Hulking insect-men standing as tall as 7 feet at the shoulder, the thri-kreen are the least "human" of the player character races. Their survivability in the wilderness, combined with their cunning and intellect, have made the mantis warriors (as they are known to some races) the undisputed masters across large tracts of the Athasian wastes.
The individual thri-kreen is a six-limbed creature with a tough, sandy-yellow exoskeleton. Its hind legs are the most powerful, used for walking, running, and leaping. The four forward limbs each have a hand with three fingers and an opposable thumb.
A thri-kreen's head has two large eyes, two antennae, and a small-but-powerful jaw. The jaws work from side to side and have several small extensions that grab and manipulate food while it is being eaten. The eyes are jet black and multi-faceted, separated to either side of the head. The antennae are all but vestigial, serving only to help maneuver through brush and grasslands in the darkness.
Thri-kreen player characters can become Clerics, Druids, Fighters, Gladiators, Psionicists, or Rangers. They may also be multi-classed (see multi-classed combinations in the Dark Sun Boxed Set). Regardless of his class, a thri-kreen gains certain advantages as he increases in experience levels.
A thri-kreen's exoskeleton is extremely hard, and gives the creature a base armor class of 5.
Their antennae also serve to lessen any darkness or blindness based penalty by 1 point (or 5%) —ranged activities (like missile combat) do not gain this benefit).
Thri-kreen are carnivores and the pack is constantly on the hunt for food. They consider the other player races as potential food stock, but only prey on other intelligent creatures in times of desperation. The mantis warriors have a well-known taste for elves, which keeps both races at an uneasy peace when they are forced to cooperate.
Typical physical characteristics
Thri-kreen resemble humanoid mantids with golden-brown coloration. They possess six limbs, and usually use one pair for locomotion and the other two pairs as arms. They have excellent physical capabilities, allowing them to jump great distances. They also have sharp claws, poisonous bites, and psionic abilities.
Thri-kreen have no need of sleep. Thri-kreen characters can remain active through the day and night.
An average thri-kreen has the life expectancy of only 30 years. Because of that a thri-kreen truly lives out every moment of its precious life.
Thri-kreen dwell in warm deserts and plains.
Thri-kreen are formidable nomadic hunters who respect the land and hate creatures that despoil it. They will attack anyone who disturbs their home.
The pack is the single unit of organization among the thri-kreen, generally having 2-24 individuals. The pack is always on the hunt, never idle —there are no permanent thri-kreen communities. The socalled thri-kreen nations are, in fact, not organized as such, nor are they thought of as nations by the mantis warriors.
The nations are human conventions to delineate on maps where the thri-kreen thrive and dominate.
Thri-kreen make and use a variety of weapons.
Chief among them are the gythka, a polearm with wicked blades at either end, and the chatkcha, a dasl crystal throwing wedge which returns when thrown. They also fashion many forms of clothing, but never wear armor.
Dasl is made from thri-kreen venom, modified by the zik-thok (fejik) plant. Creation of dasl is a racial secret and is only suitable for making three-sided weapons such as the chatkcha and gythka.
Thri-kreen can use most magical items such as wands, rods, staves, weapons, shields, and most miscellaneous magic, but this is rare.
Those items, however, designed to be worn by demihumans, such as rings, girdles, armor, and cloaks, will not function for a thri-kreen because he simply cannot put them on.
Unless otherwise stated, magical items are designed for use by demihumans.
When Thri-Kreen are born they immediately imprint with the person they see first. Sometimes this allows other races to utilize them easily as slave labor. Thri-kreen do not have families in the traditional sense, they are born to clutches, a group of individuals that work together to survive. Thri-kreen believe in the survival of the clutch above all and will fight their leader if they think they are endangering the clutch. Those that lose their clutch for any reason sometimes adventure with other races eventually forming a new clutch bond.
The thri-kreen society is very organized, and they have a strong hive mentality when in groups. Not much more is known since they have a difficult time associating with the humanoid races.
The Common Tongue (2nd Edition)
It is important to note that halflings and thri-kreen do not speak common. It is strongly recommended, however, that player character halflings and thri-kreen use one of their proficiency slots to obtain the common tongue.
The notes given on roleplaying each race are also very important, since a character earns additional individual experience point awards when played according to these racial descriptions.
Those among the Thri-Kreen that focus on their race's physical prowess. In particular using their body as a weapon instead of relying on tools. These Thri-Kreen are the apex predator.
Differences Between Versions
Thri-Kreen were large creatures and had an elogated abdomen.
Thri-Kreen were medium creatures without an abdomen.
- Dark Sun Boxed Set. 2nd Edition. TSR Inc.