The sfirnari are the animal trainers of the Romani. They train animals for work, for war, and for entertainment. The sfirnari combine elements of fighters and rogues.

Please note that the Sfirnari, like all Romani characters, begin play with the Pick Pockets and Climb Walls(Trees) abilities. If the player wishes, he or she can elect to raise the Pick Pockets ability as the character increases in level. For the Sfirnari, this skill can be used for surreptitiously picking up items left behind, as in all Romani, but it can also be used in order to covertly give command gestures to animals they have trained. For instance, perhaps your Romani character is being held up by a thug...if he successfully makes his Pick Pocket roll, he can gesture to one of his trained dogs to attack the thug without the thug noticing.

Ability Minimums

Beginning Rogue Skills

(Please note that these skills are in addition to the Pick Pockets and Climb Walls(Trees) abilities that are inherent to Rom characters.)

With each level gained, the character receives an additional 15 points to divide among his or her rogue skills. As noted above, the player may also elect to raise his or her Pick Pockets ability for the purpose of giving covert commands.


Sfirnari are allowed two weapon proficiencies to start with. They gain weapon proficiencies every 4 levels. They must divide their proficiency slots equally between melee and missile weapons. Weapons allowed are khopesh, scimitar, dagger, knife, club, dart, hand crossbow, lasso, short bow, long bow, sling, short sword, long sword, staff, hand axe, spear, warhammer, and whip.


Sfirari are allowed to wear leather, padded leather, studded leather, or elven chain. They may use a shield, but most choose not to, since using a shield interferes with their ability to give hand signals to their trained animals.

Nonweapon Proficiencies

Beginning sfirnari receive four bonus nonweapon proficiencies: Animal Handling, Animal Training, Animal Lore, and Riding (Land Based). They receive an initial allotment of four nonweapon proficiency slots, plus as many extra slots as allowed by their intelligence. They receive additional slots every third level. They may choose among General, Rogue, and Warrior proficiencies. Recommended proficiencies are Tracking, Veterinary Healing, Survival, Hunting, Alertness, and Running.

Special Abilities

Sfirnari begin with a +1 to their Animal Training proficiency. They use the animal training system as described in the Ranger's Handbook.

They have animal empathy much like Rangers. This gives them the ability to adjust the reactions of natural animals that they encounter.

Sfirnari do not gain followers at high levels. However, they can recruit animals that they have trained as henchmen. They are allowed animal henchmen up to the number of their Charisma rating at any single time. If these animals are killed or lost, they may be replaced by others.

At 6th level, sfirnari gain a limited form of animal telepathy. With this, they may communicate simple thoughts and emotions. To employ this ability, they must be within the animal's sight and gazing into its eyes. Communication can take place within 1d4 rounds. If eye contact is broken before communication is established, the character must start again.

At 12th level, sfirnari gain a more advanced form of animal telepathy and animal bonding. This telepathic communication can be established instantaneously with any animal henchman, regardless of whether or not the animal is in sight. Complex commands and thoughts can be conveyed through telepathy. In addition, the character can see through the animal's eyes, hear what it hears, smell what it smells, etc. If an animal henchman is killed while bonded telepathically to the Romani character, the player must make a successful System Shock roll or die.

At 10th level, sfirnari gain the ability to cast Priest spells of the Animal sphere only. The following chart gives the sfirnari level, level at which the spell is cast, and the number of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level spells respectively.


The sfirnari receive Hit Dice, Saves, and THACO as Rogues.


Sfirnari suffer a reaction penalty of -1 from non-Romani characters. This penalty increases to -2 when dealing with a member of the aristocracy.

As noted above, sfirnari receive no followers at high level. The animal henchmen serve as their followers. However, animals are unpredictable, and if the character neglects them, mistreats them, or tries to arbitrarily restrict their freedom, the animal henchman may leave. Any animal henchmen who leave the sfirnari because of neglect or abuse cannot be replaced.

Romani characters do not build strongholds as regular characters are allowed to do. However, they may start their own kumpania at higher levels. Sfirnari, however, are not allowed to start their own kumpania as their leadership skills apply only to animals and not to people.

When an animal bonded to the sfirnari is wounded during the bond, the Romani suffers a -2 penalty to all his or her rolls for the next round. As noted above, if an animal is killed while this bond is occurring, the character must make a successful System Shock roll or die. In addition, anytime an animal henchman is killed, the sfirnari is at -2 to all rolls for the next 24 hours. He or she then suffers a period of mourning lasting for 4d4 weeks. During this period, the character is at a -1 penalty to all rolls.


Cambrai Delariin, a sfirnara
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