Harmster (5e Race)

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Harmster[edit]

It's kind of hard not to feel bad for the poor souls. They were born into this endless cycle of violence that only a few of them have managed to find their way out of. They didn't ask to be the way they are. The world around them forced them into mindless savagery.
A druidess on the subject of harmsters

Though rarely seen outside of the various habitats (forests, savannahs, tundras, deserts, and even jungles) they call home, these strictly carnivorous creatures are infamous among other intelligent races for their viewpoint being geared toward survival at the expense of others, a genuine capacity to understand other beings suffer and yet be psychologically predisposed to experience a sense of satisfaction in inflicting it, and a lust for war that provides them with a sense of emotional fulfillment. This results in a brutal savagery and a disturbing willingness to wage war against others. They have been known to wipe out small towns on the periphery of their territory, though attacks from harmsters have become less and less frequent due to retaliation from the other intelligent races. Some theorize that this decrease in attacks from them stems from either a growing respect for the other intelligent races or a growing fear of their entire race being wiped out in retaliation.

Physical Description[edit]

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A pack of harmsters hunting prey. Source

These small, bipedal creatures have an almost rodent-like dentition, but with noticeably sharper teeth due to their lifestyle as active predators.

History[edit]

Like halflings, the history of the harmsters is largely unremarkable. Also much like halflings, records and evidence indicates that the harmsters, as a race, appeared fairly recently, and do not have a unified culture to call their own. However, it is known that some harmster tribes have had run-ins with demon lords such as Demogorgon and Yeenoghu, who promised them endless glory in return for their servitude. These promises of glory have been unanimously rejected among their species.

Society[edit]

Harmsters typically live in packs of up to twenty to thirty individuals. Their society is one fraught with brutality and violence, with individual packs led by the strongest and most aggressive two individuals in a pack who maintain their influence through fear and intimidation. Lower-ranking members of the pack frequently learn from painful experience that the will of the two alphas is absolute, and comply out of fear of punishment, exile, or even execution. However, they lack any sort of genuine loyalty to their leaders, and if caught in particularly compromising situations, subordinates will willingly abandon their alphas to save themselves, and some brave individuals will stage a coup and attempt to usurp their leaders if said leaders are leading their tribe down what they view as a bad path. This is considered a very risky prospect, given that while insubordination is punished with aggression, outright challenges warrant a gladiatorial duel to the death between prospective leaders to determine who will become the new leader of a pack. This degree of callousness towards their fellows extends to even their own young, which are born fully-furred and open eyed and are tended to by their mother for at least a month. However, once they become independent at about a month old, the mother abandons her care and protectiveness and begins to treat the child like any other subordinate member in the pack to keep them in line. At times, she may even punish especially troublesome youngsters by mauling them in full view of their siblings and peers to make examples of them. As a result, the fast-learning juveniles pick up behaviors by imitation and learning through experience what is and is not acceptable behavior, quickly heed the warnings and thus learn not to challenge their superiors.

Primarily nomadic in search for prey, harmsters have not yet made permanent settlements and thus have not learned advancements associated with early civilizations such as architecture and agriculture. Their technology is currently still limited to weaponry comprised of wooden branches or animal bones that have been gnawed into shape to serve as a spear or polearm, and just about any weapon with a longer reach to compensate for their short arms. However, harmster tribes that live in forests and jungles are able to use plant sap as glue and grass stems as twine to attach sharpened stones, or even the claws and teeth of slain rivals to sticks in order to create more complex tools. From a humanoid perspective, the harmsters may seem irredeemably evil from birth. However, their psychology and their role in their environment are radically different from those of other humanoids, and intelligent as they are, their concepts of right and wrong are geared toward whatever is beneficial to their survival and what hinders them in surviving respectively. For example, concepts such as altruism and amicable sharing are considered alien concepts at best, and insane and self-destructive ideas to them at worst. To them, caring for one another and of the ailing and elderly or showing mercy to their prey is seen as a waste of precious resources and energy, as they breed quickly enough to replace those that die, and killing prey animals humanely is not considered as their prey would soon be dead anyway. In fact, some believe that they are subconsciously predisposed to outright sadism and cruelty, as the distressed cries of dying prey means food and thus survival, which manifests in their behavior as an almost joyous response to the act of killing, not only as a means of acquiring food or disposing of rivals, but for the genuine thrill of violence itself. When asked about this idea, the harmsters themselves deny it as the ramblings of a madman.

While some individuals insist that harmsters worship demon lords and evil gods, they vehemently deny worshipping any deity, as they instead have their own outlook on life. Seeing the inherent amorality of nature's ways and observing through deduction the behaviors of different species, they observe that all living organisms were designed for the consumption of other living things. For example, to a harmster, carnivores are most obviously are designed by nature to be killers, but even herbivores are built to consume plants, and even the plants themselves vie for sunlight, overshadow and starve each other from sun, drain each other, strangle and poison one another. From this, they have come to the conclusion that all life exists for the sole purpose of destroying other life, that every living thing is defined by what it kills, and that to destroy one another was the essence of the natural order of things. They believe that all beings have a part to play in nature, and they see themselves committing what would be considered atrocities by any other intelligent being as simply themselves playing their designated part.

Harmster Names[edit]

Because of their unique language and difficulty understanding other languages, harmster names are typically in their own language, which will hereby be referred to as HSL.

Harmster Traits[edit]

Intelligent rodents with a predisposition towards violence.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1 and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Harmsters become mature at 4 years old. If they do not die before reaching the end of their natural lifespan, a harmster can live for about 30 to 55 years.
Alignment. Despite stories from humanoids depicting harmsters as evil monsters to be slain, they are typically lawful neutral and even chaotic neutral creatures, but those that side with good or evil are not unheard of.
Size. Harmsters usually stand around 3 feet tall and typically weigh 110 pounds. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Beastial Nature. Your creature type is beast instead of humanoid.
Apathetic by Nature. You have disadvantage on Charisma checks involving socializing with creatures from other races.
Bizarre Shape. You are unable to use normal armor unless it has been specially tailored for you. Armor made specifically for you takes 1.5 times as long to make than regular armor and costs 1.5 times more than the normal price.
Predatory Tracking. You have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks involving tracking other organisms.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write HSL and one other language of your choice.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
3′ 0″ +1d4 110 lb. × (1d3) lb.

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

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