The Tyranny of Dragons
Sequestered in high mountains atop tall trees, the aarakocra, sometimes called birdfolk, evoke fear and wonder. Many aarakocra aren’t even native to the Material Plane. They hail from a world beyond—from the boundless vistas of the Elemental Plane of Air. They are immigrants, refugees, scouts, and explorers, their outposts functioning as footholds in a world both strange and alien.
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.
Bold and hardy, dwarves are known as skilled warriors, miners, and workers of stone and metal. Though they stand well under 5 feel tall, dwarves are so broad and compact that they can weigh as much as a human standing nearly two feet taller. Their courage and endurance are also easily a match for any of the larger folk.
- Azerblood (Dwarf Subrace)
Whether directly, or perhaps distantly, these dwarves carry the blood of Azer, a race of flame-wreathed dwarves of the Elemental Plane of Fire. Azer are well known for their mastery of the blacksmith craft, as well as their hot and long-burning tempers. Azerblood are often much the same, though their diluted blood leaves them only with fiery colored hair rather than a mane of actual flames.
- Grey Dwarf (Dwarf Subrace)
Dwarves of the Underdark, the Duergar are mean, cruel, vulgar, and violent. Known as slave traders, grey dwarves are capable of growing in size and disappearing from sight. Duergar are inherently evil, and live in a structured society much like their surface-faring kin.
- Half-Dwarf (Dwarf Subrace)
The offspring of a human and a dwarf, half-dwarves were bred as workers for a distant empire for their uncanny ability to work days on end with minimal rest. The first half-dwarves were sterile, but as the generations grew, whether by genetics or the interference of a higher power, they became a sustainable race unto themselves.
- Hill Dwarf (Dwarf Subrace)
As a hill dwarf, you have keen senses, deep intuition, and remarkable resilience. The gold dwarves of Faerun in their mighty southern kingdom are hill dwarves, as are the exiled Neidar and the debased Klar of Krynn in the Dragonlance setting.
- Mountain Dwarf (Dwarf Subrace)
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 Faerun, as well as the ruling Hylar clan and the noble Daewar clan of Dragonlance, are mountain dwarves.
- Wild Dwarf (Dwarf Subrace)
While dwarves are creatures of stone, structure, and community, there are outcasts in every group. When a clan is exiled, abandons the community, or is otherwise separated from the rest of their kind, they become wild dwarves. The inborn need for community drives these isolated dwarves into a strange tribal existence, hostile to almost anyone they come across.
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.
- Dark Elf (Elf Subrace)
Descended from an earlier subrace of dark-skinned elves; the drow were banished from the surface world for following the goddess Lolth down the path to evil and corruption. Now they have built their own civilization in the depths of the Underdark, patterned after the Way of Lolth.
- Desert Elf (Elf Subrace)
Desert elves, also called the Dunælar, are the keepers of the unloved places of the world. Making their homes on bleak mountaintops, in forbidding deserts, or frigid tundra, the desert elves think that their kin have betrayed the natural world and their own kind by keeping only to beautiful, peaceful places.
- Eladrin (Elf Subrace)
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. They have an uncanny ability to shift quickly between the Feywild and Material Plane during combat, shifting position wildly.
- High Elf (Elf Subrace)
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 is haughty and reclusive, believing themselves to be superior to non-elves and even other elves. The other type are more common and more friendly and often encountered among humans and other races.
- Wood Elf (Elf Subrace)
As a wood elf, you have keen senses and intuition, and your fleet feet carry you quickly and stealthily through your native forests. In Faerun, wood elves are reclusive and distrusting of non-elves.
Those who think of other planes at all consider them remote, distant realms, but planar influence can be felt throughout the world. It sometimes manifests in beings who, through an accident of birth, carry the power of the planes in their blood. The genasi are one such people, the offspring of genies and mortals.
- Air Genasi (Genasi Subrace)
As an air genasi, you are descended from the djinn. As changeable as the weather, your moods shift from calm to wild and violent with little warning, but these storms rarely last long.
- Earth Genasi (Genasi Subrace)
As an earth genasi, you are descended from the cruel and greedy dao, though you aren’t necessarily evil. You have inherited some measure of control over earth, reveling in superior strength and solid power. You tend to avoid rash decisions, pausing long enough to consider your options before taking action.
- Fire Genasi (Genasi Subrace)
As a fire genasi, you have inherited the volatile mood and keen mind of the efreet. You tend toward impatience and making snap judgments. Rather than hide your distinctive appearance, you exult in it.
- Water Genasi (Genasi Subrace)
The lapping of waves, the spray of sea foam on the wind, the ocean depths—all of these things call to your heart. You wander freely and take pride in your independence, though others might consider you selfish.
At the highest mountain peaks—far above the slopes where trees grow and where the air is thin and the frigid winds howl—dwell the reclusive goliaths. Few folk can claim to have seen a goliath, and fewer still can claim friendship with them. Goliaths wander a bleak realm of rock, wind, and cold. Their bodies look as if they are carved from mountain stone and give them great physical power. Their spirits take after the wandering wind, making them nomads who wander from peak to peak. Their hearts are infused with the cold regard of their frigid realm, leaving each goliath with the responsibility to earn a place in the tribe or die trying.
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 de!ight in !ife,enjoying every moment of invention, exploration, investigation, creation, and play.
- Chaos Gnome (Gnome Subrace)
These gnomes are naturally fused with the powers of chaos, and have a seemingly limitless supply of spunk, charisma, and energy. These gnomes find probability, chance, and randomness extremely exciting concepts, often pushing the envelope to see what odds they can beat.
- Deep Gnome (Gnome Subrace)
Forest gnomes and rock gnomes are the gnomes most commonly encountered in the lands of the surface world. There is another subrace of gnomes rarely seen by any surface-dweller: deep gnomes, also known as svirfneblin. Guarded, and suspicious of outsiders, svirfneblin are cunning and taciturn, but can be just as kind-hearted, loyal, and compassionate as their surface cousins.
- Forest Gnome (Gnome Subrace)
As a forest gnome, you have a natural knack for illusion and inherent quickness and stealth. In the worlds of D&D, forest gnomes are rare and secretive. They gather in hidden communities in sylvan forests, using illusions and trickery to conceal themselves from threats or to mask their escape should they be detected.
- Rock Gnome (Gnome Subrace)
As a rock gnome, you have a natural inventiveness and hardiness beyond that of other gnomes. Most gnomes in the worlds of D&D are rock gnomes, including the tinker gnomes of the Dragonlance setting.
Walking in two worlds but truly belonging to neither, half-elves combine what some say are the best qualities of their elf and human parents: human curiosity, inventiveness, and ambition tempered by the refined senses, love of nature, and artistic tastes of the elves.
Whether united under the leadership of a mighty warlock or having fought to a standstill after years of conflict, orc and human tribes sometimes form alliances, joining forces into a larger horde to the terror of civilized lands nearby. When these alliances are sealed by marriages, half-orcs are born. Some half-orcs rise to become proud chiefs of orc tribes, their human blood giving them an edge over their full-blooded orc rivals. Some venture into the world to prove their worth among humans and other more civilized races. Many of these become adventurers, achieving greatness for their mighty deeds and notoriety for their barbaric customs and savage fury.
The diminutive halflings survive in a world full of larger creatures by avoiding notice or, barring that, avoiding offense. Standing about 3 feet tall, they appear relatively harmless and so have managed to survive for centuries in the shadow of empires and on the edges of wars and political strife. They are inclined to be stout, weighing between 40 and 45 pounds.
- Feral Halfling (Halfling Subrace)
Nomads that live off the land, feral halflings often describe a specific group of halfling tribes which dot the land which are known for their primitive culture, territorial behavior, and a ferocity that contrasts with their size.
- Lightfoot (Halfling Subrace)
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.
- Riverpad Halfling (Halfling Subrace)
As a riverpad Halfling, you’re a little more world-wise and travelled than others of your kind. Riverpads travel the world in flotilla-towns and barges, always on the move and alert for new opportunities. You are inclined to be friendly, welcoming, and playful, but many permanent communities dislike and distrust the riverpads, thinking they are deceitful troublemakers.
- Stout (Halfling Subrace)
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.
A minotaur combines the features of human and bull, with the build and musculature of a hulking humanoid, but with cloven hooves, a bovine tail, and, most distinctive of all, a bull's head.
- Forest Minotaur (Minotaur Subrace)
As a forest minotaur, you have light feet, keen senses, and a connection to the world around you. You have learned to track your prey while keeping a low profile amongst the trees of the forest.
- Maze Minotaur (Minotaur Subrace)
As a maze minotaur, you have honed your senses to track every bit of movement in your labyrinthine home. you have trained your ears and snout to hone in on the very fear of those trapped in your maze.
- Mountain Minotaur (Minotaur Subrace)
As a mountain minotaur, you have adapted to overcome the frigid temperatures and thinner air of lofty peaks. Your body has strengthened itself to pummel your targets with the force of an avalanche.
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.
The acclaimed warrior race of sentient constructs forged for war and conditioned for its practice. The Last War leaves them to wander for purpose or continue to fight: yet even now, their military might outshines even the greatest of peoples.
- Charger (Warforged Subrace)
A Warforged Charger is a veritable steel colossus of strength, durability, and decimation.
- Commando (Warforged Subrace)
A Warforged Commando is the embodiment of versatility and combat training.
- Scout (Warforged Subrace)
A Warforged Scout is a significantly smaller and more nimble iteration of the Warforged