October 14, 2015


Comments from the Thumb: The lizardfolk are my second favorite monstrous race, just behind thri-kreen.
    Roleplaying a monstrous race is never easy. Most smart adventurers would (completely justifiably) kill a lizardfolk on sight. In many settings, lizardfolk are about as welcome in a city as drow. For a great example of this, read R. A. Salvatore's dark elf trilogy. No matter how nice and well-meaning you are, smart commoners will run you out of town faster than you can reveal your angsty backstory. 

"Dozens of 'em came outta the woodwork. Dropped from trees, jumped outta bushes... We were surrounded before we even saw 'em."
     - Finnaeus Oakfingers, Halfling Bard, describing an encounter with a tribe of lizardfolk.

Lizardfolk are primitive reptilian humanoids that lurk in the swamps and jungles of the world. Their hut villages thrive in forbidding grottoes, half-sunken ruins, and watery caverns.

Territorial Xenophobes
Lizardfolk deal and trade with other races only rarely. Fiercely territorial, they use camouflaged scouts to guard the perimeter of their domain. When unwelcome visitors are detected, a tribe sends a hunting band to harass or drive the trespassers off, or tricks them into blundering into the lairs of crocodiles and other dangerous creatures. Lizardfolk have no notion of traditional morality, and they find the concepts of good and evil utterly alien. Truly neutral creatures, they kill when it is expedient and do whatever it takes to survive. Lizardfolk rarely stray beyond their claimed hunting grounds. Any creature that enters their territory is fair game to be stalked, killed, and devoured. They make no distinction between humanoids, beasts, and monsters. Similarly, lizardfolk don't like reaching too far beyond their borders, where they could easily become the hunted instead of the hunters. Occasions might arise when lizardfolk will form alliances with their neighbors. These lizardfolk usually learn firsthand that humans, dwarves, halflings, and elves can sometimes prove helpful or trustworthy. Once lizardfolk forge ties with outsiders, they are steadfast and fierce allies.

Great Feasts and Sacrifices
Lizardfolk are omnivorous, but they have a taste for humanoid flesh. Prisoners are often taken back to their camps to become the centerpieces of great feasts and rites involving dancing, storytelling, and ritual combat. Victims are either cooked and eaten by the tribe, or are sacrificed to Semuanya, the lizardfolk god.

Canny Crafters
Though they aren't skilled artisans, lizardfolk craft tools and ornamental jewelry out of the bones of their kills, and they use the hides and shells of dead monsters to create shields.

Lizardfolk Leaders
Lizardfolk respect and fear magic with a religious awe. Lizardfolk shamans lead their tribes, overseeing rites and ceremonies performed to honor Semuanya. From time to time, however, a lizardfolk tribe produces a powerful figure touched not by Semuanya but by Sess'inek-a reptilian demon lord who seeks to corrupt and control the lizardfolk. Lizardfolk born in Sess'inek's image are larger and more cunning than other lizardfolk, and are thoroughly evil. These lizard kings and queens dominate lizardfolk tribes, usurping a shaman's authority and inspiring uncharacteristic aggression among their subjects.

Dragon Worshipers
Lizardfolk speak Draconic, which they are thought to have learned from dragons in ancient times. A tribe that wanders into the territory of a dragon will offer it tribute to win its favor. An evil dragon might exploit lizardfolk for its own vile ends, turning them into raiders and plunderers.

Lizardfolk Names
Lizardfolk names are typically very harsh and sibilant, like the Draconic language from which they are derived. They are also given a nickname that reflects some unique trait they have. The nicknames are given in Draconic, but can be easily translated to Common. Lizardfolk do not have surnames.

Male Names: Arashk, Braza, Drazzat, Grauk, Guhet, Kaszuk, Kiuz, Rashaz, Traz, Varak, Yizzik.
Female Names: Crae, Drazda, Hara, Hesk, Jazaka, Kroga, Riza, Saraza, Saress, Zara, Yikuz.
Nicknames: Snapjaw, Glimmerscale, Sharpclaw, Strongtail, Swifthunter, Brighteyes

Lizardfolk Traits
Your lizardfolk character has a number of inborn abilities unique to its race and tribe.
     Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.
     Age. Lizardfolk reach adulthood around 10 years of age. On average, they live about 110 years.
     Alignment. As most lizardfolk tribes worship black or green dragons, many lizardfolk tend to be as chaotic and evil as their draconic patrons. However, a lizardfolk adventurer may possess a better moral compass than its tribal kin.
     Heightened Senses. Your keen eyes and nose make give you +2 bonus to passive Wisdom (Perception) checks checks involving sight or smell.
     Natural Weapons. You sport the wicked teeth and claws of a predator. Your unarmed strikes deal 1d4 slashing damage (claws) or 1d4 piercing damage (teeth).
     Swamp Dweller. You can hold your breath for up to 15 minutes. Additionally, you have a swim speed equal to your base walking speed.
     Tribal Hunter. You are proficient with clubs, daggers, spears, javelins, and slings.
     Languages. You can speak pidgin Common and you can speak, read, and write Draconic. Draconic is thought to be one of the oldest languages and is often used in the study of magic. The language sounds harsh to most other creatures and includes numerous hard consonants and sibilants.
     Subrace. Lizardfolk are some of the most racially diverse creatures in many D&D settings. Each tribe has its own unique set of traits. Three subraces are shown here, each from a different tribe. Choose one of these subraces.

Greenscale Tribe
Nimble, and with a natural affinity for devastating ambush tactics, greenscale lizardfolk are infamous for ruthlessly defending their territory from invaders. Uninvited travelers into swamps and jungles occupied by the greenscales return with stories of scaled terrors plunging from the treetops, or do not return at all.

     Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
     Size. Greenscale lizardfolk grow to between 6 and 7 feet tall, and weigh between 200 and 250 pounds. Their thickly muscled tails run from 3 to 4 feet long. Your size is Medium.
     Speed. Your base walking speed is 35 feet.
     Ambusher. You have advantage on attack rolls against any creature that is surprised.
     Treetop Hunter. You have advantage on Athletics and Acrobatics checks made to climb and move about in trees. Additionally, you can plunge from heights of over 10 feet to attack a creature from above, gaining advantage on the attack, and dealing an additional 1d6 damage for each 10 feet fallen. This damage does not stack with other sources of extra damage on this attack, such as a rogue's Sneak Attack.
     Tribal Combat Training. You are proficient with shortbows.

Blackscale Tribe
More powerfully built than their other lizardfolk kin, the blackscales are alarmingly violent. The blackscale chieftain of a given swamp is undoubtedly the strongest member of the tribe; were he not, he would swiftly be deposed by a mightier successor and killed. This cycle of savage domination of weaker creatures has earned all lizardfolk a reputation for barbarity.

     Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
     Size. Blackscale lizardfolk grow to be around 7 feet tall, and weigh between 220 and 300 pounds. Their thickly muscled tails run from 4 to 5 feet long. Your size is Medium.
     Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
    Brute. Once per turn when you make a melee weapon attack using Strength, you may add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, as a bonus to the damage roll. This stacks with other sources of extra damage, such as the barbarian's rage damage.
     Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift
     Tribal Combat Training. You are proficient with greatclubs.

Poison Dusk Tribe
While smaller than other lizardfolk, the poison dusk lizardfolk are just as dangerous when provoked. A poison dusk lizardfolk's scales shift color to match its surroundings, making it a naturally stealthy hunter. Combined with their affinity for making poisons, this makes poison dusk lizardfolk the most dangerous when you can't see them.

     Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
     Size. Poison Dusk lizardfolk grow to be between 3 to 4 feet tall, weighing between 50 and 60 pounds. Their tails run from 2 to 3 feet long. Your size is Small.
     Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
     Chameleon Skin. You can change the color of your scales to match the color and texture of your natural surroundings as a bonus action. While camouflaged, you have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in the matched terrain. Moving out of the matched terrain, such as by moving indoors or by moving to an area with different vegetation or rocks (usually any area over 100 feet from where you first camouflaged), causes you to lose this advantage. Once changed, you must complete a short or long rest before you may use this feature again. When not camouflaged, your scales shift color based on your mood.
     Poison Use. You are proficient with the Poisoner's kit. During a short or long rest, you can create up to 3 doses of basic poison, which can be applied to weapons. This hastily-made poison loses potency after 24 hours. The rules for basic poison can be found in the Player's Handbook. The save DC for your poison is equal to 8 + your Wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus.
     Tribal Combat Training. You are proficient with nets.

Changelog 10/19/15: Blackscale: Brute limited to once per turn, and Powerful Build changed be consistent with Goliath trait from EE Player's Companion.
Greenscale: Treetop Hunter doesn't stack with other sources of damge.


  1. The Google Drive link isn't working.

  2. I can see blackscale dual-wielders or monks becoming very powerful.

    1. The extra melee damage on all weapon attacks.

    2. Perhaps. But for the Blackscales at least, the focus on strength would take away from the monk's dex to AC bonus.

    3. Perhaps we should make that begin with 'Once per turn'. The damage isn't extreme if you only get one hit each round, butbut, you're right, I could see a higher level monk profiting nicely from the bonuses.

  3. The PDF link should work now. Not sure what was going on there.

  4. This is just what I wanted, a race where I can talk like a hillbilly, carry a bag full of spears ,eat people and overall be a jerk to everyone I meet. Sound lika lotta fun, ahuk. XD

    1. I always pictured them speaking in more of a hissing, sibilant, yet clearly Native American accent. Like if Tanto had a sore throat.

  5. The Green scales would make amazing dragoons

    1. You know, I intended to rephrase that feature in a way that would keep the extra damage and advantage from stacking between a Dragoon and Greenscales. I'll update if I think of a good way of writing it.

  6. The Blackscale Tribe sounds horribly overpowered. A +1/+2/+3 damage increase that works every round (NO other class has that) and advantage on all grappling, always? This is insane.

    1. Right, I've been thinking about changing that to 'once per turn', because of the power interactions with monks. I'll go ahead and implement that change now

  7. Shouldn't the Dusk and greenscale's ability bonuses be swappped? It makes no sense for an ambush 'race' to be wiser, and a poison 'race' to be more agile.

    Also, is it on purpose that they get to choose no skill proficiencies?

    1. I stand by the decision to make the poison dusk tribe Dexterity. Their focus is stealth, and poison is just one aspect of that. The Greenscales are a tactically-minded race, which is the reason behind additional wisdom.

      I'm not sure what you mean about skill proficiencies.

  8. Don't really get the usage of nets much for the poison dusk tribe. What's the story behind that? A spear-like weapon or similar perhaps, tho most classes will give you access to that. I was looking at a Poison Dusk Monk personally.

  9. So are lizardfolk truly neutral or Chaotic Evil?

    1. A player can do any alignment they wish for a lizardfolk character -- alignment is supposed to be like that. You kinda get two varieties of lizardfolk in campaigns: the Neutral type, who are just tribes doing their own thing, and the Evil type, which have been corrupted by some outside force. I figured I'd go with the second since it's a pretty common depiction in WoTC adventure modules.