Ishilb (5e Race)

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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]

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 stalks, two feelers on either side of their mouth, and a pair of squishy, 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 hatch 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 test foods given to them by other races just in case.


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 ageless elves 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]

For when you just want to be an awesome snail samurai
Ability Score Increase. Ishilb are slow and contemplative. As such, they receive a +2 bonus to either Wisdom or Intelligence.
Age. Ishilb mature rapidly, reaching adult size in just over ten years. Their slow metabolism allows them to live to be upwards of 300 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 4½ - 5½ 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 base speed is 20 feet.
Sticky Slime. Your slime holds you onto whatever surface you walk on, including ceilings. You have a climb speed equal to your move speed, ignore difficult terrain caused by environmental conditions (such as webbing, rocks, stairs, etc.), and have advantage on checks to resist 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 you and you are resistant to fire damage.
Moist Body. Your slimy body and slow metabolism mean that you can survive on half as much food as a human and it takes twice as long for you to feel the effects of dehydration. If you do get dehydrated, you lose the effects of Sticky Slime and Slime Coat and gain 2 levels of exhaustion.
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 (e.g. mason’s tools, herbalism kit, or musical instrument) other than a vehicle. You also have proficiency in Wisdom (Nature) checks when identifying plants and finding water.
Inhuman Form. Because your body is not humanoid, you cannot easily wear standardized armor and clothes. You gain no benefits from heavy armor. Any armor or clothing you have crafted costs 50% more, not including any additional fees that a merchant may impose.
Languages. Ishilb can read, write, and speak Common, Primordial, and one other language (often Dwarvish, Sylvan, or Orcish).
Subrace. Gulilb and Lishilb

Gulilb Ishilb (Snail)[edit]

Shelled ishilb who are slower and tougher than their unencumbered relatives

Ability Score Increase. +1 to either Constitution or Strength
Snail Shell. Your sturdy shell acts as a natural bedroll and armor. You use your Constitution instead of your Dexterity when calculating AC. You cannot squeeze into spaces smaller than your shell, so you count as a size larger when squeezing into tight spaces. You can have either a Hard Shell or a Spiked Shell.
''Hard Shell. You have natural armor that results in +2 AC regardless of the armor you wear. Used to carrying that thick shell, you are not slowed down by equipment weight and you count as a size larger when calculating carrying capacity.
Spiked Shell. You have natural armor providing an additional +1 AC when wearing non-heavy armor. Your shell is also adorned with spikes. The spikes are a natural weapon you are proficient with that deals 1d4 + Constitution modifier piercing damage. If an enemy fails a grapple on you, you may use your reaction to make a melee attack with your shell spikes.
Withdraw. As a bonus action, you can withdraw entirely within your shell. You lose all bonus AC from your armor and shields, and have an AC equal to 10 + your shell bonus + your Constitution modifier. While withdrawn, you cannot move, can only take actions which affect or target yourself (such as re-emerging from your shell) and you only take half damage from non magical sources (rounded up) while within the shell.

Lishilb Ishilb (Slug)[edit]

Usually longer and more nimble than their shelled relatives

Ability Score Increase. +1 to either Dexterity or Strength
Unencumbered. Lighter than their shelled counterparts, these ishilb gain an additional 5 feet of movement. If your Dexterity is 17 or more, add another 5 feet of movement.
Gel-Like Body. Your squishy body is incredibly flexible and mobile. You count as a size smaller when squeezing into tight spaces. Your body can be either Aqueous or Acidic.
''Aqueous Body. You can breathe underwater and have swim speed equal to your movement speed. As an action, you can spray water from your mouth to create a 20 x 20 foot area of slippery terrain. Any creature passing through the area must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw (DC = 8 + proficiency bonus + Wisdom modifier or Intelligence modifier) or fall prone and end their turn.
Acidic Body. Your slime is mildly acidic. Any creature that touches you will take 1d4 acid damage immediately and at the start of each of your turns until the contact ends. Your unarmed attacks also deal an additional 1d4 acid damage. Does not trigger on hits from weapons or ranged spells.
Extra Slimy. Your body produces a bit more slime than other ishilb. If you are hit with an weapon attack that doesn’t reduce you to 0 HP, you can use your reaction to regain 1d4 HP. This effect can also be triggered if damaged outside of combat (e.g. a trap). You lose the effects of this Trait if you are dehydrated.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

3′ 10″ +4d6 inches 75 lb. × (3d4 x 25) lb.

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

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