Greedborne (5e Race)
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A shadowy silhouette stands in the distance, lording over the corpse of an unfortunate orcish bandit. The shadowy figure, who takes the appearance of a darkly-skinned human lurches and shudders in morbid anticipation of its meal. A light essence seeps from the corpse of the orc, invisible to all but the figure. The figure's chest explodes open, violently absorbing the essence flowing from the corpse. Moments later, the figure's appearance warps, melds, and shifts into that of darkly-skinned orc. The figure grins to itself, wickedly. It is content now that it has satiated its gnawing envy. But it's more than that; it is more powerful now that it has consumed the orc's essence, its strength. Contently, it wanders further down the road, continuing its search for its desires, changed and improved from this fateful encounter.
Greedborne are primordial and dark beings from the Shadowfell. Their most natural appearance is that of a dark and shadowy specter, yet these appearances are always changing as per their most recent meals. It is fairly simple, to a trained eye, to discern a true member of whatever race from their Greedborne counterparts as, even when a Greedborne is taking the appearance of another race, their skin is unnaturally dark and sickly looking with eerie veins pumping fake blood visible beneath their skin. Any clothing or items wielding by these strange beings seem to be incorporated directly into their body, held in place by barely visible wisps of black and green shadow, making for an intimidating sight for many. Though the common person would be unaware they are looking at a Greedborne and not just a sickly member of their race, there is a certain sense of distrust as well as apprehension that these individuals may feel simply by being near the Greedborne.
The Oldest Denizens
Greedborne are creatures of the dark Shadowfell. They are rumored to have been the first denizens of the Shadowfell, as old as time itself. Some scholars argue that they should be placed in the same category as other elementals, stating that they themselves are an element of Shadow, however, this is widely disputed as untrue. A Greedborne answers to its nature and its nature alone, and no Wizard or Sorcerer has found a way to bind a Greedborne to their will as they would a Fire Elemental.
Despite this, Greedborne have been fairly well documented as they are not entirely uncivil creatures. Their nature often leads to lives of adventure and, while it is not common, it is also not unheard of to find a Greedborne in adventuring parties. Though most people find it uncomfortable to be near a Greedborne, they are, for the most part, not mindless killers or monsters. They do not need to eat or sleep as a normal mortal would, however they have a morbid secret that many are unaware of.
Greedborne have the ability to devour the souls of the recently deceased. This process is how they gain their nourishment as well as their physical appearance. Along with this, Greedborne also have the ability to greedily absorb a fraction of the fallen victim's power to use for themselves for the time that the soul is still trapped within them.
Greedborne do not have a society as most mortals do. They mainly travel throughout the land in search for whatever it is they desire and, albeit poorly, integrate with whatever society they have come to find themselves in. Their poor integration is not due to a lack of effort, but mostly due to them being an alien and foreign presence, with difficulties understanding the numerous cultures of the mortal plane.
Made of Greed
As they live up to their namesake, Greedborne are naturally greedy beings with almost insatiable desires. These desires can vary greatly and may even change over the course of a Greedborne's existence. Some of the more common desires of a Greedborne will include things such as obtaining power, amassing material wealth, or coveting approval from other creatures. Greedborne are brought into existence with no purpose or personality, yet easily latch onto desires from which they encounter in other beings. This means that, oftentimes, a Greedborne's desire will be related to something that they experienced early in their lives. A chance encounter with a gold-hungry adventurer could inspire the greed of material wealth in a Greedborne, for example. Though they are created with no inherent morality, time in the mortal planes will certainly have moral effects on a Greedborne. Similar to how they latch onto other examples of desire, they may latch onto similar moralities of other beings they encounter early on. A Greedborne may witness an act of pure kindness and compassion, altering its personality to encompass these same traits. Though it will absorb these traits, good or bad, its desire will always tempt it to do what it must to achieve its goals.
Greedborne do not name themselves, as they find it unnecessary most of the time. Therefore, when you find Greedborne individuals with names, it is highly probable that someone they were close to or adventured with had given them their name. In this sense, Greedborne names transcend societal conventions as they have a high possibility of being given names from all races depending on where their travels have taken them.
A greedy and impressionable race.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2 and your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Age. Greedborne materialize from the Shadowfell at full maturity. They live indefinitely until they are killed or they fulfill their inner desire.
Alignment. A Greedborne has the opportunity to be good or evil, but almost always neutral in some way.
Size. A Greedborne stands between three and eight feet tall, depending on the size of the last race consumed.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Superior Darkvision. As a denizen of the Shadowfell, you have Superior Darkvision up to 120ft.
Souleater. You have the ability to briefly see a creature's soul leak from its corpse. After a creature dies, you will see the soul of the deceased creature wisp away for 1 minute. As an action, you may choose to devour the soul, absorbing a portion of the deceased creature's power. Upon devouring a soul, you may choose one ability score that is higher than your own and increase the chosen ability score by 2 or you may choose a feature from the race's or creature's stat block and add it to your character sheet. This trait cannot increase your ability scores beyond 20, and you may not choose Legendary Actions as a result of devouring a soul. After devouring a soul, your physical appearance takes on the shape of the creature whose soul you just devoured. This appearance will always be humanoid in some way. Once you devour a new soul, you must reselect these bonuses from the new creature's stat block.
Strong Desire. Your desire always calls to you, beckoning. As a Greedborne, you are immune to the Charmed condition.
Unnatural Body. As a Greedborne, you do not need to eat or sleep as most mortals do. Instead, you feed on the Souls of once-living creatures as sustenance. After feeding on a soul, you are satiated at all times as if you just ate for two weeks. After these two weeks, you must feed on another soul or begin suffering effects similar to starvation in mortals. Additionally, you do not need to sleep and instead can enter a state of meditation, much like Elves. After meditating this way for four hours, you gain the same benefit a human does from taking a long rest.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Primordial.
Random Height and Weight
As a Greedborne, these values will constantly be changing as you feast on the souls of others.
When creating a Greedborne character, you can use the following table of traits, ideals, bonds and flaws to help flesh out your character. Use these tables in addition to or in place of your background's characteristics.
|1||My desires mean more to me than anything.|
|2||I want to help my allies as long as they can help me.|
|3||I will use those who I can to achieve my goals without a second thought.|
|4||I don't care what anyone does, as long as they leave me alone!|
|5||I am open to do whatever I must, even if it means turning to dark forces as long as I get what I want.|
|6||Though the temptation is great, I know right from wrong and will never fall to the darkness simply to achieve my goals.|
|1||Nothing matters to me as long as I achieve my goals.|
|2||The ends justify the means.|
|3||I will help those who help me.|
|4||We must give ourselves purpose, and not rely on destiny.|
|5||To have no goal is pitiable, at best, and disgusting, at worst.|
|6||All things should have a fair chance to achieve their desires.|
|1||My first material possession was a platinum coin. I want more!|
|2||My memories of a noble Paladin saving the weak burns fresh in my mind. I desire to be like him!|
|3||As I was created, I witnessed the rise of a young warlord. I crave power as they have it!|
|4||The first corpse I ever came across was that of a bard. As I tasted his soul, the musical talent he had flooded into me. I want to please the masses and perform for crowds!|
|1||I do whatever it takes to achieve my goals, even if it means I sacrifice my companions.|
|2||I am often aloof and uninterested in anything that doesn't directly involve me.|
|3||I rarely speak the truth, in fear that it will endanger my goals.|
|4||My hunger is insatiable! I need to have someone reign me in, or I may kill indiscriminately to feed.|