Pioneers in cybernetics, the listron have long been viewed as the forerunners of all machine augmentations to organic bodies. They traditionally view their bodies as imperfect and something to be altered according to their needs, much as someone might modify a machine for a particular design. From limbs to even internal organs, there is little that a listron would see as already perfect as it is. It is commonly believed that the only reason the listron as a whole haven't replaced their brains with machines is that the technology is not yet there.
Etymology and Other Names
The most likely origin of the term listron is an old Ferro word, lishan, that the listron used to refer to themselves in dealings with their fellow Beynid race, the reots. Although it is true that lishan can be interpreted as simply meaning people, the word itself is a compound of shan, meaning person, and lissh, meaning unfinished. This conglomerate term could be consequently taken to refer to the listron cultural norm of viewing the body as something to be iterated and improved upon with machinery.
A listron's face is normally long with a squared snout, and the rest of their head is often thickly furred and rounded particularly at the back. Although most listron have thick fur, it tends to be especially thick around their napes. There is little to no dip where a listron's head meets their neck, which can make their heads seem even larger than they are in reality. When viewed from the front or back, a listron's head may appear to be perfectly circular, their broad skulls offset by the the distance between their small, rounded ears. The brow of a listron is wide like the rest of their body, making their eyes seem almost too small for their broad faces. A listron's deep brow might give them a perpetually squinting expression, though it's also common for listron without accented brows to appear perpetually wide-eyed.
Relative to other bipedal races, listron tend to have shorter legs in relation to their torsos. Their feet are wide, taping towards the heel, with rounded toes; those that go without footwear will usually have hardened soles from the desert heat and the craggy outcroppings where many listron live. Listron do have tails, but their small size means that many have their tails hidden underneath their clothing. Although listron will walk upright in most scenarios, on uneven elevations with dramatic enough differences in height, they tend to naturally settle into a gait similar to quadrupeds. In these scenarios, their clawed hands allow them to easily grip almost any sort of surface to keep their footing.
Listron range in color from black to golden-brown, though a rare few may have blindingly white fur. Markings are uncommon among them, limited usually to patches of different color around their muzzle. Their skin is usually of a similar color to their fur, though white listron almost universally have dark skin unless they have albinism. It is also typical for listron to have very pronounced canine teeth but small, not articulated front teeth. Many listron have fused-together front teeth with little sign of where one tooth begins and where one ends, giving them a unique dental "footprint".
The most well-known facet of listron culture is their strong affinity for cybernetics. It is common to see a listron with an entire limb or even a more sensitive organ like an eye replaced with a machine of their own design. They tend to place little value on the form and aesthetics of a machine, instead taking pride in cobbling together disparate designs and dramatically different machines to create an ideal end product. To a listron, following convention can inhibit innovation, especially when it comes to ensuring nothing is wasted. This attitude extends to their bodies as well, where many listron with cybernetic enhancements will have a variety of metals plastered onto their cyborg body part simply because it was what was available. They tend to be prudent and cautious with using and reusing resources, reappropriating deprecated machines into something new. A listron will generally not outright replace anything until they absolutely must; it is common for them to constantly repair something year after year so long as it still can be fixed.
Listron place great value on self-sufficiency and creating something unique to the individual. A failed but unique invention holds more value than something that works but was created simply by following someone else's instructions. In a listron's mind, conventions and rules are for amateurs just starting out and in need of direction because they genuinely do not know any better. To this end, a listron's disctinctive cybernetics are more than an enhancement of physical ability; they represent the individual themselves. A listron may say that a cyborg part can tell an entire story about its owner, from the materials used to what the body part can specifically do. It is typical of listron engineering to build in a variety of functions into one object, and they tend to adopt the same mindset for engineered limbs and body parts.
Much as they expect their bodies to perform tasks exactly as needed, listron tend to self-satiate exactly as they desire; with a mindset geared towards not wasting anything, this often leads to celebrations sparing no expense in what a listron views as most gratifying. In particular, as they hail from a desert culture where water and food could often be scarce, food and strong alcohol tend to feature heavily in even the most spontaneous of festivities among listron. Bodies have specific functions they are meant to perform, and one such function is experiencing contentment; machines, after all, cannot experience such sensations, leaving sensations like satiation as a unique, perfect function that bodies can naturally experience. A displeased body will hamper the mind and the listron's entire existence, preventing them from accomplishing anything else they need to do. As a result, many listron may choose to give themselves multiple days off in a row simply because they want to, feeling as though they can make up for the lost time once their minds and bodies are content to keep going.
Racial Traits (D&D 3.5e/Pathfinder)
Listron are a Medium race and have no penalties or bonuses associated with their size, and they have the juggernaut subtyping and inherit those bonuses. Listron characters may choose either +2 Strength and -2 Dexterity or +2 Intelligence and -2 Wisdom to be applied to their starting statistics. Even smaller than average listron will have impressive physical power and can heft heavy objects across great distances, but their stout builds make them less dextrous and agile. Other listron focus intensely on studying and understanding a broad variety of subjects, often anything that might be useful to them, and such academics tend to be less perceptive of the world around them as well as vulnerable to many types of magic.
Brilliant Invention (Ex)
The eclectic inventions of the listron are defining elements of their engineering, with one item often able to serve many seemingly incompatible purposes. Some listron keep such inventions on their persons, waiting for the exact moment that the item will be needed. Others incorporate this mishmash of ideas into the cybernetic implants of their body and simply continue to add more functions to their cyborg limbs, aware that in the moment that their tinkering solves a problem, they'll be glad they did it.
At the start of the day, when a prepared caster would normally be able to prepare their spells, the listron may invest up to 25g per character level in their Brilliant Invention fund. Unused funding carries over from day to day, but it cannot exceed 25g per character level, and money invested into the Brilliant Invention cannot be returned to the listron. As a move action, the listron can use their Brilliant Invention to mimic the effects of any mundane (non-magical) item costing up to the amount allotted to their Brilliant Invention fund. Once used, the Brilliant Invention fund is deducted an amount of gold equal to the cost of the mundane item. This ability cannot be used if the Brilliant Invention fund has no money invested into it.
- Keywords: Active, at will, move action, extraordinary ability
Contriver (Natural Ability)
Young listron are encouraged to cobble together different ideas and turn them into workable items according to their needs. As they age, listron never quite lose the idea that anything they make will be better than something they could buy, simply because if they make it themselves, they will know it is exactly what they're looking for.
Listron have a +2 racial bonus to Knowledge (Engineering) and a +2 racial bonus to a Craft skill of their choosing.
- Keywords: Passive, natural ability
Mountaineer (Natural Ability)
Listron are native to the mountains of Beyne, and their great body strength and fortitude assist them in hefting their bulk up and down craggy cliffs. Their long claws on both their hands and feet assist their climbing ability to the point where many listron can scale mountains without any equipment at all.
Listron have a climb speed of 20ft. This speed increases to 30ft at 10th character level. In addition, they may choose to take 10 on Climb checks even when distracted or threatened.
- Keywords: Passive, natural ability, movement