Ishilb (5e Race)

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We may not be the fastest, but we are the smartest. Also, have you ever heard of a snail that needs to move much? No. We only are in the best place to be at the best moment we should.
Quote attributed to General Kulgith, before the attack to Grandslad.

Sometimes referred to as “Snailfolk,” the proud and honorable ishilb can be found in many villages across the land. They are normally friendly and docile, but they become fearful warriors if their lands or families are threatened.

Physical Description[edit]

One of the first known drawings of the battle of Grandslad. Author unknown.

Ishilb are human-sized gastropods resembling slugs and snails. They have blobby, slimy, slightly translucent bodies often in a shade of brown or green, dark eyes on the ends of 2 of their stalks, two feelers on either side of their mouth, and a pair muscular arms with three fingered hands a short ways down the body. The ventral side of the body (belly) acts as a single foot that moves the ishilb forward with subtle undulations leaving a slimy trail. When standing and moving their bodies form a pronounced “L” shape to hold their heads off the ground.

Ishilb have no bones, making them incredibly flexible. They are able to turn almost 270 degrees around without moving their foot. This flexibility and inherent stretchiness allows shelled varieties to clean the entirety of their shells. To compensate for their lack of skeletons, ishilb tend to have well developed muscles. When speaking, the lips of an ishilb stick together a bit, giving their voices a bubbly lisp favoring “b” sounds whenever their mouths close. As Primordial is their native language, they also tend to carry those guttural tones into other languages.

Due to their decidedly non-humanoid forms, it is often difficult for humanoid races to tell the difference between male and female ishilb. As a general rule of thumb, females have subtly slighter bodies and are a bit lighter in coloration. Ishilb can tell the difference between each other with a very subtle scent cue. Ishilb say that females “smell” sweeter than males, but there is no evidence of such a “scent” having any physical component.

Infants are born after about four months and are only around a foot long. They are more transparent than adults and shelled children have thin, delicate shells that strengthen over time. They grow rapidly, reaching about 80% their adult length over the first 5 years of life. By age 10, an ishilb is fully matured and ready to take their role in society.

Their digestive systems are particularly adept at processing plant materials, so they are preferentially herbivorous. They do still eat some meats, but in a similar way that humans eat mushrooms; generally as a garnish or flavoring. The mucus they produce has an aggressive reaction to undiluted salt giving an unpleasant burning sensation. Enough salt can eat away at an ishilb’s insides or skin resulting in a very painful death. Naturally, they avoid salt and usually don't test foods given to them by other races just in case.


Statue of a Paladin Ishilb. Property of Eduardo Mendoza

Ishilb have lived in the same tribal villages for millennia. Their roots run deep in the lands that they hunt and farm on. These villages exist in plains, forests, mountains, islands, archipelagos, and, on rare occasions, deserts. A typical village controls a territory of one or two square miles. No matter where the village is, you can bet that they know where to find a steady supply of water and nutrients for the soil. There is even an old legend that it was the ishilb who first taught humans how to cultivate the land for agriculture. Not even the oldest elves or dragons can recall a time before the ishilb lived on their land.

Unlike human farms, ishilb farms do not disrupt the natural landscape. Instead, they capitalize on it. Mountain-dwelling ishilb might grow underground plants and fungus in elaborate cave systems and hunt goats and llamas. Meanwhile, archipelago-dwelling ishilb might cultivate algae and kelp using floating farming rigs and scour the ocean floor for crabs or fish. They have had millennia to learn how to live in their homes, and they know them well.

Their slimy and alien forms have often led to tensions between the ishilb and races that find particular value in appearance, such as humans and elves. The ishilb have been forgiving most of the time, but some wars have broken out as a consequence of these misunderstandings. Every war has ended the same way: the aggressors eventually realize that trying to fight the ishilb on their land is futile and they make a treaty.

In contrast, races that value feats over visuals tend to get along quite well with the ishilb. Ishilb have historically gotten along well with orcs, centaurs, goblins, and dwarves, allowing them safe passage through their lands or even establishing trade relations.


Ishilb society is based on centuries-old traditions and patterns of living. Families pass their trades down their blood-line and are often referred to using their family’s traditional occupation as a surname. A child of two bloodlines with drastically different occupations (e.g. hunter and tailor) may choose which occupation they would prefer and adopt the appropriate surname. Those who act against their family name are often met with suspicion or are even shunned by the other village members. Such ishilb often leave their home village in search of a new one where their family tradition has yet to be set. Some will settle down in towns of other races as craftsmen, laborers, or other service providers.

Ishilb villages are filled of huts made of mud and branches around centralized fire pits. These central plazas are where village elders will hold important meetings and where the tribe will gather for communal prayers. The ishilb do not usually pray to gods, instead worshiping the land which gives them life. They will pray to the winds to carry rejuvenating rains or to the earth to fill their crops with nutrients or to the sea to protect them from harsh storms. These prayers consist of slow, deliberate dances coupled with rhythmic chants in Primordial.

Ishilb do not use currency in their villages. They trade goods and services in a bartering system. A beet farmer may purchase a new plow from the blacksmith for a basket of beets, and vice versa. If they operate within the boundaries of another race they will accept the local currency as payment, but prices are usually fairly fluid. The ishilb merchant will generally only charge enough to pay for a meal or new tool as if you were giving them that instead of money. More expensive items, such as enchanted weapons, might cost significantly more, such as enough for an entire month of food. Ishilb merchants have been known to be more generous if the customer seeks to barter rather than offer useless coins, seeing this as a respectful acknowledgement of ishilb culture.

As crafts and occupations are passed down through generations, Ishilb take great pride in their work. They will spend a great deal of time making sure every detail is perfect and beautiful. They will spend days carving delicate and intricate patterns into barstools, or miss nights of sleep just to blend the perfect alloy for a set of nails. They often use their own mucus to polish wood and temper steel, giving ishilb-made items a particular sheen almost like a rainbow clinging to the ornately-designed surface. This treatment leaves the surface as shiny and smooth as glass, and also helps the finished product resist tarnishing and corrosion.

Ishilb Names[edit]

Male names usually end with a hard sound, while female names generally end in soft sounds. Names that end in vowel sounds can be used by either gender. All tend to be fairly guttural.

Male: Splothik, Gungthak, Ploglk, Haquugkut, Duulk, Flimb, Wulik, Yagulinnk

Female: Gukish, Luushiss, Jyzzith, Wuungbish, Hysh, Thasin, Uulich, Iimbil

Unisex: Yilguki, Quoomita, Pounkgulo, Milaguka, Giinu, Gyqui, Haugoi, Jomnu

Ishilb Traits[edit]

A race of proud snail and slug people
Ability Score Increase. Ishilb are slow and contemplative. Your Wisdom score increases by 2.
Age. Ishilb mature rapidly, reaching adult size in just over ten years. Their slow metabolism allows them to live to be upwards 500 years.
Alignment. Due to their societal value in upholding traditions, ishilb tend more toward lawful alignments. Most are either good or neutral because of the mutualistic nature of their villages.
Size. Ishilb are generally 4 to 5 feet tall when standing (about twice as long in total) and weigh about 200-300 lbs. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Ishilb stick to the ground as they slide their bodies forward. Your walking speed is 20 feet.
Sticky Slime. Your slime holds you onto whatever surface you walk on, including ceilings. You don't need to do an ability check to climb. You have a climbing speed equal to your walking speed, and you can ignore difficult terrain caused by environmental conditions unless it is magical in nature (such as webbing, rocks, stairs, etc.). Unless you are incapacitated, you have advantage on saving throws against being moved or knocked prone.
Slime Coat. Your body is covered in a thin veil of slime. You have advantage on any roll to resist or break free of a grapple.
Moist Body. Your slimy body and slow metabolism mean that you can survive on half as much food as a small creature a day but you require twice the water. If you can't drink or eat this amount of food and drink you get dehydrated and lose the effects of Sticky Slime and Slime Coat and gain 2 levels of exhaustion per day. This exhaustion can only be recovered by eating and drinking the amounts you should and to sleep for 12 hours straight per exhaustion level.
Tradition. Your family has a centuries-old tradition that you were taught to follow whether or not you wish to. You gain proficiency with any one weapon or tool other than a vehicle of your choice. You also have proficiency in Wisdom (survival) checks when identifying plants and finding water.
Languages. Ishilb can read, write, and speak Common and Primordial.
Subrace. Choose one between Gulilb and Lishilb

Gulilb Ishilb (Carapace variant)[edit]

Shelled ishilb who are slower and tougher than their unencumbered relatives

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1
Snail Shell. Your sturdy shell acts as a natural bedroll and armor. You can use your Constitution modifier instead of your Dexterity modifier when calculating armors AC. You cannot squeeze into tight spaces. While sleeping, you are considered withdrawn into your shell.
Hard Shell. You have natural armor equivalent to 8 + your proficiency score + your constitution score. Used to carrying that thick shell, you count as a large creature when calculating carrying capacity.
Withdrawn. As a bonus action, you can withdraw entirely within your shell. You have an AC equal to 12 + proficiency score + your Constitution modifier. While withdrawn, you cannot move, can only re-emerge from your shell as a bonus action and you only take half damage from non magical sources (rounded up) while within the shell.

Lishilb Ishilb (Slug variant)[edit]

Usually longer and more nimble than their shelled relatives

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength increases by 1.
Unencumbered. Lighter than their shelled counterparts, these ishilb gain additional 5 feet of movement.
Gel-Like Body. Your squishy body is incredibly flexible and mobile. You can squeeze into spaces as small as 6 inches.
Extra Slimy. Your body produces a lot more slime than other ishilb. If you are hit with a non-magical weapon or projectile you can use your reaction to trap said weapon within your slime, reducing the damage inflicted by it by 1d4 piercing, slashing or bludgeoning damage (your choice). This effect can also be triggered if damaged outside of combat. You can hold up to 1 object this way and you can't use reactions until you are no longer holding any object in your slime. You can freely pick up this object from your slime (no action required), but any other creature must use its action to do a Strength saving throw to retrieve it equals to 9 plus your proficiency bonus plus your Strength modifier. You lose the effects of this Trait if you are dehydrated.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

3′ 10″ +4d4 290 lb. × (1d10) lb.

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

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