Tomanths are both lethal predators and natural stewards of the forests, rivers, and lakes of their areas. Shy and cautious, they can be cunning and ruthless when their territory is encroached upon.
They stand a little over four feet tall, but measure over six feet from the tip of their snout, to the tip of their tail; adults weigh in at nearly two-hundred pounds. Tomanths are built much like a bipedal alligator, with four-fingered hands and toes. They lack one of the knuckle-joints common to most humanoids, and instead have considerably strong claws. Their independently swiveling eye turrets give them the ability to look in two directions at once, and their eyes also have two nictating membranes. They have no hair, but come in a variety of forest colors, including greens and browns, and more rarely, dark red. They prefer to spend their time resting and sunning, but can be quite studious if their curiosity is aroused. Their claws limit their finger dexterity, and so they rarely employ tools.
Their language is rather limited to clicks and hisses when out of the water, but is vibrant and colorful when under the water, even though the tomanths insist that it is the same language, both above and below water. They have no ears, only a hearing diaphragm just behind their eyes on their skulls. Although omnivores, they are primarily meat-eaters, with lots of constantly replacing, three-rowed saw-teeth. Tomanth's tongues and throats are capable of making a wider variety of sounds than any humans', and can thus master one or two other languages rather successfully. They can speak Common with perfection, but usually let their 'S's draw out in a hiss.
Tomanths come in three distinct types – river tomanths, ocean tomanths, and blood tomanths. River tomanths make up the vast majority of their kind. Some few have managed to adapt to salt water, and are called ocean tomanths. Ocean tomanths are somewhat larger than their river-borne cousins, and have longer fingers, and better adaptations to the cold, though they are somewhat slower. Blood tomanths are rare genetic mutations that are have tougher armor, smaller brains, and a nasty poison.
Feral tomanths rarely attack unless provoked, but when they do, they so with every resource at their disposal. Quite cunning, they can lie in wait beneath the water, and with their keen vision and hearing, time and coordinate stunning surprise attacks. Many tomanths are even arboreal, leaping from tree to tree, and landing on an opponent from above. Their claws can deal a fair amount of damage, and their bite has an infectious disease that poisons the body. If an opponent proves troublesome, a tail sweep can land a victim in a more prone position.
Tomanths are quick-studies, and highly adaptive. Many use two-handed weapons, such as short spears or short swords with adapted handles. Tomanths can also use chain mail shirts taken off of captives or bartered from traders. More rarely, tomanth mercenaries have custom weapons and armor made for them.
Tomanths tend to live in communities of 10-60 individuals, with half being old, young, and noncombatants. Females fight along-side males, and outsiders seem to have a difficult time distinguishing one from the other. Because the tomanth language can travel for many miles underwater, communities tend to be relatively isolated from one another. The isolation is self-imposed, however, and should danger arise, many other tribes will respond to a call for danger. The tribes are centered around a druid-shaman – usually a female – who acts only as an adviser and a protector. Mated pairs are always free to lead their own lives, but usually remain with a tribe for mutual protection, and friendship.
The most commonly encountered classes are fighters, but rangers, druids, clerics, and barbarians are not uncommon. Wizards are virtually unheard of in the tomanth communities, because of the difficulties involved in translating somatic components. Sorcerers and rogues are a bit more common among the tomanths, but still rare.
Tomanths only live for ten years. They hatch from clutches of between three and six eggs, and are roughly the size of a man's fist when they first emerge from their eggs. The young are precocious and inquisitive, and born with the ability to speak the tomanth tongue, to hunt, swim, and walk. They mature rapidly on a diet of meat, insects, and carrion, achieving adulthood within a year and a half. Tomanths mate twice a year, and lay their clutches in a communal nesting site, defended and protected by the tribal druid-shaman.
Because of their short life-spans, they place more emphasis on leaving items and material gains for their young than most races. They see most other races as very selfish and uncaring towards their young, and future generations. The tomanth view is generational, with stern views on nature, excessive procreation, expansion, and stagnation. Adaptive and cunning, they do whatever it takes to survive, and ensure the survival of their future as the druid-shaman sees it.
Stats: STR +1, CON +2
Speed: walk 25, swim 35, jump 15 (arboreal)
Actions: bite 1d6 + 2 necrotic, or 2x claws 1d4 + STR bonus
Special Action: Tail Sweep; on a successful attack, the target (medium-sized or smaller) is knocked prone and takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage
Penalty: Unable to wield one-handed weapons, due to clawed hand limitations. This imparts a -2 penalty to all skills requiring dexterity of fingers.
Vision: Tomanths have advantage in seeing through illusions and seeing invisibility, Darkvision to 60ft, and see only in black-and-white.
Subraces: Ocean tomanths and river tomanths take penalties to CON saves after extended times in the opposite waters. Blood tomanths take a -2 penalty to INT and a +2 bonus to AC (for a total of +4).