A visit to one of the great cities in the worlds of Dungeons and Dragons – Waterdeep, the Free City of Greyhawk, or even uncanny Sigil, the City of Doors – overwhelms the senses. Voices chatter in countless different languages. The smells of cooking in dozens of different cuisines mingle with the odors of crowded streets and poor sanitation. Buildings in myriad architectural styles display the diverse origins of their inhabitants.
And the people themselves – people of varying size, shape, and color dressed in a dazzling spectrum of styles and hues – represent many different races, from diminutive halflings and stout dwarves to majestically beautiful elves, mingling among a variety of human ethnicities.
Scattered among the members of these more common races are the true exotics: a hulking dragonborn here, pushing his way through the crowd, and a sly tiefling there, lurking in the shadows with mischief in her eyes. A group of gnomes laughs as one of them activates a clever wooden toy that moves of its own accord. Half- elves and half-orcs live and work alongside humans, without fully belonging to the races of either of their parents. And there, well out of the sunlight, is a lone drow – a fugitive from the subterranean expanse of the Underdark, trying to make his way in a world that fears his kind.
Choose a Race
Humans are the most common people in the worlds of Dungeons and Dragon, but they live and work alongside dwarves, elves, halflings, and countless other fantastic species. Your character belongs to one of these peoples.
Not every intelligent race of the multiverse is appropriate for a player-controlled adventurer. Dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans are the most common races to produce the sort of adventurers who make up typical parties. Dragonborn, gnomes, half-elves, half- orcs, and tieflings are less common as adventurers. Drow, a subrace of elves, are also uncommon.
Your choice of race affects many different aspects of your character. It establishes fundamental qualities that exist throughout your character’s adventuring career. When making this decision, keep in mind the kind of character you want to play.
A halfling could be a good choice for a sneaky rogue, a dwarf makes a lough warrior, and an elf can be a master of arcane magic.
Your character race not only affects your ability scores and traits but also provides the cues for building your character’s story. Each race’s description in the chapter in the Player’s Handbook includes information to help you roleplay a character of that race, including personality, physical appearance, features of society, and racial alignment tendencies. These details are suggestions to help you think about your character; adventurers can deviate widely from the norm for their race. It’s worthwhile to consider why your character is different, as a helpful way to think about your character’s background and personally.
Each campaign will have different limitations and requirements for what races might be made available. The reasoning might be for ambiance or just mechanical reasons. No matter what the reasoning might be, these limitations must be followed.
The following races are explicitly allowed:
The following races are explicitly not allowed:
- Custom Lineage
- Simic Hybrid
Open to Negotiation Races
The following races might be allowed if a sufficiently good reasoning was offered to the DM:
- Gnome (Deep)
- Elf (Drow)
- Elf (Sea)
At this time there are not any Homebrew races, but that does not mean that it will be that way forever.