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Cannibal Headhunter

You hail from a tribe that thrives far from civilized lands.

Unlike other outlander settlements, your people hold to ancient ideals and traditions that others find deeply unsettling. You believe the consumption of sentient flesh brings insight, power, and guidance from the spirits. The ancestors of your tribe taught that knowledge and power gained in life suffuses the body, and that the tribe must keep that power within its own ranks. The funeral rites of your people involve consumption of the deceased. During times of warfare, some tribes devour their fallen foes in a similar ritual to take the strength and power from their vanquished foes. Cannibal headhunters always carry at least one totem bone from a previous ritual meal, and many wear elaborate tattoos signifying their gathered power.

Skill Proficiencies: Intimidation, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: Cook’s utensils

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A set of cook’s utensils, a carved humanoid bone totem, a set of traveler’s clothes, a hunting trap, and a pouch containing 5 gp

Feature: Grim Feast

Whether as a funeral rite to honor fallen family and comrades, or as spoils of war or sacred hunts, you ritually consume a portion of slain humanoid bodies. Civilized people view this practice as taboo and horrific, and they are easily unsettled. While this unease can bring unwanted complications within urban or other civilized settings, you gain a measure of power and presence from your devotion that other savage, primitive, or tribal cultures esteem. When you present either your ritual practice or a direct result of it, such as your bone totem, to an intelligent creature with any kind of tribal or savage bent, your power affords you the chance to talk rather than fight. Orcs, gnolls, goblins, and other tribal warlike races might offer you respect and allow you the chance to sway them through talk (and Intimidation) rather than trying to kill you on sight. Additionally, you can engage in your rituals over the course of one day to gain inspiration.

Suggested Characteristics

While unsettling to those who don’t share their practices, cannibal headhunters fit a variety of types. All hold their rituals sacred, though the personal reasons behind their devotion vary. Some seek power to better themselves and their communities. Others seek dominion over all other creatures, and they believe they consume spirit and strength along with flesh.

Personality Traits
d8 Trait
1 I’m always hungry and never turn down a bite to eat.
2 I expect others to adhere to their traditions as firmly as I do.
3 I enjoy the discomfort the truth of my beliefs causes in others.
4 Life among nonbelievers has made me self‑conscious about my rituals.
5 I always proudly display my totem bones.
6 My totems are sacred, and I won’t allow outsiders to touch them.
7 I’m oblivious to how my appearance and beliefs come across to outsiders.
8 I take the time to show respect to anything I kill.

d6 Ideal
1 Tradition. My ancestors gave me prosperity. I would repay them poorly if I allow their teachings to die. (Lawful)
2 Service. My strength grows for the betterment and protection of those I love. (Good)
3 Change. We must grow to thrive, and our rituals encourage growth. (Chaotic)
4 Community. Close fellows benefit from one another’s strength and stand firmer than individuals alone. (Neutral)
5 Power. I will consume those who cross me and add their strength to my own. (Evil)
6 Glory. I will earn glory for myself, my tribe, and my comrades. (Any)
Bonds
d6 Bond
1 The most sacred of my tribe’s ancestor skull totems was stolen. I will stop at nothing to retrieve it.
2 The shaman who taught me the rituals of our people is the most important person in my life.
3 All wealth and success I earn in my travels must benefit my tribe.
4 I am searching for the perfect opponent to overcome, so that I may grow to my full potential.
5 The spirits guide my actions, and I must venerate them.
6 I’ll stop at nothing to protect my first “civilized” companion, who stopped a misinformed mob from hunting me down.
Flaws
d6 Flaw
1 I will not abide disrespect of my skill and prowess.
2 I focus on hunting powerful foes to the exclusion of other concerns.
3 I am distrustful of civilized areas because of past persecution due to my beliefs.
4 I am constantly on guard against others seeking to slay me for my power.
5 I abhor weakness and those who can’t fend for themselves.
6 I was exiled for slaying and consuming one of my own tribe.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Unlikely Heroes for 5th Edition © 2016 Open Design; Author: Dan Dillon.