resemble human children, though more heavily muscled. Males are typically 3’7” tall and weigh 75 pounds; females are slightly smaller. Adult kender rarely exceed four feet tall or weigh more than 100 pounds. Kender have distinctive pointed ears that give them an elven appearance. They have sandy blonde, light brown, dark brown, copper-red, or red-orange hair, usually worn long with many varieties of braids and ponytails. Feathers, ribbons, flowers, and other colorful items are often woven into their hair. Kender are fair-skinned, but they tan quickly, becoming dark brown by mid-summer. Their eyes are variously pale blue, olive, light brown, and hazel.

Kender have been called wizened because of the fine network of lines that creases their faces beginning at age 40. Their facial expressions are quite intense; no one seems as happy as a joyful kender or as miserable as a weeping one.

Kender clothing varies widely, but tends to be colorful and bright. Soft leather is a particularly favored material for clothing, especially if dyed bright colors and tooled with designs. Kender carry a mind-boggling assortment of small items in their pockets and belt pouches, such as bird feathers, animal teeth, rings, string, handkerchiefs, small tools, pet mice, oddly shaped twigs, foreign coins, and bits of dried meat. Anything that conceivably could hold a kender’s attention for more than a few seconds will likely find its way into his pocket, with or without the actual owners permission.

Combat: Kender fight hard and relentlessly, sometimes coming up with unexpected tactics that can carry the day for their companions. They are immune to all forms of fear, including magical fear, and make saving throws against spells and poison with a +4 bonus. When alone and not outfitted in armor, kender cause a -4 penalty to opponents’ surprise rolls.

The kender’s most effective defense is their ability to enrage opponents by taunting them with verbal abuse. Any creature taunted by a kender for one full round must roll a successful saving throw vs. spell or attack wildly for 1d10 rounds at a -2 penalty to attack rolls and a +2 penalty to Armor Class.

Kender employ a variety of weapons, and receive a +3 attack roll bonus when using slings or bows. Their favorite weapon is the hoopak, a special combination of a bo staff and staff sling. Made from resilient wood, one end of the hoopak is forked like a slingshot and has a leather pocket mounted between the forks. The other end is pointed and shod with metal or hardened by fire. When used as a sling, it causes 1d4 + 1 points of damage against small opponents and 1d6+1 points of damage against large opponents. When used as a staff, it causes 1d6 points of damage against small opponents and ld4 points of damage against large opponents

Most kender do not tolerate armor any heavier than leather or padded. Some may use ring mail or studded leather, but only for short periods. If an adventuring party is lost in the wilderness, kender have a 50% chance of determining the correct direction.

Habitat/Society: The basic unit of kender society is the family consisting of parents and their children A kender child stays with his parents until his early 20s, at which time he becomes subject to wanderlust. A kender experiencing wanderlust is overwhelmed by his natural curiosity and desire for action he is compelled to wander the land as far as he can go. Wanderlust may last until the kender reaches his 50s or 60s, at which time he enters a life-phase called rooting – a compulsion to settle down with a mate and raise a child or two. This cycle of wanderlust and rooting is responsible for spreading kender communities across the continent of Ansalon.

Kender seldom have more than two offspring. A second child is never conceived until the first leaves home with wanderlust. Thus the parents give their undivided attention to each child.

An entire kender family lives in the same house, usually no more than a single room, comfortably furnished with stuffed cushions and wooden furniture. Building materials include whatever is available; kender have developed quite a knack for creating attractive homes from odd collections of stone, wood, brick, and thatch. No kender home contains locks of any kind.

Kender communities are democratic to the point of anarchy – every citizen is more or less allowed to do whatever he pleases. Kender see no reason to impose their views on anyone else. Since evil kender do not exist, there is little need for laws or a formal government. When an emergency arises that requires cooperation from the kender, they do so naturally; with minimal preparation, they can become a formidable, unified group.

This is not to say that the idea of government is totally without its appeal for kender. They have experimented with every conceivable form of government and are more than willing to give any new type a chance. They also follow any leader for as long as he remains interesting. Owing to the kender.s low tolerance for boredom, a new government or new leader seldom holds their attention for more than a few days.

There has never been a standing kender army. The occasional invaders attempting to occupy a kender village quickly became discouraged: not only were the kender tearless fighters, there was nothing much of interest in the village worth plundering, and the kender made hopelessly inept slaves. In fact, most kender find an enemy occupation to be a tremendous boost to the local economy, since the invaders always bring such interesting things for the kender to “handle”.

Though always welcome, non-kender visitors seldom stay longer than a week in a kender village – life among the kender is just too frustrating. It is not uncommon for a visitor to be relieved of all of his possessions within a few hours. Visitors are pelted by a constant barrage of questions and rambling, pointless stories.

Kender can be endearingly charming or shockingly vulgar. They are natural extroverts and enjoy making new acquaintances.

Though most are personable and friendly, they can also be obnoxiously talkative and nosy. Since kender do what they want when they want to do it, they resent being given orders. At the same time, kender are quite sensitive and can be easily hurt by indifference or intentionally cutting remarks.

Kender treasure their friends; if a kender’s friend is injured or slain, the kender is usually overcome with grief and despair. Death is only meaningful to a kender when it comes to one whom the kender knows and loves, such as a family member or an adventuring companion, or when it strikes innocents, such as the victims of warfare or a natural disaster. In these cases, the anguish felt by the usually cheerfully kender is heart wrenching to behold – the depression lingers for days or even months after the event.

The concept of delayed gratification is alien to kender. They thrive on excitement and yearn for new adventures. Some kender believe that evil creatures are condemned to an afterlife where they will be bored for all eternity.

The kender’s innate fearlessness gives them remarkable confidence. They remain calm and carefree even in the most life-threatening situations. The combination of fearlessness, uncontrollable curiosity, and impulsiveness invariably gets them into trouble, as they are forever peeking into dark corners and forging ahead into unexplored places. Kender often allow their curiosity to overcome what common sense they possess, especially when encountering an unusual monster. When a kender displays an uncommonly sensible attitude in a dangerous situation, it is probably because he realizes that death means never doing anything interesting again.

Kender have a unique approach to personal property and theft. Their intense curiosity feeds their desire to know how locks can be opened, how to listen in on other’s conversations, and how to reach into pockets to find interesting things to look at. Thieving comes naturally to kender, and they see nothing wrong with it; what others might call “stealing”, kender call “handling”. Kender do not steal for the sake of profit, since they have little concept of value; they are just as happy with a chunk of purple glass as they are with a glittering diamond. Often they pick up an item out of curiosity and forget to return it. If caught red-handed with another’s property, they offer an amazing range of excuses: “I forgot I had it” – “I found it” – “I was afraid someone else would take it.” More often than not, kender believe their excuses to be the truth. Ironically, kender dislike the idea of someone deliberately taking an item without the owner’s permission; to be called a thief is considered a base insult.

Kender cannot learn to cast wizard spells because of their innate magical resistance, a legacy of their creation.

No evil kender are known to exist.

Ecology: Most races shun kender, finding their personalities and societies hard to tolerate. On the other hand kender have no prejudices and welcome the opportunity to socialize with outsiders, finding their customs and habits to be quite fascinating.

Kender are as curious about food as they are about everything else, and they consume anything that looks remotely edible. They are actually quite skilled chefs, and two of their recipes account for their only tradable goods. One is called dew drink, an alcoholic beverage distilled from sundews, gold in color with the flavor of honey. The other is called kender pak, a nutritious sweetbread made from six different grains, which tastes like caramel and cinnamon. A loaf retains its freshness for two months and is equal to two weeks rations. Since kender are notoriously poor businesspeople, they seldom receive more than a few worth less trinkets in exchange for these products.

Kender are fond of pets, the more unusual the better cats, dogs, and small birds are common but so are worms beetles and toads. Kender rarely use mounts, preferring to walk even over long distances.


Last Modified: January 26, 2014, 13:51:36 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition


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