Phantomborn (5e Race)

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"Ghoul", "wraith", "monster", "abomination", "unholy". Call me what you like; I've heard them all already. At least try to be a little more original than "miscreation", hm?
—Shadow, ghostborn tracker.

Physical Description[edit]

Phantomborn look very much like ordinary undead, save for the fact that their skin and hair is pale, usually blue or white, and their eyes are solidly black. They exist in the void between life and death, lacking a pulse and not needing to truly sleep, but still being able to speak, just like a normal humanoid. The balance of this void varies between individual phantoms. Phantomborn tend to speak quietly with trailing voices.


The phantomborn were the creation of a mad necromancer who wanted more intelligent undead servants, and experimented until the phantomborn were created. Only the phantomborn know exactly how the progenitors of their race came to be, and only they know how to create more of their race. Most sages theorise that phantomborn are not born at all, instead created through arcane rituals, but the phantomborn will never reveal their greatest secret. Attempts to artificially create phantomborn performed by non-phantomborn have always ended in disaster, usually creating shadows or wraiths instead of phantomborn.


Phantomborn tend to be looked down upon because of their necromantic origins. They are not as reviled as tieflings, though most would prefer to avoid them. As a result, most phantomborn live in large cities where their difference barely affects most people. The society of phantomborn is somewhat withdrawn after years of scorn. They have no empires or great cities, as their origins were in experiments. They do, however, have a very strong feeling of connection. A phantomborn will only do something to directly harm another if they have a very good reason, though this sense of goodwill extends only to fellow phantomborn.

Phantomborn Names[edit]

Phantomborn tend to use the naming customs of where they were created or names that reflect an ideal of the undead or may take on names from other cultures to concleal their true nature.

Undead: Corpse, Ghost, Ghoul, Phantom, Shadow, Wraith

Phantomborn Traits[edit]

Undead creatures made by necromancers that live in the void between life and death.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution and Intelligence scores each increase by 1.
Age. Phantomborn are considered adults among their kind when they are 18, and usually live up to 100 years old, at which point the necromantic energies flowing through them tend to fade, though they will usually live on for about a century or two afterwards.
Alignment. Because of their necromantic origins, phantomborn are usually chaotic and rarely lawful, though a strong focus on the individual means that they tend towards neutral alignments.
Size. Phantomborn tend to stand between 5 and 6 feet. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. The necromantic origins of the phantomborn grant you darkvision. 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.
Undead Resistance. You have resistance to poison damage, and advantage on saving throws against the poisoned condition.
Undead Vigil. Phantomborn don't need to sleep like normal beings, instead entering a kind of hibernation that they call "Vigil" in which they are indistinguishable from a normal corpse. After 10 minutes of resting this way you gain a blindsight of 10 feet that extends into the ethereal plane. You lose this sense when you complete your rest.
Undead Legacy. You need to eat and drink half as much as a normal Medium sized creature would, and you do not need to breathe.
Necrotic. Through sounds and gestures, you can communicate simple ideas with undead.
Languages. You can speak, read and write Common, Necrotic, and one other language of your choice.
Subrace. Choose a subrace from ghoulborn, ghostborn or wraithborn.


Ghoulborn are phantomborn that lean slightly more towards death than life. They enjoy being tougher than other phantomborn. The ghoulborn tend to be a bit heavier than other phantomborn.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces you to 0 hit points, you must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant, from a critical hit or the excess damage exceeds your hit point maximum. On a success, you drop to 1 hit point instead. You can use this trait a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier.
Unholy Stamina. You are proficient in the Athletics skill.


Ghostborn are phantomborn that are almost equal in their balance between life and death. They tend to be quicker than other phantomborn. The ghostborn tend to be lighter and a bit shorter than other phantomborn.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Incorporeal Movement. When you use the Dash action, you can move through other creatures and objects as though they were difficult terrain. If you end your turn inside an object or creature, you take 1d10 force damage. You must finish a long rest before you can use this trait again.
Ghostly Walk. You are proficient in the Stealth skill.


Wraithborn are phantomborn that lean closer to life than death, though still trapped in their void. They enjoy magic, especially their own innate spells. The wraithborn tend to be a bit taller than other phantomborn.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Undead Spellcasting. You learn the chill touch cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast ray of sickness once per long rest as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reach 5th level, you can also cast fear once per long rest using this trait. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Phantom's Mind. You are proficient in the Arcana skill.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Table: Phantomborn Random Height and Weight
Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
4′ 8″ +2d10 inches 110 lb. × (2d4) lb.

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