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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

JEB

Hero
I'm willing to bet that that the 50Ae PHB will provide brief multiple examples of culture for each race instead of having the races exist as monocultures by default.
I hope you're right. But from what we've seen of the character race updates so far, I'm not optimistic.
 

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JEB

Hero
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.

The beauty of having suggested lore is that you get to have both of the above.
 

The beauty of having suggested lore is that you get to have both of the above.
For me, reading wotc lore (like in Motf or volos) involves trying to pick out the 2 or 3 interesting bits from a mountain mostly bland, ungameable content that is poorly laid out. It's not a good use of my time or energy, and that's a real drawback.
 

JEB

Hero
For me, reading wotc lore (like in Motf or volos) involves trying to pick out the 2 or 3 interesting bits from a mountain mostly bland, ungameable content that is poorly laid out. It's not a good use of my time or energy, and that's a real drawback.
Sorry to hear that. Though it sounds like your issue would be solved by different lore, not less or minimal lore.

Me, I find a lot of the WotC lore inspirational and useful. Even the stuff I don't use (gnolls) can give me anti-ideas or subversions.
 

guachi

Adventurer
I'd like racial lore that is full of suggestions rather than something written like it's the new default. Like the thread I started a few days ago titled Make Your Dwarves More Interesting. There is stuff in there that is obviously mutually exclusive but it all looks Dwarvish to me. It's a Dwarven toolbox a DM can pick and choose from and maybe be inspired to make up new things. Maybe even hand it to a player and let him be inspired. "Hey, player-dude, here's a book with six different takes on cat people. See if anything sparks your interest".

Give me something I can use in my own game that I haven't thought of before.
 

Sorry to hear that. Though it sounds like your issue would be solved by different lore, not less or minimal lore.

Me, I find a lot of the WotC lore inspirational and useful. Even the stuff I don't use (gnolls) can give me anti-ideas or subversions.
Ultraviolet Grasslands is an example for me of a book that has a lot of lore/information, but maximizes usefulness at the table. This is because the lore is embeded into locations, items, npcs, random tables. Wotc books tends to present lore like the writer is giving you a plot summary of a banal fantasy novel you didn't read.

Probably a difficulty that wotc writers face is having to deal with 50 years worth of lore baggage whenever they describe something.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
For me, reading wotc lore (like in Motf or volos) involves trying to pick out the 2 or 3 interesting bits from a mountain mostly bland, ungameable content that is poorly laid out. It's not a good use of my time or energy, and that's a real drawback.
You just perfectly highlighted why I despise the Forgotten Realms. There's good lore, yes, but way more just random junk that I could never use, and a ton of absolutely awful lore that gets in the way of the good stuff (does the setting really need hundreds of gods and around a dozen different pantheons?).
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I'd like racial lore that is full of suggestions rather than something written like it's the new default. Like the thread I started a few days ago titled Make Your Dwarves More Interesting. There is stuff in there that is obviously mutually exclusive but it all looks Dwarvish to me. It's a Dwarven toolbox a DM can pick and choose from and maybe be inspired to make up new things. Maybe even hand it to a player and let him be inspired. "Hey, player-dude, here's a book with six different takes on cat people. See if anything sparks your interest".

Give me something I can use in my own game that I haven't thought of before.
This is why I love Fizban's. It has a ton of lore, a bunch of it self-contradictory (how dragons are born has a huge table with a bunch of options that are mostly mutually exclusive, for example), but almost all of it is useful and great to draw inspiration from.

I like my lore-books to be a grab-bag, where it has a ton of options and things to draw inspiration from, and I can just pick and choose what I want. The same thing applies to settings, too (Eberron has a ton of different possible solutions to who caused the Mourning, where Warforged souls come from, and similar in-setting problems/questions. The DM just has to choose the answers, and make the setting theirs).
 


This is why I love Fizban's. It has a ton of lore, a bunch of it self-contradictory (how dragons are born has a huge table with a bunch of options that are mostly mutually exclusive, for example), but almost all of it is useful and great to draw inspiration from.

I like my lore-books to be a grab-bag, where it has a ton of options and things to draw inspiration from, and I can just pick and choose what I want. The same thing applies to settings, too (Eberron has a ton of different possible solutions to who caused the Mourning, where Warforged souls come from, and similar in-setting problems/questions. The DM just has to choose the answers, and make the setting theirs).
Yeah maybe that's the trick--the book should be written and organized assuming that the reader wants options to pick and choose and won't be using all of it. I don't mean the idea that you can do whatever you want; that's assumed. I mean things like random tables and concise but evocative descriptions. For every bit of lore you introduce, pull out for the reader ways for it to become active at the table. Whereas wotc presents its lore like it's an encyclopedia, with long sequences of linear, narrative prose.
 

Scribe

Hero
Yeah maybe that's the trick--the book should be written and organized assuming that the reader wants options to pick and choose and won't be using all of it. I don't mean the idea that you can do whatever you want; that's assumed. I mean things like random tables and concise but evocative descriptions. For every bit of lore you introduce, pull out for the reader ways for it to become active at the table. Whereas wotc presents its lore like it's an encyclopedia, with long sequences of linear, narrative prose.
I've always just taken what works or I need for a specific campaign or whatever, I'm not building out a movie here based on decades of lore. :D

That still doesnt mean I cannot appreciate when world building is really done right. Paying Wizards for less just isnt going to work for me.

I really really liked Fizban's, and it sparked a lot of idea's for me, but the stuff they have done with races leaves me so cold, I absolutely hate it.
 

You just perfectly highlighted why I despise the Forgotten Realms. There's good lore, yes, but way more just random junk that I could never use, and a ton of absolutely awful lore that gets in the way of the good stuff (does the setting really need hundreds of gods and around a dozen different pantheons?).
In purely D&D terms? No, it can be pretty muddled. In terms of verisimilitude? Yes, as that's exactly what the ancient polytheistic world looked like in all its messiness...

(Honestly, when it comes to deities, worlds like Krynn and Eberron irk me a bit, as they are just a bit too neat and tidy, while I conversely enjoy all the religious intricacy of worlds like Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms, with all the messy and overlapping deities due to multiple cultures and traditions intermingling, which is much more indicative of how polytheistic systems really function)
 

guachi

Adventurer
. Whereas wotc presents its lore like it's an encyclopedia, with long sequences of linear, narrative prose.

I actually liked much of the information in Tome of Foes and Guide to Monsters but when you put it like this I realize the presentation was really poor. It's more palatable if it's part of a particular setting but much of the lore as presented just read like a mediocre author's creative writing class disembodied from the grounding of a setting.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I actually liked much of the information in Tome of Foes and Guide to Monsters but when you put it like this I realize the presentation was really poor. It's more palatable if it's part of a particular setting but much of the lore as presented just read like a mediocre author's creative writing class disembodied from the grounding of a setting.
This is a tangent, but bear with me.

As someone with ADHD and dyslexia, it can be really hard for me to just read paragraphs and paragraphs of information at a time. My mind jumbles up words, and it's hard for me to pay attention to what I'm reading. I often have to read the same thing over and over again in order to actually absorb it. Which sucks, because one of my favorite hobbies is reading, and my other favorite hobby is D&D, which involves reading a lot of lore like that.

If the lore is just pages upon pages of info-dumping every little thing about whatever the book is talking about, I can't follow. But if it's put into tables, divided nicely into different sections and smaller paragraphs, with tables, art, and mechanics separating everything into smaller, more "palatable" pieces, it's much easier for me to be able to read and process it.

Fizban's Treasury of Dragons was one of the easiest D&D 5e books for me to read because a ton of the book was split up in that way. There was a ton of art and huge tables of inspirational lore in basically every chapter that typically would have been difficult for me to read (the Draconomicon, how to roleplay dragons, etc).

I'm assuming this book will also be similarly easy for me to read, once I get it (after it's released on its own). They're much more ADHD-friendly, and I'm thankful that WotC is doing that.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I don't think that any world needs that, including Earth. Especially not a D&D world, where the DM is supposed to be guiding the story and at least understand the basic fundamentals of it (who the gods are, who worships them, who had power in the region the campaign is taking place in, the politics of the world, etc). Sure, the Forgotten Realms might be more realistic having tons of gods, pantheons, and religions, but that makes it worse for storytelling and harder for players to get engaged in the setting. If a player wants to play a cleric in a setting, and they choose the Life or Light Domain, the choice of deity for that PC to worship should be pretty simple, in my opinion. In the Forgotten Realms, instead they have to choose from a list of around a dozen gods with overlapping portfolios and minute differences, which quickly overwhelms and confuses them.

Nentir Vale, Eberron, Exandria, Theros, and even Dragonlance are more manageable and easier to tell a story in.
 

JEB

Hero
As someone with ADHD and dyslexia, it can be really hard for me to just read paragraphs and paragraphs of information at a time. My mind jumbles up words, and it's hard for me to pay attention to what I'm reading. I often have to read the same thing over and over again in order to actually absorb it. Which sucks, because one of my favorite hobbies is reading, and my other favorite hobby is D&D, which involves reading a lot of lore like that.

If the lore is just pages upon pages of info-dumping every little thing about whatever the book is talking about, I can't follow. But if it's put into tables, divided nicely into different sections and smaller paragraphs, with tables, art, and mechanics separating everything into smaller, more "palatable" pieces, it's much easier for me to be able to read and process it.
Thank you for sharing your perspective, that's an angle I hadn't considered. I'm glad Wizards has found a format that works better for you.

If the information in Volo's Guide to Monsters or Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes had been organized much like the info in Fizban's, do you think you would have found it more appealing? (To be clear, I don't mean cutting the information back, I mean organizing it into smaller sections and the like.) Or is any kind of suggestion of default lore unappealing to you?
 

Aldarc

Legend
Yeah maybe that's the trick--the book should be written and organized assuming that the reader wants options to pick and choose and won't be using all of it. I don't mean the idea that you can do whatever you want; that's assumed. I mean things like random tables and concise but evocative descriptions. For every bit of lore you introduce, pull out for the reader ways for it to become active at the table. Whereas wotc presents its lore like it's an encyclopedia, with long sequences of linear, narrative prose.
I think that my approach and preferences have been colored by both Eberron's unanswered setting mysteries, Numenera's setting vagueness and weirdness, and the Apocalypse World advice to "draw maps, leave blanks." This latter piece of advice has made its way into a lot of how I often think about setting or game elements. In general it's about having enough to go on to use but enough empty space in the lore for a GM to personalize things.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Thank you for sharing your perspective, that's an angle I hadn't considered. I'm glad Wizards has found a format that works better for you.

If the information in Volo's Guide to Monsters or Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes had been organized much like the info in Fizban's, do you think you would have found it more appealing? (To be clear, I don't mean cutting the information back, I mean organizing it into smaller sections and the like.) Or is any kind of suggestion of default lore unappealing to you?
The lore contained in that book? No. No amount of changing the formatting will make the lore about Duergar and Elves in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes or about Orcs and Gnolls in Volo's Guide to Monsters any better. I also don't like having default lore at all in core rulebooks. I want the core books to be crunch, and for setting books and adventures to have fluff. I can make up my own fluff or buy the books that have the fluff that I need if I want to, I want the books that have the basic rules to play the game or use monsters to be mostly devoid of lore-based fluff. Stuff like "Harengon are twitchy and breed quickly, like Rabbits" and "Lizardfolk don't understand human emotions and eat anything they can, including other humanoids" is 100% okay, in my opinion, as that's based off of the behavoirs of the creatures that these races are based off of, but "Elves were created by Corellon, the god of Elves and Magic, and had a giant civil war with each other, creating Lolth and the Raven Queen and their rivalry with Orcs, yada, yada, yada" is the sort of things that I want to not be in books like Mordenkainen's and Volo's. Those books are supposed to be fairly setting-neutral (especially Mordenkainen's, as it discusses multiple worlds in the D&D multiverse), so they shouldn't have setting-specific lore like that.

If WotC wants to publish a Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk book with all of that lore, fine. I'll just not buy that book. I just don't want the books that I buy for mechanics to be polluted by lore, especially if it's garbage lore that takes up a ton of pages like "Moradin abandoned Clan Duergar because they left his temples unattended, even though they had just been captured, tortured, and mindraped by Illithids, but he's still a Lawful Good Creator God who loves his children" and other nonsense like that.
 

JEB

Hero
I also don't like having default lore at all in core rulebooks. I want the core books to be crunch, and for setting books and adventures to have fluff. I can make up my own fluff or buy the books that have the fluff that I need if I want to, I want the books that have the basic rules to play the game or use monsters to be mostly devoid of lore-based fluff.
What about players who aren't good at making up their own fluff, and would find a book that's all or almost entirely crunch to be dry and boring? What about players who don't want to buy an entire setting book just to get some substantive, inspiring ideas about how beholders or dragonborn might behave?

Also, you may see the books that you buy for mechanics as "polluted by lore," but for some gamers the lore is the selling point, and for others it's the combination of both that makes role-playing games appealing.

(Sidenote: I think you really would have liked 4E, and should seriously consider checking out the core rules for that edition, if you haven't already. EDIT: Well, maybe not Essentials. Original 4E.)
 

I don't like most of official D&D lore and I don't necessarily need extensive lore in the rule books. However, ultimately this is a game of imagination, and rules should come with some evocative fiction, and the rules should actually at least somewhat coherently represent that fiction. The rule books should actually try to get my imagination going. Sell me the haregon, tell me what they're like and have that be represented in their rules. I feel the direction we're going is 4e-style disassociated mush, which I didn't like. Now I get some people really liked how 4e did things, so this is matter of preference. 🤷
 
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