D&D 5E: Player Races

28 Dec

Howdy! Welcome back to The Grinning Dwarf Pub! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Today we’ll discuss player races in D&D 5E.

The races are pretty similar between AD&D and D&D 5E. The familiar races are there…dwarves, elves, and halflings…with some minor variations. Halflings, for instance, don’t have infravision. Oh, by the way, ‘infravision’ is now called ‘darkvision’, but as far as I can tell, it’s the same thing.

I’ll fill you in on two of our familiar races, the coolest race first…dwarves. 🙂

Dwarves get a +2 to their Constitution. They have darkvision and resistance against poison. Just like AD&D so far. However, in 5E, they also automatically start with proficiency in one sort of artisan tools, either smith’s tools, brewer’s supplies, or mason’s tools. They have knowledge of stonecutting. There are two main subraces of dwarves: hill or mountain. Hill dwarves get a +1 to Wisdom, and as they level up, they add +1 to their new hit point total. Mountain dwarves get a +2 to strength, and they begin proficient in light and medium armor.

Elves get a +2 to Dexterity. They have darkvision, keen senses (giving them proficiency in the Perception skill), and have advantage on saving throws against being charmed. (Remember what ‘advantage’ is from last week? Roll two dice for the saving throw and keep the higher roll.) Elves have three subraces: high elf, wood elf, and drow. High elves get a +1 to Intelligence and know one cantrip…even non-wizards. Wood elves get a +1 to Wisdom, are Fleet of Foot (giving them a slightly faster base speed than similar sized humanoids), and have Mask of the Wild (allowing them to hide easier when in even slight cover). Drow get a +1 to Charisma, and have darkvision to 120 feet (normal darkvision only works out to 60 feet). They are sensitive to sunlight, so they make attack and Perception rolls at disadvantage when in direct sunlight. (Are you beginning to see how useful this ’advantage/disadvantage’ thing is?) All first level drow also know the dancing lights cantrip. At third level, they gain the faerie fire spell, and at fifth level they gain the darkness spell.

5E introduces two new player races in the Player’s Handbook: dragonborn and tiefling.

Dragonborn are just what the name suggests…humanoids born of dragons. They are normally rare in most campaign worlds. They look like a bipedal dragon, about 6 ½’ tall and almost 300 pounds, which carries issues with other races all by itself. Their dragon ancestry gives them a breath weapon based upon whatever type of dragon from which they were born. After using the breath weapon, they need to rest to regain use of it.

I suppose that in other worlds, tiefling might be called ‘devil spawn’. They come from human bloodlines infused with literal devil blood. Because of this, they have large horns and thick tails. They have large, pointed canine teeth, solid colored eyes with no discernable iris, and while most of them have human skin tones, they can also be various shades of red. They are resistant to fire damage (well…duh!). They have an Infernal Legacy, which lets them start with the thaumaturgy cantrip. At increased levels, they gain hellish rebuke and darkness spells, as well.

It seems to me that the best part of playing either dragonborn or tiefling would be the accompanying back story.

5E also has the other familiar races: gnome, half-elf, and half-orc.


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