Mul

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Muls are an incredibly tough crossbreed of a human and dwarf. They retain the height and cunning of their human parent, plus the durability and raw strength of their dwarven heritage. Muls are usually the products of the slave pits – owners recognize the muls’ assets as gladiators and laborers, and so order the births of as many muls as can be managed within the ranks of their slaves. Muls are born sterile – they cannot perpetuate their kind.

Physical Description: Muscular and fit, muls resemble powerfully built humans. Although one might expect muls to average somewhere between dwarf and human stature, they are taller than most humans. Male muls have truly heroic proportions – broad shoulders, narrow waists, powerful thighs, and thick arms. Females, while not as heavily muscled, are tall, strong, and athletic. Many muls of both genders are hairless, although some grow topknots of dark hair. Their faces hint at their dwarven ancestry, with strong, stern features and small, swept-back ears that come to subtle points.

Personality: Born as they are to lives of slave labor, with the taskmaster’s whip taking the place of parents and family, muls are given to a gruff personality and violent reactions. Understandably, many never seek friends or companionship but live out their lives in servitude, driven by hatred and spite. Most, however, learn who to trust in the slave pits and who not to, gaining favor and reputation among the other slaves. Despite their tendency to be sullen or self-centered, muls can learn to work alongside others.

Society: Muls have no culture of their own; they’re entirely products of the city-states where they’re bred. Some escaped slaves make a home for themselves among the desert tribes, but because no mul can start a family, they have no place to all their own.

Relations: Muls are somewhat antisocial, but they don’t have a particular enmity for any race. They get along slightly better with their forebears (humans and dwarves) and half-giants, who are often fellow slaves.

Alignment: The slavers’ whip has instilled a lawful attitude in most muls, although those who have fled from slavery are usually chaotic (ex-slaves almost always have a hard time with authority figures). Mul slaves who have been treated poorly – which are almost all of them – can nurture such hatred and spite in their hearts that they become evil.

Religion: Most muls are heavily indoctrinated into the worship of whichever sorcerer-king rules the city-state where they trained. Like half-giants, some enthusiastically take to the state religion, while others curse it under their breath each day.

Language: Muls are taught Common in the slave pits. If they learn other languages, it’s often from captured slaves.

Adventurers: Muls generally come to the adventurer’s lifestyle in one of three ways. Some escape slavery and must remain one step ahead of their former masters. Others win their freedom through luck or skill – often by success in the gladiator arena. Finally, some are former soldiers under the command of the sorcerer-kings or in the pay of the merchant houses.

Mul Racial Traits

  • +2 Strength, +4 Constitution, –2 Charisma, -2 Intelligence: Combining the human height with the dwarven musculature, muls end up stronger than either parent race, but their status as born–to–be slaves makes them insecure in their dealings with others.
  • Dwarf Blood: Muls count as both dwarves and humans for any effect related to race.
  • Medium: Muls are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Muls have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Toughness: Muls receive Toughness as a bonus feat.
  • Tireless: Muls gain a +2 racial bonus to checks for performing a physical action that extends over a period of time (running, swimming, holding breath, and so on). This bonus stacks with the Endurance feat. This bonus may also be applied to savings throws against spells and magical effects that cause weakness, fatigue, exhaustion, or enfeeblement.
  • Extended Activity: Muls may engage in up to 12 hours of hard labor or forced marching without suffering from fatigue.
  • Nonlethal Damage Resistance 1/–: Muls are difficult to subdue, and do not notice minor bruises, scrapes, and other discomforts that pain creatures of other races.
  • Wild Talent: Muls gain the Wild Talent feat.
  • Language: Muls begin play knowing Common.
  • Level Adjustment: +1

Mul

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