Rakastas are a race of feline humanoids. Their culture is generally split between settled town dwellers and nomads who carry on rakastan ancient traditions. Rakastan culture is unique, somewhat mystical, and concerned primarily with battle and honor.
Personality: Rakastas tend to be proud and emotional; the nomads, in particular, are quick to anger. All are convinced of rakastan superiority over other races. Still, most are extremely interested in the world at large. For the nomads, this translates into a wanderlust that demands they explore and experience all things for themselves, while for the town dwellers, it becomes an intense curiosity about visitors and a penchant for puzzles of any type.
Physical Description: A rakasta looks like a furry human with the head of a cat. Its short fur is usually soft and ranges in color from light tan to dark brown. Many rakastas have a darker hue on the ears and muzzle. Some specimens have white highlights at the ears and muzzle instead or even white or dark patches at the extremities (feet, hands, and tail). Older rakastas show a whitening around the face and ears.
Rakastas have a build similar to that of humans; nomad rakastas tend to be slender, while those who live more sedentary lives tend to weigh more, ranging from slightly chubby to downright obese. The creatures have cat eyes, with vertical pupils. The irises are usually green, but some are yellow or even blue or hazel; a few rare individuals have two colors, most commonly one blue and one green eye.
Rakastan hands and feet are like those of humans, except for the fur and retractable claws. Rakastas also have non-prehensile tails. Nomads usually have tails between two and four feet long, though a very few have none at all. The tails of town dwellers range from four to six feet in length; most are covered with short fur, though the hair on some rare ones is long and silky. Rakastas are very proud of their tails and spend a great deal of time each day grooming them.
Relations: Rakastas tend to think of themselves as superior to other races. However, that does not mean they are necessarily hostile to all non-rakastas. In fact, they can be quite curious of outsiders and their ways.
Alignment: Most rakastas are usually neutral, but good and evil individuals are more common than the rare lawful or chaotic rakasta, evil specimens being fully as common as good ones.
Rakasta Lands: Many rakastas live as nomads traveling across savannas and grassy plains, temperate regions, and even in jungles. Settled rakasta tend to prefer temperate climates similar to those preferred by most humans. Rakastas encountered in human lands might be traveling merchants, or young nomads stricken with wanderlust.
Religion: The rakastas worship Belbion (a.k.a. Vanya) as the patron of pride, honor, war and conquests and is generally held in the highest regard in the rakastas pantheon. They also worship Felidae (Calitha Starbrow), Kagyar, Pax Bellanica (Tarastia) and Tawnia (Ordana).
Language: The Rakastan language, which uses a writing system of around 3,000 ideograms, tends to be spoken in a purring voice with many rolled "R"s and hissed "S"s.
Names: Nomadic rakasta tend to have harsh-sounding names with one, two or three syllables. Due to influence from other cultures, settled rakasta have a wider variety of names.
Adventurers: It is not uncommon, especially among the nomadic tribes, for young rakasta to be stricken with wanderlust. Curiosity about the world beyond their lands leads these rakasta to travel the realms of elves, dwarves and humans alike. Some are traveling merchants or artisans seeking markets for their exotic wares.
This information has been updated from the Savage Coast Campaign Book and the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, and more information may be found in those products.
Rakasta Racial Traits
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom: Rakastas are very graceful, but their instinctual curiosity often gets the better of them.
- Monstrous Humanoid: As monstrous humanoids, rakastas are immune to spells like charm person and hold person.
- Medium: As medium creatures, rakasta have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
- Rakasta base land speed is 30 feet.
- Lowlight Vision: Rakasta can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- Acute Hearing: Rakastas gain a +4 racial bonus on Listen checks.
- Rakastas suffer a -2 penalty on all saving throws against sonic effects.
- Whiskers: A rakasta's whiskers are very sensitive and allow a rakasta to detect air currents caused by the movement of unseen creatures. A rakasta within 5 feet of an invisible or hidden creature is entitled to a DC 20 Wisdom check to pinpoint that creature, so long as the creature is not holding perfectly still.
- Soft Footfall: Rakastas always consider Move Silently a class skill, and they gain a +2 racial bonus on all Move Silently checks.
- Weapon Familiarity: Rakastas treat war claws (see below) as simple weapons rather than exotic weapons.
- Natural Attack: Bite. A rakasta can make a secondary natural attack with its bite (at a -2 to attack rolls). This bite deals 1d4 piercing damage.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Rakastan. Bonus Languages: Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Orc and Sylvan. Rakastas tend to learn the languages of both their enemies and friends.
- Favored Class: Fighter. A multi-class rakasta's fighter class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing (see XP for Multiclass Characters on page 60 of the Player's Handbook).
Rakasta Vital Statistics
|Adulthood||Barbarian Rogue Sorceror||Bard Fighter Paladin Ranger||Cleric Druid Monk Wizard|
|Middle Age||Old||Venerable||Maximum Age|
|45 years||60 years||90 years||+2d8 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||4' 10"||+2d8||120 lb.||x (2d4) lb.|
|Female||4' 8"||+2d8||85 lb.||x (2d4) lb.|
(Exotic, Double, Melee)
Damage: 1d4/1d4 (Slashing)
Cost: 6 gp per pair
War claws, or kasas, are special metal claws worn over a rakasta’s natural claws. Non-proficient use suffers the normal -4 penalties. Proficiency allows full use of the rakasta’s hand(s), and can allow attacks at the rakasta’s unarmed attack bonus. A buckler may be worn, but may not be used in the same round the rakasta attacks with the war claws.