After playing both Xenoblade games back-to-back I have a soft spot for Nopon’s, in particular the Heropon Riki. I wanted to introduce them into my game as inter-planar traders. After reading Dead Gods I think these would make perfect replacements fro the ratatosk – but a much more amiable and intelligent race than those squirrel creatures. Enjoy.
Update: I modified this entry on the 17th of June, 2016 to make it fit in with an Oriental Adventures setting as I was toying with the idea of playing a mini-campaign there as my next game. I was inspired after playing Fire Emblem Fates and its been two decades since I ran (or visited as a player) Kara-Tur. In my game I plan on rebranding the korobokuru as Nopon. The idea of an “asian dwarf” doesn’t appeal to me – to many similarities to the Western Fantasy dwarf. And since a korobokuru in Japanese pop culture can be almost anything and they have a strong association with nature the Nopon fits the category well – as does Totoro and Popori.
In fact, I actually think the popori take is the better one – awakened animal nature guardians.
Either way they are just more fun than a plain old “Japanese dwarf” and more thematic.
Nopon vary slightly from one individual to the next, but they all appear to be small, round, egg-shaped creatures. They sport small faces and have six limbs. They have a pair of stubby arms and stubby legs, as well as a pair of ears/wings. They tend to keep these ears wrapped around their necks when not in use. They have very tiny fangs too. Nopon are also skilled salesmen, and their entire lives seem to consist of trying to get the best deal for their goods. A large community, perhaps the first community of nopon make their home on the world tree Yggdrasil and also act as the trees’ guardians.
One noticeable aspect of Nopon is their unusual speech patterns, using very short sentences, speaking in the third person, and sometimes repeating phrases. One of the Nopon in Frontier Village humorously mentions that the Nopon race adapted their speech after a lot of research in human language. According to the same Nopon many Nopon who live with Homs for extended periods of time learn to talk normally. They refer to humans as “Hom Hom”.
The nopon seem to originate from the world tree Yggdrasil but this isn’t certain. Some nopon speak of a warm, jungle-like place known as Makna Forest as their original home.
Either way, they have since spread out across the planes and travel as salesmen and can be found in most non-evil cities and planes. A nopon in Frontier Village states that Nopon have passageways that only they can enter on Yggdrasil, due to their small size, which allows them to quickly travel from one point on the World-Tree to another (and one gate to another). Their main village, Frontier Village, is carved out of a part of Yggdrasil.
The Nopon lifestyle seems mostly laid back and easy-going. According to one Nopon they try to live alongside nature — although this same nopon suggests dire consequences should this ever change. This laid-back lifestyle and a wish to avoid strife mean the village tries to avoid contact with fiends and other evil-aligned races. So far there are no records of the Blood War spilling over into a Nopon village or caravan.
Nopon are also skilled at making and selling various wares. Many nopon, if not living in Frontier Village, choose to become merchants, travelling across much of the planes and, in the process of buying and selling goods, collect information from all across the multiverse.
Every year, one nopon is chosen by each major village’s Seer to become the Legendary Heropon for a year. This Heropon is apparently tasked with keeping the village safe.
Ababa, Adidi, Bana, Berryjammy, Cherr, Dabidab, Dedeba, Deki, Dobadoba, Gadada, Gowago, Hoko, Kilaki, Kofuko, Kokora, Kuriku, Lalapa, Leku, Lupa, Medi, Migaga, Miko, Minana, Modamo, Norara, Npa, Pachipa, Pelupelu, Pepa, Pipit, Pokapoka, Puko, Rasha, Riki, Reno, Tatsu, Tati, Tutu, Totoro, Yusa
Your nopon character has a number of traits in common with all other nopons.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2. Your size belies your hardiness – your nopon ears are actually powerful arm like appendages. They are a hardy race but not too bright.
Age. A nopon reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives into the middle of his or her second century.
Alignment. Most nopons are chaotic good. As a rule, they are good-hearted and kind, hate to see others in pain, and have no tolerance for oppression. They are also carefree in their general demeanour. Most of them hate evil creatures and value life and good.
Size. Nopons average about 3 feet tall and weigh about 40 pounds. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feel.
Lucky. When you roll a 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.
Play Dead. You can cast the feign death spell once per day. You may end the spell at any time as a reaction or action and you are fully aware of what is going on around you. Otherwise, the spell functions as described.
Nopon Nimbleness. You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than yours.
Wing-Ears. Your ears can act as wings of a sort. They are not powerful enough to raise you aloft but they are strong enough to slow your fall (and any other creature you are able to carry or hold on to) slowing your rate of descent to 60 feet per round. You take no falling damage and can land on your feet (usually with a small bounce).
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Nopon. The nopon language isn’t secret, but nopons are loath to share it with others. They write very little, so they don’t have a rich body of literature. Their oral tradition, however, is very strong. Almost all nopons speak Common to converse with the people in whose lands they dwell or through which they are travelling.