A new player character species/ancestry/race for Dungeons and Dragons, 4th and 5th Edition
NOTE: edited to include racial abilities/languages/powers just like all other playable races.
The Hinauri are a race of small Centaur-style humanoids that resemble a mix between a North American white-tailed deer and a Halfling. They are referred individually as Hinaur, both male and female. “I am Hinaur, we are the Hinauri”. The Hinauri are not related to Centaurs, but that mistake is so common that they don’t usually bother correcting anyone who makes that assumption.
Basic Description: Height at deer body shoulder, approximately 3 feet at adulthood, as low as 2.5’ when a fawn. Length from tail to front neck area/chest for humanoid body anywhere from 3’ to 7.5” depending on age. The upper humanoid body averages at about 1.75’ (24 to 29”) and is attached at what would be the bottom of the neck of the deer body, very similarly to a Centaur. The average overall height of a Hinauri is about 5 ½ feet tall.
In 4th Edition, the Hinauri get the same bonuses as Halflings; +2 Dexterity and +2 Charisma. 5th Edition Hinauri get +2 to Dexterity only, again just like halflings. They speak Common and Sylvan, plus other languages if the Linguist feat is chosen. Skill bonuses are +2 Athletics and +2 Nature, and Hinauri have an innate proficiency with the short spear and the short bow.
As an encounter power in 4th Edition, Hinauri can use the power Bound
BOUND – Racial Power
Immediate Interrupt – Personal
Effect – If an opponent scores a successful hit from behind or flanking a Hinauri, they can make an Immediate Interrupt Athletics skill check to instantly jump away from the opponent, with a DC equal to the opponents To Hit roll. If successful, the attack is avoided, and the Hinauri can jump straight forward (given enough space) and successfully avoid the attack
The legs of the Hinauri are thicker and more muscular that what would be found on a deer, due to the heavier weight of the upper body. Their feet are hooved similarly to deer, but their lower legs are much thicker. Their forelegs are also spaced a little bit farther apart for balance.
The body of a Hinauri is most frequently a dappled tan and white at birth (called fawns), deepening to a golden brown at adolescence. However, there are occasionally fawns born that have a solid coat of tawny red that stays with them through their life. These are commonly called the Fayrna, or “fair child” from a mythological story about a fawn named Fayrna that was exceptionally wise and became a famous shaman to her people.
Hinauri do not have any type of darkvision. Their visual acuity is similar to a Human. However, their sense of hearing is very precise and they get a +2 to any perception check based on sound. Their ears are positioned closer to the top of the head, and although pointed similarly to Elves, they can rotate their ears to hone in on directions of sounds.
Hinauri are very fast runners, with a base speed of 9. They can also bound or jump quite some distance. In 5th Edition, jumping (both long jump and high jump) is based on the Strength score. Hinauri jump at their Strength score +4. In 4th Edition, Hinauri divide their jump skill check by 5 (the same as other races running jump) and their running jump by 2. Hinauri are famous for their ability to bound very high and very far.
The culture of the Hinauri is heavily based around the extended family culture, headed by a grandfather figure and a Shaman. What the Hinauri consider a Shaman is actually very much a Bard in other cultures. The Shaman keeps the family stories, uses music to enhance their lives, and is also a healer. In 4th Edition, this character could use a either a Bard or a hybrid Bard/Shaman or Cleric (Players Handbook 3), while in 5th edition a Bard class fits the bill.
Most Hinauri families live in open plains or wooded areas, using their extraordinary speed to hunt game. They favor spears and bows, and although they appear to be very tribal in outlook, the Hinauri are very forward looking and appreciate the trappings of civilization. They just prefer the room to run, and when multiple family groups band together they have to keep on the move to find enough food and supplies.
An average Hinauri lives about 70 years. Unfortunately, as they get close to this age, it is their legs that start to give out. An elder Hinauri tends to slowly lose their ability to walk, and usually are left behind with food when they are ready to die, as the family moves on. This is normal and proper in their culture.
As the Hinauri are rarely as tall overall as a human, they find it much easier to travel indoors or through doors. They are longer, though, and much watch how much room they have in any given circumstance for the length of their body. They are Medium sized. They are much more mobile in tight areas than any Centaur would be.
Hinauri can wear armor, but if they wear anything heavier than medium armor, their speed and jumping abilities revert to those the same as a Human. In times of war, Hinauri are no stranger to donning heavier armors and weapons. They give up their mobility if necessary and travel in tight groups. Males and females alike share this responsibility.
Favored weapons among the Hinauri are the spear and bow, but can also use melee weapons such as swords or axes. They prefer ranged weapons, using them while on the move.
Names that are favored or common amongst the Hinauri include names descriptive of their personality or appearance if they have some unusual coloration or peculiarity. Names tend to be short, single syllable words with a decidedly Sylvan source, often based around natural objects, flowers, landscapes, etc.
I’d really appreciate any feedback. I’m considering putting this on the Dungeonmasters Guild as pay-what-you-want but I’m not sure this concept is really worth doing that. Anybody who would like to playtest the Hinauri and reports their opinions/results back to me would get a credit if this product is put out for sale.