Neanderthals in the game:
According to the Basic D&D rules, Neanderthals appear as 2-HD monsters and have Lawful alignments. They
are shy, but usually friendly. Being cave dwellers, Neanderthals like both dwarves and (to a lesser extent) gnomes, and usually
trade with them, exchanging food from the hunt for manufactured items. The strength and good nature of the dwarves, in particular,
make them admired by Neanderthal tribes.
However, Neanderthals hate goblins and kobolds because of their conflicting
attitudes. Goblins and kobolds are weak and cowardly, and are prone to attack noncombatants and the helpless - a base action
in the eyes of a warrior people who only respect might.
White apes are kept as pets for a number of reasons. First,
like most humans, Neanderthals are amused by the antics of primate pets. Second, the apes are vegetarians and pose no threat
to the cavemen; the apes accompany Neanderthal females and children while the males hunt. Third, the keen senses and defensive
abilities of the apes serve to protect the nonwarriors from foes. In many cases, the apes act as if the humans were members
of their own white-ape tribe,
Ogres are hated as competitors in the same (primitive) economic level who desire the
same sort of food and lodging, yet have a hostile alignment and prey on the Neanderthals from time to time. With the respect
that Neanderthals (like any primitive culture) have for brute force and physical might, ogres rate highly as the most dangerous
foes of these people.
Neanderthal leaders are a special type of human, but they are not truly a separate race. When
a leader dies, the most powerful tribal cleric selects the most powerful male or female (as appropriate) among the Neanderthals
in the area, This person is then fed a special series of herbs and other foods, and the cleric calls upon an unknown force
or power (possibly an Immortal spirit). As a result, this person slowly grows in size, strength, and power until he or she
becomes in all ways like the leader-types mentioned in the Basic D&D game rules. Because these leaders are solely concerned
with their tribe's welfare and rarely go adventuring, they are rarely player characters - unless the Dungeon Master develops
a good reason for such to be otherwise.
As a rule, Neanderthals are not familiar with magical items or powerful magic (beyond
what tribal clerics can perform). NPC Neanderthals have a - 2 penalty to their morale when confronted with powerful magic,
though PC Neanderthals may be braver.
Neanderthals, if used as a playercharacter race/class in the D&D game, have the following statistics:
Charisma 13 (max.)
NPC Neanderthals are treated in all ways as the non-leader types
in the Basic D&D game rules. Female Neanderthals have 1 HD and save as 1st-level fighters. Each family band (see below)
has one cleric, treated in all ways as a human cleric: 60% of these clerics are 1st level; 30%, 2nd level; 9%, 3rd level;
and, 1%, 4th level.
Clerics never travel away from their bands, and cannot be player characters.
Warrior Neanderthals wear thick furs to give themselves AC 8; few
of them have mastered shields, though there is no reason why they could not use shields and even heavier armor and weapons,
if given the training and equipment. Though NPC Neanderthals have a + 1 bonus to damage due to their generally great strength,
individual PCs will have varying strength bonuses.
Neanderthals, unlike other demi-human races, are not organized
into clans. Instead, they are grouped into family bands of 10-40 adults and 4-40 children (1-6 hp each). These are each led
by two leaders (as mentioned above) and are formed into large tribes of 3-12 family groups. The bands come together a few
times a year to trade, gossip, and so forth, as detailed below. Within each tribe, there are two leaders, male and female,
with maximum hit points (for 6 HD), and a cleric of level 4-7. The band with the most powerful leader (in terms of hit points)
usually has the most powerful fighters, since the leaders of the less-powerful bands encourage such warriors to join the band
of the strongest leader. This band fights with a morale of 8 rather than 7, as it will have more prestige.
can find slanting passages and sense direction underground on a roll of 1-2 on a d6. Also, they can make weapons and tools
out of the appropriate types of stone, taking one day of work per device. They generally speak common (though poorly), their
own language, and the goblin and dwarven tongues, as well as their alignment tongue. All of them are quite skilled in the
basics of wilderness survival, hunting, and plant identification; these talents should be handled by the DM as seen fit.
PC Neanderthals are like human fighters in that their talents are wholly based upon warrior skills. The appropriate tables
are given below. It is assumed that PC Neanderthals are known to be exceptionally powerful members of their tribe, and only
the PCs within a tribe will have level advancement (the leaders are assumed to have once been 2-HD Neanderthals who were advanced
to 6 HD by special means). Only PC leaders can rise above 6th level; as such, PC Neanderthal leaders automatically gain a
13 charisma (if they did not have it before), Additionally, leaders gain one charisma point per level over the 6th, though
this bonus applies only to dealings with other Neanderthals.
Neanderthal Experience Table:
Great Bear Slayer
7 120,000 7th-level
8 240,000 8th-level
9 480,000 9th-level
10 600,000 10th-level Leader
720,000 11th-level Leader
Neanderthal Saving Throws Table:
1.3 4.6 7.9 10.12
Death Ray or
8 6 4
Magic Wands 13 11 9
Paralysis or Turn
12 10 8 6
Breath 15 13 11
Rod/Staff/Spell 16 14 12
Hit Dice:Tough, hardy PC Neanderthals gain 1d1O per
level, with a maximum of 6d10 at 6th level. Thereafter, they gain + 3 hit points per level. This great toughness is balanced
by their slow level advancement.
Neanderthals cannot advance beyond 5th level without taking the special
ceremonial treatment that makes them leaders. If leader PCs are allowed
for whatever reason, they save as human fighters. Because of the ceremony making them into leaders, PC Neanderthal leaders
must work to support and protect their tribe and people at all times; selfish adventuring cannot even be considered. All treasure
gained by adventuring is brought back to the tribe and distributed as seen fit among the people, so that the tribe as a whole
is enriched. Dungeon Masters using the Companion D&D game rules may create information on relics and additional powers;
Neanderthal relics, for some reason, are always cave-bear skulls of exceptional size. It is rumored that an Immortal spirit
guides the Neanderthals; this spirit is said to resemble a gigantic cave bear.
Daily Neanderthal life:
Neanderthals are hunter-gathers,
which usually means that the males hunt for meat and the females gather edible plants. While most bands dwell in caves and
often venture deep into dungeons and cavern complexes, they are nomadic and tend to move at regular intervals. They occasionally
trade with other peoples, especially exchanging furs, hides, and food for tools, and a young man may work for an outsider
for a time as a laborer. If the seasons permit, Neanderthals dwell in tents outdoors, and usually winter over in harsh climates
in a cave or dungeon.
Young women frequently marry a member of another band and go to join that band. Sometimes,
tensions within the band or an imbalance in the sexes lead a young man or married couple to move to a nearby band. In each
of these cases, the band is usually (but not always) within the same tribe.
Once or twice a year, the bands of a
tribe get together to renew old acquaintances, arrange marriages, carryon trade, perform religious ceremonies, exchange information,
give judgments on difficult tribal problems, and so forth. During these gatherings, the leader types in each tribe form what
amounts to a band of their own, deep in the wilderness. After exchanging their own series of rituals and information, the
leaders part and return to their own tribes. These leaders are held in awe by other Neanderthals, and their word is law. Leaders
speak a variety of tongues, including the Lawful, common, dwarven, goblin, and ogre languages, as well as Neanderthal speech.