Umbral Stalkers, Dwellers in Shadow
“On the wide and silent plain, darkening the bright daylight, she turns midday into darkness.”
-Enheduanna, A Hymn to Inana
“On the wide and silent plain, darkening the bright daylight, she turns midday into darkness.”
-Enheduanna, A Hymn to Inana
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.
Umbral stalkers are reptilian folk who, despite their name—at least when viewed in sunlight—have medium to light grey scales that are reminiscent of a dismal fog bank or an overcast sky. In shadows, however, they become difficult to distinguish from the blackness around them even when viewed with darkvision. They tend to be bloody-minded survivors even by the standards of their reptilian kin of other sorts, but their reputation mostly revolves around their talent for harnessing an exotic sort of magic that was deliberately infused into their bloodlines only a few centuries ago.
About two dozen generations ago, a large group of reptilian folk performed a ritual to fill themselves with the power of shadow magic. The rite shifted their entire settlement into the plane of shadow, but when they learned to harness the abilities they gained, they discovered ways to traverse that barrier back into the normal world without great difficulty. Not all umbral stalkers actively train in the strange sorcery to wield the power actively, but all have subtle innate talents from its influence on their nature.
Over time, some umbral stalker druids and sorcerers have learned to bring even their homes half-way back into the real world, creating areas devoid of true daylight that are ominous and inhospitable to ordinary folk but also precarious for those who live on the other side of the veil of shadows as well. Such areas are perfectly suitable to those blending the two planes’ natures like the umbral stalkers, however. These areas, if you can negotiate passage with the locals, can be valuable paths into, or more importantly to escape from, the plane of shadows.
Umbral stalkers usually have names typical of lizard folk, but may also have names in peculiar dialects of Elvish or Primordial, if their community on the shadow plane included populations of other folk native to that realm.
Your umbral stalker character has several abilities.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2 and your Charisma score increases by 1.
Age. Umbral stalkers reach maturity at age 14 and may live to be 70.
Alignment. The environment umbral stalkers live in is harsh and unforgiving, so even if they venture into gentler realms, they have difficulty prioritizing issues beyond survival. As such they generally tend towards neutrality rather than higher (or more depraved) ideals or concerns about methods.
Size. Umbral stalkers are a bit bulkier and heavier than humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet and you also have a swimming speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 120 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.
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.
Born of the Darkness. You have resistance to Necrotic damage, and you have advantage on Intelligence (Arcana) rolls related to the plane of shadow or shadow magic.
Fade into Shadow. When you make Dexterity (Stealth) checks to hide in dim light or darkness, you are considered proficient in the Stealth skill and add double your proficiency bonus instead of your normal proficiency bonus to the check.
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.
Sunlight Sensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.
Waste Not. During a short or long rest, so long as you have a blade or appropriate artisan’s tools, you can craft basic gear from the carcasses of freshly deceased beast, construct, dragon, monstrosity, or plant type creatures that are Small or larger in size. During a rest you can craft a club, a javelin, a shield, 1d4 darts or 1d4 blowgun needles from one such carcass.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Draconic.
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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.
Umbral Stalkers, Dwellers in Shadow Copyright 2020, Malachite Idol; Author Patrick Johnson.
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