The Hidden Kingdom of Hanu:

“The kings of various kinds of monsters, seventy-two in all, all came to pay homage to the Monkey King. They offered tribute every year and attended court in each of the four seasons.
-Wu Cheng’en, Journey to the West

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.

Deep in the cloud forest stand huge temples, castles, and city complexes carved from the living rock of the mountainsides and overgrown with vines. Living in these structures, amid the mists and moss and trees, is a secret and thriving civilization, the Hidden Kingdom of Hanu. Many strange folk dwell within this kingdom, but the most common are the vanara, bandar-log, and markatas, who joined their peoples together in ancient times to create a society. The kingdom actively trades with those folk who live near their jungles, but they are cautious to ensure no outsiders learn the ways to or from their mysterious cities, for fear that enemies, old or new, might discover them and threaten their prosperity. On occasion, bands of adventurers go forth from their jungle homes to learn news of the outside world, and especially to collect rumors of their ancient foes, the rakshasas and serpent men.

The Vanara

The vanara resemble humanoid monkeys, with similar posture and proportions to a human, but covered in fur and with a long, flexible tail. They are generally jovial and mischievous, but they do not give or break their word lightly, and tend to be dedicated, if sometimes unorthodox, followers of whatever religion calls to them. Most vanara have black, gray, or brown fur, but other colors such as blue, gold, or red sometimes occur, seemingly at random among the population. Many consider such exotic coloration to be a sign that the individual will perform great deeds.

Playful and Skilled

Levity comes as naturally to vanara as breathing, but this does not mean they don’t take things seriously. They can be just as diligent and responsible as anyone else (especially when it comes to self-improvement), they simply approach life with humor and high spirits. Even vanara warriors tend to employ flashy fighting styles with amusing flourishes and clever distractions. Some are content to be jesters, but others have an innate nobility and pride that drives them to be heroes. Whatever professions they pursue, though, they will strive to master it as if it were an art.

Treetop Masters

While the Hidden Kingdom of Hanu is mostly carved into the sides of mountains and plateaus, the area is dense with jungle, and the vanara are exceptionally suited to traveling through the canopy. Between their prehensile tails, natural climbing instincts, and many years of practice and play among the branches, most are nearly at home hanging from vines as standing on solid ground. Much of why their kingdom remains so well concealed is because their scouts can travel for miles at a time without leaving the trees, rivaling even the wood elves when it comes to patrolling their forests.

Philosopher Kings

On first impressions, vanara often seem frivolous or capricious, but they usually have quite strongly held principles and nearly all follow some sort of organized philosophy or religion, which they take quite seriously, even if their approach to serious matters still resembles what many others who do not know them well would consider to be flippant carelessness. The sovereigns of the Kingdom of Hanu are always vanara, and vanara nobles have a duty to be well versed in a number of philosophical schools by the time they reach adulthood, in order to inform their decision making.

Vanara Names

Vanara usually have only a single personal name, but they are fond of nicknames and will often have one or more as well.

Masculine Names: Byeong-ho, Guiying, Harisha, Iseul, Jie, Jagannatha, Kim, Noburu, Pitambar, Shu, Yong, Yuudai, Zhu

Feminine Names: Abhilasha, Bao, Chinatsu, Eun-yeong, Gyeong-hui, Hanako, Indu, Lin, Mukta, Nari, Saraswati, Tai, Umeko, Xiang

Vanara Traits

Your vanara character has a number of abilities as a result of their monkey-like attributes.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and your Charisma score increases by 1
    Age. Vanara mature at about the same rate as humans, but often live to 150 years.
    Alignment. Most vanara are free spirits and favor chaotic alignments, but some are more orderly and disciplined as well. They have a propensity for heroism and charity and, as such, tend towards good.
    Size. Vanaras are generally of the same height and weight as humans. Your size is Medium.
    Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
    Athlete. You gain proficiency in the Athletics skill.
    Brachiation. You add double your proficiency bonus to Strength (Athletics) skill checks made to climb, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
    Prehensile Tail. Your tail functions as an additional arm and hand, and you can take the Use an Object action as a bonus action during your turn. Your tail does not grant additional attacks, but a weapon wielded with your tail can be used normally (including for two-weapon fighting).
    Wuxia. You add Dexterity modifier to your jump distances (including standing jumps), or alternately may use your Dexterity score in place of your Strength score and then add your Strength modifier to your jump distances (including standing jumps).
    Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.

Random Height and Weight

Base Height Base Weight Height Modifier Weight Modifier
4’8″ 110 lbs +2d10 x(2d4)

New Feat

Khakkhara Master

The khakkhara, sometimes known as a xīzhàng, shakujō, or monk staff, is often believed to have great spiritual power, but it is usually the one who holds it that is the source of its potency. You gain the following benefits:

  • While you are wielding a quarterstaff, its damage increases to 1d8, and it gains the versatile (1d10) property in place of its normal versatile (1d8) property.
  • You can always use a staff as a spellcasting focus and any staff you wield is treated as magical for overcoming resistance or immunity to nonmagical attacks or damage.
  • When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you may choose to deal force damage instead of the weapon’s normal damage type, and the creature must make a constitution saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier. On a failed save, the creature is pushed 10 feet away from you and is knocked prone. Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.

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.

The Hidden Kingdom of Hanu: Vanara Copyright 2019, Malachite Idol; Author Patrick Johnson.