The spiderlike chitines exemplify the unnatural changes that can be incorporated into a humanoid with the aid of evil-inspired magic. Once their ancestors were humanoid in form, hut their enforced slavery to the drow entailed more than simple execution of duty. The drow of Ched Nasad selectively bred and magically meddled with their slaves; incorporating ghastly "improvements" as well as the results of fumbled experiments. Eventually these alterations became permanent, resulting in a race of spiderlike, four-armed humanoids that can build with webbing in the same way that humans employ stone or wood. Formerly found only in the northwest regions of Faerûn, chitines have spread throughout the Underdark in the course of their flight from their drow oppressors.
Personality: The chitines won their independence from their former drow masters in the Year of the Creeping Fang (1305 DR), although drow inattention and boredom played a larger role in their emancipation than active rebellion did. The most desperate and opportunistic chitines slipped away into unguarded passages and made their way to freedom. Those who did not seize the opportunity to escape met a variety of bad ends under the blades and whips of their drow masters.
The common chitine of Yathchol is a quiet craftsperson concerned primarily with building the next web-based home, tower, or fortification. But the legacy of the drow remains strong in the chitines, and betrayal is expected - nay, almost required - to survive. At best, chitines are opportunistic and self-serving creatures; at, worst, they are scheming back-stabbers. Chitines who don't find this way of life fulfilling often leave their villages and strike out on their own, in search of adventure.
Physical Description: A typical chitine stands just under 4 feet tall and weighs about 85 pounds. His four lean arms are long, and each has an extra joint, allowing a greater range of movement than most humanoids have. His face is humanlike, but his eyes are faceted, and mandibles jut from his mouth. A chitine has mottled gray skin, and his stringy black hair grows in a tangle from his head, extending down his back like the mane of a horse.
A chitine can spin various kinds of webbing through an aperture in his belly. In addition, he constantly secretes an oil that keeps him from becoming stuck in his own web and provides his body with a sheen under some light sources. His palms and feet are covered with hooks that allow him to climb up walls and across ceilings.
The typical chitine dresses in loose robes, or a tunic. The thread for his clothing is usually spun from his own fine silk.
Relations: Chitines distrust most Underdark races on general principles, and they absolutely refuse to work with drow except when planning a secret, nasty surprise for their former tormentors. A chitine is much more likely to trust upperworld races than Underdark ones, mostly out of ignorance.
Alignment: The chitines won their freedom from the drow through a strong streak of independence, and this trait has manifested itself in their descendants as a chaotic nature. But because they existed so long without values and a culture of their own, the chitines also picked up many of the evil behaviors of their former drow masters. For instance, chitines cull members of their own race who are judged too weak to survive. Those chitines who break with their villages may learn to temper their outlooks, becoming chaotic neutral or chaotic good.
Religion: Like their former drow masters, chitines venerate Lolth. But since they revere her mostly out of fear, clerics of Lolth are very rare in this race. Chitines generally leave the Spider Queen's worship to the choldriths - the priests of their kind. Even more spiderlike than chitines, choldriths are bloated abominations that rule over their lesser cousins.
Language: Chitines speak Undercommon. Bonus languages most often include Abyssal, Common, and Terran.
Names: Chitine first names tend to be simple, with no more than two syllables. Surnames are often descriptive and related to spiders. Male: Awa, Caullum, Cyten, Garlome, Kawa, Nullum, Vald. Female: Caulwen, Garwen, Neulwen, Qid, Qod, Uelwen. Surnames: Spinner, Lowweb, Shrouder, Backspeaker, Drowtaker.
Adventurers: Adventuring chitines are usually those who were exiled from their communities when sentiments such as goodness and justice began to replace the drow-inspired callousness that characterizes the majority of their race. Such renegade chitines are more comfortable as members of small bands than they are as residents of large communities. Most chitine adventurers are simple scouts, but some become accomplished footpads who sell their services to the highest bidder. A few rare chitines even join bold, justice-seeking companies of upperworlders.
Regions: Small numbers of chitines are found in the northern reaches of the Upperdark and Middledark, but the majority live in a cluster of villages collectively known as Yathchol, which is located beneath the Far Forest southeast of Hellgate Keep. Yathchol is composed of at least seven villages, each with a population of forty to sixty chitines. Virtually all chitines choose the chitine region.
Chitine Racial Traits
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -4 Charisma. Chitines are quick, tough, and smart, but not particularly endearing.
- Small size. A chitine has a +1 bonus to Armor Class, a +1 bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 bonus on Hide checks, but his lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
- A chitine's base land speed is 30 feet, and his climb speed is 20 feet. He has a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take. 10 on Climb checks even if rushed or threatened. The hooks on his palms and feet enable him to climb up walls and across ceilings, as if under the effect of a spider climb spell.
- Grappling Bonus (Ex): A chitine's four arms grant a +4 bonus on grapple checks, which makes him as good a grappler as a Medium creature.
- Difficult to Disarm (Ex): Because of the hooks in a chitine's palm, he gains a +4 bonus on his opposed check to avoid being disarmed.
- Sensitive to Sunlight (Ex): In sunlight or bright magical light (such as a daylight spell), chitines are dazzled.
- Racial Hit Dice: A chitine 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 chitine's monstrous humanoid levels give him skill points equal to 5 x (2 + Int modifier). His class skills are Balance, Climb, Craft (trapmaking), Hide, Jump, and Move Silently.
- Racial Feats: A chitine character has Multiweapon Fighting as a bonus feat. In addition, his monstrous humanoid levels give him one feat.
- Weapon Familiarity: A chitine may treat short swords as simple weapons rather than martial weapons.
- Automatic Languages: Undercommon. Bonus Languages: By character region.
- Favored Class: Rogue.
- Level Adjustment: +2.
Chitine Web Implements
Chitines use their webbing as a construction material for homes, traps, and armor. They can harden their webbing to create spikes and edges in their traps, and each such sharp feature typically deals 1d6 points of damage. Weapons, armor, and other objects made from hardened webbing deteriorate after several months if not regularly treated with the oil secreted by chitines' skin. Items made of chitine webbing are also susceptible to fire - 2 rounds of contact with flame ignites such an item, burning it away in 2d4 pounds.