Sand Shifter (5e Race)

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Sand Shifter[edit]

Sand shifters are a small bug-like tribal race that thrive in desert areas.

Physical Description[edit]

Sand shifters are 4 foot tall omnivore beetle-like creatures that stand on their 4 hind legs and use their 2 front legs to move objects. They have a relatively soft underside and hard exoskeleton made of hard chitin. Their colors range from various shades of green to dark yellow to brown.


It is unknown as to of when sand shifters first appeared, as the race was discovered only after many of the humanoid races became advanced enough to travel to the most extreme parts of the deserts, where the first several sand shifter tribes were found. After countless number of years, the number of sand shifter tribes has grown making it so that sand shifter tribes live all throughout the desert, even if actually stumbling across a tribe is still influent.

Even rarer, there appear to be a select few sand shifters who have seemed to have adapted to life on the edge of deserts. These sand shifters who seem to have adapted to the savanna still speak the same languages as sand shifters and appear almost identical, so much information such as whether they still live in tribes and most info about their lifestyle is unknown.


Sand shifters live in small nomadic and permanent tribes in and near to deserts. The focal point of these tribe is to work together to survive as a group, but it isn't uncommon for tribes to split for periods of time due to succession issues within the tribe, limited resources in a specific area of the desert, or because some young sand shifter wanted to go adventuring.

In cities nearby to such deserts, it isn't uncommon to see sand shifters and they are generally not discriminated against. However, the further away from the deserts, the less the general populace has been exposed to the race as such it is more likely for townsfolk to see sand shifters as ugly things, weird insects, or even monsters.

Sand Shifter Names[edit]

Sand shifters name their children's first name after whatever names are common in the languages they speak, and their last name will come from whatever tribe the sand shifters were born in. Sand shifters in larger towns however, may have unique last names akin to most other humanoids living in towns.

Tribe Names: Brave Heart, Earthkin, Lightning Jade, etc.

City Names: Delen, Fav, Sarchu, ect.

Sand Shifter Traits[edit]

A race of desert dwelling beetle-like creatures who live in tribes.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Sand shifters mature around the age of 8 and usually live to around 40.
Alignment. Sand shifters tend to be good due to many a tribes having to work together to survive in harsh conditions.
Size. Sand Shifts are usually pretty similar in height and build, ranging from just under 4 feet to just over 4 feet. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 35 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.
Chitin Exoskeleton. Your unusual frame does not support most kinds of armor, your natural Armor Class is equal to 12 + Dexterity modifier and you cannot use regular armor as most humanoids can. Armor must be specifically made for you through barding. This armor typically costs 4 times as much as the regular cost of armor and weighs twice as much.
Mandible Bite. Your mandibles are a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. You may use your Dexterity modifier for attack rolls with it and if you hit with it, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Dexterity modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Ylrs, a language composed of clicks and shrieks primarily spoken by insect based creatures.

Desert Shifters[edit]

Desert shifters are shifters who are specialized to live in the desert and deal with many of its most dangerous occupants. They make up the majority of sand shifter individuals and are known to live in a variety of desert environments.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Desert Attunement. You are immune to the effects of extreme heat and can go a week without needing water before suffering any negative effects.
Poison Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage.

Savanna Shifters[edit]

The savanna shifters are a subrace of the sand shifters who are very elusive and hard to discern because of their low numbers and similar appearances to desert shifters. Although not too much is know about them, it is said that they have somewhat adapted to life on the savanna and on the edges of deserts.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Expert Hunters. You gain proficiency in the Survival skill.
Skitter. When you take the dash Action on your turn, your base walking speed increases by 5 feet until the end of your turn.
Weakened Desert Attunement. You have advantage on Constitution saving throws saving throws from extreme heat and you can go two days without needing water before suffering any negative effects.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

3′ 8″ +1d6 60 lb. × (2d4) lb.

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

(one vote)

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