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Level Up (A5E) Another New Lineage: The Therocephalian (Updated!)

Faolyn

Hero
Updated: I fixed hopefully all the errors (but they're sneaky and multiply when you're not looking), changed some stuff around, and fixed the Gifts. Then I showed it to my friends, and one of them immediately asked why there's no filter feeding option, because without it, how can he play a crabfolk!? So I added another gift just for him.

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I decided to re-do my Catfolk into a more generic Beastfolk-type lineage. No need to have a ton of different species/lineages out there if one will do. If there's anything unbalanced here or looks weird, please let me know! Likewise, if you have any ideas for cultures, I'd love to see them. I could use the inspiration.

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TheHand

Explorer
Nice work! I've been enjoying these additions.

For different cultures you could look take inspiration from the different D&D settings that feature such folk. (Naturally you'd want to flavor them to be more generic)

A few ideas:

The Lupin society in Mystara (your city-dwelling, pack-friendly beastfolk)
Tabaxi from the jungle lands (more carefree, nomadic)
Eastern settings from different eras included beings like hengeyokai, rakasta, and the Yikaria (yakfolk) - so a culture with some mystical folklore could be interesting

Maybe even toss in a planar beastfolk (where we have the Beastlands, Outlands, and Arborea that are hosts to many).
 

Faolyn

Hero
Nice work! I've been enjoying these additions.

For different cultures you could look take inspiration from the different D&D settings that feature such folk. (Naturally you'd want to flavor them to be more generic)

A few ideas:

The Lupin society in Mystara (your city-dwelling, pack-friendly beastfolk)
Tabaxi from the jungle lands (more carefree, nomadic)
Eastern settings from different eras included beings like hengeyokai, rakasta, and the Yikaria (yakfolk) - so a culture with some mystical folklore could be interesting
Those sound like they could be decent bases for cultures. I'll work on expanding them (unless you have some ideas as well). Jungle Dweller? Hidden City Dweller? Trickster Troupe?
 



Faolyn

Hero
First Draft on Hidden Citizen. Thoughts? (Edit: this feels like it needs something, but I don't know what.)

Hidden Citizen
Some people choose to remain far apart from others and keep their civilization hidden. These cities are often ancient, secreted away in hidden mountain valleys, in desert oases cloaked by ever-present mirages, deep within impenetrable jungles, in great air-tight domes on the ocean floor, or deep underground, far away from any dwarf enclaves or shadow elf cities. The people within those cities have often not seen outsiders in many generations. To those from the outside, these are legendary Lost Cities, but to their native citizens, they aren’t lost—merely hidden safely away from the mysterious, dangerous, and possibly even corruptive world outside.

On occasion, an individual chooses to leave their Hidden City. Perhaps they grew tired of the rut and chose to explore what’s outside, or they wandered away by accident, and could no longer find their way back. Sometimes they’re sent out to learn about the world and then report back once they have done so. Unlucky ones were captured or lured away by outsiders, but managed to free themselves, but only after they were too far away to return hom. And some were exiled from their Hidden City for some crime, real or imagined.

Characters raised in the Hidden City culture share a variety of traits in common with one another.

Insular Upbringing. You’ve heard tales of the people of the outside world, and are ready for any tricks they might try on you. But at the same time, you are so interested by all of these unknown things it that you aren’t always aware of the danger they pose. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.

Ritualized Endurance. Through the teachings and rituals of your people, you have gained a certain resistances to effects that might harm you in body or mind. You have advantage on Strength and Intelligence saving throws.

Specialized Weapon Training. Your people master a particular weapon unique to your people. And while this weapon may have the same properties as a typical outsider’s weapon, your people use it in a way particular to them. You are proficient in one martial weapon of your choice. Additionally, you may choose one of the following options when you pick this weapon:
• If the weapon has the two-handed property, you may choose that your people instead wield it in one hand. In this case, the weapon’s damage die type is reduced by one die (for example, a halberd wielded in one hand inflicts 1d8 damage instead of 1d10).
• If the weapon doesn’t have the two-handed property or heavy property, you may choose that your people are capable of throwing it. In this case, the weapon gains the thrown property and has a range of 20/60 feet.
• If the weapon has the finesse or light trait, you may choose that your people wield a double-bladed or double-headed version of it. In this case, the weapon loses the finesse or light trait, but when you use the attack action to attack with it, you may also use your bonus action to make a melee attack with it.
• If the weapon has the thrown trait, you may choose that your people wield a returning version of it. In this case, if the weapon misses, it boomarangs back and returns to your hand. You must use your reaction to catch it.

The Tales of Your People. Everyone is desperate to learn about you and where you’re from, and to see the “exotic” arts of your people. You’ve learned how to tell stories that in such a way as to make your people look good (or bad, if that’s your desire) while also failing to provide clues as to how to get there—after all, the rest of your people remain hidden by choice. You are proficient in one of the following: the Performance skill, calligrapher’s tools, cook’s utensils, painter’s supplies, or one musical instrument of your choice. When you use that skill or tool to tell a tale, create art, or cook a dish native to your homeland, or to talk about your journey, you gain an expertise die.

Languages. You can speak, read, write, and sign your people’s language and one other.
 
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Faolyn

Hero
And another one. Churning them out to try to keep me awake after getting my second vaccine today. (No other symptoms so far, but boy am I tired.)

Packmate
e are some people who are never alone. They are born into a group, raised by the group, and move with the group. This is not just some community; this is the pack—a collection of beings so close as to be nearly a single unit. While many therocephali are part of a pack (or herd, or flock, or hive), as their animal nature causes them to gather in these type of groups, it’s not unknown for members of other lineages to become that closely-knit as well, such as in the case of groups of survivors of some cataclysm, gangs of street urchins, bands of soldiers, or bandit crews. Packs are small, rarely comprised of more than two dozen individuals (although sometimes, several packs join together into a larger community). Packs have different social structures: a pack may be relatively peaceful, enjoying safety in numbers and working together for the good of all. Or a pack be fiercely bloodthirst, with the strongest calling all the shots and keeping the weakest in line with threats or the actuality of violence.

But not every pack stays together forever. Some packs dissipate when their leaders die, causing the members of wander in search of a new pack. Sometimes, a packmate is ousted from a pack, from being too weak to failing to win a battle for leadership. And, of course, some packmates are separated from their pack through chance or misfortune. Some of these former packmates revel in their newfound individuality, while others constantly seek out new companionship.

Characters from a pack culture share a variety of traits in common with one another.

A Place for Everyone. Everyone in a pack has a purpose, and you are no exception. You are proficient in one toolkit of your choice and in one of the following skills: Arcana, History, Medicine, Nature, Performance, Religion, or Survival.

Friends to the End. You gain an extra contact, one of your former packmates. No matter the status of your former pack or your relation to them, this packmate is willing to work with you and help you out from time to time.

Menacing. Being part of the pack means keep outsiders out. You are proficient in the Intimidation skill.

Pack Tactics. After you complete a long rest, choose an ally. You have advantage on attack rolls against a creature if you are within 5 feet of that ally and the ally isn’t incapacitated.

The Strength of Many. You draw strength from the presence of your packmates. If you miss with an attack roll or fail an ability check or saving throw, and you can see or hear the ally you chose from the Pack Tactics trait, you can roll a d6 and add that to your roll. Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Languages. You can speak, read, write, and sign in Common and one other language.
 

TheHand

Explorer
Very well done! Regarding Hidden Citizen, I kind of wonder if Insular Upbringing should be related to a stealth bonus (remaining hidden from the world) or perhaps a different skill offering... since there's a lot of other races that seem to get the advantage vs. Charm/Frightened.
 


Faolyn

Hero
Very well done! Regarding Hidden Citizen, I kind of wonder if Insular Upbringing should be related to a stealth bonus (remaining hidden from the world) or perhaps a different skill offering... since there's a lot of other races that seem to get the advantage vs. Charm/Frightened.
Probably. I was having a hard time with it. On the one hand, being stealthy is logical. On the other hand, it's probably that you look different enough that you're going to stand out. Maybe replace that with the following:

Insular Upbringing. The people from the outside world are very different from you. Partly as a way to avoid their sometimes overwhelming interest in your differences, and party because they have difficulty in understanding your expressions (both vocal and facial), you have learned to hide from them. You get an expertise die in both Deception and Stealth.

BTW, Morrus, if you're still looking at this: am I correct in assuming you can use an expertise die even if you aren't proficient in the skill?
 

TheHand

Explorer
@Faolyn , I'd love to see your take on a 'tauric' race if you're game! You could use the heritage gifts to represent different quadrupeds with the serial numbers filed off (centaur, wemic, bariaur*, maybe even spelljammer's dracon).
(* Planescape represent!)
 

Faolyn

Hero
@Faolyn , I'd love to see your take on a 'tauric' race if you're game! You could use the heritage gifts to represent different quadrupeds with the serial numbers filed off (centaur, wemic, bariaur*, maybe even spelljammer's dracon).
(* Planescape represent!)
Since I definitely love bauriars (and unrelated, when I was little I used to draw wolf-taurs a lot), I wouldn't mind giving it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

Hmm. Maybe I'll just buck 5e completely and at least give the option for them to be Large.
 

TheHand

Explorer
Since I definitely love bauriars (and unrelated, when I was little I used to draw wolf-taurs a lot), I wouldn't mind giving it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

Hmm. Maybe I'll just buck 5e completely and at least give the option for them to be Large.
Let them live Large! :LOL:
 




TheHand

Explorer
I really like this write-up, I would definitely use it in my games! I have only a few thoughts to consider:

With Quadruped: Hooves, I might add +5 movement also, just to give it a little buff. In most of the games I've played, terrain/caltrop-damage is fairly rare, at least comparatively to being knocked-prone (paws) or climbing situations (tarsi). Also it seems like centaurs should have an option somewhere to gallop a little faster.

With Unending Strength, since Relentless Endurance is already an orc gift, what about something like:

Tireless Workhorse (OK, cheesy name...): If you fail a Strength ability check or saving throw, you may reroll it with Advantage but must accept the new result. You can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

I also wonder, with Carouser, if that theme might work better in a Culture. I could see Centaur cultures as:
  • An urban, party-friendly culture (our carouser)
  • A nomadic plains-runner culture
  • A hidden enclave culture (which can be themed to fit either jungle cats or hive-ants)

What do you think?
 

Faolyn

Hero
I really like this write-up, I would definitely use it in my games! I have only a few thoughts to consider:

With Quadruped: Hooves, I might add +5 movement also, just to give it a little buff. In most of the games I've played, terrain/caltrop-damage is fairly rare, at least comparatively to being knocked-prone (paws) or climbing situations (tarsi). Also it seems like centaurs should have an option somewhere to gallop a little faster.
Sure, I can see that. My table happens to like spike growth so that sort of damage is pretty common where I am, but I can see combining them.

With Unending Strength, since Relentless Endurance is already an orc gift, what about something like:

Tireless Workhorse (OK, cheesy name...): If you fail a Strength ability check or saving throw, you may reroll it with Advantage but must accept the new result. You can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Heh. I like. Nothing wrong with the occasional cheese. :D

I also wonder, with Carouser, if that theme might work better in a Culture.
What do you think?
I suppose it depends on how a party culture is done. I'm... very much not a partier by nature, so my two different thoughts on that would be, (1) is there enough of a party culture of the sort you can be born into and live your whole life; and (2) Maenads? Some sort of (potentially) fey-based culture? I could definitely see that. There's a whole world of potential cultures for the Fey Realms and the other planes of existence.

I'm going to keep the Carouser as a gift, although I'm rephrasing it a bit, but I'm also going to try a "Wild One" culture.

Carouser
Centaurs, particularly those of fey origins, have a reputation as party-goers; in some cases, it’s true. Your ancestors were blessed to be in the retinue of gods of joy, dance, and alcohol, and you have inherited some of that blessing.

Crowd-Pleasers. When in a tavern or other festive environment, you gain an expertise die in Performance and Persuasion.
Iron Liver. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage.
Life Of The Party. You have a natural affinity for alcohol. You are proficient in Brewer’s Supplies.
Playing For The Crowd. You gain an expertise die in a musical instrument or gaming set of your choice.
 

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