Aarakocra – 5e Playable Race

I thought I would share a playable race build for an Aarakocra created by Rich Howard. This image is by Christopher Burdett and is the official one from the Monster Manual (his art appears on many pages of the Monster Manual).

“The aarakocra were one of my favorite monsters from the original Fiend Folio. They, along with the bizarre and oft-mocked flumph, were one of the only good races in the book and seemed ripe for heroic storytelling. Unfortunately, they weren’t available to the average player as a race (at least until Dark Sun) and creating appropriately balanced new races in the early editions was challenging. It’s a little thing, but opening the 5th ed Monster Manual and seeing the aarakocra as the first monster helps this edition find a place in my gamer heart.”

View the full article at Rich’s blog

Here’s a snipet with just the traits from Rich’s fully fleshed out build…

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity increases by 2 and your Wisdom increases by 1

Age. An aarakocra reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and they have been known to live as long as 200 years.

Alignment. Aarakocra are raised to oppose the forces of Elemental Evil and lean toward good alignments. Personal freedom is at home beside their loyalty to the Wind Dukes of the Elemental Plane of Air, therefor most aarakocra are neutral good, though lawful and chaotic members of the race are not uncommon. Though rare, evil members of the race are sometimes recruited or blackmailed into working for elemental cults or for the fiend lord Pazuzu.

Size. Aarakocra are smaller and thinner than the average human, ranging from 5 to 5-and-a-half feet tall, and weighing between 90 and 120 pounds. Their wingspan is their most impressive feature, averaging 20 feet. Your size is medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet. You also have a fly speed of 30 feet (see Wings below)

Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill and may double your proficiency bonus on any skill check that involves sight.

Child of Aaqa. Aarakocra have advantage on saving throws against lightning and thunder damage, as well as against spells or powers that manipulate air, such as gust of wind, wind wall, or an air elemental’s whirlwind power.

Wings. An aarakocra’s impressive wingspan allows them to fly at great speeds, but they may not hover. In order to fly, an aarakocra must have a minimum of 10 feet of open space on either side of them and 30 feet of open space above, below them or any combination (taking off from a ledge 15 feet above the ground and 15 feet below the ceiling is appropriate). An aarakocra who has been restrained, either by a spell, net, lasso, grapple or other effect may not fly. An aarakocra is also prevented from flying while wearing heavy armor or while carrying a heavy load. At 5th level, your fly speed increases to 50 feet.

Dive Attack. An aarakocra who flies at least 30 feet during a round, and has descended at least 20 feet at the end of that movement, deals one additional die of damage with the first melee attack made during that round.

Talons. Aarakocra possess powerful talons on their feet. They may choose to deal 1d4 slashing damage with their unarmed attacks instead of the normal 1 point of bludgeoning damage. Aarakocra monks and those trained in similar forms of unarmed combat, deal unarmed damage as their class indicates, but may choose to deal either bludgeoning or slashing damage with each unarmed attack.

Summon Air Elemental. Five or more aarakocra may summon an air elemental as detailed in the Monster Manual.

Languages. You can speak, read and write both Common and Auran.

View the full article at Rich’s blog

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Shawn Ellsworth

Shawn is an author and co-founder of Tribality.com. He first got into tabletop RPGs through ninjas and then by playing a Kender in Dragonlance. Years later, he can be found running games in the Nentir Vale and his own Seas of Vodari campaign setting.