Etterkin, Variant (5e Race)
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“The ettercap looked on, amazed by the vibrant display of colors in the sunset. This was only a momentary distraction from his sorrow. It had been one moon--he had kept track--since his nest had left him. He didn’t understand why, but he knew there was something wrong with him. He could see things they could not. He could feel things they could not. He lacked the predatory nature which was required for him to hunt, so in their minds he was useless. The ettercap felt crushed, abandoned to die because of something he didn’t fully understand. But something emerged from the depths of his despair. He looked up toward the sunset, and a new feeling rose within him. It was unfathomable, intangible to him; he could not describe the new feeling. The sensation surged inside him, and it gave him an energy so strong he rose to his feet. For the first time in his life, the ettercap felt hopeful.”
Etterkin wander the lands of the Forgotten Realms seeking a purpose in life. Determined to separate themselves from their primitive ancestors, the ettercaps, some etterkin often take to a life in a modern society, motivated by their curiosity of other races. Others are driven by their primal instincts and thrive in environments and conditions similar to those of their ancestral homelands. Most etterkin, however, are feared or alienated by their xenophobic progenitors because of etterkins’ superior or seemingly unnatural intelligence. Etterkin, viewing themselves as lowly half-breeds or freaks of nature, are conflicted between whether to embrace their ancestry or to accept their differences and use them to find a new life. Above all, Etterkin seek a life where they have a purpose; a life which brings them solace amidst their internal struggle.
Man or Monstrosity?
Etterkin equal share more similarities to humans than their predecessors do; however, they still possess a horrifying mix of arachnid and human features. Their skin ranges from greyish to dark purple, giving them sufficient camouflage in dark areas. While ettercaps have hunched postures and sagging midriffs, etterkin stand erect. Their visage resembles a grotesque mix of human and spider, with four jet black, beady eyes, large, curved fangs, above which a pair of small, pointed, human-like mandibles lie. The top of their heads are bald and round, similar to human scalps. Etterkin have broad shoulders and thin, wiry limbs, giving them a muscular appearance. Despite their arachnid-like appearance, they have evolved 3-fingered, human-like hands and feet, which bare short, curved claws, used for scaling difficult terrain with ease. Etterkin have slightly bulging abdomens and short legs, causing them to slightly squat when they’re idle. Etterkin wear little clothing, wearing only what is necessary, or decent in society. This appearance as a whole evokes much fear, contempt, disgust, or even rage in different races and even other ettercaps. Sometimes, etterkin are mistaken for their savage relatives. Etterkin will often dress more like other races to further distance themselves from ettercaps.
A Curse or a Gift?
Ettercaps are barely sentient, but sometimes an ettercap which possesses a considerably higher amount of intelligence than its kin will be born, similar to the way orogs are born in orc societies. However, unlike the way orogs are celebrated for their intelligence, prodigious ettercaps are shunned and feared for theirs. These ettercaps question the rest of their kin’s primitive ways and lack the same reliance on primal instincts to hunt and survive. Thus, these ettercaps are forced out of their nests to survive the untamed wilds on their own. Some etterkin see their intelligence as a betrayal of their nest and seek to redeem themselves by proving their strength in hunting. Some etterkin embrace their differences and try to find others like themselves and establish their own nests. Regardless of their motives, due to their exposure with humans prodigious ettercaps have evolved into creatures with more resemblance to humans, allowing them to function adequately in more developed societies. Many etterkin still struggle internally with their differences and can even be overwhelmed by their own intelligence; etterkin who are so overcome by their own intelligence often go mad and degenerate into savage murderers and criminals.
Curious and Obsessive
Regardless of other races’ hatred and disgust for them, etterkin are extremely curious about other creatures, their culture, and their technology.. This inherent curiosity is so much that it reaches to the point of obsessiveness; etterkin will often collect, steal, and hoard various artifacts of other races’ material culture such as clothing, sculptures, and other items which are resemblant of a particular culture. Etterkins develop their own obsessions and eccentric tendencies which usually determines what profession they become. Most etterkin will seize any chance they get to earn even the simplest of jobs, seeing anything as better than the primitive drudgery that they were subjected to in their nests; however, etterkin change jobs as they get bored of them quickly. Some etterkin become scholars, wizards, or bards, while others embrace their primal instincts and become hunters, assassins, or soldiers.
No Culture, No Home
Despite their readiness to find a use in modern societies, etterkin rarely become completely attached to a particular location or area. Etterkin do not have a permanent settlement, as they were raised in remote locations which changed as they migrated with their family. They have no culture, traditions, or common practices other than hunting, and this is why some etterkin find solace or simply a sense of belonging in embracing their primitive ways. The lack of heritage which makes them special causes etterkin to crave having a purpose in life; part of the reason etterkin are so obsessive over other races is because they are jealous that other races have a culture and traditions to unify them. Thus, the most common way etterkin find a purpose is by assimilating into the culture around them. Etterkin quickly adopt local practices, habits, and languages in an attempt to find a purpose. Most etterkin are reluctant to leave their jobs and homes but deep down, they know they will never fit in no matter how hard they try. Some etterkin try their hardest to fit in despite the hate they receive, while others grudgingly accept their fate and become adventurers or nomads, wandering aimlessly from town to town, hoping to find any opportunity.
Ettercaps didn’t use any spoken language, as they communicated mostly through pheromones and smell, so names are a foreign concept to etterkin. Etterkin, being fascinated with other languages, use names from a mixture of different languages. Here are some etterkin names, but are not limited to:
Male: Amuran, Arak, Arjhan, Alludin, Balasi, Borkus, Briar, Darrak, Erevan, Feng, Frug, Krusk, Rolen
Female: Akra, Anastasia, Arachne, Arya, Diesa, Farideh, Naivara, Nemeia, Rieta, Zora
Etterkin tend to invent or be given nicknames which display their abilities or personality:
Common Nicknames: Quicky, Darter, Spider-guy, Sharp-Fang, Stalker
Etterkin are spider-like humanoids who are descended from Ettercaps.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2
Age. Etterkin age at a similar rate to humans. Etterkinds reach maturity by the age of 16, and typically live until they are around 85.
Alignment. Etterkin don’t usually devote themselves to a particular cause or side, but there are exceptions. Etterkin tend toward neutral and chaotic alignments.
Size. Ettercap are slightly taller and heavier on average than humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30ft. You have a base climbing speed of 20ft.
Web. As an action, you can attempt to restrain one Large or smaller creature of your choice within 30 feet of you. Make a ranged weapon attack against that creature. On a hit, the creature is restrained by webbing. As an action, the restrained creature can make a DC 11 Strength check, escaping from the webbing on a success. The effect also ends if the webbing is destroyed. The webbing has AC 10, 5 Hit Points, vulnerability to fire damage, and immunity to bludgeoning, poison, and psychic damage. After you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you complete a short or long rest.
Spider Climb. You have a climbing speed of 20 feet. Additionally, you have advantage on Athletics (Strength) checks when climbing on difficult surfaces such as upside-down ceilings.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common. Additionally, you can communicate verbally or through pheromones with other Etterkin or Ettercaps.
Subrace. There are two main subraces of etterkin: prodigious etterkin and primal etterkin.
Prodigious etterkin embrace their intelligence as a gift and use it to learn new abilities surprisingly quickly for their primitive ancestry. Prodigious etterkin usually become scholars, diplomats, wizards, or artisans of various professions.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Adept. Due to their curiosity, etterkin can quickly learn and become proficient in new skills and tools. You can choose 1 skill and 1 set of tools to become proficient in.
Primal etterkin embrace their primal instincts, using their intelligence to aid their hunting or fighting skills. Primal etterkin usually become barbarians, assassins, fighters, or mercenaries.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Savage Instincts. Your fangs and claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier instead of bludgeoning damage for an unarmed strike.
Random Height and Weight
|5′ 0″||+2d10||140 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier