4e: The Hindren

Hindren are a type of cervitaur (‘part deer, part-humanoid, with four legs and two arms’) people you can meet in the indie videogame Caves of Qud. They’re originally a fan creation by indie bespoke curio crafter Caelyn Sandel, before they were implemented in the game proper in part thanks to the efforts of new Caves of Qud writer Caelyn Sandel, which meant they were present in the game to be streamed by Grahu-Rubufo, the Caves of Qud vtuber (voice acted by Caelyn Sandel).

Here, in this article here, is a version of the Hindren that you can bring to the table in your D&D games, as long as you’re playing 4th edition and have a DM that’s understanding about gay deers. Why now? Why am I doing this? Because it’s someone‘s birthday soon, and she’s lovely, and I like what she does.

Art Source: Phineas Klier. Don’t like the watermark? Go check out his work, it’s clean and big there!

Conventionally, the term used in D&D for this mechanical package is race. This is the typical term, and in most conversations about this game system, the term you’re going to wind up using is race. Race is just a term that D&D uses, and like a programming language, dropping it entirely is going to create a sort of version control problem.

I’m not wild about the term – but I also don’t think I, as an amateur user, can necessarily force a change around it easily. Basically, if people are looking for this option, they’re going to start by searching for ‘D&D races,’ and if I drop that terminology entirely, and pretend it’s not the standard way the game refers to them, I’m ensuring people aren’t going to see it, and they’re not going to see any alternatives. That sucks!

However, Fox has been experimenting with different wordings for this game mechanic, and she’s using Heritage. I like this word, and I like this term. In deference to the fact that I have straight up stolen her tables for this article, I’m going to use that term to refer to these Hindren.

Also! I am not an expert in Hindren! I don’t go to this school! This is a creative endeavour to try and render my friend’s creative work in a different way, a sort of mechanical fanart. So if something good is here, that’s probably the base Hindren, all praise to Caelyn. If something here looks hecked up, that’s probably my mistake in interpreting them. These are my interpretation of the basic building blocks of Hindren, made into something translatable to D&D’s need for things like a drive to adventure.

I’m also not providing a ton of lore for the Hindren. When you make a custom heritage like this, you’re really best off making sure that they can be slotted into another setting well, so you can bring them to a gamemaster without needing to ask them to make a big space for them.

Now, without any further ado:

Gentle, artistic beastkin folk that dwell at the edges

Hindren Heritage Traits

Average Height: 5’-6’ (152-182 cm)
Average Weight: 320-390 lb. (160-180 kg)
Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom or Dexterity
Size: Medium
Speed: 7 squares
Vision: Darkvision
Languages: Common, plus any one.
Skill Bonuses: +2 Diplomacy, +2 Insight
Deer’s Deftness: You have a +1 racial bonus to Fortitude and Reflex.
Strong Back: You consider your strength 2 points higher to calculate your load
Antler Crash: You have the antler crash heritage power.

Antler CrashHindren Heritage Power
Your antlers grant you an occasional advantage in combat.
Free Action • Personal
Trigger: You hit an enemy with a melee attack.
Effect: You do not regain any hit points. Instead, you can deal psychic damage equal to your Wisdom modifier to one adjacent enemy.

The people known as Hindren are rare in most places but their own. They’re a people of edges, living at the boundaries of forests and plains, small communities that take advantage of their abilities to move freely between the two. The Hindren communities are not known as vast cities, but rather small villages, often distributed widely, because the long distance travel between them does not bother Hindren. Indeed, many Hindren may consider two villages miles apart the same village, because they are, to them, ‘so close.’

Play a Hindren if you want…

  • to have a tauric appearance
  • to love art and creativity from culture to culture
  • to be a hardy traveller who connects different things

Physical Qualities

A Hindren is a tauric deer-like creature; they have a lower body shaped like a large deer, and a humanoid torso reaching from the root of the neck. Their bodies are covered in fur, in a variety of tones that can include blonde, brown, and green, and for some Hindren, this fur extends up their whole humanoid torso. Hindren have horns or antlers, on their humanoid heads, which poke through their hair. Hindren have no specific or common skin tones, though it is very common for them to be tanned, because of their time spent outdoors.

Hindren do commonly wear shirts, bandoliers, armbands and gloves – though they tend to not wear things over their legs and tails, given the challenge to reach them.

Hindren are much more slender and swift than centaurs, which are typically bigger, heavier and stockier. Much of the extra weight of a Centaur is in the trunk and back of the body – but a Hindren is smaller and does not occupy the same space as a centaur.

Playing a Hindren

Hindren are creatures of edges; they are most likely to want to be between two things, and see a value in being able to partake of those two things. So, for example, a fishing village makes some sense – there’s the land stuff, and the sea stuff, and those two things are both different and you can draw from it. Also, it’s stuff the Hindren themselves don’t experience or study well, which means they find these new opportunities to understand and find things. New friends, new people to learn of, through their stories and their art. Big walled cities, though? That’s cutting a line between the things, it’s making a big ball of one big thing, and that’s odd.

Think about things in terms of how everything can be seen as a contrast between other things. Curves and shadows, not hard lines. This ‘boundary nature’ comes in how Hindren approach adventure and trade; they see the value of barter and exchange, and don’t tend to see currency with the same importance. Wealth for its own sake is strange – but bringing things from one place to another, so the people in the second place can enjoy them, that’s important.

Hindren are also extremely artistic; stories, poetry, and music are all very important to them, and dance – something that Hindren can do only in very different ways to most other cultures – is a kind of performance they love to attend and share.

Hindren are perceived as…Friendly, sweet, artistic, curious, inquisitive, musical, communicative, diplomatic, shy

Names: Lilihart, Erenhae, Angohind, Eskhind, Lulu, Meyehind, Beyenhind.

Hindren commonly suffix their names with -hind. Their names otherwise tend towards the lyrical, with a single soft and single hard sound – names like ‘Popohind’ would be unlikely, as would a name like ‘Aehind.’

Update: Big thanks to Fox for updating the HTML to make it all purty!