Helping humanoids in D&D

One thing I often puzzle about when I’m thinking about Dungeons & Dragons is what seperates the “common races” from the other races.
The common races are the races that characters are made up of — Human, elf, dwarf, halfling, half-elf, half-orc and gnomes.
But if you look at the various monster books, there’s a lot of other humanoids. They all have similar statistics and the only thing that makes them truly differ from the common races is that they have evil — or evil-tending –alignments.
But what turned them evil? What made them decide to go it “alone” rather than band together with the common races in defense against the dangers of the world.
Well, the D&D designers haven’t really explained that.
Maybe if we were to change them a bit we could explain that behavior.
So here’s what I think I’ll do: Give them all a handy supernatural ability.
Why do that? Because with this bit of extra “juice” these races might think that they’ve been blessed by their god and need not rely on anyone else.
So, here’s how I’d boost them up:

Acid Glob (Su):
  Once per day as a move-equivalent action, Kobolds summon a gooey blob of acid which they can then hurl at opponent. The glob does 1d3 hit points of acid damage, a Reflex save (DC 10) halves the damage. The glob is considered a grenade and does splash damage. Based on Acid Orb, a 0-level Wizard spell.

Ambush Sight (Su):
Once per day as an attack action, Goblins activate a special sight that helps them accutely target a specific enemy. On their next attack, they get a +20 to hit against that enemy. Based on the 1st-level wizard spell True Strike.

Fire Water (Ex):
Once per day as an attack action, Locathahs exude a horrific acid that fills the area around them in a 5-foot radius. The acid does 1d4 hit points of acid damage. There is no save. This ability can only be activated while the Locathah is in contact with the water. Locathahs are immune to this effect.

Healing Spurt (Ex):
Once per day as a full-round action, a Lizardfolk can activate a regenerative hormone that heals 1d8+2 points of damage. This effect cannot heal acid damage. Lizardfolk can only target themselves with this effect. Based off of Cure Light Wounds, a 1st-level cleric spell.

Spider Cloud (Su):
Once per day as a full-round action, a Hobgoblin can summon a swarm of spiders that the Hobgoblin can direct against one creature. If the creature falls unconscious during the duration of the ability, the swarm dissapates. All other effects are the same as if the Hobgoblin cast Summon Swarm as a 2nd-level caster.

Strength Burst (Ex): Once per day as a full-round action, an orc can activate a strength-boosting chemical in its blood. This effect matches the abilities offered by the Bull’s Strength spell.

(Art by Kyle Hunter at


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2 Comments on Helping humanoids in D&D

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