Into the Unknown
Ten Reason for Players to Buy Races of the Wild
by Skip Williams

Races of the Wild is all about characters who prefer the stars for a roof at night and a pile of leaves to a feather bed. If you're a dedicated outdoor person, or you just want to play one in a roleplaying game, this book is for you. Below are ten reasons why Races of the Wild is a great resource for players.

10. Go Cross-Country Like a Pro: The skills section in this book covers a wide array of outdoor actions, from running along the top of a bouncing wagon to leaving hidden signs for allies.

9. Feats That Fit: The feats section offers plenty of ways to build characters who not only excel in the great outdoors but also reflect the best qualities their races have to offer. Have a halfling who can't climb or jump worth a darn? Try the Agile Athlete feat, which lets a character use her Dexterity modifier for Climb and Jump checks. And for your spellcaster, check out the Magic of the Land feat, which lets her refresh herself with natural power whenever she casts a spell.

8. Go for Some Prestige: If your character has fresh air and sunshine (or perhaps a little larceny) in his soul, you're bound to find a prestige class that fits him here. The arcane hierophant blends arcane and divine magic with a heavy emphasis on nature and the elements, and the champion of Corellon can stand toe-to-toe with any orc or human warrior. And if those aren't enough, the luckstealer is part spellcaster, part professional gambler, and 100% mischief-maker.

7. Make Some New Friends: Tired of the same old mounts and animal companions? Check out the sharp-eyed and lethal dire hawk, the sturdy brixashulty, the night-flying chordevoc, and the speedy elven hound.

6. Tools of the Trade: Getting along without a roof over your head becomes much easier with handy items such as honey leather and thistledown, both of elven make.

5. Get to Know Your Characters: Think you know what makes your elf or halfling character tick? Think again! Races of the Wild gives you a look inside elven and halfling culture. By incorporating some of this information into your character's background, you can make her more than just a short human or a boy scout with pointy ears. Raptorans also get an exhaustive treatment, and the book offers secrets about various other races as well.

4. The Right Weapon: Choose a new weapon that really suits your character's style. For example, a raptoran armed with foot spikes can dive out of the sky at her foe just like a bird of prey. In addition, the different kinds of arrows described in Races of the Wild make lots new options available for archers. The blunt arrow is great for subduing foes, and the serpentstongue arrow can cut through objects.

3. Magic Items You Can Really Use: A character can find useful magic goodies anywhere, even deep in the wilderness. For example, a hideaway weapon (which remains a compact cylinder until commanded to assume full size) lets your character travel light and is handy whenever he doesn't want the opposition to know he's armed. Or you might consider foxhide armor, which makes the wearer sneakier and a little smarter -- at least temporarily. And be sure your character takes along a survival pouch when he next leaves town, since it can keep him going when shopping isn't an option.

2. Spells, Psionics, and More:Races of the Wild offers lots of new tricks for spellcasters and psionicists, with special emphasis on effects that have a natural theme. Try enduring flight, which lets the caster haul heavy loads aloft, or returning weapon, which brings back a weapon the caster has thrown so that she can make another attack. And a cleric who loves the wild, blue yonder might want to consider the new Sky domain.

1. Try a New Kind of Character: Go for a completely new kind of character with the raptoran and the killoren, two new races that are detailed right down to their vital statistics. This book also gives you the skinny on centaur, gnoll, and catfolk characters.

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