Meles – The Mutated Results of Dwarven Explorers for D&D 5th Edition

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“Few will admit it, but our people were once great and powerful dwarves, not talking fuzzy forest animals!” – Torg Stoneforger, Meles Warrior

In ages past, a huge colony of dwarves sought out to adventure the planes beyond.  While many establishments were temporary, they settled on a mountainside and forest that reminded the colony of their material plane home.  Many planar explorers know such a place, the Fae World of Arcadia.  However, the powerful spirits of this wilderness plane took ire of their presence in a relatively short time.  As such, they placed a hex upon them.  At first, nothing seemed off; the dwarves had a stronger sense of smell, they gained a taste for new things, they became more active at dusk through night time.  In the weeks following, they began to take on physical traits of badgers, as panic set in.  As time went on, the explorers became less like dwarves and more like badgers.  Revolts against the fey and attempts to escape happened less and less as their minds faded into something somewhat sentient but beastly at the same time.  Their newly formed badger bodies and minds became comfortable with the dens they built as they truly became a part of their strange extraplanar home.  Only a rare few had their minds kept intact enough to inform any willing to listen about their dwarven heritage.

Meles, to the untrained eye, appear to be awakened badgers.  However, they are semi-humanoid creatures that look like badgers.  While most of them argue they are badgers given expanded minds by their gracious hosts, the ones that know the truth are stubborn about it, despite not valuing intellect as much as their descendants.  Ironically, these “Dwarf Minded” are typically viewed as social outcasts and oddities by their people.  That doesn’t stop them from trying to seek a way to become dwarves again.  No matter, they often send out adventurers to explore the boundless reaches of reality and bring new information back.  In a sense, their drive to explore and learn hasn’t left since the colony first arrived.  In fact, the some explorers have encountered their old clans from the Material Realm.  Sadly, neither of them were able to recognize each other, beyond a sense of comradery they re-established.  In a sense, they’re outsiders for choices that their ancestors made.  For that reason, many “Dwarf Minded” go on quests to become dwarves, in hopes of reintegrating into the societies their ancient explorer families hailed from. Majority of Meles are deemed the “wild” social caste, living as beasts given some semblance of thought and guidance.  However, they use their somewhat intact minds to bolster their instincts and savage fury. The “Throwback” caste have done all in their power to rekindle their lost heritage by any means possible.  To them, balancing the past and the present is the only way to stay sane.  They are typically more aware and knowledgeable than their more bestial relatives.  However, they are still aliens among dwarven society, friends at best.  However, more sinister wild Meles have taken notice of this, channeling dread spirit magicks in an effort to infect other planar dwarves with the same power that created them.  Most extarplanar Meles that aren’t Dwarf-Minded explorers or feral scouts were likely created this way.

Author’s Note:  I had a discussion about stupid D&D races and among them was the Wildren.  They’re dwarf spirits that bump uglies with celestial badgers.  Yeah, that’s kinda weird and something I wouldn’t plan on using.  So, I babbled about how I could create a better race. Instead they’re ex-dwarves cursed by fey magic, some embrace their wild status while others try to desperately try to remain dwarven in some way.  Plus their name comes from Meles Meles, the name for the European Badger.  Also, I stumbled across a cool reiteration by Dungeon Hacking, which you should check it!

 

Meles Traits.

Ability Score Increase. Meles are sturdy and tough, from years of adjusting to their new forms.  Their Constitution score increases by 2, your Strength score increases by 1.

Age. Their bestial blood greatly lessens the age of their ancestral dwarf blood.  Meles usually reach maturity around 16 and live to around 80.  Some cases have recorded them living to around 140.

Alignment. Despite a heritage that tends to be lawful, many favor neutrality in some form.  However, those who revere their Dwarven descent tend towards Lawful Neutral.

Size. They stand at 3.5 to 5 feet tall and weigh on average about 135 pounds.  Their size is Medium.

Speed. Their stubby and wild form impedes your already slow speed.  Their speed is 20.  Their speed is never lowered by wearing armor.

Feral Dash. They may drop to all fours as a free action. By doing so, their base speed becomes 25 ft. and they have a burrowing speed of 10, due to digging claws. In addition, any attack not involving their natural attacks suffers disadvantage. Rules for standing up from being prone apply to this stance.  Alternatively, they can use the dash action and gain a +10 ft. bonus or choose to trade 20 ft of the movement for 10 ft of burrowing for that round instead.

Darkvision. They can see within 60 ft. of dim light as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were bright light.  They can’t discern color while in darkness.

Smaller Build. While being a medium creature, they gain some of the benefits of being small.  They have an easier time hiding behind objects and creatures and can squeeze through a 2.5 by 2.5 ft. area.

Claws.  As big badger creatures, they sport impressive and dangerous claws.  They each deal d4 slashing damage as an unarmed strike and may be used in an open hand when not wielding a weapon. This goes off of strength. Upon reaching level 6, your claws deal d6 damage.  At level 12, they deal d8.  At level 18, they deal d10.

Strong Smell.  You are in tune with your surroundings.  You start with proficiency in the Wisdom (Perception) skill. You gain advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks related to smell.

Languages.  Meles being play speaking and understanding their own language of badger sounds meshed with humanoid speech, Meles.  They may communicate with badgers and related creatures as well.  They also speak and understand Common.

 

NEW FEAT – Dwarven Heritage

Prerequisites: Meles Race, spent significant time within a dwarven society

You are of the “Dwarf Minded” or throwback caste. Your devotion to your lost heritage has paid off, as you have discovered how to recover your ancestry’s many strengths.

  • Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
  • You gain advantage on Intelligence (History) checks related to stonework.
  • You gain advantage on saves against poison. You also have resistance to poison damage.
  • You can speak and understand Dwarven as a language.

 

NEW FEAT – Feral Meles

Prerequisites: Meles Race, killed a target with your claws, prove yourself worthy within the wild caste.

You’ve become one with your savage and beastly nature, embracing life as an augmented badger rather than a cursed dwarf.

  • Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
  • Your claws can go off of Dexterity instead of Strength.
  • When one or both claw attacks hit, you may make an extra attack to bite the target, dealing d6 + Strength mod piercing damage on a hit.  This can be used once per round.
  • You also gain a climb speed equal to your base speed.

 

New Item – Amulet of Dwarven Reclamation (Rare)

A series of rare artifacts forged by some of the last dwarves who fell to the Meles curse.  Among the Dwarf-Minded, it is a prized possession.  Any Meles who wears this amulet gains one trait as well as physical features from the Dwarf race, which they can manifest as an action. This boon lasts for 1 hour before reverting.

A Meles who has the Dwarven Heritage feat instead gains the ability to fully transform into a Dwarf.  While in this form, they are count as Dwarves for all intents and purposes.  In fact, this type of Meles can remain as a Dwarf indefinitely.  However, in settings where lycanthropes are an issue, these Meles might be mistaken as werebadgers.

After a Meles wears it for more than 1 day, it fuses into their body and disappears; making this ability and the amulet a part of them at all times.  The only ways to remove the amulet is by casting a Remove Curse spell.  If a Meles dies while in Dwarf form, they do not revert.

 

NPCs

 

Meles Feral Warrior

Medium humanoid (meles), chaotic neutral

Armor Class 13 (leather armor)

Hit Points 76 (9d8 + 36)

Speed 25 ft., 25 ft. climb, 10 ft. burrow

STR 17 (+3) DEX 12 (+1) CON 18 (+4) INT 6 (-2) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 9 (-1)

Skills Athletics +5, Perception +2

Senses passive Perception 12

Languages Meles

Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Powerful Smelling.  You gain advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks used for the sake of smell.

Reckless. At the start of its turn, the feral warrior can gain advantage on all melee weapon attack rolls during that turn, but attack rolls against it have advantage until the start of its next turn.

Snapping Bite.  If a claw attack hits, the feral warrior may make a bite attack as a bonus action.

ACTIONS

Multiattack. Make up to two claw attacks.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage.

Bite.  Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage.

 

Meles Olden Protector

Medium humanoid (meles), lawful neutral

Armor Class 16 (chainmail)

Hit Points 67 (9d8 + 27)

Speed 20ft.; 20 ft. climbing

STR 16 (+3) DEX 13 (+1) CON 16 (+3) INT 10 (+0) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 10 (+0)

Skills History +2, Insight +2

Senses passive Perception 12

Languages Common, Dwarven, Meles

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Poison Resistance.  You gain advantage on saving throws vs. poisoned.  You have resistance against poison damage.

Stone Master.  You gain advantage on Intelligence (History) checks involving stonework.

Strong Smell.  You gain advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks using smell.

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The protector makes a combination of two attacks: longsword, mace, claws.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. , one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) s lashing damage, or 8 (1d10 + 3) slashing damage if used with two hands.

Mace. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage.

Source: svenrir the werebadger- Dungace

Created by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic media.  Wildren is property of Wizards of the Coast.

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