|Climate/Terrain:||Temperate to tropical/Woodlands and subterranean|
|No. of Attacks:||1|
|Special Defenses:||See below|
|Size:||M (5-6’ tall)|
Skulks are an extremely cowardly, evil race of humanoids with the chameleon-like ability to blend in with any background. They survive on the edges of civilization by theft and murder.
Skulks stand five to six feet tall and are completely devoid of hair. They are elf-like in stature, with graceful limbs, soft facial features, and pink or blue eyes. A skulk’s skin is smooth but leathery tough. Its natural color is light gray, but skulks can change skin color instantly, either to flesh tone or, more commonly, to match the surrounding environment.
Skulks speak common and 20% of skulks speak one additional demihuman language, usually elvish or dwarf.
Combat: Skulks are cowardly fighters who run away at first wounding or if the odds are less than two to one in their favor – whichever comes first.
They move quickly and quietly, freezing into immobility at any sign of danger and blending into the background. Immobile skulks are 90% likely to be passed by unnoticed. Creatures looking directly at the skulks when they change color are not fooled.
Skulks never engage in direct combat unless trapped. Their favorite attack is backstabbing. Skulks move with absolute silence and impose a -3 penalty to opponents’ surprise rolls. Skulks that surprise their opponents usually backstab. This attack gains a +4 bonus to the attack roll and damage is tripled (as 5th-level thieves). Base damage is determined by weapon type, usually a dagger (60%) or short sword (40%).
Skulks can pass through forest and in subterranean settings almost without a trace. Anyone following a skulk in these surroundings has 1/5 their normal chance to track successfully.
Habitat/Society: Skulks survive by thievery and murder. They live in small bands, moving often, and camping in deep forests or underground lairs. They hide by day, but emerge at night to raid nearby human or demihuman communities. Their favorite tactic is to murder an entire family, then ransack the house at their leisure.
A skulk lair is usually a shallow cave with two or more entrances, located just outside (or sometimes beneath) the town. Skillfully placed branches and leaves cover the entrance. A successful find secret doors roll is required to find the entrance to a skulk lair. Inside are a number of sleeping mats. During the day 1d3 skulk children are found here, usually unguarded. There is a 10% chance that one of the children is less than two years of age. In that case a single skulk female will be in the cave. If the cave is discovered, the skulk female will flee, leaving the children to their fate.
Skulks often try to disrupt the society they prey upon. A common ploy is to murder a low-level political official (judge, council member, town steward, etc.), then leave behind false clues stolen from a local thieves’ guild or orc tribe. Once suspicion is diverted, the skulks can go about their business, murdering and looting with impunity.
Most skulks are panic prone, but very rarely (1%) a leader is born. Skulk leaders are demanding and cruel. They have 3 Hit Dice and can speak two additional languages. Skulk leaders are masters of disguise and sometimes pose as half-elves or humans. While in this disguise, skulk leaders mingle freely with the outside world, casing a town before leading an attack on it. Normal skulks will abide by a leader’s commands so long as they aren’t too daring. Skulk leaders sometimes deal with other creatures, particularly doppelgangers or assassin guilds.
Ecology: Skulks eat whatever they find in the pantry of their victims. In hard times, skulks steal livestock, leaving a hole in the fence so it appears the animal escaped accidentally.
In addition to food, skulks steal whatever strikes their fancy. Female skulks often take gold, jewelry, and fine cloths. Male skulks are apt to lug furniture back to their camp. Disputes over property are common but infighting is rare. Instead, skulks steal from one another at the first opportunity.
All monsters who hunt humans and demihumans hunt skulks, but their camouflage ability makes skulks difficult prey. Skulks are despised by intelligent creatures; any skulk captured by a demihuman or human community is dealt with in the harshest manner allowable – usually death.
Last Modified: February 10, 2014, 20:39:28 GMT
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