NPC, Atavist

Family: NPC

Medium humanoid (any), lawful evil

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 75 (10d8 + 30)
Speed 30 ft.

18 (+4) 14 (+2) 17 (+3) 13 (+1) 7 (–2) 9 (–1)

Saving Throws Wis +0
Skills Arcana +3, Athletics +6, Medicine +2
Damage Resistances necrotic, poison
Senses passive Perception 8
Languages any two languages
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +2


  • Malleable Physiology. At the start of its turn, the atavist gains one of the following benefits until it ends the effect (no action required) or the start of its next turn:
    • Darkvision out to a range of 30 feet.
    • A climbing, flying, or swimming speed of 30 feet.
    • Advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.
    • Bony spikes sprout along its skin, and a creature that touches the atavist or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 4 (1d8) piercing damage.


  • Multiattack. The atavist makes two Keratin Blade or Bone Shard attacks. If both attacks hit one target, the target takes an extra 7 (2d6) piercing damage as bits of bone dig deeper into the target.
  • Keratin Blade. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage.
  • Bone Shard. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4 + 2) piercing damage.


Atavists are cultists who believe the secrets of the universe reside within the body. With fell rites of blood magic, they tap into the legacies of their forgotten ancestors and turned their bodies into living weapons. Atavists turn their fingernails into blades, their bones into lethal projectiles, and their bodies into forms perfectly suited to their environments.

Tied to the Blood. While rarely spellcasters, atavists rely on blood mages to unlock their powers. The least stable atavists are functionally thralls, unable to survive in their altered state without regular transfusions of blood or arcane stabilization. The most stable don’t need these transfusions but still find themselves indebted to blood mages, alchemists, or other atavists, who are often the only ones willing to accept them in a society that considers them monstrous.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 3 © 2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Eytan Bernstein, Celeste Conowitch, Benjamin L. Eastman, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Jeremy Hochhalter, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben Mcfarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Chelsea Steverson, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham

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