5e SRD >Races >Ancestry and Culture: An Alternative to Races >Alternate Ancestries >

Animated Armor

You are a soul that has been bound to a suit of armor. Depending the circumstances of your binding, you might retain your memories of your previous life or have started a new set of memories once you awoke as an animated suit of armor.

Humanoid Soul, Steel Body

Whether you remember your former life or not, you still have the soul of a living humanoid, and you have all of the instincts and expectations that a humanoid would have. You feel that you should need to eat and sleep, but this body doesn’t need to. When you pet a dog, you expect to feel its soft fur, but your cold metal hands have no sensation. You are surrounded by reminders that the body you inhabit isn’t your real body.

Closed Helm

Most animated armors have a closed helm. Although an animated armor can’t change their expression, they might decorate their body to better match their personality. An animated armor with a scary helmet but a friendly personality might paint their face with bright colors. Some animated armors even have expressive masks that they wear for different situations.


The inside of your body is hollow. Because it is a set of armor, another person could wear your armor, but most animated armors consider this an invasion of privacy. The armor is their body, and another person using it or being inside of it is just wrong.

Some animated armors pad their armor with a lining or filler material, so they feel less hollow inside.

Animated Armor Names

Animated Armors typically use their name from when they were alive, or a name that sounds familiar to them.

Example Names: Galavan, Al, Elrich.

Animated Armor Traits

You gain the following traits as an animated armor.

  • Ability Score Increase. You gain a +2 and +1 bonus to two different ability scores of your choice, or +1 to three different ones.
  • Age. An animated armor has the same mental age as they had before they lost their body. While animated armors do not physically age and can’t die of old age, they do continue to mentally age and develop. Many of the negative side effects of aging for living creatures is a result of decaying physiology, which do not affect an animated armor.
  • Size. Your size depends on the size of the armor you were bound to, which is typically Medium but could also be Small.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet if you are Small, or 30 feet if you are Medium.
  • Unliving Body (Major Feature). Your body is a suit of armor. You are immune to poison damage and the poisoned condition. You do not need to eat, drink, or breathe, and you are immune to diseases.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one additional language of your choice.

Unliving Body

The animated armor’s Unliving Body feature is quite strong, granting immunity to poison damage and the poisoned condition. These are common hindrances and a blanket immunity to them is quite strong. However, unlike the warforged or woodborn, the idea behind the animated armor is that they have no biological components at all. It wouldn’t make sense for them to be vulnerable to poison, and most people choosing to play as an animated armor would assume the same.

We’ve made the intentional decision to allow this feature to be stronger than most. If you want to keep the ability in line with other abilities, you can reduce it to resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws against poison.

Armor Type

Choose one of the following to determine how your body functions.

Armored core gives you one suit of armor as your body, which subtly grows over time with you. Transfer consciousness allows you to animate in different suits of armor, upgrading to better armor when you find it.

Armored Core (Major Feature)

Your body is a suit of armor, which determines your armor class. You gain no benefit from wearing armor, but if you are using a shield, you apply its bonus as normal.

Pick one of the following options to determine the type of armor you are, provided you meet the prerequisite. If you later gain access to a new type of armor proficiency, you can change your armor type during a long rest. Otherwise, you can change your armor type when you gain a new level, assuming you meet the prerequisite.

Armor Type Prerequisite Effect
Light Armor None AC 11 + your Dexterity modifier (add proficiency bonus if proficient with light armor).
Medium Armor Medium armor proficiency AC 13 + your Dexterity modifier (maximum of 2) + your proficiency bonus.
Heavy Armor Heavy armor proficiency AC 16 + your proficiency bonus; disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks.

Transfer Consciousness (Major Feature). You can transfer your consciousness between different suits of armor. During a short rest, you can transfer your consciousness to a suit of armor that you are holding and have proficiency in. After the short rest, you control the new suit of armor as your new body.

The new suit of armor can’t be occupied or worn by a creature during the short rest. Your statistics, aside from your AC, remain the same.

During character creation, choose one of the following choices for the type of armor you start with.

Armor Type Prerequisite Effect
Light Armor None AC 11 + your Dexterity modifier
Medium Armor Medium armor proficiency AC 13 + your Dexterity modifier (maximum of 2)
Heavy Armor Heavy Armor Proficiency AC 16; disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks.

Minor Features

Choose two of the following minor features.

  • Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
  • Disconnected. If any of your limbs or appendages are severed, you can reattach them as an action. Your limbs continue to function when separated, although they are limited in the actions they can take. For example, if your head is severed, you can still see from it but the head itself can’t move. In general, a severed appendage can’t take actions or make attacks.
  • False Appearance. When you are motionless, you are indistinguishable from a regular suit of armor.
  • Fluent. You can speak, read, and write two additional languages of your choice.
  • Previous Life Training. You have proficiency in one skill of your choice.
  • Sentry Mode. You don’t need to sleep and don’t suffer the effects of exhaustion due to lack of rest, and magic can’t put you to sleep. When you take a long rest, you enter a state of low activity, remaining semiconscious for 4 hours. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.
  • Trained Tools. You have proficiency in two tools of your choice.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Ancestry Awakened: Copyright 2021, Pirate Gonzalez Games: Author Timothy Gonzalez