D&D: How to be a Bird Person in a World of Peril
D&D is surprisingly full of bird people. If you want to know how to be a bird person and not just survive, but thrive? Read on.
For a game all about dungeons and also dragons, D&D is surprisingly full of humanoid birds. Perhaps there’s some long-held fascination with being one of our avian buds. They fly through the air with the greatest of ease. They have cool feathers. And, perhaps most impressively of all, they sing the song of the sunrise.
That’s the electromagnetic sunrise converted into sound, but it’s so named because it’s also what birds sing at dawn:
Obviously, there’s a lot more to being a bird person than having wings and a torturous friendship with Rick Sanchez. But we’re here to help.
Pick the Right Bird Person for the Job
You have a variety of bird people to select from. Aarakocra, Owlin, Kenku, certain varieties of Simic Hybrids, and even the Wildhunt Shifter might be a Bird Person, depending.
The trick is to know what you’re getting for being a bird. Step one is figuring out do you want to be a flying bird person or do you want to walk on the ground to not make everyone else feel bad? Aarakocra and Owlin will give you the gift of flight, but a few other things besides. New Aarakocra can cast the Gust of Wind spell and have talons. While Owlin are sneaky.
Kenku, on the other hand, are perfect mimics and can gain proficiency in whatever they need. While Wildhunt shifters are never caught off guard.
Leaning in for Fun and Profit – Observant
What’s one thing that isn’t necessarily true but everyone knows about birds? They have good eyesight. You can play into the trope by taking the Observant feat.
With Observant, not only do you increase Intelligence or Wisdom, but you also gain a +5 bonus to your passive Perception and Investigation checks, meaning almost no detail should escape your notice.
Just like a watchful bird.
Swift as the Wind
The other thing that most birds are, is fast. And with the Mobile feat, you can increase your speed by 10 feet (which increases your fly speed as well). This also grants you the equivalent of the coveted flyby attack.
When you make a melee attack against a creature, you don’t provoke opportunity attacks from that creature for the rest of the turn, whether you hit or not. So you can weave in and out of combat as you see fit.
Remember to Tilt Your Head
It takes more than mechanics to be a bird person, though. So let’s look at how you can roleplay your character to the best of your birdlike abilities.
Number one? Tilt your head. You can do it in real life, or you can just describe how your character tilts their head quizzically. Or happily. Or any time the camera is on them, just remember that detail. You’ll be praised for being “so realistic.”
Revel in the Glory of Arms
Birds have long been denied the glory of arms. As a bird person, you have arms. This is your chance. Make them rue the day. Live, child of the sky, live!