Beastkin, Variant (5e Race)
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Attuned with the forces of nature, yet holding power power over them; open to the hand of civilization, yet struck by its oppressive fist; human features, yet bestial aspects; beastkin are, in many ways, oxymoronic. They stay mostly isolated within their tribes, in deep forests or tall mountains, far away from the organized societies that may hunt them. A pitiful few survive in small towns or their own districts in cities, having paid for the locals' respect in blood or integrity. Many beastkin are drawn to see the world beyond their limited worldview and thus seek lives of adventure. No matter their home, nor their history, a beastkin always keeps pride in who they are and what they stand for.
To many of the races of the world, a beastkin may appear at first glance as an incredibly hairy human. A human, however, will immediately notice their more extraordinary features--the animal-like ears, the sleek tail, and the fur covering their arms, legs, and hips are clear markers of a people less than human. Their height is similar, although their figures are more lean, in many ways built for speed, including their lighter frame. More than many other races, the appearance and physical characteristics of a beastkin are determined by their ancestry; the strongest and most barrel-chested kitsune might only be of average size to a taguel, for example. Beastkin coloration stays around the human range, with whites, browns and tans being particularly prevalent.
The early history of the beastkin is incredibly unclear. Each group of beastkin, and indeed each individual tribe, have a number of different oral and physical stories as to their origin: a pact with a nature spirit, or prince of the Feywild; a lycanthropic curse among an entire village; a surge of transmutation magic upon an originally human hamlet. Regardless of their origin, the beastkin all share an innate connection with nature. They are not protectors of it, exactly; merely "children of the land". In strengthening this connection, they developed a way to attune with nature's magic itself: the beaststone. Charged with magical power, the beastkin could use these stones to assume new, more powerful forms, suited to their societies in the forests, mountains, and misty springs of the world.
As the tribes of the beastkin grew, however, so too did their notoriety. Enormous lupine monsters with blazing red eyes, thirsting for the blood of the young. Creatures even greater than werewolves, that could snap a man in half. Whole tribes of foxes dedicated to trickery. The human nations of the world were the foremost believers of these rumors--and the diffusers of them as well. Confrontation was inevitable between the expansive forces of civilization and the beastkin's quiet ways of life.
Quickly, the fear and greed of the humans overcame their goodwill. Of the 12 different varieties of beastkin, only three barely survived, the rest slaughtered by torch-wielding huntsmen. What living few who were not killed for their precious hides were taken into forced servitude, with no qualms raised over 'inhuman pets'. No tribe avoided this fate; even the kitsune, with their illusory talents, could only delay the inevitability of their downfall.
As the world changed, and times became more enlightened, the other races of the world began to object to the humans' prolonged use of slavery. Though many of the common people's prejudices could not be wiped clean, diplomacy and logic swayed the gentry, and the forced bondage of the beastkin was forbidden. What few families remained among the beastkin unified, and tribes were re-formed, some based on old blood ties, others a mere collection of people based on proximity.
From there, the beastkin spread, some returning to the glades and hills where they found home, others settling on the outskirts of towns and hamlets to try and make a living as "civilized people". They keep to themselves and remain in their own communities, occasionally integrating to human society, but mostly taking lengths to protect themselves in the form of gangs reminiscent of their old tribes. Those that have returned to the wilds fare no better; the tribes of old value strength and cunning, and each beastkin must be prepared when they are set upon by yet another "beastkin hunt" or risk a repetition of their troubled history.
Beastkin societies, even within a human city, is heavily focused on "the tribe". A collection of beastkin families know and respect each other; each member of the community knows their place and duties as deliberated by their elders. To neglect one's task in the community is a grave act; to actively refuse is a social taboo. Such a link does not carry towards any real superiors, however: a beastkin that is not taking orders from a family member will often liberally interpret the order. Any non-beastkin entering their communities are watched with great suspicion, and the worst thing a beastkin can think of is an "invader". It takes a long time to gain the trust of a beastkin, but this trust will usually extend to the rest of the community. In this way, outsiders may eventually become "one of the tribe". Because of the culture of "the tribe" and the innate trust it fosters, betrayal is the greatest crime known to any beastkin, worthy of only the worst punishments imaginable.
Many young beastkin are struck with wanderlust and curiosity about the world and, once given approval from their elders, often travel far to see the wonders of the world. These beastkin may find another purpose, such as love, duty, or the service of the gods, that prevent them from coming home. These beastkin become more trusting, committed, and curious, although their initial aversion of "the outsider" remains. The greatest development in these beastkin is their homesickness; when abroad, the greatest thing a beastkin can feel is "at home".
The beastkin naming traditions follow a wide variety of cultures and possibilities, many overlapping with the people that they are nearest. A beastkin may take a name similar to a human friend, or one that was passed down from their parent held in bondage, or a name once held by a great leader of the tribe.
Male: Keaton, Yarne, Kaden, Rayun, Brokad, Batiste, Chevion, Dimiti,
Female: Panne, Selkie, Velouria, Shenile, Viscos, Charmeu, Chenila
You are a humanoid capable of shapeshifting into a mythical animal.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity and Wisdom scores each increase by 1.
Age. Beastkin mature at the same rate as humans but live twenty to thirty years longer.
Alignment. Beastkin can be any alignment, but have a tendency towards chaotic. Many are neutral.
Size. Beastkin are the same size as humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Acute Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill, and have advantage on Perception perception checks based on hearing or smell.
Beast Transformation. You have a beaststone, an item that contains powerful nature magic. You may use a bonus action to channel the power stored within your beaststone. If you do, you shift into a massive beast (determined and detailed by your subrace). This transformation lasts for 1 minute, until you die, or until you revert to your normal form as a bonus action. When you shift, you gain temporary hit points equal to your level + your Constitution modifier (minimum of 1 temporary hit point). You also gain additional benefits that depend on your beastkin subrace, described below. Your gear, with the exception of any light armor you are wearing, melds into your beast form. You are unable to activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any equipment that has melded into your form. You may use this ability up to a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. Once you have expended all your uses of this ability, you need to finish a long rest before you may use it again.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice.
Subrace. You must choose a subrace between taguel, wolfskin and kitsune.
Out of all the beastkin, the taguel were the closest to extinction at the hands of humans, and thus are the most removed from the domains of humans. They are incredibly distrustful, and make their warrens in dark, hidden places, especially in forests. They tend to be distant, even to the other members of their tribe.
|Official artwork of the taguel Panne from Fire Emblem Heroes|
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Taguel Transformation. Taguel transform into bunny-like creatures larger than the average man. Your speed increases to 40 feet while shifted, and you can see in dim light within 60 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.
Natural Weapons. While shifted, you can use your fangs and claws to make unarmed attacks. You may use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier for your attack and damage rolls with this unarmed attack. If you hit with them, you can deal damage equal to 1d4 + your chosen modifier.
The most open of the beastkin, wolfskin are amicable and curious by nature. They find beauty in the repulsive, such as human bones, bug corpses, rotten food and other supposed "refuse" which make collections of. A wolfskin tribe is much larger than either of the other beastkin's, and the bonds of trust are larger to match. They may be courteous to outsiders if they conduct themselves properly and do not prove themselves a threat, but they also hold a great thirst for blood that shows itself when the tribe is threatened.
|Official artwork of the wolfskin Keaton from Fire Emblem Heroes|
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength and Constitution scores each increase by 1.
Wolfskin Transformation. Wolfskin transform into large, bipedal wolf-like creatures, larger than any man. Your hide is very tough in this form: while shifted, you have a +1 bonus to your Armor Class.
Natural Weapons. While shifted, your unarmed strikes with your claws deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike. You also have advantage on Athletics to grapple creatures.
Though not the most isolated of the beastkin, the kitsune are certainly the most well-hidden due to their talents in illusion magic. Their fur is very valuable, and humans often skin them to sell it in black markets. They hide their groves and forests with great care, so concerned of outsiders that they kill any trespassers who see through their spells on sight. This caution is mostly reached in the older generations of kitsune; the younger ones are very whimsical, almost impish. The kitsune take pride in appearances, both mundane and magical; a handsome kitsune elder is typically also a master of the arcane.
|Official artwork of the kitsune Kaden from Fire Emblem Heroes|
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom and Charisma scores each increase by 1.
Kitsune Transformation. Kitsune transform into lean foxes, and it's said that older and more experienced kitsune can transform into foxes with nine tails.
Natural Magics. While shifted, you may cast spells. You ignore the somatic components required for spells.
Illusionists. You know the minor illusion cantrip. You also learn the phantasmal force spell and may cast it with this trait. Once you cast it, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Random Height and Weight
|4′ 10″||+2d10||120 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier