It’s been a while since I’ve done something that’s not a class option, so I wanted to vary this a bit. At some point I think I’ll get to posting an entire class, but that’s also still some time away, so we’re going with a new race option.
Beast people are kind of tropey when it comes to fantasy literature, with human-animal hybrids being extremely common in mythology. They also make for a good homebrew race if you’d like to do subraces–just think of an animal and make it work. Here’s my take on them.
The different creatures known as “mongrels” to outsiders but “beastfolk” more politely are some of the most feared mercenaries across the world. Beastfolk are characterized generally by humanoid bodies with animal-like heads; depending on their kind, most have animalistic features such as claws, hooves, or coarse hair or fur. While most of their tribes are nomadic, they occasionally find military service as heavy shock troops and in more civilized areas may even pay tribute to local rulers. Those who prefer a more peaceful existence generally pasture livestock, often roaming with their flocks and herds to find better lands.
Beastfolk Racial Traits
As a beastfolk, you have the following racial traits:
- Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
- Size. Beastfolk are roughly the size of humans, though it varies among the different subraces. They generally stand around 6 feet tall and weigh 175 lbs. Your size is Medium.
- Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision. 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 distinguish color in the darkness, only shades of gray.
- Subrace. Several beastfolk subraces exist. Choose one of the following below:
Note that almost no race features are here–this is to provide us with a lot of subrace options.
Thought to be relatives of gnolls, wolffolk are the most common subrace and are often mistaken for werewolves. In some places, they are even labeled as “true lycanthropes.”
- Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution and Wisdom scores increase by 1.
- Savage Jaws. You gain a bite attack that deals 1d4 + your Strength modifier in piercing damage as an action. If you take the Attack action and successfully hit with a melee weapon attack, you can make this bite attack as a bonus action.
- Rampage. If you reduce a creature to 0 hit points, you may use a bonus action to move up to one-half your current walking speed.
- Languages. You can speak Common and Gnoll.
Yes, this is the gnoll but updated for a player race.
Catfolk thrive in open areas, especially large grasslands, where they can hunt and stalk prey. They are typically recruited as spies and assassins for their quick reflexes and stealthy deportment.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
- Cat’s Scratch. You have retractable claws that deal 1d4 + your Dexterity bonus in slashing damage. You can use an action or bonus action to make an attack with them.
- Limber. You have proficiency in the Acrobatics and Stealth skills.
- Languages. You can speak Common and Elven.
They both get a natural attack and an in-combat way to use them / add to the number of attacks they can get. In general, I would argue that “beastfolk” are somewhat mundane and don’t lend themselves to the more mystical abilities of some races–these are pretty brutish.