Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as an Elephant in the Room
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted lean into an appreciation for puns to sneak in a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Elephant in the Room character. This 5E D&D character build focuses on stealth both magical and mundane to demonstrate how with the right training and experience an unusual lumbering giant of a race can vanish before your very eyes. Let’s get into the loxodon master of stealth.
Behind the CBG — Elephant in the Room
Every CBG we create considers the journey as much as the final outcome. We aim to present a guide suitable for any level of 5E D&D play whether you’re pursuing an epic campaign from start to finish, starting beyond 1st level or choosing a character for a one shot. Then we take those concepts and develop an NPC or creature version of the character build for DMs to incorporate into their games. All of this gets packaged up and laid out in a PDF you can find over at Dungeon Master’s Guild. We’ve got dozens of pay what you want products at DMG, many of them best sellers so if you want to check those out start with the Elephant in the Room here.
All about the character story
Each CBG starts with a character concept sticking to a particular schtick, from the Mind Breaker’s psyche crushing smites to the Elephant in the Room’s unmatched stealth. Sometimes puns and pop culture references instigate the creation of a CBG too. This one came about 100% through the former.
As always we find a narrative thread to follow through the level progression. The character version imagines a shifty sort who falls in with the wrong crowd early in life and finds a distinct niche. A loxodon tends to stand out in just about any scenario and this stealth expert uses this to their advantage. Alternating between providing a very visible distraction with increasingly nifty disappearing tricks leads them down shadowy paths as their adventuring career unfolds.
For us it’s important to consider who these characters are as individuals and why they follow these particular paths. One special thing to note with this CBG is while we always aim to make the journey to 20th level as practical as possible — none of these characters “come online” after an awkward slog through many levels — the Elephant in the Room hits their stride at 6th level. From there the stealth powers continue to expand and they acquire quite a few additional tricks up their sleeves.
Elephant in the Room NPC for 5E D&D
Full disclosure — the NPCs and creatures we make in CBGs are some of my favorite bits of 5E D&D content to create. We step back and look at the character build to find the standout features that feel like signature abilities. The juice! From there we consider what sort of person or people would possess or gain these abilities and build a stat block around them. More often than not the section of a CBG For Dungeon Masters presents a generic creature.
The Supreme Sneak deviates from our usual representation of the character build version. For one thing we didn’t create dynamic new traits and actions like we so often do. Instead the Supreme Sneak relies on a combination of existing features from 5E D&D and plays into the unusual nature of loxodon.
Not Too Suss. Let’s face it — when characters come across an unusual NPC they’re going to want to interact. A supreme sneak with a friendly disposition might by picking the party pockets for months before anyone gets the wiser.
“Center of Attention. A supreme sneak understands how it’s remarkable physical presence works to its advantage and exploits this to seemingly vanish from thin air when needed. These powers of sneakiness make these stealth experts an excellent distraction for their cohorts and when the time comes to make themselves scarce, blink and you’ll miss them.”
If your next 5E D&D game needs a character who can draw the attention of others as easily as vanish into the shadows — whether you’re the DM or a player — check out the Elephant in the Room here.
*Featured image — The Loxodon Wayfarer is not only a monk (so it fits the CBG!) it’s also one of the cooler illustrations of loxodon and one of the few not wielding a big hammer or wearing priestly robes. [Art by Steven Belledin]