Sunday, September 13, 2015

Animal PCs for 5th Edition D&D -- Frog Wizard

Turns out, 5e has already gone a long way, quite inadvertently, to making animal player characters more viable than they've ever been in the D&D game. The Player's Handbook and Monster Manual both contain appendices full of critters statted out in a fashion similar to NPCs.

All you have to do to make them PCs is take them as written, re-roll their Intelligence (and in some case their Wisdom and Charisma), and add a character class.  Voila! Instant(ish) animal PC.

Re-rolling Int, Wis, and Cha for animal PCs will almost certainly gift them with ability scores better than the ones assigned to them by the authors.  As an example, here is a frog wizard, for whom I re-rolled Int and got a 12.

Frog Wizard
Tiny beast, Lawful neutral

Armor Class 11
Hit Points 5 (1d6-1)
Speed 20 ft., swim 20 ft.

STR 1 (-1)    DEX 13 (+1)    CON 8 (-1)    INT 12 (+1)   WIS 8 (-1)    CHA 3 (-4)

Skills Perception +1, Stealth +3, Arcana +3, History +3
Senses darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Amphibian

Amphibious The frog can breathe air or water
Standing Leap As part of its movement and without a running start, the frog can jump up to 10 feet, and high jump up to 5 feet.
Spellcasting This frog is a 1st level spellcaster, and its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 13, +3 to hit with spell attacks).  The frog wizard knows three cantrips from the wizard spell list, and can have 2 1st-level spells prepared.

You can do all the work yourself in just a few minutes, but I'll keep posting other 5e animal PC templates, because I like the work for its own sake, and I figure someone might find them useful.


  1. I love this. Well done! Hmmm, if a wizard usually gets turned into a frog when he botches his spell, what happens to this guy? :)

    1. Good question.

      Another one is, what happens when he summons a familiar?

  2. Realize, tho' - per the DMG, adding class levels to a monster does NOT change the type of HD.

    1. I know this, of course. My house is, "so what?" :)

      These are PCs we're talking about, designed for campaigns that focus on animal PCs. I say if using 5e, they should get class-based HD like all other character races.

      But that's just me. I haven't fiddled with 5e enough to know whether keeping the RAW would strike me as enjoyable.

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