Lagomorph (5e Race)
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|“||When you attack, strike first, hit hard, and run at the first sign of trouble. There are a thousand fools out there in the desert – no use dying to the one smart enough to bring a greatsword with him on the way to do his business in the middle of the night.||”|
|—An example of common lagomorph folk wisdom|
Lagomorphs are a race of rabbit-like humanoids. Partially solitary and nomadic in nature, they roam the deserts, living off the land. Lagomorphs are also nocturnal, searching for food and supplies in the dead of night and then sleeping the day away. These traits, combined with their keen sense of hearing and superb agility, means that lagomorphs make ideal bandits. The more unruly ones will jump a lone adventurer while they’re all alone in the dark, while others will merely “borrow” clothes, water, and tools from sleeping campers. Lagomorphs rarely seek a life of adventure, as they can live just fine off their surroundings and be perfectly content. But still, occasionally a young lagomorph will yearn for something greater than a life of thievery in the vast, barren deserts, and will leave to fulfil some greater purpose deep within themselves.
Lagomorphs as a race originated from the Feywild. Ancient lore passed down from parent to child dictates that the race came about when a normal colony of jackrabbits somehow wandered into the realm of the fey, and either through the mere exposure to the magic of the plane or because some bored Primordial deity had nothing better to do, they gained enhanced intellect and a humanoid form. How they navigated back to this plane is still unclear.
Regardless, lagomorphs still maintain many of the traits of their animal ancestors. The most obvious among them is their physical form, with the head, fur, legs, and tail of a hare, and their iconic ears, which can be over a foot in length. They have retained some more obscure traits as well. Despite their notoriety as a race of thieves and bandits, lagomorphs are still descended from prey creatures, and still have a primal, borderline irrational fear of creatures like hawks or wolves. They also are overcome with carnal desires about once every three years in the early spring, a phenomenon that they call being namenta in their own language (their own language being a pidgin language of Sylvan and Common). However, unlike their wild counterparts, many lagomorphs successfully control these urges, and in fact, a good number of them are lucky enough not to experience them at all.
Scavengers and Caregivers
Lagomorphs as a race are androgynous. When fully clothed, there is virtually no difference in appearance between a lagomorph that can bear a child and one that cannot, save for the fact that the former is often a few inches taller than the latter. In fact, lagomorphs do not have a concept of gender as other races do. While they do still understand the biological differences between the sexes this distinction only holds as much importance like the color of their eyes or their preference of food.
However, lagomorphs do have a loose equivalent with bortedors and fermaras, classes who fulfil their own roles in their society. Lagomorphs of either sex can fill either role, depending on their desires and specialities. It is customary for “droves” to be composed of between six and twelve individuals, with a mix of the two groups. You never see a group of lagomorphs that is all exclusively one or the other. Bortedors are responsible for going out and gathering food, and protecting their drove from any attackers. They also are the primary caregivers for the children, thereby protecting the future of their people. Fermaras are responsible for maintaining the health of their tribe, be that by nursing wounds or figuring out which food can safely be eaten. They are also responsible for planning and executing successful raids or hold-ups, and are the appointed diplomats of the droves.
Love in the Badlands
Romance among lagomorphs is often a complicated affair. A relationship between lagomorphs is slightly different than what humans are accustomed to. An individual in the drove will form a bond with another lagomorph, typically in the same drove, and after a short but meaningful ceremony are declared to be denalmata, or “of one soul”. They stay by each other's sides until death, always protecting one another and doing everything in their power to make sure they are happy and well provided for. There are no particular taboos about who can or cannot be denalmata, provided the two are of age and not related by blood.
This system becomes more complex when the topic of pregnancy comes up. During mating season, when they are namenta and more susceptible to their lustful desires, lagomorphs will often have a child with somebody besides their partner. In some cases, such as when the two are of the same sex, or when one of the denalmata couple doesn’t want children, this is to be expected. Otherwise, it often leads to awkward situations and hurt feelings. While they understand that being denalmata doesn’t make them immune to the primal urges they experience, it still creates an air of tension, especially if a partner has a child with someone else several times in a row. If their mating partner is in a rival drove, the tensions usually result in bloody and long-standing feuds.
Lagomorphs do very little to provide themselves with shelter. Being nocturnal, they begin to set up a temporary settlement right before dawn. Rather than constructing any complex structures, they simply hide amongst the bushes – their fur makes for good natural camouflage. Two of them will stay on guard, sleeping in shifts to ensure that nobody tries to loot or harm their drove. Droves will roam the desert, going wherever they please in search of a steady source of food and water. Upon finding a particularly good source, they may stay there for days or even weeks before deciding they’ve taken enough from nature (or unsuspecting passersby), they pack up and wander back out into the desert.
If a member of the drove becomes pregnant, though, the housing situation becomes much different. If the drove is already relatively big, then the drove may simply abandon the denalmata pair (and the impregnator, if they are not included in the pair), and continue their nomadic pursuits. If the resulting off-shoot drove is composed solely of bortedors or fermaras, then a member of the excluded class will also stick around. If the drove is relatively small, though, they all simply stick together.
Regardless of how the drove dynamics may change, if at all, the lagomorphs will find a more permanent settlement for the duration of the pregnancy, which is about seven months. Usually, this settlement is a cave system or an unusually large burrow, but more vicious droves have been known to slaughter wandering adventurers and take over their camps. Once the children have been born (with a typical birth yielding four children, give or take two), the drove may remain at their settlement for up to an additional year until they decide that the kids are mature enough to go out into the wilderness. During this period, the drove may shrink in size as other lagomorphs leave the family be as they go to venture back into the desert.
Live Fast, Die Young
Lagomorphs do not live long as a species. If one is lucky enough to make it to 40 years of age, they are considered to be an elder of the tribe. A lagomorph 50 years old or older is unthinkable.
Part of the reason for their relatively short lifespan is simple genetics. They age much faster than humans and other humanoid races. When they are born, they are surprisingly advanced, able to toddle for short distances mere minutes after birth and able to walk within the month. By the time they’re one, they have the relative intellect of an average seven-year-old human child. They reach adulthood at eight years of age, at which point they become susceptible to namenta and are ready to bear children. Under ideal circumstances, a lagomorph will live to be around thirty-five before dying of natural causes.
However, many lagomorphs aren’t lucky enough to have such a “long” lifespan. Their lives are as violent as they are short. If they don’t end up being killed in the middle of a raid, they still have to worry about dying by one other’s hands. Lagomorph conflicts are common and bloody. Whether it’s because one drove to set up camp too close to another, in-fighting in a drove, in order to steal resources from somebody, to avenge the death of a drove member, or to avenge the death of someone who was killed to avenge the death of someone else, lagomorphs often target one another. Being equally stealthy and agile, the attacks are often a series of near misses that last for months, culminating in a bloody massacre. However, there are two rules that all lagomorphs adhere by when targeting an enemy drove – never attack a settlement if someone’s pregnant, and never kill a child. If everyone is killed except the children, the drove may adopt them.
Due to their nomadic nature, there is no universal lagomorph culture. Even creation myths and traditional folk songs may sound drastically different from drove to drove. There are a few vague constants, however – for example, the diving of droves into bortedors and fermaras, a tradition which has been passed down from generation to generation, though the names have surely mutated from their original forms.
Many lagomorphs are deeply spiritual, if not religious. Some worship nebulous concepts like nature or camaraderie. Others worship themselves, ascribing divine powers to their own bodies and praying that they will be swift enough and strong enough to successfully pull off a raid or an attack. Still, others worship “The Mother of Lagomorphs”, Callo Califor, a goddess of protection and trickery. Regardless of what they believe, they believe in it firmly. Lagomorphs will cling tight to their religious beliefs and vehemently refute any attempts to convert them to another religion.
Family dynamics are often only between siblings. Young lagomorphs leave their parents’ drove around age five in pairs, joining whatever drove needs a few more bandits or caretakers in it. The siblings stay together through thick and thin until either one of them dies or leaves the drove to follow a romantic pursuit. Their relationship with their parents is far weaker. A child leaving their parent is an often unsentimental affair, with a simple “goodbye” and a hug at most. Should a child by providence run into their parents, they may stay for a meal before going on their way again. Lagomorphs have no reservations about killing their parents if they happen to be in a rival drove, nor do parents towards their children.
As their scattered and solitary nature makes it hard for them to have any sort of unified culture, certain lagomorph names vary from region to region. Some name their offspring after their ancestors, while others name them after heroes of legend whose names they overheard from nearby settlers, and so on. However, many lagomorph droves do share one naming custom – naming their children after the local vegetation, their main food source.
Potential names: Mesquite, Saguaro, Buckwheat, Wheatgrass, Thistle, Fiddleneck, Wolftail, Globemallow, Barley
Desert-dwelling humanoids with the appearance and abilities of a jackrabbit.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Lagomorphs reach maturity at nine and live to thirty-five.
Alignment. Can be good or evil but are almost always chaotic.
Size. You are just over six feet tall, not counting your ears. You weigh roughly 250 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Nocturnal. As you are naturally nocturnal, you see much better at night. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Keen Hearing. Your oversized ears allow you to hear what other people usually can’t. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.
Lay of the Land. Your particular way of living has made you highly accustomed to living off the land and sneaking up on people. You have proficiency in Survival and Stealth.
Night Stalker. While in dim light or darkness, you can take the Hide action as a bonus action.
Vegetarian. You can only eat plants and plant-based food. If you eat meat, you must make a Constitution saving throw of DC 15. Upon a failure, you take 2d6 poison damage and have disadvantage on Strength saving throws until you take a short or long rest.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.
Subrace. Lagomorphs have two common subraces, soot-tailed and cotton-sided.
Soot-tailed lagomorphs are marked by two defining traits – their darker fur patterns, and their incredibly long ears.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Cool Off. Your ears act as a natural cooling system in the desert heat. You have advantage on Constitution saving throws against Extreme Heat, as described in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
Far rarer than soot-tails, cotton-sided lagomorphs are marked with a pattern of stark white patches and stripes on their fur.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Dazzling Pattern. You have learned how to rapidly display the white spots of your fur to beguile your opponent. At 3rd level, you can cast the hold person spell once with this trait, requiring no material components, and you regain the ability to cast it this way when you finish a long rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for this spell.
Random Height and Weight
|5′ 9″||+3d4||175 lb.||× (2d8) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier
|6′ 0″||+3d4||205 lb.||× (2d8) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier
When creating a lagomorph 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 characteristics.
|1||I try to swipe a few knickknacks from every place I visit, to remind me of my travels.|
|2||I’m fascinated by nature, and all the strange flora and fauna outside of the desert.|
|3||I love a good challenge, be it a race, a brawl, or a battle of wits.|
|4||I’m used to living outside, and feel claustrophobic in places like inns or taverns.|
|5||If I see something I want, I take it. If someone tries to stop me, I fight them.|
|6||As a bortedor, I want nothing more than to prove my honor by defending my allies, even if that means dying for them.|
|7||As a fermara, I am always happy to be at the beck and call of my friends and willing to support them however I can.|
|8||If I see somebody and for whatever reason don’t like the cut of their gib, all I see them as is a collection of goods that’s a few minutes away from being a corpse.|
|1||Conservationism: Nature has so many riches and wonders – I want to do everything I can to protect it. (Good)|
|2||Protection: I understand the value of life, given that mine is so short. I want to protect people so that their life isn’t cut shorter than need be. (Good)|
|3||Hedonism: The most important thing in life to me is to have a great time and get a bunch of cool stuff. I believe in instant gratification to the max. (Chaotic)|
|4||Easy-Going: I feel that if something needs done, then someone else will do it just fine. I take the path of least resistance in life, just going with the flow and taking what I need. (Chaotic)|
|5||Darwinism: Out in the desert, it’s survival of the fittest. I believe that if somebody is too weak or slow to avoid being assaulted by me, they have no reason to live at all. (Evil)|
|6||Egotism: I feel like I deserve only the best in life. If somebody out there has it better than me, then I want to take what they have – by any means necessary. (Evil)|
|1||My sibling has been by my side my entire life, and I will do everything in my power to protect them.|
|2||I have a special treasure I found (or stole) when I was young that I hold near and dear to my heart.|
|3||Everything I do is ultimately to benefit my partner in denalmata.|
|4||Someone close to me in my drove was killed, and I will do anything to avenge them.|
|5||There is an older lagomorph in my drove who I look up to as a mentor and guardian. I will do anything I can to serve them.|
|6||I want to keep my homeland beautiful and flourishing, so that generations after me can still live off the land.|
|1||Growing up in the deserts, I learned that the only person you can trust is yourself. I see anyone else as a threat, someone waiting to kill me to take my food and water.|
|2||Leaving the desert has made me aware that other races live substantially longer than me. This fills me with a sense of existential dread, and a fear of death and of wasting what little life I have.|
|3||In the desert, I was accustomed to other lagomorphs and the occasional human or elven traveler. Now I’m surrounded by dwarves, gnomes, tieflings, dragonborn, and all other species, and I don’t like, trust, or even understand any of them.|
|4||When the going gets tough, the tough get going… and I just go. My survival instincts make me want to flee at the slightest sign of danger.|
|5||I feel like my ideas are the only ones that matter, and refuse to listen to others’ points of view.|
|6||I have a hair-trigger, and will start a fight at the slightest provocation, even if it’s unnecessary.|