Rakshasa (5e Race)

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Physical Description[edit]

The true form of a rakshasa is that of a human-feline hybrid, fearsome and hale in stature. They have fangs, claw-like fingernails, and flaming red eyes. Their features often resemble a tiger or other fierce feline beasts. All rakshasa have a deformity, as a reminder of their cursed heritage. Reversed hands (palm-to-back) or feet are common deformities, but in extreme cases, whole limbs or their head might be twisted to face the rear. Their true form is rarely seen by others, for they can disguise themselves with magic. They can speak with eloquence and charm, but can also give a bestial growl and are known to consume the flesh of their prey they particularly enjoyed hunting.


The truth behind the origins of the rakshasa isn't certain with one of the two separate lore being accepted as the truth. The first being:

Evil spirits in mortal flesh, rakshasa originated long ago in the Nine Hells when powerful devils created a dark ritual to free their essence from their fiendish bodies in order to escape the Lower Planes. A rakshasa enters the Material Plane to feed its appetite for humanoid flesh and evil schemes. It selects its prey with care, taking pains to keep its presence in the world a secret.

The second being:

It is said that rakshasa were created from the breath of a god while it slept and so bloodthirsty they were when created they started eating their creator, and so in a fit of anger the god banished them to the realm of the Nine Hells. Almost all rakshasa have since escaped the Lower Planes using illusion and deceit, and dwell on the Material Plane.


In some worlds, rakshasa are common enough that they form their own societies, constructing city-states that are invisible to those who are uninvited. These cities can be utopian or terrifying depending on the ruling caste's tendency to good or evil. The streets are lined with gardens, libraries and illusory works of art. All rakshasa are ferocious warriors, with each citizen being a member of the city's army. rakshasa armies either involve themselves in the wars of other races if the cause is just or if the battles are particularly bloody, depending greatly on the nature of the state.

In worlds where rakshasa are rarer, individuals will work their way into other cultures, using disguise and deception to establish a position of power. An evil rakshasa may murder a member of the nobility and take their place, while good rakshasa may simply wish to enjoy a position of benevolent rulership. Warrior rakshasa who favor battle over illusion may settle for any duty in a warlord's army – even as low as a rank-and-file soldier.

For a rakshasa, death on the Material Plane means an agonizing and torturous return to the Nine Hells, where its essence remains trapped until its body reforms — a process that can take months or years. When the rakshasa is reborn, it has all the memories and knowledge of its former life, and it seeks retribution against the one who slew it. If the target has somehow slipped through its grasp, the rakshasa might punish its killer's family, friends, or descendants. Like devils, rakshasas killed in the Nine Hells are forever destroyed. While this isn't commonly known it is the reason why the rakshasa are so wrathful and revenge driven in nature.

Asura rakshasa are debased, often consumed with sinful passions, such as lust, greed, wrath or boastfulness – sometimes to the point of addiction. They have superiority complexes whilst also envious of the purity of beings such as devas. Asura are restless, desiring activity, and are most likely to be found taking a hands-on approach to war or construction.

Maya rakshasa are natural of illusionists, preferring trickery and magic over claws and muscle. They seek finer pleasures and have a far more reserved and sophisticated aura to them, often starving themselves for several days before allowing themselves the finer tastes that their patience has wrought. Maya are calculated, careful and are often the ones behind some recent political move preferring to lurk and gain power in the background rather than be in the public eye.

A female rakshasa is known as a rakshasi.

Rakshasa Names[edit]

Rakshasa use the names of fiends and share some similar naming conventions to the Tabaxi due to their feline similarities. Their names are also rather flamboyant or extravagant sounding.

Male Names: Ravana, Vibhishana, Kumbhakarna, Kabandha, Tataka, Surpanakha, Maricha, Subahu, Khara, Indrajit, Prahasta, Akshayakumara, Atikaya

Female Names: Leela, Naidu, Saurandhri, Harish, Vijaya, Shrivastav, Radha, Tipanis, Priyanshi, Bandyopadhyay, Durgautti, Gharapure, Durgawati, Barigai

Rakshasa Traits[edit]

A rakshasa is a human-feline fiend hybrid, fearsome and hale in stature
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.
Age. Rakshasa are born fully formed. They are considered old at the age of 600 years and can live up to a 1000 years.
Alignment. There are only evil rakshasas, but all have a respect for the natural laws of the universe, so their kind is always of a lawful evil alignment.
Size. Rakshasas are over 6 feet tall and average 250 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Fiend. You originated from the Nine Hells and as such your creature type is both fiend and humanoid. When you die on the Material Plane you return to the Nine Hells, where your essence remains trapped until your body reforms — a process that can take months, years, or even centuries. When you are reborn, your body reforms in the Nine Hells and you have all the memories and knowledge of your former life. Like devils, rakshasa killed in the Nine Hells are forever destroyed.
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.
Duplicity. You are proficient in the Deception skill.
Cunning. You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma saving throws against magic.
Innate Spellcasting. You know the friends cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the detect thoughts spell once and need to finish a long rest before you can cast it again. When you reach 5th level, you can also cast the suggestion spell once and need to finish a long rest before you can cast it again. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Infernal.
Subrace. You must choose a subrace from the Maya or Asura.

Maya Rakshasa[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Illusionist. You know the minor illusion cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the alter self spell once per day. When you reach 5th level, you can also cast the major image spell once per day. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Asura Rakshasa[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Claws. Your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength or Dexterity modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Savage Attacks. When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Table: Rakshasa Random Height and Weight
Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
6′ 0″ +2d6 110 lb. × (1d6) lb.

Random Curse[edit]

When creating a rakshasa character, you can use the following table of curses when deciding your traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws to help flesh out your character. Use this table in addition to or in place of your background's characteristics. Note that curses have no mechanical benefit or debilitation.

d12 Rakshasa Curse
1 All limbs connected to your torso are backward.
2 You have a malformed face somewhere on your body. This face is unmoving and lifeless.
3 Your fur is patchy and doesn't grow out to form the soft furry coat that your kind is known for.
4 You have a large growth somewhere on your body that appears as a furless lump.
5 A part of your skin and flesh in a noticeable area never grew and if inspected reveals the white bone below.
6 You have a large scar that covers a noticeable length of your body
7 You have reversed feet (toes point backward).
8 You have reversed hands (palm-to-back).
9 One of your fingers is the other way around.
10 You have a noticeable gimp as you walk.
11 An area of a few inches in radius is scarred and hairless somewhere on your body.
12 Reroll or pick any result from 1-11. If you reroll and roll a 12 again you are a rarity even for your kind and have no curse.

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