Centaurs are strange creatures with the upper quarters of a human and the lower quarters of a horse. Proud and fierce warriors, they usually remain confined to the grassy plains of their homelands, but young warriors sometimes choose to leave their tribe and seek their fortune elsewhere.
Centaurs are brave and doughty warriors, fearless in battle to an almost suicidal degree. Noble and haughty, they place great value in martial prowess and personal reputation. The pettiest of disputes or slights against their honour are swiftly settled with cold steel. Much importance is also placed on family, as Centaurs see themselves as descendants of a lineage that stretches back through the generations to the very first horses. They will always talk of themselves as being ‘son of X, son of Y, son of Z’ and so on.
The average height of a Centaur is just over two metres tall. Because of the nature of their bodies Centaurs do not make ideal adventurers. Subterranean exploration, for example, can be a difficult process. Out in the open is another matter entirely. They are able to run far faster than any humanoid, even when bearing a heavy load.
In times of war they may combine human armour and horse barding to provide comprehensive protection.
Centaurs have had mixed dealings with humans and elves, and as a result are apt to be wary of the intentions of such races. Indeed, many tribes indulge in the hunting and eating of humans with scant regard for their racial similarities.
Most humanoid races look down upon Centaurs as little more than brutish savages. They can sometimes be found serving alongside Orcs and Trolls in the armies of Evil, where their appetite for battle is sure to be sated.
Strongly neutral creatures, Centaurs will do whatever is required to keep themselves alive and their saddlebags full of gold. They hold allegiance to no one but themselves and their tribe, but may grant grudging respect to anyone who has proven their worth in battle.
Centaurs favour warm grasslands, such as the Pagan and Windward Plains of northern Allansia, the Pikestaff Plain in north-eastern Khul, or the vast steppes of Lendleland in the Old World.
Centaur Heroes will be considered by other centaurs to have abandoned their tribesmen, and should expect an icy reception if they return to their native land.
Centaurs believe themselves to be horses that were cursed for some past misdeed by the great Hunnynhaa, Lord of Horses, and forced to suffer the indignity of a sluggish human body. They delight in the telling and singing of tales that speak of their curse and their desire to be free of it.
Despite their sometimes savage nature, they are at heart a spiritual people and are always in touch with the land.
Centaurs have their own oral language (which has no written form) but can usually also speak Common. They can also communicate with any horse.
Centaurs can use magic with no penalties. They tend to favour spells which increase personal strength and courage. Centaur Priests may worship most of the standard deities, particularly Fourga and Telak, but their chief deity will always be Hunnynhaa.
A newly created Centaur Hero starts out with the following characteristics:
A Centaur Hero receives 2 an additional points to his Initial STAMINA score, to reflect his greater body mass and resultant strength.
They will also receive one point in the Hunting and Plains Lore Special Skills, as well as two points in Languages (Common), and four points in Languages (Centaur).
In addition a Centaur Hero will start with the Fleet-footed Talent.
A Centaur Hero may not choose any of the following Special Skills: Acrobatics, Mounted Combat, Ride. These abilities are plainly of little use to a Centaur. Most others, however, can be chosen and used without modification.
Note that, for combat purposes, a Centaur’s definition of a ‘narrow corridor’ will be wider than that for a human.
A Centaur Hero will have all the same modifiers as for someone on horseback when it comes to rolls for escaping and the like. A Centaur’s Jump can be up to twice a human’s distance or height. All Sneak rolls incur a -2 penalty due to their size and shape; certain situations may prove success to be impossible. Similarly, a Centaur counts as Large for Hide rolls. It is assumed that a Centaur can carry as many ‘items’ as it has current STAMINA points. Any Climb rolls will incur penalty of -3, unless the surface is sufficiently open, level and stable enough to allow its hoofs to grip.