Gwartheg, Horn and Hoof

“Oh beautiful stonecutter whose eyes are used to shed his many lovers’ blood!
They do twice as much damage to hearts than his sledgehammer does to stones!

-Ibrāhīm al-Miʿmār

Playtest Version

This material is still in the process of being playtested. It is fully usable as written, but may be refined or changed in later versions. As always, this content should only be used with GM permission.

The Gwartheg

Gwartheg—occasionally known as kine-kin by other folk—resemble humanoid cattle. Some are occasionally mistaken for minotaurs, but they are a completely separate species and have a predominantly agrarian society. Further confusing travelers unfamiliar with them, only half of the gwartheg are easily mistaken for other bull-like humanoids, with the other half sometimes being mistaken for yet another species of more human-sized cow people. To these baffled outsiders, there appears to be a joint society between male and female minotaurs as well as male and female cow folk. But in fact, the whole community are all gwartheg.

Two Forms

Male and female gwartheg differ only in small ways, and most of the traits other folk are accustomed to seeing correspond to men and women are actually entirely independent of reproductive sex among the gwartheg. Rather, there are two general physical types among gwartheg, the large, powerful taru (Plural: tiru–sometimes translated as “bulls” in Common) and the more human-sized feuch (Plural: fuchod—sometimes translated as “cows”). Intersex (between male and female) gwartheg are quite common compared to other folk, representing about one in ten individuals. When a taru and a feuch have children, the offspring are 50% tiru and 50% fuchod, but if two tiru have children together, 75% are fuchod, and if two fuchod have children together, 75% of the offspring are tiru.
Tiru are large, muscular, and lean, towering over all but the tallest humans. They have medium to large horns and massive hooves and sizeable…endowments. Fuchod, on the other hand are the height of an average human and tend to be quite curvaceous. Even if muscular, a feuch rarely has visible muscle tone, and if they have horns, they are small. Nearly all fuchod, regardless of reproductive sex, have at least modest breasts.

Two Ways of Life

Among gwartheg, gender categories are—while social categories as with other folk—based upon taru or feuch rather than male or female. Sexual orientations generally treat male and female taru the same, and likewise male and female feuch (e.g. a taru attracted to other tiru is considered gay, and a feuch attracted only to tiru is straight). Gwartheg who are gay, straight, or bisexual in this sense are all roughly equally common. Attraction towards male (or female) gwartheg in particular is uncommon but not unheard of, and is usually treated more akin to a preference for a particular hair color.
Taru and feuch culture also differ, but not as a matter of social expectations or imposed roles. The two groups have different styles of fashion (not just different garments but independent fashion trends and movements), dialects of their language (although both are intelligible to any speaker), different artistic movements and traditions, different calligraphy techniques (despite using the same script), different traditional rituals during certain holidays, and even some distinct holidays not practiced by the other. Transgender gwartheg of all types are completely accepted in both subcultures and because of all the behavioral markers, there is rarely any difficulty for an individual to indicate their gender, regardless of physique.

Culture Shock

Since gender among gwartheg is based much so more on physique and presentation than on reproductive roles, and those factors differ far more among gwartheg than among other species (at least within a particular settlement and culture), they tend to have difficulty telling apart men and women of those other species. Especially confusing to gwartheg customs were when they encountered folk who did not fit the general paradigms of either taru or feuch body shapes. Rather than try to universalize their experiences, however, they solved this difficulty within their culture by developing new gender categories and conjugations within their language for folk who do not fit the big-and-burly or smaller-and-soft categories.

Gwartheg Names

Personal names among the gwartheg are usually chosen by the parents for their children, and most names are typically associated with either taru or feuch, but this is not strict or universally consistent with any name.
While gwartheg children share the family name of their parents, the name is not inherited. Rather, whenever a family group is formed, a family name is chosen by the founding individuals and unless it is changed later, any new members of the family group takes the same family name when either born into the family or join it. Multi-generational family groups may carry on using the same name for centuries, and offshoot families frequently choose names related to families they came from.
These families are not strictly limited to spouses, parents, siblings, and so on. Any group expecting to live together long term, even as friends, are considered to be a family. Individuals living alone will usually either keep their previous family name with “ap” at the beginning, meaning “of,” or they will create their new family name alone and either others will take it upon joining the family or they will collectively choose a new one.

Example Taru Names: Afon, Bryn, Cledwyn, Dyllanu, Elisedd, Haf, Gwillym, Ithel, Llywellyn, Mabyn, Nerys, Owain, Rhys, Trahaearn, Yale

Example Feuch Names: Aeron, Bethan, Carys, Delyth, Enfys, Gwen, Heilyn, Llinos, Madoc, Owena, Rosyn, Teulip, Vaughn, Wyn

Example Family Names: ap Idris, ap Owain, Bradan, Cynwric, Hir, Hruderch, Iarnucon, Lloyd, Meurich, Prydudd, Rhydderc, Saer, Trefmawr

New Species:


Male and female fuchod alike are shorter than the tiru, and even if muscular, they are chubbier and do not have the same visible muscle tone as a taru. Fuchod are naturally gregarious but also somewhat nervous, and they are typically raised to seek the benefits of their disposition rather than to try to fight against it.
    Common Personality Traits: Friendly, casual, easily startled, outgoing
    Common Physical Traits: Curvaceous, chubby, small horns, busty
    Type: Medium biped folk with a Reach of 1. Your maximum wounds equal your Constitution score.

  • Attributes: +2 to the Lower of Constitution or Charisma
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Gwartheg Build: Feuch is one of the two major physical forms of Gwartheg. Your Species is Gwartheg. You receive no gender penalties to disguise yourself as another feuch, but do receive gender penalties when disguising yourself as a taru.
  • Charming: Once per session, you may improve the Disposition of any 1 non-adversary NPC by 5.
  • Desirable: The disposition of all NPCs that share your species is improved by 3. The GM may spend 1 action die per character to reverse this to a 3 point decrease.
  • Encouragement: Once per scene, you may speak to 1 of your teammates for 1 minute to grant them a +1 morale bonus with saving throws until the end of the current scene.
  • Hearty Appetite: You benefit from the first 2 food and 2 drink you consume in each day.
  • Last Chance: You may spend and roll 2 action dice to boost any save.
  • Nervous: You suffer a -2 penalty and -1 threat range on Intimidate and Survival checks. (A threat range reduced past 20 cannot threaten).


Tiru, whether male or female, are tall and naturally powerfully muscled, and even the sedentary among them have some degree of obvious muscle tone. They are generally more aggressive than fuchod, both by natural disposition and by cultural influences.
    Common Personality Traits:
Independent, competitive, single-minded, bombastic
    Common Physical Traits: Muscular, broad shouldered, sizable horns, well endowed
    Type: Large (2×2) biped folk with a Reach of 1. Your maximum wounds equal your Constitution score x 1.5 (rounded down).

  • Attributes: +2 to the Lower of Strength or Constitution
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Gwartheg Build: Taru is one of the two major physical forms of Gwartheg. Your Species is Gwartheg. You receive no gender penalties to disguise yourself as another taru, but do receive gender penalties when disguising yourself as a feuch.
  • Crunch: Your Strength-based damage rolls inflict 1 additional damage.
  • Hulking: You gain +1 Wound and against characters of equal or smaller size you gain a +1 bonus to both initiate and resist Bull Rushes, Grappling, and Trips.
  • Natural Attack: You gain the Gore I and Trample I natural attacks (see FC, page 235). If you gain a natural attack from multiple sources, the attack’s grade becomes equal to the highest single grade + 1 per additional benefit granting the same attack, to a maximum of V (e.g. Bite IV, Bite III, and Bite I become Bite V).
  • Wrecker: Your natural attacks gain a +4 bonus on attack rolls against objects and scenery.
  • Lumbering: You suffer a –2 penalty with all Reflex saves and become flanked any time two opponents are adjacent to you.

Legal Appendix

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