Acanthian (5e Race)

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Worst dental work in the universe, I tell ya.

Physical Description[edit]

Many would assume acanthian's are human at a far glance. However, upon meeting one up close, their eyes can be seen without pupils; they have instead a black center with three golden rings which appear to glow brighter depending on how emotional they are. The acanthians also have a glowing orange core that can be seen under thin cloth in the center of their chest. This core is known to emit heat. Their finger tips also have a more insect-like look to them, with two golden rings around them. Many will notice a slight scar running down in their center, from their lower jaw to the bottom of their throats. This isn't really a scar; it's more of a enabler to consume much larger prey. This line allows the acanthian to split the lower jaw and throat into two revealing a vast row of sharpened, thorn-like teeth surrounding a tongue similar to that of a frog. When this happens, one would run away screaming.

To obscure their glowing core and notable features, acanthians take to wearing heavier clothing, with masks and gloves. They tend to like the color gold accentuating anything they wear. Additionally, materials which are known to withstand the passage of time, like metals, are favorable to them.


Acanthians are a strange group of people who claim to be from a city along a peninsula. Their city, named Acanthos, was a word related to being spiny, with etymology going back to the monster mother Echidna. This strange origin predicts their uncanny appearance, where their open mouths have as many teeth as a hedgehog has spines. The city of Acanthos was said to have been lost to a massive and mysterious earthquake which devastated the land beyond re-use. The people were said to be the ancestors of the acanthians. Acanthians tell of their ancestors having been swallowed by the earth and then returning to the surface with their bodies altered to be like that of their current forms. In addition to their horrid true appearance, the acanthians also have an altered and unnaturally long lifespan. This bespeaks of strange bodily alterations that few have the stomach to investigate.


As Acanthos is gone, most acanthians find it suitable to reintegrate into human society. They do so out of convenience, because their forms still are able to pass as human. Some do so because they have developed tastes for human flesh, unfortunately. Acanthians are relatively low-key members of society, as they don't like to draw attention to themselves, lest their nature be exposed. As such, few acanthians have the confidence to take positions of open power, instead preferring to take background roles in society. They can often be found working in inconspicuous but comfortable positions, like tailors and small artisans. They are loathe to be in positions of drudgery and hard labor.


Acanthians are known to be shrewd, with a natural tendency towards guile. They often learn to mimic favorable expressions like smiles. Whether they have the same emotional spectrum of humans is unclear. It is highly possible that they underwent a significant mental metamorphosis after the fall of Acanthos. Acanthians are usually cynical but facetiously friendly. They like to get people to open up to them. Then, depending on what they might like or dislike, they can become hostile. Acanthians are known to show favor to those they may find "tasty," though no acanthian ever explains what that means, exactly...

Acanthian Names[edit]

Names for acanthians are the equivalent of ancient Greece, as was custom in Acanthos. They may take different names if their own are too uncommon in their current dwelling locale.

Male: Adrian, Antenor, Neo, Panos

Female: Kate, Alice, Elma, Hestia

Acanthian Traits[edit]

Seemingly normal people until they open wide...
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence or Charisma score increases by 2 and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. An acanthian can live up to 300-1200 years of age.
Alignment. Acanthians adhere to a few small codes innately implanted in their race, which mostly revolve around secrecy. They are lawful to these.
Size. Acanthians are generally around the same size range as humans. 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 discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Strange Anatomy. You are both humanoid and monstrosity type.
Thermal Core. Thanks to your heated core, you are resistant to cold damage.
Ravenous Bite. Your enlarged, fanged maw is a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with it, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike. You can close your maw or open it without an action. While your maw is closed, you are virtually indistinguishable from a normal human and have advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks to pass for human.
Devour. As an action, you can consume a Medium or smaller humanoid creature at 0 hit points within 5 feet of you, sating your hunger and fulfilling your food requirement. Medium sized creatures sate you for a week, Small sized creatures for three days and Tiny sized creatures sate you for a day. You must still fulfill your water requirement.
Unsettling Visage. You are proficient in the Intimidation skill. While your maw is open, you add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

5′ 0'' +2d8 145 lb. × (1d8) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

(3 votes)

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