The Dying Sands of Athas
Common Races of Athas:
Uncommon Races of Athas:
Alphabetical Listing of Races
Intelligent, Avian people who dwell in the mountains of Athas. The Aarakocra are a tribal group of individuals who see themselves as the natural protectors of the wastes of Athas, and destroy those who would do it harm.
Life in the Sky
The Aarakocra nest in mountains but live life on the wing, flying around Athas, always on the move. The greatest of these moves are the Great Migrations that occur every ten years. During these migrations, a great number of aarakocra, banding together across even warring tribes, take to the sky in numbers so vast it can darken the sky over some areas. The Migration is joined by all aarakocra they fly over, and rare is it the aarakocra who can resist taking to the sky when they see a Migration overhead. Why the aarakocra do this, and what is accomplished, is not known. The Migration begins far beyond the Kreen Lands in the west, and ends far to the east, beyond the Endless Silt Sea. Aarakocra are often asked what they find that far out, but they do not make a habit of sharing this intelligence with others.
Fighters of Tyrrany
Aarakocra stand up against tyranny in all its forms, and have attempted to begin many slave revolts across the Tyrian region. They prize freedom above all else, making it a great irony that they are captured and used as slaves by some enterprising slavers, who bind iron to their legs and clip their wings so they cannot fly. Many sorcerer-kings do not outright ban the aarakocra from their cities, fearing harassment of their supply lines if they do, but they are not tolerated kindly by templars in any city but Gulg, where the aarakocra are treated as friends; one of the few outside groups that the Oba allows into her forest city.
Saviors of a Dying World
Aarakocra see themsleves as guardians of the natural world, despite the fact that the halflings see themselves in this role as well. The aarakocra always attempt to live in harmony with nature, disliking large cities as despoilers of nature’s bounty. They generally live in tribes with other aarakocra deep in the wastes and far-lands of Athas. They have uneasy truces with Thri-kreen, and generally befriend them when living in cities, as they are both seen as unwelcome outsiders.
Male Names: Aleron, Errol, Ephram, Raash, Trent, Vulco
Female Names: Clara, Clymene, Eyriea, Iglenna, Risa, Valara
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2, and your Dexterity increases by 1.
Age. Aarakocra are known to be very long-lived; they reach maturity at 15, and live to be over 120.
Alignment. Aarakocra are generally good aligned, seeing themselves as protectors. However, often their protecting ends up harming many individuals, as when they raid supply lines headed toward city-states they have grudges against (notably, Nibeney).
Size. Aarakocra stand between 4’ and 5’, and usually weigh less than 70 lbs. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 20 feet, and you have a fly speed of 50 feet.
Wings. You have a set of wings protruding from your shoulder-blades. These allow you to fly. Your wings can only support your weight, so you cannot carry others with you. If you are over-burdened, or wearing heavy armor, you cannot fly. To fly you must have at least fifteen feet above you and have a total of ten feet horizontally, so you can deploy your wings. This only depends on physical obstruction; if there are creatures on either side of you, you may still take flight (but are susceptible toward opportunity attacks per regular rules). You cannot hover, and if you do not move at least half your speed flying, you must either end your turn on the ground, or you begin to fall. If you are restrained or immobilized, you also begin to fall. Finally, so long as you have clearance to deploy your wings (and are not restrained or immobilized), you never take fall damage.
Dive Attack. If you are flying and dive at least 30 feet straight at a target before attacking, melee weapon attacks deal an additional 1d6 of damage to the target.
Keen Eyesight. You have superior eyesight; you always have advantage on WIsdom (Perception) checks involving sight.
Languages. You can speak Auran and Common. Auran is a language that is sung more than spoken, and is thought to be quite beautiful at times by outsiders. Andorponis, sorcerer-king of Balic, notably loves the sound of Aarakocra opera, and has several aarakocra bards at hand at all times to sing of his accomplishments.
Same as Player’s Handbook. You can choose either of the subraces listed in the player’s handbook, or the Athasian Dwarf subrace presented here:
As an Athasian Dwarf, you are focused beyond measure. Dwarves are known for their love of work and single-mindedness more than all else. A dwarf is never happier than when they are busy doing something. This drive has seen the Dwarven Empire build impressive works, including the modern wonder of Ledopolis. It has also seen the fall of the Dwarven Empire due to their lack of compromise.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Dwarven Focus. Chose a focus. A focus can be any task that takes at least one week or more to accomplish, and must be specific (Stop evil is not specific; kill the evil defiler who betrayed us, is). Gain a +1 to all untrained skill checks, and a +2 to trained skill checks, made that are related to completing your focus. This drive does not come without a cost, however. When engaged in tasks that detract from you accomplishing your goal, you lose 1 hit die per day you are not working towards your goal. If you die without finishing your focus, there is a 85% chance you will return as a vengeful banshee to haunt your focus.
Dark Elves and High Elves have no place on Athas. The only elves remaining on the hot sands are Wood Elves.
Elves of Athas are generally nomadic merchants, although some turn to marauding. Most city-states have at least one elven market, where the rarest of wares can be found, for only the elves are daring enough to brave ancient ruins and forgotten keeps for treasure.
As player’s handbook.
There is a saying on Athas: “Nobody loves a half-elf.” Humans tolerate half-elves, so much as they are useful, but elves have been known to go out of their way to inconvenience or even murder half-elves. Half-elves have a chip on their shoulder, understandably, and you are hard-pressed to find a more cynical and pessimistic race on all of Athas.
Giants dominate many of the islands and coastal areas of the Silt Sea, as well as the mountainous areas. Whether through some magical experiment or something more depraved, humans and giants were crossbred, and now half-giants are a fairly common sight on Athas.
Tall and Resilient
A half-giant is truly massive, standing between 10 and 12 feet tall, and weighing more than a ton. While most giants look like distorted humans, others have more bestial features, hinting at a different bloodline. Their massive size has led to them becoming popular bodyguards, palace guards, and city guards. Most sorcerer-kings count among their elite troops at least one unit of half-giants.
A Young Race
Half-giants are a relatively new race on Athas, and as such there is no concept of a “half-giant culture.” Shunned by most of giantkind for being too short and ugly, as well as too smart for their classically idiotic progenitors, half-giants are quick to adopt whatever culture interests them the most. They are very imitative creatures, who are eager to change their personalities to match those they find interesting. Although it may seem odd, they are truly social chameleons.
A love of imitation has led to a sometimes troubling personality characteristic of half-giants. Half-giants cannot be counted upon to be the same one day as they were the day before. If a half-giant is impressed by a strong personality or a new idea, he may drop everything he has known and begin acting differently or begin a new job.
As half-giants have no culture to speak of, half-giants have no “proper” name. As such, when naming a half-giant, pull from names from other race’s name lists. Feel free to mix and match. Furthermore, due to their fickle nature, if a half-giant comes across a name he prefers more than his own, he will unabashedly adopt the name for himself.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Half-giants mature faster than humans, and live longer to boot. Half-giants become adults by 13. They are estimated to live as old as 140, but half-giants generally die in battle before they die of natural causes.
Alignment. The fickle attitudes of half-giants mean they are never lawful, and almost always chaotic. As for Good or Evil, half-giants act as they see fit.
Size. Half-giants are 10-12 feet tall, and weigh over a ton on average. Your size is Large, leading to several advantages and disadvantages:
- You occupy a 10’ square space. If you attempt to move into a space smaller than this, you are Squeezing; attacks made against you gain advantage, and attacks you make are with disadvantage. This takes effect if you are squeezing horizontally or vertically.
- When you gain hit points, you double the roll of your hit die. You are very stout.
- Your weapon die are one size larger. Furthermore, your unarmed attacks deal 1d6 bludgeoning rather than 1 bludgeoning.
- All weapons, armor, and clothing cost double the price, due to the sizes they must be.
- You require twice the amount of food and water than other races.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Natural Mimics. If you watch someone complete a task, you may include your proficiency bonus to untrained skills on your first attempt to engage in the same task.
Language. You can speak Common and Giant. Although the proper giants dislike half-giants, the half-giants have had to deal with them long enough to know their banal-sounding tongue.
Subrace. Two kinds of half-giants exist on Athas: the common Humanoid Half-Giant, and the less common Bestial Half-Giant.
As a hiumanoid half-giant, you appear as a over-large human, with distorted features, a thick brow with a sloping forhead and a massive chin. Hill half-giants are the most common form of half-giant, and everyone has encountered one in their life. They are renown for their strength and their bulk, as well as their fighting prowess.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Prodigious Grappler. You have advantage on any checks made to grapple a creature smaller than yourself, and creatures smaller than yourself are at disadvantage when attempting to grapple you.
As a bestial half-giant, you are slimmer than a humanoid half-giant, and your head bears vague resemblance to an animal. Perhaps you have a great mane of hair and fangs like a lion, or your eyes are narrow and your nose slit-like, as a snake. Your vaguely alien features put others off, but your animal instincts come in handy.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Bestial Senses. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks, and Wisdom (Survival) checks that are made to track a creature.
As players handbook. Athasian halflings are a complex race. The most common subrace of halfling on Athas is the lightfoot halfling. The majority of halflings live beyond the Ringing Mountains in the vast jungles beyond the Tyrian region. They view exploration and learning as part of a natural journey all halflings should undertake. They are very open-minded about others, but very private about themselves. They rarely allow outsiders to understand halfling custom or tradition. This has led to numerous rumors about halflings, most notably that they are cannibals. As for whether or not this rumor is true, well, can it truly be cannibalism if you eat someone not from your own race?
As players handbook. Humans are the most prominent race on Athas, and the most adaptable. Humans are generally tolerant of all other demi-humans and even those more monsterous. They are also a very diverse race—culture for humans differs greatly from city-state to city-state. If there was one trait that set Athasian humans apart from other kinds of humanity, it would be their phsyical abnormalities. Centuries of magical abuse have scarred the landscape as well as humanity. Thus, many humans have odd mutations that are normal to humans, but are occasionally unsettling to other races, all of which are unafflicted by such magical mutations. Examples include blotchy grey skin, webbed fingers, no hair, an over-large chin or nose, almost non-existent ears, etc.
Muls are the sterile crossbreed between humans and dwarves, prized for their stature and their work ethic. Often, Muls are bred by slave owners, who wish to have a workforce as hardy as a dwarf but with the size and reach of a human. Standing as tall as a human with the stock of a dwarf, muls are almost always completely hairless with swept back ears, small and pointed.
Muls toil tirelessly, often without complaining, making them prized slaves. muls have the strength of a dwarf without the odd obsessions that ultimately cripple many dwarven slaves. Furthermore, their superior height and reach gives mul gladiators incredible advantage over lesser slaves. Because of this, however, most muls do not have families or cultures.
Bred for Captivity
Free muls are almost always either freed men or escaped slaves; it is rare for muls to be born outside of breeding programs. This has led to the majority of muls not knowing parental guidance or familial bonds. Muls distrust others; they will join others to accomplish tasks and for survival, but rarely do they ever truly befriend anyone, keeping them at a distance.
Much like their dwarven parents, muls accomplish what they set their minds to. While they lack the intense obsession that true dwarves have, a mul that no longer desires to be a slave is rarely a slave for much longer, and will escape through cunning or killing. Many muls do not escape, however, as they are pampered when not working. This is especially true of mul gladiators, who generally live far better lives than most commoners do. Often their own accommodations are better than their owners, an arrangement created by owners to keep muls from wishing freedom.
Mul names are generally either dwarven or human in nature. Select names from either of those name lists.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2 and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Muls age similarly to humans.
Alignment. Most muls are unaligned, not caring to take sides too strongly on issues.
Size. Muls stand between 6 and 6.5 feet, and weigh about 270 lbs. Your size is medium.
Speed. Your base land speed is 30. Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor.
Inexhaustible. As an action, you may reduce your exhaustion by one level. You cannot use this feature again until after you have taken a long rest.
Untiring. Once every 48 hours, when you take a long rest you may regain all expended Hit Dice. Additionally, the duration of rest required to gain the benefits of a short or long rest are halved. Finally, You may stay awake for 72 hours without detriment. After 72 hours of being awake, you begin to suffer detriments, per normal rules.
Beyond alien, the thri-kreen are insect-men, standing 7 feet tall at the shoulder but as light as an elf. The mantis warriors of Athas are renown for their martial abilities and inscrutability.
A thri-kreen has six limbs, a protruding abdomen, and a long neck, atop of which sits a odd diamon-shaped head with large compound eyes and segmented antennae. The four forward limbs are arms with opposable digits. Their hind legs are longer and thicker, making them skilled jumpers. Their small jaws are 90 degrees from a normal mouth, and instead of teeth they have several pairs of mandibles and manipulators that sit outside the jaw to help bring food inside their mouth. Their incredibly alien nature makes them nearly unreadable. Although they are not rare on Athas, and many have encountered at least one thri-kreen, they are always a local marvel, ogled by children and disturbing adults.
The Pack is a unit of organization for thri-kreen, being between 2-24 individuals. There are very few thri-kreen settlements, as the thri-kreen are nomadic in nature. The pack, therefore, is a city-state to itself. When a thri-kreen is part of an all-kreen pack, they rarely vocalize, instead communicating with strange movements and limited thri-kreen only telepathy. When a thri-kreen is not part of any sort of pack, they feel distress and depressed. It is rare that lone thri-kreen survive for very long, often dying of some unknown malaise. When they join a pack, even if it is made up of non-kreen, they become loyal to their pack members almost to a fault, acting selflessly in the best interest of the pack.
Thri-kreen are always on the hunt. As their are nomadic, they are always hunting for their next meal. When they live inside of cities, they are on the hunt for different kinds of prey. Often thri-kreen become vigilantes; too weird to become legitimate templars, they attempt to keep the peace of their city-state in their own fashion, seeing criminals and defilers as prey to be hunted. The thri-kreen are always moving; they do not sleep, preferring to hunt instead. Thri-kreen are almost always eating, or on the hunt for food, which has made them seem food-obsessed by others. The truth is, they just have an incredibly high metabolism.
Male and Female names: Cha’ka, Chuka-tet, Drik-chkit, Hakka, Ka’cha, Kacht-ta, Kka’tho, Lakata-cho, Pak’cha, Pik,ik-cha, Sa’Relka, T’chai, Tak-tha
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1, and your Dexterity increases by 2.
Age. Thri-kreen mature quickly, and live shorter than most humanoids. They reach maturity around age 6 or 7, and an elder thri-kreen rarely makes it past age 50.
Alignment. Thri-kreen do what is good for the pack, and therefore they are seen as either good or evil, lawful or chaotic, depending on how one views their relation to the Thri-kreen. Someone may see a thri-kreen stealing food for their pack as Evil, but the thri-kreen would consider themselves lawful good, for they are acting for the good of the pack.
Size. Fully extended, a Thri-kreen can be as tall as a half-giant, but their natural resting height is 8’ at the top of their head. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base speed is 35 feet.
Low-light vision. Your antennae, mostly vistigil, give you just enough edge to reduce the affect of low light conditions. You can see up to 60 feet in low-light without any penalties.
Armored Carapace. If you wear no armor, your AC is 13 + Dexterity modifier
Four arms. You have four arms and four hands, allowing you to do more than those with two arms. You may use your second pair of arms the same as you would use your primary set of arms. This allows you to carry additional weapons, items, etc. Note that this does not grant you extra attacks; you are still only able to make the number of attacks your class allows. Furthermore, due to the close proximity of your secondary arms, you are still limited to only one shield. Finally, while you can wield two two-handed weapons, you cannot use a two-handed weapon for a secondary attack using two-weapon fighting, unless the two-handed weapon has the light property.
Sleeplessness. You do not sleep. Abilities that recharge after a long rest are recharged after a 24-hour period. Due to not sleeping, however, you have a fast metabolism, and you consume twice as much as a usual humanoid of your size.
Alien Nature. You are totally alien to others, and therefore non-kreen are always at disadvantage on WIsdom (insight) rolls made against you. However, the nature of others is as alien to you as you are to them, and all Wisdom (Insight) rolls you make against non-kreen are also at disadvantage.
Standing Leap. You always have advantage when rolling Strength (Athletics) checks made to jump.
Languages. You speak common and kreen. Kreen is a language only speakable by thri-kreen; it is a silent language consisting of body movements and limited telepathic messages. To speak it with another Kreen, you must have line of sight. Due to your preference for your native tongue, you speak common in a horrible mechanical, buzzing timbre that disturbs others.