Cancer (5e Race)

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Cancer are aquatic peoples who have been known to overpopulate and raze sections of seafloor, leaving them bare of life or future.

Physical Description[edit]

From South Park

Cancer are small, crab-like humanoids that populate the seafloor. They come in several colors but are generally otherwise very similar to one another. For some reason, even when they are not boiled, there are cancer which have red shells due to an overabundance of a certain pigment compound. Their face is pure, unarmored flesh which pokes out from a crevice at the front of their shells. Their main arms are their claws, as two sets of legs are used to scuttle and move, while the other two remain relatively useless due to their shortness attached at their midsection. Their eyes are small, black and shiny like pebbles, and they have odd antennae.


Cancer have a long history with the populations of tritons and merfolk alike. They are just one of the many species native to the warmer oceans, where they like to scour for food and resources. Their numbers can increase quickly with just one breeding season, which results in many baby cancer running around. Ravenous, they can devour entire coral reefs and kelp forests, leaving only barren seafloor in their wake. Other sea creatures abhor them due to their numbers often upsetting ecosystems. They are similar to ants; killing a good handful doesn't get anywhere. If anything, they could swarm palaces in a frenzy and cover a good portion of an ocean. They are hated for their status as scavengers in aquatic society. People perceive them as no better than diseased dogs digging for garbage.


Cancer have small, decentralized tribes that may war with one another from time to time. Due to the sheer volume of their population, there are countless tribes, which are nigh impossible to classify or tell apart even. They do insist on subtle differences, but outsiders would never know better nor care. In these tribes, cancer wander the seafloor, always on the move for food. They are nomadic and drawn to warmer waters where algae and kelp bloom. they are also known to eat fish and mollusks. Every year, they make a journey to a colder area where they molt their shells en masse. During this process, they become extremely squishy and vulnerable. It is at this time that predators like to swoop in on them. Some actually use them for food, while others just want to lower their population. Regardless, it's never quite enough to keep cancer down for good.

Cancer Names[edit]

Cancer have names unpronounceable to humans due to the complex movements of their mouth parts, so many take names after famous figures for simplicity.

Male: Jupis, Mercerian, Patris, Plutos, Saturn

Female: Dia, Marsia, Shelbia, Terria, Venia

Cancer Traits[edit]

Scavenging crab people.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Cancer mature after a few months of birth. They die after about a century of life, but until then, they never stop growing.
Alignment. Cancer move as a unit and like to mind their own race's business, tending towards neutrality.
Size. Cancer are very short. They average around 3 feet tall and weigh only 50 or so pounds. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet. You have a swimming speed of 15 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.
Amphibious. You can breathe both air and water.
Vicegrip. Your claws can clamp hard and hold fast. You have advantage in Strength (Athletics) checks to grapple other creatures.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write in Common and Aquan. When speaking in Common, however, you lisp and spit a lot more than the usual speaker due to the configuration of your mouth.
Subrace. Choose from the concha and punctio subraces.


Concha cancer have thick, ornate shells that provide powerful defenses.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Hard Shell. When unarmored, your Armor Class is equal to 13 + your Constitution modifier. You may use a shield and still gain this benefit.
Porter. Carrying such a heavy shell makes you stronger on the long run. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.


Punctio cancer have aggrandized claws that are sharper and meant to be used as weapons to crush bones and pierce flesh.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Enlarged Pincer. Your claws have sharp edges which can really hurt when you hold. When you successfully grapple a creature, they take piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

2′ 0″ +2d8 10 lb. × (1d4) lb.

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

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