Catalysts of Ages
We had a tabaxi come through once, a few winters back. She kept the taproom packed each night with her stories and spent most days napping in a chair in front of the fireplace. We thought she was lazy, but when Linene came around looking for a missing broach, she was out the door before I could blink an eye.
—Toblen Stonehill, innkeeper
Hailing from a strange and distant land, wandering tabaxi are catlike humanoids driven by curiosity to collect interesting artifacts, gather tales and stories, and lay eyes on all the world’s wonders. Ultimate travelers, the inquisitive tabaxi rarely stay in one place for long. Their innate nature pushes them to leave no secrets uncovered, no treasures or legends lost.
Most tabaxi remain in their distant homeland, content to dwell in small, tight clans. These tabaxi hunt for food, craft goods, and largely keep to themselves.
However, not all tabaxi are satisfied with such a life. The Cat Lord, the divine figure responsible for the Creation of the tabaxi, gifts each of his children with one specific feline trait. Those tabaxi gifted with curiosity are compelled to wander far and wide. They seek out stories, artifacts, and lore. Those who survive this period of wanderlust return home in their elder years to share news of the outside world. In this manner, the tabaxi remain isolated but never ignorant of the world beyond their home.
The Cat Lord
The deity of the tabaxi is a fickle entity, as befits the patron of cats. The tabaxi believe that the Cat Lord wanders the world, watching over them and intervening in their affairs as needed. Clerics of the Cat Lord are rare and typically access the Trickery domain.
Barterers of Lore
Tabaxi Treasure knowledge rather than material things. A chest filled with gold coins might be useful to buy food or a coil of rope, but it’s not intrinsically interesting. In the tabaxi’s eyes, gathering wealth is like packing Rations for a long trip. It’s important to survive in the world, but not worth fussing over.
Instead, tabaxi value knowledge and new experiences. Their ears perk up in a busy tavern, and they tease out stories with offers of food, drink, and coin. Tabaxi might walk away with empty purses, but they mull over the stories and rumors they collected like a miser counting coins.
Although material wealth holds little attraction for the tabaxi, they have an insatiable desire to find and inspect ancient relics, magical items, and other rare Objects. Aside from the power such items might confer, a tabaxi takes great joy in unraveling the stories behind their Creation and the history of their use.
Wandering tabaxi are mercurial creatures, trading one obsession or passion for the next as the whim strikes. A tabaxi’s desire burns bright, but once met it disappears to be replaced with a new obsession. Objects remain intriguing only as long as they still hold secrets.
A tabaxi rogue could happily spend months plotting to steal a strange gem from a noble, only to trade it for passage on a ship or a week’s lodging after stealing it. The tabaxi might take extensive notes or memorize every facet of the gem before passing it on, but the gem holds no more allure once its secrets and nature have been laid bare.
Tinkers and Minstrels
Curiosity drives most of the tabaxi found outside their homeland, but not all of them become adventurers. Tabaxi who seek a safer path to satisfy their obsessions become wandering tinkers and minstrels.
These tabaxi work in small troupes, usually consisting of an elder, more experienced tabaxi who guides up to four young ones learning their way in the world. They travel in small, colorful wagons, moving from settlement to settlement. When they arrive, they set up a small stage in a public square where they sing, play instruments, tell stories, and offer exotic goods in trade for items that spark their interest. Tabaxi reluctantly accept gold, but they much prefer interesting Objects or pieces of lore as payment.
These wanderers keep to civilized realms, preferring to bargain instead of pursuing more dangerous methods of sating their curiosity. However, they aren’t above a little discreet theft to get their claws on a particularly interesting item when an owner refuses to sell or trade it.
Each tabaxi has a single name, determined by clan and based on a complex formula that involves astrology, prophecy, clan history, and other esoteric factors. Tabaxi names can apply to both males and females, and most use nicknames derived from or inspired by their full names.
Clan names are usually based on a geographical feature located in or near the clan’s territory.
The following list of sample tabaxi names includes nicknames in parenthesis.
Tabaxi Names: Cloud on the Mountaintop (Cloud), Five Timber (Timber), Jade Shoe (Jade), Left-Handed Hummingbird (Bird), Seven Thundercloud (Thunder), Skirt of Snakes (Snake), Smoking Mirror (Smoke)
Tabaxi Clans: Bright Cliffs, Distant Rain, Mountain Tree, Rumbling River, Snoring Mountain
A tabaxi might have motivations and quirks much different from a dwarf or an elf with a similar background. You can use the following tables to customize your character in addition to the trait, ideal, bond, and flaw from your background.
The Tabaxi Obsession table can help hone your character’s goals. For extra fun, roll a new result every few days that pass in the campaign to reflect your ever-changing curiosity.
|d8||My curiosity is currently fixed on …|
|1||A god or planar entity|
|3||A lost civilization|
|4||A wizard’s secrets|
|5||A mundane item|
|6||A magic item|
|8||A legend or tale|
|1||You miss your tropical home and complain endlessly about the freezing weather, even in summer.|
|2||You never wear the same outfit twice, unless you absolutely must.|
|3||You have a minor phobia of water and hate getting wet.|
|4||Your tail always betrays your inner thoughts.|
|5||You purr loudly when you are happy.|
|6||You keep a small ball of yarn in your hand, which you constantly fidget with.|
|7||You are always in debt, since you spend your gold on lavish parties and gifts for friends.|
|8||When talking about something you’re obsessed with, you speak quickly and never pause and others can’t understand you.|
|9||You are a font of random trivia from the lore and stories you have discovered.|
|10||You can’t help but pocket interesting Objects you come across.|
Your tabaxi character has the following racial traits.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Charisma score increases by 1.
Age. Tabaxi have lifespans equivalent to humans.
Alignment. Tabaxi tend toward chaotic alignments, as they let impulse and fancy guide their decisions. They are rarely evil, with most of them driven by curiosity rather than greed or other dark impulses.
Size. Tabaxi are taller on average than humans and relatively slender. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. You have a cat’s keen senses, especially in the dark. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in Darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in Darkness, only shades of gray.
Feline Agility. Your reflexes and agility allow you to move with a burst of speed. When you move on Your Turn in Combat, you can double your speed until the end of the turn. Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you move 0 feet on one of your turns.
Cat’s Claws. Because of your claws, you have a climbing speed of 20 feet. In addition, your claws are natural Weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Cat’s Talent. You have proficiency in the Perception and Stealth skills.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other Language of your choice.
Random Height and Weight
You may roll for your character’s Height and Weight. The roll in the Height Modifier column adds a number (in inches) to the character’s base height. To get a weight, multiply the number you rolled for height by the roll in the Weight Modifier column and add the result (in pounds) to the base weight.
|Base Height||Base Weight||Height Modifier||Weight Modifier|
|4'10"||90 lb.||+2d10||× (2d4) lb.|