Shiagra, The Great Cats

“In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat
What dread hand? And what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?”
-William Blake, “The Tyger”

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 Shiagra

The shiagra are massive humanoids that strongly resemble various types of great predatory cats. Some have tiger stripes, some have spots, and still others have tawny fur and dark, shaggy manes. Typically the differences correspond to the sort of homeland they hail from, but they are known to travel to each others’ territories on occasion and marriages between varieties are not unheard of.

Rumored Lords of Wild Places

Most shiagra live either in nomadic groups or in remote settlements. In both cases they prefer isolated regions of largely unspoiled wilderness that outsiders would find inhospitable, difficult to navigate, or both, such as deep within a jungle or in the middle of a vast savanna with few landmarks that would be easily recognized by someone unfamiliar with the area. In their terrain, they are almost always the unchallenged apex predator, but they do not attempt to disrupt the natural order or displace lesser predatory creatures. They prefer to coexist with nature, but are not averse to mining or harvesting rare or valuable resources within their domain.

Contemplative but Ferocious

The few rumors about shiagra mostly depict them as wild and brutal warriors, but in most regards they are actually quite serene and dignified. The confusion stems from their attitude towards combat, which holds that if battle must be had, it should be as decisive and overwhelming as possible. As with hunting, they will tend towards quiet stillness until the moment comes to attack, and then they strike with as much concentrated aggression as they can muster to finish the battle before it can drag on and cause unnecessary collateral damage. Furthermore, their tendency to give battle without weapons of any kind sometimes creates the misunderstanding that they are simple brutes.

Weaponless Warriors

The Shiagra have no dearth of skilled, proud craftsmen among their communities, and even their armor is made with intricate artistry. However, weapon crafting beyond the occasional sling or javelin for bird hunting is almost unheard of, as there are very few close combat weapons which can equal their most notable birthright—the wicked, retractable claws that tip their hands and feet. Pruning knives, axes, and other such tools are not foreign to them, but the idea of such things being useful as weapons will seem strange, as the only utility such tools have for them that their claws cannot achieve is from designing such objects expressly for a particular non-combat function.

Shiagra Names

Shiagra typically have only a single given name, but traditionally introduce themselves as “child of…” “daughter of…” or “son of…” a particular person, place, or organization that they are associated with, be it a literal parent, a religion, a home village, or the like. They may often have many such appellations, and will use the one most relevant to a particular circumstance or whichever they consider most personally important. For example, “Bontu, child of the Lodestone Crater Pride” or “Sanjaya, daughter of General Rajani”

Masculine Names: Ajay, Aniruddha, Balwinder, Ekundayo, Hari, Imani, Jayanta, Kgosi, Lakshmana, Mahavira, Mandlenkosi, Ndidi, Oyibo, Rintrah, Sanjaya, Sefu, Zuberi

Feminine Names: Adaeze, Anisha, Bontu, Chimwala, Darshana, Ganizani, Hema, Isha, Jayashri, Limbani, N’neka, Purnima, Rajani, Sauda, Wangari

Shiagra Traits

Your shiagra character has a number of traits innate to your people.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Strength and Dexterity scores each increase by 1.
    Age. Shiagra mature significantly faster than humans, and are deemed adults at age 12. Most do not live much past 65 years, but in some rare cases a very elderly individual may live to be 150 years or older.
    Alignment. Philosophically and personally, shiagra vary widely, having no particular collective leanings toward law or chaos, nor toward good or evil.
    Size. Shiagra are substantially larger than humans, typically ranging from 6’5” to 7’5” and usually weighing between 200 and 300 pounds. Your size is Medium.
    Speed. Your base walking speed is 35 feet.
    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.
    Fearless. You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
    Mighty. You gain proficiency in the Athletics skill.
    Savage Attacks. When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.
    Vicious Claws. Your claws are natural weapons, with which you can make melee weapon attacks if you are holding nothing with that hand. On a hit, they deal 1d8 + your Strength modifier slashing damage. Your claws have the light and finesse properties and may be treated as a monk weapon.
    Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Giant.

Random Height and Weight

Base Height Base Weight Height Modifier Weight Modifier
6’ 190 lbs +2d10 x(2d6)

New Feat

Rending Strike

Prerequisite: Claw or Bite Attack

You have trained well to fight with your innate weaponry. The best natural defense is a natural offense. You gain the following benefits:

  • Any bite or claw attacks you possess are treated as having the finesse and light weapon properties.
  • Once per creature or object per turn, when you hit a target with a bite or claw attack for the second time that turn, you may immediately deal additional damage to that target. This additional damage is equal to your strength or dexterity modifier and is of the same damage type as the attack.

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.

Shiagra, The Great Cats Copyright 2019, Malachite Idol; Author Patrick Johnson.