Author’s note: This is a stab at making a tongue-in-cheek character race, but also trying to look at things realistically.
New Playable Character Race: Dog
Size: Tiny to medium 6” – 44”
Speed: 20 – 50 ft, Dependent on breed.
Lifespan: 8 – 18 years (largely dependent on size, genetics). Max age: 29
Most dogs will reach their full size within a year or two of birth. The 1st year of their life is the same as 15 of our own.
Language: by their owner
- Black and White vision: dogs can’t see the same color spectrum as humanoids.
- No fine manipulation: because they’re quadrupeds, they use their mouths to manipulate objects.
- Scent: Dogs have excellent olfactory senses.
- Hearing: Dogs have hearing outside the range of humanoid races
- Low light vision 20’
1 extra skill at level 1. This is to represent the fact that dogs are omnipresent and are (generally) easily trained.
All dogs: +2 Int, -2 Wis +2 Charisma. Dogs are intelligent but highly distractible, but they have a certain undeniable charm about them.
Extra small to Small dogs -2 str, +2 dex – +4 dex, depending on build , +0 con, speed 20 feet. Bite: 1d3+1
Medium dogs +2 – +4 dex depending on build, +0 con, speed 30 – 40 feet, depending on breed. Bite 1d6+1
Large dogs +2 str, +2 dex, 30 – 40 feet, depending on breed. Bite: 2d4+1
Extra Large Dogs +2 – +4 str, depending on build. Bite: 3d4-1
More hair than dog: Some dog builds have so much fur that the dog itself is difficult to target, because the amount of fur hides where the main body is. With such dogs, unless an enemy is within 5 feet of the animal, it gets bonus +1 AC.
Indistinguishable: Unless the dog is currently behaving in a manner that would indicate that it’s something other than a standard dog, most people and monsters will assume that’s exactly what it is. +2 to disguise and intimidation
Before this modern era, all dogs were working animals. They needed to earn their keep.
The smallest of dog, the teacup dogs are a recent development. If they existed in times past, they’d probably play the role of Pekingese or Shih Tzu, and be trained to be fierce protectors of their masters.
Slightly larger dogs such as the Rat Terrier, various Terriers, dachshund, miniature schnauzers were specifically bred to enter tunnels and eliminate rats.
Then there’s turnspit dogs, any number of types of dogs that are bred to turn a spit in a kitchen.
Dogs were also bred for the specific purpose of fighting in wars, guarding residences, and the like.
Then there’s shepherding dogs like the collie, German shepherd, and the like.
Finally, there’s things like pointers which are designed to track and retrieve waterfowl
If you’re concerned the dogs can’t communicate, those that are player characters could simply be Awakened. Maybe a pulse went through the world and what were normal dogs now have the ability to speak.
Alternatively, maybe give them a custom magic item that allows them to mentally communicate with others at will and understand verbal language as well as giving them a pair of invisible hands that would the ability to pick up and manipulate objects. Note: these hands would be on the order of an “unseen servant” and do not allow for attacks.
Conversely, perhaps the talking dog has hired a servant to be its hands for it, so it can concentrate on adventuring.
Cooper Jones “CJ”
Male Dog (Golden Retriever) Rogue 1 HP: 8 Speed: 40 feet AC: 13 Align: CN Age: 4
Strength 8 (-1)
Dexterity 16 (+3)
Constitution 11 (+0)
Intelligence 17 (+2)
Wisdom 8 (-1)
Charisma 18 (+4)
Size: Small (medium for a dog breed)
Armor Class: 13 = 10 + 3 [dexterity]
Saving Throws, Initiative, Proficiency
Proficiency bonus: +2
Initiative modifier: + 3 = + 3 [dexterity]
Attack (handheld / thrown): + 1 = -1 [strength] + 2 [proficiency]
Strength save: -1 = -1 [strength]
Dexterity save: + 5 = + 3 [dexterity] + 2 [proficiency]
Constitution save: + 0
Intelligence save: + 4 = + 2 [intelligence] + 2 [proficiency]
Wisdom save: -1 = -1 [wisdom]
Charisma save: + 4 = + 4 [charisma]
Insight (passive): 11 (16 with advantage)
Investigation (passive): 16 (21 with advantage)
Perception (passive): 13 (18 with advantage)
Dungeon Delver: Advantage on secret doors, against traps, resistance to trap damage, spot traps moving at normal speed
Skill Key Ability Misc. Mod Skill
Name Ability Mod Modifier(s) Trained Modifier
Acrobatics Dex +3 +2 [expertise] +2 +7
Animal Handling Cha +4 +4
Arcana Int +3 +3
Athletics Str -1 -1
Deception Cha +4 +2 [Indistinguishable) +6
History Int +3 +2 +2
Insight Wis -1 +2 +1
Intimidation Cha +4 +2 [Indistinguishable] +6
Investigation Int +3 +4 [expertise/ +2 +9
Medicine Wis -1 -1
Nature Int +3 +3
Perception Wis -1 +2 +1
Performance Cha +4 +4
Persuasion Cha +4 +2 +6
Religion Int +3 +3
Sleight of Hand Dex +3 +3
Stealth Dex +3 +2 +5
Survival Wis -1 2[background] +1
Roguish Archetype: Investigator
See here for details
Helm of communication and dexterity (see above)
bag of dog food (2 week supply)
Brush/ Dry shampoo
Waterskins x 1
Investigator Feature: Feature: Trusted SourcePeople may see you as a madman seeking information that no one wishes to unearth, but they realize that you are likely to know more than most about the horrors that rampage across the countryside.You may, in fact, have a tidbit of information that may help fell a marauding beast or cure an obscure disease, poison or curse. But more than that, people see in you a hope against the helplessness that plagues their daily existence.
As the days grow ever further towards the lip of oblivion, you will be among the few trusted to help the beleaguered, as long as they don’t happen to think that you propagated these terrible events.You are likely to be sought as a voice of reason and are even given information on various perils. A noble may trust you to keep his dark secrets, provided you can help rid him of a supernatural problem. A group of cloistered clerics may turn to you in their darkest hour when their monastery is beset by some unimaginable monster, and these people can become valuable allies and informants as you continue to seek new and mind-numbing truths.
Personality: I love a good puzzle or mystery.
Flaw: I communicate through writing more often than speech, and I often use ciphers.
Ideal: Creativity. The compulsion to learn about the world is strong, and I cannot resist its call. (Chaotic)
Bond: I want to find my master, who disappeared on an expedition some time ago.