Thri-kreen Guide 5e
Published on November 21, 2022
Have you ever wanted to play a telepathic bug person? Well, with the release of Spelljammer, now’s your chance!
David Rapoza - Wizards of the Coast - Kraul Warrior
What is this guide?
This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the thri-kreen 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 thri-kreen. 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 Thri-kreen in 5e?
Source: Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
Thri-kreen are bipedal insectile creatures that hail from the deep reaches of Wildspace. They have a unique, chitinous armor that serves as a protection in combat and change change color to allow thri-kreen to blend into their environment. Sporting a pair of secondary arms and insectile head, thri-kreen are not able to speak languages other than thri-kreen. When communicating with other creatures, thri-kreen resort to a form of telepathy.
Thri-kreen 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: Monstrosities cannot be targeted by spells that normally target Humanoids, like hold person, nor spells like normally target Fey, like protection from good and evil. This can innately allow thri-kreen to avoid some spell effects, even if magical resistance isn’t included as a racial ability.
Size: Being able to choose between Small and Medium allows you to fine-tune your build. Looking to go for a heavy weapon-weilding barbarian? Medium is the way to go. Wanting to lean a bit more to the stealthy side of things? Small size might be right for you.
Speed: 30ft is the standard walking speed for most races.
Chameleon Carapace: This is an insanely good trait for classes that don’t normally wear armor, or who can only wear up to medium armor. 13 + DEX is better than light armor and is on par with mage armor. Combined with the fact that you can use an action to gain advantage on Stealth checks without having to expend any resources makes this a very appealing trait for a lot of classes.
Darkvision: Darkvision is always great, but its advantage can be ruined if your party members do not also have it. That said, thri-kreen are built for stealthing, so this is a must have to make the most of the advantages their Chameleon Carapace provides.
Secondary Arms: Another stellar ability, this allows you to wield a regular weapon, a shield, and have a couple of hands free for bonus action offhand attacks with light weapons, using magic items, or manipulating spell components.
Sleepless: Remaining conscious during a long rest can certainly come in handy. That said, it’s up to the DM to determine what constitues “strenuous” activity. I imagine that casting spells, training, and tinkering likely wouldn’t be allowed, but having an ever-present watch for your party is always useful.
Thri-kreen Telepathy: Speaking telepathically is the main focus around a number of leveled spells, which makes the ability to do it for free seem like a bargain. This is extremely useful for sneaking and can also be used to confer with party members in social situations and combat. Keep in mind that your party can’t respond telepathically, so they’ll have to brush up on sign language. The cherry on top is you can communicate with any creature that understands one language, though if you can’t understand their language, you won’t know what they’re trying to say back.
Sources Used in This Guide
- Basic Rules
- Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen
- Eberron: Rising from the Last War
- Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
- Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
- Fizban's Treasury of Dragon
- Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
- Monsters of the Multiverse
- Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
- Mythic Odyessys of Theros
- Player's Handbook
- Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
- Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
- Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
- Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
- The Tortle Package
- The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
- Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
- Volo's Guide to Monsters
- Xanathar’s Guide to Everything