Taninim (5e Race)
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"While dragons of your realm have their history rooted in Io and his offspring --Bahamut, King of the Metallic Dragons, and Tiamat, Queen of the Chromatic Dragons--, the dragons of the Lost Isles, called "taninim," are borne from Our Lady of Rainbow Scales, Ryoquetza. We are cousins to the dragons of your world, in a sense, and we share many of our traits with the dragons of your world. Chances are good that should you encounter a taninim with red scales, it is every bit as violent and malicious as the true red dragons you know and fear. Likewise, a taninim of gold scales will show great degrees of compassion and generosity."
Taninim are a way to introduce Dragons as player characters. Although smaller and weaker than their True counterparts, taninim allow players to experience first-hand the trials and tribulations of being, and traveling with, the forceful personality that is a Dragon, including how much more difficult it can become as they start to grow in power.
Taninim are the intellectual property of Rite Publishing. This version is modified from the Pathfinder supplementary material the taninim were introduced in to be used with 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons.
|Brute taninim most closely resemble|
the "true" dragons most adventurers,
are familiar with.
Taninim are born slightly smaller than dragons of your world, usually being around three and a half feet long at birth, with the neck, body, and tail all being approximately the same length. The average taninim weighs roughly 60 pounds. Taninim do not age and grow as True Dragons do, instead growing larger and more venerated as they grow more accomplished and gain a greater understanding of their place in the world.
- The Brutes are those that most closely resemble True Dragons, with mighty scaled wings capable of carrying them aloft.
- The Lung are longer and leaner of body than Brutes, and do not have wings, instead possessing powerful horns atop their heads and more dexterous claws.
- The Feykin are born smaller than normal Taninim, being only a little over a foot long in total, and do not have the scaled wings of larger dragons, instead possessing colorful gossamer wings similar to a butterfly.
- Although they physically belong to any one of the other three groups, Corrupted Taninim, those tainted by the White Worm, are considered abominations by others, and represent everything Taninim do not.
All taninim are able to hold tools and weapons in their front claws, but move at half speed while doing so. Lung taninim are more adept at using rear claws and do not suffer from this loss of mobility like Brutes and Feykin. Each taninim embodies a single, tiny facet of Ryoquetza's infinite essence, and it is reflected in their appearance and behavior.
At the beginning of All, while the other Gods warred with each other over control of the mortal worlds, our Many-Headed Mother set her gaze outward, and in her infinite wisdom, could see all that was good and proper. She reached out with her claw and grasped the single most perfect piece of Creation, an archipelago which contained every unique biome in perfect harmony and proportion. When the other Gods finally took notice of the perfection our Mother had claimed for Herself, they set their sights upon Her territory, and awakened the very first Dragon Rage. The battle was brutal, with our Mother barely emerging victorious over the invaders of Her realm. The Gods retreated and built a barrier between Her realm and the outer world, creating what is now known as the Lost Isles. Our Sovereign of Dragons was grievously wounded, and Her blood spilled across the land She had claimed as she retreated to rest. As She watched the barrier being erected, she let out the very first Dragon Roar as a warning to Her assailants should they ever decide to return. Within this roar was contained all of Her essence, every facet of her being, and as it resonated throughout the Isles, from each pool of blood save one tainted pool rose a perfect being; the Firstborn of the Taninim. Each embodied a fragment of our Mother's infinite essence, and reflected it in their appearance.
Our Empress of Eternity bequeathed Her paradise to Her children and bade them to conquer Creation, granting them the Right to Rule. Many of our Mother's children carved out their kingdoms within the Lost Isles themselves, while the more adventurous turned their talons outward. The largest and strongest of our kind tore down the barrier between worlds, and the Taninim became known to the outer realms.
Darkness within the Isles followed, however. A blight had begun to spread from the pool of blood from which only a gaunt, stillborn corpse had risen. Our Sovereign of Wyrms took notice, alarmed that she had missed the blight for so long. She flew to investigate and was greeted by the first of the White Worms, the stillborn Taninim firstborn that had risen from the pool of tainted blood, likely tainted by a poison from an underhanded God during the battle for the Isles. Although still weakened and wounded, our Mother did battle with the Fell Juggernaut, but its endurance proved too much. Our Mother was forced to commit the first Dragon Sacrifice, binding her physical form to the land surrounding the blighted pool of blood, containing the cancer from spreading further, but not eliminating it.
Some of our scholars were tasked with investigating the blight, but any who entered the valley were spat out again as gaunt, twisted mockeries of their former selves, resembling the twisted creation that arose from the pool originally. No one is allowed to venture near the blighted pool now, for fear of further corruption of our brothers and sisters.
Society and Names
Taninim society in the Lost Isles resembles a collection of feudal landholdings. A taninim is considered master of whatever territory he is powerful enough to hold, with lesser taninim claiming fealty to him in return for the right to lair and hunt in the master’s territory, and to assist in defense of the territory when commanded. The relationship between feudal lord and vassal is not always a friendly one, as taninim with conflicting personalities are willing to serve and be served as long as dominance is clearly established. Small settlements of a variety of other races, such as Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and many others, live in some territories, tending food and crafting items of convenience or aesthetic value for their masters.
All Taninim pay tribute to the Elder Voices, a council of the greatest of all living Taninim. The Elder Voices do not govern daily taninim lives, but instead oversee disputes and important rites, and make judgments regarding dangers to our society. A few of the more important rites of taninim society include...
- The Rite of Renewal. When a female taninim is ready to lay her clutch of eggs, the Elder Voices will bless her and name a Warden to guard her clutch. This is often the mother or mate, but is just as frequently a separate taninim of renown. There are rare cases of taninim being named Warden to many clutches of eggs, earning great renown within taninim society and granting the hatchlings as much prestige as having auspicious parents.
- The Rite of Rejoining. Regardless of how a taninim has died, their spirit is blessed by the Elder Voices and their body is consumed by the conclave, letting their spirit rejoin their Mother.
- The Rite of Naming. This is used by the Elder Voices to bestow a name or title upon a particular taninim. Those in attendance at the conclave may argue against the name through a stylized verbal argument. No show of aggression is allowed during this debate, and a taninim who breaks this rule is punished harshly. The Elder Voices are rarely swayed to change their minds in regards to these names.
Taninim names are of much greater significance than the names True Dragons take. Taninim begin their lives with a single name granted to them by the Warden of their clutch. Most abandon this name when they take another, though a few will adopt their hatchling name as one of their titles. This is usually done if the taninim forms a particularly strong bond with their Warden. Taninim may also be granted a Deed Name by the Elder Voices. This is granted during the Rite of Naming, and may not be discarded or contested once granted. A Deed Name may be as much punishment as reward in some cases. The most common way in which a taninim gains a name or title is to simple take it. This final method is the most dangerous, as any other taninim has the right to contest the name. Conflict over a taken name is only over once one of the taninim accedes or is killed. It is not uncommon for taninim to have many names. "Thunders in Defiance, the Bronze Bulwark, He Who Endures, Master-in-Exile of the Windscour Cliffs, the Disrespectful Outcast" is an example of a taninim with many names, both taken and given to him by the Elder Voices.
Playing as a Taninim
Dragon-like beings from a secluded outer realm known as the Lost Isles.
Ability Score Increase. All taninim are hardy creatures by nature. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Taninim do not age as normal races. They are born as adept fully functional adults and may live until killed.
Alignment. Taninim encompass all alignments, but their alignment must be within one step on the Law<->Chaos or Good<->Evil scale of their Draconic Essence's alignment.
Size. Brute and Lung taninim are between 7 and 6 feet in length. Their size is Medium. Feykin taninim are usually just over 1 foot in length. Their size in Tiny.
Speed. Your walking speed is 30 feet while in human form.
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.
Dragon Nature. Taninim are resistant to the breath element associate with their essence.
Natural Armor. Taninim possess thick scales. Their unarmored AC when in dragon form is equal to 13 + Dexterity modifier.
Bite. All Taninim possess a natural Bite attack that deals 1d4 + Strength modifier damage. They are considered proficient with this attack.
Draconic Physiology. You are quadrupedal in your dragon form and can't use armor, clothing or items that aren't modified to accommodate your body. You have disadvantage on attack rolls while wearing any armor, and fly at half speed while wearing armor. You have an increased carrying capacity and advantage against being knocked prone. In human form you can wear and use items as normal. You can choose for items to be torn, destroyed, or magically disappear and reappear with you when you transform.
Dragons Blast. Starting at 6th level depending on the dragon parent you choose, you get a breath attack you can perform once after a long rest. The level of the spell is your level divided by 2. These attacks are considered 3rd level spells for the purpose of dispelling or countering. At higher levels when you cast this power using 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d4 for each slot level above 3rd, (I.e. A level 8 Brass Taninim would be able to perform a 4th level fireball getting a extra 1d4 more than the original). You use constitution for the Save DC.
Fire parent: You are able to shoot a fireball. Range:60ft The User shoots a ball of fire from their mouth which erupts in a giant explosive blast of fire in a 10 foot radius. Each creature must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 7d4 Fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Lighting parent: You are able to shoot lighting bolts. Range:60ft The User shoots 3 lightning bolts from their mouth causing 2d4 Lightning damage each. This attack is able to hit multiple enemies if the user wishes or stack it on a single enemy. Enemies must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes full damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Cold parent: You are able to shoot a ball of ice. Range:60ft The User shoots a ball of ice from their mouth which causes Ice to erupt from the ground in a 10 foot radius. Each creature must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 6d4 Cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. On top of that the area is now considered difficult terrain for 3 turns.
Acid parent: You are able to shoot a ball of acid. Range:60ft The User shoots a ball of acid from their mouth which causes Acid to be scattered in a 10 foot radius. Each creature must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 2d4 Acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one, as well the acid stays on the field causing 1d4 damage for any creatures in the area for 3 turns.
Poison parent: You are able to shoot large poisoned needles. Range:60ft The user shoots poisonous needles from their mouth this attack can hit three people at a time and you cannot stack this attack on one enemy. Each target makes a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 2d4 Poison damage on a failed save as well as 2d4 Poison damage at the start of their turns for three turns, or half as much damage on a successful and no continual damage. A creature can avoid taking the continual poison damage by taking an action to remove the needle from their body.
Thunder parent: You are able to use a powerful shout. Range 60ft The user shouts at the target with such force that the target must make a Dexterity or Strength saving throw. The target takes 6d4 Thunder damage on a fail and is pushed back 15 feet, on a successful one they take half damage and are not moved.
Dragon Transformation. Taninim are able to transform into a humanoid form and are able to keep this form until they wish to end it, or they die reverting to their full Dragon form. Choose what your humanoid form looks like, as an full round action you can transform ONLY into this one form. You can choose for items to be torn, destroyed, or magically disappear and reappear with you when you transform. You don't benefit from equipment in your dragon form unless you are able to wield/wear it. The hair color depends on their scales, (i.e. a Red Dragon has their hair color red, a Gold Dragon would have golden locks, etc.) Besides their hair the eyes of Taninim can betray their heritage, your eyes stay the same as when they are in dragon form. Finally, while in your humanoid form you don't have access to any of the psychical racial traits that require your dragon form, (Dragon Blast, Natural Armor, Bite, Dragon Physiology, flight etc). You only keep your darkvision trait in human form.
Languages. Draconic, Common, and due to their longevity they are able to learn one other non-exotic language of their choosing.
Subrace. There are 3 different subraces of taninim, from which you must choose 1.
Brutes are the closest in physical appearance to their cousins, the true dragons. Known for their great physical strength and imposing presence, it is difficult to discern a brute taninim from a true dragon. In taninim society, Brutes are usually the warriors and protectors of their homesteads. Due to their physical might, most wardens are brutes.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Predator's Claws. You possess vicious claws that deal 1d4 + Strength modifier damage. As a bonus action, you can make a claw attack without a damage modifier after making a bite or claw attack. You are considered proficient with these attacks.
Frightful Presence. As a standard action, or as a bonus action after an attack, the taninim may make any number of enemies within 60 feet make a Wisdom save (DC = 8 + taninim's proficiency bonus + taninim's Charisma modifier) or become frightened for 1 minute. Creatures can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns, ending the effect on a success. You can use this ability once per long or short rest.
Flight of the Brute. You show what a Taninim is capable of, striking from above with claws and maw? All in a days work for a Brute. While in your dragon form your walking speed is 30, and you have a flight speed of 30.
Lung are the scholars and chroniclers of taninim society. Legend has it that the Lung came about when a hungry Brute attacked and ate a giant oyster, pearl and all. In the struggle, the oyster ripped off the taninim's wings before succumbing. The oyster was, supposedly, the guardian of all knowledge and cursed the offending taninim and all his offspring to be the keepers of knowledge henceforth. In place of large, scaled wings, Lung instead grow mighty horns atop their head.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Gore. You may use your horns to make a mighty gore attack, dealing 1d6 + your Strength modifier points of damage.
Cosmic Insight. Lung possess what appears to be a radiant pearl in the center of their foreheads. They may shed light (as the spell) from the pearl at will. Once per long rest, at will, the Lung may gain advantage on any one skill check. This ability may be used after the initial roll, but before the result is determined.
Swiftness of the Lung. Your kind has lost their ability to fly, but that by no means makes you weak. You ability to weave across the land is unparalleled. In dragon form you have a base walking speed of 40, and a climbing speed of 40.
The history of the Feykin is a riddle in a mystery. According to the oldest living Feykin, Titania, Faerie Queen of the Summer Court, and her consort, Oberon, supposedly infused some of the first taninim eggs with their magic. Most other taninim regard this as mere fantasy; as if some creatures of dream could influence the Essence of their Mother to produce such ludicrous creatures from near perfection. However, the natural magic Feykin command is not easily overlooked.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Primal Spelltrick. Each day, you may choose any one non-damaging 1st-level Druid spell or one 1st level spell from the Illusion school, and may cast it once after a long rest. You may choose a new spell each day. The save DC for this spell is Charisma-based.
Trickster's Vanishing. Feykin may cast invisibility, targeting only themselves, once after a long rest.
Buzzing of the Feykin. You're size is small in dragon form, there is no avoiding that. But you can flap your wings much faster than those bigger than you. In dragon form you walk speed is 15, but you have a flight speed of 50.
Draconic Essences and Compulsions
When creating a Taninim character, you must select one Draconic Essence to help shape their personality and appearance. The Essences coincide with the colors of True Dragons, as well as dragon-like creatures. Each Essence has an associated Compulsion, which the taninim must make a Wisdom save against each time they would act in defiance of it. Compulsions have a save equal to 8 + the Taninim's proficiency bonus + the Taninim's Charisma modifier. Failure means the taninim must comply with its unique compulsion, even if it is detrimental to the group.
You may choose any one Essence regardless of your subrace selection. Your character's alignment must be within one step of the Essence's associated alignment.
|Essence||Scale Color||Breath Element||Alignment||Compulsion|
|Balanced||None (Wyvern)||Poison||True Neutral||Must make a Wisdom save to commit any act that is overtly Good or Evil.|
|Bitter||Brown||Fire||Chaotic Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to not hunt after/attack someone who previously defeated you or escaped previously.|
|Brave||Bronze||Lightning||Lawful Good||Must make a Wisdom save to run or retreat from any encounter.|
|Creative||Brass||Fire||Chaotic Good||Must make a Wisdom save to destroy any object with unique value, |
or to stifle another creature's artistic expressions.
|Deceitful||Yellow||Lightning||Chaotic Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to not exaggerate or attack someone when they catch you in a lie.|
|Destructive||Red||Fire||Chaotic Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to resist killing an enemy it has beaten in battle, |
or to resist taking advantage of opportunities to hurt its enemies by destroying things precious to them.
|Detached||Iron||Lightning||Lawful Good||Must make a Wisdom save to socialize with others, leaving the area for a place of solitude |
or chasing off others on a failure.
|Devious||Black||Acid||Chaotic Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to openly share important information and be truthful.|
|Fixated||Lead||Poison||Chaotic Good||Must make a Wisdom save to change who you attack during combat.|
|Ghoulish||Pink||Cold||Lawful Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to not laugh and joke at the misfortune of others.|
|Gluttonous||Purple||Acid||Lawful Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to resist trying to obtain more than necessary of an object or food you desire.|
|Heinous||Orange||Poison||Chaotic Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to not torture anyone you've captured, or not make ornaments from the dead.|
|Honorable||Silver||Cold||Lawful Good||Must make a Wisdom save to resist defending the helpless or to deceive another creature.|
|Imperious||Green||Poison||Lawful Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to take commands from any creature not obviously more powerful than it.|
|Lazy||Gray||Cold||Lawful Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to do anything that wouldn't directly benefit it.|
|Militant||Blue||Lightning||Lawful Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to peacefully solve a conflict that can be reconciled with force.|
|Paranoid||White||Cold||Chaotic Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to trust anyone other than close friends.|
|Prankster||Mercury||Poison||Chaotic Good||Must make a Wisdom save to not play a prank on someone when the opportunity presents itself.|
|Regal||Gold||Fire||Lawful Good||Must make a Wisdom save to take any action that might be considered demeaning or embarrassing.|
|Snoopy||Steel||Acid||Lawful Good||Must make a Wisdom save to not attack anyone who might be listening to you, |
or to not eavesdrop on others.
|Spirited||Cobalt||Cold||Lawful Good||Must make a Wisdom save to not challenge a strong opponent to combat, or ask them to train you.|
|Talkative||Magenta||Thunder||Lawful Evil||Must make a Wisdom save to resist trying to talk with another creature.|
|Fire||Lawful Neutral||Must make a Wisdom save every 24 hours while outside of the area it considers its protectorate |
or it is treated as if it had 1 level of Exhaustion until it returns or succeeds the save.
|Thunder||Chaotic Neutral||Must make a Wisdom save to resist overreacting to any perceived insult.|
|Witty||Copper||Acid||Chaotic Good||Must make a Wisdom save to remain silent or speak seriously in tense situations.|
Random Height and Weight
|Sub-race||Base Length||Length Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Brute||6'0"||+2d6"||150 lb.||+2d6 lb.|
|Lung||6'6"||+2d6"||170 lb.||+2d4 lb.|
|Feykin||1'0"||+2d4"||10 lb.||+1d8 lb.|