Cactian (5e Race)

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And as I looked up, in my dehydrated and delirious state. The Cacti began to move, walking towards me. One reached out a hand, lifting me to my feet. Another, giving me a water skin to drink from. I could not tell if it was a mirage, or if I had gone insane.
—Albertus Chronicle, Explorer and Sorcerer

Physical Description[edit]

Inspiration for Race. Cactus Mccoy by Flipline Studios

Cactians, or cactus folk as they are otherwise known, are a humanoid species, that are 5’8” tall on average and weigh 90-100lbs. Like most other humanoids, cactians have two arms, two legs and a single head situated atop a neck located between their shoulders. However, unlike most other humanoids, cactians have thin spikes covering their green skin. The spikes cover the cactians from head to toe, excluding the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, as well as the genitalia regions. It is not uncommon to see the spikes protruding from the hair on their heads, but no matter how hard they try, a cactian cannot grow facial hair. Cactian spikes are like fingernails, where is they are cut short they will grow back to their full length. Most spikes do not grow longer that an inch and a half. Some females have been known to shave their faces to acquire the smooth and beautiful skin seen in the other races, but there are others who simply don’t care. Their skin colour can range from a light lime green to a dark olive, their lips and palms being lighter than the rest of their skin. Whereas their hair ranges from light blonde to orange to most greens to brown to black. Their eyes are often a lighter shade of blue, green or yellow. Cactians like most humanoids are born, not grown like trees. When they are born, they are completely smooth. Not growing their first spikes until the age of 1, or sometimes even 2.


Cactians are guardians of the desert. Many plants became sentient like they did, but they were given a more complex thought system than the typical carnivorous flora. According to their account, cacti were similar to humans and the hands of god in shape. This was no coincidence, as their race was given sentience by providence beyond understanding. Eight deities, known only by titles, were said to have made the cactian the guardians and wardens of the desert. They do not help those in need all the time, doing so only sparingly. Evil can come from even an innocent child, and so not all lives must be saved. They are often in trade with merchants and caravans, and they manage a good chunk of the oases in deserts.


Cactians inhabit the arid and dry areas of the world, creating settlements and city-states, usually no bigger than 2,000 people. Cactians prefer to keep to themselves, but are as curious as they are reserved. Often wandering out of the wilderness in which they live, discovering new types of environment and different kinds of people. Though they may venture far, their untrusting nature is never far behind. They often question the motives of those who are not from their own race and in some circumstances, will not even talk to those of other races in fear of being lied to. The settlements and city-states are ruled by a council elected at random from the community. 20 randomly chosen individuals will control what will happen for a month before the 20 is changed again. The 20 who are chosen are governed by a head of state voted upon by the people. They are a figurehead for the government and the decider when arguments occur. Because of this, no Cactian thinks themselves better than any other. As well as being a highly democratic society, the cactians are also a highly religious race. There will always be a church, monastery or temple dedicated to the eight gods of the Cactians:

  • The Creator, who created the world and everything in it. An impartial ruler of light symbolized by light shining upon a tree.
  • The Farmer, who watches over the bird of the air, the fish of the sea and the crops of the earth. A simple deity whose symbol is a sheaf of wheat.
  • The Father, who guides all and knows all, as signified by an open tome.
  • The Guide, who takes those who pass from this plane to the next, said to be a hooded man.
  • The Jester, who keeps the gods entertained with jokes and jests and is said to always be in laughter.
  • The Mage, who controls the weathers and gifts magic to those of the material plane, symbolized by thunderclouds and lightning.
  • The Mother, who nurtures and cares for all, as displayed by her symbol of a mother and child.
  • The Warrior, who delivers justice to those who disobey, said to wield as sword and hammer.

Those who dedicate themselves to a god, or to a few of the gods do so for most of their life. Cactians reach adulthood at the age of 16 and can live to about 130 years. Though it has been rumored that few have lived to 160 and even 200. Their ability to retain water and capacity to live in hot temperatures are believed to slow down their aging that otherwise devastates other plants.

Cactian Names[edit]

Cactian names are as follows. They are assembled like human names, with a first and last name.

Male: Adrire, Bamzel, Erus, Getzu, Haki, Jonzi, Kenajo, Pesatzaz, Somemal, Zikobul

Female: Aroz, Bezi, Dazazal, Jetnaba, Purel, Qajas, Rimjiath, Shaneth, Thermades, Zunqiz

Neutral: Adisal, Basbaz, Dogeeso, Eba, Getro, Hotzu, Sadrejo, Thebitas, Urjedu, Zutrejul

Family Names: Atrasa, Dyugreth, Jedrasen, Kezal, Nakomon, Odusath, Serinul, Tozigeth, Yuru, Zoreth

Cactian Traits[edit]

Cactus people with a rigid outlook on life.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Cactians are considered adults at the age of 16 and live to the age of 130.
Alignment. Cactians tend to be neutral in most affairs, leaning more towards a lawful disposition.
Size. Cactians stand on average a little over 5 and a half feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Weapon Proficiency. Living in the desert has taught you some protection. You are proficient with the longsword, shortsword, scimitar, longbow and shortbow.
Desert Resilience. A cactus, being a succulent, can store water for further use. Your daily water requirement is halved. You are unaffected by Extreme Heat, as detailed in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master's Guide.
Plant Ancestry. Your creature type is considered to be both plant and humanoid. You have advantage on saving throws against being poisoned.
Languages. You can speak, read and write Common.
Subrace. Choose from the Barbad and Opun subraces.


Barbad are a subrace of cactian that do not have spikes. Some Opun think they are weaker or more fragile, but many Barbad have proven themselves in a fight with their more flexible bodies.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Soft Skin. Your smooth skin reduces traction when you move. Your base walking speed increases to 35 feet.
Aloe. You can produce a dew that invigorates and replenishes those that eat it. As an action, you can spritz a creature with this dew and they regain 1d6 hit points. Once you use this trait, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest. The hit points regain by this trait increases by 1d6 when you reach levels 5 (2d6), 11 (3d6), and 17 (4d6).


Opun are the most common type of cactian. They tend to be more aggressive than they’re non-prickly counterparts.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Water Retainment. Cacti are already full of water. Spiky cacti retain even more water thanks to their spikes, which are actually water-efficient leaves. Thanks to all this water in your system, flames are less effective against you. You are resistant to fire damage.
Prickly Punch. Your spiky fists are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. When you hit with them, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

5′ 0″ +1d12 85 lb. × (1d6) lb.

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

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