First introduced in 1984 for the Dragonlance setting, these short-of-stature folk are most commonly associated with their war-torn homeland of Krynn, but their adventurous and curious natures mean that they can be found across the multiverse. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about kender in 5E.
A magical origin
Kender are short creatures that mostly resemble diminutive humans, with the potential for the same diverse appearances as their taller cousins. Their ears betray their true origins and closest cousins, pointed like a gnome’s.
They trace their origin to gnomes during the creation of many races on the world of Krynn, however, raw uncontrolled magic changed some of these gnomes and the result was the kender. This transformation imbued them with supernatural fearlessness and curiosity, traits that are well-suited to wanderers, explorers, and adventurers.
The natural curiosity of the kender can lead some of them to accumulate amazing collections of curios across their lifetimes. What they collect varies greatly from kender to kender, one might prize magical artifacts, whilst another may value otherwise worthless trinkets that catch their fancy. This tendency leads some kender to become exceptional thieves, though this reputation sometimes sticks unfairly to the entire people.
Fearless collectors: Playing a Kender
Playing a kender gives you the following traits:
Ability Scores – You can increase one ability score by 2 and a different score by 1; alternatively, you can increase three different ability scores by 1.
Size – Small
Creature Type – Humanoid
Speed – 30 ft.
Age – The typical life span of a player character in the D&D multiverse is about a century, assuming the character doesn’t meet a violent end on an adventure.
Fearless – You have advantage on any saving throws against the frightened condition and, once per long rest, when you fail a save against the frightened condition you can choose to succeed instead.
Kender Curiosity – You can choose proficiency in one of the following: Insight, Investigation, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, or Survival.
Taunt – As a bonus action, you can force a creature within 60 ft. of you to make a Wisdom saving throw, the creature must be able to understand and hear you, and the DC equals 8 + your proficiency modifier + your Int/Wis/Cha modifier. You choose which mental ability score is used when you choose this race. On a failed save the creature has disadvantage against attacking any creature but you until the start of your next turn. You can use this ability a number of times per long rest equal to your proficiency modifier.
Languages – You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language that you and your DM agree is appropriate for your character.
We hope you’ve enjoyed provoking all of those mean monsters with the kender as much as we did. Have you played a kender yet? Are you planning to? If you want to learn more about other race options, check out our races section, or if you are interested in playing a Sorcerer in Dragonlance, then check out the Lunar Sorcery Origin in our Sorcerer guide. Good luck out there adventurers, and until next time, remember to keep your ‘souvenirs’ hidden!