Created by the Cat Lord—a divine being of the Upper Planes—to blend the qualities of humanoids and cats, Tabaxi are a varied people both in attitude and appearance.—Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse
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What are Tabaxi in 5e DnD?
Tabaxi are graceful and nimble humanoids with many cat-like features, particularly the head and the tail. Their skin is covered with spotted fur pelts that range in color from pale yellow to reddish brown.
Like the cat family members, they have incredibly sharp teeth and retractable claws. Both of these are used as their primary weapons when in close combat. They are tall, slim, extremely agile, and have green or yellow eyes.
The Tabaxi lives in clan units and is found deep in tropical and subtropical climes. Each clan is further subdivided into several Hunter/Gather groups known as Hunts, who work in the area immediately proximate to their clan’s lair.
Whilst Tabaxi will sometimes make temporary lairs, their dwelling places mainly take the form of small villages, and the huts within will be wallless with grass roofs supported by tall poles.
As a race, they are reclusive and seek to avoid other intelligent races, even others of their kind, not of their clan. They find trade demeaning, though they will work through mercantile agents and see the self-sufficiency of the Hunter/Gatherer lifestyle as the most honorable way of living.
They speak their ancient language, and their folklore tells of a once great Tabaxi empire that was destroyed and supplanted by the coming of the other races.
Tabaxi Racial Stats 5e
All Tabaxi classes have these basic stats and abilities.
Ability Score Increase. The dexterity score is increased by 2, and the Charisma score is increased by 1.
Age. Tabaxi have lifespans roughly equivalent to that of humans.
Size. Tabaxi are taller on average than humans and relatively slender. This equates to a size of Medium.
Speed. The base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. The Tabaxi has the keen vision that all felines possess, especially in the dark. They can see in dim light to a distance of 60 feet as if they were in bright sunlight. In the darkness, they see as if it were dim light to the same range. However, you can’t discern color in darkness, only varying shades of grey.
Feline Agility. Tabaxi reflexes and agility mean they can move with a burst of speed. When they move on their turn in combat, they can move at double their usual speed until the end of that turn. Once they have used this trait, they can only use it again once they have taken a very short rest. This is defined by them moving 0 feet on one of their turns.
Cat’s Claws. Because of Tabaxi’s mighty claws, they have a climbing speed of 20 feet. They are also natural weapons that can be used to make unarmed strikes. If they land a hit with their claws, they will deliver a slashing damage attack equal to 1d4 + their Strength modifier instead of the usual bludgeoning damage delivered by an unarmed strike.
Cat’s Talent. A Tabaxi’s natural grace and Dexterity mean they have proficiency in Perception and Stealth skills.
Languages. As well as their own ancient tongue, Tabaxi can speak, read, and write Common and one additional DnD language of their choosing.
The Tabaxi have gone through several iterations since their inception. The original race comes from Volo’s Guide to Monsters and was then republished without any changes or additions in Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. Their most recent version comes from the book, Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse with their original proficiencies and the new standard for ability score improvements.
Which classes work best for the Tabaxi race?
The Tabaxi are pretty good options for most non-magical classes, but if you want to get the most out of the race, one of the classes listed below will give you more bang for your… gold piece.
If you are looking for a Fighter who relies on Dexterity rather than brute strength, then the Tabaxi is an excellent choice. Although they can’t call on abilities such as flying and probably aren’t going to have access to spells such as Teleport, their climbing rate and the burst of speed that comes from Feline Agility makes them very quick and mobile on the battlefield.
If they opt for light armor, they can maximize their Stealth ability. Even though the fighting classes don’t generally have high Wisdom scores, proficiency in Perception will always give them a useful edge.
Monks can’t fly (okay, Ascendant Dragon does allow that, albeit very briefly), so the next best thing is to be able to climb very fast. Feline Agility also doubles the character’s speed, and the Monk’s base speed is already pretty quick, so combined, for one round, they will be the fastest person in the vicinity.
Again, the Tabaxi’s climb speed and excellent Darkvision make them fantastic Rangers, able to climb up into the trees or mountainside and observe further than most in poor light. These skills also make the Tabaxi Ranger a helpful scout for the party, a role usually taken by a Rogue character.
And yet again, the impressive climb speed and the Darkvision, two of the Rogue’s favorite skills areas, make the Tabaxi so suited to this class. These skills also put the Tabaxi Rogue beyond mere scouts and ramp up their position in the party.
Feline Agility combines brilliantly with Cunning Action enabling the character to run up to six times their normal speed by taking the Dash action as both your Action and your Bonus Action and using Feline Agility in the same turn. Zooooom!!!
Final Thoughts on Tabaxi Race 5e
In areas of both stealth and fighting, the Tabaxi proves its worth. A great race if you want to play something a bit out of the ordinary and a versatile and, more importantly, agile addition to the adventuring party.
Kendra has always been a hardcore fantasy nerd. Growing up in the worlds of Tolkien, Sanderson, Jordan, and Abercrombie, DnD & board games just came naturally. She and her husband, Bryan, started GameCows.com in 2018 as a fun passion project that just took over their lives. An avid board gamer since childhood and chronic DnD chronicler for more than two decades, she loves to play, write, travel, and learn dead languages. She is also a professional content writer at SlashGear.com