Lizardfolk Species in Kobos | World Anvil

Lizardfolk

"The qequala may seem like barely sentient crocodiles with no emotions or ambition beyond their immediate survival and the acquisition of fresh meat which may include you, but don't let that fool you. The qequala are, in fact, FULLY sentient crocodiles with no emotions or ambition beyond their immediate survival and the acquisition of fresh meat which may include you. Sometimes you can convince them that you'll make their lives easier if they don't try to eat you, or harder for them if they try."   ~Vizzerdrum of the Iridium Shrine

Basic Information

Biological Traits

Lizardfolk are semi-endothermic, semi-aquatic humanoids. They have four limbs and a thick, crocodilian tail that they use for swimming.

Genetics and Reproduction

Lizardfolk lay soft-shelled eggs. These eggs have no yolk, and instead draw their nutrients from the surrounding area.   Once laid, the eggs are buried communally in a compost heap. Over the intervening months, more material is added to the heap. After roughly three seasons, the eggs begin to hatch, emerging as a swarm of young that largely take care of themselves. They eat fish, bugs, berries, worms, and any plant matter they can reach without straying from the safety of the villages.   All lizardfolk eggs are hermaphroditic. Over time, one gender or the other becomes dominant depending on the amount of compost added to the pile: Poorly fed eggs will result in more males (ie: more warriors) and well fed eggs result in more females. This ensures that there are more warriors and hunters in desperate times and more females for expansion of the tribe in times of plenty.

Growth Rate & Stages

Lizardfolk are born as fingerlings, and grow steadily over the next 7-10 years to adulthood. They begin assuming adult responsibilities from age 6-10, though the choice is made when they reach a certain level of maturity rather than when they reach an age.   Lizardfolk do not track the number of years that they have been alive.

Ecology and Habitats

Lizardfolk prefer warm, humid climates such as swamps and hotsprings. They view cold or dry regions like deserts and mountainside with revulsion.   "spol astahi ekess wer verthicha" (send them to the mountain!) is a common battlecry for lizardfolk, with the assumption that nothing lives up there.

Dietary Needs and Habits

LIzardfolk prefer meat, but they are consummate omnivores. They barely differentiate between flavors, with the exception that they all find human meat to be absolutely delicious.

Biological Cycle

Due to their semi-endothermic metabolism, Lizardfolk sleep 3-6 hours in the summer months, and 6-12 hours a day in the winter.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Lizardfolk gather together in 'tribes,' but the actual civilization level can vary. Many sleep in nests that look like crocodile lairs or natural caverns. These more barbaric tribes work more like wolf packs or crocodile floats. On the other end of the spectrum, they may be hut-building swampfolk that know how to make shields and more complex weapons and participate in more formal warfare. Lizardfolk under the guidance of species higher up on the Pyramid than themselves are more likely to be more civilized.   Either way, roughly 1/3 to 2/3 of Lizardfolk in a given community maintain their homes underneath the water in areas that have vents or natural recycling air flow.

Facial characteristics

Lizarfolk display a snout that can be as long as a crocodile or as stubby as a gecko's. Their teeth are actually bone projections that erupt from their gums and attach straight into their jaw. Unlike most of their kin, Lizardfolk tongues are not forked.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

More than any other Scalykind species, Lizardfolk are spread across Kobos. They do not exist in every swamp, but they may exist in any swamp. Even one that was unoccupied the season before may suddenly boast a tribe.

Average Intelligence

Lizardfolk actively discourage intelligence and innovative thought. They see curiosity and dreaming as a distraction to their main obsession: survival.   That being said, they do accept intelligence in certain leadership positions, and cunning is a highly prized trait.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Lizardfolk have senses comparable to a human, with the exception of the fact that they have no active sense of smell. They must open their mouths and 'taste' the air to detect scent. They also have an extremely limited ability to sense heat at a distance of up to 30 feet, so long as the heat source is at least 25 degrees warmer than the surrounding area.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

Crocodiles and Lizardfolk have a tendency to coexist, each finding the other useful and unappetizing.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Lizardfolk take their names from the Draconic language. They use simple descriptives granted by the tribe based on an individual’s notable deeds or Actions. For example, Garurt translates as “axe,” a name given to a lizardfolk warrior who defeated an orc and claimed his foe’s weapon. A lizardfolk who likes to hide in a stand of reeds before ambushing an animal might be called Achuak, which means “green” to describe how she blends into the foliage.   Lizardfolk make no distinction between male and female in their naming conventions. Each example name includes its translation in parenthesis.   Lizardfolk Names: Achuak (green), Aryte (war), Baeshra (animal), Darastrix (dragon), Garurt (axe), Irhtos (secret), Jhank (hammer), Kepesk (storm), Kethend (gem), Korth (danger), Kosj (small), Kothar (demon), Litrix (armor), Mirik (song), Othokent (smart), Sauriv (eye), Throden (many), Thurkear (night), Usk (iron), Valignat (burn), Vargach (battle), Verthica (mountain), Vutha (black), Vyth (steel)

Beauty Ideals

Lizardfolk beauty ideals are very conformative, and therefore can vary greatly between tribes but rarely does so within a single tribe. Simply put, Lizardfolk's beauty is viewed through the lens of how similar they are to the other tribefolk. Males tend to be brighter than females, though this is more a fact of biology than a standard of beauty.   Lizardfolk males are also judged on their ability to collect trophies, and females get their pick.

Gender Ideals

Males are hunters and warriors, females are gatherers, fishers, and care for the den. This is not an ideal so much as a pragmatic survival strategy: males are more expendable reproductively than females are.

Courtship Ideals

Males will display their best trophies, seeking receptive females at the right time of their reproductive cycle. A sufficiently impressed female will mate with the male, and lay 3-6 eggs in the tribe's compost heap.

Relationship Ideals

Lizardfolk do not form mating bonds, permanent or otherwise, and their relationship will not last past the act itself. If the male believes he has collected a new and impressive trophy, he may be back the next time she is ready to lay, but previous encounters will not be considered for his suitability.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Lizardfolk can master Common, but their mindset results in a speech pattern distinct from other Humanoids. Lizardfolk rarely use metaphors. Their speech is almost always literal. They might pick up idioms, but only with some difficulty.   Names confuse them, unless they are descriptive. They tend to apply their own naming conventions to other creatures using Common words.   Lizardfolk use active verbs to describe the world. A lizardfolk in cold weather might say, “This wind brings cold” rather than “I feel cold.” Lizardfolk tend to define things in terms of actions, rather than effects.

Common Etiquette Rules

The lizardfolk’s reptilian Nature comes through not only in their appearance, but also in how they think and act. Lizardfolk experience a more limited emotional life than other Humanoids. Like most reptiles, their feelings largely revolve around fear, aggression, and pleasure.   Lizardfolk experience most feelings as detached descriptions of creatures and situations. For example, Humans confronted by an angry troll experience fear on a basic level. Their limbs shake, their thinking becomes panicked and jumbled, and they react by instinct. The emotion of fear takes hold and controls their Actions.   In contrast, lizardfolk see emotions as Traits assigned to other creatures, Objects, and situations. A lizardfolk doesn’t think, “I’m scared.” Instead, aggressive, stronger creatures register to the lizardfolk as fearsome beings to be avoided if possible. If such creatures Attack, lizardfolk flee, fighting only if cornered. Lizardfolk aren’t scared of a troll; instead, they understand that a troll is a fearsome, dangerous creature and react accordingly.   Lizardfolk never become angry in the way others do, but they act with aggression toward creatures that they could defeat in a fight and that can’t be dealt with in some other manner. They are aggressive toward prey they want to eat, creatures that want to harm them, and so on.   Pleasurable people and things make life easier for lizardfolk. Pleasurable things should be preserved and protected, sometimes at the cost of the lizardfolk’s own safety. The most pleasurable creatures and things are ones that allow lizardfolk to assess more situations as benign rather than fearsome.

Common Dress Code

Lizardfolk usually prefer nudity with two exceptions: they will wear trophies, and they will sometimes wear armor on the rare occasion that their natural scales aren't sufficient.

Common Taboos

The lizardfolk mindset might seem unnecessarily cruel, but it helps them survive in a Hostile Environment. The swamps they inhabit are filled with a staggering variety of threats. Lizardfolk focus on Survival above all, without sentiment.   Lizardfolk assess everyone and everything in terms of utility. Art and beauty have little meaning for them. A sharp sword serves a useful and good purpose, while a dull sword is a dead weight without a Whetstone.   Lizardfolk see little need to plan more than a season or so into the future. This approach allows them to maintain their current level of influence in the world, but it limits their growth. Lizardfolk have no interest in developing writing, making long-term plans, or cultivating other methods to progress beyond their simple existence as hunters and gatherers.

History

Despite their humanoid appearance, lizardfolk are not humans-turned reptile by the Saurians. This is a common mistake made even by scholars.   Lizardfolk were actually raised by the Saurians from a now-extinct semiaquatic reptile akin to crocodiles. Hard pressed by the Grimhii Empire and the La'shei, the Saurians needed a rapidly breeding soldiery. The final product is the Qequala, which mankind named "Lizardfolk."   After indoctrinating the new race into the Pyramid, they seeded the Lizardfolk into every swamp that they could manage, in or out of their own territory. They used them as a source to raise levies and militias rapidly, keeping their supply lines short.   When the dragons took over, the lizardfolk were the first to bow to them. Ever pragmatic, they were the quickest to come around to the realization that their creators were outmatched.   After the Saurians were annihilated, the lizardfolk continued in the same role as they always had.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Most Humanoids describe cold-blooded people as lacking in emotion and empathy. The same label serves as an apt depiction of lizardfolk.   Lacking any internal emotional Reactions, lizardfolk behave in a distant manner. They don’t mourn fallen comrades or rage against their enemies. They simply observe and react as a situation warrants.   Lizardfolk lack meaningful emotional ties to the past. They assess situations based on their current and future utility and importance. Nowhere does this come through as strongly as when lizardfolk deal with the dead. To a lizardfolk, a comrade who dies becomes a potential source of food. That companion might have once been a warrior or Hunter, but now the body is just freshly killed meat.   At their core, lizardfolk view other Humanoids with an indifference verging on pity. Born into the world lacking stout scales and sharp teeth, it’s a wonder they have managed to survive for so long. The typical human would barely make it through a day in the swamps.   Still, if other creatures prove useful to lizardfolk, those creatures can trigger a protective response made all the stronger by their apparent weakness. The lizardfolk assess such beings as hatchlings, young ones incapable of protecting themselves but who might prove useful in the future if they receive care.   A lizardfolk who lives among other humanoids can, over time, learn to respect other creatures’ emotions. The lizardfolk doesn’t share those feelings, but instead assesses them in the same clinical manner. Yes, The fallen dwarf might be most useful as a meal, but hacking the body into steaks provokes aggression in the other Humanoids and makes them less helpful in battle.
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Lifespan
55-65 years
Average Height
5'9 - 6'2
Average Weight
200
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
When lizardfolk eggs are lain, they are implanted in a pile of compost, usually vegetation from the surrounding area with the occasional meat thrown on top. The decomposition keeps the eggs warm and safe, and gives the hatchling's scales their color. In this way, they are always camouflaged for their home environs.
Lizardfolk Traits Your lizardfolk character has the following Racial Traits.   Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.   Age. Lizardfolk reach maturity around age 14 and rarely live longer than 60 years.   Alignment. Most lizardfolk are neutral. They see the world as a place of predators and prey, where life and death are natural processes. They wish only to survive, and prefer to leave other creatures to their own devices.   Size. Lizardfolk are a little bulkier and taller than Humans, and their colorful frills make them appear even larger. Your size is Medium.   Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet, and you have a swimming speed of 30 feet.   Bite. Your fanged maw is a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with it, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an Unarmed Strike.   Cunning Artisan. As part of a Short Rest, you can harvest bone and hide from a slain beast, Construct, Dragon, Monstrosity, or plant creature of size Small or larger to create one of the following items: a Shield, a club, a Javelin, or 1d4 darts or Blowgun Needles. To use this trait, you need a blade, such as a Dagger, or appropriate artisan’s tools, such as leatherworker’s tools.   Hold Breath. You can hold your breath for up to 15 minutes at a time.   Hunter’s Lore. You gain proficiency with two of the following Skills of your choice: Animal Handling, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival.   Natural Armor. You have tough, scaly skin. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC is 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use your natural armor to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield’s benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.   Hungry Jaws. In battle, you can throw yourself into a Vicious feeding Frenzy. As a Bonus Action, you can make a Special Attack with your bite. If the Attack hits, it deals its normal damage, and you gain Temporary Hit Points (minimum of 1) equal to your Constitution modifier, and you can’t use this trait again until you finish a short or Long Rest.   Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Draconic.

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