From: Eric Oppen <email@example.com>
Subject: WFRP: Centaurs as a PC/NPC Race in WFRP
Nobody really knows the origins of the Centaurs, or "half-horses" as they prefer to be called. At first glance, they appear to be no more than an unusually stable form of Beastman, and one theory says that they may well be originally creatures of Chaos, like the Pegasi. Another theory, defended in his doctoral thesis by Leopold of Nuln, states that the Centaurs were an Old Slann experiment that happened to survive. The Centaurs themselves prefer this theory, and deeply resent people confounding them with Beastmen or other creatures of Chaos.
Today, Centaurs are found in the valleys of the mountains throughout the Old World, and in various other places, such as the steppes or the Arabian desert. They usually have friendly relations with the "two-leggers" living nearby, but want little to do with strange two-leggers; too many of them assume that any centaur is a Beastman for Centaurs to be other than uncomfortable with them. Outside of their valleys, they often work as porters or traders in livestock.
Physique: A centaur resembles a human from the waist up. This "skin-end" generally looks much like the humans nearby, and they usually wear clothes and hats of the same style as the local humans. From the waist down, they resemble a well-formed riding horse, except that they are only seven hands or so high at the withers. They are usually no taller than typical Humans, but are much stronger for their size. Almost any centaur can beat a "two-legger" in a fight or a contest of strength.
Alignment: Good, Neutral or Evil. Most are Neutral. The few evil centaurs usually leave their valleys to prey on the two-leggers.
Society: Centaurs are almost all rural; they find two-legger cities constricting, and most underground delvings even more so. The majority are farmers and herdsmen, living in their valleys along with "two-leggers" who provide services that they themselves cannot. For the most part, centaurs are vegetarian; they are almost unable to digest meat.
Centaurs are religious, almost all of them following Taal and Rhya. They are respectful of the Old Faith, and retain priests of Morr among themselves to tend to their dead, but other religions almost do not occur among them. They are hostile to all Chaos cults, but reserve special loathing for followers and creatures of Khorne, the Blood God. For their part, creatures and followers of Khorne are subject to hatred of centaurs.
Despite being very civilized, centaurs retain a great deal of horse behavior. They also have a lot of body-language in common with horses; any centaur with the Train Animal (horse) skill has a 10% bonus for success on any given attempt. A young stallion will eventually challenge his father for dominance, if his father is still alive. Once the young stallion has beaten his father in a fair fight, he is considered to be of an age to marry. Female centaurs (mares) go into heat as horses do; courting season sees many fights between young stallions and their fathers.
Leadership of villages or valleys is usually by election, but the vote usually goes to the strongest, smartest stallion in the bunch; losing a fight on the day of an election ensures loss of the election. Given that a lot of beer is consumed on the election day, and given that a lot of personalities get discussed very frankly and freely during the election process, the chance of a brawl is pretty high.
Centaurs very seldom follow military careers; this is because the smell of others' blood makes them ill (must save vs. Cl to avoid). They also are easily startled, (must save vs. Cl to avoid) and when startled, are prone to panic and running. However, being smarter than horses, they can choose the direction they run, and sometimes can use fear deliberately to get themselves to charge enemies. Many centaurs also suffer from claustrophobia.
All centaurs have extremely keen smell and hearing, and can follow a trail if one is there and no more than three days old.
If a GM allows, a centaur may be a PC. They are restricted in career entry as follows: They may not follow any career that involves prolonged stays underground, or any career that involves crewing on boats or ships.
Prohibited Skills: Concealment Urban, Disguise, River Lore, Row, Sailing, Scale Sheer Surface.
Automatic Skills: All centaurs have Acute Hearing, Flee!, Fleet-Footed, Follow Trail, Night Vision (20 yards), and Silent Move Rural. Any centaur may acquire Frenzied Attack at any time.
Careers open to Centaurs:
*Centaur "nobility" are usually members of the wealthiest families in their valleys; only very rarely are centaurs ennobled by two-legger rulers.
+Servant, in centaur society, includes anybody working for wages indoors around a farm.
**Centaur coachmen do not ride the coach themselves; instead they trot alongside, guiding the horses. Since this frees up more space for passengers, guards and cargo, they are in demand among coaching companies.
***Centaur thieves may only specialize as follows: General Thief, Clipper, Embezzler or Pickpocket.
****Centaur wizards' apprentices get 1d4 magic points, and 2d4 per level of wizardry they later attain.