DnD players who have faced a diverse array of characters in-game can vouch for the fact that the tabletop game boasts quite a few interesting additions. One such unique character is the DnD 5E Leonin. Members of this species are ferocious hunters who stand guard in the golden plains of Oreskos.
This article will discuss the 5E Leonin species in depth – what are their traits, names and appearances, personality and culture, abilities and features, and last but not the least, which classes are best for these characters. Let’s dive right in!
Leonin 5E Explained
First introduced in the Mythic Odysseys of Theros, Leonins are lion people who rarely desert their homeland, and spend their lives guarding its borders with utmost sincerity. Of course, you’ll always come across some that are not content with spending a nomadic lifestyle and prefer venturing out past the border mountains as a challenge to themselves.
Living in a matriarchal society, Leonins are led by an elder female (the ‘Speaker’). While the male members wander off to marry elsewhere, the female counterparts stay back within their own pride. They have denounced the Divinity, and believe in gathering their strength from their close-knit community.
The 5E Leonin people tend to be cold during initial reception, but once the distrust wears off, you’ll notice their confidence, pride, and competitive nature. They love fighting in any form whatsoever, be it verbal debates and arguments, or good ol’ sparring. Their pride stems from the fact that they can take on any fight and come out on top. The divinity has failed the Leonin people, and self-reliance is their chosen alternative.
A crucial part of understanding the DnD 5E Leonin people is to take note of their stats. Here’s a look at their traits:
- Age: Human-ish
- Ability Score Increment: +2 Constitution, +1 Strength
- Alignment: Good/ Lawful
- Speed: 35 feet
- Size: 6 to 7 feet tall
- Darkvision: 60 feet of greyscale
- Hunter’s Instincts: Athletics, Perception, Intimidation, or Survival- anyone
- Claws: 1d4 + Strength slashing damage unarmed strikes
- Daunting Roar: A rather fun yet situational effect, this allows you to let out a menacing roar that scares away creatures of your choice within your 10 feet radius if they fail a wisdom save. It will last till the end of the next turn, and can only be done once per short or long rest. Given it is a bonus action, the Daunting Roar can be quite handy.
- Languages: Leonin and common
Now that you are aware of the basic traits of the 5E Leonin people, it’s time to move on to the very next important bit of knowledge.
2. Names and Appearance
Let’s get a little into 5E Leonid appearances as it is essential to keep them in mind when creating a character for Dungeons and Dragons. Unlike the often comparable Tabaxi, who can easily be deemed as “cat” people, Leonin people fall more into the lion category. Muscular yet furry, these Leonin herds stand a whopping 6 to 7 feet tall, and sport feline tails.
Their heads closely resemble that of lions, and they mostly have golden or tawny fur, though you can play around with the color some more. For male Leonins, you have the wiggle room to change their mane color as well.
You can get really creative with their pride marks, scars, tassels, braids, and similar other markers that can help them stand out from the rest.
As for names, each of these characters has a personal name followed by their pride’s name. Their names usually include “of the” as prepositions. For instance, if you see Doxia of the Ironmane, it refers to a Leonin named Doxia hailing from the Ironmane pride.
Here’s a comprehensive list of male, female, and pride names for the DnD 5E Leonin characters:
- Male Names: Athoz, Apto, Bryguz, Baragon, Gorioz, Eremoz, Oriz, Grexes, Teoz, Pyxathor, Xior, Xemnon
- Female Names: Atagone, Aletha, Doxia, Demne, Eriz, Ecate, Iadma, Gragonde, Seza, Koila, Oramne, Ziore
- Herd Names: Flintclaw, Goldenfield, Starfeller, Embereye, Ironmane, Sunguides
Now that that is over and done with, let’s move on to the personality and culture of the Leonin people.
3. Personality and Culture
Leonins inhabit a valley named Oreskos in Theros. Long ago, the same valley used to be dominated by the wizardly humans of Meletis, but now the inhabitants have mostly reverted to their old ways. Some still believe in and worship human Gods, though they have mostly left behind their human ways.
Leonins usually showcase a sense of distrust towards outsiders, and spend their lives guarding their ancestral homes, leaving it only for occasional raids. Leonins are nomadic hunters, blending the hunting instincts and glory of lions with Constitution and Strength to show for it.
Here are a few 5E Leonin backstories for inspiration:
- A Leonin, summoned by Heliod to serve the light, takes a Paladin’s path against the wishes of their clan. They tend to leave the human gods in the past.
- A young warrior of the Leonin pride makes a grave mistake during a hunt, leading to the death of a great leader. They will now be disgraced, and have to look for redemption outside the boundaries of their homeland.
- A Leonin’s insidious uncle murdered their father when they were relatively young, and made it to be their fault. Once they grow older and the call to be King summons them, they must strengthen themselves to battle the uncle, and restore the balance of the pride.
Now, onto the next interesting part- abilities, and features of the 5E Leonin people. Let’s take a look.
4. Abilities and Feature
The DnD 5E Leonin people come equipped with a +1 Strength and +2 Constitution Ability Score modifier, so it’s safe to assert their inherent toughness. Their racial traits offer them a hunter’s edge that makes them terrific fighters. The ferocious roar is just an addition.
Darkvision, typical among nonhumans, is a top priority for hunting groups. Leonins boast Darkvision and claws that can deal 1d4 worth of slashing damage (Strength). If you want better judgment while choosing one from Perception, Athletics, Intimidation, or Survival, your Hunter’s Instincts will come to your aid. An increased walking speed of 35 feet is just a bonus.
The Daunting roar incites the fear rightfully anticipated from lions in battle. Targets within a 10 feet radius need to make a Wisdom saving throw to avoid becoming scared till the end of the next turn. Here’s a look at the DC: 8 + Proficiency + Constitution Modifier. If a creature is frightened, they will have a disadvantage on attack rolls as well as saving throws, as long as the Leonin character is in their line of sight.
Best Classes For Leonin 5E
As we always mention, not all classes go hand in hand with all characters. You must understand the mix and match that works best, and offers the most. Here are the best classes for the DnD 5E Leonin people:
You can’t overlook the +2 Constitution! You might not get too much out of Constitution, but the alternative is being the beefiest, baddest thing on the field. That is not fair, either. +1 Strength will be of help, though claws won’t be very useful. They do give you extra damage in non-weapon fights. The Daunting Roar is a welcome addition, making you a valuable frontliner.
Picture a confident, self-reliant creature with utmost passion for combat, and bam- you get the Fighter class! The stats of a Fighter works well for a frontliner, while still letting them invest in Intelligence (for Eldritch Knights). However, Battlemaster appears to be the perfect flavor for Leonins.
With the recent release of the Glory Paladin class, Leonins can try their hand at both simultaneously. Glory Paladins want to be on the frontline, and moreover, benefit from movement speed to a great extent. They can be potent bodyguards, and get bonuses from an area of effect control ability.
That’s all for the DnD 5E Leonin. Make sure you weigh in the strengths and weaknesses before committing to them. Take advantage of their darkvision, dunting roar, claws, and self-reliance, while keeping the shortcoming in mind. Knowledge about Leonins helps in making the right choices. Good luck and happy questing!