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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

Remathilis

Legend
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.
Sorry, but that's not true.

Every book is somebody's first exposure to something. Even a book of reprints is the first time someone might encounter the harengon, tortle, shadar-kai or firbolg. They might not seek out Witchlight, Tortle Package, Tome of Foes or Volo's to get more info. And in some cases (especially new races going forward) there might not BE other sources.

Look at ALL the lore we have on the Harengon...
Harengons originated in the Feywild, where they spoke Sylvan and embodied the spirit of freedom and travel. In time, these rabbitfolk hopped into other worlds, bringing the fey realm's exuberance with them and learning new languages as they went.

Harengons are bipedal, with the characteristic long feet of the rabbits they resemble and fur in a variety of colors. They share the keen senses and powerful legs of leporine creatures and are full of energy, like a wound-up spring. Harengons are blessed with a little fey luck, and they often find themselves a few fortunate feet away from dangers during adventures.

Two paragraphs from Witchlight. That is all we have and a bunch of questions: Are they nomadic or do they build settlements? What kind of Gods do they worship? What are their names like? Are they friendly, reserved, cowardly, trusting, competitive, aggressive, etc.? Do they live in families? Do the mate for like or breed like... rabbits? Are they nocturnal or diurnal? The write-up mentions learning new languages, do they have a fascination for language, writing, song or poetry or was it strictly out of necessity? What is their art like? What do they like to eat (are vegetarians like real rabbits)? Do they engage in commerce or trade? What is their view on humanoids from the material plane? How tall are they? What do they weigh? How long do they live? Do they believe in government and if so, what does the typical harengon government look like?

Some of those questions are biological. Some are cultural. Some are just RP suggestions wrapped up as nuggets of lore, and some of that is world-building info for DMs. We are losing that guidance. The Eberron book isn't going to give me where harengon's fit in Eberron, and the core book has given me two paragraphs at most. They are tabula rasa: blank slates that exist to give PCs a rabbit costume and a bonus to jumping.

Ironically, the only harengons NPCs in the rest of the module are brigands, with a CE harengon as their leader. Going by the only NPC representation, they're just rabbit-goblins.
 
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Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
Would you ever think to play a low-Int non-orc wizard?
Possibly, though that's unlikely how I would think of it (I'd frame it as a positive challenge: a wizard with a Dex or Str as the main ability, as with the Rogue in the example.) Lineage/racial ability adjustments are part of what makes a race appealing for a conscioulsy sub-optimal build, but it's not all of it.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Sorry, but that's not true.

Every book is somebody's first exposure to something. Even a book of reprints is the first time someone might encounter the harengon, tortle, shadar-kai or firbolg. They might not seek out Witchlight, Tortle Package, Tome of Foes or Volo's to get more info. And in some cases (especially new races going forward) there might not BE other sources.

Look at ALL the lore we have on the Harengon...
Harengons originated in the Feywild, where they spoke Sylvan and embodied the spirit of freedom and travel. In time, these rabbitfolk hopped into other worlds, bringing the fey realm's exuberance with them and learning new languages as they went.

Harengons are bipedal, with the characteristic long feet of the rabbits they resemble and fur in a variety of colors. They share the keen senses and powerful legs of leporine creatures and are full of energy, like a wound-up spring. Harengons are blessed with a little fey luck, and they often find themselves a few fortunate feet away from dangers during adventures.

Two paragraphs from Witchlight. That is all we have and a bunch of questions: Are they nomadic or do they build settlements? What kind of Gods do they worship? What are their names like? Are they friendly, reserved, cowardly, trusting, competitive, aggressive, etc.? Do they live in families? Do the mate for like or breed like... rabbits? Are they nocturnal or diurnal? The write-up mentions learning new languages, do they have a fascination for language, writing, song or poetry or was it strictly out of necessity? What is their art like? What do they like to eat (are vegetarians like real rabbits)? Do they engage in commerce or trade? What is their view on humanoids from the material plane? How tall are they? What do they way? How long do they live? Do they believe in government and if so, what does the typical harengon government look like?

Some of those questions are biological. Some are cultural. Some are just RP suggestions wrapped up as nuggets of lore, and some of that is world-building info for DMs. We are losing that guidance. The Eberron book isn't going to give me where harengon's fit in Eberron, and the core book has given me two paragraphs at most. They are tabula rasa: blank slates that exist to give PCs a rabbit costume and a bonus to jumping.

Ironically, the only harengons NPCs in the rest of the module are brigands, with a CE harengon as their leader. Going by the only NPC representation, they're just rabbit-goblins.
There's more about them than that, it's just scattered throughout the book.

They're commonly thieves, archers/snipers, and bandits. That's clear in the book. If Agdon Longscarf is anything to go by, they base they primarily go by a first name with hard consonants, with a title based off of their notable achievements/possessions (Agdon is named after his long, blue, magical scarf). They also typically are free spirits, not bowing to Archfey and not liking authority in general, based on how Agdon Longscarf disobeyed her, the Archfey of Prismeer (who is secretly Iggwilv, but he doesn't know that). They also travel through the different Domains of Delight, so they're presumably mostly made up of nomadic bandit tribes that disrespect authority, and are tricksters that often act before they think, and generally don't take in mind the consequences of their actions. In a way, they're sort of like the Feywild's Vistani, being nomadic interplanar travelers that are stereotyped as mischief-makers.

Yes, that's not much to go by, but it is something. It's not "nothing", unlike what some would have you believe.

And it's not like they were going to get much lore in either of these books, anyway. They were originally intended to just be enemies that you could face in the adventure, with them later being added as a possible player race. They also first appeared in an Adventure Book, which are not known for having a bunch of lore in them for player races, and then in a setting-neutral crunch book (which is combining the crunch from two separate books, already making it full of mechanics and not have much room for fluff like lore).

And as for the Eberron book reference . . . so what? Not every race will be in every setting, especially not the races released after the setting books were. If they appear in a future setting book, I'm assuming that they will be more ironed-out lorewise.
 


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.
They didn't even discuss phb subraces for halflings or dwarves. It's just..dumb that those kind of gaps make it into a "lore" book.

And yet there was time to talk about f-ing sea elves..

Madness.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Maybe it was having ASIs in culture I was thinking of?

The person I'm responding to in that post, while they are making absurd claims refusing to defend them rationally, does not at any point call me racist for supporting cultural ASIs.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Oh man, don't remind me of that. That was just... bizarre. :confused:
Yeah, even speaking as someone who has had to be suspicious of people with "88" and other potential codes on their gear, or tattoos, etc, in order to stay safe, it really felt like someone trying to get out their aggression that they couldn't express IRL or something. Just deeply strange.

Even more tangentially, I'm currently listening to the Recorded Books edition of Lord of The Rings, and I rediscover every time I read these books just how beautiful the language is, how full the world, and how moving the story. If you haven't listened to it in audiobook form, give it a try. It is a special delight, and makes the story like new again even after many readings before.
 

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.
You're right, Fiban's does have quite a bit of lore in it. I guess I was blinded by the fact that I hate pretty much all of it. I strongly dislike the First World and everything associated with it.

The other books you mention, whether you like the lore or not, all predate the social media storm that started WotC on their apology tour.

WotC's actions since Tasha's have led me to completely lose faith in their ability to deliver quality product, and these reprints and re-imagingings they are doing or have planned just confirm that for me. I'm sorry you're tired of hearing it, and I'm happy for you that you happen to like almost everything they're doing, but that's what I see.
 


Scribe

Hero

Honestly when I see pages upon pages of lore my eyes glaze over. What I want are actionable ideas to put into my game, not a second hand recounting of fake mythology

Really? Sell me a world. Sell me a history. Sell me adventure hooks steeped in lore that is consistent, researched, and deep.

I'll take a cool fake mythology over a 'real' mythology pretty much any day of the week, if the creator actually put some effort and love into it.
 





AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
You're right, Fiban's does have quite a bit of lore in it. I guess I was blinded by the fact that I hate pretty much all of it. I strongly dislike the First World and everything associated with it.
That's what I've been saying for a while now. There have been a ton of people using extreme and untrue hyperbole like "I guess all races are now exactly the same" and "WotC won't give us any lore anymore" because they dislike the recent changes. And I totally understand not liking the changes. I don't like a few of them, don't love a lot of the lore they've published in 5e, and I think they could be doing better than they are. I get not liking how D&D is now. But people use their being unsatisfied with current D&D to lie about it, saying "WotC will lose a ton of money for doing these changes", "D&D is no longer D&D anymore", and the like.

And while I can get why they're saying stuff like this and wholly understand not liking these changes . . . that kind of talk is absolute BS, and is made up by the people that just want to rant about things that they don't like and take it to an extreme where they have now left reality and are attacking a strawman.

And I don't claim to be perfect about this, either. I have fallen into the same trap, as well as the opposite of it.
The other books you mention, whether you like the lore or not, all predate the social media storm that started WotC on their apology tour.
I know that. I was just pointing out successful examples of WotC having lore for the different D&D races in their setting-specific locations. Those books worked, made WotC a lot of money, and I don't expect them to ditch a working formula. I haven't seen anyone ever online ask/demad that WotC stop putting any cultures in their books, and the books that did have the cultures detailed were extremely successful, so I just don't see why WotC would stop doing it.
WotC's actions since Tasha's have led me to completely lose faith in their ability to deliver quality product, and these reprints and re-imagingings they are doing or have planned just confirm that for me. I'm sorry you're tired of hearing it, and I'm happy for you that you happen to like almost everything they're doing, but that's what I see.
One of my closest friends shares the same opinion, and I understand it. However, to me, if the new D&D books continue to sell well, new players keep coming to the hobby, and keeps D&D becoming more profitable than ever . . . that makes me think that "delivering a quality product" is extremely subjective, and that the vast majority of players either don't care about the recent changes, or are overwhelmingly in favor of them.

The way that people talk negatively on these changes borders on "badwrongfun", in my view. I can admit that even though I may like the majority of these changes, there are legitimate things to dislike about them, and it's okay to dislike the ones that I like. I'm fine with that. However, most of the time what I hear from the "other side" (the ones that are against the changes), it seems to be more "these changes are ruining D&D, people who like them are playing wrong/want D&D to stop being good, and WotC is 'pandering' to people online that have nothing to do with the hobby", which directly contrasts my experience in the game and the evidence of how successful D&D 5e continues to be after these changes.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Never even seen point buy in play.
I only use Point Buy/Standard Array. Too many of my games have had imbalance inside the party due to wildly divergent rolled ability scores. Once there was a guy in a two-person campaign that didn't roll a single ability score below 15, and the other didn't roll above 14, and got 3 scores with a negative modifier (one was a -3).
 
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SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
Really? Sell me a world. Sell me a history. Sell me adventure hooks steeped in lore that is consistent, researched, and deep.

I'll take a cool fake mythology over a 'real' mythology pretty much any day of the week, if the creator actually put some effort and love into it.
I'm kind a the opposite.

I look at all the books as bits and pieces in a toolkit to build my campaign setting. I might use some "standard" lore. Might not.

We (our group) find a lot of arguments about things go away if you look at the books as a selection of things to choose, not all of them will be in the same campaign.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I only use Point Buy/Standard Array. Too many of my games have had imbalance inside the party due to wildly divergent rolled ability scores. Once there was a guy in a two-person campaign that didn't roll a single ability score below 15, and the other didn't roll above 14, and got 3 scores with a negative modifier (one was a -3).
Rolling a "bad" character can be very fun in practice: the masses don't make as big a difference in 5E as all that, 5E is balanced enough to allow for that just fine. AndMulligans if desired are usually an observed houserule for truly terrible rolls.
 

That's what I've been saying for a while now. There have been a ton of people using extreme and untrue hyperbole like "I guess all races are now exactly the same" and "WotC won't give us any lore anymore" because they dislike the recent changes. And I totally understand not liking the changes. I don't like a few of them, don't love a lot of the lore they've published in 5e, and I think they could be doing better than they are. I get not liking how D&D is now. But people use their being unsatisfied with current D&D to lie about it, saying "WotC will lose a ton of money for doing these changes", "D&D is no longer D&D anymore", and the like.

And while I can get why they're saying stuff like this and wholly understand not liking these changes . . . that kind of talk is absolute BS, and is made up by the people that just want to rant about things that they don't like and take it to an extreme where they have now left reality and are attacking a strawman.

And I don't claim to be perfect about this, either. I have fallen into the same trap, as well as the opposite of it.

I know that. I was just pointing out successful examples of WotC having lore for the different D&D races in their setting-specific locations. Those books worked, made WotC a lot of money, and I don't expect them to ditch a working formula. I haven't seen anyone ever online ask/demad that WotC stop putting any cultures in their books, and the books that did have the cultures detailed were extremely successful, so I just don't see why WotC would stop doing it.

One of my closest friends shares the same opinion, and I understand it. However, to me, if the new D&D books continue to sell well, new players keep coming to the hobby, and keeps D&D becoming more profitable than ever . . . that makes me think that "delivering a quality product" is extremely subjective, and that the vast majority of players either don't care about the recent changes, or are overwhelmingly in favor of them.

The way that people talk negatively on these changes borders on "badwrongfun", in my view. I can admit that even though I may like the majority of these changes, there are legitimate things to dislike about them, and it's okay to dislike the ones that I like. I'm fine with that. However, most of the time what I hear from the "other side" (the ones that are against the changes), it seems to be more "these changes are ruining D&D, people who like them are playing wrong/want D&D to stop being good, and WotC is 'pandering' to people online that have nothing to do with the hobby", which directly contrasts my experience in the game and the evidence of how successful D&D 5e continues to be after these changes.
I actually think WotC will probably do fine financially with this new direction. They will be doing so largely without me, however, and I think that's sad. They are ruining D&D, for me. I also dont have a problem with people playing what they like, even if I really, really dont like it personally. That being said, there is plenty of 3rd party product I do like, and which forms the basis of my game.
 

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