Level Up (A5E) Working on a Kender


Well, that was fun
Staff member
So, Kender for A5E for the game I'll be running in January.

I'm going to make Kender a culture, but add Wanderlust as a heritage gift for halflings. Dropping the compulsive thievery but adding a 'communal property' element to the culture. This is very much a work in progress, so feel free to weigh in.

I'm basically assuming people will take the Halfling heritage and the Kender culture. Note that Halflings already have fearlessness built in to their traits.

New Halfling Gift: Wanderlust

You are blessed with an innate gift of insatiable curioisity and an instinctive desire to explore and experience new things which leads to frequent accidental discoveries. You gain the following features:

Natural explorer. You gain advantage on Survival checks and proficiency in Insight.​
Irrepressible curiosity. When you take a long rest, you may spend one hour and roll a 1d6. If you roll a 6, you find a Discovery or Boon (see the Boons & Discovery tables in Trials & Treasures).​

Culture: Kender

Kender communities are cheerful and welcoming. Communal in nature, there is little concept of personal property, with each community member using what they need whenever they need it. This can occasionally lead to misunderstandings in the wider world, although most kender adapt quickly to new customs.

It is very rare, but not known, for non-halflings to live in Kender communities. Characters raised in the Kender culture share a variety of traits in common with one another.

Happy-go-Lucky. Your optimistic nature helps you through even the darkest times. Whenever you would suffer a level of Strife, you do not suffer that level. Once you have used this feature, you cannot do so again until you take a long rest.

Cultural Gear. You gain proficiency with the hoopak (see slingstaff in the AG), slings, staffs, thrown weapons, and cartographer's tools.

Handler. Kender communities do not associate property with ownership, and as such are happy to use whatever is nearby (and will willingly part with an object if somebody else needs it). You gain proficiency in Sleight of Hand.

Taunt. Growing up in such a communal society, you are able to discern another creature's deepest insecurities. As a bonus action, you can taunt a creature within 60 feet that can hear and understand you. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier), or suffer disadvantage on attack rolls against targets other than you until the start of your next turn. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest. Once a creature has successfully saved against your taunt, it is immune to this feature for 24 hours,

Like I said, very much a WIP. Thoughts welcome!
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I'm not sure ignoring a level of Strife works as a replacement for being immune to fear from a thematic standpoint. But I'm also not sure how to add or change that in a balanced way...

I think it's spot on!
Maybe as an additional gift, to give some choice, you could add something like having a member of the family in most settlements (an uncle or distant cousin), willing to give minor favors or do small errands for them.


I’m less familiar with the lore inspiring this, but I will say that from a personal standpoint, weapon proficiencies, and especially simple weapon proficiencies, as part of a culture without any alternative always say to me “play a non-martial or be punished with fewer features.” And even then, fighting with actual weapons instead of spells is usually only a good idea for non-casters.

This is just a personal preference, and if it’s important to the flavor of the culture, go for it. But I would prefer an alternative feature built in for martial classes.


Also, I guess that Wanderlust is about equivalent to the Elves’ Mystic Rapport, but it feels less exciting to me. I want something slightly more evocative. Maybe something to do with journey rules?

I seem to remember the Taunt ability has been part of Kender since the beginning, but I've never liked it much. I think Tasslehoff is adorable (I appreciate that plenty of people don't!) and whilst "in-world" most people find Kender to be infuriating I never got the sense that Kender are deliberately annoying.

I'd rather they had something akin to the "Well-Prepared" feat from Pathfinder 1st edition - you just happen to have the right mundane item just when you need it. (Apologies if this is also something halflings already get in A5E, since I don't actually own it.)


I might suggest to the Taunt ability that once a target makes its save against the Taunt, it cannot be Taunted again for "some given time limit", ala Dragon Fright. I think this might thwart a scenario where a kender tries to burn all their taunts on the same enemy round after round.
I'd rather they had something akin to the "Well-Prepared" feat from Pathfinder 1st edition - you just happen to have the right mundane item just when you need it. (Apologies if this is also something halflings already get in A5E, since I don't actually own it.)

I do like this idea. Perhaps call it "Communal Property" and tie it to a 1 per short rest recharge.


No rule is inviolate
Age & Size. Kender are taller (3 1/2 to 4' tall) and don't live as long (usually lifestyle choices, but they are elderly @70) as halflings.
Happy-go-lucky. Thematically might fit, though strife seems (thus far in our games) to rarely come up.

I did a homebrew (attempting to stay as close to original design as possible) and we've got a kender in the group. Here's what we're currently using, without the base of a halfling, which is pretty close anyways.

Kender (homebrew race)

Small size, speed 25, Darkvision 30’.
Fearless. You are immune to the frightened condition.
Taunt. (as per SoTDQ).
Hoopak. (we did just the unique weapon, but adding rest is a good idea)

Choose a racial gift of either:

Improved Taunt. You have uncanny insight into the motivations and characterizations of other races. Add +1 to the DC of your taunts.
Remarkable Senses. Kender don’t miss many details. You gain an expertise die when making Perception checks.

At 10th level, gain the paragon trait of You’ve Made it This Far. When you roll 1 on a d20, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.

Kender Culture:

You gain proficiency with cartographer’s tools.
Curiosity Did Not Kill the Cat. You gain proficiency with one of the following: Acrobatics, Performance, Stealth, or Thieves’ Tools.
Slippery. When you are grappled, you can use your reaction to automatically escape that grapple. Once you have used this trait, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.
Handler. You gain proficiency in Sleight of Hand, and you gain an expertise die when picking a pocket or otherwise taking an item without notice.
Languages. You can speak, read, write, and sign Common, Kenderspeak, and one other language.

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