Stoneskin: A Player Character Race
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
By P.J. England
As the name suggests, stoneskin have skin rough and coarse as stone itself. The skin is stiff and immobile and can painfully fall off while the stoneskin moves. They also have poor dexterity due to their thick skin.
A Mysterious Origin
These humanoids’ past is shrouded in mystery. Some believe them to be descendants of gargoyles or earth genasi when a common race (such as human, elf, or dwarf) mated with them. Others think they were ancestrally cursed by the Red Hag ages ago. Because of this, stoneskin have split reactions when dealing with the fey. Many hate anything to do with the fey or hags, fearing retribution for their actions. Other stoneskin have a deep fascination with fey, hoping that by unlocking fey secrets they may find a
way to remove the curse that burdens their people.
An Appreciation For Directness
Stoneskins often become annoyed with people who overcomplicate matters. They appreciate a direct and efficient approach to almost anything in life. Simplicity is the most aesthetically pleasing thing to them. Direct speech is often seen as a high virtue among stoneskin. Those who talk too much or seem to be adding flourishes to the truth are oftentimes opposed or disliked by stoneskin.
Stoneskin is rare among common folk. It will often skip many generations until it is expressed again. Because of this many stoneskin are lonely wanderers, never truly fitting into any common society. Outsiders often incorrectly fear that a stoneskin’s condition is contagious.
Some stoneskin are fortunate enough to find other small groups of individuals similar to themselves, called Geoclaves. Each Geoclave usually has a leader who directs the decisions of the group. Most leaders would never force a member to take any specific action, seeing membership in the Geoclave as entirely voluntary, but the pressure to stay in good standing with the group can drive stoneskin to take actions they don’t necessarily agree with.
Coarse Skin Difficulties
Stoneskin grants certain abilities but also certain drawbacks. Stoneskin are unable to sleep normally. They can only ever sleep in small three to ten minute increments interspersed throughout the day. Their skin makes movement difficult. Romance with other races can be… unpleasant.
Many stoneskin begin their journey not knowing they are stoneskin, their true heritage being revealed in adolescence. Their skin begins to roughen and oftentimes darken. Because of this, many stoneskin have a name typical for the society that they were born into, but often give themselves a true name upon realizing their true race. Sometimes they take on their stoneskin name after being rejected from their current society. Some stoneskin have names similar to gems which sometimes appear within their skin.
Male Names: Craggy, Rocky, Brunt, Boulder, Flint, Firmston, Emerald, Sunstone, Topaz, Sapphire, Onyx, Carbunck, Sardius.
Female Names: Pebbles, Weathered, Igneous, Petrive, Fossillie, Minerallia, Lolite, Amber, Amethyst, Ametrine, Citrine, Pearl, Moonstone.
Stoneskin can come in a variety of sizes and shapes given that they always begin their journey as another race such as human, elf, dwarf, etc. The stoneskin traits override the other race’s traits.
Ability Score Increase. +2 to an ability score of your choice other than constitution. +1 to Constitution. -1 to Dexterity.
Age. Stoneskin live an extended life, living one hundred to three hundred years longer than their original race.
Size. Stoneskin often have a size similar to that of their original race. Your size is Medium or Small depending on your original race.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Grounded. You have resistance to lightning damage while you are touching the ground.
Vigilant Guardian. A stoneskin finds moments to sleep throughout the day and is able to rest at a moment's notice. They are able to sleep during mundane activities such as walking or keeping watch. You do not need to sleep for 8 consecutive hours as others do. Each dawn you gain the benefits of a long rest if you have spent at least 10 hours the previous day walking, eating, sitting still, or keeping watch.
Turn To Stone. Once per day as an action you may turn yourself to stone. You gain the petrified condition for five minutes. While petrified in this way you gain vulnerability to falling damage, and you are immune to all other damage. Once entered, you cannot drop this form.
Hardening. You have the ability to temporarily harden your stone skin with a few drawbacks. As a bonus action, you gain resistance to non-magical bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage. Your speed is reduced by 10 feet, and your dexterity score is reduced by 2 (AC is reduced by 1, etc.) This effect lasts for one minute. Once it is used it cannot be used again until you have gained the benefits of a long rest. This effect can be dropped as a bonus action.
Stoneskin. At seventh level, a stoneskin has learned how to control its abilities more effectively. Once per day you can cast the spell stoneskin on yourself, without material components. This replaces your Hardening ability.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and the language of your original race.
In addition to the above traits, you gain the additional benefits of one of these subraces.
These stoneskin seem to be more closely related to gargoyles.
Additional Language. You gain the ability to speak, read, and write Terran in addition to your other languages.
Flight. Your wings are an effective mode of transportation. You have a flying speed equal to your walking speed. You can't use this flying speed if you're wearing medium or heavy armor. This ability replaces the Hardening and Stoneskin abilities.
You specialize in mobility around stone and blending into stony environments.
Stone Stealth. You wear gray, white, or beige, and have trained your skin to match the stone around you. While in a stony environment you gain advantage on stealth checks while standing still.
Stone Climber. You gain a climbing speed equal to your walking speed on rough stone surfaces that are reasonably climbable.
One with Stone. At 5th level, once per long rest, you can cast the spell meld with stone on yourself.
Your race may be tied closer to earth elementals, giving you the ability to control the earth and stone around you.
Tremor. You gain the small tremor cantrip, using Constitution as your spellcasting ability. Small tremor is the same as the sacred flame cantrip, except the damage type is bludgeoning instead of radiant.
Fissure maker. At level three, you can use your action to shake the earth in a 5 by 30-foot line originating from you. Each creature in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage and falls prone on a failed save, and half as much damage and does not fall prone on a successful one. The affected line becomes difficult terrain. You may use this ability once per long rest.
At Higher Levels. When you use this ability at higher levels the damage increases to 3d6 at 6th level, 4d6 at 11th, and 5d6 at 16th level.