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D&D 5E List of All 33 Races in Mordenkainen's Monsters of the Multiverse

Mordenkainen Presents Monsters of the Multiverse contains 33 races compiled from previous Dungeons & Dragons books.

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  • Aarackocra
  • Assimar
  • Bugbear
  • Centaur
  • Changeling
  • Deep Gnome
  • Duergar
  • Eladrin
  • Fairy
  • Firbolg
  • Genasi, Air
  • Genasi, Earth
  • Genasi, Fire
  • Gennasi, Water
  • Githyanki
  • Githzerai
  • Goblin
  • Goliath
  • Harengon
  • Hobgoblin
  • Kenku
  • Kobold
  • Lizardfolk
  • Minotaur
  • Orc
  • Satyr
  • Sea Elf
  • Shadar Kai
  • Shifter
  • Tabaxi
  • Turtle
  • Triton
  • Yuan-ti

While reprinted, these races have all been updated to the current standard used by WotC for D&D races used in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, including a free choice of ability score increases (increase one by 2 points and another by 1 point; or increase three by 1 point), and small races not suffering a movement speed penalty.

The video below from Nerd Immersion delves into the races in more detail.

 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Faolyn

(she/her)
If your race has no effect on your effectiveness at any given profession, what does it do for you? Physical appearance and one or two tricks?
Assuming that by "tricks" you mean racial traits... well, yes. Also culture, if the DM or setting has create an interesting culture for that race.

I mean, my last few characters... For one game, which the DM described as starting out as sort of an AU of the Balder's Gate video game, I wanted to play a combat-oriented rogue, I really like the planetouched races, so tiefling swashbuckler. For another game, an Eberron game starting in Sharn, I had a hankering to play a fighter and I wanted to play an Eberron race, so I have a kalashtar psi knight. More recently, for Icewind Dale, I wanted to play a big character and I wanted to play a warlock, so after waffling between a goliath and a firbolg, I have a firbolg genielock.

I mean, there's nothing wrong with playing a race who benefits your class, which is why I'm all for floating ASIs. But as I said, you're playing an individual, not an entire race, so what your race is good or bad at shouldn't have an effect on what you play. If you go with that, you might as well decide to simply ban certain races from being certain classes, like in AD&D.
 

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Assuming that by "tricks" you mean racial traits... well, yes. Also culture, if the DM or setting has create an interesting culture for that race.

I mean, my last few characters... For one game, which the DM described as starting out as sort of an AU of the Balder's Gate video game, I wanted to play a combat-oriented rogue, I really like the planetouched races, so tiefling swashbuckler. For another game, an Eberron game starting in Sharn, I had a hankering to play a fighter and I wanted to play an Eberron race, so I have a kalashtar psi knight. More recently, for Icewind Dale, I wanted to play a big character and I wanted to play a warlock, so after waffling between a goliath and a firbolg, I have a firbolg genielock.

I mean, there's nothing wrong with playing a race who benefits your class, which is why I'm all for floating ASIs. But as I said, you're playing an individual, not an entire race, so what your race is good or bad at shouldn't have an effect on what you play. If you go with that, you might as well decide to simply ban certain races from being certain classes, like in AD&D.
First of all, being mildly less effective than a member of another race at being a wizard (or whatever) is not the same thing as banning that race from playing wizards, no matter what people think.

Second, culture no longer has any mechanical widgets associated with it in WotC D&D, making it entirely the province of roleplaying and imagination. Both great things, but I'd still like some mechanical heft.

Third, I'm not sure why I'm even complaining about this. I should get back to converting D&D races to Level Up, a far superior origin system to anything mainstream D&D has ever come up with.
 





Faolyn

(she/her)
Again if you have an option in the DMG or wherever that says "your DM can let you play a character of race X but use the stats of race Y", or even a more granular "your DM can let you cherrypick racial features according to this point-buy table" then everyone stops complaining because any real or imaginary mechanical limitation is gone, without removing what makes default races distinct from each other for those who don't feel limited by them.
Sure, you can have that option, although I likely would find it unsatisfying. Let's go with an elf barbarian. If I'm understanding you correctly, you would have be play an elf using, say, an orc's stats. But that means I'm missing out on elf things, like Trance and Fey Heritage. I don't want to play an orc; I want to play an elf who rages. And then I can choose the ASI to match my idea, whatever it is. Maybe my elf who rages is actually more Dex-based than Strength-based, after all.

I'm sure there are people who would want to play an elf who has the abilities of an orc instead of the abilities of an elf, but I'm not one of them.

And sure, you can do a point-buy table, but I think that would annoy a lot of people since this is D&D, not GURPS or some other point-buy game. Maybe, in some future edition, races will be a bit more like in Level Up. Here are the biological racial traits that all members of the race has. Then maybe there will be lists of traits appropriate for biome/class type/background/culture/whatever, and you can pick some from those lists as well.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Sure, you can have that option, although I likely would find it unsatisfying. Let's go with an elf barbarian. If I'm understanding you correctly, you would have be play an elf using, say, an orc's stats. But that means I'm missing out on elf things, like Trance and Fey Heritage. I don't want to play an orc; I want to play an elf who rages. And then I can choose the ASI to match my idea, whatever it is. Maybe my elf who rages is actually more Dex-based than Strength-based, after all.
now this is interesting, because it is the trouble my group has A LOT!!!

I can refluff something (in your example orc for elf) but it totally falls apart if part of what you want is elf mechanics. And since rage gives advantaage on str checks and only give extra damage (raw) to str based attacks, that dex based rager isn't as good as it should be.

Now we house rule the heck out of this system, so I see no reason to not allow rage to go to finesse attacks and that CAN work (if you want to play a fast rager) but if your idea is to be a big strong hulking elf, that doesn't work well either. giving the +2 any and +1 any other helps... I would say removeing the stat mods helps MORE
 

The post below says using ASIs is "racist essentialism". Is that close enough? I wouldn't be surprised if there are posts in that or similar threads where someone defending them is personally being implied or said to be a racist after a back and forth that may have pulled in other things. I'm not going back through some of the threads to find them (googling ASI essentialism enworld would give a start). I'm not sure it's worth working that hard to get this thread locked.

Just as a matter of definition, various races/species having inherent and universal qualities is essentialist. Especially in fantasy; dnd doesn't account for dragonborn having breath weapons on account of their biological evolution or social training, but because it's just part of their essential nature.

The discomfort comes in when the tropes that are used to describe those races match real world racist tropes used in the past. It's uncomfortable whether or not it's intentional, and whether or not it is intended as a joke (see the Orcs of Thar thread). It's not meant to reflect on individual players or even game writers/designers in any particular way.
 

HammerMan

Legend
The discomfort comes in when the tropes that are used to describe those races match real world racist tropes used in the past. It's uncomfortable whether or not it's intentional, and whether or not it is intended as a joke
the problem is that sooner or later when you want a group (race, alliance, guild, tribe, what ever) to have negative traits it is VERY hard to find any group of negative traits that no one has ever used against real world countries/religons/skintones

"I want my bad guys to be greedy an manipulative" doesn't mean I want to use the exact same FALSE and EVIL lies used against people in the real world.
"I want my bad guys to be strong short tempered and aggressive" but NOT that I want ANY association with real world people that have had that thrown at them.

I mean if I REALLY try I MIGHT be able to make a grouping of ones that real world people never got branded with exactly that combo... but then you can accuse me of just making a mix of X and Y real world peoples....

and right now we are at low hanging fruit. Race to Race, but how long before "cult of the beholder is just using the ____ stereo type"
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
First of all, being mildly less effective than a member of another race at being a wizard (or whatever) is not the same thing as banning that race from playing wizards, no matter what people think.
No, but what do the players, the DM, or the game itself get out of having races that are "mildly less effective"? I don't think you get anything of any real benefit.

Because you get bonus ASIs every four levels (or more often, if you're a fighter or rogue) and there's a hard cap of 20 on all stats (except for some magical intervention), almost everyone is going to max out their stat anyway, so all you do is extend the time it takes to do that--assuming that you do point buy or stat array instead of rolling dice--which means that, in the long run, it doesn't actually matter.

And, well, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Let's say you want Race 1 to be good wizards and Race 2 to be bad wizards. Do you give Race 1 an Int bonus? OK, so they're not just better wizards, they're also smarter and better at anything that needs Int. (Elves get a bonus to Dex because they're so lithe and agile, which makes them good monks and rogues--not really what was intended). Or do you give Race 2 an Int penalty? So they're just all-around dumber, which again isn't what's intended and depending on how else Race 2 is presented, could be very problematic indeed.

What you could do is create a racial trait that benefits particular classes in some way. Orcs and half-orcs have it, with their improved fighting abilities like Relentless and Aggressive (or Dash or whatever it's being changed to). You could come up with other abilities for a spellcaster race as well, like Natural Spellcaster. Once per long rest, when you cast a spell of 3rd level or lower, you can upcast it by one level, even if you have no spell slots of that level. That would certainly encourage people to play that race as at least some sort of spellcaster (even if only buying a feat that gives you a spell). (I just blue-skied that trait, so I'm not even bothering to see if it's balanced or not).

Second, culture no longer has any mechanical widgets associated with it in WotC D&D, making it entirely the province of roleplaying and imagination. Both great things, but I'd still like some mechanical heft.
For now, but maybe in 6th edition--or even in a couple of years, when 50Ae comes out--they will have cultural mechanics.

Third, I'm not sure why I'm even complaining about this. I should get back to converting D&D races to Level Up, a far superior origin system to anything mainstream D&D has ever come up with.
Heh. Agreed. I have just a little bit more writing and art to do.
 

the problem is that sooner or later when you want a group (race, alliance, guild, tribe, what ever) to have negative traits it is VERY hard to find any group of negative traits that no one has ever used against real world countries/religons/skintones

"I want my bad guys to be greedy an manipulative" doesn't mean I want to use the exact same FALSE and EVIL lies used against people in the real world.
"I want my bad guys to be strong short tempered and aggressive" but NOT that I want ANY association with real world people that have had that thrown at them.

I mean if I REALLY try I MIGHT be able to make a grouping of ones that real world people never got branded with exactly that combo... but then you can accuse me of just making a mix of X and Y real world peoples....

and right now we are at low hanging fruit. Race to Race, but how long before "cult of the beholder is just using the ____ stereo type"
I can appreciate that it might seem that way. The tropes in question are fairly well defined (anti-semitic tropes for example). At the same time, these tropes were and are used in such a way that they make up a coded language. In some historical instances, the use of these tropes was a way to make discriminatory and bigoted remarks without doing so explicitly. Further, many of them are so culturally embedded that they can become reproduced unintentionally (in the other thread there was a discussion of Jon Stewart's comments about the goblins in Harry potter, for example). So in sum they are both well defined but include a lot of gray area and can be reproduced unintentionally, and so takes editors who can read with a critical eye to pick up on them. Again none of the above meaningfully reflects on individual writers/creators/readers/players.
 

Remathilis

Legend
and right now we are at low hanging fruit. Race to Race, but how long before "cult of the beholder is just using the ____ stereo type"

Not too long I wager

I mean, there is already some bubbling concern about how D&D has treated religions, religiousness and cults. Granted, it's not the loud discussion that race has generated, but it has been mentioned before.

I wager that if they ever do Planescape, the factions might not make the cut do to them being based-off/parodies of real philosophical beliefs. It could be seen as insensitive. However, that is just a guess.

It might be jumping at ghosts, but I can see some concerns about painting any group with a single broad stroke, be it by race, religion, color or creed.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
No, but what do the players, the DM, or the game itself get out of having races that are "mildly less effective"? I don't think you get anything of any real benefit.

I will only speak for myself, but as a player, there is an aspect of fun in alternative (suboptimal builds) and making them work in play. Some would lump this under "system mastery", but for me it's about fun. I like my rogue with a 14 DEX and an 18 WIS, because he adds to the challenges I face as a player and helps me as I characterize him. Is he "mildly less effective"? Sure -- and I chose that. I don't think it impacts the other players, and it gives me an opportunity to explore things.

Another example is (an earlier character) but the low-intelligence halforc wizard. His spell selection focused on spells without saves, and it was fun (for me) to make him work. I've just spent a bunch of time thinking about a Wisdom-based Ranger; perhaps that will be my next character.

Is that for everyone? Absolutely not. But it will be for some, and for them it is a real benefit.

The new approach to ability adjustment removes so much of the obstacles to sub-optimal characters. And that's fine -- even great. But we should want some variation on play experience, and lineage is one way for that to happen.
 

HammerMan

Legend
I can appreciate that it might seem that way. The tropes in question are fairly well defined (anti-semitic tropes for example).
but once you remove everything jewish from it, and leave JUST the anti semitic bad stuff and put it on things that are NOT jewish coded it should be able to be used.
I do not see jewish people as dragons, and I don't see dragons a jewish people... but if I publish a world with dragons secretly manipulating the world and collecting money... some how people thinks that and that alone codes it as jewish and as such anti-semitic.
At the same time, these tropes were and are used in such a way that they make up a coded language. In some historical instances, the use of these tropes was a way to make discriminatory and bigoted remarks without doing so explicitly.
and (To my knowledge) they normally did so by putting OTHER codeing in (a physical feature associated with them, an article of clothing/covering similar to them, or in the case of a monster a defect that LOOKS like that article of clothing/covering).

Just being greedy and manipulative is not a Jewish trait (and I hope we all know that) it is no more Jewish than it is Italian or Russian. However because it has been used to attack Jewish people it becomes hard to separate it.
Further, many of them are so culturally embedded that they can become reproduced unintentionally (in the other thread there was a discussion of Jon Stewart's comments about the goblins in Harry potter, for example).
And at that point you have to wonder if the work is anti-semitic or if the writer is or if it is an honest error (I will refrain from throwing my 2 cents about her)
So in sum they are both well defined but include a lot of gray area and can be reproduced unintentionally, and so takes editors who can read with a critical eye to pick up on them. Again none of the above meaningfully reflects on individual writers/creators/readers/players.
excapt again... it's hard to find ANY negative trait that isn't associated with some group... unless it is a negative trait that is full faantasy (and even then it might be)
 

Just as a matter of definition, various races/species having inherent and universal qualities is essentialist. Especially in fantasy; dnd doesn't account for dragonborn having breath weapons on account of their biological evolution or social training, but because it's just part of their essential nature.
I agree with you, but that was debated long and hard in ASI threads. But I feel that a lot of people use 'essentialist' in rather incoherent manner.
 


AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
What's more interesting was the Gobliniod subtype for races given no effect or feat to my knowledge targets Gobliniods specifically. Could it be a sign of things to come, something up their sleeve?
I don't think they have anything specific in mind for that. It's probably just future-proofing in case they create a magic weapon or feat that has a prerequisite of "you must be a goblinoid to use this", instead of having to write "you must be a bugbear, goblin, or hobgoblin to use this".
 

Not too long I wager

I mean, there is already some bubbling concern about how D&D has treated religions, religiousness and cults. Granted, it's not the loud discussion that race has generated, but it has been mentioned before.

I wager that if they ever do Planescape, the factions might not make the cut do to them being based-off/parodies of real philosophical beliefs. It could be seen as insensitive. However, that is just a guess.

It might be jumping at ghosts, but I can see some concerns about painting any group with a single broad stroke, be it by race, religion, color or creed.
And because the kind of nuance people are demanding is hard, and not a guarantee of positive acceptance, and potentially less marketable, I strongly feel that WotC won't bother with it at all, in favor of minimum lore for everyone.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Sure, you can have that option, although I likely would find it unsatisfying. Let's go with an elf barbarian. If I'm understanding you correctly, you would have be play an elf using, say, an orc's stats. But that means I'm missing out on elf things, like Trance and Fey Heritage. I don't want to play an orc; I want to play an elf who rages. And then I can choose the ASI to match my idea, whatever it is. Maybe my elf who rages is actually more Dex-based than Strength-based, after all.

I'm sure there are people who would want to play an elf who has the abilities of an orc instead of the abilities of an elf, but I'm not one of them.

And sure, you can do a point-buy table, but I think that would annoy a lot of people since this is D&D, not GURPS or some other point-buy game. Maybe, in some future edition, races will be a bit more like in Level Up. Here are the biological racial traits that all members of the race has. Then maybe there will be lists of traits appropriate for biome/class type/background/culture/whatever, and you can pick some from those lists as well.
You clearly missed my general point.

To summarize: I am against removing racial abilities (including fixed ASI) as the starting point in the game when you choose a race. It is a cookie-cutter thing yes, but it is the best starting point for anyone playing their first character or five, just like classes and archetypes.

If you find the fixed ASI limited, there's the Tasha rule already that lets you choose a different ASI.

Apparently that option is still not enough for some minmaxers, so I say fine, let them have even more flexibility, even if I personally wouldn't even use Tasha's option because I can get the ability scores I want even with the fixed ASI.

But I don't see why in order to satisfy players who like Tasha's option, they have to penalise those who liked fixed ASI, by retconning existing races and remove those ASI, when Tasha's rule already does that if you want! Better to promote Tasha's rule (as an option alongside fixed ASI) to the next PHB reprint or revision. Or alternatively, leave a suggested ASI for each race at least.

It's a little bit like base ability scores: some people like them random, some like a fixed array and some like point-buy. It is just cruelty to say "hey look more people like option X so let's eliminate option Y".
 
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