Up to The d20 System


by Robert Fisher, Jax Jackson, Yvonne McCollough, & Donald McCollough.

...a work in progress...still...

Octans are a race of sentient, land-dwelling octopus. They were inspired by the Cidrian octopodes from Cardboard Heroes.

Cidri was the setting of Steve Jackson’s first role-playing game: The Fantasy Trip. “Octopodes” is the most pedantic plural of “octopus”. “Octopusses” would be the most correct.

Sand Octan

Also called common octan.

Personality: Due to their short lifespans relative to the other races, octans tend to have a carpe diem attitude and often seem hasty and impulsive to others. The tend to be fiercely independant. Ironically, they also tend to be quite conformist as well.

Due to their independant nature, octan industry tends to be limited to things that can be accomplished by an individual. They will trade amongst themselves and with other races to acquire the materials and tools that they need for their trade, but they avoid teamwork.

Octan artifacts tend to be non-standardized and designed for a single user. Octan dwellings are made for a single occupant. There are no octan galleons or galleys, but there are lots of small one-man sailboats.

Octan society is very loosely knit, held together by simple trade between individuals. Their only meeting places are markets, and religious sites for rituals that require witnesses, which many do. Octans don't eat together, or hold feasts. They don't have inns or taverns. This is one of the major ways that they differ from humanoids. Their primary form of socializing is gossiping at the market, or short visits to individual friends, usually as a pretense for trade, or wooing a mate.

Octans do not have a concept of marriage. Octan females will usually choose the same male to impregnate them multiple times when they wish to have children, but they are not socially obligated to do so. Female octans get pregnant whenever they have decided on a mate and the urge strikes them. Five months later the female gives live birth to one or, rarely, two offspring. The young octans are about the size of a golf ball with faux blue rings, to scare away predators who will mistake them for a poisonous variety of octopus.

Octans are indifferent parents. They will quickly notice if one of their young goes missing, and always ensure that they are fed, but they don't make a great effort to educate or endoctrinate their children.

Young octan are not formally educated, but must learn what they can through observation of their mother and other octans. Adolescent octan can often be found quietly observing an octan practising a trade that interests them, though the observed will occasionally become annoyed enough to run any observers off. Some octans are just social enough to take on apprentices.

Although many octan are illiterate, they show surprising aptitude at reading and writing. Those who are literate prefer to teach young octans to read and sell or loan them books rather than teaching them directly. Indeed, journaling, letter writing, and writing books about their trade are favored pasttimes among literate octan.

Young octan have also been known to seek knowledge from other races.

Physical Description: Octans typically stand on four tenticles to a height of 4 to 4-1/2 feet and are quite lightweight. Octans typically appear brown, but are able to change the color of their skin. They will often turn white when afraid or red when angered. They are also able to match the color of their surroundings. Male octans can be distinguished from female octans by a modified sucker disc on the tip of one tenticle.

All eight of an octan's tenticles are identical and can serve the role of either arm or leg as the whim strikes. Typically four are used for standing and walking while four are used as arms.

The upper two thirds of each arm contains a series of thick rings of cartilage, with blood vessels, nerves and such running through the middle. These rings end with a big, tough modified sucker that acts as a foot a third of the way from the tip, with the rest of the tentacle continuing on without the ring cartilage. When the octan uses an tenticle to stand on, he simply relaxes the musculature in it, allowing the cartilage rings to bear on one another.

Relations: As much as octan do not seem to enjoy each other's company, they don't mind the company of other races, although the idea of teamwork still eludes them. They associate with others because they find them fascinating, and enjoy observing and interacting with them. It's only the presence of other octans that makes them feel crowded and want to move on.

Sages who study octans draw a comparison between this behavior and the solitary life of an octopus, who does not wish to share hunting grounds with other octopuses, but tolerates the presence of other sealife.

Alignment: Chaotic. [?]

Octan Lands: Octan typical inhabit seashores, lake shores, and riverbanks. They like sandy spots for public squares, markets, and meeting places. The sand also provides octan children a perfect background against which to camoflage themselves and hide from enemies.

Religion: [I got nothing. Religion always seemed too melieu specific a topic anyway...]

Language: Octans have their own language, Octish, which is related to Aquan and typically written with the Elven alphabet. Many octans are illiterate, although they learn to read and write quite quickly. (Adventuring octans are assumed to be literate, unless barbarians. An octan PC may be illiterate if the player wishes, however.)

Besides octish, there is a secondary language native to octans. Chromoglot, however, is not a vocal language. Instead, it involves moving color patterns on their skin. It is never written, as literate octans merely write in octish instead. Not all octans bother to learn chromoglot. Members of other races can learn to read chromoglot, but this is very rare.

[I don't really care for the "chromoglot" name.]

Names: Male - Loosham, Zeeler, Mowsh, Clebban. Females- Reezha, Mimminy, Gla-la, Vleela.

[Edit this section to echo 3.5 format.]

Adventurers: [...]

Multiple Weapons: Octans can weild the following combinations of weapons. Sand octans get the Two Weapon Fighting feat free, allowing them to make two attacks at -2 each & additional attacks at (normal off-hand penalty). Octans may take the Multiweapon Fighting Feat to make one attack with each weapon at -2.

[Need to set up a table with all the options & the proper modifiers. Also need to switch this to the proper 3.5 terminology. Explain how this interacts with iterative attacks as well.]

[Additional penalty for 2H weapons w/ TWF or MWF?]

[The "no feat" column is there just for thinking purposes, although it would be applicible to cave octan in the next section.]

Multiple Weapons
1 0 0 0 0 0
1 0 1 0 0 0
1 1 0 -6/-10 -2/-2 -2/-2
2 0 0 -6/-10 -2/-2 -2/-2
2 0 1 -6/-10 -2/-2 -2/-2
2 1 0 -6/-10/-10 -2/-2/-10 -2/-2/-2
3 0 0 -6/-10/-10 -2/-2/-10 -2/-2/-2
3 0 1 -6/-10/-10 -2/-2/-10 -2/-2/-2
4 0 0 -6/-10/-10/-10 -2/-2/-10/-10 -2/-2/-2/-2
0 1 0 0 0 0
0 1 1 0 0 0
0 2 0 -6/-10 -2/-2 -2/-2

Octan Racial Traits

[These need to be marked as Ex/Sp/Su.]

[Some of these not effective unless wearing light armor. Skill boni only?]

Table: Random Starting Ages
Race Adulthood Barbarian
Octan 8 years +1d2 +1d4 +2d4
Table: Aging Effects
Race Middle Age Old Venerable Maximum Age
Octan 16 years 25 years 40 years +2d10
Table: Random Height and Weight
Race Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Octan 3' 8 +2d4 35 lb. 1 lb.

Cave Octans

Also known as gray octans.

[Just some notes until I get around to workin on this section.]

The gray skinned Cave Octans like it dark. They evolved from the larger and more intelligent octopi that frequent the depths, and so they like seaside caves, cliff dwellings and dark forests. They get a +2 to Intelligence instead of Dex. They would still take the hit to Con and AC. They have a zero-level 'obscuring cloud' spell they can cast x times per day (like gnome magical abilities). However, they are more cerebral and aren't as physically active as the Sand Octans, so they only get a standard single attack, and all their other arms are considered off-hand. These are typically the mage types.

Cave octans started out the same as the above, but they have learned the value of teamwork, as well as many other social traits from other races. Different enclaves of cave octans will vary from the above in different ways, as they experiment with different social arrangements.