Friday, March 2, 2012

The Lorax, Pathfinder-style!

by Randy

Did you know... that today is the birthday of Theodore Geisel, more popularly known as Dr. Seuss? Well, it is. His books figured very prominently into my childhood. My favorite has always been The Lorax. This is a story about a businessman moving into the idyllic land of where the Truffula Trees grow. This businessman, the Once-ler, decides to set up shop and make garments from the tree tufts called thneeds. After making his first thneed, the Lorax appears from the tree's stump and tells the Once-ler he speaks for the trees. The Once-ler blows him off and calls in his family and upscales his operation. Soon, the animals no longer have food, and the air and water get polluted. Eventually, the Once-ler chops down the last of the trees, and the Lorax leaves. The Once-ler is sorry for what he has done, eventually, and bestows the last of the truffula seeds to a young boy who visits and asks him to grow the trees again and protect them. It's a classic story of environmentalism, and is particularly relevant today.

So what does that have to do with gaming? Well, very little. But I'm going to make it relevant. Using the Pathfinder rules, I created a familar character who would love to come a-visiting Golarion, or whatever campaign world you run!

He's shortish.
And oldish...
And brownish. And mossy...
And he spoke with a voice...
that was sharpish and bossy.
-Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

The Lorax

Male Gnome Oracle (Wood) 8
NG Small humanoid (gnome)
+1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +4
AC 12
, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+0 armor, +1 Dex, +1 size)
hp 63 (8d8+24)
Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +9; +2 vs. illusion, +4 vs. disease
20 ft.
Melee Unarmed Strike +5/+0 1d4-1
Ranged -
Special Attacks -
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th):
1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation, speak with animals
Oracle Spells (CL 8th):
4th (3/day)-Air Walk, Thorn Body
3rd (6/day)—Daylight, Cure Serious Wounds, Minor Creation
2nd (7/day)—Aid, Cure Moderate Wounds, Soothing Word, Barkskin
1st (7/day)—Bless, Command, Comprehend Languages, Cure Light Wounds, Sanctuary, Shillelagh
0 (at will)— Create Water, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Guidance, Light, Purify Food and Drink, Resistance, Virtue
STATISTICSStr 8, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 15
Base Atk +6/+1; CMB +4; CMD 17
Feats: Eschew Materials, Skill Focus: Knowledge (Nature), Improved Unarmed Strike, Breadth of Experience
Skills: Knowledge (Nature) +15, Diplomacy +9, Heal +13, Stealth +5
Languages Common, Gnome, Sylvan
Oracle Revelations: Wood Sight, Tree Form, Woodland Stride
Oracle's Curse: Wasting
Combat Gear - none

I used a Gnome as his race, mainly due to their feylike nature. Though a Druid would have been a good choice for class, I went with a Wood Oracle. The fatalistic flavor of the class seems to do well for the character, and gives some good nature-based abilities. I made him high enough level that he could get Air Walk as a spell, so that he can make his sad departure by lifting himself up by the seat of his pants at the end.

And what would the story be without supporting characters? Here is a write-up for the Brown Bar-ba-loots, who frolic about in their bar-ba-loot suits!

And, under the trees, I saw Brown Bar-ba-loots
frisking about in their Bar-ba-loot suits
as they played in the shade and ate Truffula fruits.
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Brown Bar-ba-loots
CR 1/8
XP 50
NG Small Fey
+1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +3
AC 12
, touch 12, flat-footed 11 ( +1 Dex, +1 size)
hp 3 (1d6)
Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +1
20 ft., Climb 20ft
Melee Claw -1 1d3-1
STATISTICSStr 9, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 4, Wis 9, Cha 8
Base Atk +0; CMB –2; CMD 10
Feats Skill Focus (Climb)
Skills Climb +13, Swim +3, Perception +3
Languages Sylvan
SQ none

Brown bar-ba-loots are a peaceful race of furry humanoids who frolic in forests. They have no natural predators, and usually can be seen lazing about, frolicking or eating Truffula fruit.

Also, here is a magical location that these guys can live in...

Those trees!
Those Truffula Trees!
All my life I'd been searching
for trees such as these.
The touch of their tufts
was much softer than silk.
And they had the sweet smell
of fresh butterfly milk.
-Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Truffula Grove

Truffula Groves are magical places, and are usually teeming with life. Animals, particularly fey, love the sweet fruit they produce. Additionally, the fruit itself bestows the effects of the spell Sanctuary upon those who eat it while they remain within 20 feet of a Truffula tree. The tufts of the truffula trees may be used to make garments that bestow the wearer with Endure Elements, and occupies the Cloak slot, although their bright coloration applies a -2 circumstance penalty to Stealth checks.

Well, I hoped you liked my little homage to Dr. Seuss. I'll leave you with another quote:

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss


  1. I was raised more on The Sneeches myself. Great commentary about racism/classim. But the Lorax is a great book too. Nice omage. I particularly like that you accomodated his need to lift himself up by the seat of his pants. :)

  2. Thanks, Julian! The one about the Sneeches is definitely great, too!