This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
As always, we begin this supplement with a brief contextualization of the race in question within the Xa-Osoro system, before diving into the information on the rougarous, who btw. also hail from the lost world of Azan, destroyed in the cataclysm of the Regicide. Interesting to note would be that the race develops first like wolves, but ages slower, with the second birthday being a benchmark for them to start the development towards a bipedal stance, and their cognitive development is akin to that of humans. While the race has lost their home, they nowadays mostly lair on the largest moon of Ulo, Bantosian. There, they have taken a frontier mentality, blending a healthy dose of the space equivalent of good ole’ American pioneer spirit and erected a democratic, pack-based society for a loose, pretty hand-off council.
Pragmatic and orderly, the depiction of the race makes them feel rather unique – “If it ain’t born in front of you, it ain’t got no business in your home without a good look-over” is a fun maxim for the context of the race, and one that makes sense in the context of themes the race evokes. As always, the race does not feature a “Playing as a rougarou”-section, but we do get a proper subtype graft.
Racial trait-wise, rougarous get +2 Str and Wis, -2 Int, 6 Hit Points and are Medium humanoids with the shapeshifter and rougarou subtypes and a base speed of 30 ft. Rougarous have blindsense (scent) of up to 30 ft. Each rougarou has an alternate, unique wolf shape of the same age and gender, and they have low-light vision and natural weapons. The racial feat provided is Lupine Shapeshifting, available for rougarou of 3rd level and higher. This one has a variety of choices and may be taken multiple times, and it may be taken as a replacement class feature at 4th, 6th, 12th or 18th level. The feat nets you either +10 ft. movement, the option to render foes prone with unarmed strikes, the option to use Survival instead of Perception to pinpoint unseen creatures as a swift action, or the menacing gaze envoy expertise talent, usable sans expertise die. The interaction with rougarou envoys is properly codified.
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork by Jacob Blackmon of the race is neat. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Alexander Augunas’ rougarous are mechanically precise, and put a cool spin on the concept of a lupine anthro-race. They don’t reinvent the wheel mechanically, but they do offer something that few races get this well: They understand that a race is more than crunch; it’s also culture, and a sense of plausibility/unique flair. The culturally-specific notes provide a cool backdrop, and the take on the shapeshifting angle is executed with panache and precision. Nothing to complain about – 5 stars.
You can get this neat race here on OBS!