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Chakat Fluff

Tectorman's avatar
By Tectorman   |   Watch
4 6 488 (1 Today)
Published: June 5, 2009
Chakat

Passionate defenders who combine civilized temperance with feral might.

Chakats are the survivors from a long ago war.  A nation of humans originally created these felitaurs to serve as soldiers in a conflict that overwhelmed both sides and left the land in ruins.  Trying to learn from the difficult lessons of that awful past, the chakats now try to balance a peaceful nature with the bestial power they possess.

Play a chakat if you want…
• to play an anthropomorphic character.
• to combine fast movement with powerful attacks.
• to be a character on the outside looking in.
• to be a member of a race that favors the cleric, ranger, and warden classes.

Physical Qualities

Chakats resemble a feline centaur.  They stand just shorter than human height, but because of their dual torsos, a chakat can easily weigh twice as much as a human.  They typically look like a fur-covered humanoid from the waist up, and one of the big cats from the waist down.  Chakats have a fur coat with patterns ranging from the traditional stripes and spots of the big cats to any number of the more exotic designs.   A chakat’s head is like that of a feline, but with a wider range of facial expressions and a long mane of hair.  Their forelegs end in handpaws, where the digits are long and dextrous enough for the handpaws to serve as rudimentary hands (with very strong grips, but without the fine motor control of their true hands) and short enough to not interfere with their running.  A chakat’s tail is about 5 feet long and prehensile, but being fur-covered, it cannot quite serve as a substitute for a true hand.  Finally, all chakats are hermaphroditic and possess both sets of reproductive organs at the same time.  Therefore, they have their own set of pronouns: “shi” (shay) instead of “he” or “she”, and “hir” (hare) instead of “him”, “his” or “her”.

Chakats, due to the combination of having lower bodies that resemble wild beasts and being covered in fur (and thus more able to withstand cooler temperatures), typically do not wear more than a top for their upper bodies (and then, only for the sake of other, more modest species) and perhaps a series of belts and cargo saddles to help them carry their things.  When chakats do dress up, they tend to go for attire that will show off their good looks.

Chakats, due to their taurform bodies, are less well-matched for things bipedal humanoids take for granted.  Being quadrupedal themselves, they are ill-suited to riding mounts.  A specially-modified saddle still allows them to ride other larger creatures, but they usually forgo such measures.  A chakat will also have a more difficult time dealing with things that assume a linear body, such as ladders and chairs, as well as confined spaces in general (such as simply turning around in tight corridors, which their feline spine can deal with, but it’s still a hassle).

The typical lifespan of a chakat is about 150 years.  Chakats in old age are known as “Longtails”.

Playing a Chakat

Chakats are very social creatures.  They prefer to be around other people, both their own (rather extended) families and strangers that they meet for the first time.  They almost crave interpersonal contact.  Chakats usually opt for the group solution, wanting to fix problems as soon as they hear of them.  Combined with their tendency to eavesdrop, this leads to a certain meddlesomeness in the way a chakat deals with others.  They mean the best, but this over-helpfulness does serve to make them the targets of unscrupulous characters looking for someone to exploit.  Fortunately, chakats have an innate talent for getting a good read of a person (which can border on supernatural empathy) that prevents this from happening too often.

Chakats satisfy part of their need for socializing by creating very large families.  They are always growing, limited only by how many mates a chakat will enter a relationship with (and it is rare that a chakat ever puts up a set limit).  Love is an intangible thing, something that cannot be diminished no matter how many people it’s divided amongst, or so chakats believe.  This is because chakats only seldom experience jealousy; often enough, a chakat won’t, nor will shi even understand it in others.  A chakat’s family is also growing due to their love for children.  Children are the bright hope of tomorrow and chakats go to great lengths to nurture and protect their young (and even the young of others).

They are simultaneously male and female in both physical form and mindset.  Usually, the two combine to form a more stable whole within the chakat, but the dual genders come with their drawbacks as well.  Chakats are very protective of those they care for (their friends, their allies, their children).  Sometimes, this triggers a darker impulse within them.  Known as “atavism”, the chakat will fly into a rage and go to any length to end the threat they perceive, often farther than they otherwise would.  They carry this tendency from their species’ past.  Originally, the chakat race was known as the chakamils, powerful war beasts created by the top ritualists of Geminea to combat the threat of the demonic gnoll tribes.  At the end of the Gnoll Wars, both sides had taken such heavy losses from the uncontrollable violence of the chakamils that the entire race had to be reborn.  Chakats now possess the sensibility of any civilized race, but there is always that chance of losing control.

The majority of the chakat race still lives in Geminea.  They stand as equal citizens, but it’s always a struggle.  The records of old tell the tale of the chakamils, and people view the chakats with distrust.  Still others see a race, ready-made and manufactured, to be commanded and ordered like a horse drawing a cart.  This has lead many chakats to leave for a land of their own, called Chakona.  There, the chakats try to forge a new status for themselves, to create their own dealings with other nations while attempting to let go of what was, and just generally live by a “Do unto others…” philosophy.  Still other chakats have traveled even farther, making their own impressions on the new races they find.  They resonate with the dwarf devotion to their clan.  They find a kindred spirit in the warforged.  They take lessons from the balance genasi strike within their own sort of chaos.  They agree with the practicality of the halflings.  Some chakats even manage to make friends with the rare gnoll or two.

Chakat Characteristics: congenial, empathic, hardy, helpful, loving, optimistic, perceptive, practical, protective, sociable, well-adjusted

Names: Brightspot, Darkstar, Forestwalker, Goldendale, Goldfur, Jinx, Late Bloomer, Midnight, Quickpaw, Stormchaser, Swiftwalk, White Tip, Windsong

Chakat Adventurers

Three sample chakat adventurers are described below.

Brightspot used to live in the village of Ennien when a traveling party of humans and eladrin entered the community asking for help.  Brightspot elected to join them, but in the process, shi has traveled very far from hir home.  Seeing hir plight, the goddess Avandra imbued within hir her own divine power to help hir find hir way.  Now a cleric of Avandra, Brightspot uses hir own travels to draw experience to help the lost of the world.

Jinx is an unfortunate soul.  Though chakats hate to resort to drawing on their heritage to defend their loved ones, it’s usually enough to win the day.  Not so for poor Jinx, the atypical chakat.  Twice has shi found love and twice have they been ripped away from hir.  Shi now lives in the wild, one heart broken from the sorrow, and the other cold and hardened against loving again.  Shi’s a ranger who specializes in the bow, a perfect analogy.  Jinx distances hirself from hir foes the same way shi keeps hir relationships cordial at best.

Late Bloomer was once a simple commoner, no more an adventurer than anyone else in town.  The attack by a rogue group of gnolls changed this forever, though.  The pack-leader triggered a racial memory in Bloomer that resulted in a vicious struggle the equal of any bout during the Gnoll Wars.  Horrified by what shi had done, Late Bloomer fled the town, unwilling to risk being near anyone, not even hir mate and children.  Shi eventually came upon an old warrior, gifted in the art of harnessing and channeling the primal powers.  He taught hir the powers of the warden, and imbued within hir the confidence to take control of the wild and dangerous side of all things in nature, rather than let them control hir.
© 2009 - 2020 Tectorman
I'm a fan of the Chakat fanfictions written up on The Chakat's Den by, among other people, the guy who created the race, Bernard Doove. I also play Dungeons and Dragons (started with their 3.5 edition). Naturally, I combined the two.

The act of creating a ruleset for something in an RPG that doesn't already exist in the game is called "homebrewing", which I did. I homebrewed the Chakat race for D&D 3.5.

D&D has now come out with their next edition, 4E, so I decided to update the race. Since the racial traits, the "meat and potatoes", of any playable race of creatures is shorter in 4E than in 3.5 (or at least, that was the case with this race), I also decided to try my hand at the background fluff (the descriptions of the race's origins and characteristics, things that can change depending on story-based needs). My first attempt can be found here:

[link]

as well as on a few other RPG forum boards (ENWorld and Giants in the Playground, to be specific).

The feedback I received indicated to me that the race looked as though it was written by a fanboy; i.e., there weren't enough flaws. Since the Chakat race comes from a pseudo-Star Trek setting where folks are generally more enlightened that in a pseudo-medieval setting, I was at a loss as to how to put in flaws but still leave the race recognizable.

With feedback from two other Deviants here, Snakeman830 and Chakat-Shadowsand, I decided to try to rewrite the fluff from scratch. The above is that second attempt, put here as a means to give a common ground for discussion.

*I also rewrote just a bit of the "crunch", but that really isn't the subject of this deviation and can just as easily be found at the bottom of the thread I referenced above.*
Comments6
anonymous's avatar
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Daniel-D-S's avatar
Daniel-D-SStudent Writer
Your not the only fan of chakats here dude
snakeman830's avatar
I just realized that some of the naievety we discussed about certian traditions and devices isn't in here.
Tectorman's avatar
Yes, you're right. At the time, I couldn't figure out where to put those parts in, or how to introduce them.

That is partly due to the fact that the race's origins were reimagined. Now, they're not humans-turned-Chakats who've lost their memories, but more civilized remakes of biological weapons of war (Chakamils). So really, the infrastructure and the humans are still there, to tell them what certain devices are used for and to explain why they do certain traditions.
Tectorman's avatar
A note: I had discussed their practical nature, but I was unable to fit it into this version (other than comparing them to halflings, that is).
snakeman830's avatar
It looks good to me so far. Of course, I also just got back from a rather exhausting week, so I'll be able to give better comments tomorrow.
Chakat-Shadowsand's avatar
I like how you've connected it all to the original stories but in slightly different ways. It certainly fits together a lot better now, and makes a lot more sense. Nice work :)
anonymous's avatar
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