Kender Guide 5e
Published on November 22, 2022
If you want to enrage your enemies (and sometimes party members) to the point where they feel compelled to attack you, the kender race is for you.
Ekaterina Burmak - Wizards of the Coast - Wish
What is this guide?
This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the kender will be right for your 5e character build.
The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your kender. This color coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.
- Black is a trait shared by many races and or will not impact the effectiveness of your character build
- Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
- Orange Situationally good, but a below-average option otherwise
- Green is a good option
- Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
- Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Update
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has added the "Customizing Your Origin" option that may affect the ability score increases, languages, and proficiencies in this guide. To read more about this, visit our D&D Race Guide.
What are Kender in 5e?
Source: Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen
Kender are curious folk that originated on Krynn, the world of the Dragonlance setting. These creatures descended from gnomes and share the same small stature, though they were imparted with a supernatural ability to get into trouble, partly because of their inquisitiveness and party because of their fearless nature. Kender traditionally wear topknots, which they view as a source of pride in their appearance. They also tend to wield the kender-invented weapon, a hoopak staff, which is a combination of quarterstaff and sling, and can be waved to create a frightening sound.
Kender first appeared as a playable race for the fifth edition in Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, though the lore provided in the book—in which kender are known to fall through interdimensional portals due to their curiousity—ensures they can be used in settings that aren’t Dragonlance-specific.
Kender 5e Traits
Ability Score Increase: Being able to choose between +2 ASI, +1 ASI, or +1, +1, +1 ASI means that you can pick exactly what your build will need.
Creature Type: Humanoid is the default creature type.
Size: A Small size comes with some drawbacks, such as wielding certain weapons and grappling. On the other side, Small creatures are better at hiding and can more easily move around the battlefield. For kenders, this can be a drawback for tank builds looking to put their Taunt ability to good use.
Speed: Maintaining a standard walking speed is great, considering kender are Small creatures.
Fearless: Not only do you get advantage against effects that frighten, but you essentially get a once-a-day Legendary Resistance against the effect, meaning you will rarely ever be affected by it. Frightened is a nasty condition, and being able to stymie it completely is a solid boon.
Kender Aptitude: One free proficiency out of a list of helpful skills. Stealth is likely the best one to grab, with Insight and Investigation being runner ups.
Taunt: This is the reason to choose the kender race. Kender are supposed to be annoying and get on both their party’s and enemy’s nerves and this ability certainly allows makes this mechanically possible. Costing only a bonus action and having a range of 60ft makes this Taunt ability one of the strongest in the game, certainly more effective than the Swashbuckler’s Panache, which takes a full action. While this would normally be a tank’s ability, you need CHA, INT, or WIS to make it effective. This, combined with the range of 60ft may make this ability best served for ranged builds that have enough mobility to avoid their enraged targets.
Sources Used in This Guide
- BR: Basic Rules
- SotDQ: Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen
- ERLW: Eberron: Rising from the Last War
- EEPC: Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
- EGtW: Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
- FToD: Fizban's Treasury of Dragon
- GGtR: Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
- MotM: Monsters of the Multiverse
- MToF: Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
- MOoT: Mythic Odyessys of Theros
- PHB: Player's Handbook
- SAiS: Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
- SCoC: Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
- SCAG: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
- TCoE: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
- TTP: The Tortle Package
- WBtW: The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
- VRGtR: Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
- VGtM: Volo's Guide to Monsters
- XGtE: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
One thought on “Kender”
With the inclusion of the hoopak, barbarian and fighter kender with a two handed weapon suddenly becomes a viable option. As a two handed weapon a str based kender can use the barbarians rage to greak effect. The fact that it is a finesse weapon means that a kender fighter can take great weapon style and use their dex with the weapon.