CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

No More Monkeying Around

The Orang-Pendak

This week’s random roll gave me the opportunity to explore a new race. The orang-pendak were introduced in the Bestiary 5 and were given stats to build as a playable race. When I went looking, however, I realized that the only information that was available for these sasquatch cousins was in said bestiary. So to properly write up this week’s background it falls upon me to expand upon the lore of these gentle and reclusive ape-men.


The history of the orang-pendak is little more than tales passed down from storyteller to storyteller. The jungle dwelling ape-men keep no written histories of their travels. Because they are also reclusive creatures there is little known about them outside of their people. Even those orang-pendak that leave the tribe to adventure speak little of their past.

Some common themes of their history told by their song makers is that there was a great exodus from the north. Although an accurate calendar isn’t kept by the ape men, the tales told of the time of the exodus correlate with events that happened during earthfall. Many tribe of sasquatch – of whom the orang-pendak are most likely related – fled from their homes when the skies turned black and the spirits began to scream.

The orang-pendak crossed over what would become Thuvia and traversed the barrier wall, ending their flight on the Mwangi jungle side of the mountain range. This is where many of the tribes would remain, although others would eventually range farther, making homes in wooded areas of both the Shattered Range and the Bandu Hills. There was more than enough land that wasn’t seeing use for the tribes to live solitary lives for millennia.

When the Shory Empire arose the orang-pendak found it harder to keep their existence a secret. The flying cities brought the humans everywhere and the civilizations lust for knowledge meant they left few stones unturned when trying to catalog the world. The Shory scholars learned of the orang-pendak, although most of their knowledge died with the crumbling of the flying cities. Those who have found bits of information on the ape-men often confuse them with the beginnings to the monkey creatures that would serve the Gorilla King of Usaro.

After the fall of the Shory empire the orang-pendak returned to their reclusive ways, hoping that the humans had forgotten about them completely. Although rare, occasionally a young tribe member seeks to set out on his own path. This has become less and less common as the orang-pendak are often mistaken for the Gorilla King’s minions and killed before any questions can be asked. The usually docile orang-pendakhave grown to hate the Gorilla King and some of the more aggressive tribe members wish to seek him out and destroy him.


Like the sasquatch, orang-pendak look like a cross between humans and simians. In the case of the orang-pendak they resemble orangutans and gibbons more than they do gorillas. They are bipedal, although they walk hunched over which often gets them mistake for actual apes. Their skin is somewhat leathery, but not enough to provide any real armor, and most of their body is covered in hair that ranges from light brown to red.

As they adapted to their new home, the orang-pendak have become smaller than their ancestors and now stand on average at about four feet tall. Their smaller stature belies the fact that they have retained much of the strength of those that came before. The orang-pendakare generally gentle creatures but when one is angered it could theoretically rip leather armor asunder with its bare hands.

One of the reasons they remain mainly undetected in their homes is that orang-pendak are mostly nocturnal creatures. Being active at night has acclimated their eyes to seeing clearly in the starlight. As such they have low-light vision allowing them to see the hazards of the forest under the night sky.


Orang-pendaklive in a nomadic tribal society. They wander from location to location usually, in a set seasonal path so as not to use up all the resources in one place. Occasionally events will occur that force the ape-men to adjust their migration pattern, but this only happens rarely.

Each tribe has a different structure although most are led by a council of elders and not one leader. The council generally consists of a spiritual speaker, a lore singer, a wanderer, and a spearman. A council may have more or less members but these four are traditionally the core elders. Each elder is considered the authority on their area of expertise and his or her word is considered with greater weight when dealing with matters of that variety. However the council must come to a consensus before a decision is made.

The ape-men are more gatherers than hunters but they will occasionally eat meat. Their impressive strength sees them able to take down animals even larger than they are purely on the force of one of their thrown spears. Meat is reserved for special occasions only and part of any event that sees meat eaten is a ceremony to thank the spirit of the beast for giving of itself to the tribe.

In the tribe family is very important. A familial unit will usually consist of a mother, father, a child, and perhaps grandparents. Orang-Pendak numbers are small because bearing children doesn’t happen often. An orang-pendak mother rarely gives birth to more than one child her lifetime.

Orang-Pendak society often integrates actual apes into itself. These creatures are sometimes companions and familiars to those with a deeper connection to the creatures of the land. Often the ape-men will take in young orangutans and baboons who have lost their own troops or have been left for dead. Outsiders may think that the orang-pendak keep these creatures as pets, but in truth they are considered valued members of the tribe.

Alignment and Faith

The orang-pendak tend toward neutrality. Not so much wishy-washy or indecisive as they are “go-with-the-flow” types. They believe that the spirits will help provide for them, so they don’t often get to worked up one way or another about good and evil or chaos and order. Those that stray from this middle-of-the-road path are often the types that become adventurers.

Spirit and ancestor worship are the most common forms of religion among the orang-pendak. Their religious figures include shaman, witch doctors, medicine men, and spirit speakers. Every event is overseen by a spiritual leader; from a hunt, to a birth, to meeting with another tribe. The spirits must be consulted on almost every decisions and milestone in life.

Oddly, although they are not fey, many of the orang-pendak worship the fey Eldest. The priests of these divine beings worship these creatures as aspects of the spirit world and the Eldest to nothing to correct this misconception. The only member of the Eldest that isn’t worshiped is Ragadahn, seeing as there are no oceans or linnorm where the orang-pendak dwell. Tricksters who worship the Lantern King – called the Wisp Lord by the ape-men – are especially revered teachers.


The orang-pendak have few if any relations at all. They remain as always reclusive and steer well clear of the human lands. Those few that do trade with others never speak their homes or tribes, but their general laid back manner often sees them accepted by races that aren’t on their own xenophobic.

The one group that the orang-pendak actively hate is the Gorilla King and his minions. Although they also remain hidden from the despotic follower of the Demon Lord Anghazhan, shadow scuffles often go on for the hearts of the simian species that inhabit the jungles of Mwangi. If anything could drive the ape-men to a full-fledged war it would be the predations of the Gorilla King.


Few if any orang-pendak set out into the world as adventurers. Those that do adventure often have vocations of a natural or spiritual bent. Rangers, druids, shaman, and hunters are probably the most common classes taken up by the ape-men.

Most magic users among the orang-pendak are divine casters. The aforementioned druid and shaman appear with the most frequency but oracles and the occasional cleric have been known to happen. The only arcane caster that is common among the orang-pendak is the bard. The ape-men keep all of their lore in the form of stories and oral histories. No orang-pendak who has remained among his tribe has ever become a wizard, but rarely witch or an unlettered arcanist my spring up among them.

Of the rest of the classes, rogue and brawler are the only other ones that pop up with some frequency. Fighting tends not to be a lifestyle many orang-pendak strive for and they aren’t often emotional enough to build up a barbarian’s rage.

What kind of cultures for other races would you like to see? Would you use this outline of the orang-pendak in your Golarion campaign? Would you adapt them to your home brew world? This is just a short write-up, but what other information would you like to see about the orang-pendak?

The orang-pendak maybe be reclusive but the CRB aims to bring them into the light. If you’ve enjoyed this write-up please consider becoming a contributor. Monthly donations of as little as one dollar can be made to my Patreon. A one-time donation can easily be made to my Paypal. Every bit helps me keep the lights on so I can concentrate on bringing you the content you deserve.

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