Level Up (A5E) Need help with homebrew Kenku (mostly just C&C)

I have a player who would like to run a Kenku in an upcoming A5E game I'm running. I'm not actually against the concept but that means it's homebrew time.
I've got a rough concept here but I'd really like some suggestions about gifts and traits. The current gifts are taken from other heritages and tweaked a bit, but I'd like to add in a 3rd that's more interesting and in flavor for kenku.

Oh, and YES I did leave out the "can't speak common" thing on purpose. I think it's dumb, and unless the Player really wants to do it, I don't force it on them. Kenku can understand common, they can speak, and they can mimic what they heard to get ideas across because they 100% understand the concept they heard and are trying to impart. So why not just use that skill, language comprehension, and knowledge to TALK? But that's an argument for another day. I might throw it back in if I turn this into a free pdf or something.

Thank you!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kenku Traits
  • Age. Kenku have shorter lifespans than humans. They reach maturity at about 12 years old and can live to 60.
  • Size. Kenku are around 5 feet tall and weigh between 90 and 120 pounds. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Expert Forgery. You can duplicate other creatures' handwriting and craftwork. You have advantage on all checks made to produce forgeries or duplicates of existing objects.
  • Mimicry. You can mimic sounds you have heard, including voices. A creature that hears the sounds you make can tell they are imitations with a successful Wisdom (Insight) check opposed by your Charisma (Deception) check.
Kenku Gifts:

Kenku Wings:
Rarely Kenku are born with wings. While they lack the strength to soar, their wings still allow them to lift off and fly a considerable distance before tiring.​
Flight. You have a fly speed of 30 feet. To use this speed, you can’t be wearing medium or heavy armor. Whenever you spend 3 full consecutive rounds airborne without landing, you gain a level of fatigue. Any fatigue gained in this way is removed upon finishing a short or long rest.​

Kenku Shadow:
Some kenku are creatures of the night and can move like shadows. While in dim light and darkness you gain an expertise die on Acrobatics, Deception, Stealth, and Sleight of Hand.​
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 30 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray​
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Subtle Knife

Explorer
I usually think of the Heritage as being 'biological' - what one is specifically endowed and burdened with based on one's biology. It seems to jive with how they are written in the Adventurer's Guide. Everything beyond that lands under either Culture or Background.

From what you have written, the only outlier seems to be the talent at Forgery, which seems to be a 'learned' thing. That would be the only thing I might consider removing/replacing.

SK
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Oh, and YES I did leave out the "can't speak common" thing on purpose. I think it's dumb, and unless the Player really wants to do it, I don't force it on them. Kenku can understand common, they can speak, and they can mimic what they heard to get ideas across because they 100% understand the concept they heard and are trying to impart. So why not just use that skill, language comprehension, and knowledge to TALK? But that's an argument for another day. I might throw it back in if I turn this into a free pdf or something.
It's a curse, which is why. If you were using the Mimicry idea, you could easily just say that they are stringing together words they've heard others use to form new sentences, thus giving them the ability to talk, even if it sounds weird. You could make a new Gift involving the Mimicry:

Echoes
You were born as one of the Echoes, those kenku who have been subjected to an ancestral curse laid upon them by their gods ages past. You can't speak except by mimicking others, but not only is your ability to mimic others much improved, but your memory has as well; you have incredibly good recall of anything you've heard or seen. You gain the following traits:
Improved Mimicry. You gain an expertise die in Deception checks made when you mimic other creatures, and other creatures have disadvantage on Insight checks made to determine your Mimicry isn't real.
Good Memory. You gain an expertise die on all Intelligence checks and any check made to reproduce any sort of sound, image, or writing you have every seen or heard.

Then it becomes an option without being the core element to the heritage.
 

Subtle Knife

Explorer
You could also consider making this heritage a more generic "Ravenfolk" heritage, and divide your Gifts into "Kenku" (cursed to silence but with other gifts), "Huginn" and "Muninn" subtypes (make these what you will).
SK
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top