DnD Races, Lineages, & Species: Character Optimization Handbooks for DnD 5e

Your choice of race, alongside your class, is one of the most distinguishing and important aspects of your character. DnD races are numerous and diverse, catering to a wide range of concepts both narratively and mechanically. In our race handbooks we’ll help you get the most out of whatever race you care to play.

Note that our assessments of a class for dnd races may not match the assessments of a race for a class. Our class handbooks are written with an emphasis on the class and the options which work well for the class. Our handbooks for DnD races are written with an emphasis on the race and the class options which are viable for a player who has decided to play that race and may still be looking for a class which works for that race.

Races published early in 5e’s lifetime generally had fixed ability score increases. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduced new “custom origin” optional rules which allow players to reassign their character’s racial ability score increases, and races published after Tasha’s now use a standardized choice of +2/+1 or three +1 increases. Handbooks for dnd races published before Tasha’s include information for both the original version of the race and for the race while using the custom origin rules.

With perfect ability score increases available for every single race, many of the classic DnD tropes (elf wizards, dwarf fighters, etc.) have fallen away, and new pairings have emerged based on racial traits that are more novel than “+2 Dexterity”. Our race handbooks for races published before Tasha’s include advice for the “Classic” versions , as well as for the “Custom Origin” versions with ability score increases and skill proficiencies unrestricted.

Races vs. Species

Moving into the 2024 DnD 5e rules, Wizards of the Coast has adopted the term “Species” in place of “Race.” In tules terms, the two words are interchangeable.

Choosing a Race

If you are building your character by starting with your race, it’s perfectly fine to pick any race that catches your interest. Some races are more or less powerful, but thanks to the Custom Origin rules introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, any race can fit with any class and be reasonably effective.

If you’re looking to optimize your character, read our race handbook for your race of choice (all linked below), and look for classes that are a good fit for your chosen race. Racial traits which complement a class’s capabilities can often provide a huge boost in effectiveness. Once you’ve chosen a race and class, be sure to see our class handbooks for further advice.

DnD Races and Species

Aarakocra (EEPC/MotM)

Aarakocra did a lot of things first. They’re the first entry in the Monster Manual. They’re the first playable race in 5e that could be considered an anthromorph (an animal person). They’re the first playable race with flight. They’re the first race banned from Adventurer’s League. All exciting stuff.

Mechanically, Aarakocra are frustratingly bland. They get ability score increases, flight, talons, and a disappointing innate spell that you’ll rarely use. They’re a flying stat block. You play an Aarakocra either because you want to be a flying bird person or because you want flight at first level and don’t particularly care where it comes from.

Despite this blandness, Aarakocra are extremely powerful for a variety of builds, even without the custom origin rules or the updated racial traits. Dexterity and Wisdom is an excellent combination of ability score increases, and racial flight is insanely powerful, especially at a whopping 50 ft. of fly speed.

I want to take a moment to explain exactly why flight is such a big deal. In many encounters, it’s a guaranteed win condition. Armed with a ranged weapon and sufficient ammunition (or a good cantrip like Eldritch Blast), a flying humanoid can eventually kill anything that can’t find a way to get full cover. The flyer can easily chase enemies around above ground and wear them down while safely well out of the defender’s range unless the defender can also fly.

Even in enclosed spaces like a dungeon, a high ceiling can easily put the flying creature well out of their enemies’ reach. Most creatures in the monster manual lack a method to counter the simple issue of an enemy being 5 feet too high for the monster to attack them.

To summarize: Aarakocra can fly directly above most of the monster manual and kill the monster regardless of CR solely because you can fly and most monsters can’t.

If you’re using the updated version of the Aarakocra published in Monsters of the Multiverse, you should understand how Gust of Wind works. It makes it difficult for enemies to approach you, but remember that it has an Action casting time and doesn’t do anything when you cast it except push creatures in the initial area of effect.

For more information on this race, please visit our DnD 5th Edition Aarakocra Race Guide.

Aasimar (VGTM/MotM)

Aasimars are the go-to option for players who want to play a character with clear celestial influence. They have been through several major design changes over the years (see Aasimar Versions, in our race guide), but the celestial theme and some of their traits have remained a constant.

The version of the Aasimar published in Volo’s Guide to Monsters gets three subraces to choose from. While it’s never explicitly stated, it’s implied that the Protector and Scourge are intended to be good-aligned, while the fallen is intended to be evil-aligned. From a more mechanical perspective, the three subraces provide a different ability score increase and transformation, making each viable in different sets of builds and classes. Of course, with the custom origin rules in place, the difference between the three comes down to their transformation.

The transformations all apply a damage boost which applies to damage you deal on your turn with an attack or a spell. Since the transformation only works for one minute per long rest, you want to get as much mileage as possible. If possible, use multi-target effects like AOE damage spells, or make numerous attacks in the same turn. Keep in mind that the damage is reduced by resistances, targets passing saving throws, etc. so if you rely on AOE damage spells you’ll likely want to apply the bonus damage to a target that fails its save.

The updated version of the Aasimar published in Monsters of the Multiverse shares similar transformation effects to the version in Volo’s Guide to Monsters, but with a Bonus Action activation and severely reduced damage. The core concepts of the transformations are the same, but Radiant Consumption no longer hurts you, so all three options are at least worth considering for any class.

The DMG version of the Aasimar, often overlooked by most groups, is still a perfectly functional race. It shares the original Protector Aasimar’s ability score increases, and their Darkvision and damage resistances, but instead of Healing Hands, Light, and Transformation, the variant Aasimar just gets some innate spellcasting.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Aasimar Race Guide for more information.

Autognome (SAiS)

Sure, 3rd edition gave us the Warforged, but Spelljammer dates back to 2nd edition, so the Autognome may be DnD’s first playable construct. The playable version of the Autognome shares similarities with the Warforged (durability, mostly), but the Autognome is clearly designed more for skill and tool use than for combat. It shares none of the Autognome monster’s penchant for malfunctioning and exploding.

Comparing the playable Autognome to the monster stat block, there’s a lot that’s different. The monster is immune to paralysis and petrification and has Darkvision, but they also have something whacky happen when they take a lot of damage at once, up to and including exploding. They also have an electric attack which is conspicuously absent from the playable race. Honestly, there’s nothing tying the two together except art and the fact that they’re constructs.

For players, the Autognome is well-suited to Dexterity-based builds, especially those which can make effective use of tools. Healing Machine allows you to heal yourself with Mending, which saves you the trouble rushing to your next Short Rest, making the Autognome a good choice for your party’s Defender. Built for Success is easily the Autognome’s most noteworthy feature, allowing you to add a d4 to d20 rolls after seeing the outcome of the roll, so you never have to worry about missing an attack or failing a save or check by 1. The two tool proficiencies can get you Thieves’ Tools, Chef’s Tools, or whatever other tool seems interesting.

Looking for ways to accumulate d4’s on rolls is a great combination with Built for Success. Spells like Guidance and Bless are excellent, ase are class features like Peace Domain’s Emboldening Bond and Divine Soul’s Favored of the Gods. However, keep in mind that this can quickly overwhelm 5e’s bounded math, trivializing basically any attack, check, or save. Or maybe that’s what you want. I’m not your mom.

For more information, visit or DnD 5th Edition Autognome Race Guide.

Bugbear (VGTM/MotM)

Bugbears are all about offense. They’re an ideal ambush predator with Stealth proficiency for free, and their Surprise Attack feature which provides 2d6 extra damage if you can surprise an enemy. At low levels, 2d6 is a significant damage increase, possibly allowing you to kill weak enemies in a single blow and tip encounters in your favor from the outset. Applied repeatedly, you Surprise Attack can topple 5e’s encounter balance.

However, the Bugbear’s strengths also mostly pigeon-hole them as a martial character. Little about the bugbear’s traits makes spellcasters appealing, so you’re largely limited to martial classes and warlocks. If you use the Customizing Your Origins option rules or the updated version of the Bugbear published in Monsters of the Multiverse, you may find that spellcasting classes can benefit from the Bugbear’s traits. Long-Limbed makes it easy to attack while staying out of reach, and Surprise Attack notably works with attacks of any kind, so even regular spellcasters may enjoy starting combat with a big damage boost. However, the Bugbear still works best in melee where they can take advantage of Long-Limbed.

Long-Limbed has some complicated implications because it doesn’t work like a reach weapon. Long-Limbed gives you reach on your turn, which means that you can use it offensively without getting into the complications of using reach defensively. If you use a reach weapon your reach is 15 feet on your own turn, allowing you to exceed the reach of most creatures in the game. However, since you lose this reach between turns, enemies may be able to freely move away from your without provoking Opportunity Attacks. It also doesn’t extend the range on Booming Blade or Green-Flame Blade, so don’t get any ideas there.

Surprise Attack is easily the Bugbear’s most defining trait, but the version published in Volo’s Guide to Monsters was challenging at best. The damage boost is excellent at low levels, but quickly diminishes in effectiveness since it doesn’t scale. And since it only works on enemies which are surprised, whether or not you can use it depends heavily on the result of your initiative roll and on whether or not your party can successfully ambush your enemies.

Building around Dexterity and looking for bonuses from things like Guidance can do a lot to improve your chances of success, and when you do roll well you need to be certain not to miss, so look for ways to make multiple attacks like Extra Attack, Two-Weapon Fighting, or Eldritch Blast.

If you’re using the updated version of the Bugbear published in Mordenkainen’s Monsters of the Multiverse, Surprise Attack is dramatically improved, and becomes the Bugbear’s defining tactic. Rather than requiring the target to be surprised and only working once per combat, it now simply requires that the target hasn’t acted yet. This makes the Bugbear an absolutely terrifying threat in the first round of any combat, and rewards the ability to make multiple attacks early in combat. However, you need to be careful not to fall into the trap of only being useful on your first turn, and of course you still need to roll well on initiative to make Surprise Attack matter.

Or, you could just lean into only being useful for one turn so hard that you overwhelm the math of the game.

For more information, visit our DnD 5th Edition Bugbear Race Guide.

Centaur (EEPC/VGTM/MOoT/MotM)

A classic mythological creature, the Centaur is a horse but rather than a horse’s head they have the waist-upward portions of a human in the same place. Anatomically it’s a nightmare, and much ink and countless pixels have been spilled in the name of cryptozoological scientific attempts to explain exactly what’s going on there. What do they eat, and how much? What are centaur newborns like? How does a centaur wear pants? Can a centaur touch its own back feet? These are questions for scholarly and scientific minds far greater than my own.

Regardless of looming scientific questions, centaurs have been depicted in works of fiction dating back to Greek mythology. Even more recent works like Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter feature centaurs. Generally they’re depicted as socially insular, and they’re frequently depicted as powerful warriors, especially with bows and spears. Dungeons and Dragons has its own spin on centaurs, especially in the Ravnica setting where they first appeared as a playable race for 5th edition, depicting centaurs as roughly the size of a tall human rather than the size of a human mounted atop a horse as they’re depicted in most fiction.

Mechanically, the Centaur is challenging but novel in many ways. Their ability score increases to Strength and Wisdom work for a variety of classes, but few classes can easily capitalize on both. The Customizing Your Origins optional rules and the updated version published in Mordenkainen’s Monsters of the Multiverse solve that challenge, but their other racial traits will still encourage martial builds and melee combat.

The Centaur’s 40-foot speed is matched or exceeded by no playable race except the Aarakocra (before Monsters of the Multiverse reduced it to 30 ft.), and combined with their Charge trait the Centaur is capable of quickly getting into melee combat and making their presence felt. Equine Build is essentially the same as Powerful Build, but with the added handicap of being really bad at climbing. Fortunately Dungeons and Dragons features abundant options for levitation and flight, so that won’t be a problem beyond low levels.

The Centaur was notably the first non-humanoid playable race to be published.

For more information, visit our DnD 5th Edition Centaur Race Guide.

Changeling (ERLW/MotM)

Changelings are the closest that players will ever get to playing a doppelganger, gifted with the ability to change their appearance without relying on spells or on items like a disguise kit. While there is more to the race, this is generally what draws players to the Changeling. Changelings first appeared in Eberron: Rising From the Last War and have been a staple race in the Eberron setting since 3rd edition.

In the original version of Eberron: Rising from the Last War, the Changeling could apply their flexible +1 ability increase to any ability score, including Charisma, which allowed them to start at level 1 with 18 Charisma. This has been corrected in errata.

Shapechanger is versatile, but also limited. Since your clothing and equipment aren’t covered by the effect, you may need to partially rely on mundane disguises or spells to pass yourself off as a specific person. It’s unclear if you need to make checks to deceive other creatures while disguised in this way, but as a DM I might apply disadvantage on other creatures to realize that you’re disguised based solely on appearance. It won’t help you talk, but the Changeling gets a Charisma increase for that, as well as two Face skills.

For classes which don’t rely solely on Charisma, the Changeling competes for space with the Variant Human and with the Half-Elf. Variant humans can get similar Ability Score Increases, and with the Skilled feat can pick up two skills and proficiency in the Disguise Kit to roughly match the Changeling. The Half-elf gets an additional free increase, Darkvision, Fey Ancestry, and any two skills rather than two from a fixed list, not to mention the availability of variants. If you’re playing a changeling, you you want Shapechanger.

Even with the custom origin rules or the updated version of the Changeling published in Mordenkainen’s Monsters of the Multiverse, the Changeling is still defined by Shapechanger, which is their only trait beyond skill proficiencies which can be matched by numerous other races like the Kenku and the Tabaxi. This predisposes the Changeling to campaigns where infiltration, subterfuge, and intrigue are the norm. Games that are all about crawling dungeons and slaying monsters will be a struggle because the Changeling brings essentially nothing useful in combat.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Changeling Race Guide for more information.

Custom Lineage (TCoE)

Introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the “Custom Lineage” is a sort of non-option for choosing your race. If your idea for your character’s racial heritage doesn’t neatly fall into one of the published races, it’s a great option for expressing your character. For example, if your character is part orc, part elf, and part human, none of the published racial traits quite make sense. Enter the Custom Lineage. You can also use the Custom Lineage rule while still calling yourself an elf or a dwarf or whatever else, so even if you want your character to be a normal non-hybrid race, the Custom Lineage can still help your mechanics line up with your mental image of your character.

Mechanically, the Custom Lineage strongly resembles the Variant Human. Custom Lineage trades +1 to two abilities for +2 to one ability, and you gain the option to take Darkvision instead of a skill proficiency. They’re roughly equivalent, but the ability to split your increases makes the variant human more viable in classes where you need more than one good ability score. Of course, once you hit level 4 your first Ability Score Increase can level any differences between the two except for Darkvision, but by then you can also cast Darkvision as a 2nd-level spell.

The Custom Lineage has one very unique advantage: by taking the right feat, you can start with 18 in one ability score. This was previously doable with the Changeling, but errata removed that capability so the Custom Lineage stands alone.

Please note that the Custom Lineage is considered an “optional rule”. Talk to your DM before you decide to use it.

For more information, visit our DnD 5th Edition Custom Lineage Race Guide.

Dhampir Lineage (VRGtR)

All the cool factor of vampires without actually being a vampire. See in the dark, walk on walls, and bite stuff. The Dhampir’s bite allows you to empower d20 rolls a few times per day, and it can also provide a powerful combat option for characters with high Constitution, especially if you’re below half hit points.

Dhampirs are a lineage applied on top of a base race, replacing most of your base race’s traits, but this allows you to inherit special move speeds (flight, etc.) or gain two extra skill proficiencies.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Dhampir Lineage Race Guide for more information.

Dragonborn (PHB)

Humanoid dragons with scales and a breath weapon, the Dragonborn is the closest players can get to playing a real dragon. Popular for looking extremely cool, the Dragonborn was mechanically disappointing in the Player’s Handbook, but after several years into 5e we have seen new variants on the race which has made it much more exciting to play.

Dragonborn were introduced late in 3rd edition as a weird template, and became a full-fledged race in the 4th edition Player’s Handbook. They were introduced to answer the simple criticism that the game is called “Dungeons and Dragons” but there was no easy way to play a dragon. 3rd edition had rules for playing a True Dragon, and there are a number of 3rd-party rules for playing a dragon in 5th edition (including my own interpretation in Monstrous Races), but there is objectively no easier way to play to the draconic theme of the game than to play a dragonborn.

While there are now many variations on the Dragonborn, every variety of dragonborn chooses a draconic ancestor. This determines your character’s damage resistance (if they get one) and the effects of your breath weapon.

For more information visit the DnD 5th Edition Dragonborn Race Guide.

Dwarf (PHB)

By the numbers, dwarves are one of the best races in the Player’s Handbook. Their ability score increases are good, and their other racial traits make them durable and flexible enough to succeed in several classes.

If you’re using the Customizing Your Origins optional rules, the Dwarf is an excellent template for any class. Hill Dwarf is excellent for any build that needs a few extra hit points, and Mountain Dwarf offers two +2 increases (unmatched by any other published race) and medium armor proficiency, which largely solves the issue of AC for poorly-armored classes like the Wizard. For players looking for a solid mechanical basis for a build that doesn’t really care about race, or for newer players looking to live a long, successful life, the Dwarf is a great choice.

For more information on the Dwarf race, visit our DnD 5th Edition Dwarf Race Guide.

Later versions of dwarf subraces are published as standalone races, and as such we’ve addressed them in their own handbooks:

Elf (PHB)

A staple of fantasy fiction and folklore, Elves are a simple yet effective base race with subraces which are numerous and diverse enough that elves are usable in a variety of builds and character concepts. Unfortunately, because the subraces differentiate the Elf’s traits so much, it’s rare for more than one subrace to be viable in the same class unless you’re using the Customizing Your Origins optional rules presented in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

Since the initial release of 5th edition, the evolution of the game has repeatedly shaken up the Elf’s place in the character optimization meta. At initial release, the Wood Elf was the only race with increases to Dexterity and Wisdom (excluding humans and half-elves since they have flexible increases), and the Elf was one of very few races which got additional skills, especially since elves get Perception. This made them appealing in many builds, including Druids and Monks. As we got additional source books, the introduction of Booming Blade made the High Elf a powerful option for rogues and for “gish” builds.

The introduction of the custom origin rules was a big hit to the Elf, making the Wood Elf largely pointless, but making other elf subraces much more appealing. The High Elf especially is now an even more appealing option for gish builds since you can reassign the Intelligence increase to something else, making the High Elf an appealing option for martial bard builds, clerics, druid, rogues, and some multiclass builds. The Drow’s innate spellcasting is appealing for Charisma-based spellcasters. The sea elf exists. The Eladrin and the Shadar-kai offer teleportation for martial builds, especially non-casters. There’s an elf for every build.

Elves are one of very few published races with an aquatic option. While the Sea Elf is conceptually interesting, it gets very little beyond the ability to function well underwater, so I habitually ignore it in my character optimization content. I will continue to do that here, but if you’re playing in an aquatic campaign, remember that the Sea Elf is a thing.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Elf Race Guide for more information.

Later versions of elf subraces are published as standalone races, and as such we’ve addressed them in their own handbooks:

Fairy (WBtW/MotM)

The Fairy, introduced in Wild Beyond the Witchlight, fits the pop-culture image of a generic fairy: basically a human with insect-like wings and some magic powers. While images of Tinkerbell might pop into your head, the Fairy is Small (rather than Tiny like a pixie or a sprite) so they fit readily into a typical party without needing to introduce rules for tiny players.

Mechanically, the Fairy’s defining traits are flight and innate spellcasting. The Fairy’s flight isn’t as good as that of the Aarakocra (which is faster) or the winged Tiefling (which can fly in medium armor), but flight is still extremely powerful. The Faerie’s innate spellcasting isn’t amazing, but it includes Faerie Fire, allows you to pick your spellcasting ability, and allows you to re-cast the spells using spell slots. That’s a huge asset for many builds, and between flight and Faerie Fire there’s a ton of room for optimization here. The Fairy can also cast Druidcraft, but I don’t think Druidcraft is especially useful.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Fairy Race Guide for more information.

Firbolg (VGTM/MotM)

The Firbolg is an interesting race. They were introduced in Volo’s Guide to Monster’s, and while they have existed back to 1st edition DnD, their appearance, lore, and even their height has changed significantly in 5th edition. The Forgotten Realm Wiki goes into more detail, but the single piece of art we have for the Firbolg depicts them as blue with pointy ears, which has no text to back it up and disagrees with every other depiction of firbolgs in DnD’s history. Of course, a 10-foot tall player character would present some challenges. So in terms of lore, the Firbolg is a bit unclear, but they’re consistently depicted as reclusive, gentle, humble, but also extremely insular. If you’re playing a firbolg, your character has almost certainly left home permanently, and may never see another of their kind again.

The original version of the Firbolg is a mechanical challenge. combining an uncommon pair of ability score increases with powerful innate spellcasting. Their flavor text describes them as natural druids, and while that can be a great option it’s also not the only one. Tragically, as much fun as the Firbolg is conceptually, their unusual combination of ability increases severely limits their build options. Speech of Beast and Leaf is more complicated, so I’ve explored it below.

With the introduction of the Custom Origin rules and the updated version of the Firbolg published in Monsters of the Multiverse, the Firbolg’s unusual combination of ability score increases is no longer an issue, and instead they’re left to stand on their other racial traits. The Firbolg’s innate spellcasting is the most obviously useful because spells have explicit, defined effects. Detect Magic is universally useful, and once per short rest is often enough that you likely don’t need it available by other means. Similarly, the Firbolg’s version of Disguise Self is neat, but Disguise Self is only situationally useful and you may go long stretches without using it at all. Hidden Step is good, but likely can’t compete with race options like the Glasya Tiefling or the Pallid Elf, and you’ll still need to invest in Stealth proficiency.

For more information, visit the DnD 5th Edition Firbolg Race Guide.

Genasi (EEPC)

This handbook is for version of the Genasi published prior to Monsters of the Multiverse. For the new versions, see our handbooks for the airearthfire, and water genasi.

Genasi have existed for several editions, and they’re a fun race which adds an elemental theme to your character. They’re descendants of genies, but that part of the race’s description is easily overlooked if you just want to play a person with fire for hair. Published in the Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (a free PDF from Wizards of the Coast), the Genasi was the first non-core race published in 5th edition.

Mechanically, the Genasi are defined almost entirely by their subrace. While they still share a few core traits like a Constitution increase, all of the interesting parts come from your choice of subrace. Each subrace gets a couple traits, and they all get some innate spellcasting, but the specifics vary wildly. Notably, all genasi use Constitution as their spellcasting ability for their innate spellcasting.

Taken as a whole, the Genasi is a diverse race which can fill a variety of classes. Taken as individual subraces, genasi are limited, niche races with significant limitations. Genasi have no decision points beyond their subrace, which means that they have very little flexibility. The custom origin rules open up your options somewhat, but there are still challenges.

Air genasi work for Dexterity-based builds, but their innate spellcasting is extremeley limited. The custom origin rules open up your options, but unless you really want Levitate for some reason there’s basically no reason to play an air genasi.

Earth genasi only work for Strength-based melee builds unless you use the custom origin rules, and even then their only selling point is ignoring difficult terrain, and unless your whole party is building around difficult terrain, that’s not enough of a selling point.

Fire Genasi work for Intelligence-based spellcasters, but their innate spellcasting is Constitution-based so either you focus on that and you’re bad at everything else, or you focus on your class features and you’re getting nothing from your racial traits. At that point, play literally anything else. If you use the custom origin rules, the Constitution-based spellcasting may be helpful for a handful of builds, but the investment to make the innate spellcasting work will rarely be worth the effort.

Water genasi only work for Wisdom-based casters (and arguably for monks) unless you use the custom origin rules, at which point you’re getting a few useful things that work on any character, but none of it is remarkably exciting. You do get shape water and acid resistance, but unless you’re going to spend a lot of time underwater the water genasi will never exceed what a variant human with Magic Initiate can do.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Genasi Race Guide for more information.

Giff (SAiS)

Giff are a race of pistol-wielding space hippos which were exclusive to Spelljammer until 5th edition, when they were introduced as a monster long before we learned that Spelljammer was making an official return. Historically, we’ve known a few things about the Giff: They love guns and explosions, they get around on spelljammer ships, and they are utterly incapable of using magic, and must therefore enlist spellcasters of other races to fly their ships. Well, giff player characters can use magic, but otherwise WotC has stuck very close to everyone’s favorite space hippos.

Giff have two iconic traits which make them naturally good at firearms and which grant them Advantage on Strength checks. In some ways, this puts the Giff at odds with itself because a single build generally can’t be good at both fighting using firearms and at using Strength checks to grapple. Unless you’re giving up on the idea of feats, you’ll likely need to pick between the two to focus upon.

In some circumstances, you may find that your pistol hippo ranged build is engaged in melee. In those cases, doff your monocle, exclaim “how dare you,” and Shove the adjacent enemy away. Many monsters lack proficiency in either Acrobatics or Athletics so even moderate Strength and proficiency in Athletics is sufficient to successfully Shove many enemies, allowing you to get out of melee without resorting to Disengage.

Regarding the pronunciation of the name: The RPGBOT team’s official stance is that it is pronounced “giff”.

For more information, visit our DnD 5th Edition Giff Race Guide.

Gith (MToF)

This handbook is for version of the Gith published prior to Monsters of the Multiverse. For the new versions, see our handbooks for the Githyanki and the Githzerai.

Gith are a strange race. They share almost nothing between mechanical their two subraces despite them descending from common ancestry. The one defining trait which they do share is an Intelligence increase. This naturally predisposes both subraces to spellcasting class options, but a single Intelligence increase doesn’t necessary lock you into being a wizard or something.

The Gith’s biggest issue is that there is no class where their traits fit perfectly. They don’t have any truly fantastic class options. They work fine for several classes, and they offer some exciting options like a wizard in medium armor, but you’ll nearly always find that some major component of your racial traits are either redundant or ignored.

The custom origin rules allow you to reassign the Gith’s ability score increases, addressing the race’s largest mechanical problem. The Githyanki becomes an appealing choice for poorly-armored spellcasters, and the Githzerai becomes a more niche option with a mix of utility and defensive options. Both subraces’ innate spellcasting offer some additional utility.

Visit our Dnd 5th Edition Gith Race Guide for more information.

Gnome (PHB)

Gnomes have changed a lot throughout the history of Dungeons and Dragons. At times they’ve been monsters. At times they’ve been fey. In general, DnD has always had trouble pinning down gnomes thematically in a way that distinguishes them from halflings, but I think 5th edition may have done the best job of any edition to date. Gnomes have subraces which are very distinct from one another, and their traits offer some unique an interesting options.

The Gnome’s biggest challenge is their ability score increases. All gnomes share an Intelligence increase which predisposes them to being artificers and wizards, but generally you’ll only have one or two viable subraces for any other class. Under the default rules, Gnomes are generally a niche option that works well in specific builds, but the Gnome simply doesn’t have the right ability score increases to fill a broad range of character options.

As with many similar races, the Customizing Your Origin rules introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything did a lot to open up the Gnome’s build options. Gnome Cunning is a powerful defense, especially for martial characters who are often vulnerable to mind-affecting hazards like spells, so suddenly the gnome went from a passable short wizard to an interesting option for mentally resilient martial builds in addition to being a good spellcaster. Unfortunately the Rock Gnome and Mark of Scribing become extremely niche options, but the Svirfneblin (deep gnome) is good for stealthy builds and the Forest Gnome makes a good base for almost anything else that can put Minor Illusion to good use.

Perhaps the Gnome’s biggest problem under the custom origin rules is that there’s very little diversity. You’re either a sneaky gnome (svirfneblin) or your only distinguishing active trait is that you can cast Minor Illuson (forest gnome). That can feel like an unsatisfying reward for picking gnome as your race. Of course, I absolutely love Minor Illusion, so I’ll happily take it on any character that can get it.

The Deep Gnome/Svirfneblin referenced in this guide refers to the original version of the subrace. For the updated version of the Deep Gnome published in Monsters of the Multiverse, see our Deep Gnome Handbook.

For more information on the Gnome race, visit our DnD 5th Edition Gnome Race Guide.

Goblin (VGTM/MotM)

Goblins were first published as a playable race for dnd 5e in Volo’s Guide to Monsters (which is no longer available for purchase). Goblins have existed as a monster in Dungeons and Dragons for decades, and they appear as prominently in DnD settings as orcs or ogres.

Goblins have no subraces and no decision points in their racial traits, which makes them very inflexible. Their ability score increases are good and they have several interesting traits, but their lack of decision points means that they only work in builds where their traits are frequently impactful. Goblins really thrive when fighting with Dexterity-based weapons, and Nimble Escape offers the most important benefits of the Rogue’s Cunning Action so you can easily employ Rogue-style combat tactics without a class dip.

The custom origin rules and the updated version of the Goblin in Monsters of the Multiverse do a lot to expand the Goblin’s options, and the utility of both Fury of the Small and Nimble Escape allow the goblin to succeed in a wide variety of classes.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Goblin Race Guide for more information.

Goliath (EEPC/VGTM/MotM)

Goliaths first appeared as a playable race in the DnD 3.5 supplement Races of Stone, and made their first appearance in 5th edition in the Elemental Evil Player’s Companion, making them one of the first non-core playable races in 5e. Much like dragonborn are a humanoid dragon, goliaths are a humanoid giant. That’s a weird statement to make since giants are basically just tall humanoids, but they’re a separate creature type. Still, the appeal of being almost Large size has remained appealing since the goliath’s first appearance. Goliaths do have fun and unique background lore, but generally players pick the Goliath because they want to be really big.

Mechanically, the Goliath is a spectacular option for any Strength-based build. Proficiency in Athletics gives you a staple option for many Strength-based characters and Stone’s Endurance provides a powerful defensive option which remains useful throughout your character’s career. Unfortunately, these capabilities also pigeon-hole the Goliath into Strength-based melee builds. The custom origin rules and the updated version of the Goliath published in Mordenkainen Presents Monster’s the Multiverse open up your ability score options, allowing you to bring the durability of Stone’s Endurance to any build.

If you’re using the version of the Goliath originally published in the Elemental Evil Player’s Companion, note that the Goliath’s Mountain Born trait has been updated to add resistance to cold damage. This change was made in Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, and in errata documents and the Sage Advice Compendium.

For more information, visit our DnD 5th Edition Goliath Race Guide.

Hadozee (SAiS)

Hadozee are weird. They’re sort of like a primate mixed with a flying squirrel, gifted with both prehensile feet and the ability to glide using skin flaps. I’m perplexed by how they wear clothing because their skin flaps attach at their wrists, lower backs, and ankles, and official art depicts them as wearing the same pants that a human might wear. Try tying a string from your ankle to your wrist, then put on pants. That’s what we’re looking at here.

Mechanically, hadozee are very durable. Their Hadozee Dodge trait is basically the same as the Goliath’s Stone’s Endurance with a smaller die and different scaling, scaling on your Proficiency Bonus rather than your Constitution modifier. This makes it better at very high levels for characters who don’t invest heavily in Constitution, but if you compare two characters with 14 Constitution (which is a very common value), Hadozee Dodge won’t catch up until level 11, and many characters won’t make it that far.

Glide allows you to travel horizontally in a hurry, but its primary intended function is to allow you to avoid taking damage when falling or leaping from high places, and the ability to get extra movement is apparently an abuse case since WotC errataed Glide to nerf it. Dexterous feet is also a thing, but its capabilities are so limited that you can often forget about it.

The most difficult part of playing a hadozee is justifying playing a hadozee. Dexterous Feet is extremely limited, and, unless you’re fighting with an item in both hands, it’s largely useless. Glide is only useful if you can jump enough for it to matter (10 feet with the errata version), so you need high Strength. Climbing works, but you can’t always guarantee something climable will be nearby. Even when Glide works, it’s usually little more than a comical novelty in a game where magical flight exists. In the vast majority of cases, the Goliath is a better choice simply because Stone’s Endurance is a linear improvement over Hadozee Dodge.

Please note that WotC has issued changes to the Hadozee’s traits and lore, and has posted a statement regarding the controversy around the Hadozee. The current version on DnDBeyond cut much of the Hadozee’s lore and reworded the Glide feature, and those changes will be reflected in future reprintings of Spelljammer: Adventures in Space.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Hadozee Race Guide for more information.

Half-Elf (PHB)

The Half-Elf is among the most powerful races in the core rules. It’s a top-tier race option for several classes, and even for classes where the Half-Elf isn’t a perfect fit it’s at least workable. Two flexible ability increases and two free skill proficiencies are useful on essentially any character, plus you get Darkvision and a +2 Charisma increase. If those traits don’t quite work for you, the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide includes variants which allow you to exchange part of your racial traits for other options.

If you’re using the default rules, the Half-Elf’s biggest competition is from the Variant Human, which has similar ability increases and with the versatility of a feat the Variant Human can often provide the same build versatility that makes the Half-Elf so appealing. In cases where you need a lot of one thing (a lot of cantrips, a lot of skills, etc.) the Variant Human is better. In cases where you need a bit of everything, the Half-Elf is often better.

With the custom origin rules, the Half-Elf suddenly becomes the savior of MAD builds everywhere. Three ability score increases makes classes link the Monk and the Paladin much easier to build, and the two skills remain a wonderful addition to any characrer.

For more information, visit our DnD 5th Edition Half-Elf Race Guide.

Half-Orc (PHB)

Half-orcs are an easily-overlooked race. Their racial traits tend to pigeon-hole them into simple martial builds, and in most official settings and works of fiction outside of D&D orcs have historically been portrayed barbaric savages, so even characters’ backstories tend to be forced into an incredibly narrow set of options. Half-orcs don’t get subraces, and unlike the half-elf we haven’t seen variants of any kind, so the race offers little flexibility. There’s only so many times you can write a half-orc barbarian raised among orcs or a half-orc fighter raised among humans and still have a memorable character.

But just because a race’s built-in, published options are limited doesn’t mean that your story options are limited. It’s totally fine to play a half-orc barbarian raised by their orcish family; there’s nothing wrong with the obvious character option, and being raised among orcs certainly doesn’t mean that your character or their family have to conform to any preconcieved notion of what an orc is or does. But don’t be afraid to go for something unusual. Maybe your half-orc is an accountant and goes adventuring like real-world people go on weekend camping trips.

Mechanically, the half-orc is a simple choice. With no decision points and with the insurance provided by Relentless Endurance it’s a great option for new players. But don’t let that appeal deter you if you’re a veteran: the half-orc is still a solid racial option for some builds, and if you like big critical hits, Savage Attacks is a nice damage bonus.

If you absolutely love critical hits, a half-orc with some combination of Barbarian and Fighter (Champion) is a great build. Reckless Attack and Improved Critical make it very likely that you’ll score a critical hit in a turn, and with Savage Attacks, Brutal Critical, and a greataxe you’re rolling a bunch of d12’s all at once. Unfortunately, even the Custom Origin rules don’t really broaden the half-orc’s class options. Your best bet is still to wring a greataxe.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Half-Orc Race Guide for more information.

Halfling (PHB)

Halflings are perhaps the most iconic small race in Dungeons and Dragons, dating back to its earliest editions. Their mechanics have changed as much as any race, but they have consistently remained a staple option for players who enjoy playing thieves, rogues, or other stealthy characters.

While halflings have few subraces, they have enough variety that they can easily succeed in a broad array of classes even without the custom origin rules. While their core Dexterity increase can limit them to Dexterity-based builds, Dexterity is a powerful ability score and almost any class can be built to fight using either Dexterity or a mental ability score.

The custom origin roles do a lot to open up the Halfling’s horizons, but the Lightfoot Halfling is still mostly pigeon-holed into rogue and other sneaky classes.

Fun fact: The Halfling was originally called the “Hobbit” all the way back in 2nd edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons until the Tolkien estate sent them a Cease and Desist letter. TSR was forced to hastily rename many iconic creatures which had been lifted from Middle Earth, including hobbits (halflings), balrogs (balor), and ents (treants), and those creatures have retained their replacement names since that momentus event.

For more information, visit our DnD 5th Edition Halfling Race Guide.

Harengon (WBtW/MotM)

The Harengon is a rabbit anthromorph introduce in Wild Beyond the Witchlight. Despite originating from the Feywild, the Harengon is still a humanoid. They have a fun mix of useful traits, and everything about the race was written with a fun sensibility, so just reading the race’s traits is a good time.

If you didn’t already figure it out, “harengon” is a play on “here and gone”, “hare-trigger” is a play on “hair trigger”, “lucky footwork” is a reference to the concept of rabbit’s feet being good luck tokens, and explaining jokes makes them less funny so I’m going to stop doing that now.

Mechanically, the Harengon is a versatile race that can work in a variety of builds. They use the same rules for ability scores and languages that all post-Tasha’s races use (+2/+1 ability score increases or three +1’s and two languages), and their other traits work for basically any character. Hare-Trigger is the trait that people are most likely to consider when building a harengon since bonuses to Initiative are often difficult to find. Lucky Footwork provides some insurance against damage from Dexterity saves (which are very common), and Rabbit Hop allows you to get out of melee or over small obstacles like pits and difficult terrain a few times per day. It also doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks, so in a way it’s like a miniature version of Cunning Action.

While the Harengon works for any class, it’s not exceptionally good at anything in particular. Hare Trigger is great so you can go first in combat, but beyond that capability (which is available from other sources, though Hair-Trigger is the easiest) nothing here is going to give you a crazy optimized character. The Harengon is a fine race and you won’t struggle to succeed, but in most cases there is goin to be a more mechanically effective option for whatever you’re trying to do.

Harengon also receive proficiency in Perception. You may be locked into this choice since Harengon doesn’t explicitly have the “Ability Score Increase” trait which is required to use the custom origin rules (see the Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything errata).

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Harengon Race Guide for more information.

Hexblood Lineage (VRGtR)

Just as the Dhampir is a player-friendly vampire, the Hexblood is a player-friendly hag. Hexblood gain their powers from a hag by one of several methods, but the result is access to some tricky and mildly spooky magial options.

On a completely non-mechanical note: the art for Hexblood bothers me. The description of the lineage states that they have a sort of “crown” which “extends from their temples and wraps behind the head”. The official art in Van Richten’s Guide seems to misunderstand which part of the head is the Temple. The Temple is the indent in the skull horizontally behind the eyes. Put your fingers on your face in find it, then take a look at the two pieces of art in the Hexblood entry. Not only do those characters’ crowns not extend from their temples, they don’t even touch the temples. Is this a pointless gripe? Yes, absolutely.

Mechanically, the Hexblood has two unique traits that both warrant examination: Eerie Token and Hex Magic. Eerie Token serves dual purposes as both a one-way communication device and as an expendable tool for spying and scouting, making it a powerful tool for rogues and similarly stealthy characters, as well as for clever players who might otherwise rely on divination spells. Hex offers some Innate Spellcasting, and unlike most races you get the ability to re-cast the spells using spell slots if you have them. That unique spellcasting capability offers some very exciting options for certain characters. Hexbloods are also Fey, rather than humanoids, so you’re immune to things like Hold Person but you’ll have issues with things like Banishment and effects which specifically harm Fey and other creatures which typically aren’t native to the material plane.

For more information, visit our DnD 5th Edition Hexblood Lineage Race Guide.

Hobgoblin (VGTM/MotM)

Of the three goblinoid races (bugbears, goblins, and hobgoblins), the Hobgoblin is generally depicted as the smart one. They’ve changed a lot mechanically over several editions, but their lore remained largely the same: a regimented, militaristic society which idolizes warriors and punishes weaklings.

Strangely, the original version of 5e’s hobgoblin gained an Intelligence increase, which predisposes them to classes like the Artificer and the Wizard rather than strictly martial classes. In previous editions hobgoblins shunned arcane magic, going so far as to call it “elf magic” as a slur. This change in capabilities between editions is somewhat odd, but since hobgoblins are generally one of those “monstrous humanoid” races (goblins, kobolds, orcs, etc.) that you fight for a few levels then forget about, I don’t think anyone noticed.

Mechanically, the original version of the Hobgoblin has some unique traits. Proficiency in light armor and two martial weapons can be helpful for many classes, and while an Intelligence increase can certainly pigeonhole the Hobgoblin into spellcasting classes that’s not your only option. Saving Face is a powerful option to turn a failed roll into a successful one, and in some cases it’s enough to offset a relatively low ability score in Strength or Dexterity.

However, the ability to use it on saving throws can make it hard to justify using for something like an attack roll. Weirdly, Saving Face improves based on the number of nearby allies, so it works best in a large party. If you’re not getting the full +5 bonus, look for options like Find Familiar, or befriend an animal or something.

With the custom origin rules in place, the Hobgoblin’s noteworthy traits boil down to weapon/armor proficiencies and Saving Face. If you want the proficiencies the Githyanki and the Mountain Dwarf are better choices. If you’re worried about saves, Variant Human to get either Resilient or Lucky may be more effective. The Hobgoblin falls somewhere between the benefits of those two options.

The updated version of the Hobgoblin published in Monsters of the Multiverse made major changes to the Hobgoblin, essentially giving their traits a full rewrite. WotC also updated goblinoid lore to make them originally inhabitants of the Feywild before the goblin deity Maglubiyet conscripted goblinoids into an army which he then marched into the material plane, where they eventually lost their fey creature type.

The updated Hobgoblin’s traits reflect more of the Hobgoblin’s ancestry among the fey than the “present day” militaristic society described in the Monster manual. These are functionally two different races, and honestly I can’t think of a mechanical justification to still consider them the same race. If WotC had published a “maglubiyet hobgoblin” reflecting the existing lore and a “feywild hobgoblin” with the new traits, those two versions could happily exist alongside each other.

Fey Gift is the new Hobgoblin’s signature trait, offering a helpful support option which doesn’t cost your Action. The rider effects are excellent, but the base rules of Help mean that it’s primarily useful for front-line melee characters who won’t use their Bonus Action every turn. Back-row casters may struggle to use Fey Gift in combat, so you’ll often default to using the Hospitality option outside of combat to get temporary hit points. Despite the lore changes, this makes the hobgoblin better suited to front-line martial classes like the Fighter, which feels ironic considering the less militaristic presentation of the Hobgoblin. Gift of the Many works for any build, but I recommend reserving it to use defensively.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Hobgoblin Race Guide for more information.

Human (PHB)

Human come in two flavors: the standard human and the “variant” human. The standard human receives +1 increases to each ability score, making it easy to fit into any build. However, it lacks any other racial traits, which makes the standard human extremely bland. It also lacks the numerical appeal of a +2 ability increase, so more focused races will frequently outpace the standard human in nearly every case.

The vast majority of the time that you play a human, you’re going to play a variant human. +1 to two ability scores means that you can increase as many important ability scores as the standard human in almost any build (Monks being a possible exception), but you also get a free skill/tool proficiency and a feat. Since this is the only way to get a feat at first level and the only way to get a feat without giving up potentially crucial ability score increases, the variant human is a hugely popular option for players who want to make us of feats.

Much of this guide will draw comparisons between the standard and variant human, but to be clear up front: The variant human is better in all but the most novel of builds. Much of this guide will also discuss options for feats to select at first level as a variant human, which serve the same function as the traits offered by other races.

The Human is notably the only race which is not significantly changed by the Customizing Your Origins optional rules. The Variant Human can trade their skill proficiency for a tool or weapon proficiency, and you can replace Common as a language proficiency, but that’s all that changes. Dragonmarked humans are affected more significantly, of course.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Human Race Guide.

Kalashtar (ERLW)

Kalashtar are a race of humanoids bound to good-aligned spirits from the Dreamlands, the plane where minds travel to when they sleep. The Kalashtar originate in Eberron, seeing their first appearance as a playable race in back in DnD 3.5 in the Races of Eberron supplement.

Kalashtar’s racial traits center around the mind, including increases to Wisdom and Charisma, Advantage on Wisdom saves, resistance to psychic damage, and limited telepathy. While these capabilities are powerful, they also pigeon-hole the Kalashtar into spellcasting classes.

With the custom origin rules in place, the Kalashtar becomes an effective option for martial classes who are frequently vulnerable to mind-affecting problems like spells and special abilities which might frighten or charm them, as well as to Psychic damage which is rare but basically impossible for most martial characters to avoid.

Regardless of whether you’re using the custom origin rules or now, the Kalasthar’s capabilities are almost exclusively defensive. While they do provide excellent benefits, they don’t help your character actively do anything (except potentially sneaking around language barriers with telepathy), so be sure that your class features and skills offer enough options to make you useful.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Kalashtar Race Guide for more information.

Kender (SotDQ)

Introduced in Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, the Kender is a race unique to the Dragonlance world of Krynn. They have a storied history in the long-running Dragonlance novel series, and they hold a controversial place in the D&D community, beloved by Dragonlance fans and often disliked by other players only tangentially familiar with the Kender’s lore.

Historically, Kender have been portrayed unfavorably because of their loose concept of private property. Within an adventuring party, this could encourage the worst rogue impulses, including theft from fellow party members with the excuse of “it’s what my character would do.” That flavor has been scrubbed away in 5e’s interpretation, and instead Kender lean more into being inquisitive, curious explorers and collectors rather than light-fingered menaces.

Mechanically, the Kender feels very similar to the Halfling; Small size and a natural protection against fear evocative of the Halfling’s Brave trait. The Kender’s signature racial trait is Taunt, which allows them to debuff a creature as a Bonus Action, making it difficult for the target to attack other creatures.

Taunt is satisfying in a number of ways, but it does mean that the Kender favors builds with higher mental ability scores over strictly martial builds. This is unfortunate, because a taunt mechanic often makes it much easier to be an effective Defender. Builds which already lean heavily on their Bonus Action may find it difficult to fit Taunt into their tactics, but builds which don’t will find Taunt a wonderful addition to their tactical options.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Kender Race Guide.

Kenku (VGTM/MotM)

Kenku are mechanically solid, and excel in a variety of builds due to their excellent ability score increases and free skill proficiencies. They are defined more by their Dexterity increase than their Wisdom increase, and the Kenku is a go-to race for stealthy characters. With the custom origin rules or the updated version of the Kenku published in Monsters of the Multiverse, the Kenku is defined primarily by its skill proficiencies and Mimicry.

Thematically, the Kenku is a fantastically unique race with some interesting quirks. They are spectular imitators, but lack creativity. They can mimic sounds and ideas, but don’t have their own voices and can’t come up with plans on their own. This is an interesting roleplaying challenge; how do you play a game that’s so dependent on clever thinking when your character can only regurgitate ideas which it heard elsewhere?

Of course, the updated version of the Kenku published in Monsters of the Multiverse discards much of that. While kenku are still fantastic at mimicry and imitation, WotC removed the Kenku’s inability to devise novel ideas or to speak without mimicking other sounds and voices. There’s nothing to stop you from playing a kenku who relies entirely on mimicry, plagiarism, and duplication of other creatures’ behaviors, ideas, and speech, but it’s not longer the expectation. That does remove some of the novelty of the race, but it also means that players might not feel as restrained in their actions when playing a kenku.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Kenku Race Guide for more information.

Kobold (VGTM/MotM)

The Kobold is a favorite punching bag of low-level adventurers, allowing the DM to populate dungeons and other locales with numerous, low-CR humanoids without immediately overpowering low-level parties. At the same time, over the course of Dungeons and Dragons’ real-world history they have come to be known for their clever usage of traps and contraptions, their sometimes absurd willingness to throw themselves on adventurer’s weapons, and their paradoxical ability to outwit and outfight experienced, powerful adventurers. They are at the same time both pitiful and terrifying.

As a playable race, the original version of the Kobold was a significant design point in the evolution of race design in 5th edition. They were the first race to feature an ability decrease, which is a design decision which I assumed would be left on the ashes of 3rd edition (orcs also featured an ability decrease, but they’re later in the alphabet so kobolds still count as first). Of course, this was later removed.

They also feature the powerful Pack Tactics trait which is typically reserved for weak creatures designed to be threatening in a group but negligible on their own. This is partially offset by Sunlight Sensitivity, but players are typically clever enough to offset Sunlight Sensitivity somehow, so it wasn’t much of a problem.

Despite the strength of Pack Tactics, the original Kobold is very limited. With only a single ability score increase, anything that couldn’t survive almost exclusively on Dexterity was a difficult choice without the custom origin rules.

The updated version of the Kobold published in Monsters of the Multiverse completely reworked their design, removing both Pack Tactics and Sunlight Sensitivity, which was met with much skepticism from people who enjoyed Pack Tactics. That was loss was certainly tragic, the new version of the Kobold is interesting, versatile, and very playable. If we had gotten this as the original version of the Kobold, I think people would have really liked it.

While the concept of subraces has gone away, the Kobold’s Kobold Legacy trait functions similarly to a subrace, offering one additional decision point within your race to customize your kobold to your liking.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Kobold Race Guide.

Leonin (MOoT)

Where tabaxi are charismatic, agile cat people, leonin are strong, bulky cat people. Tabaxi tend to resemble smaller cats like house cats or ocelots, while leonin resemble lions, including lions’ iconic manes.

Mechanically, the Leonin is a Strength-based brute, having similar ability score increases to the Half-Orc. Leonin get Darkvision, a free skill, and a roar which can frighten nearby creatures, making them an excellent, interesting, and accessible race.

With the custom origin rules in place, the Leonin and the Tabaxi are very similar. The Leonin gets one fewer skill proficiency, but gets Daunting Roar. Unfortunately, Daunting Roar is the Leonin’s only unique trait, so your class options are largely defined by whether or not Daunting Roar is a good choice for the class.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Leonin Race Guide for more information.

Lizardfolk (VGTM/MotM)

Lizardfolk are one of my favorite races for a variety of reasons. Mechanically, they have a fun mix of offensive and defensive abilities, and an interesting set of ability score increases. In terms of flavor, lizardfolk are sufficiently alien that they truly feel like a unique race rather than a human with scales and a tail.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of building a lizardfolk using the original version of the Lizardfolk is their ability score increases. Constitution is fine, but an ability increase in Wisdom doesn’t support many class options. Because they need Dexterity to complement their Natural Armor, it’s frequently better to build lizardfolk to emphasize Dexterity over Strength. Unfortunately that means that Hungry Jaws will be less useful because the attack is Strength-based. This means that the race itself is MAD, which is uniquely frustrating.

One advantage of the original version of Hungry Jaws which is easy to overlook: it’s expended on a hit, but not a miss. This means that you can attempt to use it repeatedly until you hit, so attacking repeatedly against high-AC opponents is fine and you never risk giving up access to the temporary hit points you gain when you hit.

Both the custom origin rules and the updated version of the Lizardfolk published in Monsters of the Multiverse remove the Lizardolk’s frustrating ability score increases, but amazing they’re no lass MAD because they still need Strength for Hungry Jaws and Dexterity for their Natural Armor.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Lizardfolk Race Guide.

Loxodon (GGtR)

Introduced in Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, the Loxodon is an elephantine humanoid, bearing the elephant’s distinct trunk, ears, leathery skin, and other cosmetic features.

The Loxodon’s traits are really fun, but their ability increases are mechanically limiting. Constitution and Wisdom are a great combination for clerics and druids, but literally anything else will lag offensively which makes other class options much less appealing. The combination of Loxodon Serenity and Natural Armor offer useful defensive options, especially if you’re playing a class with poor armor options like the Druid. THey also get Powerful Build like the Goliath, but most loxodons won’t have much use for Strength unless you’re using the custom origin rules.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Loxodon Race Guide for more information.

Minotaur (GGtR/MOoT/MotM)

Minotaurs now appear as playable races in both Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica and Mystic Odysseys of Theros. Their lore varies between settings, but minotaurs as a playable race are notably different from the Minotaurs listed in the Monster Manual. Where the Minotaur monster is a fiend, the Minotaur race is a humanoid. They also lost their signature ability Labyrinthine Recall, which calls back to the greek mythological minotaur which was imprisoned in a labyrinthe. The playable version of the Minotaur is a minotaur in name and shape, but the similarities are purely cosmetic. The real-world mythology of the Minotaur is wholly absent from the playable race (at least until we get to the updated version in Monsters of the Multiverse).

Mechanically, the Minotaur is an appealing front-line martial option. Strength and Constitution are unremarkable but still fantastic, but the Minotaur’s real appeal is in its other traits. Minotaurs can use their horns as natural weapons, notably dealing 1d6 damage rather than 1d4 like every other published race (until they all got updated in Monsters of the Multiverse). But that alone still makes them no better than manufactured weapons. Goring Rush and Hammering Horns are what make the horns matter. Goring Rush provides the most important part of the Charger feat, while Hammering Horns allows you to push enemies 10 ft. away as a Bonus Action, giving the Minotaur two powerful tactical options right at 1st level. You also get a free skill, but it’s a Face skill which may be hard to use.

The introduction of the Customizing Your Origin rules in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and the updated version of the Minotaur published in Monsters of the Multiverse do surprisingly little to broaden the Minotaur’s options. Since their traits are so tied up in their Strength-based horns, you need to build around Strength to make them meaningful as a race.

Unfortunately, the existence of the Charger and Crusher feats makes the Minotaur a niche option regardless of which version of the race you use. Crusher notably doesn’t allow a saving throw, making it more reliable than Hammering Horns. Charger is a rarely-used feat because its effects are difficult to bring into play repeatedly in the same encounter. If you’re playing a minotaur, you specifically want to walk a line between the Charger feat and the Crusher feat. If you just want the effects of one of them, play a Custom Lineage or a Variant Human.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Minotaur Race Guide.


Orcs are a fantasy race dating back to Tolkien’s works, and since then they have served as a generic, barbaric, evil humanoid in countless works of fiction. However, official DnD lore also inludes occasional examples of playing against type, including the Many-Arrows Clan in the Forgotten Realms. Whether you want to play to the trope or play against type, the Orc is an iconic fantasy race worth playing.

Mechanically, the original version of the Orc is a solid melee monster with a few unique traits. The Orc’s ability score increases, coupled with Aggressive, make it easy to get into melee and move between targets. Darkvision and some extra skills are great, too, frequently giving martial classes like the Barbarian and the Fighter something to do outside of combat. Unfortunately, the custom origin rules essentially made the Orc a worse tabaxi.

The updated version of the Orc published in Monsters of the Multiverse is all about durability. Between Relentless Endurance and Adrenaline Rush, it’s very hard to bring an orc down with hit point damage. Of course, the ability to withstand a lot of damage doesn’t help you actively accomplish many things, so the Orc is once again pigeon-holed into a front-line martial role where their traits are consistently put to use. Borrowing Relentless Endurance from the Half-Orc also means that Adrenaline Rush needs to be better than Savage Critical and a free skill proficiency, which is a hard trade.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Orc Race Guide for more information.

Owlin (SCoC)

Introduced in Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos (affiliate link), the Owlin is an owl-like humanoid. Similar to the Aarakocra, the Owlin can fly nonmagically, but the Owlin trades a bit of the Aarakocra’s speed and the Aarakocra’s largely useless claws for several other useful racial traits. The Owlin also benefits from the post-Tasha’s changes to race design, so much like the lineages introduced in Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft and the Fairy, introduced in The Wild beyond the Witchlight, the Owlin has their choice of +2/+1 increases or three +1 increases. Taken as a whole, the Owlin is outright better than the Aarakocra in everything except speed.

Owlin also receive proficiency in Stealth. You may be locked into this choice since the Owlin doesn’t explicitly have the “Ability Score Increase” trait which is required to use the custom origin rules (see the Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything errata).

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Owlin Race Guide.

Plasmoid (SAiS)

Sapient ooze creatures from outer space, plasmoids are the first playable ooze in 5e, allowing you to live your dream of being a boneless, shapeless pool of self. If you don’t want to be shapeless, you have the option of adopting a humanlike shape (two-ish arms, two-ish legs, as many as one head), and once you’re in that shape you’re mostly a jiggly humanoid.

Most of the Plasmoid’s traits center around being an ooze. You’re good at grappling, you can ooze through small spaces, you’re resistant to both acid and poison, and you can create a pseudopod to poke things from 10 feet away.

With their advantage in grapples and damage resistances, the Plasmoid is clearly built to be a front-line martial character, but unless you’re build around Strength there’s little benefit. That makes the Plasmoid appealing for a narrow subset of classes and builds which have Extra Attack and which generally work when build around Strength.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Plasmoid Race Guide for more information.

Reborn Lineage (VRGtR)

The Reborn is an interesting lineage, and can serve as both a part-undead and part-construct option. You might play a zombie that regained its intelligence, a flesh golem (think frankenstein’s monster), a person who was rebuilt as a machine, or any number of other similar concepts.

Mechanically, the Reborn is an interesting option which shares some of the durability of the Dwarf with some unique skill options, making them an enticing choice for front-line Defenders with numerous important skills. Combined with the option to get two skill proficiencies from Ancestral Legacy, they’re flexible enough to fill a number of skill-based roles depending on your role in the party.

In combat, Advantage on Death Saving Throws makes falling to 0 hit points much less scary. Taken as a whole, the Reborn is a great option for players who consider themselves unlucky and who need some mathematical backup, as well as for players who tend to get themselves killed a lot.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Reborn Lineage Race Guide.

Satyr (MOoT/MotM)

Introduced in Mystics Odysseys of Theros, the Satyr is one of the first non-humanoid playable races. Satyrs are an interesting mythological creature, popular in Greek folklore, Shakespear’s works, and even in more modern works like Chronicles of Narnia. While there’s a bit more to them, they can best be summarized as goat-people fey who love to party.

Mechanically, the original version of the Satyr comes with some challenges. While they’re mostly fine, Magic Resistance is a serious problem, and WotC still published the Satyr with the original version of Magic Resistance despite vocal outcry on social media.

Beyond that, Dexterity and Charisma is a novel pairing that works for quite a few builds, and the Satyr’s other traits come with a lot of fun flavor. Satyrs are Fey rather than humanoids (this is not the first instance of this; centaurs predate satyrs considerably), so you’re immune to spells like Hold Person, but you may have more trouble with spells like Banishment. Mirthful Leaps seems like a weird “ribbon” ability with little mechanical impact, but you can use it to jump over spaces which are difficult terrain, allowing you to move about in combat more easily in some cases.

The custom origin version of the Satyr, similar to the Yuan-Ti Pureblood, works with a wide variety of classes because Magic Resistance is such a broadly useful defensive option. The Satyr also gets two skills and a tool, making the Satyr a powerful choice for any class. While you could take any tool, Dexterity-based builds should strongly consider Thieves’ Tools.

The updated version of the Satyr published in Monsters of the Multiverse uses an updated version of Magic Resistance which only applies to spells, making the Satyr less problematic without losing any of the things that make the Satyr fun. Since they were also returned to fixed skill proficiencies, the updated Satyr is once again predisposed to Charisma-based classes. They also remain in competition with the Yuan-Ti for builds resistant to magic. In general, the Satyr is better for Face characters, but otherwise the Yuan-Ti is likely a better choice.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Satyr Race Guide for more information.

Shifter (ERLW/MotM)

Many of D&D’s playable races exist to make some cool monster into something closer to a human. Dragonborn for dragons, tieflings for fiends, and shifters for lycanthropes. Originally introduced in Eberron back in 3rd edition, the Shifter is a mostly-human humanoid descended from a lycanthrope. While the Shifter doesn’t retain full lycanthropy, they can briefly “shift”, gaining various benefits depending` on their subrace.

Mechanically, Shifters are defined almost entirely by the Shifting trait. While they share speed, Darkvision, languages, and the basic mechanics of Shifting, the rest of their traits are tied up in whatever version of Shifting your chose. This allows each variety of shifter to thrive in its own niche, but it also means that there is very little overlap between where each type of Shifter thrives.

While the specifics of the mechanics vary slightly, the core concept of each variety of shifter has remained the same in 5e. Beasthide is durable, Longtooth is attack-heavy, Swiftstride doesn’t get stuck in melee, and Wildhunt is good at countering ambushes and hidden enemies.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Shifter Race Guide.

Simic Hybrid (GGtR)

Introduced in Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, the Simic Hybrid is a novel race that hasn’t been reused in other campaign settings. Created by one of Ravnica’s guilds, the Simic Hybrid is a human magically altered with animalian features to make them more physically capable. But these aren’t just animal people like a crab person or something like that; instead, picture a human with animal parts grafted onto their bodies like giant crab claws growing from an extra set of limbs.

Mechanically, the Simic Hybrid is really neat. They’re the only published race with decision points past first level, gaining additional enhancements as your level increases and thereby gaining new racial traits. Their ability score increases are perfect for any class, they get Darkvision, and the Animal Enhancement options are diverse enough that most classes can find some helpful options.

The introduction of the custom origin rules in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything did very little to change the Simic Hybrid. The only difference is that you can now put that +2 Constitution increase somewhere else. In most cases, that just means switching the +1 and the +2 increases within the same build, such as taking +2 Intelligence and +1 Constitution for a wizard, but it does open up options for MAD classes like the Monk and the Paladin to put those increases elsewhere.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Simic Hybrid Race Guide for more information.

Tabaxi (EGtW/VGTM/MotM)

Mechanically, the Tabaxi is very strong with a set of racial traits well suited to stealth and infiltration. They tend to excel in classes which already have good skills like the Bard and the Rogue, so their two racial skill proficiencies can expand those class’s already good skills.

With Darkvision and a climb speed, Tabaxi can go a lot of places that other races might have trouble reaching. Be sure to use your unusual movement capabilities to surprise enemies or avoid situations which might be dangerous.

With the custom origin rules, the Tabaxi’s ability score increases and skills becomes flexible, allowing the Tabaxi to expand beyond rogues and similar classes, but at the same time the Tabaxi also loses much of what makes them special. Claws were already a “ribbon” (a feature that is neat but doesn’t have noteworthy mechanical impact), so it’s basically just the climb speed and Feline Agility which distinguish the Tabaxi.

The updated version of the Tabaxi published in Monsters of the Multiverse does return them at least partially to their previous niche of rogues and rogue-adjacent builds. Unless you intend to ignore the Tabaxi’s bonus proficiencies (in which case, play basically any other race), you’re likely going to opt for rogues, rogue-adjacent characters, or at least characters that will benefit from one or both skills.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Tabaxi Race Guide.

Thri-Kreen (SAiS)

Bugs from space! Well, technically I think they originated from Dark Sun, but Athas hasn’t made a return in 5e. So within the 5e canon, thri-kreen are four-armed humanoid space bugs. They have other wonderful things about them, but the four arms are certainly the most unique and eye-catching.

Thri-Kreen absolutely thrive in Dexterity-based martial builds. With 13+Dex natural armor, you can match full plate’s AC once you hit 20 Dexterity. Chameleon Carapace allows you near-constant Advantage on Stealth checks to hide. Secondary Arms encourages the use of light weapons, the best of which are frequently also Finesse weapons. Thri-Kreen are also telepathic, further encouraging them to pursue sneaky, Dexterity-based builds.

Chameleon Carapace’s easy Advantage is certainly excellent, but remember that it’s only on checks to hide, not on checks to move silently or anything else. If you’re trying to stay still and avoid notice, you’re in good shape. If you need to sneak down a hallway, it won’t help you and your big stompy feet.

A burly, Strength-based thri-kreen is technically possible, but there’s little incentive to go that route. In fact, in many ways the Thri-Kreen’s traits pigeon-hole them into those Dexterity-based martial builds. Casters typically gain little benefit from the additional hands. Gish builds may find the ability to hold a weapon, a shield, and a focus at the same time helpful, but only to get around the frustrating rules for somatic components which nearly everyone ignores anyway (RAW you can’t use a focus to perform somatic components unless the spell has a qualifying material component).

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Thri-Kreen Race Guide for more information.

Tiefling (PHB)

Tieflings are humans that bear fiendish traits due to the influence of devils in their ancestry. Mechanically, tieflings have traits which associate them with devils, such as the fire resistance, Darkvision, and innate spellcasting. Tieflings have recieved a lot of attention in the rules, giving them an unmatched number of variants and subraces, allowing you to deeply customize your character to suit your preferences.

Regardless of your choice of variant or subrace, Tiefling is a very strong race option. Their ability score increases are good even without the custom origin rules, they have resistance to one of the most common types of non-weapon damage, and their innate spellcasting offers a variety of useful options depending on your subrace. If you use the custom origin rules, things get even better because you can mix and match your innate spellcasting to suit your build.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Tiefling Race Guide.

Tortle (TP/EGtW/MotM)

Tortles first appeared in DnD lore in TSR’s module X9: The Savage Coast, released in 1985. They appeared in a few lesser-known sources across 2nd and 3rd addition, and returned in 5e’s Tortle Package (affiliate link), published as part of WotC’s annual Extra Life charity drive in 2017. While DnD has had plenty of animal-like races, this may have been the first official turtle-inspired race, and as you might expect their introduction inspired a legion of teenage mutant ninja jokes.

Mechanically, the Tortle has a lot going for it. Strength and Wisdom increases are a fine combination, and a fixed AC of 17 means that you match the AC of light or medium armor without any investment in Dexterity. You get some other goodies (claws, Hold Breath, Survival proficiency, Shell Defense), but most people want to play a tortle either because they like turtles or they want the fixed AC. If you’re using the custom origin rules or the updated version of the Tortle published in Mordenkainen’s Monsters of the Multiverse, your ability score options and the Tortle’s additional skill proficiency are both much more flexible.

As a reminder: When your character has multiple options for calculating their AC, you choose only one, typically whichever gives you the highest total AC. Separate AC calculations like mage armor, manufactured armor, and natural armor never stack. Things which give AC bonuses like a shield, the Shield spell, Shield of Faith, and other things which add +something to your AC all increase whichever AC calculation you’re using because they are bonuses rather than new AC calculations.

Teenage mutant ninja tortle jokes are always welcome.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Tortle Race Guide for more information.

Triton (MOoT/VGTM)

Want to play a mermaid, but can’t handle the lack of legs? Playing in an underwater campaign, but you still want to be mostly human? Enter the Triton! An amphibious humanoid capable of thriving in a variety of classes and environs. In terms of personality, tritons are duty-driven and noble, but overbearing. Basically, if you took the dogmatic paladin stereotype and made it a fish person, you would end up with a triton.

Mechanically, the original version of the Triton has a lot to offer. Ability increases to three ability scores is rare (only the Half-Elf, the Triton, and the default Human got that until Van Richten’s Guide to Everything gave us the first taste of the new ability score increase mechanics), and it’s a great spread. Darkvision, damage resistance, amphibious, and you can talk to anything that can breath water (one-way only; they don’t get to talk back unless they already could. I don’t know how the spell Water Breathings works with this, but ask your DM.). On top of that, you get some innate spellcasting. The effects are situational so it’s not a major defining trait, but it’s still nice, and the Triton is notably the only race that gets a 3rd-level spell as an innate spell.

The custom origin rules broaden the Triton’s horizons, making them an appealing option for MAD classes like the Druid and the Monk. Gust of Wind is the Triton’s only innate spell that allows a saving throw, and it’s not good enough to justify worrying about it, so if you dump Charisma that’s totally fine. Beyond that, cold resistance and Darkvision are appealing on any character.

The updated version of the Triton changes very little. The new standard for ability score increases allows you to choose +2/+1 or three +1’s, so the Triton’s three increases is less novel, but none of the changes affect the Triton’s class options in any significant way.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Triton Race Guide.

Vedalken (GGtR)

Vedalken are a race of partially-amphibious, blue-skinned humanoids resembling earless humans in body paint. Introduced in Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, vedalken have a cultural drive to pursue improvement toward perfection. They tend to be rational and private, and are driven toward intellectual pursuits like history, medicine, and picking pockets for some reason.

Mechanically, the Vedalken is an excellent option if you want to play a clever spellcaster, but they lack anything to support a class which uses weapons. Their ability increases are in Intelligence and Wisdom, and no class can make use of both (disregarding skills). Beyond that, they match the Gnome’s Gnome Cunning feature, providing significant protection against many spells, and Partially Amphibious largely removes the need for spells like Water Breathing. Perhaps most notable is Tireless Precision, which offers a proficiency in a skill and a tool plus a bonus d4 on the roll whenever you use either. The skill list is limited, but still contains several excellent options, and there’s nothing stopping you\ from combining it with Expertise.

The custom origin rules interact strangely with the Vedalken due to their Tireless Precision trait. The rules allow you to pick any skill rather than those from the list, but the bonus d4 technically isn’t addressed. As a DM I would rule that the d4 applies to whatever skill and tool you choose, but be sure to discuss it with your DM before making assumptions.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Vedalken Race Guide for more information.

Verdan (AcInc)

Introduced in the Acquisitions Incorporated sourcebook, the Verdan is a race descended from goblinoids native to the Forgotten Realms. They resemble humans with backswept, pointed ears and skin in shades of green. They lack a distinct culture, but they are described as empathetic and opposed to tyranny, but tolerant of rules and laws.

Mechanically, the Verdan screams “make a Charisma-based spellcaster”. Constitution and Charisma increases are obvious, and Black-Blood Healing is more effective if you have a smaller hit die. Limited Telepathy and Persuasion allow you to communicate easily and serve as your party’s Face, and while Telepathic Insight isn’t as good as Gnome Cunning or Vedalken Dispassion, it’s still pretty good since Intelligence saves are so incredibly rare.

With the custom origin rules in place, the Verdan overlaps with other races significantly. They fall somewhere between the Kalasthar and the Vedalken, getting Advantage on two mental saves and proficiency in one skill. Their telepathy only allots communicating simple concepts, so it’s not quite as good as the Kalashtar’s. Beyond that, the Verdan’s signature trait is Black Blood Healing, which provides some insurance against poor hit die rolls. Like both the Kalashtar and the Vedalken, these traits work well for basically any class, but don’t predisipose you to any specific capability, so the variance in class options is typically small.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Verdan Race Guide.

Warforged (ERLW)

Warforged are a hugely popular racial option in DnD 5e which was introduced in in Eberron: Rising From The Last War, immediately coming a community favorite. The idea of magical robots is novel and exciting, and while sometimes the warforged can be mistaken for a downsized Iron Golem, they’re a unique and versatile race with a lot to offer.

While there are just three decision points in the Warforged racial traits (ability scores increases, a tool proficiency, and a skill proficiency), they are both flexible and simple to play. This, coupled with their natural durability, make the Warforged a great option for new players and for experienced players looking to survive a dangerous life of adventuring.

The introduction of the custom origin rules in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything did very little to change the Warforged. The only difference is that you can now put that +2 Constitution increase somewhere else. In most cases, that just means switching the +1 and the +2 increases within the same build, such as taking +2 Intelligence and +1 Constitution for a wizard, but it does open up options for MAD classes like the Monk and the Paladin to put those increases elsewhere.

Visit our DnD 5th Edition Warforged Race Guide for more information.

Yuan-Ti (VGTM/MotM)

Yuan-Ti are a thematically interesting group of creatures, and while the “Yuan-Ti Abomination” is the most iconic (they’re the ones with snakes heads and low bodies), the only Yuan-Ti published as a playable race is the “Pureblood.” Purebloods look like humans for the most part, which makes them a bit easier to integrate into a normal party than a snake-armed Yuan-Ti Malison. More recent versions of the playable Yuan-Ti have abandoned the term “pureblood.”

Mechanically, Yuan-Ti are a challenge in several ways. The original version’s ability score increases are limiting, and their innate spellcasting is extremely limited, but they get resistance on saving throws against all spells and magical effects and outright immunity to poison, protecting them from two extremely common hazards.

The original version of the Yuan-Ti’s Magic Resistance was a controversial racial trait. Magical effects include things like magical traps and many creatures’ special abilities (beholders, etc.), so the Yuan-Ti Pureblood has a widely-applicable defense that can immediately become a balance problem. As a player you want to look for other bonuses to your saves so that you can nearly guarantee success on saving throws, but as a DM you want ways to challenge and threaten players and there are only so many varieties of nonmagical breath weapons and the like. The updated version of the Yuan-Ti is less problematic, as Magic Resistance only applies to spells.

The innate spellcasting generally won’t be a huge part of your character, but it’s not entirely useless. Animal Friendship has a 24-hour duration and doesn’t allow a save for unintelligent beasts, so any time that you encounter a snake you can immediately befriend it. If you renew the spell daily, you can get functionally permanent friends, potentially accumulating a near-infinite collection of magically-befriended snakes over time. Poison Spray is borderline useless, though.

For more information visit our DnD 5th Edition Yuan-Ti Race Guide.

Beyond the Pale

I typically don’t cover content beyond what has made it into official sourcebooks. However, I occasionally make exceptions when numerous people make requests that I cover the same content. This may include Unearthed Arcana content or non-official content published during official events (like One Grung Above (affiliate link)), and very rarely may include 3rd-party content.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best DnD Race?

Bugbear can be used for some very high-damage builds, but Custom Lineage and Variant Human are generally considered the best because they get a feat at 1st level.

What is the easiest DnD Race to play?

Human is the easiest to play because it doesn’t add extra traits to your character. Other easy options include the Hill Dwarf, the Stout Halfling, and the Warforged.

What is the worst DnD Race?

The standard Human is frequently considered the worst because it’s difficult to make their ability score increases meaningful and they don’t get any other traits.