Dungeons & Dragons: Everything You Need To Know About Playing A Thri-Kreen

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  • Benefits The Thri-Kreen's Chameleon Carapace Offers
  • The Thri-Kreens Access To Additional Arms
  • The Advantages Of Being Naturally Telepathic
  • The Other Perks Of Playing A Thri-Kreen
  • Classes Perfect For A Thri-Kreen

Dungeons & Dragons is a game rife with unique and distinct races for players to choose from when constructing their characters. While the vast majority of races are natives to the Material Plane, the recently released Spelljammer: Adventures in Space introduces several playable race options that are primarily found within the far reaches of Wildspace and within the Astral Plane. Among these races are the Thri-Kreen, a four-armed people with insectile features.

While Thri-Kreen have actually appeared in D&D's fifth edition prior – as a monster within the Monster Manual – this is the first time they've appeared as a fully playable race. As they offer a wide range of unique mechanical benefits, we're going to delve into everything you need to know about playing as a Thri-Kreen in Dungeons & Dragons.

Benefits The Thri-Kreen's Chameleon Carapace Offers

One immediately noteworthy element all Thri-Kreen can benefit from is their Chameleon Carapace feature. Due to this sturdy natural armor, if a Thir-Kreen isn't wearing armor, it automatically gains an AC of 13 plus its dexterity modifier. For those looking to play as a class with lackluster armor options, this can provide an extra layer of bulk and survivability.

While extra defensive padding is nice in its own right, it's not the only benefit this carapace provides. As the name "Chameleon Carapace" indicates, Thri-Kreen are innately capable of changing the color of their carapace to match the color of their surroundings. While it takes an action to do so, this color change lasts indefinitely and causes you to make all Stealth checks on advantage for as long as you remain in that same type of environment. As making frequent stealth checks is common for many Rogue builds, allowing these checks to be reliably made at advantage is not a feature that should be taken lightly.

The Thri-Kreens Access To Additional Arms

Another immediately appealing feature of the Thri-Kreen is their access to an additional set of arms. While these arms are smaller than their primary set and are therefore limited in what they can do, they are still an excellent boon that opens up a lot of unique opportunities. In addition to being able to interact with objects and open doors, these arms are explicitly stated to be used to wield weapons that have the light property only.

Though this prevents a character from living the dream of simultaneously wielding a two-handed weapon and a shield, this does allow a Thri-Kreen to simultaneously wield a shield in one of their dominant arms while using their other dominant arm and secondary arms to each hold light weapons such as short swords respectively. This means that a Thri-Kreen can make the most of the Two-Weapon fighting style without sacrificing your ability to gain the defensive benefits of wielding a shield.

The Advantages Of Being Naturally Telepathic

Perhaps the most unique feature of a Thri-Kreen that is unlike that of any other race in D&D is their method of communication. Verbally, Thir-Kreen are actually incapable of speaking non-Thri-Kreen languages. However, this doesn't prevent them from communicating with other species. Rather, they are among the most universally understood beings in the multiverse. Due to their inherent telepathy, a Thir-Kreen can telepathically communicate with willing creatures within 120 feet of them.

As long as a given creature understands at least a single language, it is capable of understanding the telepathic messages you send it, regardless of what languages they inherently speak. Due to this universal communication method, Thri-Kreen can make for deceptively excellent faces for your party, completely destroying any language barriers a party may encounter when looking to act in a diplomatic fashion.

The Other Perks Of Playing A Thri-Kreen

While a built-in defense system, natural camouflage, additional arms, and telepathy are each great in their own right, Thri-Kreen also have additional odds and ends that help round them out mechanically. First and foremost, it should be noted that Thri-Kreen aren't classified as humanoids – rather, they're the game's first fully playable Monstrosities.

This means that they're completely immune to spells like Charm Person that specifically target humanoid creatures. In addition to their typing and their access to Darkvision, Thri-Kreen distinctly don't need to sleep. While they still require a lack of activity for eight hours in order to gain the benefits of a long rest, this means that they can keep night watch for a party without needing to sleep, all whilst retaining the benefits of such a rest!

Classes Perfect For A Thri-Kreen

Thri-Kreen offer an excellent suite of abilities that make them well-suited for a wide range of classes. While Thri-Kreen can function well as nearly any class in the game, they're particularly well-suited for the following classes

Bard As bards are a class that tends to lack reliable means of raising their AC, Chameleon Carapace can be a great boon to the class. Additionally, a Thri-Kreens additional arms can allow you to simultaneously wield weapons and an instrument, all whilst the race's natural telepathy allows you to use your bardish charisma to speak to creatures that may not speak common.
Fighter Thri-Kreen make for stellar dexterity-based Fighters. Through their access to natural armor and their ability to access two-weapon fighting while retaining shield access, Thri-Kreen fighters can dish out serious damage while being quite difficult to hit.
Ranger Similar to Thri-Kreen dexterity-based fighters, for those looking to utilize two-weapon fighting as a Ranger, Thri-Kreen is a great option. Additionally, for Rangers looking to serve as a party's scout, the camouflage offered by Cameleon Carapace can be an impressive asset.
Rogue As previously mentioned, for many Rogue builds, being able to succeed in Stealth checks is key. As Thri-Kreen can reliably offer themselves advantage on all Stealth checks through Cameleon Carapace, it isn't hard to see why Thri-Kreen can make for impressive Rogues.
Wizard For those looking to play a Bladesinger Wizard, Thri-Kreen are an incredibly interesting option. This is because Thri-Kreen allow you to still access somatic and material components with ease, even while you're dual-wielding light weapons.

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