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Reach for the Stars: Deep Space Ancestries

Reach for the Stars: Deep Space Ancestries

Are you taking your D&D game into the great beyond and sailing the astral seas? Explore rules to augment a game with options beyond your campaign’s home world!

This installment looks at adapting the nebulii as a playable race (first presented in our previous installment, Stellar Bestiary) and two space-themed sub-races for the characters in your adventures among the stars.

New Playable Race: Nebulii

The nebulii are a race of sentient clouds that drift through space and the Astral plane in search of new experiences. Psionically gifted, nebulii use telepathy and telekinesis in ways that mimic humanoids. Nebulii appear as clouds a few feet in diameter, growing larger with time. Most have white to pink hues, but glowing lavender and blue highlights are common, particularly when their emotions are high.

Creating Your Character

Ability Score Increases. When determining your character’s ability scores, increase one score by 2 and increase a different score by 1, or increase three different scores by 1.

Languages. Nebulii have no native language but learn a language from their travels. Your character can speak, read, and write one language that you and your DM agree is appropriate for the character. Most Nebulii speak Common.

Creature Type. You are an elemental.

Life Span. While nebulii grow with time and experience, they do not truly age. Around 50 years of age, most nebulii set out from their home nebula and travel until they meet a violent end.

Height and Weight. As a cloud, most nebulii are roughly spherical, three to five feet across and weigh less than half a pound.

Nebulii Traits

Size. You are Medium.

Speed. You have no walking speed but have a 30 ft. flying speed.

Cloud Body. You can squeeze through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide, provided you are not wearing and carrying anything. You don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe. You do not age and cannot wear armor. You have disadvantage on saving throws against wind effects such as the gust of wind spell. You are immune to the grappled and restrained conditions.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of yourself as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You discern colors in that darkness only as shades of gray.

Elemental Resilience. You have resistance to poison and radiant damage, and you have advantage on saving throws against being poisoned.

Limited Telekinetic Field. You have a limited telekinetic ability within the confines of your own body that allows you to pick up and use items or manipulate adjacent objects with your Strength score. This field does not require concentration but ceases to exist if you become unconscious or while in the area of an antimagic field, causing all objects you carry to fall to the ground.

Nebulii Psionics. You know the mage hand cantrip, and the hand is invisible when you cast the cantrip with this trait. Starting at 3rd level, you can cast the unseen servant spell with this trait. Once you cast unseen servant with this trait, you can’t cast that spell with it again until you finish a long rest.

You can also cast unseen servant using any spell slots you have of the appropriate level. This spell requires no spell components when you cast it with this trait. Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells when you cast them with this trait (choose when you select this race).

Psionic Barrier. Your AC includes your Wisdom modifier. You lose this bonus while in the area of an antimagic field.

Telepathy. You can speak telepathically to any creature within 30 feet of you. The contacted creature doesn’t need to share a language with you to communicate in this way, but it must be able to understand at least one language.

New Subrace: Micrograv Dwarf

In search of new minerals, colonies of dwarves have migrated to asteroid belts where the limited gravity has affected them. Micrograv dwarves are known to for their skill at creating deep space habitats inside asteroids, comets, and planetoids. The lower gravity found in these environments causes them to grow thinner and more agile than average planetary dwarves and their disparate settlements have promoted different cultures with more emotion and individuality than frequently found within traditional dwarven settlements.

Ability Score Increase. If you are not using customized abilities scores, your Dexterity increases by 1.

Quick Fix. Keeping your habitat in top condition despite the harsh environment is key to your survival. You know the mending cantrip. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for it. This cantrip requires no spell components when you cast it with this trait.

Zero-G Training. You are used to moving through environments with little to no gravity. You have proficiency in the Acrobatics skill.

New Subrace: Warpbreed Orc

As orcs spread throughout the galaxy, some became traders while others hired out as mercenaries. Some found themselves in the deepest reaches of space where strange radiations warped them into a new breed of orc with a larger head. Their bigger head enhanced their sight and hearing, while an elongated jaw allows warpbreed orcs a dangerous bite attack.

Cautious. Your senses have sharpened, and you are prepared for unexpected danger. You have proficiency with the Perception skill. You gain advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks made to notice danger or avoid being surprised. This replaces the adrenaline rush trait.

Deep Space Traveler. You come from the deep reaches of space or the Astral Plane. You can speak, read, and write an extra language that you and your DM agree is appropriate for the character.

Powerful Bite. You can use your bite to make unarmed strikes. When you hit with it, the strike deals 1d4 + your Strength modifier piercing damage, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike. This replaces the powerful build trait.


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