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Mazes, Martians, Mead

[Labyrinth Lord] The Neanderthal

Neanderthal

Requirements: CON 9
Prime Requisite: DEX
Hit Dice: 1d8
Maximum Level: 8

Cousins to the humans these humanoids often are assumed to be brutish due to their large brow ridges, receding chins, and slightly shorter, denser bodies. Nevertheless when found in human cities their physical closeness to “normal” humans makes them blend into these societies comparatively easy. At heart they are wilderness dwellers though, and only a few of them ever will find it necessary to move closer to their human cousins.
However, though they live a seemingly primitive lifestyle, they are as intelligent as humans. They often utilise more primitive weapons they can craft themselves, often only stone blades or traded bronze, but they are not above using other weapons if they find it necessary.Their society is one that values strength and fighting spirit and only the strongest one may become the leader. This often leads to them going wandering on their own to become more experienced to be able to become leader at one point.
They can Climb Walls and Hear Noise like a thief of equal level,
Reaching 6th Level: After reaching 6th level a Neanderthal can start a settlement of his/her own and become the leader of a tribe. Neanderthals revere cave bears, and will hunt them for rites of passage and religious purposes. They despise kobolds, goblins, and morlocks, but enjoy the company of gnomes and dwarves.

Neanderthal Level Progression
Experience……..Level…….Hit Dice (1d8)
0……………………..1…………….1+1
2,187……………….2…………….2+1
4,375……………….3…………….3+2
8,751……………….4…………….4+2
17,501……………..5…………….5+3
35,001……………..6…………….6+3
70,001……………..7…………….7+4
140,001……………8…………….8+4

For some reason the neanderthal, or caveman, is one of these ‘monsters’ that always showed up in early roleplaying games, yet for some reason they always were kind of underutilized. Or can you remember more than one or two modules that ever had them appear in any way? I can remember exactly one, a German adventure for Das Schwarze Auge. The authors had to write in some cavemen because the cover art their publisher bought  featured them too prominently. Obviously the module was intended to be about elves, but can anything be bad when there are cavemen on the cover?

On the one hand their appearance actually makes a bit of sense, after all in most fantasy worlds humans are living right next to a plethora of different races, why should the neanderthal die out as he did in our world?

On the other hand the picture of the neanderthal we have, and as it was propagated by these roleplaying games, is in a large part a fantasy themselves. Neanderthal society was quite sophisticated from everything we can see from their remains. This stereotype of the brutish caveman is more one of modern media. Which is of course the only place where we find any depictions of neanderthals at all. It’s kind of a vicious circle.

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3 responses to “[Labyrinth Lord] The Neanderthal

  1. Pingback: Elfenblut « Stuffed Crocodile

  2. Pingback: [Labyrinth Lord] More Duckfolk « Stuffed Crocodile

  3. Pingback: Cherrypicking my own system « Stuffed Crocodile

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