Saiyans (3.5e Race)

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Author: The-Marksman (talk)
Date Created: Spring 2009
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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An extraterrestrial race of primates. Saiyans are a naturally ruthless and aggressive warrior race who strive to be the strongest in the universe, and who have a lycanthropic-like transformation.


The Saiyans (sometimes referred to as Saiya-jin) are a somewhat primitive, but brutal and powerful warrior race. They aspire to bring chaos, competition, and violence into the universe instinctively. They display an enjoyment for fighting and challenging opponents during battle, generally against anyone who wants to fight them; the stronger their opponent, the more excited the Saiyan is to fight. Saiyans are always happiest when training or in combat. The average Saiyan is mostly only interested in their own physical prowess in combat. But other Saiyans who are not as physically inclined instead have interests in being in political power, or maybe in control of an army. Saiyans love the thrill of battle and are very aggressive with generally short tempers. Saiyans that were raised by their own generally act as outlined above and are very, very prideful, some so much so that it blinds them to accepting help or even helping others.

They also tend to completely lack any sympathetic emotions, even towards each other and sometimes even their offspring or family. If a Saiyan shows weakness, his or her comrades will show no remorse in disposing of the weakling. However, this is generally not the case with Saiyans raised outside of the Saiyan society. Saiyans do sometimes end up being close to team members, since they have proven their strength to one another in battle, an almost brothers-in-arms relationship. Most all Saiyans believe the 'weak' should rightfully perish while the strong survive. Sometimes Saiyans that are raised with a race other than their own can be more like the race they grew up with and have only minor personality traits of their heratige.

Saiyans are an extremly competitve militant race that lives for war, fighting, and power. As such, Saiyans may want to fight particularly powerful monsters that they come across or are exposed to, in order to test their own strength. This does not dictate that the Saiyan insists on fighting alone or is suicidal, merely that the strong desire exists within the character to want to fight the strong creature to see how strong it is and if he can beat it. Beating the monster as a party still counts as the Saiyan having successfully conquered the opponent for this purpose, though it is not unheard of or even uncommon for some more prideful Saiyans to want to fight alone.

Physical Description

For the most part, Saiyans look frighteningly human, and are unable to be distinguished from humans except by their wild hair and tails. They also have a larger, more muscular build than most humans. Saiyans generally stand between 5 and 6 feet tall and weigh between 110 to 225 pounds, with males typically taller and heavier than females. A Saiyan's hair never changes length or style once it has fully grown, although this is not the case with Saiyan hybrids like Half-Saiyans.

Two of the most prominent physical features on a Saiyan are their wild and tall jet-black hair, and their brown furry monkey-like tail. Their black hair spikes out in numerous random directions, and while it is astronomically rare for two unrelated Saiyans to randomly have the same hair style, the child of a Saiyan may on occasion have a hair pattern that resembles or is identical to one of the parents. Saiyans have predominately black eyes with dark black hair and eye brows. A Saiyans skin is any range of pale to olive brown.

All Saiyans possess a monkey-like tail in appearance which is covered in exclusively brownish fur. A Saiyan's tail is packed full of sensitive nerves and connects directly to the spinal column. and is a particularly sensitive area for Saiyans; because of this, Saiyans are extremely protective of their tails, and it is usually kept around the waist in a belt-like position to make it harder to grab. The tail is fully prehensile, meaning that it can be used to grasp, hold, and manipulate small or smaller objects. So a Saiyan could, for example, wrap the middle of their tail around the neck of a potion bottle and then use the remainder of the tip of the tail to uncork the bottle. The tail could even be used to lift up a person weighing no more than their tail's maximum load by the wrist or scruff of their clothing, or even in making a sleight of hand check for pick-pocketing.

The tail is also the exclusive location in a Saiyan's body for a gland that allows for the use of the Oozaru transformation. Blutz waves are an energy source emitted by large celestial bodies such as a full-moon when they reflect rays of sunlight. When a Saiyan absorbs at least 17 million zenos (a unit used to measure waves of full celestial light) of blutz waves through the retina (which takes 2 full rounds), a bio-chemical reaction occurs in the Saiyan's tail that causes them to transform.

All Saiyans love to eat, and will regularly consume more than their own body weight in food in just one sitting whenever possible. Despite this fact, an overweight Saiyan is an obscurely rare sight indeed. Saiyans are more then averagely strong and very tough and healthy. Young Saiyans age at the same rate as Humans and reach adulthood at age 15, but once they reach their prime, a Saiyan's body slows down aging, and a Saiyan can typically live up to 250 years old. Some Saiyans speculate that the reason for a Saiyan's decelerated aging is due to their continuous evolution; the warrior blood in their bodies keeps them younger and fit so they can fight longer.


The Saiyans usually get along best with any member of any race that can appreciate their fighting abilities or their love of war. But when that isn't the case, the most often friends of a Saiyan are Dwarves or Half-orcs, but rarely both. Ones who enjoy the company of Half-Orcs tend to like them because they like to test their strength and skills against Half-Orcs who are both big, strong, and more than willing to go outside for a scuffle. Those who get along better with Dwarves are usually those who seek power or riches, because the enjoyment of gems and riches is something that they and a Dwarf have in common. Some Saiyans also like Dwarves because of their love of warfare and find that as a common interest to start a friendship as well. They get along well with any Gnome, Halfling, or Human that can prove themselves to be strong. Saiyans feel mixed about Elves; although they admire the Elves' skills with sword and bow, and are not hostile to Elves, things that Elves tend to enjoy, such as fine art, poetry, and games of intelligence or swordplay, are generally lost on the mostly uncultured Saiyans.


Because Saiyans value freedom and don't like to be chained down by either rules or traditions, they more often than not are chaotic. Saiyans are rarely good, more often seeking neutrality, doing whatever suits them best in a given situation. An evil Saiyan is a dime-a-dozen. Rarely, however, some do favor good, and chaotic good Saiyans are not at all unheard of. These Saiyans are often ridiculed on their home world and are considered 'weak' for having kindness and compassion. Other alignments, while rare, are possible for Saiyans. Saiyans in general that are raised on their home world and with their people have a tendency to lean away from good alignments, usually being chaotic neutral or chaotic evil. Any Saiyan raised outside of Saiyan society is more likely to have a variation in alignment, although this variation comes on the good-evil axis more often than the law-chaos axis.


The planet Vegeta is the homeworld of the Saiyans, and this is where the bulk of their race lives. They have no specific lands of their own on the material plane, but are most commonly found on the outskirts of Human lands and settlements. On other occasions, some Saiyans much more rarely will settle in a Dwarven or Half-orc community. Other Saiyans just stay on the move and have no connection to a home of any type.


A Saiyan has no chief racial deity, but many revere the Legend of their race that says that once every one thousand years, a Super Saiyan is born. The story goes that one day a Saiyan Warrior would push the physical limits and transform into a superior individual. This fearsome being, a Super Saiyan, would wield exceptionally colossal power. It is a legend that is handed down from generation to generation, but no one knows for sure. As far as worshiping actual deities, many who want to worship a deity find themselves drawn to the more war- or conflict-oriented dieties of their alignment. Some examples include; Kord (god of strength), Erythnul (god of slaughter), Heironeous (god of valor), St. Cuthbert (god of retribution), or even Hextor (god of tyranny).


Saiyans have no language of their own. Instead, all Saiyans learn Common or whatever language they are brought up with.


A Saiyan is given a name at birth, and Saiyan names generally have 2-3 syllables and at least one 'ah' or 'o' sound in them. They are always play-offs of names of vegetables. (Vegeta-Vegetable, Kakarotto-Carrot, Raditz-Radish, Broly-Broccoli, Paragus-Asparagus, Toma-Tomato, etc.)

Male Names: Vegeta, Nappa, Kakarot, Raditz, Bardock, Broly, Paragus, Borgos, Totepo, Panbuken, Toma, Cabba

Female Names: Fasha, Selypa, Kale, Caulifla


Saiyans can adventure for lots of different reasons. Primarily, Saiyans who are focused on self-development will adventure to face new challenges and try to better themselves. Other Saiyans will adventure to amass wealth or riches, and sometimes a Saiyan adventures as a way to see the rest of the world.

Saiyan Racial Traits

  • +4 Strength, +4 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, −4 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, −2 Charisma Saiyans are all-out physicality, quick and strong. Saiyans, in their love of fighting, are not very book-wise, and also not much for diplomacy or thinking things out, but their animalistic transformation affords them better awareness.
  • Monstrous Humanoid (Shapechanger): Saiyans appear to be humanoid, but a monster lurks within them.
  • Saiyans are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Saiyans base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Low-Light Vision: A Saiyan can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color under these conditions.
  • Tail: Saiyans have a fully prehensile tail which grants them a +4 racial bonus on Balance, Climb, Jump, and Tumble checks, and is the source of their Oozaru transformation. The tail has 4 hp per HD of the Saiyan and a maximum carrying capacity equal to the Saiyan's base strength score −6.
A Saiyan's tail can be removed by anyone with a slashing weapon making an attack roll against the tail. Saiyans may wear the tail around their waist for an additional +10 bonus to AC against attack rolls made against their tails. Saiyans who lose their tail immediately lose their racial skill bonuses, their Oozaru alternate form ability, and take a −4 penalty on Balance, Climb, Jump, Move Silently, Swim, and Tumble checks for that day. The penalty is reduced by 1 at the end of each following day. Tails can be restored by Regenerate, Limited Wish, Wish, or Miracle spells, or they can regrow naturally. See the regrowth table below.
  • Tail weakness: A Saiyan's tail is packed full of sensitive nerves; because of this, if the tail is grabbed and squeezed hard enough, it causes the Saiyan to become dazed. If an opponent has both hands free, they may make a grapple check. The DC is 10 + the Saiyan's hit dice + the Saiyan's Dexterity modifier. The DC is increased by +10 if the Saiyan's tail is around their waist like a belt.
If the attacker is successful, the Saiyan is rendered dazed. For each following round that the attacker wants to maintain the daze they must make another full round grapple check and the DC for the grapple increases by +2 each round. If the attacker fails the grapple check, then the Saiyan immediately breaks free and may act normally.
  • Zenkai bonus: What doesn't kill a Saiyan, only makes them stronger, literally! When in a battle against an opponent whose Challenge Rating exceeds the Saiyan's Challenge Rating by at least 2, and when in a legitimate life-or-death situation (not sparring with a friend, or in a situation rigged in the Saiyan's favor), and then the Saiyan is brought down to negative hit points and survives, after healing up to full hit points, the Saiyan becomes stronger than before. After recovering to full health from a near-death experience, the Saiyan gains an experience bonus equal to his total character level multiplied by the number of hit points between −1 and −9 that they were below 0 hp (maximum of −9), and then multiplied by 10.
So, for example: Lucian, a 5th-level Saiyan, fights an Eight-Headed Hydra, which is a CR 7 monster, and gets brought down to −5 hit points, but is saved by his allies. After being restored to full health (either by rest or magic), Lucian would gain experience equal to his hit dice (5) multiplied by the 5 hit points that he was below 0, and then multiplied by 10, which would look like this: 5 (for HD) × 5 (hp below 0) = 25 × 10 = 250. So Lucian would gain an immediate 250 experience points upon reaching full health.
A Saiyan still dies at −10 hit points like any other character would. A Saiyan who dies as normal and is then resurrected does not gain a zenkai bonus or any other benefits, regardless of what spell is used to restore them.
Note on the balance issue
DM's get many ways to control this. It only is triggered if the opponent is +2 CR more than the Saiyan Warrior and the DM controls what monsters are fought. It only happens if a Saiyan is knocked into negative HP without dying and the DM controls which character the mobs hit and could simply have the enemy change targets when the Saiyan gets low to avoid putting him into negative HP. Finally, when and if a Zenkai bonus should ever apply is always solely at the DM's discretion, and because of the potential balance issue with this ability DM's should never make any effort what-so-ever to safeguard the life of a character whose player attempts to abuse this ability. It is intended to be a very rare and random event, and because a zenkai bonus is intended for life-and-death situations only, the DM should never give a Zenkai bonus for any fight or situation that was rigged by the player / character just in order to trigger a bonus.
  • Oozaru form: When the Saiyan takes on the Oozaru form, enters a frenzied rage (unless he has the Saiyan Elite feat). His size increases by two size categories as he transforms into a were-ape like creature covered in thick brown fur with a long snout with razor-sharp teeth and solid red eyes. An Oozaru's effective intelligence drops to 6 and he forgets his own identity, and becomes chaotic evil. Once per transformation the Saiyan may attempt at any point in the transformation to make a DC 25 Control Shape check to regain his senses and can distinguish friend from foe, however he retains his 6 Intelligence.
Click here to get more information on how this transformation works and for diplomacy checks to help control an Oozaru. A Saiyan raised among other Saiyans knows of this form and what happens during a full moon, most Saiyans generally keep good track of when the next full moon is, and may go to bed early so that they won't change during the night, that is; unless they intend to change.
Use common sense
Good DMing and judgement is a must in dealing with the Oozaru form, i.e. don't do stupid things such as purposely setting the Oozaru loose on a packed capital city, or using the Oozaru to purposely destroy any given character's item, etc. In fact, with good DMing and judgement, you could use the Oozaru form to drive one of your plots, which will make this feature more fun for you and your players.
  • Lycanthropic Empathy (Ex): A Saiyan always has Control Shape as a class skill. In any form, a Sayian can communicate and empathize with other Sayians and Oozarus. This gives them a +4 racial bonus in all forms on all checks when influencing an Oozaru's attitude and allows the communication of simple concepts such as "friend", "foe", "flee", and "attack".
  • Natural Armor: A Saiyan's tough skin protects him from harm and grants him a +2 natural armor bonus to AC.
  • Automatic Languages: Common Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Orc, Gnoll, Giant, Goblin, Terran.
  • Favored Class: Saiyan Warrior, or Barbarian. When determining whether a multiclass Saiyan takes an experience point penalty, his levels in Saiyan Warrior do not count. If the DM deems that Saiyan Warrior is a closed class, the Saiyan's favored class is Barbarian, and any levels of Barbarian do not count.
  • Level Adjustment: +2
  • Effective Character Level: 3

Vital Statistics

Table: Race Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
11 years +1d4 +1d8 +3d4
Table: Race Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
80 years 121 years 160 years +5d20 years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Race Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 4' 10" +2d8 110 lb. × (2d4) lb.
Female 4' 5" +2d8 80 lb. × (2d4) lb.

Special Racial Information

Tail Regrowth

Table: Saiyan Tail Regrowth

Age at the
time of
tail loss
in 1d4
in 2d4
in 3d4
Birth - 14 years 01 - 80 81 - 90 91 - 98 99 - 00
15 - 20 years 01 - 75 76 - 80 81 - 90 91 - 00
21 - 28 years 01 - 50 51 - 75 76 - 80 81 - 00
29 - 40 years 01 - 25 26 - 50 51 - 75 76 - 00
40+ years 01 - 04 05 - 25 26 - 50 51 - 00

Project Notes

Project Notes
This Saiyan race is not meant to take into account lifting cars, or the feats of truly epic proportion that the characters are capable of throughout the series (i.e catching and stopping bullets, outrunning and stopping cars by hand, saving falling buses by hand, etc). In my estimation, these kinds of feats of strength, speed, reflexes, and durability are the product of epic-level characters. Rather my goal in making this race was to come up with a thorough and balanced race that remained as detailed and true to the series as possible, while still allowing for the race to be played starting at first level in the most common D&D campaigns.

I also intentionally did not include the rules for Super Saiyans here because I feel that that is a reflection of a class feature, not a racial trait. I present the rules for Super Saiyan in the Saiyan Warrior class that I designed. What I've tried to create here is a base race that describes all of the common traits for Saiyans that lived on planet Vegeta prior to its destruction. None of them were capable of being Super Saiyans and none of them could touch the abilities of Goku and Vegeta at any point in the series. I worked off of the assumption that Goku and Vegeta were extraordinary epic level Saiyans, which players need to build up to on their own, not start out with at first level.

This finished product is the result of months of work and the input of many people from throughout the wiki, with the biggest contributors being Eiji-Kun, Ganteka, and STDoc; without each of their inputs, this project would not have turned out well at all, but many, many others threw ideas and constructive criticism (ThunderGod Cid and Zhenra-Khal) into the pot to attempt to balance this race as much as possible. Also, shout out to Franken Kesey who gave ideas to balance and simplify the features. Thanks to all of those who helped me with this along the way.

Marksman's Homebrews
Classes Battle Juggernaut, Bewitcher, Bounty Hunter, Cat Burglar, Divine Healer, Footpad, Grimslayer, Half-Nymph, Half-Rylvain, Hunter, Ki Warrior, Martial Artist, Noble, Platinum Dragoon, Radiant Champion, Rylvain, Saiyan Warrior, Scout, Socialite Deluxe, Spy, Undead Slayer, Undead Stalker, Warlord, Wolverine
Races Elven Nymph, Half-Drow, Elf, Half-Giant, Half-Nymph, Half-Rylvain, Half-Saiyan, Liantia, Moogle, Namekian, Ronso, Rylvain, Saiyans, Xanthian
Character Options Ascended Super Saiyan, Ascetic Juggernaut, Awesome Blow, Enhanced Ki Pool, Full Power Super Saiyan, Saiyan Elite, Tail Defense, Ultra Super Saiyan
Equipment Cloak of Bullshit, Cloak of Greater Bullshit, Cloak of Lesser Bullshit, Dragon Balls, Excalibur, Potion of Youth
Spells & Powers Condition, Eternal Charm Monster, Eternal Charm Person, Eternal Slumber, Fusion Dance, Reraise, Restore Youth, Steal Youth, Summon Wyvern
Invocations After Image, Alternate Delivery, Beam Blast, Candy Beam, Death Beam, Destructo Disc, Dragon Fist, Energy Channel, Energy Rings, Explosive Wave, Final Explosion, Flash Step, Four Witches, Greater Ki Transmutation, Healing Spirit, Improved Intimidating Ki, Improved Ki Charging, Improved Ki Flying, Improved Ki Volley, Instant Transmission, Intimidating Ki, Kaio-ken, Ki Barrage, Ki Charging, Ki Enhancement, Ki Flying, Ki Sense, Ki Shield, Ki Sight, Ki Supression, Ki Sword, Ki Transmutation, Ki Wind, Lesser Electrical Transmutation, Lesser Fire Transmuation, Lesser Frost Transmutation, Master Ki Transmutation, Multi-Form, Neo Tri Beam, Nova Chariot, Power Ball, Scatter Shot, Solar Flare, Spirit Ball, Spirit Bomb, Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack, Tri Beam, Warp Blast
Monsters Adamantoise, Ash Viper, Behemoth, Bomb, Cactuar, Drake, Malboro V.2, Murder of Crows, Tangle Tree, Tonberry
Other Aralhal, Celesdra, Golbez System, James Houlton, Levels That Spells Are Obtained, Rydel Taerun, Shenron, Spirit Beast
Sandbox 1 / Box 2 / Box 3 / Box 4 / Box 5 / Box 6 / Box 7 / Box 8 / Box 9 / Organized table of published races with statistics / Talk page

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Facts about "Saiyans (3.5e Race)"
AuthorThe-Marksman +
Effective Character Level3 +
Favored ClassSaiyan Warrior + and Barbarian +
Identifier3.5e Race +
Level Adjustment2 +
Racial Ability Adjustments+4 Strength +, +4 Dexterity +, +2 Constitution +, −4 Intelligence +, +2 Wisdom + and −2 Charisma +
Rated ByTheOgre +, Luigifan18 +, Zhenra-Khal +, Franken Kesey +, Iskerbabble + and Ghostwheel +
RatingRated 3.3 / 4 +
SizeMedium +
SubtypeShapechanger +
SummaryAn extraterrestrial race of primates. Saiyans are a naturally ruthless and aggressive warrior race who strive to be the strongest in the universe, and who have a lycanthropic-like transformation. +
TitleSaiyans +
TypeMonstrous Humanoid +