D&D 5E PC races that a DM has specifically excluded from their campaign and why


I'm running a Mystara play-by-post of my expansion to the Basic Set's Castle Mistamere adventure, mostly limited to just the 5e Basic Rules. Four classes, four races. though I've allowed the Human Variant, mainly because I'm not at all fond of "+1 TO ALL OF THE SCORES!" rule for human PCs.

The most annoying part thus far has been that D&D Beyond's "use only the Basic Rules options" needs curating, since it doesn't even stick to just the Basic Rules. (I'm looking at you Elemental Evil and Ravenloft rule-y bits that crept into the character builder)

Needless to say, there's been a lot of "That? What's that doing in there? No we're not using that" in the character generation/session zero thread.

log in or register to remove this ad


Elder Thing
Most campaigns I run are human only. I like to keep nonhumans mysterious and otherworldly, and that's hard to do when you have "human with pointy ears," "short human with a beard," etc. All the fun house options devalue the fantasy IMO.

These days, if someone were to insist on playing, say, an elf, I'd rework it as a human warped by magic or some such. And I haven't used racial ability score modifiers in a D&D game since I bought the D&D Rules Cyclopedia back in the 90s and discovered you can make a perfectly distinct and interesting character without them.

Funny how much less often people want to engage in their heavy roleplaying concepts of nonhumans when the ability score bonuses from such options disappear.
Last edited:


In most of my campaigns I have significant restrictions & changes. I never allow monstrous races, and seldom allow underdark races. Extremely odd races such as aarakocra, triton, tabaxi, etc, are discouraged, since they tend to distract from the game in social situations and seldom fit the style of campaign. I've heavily modified half-orc, assimar, tiefling, dragonborn, and genasi to make them more subtle variations of their parent race (which needn't be human).


Proud Grognard
Almost all of my campaigns have curated PC race selections (and other options or limitations) that help drive everything toward the vision of the theme and flavor we're going for. It's pretty rare that I run a kitchen sink game and generally that's only when I expect more PCs per player than usual.
This 110%


Follower of the Way
To actually respond to the thread question: Most of my DMs have actually been super positive and accommodating, 'cause I'm a huge dragonborn fanboy. Usually I only sign up for a game of more limited options if it's something I was wanting to begin with, so it's not generally a problem for me as a player.

As a DM, I favor letting players play more or less what they want, and then use that as part of the seed for growing a game. Player wants a tiefling? Awesome, let's dig into your family's legacy. Oh, you're a half-elf? What happened to bring the blood of elves and men together in you (or your ancestors, if half-elves are 4e style where they're a distinct ethnic group)? Etc.

Funny how much less often people want to engage in their heavy roleplaying concepts of nonhumans when then ability score bonuses from such options disappear.
Hey, if humans ain't got any more bonuses than non-humans, I'm perfectly happy to keep playing my dragon-dudes. And if they're "perfectly distinct and interesting," I'd assume there's something much better than a meager +N bonus going on anyway!


Disallowed for as long as I can remember: half-anythings because their origins have often been depicted in ways that I personally find unpleasant.

For horror-fantasy, it’s human-only PCs to underscore the otherness of everything else.

For most other situations, I don’t ban but might require a player give a good explanation for a species choice before allowing.


Several people have chimed in on the flying PC thing. I have to ask, why? I've got two fliers in my current group, and I've had flying PC's in groups since the 2e days (a rather unfortunate aaracockra that kept losing it's feathers to fireballs :D ) and it's never been a problem. It really hasn't. I suppose an entire group of fliers might be an issue, but, I've never seen that. A flying PC doesn't really impact the game that much.

Heck, I'm doing Candlekeep right now and there's the option of becoming a Were-raven in the adventures. Come to think of it, when I played Ravenloft a few years back, my character chose to become a were-raven too. It was a really cool addition but, it didn't really radically alter the game at all.

Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
I've banned tabaxi after I've seen a third character based on big floppa or bingus.

So nobody ever tried to play a tortle monk? You could have a party of them multiclassing: artificer, noble, bard specializing in vicious mockery, bard specializing in partying.

Or you could have a friendly gnoll that has a currency named after it as a joke. Much gold, so adventure, such ancestry...

Funny how much less often people want to engage in their heavy roleplaying concepts of nonhumans when then ability score bonuses from such options disappear.
Funny how despite being possibly mechanically the weakest race in the game dragonborn have made it all the way up to third in the popularity tables. And despite only getting slightly more and IMO significantly less than elves or dwarves tieflings are fourth.

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads