Last Updated on January 10, 2023
The leonin guard the shining lands of Oreskos, a golden plain where even the gods rarely trespass. Prides of these nomadic, lion-like humanoids rarely interact with other peoples, having all they need in their shimmering homeland and knowing the treachery of strangers. Still, some leonin wonder what lies beyond Oreskos’s border mountains and seek to test themselves in a wider world.— Mythic Odysseys of Theros
What are Leonin in 5e?
Leonin are lionlike humanoids that generally keep to themselves in their homeland Oreskoa on Theros. Their rocky river valley is home to scattered Leonin dens that flourish away from the human cities of Theros.
The Leonin rarely interact with other groups. They will venture out for trade and the infrequent raid when they must. You may discover more and more Leonin in your next adventure as many want to test their strength in the wider world.
Leonin Lore & Culture
Leonin form tight-knit groups with a matriarchal social structure. The elder female leads each pride. This female leader or “speaker” sits at the top of the pride hierarchy.
Most female Leonin remain with their birth pride and assume their place among the ranks of their family members. In contrast, male Leonin tend to leave their birth pride and marry those outside their pride.
Leonin guard their homes well and rarely entertain visitors. They live on the vast golden fields and open savannahs between the foothills of the Katachthon and Oranias Mountains. They live in either well-made tents or homes carved into the landscape. Leonins’ homes are usually ornately decorated.
They are territorial but try to keep peace with their neighbors. Leonin have a lot of differences in culture. They will extend trust and accept outsiders that show reliability.
Within their inner circles, Leonin are prideful and competitive. Leonin leap at a challenge, whether sparring, debating, or having an intellectual argument. Leonin have complete confidence in their abilities and will take any chance to prove it.
Leonin do not ally themselves with any deity. They believe no god is worth worshiping. Leonin are determined to make their way without the aid of an ethereal or demonic being.
Leonin stand on two padded and clawed feet. Unlike other cat-like species of 5e, such as the Tabaxi, Leonin more resemble the lion. Golden fur covers their entire body. They can stand at an intimidating height of 7 feet with all the lean musculature of an apex predator.
Male Leonin also sport impressive manes. Many Leonin decorate their bodies, hair, and manes with the markings of their tribes or places of significance. They take a lot of pride in where they come from and show that through body decoration.
Leonin carry the name of their pride. They also have a given or chosen name. Their given or chosen names are usually followed by “of” and then the name of their pride or clan.
If Fraxis was from the Silvertooth line, they would refer to themselves as Fraxis of the Slivertooth.
Leonin Racial Stats 5e
Ability scores: Leonins gain a +2 to constitution and a +1 to strength. These are excellent buffs for a character that is entering a martial class. Characters who chose Fighter, Barbarian, or Paladin will significantly benefit from this bonus.
Age: Leonins mature and age at a similar rate to humans.
Alignment: Leonin tend to be good, and depending on their relationship with their pride, they lean towards lawful.
Size: Leonins are solidly medium in the DnD world. They stand about six feet, with some approaching 7.
Speed: Leonins are on the faster side when it comes to DnD races. They clock in at 35 feet per turn. Leonin can maneuver quickly through the battlefield.
Darkvision: Your feline eyes allow you to see as if it were daylight in low-light situations and like it was low light in total darkness. Though darkvison is a fairly common trait, it still has its uses. In a deep dark dungeon, it is better to have darkvison.
Claws: Leonins possess a set of sharp and dangerous claws. Leonins can use these claws to make unarmed strikes. On a hit, Leonin talons do 14d damage, plus the character’s strength modifier.
Using claws is excellent as a backup weapon or a role-playing device. They are not very practical as a primary weapon, but they are an exciting facet of Leonin physiology.
Hunter’s instincts: Leonins are natural hunters. Therefore they can gain proficiency in intimidation, athletics, perception, or survival.
Daunting roar: Leonin can let out a fearsome roar as a bonus action once per short or long rest. Any creature within 10 feet that can hear this sound but roll a successful wisdom save or be frightened. The DC for this save is 8 plus your constitution modifier and proficiency bonus.
What are the best classes for the Leonin race?
Leonin have versatile skills that will work well this almost any class. Leonin, their background, and racial bonuses leave much room for roleplaying and backstory-building.
Additionally, their relationship with their pride can be a monumental aspect of their character arch.
Barbarian: Path of the Totem Warrior
Once you’ve established a back story, there are many directions to take your Leonin character. Leonins can be excellent Barbarians. Leonins get a +2 to constitution and a +1 to strength. These skills are well suited to a Barbarian’s rough-and-tumble lifestyle.
Leonin also have a speed buff that complements the Barbarian’s extra movement. Leonin Barbarians also can choose rage or roar as a bonus action, which adds ferocity to this build.
At level three, the Barbarian can choose their focus or path. Path of the Totem Warrior would be an excellent choice. Your Leonin Barbarian can double up on animal power by chasing a bear, eagle, elk, tiger, or wolf as a totem.
Each totem provides its benefits. For example, with the tiger as a totem, your character can increase their jump speed by ten. Your catlike Barbarian could pounce on their enemies all across the battlefield. This combination of feline powers is only one of many ways to play as a Leonin Path of the Totem Warrior.
Though technically an unofficial addition to the fifth edition, a Blood Hunter would also be an exciting class to play as or be inspired by, DM permitting.
The Blood Hunter underutilizes the bonuses to Consitution and strength that occur naturally for Leonin. You can use the extra ability score points to add levels to intelligence. Blood Hunters need intelligence to focus power and potency in their blood rituals.
Blood Hunters are bound to each other because of their life experiences, similar to Leonin.
Leonins would be especially inclined to accept the Blood Hunter concept of family. Blood Hunters acquire a particular set of skills through intense training, fostering a sense of camaraderie. You could also create a Leonin from a pride of monster-fighting Blood Hunters raised to perform powerful ritual magic.
Should you choose to play as a Leonin?
Leonin hail from a place that may be foreign to many adventurers. So, there is a level of mystery to their race. Leonin’s impressive looks and ties to family provide many opportunities for exciting backstories.
They also have benefits to ability scores that would be useful for almost every class, especially martial classes. Leonins could give your group diversity, which would be fun and exciting.
Leonins make an excellent place to start for both inexperienced and veteran players.