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Kender Personality

Written by Sean Macdonald

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A kender's curiosity gives them something that few races have and that is the ability to scrutinize an individual and read them. This gives a kender the uncanny capability of knowing just how to push an opponents buttons. When a kender is angry or being threatened, they can determine just the right words to say that will cause their opponent to fly into an uncontrollable rage. Thus making the attacker focus on the kender and give less consideration to their own defense. Which is exactly what the kender needs to land a perfect strike against them.

Kender have a unique concept of "personal property". If they see something that is not being used they will pick it up and borrow it with every intention of giving it back to the owner when they are done using it or looking at it. This is just how they were raised and how their entire society functions. Most other races, naturally term this as thieving, when you appropriate another's belongings, but kender see it as simple borrowing and are simply curious about the world around them and are interested in everything.

Because of their insatiable curiosity kender want to inspect whatever they can get their hands on. They have learned to pick locks for the challenge and to find something of interest, not to take things that don't belong to them. They sneak up on people and eavesdrop on conversations to hear what the latest gossip is, not to invade other people's privacy. They pick pockets just to see what's there, not to deprive others of the things they own. Kender on the whole are honest, and honorable which only infuriates other races and causes them to label kender as sneaky and devious, which couldn't be farther from the truth.

Their rogue-like talents and skills are completely natural to kender, therefore they do not see it as something immoral. In fact kender are vehemently opposed to theft. They believe it is wrong and are deeply offended when they are called a thief or cutpurse. In kender communities personal property is loosely defined as "something you haven't stopped using". So kender take things without a second thought (or even first thought). This absentminded approach to others personal property can make the owner view the kender as a liar when the kender gets caught "in the act". In most situations the kender will automatically have an excuse ready.
  • "I guess it must have fallen in my pouch."
  • "You left it so I did'nt think you wanted it anymore."
  • "I was just holding it for you."
  • "I was gonna give it back but you wandered off somewhere."
  • "Oh! They're not free?"
  • "It looked so old that I thought it couldn't belong to anyone that was still alive."
  • "It must be magical, because it just appereared in my pouch!"
  • "Someone was going to steal it so I'm holding it for safekeeping."
  • "I was just cleaning it for you!"
  • "Just because I have it, and you didn't know that I took it, doesn't mean I stole it."
And what's even more frustrating for the owner is that the kender is totally sincere and truly believes what they have just said. Because kender do not always realize just what they are doing because they aren't always actively thinking about taking something, it's more of a reflex action. The only thing that can make this believable is by looking at some of the objects a kender is likely to take.

They comprehend the concept of money and it's value, but do not understand greed or the need to acquire great amounts of wealth. Therefore items such as jewels, gems, and money hold little interest for a kender. They need enough to get by, but if given the choice between a golden chalice and an over-elaborate broken ceramic dwarven mug, the kender will take the mug, because it is much more interesting. (Note: most kender will take both, but get rid of the chalice first.) A popular human riddle is "How can you differ a theft from a kender? The theft only takes your steel."

Previously published at

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