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         Copyright © Randy Bowers. All rights reserved.



The Oruli are a race of monkey-like humanoids which may be used for player characters. For additional information regarding this race, read their entry in the creature compendium. Presented here are guidelines for the play of Oruli characters.
    Oruli are the prized guides through the vast Ki'Kiri Jungles, their native region. They are also known for their musical talent, acrobatic skill, a curiosity that surpasses Gnomes, and their interesting sense of humor. They are the only race to inhabit the dangerous Jungles and to find one outside usually means to be on a path of adventure.


The Oruli are a naturally suspicious and cautious race, tempered by the unpredictable and dangerous jungles. They tend to be expressive and open creatures when among their own kind. Their children are disciplined with gentleness. When telling stories and speaking the Oruli tend to exaggerate and accompany their words with great arm and hand motions, their tail swaying and moving to the excitement of the conversation.
    Oruli also have a well developed sense of humor, much of which is based on practicality. Oruli find beings whose actions are contradictory to what they are saying to be funny (unless malicious, of course) or whose actions and attitude are impractical. Many outsiders do not understand that when an Oruli makes an outrageous suggestion, or begins to do something that seems senseless that they are trying to be funny. Of course there is a distinction between being "funny" and being stupid. Occasionally, outsiders to the strange sense of Oruli humor will attempt to be "funny" and only come across as being inane. As the Oruli, and many other races have been known to say of outsiders, "They just don't get it."
    Oruli are creatures of community and rarely travel alone or even in twos without a larger group of friends somewhere nearby. They make loyal and interesting companions, even if their wily nature does cause the occasional trouble.

Physical Description

Oruli are a tree-climbing and tailed race of humanoids. They typically stand the same height as a short human. They are rarely taller than 5½ feet tall. Females are usually slightly thinner than males, though typically the same height range. Roll 3d6+47 for an Oruli's height in inches. Their skin is covered with a soft pelt of fur that ranges from black to brown, blond, or light gray in color. Their bushy eyebrows are thick, encircling the tops and sides of their deep, shy eyes, and grow lighter in color with age while the rest of their hair remains the same. Their face is small, matching their rounder heads. Their mouths easily assume a smiling demeanor and their ears are barely visible, poking through the dark tufts of hair which surround them.
    The Oruli normally walk with a gently stooped, swaying, easy gait which is quickly recognizable. Their legs and arms are seemingly longer than appropriate for their bodies, but they are of fantastic aid to the Oruli's natural talent for climbing and acrobatics. In addition to their legs and arms is a long prehensile tail which extends from behind. This marvelous tail is a valuable tool to a Oruli and is capable of holding onto branches or other objects, allowing the Oruli to perform interesting tumbling or climbing feats which are not possible by other humanoids.
    Their sensitive, tactile, and deft fingers end in short, tough nails made for cracking open nuts or scraping through bark. These nails are nearly useless as weapons but can painfully scratch soft flesh. Their long fingers, made for holding onto branches, end in bare patches of black skin, not unlike the paws of a cat or similar creature.

Oruli live healthy and long lives. They are habitually cleanly and careful creatures. Their active lifestyle, excellent diet, and cheerful demeanor also contribute to their longevity. A typical Oruli can expect to live about 150 to 170 years old. Oruli are given the status and freedom of being an adult at an early age of about 15 years. This is greatly due to the need for them to grow up fast and learn quickly how to survive in the dangerous jungle. Roll 5d4 +10 for starting age and 145+5d8 for max age. Oruli is considered middle age at 80 years, old age at 130 years, and venerable at 150 years old.


Oruli find humans, elves, and other races to be a fascinating source of entertainment and conversation. The outside world is very different from the Oruli villages of the jungles. Elves are as strange cousins of the forest except without tails, with funny looking ears, and a reserved enthusiasm that Oruli find greatly amusing. While Dwarves rarely ever venture into the steamy heart of the Ki'Kiri Jungles, the Oruli do have legends of spirits called Nasedi which are short stocky humanoids that live between the roots of the jungles trees. Undoubtedly, were an Oruli to meet a dwarf, they would find them much as other races do - staid, and serious, but both Oruli and Dwarves can agree that glittering gems and polished gold are wondrous things, even if the Oruli only appreciate them for their beauty quality and not their value.
    Gnomes and Oruli, on the rare occasion they meet, get along fantastically well. Both races share a curiosity for how things work and a sense of inventiveness. Both find the others odd sense of humor to be of unending entertainment. Likewise, Halflings also share a great deal with Oruli other than size. Except for the productivity and materialistic nature of Halflings, Oruli find them to be exciting companions, even if somewhat practical. Oruli, like Halflings, share strong community ties and a sense of opportunism.
    Oruli find Haruninki and Humans are both known to the Oruli. Haruninki, while impressive survivalists, are too rigid for the Oruli and friendships are rarely forged between the two races. Humans, on the other hand, are fair companions, but the Oruli perceive the Human race to be, on the whole, too intent on shaping and controlling the world rather than simply living in it.
    The Oruli have little to no experience with the underground races. Undoubtedly they would find each subterranean dweller to be a fascinating subject, and yet it is likely that the humor and easy living of the Oruli would be unappreciated by the inhabitants of the world below.
    Oruli are usually friendly and open creatures once their initial shyness has been worn away with presents, food, or humor. Their superstitious nature is balanced by their curiosity and friends are likely to remain so for a long time.


The Oruli tend toward a life of Neutrality. That each event comes in it's own time is proverbial for an Oruli way of life. Oruli are naturally creatures of goodness. It is rare and out of character for an Oruli to act cruelly or in an evil manner. Oruli believe that such an individual is possessed or suffers from some internal spiritual warfare. It is often mutually agreeable that such minded Oruli leave their village to seek other places to vent the evil that is within them.

Oruli Lands

Oruli live in the hot tropics, preferring the jungles, where they can build their tree-borne huts. Oruli villages are usually built in a protective circle with agricultural gardens, common grounds, and play areas within. Elaborate rope bridges, elevators, and swings make for easy travel (for an Oruli) from one home to the next. Oruli are such capable tree climbers that it is possible for them to travel safely and quickly from tree to tree in the denser parts of the jungle. Oruli communities typically number between four to eight-hundred strong. Neighboring villages may be anywhere from five to twenty miles distant, but never further than a days travel. The three rulers of an Oruli village are the Elder, the oldest male; the Wizened, the oldest female; and the Warrior, the most physically prow. There is a fourth, the Spirit Master, who acts as an intermediary between the living and the parallel spirit world, though he is more a counselor than a leader.


The Oruli generally do not practice the worship of gods, which they believe are merely powerful spirits. The Oruli believe in a spiritual realm in which each living creature has it's spiritual double, called an Avatar (roughly translated). Other spiritual beings inhabit this spirit universe such as demons and gods. An Oruli priest would almost certainly be an adventuring priest. Oruli tend to make successful priests when one experiences the rare calling to be one, this is because of their keen insight and wisdom.


Oruli speak their own tongue, which has no name. Outsiders to their culture simply call it "Oruli." It is a soft sing-song language which is punctuated with clicks of the tongue and nasal-like snorts from the nose. Oruli rarely bother to learn languages from outside of the jungles, but they are often gifted and very quick to learn them. There is no written equivalent to the Oruli language.


Oruli typically take multiple names, as it suits them or as it suits their friends to call them. All Oruli are given a single name at birth and later are also given a second name which usually has some relationship to a profession or skill that they demonstrate talent in. This second name is rarely used without the Oruli's birthing name unless they are so skilled at what they are named for that anyone "in-the-know" would immediately recognize them by their profession name. Oruli do not name their children based on parentage because it is the villages job to raise the child and all share equally in the task. Oruli place great weight on the proper naming of things as well as the significance of these names. Many names also have some deeper, spiritual meaning to them. Common male names are Chiablii, Inktume, Richiache, Quitcha, Kilieap, Papuale, and Lupnepnuk. Common female names are Chiache, Itmaki, Rikia, Qaclu, Kikla, Papuala, and Lukkepti.

Profession Names

Profession names are prefixed with "qi'" (prn: Key), which basically means "the", but is only used when speaking of a profession. Some common profession names are: qi'Hlamana (care-giver), qi'Tifna (builder), qi'Rhoke (warrior), qi'Semenan or qi'Semetan (wiseman or know-it-all), qi'chu'Sulae (one with an awakened avatar), qi'Coken (cook), qi'Pulapua (hunter or trailfinder), qi'Ektra (prankster), qi'co'Kalkwa (adventure seeker), and qi'Walakinaneh (storyteller).


Curiosity, wanderlust, and even simple greed for interesting experiences are all motivational reasons for an Oruli to go adventuring. Adventuring is a quick path to status among the Oruli as it not only means the acquisition of art and pretty valuables, but it also means new stories for the tribe of a successful adventuring Oruli. They are a happy and useful compliment to any adventuring party, making excellent rogues, sorcerers, bards, druids, and even monks. For the Oruli who chooses that way of life, adventuring isn't so much an opportunity, but a necessity that brings contentment and satisfaction of having done something well and worthy of a great tale (no pun intended).

Oruli Racial Traits

  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Strength: Oruli are nimble and friendly, but they are not as strong as the bulkier races.
  • Medium-size: As Medium-sized creatures, Oruli have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Oruli base speed is 30 feet.
  • Low-light Vision: Oruli can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • +2 racial bonus to Tumble, Jump, and Balance. Oruli are especially skilled at acrobatics, which are a normal part of day to day life lived in trees. Tumble is a class skill for all Oruli, regardless of actual class chosen.
  • +8 racial bonus to Climb. This skill is essential to life as an Oruli and their skill in it is assisted by their prehensile tail. Climb is a class skill for all Oruli, regardless of actual class chosen. Oruli have a climb speed of 20 ft. An Oruli can always take 10 on a climb check.
  • +2 racial bonus to Spot, and Listen. Oruli are especially aware of their surroundings, possessing keen senses. They are naturally apt to notice hidden things.
  • Prehensile Tail: The Oruli possess a very flexible, prehensile tail which can be used much like a third hand (with only one finger). This tail can be used to hang from branches, aid in climbing, holding simple, light equipment, and for performing other simple actions. Anytime an Oruli is allowed a check to avoid falling they may make a second check automatically if the first failed. This indicates that the Oruli grabbed onto something with it's tail before it could fall.
  • Favored Class: Bard. A multiclass Oruli's bard class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing. Oruli grow up in communities where storytelling and performance are part of daily life and so this vocation comes naturally to them.