In the annals of Nerdarchy’s content creation vaults for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons I recently discovered a document Nerdarchist Ted created about two years ago called Warforged Components. Originally created to swell ranks with steel soldiers, since the days of the Last War these creatures of wood, metal and magic became recognized as a new species who now seek their purpose beyond fighting in others’ conflicts. Warforged as a fan favorite character race and in 5E D&D the definitive official version appears in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. In Nerdarchy’s own campaign setting a similar but very different species pursues a much more concrete goal — total domination of the multiverse. Vargarians are a bio-organic species and like the warforged they are created, except the Collective fashions their kind by subjugating populations and absorbing individuals, grafting arcanomechanical parts and subsuming their minds. But why should they get all the wonderful toys?
Become one with the Vargarian Collective in 5E D&D
Vargarian Collective blends sci-fi with fantasy for 5E D&D. An unusual visitor to the heroes’ world needs help, but it puts the adventurers at odds with the Vargarians — cybernetic invaders from another dimension! Can the party find what they need at the Vargarian outpost in their world and escape without being assimilated into the Collective?
The digital product contains a short adventure to introduce these arcanomechanical villains and includes 10 new creatures, new magic items, a special Vargarian NPC and of most interest to players, a new race. Vargarians are a bio-organic species with bonuses to Constitution and Intelligence, the option to retain a racial trait from whatever species the character was before becoming part of the Collective and two subraces: scout and soldier. Some of the magic items in Vargarian Collective represent Vargarian prosthetics. These arcanomechanical body parts provide additional features like wings, eyes and even a telepathic module.
So when I stumbled upon Ted’s collection of warforged components I thought there’s no reason these should be limited to just warforged! Plus it’s someone else’s intellectual property and campaign setting so why not make these available instead to you here on the website? In Vargarian Collective these components are presented as magic items in the same way as several items in E:RftLW. In future installments of this series some of these components will certainly take this route but for this first foray into creating some enhanced content for Vargarian Collective instead we’ll create two new 5E D&D feats.
Vargarian characters begin play already taken by the Collective and modified with arcanomechanical parts. Choosing these feats represents your character’s decision to continue their body modification in the Vargarian way. Of course you and your group are free to ignore any and all aspects of the Vargarian Collective you wish. Maybe these feats don’t require Vargarian characters at all. They could represent mutations (looking at you Simic Hybrid) or a Dungeon Master can simply bestow these benefits on characters as rewards.
Like the related post Two New 5E D&D Feats for Grung the inspiration for these Vargarian feats as racial feats introduced in Elemental Evil Player’s Companion and more prominently later in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. Racial feats exemplify what it means to be a quintessential member of a particular race and highlight the strengths and special traits associated with a race. As a reminder feats are an optional rule allowing you can forgo taking an ability score improvement to take a feat of your choice instead. You can take each feat only once, unless the feat’s description says otherwise. The DM decides whether feats are used and if so perhaps restricting some and not others. It’s up to a DM and the players in the game to decide on these options.
“A racial feat represents either a deepening connection to your race’s culture or a physical transformation that brings you closer to an aspect of your race’s lineage. The cause of a particular transformation is up to you and your DM. A transformational feat can symbolize a latent quality that has emerged as you age, or a transformation might be the result of an event in the campaign, such as exposure to powerful magic or visiting a place of ancient significance to your race. Transformations are a fundamental motif of fantasy literature and folklore. Figuring out why your character has changed can be a rich addition to your campaign’s story.” — from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
So far in official 5E D&D content no single race has more than two racial feats, and that’s where we’ll keep it for Vargarian feats too. In the future we’ll explore a concept from an earlier edition of D&D — feat trees. While I enjoy the idea of these arcanomechanical prosthetics as magic items, I feel like there’s more opportunity to explore these concepts as feats. Whether you keep them restricted to Vargarian characters, allow warforged characters to choose them or adapt them for anyone they’ll add unusual features and traits for a character. You might even take one of these feats and make it a magic item anyway. These feats are not playtested and almost definitely unbalanced, so keep that in mind if you add them to your game.
Vargarian Racial Feats
Your bio-organic body includes two extra arms. You gain the following benefits:
- Increase your Strength score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- You can use two-weapon fighting even when the the melee weapons you are wielding have the Two-Handed property.
- You can wield a Two-Handed weapon and hold a shield.
- You may take two bonus actions during your turn, rather than one, so long as they are different actions coming from different sources.
As a magic item: Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)
Your bio-organic body includes a tail. You can control your extendable tail like another limb, using it to manipulate objects with a range of 10 feet. Your tail can lift, hold or carry up to 10 pounds.
- You can manipulate one additional object as well as retrieve one additional object per turn.
- You have advantage on grapple checks and Strength (Athletics) checks you make to climb.
As a magic item: Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)
More Vargarian and warforged themed content
Here are a few more resources for warforged and Vargarian enthusiasts. You might find any or all of these stuff inspiring for your 5E D&D character for new options or ideas to develop these species mechanically or narratively in your games. Some are right here on the website and others are over at the Dungeon Masters Guild.
- Vargarian Collective
- Are You Ready to Assimilate the Vargarian Collective in 5E D&D?
- Lord of Blades is the Ultimate Artificer — But He Needs Your Help!
- Warforged Workshop
- Alchemical Archetypes: Created & Creators
- Warforged Components! Magical items to integrate into warforged characters