D&D homebrew Planescape Races

Monstrous Subraces

It’s been awhile since I was last able to run an in-person Planescape game. So long in fact that it was a previous edition. However, I had a bit of surprise free time, some people were interested and available, so why not? One of the best things about Planescape is the freedom to not give any sort of crap about what your players want to play when it comes to races. One player wants to be an elf, another wants to be a modron, a third wants to be a sentient badger, and a fourth wants to be collective of honey bees? No problem, Planescape is here to help you figure out how that works. In the actual case of the players yesterday, two were looking to play races that were off the beaten path. One was deciding between goblin and a mindflayer that had lost touch with the elder brain (thus depowering it), and another was deciding between kenku and aarakocra. In looking at the choices, I was immediately disappointed there weren’t some subrace varieties available for the choices that did exist. Prior to the game, I spent a few minutes drafting some options.

Aarakocra

Aarakocra that travel the planes have long since lost the power of flight that defines most use to define them. The Wind Dukes do not take kindly to those who leave their service, after all. Still, the aarakocra that interact with the rest of the denizens of the great wheel have managed to grow and survive. Your aarakocra character has the following racial traits.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Aarakocra reach adulthood at age 10 and live up to 70 years.
Alignment. Whatever
Size. Aarakocra are between 4.5 and 5.5 feet tall, weighing between 80 and 120 pounds. Your size is medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Keen SensesYou have proficiency in Wisdom (Perception), and have advantage on any Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
Splendor of Flight. As a bonus action, you may take to the sky. You may double your speed, and must end your turn on a surface, or immediately begin falling. Once you have used this trait, you may not do so again until you complete a long or short rest.
Languages.  You can read, write, and speak Common and Auran.
Subraces. Over the many years since the first aarakocra left their positions, several communities of aarakocra have developed. There are those – the Surnians – who seek to gather wisdom and information, valuing them more highly than jewels or coin in the hopes that knowledge will keep their people free. There are also those – the Aquilans – that believe only through their actions and interactions with the other planar races will they be afforded the correct manner of courtesy.

Aquilans

Ability Score Increase. Your intelligence score increases by 1.
Talons. When making an unarmed attack, you may attack with your talons, dealing 1d6 slashing damage. You are proficient in this attack, and your talons count as finesse weapons. If you receive additional training in unarmed attacks that increased unarmed attack damage, the damage of your talons increase accordingly.
Diving Attack. When you use your splendor of flight trait, you may add an additional weapon die of damage to one successful melee attack you make while using that trait.

Surnians

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Nested. You gain proficiency in Intelligence (History), and have advantage on Intelligence checks used to recall knowledge while you are not under duress.
Buffet. As a reaction to being targeted with a melee attack, you may give the attacker disadvantage on the attack. If the attack hits you, roll a 1d6 and subtract the result from the damage of the attack. Once you have done so, you must complete a short or long rest to use this trait again.

This increases to 2d6 at 6th level, 3d6th at 11th level, and 4d6 at 16th level.

Goblins

Your goblin character has the following racial traits.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Goblins are considered adults by age 8, and can live to 60 – if they do not meet a gruesome end.
Alignment. Whatever
Size. Goblins are between 3 and 4 feet tall and weigh between 40 and 80 pounds. Your size is small.
Speed. Your walking speed it 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 discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.
Nimble Escape. You can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of your turns.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Goblin.
Subrace. Goblins manage to survive in two ways: by force or by service. Those who believe they can fight together and survive tend to remain in clans and are thus known as Clan Goblins, while those who willingly give themselves in service to others are known as Unctuous Goblins.

Clan Goblins

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Fury of the Small. When you damage a creature with an attack or a spell and the creature’s size is larger than yours, you can cause the attack or spell to deal extra damage to the creature. The extra damage equals your level. Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Hang in There. You have advantage on death saving throws.

Unctuous Goblins

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
WheedleYou gain proficiency in your choice of Charisma (Deception) or Charisma (Persuasion).
Plead. When you are at or below half of your maximum health, you may double your proficiency bonus when making a Charisma-based skill check to beg for your life or the lives of your allies to be spared.

Mind Flayer

Your mind flayer character has the following traits.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
Age. Mind Flayers have achieved maturity by their early teen years, and may live for over a thousand years – provided they continue to receive psionic energy.
Alignment. Whatever
Size. Mind flayers are between 6 and 7 feet tall, and weigh between 180 and 220 pounds. Your size is medium.
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 discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.
Impressionist. After ingesting part of a brain from a sentient creature, you become proficient in one skill possessed by the sentient creature. You also gain some of the sentient creature’s memories for the duration. These impressions remain until your next long rest, or until you ingest additional brains.
Mind Blast. Though you are no longer bound to the elder brain, you retain some of your psychic energy. You may use your action to unleash this psychic energy upon your foes. Each creature in a 15-foot cone must make an Intelligence saving throw (DC equals 8 + your Intelligence Modifier + your proficiency bonus) , suffering 2d6 psychic damage and may not take reactions until the start of your next turn on a failed saving throw, or half damage and no further penalty on a successful saving throw. The damage increases to 3d6 at 6th level, 4d6 at 11th level, and 5d6 at 16th level.

After you use your mind blast you cannot use it again until you complete a long or short rest.
Languages. A mind flayer free from the elder brain no longer possesses telepathy. Instead, the you can imperfectly communicate with any sentient creature by empowering your sounds with residual psychic energy. You can clearly understand Common and two other languages of choice, and can receive intent and impressions from most other languages with ease.
Subraces. Mind flayers that manage to break away from the elder brain tend to come to respect and appreciate the individuality of others. Those who are more scholastically minded are known as arcanists – tending to become advisers and researchers, while those who travel and express their free-will are known as sovereigns.

Arcanist

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Eldritch Thought. You are proficient in Intelligence (Arcana).
Mind Games. You may cast vicious mockery as an action, using your choice of Charisma or Intelligence modifier (chosen the first time you ever use this trait).

Sovereign

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Vigilant Body and Mind. You have advantage when rolling Dexterity (Initiative) checks, and cannot be surprised unless you are magically asleep or incapacitated.
Mind over Body. You are proficient in Wisdom (Survival), and have advantage on exhaustion checks caused by physical exertion.

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