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Cactoids: Thorny Nomads

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Unleash the secrets of the desert with "Cactoids: Thorny Nomads," a captivating supplement for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Delve into the lore and culture of the resilient Cactoids, nomadic desert dwellers known for their unique abilities and spiritual rituals. This guide introduces the Cactoid player race, allowing players to embody the self-reliance and resilience of these thorny nomads. Discover the power of Pauktau gatherings, where Cactoids gain visions and astral projection, offering valuable insights and guidance.


“In the sacred circle of Pauktau, where the desert’s heartbeat echoes, we transcend the mundane and embrace the realms unseen. Amidst the swirls of aromatic incense, whispers of ancient spirits grace our senses. The fragrant symphony of burning incense and smoked nuts and roots dances upon the air, enveloping us in a tapestry of captivating scents. With each breath, we inhale the stories of our ancestors, the wisdom of the desert etched upon our souls.”

– Tahoma Starwatcher, Elder Shaman


As a Cactoid, your life is intimately entwined with the desert, shaped by its harshness and vastness. Adapted to thrive in arid climates, you possess the ability to store water like a cactus and draw sustenance from sunlight through photosynthesis. Guided by the sacred rituals of Pauktau, you connect deeply with the desert and its spirits, gaining insights and projecting yourself into dreams and the astral realm. This connection grants you foresight and guidance to navigate the challenges that lie ahead.

Embracing a nomadic lifestyle, you treasure the freedom and solitude of the desert. With self-reliance and resourcefulness, you adapt swiftly to ever-changing circumstances. Respecting the delicate balance of the desert, you traverse its vast landscapes, encountering other cultures and sharing your wisdom along the way. With an indomitable spirit and the legacy of your Cactoid lineage, you explore the shifting sands, forever driven by a thirst for discovery and a determination to leave your mark upon the desert realm.

Cactoid Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Cactoids reach physical maturity around the age of 10, and can live to be 500 years old.
Alignment. Cactoids exhibit a diverse range of alignments, reflecting their individual beliefs, experiences, and cultural backgrounds. As nomadic desert dwellers, they value their personal freedom and independence, which often leans towards chaotic alignments. Cactoids are driven by their self-reliance and resourcefulness, making them more inclined towards neutral alignments.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Language. As a Cactoid, you can speak, read, and write Common and Cactoid. The Cactoid language is nuanced, with a unique blend of melodic tones and intricate grammar. While not as widely known as Common, the Cactoid language holds a rich oral tradition, with songs and stories passed down through generations. The cadence of Cactoid speech and the lyrical quality of their expressions make their language truly captivating.

Desert Adaptation. You have proficiency in the Nature and Survival skills, and you have advantage on saving throws against extreme heat (such as heat of the desert).

Photosynthesis. As long as you spend at least four hours in sunlight, you can go without food for a number of days equal to 14 + your Constitution modifier (minimum 1).

Sensory Needles. As an action, you can insert your needles into the ground and concentrate, gaining advantage on Survival checks made to track moving creatures. This ability allows you to sense subtle vibrations and disturbances in the desert terrain, enhancing your tracking capabilities.

Spines. You can extend or retract your spines as a bonus action, allowing you to make unarmed strikes that deal 1d4 piercing damage. Your spines count as a finesse weapon

Water Resilience: You can go without drinking water for up to 5 days. Additionally, you don’t require extra water due to hot weather.


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File Last Updated:
May 31, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on May 31, 2023.