Dungeons and Dragons is the world’s greatest role-playing game. With over 35 races available, the numerous options ensure there are flavorful characters for everyone at the table, regardless of preference or play style. There are selections of races available in different supplements. The Player’s Handbook contains enough for any game group to get started. Veteran players, and those looking for more flair in their game can look to other sources, such as Volo’s Guide to Monsters which describes several monstrous and fantastic races. A campaign book such as Eberron: Rising from the Last War contains setting-specific races that some DM’s may not want intruding into their classic setting, but will be important to a game set in Eberron. Depending on your campaign, you can play any one of these myriad races to create a truly unique character.

This article will give you a look at the races as they appear in the various sourcebooks and supplements. They are organized by source. Each entry gives a snippet about the flavor you can expect from each race, and a rundown of that race’s unique characteristics. Each race has a class or two which synergizes well with their innate abilities to give them an edge in combat, social situations, and/or exploration.

*Update* – The release of the D&D guidebook, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, introduced the concept of custom lineage. This means that the racial ability score adjustments presented in the Player’s Handbook are just suggestions. Using the alternate character-building rules, you can choose your ability, skill, and tool proficiencies at will, so long as you maintain the symmetry of the existing races and classes.

For more information check out our in-depth review of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything where we breakdown the changes how they will change the way you play Dungeons and Dragons.

Player’s Handbook Races


Dragonborn are humanoid dragons. The game wouldn’t be called Dungeons and Dragons without dragons, so aside from a fantastical monster adventure, here’s your best chance to play AS a dragon and not AGAINST one. Dragonborn are typically noble, strong, and very self-sufficient characters, capable of handling themselves well in a fight. Dragonborn are blessed with many options for their draconic heritage, which offers them quite a bit of versatility. An all-dragonborn party can vary wildly in looks, mannerism, and playstyle based on which tribe they are descended.

Size and Speed:
Dragonborn are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Adjustment:
Dragonborn gain +2 to Strength. This makes them powerful melee combatants, and skilled athletes. They also gain a +1 bonus to Charisma, which provides a boost to their social skills.

Draconic Ancestry:
Based on your choice of Draconic Ancestry, you gain a breath weapon that does pretty decent AoE damage at low levels, and scales nicely as you increase in level. Additionally, based on your choice of ancestry, you gain resistance to your element, a double whammy! You have a choice between ten colors, each offering an AoE of either a 15-foot cone or a 30-foot line. Your elemental choices are acid, cold, fire, lightning, and poison. Unfortunately, you can’t choose an elemental type and template separately, they are dictated by your choice of heritage.

Preferred Class

Dragonborn are perfectly suited to be Paladins. Primary melee combat, and reliance on Charisma for spellcasting and class abilities make this an ideal choice to maximize your racial abilities by pairing them with synergistic class features.


Dwarves are an ancient people, proficient in crafting and building. To be a dwarf is to be as stolid as stone, and as immoveable as the earth beneath your feet. The wealth of the Dwarven people is in their gods, their gold, and in their devotion to their clans. Slow to trust, and valuing honor greatly, a dwarven ally is a treasure on its own.

Size and Speed:
Dwarves are medium creatures. They have a base speed of 25 feet, which puts them a step behind most races.

Ability Score Increase:
Dwarves gain +2 Constitution, which makes them hardier than normal.

Dwarves can see in the dark out to 60 feet.

Dwarven Resilience:
Advantage on saves against poison and resistance to poison damage means you’re not going to easily succumb to venomous creatures, poisonous foods…or drinks.

Dwarven Combat Training:
All Dwarves are proficient with axes and hammers. Gaining a bunch of weapon proficiencies means you’ll never be out of sorts when you’re in a fight, even if you’re a caster who doesn’t normally have access to melee weapons.

Tool Proficiency:
Dwarves are naturally gifted craftsmen. Your choice of tool proficiency won’t make a huge impact on gameplay, but it’s a nice bit of flair to add to your character profile.

A classic Dwarf ability, you have double proficiency on Intelligence (History) checks relating to stonework.

Subrace – Hill Dwarf

Hill Dwarves are known for their cunning and intuition. Those dwarves who treat with other races are typically those who live in the shallow hills outside human and elven cities.

Ability Score Increase:
Hill Dwarves gain +1 Wisdom.

Dwarven Toughness:
You gain an extra hit point per level. This makes you one of, if not the most, stout race in the whole game.

Subrace – Mountain Dwarf

Mountain Dwarves are the deep-dwelling dwarves of the high-peaks. They make their castles beneath the stone of the earth, and hoard wealth while exploring secret places within the world.

Ability Score Increase:
Mountain Dwarves gain +2 Strength. They are unique in that they gain +2 to two different stats, meaning they gain a modifier boost to each regardless of the stats base value.

Dwarven Armor Training:
Proficiency with Light and Medium armor means you will be well protected at all times.

Subrace – Duergar

Duergar are the evil, subterranean relatives of dwarves, who live in the Underdark exclusively.

Ability Score Increase:
Your strength increases by +1.

Superior Darkvision:
120 feet of darkvision is better than most races, making you a great scout in dark places.

Duergar Resilience:
Advantage on saves against illusion, charm, and paralysis gives you a good chance of not being taken out of a fight.

Duergar Magic:
As you level up, you gain access to spells like invisibility and enlarge/reduce.

Sunlight Sensitivity:
The major drawback to being a Duergar, or any other underdark race is your vulnerability to direct sunlight. As long as you’re in sunlight you can’t cast your racial spells and your attacks will suffer greatly.

Preferred Class

Dwarves of any variety make great front-line fighters. Hill Dwarves make great Clerics. Their bonus hit points mean they’re likely to outlive the rest of the party and stick around to heal everyone else. Mountain dwarves have the ability score increases to make them great Fighters. Duergar is the best option for a caster class, as their innate spellcasting adds to their arsenal.


Elves are long-lived, storied, and cultured. They can live over 700 years, and as a result can acquire several lifetimes worth of knowledge and experience before they even set out on their first adventure. This trait is reflected by their wealth of racial features.

Size and Speed:
Elves are medium-sized creatures. They have base walking speed 30 feet.

Ability Score Increase:
Elves gain +2 to Dexterity, making them more nimble than your average character.

Elves have the ability to see in the dark out to 60 feet.

Keen Senses:
Elves are proficient in Perception.

Fey Ancestry:
The legacy of the elves grants them advantage on saves against effects that would charm them, and due to their trance ability, they cannot be put to sleep.

Elves don’t need to sleep. 4 hours of quiet meditation is all they require to refresh each day.

Subrace – Eladrin

This subrace of elves is highly attuned to magic. They are the closest to their Fey roots, and gain abilities representative to their ancient heritage.

Ability Score Increase:
The Eladrin elves gain +1 Intelligence.

Elf Weapon Training:
Eladrin are proficient with longswords, shortswords, longbows, and shortbows.

Fey Step:
Eladrin can call upon their Fey ancestry to channel wild magics. They can cast the misty step spell once per short rest.

Subrace – High Elf

High Elves represent the stereotypical haughty, secretive, and extremely prestigious variety of elves. These are the elves who live in tall towers in ancient cities and guard elder secrets of the mastery of magic and martial prowess. Ancient and domineering, High Elves represent the elite of elven society, and that of any society.

Ability Score Increase:
High Elves gain +1 to Intelligence

Elf Weapon Training:
For all their years spent learning the martial arts, High Elves gain gain proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.

You learn one cantrip of your choice from the wizard spell list.

Extra Language:
High Elves gain one extra language of your choice.

Subrace – Wood Elf

Wood Elves represent the other stereotype of elves, the forest dwelling, nature protecting clan of wild folk. Wood Elves are in tune with nature to a high degree, as is evident by their racial traits. They excel at combat in difficult and obscuring terrain, using their ability to move faster and more unnoticed than other to their advantage.

Ability Score Increase:
Wood Elves gain +1 Wisdom.

Elf Weapon Training:
You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow. If you choose to play a caster, or a class that isn’t normally proficient with these weapons, you gain a distinct advantage being armed when you wouldn’t be expected to be armed.

Fleet of Foot:
Your base walking speed increases to 35 feet. This puts you a step ahead of most other races.

Mask of the Wild:
You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena. Combining this feature with a class like Rogue that grants you Hide as a bonus action is a great synergy.

Subrace – Drow

The Drow are an evil, subterranean race who serve the Spider Queen, Lolth. With one exception in the famed Drizzt Do’urden, they are a vile and secretive people, who scheme for power and control in the name of their dark god above all else.

Ability Score Increase:
Drow gain +1 to their Charisma.

Superior Darkvision:
Drow have darkvision to 120 feet. This gives them a greater awareness of their surroundings that surface-dwelling races.

Sunlight Sensitivity:
Like all Underdark races, Drow are weakened when in direct sunlight. This is a serious disadvantage for any surface adventuring campaign.

Drow Magic:
In exchange for their weakness to sunlight, Drow gain access to racial magic in the form of dancing lights, faerie fire, and darkness.

Drow Weapon Training:
As with most elf races, you gain proficiency with martial weapons, representative of a lifetime of study and training. Drow are proficient with rapiers, short swords, and hand crossbows.

Subrace – Shadar-KaiMToF

The Shadar-Kai are a mysterious people, who serve the enigmatic Raven Queen. They walk the fine line between life and death. Once Fey, as the rest of the Elf races, they have become something else in their long, shadowy history.

Ability Score Increase:
Shadar-kai gain +1 Constitution.

Necrotic Resistance:
These mysterious elves have resistance to necrotic damage.

Blessing of the Raven Queen:
The most useful of their abilities, Shadar-Kai are able to teleport as a bonus action. As they level up, this ability becomes more useful, as it grants damage resistance as well.

Subrace – Sea Elf

The aquatic subrace of elves are native to deep places of the elemental plane of water. They have a host of abilities that make them ideal for aquatic or sea-faring campaigns.

Ability Score Increase:
+1 Constitution

Sea Elf Traits:
Like most elf subraces, sea elves gain proficiency with a selection of martial weapons representative of their training and mastery of combat over their long lives. Additionally, they gain the ability to breathe underwater, and gain a swim speed. In an Aquaman-like flourish of flavor, they can also communicate with any creature with a swim speed, in addition to speaking aquan.

Preferred Class

All elves make good Rangers, given their Dexterity bonus and other racial traits. Eladrin and high elves are predisposed to becoming wizards or rogues, given their increased intelligence. Wood elves are natural druids or rogues, for their stealthy and nature-related abilities. Drow are naturally predisposed to becoming rogues, sorcerers, and warlocks. Shadar-Kai and Aquatic elves are strong in any martial class with a ranged focus, Dexterity build fighters and paladins, rangers, and monks.


The Gnome race are an industrious, intelligent, and whimsical people.

Size and Speed:
Gnomes are small-sized creatures. Their base speed is 25 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Intelligence makes Gnomes smarter than most other races and gives them an edge in some of the better skills in the game.

Small Size:
Their small size is a disadvantage in combat, as they cannot use heavy weapons normally.

Gnome Cunning:
Advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saves against magic means you have a good chance of resisting most spells slung at you.

Subrace – Forest Gnome

This subrace brings an almost elvish nature theme to the gnome. They gain some abilities that allow them more stealth, deceptive trickery, and cunning. These gnomes are native to grasslands, forests, and whimsical sunny places.

Ability Score Increase:
Forest gnomes gain +1 to Dexterity.

Forest Gnome Traits:
The ability to cast minor illusion as a cantrip is always handy in and out of combat to misdirect. Additionally, you gain the Disney princess-like ability to communicate with small animals such as squirrels and mice. Use this to do recon or learn about the surrounding terrain before walking blindly into a combat encounter.

Subrace – Rock Gnome

The hardier gnome subrace is more reminiscent of Dwarven heritage. These gnomes are native to mountains and underhills. They specialize in crafting small trinkets, and are a much hardier breed than their forest dwelling cousins.

Ability Score Increase:
Rock Gnomes gain +1 to their Constitution, making them a bit hardier than most races.

Rock Gnome Traits:
The racial traits granted to this type of gnome are all tinkerer’s skills. They gain double proficiency on History checks and can craft little trinkets that can be used to distract and mislead.

Preferred Class

Gnomes are best suited as Wizards, to make use of their increased Intelligence. They are not an ideal choice to be used as Barbarians, fighters, or any other class that relies on Heavy weapons. Their small size imposes disadvantage in combat with these otherwise unwieldy weapons. Forest Gnomes make excellent Rogues and Rangers, with their skills in woodlands of particular interest. Rock Gnomes are a great pick for Artificers and Wizards, or any other build that relies on Intelligence, and could benefit from a bit of extra constitution. Artificers in particular would do well to choose Rock Gnome as it doubles the amount of distracting trinkets they can produce.


Half elves are a people of two worlds, they don’t fully belong in the human world, nor are they accepted as natives in the kingdom of elves. As a people with no true homeland, they are found everywhere, on the roads, in the cities of all other races, and in the untamed wilds, where they seek out adventures and homesteads of their own. They are a versatile people.

Size and Speed:
Half-elves are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
Half elves have +2 to Charisma, and +1 to two other ability scores of their choice. This makes them a versatile choice for any class.

Half Elf Traits:
Half elves have elven traits, granting them darkvision, advantage against charm effects, and immunity and sleep effects. They also gain two skill proficiencies of their choice.

Subrace – Aquatic Half Elf

Aquatic Elf Heritage:
In an aquatic campaign, this subrace is your friend. In lieu of the skill proficiencies, you gain a swimming speed, which will give you the mobility advantage you really need when on the open sea.

Subrace – Drow Half Elf

Drow Heritage:
Trading skills for some spells isn’t necessary if you’re a caster, but if you’re a class that doesn’t have access to magic, and relies on specialized skills, you’re good to go.

Subrace – Moon/Sun Half Elf

Moon/Sun Heritage:
Trading skills for a weapon proficiency is a good diea if you’re a caster who will be in melee a lot, and gaining an additional cantrip is beneficial for a caster who is low on options (like an artificer) or a melee character who doesn’t need a lot of skills, like a Fighter or Barbarian, and wants to learn green flame blade or the like.

Subrace – Wood Half Elf

Wood Elf Heritage:
This is a great list of substitutions. If you’re going for Ranger or Rogue and will be in a lot of wilderness situations, Mask of the Wild will come in handy quite a bit. Fleet of Foot is always good, granting you an extra step up on other classes.

Preferred Class

Half-Elves are extremely versatile. They are best served as Warlocks, Bards, or Sorcerers, where they can capitalize on the +2 Charisma they gain as a base trait. Depending on the sub race you choose, they can easily be the face of the party as a Ranger or a Rogue.


The jolly smallfolk, Halflings are found all over the world. A friendly people, they can fit most niches in a party based on their specialty of breed.

Size and Speed:
Halflings are small-sized creatures. Their base speed is 25 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
Halflings gain +2 to Dexterity, making them slippery little buggers.

One of the best racial traits of all, Halflings never roll nat 1’s. They can reroll and critical miss on an attack, skill, or saving throw roll.

Being small doesn’t mean they are scared! Advantage against fear will prevent you from being taken out of the fight against some of the game’s more menacing enemies like Dragons and Liches.

Halfling Nimbleness:
You can ignore creatures-enemies AND allies- that are larger than you when you move, giving you a tactical advantage.

Subrace – Lightfoot

These halflings are lithe, dexterous, and more adept at acrobatic practice than their more wide-footed kin. These are also the tallest subrace of halfling.

Ability Score Increase:
+1 Charisma is befitting of the friendliest subrace of halflings.

Lightfoot Halfling Traits:
Lightfoots are naturally stealthy, allowing them to use any creature a size category larger than them as cover.

Subrace – Ghostwise

This mysterious subrace of halfling are mercurial outsiders. They often exist outside the social norms of others of their kind, and that of any other race as well. If you wish to be a mysterious and unseen character, this is a good choice.

Ability Score Increase:
For Ghostwise Halflings, Wisdom is increased by +1.

Ghostwise Halfling Traits:
If you share a language with a creature within 30 feet, you can speak telepathically with them. This comes in handy when you’re on a stealth missions with a  teammate, or to unnerve an unsuspecting or superstitious NPC.

Subrace – Stout

Stout Halflings are the dwarvish-heritage small-folk that resemble their distant ancestors moreso than the other varieties. They have a stronger constitution than their bretheren, and are a better choice for characters who will be in the thick of combat more often.

Ability Score Increase:
+1 Constitution gives you more staying power.

Stout Halfling Traits:
Resistance to poison and advantage on saves against poison will come in handy on your travels.

Preferred Class

Halflings of any subrace make excellent Rogues, given their Dexterity and ability to reroll missed attacks. The traits provided by the lightfoot and ghostwise subraces all work favorably with a stealthy character. For Stout Halflings, you are equipped to become a melee class such as a Monk or Ranger.


The product of cross breeding between humans and the brutish orcs, half-orcs are a proud people, bearing scars as a display of their past conquests. They are strong, tough, and quick to anger. Always eager to pick a fight, half-orcs make a good addition to any adventuring party looking to get into the rough stuff.

Size and Speed:
Half-Orcs are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
Half-orcs gain +2 strength and +1 constitution, making them ideal melee characters.

Half-Orc Traits:
Darkvision and a free proficiency in Intimidate are a good start, and it gets better from there. Half-orcs gain relentless endurance, which lets them survive a killing blow once per long rest. When scoring a critical hit, they get an extra die of damage as well.

Preferred Class

Half-Orcs are a brutal race and perform best as melee strikers. Barbarian and Fighter are you best options, with paladin as another standout provided you have the Charisma to fuel your class abilities.


Humans are the most common and well-rounded race in the Forgotten Realms and any other world you may find your self adventuring. With many aesthetic varieties, they are all similarly equipped stat and skill-wise.

Size and Speed:
Humans are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
Humans gain +1 to all ability scores.

Variant Human

Variant Human Traits:
The variant human trades a +1 in every ability score for two flexible +1’s, a skill proficiency, and a feat. Depending on how you roll your ability scores, this may be a better choice than the vanilla option. If you roll a lot of odd scores, you’re better off taking the normal human option to even them out and increase your modifiers. If you’re going for a specific combo with your character build, this is a great way to get there faster.

Preferred Class

Humans are equally equipped to be any class. With flexible ability score adjustments and a feat provided by the Variant Human, you can gain an edge at first level no matter your walk of life.


The devil-touched have marks of their infernal heritage. They have horns, colored skin, strange eyes, forked tongues, or any combination thereof. Born of the underworld, and with abilities fitting of their heritage, Tieflings are a powerful race.

Size and Speed:
Tieflings are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
Tieflings gain +1 Intelligence and +2 Charisma, which lends them well to being spellcasters.

Tieflings have great Darkvision, able to see in low light and darkness to 60 feet.

Hellish Resistance:
Fire is the most common damage type, and Tieflings resist it.

Infernal Legacy:
The best ability available to them, Tieflings gain access to spells as they advance in level, able to cast thaumaturgy, hellish rebuke, and darkness.

Variant TieflingsSCAG

These variants can be used singly or in combination. Each replaces or adds to an existing ability of the Tiefling base racial traits.

Swapping the Charisma increase for Dexterity gives you a weapons focus rather than a spellcasting one. Feral Tieflings can become archers rather than casters.

Devil’s Tongue:
Swapping the basic Tiefling spellcasting for vicious mockery, enthrall, and charm person changes the flavor of your character without losing utility.

Another spellcasting swap, this variant gives you the burning hands spell instead of hellish rebuke, which makes you more overtly offensive.

trading your spellcasting for flight gives you a powerful tactical advantage and is worth it if you’re a caster and don’t need the extra spells known.

Infernal SubracesMToF

A tiefling subrace exists for each of the major powers of the Nine Hells. Each comes equipped with unique abilities that give them a different flavor from the vanilla tiefling.

This is the base Tiefling race as described in the Player’s Handbook.

The spells granted are substituted with ray of sickness and crown of madness.

The Intelligence score increase is replaced with Dexterity, and the spells are replaced with disguise self and detect thoughts.

The Intelligence score increase is changed to Wisdom, and the spells changed to friends, charm person, and suggestion.

The Intelligence score increase is changed to Dexterity, and the spells changed to minor illusion, disguise self, and invisibility.

The Intelligence score increase is changed to Constitution, and the spells changed to ray of frost, armor of agathys, and darkness.

The spells are changed to mage hand, floating disk, and arcane lock.

The spells are changed to mage hand, burning hands, and flame blade.

The Intelligence score increase is changed to Strength, and the spells changed to searing smite and branding smite.

Preferred Class

With their bonus Charisma and innate spellcasting, Non-Feral Tieflings are best suited to be Sorcerers and Warlocks. Their racial abilities will compliment the class abilities provided by either very nicely. Feral Tieflings are best suited to become Archery Rangers, Fighters, or Rogues. The Infernal Subraces provide a variety in spellcasting and the +1 ability score, which can help you further optimize your caster and the flavor of your character.

Mythic Odysseys of Theros


A proud and powerful people, Leonin are half human and half lion. Noble, Fierce, and quick to quarrel, they have powerful teeth and claws and do not hesitate to use them. Leonin form a powerful family unit and are fiercely loyal to one another. They will perform well in a party that upholds these values. The Leonin race is absolutely packed with strong abilities geared for hunting prey and tearing them to shreds.

Size and Speed:
Leonin are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 35 feet per round. Leonin are 5 feet faster than average, meaning they can run down most foes easily.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Constitution and +1 Strength give Leonin a distinct advantage in melee combat, providing them strength and survivability in the wild lands.

With Darkvision, Leonin won’t often be caught unawares in the dead of night.

Having access to natural weapons means even when you’re unarmed you’re still a threat. Additionally, two-weapon fighting is an option for you even if you can’t afford an off-hand weapon.

Hunter’s Instincts:
A free skill proficiency is always welcome. Choice of a Strength, wisdom, or charisma-based skill means no matter what your class choice, you’re sure to find something useful.

Daunting Roar:
A local fear effect useable once per short rest is a handy tool for clearing a room of minions without resorting to violence.

Preferred Class

Leonin make excellent Barbarians, Paladins, or Fighters. Anywhere their strength and toughness are welcome is an easy choice for them.


The legendary party boys, Satyrs have a reputation for their flippant, gregarious nature and raucous revelries. They’re the half-goat, half-man, half-chad ever-lovin’ pledges of the plane of Theros. With myriad abilities that don’t focus too much on one particular archetype, they can make a very well-rounded character. As eccentric as they are, Satyrs are another well-equipped monstrous humanoid race you’ll have a great time playing.

Size and Speed:
Satyr are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 35 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Charisma and +1 Intelligence means Satyr are going to make a great party face, and have naturally good stats for a casting class if you choose to go that route.

Fey Creatures:
Being fey means that Satyrs are immune to most low-level enchantment magic, like charm person.

Access to a natural weapon means you’ll never be caught unarmed.

Magic Resistance:
In addition to their immunity to enchantment effects that target humanoids specifically, they have advantage against all other effects.

Mirthful Leaps:
This won’t come into play too often, but when it does, you’ll be glad you had it, especially since you’ve got more than average movement speed.

Satyrs get a whopping Three bonus proficiencies to go with their bonus to Charisma.

Preferred Class

Satyrs make great Sorcerers and Warlocks given their bonus Charisma. The rest of their abilities help protect them in a very rare niche position as a melee arcane caster. Consider taking Pact of the Blade and wreak havoc in melee.

Elemental Evil Player’s Companion


Bird people can fly. This is the most important thing to know about the Aarakocra. Some game groups frown on flight as a basic ability, because it negates so many aspects of the game including pit traps, difficult terrain, and many other tricks DMs have to hold players back. Aarakocra and Winged Tieflings are the only races that gain access to this at first level with no drawbacks. If you are given the opportunity to play as one of these, you will have a major advantage over other creatures who lack flight.

Size and Speed:
Aarakocra are medium-sized creatures. Their base walking speed is only 25 feet per round, but who cares? you can fly.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Dexterity and +1 Wisdom.

You have a flying speed of 50 feet. Not only are you the fastest race overall, you can fly. The only restriction is you can’t be wearing medium or heavy armor when you do so, which overall is a minor inconvenience considering that if something threatens you, you can dash 100 feet away from it in a single turn. If this isn’t enough movement to break line of sight or outright escape an encounter, you’re in way over your head regardless.

Aside from your formidable speed, you have natural weapons.

Preferred Class

Any ranged weapon or ranged casting class makes a fine choice for the Aarakocra. Ranger or Rogue are particularly effective, given your bonus to Dexterity. You can also function as a support role, able to swoop in and heal, buff, or fly off with any ally who needs help. Your utility is in your innate mobility. Anything beyond that is up to you. The only role you won’t fill is front-line fighter, given the hindrance medium and heavy armor impose on your mobility.


The plane touched people come in four varieties- Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. Each of the four subraces has an elemental affinity that dictates their abilities.

Size and Speed:
Genasi are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
All varieties have +2 Constitution, giving them the fortitude they need to traverse the elemental planes.

Subrace – Air

Air Genasi are descended from the Djinn of the elemental plane of Air. They are nomadic, erratic, and nonattached.

Ability Score Increase:
+1 Dexterity.

Unending Breath:
Air Genasi are effectively immune to suffocation and gas attacks. This means they can act normally underwater, as they don’t need to breathe.

Mingle with the Wind:
Let go your earthly tether. Enter the void. Empty, and become wind. Air Genasi can’t fly, but they can cast levitate once per long rest.

Subrace – Earth

The Dao-descended Earth Genasi are strong and stout.

Ability Score Increase:
+1 Strength

Earth Walk:
Ignoring only one kind of difficult terrain won’t be terribly useful.

Merge With Stone:
Pass without trace is a great infiltration ability, however it kind of contradicts the Strength/Constitution build this race gives you.

Subrace – Fire

Fire Genasi exude a flaming hot aura, smell of brimstone, and have a voice lick a crackling fire.

Ability Score Improvement:
+1 Intelligence

The only Genasi subrace to gain Darkvision.

Fire Resistance:
Resistance to the most common elemental damage type.

Reach to the Blaze:
Produce flame isn’t super useful, but once you get burning hands you’ve got a real offensive weapon.

Subrace – Water

Water Genasi are free wandering people who are mercurial and adaptive, just like the element from which they draw their heritage.

Ability Score Increase:
+1 Wisdom

Acid Resistance:
Acid is a more uncommon energy type. This will serve you well in a battle against a black dragon, so it’s worth it.

The ability to breathe water is a great boon in aquatic campaigns.

Likewise, a swim speed makes a huge difference in watery environments.

Call to the Wave:
You gain two minor spells that are situational by nature.

Preferred Class

Genasi are naturally tough, and make good melee characters. Based on their secondary ability score increase, they can fill a variety of roles. Air Genasi are particularly good Rangers, with their Dexterity and increased mobility. Earth Genasi work well as Barbarians with their strength and mobility. Fire Genasi are tough Wizards who can stand in front of enemies more easily. Water Genasi function well as Clerics, with their increased Wisdom.


Natives of the highest peaks, the extraordinarily tough Goliaths are natural born warriors and competitors. They believe in a fair challenge to prove one’s strength, and that only the strongest survive.

Size and Speed:
Goliaths are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Strength and +1 Constitution make Goliaths one of the most powerful races.

Natural Athlete:
Free Athletics proficiency is welcome for a race that will almost always choose a martial class where Athletics is on the skill list.

Stone’s Endurance:
Once per short rest you can take a great deal of reduced damage from an attack.

Powerful Build:
Goliaths can push, drag, lift, and carry more than a medium creature normally can.

Mountain born:
Native to the high peaks, Goliaths can survive in high elevations and extreme cold.

Preferred Class

Barbarian, all day, every day. A goliath barbarian excels in combat more so than most other races. Stone’s Endurance in conjunction with your damage resistances will let you shrug off even the most devastating of critical hits.

Volo’s guide to Monsters


Born of the mounting heavens of Celestia, the Aasimar people are the flip side of the coin from Tieflings. Their subraces are packed with helpful abilities that give you an edge of most other races.

Size and Speed:
Aasimar are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Charisma. Aasimar excel at personal interaction.

Those born of the light do not fear the darkness.

Celestial Resistance:
Resistance to necrotic and radiant damage makes you more effective at battling clerics, cultists, celestials, and the undead.

Healing Hands:
A decent contact heal that lets you give yourself or an ally a second wind.

Light Bearer:
You have darkvision, but the rest of your party might now. In that case, you’re prepared to create light for them.

Subrace – Fallen

A Fallen Aasimar is one who has been corrupted by darkness. Your inner light is replaced by a shadow.

Ability Score Increase:
+1 Strength

Necrotic Shroud:
Once per long rest you can activate this aura to cause fear in those around you, and gain bonus necrotic damage to your attacks and spells.

Subrace – Protector

The Protector is one charged by a greater power to aid in the quest of good men, and to defeat evil wherever it hides.

Ability Score Increase:
+1 Wisdom

Radiant Soul:
Once per long rest, you can activate your aura to gain a flying speed and deal extra radiant damage on your attacks and spells.

Subrace – Scourge

Scourge Aasimar are intense, powerful, and devoted to a singular cause.

Ability Score Increase:
+1 Constitution

Radiant Consumption:
Once per long rest you can activate your aura to emit a light that deals radiant damage to both you and creatures nearby and deal extra damage on all your attacks and with spells.

Preferred Class

Aasimar make excellent paladins. The racial abilities of any subrace play into Paladin’s strengths exceptionally well. Likewise, Aasimar make powerful Warlocks, being able to use their Aura abilities on spells means applying the extra damage to their Eldritch Blast.


A monstrous race usually used as low-level minions, Bugbears are powerful creatures that make excellent fighters.

Size and Speed:
Bugbear are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Strength and +1 Dexterity.

Darkvision. Bugbears can see well in the dark.

The greatest advantage Bugbears have is their melee reach. It’s almost as good as an extra few feet of movement and when using a reach weapon they can fight over two lines of phalanx.  

Powerful Build:
Bugbears can push, drag, lift, and carry more than a medium creature normally can.

Free stealth proficiency! Can’t go wrong with that.

Surprise Attack:
The stealth proficiency will serve you well when you deal an extra 2d6 damage in the first round of combat.

Preferred Class

Bugbears have several abilities that play well for primary melee characters. Their natural reach gives them an edge in Melee combat. Playing a fighter or barbarian is best to showcase your natural racial abilities.


A humble people, Firbolg are natural druids and stewards of the forest. They are outcasts of human societies, and typically found in wild lands and hidden places.

Size and Speed:
Firbolg are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Wisdom and +1 Strength

Firbolg Magic:
The ability to detect magic and disguise yourself will help you infiltrate and investigate.

Hidden Step:
Short rest invisibility adds to your natural trickery.

Powerful Build:
Firbolg can push, drag, lift, and carry more than a medium creature normally can.

Speech of Beast and Leaf:
You have the ability to communicate with plants and small animals. This trait alone makes you lean towards druid thematically.

Preferred Class

Monk or Melee Cleric. Though they are thematically druids, they excel at a class where their Wisdom aids their class abilities and spellcasting, and their enhanced strength can be put to good use.


Ah, the lowly Goblin. Ever the bane of first-level players, these miniature menaces are little more than cannon fodder in most games. However, as a playable race they are quite formidable. They offer a host of abilities that make them mobile, sneaky, and dangerous.

Size and Speed:
Goblins are small, which means they have a disadvantage when selecting weapons. However, their other abilities actually take this into account as a benefit. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Dexterity and +1 Constitution

As an Underdark race, Goblins have excellent low-light vision.

Fury of the Small:
Once per short rest, you can deal extra damage to the target of a spell or attack when you connect with a creature larger than you. As a small character, that will be most foes you face.

Nimble Escape:
You can Disengage or Hide as a bonus action, which basically gives you a free pass to move wherever you want on your turn. If you aren’t attacking, you can still select another special action for a full, covered retreat- disengage and hide.

Preferred Class

Goblins make excellent Rogues and Rangers. Their Dexterity makes them well equipped for ranged combat and wielding finesse weapons. They have superb mobility to begin with, and the mobility bonuses and positioning advantages granted by both classes makes them a very dangerous opponent.


Hobgoblins are an interesting race. Their ability scores and racial traits are conflicting with each other slightly. Their flavor has changed a bit in 5e, making them a proud, bold militaristic race who values honor and strength equally.

Size and Speed:
Hobgoblins are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Constitution, +1 Intelligence

A goblinoid race, Hobgoblins have excellent darkvision.

Martial Training:
Free weapon proficiency is always welcome. Automatic light armor proficiency is great if you decide to be a spellcaster.

Saving Face:
Once per short rest you gain a bonus to an otherwise failed attack or skill check based on the number of allies you can see.

Preferred Class

Fighter, specifically an Eldritch Knight. Your combination of toughness and intelligence boosts your spellcasting and resilience in combat.


A very odd race to begin with, Kenku cannot speak normally. Instead, they can only copy other sounds they have heard. A real role-playing challenge, they are a nuique race well suited to specific function.

Size and Speed:
Kenku are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Dexterity and +1 Wisdom.

Expert Forgery:
Kenku have the ability to recreate works of art and craftsmanship with surprising fidelity, allowing them to mimic more than just sounds.

Kenku Training:
Two free skill proficiencies off the Ranger or Rogue list, two classes to which you are very well suited.

Kenku cannot speak. They can only recreate sounds which they have heard, though they can do so with near-perfect fidelity.

Preferred Class

Kenku excel at stealth, imitation, and deception due to their forgery and mimicry skills. They are well suited to being Rogues or Rangers.


Wily little buggers, and similar to Goblins, Kobolds are the Underdark version of your favorite NPC minions. One of the few classes with an ability score penalty, they make up for it in other ways. In a campaign where their sunlight sensitivity isn’t an issue, they are quite useful. Additionally, some errata has been published removing their negative ability scores, so if you wish to play a more up-to-date version than is printed in the VGtM supplement, you’ll want to check that out. Purists will play as written, however, and that version is described here.

Size and Speed:
Kobold are small-sized creatures, which gives them a disadvantage when selecting heavy weapons.. Their base speed is 25 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase (and Decrease!):
+2 Dexterity and -2 Strength.

Underdark races typically have Darkvision, and Kobolds are no exception.

Grovel, Cower, and Beg:
This ability is one of very few taunt mechanics in the game. Basically, once per short rest, you can grovel, cower, or beg your opponents, while your allies gain advantage on attacks against them.

Pack Tactics:
A group of Kobolds can sacrifice one of its number to the Grovel tactic to get into position, while the rest use their Pack Tactics to try to take down a foe with advantage on subsequent rounds.

Sunlight Sensitivity:
A huge downer for a surface campaign, Kobolds are really only useful in the Underdark.

Preferred Class

Kobolds want to be in the heart of the action, fighting with finesse weapons. They rely on positioning to gain advantage on attacks. They make Dexterity-build great fighters for this reason.


A cold and calculating race build for survival in harsh climates and dangerous ecosystems, Lizardfolk are tough and powerful.

Size and Speed:
Lizardfolk are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Constitution and +1 Wisdom.

Lizardfolk have a swim speed by default.

Having a natural weapon is great. You’re never truly unarmed, even when taken captive or disarmed of your weapons. Lizardfolk have a particularly powerful natural attack compared to other races who have natural attacks.

Cunning Artisan:
Lizardfolk can quickly turn a kill into equipment, crafting a small arsenal of weapons out of a fallen creature during a short rest.

Hold Breath:
While you can’t breathe underwater, 15 minutes is long enough to accomplish most shallow-water tasks.

Hunter’s Lore:
Two free skill proficiencies, not too shabby. Most are from the Ranger/Druid lists.

Natural Armor:
The best part about being a Lizardfolk is the scales. You have natural armor that mimics the best Light armor you can possibly imagine.

Hungry Jaws:
As is the above abilities weren’t enough, once per short rest you can gain a few temporary hit points on a bonus action bite attack.

Preferred Class

Lizardfolk make great Rangers, based on their toughness and mobility. They can function well as casters based on their natural defenses, which offset the squishy nature of most magic users. and great primary melee characters such as fighters or barbarians, given their durability and natural weapons.


Up front, Orcs are brutish, savage, and tough. The Eberron variant is strictly better than this one, and the Half-Orc better still. Additionally, some errata has been published removing their negative ability scores, so if you wish to play a more up-to-date version than is printed in the VGtM supplement, you’ll want to check that out. Purists will play as written, however, and that version is described here.

Size and Speed:
Orcs are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase (and Decrease!):
+2 Strength, +1 Constitution, and -2 Intelligence. Orcs are one of only two races that have a negative ability score adjustment.

Underdark races can see in the dark.

You can approach an enemy as a bonus action. While strictly worse than Dash when trying to escape or chase once you’ve lost sight, it’s a neat mobility option that is very useful in combat.

Free skill proficiency in Intimidation is on flavor.

Powerful Build:
Orcs can push, drag, lift, and carry more than a medium creature normally can.

Preferred Class

Barbarian, all the way. With the bonus speed granted by Barbarian and your Aggressive trait, you will be able to run down even the most nimble of foes.


The cat-people hail from a strange and distant land. Wandering tinkers and tellers of tales, they are sneaky and proficient hunters when none watch too closely.

Size and Speed:
Tabaxi are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Dexterity and +1 Charisma

Cats have particularly good low-light vision and darkvision.

Feline Agility:
The ability to double your speed to approach an enemy or escape from one is invaluable. Combining this with a Rogue’s cunning action makes you one of the fastest possible characters in the game.

Cat’s Claws:
A climbing speed and natural weapons. A two-for-one!

Cat’s Talent:
Two free skill proficiencies off the Rogue list.

Preferred Class

Tabaxi are natural rogues. Their abilities give them speed, stealth, and mobility options that make them great infiltrators.


The Tritons are staunch champions of the depths. They value honor and community and have strict hierarchy in their society. They value nothing more than family, duty, and honor.

Size and Speed:
Triton are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round. Additionally, Triton have a natural swim speed equal to their base walking speed.

Ability Score Increase:
+1 Strength, Constitution, and Charisma. This is a unique mix of ability score increases among races.

Triton are naturally amphibious and can breathe air and water.

Control of Air and Water:
As you level up you gain the ability to cast two situationally useful spells.

Emissary of the Sea:
You can telepathically talk to all water-breathing creatures, just like Aquaman.

Guardians of the Depths:
Resistance to cold is very valuable, as is the ability to exist under the harsh conditions of the deepest depths of the seas.

Preferred Class

Tritons have a unique and broad ability spread which is perfect for the Paladin class. Gaining a bonus to all three of your relevant stats helps even out any odd ability scores you may have rolled.

Yuan-ti Pureblood

The snake-kin are a cruel, cunning people. They have reptilian features including scaly skin, vertical-slit eyes, forked tongues, and lithe, reptilian bodies.

Size and Speed:
Yuan-Ti are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Charisma and +1 Intelligence

Your snake-like eyes are exceptionally good at seeing in the dark.

Innate Spellcasting:
Charisma based spellcasting with a list that grows over time.

Magic Resistance:
Advantage on saving throws against magic is a very powerful and rare trait.

Poison Immunity:
Very few playable races have immunity to a damage type. You have immunity to poison damage and the poisoned condition.

Preferred Class

Yuan-Ti Purebloods make excellent Sorcerers, given their increased Charisma and default list of spells.

The Tortle Package


Slow and Sturdy, Tortles are one of the toughest natural races around. Their thick shell and amphibious traits make them an ideal defender in an aquatic campaign.

Size and Speed:
Tortles are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Strength and +1 Wisdom

Tortles have a natural weapon that deals 1d4 damage, giving them an edge in a brawn.

Hold Breath:
Tortles can’t swim, but they can hold their breath for an hour.

Natural Armor:
The most useful ability the Tortle has is that they don’t need armor and come with their own. Choosing a class that doesn’t get armor proficiency means you’ll effectively be wearing heavy armor. A heavily armored mage is truly terrifying.  

Shell Defense:
In addition to your already considerable armor class, you can go full defensive by withdrawing into your shell and gain an additional +4, giving you a base AC of 21 in case of a truly overpowering assault. This means most minor creatures and minions can only hit you on a critical hit, or close to it.

Survival Instinct:
Free skill proficiencies are always appreciated.

Preferred Class

Tortles make excellent melee striker characters. They are naturally defensive, and a class that offers them shield proficiency like Fighter or Paladin gives them a towering armor class most enemies will struggle to overcome.

Eberron: Rising from the Last War


The Hidden People, Changelings are able to alter their appearance at will. They can blend in with any medium-sized race. Though not terribly powerful, their subtlety offers a very interesting role-playing experience in a campaign with a lot of social interaction.

Size and Speed:
Changelings are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Charisma and +1 to any other ability score of your choice.

As an action, you can completely alter your appearance, voice, and to a certain extent your height.

Changeling Instincts:
Choice of Insight and a short list of Charisma-based skills further enhances your ability to blend in with anyone.

Changelings know any two languages of your choice, allowing you to tailor them to the scenario into which they are trying to blend.

Preferred Class

Changelings make incredible party spokespeople, with their ability to tailor your interaction with new NPCs. A Bard or Rogue makes good use of the heightened Charisma and large selection of skills.


The Kalashtar people are fused spirit and human entities who wander the material plane, ever pursued by nightmares from beyond who seek to devour them. They are virtuous and empathic. Their dual nature gives them certain protections from psychic attack.

Size and Speed:
Kalashtar are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Wisdom and +1 Charisma

Dual Mind:
Advantage on Wisdom saves grants a certain degree of protection from mind-affecting spells and enchantments.

Mental Discipline:
Resistance to psychic damage, which is a relatively uncommon energy type.

Mind Link:
Short range telepathy that you can share with another creature gives you an infiltration edge in combination with a Rogue or Ranger.

Severed From Dreams:
This is a very situational ability. You still sleep but will never dream. It protects you from a very short list of effects.

Preferred Class

Kalashtar make great Clerics. Their Telepathy and enhanced Wisdom make them great support characters.

Orc of Eberron

The Orcs of Eberron are not as savage as their Faerun Cousins, losing the ability score penalty to intelligence and gaining skill proficiency options instead of only Intimidation. As written, this race is strictly better than the Faerun Orc from Volo’s Guide to Monsters.

Size and Speed:
Orcs are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Strength, +1 Constitution.

Orcs can see in the dark.

You can approach an enemy as a bonus action. While strictly worse than Dash when trying to escape or chase once you’ve lost sight, it’s a neat mobility option that is very useful in combat.

Powerful Build:
Orcs can push, drag, lift, and carry more than a medium creature normally can.

Primal Intuition:
Two free skill proficiencies from a long list.

Preferred Class

Orcs make great Barbarians and Rangers. They have mobility, strength, and a great selection of skills to be a melee build character with a versatile skillset.


The bestial people, Shifters are a group of wildfolk with animalistic traits. They all share an ability to tap into their animal side to gain powers beyond that of normal men. The Shifting ability varies by subrace, and each has a different application.

Size and Speed:
Shifters are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Your bestial senses give you low light vision beyond normal men.

 Once per short rest, as a bonus action, you can shift into your beast form. Depending on your subrace this grants you different abilities.

Subrace – Beasthide

Beasthide Shifters are tough, feral creatures with thick hides and sturdy posture.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Constitution and +1 Strength

Natural Athlete:
Free Athletics proficiency is great for a strength-build character who will be doing a lot of running, jumping, and climbing.

Shifting Feature:
Temporary hit points and +1 AC.

Subrace – Longtooth

Longtooth Shifters have a fierce disposition. They are prickly in bother personality and form, having long, sharp claws.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Strength and +1 Dexterity

Free Intimidation proficiency.

Shifting Feature:
You gain a bonus action claw attack.

Subrace – Swiftstride

This variety of shifter is a lithe, dexterous breed. They have powerful legs and enhanced speed compared to the others.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Dexterity and +1 Charisma

Acrobatics Proficiency

Shifting Feature:
Extra speed and the ability to move as a reaction without provoking attacks of opportunity.

Subrace – Wildhunt

The Shifters of the Wild Hunt are calculating and wise, aware of their surroundsing to a high degree. They have keen senses and are very good at reading situations.

Ability Score Increase:
Wisdom +2 and Dexterity +1.

Natural Tracker:
Survival Proficiency.

Shifting Feature:
This is an interesting one. You are never attacked at advantage and have advantage on wisdom checks.

Preferred Class

The Shifter’s preferred class is entirely based on Subrace.

A Beasthide Shifter makes an excellent Fighter. You’re sorely lacking for something to do with your bonus action if you’re a great-weapon fighter who doesn’t have an off-hand attack, so this gives you something to do, which also gives you a quick heal.

A Longtooth Shifter makes a great Barbarian. After spending your first two Bonus actions shifting and raging, you gain a bonus action attack to compliment your greataxe attack.

Swiftstride Shifter is just begging to become a Bard of Valor or the Blade. Taunt, flee, and evade your opponents in melee.

Wildhunt Shifters are interesting. They are overall the weakest variety of Shifter, with only defensive shifting abilities that are very situational. Their ability score increase implies Monk or Ranger.


Warforged are an artificial race of dark origin. Created in the last war, there are a limited number of them remaining in the world. They were born for war, and as characters must decide if they will serve their most basic function or find their own place in the world. They are a powerful race, with a versatile makeup allowing them to fill a variety of roles.

Size and Speed:
Warforged are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
Warforged gain +2 Constitution, and +1 to their choice of other ability score.

Constructed Resilience:
A host of abilities including advantage against poison, resistance to poison damage, immunity to disease and sleep magic, and not needing to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep.

Sentry’s Rest:
You rest for 4 hours a day like an elf but are conscious when doing so. You’re the perfect watchman.

Integrated Protection:
+1 AC no matter what, but your armor must be attached to you, requiring a long time to don or doff it.

Specialized Design:
One skill or tool of your choice.

Preferred Class

Warforged are one of the most versatile races available. The +2 Constitution and +1 Armor Class makes them a more resilient version of any class. They are best suited to protector-style classes, such as Cleric or Paladin. The versatile ability score increase and skill allows them to fit into any party role very well.

Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes


The Gith are a divided people locked in an endless war. Whether you play as a lifelong warrior Gthyanki or a disciplined, studious Githzerai, you will have several powerful abilities that give you an edge over your foes in combat. Both Gith subraces are powerful and interesting to play.

Size and Speed:
Gith are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+1 Intelligence

Subrace – Githyanki

The Githyanki are a chaotic, war-like people who are allies with Red Dragons and other agents of chaos and destruction. Their warriors fight with a cunning and ferocity seldom seen in other races.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Strength

Decadent Mastery:
Your choice of language and either a skill or tool proficiency.

Martial Prodigy:
Weapon proficiency with light and medium armor and swords.

GIthyanki Psionics:
As you level up, you gain access to spellcasting. You learn mage hand and once per short rest can cast jump and misty step.

Subrace – Githzerai

The Githzerai are wise philosophers who seek to master the body and the soul. They value routine and intense focus of training over the wild methods of their cousins.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Wisdom

Mental Discipline:
Advantage against charm and fear effects.

Githzerai Psionics:
As you level up, you gain access to spellcasting. You learn mage hand and once per short rest can cast shield and detect thoughts.

Preferred Class

Githyanki make amazing Eldritch Knight Fighters or Wizards. Their ability scores, weapon and armor proficiencies, and racial spellcasting are very useful in either of these builds. Githzerai make decent Rogues, with a bonus to two ability scores that have a wide variety of skills useful to an investigator.

Subrace – Githzerai

The Githzerai are wise philosophers who seek to master the body and the soul. They value routine and intense focus of training over the wild methods of their cousins.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Wisdom

Mental Discipline:
Advantage against charm and fear effects.

Githzerai Psionics:
As you level up, you gain access to spellcasting. You learn mage hand and once per short rest can cast shield and detect thoughts.

Preferred Class

Githyanki make amazing Eldritch Knight Fighters or Wizards. Their ability scores, weapon and armor proficiencies, and racial spellcasting are very useful in either of these builds. Githzerai make decent Rogues, with a bonus to two ability scores that have a wide variety of skills useful to an investigator.

Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica


Nature’s Cavalry, Centaurs are the fastest, and one of the most powerful races available. Strong, Wise, fast, and dangerous, Centaurs are a powerful race that can become a valuable ally to a party of monstrous characters.

Size and Speed:
Centaur are medium-sized creatures. Centaurs are quadrupeds, which gives them a huge speed advantage over every other race. Their base speed is 40 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Strength and +1 Wisdom.

Centaurs are fey, which makes them immune to several low-level charm spells.

Assuming you move far enough and succeed on a melee attack on a round, you gain a bonus action attack as well.  

Natural attacks that deal better damage than a normal unarmed strike.

Equine Build:
You count as a Large creature for the purposes of load limits, but you can’t climb ladders.

Choice of skills from animal handling, survival, medicine, or nature. Not too shabby.

Preferred Class

Centaurs are their own mounts. A class that gains additional speed like Barbarian or Monk turns them into extremely dangerous hit-and-run characters able to move across a large battlefield in seconds.


The elephant people are a relentlessly loyal folk, given to forging powerful bonds with their allies and swearing vengeance against those who wrong them. They say an elephant never forgets, after all.

Size and Speed:
Loxodon are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Constitution and +1 Wisdom

Powerful Build:
Loxodon count as large creatures when determining how much they can push, drag, or lift.

Loxodon Serenity:
Advantage against charm and fear effects.

Natural Armor:
You can go unarmored and effectively have Light armor based on your Constitution instead of Dexterity.

You have an extra appendage you can use to lift, breathe, and manipulate objects. It can also make unarmed strikes if you are so inclined to do so.

Keen Smell:
The aforementioned trunk also provides you with advantage on Perception, Survival, and Investigation checks.

Preferred Class

Loxodon make great Clerics. Their Natural armor, resistance to manipulative magic, and ability scores play well with the Cleric style.


Gruff, Grumpy, and aggressive. Minotaur are bulls with horns, and you definitely don’t want to mess with them. Generally, Minotaur are all strength and zeal. Try not to get in their way!

Size and Speed:
Minotaur are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Strength and +1 Constitution

You have a natural attack with formidable damage.

Goring Rush:
You can dash and attack with your horns in the same round.

Hammering Horns:
If you take the attack action and successfully hit, you can use a bonus action to try to hammer your foe with your horns, potentially knocking them backward 10 feet. This would provoke an attack of opportunity from you if you still have a reaction.

Imposing Presence:
Your choice of Intimidation or persuasion.

Preferred Class

Barbarian. As if you thought anything else was going to be suggested here. You’ve got strength and skills to make you an intimidating battering ram of a creature.

Simic Hybrid

Simic Hybrids are the science experiment of the multiverse. They are one of, if not the most versatile class available, and rival the variant human and half-elf in terms of overall utility and power.

Size and Speed:
Simic Hybrid are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Constitution and +1 to your choice of any other ability score.

Your modified retinas grant you darkvision.

Animal Enhancement. Here’s where this race goes off the rails. At 1st and 5th level you gain an animal enhancement which gives you a powerful body modification. Here’s a breakdown of what’s available-

1st level-               

Manta Glide. A glide ability that prevents you from taking fall damage.

Nimble Climber. A climb speed

Underwater Adaption. Waterbreathing and a swim speed 

5th level-

Grappling Appendages. a natural weapon that can also grapple as part of an attack

Carapace. +1 AC

Acid Spit. A short-range ranged attack that deals acid damage which scales by level.

Preferred Class

It doesn’t matter what you pick, your choices of ability score increase and enhancement can be tailored to your campaign circumstances.


The perfectionist scholars of the multiverse, the Vedalken are a curios and discerning people. They are researchers and ledger men, historians, and scribes.

Size and Speed:
Vedalken are medium-sized creatures. Their base speed is 30 feet per round.

Ability Score Increase:
+2 Intelligence and +1 Wisdom

Vedalken Dispassion:
Advantage on three saves, a unique and powerful trait.  

Tireless Perfection:
You gain a skill and a tool proficiency and gain an additional +1d4 whenever you use it.

Partially Amphibious:
Once per short rest you can hold your breath underwater for an hour.

Preferred Class

Vedalken are natural wizards. They are resistant to most magic given their Dispassion ability and can overcome difficult skill checks with their Tireless Perfection.

In Conclusion

There are so many options available to you it may seem daunting trying to pick just one. The best part about D&D is that you can always roll up a new character, and it can be totally different than you yourself, your favorite fictional character, or anything you’ve dreamed up before. Beware the many different monstrous races that exist in the multiverse of the World’s Greatest Role-Playing Game. The possibilities are limitless!

Roll well, my friends!