December 30, 2016


Comments from the Finger: This long-awaited gem from 3.5 is brought to you by Grand Moff Xela. Say hi to him in the comments and thank him for his fantastic writing!
Jethro sneezed again as Mischa prowled into the common room. The image of elegance, she was dark of hair and moved with a silent, fluid predatory intent. Her bright, feline eyes, a stunning feature set among her angular features, followed the alchemist’s movements as he set up shop.
     Jethro sneezed again. Tibbits’ curiosity he could endure; their insufferable shedding, he could not. 
 - Jethro meets a tibbit

Tibbits, which are often called catweres, are small humanoid creatures which possess ability to turn into a common house cat. Most people believe that their race originated from a deluded wild mage that attempted to polymorph into a cat, but if you ask a tibbit, you’ll get a different story every time. Tibbits are few in number, and their tendency to spread across the world leaves them lacking in racial unity. Much like the felines they resemble, tibbits are independent, curious, and quick in both body and mind. Rarely does a tibbit settle down, driven by a wanderlust that kicks in shortly after reaching adulthood.

Curious Souls
Tibbits, as befits their heritage, are moody, curious, and sometimes arrogant. Many tibbits prefer the comforts of a fine meal, stiff drink, and a soft couch. Even the most decadent tibbit, however, eventually succumbs to the steady pull of its curiosity. A tibbit might spend years living off the treasures it won in adventure, only to suddenly strike out into the unknown once again.

Flighty but Firm
When dealing with others, tibbits show a similar capability to change their attitudes and posture depending on their moods. A tibbit might act relaxed and languid one moment, alert and inquisitive the next. They tend to have a slightly distant, arrogant attitude toward others, as if tibbits, as a race, share a colossal, secret joke over other intelligent creatures. Still, once a tibbit marks someone as a friend, few other creatures match their devotion. A tibbit might complain about a friend's needs or tend toward laziness, but when trouble arises they are dauntless allies.

Feline Forms
In humanoid form, tibbits are small, stealthy, dark-skinned people with pointed ears and catlike eyes. Their hair tends to grow thick and long, and males tend to grow sideburns. Their skin tones range from a tawny brown to black, but occasionally a tibbit has pure white skin. Their hair color matches the wide range of colors found in house cats, from pure white to striped silver to deep black. In their cat form, tibbits look like fat but energetic house cats. They appear identical to—and indistinguishable from—any common, domesticated breed.

Curious and Amused
Tibbits view everything through their guise as house cats. As such, they see how other races act when they think no one else is around. To a tibbit, every intelligent creature is a bundle of secrets waiting to unfurl.

Tibbit Names
Tibbits tend to adopt names based on their physical traits and deeds. A tibbit kitten is given a nickname by her parents that reflects her temperament and appearance. When a tibbit comes of age, she adopts a name of her choice. Tibbits tend to pick names from other folk, usually based solely on the sound.
     Strangers and business partners use the name a tibbit picks for herself, while the tibbit's close friends and family use the original nickname chosen by her parents. A tibbit allows only her closest friends to learn and use her nickname. A nontibbit given such a privilege has received one of the highest honors a tibbit can grant to an outsider.
     As a tibbit travels the world, she adopts a surname that reflects her experiences and important deeds. A tibbit usually changes her surname after such an event, but her true name uses all of her adopted surnames from childhood onward, and not just her latest one. When two tibbits meet, they share these long-form names to express their pasts with one another.
     Parent-Bestowed Names: Blackpaw, Glittereye, Longear, Patchfur, Quickfang, Tumblepaw
     Chosen Names: Anisa, Leo, Mischa, Nikko, Shalimar, Soey, Tipp
     Surnames: Barrelrider, Cavelooker, Dogjumper, Shadeslayer, Wirewalker

Tibbit Traits
You share the following feline characteristics with other tibbits.
     Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
     Age. Tibbits reach adulthood around the age of 20, and can live to be 400 years old.
     Alignment. Tibbits are curious and impulsive.  Their mercurial nature leads them towards chaotic alignments, while their innate indifference leads them towards neutrality.
     Size. Tibbits stand about 3 feet tall.  Your size is Small
     Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
     Darkvision. Accustomed to twilit forests and the night sky, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. 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.
     Keen Senses. You have proficiency with the Perception skill.
     Feline Speech. You have the ability to speak to and understand cats. Of course, cats can choose to simply ignore you, as they are wont to do.
     Nine Lives. Whenever you make a death saving throw, you can add your proficiency bonus to the roll.
     Feline Form. You can use your action to transform into a cat. You can revert to your normal form earlier by using a bonus action on your turn. You automatically revert if you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die. While you are transformed, the following rules apply:
     Your game statistics are replaced by the cat’s statistics, but you retain your alignment, personality, hit points, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, and also gain those of the cat. If the cat has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the cat’s bonus instead of yours.
     You can add your proficiency bonus to the cat’s attack and damage rolls.
     You can’t cast spells, speak, or take any action that a cat cannot. Transforming doesn’t break your concentration on a spell you’ve already cast, however, or prevent you from taking actions that are part of a spell, such as call lightning, that you’ve already cast.
     You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if a cat is physically capable of doing so. However, you can’t use any of your special senses, such as darkvision.
     When you transform, your equipment merges with your cat form, and has no effect until you leave the form.
     Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common.

Changelog: 1/2/17: Nine Lives: Added
1/4/17: Languages: Added


  1. These would make hilarious thieves. Now, this cat form doesn't grant thp correct? Also how does combat in cat form compare to IU humanoids?

    1. You do not gain any temporary hp when transforming. Combat in cat form is something I haven't playtested extensively, but should more or less line up with your normal form. A tibbit rogue can sneak attack, a paladin can smite, and a bard can cast Mass Suggestion and then sit back in cat form and watch the chaos.

    2. Arcane trickster... Yes. This race has a lot of potential

    3. Actually you can't cast spells while in cat form.
      I'd expect you to know that, Xela ;)

      These look really fun to play- kinda like cat kenders. However, I think the feline form is not enough to justify no +1 to another ability score.

    4. I think they meant more like casting the spell, turning into a cat, then just concentrating on the spell

    5. You should totally be able to maintain your concentration while in cat form.

      As far as the power of cat form: I think it's worth about the same as +1 to an ability score (maybe more.) You might not be able to convert it into raw combat power, but the sheet utility of being able to become a cat at will is extremely powerful if you're clever about things. Think about the number of ways you can sneak past the town guard or escape pursuit by becoming a cat when no one's looking!

    6. I did indeed mean that the tibbit can cast a spell, then transform. My example was a bard casting Mass Suggestion, then transforming so that no one suspects that they were the one who made the guards dance naked in the town square (or some equally amusing use of the spell).

      My original plan was to give +1 Charisma, but the finger and I felt it was better to play it safe with the cat form. If people feel the race is too mundane or weak without a second ASI, I suppose we could add it back in.

    7. I think there's still a lot of room for a second ASI to be fine balance wise. As great as the cat form may be, I'm not quite sure it alone is enough to cover more than half the race's abilities, and then an ASI on top of that.

    8. Gonna have to agree with jester here. The cat has some decent roleplay applications, but it's pretty limited in a practical sense. That compounded with the small size and the lack of any other impressive racial abilities /and/ only one ASI makes the race very underwhelming, IMO.

    9. Alright, I can see that. In that case, I'll probably add +1 Cha and try to think of another feature to throw in here.

      Maybe reduced fall damage (cats land on their feet) or death saving throw forgiveness (nine lives). What do you think?

    10. Sure I could see either of those. Something like (I apologize for the puns. I couldn't resist),

      Furocious Agility : You have resistance to falling damage, and you do not land prone after a fall. You must not be restrained or incapacitated to gain this benefit.

      You gotta be kitten me!: Tibbit are remarkable adept a squeaking through death, much to the frustation of their enemies. All tibbits are proficient in death saves.

      Alternatively you could give them claws, maybe 1d4 unarmed damage... If you're not afraid to borrow, the Halfling's nimbleness or the lightfoot's natural stealthiness would make nice touches.

    11. i like these abilitys but i think these should be in cat form however the prof on death saves should be called "9 lives"

    12. The issue with the Proficiency in death saves is that you revert to your human form when you fall unconscious or drop to 0 hit points, so it would be voided out. The way Vecna did it is the only way it would really work.

    13. I'm not sure what you mean by it being voided out. Care to elaborate?

      The way I'm currently doing it adds Proficiency to death saves. Another way I can do this is:

      Nine Lives
      When you fail a death saving throw, you can turn it into a success. Once you use this trait, you must finish a long rest before using it again.

    14. I should have been a bit more specific:
      With the example Cody gave, where it is only in cat form, you revert to your non-cat form at 0 hit points or when knocked unconscious.

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  3. Please check the ling... Somehow I get the Way of the Warped Fist when I open the PDF...

  4. So, this is a bit more of a mechanical question regarding the Cat's statblock for 5e (I'm using this one for reference: )

    When switching to a cat, I gain the cat's Str/Dex/Con, and can add my proficiency bonus to its attack and damage. Would this mean I essentially have Claws; -2 to hit, 0 damage?

    1. You know, I'm not sure why the cat's attacks are at +0 rather than -2, given that it has a -4 modifier to Strength. In any case, your attacks will never be lesser than the cats, at +0 to hit and 1 damage.

      I'd say that, given the cat has a +2 proficiency bonus, if your proficiency bonus is greater than +2, you can add the amount by which it is greater to your attack and damage rolls. IE: +3 prof bonus = +1 to hit and 2 damage, +4 prof bonus = +2 to hit and 3 damage

      Regardless, you probably won't be winning any fights as a housecat any time soon.

    2. Fair enough lol. I was just curious as to the whole thing

  5. I'm assuming they just know common and "Feline", but I notice they don't have a languages section here, I was wondering if that was just left out or if they don't actually speak common?

    1. That's an accidental omission on my part. They should just know Common

  6. Can you use the Monk's Martial Arts ability while in the cat form?

    1. I am now envisioning a house cat dressed as Kung Fury.

  7. Possibly you could have a subrace, instead of cats they could transform into dogs?

  8. Would it to be overpowering to transform into a feline = or lower to your Level? Becoming a big cat could be fun for combat/getting past obstacles later on and I don't seeing it being too op.

    1. I definitely think it would be too powerful for the base race, but if you can convince your DM to give you the ability to transform into a creature of CR = 1/4 or 1/2 your level for a feat, that might be alright.

  9. Been curious as to a potential interaction with the feline form of this race and the new Way of the Howling Gale Monastic Tradition on this site.
    While in feline form, can a character use Martial arts feature (due to unarmed strikes) and channel ki, and if so, could they use the Whirlwind Stance's special attack while in feline form?
    (sorry if this is wrong place to ask, first time posting)

  10. "You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if a cat is physically capable of doing so. However, you can’t use any of your special senses, such as darkvision."

    Am I crazy or does this imply that you can only see as a cat when you're not in cat form?

  11. "You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if a cat is physically capable of doing so. However, you can’t use any of your special senses, such as darkvision."

    So if you were a Warlock with the Devil's Sight Invocation, you couldn't see as a cat???

    1. I mean, cats don't get darkvision, so yeah, you lose your darkvision.

  12. Sorry about asking this super duper late, but I am looking through this as a way to make a character, and was thinking about going rogue, but it occurred to me that the claws of the cat wouldn't work with sneak attack as they are not finesse or ranged. As such I was wondering how it would interact with the monks martial arts feature, or if it would make sense to give it the finesse property, or would that fall to DM ruling

    1. Especially since there are other beasts that have natural weapons with the finesse property

  13. Question about cat form: if a Tibbit were to somehow gain the ability to cast spells in cat form, would they be able to use Mage Hand to pick themselves up? if so, how dumb would that be?

  14. I noticed upon a reread of the original tibbit writeup (Dragon #135, July 1988), that they used to have more magic powers. In 5E, this feels like the kind of thing that could be best handled with a racial feat.

    Pride of Pandemonium
    Prerequisite: tibbit

    Your innate connection to the plane of Pandemonium provides you magic typical for your people. You learn the feather fall spell and can cast it at will, without expending a spell slot. You also learn mirror image and dispel magic, each of which you can cast once without expending a spell slot. You regain the ability to cast the spell in this way when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.