Tyranid (5e Race)

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Tyranid[edit]

They are coming! I feel them scratching inside my mind, scratching, screaming, running, so many - so, so many voices. They are coming for us - flesh, body and soul!
—Codex:Tyranids (4th edition), page 66

Physical Description[edit]

Tyrant.JPG
"IMMA' EAT YOUUU!!!"

Tyranids are essentially if locusts mutated, got huge, beefy, and had the blades to decapitate. They commonly have two pairs of arms, but only one is prehensile. The other pair is mantis like blades. A pointed head rests between its arms and shoulders, with angry eyes and a toothy mouth. Their thorax is commonly ribbed to look like an internal skeletal structure down to their abdomen, where it begins to take a more scale like pattern along their belly. They have a strong muscular tail and strong legs. Their entire body is armored in tough scales. They have slight variations in colors and small features like spurs or horns on their scaly natural armor.

History[edit]

The tyranids are an intergalactic alien race that formed somewhere between the void and local group galaxies. They are thought to originate from nothing and so have a desire to devour everything. Their main feature is their evolutionary tactic which formed the Hive Mind or Biologis Magos. It is disputed exactly whether or not they actually evolved to have this trait, or whether some formless deity enslaved them all. Either way, this force drives them and makes them efficient in what they do, which is devouring worlds.

They historically have been a documented force that flies in organized fleets to destroy galaxies. Nothing is left in their wake. With their biological weapons and living spaceships, they easily transport in hordes. They are naturally built with tough armor and blades for hands, making them natural deadly hunters and capable warriors. Even machines are no match for their numbers. Tyranids are equatable to a disease that spreads throughout the body of space, ravaging it and leaving nothing to salvage in its wake.

Society[edit]

Tyranid society is similar to that of colonies of a bee or an ant. The Hive Mind controls and orders all tyranids, who live only to carry out that will. They are all connected via the hive, having no individual consciousness. A majority of tyranids are are troops on the ground, with a large variety in typing. This is because the Hive Mind can alter their evolutionary processes to adapt to threats it perceives and modify accordingly, making tyranids an adaptable race of horrors. All facets of tyranid society are based on conquering and basically being a menace to everyone. They are known to absorb all resources of planets through their towers, leaving nothing but barren rock. When met with possible resistance, they simply gas the place with spores and change the environment to their advantage, thus allowing them to assault easily.

Unlike other races which may use inorganic material to forge, tyranids us biomass and gene splicing to biologically engineer weapons of mass destruction. They take material and whatever they consume from planets and pour it into newer, deadlier forms. Even their own bodies are fuel, which makes one wonder if tyranids are just weapons of the Hive itself at this rate, rather than a real race. When tyranids die, their biomass is recollected into pools which the Hive uses to shape into new tyranids. New tyranids may be born this way or by genetic implanting. The second method plants a virulent tyranid gene in a foreign host and subtly forces them to mate with others, breeding tyranid spawn which are instantly loyal to the Hive via the bio-psychic connection.

Tyranid Names[edit]

Since tyranids have no individual thought and are often expendable, to name them would be a waste. They are essentially just automated weapons. The Hive Mind communicates to them such that they have no need to even talk to another. No one knows if the Hive Mind gives them names or addresses them in any way.

Tyranid Traits[edit]

Hive minded creatures leaving destruction in their wake
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Age. Tyranids live to be about 250 years old before they full degenerate back into biomass.
Alignment. Tyranids would be considered lawful if you consider they follow the hive to a tee. However, their destructive tendencies classify as chaotic evil.
Size. Your size is Medium unless otherwise specified by your subrace.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You gain additional modes of movement based on your subrace.
Shadow in the Warp. Tyranid minds are protected by the great overwhelming synapse that is the hive. You are resistant to psychic damage.
Natural Armor. Tyranids are covered in thick scales which serve as natural armor. While you wear no armor, your base Armor Class is 12 + your Constitution modifier. You may use a shield and still gain this benefit.
Languages. You can understand spoken Common but you only speak in raving beastly noises and growls. For the purposes of spellcasting, this qualifies for verbal components.
Subrace. Choose from the hive tyrant, broodlord, tyrant guard, warrior, lictor, gaunt, gargoyle, ripper, genestealer, carnifex, raveners, zoanthropes, biovores, bio-titan, dominatrix, trygon, mawloc, and hive guard subraces

Hive Tyrant[edit]

The hive tyrants act as the leaders of the swarm and a synaptic conduit for the smaller creatures. They are skilled at both close combat and ranged attack, more so than most other tyranid organisms.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1. As normal, you cannot increase an ability score over 20.
Great Size. Your size is considered Large for the purposes of grappling.
Fighter Lord. You have claws that are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength or modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike. You also have a tongue which you can make a ranged unarmed strike with. It has a range of 15 feet and deals piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier upon hit.

Broodlord[edit]

These tyranids are devastating in combat and are specifically adept at infiltration on the battlefield to get closer to the enemy. They are very adaptable and highly intelligent, able to coordinate plans of a fleet.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Fluent. Unlike the usual tyranid, you can speak fluently and coherently in Common. You also can speak two other languages of your choice.
Sneak Attack. You have advantage on attack rolls against an enemy that is surprised.

Tyrant Guard[edit]

The tyrant guards are a special species of tyranid spawned in small broods for the sole purpose of defending. They are tough and difficult to harm, and it is nearly impossible to surpass their defense. Tyrant guards are completely blind.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Blind. You do not have the benefit of sight as other tyranids do, as you are completely blinded. However, you can perceive your surroundings without relying on sight within a specific radius. You have a blindsight range of 60 feet, but are blind beyond this radius.
Supreme Defense. Your Armor Class cannot be lower than 14.

Warrior[edit]

These are the uber foot soldiers, fast and powerful like Hive Tyrants.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1. As normal, you cannot increase an ability score over 20.
Overwhelm. Due to your immense strength, holding you down is quite a feat. You have advantage in checks to resist being grappled.
Rally. With your charge and admirable strength like a centurion, you can inspire others of your allies to charge. Using a bonus action, you may grant one creature you can see within 30 feet of you advantage on their next melee weapon attack roll. You must finish a short or long rest to regain use of this trait.

Lictor[edit]

The lictors are deadly organisms bred for their stealthy qualities.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Scouter. Lictors are often sent under guises to surprise enemies behind their own lines. You are proficient in Stealth.
Element of Surprise. Lictors are opportunistic and strike easily at those too slow to react. You have advantage in attack rolls against creatures that are surprised.

Gaunt[edit]

The gaunts are the basic staple combat unit of a tyranid swarm. They are smaller and less physically powerful than most other tyranid organisms, but they are extraordinarily adaptable and always attack in large numbers

Ability Score Increase. One ability score of your choice increases by 1.
Enduring Rally. Foot soldiers are the durable drumroll for the big players. If you are reduced to 0 hit points and you have a creature friendly to you within 10 feet of you, you may instead drop to 1 hit point. You must finish a long rest before using this trait again.
Learned Weaponry. You are proficient into one weapon of your choice.

Gargoyle[edit]

The gargoyles are essentially winged variants of the tyranid race.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Wings. You have strong, but unwieldy, wings that give you a flight speed of 15 feet.
Watcher. Like the statues from which you get your name, you watch for threats to your brood. You are proficient in Perception

Ripper[edit]

The rippers are small, snake-like organisms designed to devour biomatter so that new DNA and nutrients can be absorbed by the Hive ships. They are released in the final stage of a tyranid invasion.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Size. Your size is Small.
Process. Rippers are essentially feeders to the Hive. They have to make sure nutrients are clean for use and consumption. You know and can cast the purify food and drink spell at will once. You regain use of this spell after finishing a long rest.
Bite. They are so called rippers due to their vicious bite. You may attack with your bite, which you are proficient in, dealing 1d6 piercing damage on hit.

Genestealer[edit]

The genestealers are ferocious humanoid creatures, supposedly derived from human DNA, that are used as a vanguard to the tyranid invasions.

Ability Score Increase. One ability score of your choice increases by 1.
Appear Human. You look and appear human. Checks to discern your true nature roll with disadvantage.
Assess Gene. You are superior in your abilities to find the conditions of creatures form only a small bit of their DNA. As an action, you may examine a fluid, flesh or hair and ascertain if it was bio-matter or artificial. If it is bio-matter, you know what creature type it came from.

Carnifex[edit]

The Carnifexes are originally known as screamer-killers – hulking, living battering rams, armed with a variety of biomechanical, symbiotic weaponry. They are used for assaulting fortified positions and as armor formations, such as during boarding actions.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1. As normal, you cannot increase an ability score over 20.
Hulking Muscle. You are very strong, capable of lifting more than others, jumping farther, and so forth. You are proficient in the Athletics skill.
Razors. You have two large blades that grow from your arms that are able to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.

Raveners[edit]

These beasts are designed for fast assaults against lighter enemies and dig through the ground to perform surprise raids.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Flurry. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you may make a physical burst and attack twice instead. You must finish a long rest before using this trait again.
Digger. You have a burrowing speed equal to your base walking speed.

Zoanthropes[edit]

The zoanthropes are a type of psychic artillery, whose highly evolved brains swell out of proportion with their bodies. Through their use of psychic powers they can perform a number of roles on the battlefield.

Design Note: This content refers to playtest material in Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic Class.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Psychic. You know the psionic talent mind thrust. You also know one psionic discipline of your choice from the Avatar order, but you have no psi points to use with it, and thus can only use the psionic focus of your chosen discipline unless you have psi points from another source. Starting from 3rd level, you have 2 psi points, with a psi limit of 2. At 5th level, this increases to 5 psi points with a psi limit of 3. If you gain psi points and have a psi limit from another source, the psi points are added together and you use the higher psi limit. Intelligence is your manifestation ability for this discipline. You regain expended psi points when you complete a long rest.
Intellect. Your brains make you smart not only in battle but other things as well. You are proficient in two Intelligence skills of your choice.

Biovores[edit]

The biovores are sluggish, sessile creatures, usually used as slow-moving tanks for others to take cover behind.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Unmoving. Being sluggish makes you a perfect wall against those who would want you to move otherwise. You have advantage on saving throws against being moved against your will.
Steady. You may be slow, but you are also steady, making it hard to change your pace. Your stride cannot be interrupted or hastened. You are immune to effects that would alter your speed. Spells like haste or slow no longer change your movement speed. But you will still gain the other benefits or detriments of the spells. Feats and class features can still give you extra movement speed.

Bio-titan[edit]

The bio-titans evolved as a response to other races' super-heavy warmachines.

Design Note: This subrace makes use of the Large Player Characters (5e Variant Rule).

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Size. Your size is Large
Mighty Heave. Your strength and size let you wield large weapons with ease. You are proficient with weapons that have the heavy property.

Dominatrix[edit]

These are basically a female hive tyrant with mentally adroit capability.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1. As normal, you cannot increase an ability score over 20.
Mind Ward. Your mental state is impenetrable. You have advantage in saving throws against being charmed.
Domineer. You can cast the command spell once, without material components. You must finish a long rest to use this trait again.

Trygon[edit]

The trygons are powerful serpentine organisms that tunnel behind enemy lines.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1. As normal, you cannot increase an ability score over 20.
Muscular Tail. You can grapple or shove a creature within 10 feet of you with your tail. While grappling a creature this way your speed is reduced to 0.
Digger. You have a burrowing speed equal to your base walking speed.

Mawloc[edit]

They are worm-like and blind, though they are incredibly agile despite their size. Their short claws are not suited for close combat, rather to tunnel efficiently under the battlefield, although they are by no means defenseless.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Vibration Sensor. You do not have the benefit of sight as other tyranids do, as you are completely blinded. However, you can perceive your surroundings without relying on sight within a specific radius by instead feeling for changes in pressure and tension. You have a blindsight range of 60 feet, but are blind beyond this radius.
Digger. You have a burrowing speed equal to your base walking speed.

Hive Guard[edit]

The hive guard are charged with protecting tyranid structures and are capable of unleashing salvo after salvo of intense firepower.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Inexhaustible. You are a tough trooper, able to tank attacks and also take offense for long periods of time. You have advantage on saving throws against exhaustion.
Blunt Deflect. Your arm blades are thicker and blunt, meant to ward off attacks that hurt. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to roll a d12. Add your Constitution modifier to the number rolled, and reduce the damage by that total. After you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
3′ 2″ +1d6 29 lb. × (1d4) lb.

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

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
5′ 1″ +5d8 176 lb. × (2d4) lb.

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

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
9′ 0″ +2d12 267 lb. × (1d8) lb.

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


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