Tortles aren't known well in the human lands, as they tend to keep to themselves and not concern themselves with worldly things and travel. Those that know them speak of their gentleness and love of peace and the life around them. Tortles met are usually some of the best philosophers and judges on the basis of fairness.


Tortles tend to be slow moving, unselfish, and unconcerned in most things. Tortles value family life above other things and are content living as simple farmers and scholars. Those who make enemies of the tortles, however, learn just how strong and quick they are to strike back and that usually the hardest to provoke are the toughest to defeat.

Physical Description

Tortles stand between 5 and 6 feet in height with both males and females at about the same height. They can weigh anywhere from 500 to 700 pounds as they have massive shells on their backs. Tortles otherwise appear like large, bipedal turtles and have no hair and dull green, gray and brown scaley skin. Tortle eyes have pupils are horizontal ovals in shape. The irises are vibrantly colored, usually blue, but sometimes green or red. A tortle's mouth is beaklike and toothless and can deliver a vicious bite. A tortle's head is dominated by its curved, toothless beak, with the eyes set back under bony brows that occasionally appear to obscure the eyes altogether.

Every tortle has a shell on their back that they can retreat into with some effort. Tortles are stocky, but most of their weight comes from their shells, so they tend to remain at the same weight throughout their adult lives, never growing fat or thin. Their arms and hands are shaped like those of humans, but thicker and tipped with sharp claws. A tortles feet resemble pillars, with padding on the soles like those of an elephant. This structure helps support their disproportionate weight but hampers attempts at swift movement.

Most tortles wear little or no formal clothing as it interferes with their shells and usually is not designed to fit them. Headbands, belts, wristbands, and simple shoes are the most complex their clothing usually gets.

Tortles hatch from eggs and reach maturity within 20 years, but after reaching adulthood they undergo few effects of physical aging. Tortles routinely reach 250 years of age, and some tortle elders claim to be centuries older. They have legendary memories; tortle elders often cite experiences from their early childhood or stories they heard once from a traveling bard decades ago.


Tortles tend to keep to themselves and be peaceful, and as such any race that is not openly threatening to them will usually be able to pass through their homes and seek aid from them. Tortles most sympathize with the lizard-kin that live near them, but they also are on friendly terms with most of the other major races (humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, and so on). Tortles generally distrust and dislike half-orcs, used to their humanoid and goblinoid relatives raiding their villages and killing their children.


Tortles are usually lawful, and they tend strongly towards neutral. Adventuring tortles are less likely to fit this mold, as they will have had some reason to take such a non-racial stance as to leave their homeland.

Tortle Lands

Tortles prefer warm climates and enjoy sunning themselves; they have little tolerance for cold. Tortles do not have a nation all to their own and usually dwell entirely within the borders of other nations. As such, tortles enjoy a considerable amount of autonomy. Their homes are usually made along the borders of seas and rivers and other places where crops grow well. Tortles live in large, extended families that span several generations, and it is not unlikely for an entire "city" to be just one family unit.

Tortles tend to restrict themselves to the tools of the culture in which they live. This adaptation to neighboring cultures carries over into all aspects of tortle society. Tortles who live outside the boundaries of other nations (the "free" tortles) tend to be simple farmers, many still using ancient "slash and burn" methods. Other free tortles live the simple, if demanding, lives of hunter-gatherers. However, most tortles dwell within other nations, where they are peasants (usually farme), living in the style of peasants of that nation. Tortle legends claim that the creatures once built cities of grandeur, but little real evidence exists to support this.


Most modern free tortles live along the beaches in small familial groups, typically in huts made of mud and wood. A cluster of huts forms a village center, with outlying huts forming a perimeter of several hundred yards. Each tortle dwelling has an alarm of some sort, usually a horn or gong. Tortles stay in contact with their neighboring tortles, depending on one another for defense and assistance on major building or farming projects. A typical tortle lives about 50 years. The creatures mate only once in their lives and invariably die within a year afterward.(Tortles who do not mate can live to become extremely old, with little loss of vitality.) Mating takes place in late summer, egg-laying during the fall. All females ready to produce eggs gather in a specially prepared compound, which the males guard against all attacks. Tortle eggs are considered delicacies, so the location of the egg-laying grounds is always defensible. Tortles from all nations travel to these egg-laying grounds in the lands of the free tortles. Each female lays 4–24 eggs, which hatch about six months later. Some young fall prey to predators, but most survive to be raised by adults, usually under the tutelage of aunts and uncles. Tortle families are unusual, since parents do not live long enough to raise their children. Thus, a tortle family might consist of a small number of adult tortles and a number of their nieces and nephews of varying ages. The "family" is usually very close. Tortles never refer to fathers or mothers, except in reference to the Immortals, including Mother Ocean (Calitha, their protector)and Father Earth (Ka, the bringer of life). Within the last century, most tortles have added two more Immortals to their pantheon, both adopted from the lupins and considered the children of Mother Ocean and Father Earth: Brother Shell (Mגtin), the protector of families, and Sister Grain (Ralon), the patron of farmers and the bringer of food. Other than using the slash and burn farming method (which leaches nutrients from the soil), tortles generally live in harmony with nature. They are tolerant of most other intelligent people, as long as those beings treat tortles fairly.

Tortles are a people of deep thought and feeling. T hey enjoy mental pondering, thoughtful conversation, and the collect ion of ancient lore. Tortles value a considered and deliberate course of action, and they arrive at decisions only after a thorough examination of all possible courses of action. Once decided on a course, however, they are steadfa st and immovable in executing it, unless new information suggests an al ternative. Villages of tortles can be found along the coa sts of oceans and some large lakes and rivers. Tortles build simply, often livin g in small thatched huts that strike other races as crude and uncivilized. Becaus e of their shells wearing traditional clothing or armor is all but impossible , and most tortles refrain from clothing altogether, considering it ostentatio us and unnecessary. Tortle craftsmen do produce armor for tortle warrio rs to use, and most tortles trained for combat can retrofit a standard set of armor to fit themselves with a few hours' work. Tortles raise rice and other crops dependent o n water in communal farms that feed the entire community and harvest fish, cr ustaceans, and some aquatic plants from the waters. Tortles craft simpl e tools for their work and are usually uninterested in grander products; for t his reason traveling merchants rarely visit their villages. Those who do , however, usually receive a warm welcome, with the exception of a few tortle villages, scarred by attacks and betrayals by outsiders, that have becom e xenophobic and guard their villages with staunch militias. Tortles value and seek meaning in the simple a cts of daily life, from tilling the fields of their farms to harvesting the natural bounty of the sea to simply observing the majesty of nature all around them. Su ch respect for the mundane leads some to view tortles as naïve, slow, or primitive, but in reality tortle society is ancient and complex, driv en by centuries of learning and careful thought, collected not in books but in the minds of tortle elders. Elders are at the center of tortle society, th ough they would deny that position. Each village is governed by a council of the oldest members of the community, each often approaching two centuries in age; this council hears disputes amongst villagers and regulates relations with the outside world. The elders, however, do not ask for servitude or pa tronage; in fact, they consider themselves to be servants of the young, fo r whom the world is yet new and who may yet discover new knowledge and new ways of living that the set minds of elders cannot conceive. While tortles value the everyday, they also va lue knowledge. Tortles collect tales, history, science, and any other know ledge they can from travelers who pass through their communities. Thus tortles have been known to feed and house weary travelers while askin g only for their stories


Tortles tend to be more spiritual, with their worship restricted to primal forces of the planet and nature around them. Good choices are those who have special interest in water, forests, and philosophical thought.


Tortles speak their own tongue, a slow and tedious language called Tortle. As a reflection of the slow pace of their life, an entire conversation in Tortle may take over an hour whereas it would take no more than fifteen minutes in Common. Tortles that speak in Common usually do so painfully slow to their listeners, which is a reflection of their normal pace.


Tortles are given a single name at birth and use this name their entire life. Though they keep themselves closely grouped in family, surnames are neither needed nor practiced by their culture, as they know who they "belong" to by what village they live in.

Male Names

Chul, Hennas, Jung, Lau, Quan, Xchi.

Female Names

Anoi, Kai, Lenna, Mai, Pao.


Tortles take up adventuring for the purposes of learning more about the world around them to gain a deeper understanding of life, or for the purposes of retribution of wrongs done to their family unit. Tortles find life among most races moving at a pace far too fast for them, and as a result they will usually try to find occupations that allow them to move more to their liking. Tortles enjoy deep debates on difficult issues, regardless of who the race they are dealing with is.

Tortle Lore

A character knows the following information with a successful Nature check. DC 15: Tortle live in coastal communities, where they grow crops and harvest fish from the sea. Most villages have little interest in trade with the outside world, but some have established trade relationships, often with halflings, exchanging exotic fish, crustaceans, and sea plants for goods they cannot produce themselves. Tortles are usually friendly to outsiders, but some communities are xenophobic and zealously guard their villages against intrusion. DC 20: Tortles hatch from eggs and grow quickly compared to most civilized races, reaching maturity within ten years . Tortles mate for life and couples only lay an egg every four or five years; thus, young tortles are considered a treasure, and the entire community aid s in raising them, teaching them vital skills like farming, fishing, and the crafting of tools. Tortle communities are led by a council of the oldest tortles in the community. While having little fondness for books or the written word, tortles have lasting memories and the eldest among them often call upon over a century of experiences in order to guide the community. Tortles enjoy collecting lore and often ask only for stories of the outside world in return for housing and feeding travellers. DC 25: Tortle society emphasizes the role of worship in daily life, and their religion, though discarded as simplistic by some observers, combines ritual and practicality and holds the experience of life as itself divine. Because of this, for tortles the gods are subjects of respect but not worship. They recognize Pelor and Melora, governors of agriculture and the wilderness, respectively, as powerful forces over their lives. Additionally, many tortles respect Ioun, goddess of knowledge, and some militant tortles look to Kord as their patron.

Tortle Racial Traits

Standard Racial Traits

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom -2 Dexterity: Tortles are hardy and resistant but slow and heavy due to their shells. they are also very patient.
  • Type: Humanoid(Reptilian) and (Tortle)
  • Size:Medium-size: As Medium-size creatures, tortles have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Base speed:Tortle base speed is 20 feet and a base swim speed of 10.
  • Languages: Common and Tortle. Bonus Languages: Gnoll, Goblin, Draconic, Lizardfolk, and Orc.

Defense Racial Traits

  • Shell:A tortle’s shell grants it a +4 natural armor bonus.
  • Shell Defense:Tortles can pull themselves into their shells as a full round action. This gives them a natural armor +6 bonus to their AC. It also allows for 20% concealment . When they use this ability they immediately fall prone, drop anything they were holding, and any item that isn't directly attached to their skin. While they are in this form they cannot make attacks, use items, or cast spells. They must remain in this form for at least one complete round. To come out of their shell they must spend another full round action(this does not provoke AoO).
  • Stability: Tortles gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.

Feat and Skill Racial Traits

  • Deep Knowledge: Tortles are well read and reasonable. +2 Knowledge(History), +2 Knowledge(Nature), and +2 Diplomacy
  • Endurance: Tortles gain Endurance as a bonus feat.

Magical Racial Traits

Offense Racial Traits

  • Weapon familiarity: They are proficient with longspear, trident, and net.

Senses Racial Traits

  • Tortle Sight: Low-light vision: Tortles can see twice as far as humans in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions. In addition, tortles retain this ability to equal distances while underwater.

Other Racial Traits

  • Deep Lungs: Tortles can hold their breath underwater for 1 hour before having to make standard checks for drowning.

Weakness Racial Traits

  • Cumbrous: Tortles do not move as well as others. They take a –4 racial penalty to all Fly, Ride, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, and Tumble checks.
  • Bulk: Because of its great bulk, however, a tortle is treated as nonhumanoid for the purpose of buying armor and cannot wear suits of armor created for other creatures.

  • Favored Class: Cleric. A multiclass tortle's cleric class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing.

Alternate Racial Traits

  • Naturally Aquadic:Tortles gain Aquatic subtype and a swim speed of 30 feet.A tortle can move through water at its speed without making Swim checks. It gains a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered when swimming. It can use the run action while swimming, provided that it swims in a straight line.
  • Natural Weapons: Tortles can attack with their bite and claws. Their bite inflicts 1d6 points of damage and has a x2 critical multiplier. Their claws inflict 1d4 points of damage each and have a x2 critical multiplier. When using these natural weapons, Tortles are not considered unarmed. This trait replaces Shell Defense.
  • Slow and Steady:their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance. This trait replaces Tortle Sight.
  • Hard Shell: Damage Reduction of 5 adding another 1 at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter. This trait replaces Deep Knowledge.
  • Tortle Grace: The skill penalties from your cumbrous racial ability are halved. This trait replaces Stability.

  • Light Shell: The shell of some tortles is thinner than others. Tortles with this racial trait have a move speed of 30 ft. and only take a -2 racial penalty to Dex, but lose their racial Shell Defense trait and only have a +1 natural armor bonus.

Racial feats


Ancestor Giant Thanegioth Tortle (Thanegioth, Zul/Hollow World) Horned Tortle (Hollow World)

Sea Tortle Green Sea Tortle (Ierendi) Leatherback (Sind, Pearl Islands) Hawkbill (Sea of Dread) Loggerhead (Norwold) Spiny Softshell (Norwold) Snake Necked (Vulcania)

Tortoise Desert Tortle (Common Tortle) (Savage Coast) River Tortle (Athruagin, Azca) Mud Tortle (Davania)

Terrapin Diamondback Terrapin Tortle (Texeiras) Box Tortles (Ochalea, Texeiras, Skothar) Pond Terrapin (Known World)

Snapper Common Snapper (Brun) Alligator Snapping Tortle (Malpheggi)

TORTLE CR: 1/2 XP: 200 Tortle monk 1 LN Medium humanoid (reptilian) Init: +0; Senses: Low-light vision; Perception +6 __________________________________ AC: 14, touch 10, flat-footed 14 (+4 natural) hp: 12 (1 HD) Fort +7, Ref +2, Will +4 __________________________________ Speed: 20 ft., swim 30 ft. Melee: Unarmed strike +2 (1d6+2; flurry of blows +1/+1) or nunchaku +2 (1d6+2; flurry of blows +1/+1) Ranged: Javelin +0 (1d6+2/30 ft.) Combat Gear: 4 javelins __________________________________ Str 14, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 8 Base Atk: +0; CMB: +2 (+4 disarm with nunchaku); CMD: 12 Feats: Deflect ArrowsB, EnduranceB, Great Fortitude, Improved Unarmed StrikeB, Stunning FistB (DC 12) Skills: Climb +6, Perception +6, Sense Motive +6, Stealth +4, Swim +10 Languages: Common, Tortle __________________________________ Environment: Temperate swamps Organization: Solitary, bale (4-9), war-bale (10-24), or tribe (30-300 plus 50% noncombatants plus 1 3rd-level shaman per 20 adults, 1-2 subchiefs of 4th-5th level, 1 leader of 6th-level, and 1-2 tojanidas or 2-3 seacats) Treasure: NPC gear

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