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Quoth the Raven
Kenku are cursed people, stripped of their flight and their genuine voices and left to wander the material plane. Introduced back in 3rd version D & D as a simple cackle monster, kenku have now been given a fighting chance as a player race of their own. Flocks of kenku carve out territories among slums and downtrodden cities. much like their raven kin, the bird-folk crimp and pilfer their manner through life .
They are cagey thieves of both coin and culture, lacking a creative voice of their own but perfecting the art of the mimic and forgery. recently made evening more popular due to critical Role ’ s “ Kiri ”, the raven-folk are flocking to game tables around the universe. Playing a kenku is a improbable acting opportunity, as you cobble together your language through stolen fragments and chaotic noise. Follow us deep into the condemnable underbelly as we go through everything you need to know .
The actual origins of the kenku aren ’ triiodothyronine acquit ( largely due to conflicting lore between editions ) but while the proper nouns may have changed around the narrative has the like notes. The kenku started as proper bird-folk with wings, creative talent, and a voice of their own. They served some kind of blue victor and attempted to betray them by stealing some highly authoritative glistening bauble. The kenku were caught and given an all-mighty deity degree punishment and were nerfed to obliviousness, then they were let loosen to wander around the material plane.
Reading: Kenku 5E – Dungeons and Dragons
The consequence of all this is a deeply injure culture that focuses on regaining what was lost .
Each kenku instinctually misses their ability to fly and their dreams take them skyward. Kenku flocks are drawn to gamey places, and since they rarely have any real resources of their own, they normally settle in ruin towers or high forget places amongst the city sprawl. Spells and charming items that provide fledge are particularly prized, and many kenku study magic trick explicitly to one day take to the sky .
Kenku have no empires or fortunes, they scrape their way by making use of what talents their people have left, mimicry and thieving. Each kenku can repeat the things they hear absolutely but have no voice of their own. They create their “ vocabulary ” out of words they ’ ve heard, and their manner of speaking is often choppy and segmented. This “ lack of spokesperson ” applies to their artistic articulation deoxyadenosine monophosphate well and kenku find it closely impossible to create something newfangled, a wound still aching from their ancestral curse. Without an aesthetic part kenku remain a cultural echo, constantly on the edge but never forming a real culture of their own .
Unlike most 5e races, kenku are limited in their appearance. Unlike aarakocra who get a wonderfully generic description of “ like a dame ”, kenku have a solidly raven-like appearance. You have a fiddling wiggle-room in that the crow and raven syndicate is a snatch more change than people realize. Crows, ravens and magpies all partake quite a act of stereotyped black feathers, but you can play around with mottle whiten and black patterns or the spectral opalescence of the finest raven feathers. You besides have a range of themes to play with using a bare raven. The corvids encompass the arcane mysticism of a sorcerer ’ second conversant, the ghastly deathrate of the carrion birds, and the amusing maleficence of the mockingbirds .
The very jackpot of creative space lies not in your modern kenku character ’ south appearance, but in their voice. As a kenku, your voice should be derived from words and sounds you ’ ve listen in the past. well educated kenku may well speak fluidly and seamlessly, but a kenku thief off the street may well speak in fragments and reasoned effects. cipher expects you to be a great voice actor but try coming up with some odd speech fragments for your newfangled kenku, like phrases spoken with awkward or incorrect inflections or even by slipping the curious sound effect into your actor’s line patterns. If done well this can be an amazing bit of act, but make indisputable to knock it off if your colleague players seem annoyed .
Kenku names are literally voice effects rather than something that can be written down. Their perfective apery means that a kenku ’ second name could be the bang of a gunfire, the gentle weave among fall leaves, or the close call of a scab. Kenku names have no gaze for gender but do tend to relate to the kenku ’ s profession or function. Warriors will have names that relate to the good of battle like a sword clang or the twang of a bowstring. Kenku within city underbellies normally use noises that can easily pass for bowling alley animals, like rat scratches or pigeon coo. last, kenku with regular professions normally take a name related to it, such as ocean spraying for a boater or the rustle of wood shavings for a carpenter
obviously, cipher but kenku can reproduce these sounds, so they provide non-kenku with a literal translation. A kenku whose diagnose is the healthy of hammering would be “ Hammerer ”, and a kenku whose identify is the voice of a sword slice would be called “ Slicer ”. The follow list contains the literal non-kenku translations for many kenku names :
Kenku Names: Barker, Chewing, Clapper, Duck Quacks, Gnasher, Lute String, Mallet Smash, Mauler, Panda Sneeze, Potion Crash, Rat Squeak, Scrubber, Splitter, Tree Creak .
Your kenku character has the follow racial traits .
Ability Score Increase : Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Wisdom grudge increases by 1 .
Age: Kenku have shorter lifespans than humans. They reach maturity at about 12 years old and can live to 60 .
Alignment: Kenku are chaotic creatures, rarely making enduring commitments, and they care largely for preserving their own hides. They are broadly chaotic neutral in mentality .
Size: Kenku are around 5 feet improbable and weigh between 90 and 120 pounds. Your size is Medium .
Speed: Your establish walking focal ratio is 30 feet .
Expert Forgery: You can duplicate other creatures ’ handwriting and craftwork. You have advantage on all checks made to produce forgeries or duplicates of existing objects .
Kenku Training : You are technical in your choice of two of the watch skills : Acrobatics, Deception, Stealth, and Sleight of Hand .
Mimicry : You can mimic sounds you have heard, including voices. A animal that hears the sounds you make can tell they are imitations with a successful Wisdom ( Insight ) assay opposed by your Charisma ( Deception ) check mark .
Languages: You can read and write Common and Auran, but you can speak lone by using your Mimicry trait .
Kenku preceptor ’ t have a whole lot of abilities, but what they have does have a draw of applications. Let ’ s go through them one at a time .
Ability Score Increase: +2 to Dexterity and +1 to Wisdom is a solid boost for most Wisdom based classes and Dexterity based martial classes. Rangers, Clerics, Druids, Monks, Rogues, and Dexterity based Fighters are all excellent choices .
Age: rarely matters in 5e but a fiddling on the short side relatively .
Alignment: Chaotic and typically egoistic, very improbable to be in truth coherent or to act as the voice of reason .
Size: They ’ re on the belittled side of average, but still standard-sized, nothing to note very .
Speed: Stock standard 30-foot drift, silent better than a penalty .
Expert Forgery: I feel like this was intended as a stronger ability but in practice it rarely comes up and does n’t help deoxyadenosine monophosphate much as it should. You don ’ metric ton acquire any particular tool proficiencies hera, therefore if you plan on copying a key or some significant bauble you better have the cock set and proficiency to do so. This feature gives you advantage on the counterfeit checks you attempt, but you ’ re not actually getting the ability to attempt them .
Kenku Training: Bonus skill proficiencies are a boom and you get to choose two from some of the best. Grab whichever proficiencies aren ’ thyroxine already granted by your course and background .
Mimicry: This is the iconic ability that the hale kenku identity is wrapped around. sadly, it ’ s not great, it ’ s good, but the developers seemed to weigh it reasonably heavily. You get to mimic sounds absolutely, note though that you don ’ t gain the ability to throw your voice or project in any way. It ’ s obviously an ability designed for furtive rogues and general subterfuge. in truth though, it normally ends up being used to confuse the odd guard duty and little else. Mimicry has a HUGE measure of potential, from impersonating important NPCs to adding the convert sound effects to even minor illusions, it precisely depends on how creative you get with it and how creative your DM allows you to be .
Languages: Common and Auran, though you can only talk in apery. Auran is a reasonably rare language so it ’ s not probably to come up in most adventures .
5e D & D is amazingly flexible, and no class or background you pick for your future kenku character will be “ ill-timed ”. however, if you ’ ra matter to in optimization, the follow construct ideas can be great starting points for your adjacent adventurer :
Rogues are already a thematic suit for kenku, but the new rogue subclass “ The Revived ” fits even better and has excellent synergy with the kenku expert forgery ability. Revived rogues gain an ability called tokens of past lives that lets them trade out a newfangled creature or skill proficiency every farseeing rest. Odd tool proficiencies are the missing slice of the counterfeit perplex. Need jewelry maker ‘s tool proficiency to make a juke of that signet band or smith ’ s tools to replicate that key ? Bam, fair give it a long rest and you ’ ll know how to use whichever tool is correct for the job, then get advantage on using it .
Their lore doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate make a batch of sense for monks, but the bonus to Dexterity and Wisdom lines up absolutely. The kenku abilities will allow you to play your monk more stealthily, scouting out the opponents and possibly misleading them away from your allies. It ’ s a strange synergy, but it works .
Kenku abilities already pipeline up nicely with cleric s and their furtive abilities mix nicely with the trickery domain. You ’ ll end up playing a cleric that can besides play a lot of the rogue ’ south role, so it ’ s a capital pick if your party lacks both and you want to supply them both. The invoke duplicity ability is besides amazing with your mimicry ability, since you can use it in junction with minor illusion both your “ voice ” and your copy ’ sulfur “ articulation ” will be identical. Have fun confusing the guards with your doppelganger bird.
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