Cheliceri (5e Race)

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Physical Description[edit]

Though the different species of Cheliceri differ greatly in size and shape, their physiology is largely the same among the subspecies. They have a squat, round head with eight eyes and mandibles. Behind these large fangs is a fleshy mouth which they can use to speak. They have a skinny but long torso with a pair of hairy segmented arms. They also have a bulbous abdomen with long legs protruding from just above it. Their hands and feet each have 4 segmented fingers and toes, more similar to humanoids than to arachnids.


The Cheliceri generally keep to themselves, establishing surprisingly large cities in the centers of rainforests. These cities are very well hidden, but several Cheliceri Chiefs strove to branch out to the rest of the world. They took small steps, some seemingly imperceptible, but slowly have exposed their people to the outside world. Cheliceri are now prized members of any organization, stemming from the diversity within their species.


There are several types of Cheliceri, but they can all breed together and form large tribal communities. A Cheliceri lays anywhere from 10 to 15 eggs at a time, and the offspring will be the same subspecies as either of the parents. Though they differ greatly in size, the physiology of Cheliceri is largely the same among the subspecies. They are generally peaceful hunter-gatherers, with many specializing in leatherworking and trap making. Cheliceri are not generally accustomed to other species' forms of speech, but with practice are able to emulate it. This normally only occurs when Cheliceri settlements regularly trade with other humanoids. Occasionally caravans who trade with these settlements employ Cheliceri as guides or guards.

Cheliceri Names[edit]

A Cheliceri’s true name is almost incomprehensible to those who don’t speak Cheliceri, so they normally take nicknames if they commonly deal with other races. They can either make up the name themselves, find it in a book or story, or accept the name a respected person gives them. These are generally gender-neutral names, as the different sexes have few obvious differences.

Cheliceri Traits[edit]

Humanoid spider-like people.
Ability Score Increase. Your ability score increase is decided by subrace.
Age. Cheliceri normally have short lifespans, considered an adult in 2 years and living only to around 40 years.
Alignment. Cheliceri tend to sway toward chaotic in ideals, stemming from a tribal society where morality trumps written rules.
Size. Your size is decided by subrace.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet, and your climbing speed is 20 feet.
Bite. You can attempt to pierce another creature with your mandibles. These are a melee weapon that you are proficient and deal 1d6 piercing damage on a successful attack.
Compound Eyes. You are proficient in the Perception skill.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write both Common and Cheliceri. Cheliceri is a language consisting entirely of what sounds to non-speakers like hissing, clicking, and scratching. The written system is similar to braille but made with indented scratches rather than raised bumps.
Subrace. Cheliceri have four subraces. Goliaths are strong and tall brutes, Lupus are small and agile, Widows have deadly poison, and Spinners are expert trappers. Choose one of these.


Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Goliath Physiology. These cheliceri stand close to 8 feet tall and are covered in prickly hairs. Strong as the goliaths which they are named after, these hulking beings normally act as the tribe's soldiers and blacksmiths. Their carapace is normally brown or black, and they possess eight small black eyes.
Size. Goliath cheliceri range from 7 to 8 feet tall and weigh around 220 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
Shed Hair. As an action, you rub your arms together swiftly to fling itching hairs into the air around you. All creatures within 5 feet of you must make a Constitution saving throw or suffer disadvantage on their next attack roll. Creatures that fail the saving throw by 10 or more are blinded until they make the saving throw, which they can repeat at the end of their turn. The DC for this saving throw is equal to 10 + your proficiency bonus. You can use this trait again after finishing a short or long rest.
Restraining Bite. When you make a successful attack using your bite, you can use a bonus action to attempt to grapple the target.


Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Lupus Physiology. Lupus cheliceri are nimble and small, generally wiry in build and averaging around 3 feet tall. They are excellent hunters, preferring to subdue prey before killing it. Many Lupus cheliceri are employed as assassins, thieves, or private eyes due to their natural stealth and quiet demeanor. They range in coloration from grey to light brown and have two large eyes surrounded by six smaller ones.
Size. Lupus cheliceri range from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 feet tall and weigh around 50 pounds. Your size is Small.
Leap. You are able to jump great lengths comparative to your body size. You can use your Dexterity modifier instead of Strength when calculating jump height or distance and can jump twice as far or high.
Darkvision. Used to the shadowy confines of the inner forests. 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.
Stealthy. You have proficiency in the Stealth skill. You may also attempt to hide when only slightly obscured by branches, foliage, dead leaves, or other natural foliage.


Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
Widow Physiology. These cheliceri have an extra gland with a small but very deadly amount of poison inside. Beginning at a very young age, widow cheliceri are milked for their poison, which they use to coat the weapons of their hunters and soldiers. They commonly grow up to be leatherworkers and blacksmiths, infusing their poison into their creations. Widow celiceri are almost pure black but can have pastel designs and markings across their body. They have 4 medium sized black eyes and 4 smaller eyes of the same color as any markings on their body.
Size. Widow cheliceri range from 5 to 6 feet tall, and weigh around 130 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Poisonous Maw. When you make a successful attack with your bite, you can use a bonus action to inflict an extra 1d6 poison damage. This damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).
Potent Poison. Your poisonous bite is more potent than others of your kind. When you make a successful attack with your bite and use your poisonous maw, you may force the creature to make a Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute. The DC for this saving throw is equal to 10 + your proficiency bonus. Once you use this feature you must finish a long rest before using it again.
Innate Spellcasting. You know the poison spray cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the ray of sickness spell once and need to finish a long rest before you can cast it again. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.


Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2.
Spinner Physiology. Spinner cheliceri are the only type of cheliceri that have retained the ability to spin silken webs, and they make great use of it. They are often trained as huntsmen and trackers, responsible for felling beasts when the tribe is feasting and intruders to secure the tribe’s safety. They range from dark brown to dark grey in coloration, but some have been known to be dark green or blue to match the local flora. They have eight medium black eyes, more spread out across their face than the other types of cheliceri.
Size. Spinner cheliceri are generally between 4 and 5 feet tall and weigh around 100 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Natural Trapper. You have proficiency with nets and tinker’s tools.
Webmaking. Your abdomen can produce a long, sticky silk that you can use for a variety of purposes. As an action, you can spend a minute to excrete 25 feet of spider silk that is considered as strong as silken rope. You regain use of this trait after completing a long rest.
Trapmaster. You have an affinity with making traps and can do so during your downtime. Using tinker’s tools, you can spend 1 hour and 10 gp worth of materials to make a trap. You can carry only 1 such trap on your person at a time. The DC for your traps equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier. A trap that is camouflaged or hidden can only be seen by an active or passive Perception check that equals or surpasses your trap DC. Choose one of the following when crafting one of these traps.

  • Spring Net: You use your natural webbing and several springs to create a sticky net that ensnares any creature that steps on it. When activated, the spring traps at each corner of the web shoot upward and ensnare the creature trapped inside. It takes 1 minute to set this trap up, and when you do so it is considered to be hidden. A creature size Large or smaller that steps into the trap must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or become restrained by a sticky web. A creature can use its action to make a Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success.
  • Tree Snare: You use a little bit of your natural webbing, some metal wire, and rope to create a large snare. This must be set up in a tree, on a column, on a cliff, or with some similar tall sheer face. It takes 1 minute to set this trap up, and when you do so it is considered to be hidden. When a creature size Large or smaller steps into the area, the snare loops around their leg. The creature doesn’t know that they’ve been snared unless they've already found the trap. If they then attempt to move or are moved forcibly, the trap activates and they make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, they are hoisted 10 feet into the air and are restrained. A creature can use its action to make a Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success.
  • Enhanced Hunting Trap: You have studied the regular hunting traps used by others and added your own improvements. When you use your action to set it, this trap forms a saw-toothed steel ring that snaps shut when a creature steps on a pressure plate in the center. The trap is affixed by a heavy chain to an immobile object, such as a tree or a spike that has been driven into the ground. A creature size Large or smaller that steps on the plate must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 piercing damage and stop moving. Thereafter, until the creature breaks free of the trap, its movement is limited by the length of the chain (5 feet long). A creature can use its action to make a Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success. Each failed check deals 1d6 piercing damage to the trapped creature. If you spend a minute setting this trap it is also considered to be hidden, making it hard to see if it was set up before an encounter.
  • Gas Trap: You use a bottle of poison or acid to craft a device that sprays it into the face of your prey. This trap is set into the ground with a pressure plate in the center. You can use your action to set it or spend a minute to set it and camouflage it. When a creature steps on this trap, they must make a Dexterity saving throw or take the appropriate poison damage and suffer any other effects it has. On a successful save, they take half damage and suffer no other effects.

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