Anathema (5e Race)

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Long ago, a spiteful warlock swore fealty to Dendar in exchange for the power to enact vengeance on his nemesis. With this power, he cursed the woman, that the offspring she gives birth to would bear the qualities of a monster. Her late son was the first to suffer the curse: his skin was deathly pale, his now glowing eyes red like fresh blood, and the disposition and power of a monster. Upon reaching adolescence, the boy killed his mother before terrorizing the land for many years, granting his own offspring to many others. Generations later, the vicious man's blood, although diluted, is occasionally found in certain individuals. These individuals are known as anathemas.

Physical Description[edit]

Although anathemas resemble humans, they bear certain physical qualities, such as a slightly larger build, extremely pale skin, glowing red eyes, and razor-sharp teeth. Their hair colors are typically darker in shade, barring an occasional instance of white hair or grey hair.


All anathemas are descended from the original cursed individual, which resulted from the power of a warlock. As such, anathemas bear a connection to the Night Serpent, if only slightly. Although the qualities of the first anathema impart a tendency for cruelty and violence within the neoteric anathemas, they are capable of overcoming this.


Anathemas do not typically form societies, as their numbers are quite scarce. However, at times, they are known to form hunting groups known as wraths, whether for hunting animals or people. Ofttimes, however, anathemas blend in with the societies of other creatures, including certain monsters, such as goblinoids. Those who are cognizant of the tendencies of anathemas, however, are ofttimes disinclined to accept these creatures, ascribable to apprehension.

Anathema Names[edit]

Anathemas do not bear a standard naming convention, preferring to adopt the names of humans, elves, dwarves, and even orcs. However, anathemas typically prefer to adopt new names as their lives proceed, ofttimes of those they kill, forging names of great length. At times, anathemas create a name by combining their adopted names.

Anathema Traits[edit]

Descendants of a cursed human who bear certain monstrous qualities.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Age. The lifespan of an anathema is identical to that of a human, reaching maturity in their late teenage years and living for less than a century.
Alignment. Anathemas are often inclined towards evil alignments, although they are capable of bearing any alignment.
Size. Anathemas are slightly larger than humans, and are often between 6 to 7 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 40 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.
Ferocity. You are a fearsome predator, capable of closing distances in a moment. As a bonus action, you can move up to your speed towards a hostile creature that you can see.
Stalker of the Night. You are deadliest when covered by darkness. Amidst the hours between dusk and dawn, your movement speed is increased by 10 feet, and you gain advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks while in dim light or darkness.
Thirst for Blood. The smell of blood invigorates you, and the taste of blood revitalizes you. You have advantage on attack rolls against a creature below their hit point maximum. Additionally, when you reduce a creature to 0 hit points, you restore an amount of hit points equal to the damage dealt. This feature cannot be used on creatures which have no blood, such as most constructs. The flesh golem, for example, could be an exception to this rule.
Umbral Strength. Your monstrous strength is capable of destroying opponents utterly. When you successfully hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon's damage dice one additional time and add it to the damage dealt. Additionally, before you make a melee attack with a weapon that you are proficient with, you can choose to take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If the attack hits, you add +10 to the damage dealt.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Undercommon.
Subrace. Choose a subrace between the Night Terror and the Shadow Hunter.

Night Terror[edit]

This form of anathema is larger than others, and its strength is unrivalled. Amidst the night, there are few individuals one would prefer to face than a resentful night terror.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1. As normal, you cannot increase your score above 20.
Death's Visage. Your pale, almost statuesque visage emanates danger. You have advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks.
Fearmongering Might. Even among anathemas, your strength is fearsome. You can wield weapons with the two-handed property that you are proficient with in one hand.
Menace. Those who falter striking you are stricken with fear. When a creature misses you with a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction to force them to make a Wisdom saving throw. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Charisma modifier + your Proficiency Bonus. On a failed save, they become frightened of you for one minute. A creature who fails this save can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns, ending the effect on a successful save.

Shadow Hunter[edit]

This form of anathema is slightly smaller than others, yet it is equally deadly. Within the darkness lies few greater threats than a shadow hunter.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Crawler of Darkness. You are a fearsome killer within the shadows. While in dim light or darkness, when you successfully hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon's damage dice two additional times.
Shroud of Shadow. Amidst darkness, you cannot be uncovered. You become proficient in the Stealth skill if you are not already. Additionally, while in dim light or darkness, you are invisible.
Wakeless Nightmare. Those foolish enough to rest are met with swift death by your hand. When you successfully hit with a melee weapon attack on a creature with the unconscious condition, the damage of your attack is maximized.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

5′ 6″ +2d8 140 lb. × (2d4) lb.

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

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