1. GENERALITES
    1. Racial Descriptions
    2. Background Skills
    3. Favoured Classes
    4. Prohibited Classes
    5. Languages
    6. Literacy
    7. Bonus Feats

  2. NATIONALITES
    1. Cimmerian
    2. Himelian Tribesman
      1. Wazuli
    3. Hyborian
      1. Argossean or Barachan
      2. Bossonian
      3. Gunderman
      4. Hyperborean
      5. Tauran
    4. Hyrkanian or Turanian
    5. Iranistani
    6. Kezankian Hillman
    7. Khitan
    8. Black Kingdom (North)
      1. Chaga
      2. Ghanata
    9. Lemurian
    10. Meruvian
      1. Azweri
    11. Nordheimer
    12. Pict
      1. Ligurean
    13. Shemite
      1. Meadow Shemite
      2. Pelishtim
    14. Black Kingdom (South)
      1. Darfari
    15. Stygian
    16. Vendhyan
    17. Zamorian
    18. Zingaran












I. GENERALITES

1. Racial Descriptions

Each race has a paragraph or two of introductory description, then some notes on culture, religion and typical character names. The entry for religion should be read in conjunction with the entry for religion under the character class chosen by the player before a god or goddess (if any) is selected from those presented later. The names section gives names drawn directly from the Conan stories and includes suggestions for similar names. The culture section describes the races’ cultures briefly and includes for further reference the real- world cultures (if any) on which Howard based them.

2. Background Skills

Each major race or variant race gains four or five Background Skills, as defined in this section. Each Background Skill in the racial listing will be treated as a Class Skill during your character career whether or not it would usually be a Class Skill for him. Everyone gets Knowledge (local to represent the appropriate general knowledge picked up during a character’s childhood.

Note that some races have bonuses to certain skills as well as having them as background skills. For example, a Pelishtim Shemite has a +2 circumstance bonus to Knowledge (arcana) skill checks and also has Knowledge (arcana) as a background skill.

3. Favoured Classes

In Conan the Roleplaying Game, each race has one or more favoured classes. Favoured classes grant bonus feats. A character who gains levels in the favoured class for his race gains one bonus feat at 1st level in that class, one at 5th level and one at 10th level. Note that it is always the character’s class level that is considered for purposes of favoured class bonus feats, not his total character level.

For example, Garm is a Pictish barbarian. At 1st level he gains a bonus feat for belonging to his race’s favoured class. Some time later, he also learns the ways of a shaman and becomes a 3rd level barbarian/2nd level scholar (Pictish shaman). Though he is now a 5th level character, he does not gain another favoured class bonus feat until he achieves 5th level in the barbarian class.

For races with two or more favoured classes, add a character’s level in the favoured classes together to determine his favoured class level.

For example, Ankh-af-na-Khonsu is a Stygian noble. At 1st level he gains a bonus feat for being of his race’s favoured class. Some time later he takes initiation into the priesthood of Set and learns sorcery, so that he becomes a 3rd level noble/2nd level scholar (priest of Set). Note that scholar is another favoured class for Stygians. Ankh-af-na-Khonsu adds the two class levels together to determine his favoured class level, which is 5th level. This allows him to gain another bonus feat.

4. Prohibited Classes

Certain races never produce members of a particular class, at least at low levels. Any class listed as a prohibited class for a particular race may never be selected as the initial, 1st level class for a character of that race. At the Games Master’s discretion, a character may later be permitted to gain levels in a prohibited class, so long as he has sufficient opportunity.

For example, Cimmerians never produce characters of the Noble, Scholar, Pirate or Nomad classes. Cimmerian chieftains are simply high-level barbarians and as a land-locked nation with no steppes or deserts, Cimmeria does not have the terrain to allow for either piracy or nomadic life. Likewise, there can be no Cimmerian scholars because there is no formalised system of teaching in Cimmeria; the country does not even have the shamans and primitive priests that might be expected in other barbaric nations, because Cimmerian gods are not worshipped. However, a Cimmerian who travels to other lands and has an opportunity to learn the skills of the appropriate profession may one day gain levels in these prohibited classes, just as Conan began as a barbarian and thief but later sailed with pirates, rode with nomads and even became a noble of Aquilonia.

5. Languages

Each race has one or two Automatic Languages and several Bonus Languages listed at the end of the race entry. Every character learns the Automatic Language or Languages for his race and may select a number of racial bonus languages, which he also knows, equal to his Intelligence modifier plus three, to a minimum of one. A character who learns all the racial bonus languages and still has some bonus languages left to learn may choose from any language in the game.

Furthermore, every character learns one new language at 1st level and every other 2 levels thereafter (3rd, 5th, 7th and so on). This is known as a level bonus language and represents the necessity for all adventuring characters to rapidly learn the local language wherever they go. There is no ‘common tongue’ in the Hyborian Age, so all travellers typically know a large number of languages.

The Games Master usually selects this level bonus language for all characters. He most commonly chooses the language spoken in the area in which the scenario takes place.

Finally, it is always possible for a character to learn a new language through roleplay and effort. Typically, approximately two months are needed to learn a new language from scratch but someone who simply immerses himself in a culture that speaks the language exclusively can accomplish this in a shorter time.

6. Literacy

A character with 14 or more in Intelligence automatically gains the Literacy Feat except if your race must begins illiterate.

7. Bonus Feats

Some races allow players to select bonus feats. Unless otherwise specified, ignore any prerequisite these feats needed.

II. NATIONALITES

1. Cimmerian

Cimmerians are descended from the ancient Atlanteans. Their skin is on the dark side of fair and tans easily if ever they leave the gloomy mountains of their home. They have dark hair and blue or grey eyes. They are tall, physically powerful and very fierce, and are regarded by most Hyborians as one of the most barbaric races in the world. Unlike most Hyborian women the Cimmerian women fight alongside their menfolk, even in full-blown war. Cimmerians tend to be direct to the point of bluntness.

Culture: Cimmerian culture is survivalist and barbaric. Cimmerians are a race of fierce moody hill-men, dwelling as they do in a harsh, dreary and cloudy land. The Cimmerians despise weakness and the softness of Hyborian civilisation. They are feuding and war-like.

Names: Cimmerian names are based on old Irish or Scottish Celtic names, such as Conan. Here are some examples of names Howard intended to use for Cimmerians in stories he never completed.

These names are male: Eithriall, Eanbotha, Rotheachta, Giallchadh, Cruaidh, Eamhua, Cumal, Amergin, Agh, Aodh, Brian, Cael, Cailt, Cathal, Conor, Cuchullin, Cul, Comala, Daol, Dima, Doon, Duncan, Fingal, Finn, Fionn, Hydallan, Moghcorb, Morne, Murdoch, Oscur, Ossian, Rayne, Sláine and Usnach.

The following names are female: Credhe, Deirdre, Dersagrena, Maev, Melilcoma and Ros-Crana.

Religion: Crom, ‘Lord of the Mound,’ is the chief god of the gloomy Cimmerians. Others include Lir, the god of knowledge, Mannanan, the god of poetry and travel, Morrigan, the goddess of war, Badb, the goddess of fire and fury, Macha and Nemain ‘The Venomous.’ The Cimmerians do not truly worship these gods, believing that the gods despise weaklings who call on them for help. Creating the Cimmerian race was gift enough. As a result, Cimmerians are often sceptical of more demonstrative forms of worship.

Racial Features - All of the following are Cimmerian racial features :

Background Skills: Climb, Knowledge (local), Stealth and Survival.

Favoured Class: Barbarian, Borderer, Hunter, Raider

Prohibited Classes: Counselor, Godsworn, Inquisitor, Mariner, Merchant, Noble, Nomad, Pirate, Scholar, Spy, Wanderer

Automatic Languages: Cimmerian

Bonus Languages: Nordheimer, Pictish, Aquilonian, Hyperborean


2. Himelian Tribesman

Between Vendhya and Hyrkania, far beyond the ken of most western folk, a vast and harsh mountain range rises, inhabited by a number of small tribes. These tribes consist of tall, hairy hill-men who are very strong and fierce. They are disdainful of civilised standards of politeness and good behaviour, though many adhere to a barbaric code of honour. The tribes include the Afghulis, Irakzai, Galzai, Dagozai, Zhaibari and Khurakzai, among others.

Culture: Himelian culture resembles the tribal lifestyle of Afghanistan and northern India and is survivalist and barbaric in nature. The Vendhyans seem to refer to the lands facing their kingdom as Ghulistan; possibly there is an ancestor tribe called the Ghulis of which these modern tribes are branches. Some Himelian tribesmen are a curious race of intelligent, though stunted, aborigines, conquered by the Hyrkanians on their westward drift. These would correspond more to a Tibetan style culture.

Names: Himelian names are essentially a mix of Arabic, Mongol and Hunnish names. Modern Afghani names provide good, exotic-sounding bases for naming Himelian characters.

These names are male: Yar Afzal, Yateli, Ahmad, Asad, Dost, Faiz, Mohan, Shujah and Zemar.

The following names are female: Anahita, Faryaal, Ghezal, Maryam and Samirah.

Religion: The savage Himelian tribesmen worship primitive totemistic deities and demons, such as Hanuman, the Ape God, in appeasement of the carnivorous apes of the area. Some may also worship Asura.

Racial Features - All of the following are Himelian racial features :

Background Skills: Knowledge (Local), Climb, Stealth and Survival.

Favoured Class: Barbarian, Borderer, Hunter, Raider

Prohibited Classes: Assassin, Counselor, Inquisitor, Mariner, Merchant, Noble, Nomad, Pirate, Scholar, Spy, Swashbuckler, Temptress

Automatic Languages: Afghuli

Bonus Languages: Vendhyan, Hyrkanian, Iranistani

2.1. Wazuli

The Wazuli are typically the first hill tribe a traveller journeying north out of Vendhya in the night will encounter, for they are largely nocturnal and prefer to do their raiding during the hours of darkness. Like other Himelian tribesmen, they are a hardy and usually honourable folk, with strong traditions of loyalty and hospitality.

Wazuli culture, names and religion are similar to those of other Himelian tribesmen.

Racial Features - The Wazuli should be treated as standard Himelian tribesmen except as follows :

Background Skills: Knowledge (Local), Climb, Stealth and Survival.

Favoured Class: Barbarian, Borderer, Hunter, Raider

Prohibited Classes: Counselor, Inquisitor, Mariner, Noble, Spy, Temptress

Automatic Languages: Afghuli

Bonus Languages: Vendhyan, Hyrkanian, Iranistani


3. Hyborian

The Hyborian peoples are descended from the worshippers of the god Bori. These barbaric ancestors swept out of the north three millennia ago, destroying the ancient empire of Acheron and conquering all in their path. The Hyborian lands are Nemedia, Ophir, Aquilonia, Hyperborea, Argos, Corinthia, the Border Kingdoms, the Baracha Islands, Brythunia, the Bossonian Marches, Koth, Khauran and Khoraja.

As a general rule, Hyborians identify themselves not as Hyborians per se but according to the nation from which they come. Thus, Player Characters are encouraged to call themselves Nemedians, Ophireans and so on, rather than simply ‘Hyborians.’ The Bori-worshipping barbarians of thousands of years ago have long since become highly civilised and sophisticated folk with strong nations of their own and would be scarcely recognisable to those who knew the Hyborians of old.

The original Hyborians were tawny-haired and grey-eyed, though by the time of Conan intermarriage has diversified this appearance considerably.

Culture: For the most part, culture in the Hyborian kingdoms is similar to that of the real-world medieval European countries, though some aspects, particularly in Nemedia, are more reminiscent of ancient Roman culture. The nations are run on the feudal system. This has often led to decadence as the nobility spend their time hunting and idling, unconcerned with the welfare of their subjects. As the nations have developed, the unity of the Hyborians has dissipated so that each kingdom has its own features, as follows:

Names: The tribal nature of the early Hyborians means that there is no one overall naming style, although the civilised nations tend toward Latin style names.
Religion: The worship of Mitra is overwhelmingly predominant in the Hyborian nations.
Racial Features - All of the following are Hyborian racial features:
Background Skills: Knowledge (local) and any other three skills, as chosen by the player.

Favoured Class: All classes. A Hyborian gains a favoured class bonus feat at 1st level, 5th level and 10th level, whatever his class or combination of classes. His levels in all his character classes are added together to determine his favoured class level, even if he is a multiclass character.

Automatic Languages: The language of whichever Hyborian kingdom the character lives in. This will be Bossonian, Nemedian, Aquilonian, Brythunian, Ophirean, Corinthian, Hyperborean, Kothic or Argossean.

Bonus Languages: Stygian, Nemedian, Aquilonian, Bossonian, Brythunian, Ophirean, Corinthian, Hyperborean, Zingaran, Zamorian, Pictish, Kothic, Argossean, Shemitish.

3.1. Argossean or Barachan

The Argosseans were originally a Hyborian people, though they have intermarried with many other races, particularly the Zingarans and to a lesser extent the Shemites. Most are short and stocky. They make superb sailors, traders and pirates. Renegade Argossean sailors have colonised the Baracha Islands, turning them into one of the greatest havens for piracy in all the seas.

Culture : Argos is a country of two contrasting cultures. All the seaports are cosmopolitan, with the capital, Messantia, being the most open-minded of all, while the inland provinces are filled with farmers, craftsmen and labourers who are friendly enough but wary of strangers. Argos is a noted trading nation of sharp-eyed silk-clad merchants, not all of whom remain strictly within the law – smuggling and piracy are often tolerated. The law is said to be lax, although occasionally an example is made of foreigners. Argos is regarded as a proud and avaricious kingdom. The racial admixture with the Zingarans is more extensive than with the Shemites in the Argossean Hyborians. Argos and Zingara have an ancient feud that works itself out in their attempts to become the dominant sea nation. Zingaran pirates raid the coast of Argos, just as the Argosseans and Barachans raid Zingara. Argos allies itself with Shem on occasion.

Names : Argossean names are Italian or Greek in tone, though as it is a major trading country a mix of names is possible. Examples: (male) Demetrio, Ortho, Publio, Servio, Tito, Tranicos. Suggestions: (female) Alcina, Danae, Demitrea, Larissa, Polyxene.

Religion : Like most Hyborian kingdoms, Argos’s main god is Mitra. However, its nature as a cosmopolitan trading nation means that pockets of worship of the Shemite and Kothic gods are also tolerated.

Racial Features - All of the following are Argossean racial features :

Background Skills: Knowledge (local) and three of these skills : Balance, Gather Information, Profession (sailor), Survival and Use Rope.

Favoured Class: Artisan, Counselor, Gladiator, Hyborian Ranger, Knave, Mariner, Merchant, Noble, Pirate, Raider, Soldier, Spy, Swashbuckler, Wanderer

Prohibited Classes: Barbarian, Nomad

3.2. Bossonian

The yeomen of the Bossonian Marches are renowned the world over for their archery skills and stalwart, well-nigh unconquerable defence. They are of medium height and complexion and have brown or grey eyes. They are descended from an aboriginal race that was conquered by a tribe of Hyborians early in the first ages of the Hyborian drift. Many have a strong if rough sense of justice; the civilised code of honour is common among the Bossonian soldiery. The Bossonians are generally quite closely allied with Aquilonia but often see service as mercenaries throughout the world.

Culture : The Bossonians live mainly by agriculture, in large walled villages and are part of the Aquilonian kingdom. They are hardy, stubborn, defensive fighters. Centuries of warfare against northern and western barbarians have caused them to evolve a type of defence that is almost impregnable. The Bossonian Marches form a bulwark between Aquilonia and the woods of the Pictish Wilderness in the west, Cimmeria to the north and the Border Kingdom in the east, curving crescent- like around to Zingara in the Southwest.

Names : Several Bossonians are specifically named, although it is safe to assume that Aquilonian names in general would also be common. For example (male) Gromel.

Religion : As with the Aquilonians, the Bossonians were once worshippers of Bori but in more recent years have taken up Mitra-worship.

Racial Features - All of the following are Bossonian racial features :

Background Skills: Craft (bowyer), Survival, Knowledge (local), any one other skill chosen by the player.

Favoured Class: Artisan, Borderer, Healer, Hunter, Hyborian Ranger, Soldier, Swashbuckler

Prohibited Classes: Barbarian, Mariner, Noble, Nomad, Pirate, Raider

Bonus Languages: Nemedian, Aquilonian, Zingaran, Pictish, Argossean

3.3. Gunderman

Universally tawny-haired and grey-eyed, the Gundermen are very nearly pure-blooded descendants of the original Hyborian tribes. Though Gunderland is technically a province of Aquilonia, it was an independent kingdom for so long that the Gundermen do not truly consider themselves Aquilonians and likely never will. However, they march willingly to Aquilonia’s wars and are regarded as the finest heavy infantry in the known world.

Culture : Gunderland is east of the Bossonian Marches, on the wild borders of Aquilonia, facing Cimmeria. It seems likely that like the Bossonians, Gundermen live mainly by agriculture in walled compounds. Only in the province of Gunderland, where the people keep no slaves, is the pure Hyborian stock found unblemished.

Names : The names of Gunderland are similar to those of Aquilonia. Example (male): Nestor.

Religion : Occasional Gundermen still worship the old Hyborian god-hero Bori, though most have converted to Mitra-worship along with the rest of Aquilonia.

Racial Features - All of the following are Gunderman racial features :

Background Skills: Craft (weaponsmith), Knowledge (warfare), Knowledge (local), any one other skill chosen by the player.

Favoured Class: Healer, Hunter, Noble, Soldier, Swashbuckler

Prohibited Classes: Borderer, Hyborian Ranger, Mariner, Nomad, Pirate, Raider

3.4. Hyperborean

Many Hyperboreans are still tawny-haired and grey- eyed like the original Hyperborean tribe, though the influence of Nordheimer blood has been strong for hundreds of years, ever since Hyperborea was invaded by conquerors of Æsir stock. Since then, some have married or captured Hyrkanians, Æsir and Zamorian women, so Hyperboreans can have a variety of skin, eye and hair colourings. All tend to be gaunt, big-boned, violent and slow of speech. Hyperborea is probably the least civilised of the Hyborian kingdoms, with the nearby barbarians of Asgard and Cimmeria raiding the region sufficiently often that the Hyperboreans have had to retain a certain savagery themselves.

Culture : Superstition dominates the Hyperborean way of life, leading countries such as Aquilonia to consider the stubborn, somewhat savage race to be backward. The majority of Hyperboreans live a serf-like existence in stone- walled villages, where they eke out a minimalistic way of life from the poor soil and the misbegotten cattle and reindeer that make up their herds.

Names : Nordheimer names are most common.

Religion : Most Hyperboreans still worship the old Hyborian god-hero Bori.

Racial Features - All of the following are Hyperborean racial features :

Background Skills: Craft (stone), Knowledge (arcana), Intimidate, Knowledge (local).

Favoured Class: Artisan, Godsworn, Healer, Raider, Scholar, Soldier

Prohibited Classes: Mariner, Pirate

3.5. Tauran

The Tauran region of Aquilonia is made up of a mixture of agricultural lands and wilderness and boasts no large settlements. Its people are regarded as somewhat backwards in comparison to the sophisticated and cosmopolitan Hyborians who live in the more densely populated and industrialised areas, though they do make excellent woodsmen. Tauran culture, religion and names should be treated as for Aquilonia.

Racial Features - All of the following are Tauran racial features :

Background Skills: Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (local), Survival, Stealth.

Favoured Class: Borderer, Hunter, Hyborian Ranger, Inquisitor, Swashbuckler

Prohibited Classes: Barbarian, Mariner, Nomad, Pirate, Raider


4. Hyrkanian or Turanian

The Hyrkanians are dark and generally tall and slender, though a squat slant-eyed type exists, resulting from mixture with a curious race of intelligent, though stunted, aborigines who were conquered by the Hyrkanians among the mountains east of Vilayet. The Hyrkanians are descendants of the ancient Lemurians, who were in ages past enslaved by the ancestors of the Stygians. The most prominent Hyrkanian tribe is that of the Turanians, who have carved out a kingdom for themselves that will one day sweep aside many of the Western nations. All Hyrkanians are noted for their superb archery skills.

Culture : The Hyrkanians are by nature nomadic horsemen with a culture resembling that of the Huns and Mongols. However, the largest of the Hyrkanian tribes have settled and founded the Turanian Empire, which more closely resembles the Medieval Moorish Empire. In some respects the Turanians are superior to the West but at the same time they are still brutal when compared to the most enlightened of Hyborian kingdoms, many of which regard the Turanians as little better than their nomadic brethren. This belief is as widespread as it is mistaken. Turnanians make cruel masters; it is no wonder that outlaw bands of Kozaks dwell at the margins of their society. Under their kings Yildiz and his son Yezdigerd, the Turanian empire is expanding and will reach Zamora and eastern Shem during Conan’s lifetime.

Names : The Hyrkanians evolve into the tribes known as Tatars, Huns, Mongols and Turks and their names reflect this. One man’s horse is called ‘Irem.’ Rulers often have titles such as Agha, Shah and Khan incorporated into their names. Examples: (male) Alafdhal, Amurath, Angharzeb, Aram Baksh, Atalis, Ghaznavi, Isparana, Jehungir, Jelal Khan, Jehungir Agha, Jungir Khan, Kerim Shah, Khosrun Khan, Than, Yar Afzal, Yezdigerd, Yildiz. Suggestions: (female) Conchaka, Khultulun, Mandughai, Orqina.

Religion : There are two known deities in Turan. These are Tarim, who seems almost to be the patron god of the Turanians and Erlik, ‘Lord of the Black Throne,’ a god of Death. There are almost certainly other gods, possibly including Ishtar. In Zamboula, Hanuman the Ape God, a deified form of the carnivorous grey apes that live around the Vilayet Sea, is worshipped. As the
‘Empire of the White Wolf,’ Turan might also worship some wolf totem as well.

Racial Features - All of the following are Hyrkanians racial features :

Background Skills: Craft (fletcher) or Handle Animal, Knowledge (local), Ride, Survival.

Favoured Class: Hunter, Knave, Mariner, Merchant, Nomad, Pirate, Swashbuckler, Wanderer

Prohibited Classes: Hyborian Ranger

Automatic Languages: Hyrkanian

Bonus Languages: Brythunian, Zamorian, Kothic, Corinthian, Hyperborean, Vendhyan, Iranistani, Khitan, Yuetshi, Shemitish, Stygian


5. Iranistani

The folk of Iranistan are black-haired and often broad across the shoulders, with a full range of heights. Their eyes are brown and their complexion dark, with a small range of tribal variation in appearance and culture. They can range from fine featured and near fair skinned to swarthy and heavy featured. Men favour facial hair, often oiling their beards and Women traditionally wear their hair long and straight. Women (and sometimes Men) ornament their eyes with kohl and most Iranistani wear richly ornamented clothing and anoint themselves in perfumes or scented oils when possible.

Culture: The Iranistani are essentially a tribal group system, with the tribal unit based on a extended family and hereditary allies, led by powerful chiefs loosely united under a powerful Shah. They are a proud people and somewhat xenophobic, with strong distrust of those outside their culture. Iranistani have great appreciation of life and it's pleasures, seeing it as a temporary gift that might be taken away at any moment. This fatalism fuels their art with rich ornamentation adorning virtually most of their crafted items and at the same time, they will readily give their lives in combat for honour or in defence of their faith.

Names: Iranistani names tend to be Arabic in origin, particularly Iraqi and Iranian. Example (Male) Arshak, Balash, Bardiya, Gotarza, Hakhamani, Kerim, Kobad, Kujala; (Female) Nania. Suggestions: (Male) Abbal, Amar, Assad, Bijan, Davoud, Farouq, Firouz, Haroun, Hassan, Jaafar, Khalid, Parviz, Rahim, Rassoul; (Female) Alireza, Badri, Farah, Farida, Fatima, Nissa, Sabah, Samina, Soraya, Tahereh, Zora.

Religion: Many northern Iranistani have adopted the Asuran religion and follow it's strictures. However their culture has favoured their worship of this faith and their innate fatalism steers them from attempting to divine the future. As a result, Iranistani scholars and mystics rarely use divinatory magic styles and those schools are not taught to Iranistani worshippers or priests in Iranistan. The southern Iranistani follow a variety of more shamanistic, primitive faiths and are not bound by this restriction.

Racial Features - All of the following are Iranistani racial features :

Background Skills: Appraise, Intimidate, Knowledge (Local) and Sense Motive.

Favoured Class: Mariner, Merchant, Noble, Nomad, Pirate, Soldier

Prohibited Classes: Borderer, Hyborian Ranger

Automatic Languages: Iranistani

Bonus Languages: Afghuli, Kosalan, Puntian, Zembabwean


6. Kezankian Hillman

Along the eastern borders of Zamora is the Kezankian Mountains inhabited by a number of small tribes. These tribes are hostile to stranger and consist of lean, bearded barbarians with black eyes. Every clan wars with the other clans in long blood-feuds. They enjoy being close to those they ambushes to prevent their prey from having time to react to their attack.

Culture: The Kezankian Hillman wear turbans, leather voluminous trousers and forked beards. They fight with tulwars. They live in a savage culture of blood-feuds and eternal clan wars.

Names: These are essentially Arabic, examples include: Akkadan, Farouz, Basrakan, Djinar, Jbeil, Jhal, Karim, Ruballah and Tirjas.

Religion: The savage Kezankian tribesmen worship primitive totemic deities and demons, such as the spirits of earth, air, water and fire. They believe their ancient gods are true and the gods of the Zamorians and other civilised people are false. They believe if they are cursed as a traitor, their spirits in the afterlife will wander for all time, trapped between this world and the next, alone except for other traitors and demons. Their religious needs are served by hundreds og Imallas (shamans) who carry word of ancient gods from clan to clan, safe from feud and battle and identified by their scarlet robes. The acolytes of Imallas wear black robes with scarlet, green and gold turbans. The term Imalla is appended to the end of the shaman's given name; Basrakan Imalla, for example.

Racial Features - All of the following are Kezankian racial features :

Background Skills: Climb, Knowledge (Local), Perception and Stealth.

Favoured Class: Barbarian, Hunter, Raider

Prohibited Classes: Artisan, Assassin, Counselor, Hyborian Ranger, Knave, Mariner, Merchant, Noble, Pirate, Spy, Swashbuckler

Automatic Languages: Kezankian

Bonus Languages: Brythunian, Zamorian, Hyrkanian, Shemitish


7. Khitan

The Khitans are yellow-skinned and dark-haired and have what to Westerners is a quite unsettling, almost alien look. The game statistics given here reflect the Khitans who are most commonly encountered and spoken of in the Hyborian kingdoms, as these almost always seem to be sorcerers. It might be presumed that the majority of ordinary Khitans never leave their home jungles; few Hyborians travel far enough to know for sure.

Culture : Khitai in the Far East is little known to the Hyborians. Khitan caravans trade jade, cloth-of-gold and silk with Turan and lotus blossoms with Stygia. These caravans and a few exiled Khitans are Khitai’s only contact with the West. The culture is essentially Chinese-like, with a powerful god-emperor in Paikang, a mighty city whose minarets rise amid the vine-festooned jungles of bamboo. The Khitans often appear mysterious and secretive to Hyborian eyes. They are also renowned as wizards, with some boasting that the Eastern wizards are greater than the Western ones.

Names : Chinese-style names are best for Khitans. Suggestions: (male) Huan, Kun, Li, Rong, Wei, Wu; (female) Chan, Chang, Fang, Feng, Jia, Lei, Shan, Zhi.

Religion : Some Khitans worshipped the elephant god Yag- kosha for a while but worship a wide range of jungle animal gods as well. Yun also receives worship from haven-headed priests in the lost jungles of Khitai, perhaps through the ritual ringing of golden chimes; certainly some special ceremony requires such bells. There is an obscure hint that the Zamorian spider-cult might have originated in Khitai.

Racial Features - All of the following are Khitans racial features :

Background Skills: Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (any) and Stealth.

Favoured Class: Artisan, Godsworn, Inquisitor, Mariner, Merchant, Pirate, Scholar, Temptress

Prohibited Classes: Barbarian, Hyborian Ranger, Nomad

Automatic Languages: Khitan

Bonus Languages: Hyrkanian, Vendhyan, Afghuli, Shemitish, Demonic, Old Stygian, Stygian, Acheronian


8. Kushite or Northern Black Kingdom Tribesman

The Kushites are a slightly shorter than average, dark brown- skinned race with curly black hair. The Gallahs are the lower class and make up the majority of the population of Kush. Several other countries of the Black Kingdoms share similar racial and cultural characteristics to the Kushites, including the Keshani, Puntans and Zembabweans. To the folk of the Hyborian kingdoms, who are relatively ignorant of lands beyond civilisation, any black man is likely to be presumed a ‘Kushite’ and any land south of Stygia is considered to be ‘Kush.’

Culture: The northern Black Kingdoms of Kush, Keshan, Punt and Zembabwei approximate to the North African states of Mali, Ethiopia and so on. There are also sub-tribes among these nations. Culturally, the Darfari are regarded as a southern nation, while the Ghanata and Tibu tribes of the desert south of Darfar and Kush are certainly northern in culture.

Names: Names from Kush and the northern Black Kingdoms tend to be North African in nature, particularly Abyssinian.
Religion: There are many local gods and devils worshipped among the black kingdoms, such as Ollum-onga and Thog. In addition, the following more-or-less national gods are known.
Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Kushites
Background Skills: Knowledge (local), Perception, Stealth and Survival.

Favoured Class: Barbarian, Borderer, Gladiator, Hunter, Raider

Prohibited Class: Artisan, Counselor, Hyborian Ranger, Inquisitor, Merchant, Noble, Spy, Swashbuckler

Automatic Languages: Kushite or Keshani, Puntan or Zembabwean as appropriate to background

Bonus Languages: Stygian, Shemitish, Darfari, Puntan, Zembabwean, Old Stygian, Keshani, Iranistani, Black Coast

8.1. Chaga

The ruling caste of the Kushites, known as the Chagas, are of partially Stygian descent and are far taller than the ordinary Kushites. They have a quite different cultural background to the Gallahs and so do not gain any of the standard Kushite characteristics. They gain different characteristics as described below. The Chagas and Gallahs exist in a constant state of tension that could at any time break out into open conflict, with the Gallahs always at least a little wary of their Chaga rulers.

Culture : Chaga culture is uniquely its own. It is perhaps closer to Stygian than to Gallah culture, since the Chagas tend to be quite isolationist with respect to their subject people, the Gallahs. However, over the centuries since the Chagas left Stygia, they have developed their own culture distinct from that of their erstwhile homeland. The Chagas share the Stygian love of hunting but have taken it almost to the point of obsession. While their politics are also almost as convoluted and treacherous as those of Stygia, the Chagas are not a theocracy, which can allow for still more factionalism and betrayal.

Names : Most Chagas seem to have names of Stygian origin, though a few names may have been altered over the years to a more Kushite style. Examples: (male) Tuthmes; (female) Tananda.

Religion : It seems likely that most Chagas are Set-worshippers, though their religious beliefs probably include a hefty dose of a more Kushite style of superstition and witchcraft.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Chagas:

Background Skills: Knowledge (local), Sense Motive, and any two of Craft (alchemy), Diplomacy, Perception and Perform (ritual).

Favoured Class: Artisan, Counselor, Godsworn, Healer, Merchant, Noble, Scholar

Prohibited Classes: Hyborian Ranger, Inquisitor

8.2. Ghanata

The Ghanatas are closely related to the folk of the northern Black Kingdoms, though in fact they live in the Southern Desert. They are illiterate, as are true Kushites but otherwise are quite different from most Kushites or other folk of the northern Black Kingdoms.

Culture : The Ghanatas are loosely organised into tribes and smaller groupings, with even less structure to their society than the original Kushites. Unlike many other tribes from harsh environments, the Ghanatas are not especially welcoming to strangers and are more likely to brutalise or attack wanderers from other lands than offer them hospitality.

Names : Ghanata names seem to be Nigerian in origin. Examples: (male) Gobir, Saidu, Tilutan. Suggestions: (male) Babatunde, Nna; (female) Amaka, Yewande.

Religion : Jhil, ‘The Merciless,’ is the god of the Ghanatas of the great southern desert.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Ghanatas:

Background Skills: Ride, Knowledge (local), Perception, Stealth and Survival

Favoured Class: Borderer, Hunter, Nomad

Prohibited Classes: Artisan, Counselor, Hyborian Ranger, Inquisitor, Mariner, Merchant, Noble, Pirate, Spy

Automatic Languages: Ghanatan

Bonus Languages: Darfari, Keshani, Puntan, Zembabwean, Iranistani, Tibu, Tombalku


9. Lemurian

The people of this Culture had saffron-couloured skin. Their eyes have an epicanthic fold. They are geniuses of the age, having mastered the use of both science and magic

Culture : The Culture of the Lemurians is one of indolence and sorcery. They know little of cultivation or craft but they possess great knowledge of curious architecture. What tools they do make are of polished obsidian, jade or argillite. They create food out of the elements, growing them out of air. They also make cities out of green stone, although no one knows if this is done through super-science or sorcery.

Names : You can use Japanese like names. Asukai Masataka, Inoue Tsunemasa, Gojo Tokimochi, Saionji Kinmichi...
Male First Name : Asano, Bokaru, Ekei, Goemon, Isamu, Kurama...
Female First Name : Akemi, Chitose, Haruko, Kaede, Meiko...

Religion : The Lemurians of the East are devil-worshippers for the most part (at least they gain their sorcerous knowledge from demons), but their utmost deity is an ancient god named Xultha the Apeman, the First god.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Lemurians:

Background Skills: Knowledge (Local), Craft (Alchemy), Craft (Herbalism), Knowledge (Arcana) and Perform (Ritual).

Favoured Class: Artisan, Assassin, Merchant, Ninja, Noble, Samurai, Scholar, Temptress

Prohibited Classes: Barbarian, Borderer, Hyborian Ranger, Inquisitor, Nomad, Wanderer

Automatic Languages: Lemurian

Bonus Languages: None usable today


10. Meruvian

A small brown to yellow skinned People with those of the higher castes maintaining a saffron skin of pale complexion. Their eyes are slanted eyes and are green or brown in colour and their hair is black. Lax, lazy and fatalistic is a description given to the People of Meru, they are dauntless in their belief and abide by the law set by their Shamanic Priests and their God-King; whom was give life by their God Yama himself and bestowed with divine power.

Culture : Hidden within their ancient valley the People of Meru support themselves with jungle fruits, hunted creatures and fish from their inland sea; the Sumero Tso. They trade with the Khitan and Vendhyans, but keep such trade sparse and secretive, they know of the Hyrkanians and watch the Turanians with care as they can see this People would dare to threaten their way of life. The Meruvians could be called decadent, though a lot have to perform mundane tasks like maintaining their ships sea-worthiness, they still use slaves to keep them functional. The Meruvian are not foolish or cowards, just lazy and most have not experience much violence in the cities as every person abides by the laws of their country even if it was to resign themselves to a fate of eternal slaver.

Names : Jalung Thongpa, Tanzong Tengri, Tashudang, Gorthangpo

Religion : Based on a shamanistic belief in reincarnation, their shaven headed priest worship a entity called Yama which is their God; with the title of 'King of the Demons'. The Priest wear from neck to ankle a voluminous gauzy red robe and is the only thing they will wear their entire lives. Their belief conforms around the reincarnation of the spirit, so death is a release from this life and an escape to the next, so any crime will be punished by enslavement and for most Males this means a life of servitude as a galley slave on one of their triangular canvassed ships.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Meruvians:

Background Skills: Profession (Sailor) or Craft (Any Mundane), Knowledge (Local), Balance and Use Rope or Perform

Favoured Class: Artisan, Godsworn, Mariner, Noble, Temptress

Prohibited Classes: Hyborian Ranger, Inquisitor, Nomad, Raider

Automatic Languages: Meruvian

Bonus Languages: Demonic, Hykanian, Khitan, Vendhyan


10.1. Azweri

A squat, stocky bandy-legged People, brown skin, though fading to yellow, black hair and they also have slanted eyes which can be green or brown in colour. They are akin to the Meruvians which they guard, but a breed apart as long distances and time have separated them and slightly changes their perception to life, but their old ways are difficult to break, if they even tried. The Azweri are the most likely to interact with the various Cultures around their homeland, though they would prefer to remain hidden, they still allow trade through their lands from places like Vendhya and Khitai.

Culture : Mountain People that guard the sacred pass into the Valley of Meru. They patrol the Talakma Mountains on Shaggy ponies, dressed in finely crafted lacquered leather armour studded with gems and trimmed with gold. They carry bow, scimitar and lance into battle and swarm upon their enemies from hiding. They attack their enemies in wild hordes of horse and steel, shouting and screaming wildly as they attempt to surround their foes and bring them down quick. Snarling, yelping and whirling around their foe in a wild, deadly dance of death. They can hold no grudges, admiring others for their talents, even if that person was their enemy, though they are not foolish and would never turn their back on an enemy, even one they honour. The Men of the Azweri are expert Mountaineers and Horsemen, knowing how to live in the frozen snow cover passes and crags.

Names : Jalung Thongpa, Tanzong Tengri, Tashudang, Gorthangpo. These are example Meruvian names and the Azweri would have similar. There are some similarities with Turkish names and Far Eastern, so there is a variety of choice to pick from.

Religion : Yama the King of Demons is their God, is the one who created their hidden valley of Meru for his favourite chosen People. The Azweri are proud to be given the task of protecting it's passes into the Sacred Lands. They worship Yama in fanatical belief and fear, for if they betray the God, the land would rise again and be completely cover in ice and snow again and their beautiful country would be destroyed!

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Azweri:

Background Skills: Handle Animal, Knowledge (Local), Ride and Survival.

Favoured Class: Barbarian, Hunter, Nomad

Prohibited Classes: Counselor, Hyborian Ranger, Inquisitor, Mariner, Pirate

Automatic Languages: Meruvian

Bonus Languages: Afghuli, Hyrkanian, Khitan, Kosalan, Vendhyan.


11. Nordheimer

The Nordheimir (singular: Nordheimer) comprise two closely related races, the yellow-haired Æsir and red-haired Vanir. All are blue-eyed and pale-skinned, with tall and powerful physiques. The Nordheimir in general are welcoming to peaceful strangers, though they constantly raid foreign lands and can be vicious when abroad on one of their forays. Though the Nordheimir women do not usually fight alongside the men in war, they are charged with the responsibility of managing and defending their longhouses while the warriors are away. Many a female Nordheimer has won renown by beating off a horde of raiders with a broadsword or battle-axe to protect her home and children.

Culture : Descendants of the pre-Cataclysmic nation of Thule (possibly with some Atlantean blood), the Nordheimir have a Nordic culture of tribes ruled by a king who lives in a great hall about which the tribal village is built. The Nordheimir are farmers and hunters and are quick to feud among themselves and their neighbours. The Æsir are friendly with the Cimmerians but hate the Vanir and the Hyperboreans. The Vanir hate the Æsir, the Cimmerians and the Hyperboreans.

Names : Nordheimir names tend to be Scandinavian and Germanic. It is likely that many of the Norse gods share names with the Nordheimir. Examples: (male) Bragi, Gorm, Haimdul, Hialmar, Horsa, Niord, Wulfhere. Suggestions: (male) Balder, Forseti, Frey, Grimnir, Heimdall, Hermod, Hodur, Honir, Lodur, Loki, Magni, Modi, Odhinn, Odur, Thorr, Tyr, Uller, Vali, Ve, Vili; (female) Erda, Eyra, Freya, Frigga, Fulla, Gefion, Gersemi, Hlin, Hnoss, Iduna, Lofn, Nanna, Nerthus, Nott, Ran, Saga, Sif, Sigyn.

Religion : Nordheimir worship Ymir, the Frost Giant, as their chief god. Atali, the Frost-Giant’s daughter, ‘who lures men from stricken fields into the wastelands to be slain by her brothers, who lay men’s red hearts smoking on Ymir’s board’ might also have worshippers, although Ymir and his family are probably worshipped for appeasement rather than out of love. There are probably also local tribal gods, perhaps deified ancestral heroes of the tribes. The Norheimir believe in Valhalla, a place to which they will go if they die bravely in battle. The races of Æsir and Vanir will themselves be remembered as gods after the fall of the Hyborian Age.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Nordheimir:

Background Skills: Craft (any), Knowledge (local), Profession (farmer), Survival.

Favoured Class: Barbarian, Borderer, Gladiator, Hunter, Mariner, Raider, Soldier, Wanderer

Prohibited Classes: Assassin, Hyborian Ranger, Inquisitor, Noble, Nomad, Temptress

Automatic Languages: Nordheimir

Bonus Languages: Cimmerian, Aquilonian, Pictish, Hyperborean


12. Pict

The Picts are a short, broad, swarthy-skinned folk who use talking drums to communicate over long distances. They paint various designs on their faces and breasts to indicate to which tribe they belong and whether they are merely out hunting or on the warpath. Picts are among the most unremitting savages in the world. They are highly superstitious and are given to barbarous forms of human sacrifice and torture of strangers and enemy Pictish tribes alike. Fortunately for the Hyborian kingdoms, the different Pictish tribes rarely co-operate but the Bossonians who border their lands dread the possibility of a particularly powerful shaman or strong chieftain managing to unite several tribes.

Culture : The Picts have a Stone Age culture, one of the most primitive of the area. They dwell in tribes in the game-rich forests of western Hyboria, are noted as warriors and shamans and are highly feared for their savagery. They are also exceptional trackers and hunters. The more unpleasant features of Pictish life include such practices as human sacrifice, blood-feud and burning captives alive. The fierce blood-feud the Picts have with the Cimmerians pre-dates the Great Cataclysm. Picts are also feared by the Aquilonians but occasionally trade with the Zingarans.

Names : Pictish names take two forms: they are either Iroquois style names or descriptive names like ‘Hawk.’ Tribal names are also based on the tribal animal totems, for example the Wolf Clan. Examples: (male) Gorm, Sagayetha, Teyanoga, Zogar Sag. Suggestions: (male) Akando, Akonni; (female) Cara, Oheo, Orenda.

Religion : Pictish gods include the gorilla-god Gullah, ‘The Hairy One Who Lives In The Moon,’ and Jhebbal Sag, along with other pre-Cataclysmic gods and spirits such as the ‘Children of Jhil’ and the ‘Four Brothers of the Night’ who sleep beyond the Mountains of the Dead. We are told that Picts fear snakes, which might be a race memory of the Serpent-People of Valusia. Nonetheless, serpents do appear in their animalistic rites. The Picts believe that the souls of the dead haunt the black Mountains of the Dead in the uplands of the Dark Land.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Picts:

Background Skills: Jump, Knowledge (local), Stealth and Tumble.

Favoured Class: Barbarian, Borderer, Hunter, Raider

Prohibited Classes: Artisan, Counselor, Hyborian Ranger, Inquisitor, Knave, Mariner, Merchant, Noble, Nomad, Pirate, Spy, Swashbuckler

Automatic Languages: Pictish, Talking Drum

Bonus Languages: Aquilonian, Cimmerian, Nordheimer, Zingaran


12.1. Ligurean

The Ligurean are a tribe of light-skinned savages living in the Pictish Wilderness, but they are not Picts. They live in the north-west near the Cimmerian border and usually war with the surrounding Pictish tribes, though they occasionally manage short-term alliances with several of them. No one knows who or what they are, some scholars believe they are descended from Acheronians who managed to become lost in the wilderness, either intentionally or otherwise and became a primitive stone-age Culture. Others believe they are a group of ancient Atlantean, related to Cimmerians or perhaps they are remnants of a surviving group of Valusians. The truth is shrouded in the dim mist of time.

Culture : Regardless of origins, the Ligureans live as Picts do, indistinguishable but for their white skin. They live in scattered villages and are rough, strong and bold people. They live in caves and makeshift dwellings of wood, branches and animal skins, often single one or two roomed affairs, with a hearth. They often perch their rough homes in naturally fortified or inaccessible locations. The roughness of their homes and villages serve a purpose for these savages as they are easy to tear down and rebuild, a necessity for these masters of guerrilla warfare. Ligureans enjoy strong drink and manufacture their own mead, a potent fermented drink made from honey.

Names : These seem to be based on modern day Celtic names, though they may also have Hyborian Age Pictish names. For Example (Male) Diviatix.

Religion : The Lords of Creation, are savage natural Deities and Nuadens Argarlam of the Silverhand; also know as the Lord of the Abyss, is but one of them. The Druids worship their dark Gods and Goddesses in great groves in the northern-eastern reaches of Pictland. The largest and greatest of these groves is called Nuadwyddon.

Their Wizard-Priests are called Druids, dressed in white robes, they travel with staves and carry golden sickles tucked into their belts as an emblem of their rank. Even the greatest and most bloodthirsty of the Pict Warchiefs dare not harm one of the Druids and some say the Picts fear the Ligurean Druids. These Druids seem to be impartial to the feuding, neither aiding nor hindering the violent feuds raging throughout the Pictish Wilderness. However, they are not impartial to the activities of black magic, particularly magic wrought by Priests of Set. This attitude may stem from memories of Acheron and their treatment of the Picts and the early Ligureans, or from actual oral traditions orally spoken through generations of Ligureans. Ligurean Druids are also familiar with Mitran symbols and wards, knowledge that likely comes from centuries of warring with the Bossonians.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Ligureans:

Background Skills: Craft (any one mundane), Survival, Knowledge (Nature), Knowledge (Local)

Favoured Class: Barbarian, Godsworn, Healer, Hunter, Scholar

Prohibited Classes: Artisan, Counselor, Hyborian Ranger, Knave, Mariner, Merchant, Noble, Pirate, Spy

Automatic Languages: Pictish, Talking Drum

Bonus Languages: Aquilonian, Cimmerian, Nordheimer, Zingaran


13. Shemite

Shemitish archers, blue-bearded expert bowmen who wear light mail shirts and cylindrical helmets, are probably the best in the world. It is as if they are born with their deadly bows in their hands. They are good horsemen but can also fight as infantry if need be. Most Shemites roam the uncharted deserts in the eastern half of Shem and beyond as far as the kingdom of Turan, though the typical Hyborian is far more likely to meet a more settled Shemite from one of the many pastoral settlements to the west of that land. These latter people are of the variant race, the Meadow Shemite.

Culture : The desert-dwelling Shemites are predominantly nomadic, with individual tribes often ranging over truly vast areas. Perhaps the widest-travelled tribe is the Zuagir, who can be found from Zamboula to Zamora and the eastern edge of the Hyborian kingdoms. Tribal quarrels are common, though the tribes share a common hatred for their more civilised cousins, the Meadow Shemites. Shem is looked on without much favour by the Hyborian nations, perhaps because of its years as a satellite of Stygia, though it seems unlikely that the Stygians ever made many inroads into the vast eastern deserts where the nomadic Shemite tribes live.

Names : Shemite names are Middle Eastern or Biblical in form. Examples: (male) Bît-Yakin, Gebal, Gilzan, Khumbanigash, Zargheba; (female) Bêlit. Suggestions: (male) Abaddon, Arvad, Baruch, Eban, Gabai, Hyam, Lamech, Noam, Yadon; (female) Alumit, Daya, Idra, Jamila, Talitha, Yael.

Religion : Ishtar, Anu and Bel seem to be the main gods of the Shemites, though it seems possible that some members of the larger Meadow Shemite pantheon might also be worshipped among the desert-dwellers. One Shemite belief, also common to all the variant races, is that evil men are imprisoned in the bodies of apes, as a just punishment for their fell crimes.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Shemites:

Background Skills: Knowledge (local), Perception, Ride and Survival.

Favoured Class: Artisan, Counselor, Godsworn, Inquisitor, Merchant, Noble, Nomad, Spy, Temptress, Thief, Wanderer

Prohibited Classes: Borderer, Hyborian Ranger, Mariner, Pirate

Automatic Languages: Shemitish

Bonus Languages: Stygian, Ophirean, Kothic, Argossean, Hyrkanian

13.1. Meadow Shemite

Most adventuring Shemites from the western meadow cities are mercenary soldiers rather than desert nomads. They are feared throughout the civilised world for their archery skills and fierceness in battle. Meadow Shemites usually consider themselves members of a particular tribe based around a city or region, rather than simply ‘Meadow Shemites.’ Meadow Shemite tribes include the Anakim and Akkharim. Meadow Shemites have a long-standing rivalry with eastern Shemites, who are the standard Shemites defined above.

Culture : The meadowlands of Shem have given rise to a group of independent city-states with strong trading links among them. The Meadow Shemites are generally of medium height, though those who have some Stygian blood may be gigantic, broad and strongly built, with hook noses, dark eyes and blue-black hair. These people make fine merchants and warriors.

Names : Meadow Shemite names are identical to those of other Shemites.

Religion : Western Shem is a land of many gods, as each of the city-states of the grasslands has its own patron deity. Bel, God of Thieves, is patron of Shumir, while Ashtoreth, Adonis and Derketo are patron gods of other unidentified city-states. Most cities have temples to the Earth-Mother, who is known variously as Ishtar, Derketo and Ashtoreth and to the sky-god, Anu, who is symbolised as a bull. These patron gods are worshipped in the form of copper idols. Many Shemite gods such as Dagon and Derketo have been taken up by other nations but only Ishtar has found worshippers among the Hyborians. Pockets of Set worship might survive from the days when Stygia dominated of Shem.

Racial Features - With the following exceptions, Meadow Shemites are treated as standard Shemites (see above):

Background Skills: Diplomacy, Knowledge (local), Handle Animal and Ride.

Favoured Class: Artisan, Knave, Merchant, Soldier, Thief

Prohibited Classes: Barbarian, Hyborian Ranger, Pirate, Raider

13.2. Pelishtim

The ancient Pelishtia region of western Shem is home to the Pelishtim, a race of noted warriors and sorcerers. They can be found throughout the world, for their wise men often wander far in search of knowledge and their mercenaries will take service anywhere between Zingara and Turan. It is whispered that the Pelishtim sorcerers have the secret of eternal youth. Certainly, wizards of that land are among the most learned outside of Stygia and Khitai.

Culture : Pelishtim seems to breed adventurers and wanderers more than do the other Meadow Shemite regions. Pelishtia is also steeped in sorcery. Otherwise their culture is very similar to that of western Shem in general.

Names : Pelishtim names are identical to those of other Shemites.

Religion : Pteor is the patron god of Pelishtia, though Adonis, Ashtoreth, Derketo and Ishtar are revered above even Pteor. Bel is worshipped by thieves. Life after death is generally an accepted fact among the Pelishtim, who also consider that a sufficiently strong will can allow the dead to come back as ghosts to complete unfinished business.

Racial Features - With the following exceptions, Pelishtim are treated as standard Shemites (see above):

Background Skills: Handle Animal, Knowledge (local), Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (any one)

Favoured Class: Artisan, Godsworn, Scholar, Soldier, Wanderer

Prohibited Classes: Hyborian Ranger, Mariner, Pirate, Raider


14. Southern Islander or Southern Black Kingdom Tribesman

Southern Islanders are very dark of skin, tall and well muscled. Their warriors wear white plumes in their hair but rarely bother with armour. The black corsairs of the Southern Islands are among the most feared pirates in the world, raiding up and down the Black Coast as far north as Stygia and even beyond. Many of the Black Kingdoms, including Darfar and the southern Black Kingdoms, are also home to similar people.

Culture : The Southern Blacks are tribal in nature and resemble great African tribes like the Zulus and the Bantu. They often go naked but may wear rings of ivory or precious metal in their noses, ears or lips. The black kingdoms of Amazon and the Atlaians are southern kingdoms. Other tribes include the Suba of the Black Coast, the Bakalah, who are just southeast of Kush and the Bamulas and Jihiji, both neighbours of the Bakalah. Darfar, although quite northerly in location, is culturally closer to the tribes that reside south of the River Zarkheba. Black Kingdom ‘soldiers’ are simply spearmen armed with ox-hide shields. Ritualistic displays of aggression are often used to intimidate an opponent in an attempt to avoid all out war, since most tribes are too small to survive if they sustain heavy casualties. However, wars do sometimes occur and tend to be bloody when they do.

Names : The southern Black Kingdoms tend toward African names, particularly Zulu. Examples: (male) Aja, Ajonga, Amra, Askia, Bajujh, N’Gora, N’Yaga, Sakumbe, Yasunga. Suggestions: (male) Nkosi, Sabelo, Sipho; (female) Khanyisa, Lukanyo, Nande, Serigne, Thula.

Religion : The tribes of the Black Kingdoms worship mighty local gods and devils, such as Ollam-onga and Thog. The presence of creatures from the Outer Dark in many ancient lost cities and places like the Vale of Lost Women suggests that these creatures may be worshipped as local deities too. The Suba people worship Ajujo, the Dark One.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Southern Islanders:

Background Skills: Knowledge (local), Perform (dance), Profession (sailor) for Islanders or Intimidate for others and Survival

Favoured Class: Barbarian, Hunter, Mariner, Pirate, Raider

Prohibited Classes: Artisan, Counselor, Hyborian Ranger, Merchant, Noble, Nomad, Spy, Swashbuckler

Automatic Languages: Southern Islander, Bakalah, Bamulah, Suba, or Wadai

Bonus Languages: Black Coast, Southern Islander, Bakalah, Bamulah, Suba, Wadai, Kushite, Stygian, Shemitish, Argossean, Zingaran, Tombalku, Tibu

14.1. Darfari

Though Darfar must certainly be regarded as one of the northern Black Kingdoms, its inhabitants are similar both physically and culturally to the Southern Islanders and tribes of the southern Black Kingdoms. The Darfaris prefer bludgeons as weaponry but are otherwise extremely similar to the Southern Islanders. They are distinctive for their extremely kinky hair.

Culture : The Darfaris file their teeth. Whether this is as ornament or to aid in their cannibalism is unknown. They are savage bandits and murderers for the most part and their entire society is driven by an obsession with their evil religion.

Names : It seems likely that Howard based the name Darfari on Darfur, currently a part of Sudan, so non-Arabic Darfurian and Nubian names are probably best for Darfari names. Suggestions: (male) Adzete, Dahab, Nubu, Nunu, Oteku, Solon; (female) Ate, Dede, Tele, Tete, Terte.

Religion : Most Darfaris belong to a highly unpleasant cannibal cult. It is uncertain which god they revere; there is some suggestion that it might be the desert god, Yog, the Lord of the Empty Abodes, which would fit with the idea that Darfar is similar to modern Darfur in that it is comprised predominantly of plateaus and deserts.

Racial Features - With the following exceptions, the Darfari are treated as Southern Islanders.

Favoured Class: Assassin, Barbarian, Borderer, Godsworn, Hunter, Inquisitor, Scholar, Soldier, Spy, Temptress

Prohibited Classes: Artisan, Counselor, Hyborian Ranger, Mariner, Merchant, Noble, Pirate

Automatic Languages: Darfari

Bonus Languages: Kushite, Stygian, Keshani, Shemitish, Puntan


15. Stygian

The modern ruling-caste Stygians are tall, broad and black- haired, with dusky skin and handsome, straight features. Members of the ruling caste of the Stygians are hereditary warriors, though the Stygian deserts and cities are almost as famous for producing powerful sorcerers. Most have fairly dark skin, though a few of the most ancient noble families have skin the colour of pale ivory. Ordinary Stygians are a downtrodden mix of many different races, as most of them are descended from slaves. They should generally be treated as Kushites, Shemites, Southern Islanders, or even Hyborians, depending on their origins.


Culture : The Stygian society is essentially a theocracy. Heretics and criminals alike are punished with horrible torture, such as being skinned alive. According to legend, before the Lemurians arrived, the land of Stygia was inhabited by a race of giant-kings. The Lemurians bred with the giant-kings and, learning much of their ancient s orcery, became the Stygians. One Stygian priest says that some mummies have lain in their tombs for ‘ten thousand years’; this could be boasting to suggest Stygia is older than it is – or he may be referring to the tombs of the giant-kings.

Names : Stygian names are similar to Egyptian names. They are often combinations of several meaningful syllables, such as: Nafer, Nut, Thoth, Merkri, Ak, Mek, Amon, Mes, Ra, Mun, Ankh, Cris, Ri and Phon. Note that if additional names are researched, they should be derived from ancient Egyptian rather than modern Egyptian sources. Examples: (male) Ctesphon, Kutamun, Thoth-amon, Thothmekri, Thugra Khotan, Thutmekri, Thutothmes, Tothmekri, Totrasmek, Tuthamon, Tuthmes; (female) Thalis, Akivasha. Suggestions: (male) Bakt, Imhotep, Kamoses, Menes; (female) Ankhesenamun, Enehy, Hebeny, Imiu, Isetnophret, Kiya, Miw-Sher, Netikerty, Sadeh, Yunet.

Religion : By far the most widely worshipped Stygian god is Set, the Old Serpent. However, other dark ‘hideous half- bestial’ and ‘apish’ gods are worshipped as well, perhaps including Hanuman. There is a cult in Luxor that follows Derketo. There is a suggestion that Set’s enemy Ibis was once worshipped in Stygia or Acheron but was driven out. Like the later Egyptians, the Stygians believe in bodily resurrection and that the soul, or Ka, is separated from the body to pass into the afterlife on death.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Stygians:

Background Skills: Handle Animal, Knowledge (arcane), Knowledge (local) and Perform (ritual)

Favoured Class: Counselor, Godsworn, Healer, Inquisitor, Noble, Scholar, Soldier, Spy, Temptress

Prohibited Classes: Hyborian Ranger

Automatic Languages: Stygian

Bonus Languages: Shemitish, Kushite, Keshani, Zembabwean, Puntan, Darfari, Khitan, Hyrkanian, Acheronian, Demonic, Old Stygian


16. Vendhyan

Vendhyan societies are probably the most advanced outside of the West and Khitai and feature highly sophisticated systems of government and religion. Vendhyans tend to have light brown to mid-brown skin, straight black hair and large dark eyes. Vendhyan adventurers are almost always from the Kshatriya caste, the ancient warrior aristocracy of Vendhya.

Culture : The rulers of the golden kingdoms south of the Himelian Mountains are considered little short of divine and operate a caste system. Vendhya’s culture resembles that of the mythical India described in the Vedas.

Names : Vendhyan names tend to be Indian in origin. Examples: (male) Bunda, Chand, Chunder, Gitara, Khemsa, Khurum, Shan; (female) Yasmina. Suggestions: (male) Darshan, Iswara, Kintan, Purdy, Ravi; (female) Ambika, Bakula, Chandi, Dhanna, Hema, Indira, Malini, Rajni.

Religion : Vendhyans tend to revere the mystical religion of Asura and believe in a heaven, a hell and the judgment of souls. Vendhya also has a well-developed practice of astrology, suggesting a strong belief in fate. Ascetic hermits dwell in caves on the borders of Vendhya, where they meditate on the mysteries of the world.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Vendhyans:

Background Skills: Diplomacy, Knowledge (local), Sense Motive and Knowledge (nobility).

Favoured Class: Counselor, Noble, Soldier, Swashbuckler, Temptress

Prohibited Classes: Barbarian, Hyborian Ranger, Nomad, Raider

Automatic Languages: Vendhyan

Bonus Languages: Khitan, Hyrkanian, Afghuli, Iranistani, Kosalana


17. Zamorian

Most Zamorians are black-haired and fairly dark of complexion. They are descended from the Zhemri, a mysterious race said to be one of the first human peoples. The Zamorians are regarded as an ancient and evil race. 
Zamorians make the best thieves in the world and are known for keeping faith with their employers when thieving to order. This is not the same as a true Code of Honour but is simply a measure taken to ensure 
repeat business.

Culture : According to Yag-kosha in The Tower of the Elephant, the Zamorians are survivors of an ancient pre-Cataclysmic civilisation (probably Zarfhaana) and were one of the first civilisations to develop after the Great Cataclysm. The Zamorians’ 3,000 year-old civilisation has long since sunk into decadence and Zamorians have a reputation as criminals. Cities such as the ‘City of Thieves’ and ‘Shadizar the Wicked’ only serve to enhance this notoriety. In theory Zamora is a despotic state, though in fact strong priests and other courtiers have been known to hold the king in thrall.

Names : Zamora is another melting pot of humankind, being on the crossroads of all land-based trade. Names from all over the world are probably appropriate. Of the two examples we have, one seems Spanish, the other Ukrainian; Ukrainian names are probably a better fit, given Zamora’s geographical location. Examples: (male) Shevatas, Yara. Suggestions: (male) Bohdan, Buryan, Danyo, Petruso, Vanko, Yare; (female) Anichka, Ionna, Luba, Olena, Orynko, Oxana.

Religion : Zamora has a large and varied pantheon of many deities which interrelate in a complex manner quite impenetrable to outsiders. It is most famous for the Spider Cult centred on the city Yezud, where dancing girls cavort before a black stone spider that is their god. The Hyborians regard this god as abominable and its temples are forbidden outside Zamora. In addition, Bel, God of Thieves, is unsurprisingly popular, being one of the few non-Zamorian gods whose worship is permitted in Zamora.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Zamorians:

Background Skills: Knowledge (local), Open Lock, Disable Device and Sleight of Hand.

Favoured Class: Assassin, Counselor, Godsworn, Knave, Spy, Swashbuckler, Temptress, Thief

Prohibited Classes: Barbarian, Mariner, Pirate, Raider

Automatic Languages: Zamorian

Bonus Languages: Hyrkanian, Brythunian, Corinthian, Kothic, Shemite


18. Zingaran

Most Zingarans are black-haired and dark of complexion. They are descended from a mixture of the Pictish and Hyborian people, along with the pre-Pictish inhabitants of Zingara, who are thought to be closely related to the Shemites. They are lean and dangerous-looking in appearance and have fiery tempers. The warriors of eastern Zingara sport black moustaches.

Culture : The Zingaran culture resembles that of Spain in the late medieval period. Zingaran nobility are noted for their skill with swords and their chivalry. However, the reputation of the commoners, mainly the abundant sailors, is less impressive. Black serfs toil in the plantations of southern Zingara under the whips of the slave-masters.

Names : Zingaran names tend to have a Spanish, or Gypsy, air to them. Names often end in ‘o’ for men and ‘a’ for women. Zapayo Da Kova is an interesting example of a full name, roughly translated it means ‘Zapayo of Kova,’ with Kova probably being the family estate. Examples: Beloso, Galbro, Gebbrelo, Gebellez, Valbroso, Valenso, Zapayo, Zaporavo, Zarono, Zingelito; (female) Belesa, Sancha. Suggestions: (male) Castel, Devante, Iago, Inigo; (female) Adoncia, Bonita, Catalina, Cochiti, Jachinta, Madra, Neva, Perla.

Religion : Zingaran gods are older than many other Hyborian gods but very little is known about the precise details of their worship. Many of the younger Zingarans have probably begun to worship Mitra, the main Hyborian god.

Racial Features - All of the following are racial features of the Zingarans:

Background Skills: Bluff or Use Rope, Balance, Knowledge (local) and Profession (sailor).

Favoured Class: Gladiator, Mariner, Pirate, Soldier, Spy, Swashbuckler, Temptress

Prohibited Classes: Barbarian, Hyborian Ranger, Nomad

Automatic Languages: Zingaran

Bonus Languages: Argossean, Pictish, Aquilonian, Shemitish, Ophirean