Talk:Lizardfolk (5e Race Variant)

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I am going to manipulate the information from the 5e MM to get this race to match what they're like in the new edition. That ok?--Kydo (talk) 08:35, 19 October 2014 (MDT)

Ok, so, the score alterations are literally the score difference you would need from a modifier of 0 to what the Lizardfolk has in the MM. It balances to 0, so it's not especially imbalanced, just more impactful than what the core races have. With the natural armor, if you are granted 14+DEX natural armor, have a DEX modifier of 0, and have a shield equipped, like the Lizardman described in the MM, you will have the same AC as the lizardman in the MM. With variable ability scores though, you could easily be better- or worse. For some reason the newest version of Lizardfolk are not especially sneaky, but then again, that should really be more a function of profession and individual characteristic, as opposed to any sort of inherent quality of "sneakiness".--Kydo (talk) 09:16, 19 October 2014 (MDT)
You've made the ability score bonuses as though it were 3e. Want to take another run at it? I would suggest +2 Str, +1 Wis. I would also set a Dex modifier limit of 2 for the natural armor, as though it were scale mail. Marasmusine (talk) 09:22, 19 October 2014 (MDT)
I was specifically trying to avoid having radical ability score changes. Using this player race would not create a creature identical to the monster entry, but which I felt was a reasonable compromise between accuracy, flavor, balance, and reasonably similarity to the features of the core races. For instance, having constant 14 + Dexterity modifier AC with no maximum Dexterity bonus means you can get more AC than plate armor if your Dexterity is maxed, something no other race can achieve; that's why I had the “max +3” on there. I also had changed the bite attack to be something impactful that changes combat dynamic, not just “my unarmed strike is 1d6 now.” I chose to double the stealth and survival proficiency bonus because that matched up with the Lizardfolk statblock provided in the Basic D&D Dungeon Master PDF. I want to avoid just giving proficiency to something, because that can limit later skill choices; instead, making certain skills more potent when trained, I feel, is more flavorful and interesting.
Regarding the “max +3”, I was thinking in terms of treating it like medium armor, but the medium armor mastery feat increases the limit from +2 to +3, and it didn’t make sense to me for a lizardfolk to suddenly become more mobile in his own skin, so I set it to +3, as if he already had the feat, if that makes sense. —Proton[talk] 09:27, 19 October 2014 (MDT)
Monster ability scores do not translate to player race ability scores like this. The drow statblock has Dex 14 and Cha 12, this does not mean the drow player race is "+4 DEX, +2 CHA". Marasmusine (talk) 09:34, 19 October 2014 (MDT)
If you’re talking to me, I already knew that and agree with you, which was part of my point. —Proton[talk] 09:40, 19 October 2014 (MDT)
Got my head on straight now, and reverted to your original which is definitely better. Marasmusine (talk) 09:46, 19 October 2014 (MDT)
The descriptive text was copied from the Monster Manual, so I've removed it per copyright law. Marasmusine (talk) 09:37, 19 October 2014 (MDT)
Yeah, I was thinking about that too, but didn’t want to bother. —Proton[talk] 09:40, 19 October 2014 (MDT)

K, fine, whatev's. Far as I'm concerned, the distinction between "monster" and "race" should never have been made in the first place and only exists today due to tradition. If you play as a race and you run into a "monster" of that race, an the two of you don't line up in some way, it's a point of internal inconsistency which underlines the "monsters" as arbitrary mechanical systems to be killed. I see nothing wrong with subtantial ability adjustments, provided they balance near 0. A +1 to an ability score is functionally meaningless and might as well not even exist. That said, it's clear I'm in the minority on these points. I do not agree about the proficiencies thing however. Dwarves have clearly stated weapon and armor proficiencies- there is a precedent for it set in the core races. Based on the skills lizardfolk have in the MM, a proficiency bonus at a higher level would match up. Thus, it would be safe to assume that they have those skills inherently. At least it's better justification than "all dwarves can use axes because they're dwarves." As for the copryight thing, eh, whatever. I'm not writing something new for something that isn't new. I just thought it wasa shame how incomplete this seemed, and how a "character" lizardfolk is somehow inherently different from a "monster" lizardfolk..--Kydo (talk) 23:06, 19 October 2014 (MDT)

You're going to love how monster's proficiency bonus scales with their CR rather than their hit dice, then! Marasmusine (talk) 01:21, 20 October 2014 (MDT)
Fine by me; any artificial power ramping to make them a reasonable challenge for a given level makes sense. Honestly, for what monsters are and the purpose of the MM, that's actually an improvement. HD come from class, not race, so CR can easily stand in as that monster's comparative "class level". The problem is when you have a PC race, (Let's take Drow as an example) and then a set of monsters of that race, whose stat blocks don't match up to NPCs made using that race. Why have the monster entries at all? It's redundant- the character race already handles it perfectly, with greater versatility and variety. So when I see intelligent, charismatic "monsters", such as Satyrs and Lizardfolk, it makes me cringe a little- they could be so much more, and at such less effort. That's why a PC race for them is appealing to me; it is the preferable option. It is a system of building enemies from scratch, rather than selecting them, pre-made, out of a catalogue. Anyways, I've made my arguments. There is clear precedent for player races providing proficiencies, and there is justifiable reasoning to assume Lizardfolk have proficiency in Survival and Perception at least.--Kydo (talk) 07:33, 20 October 2014 (MDT)
Actually, I'm going to make a second argument on the natural armor issue. At the very most, a PC could have a +6 DEX mod. With 14 base natural armor, that grants AC20. And that's only with the highest ability roll possible assigned to DEX, and after all ability score increases due to character level. Very few people would build for AC alone, especially when there are monsters who could easily munch them down as a snack at that AC anyways! It does not make sense for them to have a DEX restriction as though they are wearing armor when they're naked, especially if they're supposed to be "sneaky", which is based on DEX. If a potential of AC20 is too high for you, why not just drop the base natural armor bonus? That way they maintain full agility but still get the benefits of having scales all over their body.--Kydo (talk) 07:53, 20 October 2014 (MDT)
I know that some people may wish to play lizardfolk that are identical to their monster entries. That is easy enough to do just by looking at the monster entry. I wanted to make a race that used the same thematic elements while looking like it was made alongside the other core races. Feel free to make a separate page that adapts more literally.
I know that some races provide proficiencies with weapons or tools, but I meant to refer explicitly to skill proficiencies, which are given out far less often. Even if they were more common, I find it boring to just hand out a proficiency, just like I find it boring to just hand out a natural weapon (for example).
I don't know how a PC would get 22 Dexterity as you claim, but my point is that I feel it unreasonable for the exclusive capabilities of lizardfolk to include exceeding the protection of plate armor (which no race or armor can do, even with the Medium Armor Mastery feat). If I reduced the armor to, say, 12+DexMod and removed the cap, then that would just equate to free permanent studded leather. I like the idea of having a mildly dexterous lizard comfortably playing something like a fighter without needing to wear armor (which this arrangement accomplishes) without letting potential defensive capability go over the top. I'm okay with limiting Dexterity's application to AC but not sneaking, because being quiet is about balance and fine motor skills, not reflexively jerking your entire body mass to dodge a blow. —Proton[talk] 17:27, 20 October 2014 (MDT)
NVM, I missed the ability score cap of 20.

Regarding the ability modifiers, we cannot assume that a monster statblock is supposed to represent 10 in each ability with a racial modifier. For example, a lizardfolk warrior is likely to be better-than-lizardfolk-average Strength. It's inaccurate to extrapolate a "+4 Str" racial modifier from this. Marasmusine (talk) 01:51, 22 October 2014 (MDT)

Except that the squishy caster variety has the same score, and it takes fiendish blood to get them to +6. But, the argument is done. As I said, it's pretty clear that my interpretation is in the minority.--Kydo (talk) 13:50, 22 October 2014 (MDT)

The DMG has the racial features for lizardmen (for applying to NPCs):

  • +2 Str, −2 Int
  • Hold Breath (15 min.)
  • +3 natural armor bonus to AC
  • speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
  • speaks Draconic

Marasmusine (talk) 01:35, 26 January 2015 (MST)

That's awesome! Where'd you find that? I can't seem to locate it in the book...--Kydo (talk) 09:52, 26 January 2015 (MST)
NVM, found it. The page heading was "making npcs from scratch" so I assumed the table was part of that.--Kydo (talk) 10:59, 26 January 2015 (MST)
You ninja'd me (as the saying goes)! Marasmusine (talk) 11:02, 26 January 2015 (MST)

OK, this is ridiculous. Once a week, someone comes along and tweaks the mechanics, then you revert it. Its a waste of time. The people editing your page are either spammers or willfully ignorant of the text boxes at the top of the page. Either way, wits disrespectful. (Much like I was when I first came to this site) So I protected the page. Now they cant just change it willy-nilly. --Kydo (talk) 17:31, 31 August 2016 (MDT)

If you're going to consider it "depreciated", shouldn't it also get an "Improving, Reviewing, and Removing" template of some kind. That way it isn't forever locked into the completed list.Vaegrim (talk) 00:28, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
It seems like this content should be moved to Lizardfolk (5e Race Variant), and this page itself should receive a similar treatment as Kenku (5e Race) or Aasimar (5e Race). Kydo even made the latter page shortly after he locked this one, so I'm not sure why he thought lizardfolk should get an exception. - Guy (talk) 17:43, 27 December 2017 (MST)


As far as I can tell, this lizardfolk predates any first-party 5e lizardfolk races, and as such cannot logically be considered a race variant as far as I'm concerned. But I understand the reason for our naming convention, so I propose renaming the race to something like "lizardmen" so that it does not get confused for first-party 5e lizardfolk or as a variant thereof.--GamerAim Chatmod.png (talk) 07:39, 23 January 2018 (MST)

Latest revision[edit]

Uh. It doesn't seem like this should be locked from non-admin edits? It was locked in 2016.
Anyway, this race is effectively the same as the one in Volo's Guide to Monsters except:

  • It has +1 Strength instead of +1 Wisdom. The previous version lacked +1 entirely.
  • It lacks Cunning Artisan
  • It lacks Hungry Jaws
  • It has fewer options for Hunter's Lore, but still gets two skill proficiencies out of it.

In other words, you lose all the cool and interesting things to get +1 Strength instead of +1 Wisdom. It's questionable if expertise in two major skills was totally balanced, but I think this most recent edit might've been a step too much of a downgrade. Maybe revert to the old AC (or something like it), remove the +1 again, and have the option of gaining expertise in either skill as opposed to both? - Guy 07:32, 30 August 2018 (MDT)

I've taken down the protection level so it can be edited. Forgot to after I made my edits.
I feel it is an overall worse version of the official one, so I'd welcome a more interesting revision. —ConcealedLightChatmod.png (talk) 08:24, 30 August 2018 (MDT)

Did you forget to take down the protection level? Well, for the time being I'll post this here and see if it sees any opposition.

Something I failed to notice is that this variant can make its bite as a bonus action whenever it hits with a melee attack, as opposed to the VGtM version which can only use Hungry Jaws once between rests. I took that into account with this rewrite.

Lizardfolk Traits[edit]

Lizardfolk are ferocious and tough, with an edge in moving silently and swiftly.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.
Age. Lizardfolk reach adulthood around age 12 and can live to be about 120.
Alignment. Most lizardfolk are neutral, operating on animal instinct and their fierce territorial nature more often than a distinct moral pattern.
Size. Lizardfolk stand 6 to 7 feet tall and average about 230 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Bite. Your fanged maw is a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with it, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Ripping Jaws. When you hit with a melee attack on your turn, you can use your bonus action to attack with your bite.
Hold Breath. You can hold your breath for 15 minutes.
Sneaky Survivalist. You are proficient in both the Stealth and Survival skills.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Draconic.

Rainforest Lizardfolk[edit]

Life in jungles is particularly difficult for almost any humanoid race, but these cunning lizardfolk make it look effortless.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Climb Speed. You have a climbing speed of 30 feet.
Survivor. You have expertise in the Survival skill, which means your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make with it.
Tough Scales. You have tough scales that repel harm. When you aren't wearing armor, your AC is 15, and can't be lower. ou can use your natural armor to determine your Armor Class if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower Armor Class. A shield's benefits apply as normal while you use your tough scales.

Marshland Lizardfolk[edit]

As quiet as a slithering serpent, these lizardfolk are infamous for pouncing on unsuspecting prey and dragging it underwater—into their domain.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Swim Speed. You have a swimming speed of 30 feet.
Silent Predator. You have expertise in the Stealth skill, which means your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make with it.
Natural Armor. You have tough scales that repel harm. When you aren't wearing armor, your Armor Class is 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use your natural armor to determine your Armor Class if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower Armor Class. A shield's benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.

Racial Feat: True Hunter[edit]

Almost all lizardfolk consider themselves hunters, but in Draconic there is a special title to the few who are master huntsfolk in all terrains. With training and experience, you have become one among your kind, and you gain the following benefits:

  • You have expertise in both the Stealth and Survival skills. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make with either skill, if isn't already doubled.
  • You have both a climb speed and a swim speed of 30 feet.
  • The damage die for your bite becomes a 1d6 instead of a 1d4.

Taken as a whole, the marshland subrace is essentially the same as the version I criticized, except that it gets expertise in Stealth and a slightly less damaging bite. The racial feat can provide expertise in both relevant skills, like older versions of this race variant could. So, hopefully in that sense, this version can uphold spirit and intent. I'm not sure it can be made much more distinct without adding something out of left field. (Even the climb speed is a bit out there.) - Guy 10:12, 30 August 2018 (MDT)

I removed the page's protection, so do what you want to do with it (within reason). — Geodude Chatmod.png (talk | contribs | email)‎‎ . . 14:42, 30 August 2018 (MDT)

Seems I did, mb. Thanks for the save geo.
As for the revision you're suggesting I think swapping the expertise each subrace gets for proficiency and pushing the skill expertise to the feat would be better. The "skill feats" as they're called in a certain UA only grant a single expertise and a minor benefit or two for comparison. If not that then, advantage on those skill checks while in a swamp or forest-like terrain is a good compromise I feel. —ConcealedLightChatmod.png (talk) 00:13, 31 August 2018 (MDT)
Changing the expertise to proficiency? The base race already grants proficiency in both skills. It sounds to me like you're suggesting the base race shouldn't get any skill proficiencies, and that those should be pushed to the subraces in place of their expertise. If so, that renders one subrace effectively the same as your revison of the race but with two features downgraded.
If that is what you meant, then I think I would prefer to withdraw my involvement on this page. If not, I would appreciate a clarification of what I failed to understand. - Guy 02:56, 31 August 2018 (MDT)
No, you are correct, hence my "advantage on those skill checks while in a swamp or forest-like terrain" point. Is that not a sufficient in between? —ConcealedLightChatmod.png (talk) 06:05, 31 August 2018 (MDT)
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