Symbiote (5e Race)
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The origins of these creatures are unknown, they rarely show up and usually hide in plain sight. Many who are infected with a Symbiote don’t realise that they are host to these creatures and usually only find out when their lives are in danger. They are known in legends and are fearful for their immense strength and ferocity in combat, despite this they are dependent on a host in order to survive.
Symbiotes vary widely when it comes to colour and body patterns however while not bonded to a host they all resemble a coloured puddle that pulses. While bonded they take on physical characteristics of their host such as sexual dimorphism, general build and other details. These characteristics can be changed by the Symbiote as it wishes, making the host look larger or more muscular for example.
The history of the Symbiotes is a complete mystery, although some theorise that they have been around since the beginning of time. Whatever happened in their past it has pushed them to search for hosts in order to find purpose.
Attitudes and Beliefs
Symbiotes have an inborn drive to find the perfect host and achieve symbiosis, doing this would create the ultimate noble warrior and fulfill the Symbiotes desire for purpose. Finding a host who is both morally and physically worthy is extremely difficult, most Symbiotes bond with “imperfect” hosts creating corrupted Symbiotes. Though referred to as “corrupted” they are not always evil, they are simply changed by their host’s personality and alignment. Symbiotes are generally a blank canvas until they bond with a host where they develop a personality and ideals based on their host, if they bond to a heroic individual the Symbiote might go out of its way to people other than its host. Likewise if a symbiote bonds with a murder, they will develop an overwhelming bloodlust. Though difficult these traits can be changed with enough time and another host with a different outlook.
The names of Symbiotes don’t seem to follow any direction, some names are chosen by both the host and Symbiote while others are only chosen by the Symbiote. Some names have symbolic meaning from past experiences while most have no meaning.
Name Examples: Havoc, Blight, Venom, Toxin, Carnage, Mania, Scream, Riot, Frenzy, Phage, Agony, Scorn, Visage.
Creatures from another world bond to a host to create the Ultimate Warrior.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength and your Constitution scores increases by 1.
Age. Symbiotes do not age due to their ability to regenerate.
Alignment. Symbiotes are naturally Evil, although depending on who they have bonded to their alignment can change. They usually take on a similar alignment to their host.
Size. Symbiote’s bonded size varies wildly depending on what they are bonded to, Symbiotes are usually one size larger than their host. Without a host they are small.
Speed. Your speed is usually the host's speed + 10ft, while not bonded your movement is 10ft.
Symbiotic Bond. You bond to a host organism becoming one being, or at least an unwanted guest. You have a telepathic link with your host, being able to detect thoughts and emotional signals, although the host can choose to block out certain things if they wish and while bonded the host has advantage on checks made to mind control them.
Overshadow. You can try to take control yourself without your host's command, if your host refuses you must both make a Wisdom Saving Throw, if you beat your host’s Wisdom Save then you activate the Living Suit ability. Every turn the host can attempt to regain control with another Wisdom Save, if the host succeeds then you will be forcefully retracted into the host. After a successful Overshadow you cannot attempt another until your next long rest.
Pseudopod. As a reaction you are able to extend a pseudopod tentacle to prevent an incoming attack, roll a Dexterity Saving Throw against the attack’s roll. On a successful save, take half of the damage yourself. This ability only works on physical attacks, you are unable to block magic. You can do this a number of times equal to your Constitution Modifier + your character level. This can also be used to make an attack at a creature within 5ft, the attack deals 1d4 bludgeoning + 1d4 acid/poison/necrotic.
Host Dependency. Symbiotes require a host to survive and though they can temporarily leave their host, they will need to return to them soon. A Symbiote can survive for 24 hours without a host, in this time they gain a point of exhaustion every 4 hours. They can temporarily bond with another host and drain them, doing so takes 1 hour and this removes all points of exhaustion and resets the time you can survive to 24 hours.
Living Suit. As an action and on your host’s command, you can cover your host with a living suit made of your own body. While transformed you are in control, can leap 3 times higher than normal, you and your host don't require oxygen and you act on your host’s turn. You can then retract as a bonus action. While transformed you gain the following features:
Natural Armor. Your body is highly resistant to damage, your natural AC is 13 + Constitution Modifier.
Natural Weapon. At level 3 you are able to shapeshift your arms into one handed weapons, whatever weapon you use you are proficient in it and you do an extra 1d4 acid/poison/necrotic damage, this damage must be the same type as the Pseudopod ability. Level 8 the extra damage is increased to 2d4 and at level 10 the host can call upon this weapon while not being completely transformed.
Symbiotic Shards. At level 8 you are able to fire small hardened pieces of your body out at a target, the shards have a range of 40/80ft and do 1d8 piercing + your chosen damage type. At level 10 your host is able to fire the shards out without transforming, similar to Natural Weapon.
Devour. You can make a bite attack on a target that deals 1d6 piercing + your chosen damage type. If the bite kills the target you heal 1d8 + Constitution Modifier, any excess healing goes to your host. At level 8 the amount of healing is increased to 2d8 + Constitution Modifier, and the damage is increased to 2d6 + the chosen damage type.
Symbiotic Vulnerability. You are vulnerable to sonic and fire damage. When your Living Suit ability is active and you take either sonic or fire damage, you must make a Constitution Save DC 8 + base fire/sonic damage taken. On a failed save you retract back into your host for protection.
Languages. You know any languages that your host knows and Abyssal.
Playing as a Symbiote
Playing as a Symbiote requires a bit of work, the best way to play one would be to be bonded to another player character although this takes some work and won't be fun for some people. You will mostly be hidden away and unless you choose to Overshadow the other player, you will only come out when called. If you choose to use this race then understand that you will mostly be defending your host until you are called out. Working together is important when you are a Symbiote.