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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.

greg-rutkowski-monsters-of-the-multiverse-1920.jpg

  • 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

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 let's 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.

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) to the next PHB reprint or revision. Or alternatively, leave a suggested ASI for each race at least.
This is why I see listing Tasha's as optional was intentionally deceptive. I believe they always intended it to be the new law of the land.
 

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dave2008

Legend
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".
Of course you don't have to buy those books and/or include those revised races.
 

Remathilis

Legend
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.
Granted, and I wager WotC isn't going to spill gallons of ink discussing cultural nuances of elves, orcs, or dragons, considering how prevalent homebrewing is anyway and its new stance of canon. What I imagine will be true is we won't be getting much "deep dive" lore anymore; nothing like the elf section in Tome of Foes or the goblin section Volos. I think a good indication of what lore will look at is how currently WotC has treated its legacy settings (Eberron and Ravenloft). If you look at the amount of info on a nation, NPC, deity, or organization in E:RftLW or VRGR, it's enough to give you the gist of what it is, but nowhere near the richness of campaign guides of previous editions. It's enough to explain the concept, but anything more will require the DM to research it from older lore (and adjust to make fit) or make it up themselves.

I imagine for those who like to go their own way, it will be fine if not liberating. If you like the notion of that work being done for you (or having an "official" answer) it will be maddening.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
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.
Would you ever think to play a low-Int non-orc wizard?
 

Granted, and I wager WotC isn't going to spill gallons of ink discussing cultural nuances of elves, orcs, or dragons, considering how prevalent homebrewing is anyway and its new stance of canon. What I imagine will be true is we won't be getting much "deep dive" lore anymore; nothing like the elf section in Tome of Foes or the goblin section Volos. I think a good indication of what lore will look at is how currently WotC has treated its legacy settings (Eberron and Ravenloft). If you look at the amount of info on a nation, NPC, deity, or organization in E:RftLW or VRGR, it's enough to give you the gist of what it is, but nowhere near the richness of campaign guides of previous editions. It's enough to explain the concept, but anything more will require the DM to research it from older lore (and adjust to make fit) or make it up themselves.

I imagine for those who like to go their own way, it will be fine if not liberating. If you like the notion of that work being done for you (or having an "official" answer) it will be maddening.
Agreed. For good or ill, the internet has scared WotC away from generating anything but the most basic of lore.
 






AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Agreed. For good or ill, the internet has scared WotC away from generating anything but the most basic of lore.
That's a good thing. That's absolutely a good thing for all of us. This isn't even subjective, this is either 100% beneficial to you and everyone that plays D&D, or it doesn't affect you. Overall extremely beneficial.

This book is setting-agnostic. Why would they give extensive lore for these races when a) the races are just reprints, and they have more specific lore elsewhere, and b) the book is setting agnostic and shouldn't determine the lore for the creatures, as they exist in multiple settings in the D&D Multiverse? There shouldn't be "base lore" more than "this is what the race looks like and their mechanics, use them in your settings/official settings however you want to use them and in whichever style matches the specific setting's lore". Harengon are bunny-people, so they act like bunnies. Fairies are fairies, and we all know what those are. Lizardfolk are lizard-people, and their base behavior is drawn from that.

And I don't think "the internet" or anyone on it scared WotC into doing this or anything. I think they just heard what their players want and gave it to them.
 

That's a good thing. That's absolutely a good thing for all of us. This isn't even subjective, this is either 100% beneficial to you and everyone that plays D&D, or it doesn't affect you. Overall extremely beneficial.

This book is setting-agnostic. Why would they give extensive lore for these races when a) the races are just reprints, and they have more specific lore elsewhere, and b) the book is setting agnostic and shouldn't determine the lore for the creatures, as they exist in multiple settings in the D&D Multiverse? There shouldn't be "base lore" more than "this is what the race looks like and their mechanics, use them in your settings/official settings however you want to use them and in whichever style matches the specific setting's lore". Harengon are bunny-people, so they act like bunnies. Fairies are fairies, and we all know what those are. Lizardfolk are lizard-people, and their base behavior is drawn from that.

And I don't think "the internet" or anyone on it scared WotC into doing this or anything. I think they just heard what their players want and gave it to them.
I have a very different view on that, so we'll just have to agree to disagree. And I don't expect even moderately deep lore from WotC on any race in any book anymore. It's not like social media will give them a pass because it's in a setting book and not the PH.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
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.
No, I didn't miss your point. I get it; I just disagree. While I'm sure there are still many groups who learned how to game without any more experienced players teaching them the ropes, I'm also sure there are many new players who are taught by people who can help them make the "best" choice, for whatever their definition of best is. Plus, anyone past that first character or five doesn't need the cookie cutter. They just need to read the text or look at the art to decide.

Secondly, if the racial ASI becomes a floating ASI, and even a total newbie will be able to understand "fighters need a high Strength, therefore, I should put my +2 in Strength." That's a lot simpler than looking through each race, finding the ones with a Strength bonus, and then deciding which of those races also has the most interesting traits and cultural fluff. Especially if this newbie picks something that has some baggage to it. "Sure, you can play a bugbear to get that +2 Strength, but... bugbears are mostly monsters and most humanoids are going to be really wary of you and other goblinoids and orcs think that bugbears are stupid and lazy and aren't going to treat you well..."

Saying "pick which race has the most interesting bits to you. Then add a +2 to one stat and a +1 to another" is tons easier.

If you find the fixed ASI limited, there's the Tasha rule already that lets you choose a different ASI.
Which I find incredibly boring. +2 to a stat, either a skill or darkvision, and a feat. There's no cool racial fluff, like trancing or knowing about stonework or being able to talk to small animals. There's nothing in Tasha's that lets me feel like I'm playing a member of a race. There's literally no difference (other than maybe choosing darkvision instead of a skill) between that an playing a variant human.

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.
So why is picking a race you want and putting the +2 where you want minmaxing, but picking a race because it gives you a +2 in the class's primary stat not minmaxing?

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.
How are you penalized? If you want to play an orc, you can put the +2 in Strength. If the books have a race that's described as strong, has art that shows them as muscled, has a trait like Powerful Build, and is known in pop culture as being strong, why do you also need the books to suggest that they get a +2 in Strength? I would think that would be a pretty easy conclusion to draw.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
What is low? And are the caster abilities 5e important or 3e important?

14 in 5e? Sure, if it fit a character idea.
I would assume low equals 11 or lower, with no bonuses. And I can't recall for 3x, but in 5e? Yes. Your stats determine your spell save and attack DCs, and for wizards and clerics, how many spells you can prepare in a day. Quite important.

You can get around it by picking spells that don't require saves or to-hit rolls, or finding a way to frequently get advantage on spell attack rolls. Which mostly mean buffs, divinations, and a handful of damage-causing spells like heat metal or spike growth. Things like that. Perfectly fine, but not everyone's cup of tea since it often means a very passive role in combat, and fewer spells to choose from.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I appreciate setting-neutral core rules.

I prefer cultures and factions to do the heavy lifting for choice of classes and ability development, rather than race.

It might be, there is a halfling culture that focuses on Rogue and a different halfling culture that focuses on Sorcerer, and so on, even a halfling culture that focuses on Barbarian.

Each setting needs to decide what and where the cultures are. One setting like Eberron can have halfling cultures that are quite different from Dark Sun.

Formatting the races to rely more on a choice of cultures makes the worldbuilding better.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I would assume low equals 11 or lower, with no bonuses. And I can't recall for 3x, but in 5e? Yes. Your stats determine your spell save and attack DCs, and for wizards and clerics, how many spells you can prepare in a day. Quite important.

You can get around it by picking spells that don't require saves or to-hit rolls, or finding a way to frequently get advantage on spell attack rolls. Which mostly mean buffs, divinations, and a handful of damage-causing spells like heat metal or spike growth. Things like that. Perfectly fine, but not everyone's cup of tea since it often means a very passive role in combat, and fewer spells to choose from.
I would agree 11 is really low. There's no reason even a character of a race with an old school -2 ASI penalty would need to go that low in their prime requisite, is there?
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I have a very different view on that, so we'll just have to agree to disagree. And I don't expect even moderately deep lore from WotC on any race in any book anymore.
Have you read Fizban's? If you haven't, please do. I would like to see if you have the same opinion of "Wizards of the Coast won't give us any lore anymore" after reading that book.
It's not like social media will give them a pass because it's in a setting book and not the PH.
Sure they will. They did for every setting book so far (Eberron, Wildemount, Theros, Ravnica, etc), so why the hell would they not anymore? The whole point of setting books is to contextualize the creatures and races in the world that is different from the other worlds. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount did this for every single race in the PHB and almost every one in Volo's, as well as the Tortle, Genasi, and Aarakocra, and it's one of the best received books in 5e. Rising from the Last War did something similar with its races, the PHB races, and Goblinoids and Orcs.

There is absolutely no reason for them to stop giving lore for different creatures in-world, so this seems like just nonsensical doomsaying to me.

Again, you guys don't have to like these changes, but the whining of "this is the end of D&D" and "I guess we won't get lore anymore" seems super hyperbolic and overblown, and is just extremely tiring to hear repeated over and over with no evidence for it happening.
 


AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I'm fairness, what I read of the MToF lore was already the most basic of lore.
It was also really bad. Turning Corellon and Moradin into self-absorbed assholes that scorned their children for petty reasons, punishing the victims of major tragedies, and so on . . . that's just bad lore, especially when they're listed as Good deities in that same book.

I didn't see anything wrong with Halflings, Gnomes, Fiend, and Gith lore in the book . . . but the Dwarf and Elf lore was cringingly bad.

If this book is leaving out that quality-level lore from it? That's a good thing, in my opinion. Most of Volo's and Mordenkainen's lore wasn't good. I'm glad to just have a crunch book. I don't need page count being filled up by awful fluff text. Setting books can give the fluff text, and they can do it in ways that actually make sense and are good lore because they're unified around the setting's core theme/ideas.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Have you read Fizban's? If you haven't, please do. I would like to see if you have the same opinion of "Wizards of the Coast won't give us any lore anymore" after reading that book.

Sure they will. They did for every setting book so far (Eberron, Wildemount, Theros, Ravnica, etc), so why the hell would they not anymore? The whole point of setting books is to contextualize the creatures and races in the world that is different from the other worlds. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount did this for every single race in the PHB and almost every one in Volo's, as well as the Tortle, Genasi, and Aarakocra, and it's one of the best received books in 5e. Rising from the Last War did something similar with its races, the PHB races, and Goblinoids and Orcs.

There is absolutely no reason for them to stop giving lore for different creatures in-world, so this seems like just nonsensical doomsaying to me.

Again, you guys don't have to like these changes, but the whining of "this is the end of D&D" and "I guess we won't get lore anymore" seems super hyperbolic and overblown, and is just extremely tiring to hear repeated over and over with no evidence for it happening.
Yeah, Wizards is tripling down on fluff, and making it looser and bigger.
 

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