Fiend Claws, Children of Fire, Iron, and Shadow

“Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!
Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!
I feel ye now — I feel ye in your strength.

-Edgar Allan Poe, The Coliseum

Playtest Version

This material is still in the process of being playtested. It is fully usable as written, but may be refined or changed in later versions. As always, this content should only be used with GM permission.

The Fiend Claws

Fiend claws are not a tribe or a species, but a term given to reptilian folk who are touched by the lower planes. From the moment they hatch they have a spark of power from the abyss which grows stronger as they age. In addition to their physical and magical might, most fiend claws are cunning and paranoid, instinctively driven to rule over and strengthen their community. Few fiend claws tolerate another within their territory, so young adults often strike out on their own as soon as their abilities begin to manifest.

Scions of the Abyss

A hint of demon blood pumps in the veins of every fiend claw, making them unpredictable and power-hungry. It also gives them a degree of control over the energies that leak into the world from the abyssal realms, which can be used to make their scales momentarily as strong as iron, burn enemies to cinders, or shroud themselves in unnatural darkness. Some will form cults and engage in foul blood rituals, but most have an instinctive revulsion at the idea of being beholden to another being and so will prefer to be warlords or mages who have their own power rather than utter prayers to another.

The New Ways Are Best

Fiend claws are driven and clever, seeking to improve and strengthen settlements, social structures, and traditions when others would be content to carry on doing what has worked for generations. A fiend claw will seek out and secure ruins to make more defensible dens in better locations, build traps to keep out invaders, and even strike deals with outsiders to exchange raided goods from the caravans of soft folk for information and territory exchanges. However, they will rarely, if ever, strike a bargain with someone more powerful than themselves unless they have some secret information to put themselves in the advantaged position.


Fiend Claw Names

Fiend claw names follow the conventions of the folk among which they hatch.

Fiend Claw Traits

Your fiend claw character has several natural abilities.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution increases by 2 and your Intelligence increases by 1.
    Age.Fiend claws live as long as the type of reptilian humanoid they are hatched from.
    Alignment. Fiend claws tend towards neutrality, chaos, or evil, but some reject the influence of their heritage and favor order or good.
    Size. Whatever stock a fiend claw arises from, they are larger than average, sometimes only slightly and sometimes dramatically so. Your size is Medium.
    Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You also have a swimming speed of 30 feet.
    Bite. Your bite is a natural weapon which you can use to make unarmed strikes. With a hit, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier.
    Demonblooded Power. You know the blade ward cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the searing smite spell once without any material components. When you reach 5th level, you can also cast the darkness spell once. You regain the ability to cast these spells this way when you finish a long rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
    Feeding Frenzy. You can make a special attack with your bite as a bonus action. On a hit, you deal normal damage and gain temporary hit points equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum 1). You can use this special attack again after a short or long rest.
    Hold Breath. You can hold your breath for 15 minutes.
    Natural Armor. Your AC when you aren’t wearing armor is 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use a shield as normal, and if you wear armor that provides a lower AC than your natural armor, you may use your natural armor AC instead.
    Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, Draconic, and Abyssal

Legal Appendix

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All material in this document following the Playtest Version sidebar and prior to the Legal Appendix that is not otherwise designated as Product Identity is Open Game Content.



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System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Fiend Claws, Children of Fire, Iron, and Shadow Copyright 2019, Malachite Idol; Author Patrick Johnson.