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  • Writer's picturetroodon135

Prehistoric Bestiary Part IV: Neanderthal NPCs

Here are a couple of NPCs for the neanderthal player race I created for D&D, along with some additional lore.



Neanderthals are a humanoid race which resemble short, stocky humans with pronounced jaws and brow ridges. They live in small communities of between five to thirty individuals, and have very little in the way of rigid hierarchy. While neanderthals are kind and altruistic to those they know well, they are wary of outsiders, especially humans.

Survivors of a Bygone Age

Those few neanderthals who survive past prehistory do so due to their geographical isolation, and live their lives much the same as their ancient ancestors. This is not the result of poor intellect or inherent weakness, but the simple fact that neanderthals which maintain regular contact with human societies are often absorbed into the human population, to the point where their descendants become indistinguishable from humans.

Courageous Hunters

Most neanderthal communities survive primarily on meat. These hunters generally target large mammals, and while deer are their most common prey they sometimes hunt much bigger game. Neanderthal mammoth hunts, which use fire to drive entire herds off of cliffs to their deaths, are legendary affairs, and lone hunters sometimes target dangerous beasts such as sabertooth cats, wild boar, and wooly rhinoceros in order to win glory and honor for themselves and their families. Neanderthals generally eschew ranged weapons, preferring to sneak up on prey and attack with heavy spears and axes. This violent lifestyle comes at a cost, however; while neanderthals can live as long as humans, few survive to the age of forty.

The Bear Cult

The Cult of the Bear is the most common form of neanderthal religion. These cults involve the use of cave bear remains as religious objects, and the veneration of the bear’s noble qualities of perseverance, courage, and a ferocious dedication to one’s family. The priests of the bear cult commune with the spirits of bears slain by neanderthal hunters, turning former enemies into powerful allies which can imbue warriors with their indomitable fury. Though the bear cult is the most common of such animal cults, others exist as well, such as the eagle-worshipping Cult of the Sun Bird.

Neanderthal Hunter

Medium humanoid (neanderthal), neutral

Armor Class 12 (hide)

Hit Points 30 (4d8+12)

Speed 30 ft.


14 (+2) 10 (+0) 16 (+3) 11 (+0) 12 (+1) 9 (-1)

Skills Perception +3, Stealth +2, Survival +3

Damage Resistances Bludgeoning damage dealt by critical hits.

Senses Darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 13

Languages Neander

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)

Colossus Killer. The neanderthal can deal an additional 1d6 points of damage on a successful melee attack against a creature that is at least one size category larger than it. It cannot use this ability again until it takes a long or short rest.



Heavy Spear. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d10+2) piercing damage.

Neanderthal Bear Priest

Medium humanoid (neanderthal), lawful neutral

Armor Class 12 (hide)

Hit Points 32 (5d8+10)

Speed 30 ft..


11 (+0) 10 (+0) 14 (+2) 12 (+1) 15 (+2) 13 (+1)

Skills Nature +4, Persuasion +3, Religion +4

Damage Resistances Bludgeoning damage dealt by critical hits.

Senses Darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 12

Languages Neander, Sylvan

Challenge 2

Spellcasting. The bear priest is a 3rd level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 14, +4 to hit with spell attacks). The bear priest has the following cleric spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): Light, Sacred Flame, Spare the Dying

1st (4 slots): Bane, Cure Wounds, Shield of Faith

2nd (2 slots): Augury, Spiritual Weapon



Stone Knife. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 2 (1d4) slashing damage.

Inspire Ferocity. The bear priest calls upon its divine spirit to bless an ally within 30 ft. with the ferocity of a bear. For 1d4+1 rounds, the ally gains advantage on Constitution saving throws, and if the ally takes damage that would slay it or knock it unconscious, it makes a Constitution check with a DC equal to 10 + the damage dealt. On a success, it remains conscious at 1 hit point. The bear priest cannot use this ability again until it takes a long or short rest.

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