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


Aaracokra and anything else that flies. I might allow it if the entire group took flying races. Flying races exacerbate the 'lone scout' PC who is playing the game while the rest of the party waits patiently for their report. Rogues and Rangers can have this problem too, but it is almost given with a flying critter. Just a playstyle choice for my campaigns I guess.
Kenku - annoying
Yuan-ti - I have never had a campaign where this was an appropriate choice. Very much a flavor thing.

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In my homebrew, I incorporate everything. Once there is official product, there is an official place in my world for it, somewhere.

When I run FR, Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Eberron, etc... I run them based upon a point in time - and when I do so, I use the same setting and rules. I don't change up the Gods, the Humanoid Types, etc... It is always the same. HOWEVER, if a player wanted to play a humanoid type not present in that setting, I would allow it without question, but their origin would be unusual, either being some type of Far Traveler, or a unique creation.

In the end - I want players to play the characters they want to play, and I am a good enough storyteller to incorporate their character choice into the setting somehow, although it may not be 'mainstream' incorporation of the entire humanoid type.

Magister Ludorum

I run a modern, hidden magic game that is all human. Other games I allow folks to play whatever they want.

While I'm putting a new setting together I ask the players to each give me 1-2 races they would like to see. I pick a few others. These are the local population. Other races can come from the next nation over.

My homebrew fantasy setting has a reason for all the various races, tying into an ancient war between lizardfolk and serpentfolk and an artifact called the soul scoop.

the Jester

In my campaign, almost anything might be on the table in unusual circumstances, but as a matter of course, the menu of pc races is what's in the PH, minus Drow, plus a few others- aasimar, goliaths, and tabaxi.

Why no Drow?

In my game, they are both almost completely unknown and MONSTERS. They appear in game about once per edition. They are horrific, evil, demon-worshiping elves who forsook what made them elves in favor of demonic power. They are not any more suitable for pcs than, say, hags are.

...which is to say, maybe under weird circumstances, but not typically.


If it's my homebrew, no Orc PCs, just use the half-orc in the PHB. Can't think of anything else I've disallowed.

If I'm running a published campaign world, I tend to stick to the races as printed.


Magic Wordsmith
I don't ban races. That implies a "blacklist" model where you're allowed to play anything you want unless I have specifically banned it.

My campaigns use a "whitelist" model: There is a curated list of races and you can play stuff on that list.
This is how I see it too. Each campaign and adventure has variants, house rules, "legal" source books, races, classes, etc. that are chosen according to the campaign's theme, tone, and flavor. There is no expectation at my table that everything is available in every campaign, so there's no "banning" going on.

Jack Daniel

I typically exclude standard Dwarves from any setting that I create, because the stereotypical way 98% of all players play them is really goddamn annoying. (And it occurs to me that I don't use alignments for the exact same reason.)


I don't have humans, halflings, half-elves, half-orcs from the PHB. Gnomes are changed, tieflings are changed. Extra subraces of dwarf and elf. Races added from other books plus a number of homebrew races.

Humans are gone because I got tired of every NPC being human and PC being human. So they were killed off between 500-800 years (depending on where in my setting's timeline I am running). Halflings were basically changed into ratfolk (with some additional changes). With the removal of humans, half-elves were no longer a thing, and I just made half-orcs into orcs (with some changes with the orc from volo's). Humans would return if I ever decided to run games that far in the setting's past.

Running any published adventures, however, can be a bit tough having to change out all the humans for something else.

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