From lore and descriptions to traits and abilities, learn all about the Tabaxi in D&D 5e
The Tabaxi are cat-like humanoids that can be found throughout the Forgotten Realms and most other settings of D&D 5e. There are many varieties of cats and equally varied types of Tabaxi too. There are Tabaxi that appear like lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards and even the good old house-cat. The main difference here is that all Tabaxi are bipedal and are equally as intelligent as Humans and other playable races.
Volo’s Guide to Monsters introduced the Tabaxi as a playable race in D&D 5e. These rules have been refreshed in Monsters of the Multiverse. We’ve opted to use the most recent rules for our guide but both are allowed in D&D 5e. Read on to find out everything you need to know to play as these feline characters.
What is a Tabaxi?
A Tabaxi is a humanoid with the appearance of a cat. Different groups of Tabaxi appear like different variations of cats giving you a huge amount of flexibility in the appearance of your Tabaxi.
In the refreshed rules found in Monsters of the Multiverse, Tabaxi can be either medium or small in size, perhaps to reflect the varied nature of the Tabaxi and the cats they’re fashioned after. Most Tabaxi though, are slender and a little taller than a Human, particularly those that appear like great cats such as leopards and tigers.
Like cats, the Tabaxi have retractable claws, sharp teeth and an agile body allowing them to climb easily. Despite their slender build, the Tabaxi are strong, especially in their legs. In most respects though, you can fashion your Tabaxi after whatever appearance you want.
The Tabaxi worship their deity, The Cat Lord. This being has granted the Tabaxi with an insatiable wanderlust that has caused them to spread far and wide throughout the realms in search of new experiences and adventure. While the Tabaxi do enjoy wealth as much as any other race, more than this, they are driven by stories. Some travel to create their own stories, adventures of daring and the overcoming of incredible foes. Others hang onto the stories of others, dreaming of great Tabaxi heroes that travel the lands in search of adventure.
How to play as a Tabaxi
You can play a Tabaxi however you want. The Tabaxi have a wide range of personalities from the kind and wholesome, the daring and adventurous to wicked and nefarious. However, some traits are typical among the Tabaxi and it’s worth considering the ideas below when preparing your character:
- What kind of cat are you? – Different cats are prone to different personalities and behaviours, just as the Tabaxi are. Tigers are built more powerfully than the more nimble leopards while house-cats are smaller and more diminutive. The cat you’ve fashioned your Tabaxi after will likely have an influence on who your character is.
- Insatiable curiosity – Most Tabaxi are very curious. How does this manifest in your Tabaxi and what are they curious about. Understanding this will help you know how your Tabaxi might react in certain situations.
- Chaotic inclination – Not all Tabaxis are prone to a chaotic nature, but many are. This doesn’t mean they’re evil, but may make them unpredictable or impulsive, prepared to take any means necessary to achieve their goals, whether they be benevolent or sinister.
Tabaxi features in 5e
|Ability Scores||+2 to one ability score and +1 to another or +1 to 3 different ability scores|
|Size||Medium or small|
|Speed||30ft (climbing and walking)|
|Languages||Common and 1 other language|
|Traits||Cats claws, Cat’s Talent, Darkvision, Feline Agility|
|Book found in||Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse, Volo’s Guide to Monsters|
If you want to play as a Tabaxi, your character will have the following traits and abilities:
Cat’s Claws – You can use your claws to make unarmed strikes. When you hit with them, the strike deals 1d6 + your Strength modifier slashing damage, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Cat’s Talent – You have proficiency in the Perception and Stealth skills.
Darkvision – 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 discern colors in that darkness only as 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.