Navigator (5e Race)

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Physical Description[edit]

A navigator arcanist. (Source)

Navigators appear very similar to their human forebears, possessing similar ranges of hair and skin tones. In fact, so long as they keep their third eye covered a navigator could easily be mistaken for an ordinary human. Not all navigators can pass for humans so easily, however; some are born with incredibly pale skin and elongated fingers, giving them an eerie and unsettling appearance. Navigators tend to be leaner than ordinary humans on average, as they are less accustomed to directly partaking in manual labor.

A navigator’s most striking feature is their third eye. This eye sits in the middle of the navigator’s forehead and shimmers with iridescent light. It is blind to the physical world, unlike the navigator’s other two eyes, and can only be used to perceive supernatural phenomena such as magical auras, invisible or ethereal entities, and extraplanar beings. Using the eye in this way is physically and mentally taxing on the navigator, and as such, they can only do so over short periods. It takes time and effort to unlock the eye’s full potential.

To look into a navigator’s eye is dangerous. It reflects things which ordinary men were not meant to see, and those who gaze too long into its depths risk going mad. To prevent themselves from causing undue harm, most navigators keep their third eye hidden under a bandana or a hood. If she should come under attack, a navigator can then easily uncover her eye and psychically stun her assailants into a stupor, giving her time to escape.


Legends tell of an ancient empire that once spanned the multiverse. The lifeblood of that empire was trade between the countless worlds of the material plane, and trade was carried out by wooden ships that could sail the otherworldly currents of the planes. But navigating such a diverse array of bizarre and often hostile realities was too great a task for ordinary methods: what good is a sextant when there are no recognizable constellations, or no horizon to compare those stars to? What good is a compass when the notion of the north is meaningless? And in the more chaotic planes, what does one do when the landmarks one spotted on one voyage turn out to be mere illusions?

To circumvent these problems, it is said that the rulers of this empire used powerful magic to breed a race of humans that would not be fooled by the trickery of the planes, who would be able to see through the otherworldly fog and perceive both their home worlds and their destinations as shining beacons. Thus did the first navigators come into being.

Supposedly the empire has long since fallen into ruin, its trade routes and communication lines having collapsed, its spacefaring ships having rotted away and the secrets of their creation having been lost. All that remains of its former splendor are the noble houses of the navigators, who live within yet apart from human society, wielding great influence and power as merchants and shipping concerns. And whether the legends of this empire are true or just a pack of lies cooked up by the navigators themselves to explain their current affluence and abilities, the fact remains clear that the navigators live up to their name.


Navigators are an aloof and insular people, living within human society yet apart from ordinary humans. They are organized into a number of aristocratic families known as the Navis Nobilite, and these noble houses compete with one another for choice shipping contracts. These families seclude themselves within walled-off compounds so as to not be disturbed by the common riffraff, and only wealthy patrons and business partners ever receive an invitation to visit a Navis Nobilite estate.

To the layperson, navigators are poorly understood figures at best. Many find these three-eyed, pale-skinned, long-fingered beings strange and even frightening, and superstitious folk may react to a navigator’s presence with hostility or outright violence. The navigators are well aware of their reputation as boogeymen, and when the Navis Nobilite needs to negotiate with their human business partners they will choose the most ordinary, human-looking navigators to act as envoys and ambassadors.

Many navigators are noblemen or guild artisans that work directly for the Navis Nobilite, while others live up to their race’s name by working as navigators on sailing ships. Some navigators also take an interest in the arcane, becoming wizards that specialize in divination magic; such diviners can easily find work as a court mage or astrologer. Martially-inclined navigators are very rare, and barbarians and druids are almost unheard of.

Navigator Names[edit]

Navigators use many of the same names that humans do, with a preference for grandiose and sophisticated names that reflect their nature as affluent patricians. Their names frequently correspond to those used by the Greeks and the Romans in the real world.

Male: Augustus, Brontes, Cornelius, Endymion, Gaius, Hektor, Laurentius, Menelaus, Patroklos, Severus

Female: Andromeda, Cecilia, Diana, Elektra, Flavia, Helene, Juno, Kassandra, Octavia, Theia

Navigator Traits[edit]

An offshoot of the human race, navigators possess a third eye that can see the supernatural.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2 and your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Age. Navigators reach adulthood in their late teens and can live for up to eighty years.
Alignment. Many navigators are taught to remain calm under pressure from an early age, lest they put their own lives and the lives of everyone around them at risk. They tend towards law as a result.
Size. You are slightly taller and leaner than your human relatives, but not noticeably so in most cases. Your base size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Navigator's Sight. Your third eye’s magical sight gives you an edge in discerning the real from the unreal. You have advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks made to disbelieve illusions or recognize them as false.
Maddening Gaze. In a pinch, you can defend yourself with the light reflected by your third eye. As an action, you can force all hostile creatures within a 15-foot cone that can see you to make a Wisdom saving throw. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier. On a failed save, a creature takes 2d6 psychic damage. The damage increases to 3d6 at 6th level, 4d6 at 11th level, and 5d6 at 16th level.
On a failed save, a creature is also stunned until the end of its next turn. If the creature fails the save by 5 or more, it is stunned for 1 minute instead. If an affected creature takes damage, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn’t stunned.
Once you use this trait, you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.
Navigator Magic. You know the true strike cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the detect magic spell once with this trait, and you regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can also cast the see invisibility spell once with this trait, without requiring material components, and you regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Tool Proficiency. You gain proficiency with navigator's tools.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

4′ 9″ +2d10 100 lb. × (2d4) lb.

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

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

When creating a navigator 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's characteristics.

d8 Personality Trait
1 My word is my bond, and I shall never go back on it.
2 I collect and assemble tiny wooden ships inside of bottles.
3 I constantly feel as if I’m being watched, even when I know I’m alone.
4 I cover up my pale skin and long fingers so as to avoid unwanted attention.
5 I respect any man who can meet my gaze without flinching.
6 I’ve glimpsed things in the beyond that make onrushing orcs seem mild in comparison.
7 I pride myself on being an excellent judge of character.
8 I refuse to be hurried and I work at my own pace.
d6 Ideal
1 Independence. I must prove that I can handle myself without the coddling of my family. (Chaotic)
2 Greed. Any venture is permitted, so long as it fills my coffers. (Evil)
3 Community. Healthy trade routes make for a healthy civilization. (Lawful)
4 Power. I strive to become the head of my House. (Lawful)
5 Obligation. It is my duty to chart a safe course and guide my companions to safe harbour. (Good)
6 Family. My kin can always count on me. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 My house’s business relations with the local lord must not be jeopardized.
2 I’m in love with a navigator from a rival house.
3 I forged a lasting friendship with the crew of my first ship.
4 I am plagued by nightmares of a terrible fiend, and I must learn what they mean before it’s too late.
5 My house has fallen on hard times, and it’s up to me to restore its glory.
6 I was disowned for offending the head of my house, and I must get back in their good graces.
d6 Flaw
1 I hold those who don’t share my third eye in contempt.
2 I’d betray my own mother for a chance to advance my standing in the house.
3 I don’t hesitate before opening my mouth. My caustic tongue has landed me in trouble more than once.
4 I struggle with social interaction because I am constantly distracted by glimpses of otherworldly things that no one else can see.
5 I am ruthlessly pragmatic in my planning. When I chart a course, the wellbeing of my crew is less important than being on time.
6 I’m convinced that my family sees me as a disposable pawn. I cannot trust anyone but myself.

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