Equitarn (Escarnum)

This is a variant of the equitarn race originally created by Talen Lee for his Cobrin'Seil setting.

One of the world's oldest races, equitarn are subject to much speculation. Their origins are lost to the ages, along with most of the Overseers' secrets; racial law tells that they were bred by the Overseers to serve as physical labourers. Formed of both horse and human, their powerful builds and incredible fortitude making them ideal workers and soldiers. Some even hold that the Overseers created the equitarn, through some powerful ritual lost when they were overthrown, engineered to best suit their intended purpose as slaves.

However they came to be, the equitarn suffered in silence under the Overseers until the day humanity rebelled - when, as one, they turned to aid their fellow slaves. Bound by a sort of unspoken alliance, they journeyed with the humans to the "new world" of Alm, and then just as soon drifted away - while the humans set about wresting territory from the beast races and establishing nations, the equitarn struck out for the open plains. Perhaps, as many believe, they were without direction after the Overseers were destroyed, and sought a new identity in Alm. In any case, they found their own quiet way to prosperity, and their tribes - as well as those of their centaur allies - now form most of the population of the Grasslands of central Alm.


Above all, equitarn are known for being stoic creatures, of few words and little emotion. However, while they are certainly reserved and soft-spoken, they are also deeply emotional; though placid, they hold their beliefs and opinions very deeply, and have long memories. Treating an equitarn badly will ensure a deep grudge, but coming to their aid will mean a lasting friendship.

Equitarn have a strong sense of family - or, more accurately, of herd. They tend to think and act as one with their social group - usually formed of ten to twelve families banded together as a tribe - and consider actions toward an individual as actions toward the entire tribe. Outsiders speak softly amongst a group of equitarn, knowing that angering one will earn the ire of everybody present.

Physical Description

Equitarn are tall and broad, standing about 9 1/2 to 10 1/2 feet tall and typically weighing 1,500 to 2,500 pounds. They are hardy and well-built, with a horse's hind legs and tail, along with a powerful humanoid upper body. They are as diversely coloured as actual horses, carrying most of the same markings, and tend towards having yellow or deep brown eyes. Their bodies are covered in light, short coats of hair, and are also crowned with human-like hair resembling a mane. Their faces reveal varying degrees of their mixed heritage; some show no more than a forehead blaze on a human-shaped head, some are almost entirely equine. Most, however, fall somewhere in-between, with a somewhat elongated nose and muzzle, but distinctly humanoid features.

Bred to endure the harshest of weather, equitarn don't have too much concern for clothing, usually opting for wrappings or crudely-stitched loincloths that do not hamper their movement. Such armour as equitarn wear is reminiscent of barding, though rare is the equitarn who will willingly serve as a mount.

An Equitarn achieves majority at about 25 years in age and can live to be over 300 years old; they live long, stable lives, and do not degenerate due to old age until the last ten to fifteen years of their lives. Equitarn are herbivorous.


The equitarn feel a strong sense of kinship toward both the centaurs and the shifters, older residents of Alm with whom they share the Grasslands. They also tend to adopt herds of wild horses who roam the plains, not quite viewing them as sacred, but certainly as important. Something of an alliance remains with the human kingdoms, after the two races came to Alm together, but human politics are not important to the plains tribes, and the alliance probably remains only because nobody pro-actively destroys it.

Amongst the beast races, some clans also accept the equitarn as their kindred, believing they were originally taken from Alm by the Overseers, and have simply returned to their true home. This does not, by any means, apply to all beast folk.


Equitarn are primarily neutral, not prone to extremes or causes. Most care little for broader questions of law or morality, preferring to protect themselves and their herd and let the rest of the world work as it will.


The equitarn are nomads, roaming the plains of the Grasslands in "herds" (many of which also include centaurs, horses, and the occasional shifter). They are rarely found elsewhere in Alm.


Due to their slave heritage, equitarn have no unique language of their own, and usually speak Common. Many also pick up the Bestial tongue, since they often encounter gnolls and other beast folk while travelling.


Originally, the equitarn were named only as numbers by their masters, and at first were somewhat confused about the concept of names. After some working out, a simple naming convention grew out of their lifestyle; most equitarn are given names from nature, a particular thing which is significant to their birth; a particular type of tree, for example, or the time of year they were born.

Example names

Alder, Autumn, Bank, Briar, Bracken, Calyx, Dust, Eve, Maple, Oak, Rust, Smoke, Storm, Teak, Trace, Thorn.


Equitarn rarely become adventurers for the sake of their own interests; they don't usually take up a cause beyond protecting their herd, and their tendency to be content with life as it is means they have little urge to explore purely for the sake of it. However, an equitarn who loses her herd has difficulty finding a new one - it's not that she won't be accepted, but she rarely comes to feel truly at home. Such equitarn often takes up the role of an adventurer instead, seeing her comrades as her new herd, and their protection as her new duty.

Game Rule Information

Equitarn Racial Traits

+4 Strength, +4 Constitution, -2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence. Equitarn are incredibly powerful and hardy creatures, but lack human flexibility and agility due to their more horse-like forms. Their slave heritage and tribal society mean most are largely uneducated, relying more on folk wisdom and practical knowledge than study.

  • Large: As a Large (tall) creature, an equitarn has a -1 size penalty to Amour Class, a -1 size penalty to attack rolls, and a -4 size penalty to Hide checks. She has lifting and carrying limits twice those of a Medium character, and has a space of 10 feet and a natural reach of 10 feet.
  • Speed: Equitarn base speed is 30 feet when walking on two feet. An equitarn can also use her hands to assists her movement, dropping into a four-legged stance. When running on four legs, an equitarn's base movement speed is 40 feet, and she has an increased carrying capacity as if she were a quadruped; however, she can't hold anything in her hands or wield weapons, and her reach decreases to 5 feet. Shifting from bipedal movement to quadrupedal movement is a move action, or can be done as part of any other move action that doesn't entail the use of the equitarn's hands.
  • Racial Hit Dice: An Equitarn begins with two levels of monstrous humanoid, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +2, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +0, Ref +3, and Will +3.
  • Racial Skills: An equitarn's monstrous humanoid levels grant her skill points equal to (2 + the equitarn's Int modifier) x 5. Her class skills for these levels are athletics and wild lore. In addition, an equitarn's hardy nature grants her a +2 racial bonus on athletics checks, and her sturdy build grants a +2 on acrobatics checks made to maintain balance.
  • Racial Feats: An equitarn gains Endurance as a bonus feat.
  • Armoured Hide (Ex): The equitarn's hide is thicker and hardier than that of a human, bred to protect vulnerable areas in lieu of armour. However, the areas covered by this trait mirror the normal positioning of most types of actual armour, and therefore, don't actually provide shielding beyond a normal suit of armour. An equitarn has a +6 armour bonus to Armour Class.
  • Massive: Equitarn are prodigiously heavy for creatures of their size. This weight is in their bones and musculature, and Equitarn are born with a native understanding of how to employ this weight to their advantage. Equitarn receive a racial +4 bonus on trip checks and checks to avoid being tripped, and on bull rush attempts and to resist bull rushes.
  • Level Adjustment: +1. Slow learners at the best of times, equitarn level up slower and gain experience more slowly than other races.
  • Languages: Common and Bestial.
  • Favoured Class: Fighter. The Equitarn are able learners in the field of martial combat, and rarely don't turn their talent in this area to some profit in their lives.

Partial Open Gaming Content: Content in highlighted boxes is derived from, and in turn designated as, OGL material. Other content in this article is copyright © {$owner} {$year} unless otherwise noted. The equitarn race was originally published by Talen Lee.

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