a race – with subraces – for D&D 5E
[A new race this week, with one of its subraces! Sweet!]
Roots in the Past, Minds in the Present
Simians are one of the oldest races, their origins lost in the mists of time. Curious and adaptable, they can be found in any part of the world living among any of the other races. Simians have a powerful connection to the natural world, yet they excel at even the most technological pursuits. In fact, freedom and a can-do attitude are hallmarks of simian culture, and they tend to take claims that a thing cannot be done as a challenge.
At Home in the Wild
Simians are ape-like in appearance, with a thick coat of body hair, leathery skin, long arms, powerful hands, and feet capable of grasping. They usually run on all fours, and sometimes walk that way as well. With four prehensile limbs, they interact with the objects around them and their immediate physical environment differently than other races, and are effectively ambidextrous. For the most part, simians can climb as easily as they can walk, and can jump easily while climbing.
Bonds and Limitless Boundaries
Simians organize themselves in close-knit family groups who live communally in everything from small villages to vast cities sprawled among the canopies of a thousand trees. Social responsibility is a common virtue among simians, so those less able are well looked-after and for the most part resources are shared fairly.
Family tradition and filial loyalty are also powerful aspects of simian society, so elders are well-regarded and pride in one’s lineage is a nearly ubiquitous trait. However, simians are curious and roving by nature, so the often venture forth from their communities to explore and learn.
Simians tend to name offspring after family ancestors and important figures from simian history, adding short prefixes or suffixes to identify gender, family, sibling order, community, social rank, avocation, and the like. As a result, many simians have similar names, which are often further tweaked to commemorate important life events, achievements, new social standing, etc. As a result, the older a simian gets the longer their name is likely to be, and the history and situation of another simian can be learned merely by hearing their name. Of course these nuances are usually lost on other races.
Examples of basic simian names: Albo, Dorgu, Fridi, Gurd, Guth, Hoolge, Ingu, Keti, Lulmi, Mander, Otho, Pribi, Rith, Torlak, Ulle, Walger.
SIMIAN TRAITS. Your simian character has a number of unusual abilities.
Ability score increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Age. Simians reach maturity by the age of 15, and can live to be 75 years old or more.
Alignment. Simians can be of any alignment.
Size. See subrace trait descriptions for average heights. Your size is Medium.
Speed. See subrace descriptions for base walking speed. If you have at least one hand free, you suffer no penalties to movement caused by difficult terrain.
Grappler. You have proficiency with attack rolls to grapple.
Natural Athlete. You have proficiency with all Strength (Athletics) checks.
Born to the Wild. Your people are at home in the outdoors. You have advantage on all Wisdom (Survival) checks.
Tools. You gain proficiency with one of the following: brewer’s supplies, herbalism kit, musical instrument, poisoner’s kit, or woodcarver’s tools.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Simian.
Subrace. You have three types of simians to choose from: the Ki-Pan, the Illai, and the Tangu.
Ki-Pan – or Forest Simians – are accustomed to life in the trees, often building their settlements amid the boughs and canopies of the forest.
Ability score increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Size. Mature forest simians are 4 to 5½ feet in height. Your size is Medium.
Movement. Your base walking speed is 30, and climbing does not cost you extra movement. If you have objects to climb or from which to swing, you can jump using your arms as other races do using their legs. You can make a running long jump or a running high jump after moving only 5 feet.
Canopy Dweller. Because of the arboreal lifestyle of your people, you have proficiency with all Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks.
Brawler. When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or an improvised weapon on your turn, you can use a bonus action to attempt to grapple the target.
Quick Study. Choose up to two skills, tools, or weapons you are not proficient in. Once you have trained for at least 30 minutes with someone proficient with these chosen skills, tools, or weapons, you can add half of your proficiency bonus (rounded down) to ability checks with those skills or tools, or attack rolls with those weapons. This bonus does not stack with proficiency bonuses from other traits, feats, or features.
Tools. You gain proficiency with one of the following: brewer’s supplies, carpenter’s tools, gaming set, herbalism kit, musical instrument, poisoner’s kit, thieve’s tools, or woodcarver’s tools.
Forest Simian Weapon Training. You are proficient with clubs, greatclubs, blowguns, and nets.
[Next week – no, wait…that’s Christmas – IN TWO WEEKS, I will post the write-ups for the remaining two subraces, the Illai and the Tangu.]