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D&D 5e: Let’s Build A Tabaxi!

September 01, 2021 10 min read

Author: Rhenn Anthony Taguiam

 

Did curiosity kill the cat? Not the Tabaxi. In Dungeons & Dragons 5e, adventurers who see Tabaxi will always find them searching for magic items, relics, and ancient artifacts. However, unbeknownst to them, the Tabaxi look for rare items not for the “thrill,” but rather in uncovering the many secrets and stories that surround these ancient treasures. As a reclusive society, Tabaxi share certain feline characteristics with cats - be it curiosity, stubbornness, or a sense of regality. Players who want to make adventurers who are also treasure hunters might find a Tabaxi spot on with their needs.

 

This quick guide will show players how to make an interesting Tabaxi for their D&D 5estory. And interestingly enough, Tabaxi may just transform a relatively “ordinary” adventuring team into one that’s out for a grand expedition.

Basics: The Traits

The Tabaxi’s innate traits make them some of the most agile and nimble Ancestries out there. For Players, this means being able to make a character more than capable of fulfilling roles that correspond to speed, accuracy, and perhaps even a bit of stealth. Likewise, their foreign and exotic nature allows Players to make quite the flexible and unique Tabaxi, with Traits that are paired with backgrounds that aren’t common in the game’s main world.

 

  • Ability Score Increase:DEX + 2, CHA + 1
  • Age:Tabaxi and Humans have relatively the same lifespans.
  • Size and Speed:Medium (roughly taller and more slender than most humans), 30ft walking speed.
  • Alignment:As creatures governed by fancy and impulse, Tabaxi lean towards Chaotic alignments. Tabaxi are rarely evil, though, as they’re mostly driven by curiosity.
  • Racial Features:Tabaxi have these different racial qualities:
    • Darkvision, which enables the Tabaxi to see 60ft of dim light as though it’s bright and in darkness as though it’s dim. However, they only see greys in darkness.
    • Feline Agility, which enables Tabaxi to double their speed until the end of the turn. After using this trait, they can use it once more after moving 0 feet on one of their turns.
    • Cat’s Claws,which gives Tabaxi 20ft climbing speed. Moreover, these claws serve as natural weapons that can do unarmed strikes, equal to 1d4 + STR Mod slashing instead of bludgeoning damage.
    • Cat’s Talent,giving the Tabaxi proficiency in the Stealth and Perception skills.
    • Languages,of which Tabaxi can write, read, and speak Common and another language they wish.

Tabaxi: The Best Classes To Build

Thanks to the Tabaxi’s innate mobility and dexterous nature, they work best with Classes that take full advantage of their speed and accuracy. Moreover, Players and DMs can take advantage of the foreign nature of the Tabaxi to introduce Class ideas that are inherently unique to them and their culture in the game world.

 

Ideally, Tabaxi may want to focus on their Dexterity to build excellent Monks, Rogues, and even Rangers. They may also use their innate Charisma to make great Sorcerers and Warlocks.

 

  • Monk:The Tabaxi’s innate dexterous nature make them perfect for various displays of physical prowess, making them more than capable of staying with a Monastery and becoming a Monk. Moreover, the Tabaxi’s curiosity may enable them to pursue greater heights unlike their fellow monks, allowing the Tabaxi Monk to achieve greater heights and even mastery in their chosen martial arts.
    • Thanks to the Tabaxi’s innate Dexterity Ability Score Bonus, they can make perfect Monks that can deftly navigate the battlefield and deliver swift, but artful attacks. Moreover, their additional Charisma bonus allows them to muse on their beliefs and philosophies with much ease, quite fitting for their training and discipline in their time in the monastery.
    • Unlike other Classes, Monks serve as one of the fastest and most agile Classes around. Thanks to their Unarmored Defense and Unarmored Movement, they easily dart the battlefield and reach opponents. Moreover, Martial Arts and Ki gives them access to unique abilities that give their melee attacks that fatal edge. In addition, knick-knacks such as Deflect Missiles, Slow Fall, and Stunning Strike easily makes Monk a force to reckon with in any combat situation.
    • A Tabaxi’s nimble nature makes them perfect Monks and their innate curiosity may just let them fit any Monastic Tradition they please. Tabaxi Monks who want to focus on combat may love the Four Elements, Kensei, Open Hand, and Drunken Master Traditions. However, those who want to add a bit of nimbleness to their Tabaxi Monk might appreciate the Shadow and Soul Knife Traditions.
  • Ranger:A Tabaxi’s nimbleness may give way to a natural gift for exploring various environments, making them perfect Rangers. Moreover, a traveling Tabaxi may grow accustomed to protecting their camps and various homes, giving them a natural advantage in navigating and identifying the various creatures and potential threats that may exist in environments they have gotten used to traversing.
    • Given the Tabaxi’s natural Dexterity, they make great archers and users of weapons that require a bit of finesse. As such, they’re just as skillful with the bow as they are with the longsword. Moreover, thanks to their Charisma, they can become just as charming inside and outside of battle. Who better to protect their tribes and territories than a charming Tabaxi capable of convincing intruders not to go into their land?
    • Tabaxi Rangers easily become damage powerhouses thanks to their blend of fighting prowess and magical ability. Their Spellcasting enables them to have a flexible support role in the battlefield, while their Fighting Style ensures they have something to offer when fighting any kind of enemy. Moreover, Natural Explorer and Favored Enemy allows them to become more versatile when it comes to the way they fight their enemies - especially when they face enemies they’re trained to fight and exterminate.
    • A Tabaxi Ranger may use their innate nimbleness to specialize in protecting their territories, which may come in the form of training under a Conclave. A Tabaxi Ranger may be a Beast Master, a Hunter, or a Swarmkeeper if they’re left in charge of forests, swamps, and typical environments. However, they may become Fey Wanderers, Gloom Stalkers, Horizon Walkers, or even Primeval Guardians if their nature as Rangers are linked with more mystical and magical means.
  • Rogue:If your Tabaxi truly takes on the feline curiosity for things shiny and various trinkets, a Tabaxi may become perfect for Rogues. Aside from being thieves, a Tabaxi Rogue may specialize in conducting intelligence-gathering missions in distant kingdoms or eliminating threats as spies in foreign countries. Regardless of the trade and the craft, a Tabaxi Rogue will leave no mark when conducting their missions - perhaps the occasional stolen jewelry, shiny object, or intriguing item.
    • Thanks to the innate mobility and Dexterity of the Tabaxi, they can make great thieves, assassins, and mercenaries. As such, a Tabaxi Rogue will prove more than capable of doing errands and missions more efficiently compared to others. And while a Tabaxi Rogue might not need Charisma when assassinating marks, their bonus does allow them to have a bit of an edge when in the need to intimidate enemies or get out of sticky situations.
    • Tabaxi Rogues easily dominate stealth, especially if they invest enough in their Dexterity Score. After all, Rogues can quickly eliminate opponents with Sneak Attack and Cunning Action. Moreover, Uncanny Dodge and Evasion allows Rogues to confuse enemies and take full advantage of their speed. In addition, Rogues become an asset even outside battle, thanks to Expertise, Thieves’ Cant, and Expertise.
    • A Tabaxi Rogue may specialize in various forms of espionage, more so thanks to their innate dexterousness. Therefore, a Tabaxi Rogue may have “typical” roles such as that of an Assassin, Inquisitive, Scout, Swashbuckler, or Thief. However, they may even have more specialized and niche roles such as the Arcane Trickster, Mastermind, Revived, or Soulknife.
  • Sorcerer:A Tabaxi’s innate curiosity may serve as fuel to their growing potential to tap into arcane powers that are way beyond their control. Unlike Wizards who take years of intricate study to manipulate the fabric of magic to their advantage, a Sorcerer has a natural connection with magic that they may even manipulate the very tapestry that shapes the way magic interacts with the world itself. Moreover, a Tabaxi Sorcerer’s innate curiosity may lead them to discover more unique ways to interact with the world that other spellcasters may never have the ability to accomplish.
    • A Tabaxi’s Dexterity Ability Score Bonus might come in handy when it comes to dodging wild magic surges, especially in their constant attempts to tame it every day. Thankfully, their innate Charisma bonus does give them an edge when it comes to mastering their vision of arcane magic, far beyond the capabilities of schools and academies that constrain Wizards in their scrolls and spellbooks.
    • Unlike Wizards that need a spellbook, Sorcerers only need to be familiar with a spell to cast it. Moreover, Tabaxi Sorcerers can take advantage of Metamagic in order to manipulate spells to their benefit - allowing them to cast spells much faster, make spells cost less Spell Slots, or make them affect more targets. As such, Metamagic can make a Tabaxi Sorcerer much deadlier, especially if it Multiclasses into a melee class.
    • A Tabaxi Sorcerer’s Sorcerous Origins may completely depend on the Tabaxi’s backstory in the context of the Player’s wishes or in a way that fits the in-game world. This is what makes the Sorcerer extremely powerful, especially in terms of plot. A Tabaxi Sorcerer may have the Sea, Stone, or even Storm Origins if they want to be more associated with their environments. Meanwhile, Players who want to have more unique Origins may opt for Wild magic, Pyromancy, Phoenix, Draconic Bloodline, or Aberrant Mind.
  • Warlock:A Tabaxi’s natural curiosity may lead them to paths not taken by ordinary individuals, making a Tabaxi with a gift for the arcane make a pact with forces beyond their control. However, unlike other Warlocks, a Tabaxi Warlock may be fueled with a unique curiosity that may help them achieve mastery in their particular craft. Moreover, it’s interesting seeing the potential banter between a Tabaxi who wants to take a particular item their Patron has specifically told them not to meddle with. After all, a Patron might not want to try bluffing things the Tabaxi might take them up for due to their natural curiosity.
    • A Tabaxi may have just more than enough Charisma to tame the eldritch powers that try to corrupt them every day. And thanks to their charm and wit, they may be able to communicate with their Patrons without ever having to fear retaliation. Then again, thanks to their Dexterity, they may have just enough ability to dodge attacks from irate Patrons, given the chance. All in all, a Tabaxi Warlock may have quite the entertaining time building a relationship with their patron due to these characteristics.
    • Thanks to the existence of a Patron, a Tabaxi Warlock gains a lot of benefits that will further add to their diversity in battle. For instance, Eldritch Invocations and Pact Boons allow them to further personalize their relationship with their Patron as they’re granted different abilities that correspond to their Patron’s specialization. Moreover, Warlocks eventually obtain more Otherworldly patron features and even Mystic Arcanum that further gives them access to more powerful spells and abilities.
    • A Tabaxi’s curiosity may have them end up creating Pacts with unusual Patrons, opening a ton of weird opportunities for Players to mix and match their Tabaxi Warlock’s abilities to both fit combat and the game’s story at large. They can choose usual options such as the Archfey, Celestial, Fiend, or the Raven Queen. However, more intriguing options may include the Genie, the Great Old One, the Seeker, the Undead, or the Undying. Either way, a Tabaxi may even opt to be a Hexblade, capable of fighting their foes toe-to-toe with a Patron in tow.

Curiosity Couldn’t Kill The Cat: Interesting Character Backgrounds

It’s very likely for Tabaxi in most games to take a page off the stereotypical feline and attach an innate curiosity in their culture. As such, Tabaxi can do well with adventures and backgrounds that encourage them to explore the world around them and hone their craft in new environments. Tabaxi may enjoy touring and exploring their environment, as their thousand trip to the same street or part of town may still yield surprises.

 

  • Archaeologist (Tomb of Annihilation):People say curiosity killed the cat, but the Tabaxi Archaeologist might just use this curiosity as fuel for their discoveries. If the Tabaxi culture in your adventure setting also indicates that Tabaxi share the feline qualities of being attracted to various trinkets, then the Archaeologist is a perfect fit for a description. Imagine your Tabaxi Archaeologist embarking on perilous adventures to discover ancient civilizations and unravel mysteries that history buried deep in the past.
    • Tools:Choose one: Navigator’s Tools, Cartographer’s Tools
    • Languages: Any one language of their choice
    • Proficiencies:INT (History), WIS (Survival)
  • Clan Crafter (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide):A Tabaxi’s innate curiosity might inspire them to tinker with the many things around them, including weapons, armor, tools, or trinkets their clan would otherwise deem “useless.” As a result, your Tabaxi may have developed keen talent in understanding and knowing how things “work” and they may have tried crafting their own rudimentary pieces of weaponry and equipment. Of course, your Tabaxi may have honed these skills enough to be considered a master in their craft as well, with people wanting to meet with your Tabaxi just to learn about your skills.
    • Tools:Artisan Tools x1
    • Languages:Any one language
    • Proficiencies:INT (History), WIS (Insight)
  • City Watch (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide):Your Tabaxi may have been staying in the city for a while to earn their place in the world. And given your unique skill set, you may have earned a position as part of the City Watch. How you got into an adventure is beyond you. You may have dealt with the wrong crowd one night or perhaps caught people doing a crime that ended up unraveling a conspiracy.
    • Tools:None
    • Languages:Any two languages of their choice
    • Proficiencies:STR (Athletics), WIS (Insight)
  • Far Traveler (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide):Your Tabaxi may have come from a foreign land, having traveled to your country in order to search for something or even start a new life. Interestingly, your DM may make it to a point that something in your past might be chasing you to your new home, ready to pull you back into whatever life you’ve left behind from whence you came. A Tabaxi Far Traveler may open up a lot of story hooks for the party, as their adventures prior to meeting the party may have a link to the overarching plot of the story.
    • Tools:Choose one from: Musical Instrument x1, Gaming Set x1
    • Languages: Any one language
    • Proficiencies:WIS (Insight), WIS (Perception)
  • Investigator (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide):Your Tabaxi might be a travelling Investigator, known across the lands as someone skilled in their craft and called onto investigate various big crimes throughout cities. Interestingly, they may be new to their role, having graduated from the local city guardsman academy and decided to dabble into the realm of investigation. However, Players might take this up a notch by actually making their Tabaxi Investigator more of an investigative journalist, interested in solving crime that they can transform into stories their realm-wide publication can release to the public. Regardless of the motivation, the Tabaxi Investigator’s skill in analyzing people and pieces of information can make them invaluable assets to various adventures.
    • Tools:None
    • Languages:Any two of their choice
    • Proficiencies:WIS (Insight), INT (Investigation)