Races & Sub-Races
Born of dragons, as their name proclaims, the dragonborn walk proudly through a world that greets them with fearful incomprehension. Shaped by draconic gods or the dragons themselves, dragonborn originally hatched from dragon eggs as a unique race, combining the best attributes of dragons and humanoids. Some dragonborn are faithful servants to true dragons, others form the ranks of soldiers in great wars, and still others find themselves adrift, with no clear calling in life.
|Dragon||Damage Type||Breath Weapon|
|Black||Acid||5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)|
|Blue||Lightning||5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)|
|Brass||Fire||5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)|
|Bronze||Lightning||5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)|
|Copper||Acid||5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)|
|Gold||Fire||15 ft. cone (Dex. save)|
|Green||Poison||15 ft. cone (Con. save)|
|Red||Fire||15 ft. cone (Dex. save)|
|Silver||Cold||15 ft. cone (Con. save)|
|White||Cold||15 ft. cone (Con. save)|
Kingdoms rich in ancient grandeur, halls carved into the roots of mountains, the echoing of picks and hammers in deep mines and blazing forges, a commitment to clan and tradition, and a burning hatred of goblins and orcs—these common threads unite all dwarves.
As a hill dwarf, you have keen senses, deep intuition, and remarkable resilience. The gold dwarves of Faerûn in their mighty southern kingdom are hill dwarves, as are the exiled Neidar and the debased Klar of Krynn in the Dragonlance setting.
As a mountain dwarf, you’re strong and hardy, accustomed to a difficult life in rugged terrain. You’re probably on the tall side (for a dwarf), and tend toward lighter coloration. The shield dwarves of northern Faerûn, as well as the ruling Hylar clan and the noble Daewar clan of Dragonlance, are mountain dwarves.
Elves are a magical people of otherworldly grace, living in the world but not entirely part of it. They live in places of ethereal beauty, in the midst of ancient forests or in silvery spires glittering with faerie light, where soft music drifts through the air and gentle fragrances waft on the breeze. Elves love nature and magic, art and artistry, music and poetry, and the good things of the world.
Creatures of magic with strong ties to nature, eladrin live in the twilight realm of the Feywild. Their cities sometimes cross over to the Material Plane, appearing briefly in mountain valleys or deep forest glades before fading back into the Feywild.
As a high elf, you have a keen mind and a mastery of at least the basics of magic. In many of the worlds of D&D, there are two kinds of high elves. One type (which includes the gray elves and valley elves of Greyhawk, the Silvanesti of Dragonlance, and the sun elves of the Forgotten Realms) is haughty and reclusive, believing themselves to be superior to non-elves and even other elves. The other type (including the high elves of Greyhawk, the Qualinesti of Dragonlance, and the moon elves of the Forgotten Realms) are more common and more friendly, and often encountered among humans and other races.
The sun elves of Faerûn (also called gold elves or sunrise elves) have bronze skin and hair of copper, black, or golden blond. Their eyes are golden, silver, or black. Moon elves (also called silver elves or gray elves) are much paler, with alabaster skin sometimes tinged with blue. They often have hair of silver-white, black, or blue, but various shades of blond, brown, and red are not uncommon. Their eyes are blue or green and flecked with gold.
As a wood elf, you have keen senses and intuition, and your fleet feet carry you quickly and stealthily through your native forests. This category includes the wild elves (grugach) of Greyhawk and the Kagonesti of Dragonlance, as well as the races called wood elves in Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms. In Faerûn, wood elves (also called wild elves, green elves, or forest elves) are reclusive and distrusting of non-elves.
Wood elves’ skin tends to be copperish in hue, sometimes with traces of green. Their hair tends toward browns and blacks, but it is occasionally blond or copper-colored. Their eyes are green, brown, or hazel.
Dark Elf (Drow)
Descended from an earlier subrace of elves, the drow were banished form the surface world for following the goddess Lolth down the path of evil. Now they have built their own civilization in the depths of the Underdark, patterned after the Way of Lolth. Also called dark elves, the drow have skin that resembles charcoal or obsidian, as well as stark white or pale yellow hair. They commonly have very pale eyes (so pale as to be mitaken for white) in shades of lilac, silver, pink, red, and blue. They tend to be smaller and thinnder than most elves.
A constant hum of busy activity pervades the warrens and neighborhoods where gnomes form their close-knit communities. Louder sounds punctuate the hum: a crunch of grinding gears here, a minor explosion there, a yelp of surprise or triumph, and especially bursts of laughter. Gnomes take delight in life, enjoying every moment of invention, exploration, investigation, creation, and play.
Deep Gnomes live underground and are slightly less energetic than your typical Gnome. They still are bound with joy, but tend to be hardier and more muscular than gnomes. They also tend to stay hidden whenever they can.
Forest Gnomes are your typical fey gnome. They have an inherent connection to nature, and thus love animals. They tend to have the highest energy of all gnomes, though are slightly less disciplined as a result.
Rock Gnomes are the other typical gnome race. They tend to be a bit more controlled than Forest gnomes, and thus are slightly more likely to be the Gnomish tutor that might be seen in Gnome towns.
The comforts of home are the goals of most halflings’ lives: a place to settle in peace and quiet, far from marauding monsters and clashing armies; a blazing fire and a generous meal; fine drink and fine conversation. Though some halflings live out their days in remote agricultural communities, others form nomadic bands that travel constantly, lured by the open road and the wide horizon to discover the wonders of new lands and peoples. But even these wanderers love peace, food, hearth, and home, though home might be a wagon jostling along a dirt road or a raft floating downriver.
As a lightfoot halfling, you can easily hide from notice, even using other people as cover. You’re inclined to be affable and get along well with others. In the Forgotten Realms, lightfoot halflings have spread the farthest and thus are the most common variety.
Lightfoots are more prone to wanderlust than other halflings, and often dwell alongside other races or take up a nomadic life. In the world of Greyhawk, these halflings are called hairfeet or tallfellows.
As a stout halfling, you’re hardier than average and have some resistance to poison. Some say that stouts have dwarven blood. In the Forgotten Realms, these halflings are called stronghearts, and they’re most common in the south.
In the reckonings of most worlds, humans are the youngest of the common races, late to arrive on the world scene and short-lived in comparison to dwarves, elves, and dragons. Perhaps it is because of their shorter lives that they strive to achieve as much as they can in the years they are given. Or maybe they feel they have something to prove to the elder races, and that’s why they build their mighty empires on the foundation of conquest and trade. Whatever drives them, humans are the innovators, the achievers, and the pioneers of the worlds.
To be greeted with stares and whispers, to suffer violence and insult on the street, to see mistrust and fear in every eye: this is the lot of the tiefling. And to twist the knife, tieflings know that this is because a pact struck generations ago infused the essence of Asmodeus—overlord of the Nine Hells—into their bloodline. Their appearance and their nature are not their fault but the result of an ancient sin, for which they and their children and their children’s children will always be held accountable.
In cities deep in the Underdark live the duergar, or gray dwarves. These vicious, stealthy slave traders raid the surface world for captives, then sell their prey to the other races of the Underdark. They have innate magical abilities to become invisible and to temporarily grow to giant size.
Lizardfolk are one of the most misunderstood races in the world, reviled by other humanoid societies for their practice of cannibalism, their frequent alliances with or subjugation by evil dragons, and their tendency to war over border encroachments and environmental exploitation.
Despite the misunderstandings of outsiders about this race of people, lizardfolk occupy and protect ecological niches which benefit the world at large. When treated fairly and given the means to peaceably integrate with other humanoid societies, they become valued allies and powerful members of standing multicultural armies.