Rhichitt (5e Race)
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"Why d'yah keep that thing around, Kael? It's disgusting."
"Yeah. It insists on joining us to eat, vomits all over its food, and sucks it all back up. Keeps remindin' me of Jerry and that ooze way back. You remember that? .. Kael?"
"Mhm. I remember."
"Gods, that was nasty. And it took like.. half an hour. Screamin' the whole time."
"And then after all that, there wasn't even any gold like that gnome said. Oh, you were pretty mad I think."
"Mhm. Do you remember why you came over here, Tim?"
"Oh yeah. Why d'yah keep the bug around?"
"Because he follows orders, Tim. From the moment he was hatched, he was destined to be better at following orders than you ever will be. And I need someone who can do exactly what I say, exactly how I say it."
"Whadaya mean? I do what you say."
"Mhm. Do you remember why Jerry got caught in the ooze that day, Tim?"
... "S-sorry Kael, I'll go away."
Rhichittes resemble giant insects, bearing a head with two antennae, central thorax with six limbs, and a large abdomen. They are usually quadrupedal, using just two of their six legs as arms. They stand between 3 and 6 feet tall, depending on their size and posture. Beyond that, they vary wildly across individuals in form and function, owing to their signature ability to alter their adaptations according to a colony's needs. Rhichittes can have appearances similar to ants, mantises, beetles, mosquitos, wasps, and many more. Most males have a smooth, metallic sheen on their exoskeleton, with two or three iridescent colors, while most females have a coat of fine fuzzy setae similar to that of a moth.
For over six thousand years, the cursed Queen of the rhichittes dwelled in peaceful solitude, tending her empire within the ruins of a civilization forgotten by time. Every day was precisely the same. Tend to the fungal gardens, harvest nectar from the aphids, kill anything that approaches the walls, bring meat back for the larvae, repair and reinforce the infrastructure, and lay at least 100 eggs. One mind and a million hands to keep it all together. She had everything she ever wished for: "A grand, loyal, and loving family that will never leave me." She had long exhausted her reflective insights on the situation, feeling only a muted sadness.
Though she once believed her curse to grant her immortality, it eventually became clear that she was aging. Never moving from her throne, she noticed it in the waning of her telepathic command. She began to occasionally stutter orders, repeat herself, or even forget to send an order she intended. These mistakes grew more disruptive and frequent, and it became clear that she would soon be unfit to rule. In this dawning of mortality, the Queen felt concerned for her children for the first time. She had always thought of them not as separate creatures, but rather a direct extension of her own will. She saw the world through their eyes and felt it through their hands, now forced to imagine how they will see the world without her guidance. Only the curse of an eldritch power could create a thing like her. For hundreds of years in the beginning of her rule, she sent scouts to scour the world for a cure; now she wonders if there could be a way to pass her curse forward. Quickly she banishes the thought, for it is an unforgivable affliction. Her children will have to make do.
Never once did she allow them to go without orders. In truth, it was in fear. She had actively avoided imagining what they might think or feel on their own, for she believed they would crave freedom as she did and bitterly resent her enslavement. Surely if allowed autonomy, they would tear her to shreds. There was nothing for it now. She was bound to perish and her mistakes were beginning to cost lives. The psychic drone was growing more exhausting to maintain by the day, her children seemingly clumsier, and her enemies seemingly bolder. It was time to stop.
Her mind felt as if a massive burden had been lifted, and she no longer saw the world through her children's senses. She looked upon her once-modest throne room, now expanded into a grand cavern, the scale of which she never realized. She was alone, save for three small assistant drones. She braced herself as they stopped their tasks and approached her, but they did not attack. They sat before her, eyes wide and locked with hers. Soon more came. A trickle first, then a slow flood of family pouring in from all directions. Hundreds of thousands strong, they sat and stared. It took time for her to see it, but there was a sadness in their eyes. They understood what was happening, and they were afraid. They loved her with all their hearts, every last one. There were no words. She could only cry, for her deepest wish was finally fulfilled.
Broken and Scattered
During the rule of the Queen, or the "Rhixithit," rhichittes operated akin to a singular organism, all orchestrated by her passive commands to maintain the hive in perfect harmony. Inheriting metamorphic abilities from their mother, they were able to adapt to any challenge with ease, making the hive nearly impenetrable to those who would seize their land. It was a great fortune to her neighbors that the Queen had no means to expand nor desire to conquer. They merely defended their land from intruders, making few enemies. Though rhichittes are able to reproduce independently, the Queen never allowed it for fear that she wouldn't be able to control her grandchildren in the same way. After her passing, they attempted to maintain the hive as they had been but soon found the task insurmountable without her perfect communication and order. They were lost, stricken by grief, and forced to learn how to work together as individuals. Bit by bit, land was lost and groups left to find a new place to call hive.
Some sought to establish new hives with new self-proclaimed Queens. These colonies are limited in size and have varying customs depending on the environment, but they maintain a sense of unity and often unquestioning loyalty to the Queen. Others sought to integrate themselves with societies that would accept them. Thanks to their reputation for being peaceful and orderly during the Rhixithit, they can find homes among anyone who isn't too bothered by their appearance. Upon being introduced to foreign pantheons, many rhichittes take to worshipping the spirit of the first Queen as a goddess, in the hope that their faith and love will elevate her to divinity.
Rhichittes who are accepted by others live up to their reputation, remaining fiercely loyal to and protective of those who are close to them. They can be found following anyone who gives them a sense of order and direction, but they have no respect for those who practice enslavement, believing a group's success should stem only from their own accomplishments.
During the Rhixithit, rhichittes and grung were mortal enemies with shared borders. Rhichittes see grung society as the epitome of rigidity, inefficiency, and frivolity.
Giant birds often consider rhichittes a delicacy, leading many of them to be uncomfortable around birdfolk like kenku and aarakocra.
Rhichittes often get along exceptionally well with gnomes, who share in their sense of community and are often happy to have them as assistants.
In normal rhichitt society, there was no need for individual distinction, and names were not used. Most rhichittes lived their entire lives without ever communicating with anyone but the Queen. Even this took the form of a constant psychic broadcast of cold, uncaring orders. Now forced to make allies elsewhere, many rhichittes find themselves pressured to choose a name by others. While the manner in which a rhichitt might decide on a name is entirely up to their personal experiences, they tend to choose brief, one or two-syllable names that are relatively easy for them to say.
Names: Chit, Crrrekt, Vip, Tik, Lyl, Whrrrr, Rikki, Kafka, Clk, Qiko, Krix
A versatile race of insectoids forced to make their own ways after the loss of their ancient Queen.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1. One other ability score of your choice increases by 2, or two ability scores of your choice each increase by 1.
Age. Rhichittes hatch as larvae which mature over a period of three years. They then cocoon themselves and emerge after one week as fully grown adults, able to live for 40 to 50 years.
Alignment. Being hive creatures by nature, rhichittes are universally lawful. They tend to inherit the good or evil traits of their leaders.
Size. Rhichittes have tremendous variance in size and build, ranging from 4 to 7 feet long and weighing 100 to 300 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet, and you have a climbing speed of 30 feet.
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.
Natural Armor. You have a protective exoskeleton. When you aren't wearing armor, your AC is 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use your natural armor to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield's benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.
Antennae. You have no nose, but you can "smell" using your antennae. Whenever you make a Wisdom (Perception) check to smell, you are considered proficient in the Perception skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
Informed Scavengers. Born to serve, rhichittes excel at gathering resources and information in unforgiving locations for the benefit of their leader. You gain proficiency in the Investigation and Survival skills.
Metamorphosis. Rhichittes posses the ability to enter a metamorphic state to transform parts of their bodies, allowing them to gain additional traits as they mature or replace existing ones. At 1st level, you start with one of the Metamorphic Traits from the list below. You gain one additional trait of your choice from the list when you reach 5th level, and again at 11th level. To gain these new traits, you must perform a metamorphic ritual in which you cocoon yourself for 24 hours. Doing so grants you a number of temporary hit points equal to five times your level and renders you unconscious. The ritual ends early and you awaken immediately if you take damage exceeding your temporary hit points, and you lose the temporary hit points at the end of the ritual when you emerge from the cocoon. When the ritual is complete, you receive all the benefits of completing a long rest and gain the chosen trait. You can also perform this ritual at any time to replace one of your Metamorphic Traits with another one from the list.
Metamorphic Traits. You must meet any listed requirements to select a trait. If a trait grants access to a spell, you may choose Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as your spellcasting ability for it.
- Acid Spittle: Your mandibles produce an acidic substance which makes food both safer and more delicious! You learn your choice of acid splash, primal savagery, or vitriolic blast, and the spell doesn't require somatic components for you. In addition, you now have resistance to acid damage and you are immune to being diseased by foods.
- Bombardier's Blast: Requires Constitution of 15 or higher. You gain the ability to produce and mix new chemicals within your abdomen to spray acidic or superheated liquid at foes. Choose acid or fire when you gain this trait. As an action, you can force creatures in a 15 foot cone to make a Dexterity saving throw. The DC of this saving throw is 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature takes 2d6 damage of the chosen type on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. You can use this trait a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier, and you regain expended uses when you finish a short or long rest.
- Bristled Scales: You grow a set of needle-like scales across your body. At the start of each of your turns, you deal 1d6 piercing damage to any creature grappling you or grappled by you. In addition, you can cause your bristles to burst out in all directions as an action. Each creature within 10 feet of you must make a Dexterity saving throw, taking 2d8 piercing damage on a failed save or half as much on a success. The DC of this saving throw is 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. Once you shed your scales in this way, you receive no benefit from this trait until the end of your next long rest.
- Camouflage: Your exoskeleton gains the ability to subtly change its apparent color and texture. You gain proficiency in Stealth. In addition, all Wisdom (Perception) checks made to spot you while you are standing still have disadvantage.
- Climbing Barbs: You grow additional tiny barbs along your feet and hands, providing excellent grip. You have advantage on any ability check made to climb difficult surfaces, and you can climb along the underside of surfaces while you have both hands free.
- Compound Eyes: You grow a pair of massive, multi-faceted eyes which allow you omnidirectional vision. You gain proficiency in Perception, you can’t be surprised while you are conscious, and enemies don’t gain advantage on attack rolls against you as a result of being hidden from you.
- Disposable Swarm: You gain the ability to passively produce an invisible, flying swarm of offspring which can move objects and deliver a charming toxin. You learn the friends, infestation, and mage hand cantrips, and they don't require material components for you.
- Extra Legs: You grow an extra pair of legs. Your speed increases by 5 feet, and you can ignore difficult terrain while both your hands are free. In addition, you have advantage on saving throws you make to avoid being knocked prone.
- Fireblood: Your blood heats to a near boil and you can bend fire to your will. You gain resistance to fire damage, and you learn the control flames and produce flame cantrips.
- Folding Blades: Requires Dexterity of 15 or higher. You grow a pair of folding scythe-like blades which can be extended from your forearms. As an object interaction with empty hand(s), you can extend one or both of the blades. Each counts as a simple melee weapon you are proficient in, has the finesse and light properties, and deals 1d6 piercing damage on a hit. You cannot be disarmed of them, and you can retract them at any time (no action required.) You cannot use your hands while the blades are extended.
- Herculean Horn: Requires Strength of 15 or higher. Your body grows bulkier and you gain a massive claw-like horn on your head, which you can use to knock enemies around. While your hands are empty, you have advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks made to shove creatures. Unarmed strikes using your horn deal bludgeoning or piercing (your choice) damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the normal damage for an unarmed strike. In addition, you count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
- Leaping Legs: Your rear legs grow twice their size, becoming more powerful and sensitive. You have tremorsense to a range of 30 feet. In addition, you suffer no penalties to the distance you can jump from making a standing long or high jump, and your jumping distance is doubled.
- Pistol Claw: One of your hands grows into a massive claw which you can snap to create a propelled burst of thunder. As an action, you can make a special ranged spell attack using your claw while it is empty. It has a range of 15 feet and always hits, dealing thunder damage equal to 1d12 + your Constitution modifier. Once you use this attack, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest. In addition, unarmed attacks made using your claw can deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier instead of the normal damage for an unarmed attack.
- Proboscis: You grow a flexible, straw-like needle from your mouth to steal vital fluids from prey. As an action, you can make a special unarmed attack using your proboscis. The attack deals piercing damage instead of bludgeoning damage, and you can use Dexterity instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls. On a hit, the target takes an additional 1d10 necrotic damage, and you regain hit points equal to half the necrotic damage dealt. You can make this attack a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain expended uses when you finish a long rest. In addition, you are now immune to becoming poisoned by foods.
- Snapping Jaws: You grow a pair of massive, razor-sharp incisors which can snap incredibly fast. Your unarmed strikes using these jaws deal piercing damage equal to 2d6 + your Strength modifier on a hit. Once you make an attack using your jaws, you cannot do so again until the start of your next turn.
- Stinger: You grow a deadly stinger from the tip of your abdomen, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. When you hit with it, it deals piercing damage instead of bludgeoning damage, and the target takes an additional 1d8 poison damage. You can use Dexterity instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls using your stinger.
- Superior Antennae: Your antennae grow more sensitive and now grant you limited telepathy. You can speak telepathically with any creature you can see within 30 feet of you that understands at least one language you speak, or within 120 feet of another rhichitt. Your communication doesn't give the creature the ability to respond to you telepathically unless that creature is a rhichitt. In addition, you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks made to smell things within 5 feet of you.
- Thick Carapace: Requires Strength of 15 or higher. Your exoskeleton grows in size and density. Your natural AC becomes 18, and you cannot wear armor. You also have disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks and you lose access to the climbing speed granted by your race. You are considered to be wearing heavy armor with proficiency.
- Water Striders: Requires Dexterity of 15 or higher. Your legs grow longer and gain a liquid-repellant coating. While your hands are empty, you can walk along the surface of liquids. While you do so, you can take the dash action as a bonus action.
- Wings: Requires Constitution of 15 or higher. You grow a set of wings. As an action, you can unfurl your wings and gain a flying speed of 50 feet until the beginning of your next turn. If you are wearing heavy armor, your flying speed is reduced to 30 feet.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Rhichittish. Rhichittish is a strange language full of clicks and whirrs that also depends upon the presence of pheromonal signals, making it impossible to be written or properly understood by other races. These verbal qualities carry over into other languages they speak, which are highly difficult for them to learn.
- Pronounced like the "ricket" in "cricket."
- Rhichittish word meaning order, harmony, and unity.