Deathclaw (5e Race)

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"You'd have to be the meanest, toughest, roughest bastard in the wasteland to have any chance against them, and I don't think that's you."

Physical Description[edit]

Deathclaws are a large, carnivorous, bipedal reptile species, designed for maximum lethality. The choice to make them bipedal was natural, as bipedalism raises the head, providing a greater field of vision and thus improving the ability to detect targets or resources. The upper limbs were also freed by this choice and could be fashioned into extremely dangerous weapons. The caveat is that the deathclaw is not as fast as a quadrupedal animal, though this is a largely academic concern. The rippling musculature of the deathclaw provides it with superior strength, excellent speed, and incredible resilience in most combat situations. Deathclaws communicate with each other in a pack using growls and body language, though they are also capable of mimicking human voices like a parrot if their intelligence is artificially increased. Their strength is further magnified by their claws. Owing to their lineage, the deathclaw has opposable thumbs, though an additional two fingers were coded into the genome, for a total of five fingers on each hand. Each terminates in a sharp talon that allows the reptile to wound and kill with frightening efficiency; a single swipe is capable of bisecting an unarmored human in seconds. Deathclaw hide is extremely tough, providing an excellent defense against blunt and edged weapons. Firearms and energy weapons are reliable tools for killing a deathclaw, though lower powered variants are very likely to have trouble penetrating it. The defense is enhanced by horns and dorsal spikes, making melee combat a very dangerous proposition.

However, while they are difficult opponents, their keen senses can be used against them. Loud noises and bright light, such as that emitted by flares, can be used to keep a deathclaw at bay or even deter its advance.


One of the rare breed. Source[1]

Originally engineered before the Great War by the U.S. government as a cheap replacement for human troops during combat operations, deathclaws were derived from a mixed animal stock, primarily the popular Jackson's Chameleon. Although the project was successful in creating a ferocious predator capable of surviving on its own in the wild, no references exist of them ever being deployed on the battlefield. After the Great War, deathclaws escaped into the wild and quickly spread across the continent. The Enclave had no hand in the creation of the deathclaws, so far as the Appalachian Enclave branch knows, but suspected their original military origins. Eventually, they were refined by the Master through genetic manipulation and the Forced Evolutionary Virus. Because initial reports were limited to a series of isolated nests, deathclaws were viewed as a legendary creature, a hoax akin to most cryptids, by the various inhabitants of southern California However, the population in the Boneyard was keenly aware of their existence, as a single den mother and her offspring claimed the area between Downey and Norwalk around 2161, keeping the Gun Runners in a checkmate while terrorizing other communities in the region. Also, a single deathclaw was found living near the outskirts of the Hub.

Their gradual spread throughout the wasteland raised awareness of their existence, until they entered common consciousness as a lethal predator. As stated above, the Enclave eventually continued the research project started before the war, developing intelligent deathclaws for use in hostile environments around 2235. On May 17, 2242, the first successful pack was dropped into Vault 13 to cloak the presence of the Enclave and their abduction of the dwellers within. Following their first combat test, the deathclaws broke free of their Enclave masters, becoming far more intelligent than anyone could foresee. They began developing a unique culture, as the first known non-humanoid sentient beings in history. However, their intelligence was discovered by Dr. Schreber of Navarro, whose report led to the extermination of intelligent deathclaws with extreme prejudice. Subsequent experimentation involved the aforementioned domestication units, although by the end of the 23rd century. Although some intelligent deathclaw survived by escaping the Enclave they are very scarce and many humans will never see a intelligent deathclaw in their life.


Deathclaws are pack animals, with the leadership role assumed by the alpha pair, the strongest male and female deathclaws in the group. The remainder of the pack follows the leaders and migrates along with them.

Coupled with their pack behavior is a fierce territorial instinct. Deathclaws will usually opt for territories away from inhabited areas (most likely due to noise), but may settle into temporarily abandoned human buildings and areas, as was the case with the Boneyard warehouses circa 2161 or Quarry Junction in 2281. Once it claims a territory, a pack is exceedingly difficult to dislodge, as the alpha male will not abandon a claimed territory even if the pack mother is killed, while the alpha female will simply choose another mate to procreate. As such, reclaiming a deathclaw territory usually requires either killing both pack leaders, causing the pack to scatter, or wiping out the entire pack. Neither is particularly easy. Intelligent deathclaw are more solitary but very few still integrate into Deathclaw Society and even more rare they integrate into human society where they are usually shunned for their ancestor's savage nature.

Deathclaw Names[edit]

Deathclaws speak using pheromones so they do not have "Names" in the pack but intelligent Deathclaws accrue names of humanoids they meet to make unique sounding names. Most names are unisex and can have mixture of male and female names.

Names: Smohn, Jark, Jamichax, Lindsawyer, Sariqua

Deathclaw Traits[edit]

War made monsters that are bred for being the strongest beings in the wasteland.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2 and your Strength score increases by 1.
Age. Deathclaws mature quite quickly becoming adults around 12 years and they live to be around 400 if not impeded.
Alignment. Deathclaws are chaotic by nature but since they are descendent of wild animals they fall neutral
Size. deathclaws vary widely in height and build, from 7 feet to well over 11 feet tall but Deathclaws above 8 feet appear shorter because they are hunched over ready to pounce on enemies. Your size is Large.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 35 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.
Natural Armor. Because of the protective scales your base ac is 13 + your Constitution modifier.
Claws. Your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d10 + your Strength modifier.
Fearsome. You have proficiency in Intimidation.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Deathclaw.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

6′ 8″ +4d12 380 lb. × (1d6) lb.

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

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