Who Are the Simic Hybrids?
The Simic Hybrids are a multifaceted race of half-bloods introduced in 5e’s Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica. They are created, not born, and are genetically modified hybrids of humans, vedalken, or elves and animals.
The Simic Hybrids are created by, though they do not necessarily hold allegiance to, the Simic Combine, one of the ten guilds of Ravnica.
The Simic Combine is a guild that focuses its efforts on biological science. Its official role in the Ravnica lore is that they are primarily doctors, scientists, and healers.
In reality, they mainly just stitch together different species of animals into ungodly abominations. In some recent years, the Simic Combine has extended its experimentation to humanoid subjects.
The Hybrids are one type of experiment run by the Simic Combine that can be found in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, where the Forgotten Realms meets Ravnica.
The Simic Hybrids are a product of the Guardian Project, a combination of humanoids — humans, vedalken, and elves, precisely — and monsters. The Guardian Project aims to create a legion of Simic supersoldiers, adapted for every combat situation one might encounter.
Hybrids are created from adult humans, vedalken, and elves. They are genetically enhanced with animal features to arm them for combat. As the Hybrids grow and mature, their more monstrous features become more pronounced, gaining abilities from them.
Simic Hybrid Abilities and Traits
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2, and another ability score of your choice increases by 1.
Ability Score Increases in Constitution and One of your choice is very powerful. Constitution is the one score every player needs (I played a wizard with 8 Constitution, and it was a struggle to get to 4th level so I could stop losing HP on every level up!).
Choosing your other Ability Score Increase is an incredibly potent tool that allows the Simic Hybrid to fit into any class model.
Age. Simic Hybrids are created at adulthood as either humans, vedalkens, or elves. Their maximum life expectancy is probably reduced.
Simic Hybrids have a lower life expectancy than their non-experimental counterparts, but even a 25% reduction of an elvish lifespan in D&D is quite long at about 500 years… A human not so much at about 50 years.
Alignment. Simic Hybrid’s alignments vary from group to group.
Simic Hybrids are a very varied group, following their existence as a malleable group meant to fit any purpose.
Size. Simic Hybrids are the same size of the race that they were created from. Your size is Medium.
Nothing special or fancy to see here.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Animal Enhancements. Your body has been altered with animal characteristics. You choose one animal enhancement now and one at 5th level.
Manta Glide (1st level). You have ray-like fins that you use as wings to slow your fall or allow you to glide. When you fall and are not incapacitated, you can subtract up to 100 feet from your fall when calculating your fall damage and can move horizontally 2 feet for every 1 foot you fall.
Nimble Climber (1st level). You have a climb speed equal to your walk speed.
Underwater Adaptation (1st level). You can breathe air and water, and you gain a swim speed equal to your walking speed.
Grappling Appendages (5th level). You have two special appendages growing alongside with your arms. Choose whether they’re both claws or tentacles. As an action, you can use one of them to grapple a creature. Each one is also a natural weapon, which you can use to make an unarmed strike with. If you hit, they do 1D6 + your strength modifier bludgeon damage. Immediately after hitting, you can try to grapple the target as a bonus action. These appendages are not dexterous enough to use weapons, magic weapons, and other specialized equipment.
Carapace (5th level). Your skin in places is covered by a thick shell. You gain a +1 to your AC when not wearing heavy armor.
Acid Spit (5th level). As an action, you can spray acid from glands in your mouth, targeting one creature or object you can see within 30 feet of you. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw against a DC of 8 + you proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier. The target takes 2D10 acid damage if they fail. The damage increases to 3D10 at 11th level and 4D10 at 17th level. You can use this up to your Constitution modifier’s worth of times per long rest.
Source: Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica
The Simic Hybrids get a choice of two genetic modifications. They get one at the 1st level and another at the 5th level. Their enhancements have no downsides, and since you get to choose one rather than having to roll or have it decided for you, you get to choose based on what’s good for you.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and your choice of either Elven or Vedalken.
Languages, notably you can speak either Elven or Vedalken, even if you play as a human Hybrid.
What Classes are Well Suited for the Simic Hybrid
Simic Hybrids follow well along with their project’s goals. These versatile characters can fit well into any class, and no, I’m not joking. Their ability score increases and racial traits have no downsides for any class, and since they’re of the player’s choice, they can be well suited to any class.
Rather than telling you what classes are suitable for the Hybrids, I’ll just tell you what Hybrid choices are best for your class!
Nimble Climber or Manta Glide and Carapace are probably the best options, as the Rogue isn’t going to get as much use out of Grappling Appendages. Any of the three first options will work well, though. For your Ability Score Increase, take Dexterity.
Nimble Climber or Underwater Adaptation and Grappling Appendages will synergize with pretty much any Fighter build. Take Strength as your Ability Score Increase.
Ability Score Increase to Strength gives 100% synergy, then take either Nimble Climber or Underwater Adaptation coupled with Grappling Appendages or Carapace, depending on your situation.
Nimble Climber or Manta Glide can help you reposition easily while staying out of range of the enemy. Carapace will help keep you safe, but Acid Spit can help as well. Grappling Appendages won’t see much use but can help get out of situations. For your Ability Score Increase, Dexterity will do you well.
Any of the three 1st-level adaptations will work well. If you’re a Strength Monk, consider Grappling Appendages. If you’re a Dexterity Monk, Carapace or Acid Spit will work better. For your ASI, take either Dexterity or Strength.
ASI should go into Strength, realistically, but Charisma is okay too. Any of the three first-level options will be good, but the Nimble Climber and Underwater Adaptations are a little better than Manta Glide since they will make it easier for your Paladin to get into the fray.
Grappling Appendages or Acid Spit is the better two in the second tree. Paladins will essentially be wearing heavy armor, so there’s no reason to take Carapace.
ASI should go into Strength or Wisdom, depending on the situation. Grappling Appendages and Carapace will be the most efficient fifth-level dip. Any of the three first-level choices are good, but Nimble Climber and Underwater Adaptation will see a bit more synergy with the melee-focused gameplay of Clerics.
Manta Glide or Nimble Climber will help you reposition well out of the range of your enemies. ASI should go into Intelligence, and then Carapace or Acid Spit for your fifth-level upgrade will round out your Wizard. Bladesingers should consider Underwater Adaptation over Manta Glide.
Manta Glide or Nimble Climber if you’re playing a ranged Sorcerer. Nimble Climber or Underwater Adaptation if you’re playing a melee Sorcerer. ASI goes into Charisma and take Carapace as your fifth-level upgrade, regardless of if you’re melee or ranged.
Nimble Climber or Manta Glide will generally synergize better with the Artificer Class, but Underwater Adaptation can work well too. ASI should go into Intelligence, just like Wizards, and Carapace or Acid Spit for the fifth-level upgrade will work well.
Any of the three first-level upgrades work. Melee Druids should consider Underwater Adaptation over Manta Glide and vice versa for ranged Druids. ASI into Wisdom to make casting a bit easier and take Carapce or Acid Spit as your fifth-level upgrade.
Bards are unique in that they get excellent use out of melee fighting. As such, Nimble Climber and Underwater Adaptation will be the best bets for Bards. Carapace will make up for the fact that Bards tend to be rather squishy and help cover their melee weak points. ASI should be dumped into Charisma for casting.
Warlocks will depend on their Pact. Blade Warlocks should take either Nimble Climber or Underwater Adaptation and then Carapace as their fifth-level upgrade.
Tome and Chain Warlocks can choose any of the three first-level adaptations and take either Carapace or Acid Spit at the 5th level. ASI should go into Charisma for casting power.
Simic Hybrid Appearance
Simic Hybrids appear to be mainly within the same lines as their base species, human, elven, or vedalken.
However, the Hybrids possess several modifications from the experimentation run on them to give them animal traits. These traits are up to the player but should follow a theme with their personal upgrade choices.
For instance, a Hybrid with Grappling Appendages could flavor those as tentacles or extra arms but will likely not have a hardened skin carapace as they don’t have that modification.
Simic Hybrid Names
Simic Hybrids will retain the name given to them by their parents before their experimentation and possess no unique naming conventions.