Darkborn (5e Race)

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Horrific creatures, embracing nil more so than even the Shadar-Kai!

Physical Description[edit]

By Tzuei

The darkborn are humanoids which appear as unnaturally pale humanoids, to the point which they are pretty much white. People sometimes describe them to be like white marble because their expressions are as still and neutral as beautiful statues. They are said to have unnatural, inhuman beauty and handsomeness to them that is cold and unmoving. Most unnerving about them is their eyes, which are pure black. This has led some to often conflate them with the black eyed ones. However, darkborn are unique physically in that their hair is also as pale as their skin, leaving the only bit of them not white to be their eyes and sometimes their eyelashes.


In the general cosmos, there is light and darkness, respectively positive and negative energy, or existence and non existence. Shadowfell is one of the planes closest to the Negative Plane, where non-matter and non existence lies. But even Shadowfell is one of the imperfect reflections of negative energy. Within that plane is certain pockets where this energy is strongest, and that is where the darkborn are said to spawn from. Like how the shadar-kai are shadowtouched elves, darkborn are nil-touched beings. It is said their eyes mirror the void and hollowness within themselves, as within them is only negative energy. Their external form is but a shell of an existence.


Darkborn commonly convene in their covens within Shadowfell only. They are usually repugnant to the other sentient beings in the Shadow Plane. When seen in the Material Realm, they are much more spread out and solitary. Whether with their covens or outside though, darkborns are reclusive and reserved. They do not show emotion and rarely speak to anyone. It is believed they share a slight hive mind with one another through their negative energies. As such, they can be comparable a little to an elemental like the omegaunt, as representatives of negative energy. Because of their unsettling eyes and demeanor, people tend to leave darkborn alone. They are not particularly good or evil, and this usually leaves them without any company save that of similar nature.

Darkborn Names[edit]

Names mean nothing to a being as hollow as a darkborn. They are usually able to recognize names, and so make take them for themselves. But this does not always last, and they are known to amass many aliases as a result. It is like trying to feed a dark hole.

Male: Horio, Leo, Pelotan, Giry, Hanson

Female: Orie, Carrie, Sue, Ira, Kim

Darkborn Traits[edit]

Nil-touched humans
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2 and one other score of your choice increases by 1.
Age. It is believed they spawn from humans touched by negative energy fully matured. They do not age, but after about 100 years, their bodies suddenly fall down and never move again. This is said to be their "death."
Alignment. Because they are so mellow and nonreactive, darkborn are pretty much neutral on all fronts.
Size. Darkborn vary in height and build, from barely 5 feet to well over 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Blindsight. Negative sight allows you to perceive without needing to see. You can perceive your surroundings without relying on sight within a specific radius. You have a blindsight range of 60 feet, but are blind beyond this radius.
Essence of Nil. You can momentarily control the immense power of negativity within you for powerful effects. Starting at 3rd level, you can cast the darkness spell. Starting at 5th level, you are able to cast the gaseous form spell. When you use this version of gaseous form, you can only target yourself, turning into a dark mist. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells, and you do not need material components for them. Once you cast either spell, you can't cast it again with this trait until you finish a long rest.
Shadow Trance. Darkborn do not need to sleep. Their hollow selves merely enter a state of suspended animation, for 4 hours a day. During this period, they are completely aware of their surroundings. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.
Heart of Despair. The closer to negative energies something is, the more you can ignore its ill effects. You are resistant to necrotic damage.
Nil Eyes. Your dark eyes unsettle many, as they gaze into the void. You are proficient in the Intimidation skill.
Languages. You can speak, read and write in Common and Abyssal.

Racial Feat[edit]

Darkborn have one exclusive feat which they can take at a level when they would gain a feat instead of other feats.

Nil Shape[edit]

Prerequisite: darkborn
You gain further control over the negative powers in your core, and can use them to form tools of your choice. While you are in darkness, you can spend an action to draw out a dark miasma from your hollow self to form one of the following options with benefits:

  • Wings: You gain a flying speed of 30 feet.
  • Claws: Your hands grow dark claws which are natural weapons you can use to make unarmed attacks. If you hit with them, you deal necrotic damage equal to 1d8 + your Strength modifier.
  • Cloak: While in darkness, you gain advantage on all Dexterity (Stealth) checks.

Each effect lasts for 1 minute. You must finish a short or long rest before using this feature again.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

5′ 4″ +2d10 120 lb. × (1d6) lb.

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

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