Clawfolk (5e Race)

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Clawfolk[edit]

Don't ever venture off of the trail, Ale. It may be seemin' like just a wood, an' any fool would agree with ye'. But down in the 'Claws, there be beasts that lurk in the woods. But them beasts never do venture onto the path, an' outta fear. Fear of the rangers, the Clawfolk. They be good at heart, but they like their privacy. They find that place in de woods, and they don't like trespassers.
—Daldin, a dwarven fighter, advising Ale on her journey to Angel's Hold

Physical Description[edit]

The clawfolk have been shaped by their harsh homelands, into the tall and cold looking people that they now are. They are known for having tall builds and slender frames with large noses, which heat up oxygen before it reaches their lungs, making them able to breathe better in cold air. Their large nostrils also help to take in more air at the high altitude they are known to dwell in. Their faces are often cold and expressionless, with only their eyes to show true emotion. In general, they look quite like normal humans but are a bit hairier below the head and have larger, often calloused hands and feet, which help to protect their soles and palms from rocks. Their heads are a bit bigger in proportion to their torsos, giving them a bit of a top-heavy look. They usually have either paler or darker skin than the average human, depending on their exposure to the sun at high altitudes on a daily basis.

History[edit]

The clawfolk are a mysterious, reclusive race of humanoids. Life in the harsh mountains of Hell's Claws have shaped them into the race they are today. The mountains are known to locals to be a writ of passage of sorts. Hell's Claws was a range of wretched, wicked looking mountains which arc to the skies like a hell-born creature grasping for light. It was the only passage one could go through to reach Angel's Hold, which was a central pilgrimage site of sorts. The wildlife there is vicious and even the vegetation can be unforgivingly inedible and poisonous. Those who brave the terrain return stronger than others, often changed by what old folks like to call 'the Claw's Will.' The mountains are believed to be the extension of a deity which seeks powerful beings who prove themselves to grant its blessings. Those who perish were weak and unworthy. Such is the origin of the clawfolk, a race which braved the adversity of the unforgiving terrain and carved out their homes in it, proving their hardy and persevering nature.

The clawfolk started out as humans and elves that first ventured into the woods of Palm Valley, which lay at the foot of Hell's Claws, looking to go to the Angel's Hold. When they found themselves hopelessly lost, they were forced to make small camps in the snowy forest. The nearby beasts drove them up to the mountains, where they were forced to compete against the forces of the Claws for survival. They initially were very distraught and nearly starved to death until necessity drove them to forget their morals. They adopted the system of nature's law and the healthy thus replenished themselves by killing off and feeding on the weak. In this way, they survived. After the first trials toughened them, they regained their wits and swore off their cannibalism, ruling it only just in dire situations, and took to conquer the wild terrain about themselves.

The humans and elves learned to trust heavily on each other in the Claws and interbred often. Years after years of breeding caused them to become one race, and eventually, they found their way out of the mountains. The mountains had indeed given them its blessing, for they were now a much hardier, tougher race as one than divided prior. Due to the odd case of nature's hand in engineering this race, they are not considered half-elves, as they lack the ears and strong magical attunement. They are considered, however, somewhat of a chosen people by a higher power. The clawfolk may have mastered the wilds of the Claws, but they remained to help others make this passage easier as well. Thus, they built Halfway Hold, a rest stop for those on the long trek to complete their pilgrimage. Eventually, grateful travelers named a well-worn path Ranger's Run after them, as they moved with the swift and sureness of a ranger in the wild.

Society[edit]

Clawfolk society is very loosely defined. Lovers may take many and flirt with one another with little commitment. Their central civilization lies in cave formations in the claws. From this central base of operations, patrols are sent out to assist travelers. Clawfolk patrols typically travel Palm Valley in small groups of two or three, or on their own. It is seen as a prestigious job that marks ones ability to go out and brave the terrain with little help. Clawfolk greatly value self-efficiency and so are not strictly tied down to their birth parents or even their race. They are very open and welcoming to travelers who stop by to rest and hospitality is their second greatest principle. There is a small central government that manages mainly patrols and communal foraging. Otherwise, clawfolk are mainly left to do as they please. Crime is not particularly high due to this, however, as clawfolk are often very good-natured. Notably, despite the blessings from the Claws that have shaped them to their current state, they are not overtly religious in any way.

Guides of the Claws[edit]

Clawfolk pride themselves as the only ones in the know of the mountains and its surroundings. However, they do not hoard this knowledge selfishly, as they wish for others to complete the pilgrimages as they had. Clawfolk patrols are the central feature of their society. Often times, grateful travelers may tip or give gifts to their guides, which makes it quite profitable for the clawfolk. Patrols go out in the day and traverse the mountains down to the valley, looking for threats or travelers in need, as well as resources on the side. At night they continue their watch, and their sleeping time is whenever they feel like it, but not the usual night and day shift. Then they set up small camps, but always keep watch in shifts. Only they truly know what lurks in their surroundings. Dying on patrol is considered valiant.

Clawfolk Names[edit]

The Clawfolk usually have names that reflect on their cold environment, with harsh syllables and sharp consonants.

Male: Alearnor, Arkontad, Laernond, Moeski, Naerrder, Searhoad, Toltonn, Wakearami

Female: Aessillira, Aleasamara, Daarelela, Lasarika, Liltamn, Malelill, Saerahira, Waesalla

Clawfolk Traits[edit]

A hardy race of ranger type humanoids.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2 and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Age. Clawfolk typically live about twice as long as humans but often die because of their dangerous homeland before then.
Alignment. Because of their independent and unlawful nature, clawfolk are often chaotic, but their devotion to protecting people on their way through the Claws make them rarely evil.
Size. Clawfolk can be almost 7 feet tall with light builds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Cold Resistance. From living in the harsh and freezing mountains, you sure as heck better have a way to combat the cold. You are resistant to cold damage.
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.
Mountain Born. You are acclimated to elevations up to 20,000 feet and you can become acclimated to elevations above 20,000 feet.
Survival Instincts. Your ancestors' hardy traits are passed down to you. You are proficient in Survival checks.
Mountain Walker. You can walk through difficult terrain as though normal in mountainous regions.
Languages. You can read, write and speak Common and Elvish.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
4′ 10″ +2d20 90 lb. × (2d4) lb.

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


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