Matoo (singular and plural) are a species of ape, resembling a slender gorilla with black or brown fur. They are gentle omnivores, domesticated by the salsham’ai for use as pack animals and for riding. A matoo is an expert climber, able to move with ease through high branches even whilst carrying a load or a rider. Most matoo are about the same size as a human, but larger varieties exist that can be ridden by humans and other Medium-sized beings.
A special saddle is required for matoo riding. It is something like a papoose, and quite flexible so that the rider can remain more or less upright no matter the angle at which the matoo is walking or climbing. If the creature is walking on the flat, on all fours, the riding posture is the same as riding a horse. If it is climbing, the riding posture is more like a piggy-back. It's an acquired skill when travelling in really dense undergrowth, but easy to pick up with a little practise. Anyone with the Ride skill is able to use the same skill to ride a matoo. For non-salsham’ai there is a saddle variant with more strapping to keep the flat-feet in the saddle. This is treated as a military saddle for the purposes of staying in. Salsham’ai use their feet to hold on (gaining a +2 racial bonus to ride checks related to staying in the saddle).
A riding matoo costs 10,000 yen (100 gp), a cavalry matoo 20,000 yen (200 gp). Double this for the larger breeds. Matoo saddles are priced as exotic saddles - riding saddles are 3,000 yen (30 gp), human saddles at 6,000 yen (60 gp) and pack saddles at 1,500 yen (15 gp). War matoo are sometimes armoured in barding of leather straps, designed so as to provide protection without impeding their climbing. This armour costs 2,000 yen (20 gp), weighs 15 lbs, provides an armour bonus of +2 with a maximum Dex bonus of +8 and no armour penalty. For larger matoo it costs 4000 yen (40 gp) and weighs 30 lbs, other properties remain the same.
Hit Dice: 3d8+6 (19 hp)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), climb 30 ft.
Armour Class: 15 ( +2 Dex, +3 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+7
Attack: Slam +7 melee (1d6+5)
Full Attack: 2 slams +7 melee (1d6+5)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: —
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +2
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7
Skills: Climb +15, Listen +5, Spot +5
Feats: Alertness, Fast Climber
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary, pair, company (3–5) or domesticated
Challenge Rating: 2
Advancement: 4–6 HD (Medium), 7- 9 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: —
Matoo are not generally aggressive unless seriously provoked. They are very protective of riders and will leap fearlessly into the fray with both fists if a companion is threatened. They cannot normally fight whilst carrying a rider, however, unless cavalry trained. Matoo like to take advantage of arboreal terrain to power their attacks with swings and jumps in the form of a charge.
Cavalry matoo have the same statistics, but are trained to attack whilst carrying a rider. The rider must make a Ride check to also be able to attack.
Carrying Capacity: A light load for a matoo is up to 133 lbs; a medium load 134-266lbs; and a heavy load 267-400 lbs. A matoo can lift 800 lbs and drag 2000 lbs.
Skills: Matoo have a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.
Fast Climber [General]
You are able to climb at an accelerated rate.
Prerequisite: Dex 15+
Benefit: Due to superior climbing ability you are able to climb at double speed without penalty. Creatures without a listed climb speed normally climb at one quarter of their base rate. With this feat they may climb at one half of their base movement rate. If you are of a race that has a base climb speed you may also climb at triple your climb rate by taking a -5 penalty to Climb checks. You can maintain this triple speed for the same duration as a run x3 movement rate. You cannot use this feat if your movement rate has been reduced through armour or encumbrance.
Normal: Characters can normally climb at double speed with a -5 penalty to the Climb check, and may not travel at triple speed.
Artwork by Amy Letts.
(c) 2009 The Creative Conclave.