P reface 4 Pa r t 2 171
In tr o d u c tio n 5 C h a p t e r 7: U s i n g A b i l i t y S c o r e s ...........173
Ability S c o r e s and M odifiers........................................173
W orlds o f A dven tu re................................................................... 5 Advantage and D isadvan tage...................................... 173
U sing Th is B o o k ......................................................................... 6 P roficien cy B o n u s............................................................173
H ow to P la y ................................................................................... 6 Ability C h e ck s................................................................... 174
A d v en tu res.................................................................................... 7 U sing E ach A bility...........................................................175
Saving T h r o w s ................... ............................................. 179
P art 1 9
C h a p t e r 8 : A d v e n t u r i n g ...... ................ 181
C h a p t e r 1: S t e p - b y - S t e p C h a r a c t e r s ..... 11 T im e ........................................................ .. ................. 181
B eyon d 1st L ev el............................................................... 15 M ovem en t.......................................................................... 181
Th e E nvironm ent.......................... ......................... 183
C h a p t e r 2 : R a c e s ........................................................ 17 S o c ia l In tera ction ........................................................... 185
C h oosin g a R a ce ................................................................ 17 R e s tin g ............................................................................... 186
D w a rf.................................................................................... 18 B etw een A dven tu res......................................................186
E l f...........................................................................................21
H alfling.................................................................................26 C h a p t e r 9 : C o m b a t ................................................ 189
H u m an ..................................................................................29 The O rder o f C om b a t.....................................................189
D ra g o n b o rn ........................................................................ 32 M ovem ent and P o sitio n .................................................190
G n o m e ..................................................................................35 A ctions in C o m b a t.......................................................... 192
H alf-E lf.................................................................................38 M aking an A ttack............................................................ 193
H a lf-O rc.............................................................................. 40 C over................................................................................... 196
T ie flin g .................................................................................42 D am age and H e a lin g .....................................................196
M ounted C om bat............................................................. 198
C h a p t e r 3 : C l a s s e s .................................................. 45 Underwater C om ba t....................................................... 198
B arbarian............................................................................ 46
B a r d ...................................................................................... 51 P art 3 199
D ru id .....................................................................................64 C h a p t e r 10: S p e l l c a s t i n g .................................201
F igh ter..................................................................................70
M o n k ..................................................................................... 76 W hat Is a S p e ll? ...............................................................201
P a la d in .................................................................................82 Casting a S p e ll................................................................ 202
R a n g e r..................................................................................89
R o g u e ....................................................................................94 C h a p t e r 11: S p e l l s ..................................................... 207
S o r c e r e r .............................................................................. 99
W a rlo ck ..............................................................................105 Spell L ists..........................................................................207
W iz a r d ................................................................................112 Spell D e scrip tio n s...........................................................211
C h a pte r 4: P e r so n a l it y a n d A ppen d ix A : C o n d it io n s 290
B a c k g r o u n d .................................................................. 121
A p p e n d i x B: 293
Character D etails............................................................ 121
In spiration ........................................................................ 125 G ods of th e M u ltiv e r se
B a ck g rou n d s.................................................................... 125
A ppen d ix C: 300
C h a p t e r 5 : E q u i p m e n t .........................................143 T h e P l a n e s of E x iste n c e
Starting E quipm ent....................................................... 143
W e a lth ................................................................................143 The Material P lane....... ................. ...............................3 0 0
A rm or and S h ie ld s .........................................................144 B eyond the M aterial.................................. 301
W ea p on s............................................................................ 146
Adventuring G e a r ...........................................................148 A p p e n d i x D: 304
T o o ls....................................................................................154
M ounts and V e h icle s..................................................... 155 C r e a tu r e St a t ist ic s
Trade G o o d s ..................................................................... 157
E x p en ses........................................................................... 157 A p p e n d ix E: 312
T rink ets............................................................................. 159 In sp ir a t io n a l R e a d in g
C h a p t e r 6 : C u s t o m i z a t i o n O p t i o n s .... 163 In d ex 313
M ulticlassing.................................................................... 163
F e a t s ...................................................................................165 C h aracter Sheet 317
Preface are likely to end up friends. It’s a c o o l side effect o f the
game. Your next gam ing group is as close as the nearest
NOCE UPON A TIME, LONG, LONG AGO, IN A game store, online forum, or gaming convention.
realm called the Midwestern United
States—specifically the states o f M inne The secon d thing you need is a lively imagination
sota and W isconsin—a group of friends or, m ore importantly, the w illingness to use whatever
gathered together to forever alter the im agination you have. You don’t need to be a master
history o f gaming. storyteller or a brilliant artist. You just need to aspire to
create, to have the courage o f som eon e w ho is w illing to
It w asn ’t their intent to do so. Th ey w ere build som eth in g and share it w ith others.
tired of merely reading tales about worlds of magic,
m onsters, and adventure. They wanted to play in those Luckily, just as D&D can strengthen your friendships,
worlds, rather than observe them. That they went on it can help build in you the con fid en ce to create and
to invent D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s , and thereby ignite a share. D&D is a gam e that teaches you to look for the
revolution in gam ing that continu es to this day, sp eaks clever solution, share the sudden idea that can overcom e
to tw o things. a problem, and push yourself to imagine what could be,
rather than sim ply a ccep t what is.
First, it sp eak s to their ingenuity and genius in fig
uring out that gam es w ere the perfect way to explore The first characters and adventures you create will
w orlds that could not otherw ise exist. A lm ost every probably be a collection o f cliches. That’s true o f every
m odern game, whether played on a digital device or one, from the greatest Dungeon M asters in history on
a tabletop, ow es som e debt to D&D. down. A ccept this reality and move on to create the
second character or adventure, which will be better,
S econ d , it is a testam ent to the inherent appeal o f the and then the third, w hich w ill be better still. Repeat that
gam e they created. D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s sparked a over the course o f time, and soon you’ll be able to create
thriving global phenom enon. It is the first roleplaying anything, from a ch a ra cter’s backgrou n d story to an epic
gam e, and it rem ains one o f the best o f its breed. w orld of fantasy adventure.
To play D&D, and to play it w ell, you d on ’t n eed to O nce you have that skill, it’s y ou rs forever. C ou n tless
read all the rules, m em orize every detail o f the game, writers, artists, and other creators can trace their begin
or master the fine art o f rolling funny looking dice. nings to a few pages o f D&D notes, a handful o f dice,
N one o f those things have any bearing on what’s best and a kitchen table.
about the game.
Above all else, D&D is yours. The friendships you
W hat you need are tw o things, the first being friends make around the table will be unique to you. The adven
with w hom you can share the game. Playing gam es with tures you em bark on, the characters you create, the
your friends is a lot o f fun, but D&D does som ething m em ories you m ake—these w ill be yours. D&D is your
m ore than entertain. personal corner of the universe, a place where you have
free reign to do as you wish.
Playing D&D is an exercise in collaborative creation.
You and your friends create epic stories filled with ten G o forth now. Read the rules o f the game and the
sion and mem orable drama. You create silly in-jokes story of its w orlds, but always rem em ber that you are
that m ake you laugh years later. The dice w ill be cruel the one w ho brings them to life. They are nothing
to you, but you will soldier on. Your collective creativ without the spark o f life that you give them.
ity will build stories that you w ill tell again and again,
ranging from the utterly absurd to the stuff o f legend. Mike Mearls
If you d on ’t have friends interested in playing, don ’t
w orry. T h ere’s a sp ecia l alchem y that takes place
around a D&D table that nothing else can match. Play
the game with som eone enough, and the tw o o f you
In trod u ction In the D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s game, each player
creates an adventurer (also called a character) and
The D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s r o l e p l a y in g team s up with other adventurers (played by friends).
gam e is about storytelling in w orlds of W orking together, the group might explore a dark dun
sw ord s and sorcery. It sh ares elem ents geon, a ruined city, a haunted castle, a lost tem ple deep
with childhood gam es o f make-believe. Like in a jungle, or a lava-filled cavern beneath a m ysterious
those gam es, D & D is driven by im agina mountain. The adventurers can solve puzzles, talk with
tion. It’s about picturing the tow ering castle other characters, battle fantastic m onsters, and discover
beneath the stormy night sky and im agining fabulous m agic items and other treasure.
how a fantasy adventurer might react to the challenges
that scene presents. O ne player, however, takes on the role o f the D ungeon
M aster (D M ), the gam e’s lead storyteller and referee.
Dungeon Master (DM): After passing through the The DM creates adventures for the characters, who nav
craggy peaks, the road takes a sudden turn to the east igate its hazards and decide which paths to explore. The
and Castle Ravenloft towers before you. Crum bling DM might describe the entrance to Castle Ravenloft,
towers of stone keep a silent watch over the approach. and the players decide what they want their adventurers
They look like abandoned guardhouses. Beyond these, to do. W ill they w alk across the dangerously weathered
a wide chasm gapes, disappearing into the deep drawbridge? Tie themselves together with rope to mini
fog below. A lowered drawbridge spans the chasm , m ize the chance that som eon e w ill fall if the drawbridge
leading to an arched entrance to the castle courtyard. gives way? Or cast a spell to carry them over the chasm ?
The chains o f the drawbridge creak in the wind, their
rust-eaten iron straining with the weight. From atop Then the DM determ ines the results o f the adventur
the high strong walls, stone gargoyles stare at you ers’ actions and narrates what they experience. Because
from hollow sockets and grin hideously. A rotting the DM can im provise to react to anything the players
wooden portcullis, green with growth, hangs in the attempt, D&D is infinitely flexible, and each adventure
entry tunnel. Beyond this, the main doors of Castle can be exciting and unexpected.
Ravenloft stand open, a rich warm light spilling into
the courtyard. The game has no real end; when one story or quest
w raps up, another one can begin, creating an ongoing
Phillip (playing Gareth): I want to look at the story called a campaign. Many people w ho play the
gargoyles. I have a feeling they’re not just statues. game keep their cam paigns going for months or years,
m eeting with their friends every w eek or so to pick
Amy (playing Riva): The drawbridge looks precarious? up the story w here they left off. The adventurers grow
I want to see how sturdy it is. Do I think we can cross in might as the cam paign continues. Each m onster
it, or is it going to collapse under our weight? defeated, each adventure completed, and each treasure
recovered not only adds to the continuing story, but also
Unlike a game of make-believe, D&D gives structure earns the adventurers new capabilities. This increase
to the stories, a way of determining the consequences in pow er is reflected by an adventurer’s level.
of the adventurers’ action. Players roll dice to resolve
whether their attacks hit or m iss or w hether their adven There’s no w inning and losing in the D u n g e o n s &
turers can scale a cliff, roll away from the strike o f a D r a g o n s g am e—at least, not the way those term s are
m agical lightning bolt, or pull off som e other dangerous usually understood. Together, the D M and the players
task. Anything is possible, but the dice make som e out create an exciting story o f bold adventurers who confront
com es m ore probable than others. deadly perils. Som etim es an adventurer might com e to
a grisly end, torn apart by ferociou s m onsters or done in
Dungeon Master (DM): O K, one at a time. Phillip, by a nefarious villain. Even so, the other adventurers can
you’re looking at the gargoyles? search for powerful m agic to revive their fallen comrade,
or the player might ch oose to create a new character to
Phillip: Yeah. Is there any hint they m ight be carry on. The group might fail to com plete an adventure
creatures and not decorations? successfully, but if everyone had a good time and created
a m em orable story, they all win.
DM : Make an Intelligence check.
Phillip: Does my Investigation skill apply? W orlds of A dventure
Phillip (rolling a d20): Ugh. Seven. The m any w orlds o f the D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s game
DM : They look like decorations to you. And Amy, are places o f magic and monsters, of brave warriors and
Riva is checking out the drawbridge? spectacular adventures. They begin with a foundation
of medieval fantasy and then add the creatures, places,
and m agic that make these w orlds unique.
The w orlds o f the D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s gam e exist
within a vast cosm os called the multiverse, connected
in strange and mysterious ways to one another and to
other planes of existence, such as the Elemental Plane
of Fire and the Infinite Depths o f the Abyss. W ithin
this multiverse are an endless variety o f worlds. Many 2. The players describe what they want to do. S o m e
o f them have been published as official settings for the tim es one player speaks for the w hole party, saying,
D&D game. The legends of the Forgotten Realm s, Drag- “W e’ll take the east door,” for exam ple. Other tim es,
onlance, Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Mystara, and Eberron different adventurers do different things: one adventurer
settings are woven together in the fabric o f the multi- might search a treasure chest while a second exam ines
verse. Alongside these worlds are hundreds of thousands an esoteric sym bol engraved on a wall and a third keeps
more, created by generations o f D&D players for their watch for m onsters. The players don’t need to take
ow n games. And amid all the richness o f the multiverse, turns, but the DM listens to every player and decides
you might create a world of your own. how to resolve those actions.
All these worlds share characteristics, but each world Som etim es, resolving a task is easy. If an adventurer
is set apart by its ow n history and cultures, distinctive wants to walk across a room and open a door, the DM
monsters and races, fantastic geography, ancient dun might just say that the door opens and describe what
geons, and schem ing villains. S om e races have unusual lies beyond. But the door might be locked, the floor
traits in different worlds. The halflings o f the Dark Sun might hide a deadly trap, or som e other circum stance
setting, for example, are jungle-dwelling cannibals, m ight m ake it challen ging for an adventurer to com plete
and the elves are desert nomads. Som e worlds feature a task. In those cases, the DM decides what happens,
races unknow n in other settings, such as E berron’s war- often relying on the roll o f a die to determine the results
forged, sold iers created and im bu ed with life to fight in of an action.
the Last War. S om e w orlds are dom inated by one great
story, like the W ar o f the Lance that plays a central role 3. The DM narrates the results o f the adventurers’
in the D ragon lance setting. But they’re all D & D w orlds, actions. D escribing the results often leads to another
and you can use the rules in this b o o k to create a char decision point, which brings the flow o f the gam e right
acter and play in any one o f them. ba ck to step 1.
Your DM might set the cam paign on one of these This pattern holds whether the adventurers are cau
worlds or on one that he or she created. B ecause there tiously exploring a ruin, talking to a devious prince, or
is so much diversity am ong the worlds o f D&D, you lock ed in m ortal com bat against a m ighty dragon. In
should check with your DM about any h ouse rules that certain situations, particularly combat, the action is
w ill affect your play o f the game. Ultimately, the D un m ore structured and the players (and DM) do take turns
geon M aster is the authority on the cam paign and its choosing and resolving actions. But m ost of the time,
setting, even if the setting is a published world. play is fluid and flexible, adapting to the circum stances
o f the adventure.
U sing T his B o o k
Often the action o f an adventure takes place in the
T h e Player’s Handbook is divided into three parts. im agination o f the players and DM, relying on the D M ’s
Part 1 is about creating a character, providing the verbal descriptions to set the scene. S om e DM s like to
use m usic, art, or recorded sound effects to help set the
rules and guidance you need to make the character m ood, and many players and DM s alike adopt different
y ou ’ll play in the gam e. It includes inform ation on the voices for the various adventurers, monsters, and other
various races, classes, backgrounds, equipment, and characters they play in the game. Som etim es, a DM
other custom ization options that you can ch oose from. might lay out a map and use tokens or miniature figures
M any o f the rules in part 1 rely on m aterial in parts 2 to represent each creature involved in a scen e to help
and 3. If you com e across a gam e concept in part 1 that the players k eep track o f w here everyone is.
you don ’t understand, consult the b o o k ’s index.
G a m e D ice
Part 2 details the rules o f how to play the game,
beyond the basics described in this introduction. That The game uses polyhedral dice with different num bers
part covers the kinds of die rolls you make to determine o f sides. You can find dice like these in gam e stores and
s u c ce s s or failure at the tasks your character attempts, in many bookstores.
and describes the three broad categories o f activity in
the game: exploration, interaction, and combat. In these rules, the different dice are referred to by the
letter d follow ed by the num ber o f sides: d4, d6, d8, d 10,
Part 3 is all about m agic. It covers the nature o f m agic d 12, and d20. F or instance, a d6 is a six-sided die (the
in the w orlds o f D&D, the rules for spellcasting, and the typical cube that many gam es use).
huge variety o f spells available to m agic-using charac
ters (and m onsters) in the game. Percentile dice, or d 100, w ork a little differently. You
generate a number between 1 and 100 by rolling two
How t o Pl a y different ten-sided dice num bered from 0 to 9. One die
(designated before you roll) gives the tens digit, and
The play o f the D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s gam e unfolds the other gives the on es digit. If you roll a 7 and a 1, for
according to this basic pattern. exam ple, the num ber rolled is 71. Tw o Os represent 100.
S om e ten-sided dice are num bered in tens (00, 10, 20,
1. The DM describes the environment. T h e DM and s o on), m akin g it easier to distinguish the tens digit
tells the players w here their adventurers are and w hat’s from the on es digit. In this case, a roll o f 70 and 1 is 71,
around them, presenting the basic scop e o f options that and 00 and 0 is 100.
present themselves (how many doors lead out of a room ,
w hat’s on a table, w h o ’s in the tavern, and so on). W hen you need to roll dice, the rules tell you how
many dice to roll o f a certain type, as well as what m od
ifiers to add. For example, “3d8 + 5 ” m eans you roll
three eight-sided dice, add them together, and add 5 3. Compare the total to a target number. If the total
to the total. equals or exceeds the target number, the ability check,
attack roll, or saving th row is a su ccess. O therw ise, it’s
The sam e d notation appears in the expressions “ 1d 3 ” a failure. The DM is usually the one w ho determ ines
and “ 1d2.” To sim ulate the roll o f 1d3, roll a d6 and target num bers and tells players whether their ability
divide the num ber rolled by 2 (round up). To simulate ch ecks, attack rolls, and saving th row s su cce e d or fail.
the roll o f 1d2, roll any die and assign a 1 or 2 to the roll
depen din g on w hether it w as odd or even. (Alternatively, The target num ber for an ability check or a saving
if the num ber rolled is m ore than half the num ber of th row is called a Difficulty Class (D C). T h e target
sides on the die, it’s a 2.) num ber for an attack roll is called an Armor Class (AC).
T h e D 20 This simple rule governs the resolution of m ost tasks
in D & D play. Chapter 7 provides m ore detailed rules for
D oes an adventurer’s sw ord sw ing hurt a dragon or just using the d20 in the game.
b ou n ce off its iron-hard sca les? W ill the ogre believe an
outrageous bluff? Can a character sw im across a raging A dva n t a ge a n d D isa d v a n t a g e
river? Can a character avoid the main blast o f a fireball,
or d o e s he or she take full dam age from the blaze? In Som etim es an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw
cases w here the outcom e o f an action is uncertain, is m odified by special situations called advantage and
the D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s gam e relies on rolls o f a disadvantage. Advantage reflects the positive circum
20-sided die, a d20, to determine su ccess or failure. stances surrounding a d20 roll, while disadvantage
reflects the opposite. W hen you have either advantage or
Every character and m onster in the gam e has capa disadvantage, you roll a second d20 w hen you m ake the
bilities defined by six ability scores. T h e abilities are roll. Use the higher o f the tw o rolls if you have advan
Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, W isdom , tage, and use the lower roll if you have disadvantage.
and Charism a, and they typically range from 3 to 18 F or exam ple, if you have disadvantage and roll a 17 and
for m ost adventurers. (M onsters might have scores as a 5, you use the 5. If you instead have advantage and roll
low as 1 or as high as 30.) T hese ability scores, and the th ose num bers, you use the 17.
ability modifiers derived from them , are the basis for
alm ost every d20 roll that a player m akes on a charac M ore detailed rules for advantage and disadvantage
ter’s or m on ster’s behalf. are presented in chapter 7.
Ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws are the Sp e cific B eats G e n e r a l
three main kinds o f d20 rolls, form ing the core o f the
rules of the game. All three follow these simple steps. T h is b o o k contain s rules, esp ecia lly in parts 2 and 3,
that govern h ow the game plays. That said, many racial
1. Roll the die and add a modifier. R oll a d2 0 and traits, class features, spells, m agic items, m onster abili
add the relevant modifier. This is typically the m od ties, and other gam e elem ents break the general rules in
ifier derived from on e o f the six ability s cores, and it som e way, creating an exception to h ow the rest o f the
som etim es includes a proficiency bonus to reflect a char game w orks. Rem em ber this: If a specific rule contra
acter’s particular skill. (S ee chapter 1 for details on each dicts a general rule, the specific rule wins.
ability and h ow to determ ine an ability’s modifier.)
Exceptions to the rules are often minor. For instance,
2. Apply circumstantial bonuses and penalties. A m any adventurers don’t have proficiency with longbow s,
class feature, a spell, a particular circum stance, or som e but every w o o d elf does becau se o f a racial trait. That
other effect might give a bonus or penalty to the check. trait creates a m inor exception in the game. Other
examples of rule-breaking are m ore conspicuous. For
instance, an adventurer can’t norm ally pass through
walls, but som e spells m ake that possible. M agic
accounts for m ost o f the m ajor exceptions to the rules.
Round D ow n
T h ere’s on e m ore general rule you n eed to k n ow at the
outset. W henever you divide a number in the game,
round dow n if you end up with a fraction, even if the
fraction is one-half or greater.
The D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s game consists of a group
o f characters em barking on an adventure that the D un
geon Master presents to them. Each character brings
particular capabilities to the adventure in the form of
ability scores and skills, class features, racial traits,
equipment, and m agic items. Every character is dif
ferent, with various strengths and w eaknesses, so the
best party o f adventurers is one in w hich the characters
com plem ent each other and cover the w eaknesses of
their com panions. The adventurers must cooperate to that a captured scout reveal the secret entrance to the
successfully com plete the adventure. goblin lair, getting inform ation from a rescu ed prisoner,
pleading for mercy from an orc chieftain, or persuading
The adventure is the heart of the game, a story with a talkative m agic m irror to sh ow a distant location to
a beginning, a middle, and an end. An adventure might the adventurers.
be created by the D ungeon M aster or purchased off the
shelf, tw eaked and m odified to suit the D M ’s n eeds and The rules in chapters 7 and 8 support exploration and
desires. In either case, an adventure features a fantastic social interaction, as do many class features in chapter 3
setting, w hether it’s an u nderground dungeon, a cru m and personality traits in chapter 4.
bling castle, a stretch o f w ildern ess, or a bustling city.
It features a rich cast o f characters: the adventurers Combat, the focu s o f chapter 9, involves characters
created and played by the other players at the table,
as well as nonplayer characters (NPCs). Those char and other creatures swinging weapons, casting spells,
acters might be patrons, allies, enemies, hirelings, or m aneuvering for position, and so on —all in an effort
just background extras in an adventure. Often, one of to defeat their opponents, w hether that m eans killing
the N PC s is a villain w hose agenda drives much o f an every enemy, taking captives, or forcing a rout. Combat
adventure’s action. is the most structured element o f a D&D session, with
creatures taking turns to m ake sure that everyone gets
Over the course o f their adventures, the characters a chance to act. Even in the context o f a pitched battle,
are confronted by a variety of creatures, objects, and there’s still plenty o f opportunity for adventurers to
situations that they must deal with in som e way. S o m e attempt w acky stunts like surfing dow n a flight o f stairs
times the adventurers and other creatures do their on a shield, to exam ine the environment (perhaps by
best to kill or capture each other in com bat. At other pulling a m ysterious lever), and to interact with other
tim es, the adventurers talk to another creature (or even creatures, including allies, enem ies, and neutral parties.
a m agical object) with a goal in mind. And often, the
adventurers spend time trying to solve a puzzle, bypass T h e W o n d er s of M a g ic
an obstacle, find som ething hidden, or unravel the cur
rent situation. M eanwhile, the adventurers explore the Few D&D adventures end without som ething magical
world, m aking decisions about which way to travel and happening. W hether helpful or harmful, m agic appears
w hat they’ll try to do next. frequently in the life o f an adventurer, and it is the focu s
o f chapters 10 and 11.
Adventures vary in length and complexity. A short
adventure might present only a few challenges, and In the w orlds o f D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s , practitioners
it m ight take no m ore than a single gam e session to o f m agic are rare, set apart from the m asses o f people
complete. A long adventure can involve hundreds of by their extraordinary talent. C om m on folk might see
com bats, interactions, and other challenges, and take eviden ce o f m agic on a regular basis, but it’s usually
dozens o f sessions to play through, stretching over m inor—a fantastic monster, a visibly answ ered prayer,
w eeks or m onths o f real time. Usually, the end o f an a w izard walking through the streets with an animated
adventure is marked by the adventurers heading back to shield guardian as a bodyguard.
civilization to rest and enjoy the spoils o f their labors.
For adventurers, though, m agic is key to their sur
But that’s not the end o f the story. You can think o f vival. W ithout the healing m agic o f clerics and paladins,
an adventure as a single episode of a TV series, made adventurers w ould quickly succum b to their wounds.
up o f multiple exciting scenes. A cam paign is the whole Without the uplifting m agical support o f bards and
series—a string o f adventures join ed together, with a clerics, warriors might be overwhelmed by powerful
consistent group o f adventurers following the narrative foes. Without the sheer m agical pow er and versatility
from start to finish. of w izards and druids, every threat w ould be mag
T h e T h ree P illa r s of A d v e n tu r e
M agic is also a favored tool o f villains. Many adven
Adventurers can try to do anything their players can tures are driven by the machinations of spellcasters
im agine, but it can b e helpful to talk about their activ w ho are hellbent on using m agic for som e ill end. A cult
ities in three broad categories: exploration, social leader seeks to awaken a god w ho slum bers beneath
interaction, and combat. the sea, a hag kidnaps youths to m agically drain them
o f their vigor, a mad w izard labors to invest an army of
Exploration includes both the adventurers’ m ovem ent automatons with a facsim ile o f life, a dragon begins a
m ystical ritual to rise up as a god o f destruction—these
through the w orld and their interaction with objects and are just a few o f the m agical threats that adventurers
situations that require their attention. Exploration is the m ight face. W ith m agic o f their ow n, in the form o f
give-and-take o f the players describing what they want spells and m agic items, the adventurers might prevail!
their characters to do, and the D ungeon M aster telling
the players what happens as a result. On a large scale,
that might involve the characters spending a day cross
ing a rolling plain or an hour making their way through
caverns underground. On the sm allest scale, it could
m ean one character pulling a lever in a dungeon room to
see what happens.
Social interaction features the adventurers talking to
som eon e (or som eth in g) else. It might m ean dem anding
C h a p t e r 1: St e p - b y - S t e p C h a r a c t e r s
OUR FIRST STEP IN PLAYING AN ADVENTURER IN THE cla sses (see step 2). For exam ple, the racial traits o f
D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s gam e is to im agine lightfoot halflings m ake them exceptional rogues, and
and create a character of your own. Your high elves tend to be powerful wizards. Som etim es
character is a com bination o f game statistics, playing against type can be fun, too. Half-orc paladins
roleplaying hooks, and your imagination. You and mountain dwarf wizards, for example, can be
ch oose a race (such as human or halfling) and unusual but m em orable characters.
a class (such as fighter or wizard). You also Your race also increases one or m ore o f your ability
invent the personality, appearance, and backstory of scores, w hich you determ ine in step 3. Note these
your character. Once completed, your character serves in creases and rem em ber to apply them later.
as your representative in the game, your avatar in the R ecord the traits granted by your race on your
D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s world. character sheet. Be sure to note your starting
Before you dive into step 1 below, think about the languages and your base speed as well.
kind o f adventurer you w ant to play. You m ight be a B u il d in g B r u e n o r , St e p 1
courageous fighter, a skulking rogue, a fervent cleric, or B ob is sitting dow n to create his character. He decides
a flamboyant w izard. Or you might be m ore interested that a gru ff m ountain dw arf fits the character he w ants
in an unconventional character, such as a brawny rogue to play. He notes all the racial traits o f dw arves on his
w ho likes hand-to-hand combat, or a sharpshooter who character sheet, including his speed of 25 feet and the
picks off enem ies from afar. D o you like fantasy fiction languages he knows: Com m on and Dwarvish.
featuring dwarves or elves? Try building a character of
one o f those races. D o you want your character to be the 2. C h o o s e a C lass
toughest adventurer at the table? C on sider a class like
barbarian or paladin. If you don’t know w here else to Every adventurer is a m em ber of a class. Class broadly
begin, take a lo o k at the illustrations in this b o o k to see d escrib es a character’s vocation, w hat sp ecia l talents he
what catches your interest. or she possesses, and the tactics he or she is m ost likely
O nce you have a character in mind, follow these steps to em ploy when exploring a dungeon, fighting monsters,
or engaging in a tense negotiation. The character
in order, m aking decisions that reflect the character you cla sses are d escrib ed in chapter 3.
want. Your conception of your character might evolve
with each c h o ice you m ake. W h a t’s im portant is that you Your character receives a number of benefits from
co m e to the table w ith a character you ’re excited to play. your choice of class. Many of these benefits are class
Throughout this chapter, w e use the term character features—capabilities (including spellcasting) that set
sheet to m ean whatever you use to track your character, your character apart from m em bers of other classes.
w hether it’s a form al character sheet (like the on e at the You also gain a num ber o f proficiencies: armor,
end o f this book), som e form o f digital record, or a piece w eapons, skills, saving throws, and som etim es tools.
of notebook paper. An official D&D character sheet is a Your proficiencies define many o f the things your
fine place to start until you know what inform ation you character can do particularly well, from using certain
need and h ow you u se it during the gam e. w eapons to telling a convincing lie.
Bu il d in g B ru en o r On your character sheet, record all the features that
Each step o f character creation includes an example of your class gives you at 1st level.
that step, with a player nam ed B ob building his dw arf L evel
character, Bruenor. Typically, a character starts at 1st level and advances
1. C h o o s e a R a c e in level by adventuring and gaining experience points
(X P). A 1st-level character is in exp erien ced in the
Every character belongs to a race, one o f the many adventuring world, although he or she might have been
intelligent hum anoid sp ecies in the D&D world. The a soldier or a pirate and done dangerous things before.
m ost com m on player character races are dwarves, elves,
halflings, and humans. S om e races also have subraces, Starting off at 1st level m arks your character’s entry
such as mountain dw arf or w o o d elf. Chapter 2 provides into the adventuring life. If you’re already familiar
m ore inform ation about these races, as well as the less with the game, or if you are joining an existing D&D
w idespread races o f dragonborn, gnom es, half-elves, cam paign, your DM might d ecide to have you begin at a
half-orcs, and tieflings. higher level, on the assum ption that your character has
already survived a few harrowing adventures.
The race you c h o o s e contributes to your character’s
identity in an important way, by establishing a general Q u ick Bu ild
appearance and the natural talents gained from culture Each class description in chapter 3 includes a section
and ancestry. Your character’s race grants particular offering suggestions to quickly build a character o f that
racial traits, such as special senses, proficiency with class, including how to assign your highest ability scores,
certain w eapons or tools, proficiency in one or m ore a background suitable to the class, and starting spells.
skills, or the ability to use m inor spells. T hese traits
som etim es dovetail with the capabilities o f certain
PART 1 STEP-BY-STEP CHARACTERS
R e co rd your level on your character sheet. If you ’re At 1st level, your character has 1 Hit Die, and the
starting at a h igher level, record the additional elem ents die type is determ ined by your class. You start w ith hit
your class gives you for your levels past 1st. A lso record points equal to the h ighest roll o f that die, as indicated in
your exp erien ce points. A 1st-level character has 0 your class description. (You also add your Constitution
X P A higher-level character typically begins with the modifier, w h ich you ’ll determ ine in step 3.) T h is is also
m inim um amount o f X P required to reach that level your hit point maxim um .
(see “Beyond 1st Level” later in this chapter).
R e c o rd y ou r character’s hit points on your character
H it P o in t s a n d H it D ice sheet. A lso record the type o f Hit Die your character
Y our character’s hit points define h ow tough your uses and the num ber o f Hit D ice you have. After you
character is in com bat and other dangerous situations. rest, you can spend Hit D ice to regain hit points (see
Your hit points are determ ined by your Hit D ice (short “R estin g” in chapter 8).
for Hit Point Dice).
P r o f ic ie n c y B on u s
A b il it y S c o r e S u m m a r y The table that appears in your class description show s
your proficiency bonus, w h ich is +2 for a 1st-level
Strength character. Your proficiency bonus applies to many o f the
num bers y ou ’ll be record in g on your character sheet:
M easures: Natural athleticism, bodily power
• A ttack rolls using w ea p on s y ou ’re proficient with
Im p ortant for: Barbarian, fighter, paladin • Attack rolls with spells you cast
• Ability ch eck s using skills y ou ’re proficient in
Racial Increases: • Ability ch eck s using tools y ou ’re proficient with
• Saving th row s y ou ’re proficient in
Mountain dwarf (+2) Half-orc (+2) • Saving throw D C s for spells you cast (explained in
Dragonborn (+2) Human (+1) each spellcasting class)
Dexterity Your class determines your w eapon proficiencies,
your saving throw proficiencies, and som e o f your skill
M easures: Physical agility, reflexes, balance, poise and tool proficiencies. (Skills are d escrib ed in chapter 7,
tools in chapter 5.) Your background gives you additional
Im p ortant for: Monk, ranger, rogue skill and tool proficiencies, and som e races give
you m ore proficiencies. Be sure to note all o f these
Racial Increases: proficiencies, as well as your proficiency bonus, on your
Elf (+2) Forest gnome (+1)
Your proficiency bonus can’t be added to a single die
Halfling (+2) Human (+1) roll or other num ber m ore than once. Occasionally, your
proficiency bonus might be m odified (doubled or halved,
Constitution for exam ple) before you apply it. If a circu m stan ce
suggests that your proficiency bonus applies m ore than
M easures: Health, stamina, vital force on ce to the sa m e roll or that it sh ou ld be m ultiplied
m ore than on ce, you n evertheless add it only on ce,
Im portant for: Everyone multiply it only on ce, and halve it only on ce.
Racial Increases: B u il d in g B r u e n o r , Ste p 2
Bob im agines Bruenor charging into battle with an axe,
Dwarf (+2) Half-orc (+1) one horn on his helmet broken off. He m akes Bruenor a
fighter and notes the fighter’s proficien cies and 1st-level
Stout halfling (+1) Human (+1) class features on his character sheet.
Rock gnome (+1) A s a 1st-level fighter, B ru enor has 1 Hit D ie—a d 10—
and starts with hit poin ts equal to 10 + his Constitution
Intelligence modifier. B ob notes this, and w ill record the final
num ber after he determ ines B ru en or’s Constitution
M easures: Mental acuity, information recall, analytical skill sc o r e (see step 3). B ob a lso notes the proficiency bon u s
for a 1st-level character, w hich is +2.
Im p ortant for: Wizard
3 . D eterm in e A b ility Scores
Much o f what your character d oes in the gam e depends
High elf (+1) Tiefling (+1) on his or her six abilities: Strength, Dexterity,
Constitution, Intelligence, W isdom , and Charisma.
Gnome (+2) Human (+1) Each ability has a score, w hich is a num ber you record
on your character sheet.
The six abilities and their use in the game are
M easures: A w aren e ss, intuition, insight describ ed in chapter 7. T h e Ability S c o r e S u m m ary
Im p ortan t for: Cleric, druid
Racial Increases: Human (+1)
Hill dwarf (+1)
Wood elf (+1)
M easures: Confidence, eloquence, leadership
Im p ortant for: Bard, sorcerer, warlock
Half-elf (+2) Dragonborn (+1)
Drow (+1) Human (+1)
Lightfoot halfling (+1) Tiefling (+2)
table provides a quick reference for what qualities A b il it y S c o r e s a n d M o d if ie r s
are m easu red by each ability, w hat races in creases
which abilities, and what classes consider each ability Score Modifier Score Modifier
particularly important. 1 -5 16-17 +3
-4 18-19 +4
You generate your character's six ability scores 2-3 -3 20-21 +5
randomly. Roll four 6-sided dice and record the total of 4-5 -2 22-23 +6
the highest three dice on a piece of scratch paper. D o 6-7 -1 24-25 +7
this five m ore tim es, so that you have six num bers. If 8-9 +0 26-27 +8
you want to save time or don’t like the idea o f random ly 10-11 +1 28-29 +9
determ ining ability scores, you can use the follow ing 12-13 +2
s c o r e s instead: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8. 14-15 30 +10
N ow take your six num bers and write each number average and nearly equal (13, 13, 13, 12, 12, 12), or any
b eside on e o f your character’s six abilities to assign set of numbers between those extremes.
scores to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence,
W isdom , and Charisma. Afterward, make any changes 4 . D escrib e Y o u r C h a r a c te r
to your ability scores as a result o f your race choice.
Once you know the basic game aspects of your
After assigning your ability scores, determine character, it’s tim e to flesh him or her out as a person.
your ability modifiers using the Ability S co re s and Your character needs a name. Spend a few minutes
M odifiers table. To determine an ability modifier without thinking about what he or she looks like and how he or
consulting the table, subtract 10 from the ability score she behaves in general terms.
and then divide the result by 2 (round down). Write the
modifier next to each of your scores. Using the inform ation in chapter 4, you can flesh out
your character’s physical appearan ce and personality
B u il d in g B r u e n o r , St e p 3 traits. C h oose your character’s alignment (the m oral
B ob d ecid es to u se the standard set o f s c o r e s (15, 14, com pass that guides his or her decisions) and ideals.
13, 12, 10, 8) for B ru enor’s abilities. S in ce h e’s a fighter, Chapter 4 also helps you identify the things your
he puts his highest score, 15, in Strength. His next- character holds m ost dear, called bonds, and the flaws
highest, 14, g oes in Constitution. B ruenor m ight be a that cou ld one day u nderm ine him or her.
brash fighter, but B ob decides he wants the dw arf to
be older, wiser, and a good leader, so he puts decent Your character’s background d escrib es w here he or
scores in W isdom and Charisma. After applying his she cam e from, his or her original occupation, and the
racial benefits (in creasin g B ru en or’s Constitution by character’s place in the D & D w orld. Your DM might
2 and his Strength by 2), B ru en or’s ability s c o r e s and offer additional backgrounds beyond the ones included
m odifiers look like this: Strength 17 (+3), Dexterity 10
(+0), Constitution 16 (+3), Intelligence 8 (-1), W isd om 13
(+1), C harism a 12 (+1).
B ob fills in B ru enor's final hit points: 10 + his
Constitution m odifier o f +3, for a total o f 13 hit points.
Va r ia n t : C u st o m izin g A b il it y Scores
At your D u n geon M aster’s option, you can use this
variant for determ ining your ability scores. The m ethod
described here allows you to build a character with a set
o f ability scores you ch oose individually.
You have 27 points to spend on your ability scores.
The cost o f each score is show n on the Ability S core
Point Cost table. For example, a score o f 14 costs 7
points. Using this method, 15 is the highest ability score
you can end up with, before applying racial increases.
You can’t have a score low er than 8.
This m ethod o f determ ining ability scores enables
you to create a set o f three high num bers and three low
on es (15, 15, 15, 8, 8, 8), a set o f num bers that are above
A b il it y S c o r e P o in t C o st
8 0 12 4
91 13 7
10 2 14
11 3 15
in chapter 4, and might b e w illing to w ork with you to His flaw is tied to his caring, sensitive nature—he has a
craft a b a ckgrou n d that’s a m ore p recise fit for your soft spot for orphans and wayward souls, leading him to
character concept. sh ow m ercy even w hen it m ight not b e w arranted.
A background gives your character a background 5. C h o o se E qu ipm ent
feature (a general benefit) and proficiency in tw o skills,
and it m ight also give you additional languages or Your class and background determine your character's
proficiency with certain kinds o f tools. R ecord this starting equipment, including w eapons, armor, and
information, along with the personality information other adventuring gear. R ecord this equipment on your
you develop, on your character sheet. character sheet. All such items are detailed in chapter 5.
Y o u r C h a r a c t e r ’s A b il it ie s Instead of taking the gear given to you by your class
Take your character’s ability s c o r e s and race into and background, you can purchase your starting
account as you flesh out his or her appearance equipment. You have a num ber o f gold pieces (gp)
and personality. A very strong character with low to spend based on your class, as show n in chapter 5.
Intelligence might think and behave very differently Extensive lists o f equipm ent, w ith prices, a lso appear in
from a very smart character with low Strength. that chapter. If you w ish, you can also have one trinket
at n o cost (see the trinket table at the end o f chapter 5).
For example, high Strength usually corresponds
with a burly or athletic body, while a character with Your Strength score limits the amount o f gear you can
low Strength might be scraw ny or plump. carry. Try not to purchase equipment with a total weight
(in pounds) exceeding your Strength score tim es 15.
A character with high Dexterity is probably lithe and Chapter 7 has m ore inform ation on carrying capacity.
slim, while a character with low Dexterity might be
either gangly and awkward or heavy and thick-fingered. A rm or C lass
Your Armor Class (AC) represents how w ell your
A character with high Constitution usually looks character avoids being w ounded in battle. Things that
healthy, with bright eyes and abundant energy. A contribute to your AC include the arm or you wear, the
character with low Constitution might b e sickly or frail. shield you carry, and your Dexterity m odifier. Not all
characters w ear arm or or carry shields, however.
A character with high Intelligence might be highly
inquisitive and studious, while a character with low W ithout arm or or a shield, your character’s AC equals
Intelligence might speak simply or easily forget details. 10 + his or her Dexterity m odifier. If your character
w ears armor, carries a shield, or both, calculate your
A character with high W isdom has good judgment, AC using the rules in chapter 5. R ecord your AC on
empathy, and a general aw aren ess o f w hat’s going on. your character sheet.
A character with low W isdom might be absent-minded,
foolhardy, or oblivious. Your character needs to be proficient with arm or and
shields to w ear and use them effectively, and your arm or
A character with high Charisma exudes confidence, and shield proficiencies are determined by your class.
w hich is usually m ixed with a graceful or intimidating There are drawbacks to wearing arm or or carrying a
presence. A character with a low Charisma might com e shield if you lack the required proficiency, as explained
across as abrasive, inarticulate, or timid. in chapter 5.
B u il d in g B r u e n o r , St e p 4 S om e spells and class features give you a different
B ob fills in som e o f Bruenor’s basic details: his name, way to calculate your AC. If you have multiple features
his sex (male), his height and weight, and his alignment that give you different w ays to calculate your AC, you
(lawful good). His high Strength and Constitution choose which one to use.
suggest a healthy, athletic body, and his low Intelligence
suggests a degree of forgetfulness. W eapons
For each w eapon your character wields, calculate the
B ob decides that Bruenor com es from a noble line, modifier you use w hen you attack with the w eapon and
but his clan w as expelled from its hom eland when the dam age you deal w hen you hit.
Bruenor w as very young. He grew up working as a smith
in the rem ote villages of Icewind Dale. But Bruenor W hen you make an attack with a weapon, you roll
has a heroic destiny—to reclaim his hom eland—so a d20 and add your proficiency bonus (but only if you
B ob ch ooses the folk hero background for his dwarf. are proficient with the w eapon) and the appropriate
He notes the proficiencies and special feature this ability modifier.
background gives him.
• For attacks with melee weapons, use your Strength
B ob has a pretty clear picture o f B ru en or’s personality m odifier for attack and dam age rolls. A w eapon that
in mind, so he skips the person ality traits su ggested in has the finesse property, such as a rapier, can use your
the folk hero background, noting instead that Bruenor is Dexterity m odifier instead.
a caring, sensitive dw arf w ho genuinely loves his friends
and allies, but he hides this soft heart behind a gruff, • For attacks with ranged weapons, use your Dexterity
snarling demeanor. He chooses the ideal of fairness m odifier for attack and dam age rolls. A w eapon that
from the list in his background, noting that Bruenor has the thrown property, such as a handaxe, can use
believes that n o on e is above the law. your Strength m odifier instead.
G iven his history, B ru en or’s bon d is obvious: he
aspires to som eday reclaim Mithral Hall, his homeland,
from the shadow dragon that drove the dw arves out.
B u il d in g B r u e n o r , St e p 5 T iers of P l a y
Bob writes dow n the starting equipment from the
fighter class and the folk hero background. His starting The shading in the Character Advancement table shows
equipment includes chain mail and a shield, which the four tiers o f play. The tiers don’t have any rules
com bin e to give B ru enor an A rm or C lass o f 18. associated with them; they are a general description o f how
the play experience changes as characters gain levels.
For B ru en or’s w eapon s, B ob c h o o s e s a battleaxe
and two handaxes. His battleaxe is a melee weapon, In the first tier (levels 1-4 ), characters are effectively
so Bruenor uses his Strength modifier for his attacks apprentice adventurers. They are learning the features
and damage. His attack bonus is his Strength modifier that define them as m em bers o f particular classes,
(+3) plus his proficiency bonus (+2), for a total o f +5. including the m ajor ch oices that flavor their class
T he battleaxe deals 1d8 slashing dam age, and B ruenor features as they advance (such as a w izard’s Arcane
adds his Strength m odifier to the dam age when he Tradition or a fighter’s M artial Archetype). The threats
hits, for a total o f 1d8 + 3 slashing dam age. W h en they face are relatively minor, usually posin g a danger to
throwing a handaxe, Bruenor has the same attack bonus local farmsteads or villages.
(handaxes, as thrown w eapons, use Strength for attacks
and dam age), and the w eap on deals 1d6 + 3 slashing In the second tier (levels 5 -1 0 ), characters com e into
dam age w hen it hits. their own. Many spellcasters gain access to 3rd-level
spells at the start o f this tier, crossin g a new threshold o f
6. C o m e T o g e t h e r m agical p ow er with spells such as fireball and lightning
bolt. At this tier, m any w eapon -usin g cla sses gain the
M ost D & D characters d o n ’t w ork alone. E ach character ability to make multiple attacks in one round. These
plays a role w ithin a party, a group o f adventurers characters have b ecom e important, facing dangers that
working together for a com m on purpose. Teamwork threaten cities and kingdom s.
and coop era tion greatly im prove your party’s ch a n ces
to survive the m any p erils in the w orld s o f D u n g e o n s In the third tier (levels 11-16), characters have
& D r a g o n s . Talk to your fellow players and your DM reached a level o f pow er that sets them high above
to decide whether your characters know one another, the ordinary populace and makes them special even
how they met, and what sorts o f quests the group am ong adventurers. At 11th level, many spellcasters
might undertake. gain access to 6th-level spells, som e o f w hich create
effects previously im possible for player characters to
B e y o n d 1st L e v e l achieve. Other characters gain features that allow them
to m ake m ore attacks or do m ore im pressive things with
As your character goes on adventures and overcom es those attacks. These mighty adventurers often confront
challenges, he or she gains experience, represented by threats to whole regions and continents.
experience points. A character w ho reaches a specified
experience point total advances in capability. This At the fourth tier (levels 17-20), characters achieve
advancem ent is called gaining a level. the pinnacle o f their class features, becom ing heroic (or
villainous) archetypes in their ow n right. The fate o f the
W hen your character gains a level, his or her class world or even the fundamental order of the multiverse
often grants additional features, as detailed in the might hang in the balance during their adventures.
class description. Som e of these features allow you
to increase your ability scores, either increasing two C haracter A dvancem ent
scores by 1 each or increasing one score by 2. You can ’t
increase an ability score above 20. In addition, every Experience Points Level Proficiency
character’s proficiency bon u s in creases at certain levels. 0 1 +2
300 2 +2
Each tim e you gain a level, you gain 1 additional Hit 900 3 +2
Die. R oll that Hit Die, add your Constitution m odifier 2,700 4 +2
to the roll, and add the total to your hit point m axim um . 6,500 5 +3
Alternatively, you can use the fixed value sh ow n in your 14,000 6 +3
class entry, w hich is the average result o f the die roll 23,000 7 +3
(rounded up). 34,000 8 +3
48,000 9 +4
W h en your Constitution m odifier in creases by 1, your 64,000 10 +4
hit point m axim u m in creases by 1 for each level you have 85,000 11 +4
attained. For example, when Bruenor reaches 8th level 100,000 12 +4
as a fighter, he in creases his Constitution sco re from 17 120,000 13 +5
to 18, thus increasing his Constitution m odifier from +3 140,000 14 +5
to +4. H is hit point m axim um then in creases by 8. 165,000 15 +5
195,000 16 +5
The Character Advancement table sum m arizes the 225,000 17 +6
X P you need to advance in levels from level 1 through 265,000 18 +6
level 20, and the proficiency bonus for a character o f that 305,000 19 +6
level. C onsult the inform ation in your character’s class 355,000 20 +6
description to see what other im provem ents you gain
at each level.
C h a p t e r 2: R aces R a cia l T r a i t s
VAISIT TO ONE OF THE GREAT CITIES IN THE The description of each race includes racial traits that
w orlds o f D u n g e o n s & D r a g o n s — are com m on to m em bers o f that race. The follow ing
W aterdeep, the Free City o f Greyhawk, or entries appear am ong the traits o f most races.
even uncanny Sigil, the City o f D oors—
overw helm s the sen ses. V oices chatter in A b il it y Score In crease
countless different languages. The sm ells Every race increases one or m ore o f a character’s
of cooking in dozens o f different cuisines ability scores.
mingle with the odors of crow ded streets and poor
sanitation. Buildings in myriad architectural styles A ge
display the diverse origins of their inhabitants. The age entry notes the age w hen a m em ber o f the race
And the people them selves—people of varying size, is con sid ered an adult, as w ell as the race’s expected
shape, and color, dressed in a dazzling spectrum lifespan. This information can help you decide how
o f styles and hues—represent m any different races, old your character is at the start o f the gam e. You
from diminutive halflings and stout dwarves to can choose any age for your character, which could
majestically beautiful elves, mingling am ong a variety provide an explanation for som e o f your ability scores.
of human ethnicities. For example, if you play a young or very old character,
Scattered am ong the m em bers of these more com m on your age could explain a particularly low Strength or
races are the true exotics: a hulking dragonborn here, Constitution score, while advanced age could account
pushing his way through the crow d, and a sly tiefling for a high Intelligence or W isdom .
there, lurking in the shadow s w ith m ischief in her eyes.
A group o f gnom es laughs as one of them activates a A l ig n m e n t
clever w ood en toy that m oves o f its ow n accord. Half- Most races have tendencies toward certain alignments,
elves and half-orcs live and w ork alongside humans, described in this entry. T hese are not binding for player
without fully belonging to the races o f either o f their characters, but considering why your dw arf is chaotic,
parents. And there, w ell out o f the sunlight, is a lone for example, in defiance o f lawful dw arf society can help
drow —a fugitive from the subterranean expanse of you better define your character.
the Underdark, trying to make his way in a world
that fears his kind. S iz e
Characters of m ost races are Medium, a size category
C h o o sin g a Race including creatures that are roughly 4 to 8 feet tall.
M em bers o f a few races are Sm all (betw een 2 and 4 feet
Humans are the m ost com m on people in the w orlds of tall), w hich m eans that certain rules o f the gam e affect
D&D, but they live and w ork alongside dwarves, elves, them differently. The m ost im portant o f these rules
halflings, and countless other fantastic species. Your is that Sm all characters have trouble w ielding heavy
character belongs to one of these peoples. w eapons, as explained in chapter 6.
Not every intelligent race o f the multiverse is Speed
appropriate for a player-controlled adventurer. Dwarves, Your speed determ ines how far you can m ove when
elves, halflings, and humans are the m ost com m on traveling (chapter 8) and fighting (chapter 9).
races to produce the sort o f adventurers w ho make up
typical parties. D ragonborn, gnom es, half-elves, half- L anguages
orcs, and tieflings are less com m on as adventurers. By virtue of your race, your character can speak, read,
Drow, a subrace of elves, are also uncom m on. and write certain languages. Chapter 4 lists the most
com m on languages of the D&D multiverse.
Your choice o f race affects many different aspects of
your character. It establishes fundam ental qualities that Su b r a c e s
exist throughout your character’s adventuring career. Som e races have subraces. M em bers of a subrace
W h en m akin g this decision, keep in m ind the kind o f have the traits of the parent race in addition to the
character you w ant to play. F or exam ple, a halfling could traits specified for their subrace. Relationships am ong
be a good choice for a sneaky rogue, a dwarf makes a subraces vary significantly from race to race and
tough warrior, and an elf can be a master o f arcane magic. w orld to world. In the D ragonlance cam paign setting,
for exam ple, m ountain dw arves and hill dw arves live
Your character race not only affects your ability scores together as different clans o f the sam e people, but in
and traits but also provides the cues for building your the Forgotten Realm s, they live far apart in separate
character’s story. E ach race’s description in this chapter kingdom s and call themselves shield dwarves and
includes inform ation to help you roleplay a character of gold dwarves, respectively.
that race, including personality, physical appearance,
features o f society, and racial alignment tendencies.
T hese details are suggestions to help you think about
your character; adventurers can deviate w idely from the
norm for their race. It’s w orthw hile to consider why your
character is different, as a helpful way to think about
y ou r character’s backgrou n d and personality.
D warf Sh o r t a n d St o u t
“Y e r l a t e , e l f !” c a m e t h e r o u g h e d g e o f a f a m il ia r Bold and hardy, dwarves are know n as
voice. Bruenor Battlehammer walked up the back of his skilled warriors, miners, and workers
deadfoe, disregarding thefact that the heavy monster lay of stone and metal. Though they stand
on top of his elvenfriend. In spite of the added discomfort, w ell under 5 feet tall, dw arves are so
the dwarf’s long, pointed, often-broken nose and gray- broad and com pact that they can weigh
streaked though still-fiery red beard came as a welcome as much as a human standing nearly two
sight to Drizzt. “Knew I’d findy e in trouble ifI came out feet taller. Their courage and endurance
an' lookedforye!" are also easily a match for any of
the larger folk.
—R. A . S alvatore, The Crystal Shard Dwarven skin ranges from deep brow n to a paler
hue tinged with red, but the m ost com m on shades are
K ingdom s rich in ancient grandeur, halls carved into the light brow n or deep tan, like certain tones o f earth.
roots of mountains, the echoing of picks and hamm ers Their hair, w orn long but in sim ple styles, is usually
in deep m ines and blazing forges, a com m itm en t to black, gray, or brow n, though paler dw arves often have
clan and tradition, and a burning hatred o f goblins and red hair. Male dw arves value their beards highly and
orc s —th ese co m m o n threads unite all dw arves. groom them carefully.
L ong M em ory, L ong G rudges
D w arves can live to be m ore than 4 0 0 years old, so the
oldest living dwarves often rem em ber a very different
world. For example, som e o f the oldest dw arves living
in Citadel Felbarr (in the w orld o f the Forgotten R ealm s)
can recall the day, m ore than three centuries ago, w hen
orc s conquered the fortress and drove them into an exile
that lasted over 250 years. This longevity grants them a
perspective on the w orld that shorter-lived races such as
hum ans and halflings lack.
Dwarves are solid and enduring like the mountains
they love, weathering the passage o f centuries with stoic
endurance and little change. They respect the traditions
of their clans, tracing their ancestry back to the
founding o f their m ost ancient strongholds in the youth
o f the w orld, and don't abandon th ose traditions lightly.
Part o f those traditions is devotion to the gods o f the
dwarves, w ho uphold the dwarven ideals of industrious
labor, skill in battle, and devotion to the forge.
Individual dwarves are determ ined and loyal, true to
their w ord and decisive in action, som etim es to the point
of stubbornness. Many dwarves have a strong sense
o f justice, and they are slow to forget w rongs they have S low to Tru st
suffered. A w rong done to one dw arf is a w rong done to
the d w a rf’s entire clan, so w hat begin s as on e dw arf’s Dwarves get along passably well with most other races. “The
hunt for vengeance can becom e a full-blown clan feud. difference between an acquaintance and a friend is about a
hundred years,” is a dwarf saying that might be hyperbole,
C lan s a n d K in gd o m s but certainly points to how difficult it can be for a member o f
a short-lived race like humans to earn a dwarf’s trust.
Dwarven kingdom s stretch deep beneath the mountains
where the dwarves mine gems and precious metals Elves. “ It’s not wise to depend on the elves. No telling what
and forge items o f wonder. They love the beauty and an elf will do next; when the hammer meets the orc’s head,
artistry o f precious m etals and fine jewelry, and in som e they’re as apt to start singing as to pull out a sword. They’re
dwarves this love festers into avarice. W hatever wealth flighty and frivolous. Two things to be said for them, though:
they can’t find in their mountains, they gain through They don’t have many smiths, but the ones they have do very
trade. They dislike boats, so enterprising humans and fine work. And when orcs or goblins come streaming down
halflings frequently handle trade in dwarven goods out o f the mountains, an elf’s good to have at your back. Not
along water routes. Trustworthy m em bers of other races as good as a dwarf, maybe, but no doubt they hate the orcs
are w elcom e in dw arf settlements, though som e areas as much as we do.”
are off limits even to them.
Halflings. “Sure, they’re pleasant folk. But show me a
The chief unit of dwarven society is the clan, and halfling hero. An empire, a triumphant army. Even a treasure
dwarves highly value social standing. Even dwarves for the ages made by halfling hands. Nothing. How can you
w ho live far from their ow n kingdom s cherish their clan take them seriously?”
identities and affiliations, recognize related dwarves,
and invoke their ancestors’ nam es in oaths and curses. Humans. “You take the time to get to know a human, and
To be clanless is the w orst fate that can befall a dwarf. by then the human’s on her deathbed. If you’re lucky, she’s
got kin— a daughter or granddaughter, maybe— who’s got
D w arves in other lands are typically artisans, hands and heart as good as hers. That’s when you can make
especially weaponsmiths, armorers, and jewelers. Som e a human friend. And watch them go! They set their hearts on
becom e m ercenaries or bodyguards, highly sought after something, they’ ll get it, whether it’s a dragon’s hoard or an
for their cou rag e and loyalty. empire’s throne. You have to admire that kind o f dedication,
even if it gets them in trouble more often than not.”
G ods, G old, and C lan
D w arves w ho take up the adventuring life might be
m otivated by a desire for treasure—for its ow n sake, for
a specific purpose, or even out o f an altruistic desire to
help others. Other dwarves are driven by the com m and
or inspiration o f a deity, a direct calling or simply a
desire to bring glory to one of the dwarf gods. Clan and
ancestry are also important motivators. A dw arf might
seek to restore a clan’s lost honor, avenge an ancient
w rong the clan suffered, or earn a new place within the
clan after having been exiled. Or a dw arf might search
for the axe w ielded by a mighty ancestor, lost on the field
o f battle centuries ago.
D warf N am es Tool Proficiency. You gain proficiency with the
artisan’s tools o f your choice: sm ith’s tools, brew er’s
A d w a rf’s nam e is granted by a clan elder, in a ccord a n ce supplies, or m a son ’s tools.
with tradition. Every proper dwarven name has been
used and reused down through the generations. A Stonecunning. W henever you m ake an Intelligence
d w a rf’s n am e b elon g s to the clan, not to the individual. (History) check related to the origin o f stonework, you
A dw arf w ho m isuses or brings sham e to a clan name are considered proficient in the H istory skill and add
is stripped o f the name and forbidden by law to use any double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of
dwarven nam e in its place. your normal proficiency bonus.
Male Names: Adrik, Alberich, Baern, Barendd, Brottor, Languages. You can speak, read, and write C om m on
Bruenor, Dain, Darrak, Delg, Eberk, Einkil, Fargrim, and Dwarvish. Dwarvish is full o f hard consonants and
Flint, Gardain, Harbek, Kildrak, M orgran, Orsik, guttural sounds, and those characteristics spill over into
Oskar, Rangrim , Rurik, Taklinn, Thoradin, Thorin, whatever other language a dwarf might speak.
Tordek, Traubon, Travok, Ulfgar, Veit, Vondal
Subrace. T w o m ain su braces o f dw arves populate the
Female Names: Am ber, Artin, Audhild, Bardryn, w orlds o f D&D: hill dwarves and mountain dwarves.
Dagnal, Diesa, Eldeth, Falkrunn, Finellen, Gunnloda, Choose one of these subraces.
Gurdis, Helja, Hlin, Kathra, Kristryd, Ilde, Liftrasa,
Mardred, Riswynn, Sannl, Torbera, Torgga, Vistra H il l D w arf
As a hill dwarf, you have keen senses, deep intuition,
Clan Names: Balderk, Battlehammer, Brawnanvil, and remarkable resilience. The gold dwarves of Faerun
Dankil, Fireforge, Frostbeard, Gorunn, Holderhek, in their m ighty southern kingdom are hill dw arves, as
Ironfist, Loderr, Lutgehr, Rumnaheim , Strakeln, are the exiled Neidar and the d eb a sed K lar o f K rynn in
Torunn, Ungart the D ragonlance setting.
D w arf T raits Ability Score Increase. Your W isd om score
in creases by 1.
Your dwarf character has an assortm ent of inborn
abilities, part and parcel of dwarven nature. Dwarven Toughness. Your hit point m axim um
in creases by 1, and it in creases by 1 every tim e you
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution sco re gain a level.
in creases by 2.
M o u n t a in D w arf
Age. D w a rves m ature at the sa m e rate as hum ans, but A s a mountain dwarf, you're strong and hardy,
they’re con sid ered y ou n g until they reach the age o f 50. a ccu stom ed to a difficult life in rugged terrain. You’re
On average, they live about 350 years. probably on the tall side (for a dwarf), and tend toward
lighter coloration. The shield dwarves o f northern
Alignment. M ost dw arves are lawful, believing firmly Faerun, as w ell as the ruling Hylar clan and the noble
in the benefits o f a w ell-ordered society. Th ey tend Daewar clan of Dragonlance, are mountain dwarves.
toward good as well, with a strong sense o f fair play and
a belief that everyone deserves to share in the benefits of Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score
a just order. increases by 2.
Size. D w a rves stand b etw een 4 and 5 feet tall and Dwarven Armor Training. You have proficiency w ith
average about 150 pounds. Your size is Medium. light and m edium armor.
Speed. Your b a se w alkin g sp eed is 25 feet. Your D uergar
speed is not reduced by w earing heavy armor. In cities deep in the Underdark live the duergar, or gray
dwarves. These vicious, stealthy slave traders raid the surface
Darkvision. A ccu stom ed to life underground, you world for captives, then sell their prey to the other races of
have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You the Underdark. They have innate magical abilities to become
can see in dim light w ithin 6 0 feet o f you as if it w ere invisible and to temporarily grow to giant size.
bright light, and in darkness as if it w ere dim light. You
ca n ’t d iscern color in darkness, only shades o f gray.
Dwarven Resilience. You have advantage on saving
throws against poison, and you have resistance against
p oison dam age (explained in chapter 9).
Dwarven Combat Training. You have proficiency
with the battleaxe, handaxe, throwing hammer,
E lf fem ales are about the sam e height, and m ales are only
marginally heavier than females.
“I HAVE NEVER IM AGINED SUCH BEAUTY EXISTED,”
Elves’ coloration encom passes the normal human
Goldmoon said softly. The day’s march had been difficult, range and also includes skin in shades of copper,
but the reward at the end was beyond their dreams. bronze, and alm ost bluish-white, hair o f green or blue,
The companions stood on a high cliff over thefabled and eyes like pools o f liquid gold or silver. Elves have no
city of Qualinost. facial and little b od y hair. Th ey favor elegant cloth in g in
bright colors, and they enjoy simple yet lovely jewelry.
Four slender spires rosefrom the city’s corners like glisten-
ingspindles, their brilliant white stone marbled with shining A T im eless P er spective
silver. Graceful arches, swoopingfrom spire to spire, soared
through the air. Crafted by ancient dwarven metalsmiths, Elves can live w ell over 700 years, giving them a broad
they were strong enough to hold the weight of an army, yet perspective on events that might trouble the shorter-
they appeared so delicate that a bird lighting on them might lived races m ore deeply. They are m ore often am used
overthrow the balance. These glistening arches were the than excited, and m ore likely to be curious than
city’s only boundaries; there was no wall around Qualinost. greedy. They tend to remain aloof and unfazed by petty
The elven city opened its arms lovingly to the wilderness. happenstance. W hen pursuing a goal, however, whether
—M a rg a ret W eis & T ra cy H ick m a n ,
Dragons ofAutumn Twilight
Elves are a m agical people o f otherworldly grace, living
in the w orld but not entirely part o f it. They live in
places of ethereal beauty, in the midst o f ancient forests
or in silvery spires glittering with faerie light, w here
soft m usic drifts through the air and gentle fragrances
waft on the breeze. Elves love nature and m agic, art
and artistry, m usic and poetry, and the good things
of the world.
Slender an d G raceful
With their unearthly grace and fine features, elves
appear hauntingly beautiful to hum ans and m em bers
o f many other races. They are slightly shorter than
hum ans on average, ranging from well under 5 feet
tall to just over 6 feet. They are m ore slender than
humans, w eighing only 100 to 145 pounds. M ales and
adventuring on a m ission or learning a n ew skill or art, to do so. S om e might join with rebels fighting against
elves can be focused and relentless. They are slow to oppression, and others might becom e champions of
make friends and enem ies, and even slower to forget moral causes.
them. They reply to petty insults w ith disdain and to
serious insults with vengeance. E lf N am es
Like the branches o f a young tree, elves are flexible Elves are considered children until they declare
in the face o f danger. They trust in diplom acy and them selves adults, som e time after the hundredth
com prom ise to resolve differences before they escalate birthday, and before this period they are called
to violence. They have been known to retreat from by child names.
intrusions into their w oodland hom es, confident
that they can simply wait the invaders out. But when On declaring adulthood, an elf selects an adult name,
the need arises, elves reveal a stern martial side, although those w ho knew him or her as a youngster
dem onstrating skill with sword, bow, and strategy. m ight continue to u se the child nam e. E ach e lf’s adult
nam e is a unique creation, though it m ight reflect
H id d en W o o d l a n d R ealm s the nam es o f respected individuals or other family
m em bers. Little distinction exists betw een male
M ost elves dwell in sm all forest villages hidden am ong nam es and female names; the groupings here reflect
the trees. Elves hunt game, gather food, and grow only general tendencies. In addition, every elf bears a
vegetables, and their skill and m agic allow them to family name, typically a com bination of other Elvish
support them selves without the need for clearing and words. Som e elves traveling am ong hum ans translate
plow ing land. They are talented artisans, crafting finely their family nam es into Com m on, but others retain the
w orked clothes and art objects. Their contact with Elvish version.
outsiders is usually limited, though a few elves make a
good living by trading crafted items for m etals (which Child Names: Ara, Bryn, Del, Eryn, Faen, Innil.
they have no interest in mining).
Lael, Mella, Naill, Naeris, Phann, Rael, Rinn, Sai,
Elves encountered outside their ow n lands are Syllin, Thia, Vall
com m only traveling minstrels, artists, or sages. Human
nobles com pete for the services o f elf instructors to Male Adult Names: Adran, Aelar, Aram il, Arannis,
teach swordplay or m agic to their children.
Aust, Beiro, Berrian, Carric , Enialis, Erdan, Erevan,
E x plo ratio n a n d A d ven tu re Galinndan, Hadarai, Heian, Him o, Immeral, Ivellios,
Laucian, Mindartis, Paelias, Peren, Quarion, Riardon,
Elves take up adventuring out of wanderlust. Since Rolen, Soveliss, Thamior, Tharivol, Theren, Varis
they are so long-lived, they can enjoy centuries of
exploration and discovery. They dislike the pace of
hum an society, which is regim ented from day to day but
constantly changing over decades, so they find careers
that let them travel freely and set their ow n pace. Elves
also enjoy exercising their martial prow ess or gaining
greater m agical power, and adventuring allows them
H a u g h ty but G racio u s Trance. Elves d on ’t n eed to sleep. Instead, they
Although they can be haughty, elves are generally gracious meditate deeply, remaining sem iconscious, for 4
even to those who fall short of their high expectations— hours a day. (The C om m on w ord for such meditation
which is most non-elves. Still, they can find good in just is “trance.”) W hile meditating, you can dream after a
about anyone. fashion; such dream s are actually mental exercises that
have becom e reflexive through years of practice. After
Dwarves. “ Dwarves are dull, clumsy oafs. But what they resting in this way, you gain the sam e benefit that a
lack in humor, sophistication, and manners, they make up in human does from 8 hours of sleep.
valor. And I must admit, their best smiths produce art that
approaches elven quality.” Languages. You can speak, read, and w rite C om m on
and Elvish. Elvish is fluid, with subtle intonations and
Halflings. “ Halflings are people o f simple pleasures, and intricate grammar. Elven literature is rich and varied,
that is not a quality to scorn. They’re good folk, they care and their songs and poem s are fam ous am ong other
for each other and tend their gardens, and they have proven races. Many bards learn their language so they can add
themselves tougher than they seem when the need arises." Elvish ballads to their repertoires.
Humans. “All that haste, their ambition and drive to Subrace. Ancient divides am ong the elven people
accomplish something before their brief lives pass away— resulted in three main subraces: high elves, w ood elves,
human endeavors seem so futile sometimes. But then and dark elves, w ho are com m only called drow. Choose
you look at what they have accomplished, and you have to one of these subraces. In som e worlds, these subraces
appreciate their achievements. If only they could slow down are divided still further (such as the sun elves and m oon
and learn some refinement.” elves of the Forgotten Realms), so if you wish, you can
choose a narrower subrace.
Female Adult Names: Adrie, Althaea, Anastrianna,
Andraste, Antinua, Bethrynna, Birel, Caelynn, H ig h Elf
Drusilia, Enna, Felosial, Ielenia, Jelenneth, Keyleth, As a high elf, you have a keen mind and a m astery of
Leshanna, Lia, Meriele, M ialee, Naivara, Quelenna, at least the ba sics o f m agic. In m any o f the w orlds
Quillathe, Sariel, Shanairra, Shava, Silaqui, of D&D, there are two kinds of high elves. One type
Theirastra, Thia, Vadania, Valanthe, Xanaphia (which includes the gray elves and valley elves of
Greyhawk, the Silvanesti of D ragonlance, and the
Family Names (Common Translations): Am akiir sun elves o f the Forgotten Realm s) is haughty and
(Gemflower), Am astacia (Starflower), Galanodel reclusive, believing them selves to be superior to
(M oonw hisper), H olim ion (D iam onddew), Ilphelkiir non-elves and even other elves. The other type
(Gemblossom), Liadon (Silverfrond), Meliamne (including the high elves o f Greyhawk. the
(O akenheel), Nai'lo (Nightbreeze), S ian nodel Qualinesti o f Dragonlance, and the m oon elves
(M oonbrook), Xiloscient (Goldpetal) of the Forgotten Realms) are m ore com m on
and m ore friendly, and often encountered
E lf T raits among humans and other races.
Your elf character has a variety o f natural abilities, the The sun elves of Faerun (also called gold
result o f thousands o f years o f elven refinement. elves or sunrise elves) have bronze skin and
hair of copper, black, or golden blond. Their
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score eyes are golden, silver, or black. M oon elves (also
in creases by 2. called silver elves or gray elves) are m uch paler,
with alabaster skin som etim es tinged with blue.
Age. A lthough elves reach physical maturity at about They often have hair o f silver-white, black, or blue,
the sam e age as humans, the elven understanding of but various shades o f blond, brown, and red are
adulthood goes beyond physical growth to encom pass not uncom m on. Their eyes are blue or green and
worldly experience. An elf typically claim s adulthood flecked with gold.
and an adult nam e around the age o f 100 and can live
to be 750 years old. Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score
in creases by 1.
Alignment. Elves love freedom , variety, and self-
expression, so they lean strongly toward the gentler E lf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with
aspects o f chaos. They value and protect others' the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.
freedom as well as their own, and they are more
often good than not. The drow are an exception; their
exile into the Underdark has m ade them vicious and
dangerous. D row are m ore often evil than not.
Size. Elves range from under 5 to over 6 feet tall and
have slender builds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your ba se w alkin g sp eed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. A ccu stom ed to twilit forests and the night
sky, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions.
You can see in dim light w ithin 6 0 feet o f you as if it
w ere bright light, and in dark n ess as if it w ere dim light.
You ca n ’t discern color in darkness, only shades o f gray.
Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the
Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throw s
against being charm ed, and m agic can’t put you to sleep.
Cantrip. You k n ow one cantrip o f your ch oice from D a r k Elf (D row )
the w izard spell list. Intelligence is your spellcastin g
ability for it. D escended from an earlier subrace of dark-skinned
elves, the drow w ere banished from the surface world
Extra Language. You can speak, read, and w rite one for follow ing the god d ess Lolth dow n the path to
extra language of your choice. evil and corruption. N ow they have built their own
civilization in the depths o f the Underdark, patterned
W o o d E lf after the Way o f Lolth. A lso called dark elves, the drow
A s a w ood elf, you have keen sen ses and intuition, and have black skin that resem bles polished obsidian and
your fleet feet carry you quickly and stealthily through stark white or pale yellow hair. They com m on ly have
your native forests. This category includes the wild very pale eyes (so pale as to b e m istaken for white) in
elves (grugach) o f Greyhawk and the Kagonesti of shades o f lilac, silver, pink, red, and blue. They tend to
D ragon lance, as w ell as the races called w o o d elves in be sm aller and thinner than m ost elves.
G reyhaw k and the Forgotten R ealm s. In Faerun, w o o d
elves (also called wild elves, green elves, or forest elves) D row adventurers are rare, and the race does not exist
are reclusive and distrusting o f non-elves. in all w orlds. C h eck with your D u n geon M aster to see
if you can play a drow character.
W ood elves’ skin tends to be copperish in hue,
som etim es with traces o f green. Their hair tends toward Ability Score Increase. Your C harism a score
b row n s and blacks, but it is occa sion ally blond or in creases by 1.
copper-colored. Their eyes are green, brown, or hazel.
Superior Darkvision. Your darkvision has a
Ability Score Increase. Your W isd om score radius o f 120 feet.
in creases by 1.
Sunlight Sensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack
E lf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the rolls and on W isdom (Perception) checks that rely on
longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow. sight when you, the target o f your attack, or whatever
you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.
Fleet o fFoot. Your base w alking speed
increases to 35 feet. Drow Magic. You kn ow the dancing lights cantrip.
W h en you reach 3rd level, you can cast the faerie fire
Mask o f the Wild. You can attempt to hide even w hen spell on ce p er day. W h en you reach 5th level, you can
you are only lightly obscu red by foliage, heavy rain, also cast the darkness spell on ce per day. C harism a is
falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena. your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Drow Weapon Training. You have proficiency with
rapiers, shortswords, and hand crossbow s.
The Darkn ess of th e D row
Were it not for one renowned exception, the race o f drow
would be universally reviled. To most, they are a race of
demon-worshiping marauders dwelling in the subterranean
depths o f the Underdark, emerging only on the blackest
nights to pillage and slaughter the surface dwellers they
despise. Their society is depraved and preoccupied with the
favor of Lolth, their spider-goddess, who sanctions murder
and the extermination o f entire families as noble houses
vie for position.
Yet one drow, at least, broke the mold. In the world o f the
Forgotten Realms, Drizzt Do'Urden, ranger o f the North, has
proven his quality as a good-hearted defender o f the weak
and innocent. Rejecting his heritage and adrift in a world that
looks upon him with terror and loathing, Drizzt is a model
for those few drow who follow in his footsteps, trying to find
a life apart from the evil society o f their Underdark homes.
Drow grow up believing that surface-dwelling races are
inferior, worthless except as slaves. Drow who develop a
conscience or find it necessary to cooperate with members of
other races find it hard to overcome that prejudice, especially
when they are so often on the receiving end o f hatred.
H alfling liv e s : a p lace to s e ttle in p e a ce and quiet, far from
m arauding m onsters and clashing arm ies; a blazing fire
R eg is t h e h a l f l in g , th e o n l y o n e o f h is k in d fo r and a generous meal; fine drink and fine conversation.
Though som e halflings live out their days in rem ote
hundreds of miles in any direction, locked hisfingers be- agricultural com m unities, others form nom adic bands
hind his head and leaned back against the mossy blanket that travel constantly, lured by the open road and the
of the tree trunk. Regis was short, even by the standards wide horizon to discover the w onders of new lands and
of his diminutive race, with thefluffo f his curly brown peoples. But even these wanderers love peace, food,
locks barely cresting the three-foot mark, but his belly was hearth, and home, though home might be a wagon
amply thickened by his love of a good meal, or several, as jostling along an dirt road or a raft floating downriver.
the opportunities presented themselves. The crooked stick
that served as hisfishingpole rose up above him, clenched Sm all an d P r a c t i c a l
between two of his toes, and hung out over the quiet lake,
mirrored perfectly in the glassy surface o fMaer Dualdon. The diminutive halflings survive in a w orld full o f larger
creatures by avoiding notice or, barring that, avoiding
—R.A. S alvatore, The Crystal Shard offense. Standing about 3 feet tall, they appear relatively
harm less and so have managed to survive for centuries
in the shadow of em pires and on the edges o f wars and
political strife. They are inclined to be stout, weighing
between 40 and 45 pounds.
H alflings’ skin ranges from tan to pale with a ruddy
cast, and their hair is usually brow n or sandy brown
and wavy. They have brown or hazel eyes. Halfling men
often sport long sideburns, but beards are rare am ong
them and m ustaches even m ore so. They like to w ear
simple, com fortable, and practical clothes, favoring
Halfling practicality extends beyond their clothing.
T h ey ’re c on cern ed w ith basic n eed s and sim ple
pleasures and have little use for ostentation. Even the
w ealthiest o f halflings keep their treasures lock ed in a
cellar rather than on display for all to see. They have
a knack for finding the most straightforward solution
to a problem , and have little patience for dithering.
K ind a n d C u r io u s
Halflings are an affable and cheerful people. They
cherish the bonds o f family and friendship as well
as the com forts of hearth and home, harboring few
dream s o f gold or glory. Even adventurers am ong
them usually venture into the w orld for reasons of
community, friendship, wanderlust, or curiosity. They A ffable an d Po sitiv e
love discovering new things, even simple things, such Halflings try to get along with everyone else and are loath to
as an exotic food or an unfamiliar style of clothing. make sweeping generalizations— especially negative ones.
Halflings are easily m oved to pity and hate to see any Dwarves. “ Dwarves make loyal friends, and you can count
living thing suffer. They are generous, happily sharing on them to keep their word. But would it hurt them to smile
what they have even in lean times. once in a while?”
B lend in to th e C row d Elves. "They’re so beautiful! Their faces, their music, their
grace and all. It’s like they stepped out o f a wonderful dream.
H alflings are adept at fitting into a com m u n ity o f But there’s no telling what’s going on behind their smiling
hum ans, dwarves, or elves, making them selves valuable faces— surely more than they ever let on.”
and w elcom e. The com bination o f their inherent stealth
and their unassum ing nature helps halflings to avoid Humans. “ Humans are a lot like us, really. At least some
unwanted attention. o f them are. Step out of the castles and keeps, go talk to the
farmers and herders and you’ ll find good, solid folk. Not that
Halflings w ork readily with others, and they are loyal there’s anything wrong with the barons and soldiers— you
to their friends, whether halfling or otherwise. They can have to admire their conviction. And by protecting their own
display remarkable ferocity when their friends, families, lands, they protect us as well.”
or com m unities are threatened.
Ex plo r in g O ppo rtu n ities
Pa s t o r a l P l e a s a n t r i e s
H alflings usually set out on the adventurer’s path to
M ost halflings live in small, peaceful com m unities with defend their com m unities, support their friends, or
large farms and well-kept groves. They rarely build explore a wide and wonder-filled world. For them,
kingdom s o f their ow n or even hold much land beyond adventuring is less a career than an opportunity or
their quiet shires. They typically don’t recognize any som etim es a necessity.
sort o f halfling nobility or royalty, instead looking to
family elders to guide them. Fam ilies preserve their H alflin g N am es
traditional ways despite the rise and fall o f empires.
A halfling has a given name, a family name, and possibly
Many halflings live am ong other races, w here the a nicknam e. Family nam es are often nicknam es that
halflings’ hard w ork and loyal outlook offer them stuck so tenaciously they have been passed down
abundant rewards and creature com forts. S om e halfling through the generations.
com m unities travel as a way o f life, driving w agons or
guiding boats from place to place and maintaining no Male Names: Alton, Ander, Cade, Corrin, Eldon, Errich,
permanent home. Finnan, Garret, Lindal, Lyle, M erric, M ilo, Osborn,
Perrin, Reed, R oscoe, Wellby
Female Names: Andry, Bree, Callie, Cora, Euphemia,
Jillian, Kithri, Lavinia, Lidda, Merla, Nedda, Paela,
Portia, Seraphina, Shaena, Trym, Vani, Verna
Family Names: Brushgather, G oodbarrel, Greenbottle,
High-hill, Hilltopple, Leagallow, Tealeaf, Thorngage,
H a l f l in g T raits Languages. You can speak, read, and write C om m on
and Halfling. The Halfling language isn’t secret, but
Your halfling character has a num ber o f traits in h alflings are loath to share it w ith others. Th ey write
com m on with all other halflings. very little, so they don’t have a rich body o f literature.
T h eir oral tradition, however, is very strong. A lm ost all
Ability Score Increase. Your D exterity score halflings speak Com m on to converse with the people
increases by 2. in w hose lands they dwell or through w hich they
Age. A halfling reach es adulthood at the age of
20 and generally lives into the m iddle o f his or her Subrace. The tw o m ain kinds o f halfling, lightfoot and
second century. stout, are m ore like closely related fam ilies than true
subraces. Choose one of these subraces.
Alignment. M ost halflings are lawful g ood. A s a rule,
they are good-hearted and kind, hate to see others in L ig h t f o o t
pain, and have no tolerance for oppression. They are As a lightfoot halfling, you can easily hide from notice,
also very orderly and traditional, leaning heavily on even using other p eop le as cover. Y ou’re inclined to be
the support of their com m unity and the com fort of affable and get along w ell with others. In the Forgotten
their old ways. Realms, lightfoot halflings have spread the farthest and
thus are the m ost com m on variety.
Size. H alflings average about 3 feet tall and w eigh
about 40 pounds. Your size is Small. Lightfoots are m ore prone to wanderlust than other
halflings, and often dwell alongside other races or take
Speed. Your base w alking sp eed is 25 feet. up a nom adic life. In the w orld o f Greyhawk, these
Lucky. W h en you roll a 1 on an attack roll, ability halflings are called hairfeet or tallfellows.
check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must
use the new roll. Ability Score Increase. Your Charism a score
Brave. You have advantage on saving throw s against in creases by 1.
Halfling Nimbleness. You can m ove through the Naturally Stealthy. You can attempt to hide even
space o f any creature that is o f a size larger than yours. w hen you are ob scu red only by a creature that is at least
one size larger than you.
St o u t
A s a stout halfling, you ’re hardier than average and have
som e resistance to poison. S om e say that stouts have
dw arven blood. In the Forgotten R ealm s, th ese halflings
are called stronghearts, and they’re m ost com m on
in the south.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score
in creases by 1.
Stout Resilience. You have advantage on saving
throws against poison, and you have resistance
against poison damage.
Human Va r ie t y in A ll T h i n g s
T h ese w e r e th e sto r ie s o f a restless peo ple w h o Humans are the m ost adaptable and ambitious people
am ong the com m on races. They have widely varying
long ago took to the seas and rivers in longboats, first to tastes, m orals, and custom s in the m any different lands
pillage and terrorize, then to settle. Yet there was an energy, w here they have settled. W hen they settle, though,
a love of adventure, that sangfrom every page. Long into they stay: they build cities to last for the ages, and
the night Uriel read, lighting candle after precious candle. great kingdom s that can persist for long centuries. An
individual human might have a relatively short life span,
She'd never given much thought to humans, but these but a human nation or culture preserves traditions
storiesfascinated her. In theseyellowed pages were tales of w ith origins far beyon d the reach o f any single hum an’s
bold heroes, strange andfierce animals, mighty primitive gods, m em ory. They live fully in the present—m aking them
and a magic that was part andfabric of that distant land. w ell suited to the adventuring life—but also plan for the
future, striving to leave a lasting legacy. Individually and
—E laine C u n n in g h a m , Daughter of the Drow as a group, humans are adaptable opportunists, and
they stay alert to changing political and social dynamics.
In the reckonings o f m ost w orlds, hum ans are the
youngest o f the com m on races, late to arrive on the
world scene and short-lived in com parison to dwarves,
elves, and dragons. Perhaps it is b eca u se o f their shorter
lives that they strive to achieve as m uch as they can in
the years they are given. Or m aybe they feel they have
som ething to prove to the elder races, and that’s why
they build their mighty em pires on the foundation of
conquest and trade. W hatever drives them, humans
are the innovators, the achievers, and the pioneers
o f the worlds.
A Broad Spectrum
With their penchant for migration and conquest,
hum ans are m ore physically diverse than other com m on
races. There is no typical human. An individual can
stand from 5 feet to a little over 6 feet tall and w eigh
from 125 to 250 pounds. Human skin shades range
from nearly black to very pale, and hair colors from
black to blond (curly, kinky, or straight); m ales might
sport facial hair that is sparse or thick. A lot o f humans
have a dash o f nonhum an blood, revealing hints o f elf,
orc , or other lineages. H um ans reach adulthood in their
late teens and rarely live even a single century.
Ev e r y o n e ’s S e c o n d - B e s t F r i e n d s parents give their children nam es from other languages,
Just as readily as they mix with each other, humans mingle such as Dwarvish or Elvish (pronounced m ore or less
with members o f other races. They get along with almost correctly), but m ost parents give nam es that are linked
everyone, though they might not be close to many. Humans to their region’s culture or to the nam ing traditions of
serve as ambassadors, diplomats, magistrates, merchants, their ancestors.
and functionaries o f all kinds.
The material culture and physical characteristics
Dwarves. “They’re stout folk, stalwart friends, and true to of humans can change wildly from region to region.
their word. Their greed for gold is their downfall, though.” In the Forgotten Realm s, for example, the clothing,
architecture, cuisine, music, and literature are different
Elves. “ It’s best not to wander into elven woods. They don't in the northw estern lands o f the Silver M arch es than
like intruders, and you’ll as likely be bewitched as peppered in distant Turmish or Impiltur to the east—and even
with arrows. Still, if an elf can get past that damned racial m ore distinctive in far-off Kara-Tur. H um an physical
pride and actually treat you like an equal, you can learn a lot characteristics, though, vary according to the ancient
from them.” migrations o f the earliest hum ans, so that the hum ans
o f the Silver M arches have every possible variation of
Halflings. "It’s hard to beat a meal in a halfling home, as coloration and features.
long as you don’t crack your head on the ceiling— good food
and good stories in front o f a nice, warm fire. If halflings had In the Forgotten R ealm s, nine hum an ethnic groups
a shred o f ambition, they might really amount to something.” are widely recognized, though over a dozen others are
found in m ore localized areas o f Faerun. T h ese groups,
L a st in g In stit u t io n s and the typical nam es o f their mem bers, can be used as
inspiration no m atter w hich w orld your hum an is in.
W here a single elf or dw arf might take on the
responsibility of guarding a special location or a C a l ish it e
powerful secret, humans found sacred orders and Shorter and slighter in build than m ost other hum ans,
institutions for such purposes. W hile dw arf clans and Calishites have dusky brow n skin, hair, and eyes.
halfling elders pass on the ancient traditions to each T h ey’re found prim arily in southw est Faerun.
new generation, human temples, governments, libraries,
and c o d e s o f law fix their traditions in the b e d ro ck o f Calishite Names: (M ale) Aseir, Bardeid, Haseid,
history. Humans dream o f immortality, but (except for
those few w ho seek undeath or divine ascension to Khem ed, M ehmen, Sudeim an, Zasheir; (female)
esca p e death’s clutches) they achieve it by en su ring that Atala, Ceidil, Hama, Jasmal, Meilil, Seipora, Yasheira,
they will be rem em bered when they are gone. Zasheida; (surnames) Basha, Dumein, Jassan, Khalid,
Mostana, Pashar, Rein
Although som e hum ans ca n b e xenoph obic, in
general their societies are inclusive. Human lands C hondathan
w elcom e large num bers o f nonhum ans com pared to the Chondathans are slender, tawny-skinned folk with
proportion o f hum ans w ho live in nonhum an lands. brown hair that ranges from alm ost blond to alm ost
black. M ost are tall and have green or brow n eyes,
Ex em plars of A m bitio n but these traits are hardly universal. Humans of
Chondathan descent dominate the central lands of
Humans w ho seek adventure are the m ost daring and Faerun. around the Inner Sea.
ambitious m em bers of a daring and ambitious race.
They seek to earn glory in the eyes o f their fellow s
by am assing power, wealth, and fame. M ore than
other people, humans cham pion causes rather than
territories or groups.
H u m a n N am es an d Eth n icities
Having so much m ore variety than other cultures,
humans as a w hole have no typical names. S om e human
Chondathan Names: (Male) Darvin, Dorn, Evendur, Sh o u
Gorstag, Grim, Helm, Malark, Morn, Randal, The Shou are the m ost num erous and pow erful ethnic
Stedd; (female) Arveene, Esvele, Jhessail, Kerri, group in Kara-Tur, far to the east o f Faerun. They are
Lureene, Miri, Rowan, Shandri, Tessele; (surnames) yellow ish-bronze in hue, with black hair and dark
Am blecrown, Buckman, Dundragon, Evenwood, eyes. Shou surnam es are usually presented before
Greycastle, Tallstag the given name.
Dam aran Shou Names: (M ale) An, Chen, Chi, Fai, Jiang, Jun,
Found primarily in the northw est o f Faerun, D am arans Lian, Long, Meng, On, Shan, Shui, Wen; (female)
are o f moderate height and build, with skin hues Bai, Chao, Jia, Lei, Mei, Qiao, Shui, Tai; (surnam es)
ranging from tawny to fair. Their hair is usually brow n Chien, Huang, Kao, Kung, Lao, Ling, Mei, Pin, Shin,
or black, and their eye color varies widely, though brown Sum, Tan, Wan
is m ost com m on.
T e t h y r ia n
Damaran Names: (Male) Bor, Fodel, Glar, Grigor, W id espread along the entire S w ord C oast at the
Igan, Ivor, K osef, Mival, Orel, Pavel, S ergor; (female) w estern edge o f Faerun, Tethyrians are o f m edium build
Alethra, Kara, Katernin, Mara, Natali, Olma, Tana, and height, with dusky skin that tends to grow fairer
Zora; (surnames) Bersk, Chernin, Dotsk, Kulenov, the farther north they dwell. Their hair and eye color
Marsk, Nemetsk, Shemov, Starag varies widely, but brow n hair and blue eyes are the m ost
com m on. Tethyrians primarily use Chondathan names.
Illu sk an
Illuskans are tall, fair-skinned folk with blue or steely Tu ram i
gray eyes. M ost have raven-black hair, but those w ho Native to the southern shore of the Inner Sea, the
inhabit the extreme northwest have blond, red, or Turami people are generally tall and muscular, with
light brow n hair. dark m ahogany skin, curly black hair, and dark eyes.
Illuskan Names: (Male) Ander, Blath, Bran, Frath, Turami Names: (Male) Anton, Diero, M arcon, Pieron,
Geth, Lander, Luth, Malcer, Stor, Taman, Urth; Rimardo, Rom ero, Salazar, Umbero; (female) Balama,
(female) Amafrey, Betha, Cefrey, Kethra, Mara, Olga, Dona, Faila, Jalana, Luisa, Marta, Quara, Selise,
Silifrey, W estra; (surnames) Brightwood, Helder, Vonda; (surnames) Agosto, Astorio, Calabra, Dom ine,
Hornraven, Lackman, Storm wind, Windrivver Falone, Marivaldi, Pisacar, Ram ondo
M u lan H um an T r a it s
Dom inant in the eastern and southeastern shores of
the Inner Sea, the Mulan are generally tall, slim , and It’s hard to m ake generalizations about hum ans, but
am ber-skinned, with eyes o f hazel or brown. Their hair your human character has these traits.
ranges from black to dark brown, but in the lands w here
the Mulan are m ost prominent, nobles and many other Ability Score Increase. Your ability scores each
Mulan shave o ff all their hair. in crease by 1.
Mulan Names: (Male) Aoth, Bareris, Ehput-Ki, Age. H um ans reach adulthood in their late teens and
Kethoth, Mumed, Ram as, So-Kehur, Thazar-De, live less than a century.
Urhur; (female) Arizima, Chathi, Nephis, Nulara,
Murithi, Sefris, Thola, Umara, Zolis; (surnames) Alignment. Humans tend toward no
Ankhalab, Anskuld, Fezim, Hahpet, Nathandem, particular alignment. The best and the worst are
Sepret, Uuthrakt found am ong them.
Rashem i Size. Humans vary widely in height and build, from
Most often found east of the Inner Sea and often barely 5 feet to w ell over 6 feet tall. R egardless o f your
interm ingled with the Mulan, R ashem is tend to be short, position in that range, your size is Medium.
stout, and muscular. They usually have dusky skin, dark
eyes, and thick black hair. Speed. Your base w alking speed is 30 feet.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write C om m on
Rashemi Names: (Male) Borivik, Faurgar, Jandar, and one extra language o f your choice. Humans typically
Kanithar, Madislak, Ralmevik, Shaumar, Vladislak; learn the languages o f other peoples they deal with,
(female) Fyevarra, Hulmarra, Immith, Imzel, including obscure dialects. They are fond of sprinkling
Navarra, Shevarra, Tammith. Yuldra; (surnames) their speech with w ords borrow ed from other tongues:
Chergoba, Dyernina, Iltazyara, Murnyethara, Orc curses, Elvish musical expressions, Dwarvish
Stayanoga, Ulmokina military phrases, and so on.
Va r ia n t H um an Traits
If your campaign uses the optional feat rules from chapter 5,
your Dungeon Master might allow these variant traits, all of
which replace the human’s Ability Score Increase trait.
D ragonborn father’sface was a skill she'd been fortunate to learn. A
human who couldn’t spot the shift of her eyes or Havilar’s
H er f a t h e r s t o o d o n t h e fir st o f t h e t h r e e stairs would certainly see only the indifference of a dragon in
Clanless Mehen’sface. But the shift of scales, the arch of a
that led down from the portal, unmoving. The scales of his ridge, the set of his eyes, the gape of his teeth—herfather's
face had grown paler around the edges, but Clanless Mehen face spoke volumes.
still looked as if he could wrestle down a dire bear him-
self. Hisfamiliar well-worn armor was gone, replaced by But every scale of it, this time, seemed completely still—
violet-tinted scale armor with bright silvery tracings. There the indifference of a dragon, even to Farideh.
was a blazon on his arm as well, the mark of someforeign
house. The sword at his back was the same, though, the one —E rin M . Evans, The Adversary
he had carried since even before he hadfound the twins left
in swaddling at the gates o fArush Vayem. Born o f dragons, as their name proclaim s, the
dragonborn w alk proudly through a w orld that greets
them with fearful incom prehension. Shaped by draconic
gods or the dragons themselves, dragonborn originally
hatched from dragon eggs as a unique race, com bining
the best attributes o f dragons and hum anoids. S om e
dragonborn are faithful servants to true dragons, others
form the ranks o f soldiers in great wars, and still others
find them selves adrift, with no clear calling in life.
P ro u d D r a g o n K in
Dragonborn look very much like dragons standing erect
in hum anoid form, though they lack w ings or a tail. The
first dragonborn had scales o f vibrant hues matching
the colors o f their dragon kin, but generations of
interbreeding have created a m ore uniform appearance.
Their small, fine scales are usually brass or bronze
in color, som etim es ranging to scarlet, rust, gold, or
copper-green. They are tall and strongly built, often
standing clo se to 6 1/2 feet tall and w eigh in g 3 0 0 pou nd s
or m ore. Their hands and feet are strong, talonlike
claws with three fingers and a thumb on each hand.
The blood of a particular type of dragon runs
very strong through som e dragonborn clans. These
dragonborn often boast scales that m ore closely match
those o f their dragon ancestor—bright red, green, blue,
or white, lustrous black, or gleam ing metallic gold,
silver, brass, copper, or bronze.
Self-Su fficien t C lans U ncom m on Races
To any dragonborn, the clan is m ore important than The dragonborn and the rest o f the races in this chapter are
life itself. D ragonborn ow e their devotion and respect uncommon. They don’t exist in every world of D&D, and
to their clan above all else, even the gods. Each even where they are found, they are less widespread than
dragon b orn ’s con du ct reflects on the h on or o f his or her dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans.
clan, and bringing dishonor to the clan can result in
expulsion and exile. Each dragonborn know s his or her In the cosmopolitan cities o f the D&D multiverse, most
station and duties within the clan, and honor dem ands people hardly look twice at members of even the most
maintaining the bounds o f that position. exotic races. But the small towns and villages that dot
the countryside are different. The common folk aren’t
A continual drive for self-improvement reflects the accustomed to seeing members o f these races, and they
self-sufficiency o f the race as a w hole. D ragonborn value react accordingly.
skill and excellen ce in all endeavors. T h ey hate to fail,
and they push them selves to extreme efforts before they Dragonborn. It’s easy to assume that a dragonborn is a
give up on som ething. A dragonborn holds mastery of monster, especially if his or her scales betray a chromatic
a particular skill as a lifetime goal. M embers of other heritage. Unless the dragonborn starts breathing fire and
races w h o share the sam e com m itm en t find it easy to causing destruction, though, people are likely to respond
earn the respect o f a dragonborn. with caution rather than outright fear.
Though all dragonborn strive to be self-sufficient, Gnome. Gnomes don’t look like a threat and can quickly
they recog n ize that help is som etim es n eeded in difficult disarm suspicion with good humor. The common folk are
situations. But the best source for such help is the often curious about gnomes, likely never having seen one
clan, and w hen a clan n eeds help, it turns to another before, but they are rarely hostile or fearful.
dragonborn clan before seeking aid from other races—
or even from the gods. Half-Elf. Although many people have never seen a half-elf,
virtually everyone knows they exist. A half-elf stranger’s
D ragonborn N ames arrival is followed by gossip behind the half-elf's back and
stolen glances across the common room, rather than any
D ra gon born have person al n am es given at birth, confrontation or open curiosity.
but they put their clan nam es first as a mark of
honor. A childhood name or nicknam e is often used Half-O rc. It’s usually safe to assume that a half-orc is
am ong clutchmates as a descriptive term or a term belligerent and quick to anger, so people watch themselves
of endearment. The name might recall an event or around an unfamiliar half-orc. Shopkeepers might
center on a habit. surreptitiously hide valuable or fragile goods when a half-orc
comes in, and people slowly clear out o f a tavern, assuming a
Male Names: Arjhan, Balasar, Bharash, Donaar, Ghesh. fight will break out soon.
H eskan, Kriv, M edrash, M ehen, Nadarr, Pandjed,
Patrin, Rhogar, Shamash, Shedinn, Tarhun, Torinn Tiefling. Half-orcs are greeted with a practical caution, but
tieflings are the subject o f supernatural fear. The evil o f their
Female Names: Akra, Biri, Daar, Farideh, Harann, heritage is plainly visible in their features, and as far as most
Flavilar, Jheri, Kava, K orinn, M ishann, Nala, Perra, people are concerned, a tiefling could very well be a devil
Raiann, Sora, Surina, Thava, Uadjit straight from the Nine Hells. People might make warding
signs as a tiefling approaches, cross the street to avoid
passing near, or bar shop doors before a tiefling can enter.
Childhood Names: Climber, Earbender, Leaper, Pious, D ra co n ia n s
Shieldbiter, Zealous in the Dragonlance setting, the followers o f the evil goddess
Takhisis learned a dark ritual that let them corrupt the
Clan Names: Clethtinthiallor, Daardendrian, Delmirev, eggs o f metallic dragons, producing evil dragonborn called
Drachedandion, Fenkenkabradon, Kepeshkmolik, draconians. Five types o f draconians, corresponding to the
Kerrhylon, Kimbatuul, Linxakasendalor, Myastan, five types o f metallic dragons, fought for Takhisis in the War
Nem m onis, Norixius, Ophinshtalajiir, Prexijandilin, o f the Lance: auraks (gold), baaz (brass), bozak (bronze),
Shestendeliath, Turnuroth, Verthisathurgiesh, Yarjerit kapak (copper), and sivak (silver). In place o f their draconic
breath weapons, they have unique magical abilities.
D r a g o n b o r n T r a its
Draconic Ancestry. You have d racon ic ancestry.
Your draconic heritage m anifests in a variety o f traits C hoose one type of dragon from the Draconic Ancestry
you share with other dragonborn. table. Your breath w eapon and dam age resistance are
determ ined by the dragon type, as show n in the table.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score
in creases by 2, and your C harism a sco re in creases by 1. Breath Weapon. You can use your action to exhale
destructive energy. Your draconic ancestry determines
Age. Y oung dragonborn grow quickly. T h ey w alk the size, shape, and damage type of the exhalation.
hours after hatching, attain the size and development
of a 10-year-old human child by the age of 3, and reach W h en you u se your breath w eapon , each creature in
adulthood by 15. They live to be around 80. the area o f the exhalation must make a saving throw,
the type o f which is determ ined by your draconic
Alignment. D ragonborn tend to extrem es, m aking a ancestry. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 +
con sciou s ch oice for one side or the other in the cosm ic your Constitution m odifier + your proficiency bonus. A
war between good and evil (represented by Bahamut creature takes 2d6 damage on a failed save, and half
and Tiamat, respectively). M ost dragonborn are good, as much damage on a successful one. The damage
but those w ho side with Tiamat can be terrible villains. in creases to 3d6 at 6th level, 4 d 6 at 11th level, and 5d6
at 16th level.
Size. D ragon born are taller and heavier than hum ans,
standing w ell over 6 feet tall and averaging alm ost 250 A fter you u se your breath w eapon , you c a n ’t u se it
pounds. Your size is Medium. again until you com plete a short or long rest.
Speed. Your b a se w alkin g sp eed is 30 feet. Damage Resistance. You have resistance to the
damage type associated with your draconic ancestry.
D r a c o n ic A n c est r y
Languages. You can speak, read, and w rite C om m on
Dragon Damage Type Breath Weapon and D raconic. D raconic is thought to be one o f the
Black Acid 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save) oldest languages and is often used in the study o f magic.
Blue Lightning 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save) The language sounds harsh to m ost other creatures and
Brass Fire 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save) includes num erous hard consonants and sibilants.
Bronze Lightning 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Copper Acid 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Cold 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)
G nome fair hair has a tendency to stick out in every direction,
as if expressing the gnom e’s insatiable interest in
Sk in n y a n d f l a x e n - h a ir e d , h is sk in everything around.
walnut brown and his eyes a startling A g n om e’s person ality is writ large in his or her
turquoise, Burgell stood half as tall asAeron appearance. A m ale g n om e’s beard, in contrast to
climb up on a stool to look out the peephole. Like most hab- his w ild hair, is kept carefully trim m ed but often
itations in Oeble, that particular tenement had been built styled into cu riou s forks or neat points. A g n om e’s
for humans, and smaller residents coped with the resulting clothing, though usually m ade in m odest earth tones,
awkwardness as best they could. is elaborately decorated with embroidery, em bossing,
or gleaming jewels.
But at least the relative largeness of the apartment gave
Burgell room to pack in all his gnome-sized gear. Thefront D elig h ted D ed icatio n
room was his workshop, and it contained a bewildering
miscellany of tools: hammers, chisels, saws, lockpicks, As far as gnom es are concerned, being alive is a
tinted lenses, jeweler's loupes, andjars ofpowdered and wonderful thing, and they squeeze every ounce of
shredded ingredientsfor casting spells. A fat gray cat, the enjoyment out o f their three to five centuries o f life.
mage’sfamiliar, lay curled atop a grimoire. It opened its Humans might w onder about getting bored over the
eyes, gaveAeron a disdainfulyellow stare, then appeared course o f such a long life, and elves take plenty o f time
to go back to sleep. to savor the beauties o f the w orld in their long years, but
gnom es seem to w orry that even with all that time, they
—R ich a rd L ee Byers, The Black Bouquet can’t get in enough o f the things they want to do and see.
A constant hum o f busy activity pervades the warrens G nom es speak as if they can’t get the thoughts
and neighborhoods where gnom es form their close- out o f their heads fast enough. Even as they offer
knit com m unities. Louder sounds punctuate the hum: ideas and opinions on a range o f subjects, they still
a crunch of grinding gears here, a m inor explosion m anage to listen carefully to others, adding the
there, a yelp o f surprise or triumph, and especially appropriate exclamations of surprise and appreciation
bursts o f laughter. G nom es take delight in life, enjoying along the way.
every m om ent o f invention, exploration, investigation,
creation, and play.
V ib r a n t E xpression
A gnom e’s energy and enthusiasm for living shines
through every inch o f his or her tiny body. G nom es
average slightly over 3 feet tall and w eigh 40 to 45
pounds. Their tan or brow n faces are usually adorned
with broad sm iles (beneath their prodigious noses),
and their bright eyes shine with excitement. Their
Though gnom es love jok es o f all kinds, particularly D eep G nom es
puns and pranks, th ey’re ju st as dedicated to the m ore A third subrace o f gnomes, the deep gnomes (or svirfneblin),
serious tasks they undertake. Many gnom es are skilled live in small communities scattered in the Underdark. Unlike
engineers, alchem ists, tinkers, and inventors. T h ey ’re the duergar and the drow, svirfneblin are as good as their
w illing to m ake m istakes and laugh at them selves in surface cousins. However, their humor and enthusiasm
the process of perfecting what they do, taking bold are dampened by their oppressive environment, and their
(som etim es foolhardy) risks and dream ing large. inventive expertise is directed mostly toward stonework.
B rig h t B urrow s Male Names: Alston, Alvyn, Boddynock, B rocc, Burgell,
Dimble, Eldon, Erky, Fonkin, Frug, Gerbo, Gimble,
G n om es m ake their h om es in hilly, w o o d e d lands. They Glim, Jebeddo, Kellen, Nam foodle, Orryn, Roondar,
live underground but get m ore fresh air than dwarves Seebo, Sindri, Warryn, Wrenn, Z ook
do, enjoying the natural, living w orld on the surface
whenever they can. Their hom es are well hidden by Female Names: Bimpnottin, Breena, Caramip, Carlin,
both clever construction and simple illusions. W elcom e D onella, Duvamil, Ella, Ellyjobell, Ellywick, Lilli,
visitors are quickly ushered into the bright, warm Loopm ottin, Lorilla, Mardnab, Nissa, Nyx, Oda, Orla,
burrow s. T h ose w ho are not w elcom e are unlikely to Roywyn, Shamil, Tana, Waywocket, Zanna
find the burrow s in the first place.
Clan Names: Beren, Daergel, Folkor, G arrick, Nackle,
G nom es w ho settle in human lands are com m only Murnig, Ningel, Raulnor, Scheppen, Tim bers, Turen
gemcutters, engineers, sages, or tinkers. Som e human
fam ilies retain gnom e tutors, ensuring that their pupils Nicknames: Aleslosh, Ashhearth, Badger, Cloak,
enjoy a m ix o f serious learning and delighted enjoyment. Doublelock, Filchbatter, Fnipper, Ku, Nim, Oneshoe,
A gnom e might tutor several generations o f a single Pock, Sparklegem, Stumbleduck
hum an fam ily over the cou rse o f his or her long life.
Seein g th e W orld
G nome Names
Curious and impulsive, gnom es might take up
Gnom es love names, and most have half a dozen or so. adventuring as a way to see the w orld or for the love
A gnom e's mother, father, clan elder, aunts, and uncles o f exploring. A s lovers o f gem s and other fine items,
each give the gnom e a name, and various nicknam es som e gnom es take to adventuring as a quick, if
from just about everyone else might or might not stick dangerous, path to wealth. Regardless o f what spurs
over time. Gnom e nam es are typically variants on the them to adventure, gnom es w ho adopt this way of life
nam es of ancestors or distant relatives, though som e eke as m uch enjoym ent out o f it as they d o out o f any
are purely new inventions. W hen dealing with humans other activity they undertake, som etim es to the great
and others w ho are “stuffy” about names, a gnome annoyance o f their adventuring com panions.
learns to use no m ore than three names: a personal
nam e, a clan nam e, and a nicknam e, ch oosin g the on e in G nom e T raits
each category that’s the m ost fun to say.
Y our gnom e character has certain characteristics in
com m on with all other gnom es.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score
increases by 2.
A ge. G n om es m ature at the sam e rate hum ans do, and
m ost are expected to settle dow n into an adult life by
around age 40. They can live 350 to alm ost 500 years.
Alignment. G nom es are m ost often good. T hose w ho
tend toward law are sages, engineers, researchers,
scholars, investigators, or inventors. T h ose w ho tend
toward chaos are minstrels, tricksters, wanderers,
or fanciful jew elers. G nom es are good-hearted, and
A lways A ppr ec ia tiv e Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution sco re
It’s rare for a gnome to be hostile or malicious unless he in creases by 1.
or she has suffered a grievous injury. Gnomes know that
most races don’t share their sense o f humor, but they enjoy Artificer’s Lore. W henever you m ake an Intelligence
anyone's company just as they enjoy everything else they set (History) check related to m agic items, alchemical
out to do. objects, or technological devices, you can add twice your
proficiency bonus, instead of any proficiency bonus you
even the tricksters am ong them are m ore playful n orm ally apply.
Tinker. You have proficiency with artisan’s tools
Size. G n om es are betw een 3 and 4 feet tall and (tinker’s tools). Using those tools, you can spend 1
average about 40 pounds. Your size is Small. hour and 10 gp w orth o f m aterials to con stru ct a Tiny
clockw ork device (AC 5, 1 hp). The device cea ses
Speed. Your base w alking sp eed is 25 feet. to function after 24 hours (unless you spend 1 hour
Darkvision. A ccu stom ed to life underground, you have repairing it to keep the device functioning), or w hen
superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can you use your action to dism antle it; at that tim e, you can
see in dim light w ithin 60 feet o f you as if it w ere bright reclaim the m aterials u sed to create it. You can have up
light, and in darkn ess as if it w ere dim light. You can't to three such devices active at a time.
discern color in darkness, only sh ad es o f gray.
Gnome Cunning. You have advantage on all W hen you create a device, ch oose one o f the
Intelligence, W isdom , and Charisma saving throws following options:
Languages. You can speak, read, and w rite C om m on Clockwork Toy. T h is toy is a clock w ork anim al, monster,
and Gnom ish. The Gnom ish language, which uses the or person, such as a frog, mouse, bird, dragon, or
Dwarvish script, is renow ned for its technical treatises soldier. W hen placed on the ground, the toy m oves
and its catalogs o f k n ow led ge about the natural world. 5 feet a cro ss the ground on each o f your turns in a
Subrace. Tw o su braces o f g nom es are found am ong random direction. It m akes n oises as appropriate
the worlds of D&D: forest gnom es and rock gnom es. to the creature it represents.
Choose one of these subraces.
Fire Starter. The device p rod u ces a miniature
Forest G nom e flame, w hich you can use to light a candle,
As a forest gnom e, you have a natural knack for illusion torch, or campfire. Using the device
and inherent quickness and stealth. In the w orlds of requires your action.
D&D, forest gnom es are rare and secretive. They gather
in hidden com m unities in sylvan forests, using illusions Music Box. W h en opened, this m usic box
and trickery to conceal themselves from threats or plays a single son g at a m oderate volum e.
to m ask their escape should they be detected. Forest The b ox stops playing w hen it
gnom es tend to be friendly with other good-spirited reaches the son g’s end or
w oodland folk, and they regard elves and good fey as w hen it is closed.
their m ost important allies. These gnom es also befriend
small forest animals and rely on them for information
about threats that might prowl their lands.
Ability Score Increase. Your D exterity score
in creases by 1.
Natural Illusionist. You kn ow the minor illusion
cantrip. Intelligence is your spellcastin g ability for it.
Speak with Small Beasts. T h rou gh sou n ds and
gestures, you can com m unicate simple ideas with Small
or sm aller beasts. Forest gnom es love animals and often
keep squirrels, badgers, rabbits, m oles, w oodpeckers,
and other creatures as beloved pets.
Rock G nome
As a rock gnom e, you have a natural inventiveness and
hardiness beyond that o f other gnom es. M ost gnom es
in the w orld s o f D & D are rock gnom es, including the
tinker gnom es o f the D ragonlance setting.
H a l f -E lf “Tanis?” said Flint hesitantly as the man neared.
“The same.” The newcomer’s beardedface split in a wide
Flin t sq u in t e d in t o th e settin g su n . H e t h o u g h t grin. He held open his arms and, before the dwarf could
stop him, engulfed Flint in a hug that lifted him off the
he saw thefigure of a man striding up the path. Standing, ground. The dwarf clasped his oldfriend closefor a brief
Flint drew back into the shadow of a tall pine to see better. instant, then, remembering his dignity, squirmed andfreed
The man's walk was marked by an easy grace—an elvish himselffrom the half-elf’s embrace.
grace, Flint would have said;yet the man’s body had the
thickness and tight muscles of a human, while thefacial —M a rg a ret W eis a n d T ra cy H ick m a n ,
hair was definitely humankind’s. All the dwarf could see
of the man’sface beneath a green hood was tan skin and a Dragons ofAutumn Twilight
brownish-red beard. A longbow was slung over one shoulder
and a sword hung at his leftside. He was dressed in soft W alking in tw o w orlds but truly belonging to neither,
leather, carefully tooled in the intricate designs the elves half-elves com bine what som e say are the best qualities
loved. But no elf in the world o f Krynn could grow a beard o f their elf and human parents: human curiosity,
. . . no elf, but. . . inventiveness, and ambition tem pered by the refined
senses, love o f nature, and artistic tastes o f the elves.
S om e half-elves live am ong hum ans, set apart by their
em otional and physical differences, watching friends
and loved ones age while time barely touches them.
Others live with the elves, grow ing restless as they
reach adulthood in the tim eless elven realm s, while
their peers continue to live as children. Many half-elves,
unable to fit into either society, c h o o s e lives o f solitary
w andering or join with other misfits and outcasts in
the adventuring life.
O f Two W orlds
To hum ans, half-elves look like elves, and to elves, they
lo o k hum an. In height, they’re on par w ith both parents,
though they’re neither as slender as elves nor as broad
as humans. They range from under 5 feet to about 6 feet
tall, and from 100 to 180 pounds, w ith m en only slightly
taller and heavier than wom en. Half-elf men do have
facial hair, and som etim es grow beards to m ask their
elven ancestry. Half-elven coloration and features lie
som ewhere between their human and elf parents, and
thus sh ow a variety even m ore pronounced than that
found am ong either race. They tend to have the eyes
o f their elven parents.
D iplo m ats or W and erers Excellen t A m bassadors
Many half-elves learn at an early age to get along with
Half-elves have no lands o f their own, though they are everyone, defusing hostility and finding common ground.
w elcom e in hum an cities and som ew hat less w elcom e As a race, they have elven grace without elven aloofness and
in elven forests. In large cities in regions w here elves human energy without human boorishness. They often make
and hum ans interact often, half-elves are som etim es excellent ambassadors and go-betweens (except between
num erous enough to form sm all com m unities of their elves and humans, since each side suspects the half-elf
own. They enjoy the com pany o f other half-elves, the o f favoring the other).
only p eople w h o truly understand w hat it is to live
between these two worlds. creative expression, dem onstrating neither love
o f leaders nor desire for follow ers. They chafe at
In m ost parts of the world, though, half-elves are rules, resent others’ demands, and som etim es prove
u ncom m on enough that one might live for years unreliable, or at least unpredictable.
without m eeting another. S om e half-elves prefer to
avoid com pany altogether, wandering the w ilds as Size. H alf-elves are about the sam e size as hum ans,
trappers, foresters, hunters, or adventurers and visiting ranging from 5 to 6 feet tall. Your size is M edium .
civilization only rarely. Like elves, they are driven by
the wanderlust that com es o f their longevity. Others, Speed. Your base w alking sp eed is 30 feet.
in contrast, throw themselves into the thick o f society, Darkvision. T h an ks to your elf blood, you have
putting their charisma and social skills to great use superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can
in diplom atic roles or as swindlers. see in dim light within 60 feet o f you as if it w ere bright
light, and in darkn ess as if it w ere dim light. You ca n ’t
H a l f -E lf N am es discern color in darkness, only sh ades o f gray.
Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throw s
Half-elves use either human or elven naming against being charm ed, and m agic can’t put you to sleep.
conventions. A s if to em phasize that they d on ’t really fit Skill Versatility. You gain proficiency in tw o skills
in to either society, half-elves raised am ong hum ans are of your choice.
often given elven nam es, and those raised am ong elves Languages. You can speak, read, and w rite C om m on,
often take human names. Elvish, and one extra language of your choice.
H a l f -E lf T r a its
Your half-elf character has som e qualities in com m on
with elves and som e that are unique to half-elves.
Ability Score Increase. Your C harism a score
increases by 2, and two other ability scores o f your
ch oice in crease by 1.
Age. Half-elves m ature at the sam e rate hum ans
do and reach adulthood around the age o f 20. They
live much longer than humans, however, often
exceeding 180 years.
Alignment. H alf-elves share the chaotic bent o f their
elven heritage. They value both personal freedom and
T h e w a r c h ie f M h u r r e n r o u se d h im s e l f f r o m h is W hether united under the leadership o f a mighty
w arlock or having fought to a standstill after years
sleeping-furs and his women and pulled a short hauberk of conflict, orc and human tribes som etim es form
of heavy steel rings over his thick, well-muscled torso. He alliances, joining forces into a larger horde to the terror
usually rose before most of his warriors, since he had a of civilized lands nearby. W hen these alliances are
strong streak of human blood in him, and hefound the sealed by marriages, half-orcs are born. Som e half-orcs
daylight less bothersome than most of his tribe did. Among rise to becom e proud chiefs o f orc tribes, their human
the Bloody Skulls, a warrior wasjudged by his strength, his blood giving them an edge over their full-blooded orc
fierceness, and his wits. Human ancestry was no blemish rivals. S om e venture into the w orld to prove their worth
against a warrior—provided he was every bit as strong, am ong humans and other m ore civilized races. Many of
enduring, and bloodthirsty as hisfull-blooded kin. Half- these becom e adventurers, achieving greatness for their
orcs who were weaker than their orc comrades didn't last mighty deeds and notoriety for their barbaric custom s
long among the Bloody Skulls or any other orc tribefor and savage fury.
that matter. But it was often true that a bit of human blood
gave a warriorjust the right mix of cunning, ambition, and S c a r r e d a n d St r o n g
self-discipline to gofar indeed, as Mhurren had. He was
master of a tribe that could muster two thousand spears, H alf-orcs’ grayish pigmentation, sloping foreheads,
and the strongest chief in Thar. jutting jaws, prominent teeth, and towering builds make
their orcish heritage plain for all to see. H alf-orcs stand
—R ich a rd Baker, Swordmage betw een 6 and 7 feet tall and usually w eigh betw een
180 and 250 pounds.
Orc s regard battle scars as tokens o f pride and
ornamental scars as things o f beauty. Other scars,
though, mark an orc or half-orc as a former slave or
a disgraced exile. Any half-orc w ho has lived am ong
or near orcs has scars, whether they are marks of
humiliation or o f pride, recounting their past exploits
and injuries. Such a half-orc living am ong humans might
display these scars proudly or hide them in shame.
T he M a r k of G ruum sh
The one-eyed god Gruumsh created the orc s, and even
those orc s w ho turn away from his w orship can’t fully
escape his influence. The sam e is true o f half-orcs,
though their human blood m oderates the im pact o f their
orcish heritage. Som e half-orcs hear the w hispers of
Gruum sh in their dream s, calling them to unleash the
rage that sim m ers w ithin them . O thers feel G ru u m sh ’s
exultation w hen they join in m elee com bat—and either hate orcs. Some are reserved, trying not to draw attention to
exult along with him or shiver with fear and loathing. themselves. A few demonstrate piety and good-heartedness
H alf-orcs are not evil by nature, but evil does lurk within as publicly as they can (whether or not such demonstrations
them , w hether they em brace it or rebel against it. are genuine). And some simply try to be so tough that others
just avoid them.
Beyond the rage of Gruumsh, half-orcs feel emotion
pow erfully. R a ge d oesn ’t ju st quicken their pulse, it Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score
makes their bodies burn. An insult stings like acid, increases by 2, and your Constitution score
and sadness saps their strength. But they laugh loudly in creases by 1.
and heartily, and sim ple bodily pleasures—feasting,
drinking, w restling, drum m ing, and w ild dancing—fill Age. H alf-orcs m ature a little faster than hum ans,
their hearts with joy. They tend to be short-tempered reachin g adulthood around age 14. Th ey age
and som etim es sullen, m ore inclined to action than noticeably faster and rarely live longer than 75 years.
contemplation and to fighting than arguing. The m ost
accom plished half-orcs are those with enough self- Alignment. H alf-orcs inherit a tendency toward ch a os
control to get by in a civilized land. from their orc parents and are not strongly inclined
toward good. Half-orcs raised am ong ores and willing
T ribes a n d Slu m s to live out their lives am ong them are usually evil.
H alf-orcs m ost often live am ong orc s. O f the other races, Size. H alf-orcs are som ew h at larger and bulkier than
hum ans are m ost likely to accept half-orcs, and half- hum ans, and they range from 5 to w ell over 6 feet tall.
orcs alm ost always live in hum an lands w hen not living Your size is Medium.
am ong orc tribes. W hether proving themselves am ong
rough barbarian tribes or scrabbling to survive in the Speed. Your base w alkin g sp eed is 30 feet.
slum s of larger cities, half-orcs get by on their physical Darkvision. T hanks to your o rc blood, you have
might, their endurance, and the sheer determination superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can
they inherit from their human ancestry. see in dim light w ithin 60 feet o f you as if it w ere bright
light, and in darkn ess as if it w ere dim light. You can't
H a l f - O rc N am es discern color in darkness, only sh ades o f gray.
Menacing. You gain proficiency in the
H alf-orcs usually have nam es appropriate to the culture Intimidation skill.
in w h ich they w ere raised. A h alf-orc w h o w ants to fit in Relentless Endurance. W h en you are reduced to
am ong humans might trade an orc name for a human 0 hit points but n ot k illed outright, you can drop to 1 hit
name. S om e half-orcs with hum an nam es decide to point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you
adopt a guttural o r c n am e b eca u se they think it m akes finish a long rest.
them m ore intimidating. Savage Attacks. W h en you sco re a critical hit with
a m elee w eapon attack, you can roll one of the w eapon’s
Male Orc Names: Dench, Feng, Gell, Henk, Holg, Imsh, dam age dice on e additional tim e and add it to the extra
Keth, Krusk, Mhurren, Ront, Shump, Thokk dam age o f the critical hit.
Languages. You can speak, read, and
Female Orc Names: Baggi, Emen, Engong, Kansif, write Com m on and Orc . Orc is a
Myev, Neega, Ovak, Ownka, Shautha, Sutha, Vola, harsh, grating language with
Volen, Yevelda hard consonants. It has
no script o f its ow n
H a l f - O rc T r a its but is written in the
Your half-orc character has certain traits deriving from
your ore ancestry.
“Bu t y o u d o see th e w a y people l o o k a t y o u , that wicked glint in his eyes. “Youfight it, don’tyou ? Like
a little wildcat, I wager. Every littlejab and commentjust
devil’s child." sharpensyour claws.”
Those black eyes, cold as a winter storm, were staring
—E rin M . Evans, Brimstone Angels
right into her heart and the sudden seriousness in his
voicejolted her. To be greeted with stares and whispers, to suffer
violence and insult on the street, to see mistrust and
“What is it they say?" he asked. “One’s a curiosity, two’s fear in every eye: this is the lot o f the tiefling. And to
a conspiracy—” twist the knife, tieflings know that this is because a
pact struck generations ago infused the essence of
“Three's a curse,” shefinished. “You think I haven’t heard A sm odeu s—overlord o f the Nine H ells—into their
that rubbish before?” bloodline. Their appearance and their nature are not
their fault but the result o f an ancient sin, for w hich
“I knowy o u have.” When she glared at him, he added, they and their children and their children ’s children
“It’s not as ifI ’m plumbing the depths ofyour mind, dear will always be held accountable.
girl. That is the burden of every tiefling. Some break under
it, some make it the millstone around their neck, some In fer n al B lo o d lin e
revel in it.” He tilted his head again, scrutinizing her, with
Tieflings are derived from hum an bloodlines, and in the
broadest possible sense, they still look human. However,
their infernal heritage has left a clear imprint on their
appearance. Tieflings have large horns that take any
o f a variety o f shapes: som e have curling horns like a
ram, others have straight and tall h orn s like a g azelle’s,
and som e spiral upward like an antelopes’ horns. They
have thick tails, four to five feet long, w hich lash or coil
around their legs when they get upset or nervous. Their
canine teeth are sharply pointed, and their eyes are
solid c o lo r s —black, red, white, silver, or gold—w ith no
visible sclera or pupil. Their skin tones cover the full
range of human coloration, but also include various
shades o f red. Their hair, cascad ing dow n from behind
their horns, is usually dark, from black or brown to dark
red, blue, or purple.
Se l f-R e l ia n t a n d Su spicious
Tieflings subsist in sm all m inorities found m ostly in
hum an cities or towns, often in the roughest quarters
of those places, where they grow up to be swindlers,
thieves, or crim e lords. Som etim es they live am ong Mutual M istru st
other minority populations in enclaves w here they are People tend to be suspicious of tieflings, assuming that
treated with m ore respect. their infernal heritage has left its mark on their personality
and morality, not just their appearance. Shopkeepers keep
Lacking a homeland, tieflings know that they have a close eye on their goods when tieflings enter their stores,
to m ake their ow n w ay in the w orld and that they have the town watch might follow a tiefling around for a while,
to be strong to survive. They are not quick to trust and demagogues blame tieflings for strange happenings.
anyone w h o claim s to b e a friend, but w hen a tiefling’s The reality, though, is that a tiefling’s bloodline doesn’t affect
com p a n ion s dem onstrate that they trust him or her, his or her personality to any great degree. Years o f dealing
the tiefling learns to extend the sam e trust to them. with mistrust does leave its mark on most tieflings, and they
And on ce a tiefling gives som eon e loyalty, the tiefling respond to it in different ways. Some choose to live up to the
is a firm friend or ally for life. wicked stereotype, but others are virtuous. Most are simply
very aware of how people respond to them. After dealing with
T ieflin g N am es this mistrust throughout youth, a tiefling often develops the
ability to overcome prejudice through charm or intimidation.
Tiefling nam es fall into three broad categories. Tieflings
born into another culture typically have nam es reflective T ieflin g T raits
o f that culture. S om e have nam es derived from the
Infernal language, passed dow n through generations, Tieflings share certain racial traits as a result o f their
that reflect their fiendish heritage. And som e younger infernal descent.
tieflings, striving to find a place in the world, adopt a
nam e that signifies a virtue or other concept and then Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score
try to em body that concept. For som e, the chosen nam e in creases by 1, and your C harism a sc o r e in crea ses by 2.
is a noble quest. For others, it’s a grim destiny.
Age. Tieflings m ature at the sam e rate as hum ans but
Male Infernal Names: A km enos, Am non, Barakas, live a few years longer.
Dam akos, Ekemon, Iados, Kairon, Leucis, Melech,
Mordai, M orthos, Pelaios, Skam os, Therai Alignment. Tieflings m ight not have an innate
tendency toward evil, but many o f them end up there.
Female Infernal Names: Akta, Anakis, Bryseis, Criella, Evil or not, an independent nature inclines many
Damaia, Ea, Kallista, Lerissa, Makaria, Nemeia, tieflings toward a chaotic alignment.
Orianna, Phelaia, Rieta
Size. Tieflings are about the sam e size and build as
“Virtue” Names: Art, Carrion, Chant, Creed, Despair, humans. Your size is Medium.
Excellence, Fear, Glory, Hope, Ideal, Music, Nowhere,
Open, Poetry, Quest, Random, Reverence, Sorrow, Speed. Your base w alkin g sp eed is 30 feet.
Temerity, Torment, W eary Darkvision. T hanks to your infernal heritage, you
have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You
can see in dim light w ithin 60 feet o f you as if it w ere
bright light, and in darkn ess as if it w ere dim light. You
c a n ’t discern color in darkness, only sh ades o f gray.
Hellish Resistance. You have resistance
to fire damage.
Infernal Legacy. You kn ow the thaumaturgy cantrip.
O nce you reach 3rd level, you can cast the hellish
rebuke spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. O nce you
reach 5th level, you can also cast the darkness spell
o n ce per day. C harism a is your sp ellcastin g ability for
Languages. You can speak, read, and w rite C om m on
C h apter 3: C lasses Your class gives you a variety of special features, such
as a fighter’s m astery o f w ea p on s and armor, and a
DAVENTURERS ARE EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE, w iza rd ’s spells. At low levels, your class gives you only
driven by a thirst for excitement into a tw o or three features, but as you advance in level you
life that others w ould never dare lead. gain m ore and your existing features often improve.
They are heroes, com pelled to explore the Each class entry in this chapter includes a table
su m m arizin g the benefits you gain at every level, and
dark places o f the w orld and take on the a detailed explanation of each one.
challenges that lesser w om en and men
can’t stand against. Adventurers som etim es advance in m ore than one
Class is the primary definition of what your character class. A rogue might switch direction in life and sw ear
can do. It’s m ore than a profession; it’s your character’s the oath o f a paladin. A barbarian m ight discover latent
calling. Class shapes the way you think about the m agical ability and dabble in the sorcerer class w hile
w orld and interact with it and your relationship with continuing to advance as a barbarian. Elves are known
other p eop le and p ow ers in the m ultiverse. A fighter, to com bine martial mastery with m agical training
for example, might view the w orld in pragmatic terms and advance as fighters and w izards simultaneously.
of strategy and maneuvering, and see herself as just a Optional rules for com bining classes in this way, called
pawn in a much larger game. A cleric, by contrast, might m ulticlassing, appear in chapter 6.
see h im self as a w illing servant in a g o d ’s u nfolding plan
or a conflict brew ing am ong various deities. W hile the Twelve classes—listed in the C lasses table—are found
fighter has contacts in a m ercenary com pany or army, in alm ost every D&D w orld and define the spectrum of
the cleric might know a num ber o f priests, paladins, and typical adventurers.
devotees w ho share his faith.
Class Description Hit Primary Saving Throw Armor and Weapon
Barbarian A fierce warrior of primitive background Die Ability Proficiencies Proficiencies
who can enter a battle rage d12 Strength Strength & Light and medium armor, shields,
Bard An inspiring magician whose power Constitution simple and martial weapons
echoes the music of creation d8 Charisma Dexterity & Light armor, simple weapons, hand
Charisma crossbows, longswords, rapiers,
Cleric A priestly champion who wields divine d8 Wisdom shortswords
Druid magic in service of a higher power d8 Wisdom Wisdom & Light and medium armor, shields,
A priest o f the Old Faith, wielding the Charisma simple weapons
Fighter powers of nature— moonlight and d10 Strength or Intelligence Light and medium armor (nonmetal),
Monk plant growth, fire and lightning— and d8 Dexterity &Wisdom shields (nonmetal), clubs, daggers,
adopting animal forms d10 Dexterity & darts, javelins, maces, quarterstaffs,
Paladin A master o f martial combat, skilled with Wisdom Strength & scimitars, sickles, slings, spears
Ranger a variety o f weapons and armor Strength & Constitution All armor, shields, simple and martial
An master of martial arts, harnessing Charisma Strength & weapons
Rogue the power of the body in pursuit of Dexterity & Dexterity Simple weapons, shortswords
physical and spiritual perfection Wisdom
Sorcerer A holy warrior bound to a sacred oath Dexterity Wisdom & All armor, shields, simple and martial
Warlock Charisma weapons
Wizard A warrior who uses martial prowess and d10 Charisma Strength & Light and medium armor, shields,
nature magic to combat threats on the Charisma Dexterity simple and martial weapons
edges of civilization d8 Intelligence
A scoundrel who uses stealth and Dexterity & Light armor, simple weapons, hand
trickery to overcome obstacles and d6 Intelligence crossbows, longswords, rapiers,
enemies d8 shortswords
A spellcaster who draws on inherent d6 Constitution Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs,
magic from a gift or bloodline & Charisma light crossbows
A wielder of magic that is derived from Wisdom & Light armor, simple weapons
a bargain with an extraplanar entity Charisma
A scholarly magic-user capable of Intelligence Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs,
manipulating the structures of reality & Wisdom light crossbows
A tall human tribesm an strides through a blizzard,
draped in fur and hefting his axe. He laughs as he
charges toward the frost giant w ho dared poach his
p eop le’s elk herd.
A half-orc snarls at the latest challen ger to her
authority over their savage tribe, ready to break his neck
with her bare hands as she did to the last six rivals.
Frothing at the mouth, a d w arf slam s his helm et into
the face of his drow foe, then turns to drive his arm ored
elbow into the gut o f another.
T hese barbarians, different as they m ight be, are
defined by their rage: unbridled, unquenchable, and
unthinking fury. M ore than a m ere em otion, their anger
is the ferocity o f a cornered predator, the unrelenting
assault o f a storm, the churning turmoil o f the sea.
For som e, their rage springs from a com m union
with fierce animal spirits. Others draw from a roiling
reservoir o f anger at a w orld full o f pain. For every
barbarian, rage is a pow er that fuels not just a battle
frenzy but also uncanny reflexes, resilience, and
feats of strength.
P r im a l In st in c t
People o f tow ns and cities take pride in how their
civilized ways set them apart from animals, as if
denying one’s ow n nature w as a m ark o f superiority. To
a barbarian, though, civilization is no virtue, but a sign
of w eakness. The strong em brace their animal n atu re-
keen instincts, primal physicality, and ferocious rage.
Barbarians are uncom fortable when hedged in by walls
and crow ds. They thrive in the w ilds o f their hom elands:
the tundra, jungle, or grasslands w here their tribes
live and hunt.
Barbarians com e alive in the chaos o f combat.
They can enter a berserk state where rage takes over,
giving them superhuman strength and resilience. A
barbarian can draw on this reservoir o f fury only a few
times without resting, but those few rages are usually
sufficient to defeat whatever threats arise.
A L ife o f D a n g e r
Not every m em ber o f the tribes deem ed “barbarians”
by scions o f civilized society has the barbarian class. A
true barbarian am ong these people is as uncom m on as
a skilled fighter in a town, and he or she plays a similar
role as a protector o f the people and a leader in times
of war. Life in the w ild places o f the w orld is fraught
with peril: rival tribes, deadly weather, and terrifying
T h e B a r b a r ia n
Level Proficiency Rages Rage W hat led you to take up the adventuring life? W ere you
1st Bonus Features 2 Damage lured to settled lands by the prom ise o f riches? Did you
+2 Rage, Unarmored join forces with soldiers of those lands to face a shared
2nd Defense 2 +2 threat? Did m onsters or an invading horde drive you
+2 Reckless Attack, out of your homeland, making you a rootless refugee?
3rd Danger Sense 3 +2 Perhaps y ou w ere a prison er o f war, brought in chains to
4th +2 Primal Path 3 “civilized” lands and only now able to win your freedom .
+2 Ability Score +2 Or you might have been cast out from your people
5th Improvement 3 +2 because o f a crim e you committed, a taboo you violated,
+3 Extra Attack, or a coup that rem oved you from a position o f authority.
6th Fast Movement 4 +2
7th +3 Path feature 4 Q u ic k Bu il d
8th +3 Feral Instinct 4 +2 You can make a barbarian quickly by following these
+3 Ability Score +2 su ggestion s. First, put your highest ability s c o r e in
9th Improvement 4 +2 Strength, follow ed by Constitution. Secon d, ch oose the
+4 Brutal Critical outlander background.
10th (1 die) 4 +3
11th +4 Path feature 4 C lass Features
12th +4 Relentless Rage 5 +3
+4 Ability Score +3 As a barbarian, you gain the following class features.
13th Improvement 5 +3
+5 Brutal Critical H it P o in t s
14th (2 dice) 5 +3 Hit Dice: 1d 12 per barbarian level
15th +5 Path feature 5 Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + your Constitution m odifier
16th +5 Persistent Rage 5 +3 Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d 12 (or 7) + your
+5 Ability Score +3
17th Improvement 6 +4 Constitution m odifier per barbarian level after 1st
+6 Brutal Critical
18th (3 dice) 6 +4 P r o f ic ie n c ie s
+6 Indomitable Armor: Light armor, m edium armor, shields
19th Might 6 +4 Weapons: Sim ple weapons, martial w eapons
+6 Ability Score Tools: None
20th Improvement Unlimited +4
+6 Primal Champion Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
+4 Skills: C hoose two from Anim al Handling, Athletics,
m onsters. Barbarians charge headlong into that danger Intimidation, Nature, Perception, and Survival
s o that their p eople d on ’t have to.
Their courage in the face o f danger m akes barbarians
perfectly suited for adventuring. W andering is often a
way o f life for their native tribes, and the rootless life o f
the adventurer is little hardship for a barbarian. S om e
barbarians m iss the close-knit family structures o f the
tribe, but eventually find them replaced by the bonds
form ed am ong the m em bers of their adventuring parties.
C r eatin g a Ba r b a r ia n
W hen creating a barbarian character, think about where
your character com es from and his or her place in the
world. Talk with your DM about an appropriate origin
for your barbarian. Did you com e from a distant land,
m aking you a stranger in the area of the cam paign?
Or is the cam paign set in a rough-and-tumble frontier
where barbarians are com m on?
Equ ipm en t U n arm ored D efense
Y ou sta rt w ith th e fo llo w in g eq u ip m en t, in a d d itio n to
the equip m en t gran ted by yo u r backgroun d : W hile you are not wearing any armor, your Arm or Class
equals 10 + your Dexterity m odifier + your Constitution
• (a) a greataxe or (b) any m artial m elee w eapon modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.
• (a) tw o handaxes or (b) any sim ple w eapon
• A n exp lorer’s pack and four javelins R eckless A tta ck
R age Starting at 2nd level, you can th row aside all con cern
for defense to attack with fierce desperation. W hen
In battle, you fight with prim al ferocity. O n your turn, you m ake your first attack on your turn, you can decide
you can enter a rage as a bonus action. to attack recklessly. D oing so gives you advantage on
m elee w eapon attack rolls using Strength during this
W hile raging, you gain the follow ing benefits if you turn, but attack rolls against you have advantage until
aren’t w earing heavy armor: your next turn.
• You have advantage on Strength checks and Strength D a n g e r Sense
At 2nd level, you gain an uncanny sen se o f when things
• W hen you make a melee weapon attack using nearby aren’t as they should be, giving you an edge
Strength, you gain a bonus to the dam age roll that when you dodge away from danger.
increases as you gain levels as a barbarian, as shown
in the R age D am age colu m n o f the Barbarian table. You have advantage on Dexterity saving throws
against effects that you can see, such as traps and spells.
• You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and To gain this benefit, you can’t be blinded, deafened, or
slashing damage. incapacitated.
If you are able to cast spells, you can’t cast them or P r i m a l Pa t h
concentrate on them while raging.
At 3rd level, you ch oose a path that shapes the nature of
Your rage lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are your rage. C hoose the Path of the Berserker or the Path
knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you o f the Totem W arrior, both detailed at the end o f the
haven’t attacked a hostile creature since your last turn class description. Your ch oice grants you features at 3rd
or taken dam age since then. You can also end your rage level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th levels.
on your turn as a bonus action.
O nce you have raged the num ber o f tim es shown
for your barbarian level in the R ages colum n o f the
Barbarian table, you must finish a long rest before you
can rage again.
A b il it y Sco r e Im pr o v e m e n t barbarians attribute their rage to different sources,
however. F or som e, it is an internal reservoir w here
W h en you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, pain, grief, and anger are forged into a fury hard as
and 19th level, you can increase one ability score o f your steel. O thers se e it as a spiritual blessing, a gift o f
choice by 2, or you can increase tw o ability scores of a totem animal.
your ch oice by 1. A s norm al, you ca n ’t in crease an ability
score above 20 using this feature. Pa t h o f t h e B e r s e r k e r
Extra A ttack For som e barbarians, rage is a m eans to an end-—that
end being violence. The Path o f the Berserker is a path
B egin ning at 5th level, you can attack tw ice, instead of of untram m eled fury, slick with blood. A s you enter
once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. the berserker’s rage, you thrill in the chaos o f battle,
heedless o f your ow n health or well-being.
Fa s t M o v e m e n t
Starting at 5th level, your sp eed in creases by 10 feet Starting w hen you c h o o s e this path at 3rd level, you
while you aren’t w earing heavy armor. can go into a frenzy w hen you rage. If you do so, for
the duration of your rage you can make a single melee
F e r a l In st in c t w eapon attack as a bonus action on each of your turns
after this one. W hen your rage ends, you suffer one level
By 7th level, your instincts are so honed that you have o f exhaustion (as described in appendix A).
advantage on initiative rolls.
M indless R age
Additionally, if you are su rprised at the begin ning o f B egin ning at 6th level, you ca n ’t be ch a rm ed or
com bat and aren’t incapacitated, you can act n orm ally frightened while raging. If you are charm ed or
on your first turn, but only if you enter your rage before frightened when you enter your rage, the effect is
doing anything else on that turn. suspended for the duration of the rage.
B r u tal C r it ic a l In tim id a tin g Presence
B egin ning at 10th level, you can use your action to
B egin ning at 9th level, you ca n roll one additional frighten som eone with your m enacing presence.
weapon dam age die when determining the extra W hen you do so, ch oose one creature that you can see
dam age for a critical hit w ith a m elee attack. within 30 feet of you. If the creature can see or hear
you, it m ust su cce e d on a W isd om saving th row (D C
T h is in crea ses to tw o additional dice at 13th level equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma
and three additional dice at 17th level. modifier) or be frightened o f you until the end o f your
next turn. On subsequent turns, you can use your action
R elentless R age to extend the duration o f this effect on the frightened
Starting at 11th level, your rage can keep you fighting
despite grievous w ou n ds. If you drop to 0 hit points
w hile y ou ’re raging and don ’t die outright, you can m ake
a D C 10 Constitution saving throw. If you su cceed, you
drop to 1 hit point instead.
Each time you use this feature after the first, the DC
increases by 5. W hen you finish a short or long rest, the
D C resets to 10.
P e r siste n t R age
B egin ning at 15th level, your rage is s o fierce that
it en ds early only if you fall u n con sciou s or if you
c h o o s e to end it.
In d o m it a b l e M ig h t
B egin ning at 18th level, if your total for a Strength
check is less than your Strength score, you can use that
score in place o f the total.
P r im a l C h a m pio n
At 20th level, you em body the pow er of the w ilds. Your
Strength and Constitution scores increase by 4. Your
m axim um for those scores is now 24.
P r i m a l Pa t h s
R a ge bu rn s in every barbarian’s heart, a furnace
that drives him or her toward greatness. Different
creature until the end of your next turn. This effect ends Your totem animal might be an animal related to those
if the creature ends its turn out o f line o f sight or m ore listed here but m ore appropriate to your homeland.
than 60 feet away from you. F or exam ple, you cou ld c h o o s e a hawk or vulture in
place o f an eagle.
If the creature su cceed s on its saving throw, you can't
use this feature on that creature again for 24 hours. Bear. W h ile raging, you have resistan ce to all dam age
except psychic damage. The spirit o f the bear m akes you
R etaliation tough enough to stand up to any punishment.
Starting at 14th level, w hen you take dam age from
a creature that is within 5 feet o f you. you can use Eagle. W hile you're raging and aren’t w earing
your reaction to make a m elee w eapon attack against heavy armor, other creatures have disadvantage on
that creature. opportunity attack rolls against you, and you can use the
Dash action as a bonus action on your turn. The spirit
Pa t h o f t h e T o t e m W a r r io r of the eagle m akes you into a predator w ho can weave
through the fray with ease.
The Path o f the Totem W arrior is a spiritual journey, as
the barbarian accepts a spirit animal as guide, protector, Wolf, W h ile you're raging, your friends have
and inspiration. In battle, your totem spirit fills you advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature
with supernatural might, adding magical fuel to your within 5 feet o f you that is hostile to you. The spirit of
barbarian rage. the w olf m akes you a leader o f hunters.
Most barbarian tribes consider a totem animal to be A spect of th e Beast
kin to a particular clan. In such ca ses, it is unusual for At 6th level, you gain a m agical benefit based on the
an individual to have m ore than one totem anim al spirit, totem animal o f your choice. You can ch oose the sam e
though exceptions exist. anim al you selected at 3rd level or a different one.
Spir it Seeker Bear. You gain the m ight o f a bear. Your carryin g
Yours is a path that seeks attunement with the natural capacity (including m axim um load and m axim um lift)
world, giving you a kinship with beasts. At 3rd level when is doubled, and you have advantage on Strength checks
you adopt this path, you gain the ability to cast the beast m ade to push, pull, lift, or break objects.
sense and speak with animals spells, but only as rituals,
as described in chapter 10. Eagle. You gain the eyesight o f an eagle. You can
see up to 1 mile away with no difficulty, able to discern
T o te m Spir it even fine details as though look in g at som eth in g no
At 3rd level, when you adopt this path, you ch oose a m ore than 100 feet away from you. Additionally, dim
totem spirit and gain its feature. You must m ake or light doesn't im pose disadvantage on your W isdom
acquire a physical totem object- an amulet or similar (Perception) checks.
adornm ent—that incorporates fur or feathers, claws,
teeth, or bones o f the totem animal. At your option, you Wolf, You gain the hunting sensibilities o f a w olf. You
also gain m inor physical attributes that are rem iniscent can track other creatu res w hile traveling at a fast pace,
o f your totem spirit. For example, if you have a bear and you can m ove stealthily w hile traveling at a norm al
totem spirit, you might be unusually hairy and thick- pace (see chapter 8 for rules on travel pace).
skinned, or if your totem is the eagle, your eyes turn
bright yellow. Sp ir it W a l k e r
At 10th level, you can cast the commune with nature
spell, but only as a ritual. W hen you do so, a spiritual
version o f one o f the anim als you chose for Totem Spirit
or Aspect o f the Beast appears to you to convey the
information you seek.
T otem ic A ttu n e m e n t
At 14th level, you gain a m agical benefit based on a
totem animal of your choice. You can choose the same
animal you selected previously or a different one.
Bear, W h ile you ’re raging, any creature within 5 feet
o f you that’s hostile to you has disadvantage on attack
rolls against targets other than you or another character
with this feature. An enem y is im m u ne to this effect if it
ca n ’t see or hear you or if it ca n ’t b e frightened.
Eagle. W h ile raging, you have a flying sp eed equal to
your current w alk in g speed. T h is benefit w ork s only in
short bursts; you fall if you end your turn in the air and
nothing else is holding you aloft.
Wolf. W h ile y ou ’re raging, you can u se a bon u s action
on your turn to knock a Large or sm aller creature prone
w hen you hit it with m elee w eapon attack.
Ba r d
H um m ing as she traces her fingers over an ancient
m onum ent in a long-forgotten ruin, a half-elf in rugged
leathers finds knowledge springing into her mind,
conjured forth by the m agic o f her song—knowledge
o f the people w ho constructed the monument and the
m ythic saga it depicts.
A stern human warrior bangs his sw ord rhythmically
against his scale mail, setting the tem po for his war chant
and exhorting his com panions to bravery and heroism.
The m agic of his song fortifies and em boldens them.
Laughing as she tunes her cittern, a gnom e w eaves
her subtle m agic over the assem bled nobles, ensuring
that her com panions’ w ords w ill be well received.
W hether scholar, skald, or scoundrel, a bard weaves
m agic through w ords and m usic to inspire allies,
dem oralize foes, manipulate minds, create
illusions, and even heal wounds.
M u sic a n d M a g ic
In the w orlds o f D&D, w ords and m usic are
not just vibrations o f air, but v ocalization s with
pow er all their own. The bard is a master o f song,
speech, and the m agic they contain. Bards say
that the multiverse w as spoken into existence, that the
w ord s o f the g od s gave it shape, and that e c h o e s o f these
prim ordial W ords o f Creation still resound throughout
the cosm os. The m usic o f bards is an attempt to snatch
and harness those echoes, subtly woven into their
spells and powers.
The greatest strength of bards is their sheer
versatility. Many bards prefer to stick to the sidelines
in com bat, using their m agic to inspire their allies and
hinder their foes from a distance. But bards are capable
o f defending them selves in m elee if necessary, using
their m agic to bolster their sw ords and armor. Their
spells lean toward charm s and illusions rather than
blatantly destructive spells. They have a wide-ranging
know ledge o f many subjects and a natural aptitude
that lets them do alm ost anything well. Bards becom e
m asters o f the talents they set their m inds to perfecting,
from m usical perform ance to esoteric knowledge.
L e a r n in g fr o m E x pe r ie n ce
True bards are not com m on in the world. Not every
m instrel singing in a tavern or jester cavorting in a royal
cou rt is a bard. D iscoverin g the m agic hidden in m usic
requires hard study and som e m easure o f natural talent
that m ost troubadours and jon g leu rs lack. It can be hard
to spot the difference between these perform ers and true
bards, though. A bard’s life is spent w andering across
the land gathering lore, telling stories, and living on the
gratitude o f audiences, much like any other entertainer.
But a depth o f knowledge, a level of musical skill, and a
touch of m agic set bards apart from their fellows.
Only rarely do bards settle in one place for long, and
their natural desire to travel—to find n ew tales to tell,
new skills to learn, and new discoveries beyond the
horizon—m akes an adventuring career a natural calling.
Every adventure is an opportunity to learn, practice a
variety of skills, enter long-forgotten tombs, discover lost
w orks o f magic, decipher old tom es, travel to strange Q u ic k Bu ild
places, or encounter exotic creatures. Bards love to You can make a bard quickly by
accom pany heroes to w itness their deeds firsthand. A follow ing these suggestions. First,
bard w ho can tell an awe-inspiring story from personal Charisma should be your highest
experience earns renown am ong other bards. Indeed, ability score, follow ed by Dexterity.
after telling so many stories about heroes accom plishing Second, choose the entertainer
mighty deeds, many bards take these them es to heart background. Third, ch o o s e the dancing lights and
and assume heroic roles themselves. vicious m ockery cantrips, along with the follow ing
1st-level spells: charm person, detect magic, healing
C r e a t in g a B ar d word, and thunderwave.
Bards thrive on stories, whether those stories are true C lass Features
or not. Your character’s back grou n d and m otivations
are not as im portant as the stories that he or she tells As a bard, you gain the following class features.
about them. Perhaps you had a secure and mundane
ch ildh ood . T h ere’s no g o o d story to be told about that, H it Points
so you might paint yourself as an orphan raised by a hag Hit Dice: 1d8 per bard level
in a dism al sw am p. Or your ch ild h ood m ight be w orthy Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution m odifier
of a story. S om e bards acquire their m agical music Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your
through extraordinary means, including the inspiration
of fey or other supernatural creatures. Constitution m odifier per bard level after 1st
Did you serve an apprenticeship, studying under a P roficiencies
master, follow ing the m ore experienced bard until you Armor: Light arm or
w ere ready to strike out on your ow n? Or did you attend Weapons: Simple w eapons, hand crossbow s,
a college w here you studied bardic lore and practiced
your musical magic? Perhaps you were a young runaway longswords, rapiers, shortswords
or orphan, befriended by a wandering bard w ho becam e Tools: Three m usical instruments o f your choice
your mentor. Or you might have been a spoiled noble
child tutored by a master. Perhaps you stum bled into the Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
clutches o f a hag, m akin g a bargain for a m usical gift in Skills: Choose any three
addition to your life and freedom , but at w hat cost?
Equ ipm en t
You start with the follow ing equipment, in addition to
the equipment granted by your background:
• (a) a rapier, (b) a lon gsw ord, or (c) any sim ple w eapon
• (a) a diplom at’s pack or (b) an entertainer's pack
• (a) a lute or (b) any other m usical instrum ent
• Leather armor and a dagger
Sp e l l c a st in g
You have learned to untangle and reshape the fabric of
reality in harmony with your w ishes and music. Your
spells are part o f your vast repertoire, m agic that you
can tune to different situations. S e e chapter 10 for the
general rules o f spellcasting and chapter 11 for the
bard spell list.
You know two cantrips of your choice from the bard
spell list. You learn additional bard cantrips o f your
ch oice at higher levels, as sh ow n in the Cantrips K now n
colum n o f the Bard table.
Proficiency Cantrips Spells — Spell Slots per Spell Level—
Bonus Known Known
Level +2 Features 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +2 Spellcasting, Bardic Inspiration (d6) 2 4
2nd +2 jack o f All Trades, Song o f Rest (d6) 2 5 2— — — —— — ——
3rd +2 Bard College, Expertise 2 6
4th +3 Ability Score Improvement 3 7 3— — — —— — ——
5th Bardic Inspiration (d8), 3 8
+3 Font o f Inspiration 4 2— — —— — — —
6th +3 Countercharm, Bard College feature
7th +3 4 3— — —— — — —
8th +4 —
9th +4 4 3 2 — —— — — —
10th Ability Score Improvement
+4 Song of Rest (d8) 3 9 4 3 3 — —— — — —
11th +4 Bardic Inspiration (d10), Expertise, 3 10 4 3 3 1 — — — — —
12th +5 Magical Secrets 3 11 4 3 3 2 — — — — —
13th +5 —
14th Ability Score Improvement 3 12 4 3 3 3 1 — — — —
+5 Song o f Rest (d10) 4 14 4 3 3 3 2 — — — —
15th +5 Magical Secrets,
16th +6 Bard College feature 4 15 4 3 3 3 2 1 — — —
17th +6 Bardic Inspiration (d12) 4 15 4 3 3 3 2 1 — — —
18th +6 Ability Score Improvement
19th +6 Song of Rest (d12) 4 16 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 — —
20th Magical Secrets 4 18 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 — —
Ability Score Improvement
Superior Inspiration 4 19 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 —
4 19 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 —
4 20 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
4 22 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
14 22 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1
4 22 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1
Spell Sl o ts modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a bard
The Bard table show s how many spell slots you have to spell you cast and when m aking an attack roll with one.
cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of
th ese spells, you m ust expend a slot o f the sp ell’s level Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus +
or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you your Charisma modifier
finish a long rest.
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus +
For exam ple, if you k n ow the 1st-level spell cure your Charisma modifier
wounds and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot
available, you can cast cure wounds using either slot. R itu al C astin g
You can cast any bard spell you know as a ritual if that
S p e l l s K n o w n o f 1s t L e v e l a n d H i g h e r spell has the ritual tag.
You know four 1st-level spells o f your choice from the
bard spell list. Spe l l c a st in g Focu s
You can use a m u sical instrum ent (found in chapter 5)
The Spells Know n colum n of the Bard table show s as a spellcasting focus for your bard spells.
when you learn m ore bard spells of your choice. Each of
these spells must be o f a level for which you have spell B a r d ic In spir a tio n
slots, as show n on the table. For instance, when you
reach 3rd level in this class, you can learn on e n ew spell You can inspire others through stirring w ords or music.
o f 1st or 2nd level. To do so, you use a bonus action on your turn to choose
one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you
Additionally, w hen you gain a level in this class, you w ho can hear you. That creature gains one Bardic
can choose one of the bard spells you know and replace Inspiration die, a d6.
it w ith another spell from the bard spell list, w hich also
must be o f a level for which you have spell slots. O nce within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll
the die and add the num ber rolled to one ability check,
Sp e l l c a s t in g A b il it y attack roll, or saving th row it m akes. T h e creature can
Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your bard wait until after it rolls the d2 0 before decidin g to use the
spells. Your m agic com es from the heart and soul you Bardic Inspiration die, but must decide before the DM
pour into the perform ance o f your m usic or oration. says whether the roll succeeds or fails. O nce the Bardic
You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your Inspiration die is rolled, it is lost. A creature can have
spellcastin g ability. In addition, you use your Charism a only on e B ardic Inspiration die at a time.
You can use this feature a number of tim es equal M a g ic a l Secrets
to your C harism a m odifier (a m inim um o f once). You
regain any expended uses w hen you finish a long rest. By 10th level, you have plundered m agical know ledge
from a wide spectrum of disciplines. C hoose two spells
Your Bardic Inspiration die changes when you reach from any class, including this one. A spell you choose
certain levels in this class. T h e die b e c o m e s a d8 at 5th must be o f a level you can cast, as shown on the Bard
level, a d 10 at 10th level, and a d l 2 at 15th level. table, or a cantrip.
Ja c k of A ll T rades The chosen spells count as bard spells for you and are
included in the num ber in the S p ells K now n colum n of
Starting at 2nd level, you can add h alf your proficiency the Bard table.
bonus, rounded dow n, to any ability check you m ake that
d oesn ’t already include your proficiency bonus. You learn tw o additional sp ells from any class at 14th
level and again at 18th level.
So n g of R est
Su pe r io r In sp ir a t io n
B egin ning at 2nd level, you can u se sooth in g m usic or
oration to help revitalize your wounded allies during At 20th level, w hen you roll initiative and have no uses
a short rest. If you or any friendly creatures w ho can o f Bardic Inspiration left, you regain one use.
hear your perform an ce regain hit points at the end o f
the short rest, each of those creatures regains an extra Bard C olleges
1d6 hit points.
The way o f a bard is gregarious. Bards seek each
T h e extra hit p oints in crease w hen you reach certain other out to swap songs and stories, boast o f their
levels in this class: to 1d8 at 9th level, to 1d 10 at 13th accom plishm ents, and share their knowledge. Bards
level, and to 1d 12 at 17th level. form loose associations, which they call colleges, to
facilitate their gatherings and preserve their traditions.
Bard C ollege
C ollege of L ore
At 3rd level, you delve into the advanced techniques of
a bard college o f your choice: the College o f Lore or the Bards o f the College o f Lore know som ething about
C ollege o f Valor, both detailed at the end o f the class m ost things, collecting bits of knowledge from sources
description. Your ch oice grants you features at 3rd level as diverse as scholarly tom es and peasant tales.
and again at 6th and 14th level. W hether singing folk ballads in taverns or elaborate
com positions in royal courts, these bards use their gifts
E x p e r tise to hold audiences spellbound. W hen the applause dies
down, the audience m em bers might find themselves
At 3rd level, ch oose two of your skill proficiencies. Your questioning everything they held to be true, from their
proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you faith in the priesthood o f the local temple to their
make that uses either o f the chosen proficiencies. loyalty to the king.
At 10th level, you can ch oose another tw o skill The loyalty of these bards lies in the pursuit o f beauty
proficiencies to gain this benefit. and truth, not in fealty to a m onarch or follow ing the
tenets o f a deity. A n oble w h o keeps such a bard as a
A b il it y S co re Im pr o vem en t herald or advisor know s that the bard w ould rather be
honest than politic.
W h en you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th,
and 19th level, you can increase one ability score o f your The co lle g e ’s m em bers gather in libraries and
choice by 2, or you can increase tw o ability scores o f som etim es in actual colleges, com plete with classroom s
your ch oice by 1. A s norm al, you ca n ’t in crease an ability and dorm itories, to share their lore with one another.
score above 20 using this feature. T h ey also m eet at festivals or affairs o f state, w here they
can ex p o se corruption, unravel lies, and poke fun at self-
Fo n t o f In spir a tio n im portant figures o f authority.
Beginning when you reach 5th level, you regain all of B on u s P roficien cies
your expended uses of Bardic Inspiration when you W h en you jo in the C ollege o f L ore at 3rd level, you gain
finish a short or long rest. proficiency with three skills o f your choice.
C ountercharm C u ttin g W ords
A lso at 3rd level, you learn h ow to use your wit to
At 6th level, you gain the ability to use m usical notes or distract, confuse, and otherwise sap the confidence and
w ords of pow er to disrupt mind-influencing effects. As com petence o f others. W hen a creature that you can
an action, you can start a perform ance that lasts until see within 60 feet o f you m akes an attack roll, an ability
the end o f your next turn. D uring that time, you and any check, or a damage roll, you can use your reaction to
friendly creatures within 30 feet of you have advantage expend one o f your uses o f Bardic Inspiration, rolling
on saving throws against being frightened or charm ed. a Bardic Inspiration die and subtracting the number
A creature must be able to hear you to gain this benefit. rolled from the creatu re’s roll. You can c h o o s e to use
The perform ance ends early if you are incapacitated or this feature after the creature m akes its roll, but before
silen ced or if you voluntarily en d it (no action required). the DM determ ines w hether the attack roll or ability
ch eck su cceed s or fails, or before the creature deals its songs, they inspire others to reach the sam e heights of
dam age. The creature is im m une if it can ’t hear you or if accom plishm ent as the heroes o f old.
it’s im m une to being charm ed.
B o n u s P roficien cies
A d d it io n a l M a g ic a l Secrets W hen you jo in the C ollege o f Valor at 3rd level, you
At 6th level, you learn tw o spells o f your ch oice from any gain proficiency with medium armor, shields, and
class. A spell you ch oose must be o f a level you can cast, martial weapons.
as show n on the Bard table, or a cantrip. The chosen
spells count as bard spells for you but don’t count C o m bat Inspiration
against the num ber o f bard spells you know. A lso at 3rd level, you learn to inspire others in battle.
A creature that has a Bardic Inspiration die from you
Peerless Sk ill can roll that die and add the num ber rolled to a w eapon
Starting at 14th level, w hen you m ake an ability check, dam age roll it just m ade. Alternatively, w hen an attack
you can expend one use of Bardic Inspiration. Roll a roll is m ade against the creature, it can u se its reaction
Bardic Inspiration die and add the number rolled to to roll the Bardic Inspiration die and add the number
your ability check. You can ch oose to do so after you roil rolled to its AC against that attack, after seein g the roll
the die for the ability check, but before the DM tells you but before kn ow in g w hether it hits or m isses.
w hether you su cceed or fail.
Ex t r a A ttack
C ollege of Valor Starting at 6th level, you can attack tw ice, instead o f
once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
Bards o f the College o f Valor are daring skalds w hose
tales keep alive the m em ory o f the great heroes of the Ba ttle M agic
past, and thereby inspire a new generation o f heroes. At 14th level, you have m astered the art o f w eaving
T h ese bards gather in m ead halls or around great spellcasting and weapon use into a single harm onious
bonfires to sing the deeds o f the mighty, both past act. W hen you use your action to cast a bard spell, you
and present. They travel the land to w itness great can make one weapon attack as a bonus action.
events firsthand and to ensure that the m em ory of
those events d oesn ’t pass from the world. W ith their
Arm s and eyes upraised toward the sun and a prayer
on his lips, an elf begins to glow with an inner light that
spills out to heal his battle-worn com panions.
Chanting a song o f glory, a dw arf sw ings his axe
in wide swaths to cut through the ranks of orcs
arrayed against him, shouting praise to the gods with
every fo e ’s fall.
Calling dow n a curse upon the forces of undeath, a
hum an lifts her holy sym bol as light p ou rs from it to
drive back the zom bies crow ding in on her com panions.
Clerics are interm ediaries between the mortal world
and the distant planes o f the gods. As varied as the gods
they serve, clerics strive to em body the handiwork of
their deities. No ordinary priest, a cleric is imbued with
H ea ler s a n d W a r r io r s
Divine magic, as the name suggests, is the pow er of
the gods, flowing from them into the world. Clerics are
conduits for that pow er, m anifesting it as m iracu lou s
effects. The gods don ’t grant this pow er to everyone w ho
seek s it, but only to th ose c h osen to fulfill a high calling.
H arnessing divine m agic d oesn ’t rely on study or
training. A cleric might learn form ulaic prayers and
ancient rites, but the ability to cast cleric spells relies on
devotion and an intuitive sen se o f a deity’s wishes.
Clerics com bine the helpful m agic o f healing and
inspiring their allies with spells that harm and hinder
foes. They can provoke awe and dread, lay curses of
plague or poison, and even call down flames from heaven
to consum e their enem ies. For those evildoers w ho will
benefit m ost from a m ace to the head, clerics depend on
their com bat training to let them w ade into m elee with
the pow er o f the gods on their side.
D iv in e A g en ts
Not every acolyte or officiant at a tem ple or shrine is a
cleric. S om e priests are called to a simple life o f temple
service, carrying out their gods’ will through prayer and
sacrifice, not by m agic and strength o f arms. In som e
cities, priesthood am ounts to a political office, viewed
as a stepping stone to higher positions o f authority and
involving n o com m u n ion with a god at all. True clerics
are rare in m ost hierarchies.
W h en a cleric takes up an adventuring life, it is usually
b eca u se his or her g od dem an ds it. P u rsuing the goals
o f the gods often involves braving dangers beyond the
w alls o f civilization, sm iting evil or seek in g holy relics in
ancient tombs. Many clerics are also expected to protect