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How to 5e the Kender Theft Problem

The Kender from the Dragonlance campaign setting is widely regarded as the most despised player race in Dungeons and Dragons due to player using the the lore of the Kender to mercilessly steal constantly from other players.

This pattern of behaviour exhibited by players is contrary to the Kender lore in the AD&D Dragonlance Adventures source book.

TO BE CALLED A THIEF IS STILL CONSIDERED A BASE INSULT.”

The lore clearly states (pg.52) “Kender do not steal for the sake of profit. Firstly they have little concept of value, faced with a choice between 2,000 steel piece diamond and a huge, glittering chunk of purple glass, 90 out of 100 Kender will take the glass” and “On the other hand, Kender, like everybody else, do not like the idea of someone deliberately tasking an item from someone else without the latter’s permission. To be called a thief is still considered a base insult.”

The Dragonlance Adventures develops the concept of “Kender Pockets” essentially the player keeps a list of 100 items the player must invent and then track. Furthermore 93 of the 100 items are required to be little more than belly button fluff. This is problematic due to the amount of book-keeping required and it requires one player to decide which items they may have taken from an other player. If known to another player this will likely cause conflict.

…Kender’s borrowing tendancies…

Within the Dragonlance novels the Kender’s borrowing tendencies was used as a story device to ensure the party had the right item a the right time – borrowing wasn’t used on a constant basis. Factoring both Dragonlance Kender lore and how Kender Tasslehoff’s Burrfoot ability was used in the novels to drive the narrative, the 5e trait to represent this is:

Lucky possession. Kender have a knack for having the right item in their possession at the right time. Once per long rest you can name any non-magical item up to 2lb in weight that is no larger than a dagger that you may have reasonably seen and been in close proximity too in the last two days provided the item is not your immediate vicinity and not used since you observed it by another creature. Make a DC 10 Wisdom check if the item was not owned, or owned or carried by a friend or ally, if not the DC is the item owners passive perception. On a successful roll the item just happens to be in your possession. A failed roll the item wasn’t that interesting at the time and you didn’t try to collect it.

At 5th level your lucky possession item may include a magical item from an ally. At 12th level you may use your lucky possession ability twice per long rest.

The design of lucky possession removes the compulsion to thieve from other players and turn the ability into a limited use survival talent. It also allows other players to make suggestions on what the Kender may have taken that would help get the party out of a pickle.

To make a 5e Kender Race

Purchase the Dragonlance Adventures sourcebook from DMsGuild for lore.

Apply the halfling base traits.

Use the Gnome height and weight – Kender are are changed gnomes but halfling works best for their traits.

Subrace Kender.

  • +1 Wisdom
  • Darkvision. 60ft
  • Lucky possession (as above)
  • Clear vision: You have advantage on saving throws against illusion and charm spells. A Kender may use its action to end one charm or illusion effect on itself.

 

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