Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as a Lizardfolk with Racial Feats
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted get continue reimagining various creatures from fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons in exciting new ways and this time they’re looking at another classic from D&D lore — lizardfolk. These reptilian humanoids offer a ton of potential in 5E D&D when you look deeper than the primitive scaly creatures found in the Monster Manual. While they share fresh ideas for incorporating lizardfolk into your 5E D&D games I’m interested in expanding the possibilities for lizardfolk adventurers by creating some racial feats. So let’s get into it.
Prestige of racial feats in 5E D&D
Introduced in Elemental Evil Player’s Companion and more prominently later in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything racial feats dig down into what it means to be an exemplar of a particular race. Racial feats highlight strengths and special traits associated with a race. As a reminder feats are an optional rule allowing you to substitute the Ability Score Improvement feature when you gain this benefit from your character class. You can take each feat only once unless the feat’s description says otherwise. The Dungeon Master 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 this creates an excellent opportunity to create some special lizardfolk feats for players who really want to play a character who leans into everything about being a lizardfolk. This playable race option provides a bunch of cool features already representing their physical attributes and survival instincts. For lizardfolk racial feats I’m looking at their spiritual connection to dragons as well as Semuanya, the traditional deity associated with lizardfolk.
Lizardfolk appear as a playable race option in Volo’s Guide to Monsters.
Lizardfolk Racial Feats
The blood of ancient dragons runs in your veins and you can draw on this power to change shape into a draconic form. You can magically polymorph into a hunter drake and remain in this form for up to 1 hour. You can revert back to your true form as a bonus action. Any equipment you are wearing or carrying is also transformed. You revert to your true form it you die. Once you do this you must finish a long rest before you can transform again using this feat.
Armor Class 14 + your proficiency bonus (natural armor)
Hit Points 5 + five times your character level (the drake has a number of hit dice (d10s) equal to your character level)
Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
- Strength 16 (+3)
- Dexterity 12 (+1)
- Constitution 15 (+2)
- Intelligence 8 (-1)
- Wisdom 14 (+2)
- Charisma 8 (-1)
Saving Throws DEX +1 plus proficiency bonus, WIS +2 plus proficiency bonus
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Pack Tactics. The hunter drake has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the hunter drake’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
Spider Climb. The hunter drake can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check
Multiattack. The hunter drake makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its tail.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 plus proficiency bonus to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d6 piercing damage and you can choose to use your Hungry Jaws with this attack.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.
You can invoke the primal magic of your people and summon a spectral maw around a target you can see within 60 feet. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom bonus), taking 5d8 piercing damage on a failed save or half as much damage on a successful one and you can choose to use your Hungry Jaws with this effect. A creature that fails this saving throw is also frightened until the end of its next turn. Once you use this ability you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.