A new unearthed arcana has just been unveiled revealing three new “gothic lineages”–Dhampir, Hexblood, and Reborn. Check ’em out!
If it’s D&D and it’s Gothic it must be Ravenloft. And three new “gothic lineages” have just been unveiled in the first Unearthed Arcana of 2021, titled Gothic Lineages. It introduces three new race options for player characters in D&D, and each one of them would be right at home in the gothic-horror-dotted landscape of Ravenloft, where you can find Draculas, Frankensteins, Frankenstein’s Monsters, and an assortment of other universal horror monsters reimagined as lords of tiny pocket dimensions located in The Mists of Ravenloft.
Of course, this could just be a playtest to see if folks are interested in playing undead-lite. But either way, come check out these Gothic options.
If you like being dark and brooding but also want to have cool special powers that make you somehow better than everyone else around you, which is objectively a blessing and in no way a curse, but you’ll call it both anyway, and kind of be a loner or an outsider even though you don’t have to–then the Dhampir might be for you. You get all of the strengths and none of the weaknesses of being a vampire:
Poised between the worlds of the living and the dead, dhampirs retain their grip on life yet are endlessly tested by vicious hungers. Their ties to the undead grant dhampirs a taste of a vampire’s deathless prowess in the form of increased speed, darkvision, and a life-draining bite. With unique insights into the nature of the undead, many dhampirs turn to the lives of adventurers and monster hunters. Their reasons are often deeply personal. Some seek danger, imagining monsters as personifications of their own hungers. Others pursue revenge against whatever turned them into a dhampir. And still others embrace the solitude of the hunt, striving to distance themselves from those who’d tempt their hunger
As a dhampir, you’ll have a secret hunger that torments you. A whisper in the mind or a reflex that needs to be suppressed. You’ll have to find the fine line between it giving you an edge and making you a monster–but that’s exactly what you might want out of playing a dhampir. This has no mechanical effect, but it does color what your dhampir feeds on, and I have to say, I love the options. They’re all so visceral:
But let’s get to the mechanics. Your dhampir gets Darkvision out to 60 feet, because who doesn’t these days, but you also get a version of Spider Climb that levels up with you. You’ll start out with a climbing speed equal to your walking speed, but at 3rd level it evolves into movement like the spell, spider climb.
The other signature feature is a Vampiric Bite which is a natural melee weapon (so you can smite with it, dhampir paladins) that you add your Constitution modifier to for both attack and damage rolls, and it does 1d4 piercing damage. If you’re missing at least half your hit points, you have advantage on the attack–and if you hit a living creature (not construct or undead) you can regain hit points equal to damage dealt or gain a bonus to the next ability check or attack roll you make equal to the damage dealt by the bite.
Hexbloods, on the other hand, are for witches. Hexbloods are individuals who are touched, in some way, by the feywild or hags, or some other creature tied to wild and natural magic. The origins for this class are quite creative:
As a Hexblood, you’ll be part-fey but won’t be an elf. Which is exactly what we’ve been needing. This is the darker/creepier side of the feywild, and it shows. Here’s what you get:
Darkvision, of course, and like an elf you get advantage on saving throws against things that would charm you. But the main features of this lineage are Hex Magic and Magic Token.
Hex Magic is pretty straightforward: you gain disguise self and hex, meaning that if you’re a Hexblood Warlock your day is made and you never have to take the hex spell again.
Magic token, on the other hand, is kind of horrific. As an action you can create a magic token, as the name implies, but you do it by “harmlessly” pulling out one of your nails, teeth, or hairs. So let’s add just a touch of some light body horror here. Once you pull out your magic tooth, you can give it to someone and send them a telepathic message while they’re holding or carrying it. Or, you can enter a trance for a minute, and see and hear from the token as though you were located where it is. It won’t kill the Baron Harkonnen (or Piter de Vries), but you’ll still want to remember the tooth.
This seems to be the final form for the Reborn Rogue that I really liked a while back. Reborn are people who have died but somehow, soldier on. You might be scarred or have bloodless veins, or in some other way be marked by death. Reborns are about as close to a Frankenstein’s Monster as you can get without being David Harbour in a comically underrated Netflix special, as they are often stitched together or have strange brains in manufactured bodies. If you want to be someone’s strange creation, Reborn is for you.
As a Reborn, you gain two types: humanoid and either construct or undead. You also get Darkvision, per usual, but your main feature is your Deathless Nature. You’ve escaped death, and that’s a big deal! As a result:
- You have advantage on saves vs disease and poison, and resistance to poison damage
- You have advantage on death saves, which is pretty cool
- You don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe
- You are immune to sleep, much like an elf
You can also call upon Knowledge from a Past Life and remember glimpses of a life… before… which lets you roll a d6 and add it to a skill check up to your proficiency bonus in times per day.
What do you think of the new races? Let us know in the comments!