You’ve made camp for the night, exhausted from a long day of adventuring. Your eyes just barely close for slumber when you hear a loud noise nearby, one that sounds like a bird and bear at the same time. Moments later an owlbear is rampaging towards you. Surely you’re doomed! Just when the beast makes its lunge towards you, you notice a pair of feline eyes glowing from amidst the trees. A second later, an arrow flies from the trees, finding its way to the owlbear’s back. Not more than 5 seconds later, another arrow whizzes past your head, finding purchase in the beast once again before it falls to the ground. From the trees emerges a humanoid cat holding a longbow, a tabaxi ranger.
In this character concept, I’m going to take the idea of a speedster and run with it, literally. This is a fun way to build a 5e tabaxi character. The main idea stems off of the tabaxi’s racial ability that doubles your speed for a turn and recharges after not moving for a turn. The build comes online at level 10; 6 levels in monk and 4 in ranger. There are plenty of ways to level from there for even more speed, but the build really starts being effective at level 10. The 6 levels in monk allow you 15 more feet per turn, bringing your movement up to 45 feet per turn. More importantly, it gives you step of the wind, allowing you to dash as a bonus action. The mobile feat brings you to 55 feet. The ranger levels get a bit more situational, but with more benefits.
Dread ambusher gives you 10 feet on your first turn of combat. The ranger spells that are important to this build are longstrider and zephyr strike. Longstrider gives you 10 additional feet per turn for an hour, bringing your average speed total to 65 feet. Zephyr strike gives you a whopping 30 feet, but only after attacking. That works perfectly with how this build plays out. Due to action economy you’ll have to cast these spells before the battle starts, but remember that the payoff is twofold.
So once you have your spells up and on the first turn of combat you make an attack. Once that happens all of these bonuses stack up twice due to your feline agility. So when the stars align, your tabaxi ranger will be clocking in at 420 feet in one turn. For reference, that’s 4/5 of a mile per minute, or 48 miles per hour! Granted that’s only when everything goes off, but on average you’re still moving at 130 feet every other turn. Even on the low end you’re moving 65 feet, unless you run out of longstrider. That’s still double the speed of any normal creature.
So what do we do with all this speed? Well luckily the rest of the build fits nicely into an archer shell. This means your game plan is to just fire arrows and never get caught. Fire off an arrow, move almost a mile, and attack from an entirely different angle and surprise your foe. If you find yourself playing this at higher levels you can build into more speed with monk levels, or more damage with the scout subclass of rogue (which also grants more speed!), or if you’re feeling fancy you can grab levels in warlock and sorcerer and hit enemies from even farther than your bow can reach.
So what do you think of this 5e tabaxi character build? Did I miss any speed bonuses? How much is too much? Are you interested in more fun and wacky character builds? Let me know! And as always, keep those dice rolling high!