This site is games | books | films



By Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov -, Public Domain,, Yahoo
By Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov –, Public Domain,

The head, chest and lower legs of this naked manlike creature are covered in a thick pelt of hair, while the rest of its body is bare mud-brown skin. The creature stinks like a rancid weasel and its entire body is stained with filth. Hands and feet sport pointed, claw-like nails.

Originally Posted by Shade of the En World forums.

On this Thread

These disgusting creatures may once have been humans or another humanoid race, but are now little more than beasts. They have all the worse aspects of humanity that their limited wits can support – cowardice, greed, lust, sloth and mischief are almost instinctive to a yahoo.

The houyhnhnm keep “tamed” yahoos as beasts of burden (or possible slaves), and other intelligent beings may use tame yahoos in this way. Wild yahoos congregate in gang or mobs led by the most treacherous and vicious male, who keeps a lickspittle as his second-in-command. Whenever the mob changes its leader, usually by deceit or violence, the entire tribe heaps ordure on the old leader’s lickspittle. A group of wild yahoos frequently wars with neighboring yahoos or engages in a civil war among themselves. Such conflicts rarely result in deaths, mostly due to the yahoos’ cowardice and lack of weapons.

All yahoos are violently fond of shiny stones, and will go to great effort to dig them from the ground or steal them from another yahoo. A yahoo will keep its hoard of stones buried in some secret spot. Fields rich in such stones are the site of the yahoos’ most frequent and fiercest battles.

Yahoos will always flee from or obey a houyhnhnm, depending on the circumstances. Even the wildest yahoo will not attack a houyhnhnm or other horse-like creature. A yahoo will see other humanoids as another yahoo, and will attack, bully, grovel towards this new yahoo, depending to the circumstances. The really unlucky may have a yahoo of the opposite sex lust after them. A yahoo is likely to see a soft-skinned and clawless humanoid (like an adventurer) as a weakling ripe for tormenting. Yahoos hate humanoids who show a close relationship with the houyhnhmm, any often assault such humanoids the moment they leave the protection of a houyhnhnm. It is possibly they view such a person as being a houyhnhnm “lickspittle”.

The houyhnhnm use their yahoos them to carry loads or drag sleds for transporting sick or elderly houyhnhnm. A tamed yahoo always obeys a houyhnhnm’s orders, but will work petty mischief if unsupervised – stealing food or milk, devouring their master’s pets, vandalizing property and so forth. Yahoos are too short-sighted, fractious and indolent to organize any resistance against their masters, but require constant supervision to produce any useful work. Houyhnhnm often tie leashes made from vines or braided twigs to the neck of their yahoos, unsupervised yahoos are tied to posts or beams to keep them from working mischief.

Yahoos will eat almost anything. Most of their diet is roots and carrion, supplemented by fruit, nuts, and small animals. They like the flesh of fish, rats and weasels. Yahoos particularly enjoy the effect of intoxicating plants (a certain root is highly sought after), and eat them at every opportunity.

Most wild yahoos sleep in shallow dens dug in sloping earth, but they may also sleep in trees and caves. Domestic yahoos sleep in kennels constructed by their masters.

A yahoo is the same height and weight as a human. Male yahoos have matted beards and a ridge of hair down their spines, females have long hair but lack the hairy ridge. Yahoos develop more quickly than humans, becoming full-grown in their early teens. Yahoos are very unclean and often wallow or sleep in mud.

Yahoos do not have a language, but can be taught to obey very simple commands.

Medium Humanoid (Yahoo)
Hit Dice3d8 (13 hp)
Speed30 ft (6 squares), Climb 40 ft.
Armor Class13 (+2 Dexterity, +1 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple+2/+7
AttackUnarmed strike +3 melee (1d3+1) and rock +5 ranged (1d3+1)
Full Attack2 unarmed strikes +3 melee (1d3+1) and rock +5 ranged (1d3+1)
Space/Reach5 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksFling filth, natural flinger
Special Qualities
SavesFort +3, Ref +3, Will +1
AbilitiesStrength 13, Dexterity 15, Constitution 10, Intelligence 6, Wisdom 7, Charisma 8
SkillsClimb +9, Jump +5, Listen +1, Spot +1, Swim +5
FeatsImproved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike
EnvironmentAny forests or plains
OrganizationSolitary, gang (2-10) or mob (10-50 plus 100% noncombatants)
Challenge Rating2
AlignmentAlways chaotic
Advancement4-6 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment+1 (cohort)


Whenever possible, yahoos prefer to fight from a distance. They throw rocks, branches and even their own filth at opponents. Extremely craven, yahoos will flee from even slight setbacks.

Fling Filth (Ex): A yahoo can fling a clump of its own filth as a splash weapon. Treat this as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. Any living creature (except yahoos and troglodytes) hit by the filth are sickened for 1d4 rounds (Fort DC 11 for half duration), while every creature within 5 feet of the point where the filth hits are sickened for 1 round by from the splash (Fort DC 11 negates). The save DC is Constitution-based.

Creatures that successfully save cannot be affected by the same yahoo’s fling filth ability for 24 hours. A delay poison or neutralize poison spell removes the effect from the sickened creature. Creatures with immunity to poison are unaffected, and creatures resistant to poison receive their normal bonus on their saving throws.

Natural Flinger (Ex): Yahoos have a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls made with thrown weapons.

Skills: Yahoos have a +4 racial bonus on Jump and Swim checks and a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks. A yahoo can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened.

Clawed Yahoo

In Jonathan Swift’s satirical book Gulliver’s Travels the yahoos fought mainly with claws, augmented by their sharp teeth. They were not adept at thrown weapons as described above. Indeed, there is no mention of them using any weapons at all. Such a yahoo uses the following statistics, with any missing statistic being the same as the yahoo detailed above.

AttackClaw +4 melee (1d3+1)
Full Attack2 claws +4 melee (1d3+1) and bite +1 melee (1d4)
Special AttacksImproved grab, stench
FeatsMultiattack, Weapon Focus (claw)


Clawed yahoos fight by biting and scratching. Instead of using thrown weapons like other yahoos, clawed yahoos prefer to attack opponents by outnumbering and ambushing them. They are just as cowardly as other yahoos, taking to their heels if they face any significant resistance.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a clawed yahoo must hit an opponent of up to Large size with a claw attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold. Clawed yahoos have a +4 racial bonus to grapple checks.

Stench (Ex): A clawed yahoo is covered in filth whose smell nearly every form of animal life finds offensive. All living creatures (except yahoos and troglodytes) within 30 feet of the yahoo must succeed on a DC 11 Fortitude save or be sickened for 1d4 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based. Creatures that successfully save cannot be affected by the same yahoo’s stench for 24 hours. A delay poison or neutralize poison spell removes the effect from the sickened creature. Creatures with immunity to poison are unaffected, and creatures resistant to poison receive their normal bonus on their saving throws.

Originally appeared in Polyhedron #106 (1995).

Scroll to Top