Mongrelfolk (5e Race)

From D&D Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Mongrelfolk[edit]

Less a race than a convenient category, some beings are the result of extensive interbreeding on the part of many different humanoids over time. They might simply be the product of a half-elf having a child with a half-orc, or of a complex family tree that contains gith, tieflings, and genasi. Any being of humanoid ancestry that does not "fit" into one of the more-well-known races is usually termed a mixed-breed, a mutt, or, most neutrally, a mongrelfolk.

Physical Description[edit]

Given their origins, it is perhaps unsurprising that mongrelfolk exhibit a tremendous variety of physical forms. The difference, however, between one and, say, a half-elf or an orc with some traces of human ancestry, is that a mongrelfolk is not recognizably anything else. A mongrelfolk might, for instance, have the stature of a normal human, but the bulky, husky build of a dwarf and the soft facial features of a halfling. Mongrelfolk with more-exotic ancestry, particularly from cities with frequent planar travel, might have the scaly skin and noseless face of a gith, long, curving tiefling horns, or even feathers in the hair, implying crossbreeding with aasimar or aarakocra.

History[edit]

For as long as there have been multiple kinds of humanoid race existing peacefully with one another, there have been crossbreeds. It's inevitable. You put a bunch of people together and, no matter the physical or cultural differences, some of them are going to "experiment." Humans, orcs, and dragons are the most notorious for mating outside of their races, but even relatively-reserved races like dwarfs and deep gnomes have histories of inter-marriage. Some of these crossbreeds have even become so numerous that they are effectively races unto themselves, such as half-elves or, perhaps, stout halflings, but less-common types have always been a fact of life.

The large melting-pot cities of the world, however, are the most common locations for interspecies couples, since they are the largest centers of cultural exchange. Thus, in modern times, as urban areas become more and more common, populous, and cosmopolitan, the numbers and varieties of mixed-breeds in the world have exploded.

Society[edit]

Because they are not necessarily a "race," most mongrelfolk take after one or both of their parents' cultures, or with the culture of the cities and nations they grew up in. The majority of mongrelfolk are born in urban environments, and the majority of mongrelfolk with extra-planar heritage are born in cosmopolitan places with frequent commerce with the outer, elemental, and astral planes.

However, the nature of their situation ensures many mongrelfolk face similar issues. Some mongrelfolk are extremely anxious about who and what they are, especially if one of the cultures that spawned them puts a high premium on notions of blood and purity. Others, from more-relaxed societies or more-assimilated into a non-racial state, are extremely comfortable with what they are and see no reason to trouble themselves with unnecessary angst. The former may resent half-elves, half-orcs, stout halflings, and other "normal" cross-breed races for receiving arbitrary social acceptance simply for being more-numerous than themselves, especially if they have experienced hardships or discrimination because of their mixed ancestry.

On that note, while not all mongrelfolk experience prejudice due to what they are, it is far from uncommon, particularly in rural or racially-homogeneous areas. Many worry that if the rampant cross-breeding that creates mongrelfolk populations becomes too common, all the races and cultures of the world will mingle together into an indistinguishable hereditary slurry, and every other humanoid will become extinct. In civilizations and cultures with explicitly racist ideology, this tends to cross over into outright organized persecution, particularly when the mongrelfolk in question represents a hybridization (or, as they prefer, a "bastardization") of their own, "superior" race, and one of the "lesser" races. Even though most modern, cosmopolitan societies do not directly oppress them, it is an uncomfortable fact that the most widely-accepted word for identifying humanoids of indeterminable ancestry is very close to a derogatory slur. In general, few mongrelfolk will take offense to its use, but the more-polite term is still "mixed-race," while "mutt" is generally offensive. The level of offense will vary from individual to individual.

Most humanoids are capable of interbreeding, perhaps hinting at a common ancestor, and most mongrelfolk are genetically viable and fertile. A mongrelfolk's children will usually also be mongrelfolk, though with traits from the other parent as well. In time, if a mongrelfolk line breeds solely with a single type of humanoid, the traits will dilute down, and their family will become members of that race, with only subtle hints as to their ancestry.

Mongrelfolk Traits[edit]

Less a race than a convenient category, the highly-variable mongrelfolk consist of every being who counts multiple types of humanoids among their ancestors.
Ability Score Increase. Mongrelfolk derive their ability scores entirely from their sub-race.
Age. Though they theoretically have a tremendously variable range in ages, based on their ancestry, in practice the majority of mongrelfolk have quick-breeding races with shorter life-spans in their family trees. Most reach maturity in their late teens and live for about a century, though outliers in both directions can be extremely far from that average.
Alignment. It's hard to make generalizations about mongrelfolk. Which alignments they tend towards are usually dictated by their ancestry, but if it pulls in multiple directions, or if they are "true" mongrelfolk, they usually tend towards no particular alignment, like humans, rather than experiencing conflicting impulses.
Size. Despite their variety, most mongrelfolk are not hugely different from normal humanoid proportions. Your size is Medium. Alternatively, with your Dungeon Master's permission, you might have ancestry primarily from smaller kinds of humanoid, such as halflings or goblins. In this case, your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet, assuming you are of Medium size. If you are Small, your movement speed is instead 25 feet.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice, linked in some way to your ancestry. Though you may have many different kinds of humanoid ancestor, most beings don't have the aptitude to learn lots of languages at once, and those that do learn them through normal game rules.
Subrace. In practice, mongrelfolk can be divided into three categories: true, narrow-bred, and weird.

True[edit]

True mongrelfolk have so many different kinds of humanoid ancestors that few of them are recognizably dominant. However, they also possess traits from many of them at once. The offensive term, "pariah," originally delineating dogs that result from long-term nonselective breeding, specifically refers to this type of mongrelfolk. They tend to be very versatile individuals, capable in many different areas at once.

Ability Score Increase. Your ability scores each increase by 1.

Narrow-Bred[edit]

Narrow-bred mongrelfolk have a few dominant physical ancestors. They are usually the result of relatively few generations of mixing, or of two baseline humanoid parents whose races, for whatever reason, don't produce children together frequently have a well-known "hybrid race" associated with them. Some are even rare throwbacks created through random alignments of hereditary factors in "true" mongrelfolk with common ancestors.

Although you this sub-race offers great freedom of choice, your selections should be in some way related to your ancestry. For example, a narrow-breed mongrelfolk with increases to her Strength and Charisma scores might be of mixed orcish and drow heritage.

Ability Score Increase. Two different ability scores of your choice each increase by 1.
Skills. You gain proficiency in one skill of your choice.
Heritage. You gain either one feat of your choice, the Lucky halfling racial trait, the Gnome Cunning gnome racial trait, resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws against poison, the Relentless Endurance half-orc racial trait, or Darkvision out to 60 ft. and proficiency in one additional skill of your choice.

Weird[edit]

Weird mongrelfolk have streaks of ancestry from planar, magical, or simply biologically-divergent beings that grant them unusual abilities. Not all mongrelfolk with magical humanoids in their family tree are weird mongrelfolk, but all mongrelfolk that exhibit these powers have at least one close genetic relative they've inherited them from.

As with narrow-bred mongrelfolk, weird mongrelfolk's ability score choices should reflect their ancestry.

Ability Score Increase. One ability score of your choice increases by two, two ability scores of your choice increase by one.
Skill. You gain proficiency in one skill of your choice.
Weird Power. You gain either the Unending Breath or Earth Walk genasi racial traits, the Stone's Endurance goliath racial trait, the ability to breathe air and water and a swim speed equal to your walking speed, or Darkvision out to 60 ft. and your choice of resistance to either radiant and necrotic damage or to one type of damage of your choice from the following list: fire, ice, lightning, acid, or poison.

Alternatively, if one of your ancestors was from a race that possessed the ability to naturally cast spells, you may choose to instead gain Darkvision and one cantrip of your choice. This cantrip need not be one the creature would naturally know, given your non-standard heritage, but your spellcasting ability for this spell is still the same as it would be for your spellcasting ancestor. (Ex. A weird mongrelfolk with tiefling ancestry would use Charisma, while one with githzerai ancestry would use Wisdom.)


Back to Main Page5e HomebrewRaces

Home of user-generated,
homebrew pages!
system ref. documents


admin area
Terms and Conditions for Non-Human Visitors