Risen Animal, Variant (5e Race)

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Risen Animal[edit]

The important thing is not how you live. It's what you accomplish with your life.
—Grovyle, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

Physical Description[edit]

Through various polymorph spells, these creatures, who were once every-day animals found in the wild, have been permanently transformed into humanoids. Because of the spell-caster's ignorance and lack of understanding, they look like ordinary members of a humanoid race. Most retain at least some resemblance to their original species, though, without betraying the appearance of their new race (i.e. a wolf may retain its yellow eyes). While there are endless possibilities for the new humanoid form that risen animals can take on, most of these creatures resemble humans and elves, since most were transformed by human and elven spell-casters.


Upon the creation of the universe, risen animals did not exist. It was when the sentient creatures of the world began to dabble in the dangerous magical arts that the risen animal was brought into creation. There was a sudden fascination with transmutation spells when magic was first being discovered, which was stemmed from the stories within humanoid folklore that involved turning animals into people or vice versa. Inspired by these tales, magic-users throughout history were permitted, and often encouraged, to practice and create polymorph spells using animals as test subjects, as they weren't capable of higher thought like the humanoids. In many cases, they forgot to remove these spells or prevent their undoing by mistake, trapping the animals in their new bodies indefinitely. The former animal was now left in a confused, frightened state with no-one to protect or guide them. They were forced to learn everything about life from the very beginning, from walking to communicating with other creatures. Even with their incredible disadvantage in life, almost all risen animals were scorned and rejected in society for their lack of knowledge and understanding of the humanoid world.

In recent years, a relatively large group of humanoids and other scholars called the "Anti-Polymorph Association", an organization previously formed to ban the use of polymorph spells, have come to the defense of risen animals, calling their mistreatment inhumane and cruel. They have also encouraged the risen animals to join their ranks in an attempt to ban and/or restrict the use of transmutation spells in many kingdoms. However, cases of risen animals are generally considered too rare to be a problem, and areas with large magic communities consider the spells too important to legislate against.


Risen animals are immediately thrown into a tough decision when tasked with finding a new life for themselves. At the beginning of their search, they generally remain near their former habitat, especially those that previously lived in groups, such as wolves and rabbits. However, due to the extreme amounts of difficulty risen animals have with communicating to members of their original species, they are often forced to make a painful decision: live in the solitude that nature has always provided them or assimilate into the society of the civilized world.

Although conforming to an entirely new way of living can be difficult at first, a large majority of risen animals choose this life, leading relatively normal lives and keeping their secretive past to themselves. However, there are still risen animals that eventually grow home-sick, longing for their original life of freedom and survival. In areas with large communities of magic-users, dotted communities of risen animals tend to congregate. Blending in is the sole goal in the life of a risen animal, so many of the stories that these individuals make are fabricated, carefully woven lies that keep people from pointing out oddities in their history. Because of their harsh upbringing and their unpleasant history, risen animals universally have a resentment towards magic-users and tend to avoid resorting to magic when solving problems.

Risen Animal Names[edit]

Risen animals do not have their own naming guidelines, as names within animal societies don't exist. As such, they are forced to take on a name that matches their race, as to not be singled out for their differences.

Risen Animal Traits[edit]

Animals transformed into humanoids by magic-users.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Age. Risen animals share the lifespan of the humanoid race that they take on.
Alignment. Risen animals are overwhelmingly chaotic in nature, as they are creatures of the natural world struggling to fit into humanoid society. Good and evil within the mind of the risen animal is diverse but heavily influenced by their species of origin.
Size. Much like the age of the risen animal, their size is also dependent on the new humanoid race that they embody.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Habitat. Despite the time you've spent outside of your old life, you retained knowledge of your natural habitat. While you are within a location that matches your subrace's applicable environment (listed in the subrace's traits), you can perfectly recall any path you travel or have previously traveled within that location and know the exact location of every place you visit or have visited within that specific location. Additionally, when you make a Survival skill check related to or within these places, you may double your proficiency bonus if you're proficient in that skill.
Past Self. You're still the animal that you once were in the eyes of your former kin. You have advantage on Animal Handling skill checks made against creatures of your specific species of origin. Additionally, you have disadvantage on Animal Handling skill checks made against creatures that prey on your species of origin (if applicable).
Animal Whisperer. You have the ability to communicate in a limited manner with beasts. They can understand the meaning of your words, though you have no special ability to understand them in return. You have advantage on Persuasion checks made to influence creatures that share the beast creature type of your subrace.
Illiterate. You cannot read or write. This feature can be overridden if your class or background grants you the ability to read or write or if you eventually learn how to read and/or write.
Languages. You can speak Common, but cannot read and write it.
Subrace. While there are technically billions of potential subraces, risen animals are commonly split into six subraces. Some species may not neatly fit into one subrace, so approximations may be made when choosing a subrace.


Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Applicable Environment. Your applicable environment is the underwater environment.
Amphibious. You can breathe in air and water. You also gain a swimming speed of 30 feet.


Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Applicable Environment. Your applicable environment is the mountain environment.
Air-Traveler. You somehow feel more comfortable moving in the air than on the ground. When determining how far you can jump, you use your Dexterity score. Whenever you would use movement to jump, you can make a long jump or high jump from a standing position without using 10 feet of movement speed and taking no penalties from a standing long or high jump. Additionally, you can slow your rate of descent while falling, allowing you to land on your feet as if you were under the effect of the feather fall spell.


Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Applicable Environment. Your applicable environment is the grassland environment.
Primal Power. You are proficient in the Athletics skill. If you make an Athletics skill check to shove a creature, you may add double your proficiency bonus to this check.


Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Applicable Environment. Your applicable environment is the urban environment.
Uncomfortable Presence. You can use an action to embody the disgusting nature of an insect, forcing a target creature within 15 feet of you to make a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of you until the end of their next turn. The targeted creature must be able to see you for this trait to take effect. Once you use this trait, you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.

Small Beast[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Applicable Environment. Your applicable environment is the forest environment.
Animal Charm. You are proficient in the Persuasion skill and may double your proficiency bonus when making checks against Druids and creatures who are proficient in the Animal Handling skill.


Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Applicable Environment. Your applicable environment is the swamp environment.
Cold-Blooded. You are acclimated to Extreme Heat, as described in page 110 of the Dungeon Master's Guide.
Poison Resilliance. You have advantage on saving throws against poisoned, and you have resistance against poison damage.

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