Slate (5e Race)
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The lights of a bare stage dim, eventually going out. The lights return just as a man calmly steps across the stage, stopping at the center. He silently takes a bow towards his audience. Thunderous applause roars from the seating areas below. It takes minutes before the audience can calm down to the point where the next actors take their bows. As he walks back to his position for the company curtain call, he pats his fellow actors and actresses on the back for a job well done.
With a small brown bag thrown on his back, the man steps through his cottage door. The man throws his bag on a wooden chair and trudges outside. He then fills a bucket of water from the well and stands next to a mirror outdoors. In one fell swoop, he splashes the water onto himself, drenching his body in water. Tan-colored makeup and skin paint trickles down his face and arms and onto the wet grass, revealing his true appearance. He almost looks like a silhouette or shadow with clothes, almost invisible in the dark night. The slate man takes a deep sigh and returns to his cottage, slamming the door behind him.
Slates make up some of the most mysterious individuals found in the Material Plane. They are extremely adept at entertaining and controlling the emotions of others but do not have a will of their own. They represent an acting coach's dream: a student that is a blank slate. An open canvas. Slates spend their entire lives training in the performing arts and rarely ever falter on their path to become the best performer they can.
Anatomically, slates share the same body structures as humans. However, instead of having a layer of skin, slates have a pitch-black exoskeleton in addition to their internal skeleton. This exoskeleton does not reflect light and gives slates a shadowy, silhouette-like appearance. If a slate wants to exaggerate an emotional facial expression or resemble a human in appearance, they often cover themselves in skin-colored makeup or wear masks that represent their current emotion.
The history of the slates in the Material Plane is brief and shrouded in theories and misconceptions. Many believe they are extra-terrestrial beings that come from another planet or universe. Others falsely believe that they are constructs made by a desperate artistic director in need of magic. Nevertheless, slates have been seen in many human cities and towns, entertaining massive crowds and gaining large groups of fans in the process. In fact, some of the most coveted artistic individuals in the world of entertainment are actually slates disguised as creatures of other humanoid races. For the future, slates strive to continue their duties as leaders of the arts for future generations.
Slates do not have a society or community of their own. They are nomadic in nature, traveling from place to place within theatre troupes to perform for a living. Using their skills in performing and disguise, the slates simply assimilate into human cities or towns, only drawing attention to themselves when they perform. People that get to know a slate outside of the stage immediately notice their inability to make decisions on their own, something that can be very frightening to those that don't understand why. Because of this hindrance, many slates make an incredible amount of effort to hide their true appearance as to not frighten the people around them.
Outside of the arts, slates struggle to fit in. As soon as the mask is removed, they're immediately treated as outcasts, as if their mere existence was a danger to humanoid society. This paranoia surrounding the slates comes from fears that their talents for performance may be capable of something far more devious and sinister. Many humanoids have exploited the slates to aid them in robberies and other various acts of criminal activity, as their helplessness and talent combined make them the perfect scapegoats and decoys in acts of lawlessness. The only thing that slates can do while they are being exploited is remain calm and show no emotion. If they were to show their true selves, that would mean that the world that was out to get them won in the end.
Many slates decide to embark on adventures to find their individuality, to truly experience life like the other humanoid races that surround them do. No longer will these slates allow others to write their lines and plot out their movements. Slate adventurers ultimately desire to be free from the stage and to make their own decisions in life. While this may not seem like a difficult task for humans, slates must persevere through grueling amounts of mental exhaustion to find out who they really are, one step at a time.
Slates share names with the human race. This is due to Slates greatly resembling them in appearance and how they are always portraying roles made for humans. Some slates have made the bold decision to take on a stage name or alias, but this occurs as rarely as it does in human society.
Humanoid creatures that have incredible strength of personality but lack a true heart. They are the ultimate performers and masters of theatrics.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2 and your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Age. Slates are unaffected by the processes of aging but live to an average lifespan of 200-300 years.
Alignment. Slates initially lack the ability to make their own moral decisions, making them exclusively True Neutral. If a slate somehow becomes self-aware through magic or other means, their alignments vary as much as humans do.
Size. Slates are permanently 5'10" tall and weigh 153 lbs, regardless of their changes in activity or consumption of food. This is the exact average for human beings.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Emotional Manipulator. You are proficient in the Performance and Deception skills.
Actor. You have an advantage on Deception and Performance skill checks when trying to pass yourself off as a different person. In addition, You can mimic the speech of another person and/or the sounds made by other creatures. You must have heard the person speaking, or heard the creature make the sound, for at least 1 minute. A successful Insight skill check contested by your Deception skill check allows a listener to determine that the effect is faked.
Stage Combat. You have been trained in stage combat and have used weapons intended for performance, and so you do not know how to use weapons made only for armed conflicts. You cannot wield any melee weapons that do not have the finesse property.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one language of your choice.