Once grimlocks were much like other humanoid races and could see the world around them. But after millennia of living in total darkness, they lost their sight and found other, blunter methods for sensing their environment. Blind but not unseeing, evil but not unfeeling, grimlocks understand the world in a way that other humanoids cannot.
Although grimlocks prefer to keep to themselves, their isolation is often broken when mind flayers raid their packs for slave fodder or, as more often happens, their mushroom fields are razed and their water cisterns are drained by drow. Starving and desperate, the grimlocks are then forced to raid upperworld communities for the means to survive.
Personality: Grimlocks are direct in all their dealings, never beating around the bush. They are deeply suspicious of other races - sometimes violently so. But while grimlocks are prone to snap judgments, most can change their minds readily enough if presented with situations that warrant reconsideration, even in matters of racial enmity. Grimlocks care more for their own skins than they do for any principle, cause, or individual, except for those with whom they have hunt-bonded.
A hunt-bond is a vow of mutual respect and protection. Every grimlock forms such a bond with at least one other creature (usually another grimlock). A grimlock considers a hunt-bonded companion a close friend, and she protects that individual's life as if it were her own.
Grimlocks appreciate beauty, but not the visual beauty that other creatures can sense. A grimlock's heightened senses allow him to appreciate forms, subtle vibrations in the earth, and poetry. Like their personalities, the sculpture, music, and poetry created by grimlocks tend to seem blunt, immediate, and raw.
Physical Description: A grimlock appears human in silhouette, but full light reveals him as a subterranean creature whose ancestors have been accustomed to darkness for generations uncounted. His skin is gray, slightly scaled, and usually scarred from unending hunts through constricted passages. A grimlock who has been afforded special status by his pack may also have decorative designs scarred into his hide. The single most startling grimlock feature is the complete absence of eyes and eye sockets. Blank skin stretches across a grimlock's upper face, giving him a shadowed, masked visage. A muscular grimlock male or female stands between 5 and 5-1/2 feet in height and weighs around 180 pounds.
Grimlocks wear little in the way of clothing or armor - their skins are protection enough. However, they do sport tanned leather belts, harnesses, and decorative bracers.
Relations: Grimlocks. harbor intense distrust and hostility toward any race other than their own. Fed on by mind flayers, forced into slavery by both drow and illithids, and subjected to aboleth plots of exceptional depravity, grimlocks quite reasonably react xenophobically to other races. However, any grimlock who wishes, to venture away from his pack must overcome these xenophobic leanings and learn to see each individual as a potential pack member, as opposed to a racial enemy that must be slain. A few adventuring grimlocks have achieved such mental equilibrium, though it must be reinforced through daily meditation to prevent instinct from taking over.
Alignment: Although upperworlders regard all grimlocks as evil, many are actually neutral, concerned mostly with themselves and their own survival. They see themselves and their people as desperate survivors on the run, so they rationalize any evils they do as necessary for their own continued existence.
Religion: Certain groups of grimlocks venerate individual medusas as if the latter were minor deities. The gaze power of such creatures is beyond the grimlock's ability to understand, so it seems divine to them. More enlightened grimlocks tend to worship Shar.
Language: Grimlocks speak a dialect of Terran and Undercommon. Those who venture beyond their immediate packs often choose to learn other languages of the Underdark as well. Some learn Abyssal and other evil tongues to gain power for themselves by making sinister deals.
Names: Grimlocks prefer to name their young after natural elements of the underground environment. Each grimlock has a personal name and a pack name. Male: Hard Stone, Jagged Rock, Cliff Face, Cold Water, Tunnel Runner, Heat Bringer, Stone Biter. Female: Diamond Hand, Silk Cry, Smooth Pebble, Lake Wader, Life Tender, Sigh Minder. Pack Names: Runners, Singers, Leapers, Scalers, Climbers.
Adventurers: Grimlocks are intimately familiar with their bounded world of rock, deep pools, chasms, and fissures. Adventuring grimlocks often find considerable profit in waylaying Underdark trade caravans, looting the ruins of civilizations past, and taking on assignments for drow or mind flayer patrons. Grimlocks who choose to move beyond the confines of their own packs usually find the cultural shock overwhelming at first, but still oddly gratifying in its strangeness.
Regions: Many wild grimlocks are born in an extended series of caves that they call Fingerhome. These caverns extend throughout the upper, middle, and lower Underdark. Most grimlocks choose the grimlock region, but a scant few choose to live among surface races, so they choose the regions in which their comrades live instead.
Grimlock Racial Traits
- +4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom, -4 Charisma. Grimlocks are strong, quick, and tough, but they tend to be weak on interaction and leadership.
- Medium size. Grimlocks have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- A grimlock's base land speed is 30 feet.
- Immunities (Ex): Grimlocks are immune to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms that rely on sight.
- Blindsight (Ex): A grimlock can ascertain all foes within 40 feet as a sighted creature would. Beyond that range, it treats all targets as totally concealed (see page 152 PHB "Concealment"); Grimlocks are susceptible to sound- and scent-based attacks, and they are affected normally by loud noises, sonic spells (such as ghost sound or silence), and over-powering odors (such as stinking cloud or incense-heavy air).
- Negating a grimlock's sense of smell or hearing negates his blindsight, but he functions as though he had the Blind-Fight feat. If both smell and. hearing are negated, the grimlock is effectively blinded.
- Scent (Ex): Grimlocks can detect opponents within 30 feet by scent. Exact location is not revealed unless the opponent is within 5 feet. A grimlock can take a move action to note the general direction of an opponent he has detected by scent.
- Natural Armor Bonus (Ex): A grimlock has a +4 natural armor bonus to Armor Class because of his thick and scaly skin.
- Racial Bonuses: A grimlock gains a +10 racial bonus on Hide checks when in the mountains or underground. His dull gray skin helps him hide in his native terrain.
- Racial Hit Dice: A grimlock character begins with two levels of monstrous humanoid, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +2, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +0, Ref +3, and Will +3.
- Racial Skills: A grimlock's monstrous humanoid levels give him skill points equal to 5 x (2 + Int modifier). His class skills are Climb, Hide, Listen, and Spot.
- Racial Feats: A grimlock character has Martial Weapon Proficiency (battleaxe) as a bonus feat. In addition, his monstrous humanoid, levels give him one feat.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Undercommon. Bonus Languages: By character region.
- Favored Class: Barbarian.
- Level Adjustment: +2. See Powerful Races