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Tabaxi (pronounced: /tɑːˈbæksita-BÆK-see[6][7] or: /tɑːˈbɑːʃita-BAHSH-ee[7]), also known as jaguar people[2] or cat-men,[3] were a race of feline humanoids native to the jungles of Maztica.[1][2]


Tabaxi were taller than most humans at six to seven feet. Their bodies were slender and covered in spotted[2] or striped[3] fur. Like most felines, Tabaxi had long tails and retractable claws. Tabaxi fur color ranged from light yellow to brownish red.[2] Tabaxi eyes were slit-pupilled[3] and usually green or yellow.[2]

Tabaxi were competent swimmers and climbers as well as speedy runners. They had a good sense of balance and an acute sense of smell.[2]


Depending on their region and fur coloration, tabaxi were known by different names. Tabaxi with solid spots were sometimes called leopard men and tabaxi with rosette spots were called jaguar men.[7]

The way the tabaxi pronounced their own name also varied; the "leopard men" pronounced it ta-BÆK-see,[6][7] and the jaguar men tah-BAHSH-ee.[7]


Tabaxi were a reclusive people who often avoided interaction with other intelligent races.[2] However, as each tabaxi possessed a specific feline trait, some had an innate curiosity that compelled them to travel and seek out stories, artifacts, new experiences and knowledge, never remaining in the same place or obsessing over the same piece of lore for too long.[1]

In general, tabaxi did not care for wealth, but they had an almost obsessive interest in ancient artifacts, relics and magic items, but not for the items themselves, as much as the stories and secrets they held. Once an item had been thoroughly examined and studied, and its secrets revealed, it would lose its allure and the tabaxi would quickly lose interest and pass it on.[1]

Not all tabaxi were motivated by curiosity to leave their homeland, however. Some found safer ways to satisfy their fleeting obsessions by becoming traveling minstrels and tinkers, often accepting interesting objects and stories as payment for their services.[1]


Tabaxi were exceptional hunters and utilized these skills in combat. Speed and stealth combined with their natural camouflage meant that tabaxi were particularity skilled at surprise attacks.[2] Tabaxi were even known to disguise their scent with aromatic herbs.[3] Their hunting skills and intelligence made them formidable tacticians. Groups would often drive prey into ambushes, sometime playing with their doomed foe before killing them.[2] Tabaxi clans did have berserker warriors within them, these were known as blood-stalkers.[8]

For weapons, tabaxi favored bolas, slings, macas, and javelins with atlatl. These weapons would often be made from wood, bone or stone. Tabaxi were just as likely to use weapons as they were to use their claws and teeth.[2] Their preference of simple weapons was not due to a lack of capability. Tabaxi were quite capable of adapting to new technology or salvaged weapons.[3]

Due to their knowledge of hunting, intelligence and sense of smell, it was practically impossible to trap a tabaxi.[2]


Tabaxi society was built around clans. Clans were split evenly between males and females with 3 to 12 young. Each clan had several Hunts each made up of two to eight individuals. The Hunts patrolled the area around the clan's lair.[2]

Although tabaxi lairs were sometimes just temporary, they were more often small villages of ramadas. Each ramada was built from wooden poles with grass roofs.[2]

Clans were led by elders. About half of the time, leaders were aided by shamans. Clans tended to avoid each other and did not engage in trade. Tabaxi considered trade to be demeaning but in rare instances would use third party agents to trade for them.[2]

When the tabaxi started wandering out of their homeland of Maztica, rumors followed about strange happenings there, but the tabaxi themselves said little about them.[1]


The Tabaxi language was an ancient form of the Payit language. Those who spoke modern Payit and knew what to listen for could usually understand about half of the Tabaxi words they heard.[2] It was completely unrelated to the Tabaxi language of the Tabaxi tribe of Chult.[9][10]


Most clans worshiped Tezca, Nula, or (rarely) Azul.[2] A minority of clans owed their allegiance to a jaguar lord. In this instance, Zaltec was the dominant deity of the tribe.[2]

The creator figure in the tabaxi pantheon was the Cat Lord, a fickle and tricky entity who bestowed each tabaxi with a specific feline trait and was believed to wander the world, watching over them.[1]

Interracial Relations[]

Tabaxi had few enemies and only the most degenerate clans would attack members of other intelligent species without good reason.[2]


Tabaxi were sometimes hunted for their pelts. Each pelt could be sold for up to 50 gp. Hishna shapers could use tabaxi skin and claws to enhance their strength.[2] Young tabaxi could be sold on the black market for around 225 gp.[11]


Because of the black market and slave trade that brought them to Faerûn, some tabaxi made the jungles of Chult their home after escaping captivity. Tabaxi minstrels primarily lived in and around Port Nyanzaru, but hunters roamed the entire peninsula.[12]

Notable Tabaxi[]

A tabaxi minstrel


See Also[]

Further Reading[]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 113–115. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 Jeff Grubb and Tim Beach (September 1991). Fires of Zatal. (TSR, Inc), p. 62. ISBN 1-5607-6139-3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Don Turnbull (1981). Fiend Folio. (TSR Hobbies), p. 86. ISBN 0-9356-9621-0.
  4. Ed Greenwood (September 1993). The Code of the Harpers. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 54. ISBN 1-56076-644-1.
  5. Kim Mohan ed. (November 1984). Dragon #91 (TSR, Inc.), p. 10.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 30.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 335. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  8. Sean Holland (November 1987). “In the Heat of the Fight”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #127 (TSR, Inc.), p. 47.
  9. James Lowder, Jean Rabe (1993). The Jungles of Chult. (TSR, Inc), p. 3. ISBN 1-5607-6605-0.
  10. Thomas M. Costa (1999). “Speaking in Tongues”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #4 (TSR, Inc), pp. 26, 29.
  11. David Howery (September 1988). “Treasures of the Wilds”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #137 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 19–20.
  12. Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, Steve Winter (September 19, 2017). Tomb of Annihilation. Edited by Michele Carter, Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 978-0-7869-6610-3.
  13. BKOM Studios (2017). Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation.
  14. Jeff Grubb and Tim Beach (September 1991). Fires of Zatal. (TSR, Inc), p. 55. ISBN 1-5607-6139-3.
  15. Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, Steve Winter (September 19, 2017). Tomb of Annihilation. Edited by Michele Carter, Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 35. ISBN 978-0-7869-6610-3.
  16. Jason Bradley Thompson (2017-02-27). The Barber of Silverymoon (PDF). In John Houlihan, Adam Lee eds. Dragon+ #12. Wizards of the Coast. p. 10. Archived from the original on 2017-06-17. Retrieved on 2017-06-17.
  17. Ed Greenwood (January 1996). Volo's Guide to the Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 186. ISBN 0-7869-0406-2.


True Felines
Mundane felines: CheetahDomestic catHighland catJaguarLeopardLionMountain lionOcelotPantherSaber-toothed tigerSand catSnow leopardTiger (RedSnow)
Giant felines: Dire lionDire tigerGiant lynx
Magical felines: Crag catJaguar lordJana-nimrJana-qitatLuck eaterSabu lordSwamplight lynxTressym
Planar felines: Fey pantherSpectral panther