Awakened Animal (5e Race)
From D&D Wiki
A group of adventurer's travels through a forest on a quest, suddenly they stop because they notice they are surrounded on all sides. Unexpectedly a bunch of different animals emerge from the brush. A wolf steps forward, opens his maw, and says "We'll only ask you once, leave this place!"
An Awakened Animal looks just like any animal you’d see while adventuring, the only thing that sets them apart from other animals is the unusual amount of intelligence in their eyes and their ability to communicate in humanoid speech.
Awakened Animals have existed as long as magic has existed in the world. In areas with high concentrations of magic the animals slowly begin to have their minds awakened hence the name given to them. This awakening terrified and fascinated the other races at the same time. Races like the elves and the gnomes embraced the animals and brought them into their societies. Other Races like Humans, Halflings, and Dwarves rejected them seeing them as slightly smarter animals. Eventually the awakened animals decided to make their own societies where they live together, those that did leave tended to adventure and eventually made their way back home.
Awakened Animals have become a reclusive race forming tightly knit villages deep in forests. They value their intelligence highly while keeping their commune with nature alive. Typically they are lead by a village shaman and the villages are similar to more primitive human society with hunters, gatherers, and warriors. Villages also don’t tend to consist of one species of animal. The species work together using their collective strengths to overcome individual weaknesses. Awakened Animals that don’t live in their villages tend to be more nomadic as most places aren’t totally accepting of them, but when they find a place accepting of them they adapt to the new society rather well.
Awakened Animal Names
Names for Awakened Animals are very simple and have a two part scheme, usually an element or aspect of some kind and something tangible, usually a body part.
Examples: FireFang, SmallPaw, WaterTail, SlickScale
Awakened Animal Traits
Animals that have had their intelligence awakened and increased to human levels because of exposure to magic.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score increases by 1, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Age. Awakened animals mature appropriately based on their species, however their lifespans have been extended greatly by the magic that awakened them and they can live as long as a human can.
Alignment. Awakened Animals in their own villages have a tendency towards law since the village and its traditions are most important to them. However those who live outside of them have a tendency towards chaos as they are given the freedom to do what they want
Size. Size varies greatly based on what species of animal they are
Speed. Same as size varies based on species
Natural Armor. All awakened animals have a unarmored AC of 12 plus their Dexterity modifier. This can be used with shields.
Languages. Awakened Animals speak Common and have an empathy with regular animals able to speak with them as well
Subrace. Awakened Animals have a subrace based on their species
Obviously it would be impossible for me to make a subrace for every animal ever, however I can provide some guidelines and give a few examples to give you an idea. First the ASI should probably be a +2 since they only have a +1 at this point These stats will Tend to be either Strength or Dexterity but some animals might also get Constitution. At the same time animals might get higher ASIs than +2 or even get lowered ones because of physical limitations Second most animals have much more keen senses when compared to humans so it makes sense for them to have a feature like Darkvision, or Keen Hearing and Smell. Third: Some animals have unique abilities such as camouflage or pack tactics and these should be included as there is no reason they still wouldn’t have these abilities inherently Finally all animals should have a natural weapon of some kind and it should get stronger as they level up to represent them growing in power. It’s best to start with a 1d6 or 1d4 natural weapon and have it increase in power like a cantrip expect you don’t add dice you change the type. For Example start with a d6 then go to a d8, then 2d6 and finally 2d8. I don’t recommend going higher than 2d8 as this is already stronger than the majority of weapons.Also keep in mind some animals just aren’t physically strong so they should get higher dice or should be stronger after longer intervals Also there are some animals would may never get to use weapons so the natural weapons should be considered magical for the sake of overcoming resistance besides magic awakened the animals it should augment them in other ways too. Note: Not all animals are created equal and thus most can’t wield weaponry and would need armor made specifically for them. The weaponry restriction is one you can be more loose with since these are magically enhanced animals. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for a wolf to learn to wield a sword using it’s mouth.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity increases by 2,
Size. Your size is medium
Speed. Your speed is 30ft
Keen Hearing and Smell. The Wolf has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.
Pack Tactics. The Wolf have advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the wol allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn't incapacitated.
Natural Weapon Bite. The Wolf can use their teeth as weapons in battle. They have proficiency in them and they deal 1d6 damage plus dexterity modifier. This increases to 1d8 at Level 5, 2d6 at Level 11 and 2d8 at Level 17. Because of the magic that awakened these animal this attack also counts as magical for the sake of overcoming resistances.
Weapon and Armor Restrictions. The Wolf lacks opposable thumbs and can’t wield weapons and because of it’s body structure would have to have armor specially made for it.