Races of Planescape in 5th Edition: Githzerai and Bariaur

What? A homebrew post that isn’t MTG related? Well, this is a first. While my favourite D&D setting is probably the Magic Multiverse, when it comes to D&D official settings, I have recently fallen in love with Planescape (due in no small part to @commanderholly). The setting is so wonderfully weird, and really I love the fact that the setting is so in-depth that it even has its own dialect. Since Planescape has been out of print since AD&D2e, I’m working directly from the original Planescape sourcebooks to translate rules from the setting to 5th edition, so I can eventually run a campaign in the setting, and hopefully you can too. So, cutter, here’s the chant:


Githzerai

image

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Intelligence score increases by 1.

Age. Githzerai live to roughly the same lifespan as humans, but can live to be up to 50 years older than most humans.

Alignment. Hailing from the Chaotic plane of Limbo, Githzerai lean towards chaotic alignments.

Size. Githzerai are a similar height to humans, and tend to have more slender body types. Your size is medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 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 colour in darkness, only shades of grey.

Magic Resistance. When you are targeted with a spell, roll a d20. If you roll equal to or lower than your level, the spell fails and has no effect. In addition, when you first use a magic item, roll a d20. If you roll equal to or lower than your level, the magic item remains magical for other characters, but has no magic properties when you use it. If at any time you learn a spell, you lose this feature permanently.

For this design I took some inspiration from the 5th Edition Monster Manual, but focused more on using Planescape: A Player’s Guide to the Planes. While some of the abilities of Githzerai I used are not present for the race in the 5e monster manual, I decided to make a focused effort on translating the feel of how the race originally worked in the Planescape campaign setting. As such, I decided against using the Psychic Defense ability presented in the Monster manual, as this did not line up with the Planescape Githzerai having a typically low Wisdom. That said, I removed the negative modifiers to Strength and Wisdom, to make the race more in-line with the main player races of 5e that do not have negative modifiers to any stats.

Bariaur

image

Ability Score Increase. For a male Bariaur, your Strength score increases by 1, and your Constitution score increases by 2. For a female Bariaur, your Intelligence score increases by 1, and your Wisdom score increases by 2.

Age. Bariaur have a similar lifespan to humans, reaching up to around 100 years old.

Alignment. The Majority of Bariaur are Chaotic Good, but they tend to be any non-evil alignment.

Size. Bariaur are around the same height range as humans. Your size is medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 40 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 colour in darkness, only shades of grey.

Ram (Male Bariaur). You may use your horns to ram enemies. You can use your horns to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d8 + your Strength modifier.

Charge (Male Bariaur). If you move at least 30 feet straight towards a target then hit it with a Ram attack on the same turn, the target takes an additional 2d8 bludgeoning damage.

Keen Senses (Female Bariaur). Your sharp sense of smell and hearing gives you proficiency in the Perception skill.

Magic Resistance

(Female Bariaur). Your innate magic resistance gives you a +3 bonus to all saving throws against spells.

As sexual dimorphism isn’t really a thing with any of the 5e player races, I decided to treat it as mechanically similar to how one would make a subrace in 5th edition. The male Bariaur’’s ram and charge abilities are based on the similar abilities of Cattle in Volo’s Guide to Monsters, but with distances and damage modified to fit with the race’s original stats in Planescape. The female Bariaur’s bonuses were somewhat easier to translate. The Keen Senses ability was already present in 5e for Zendikari Elves in Plane Shift: Zendikar, so I felt that the best course of action would be use the already present ability. For the Magic Resistance, I simply used the same modifier as in the original Planescape book, as it could be directly translated.

So, a first Planescape post! For those following solely for MTG related homebrew, more will be coming next week! But do expect more Planescape homebrew every now and then, which I will be tagging as Cutter’s Cache. Also a reminder that my 1000 follower celebration is still going on, so go ahead and click over to this post and reply or reblog with a card from MTG that you’d like to see translated to D&D!

%d bloggers like this: