D&D Races (additional races from different editions)

Written by Martin K.


Changelings are a humanoid race who are distantly descended from doppelgangers and share their shapeshifting qualities. Their shapeshifting has led to them being used as spies and assassins which has in turn led to them being mistrusted amongst the common folk.

In the Dragon Empire, Changelings are associated with the Shadow Prince. As is expected with this icon, rumors conflict. Some say that the Shadow Prince merely adopted them as his protegees. Others claim that their shapeshifting ability is a gift directly received from the Shadow Prince. Others say that the Shadow Prince is a Doppleganger and Changelings are his children.

Racial bonus: +2 Intelligence OR +2 Charisma

Shapechange (Racial Power): You alter your physical form to take on the appearance of any Medium humanoid as a standard action. You retain your statistics in your new form, and your clothing, armor, and possessions do not change. The new form lasts until you change form again. Others can notice that something is off with a successful saving throw, although this merely makes them suspicious. Only creatures with true sight are able to see your true form while you are disguised.

Adventurer feat: You can use shapechange as a quick action, and the saving throw to notice your disguise is a hard save (16+).

Chaos Gnomes

Chaos Gnomes have the same slight build and trim appearance that other gnomes favor, but their coloring differs wildly. Chaos gnomes have bright red, blue, green, or violet eyes, and their eyes change in hue and brightness depending on their mood—from bright red when angry or excited to dull green or blue when bored or disappointed. They have similarly bright hair color, ranging from vivid red to blond. Chaos gnomes favor bright colors in their clothing, particularly and oranges. They decorate their clothing with seemingly random bead patterns.

In the Dragon Empire, Chaos Gnomes are wandering outcasts, travellers that move from town to town with their wagons, often joining wandering troupes, carnivals or merchant caravans. They meet once per year, in Santa Cora of all places, for a gaudy festival that celebrates a few well-known and even more obscure deities of luck and travel. Unsurprisingly, these gnomes have quite a few Chaos Mages in their ranks.

Racial bonus: +2 Dexterity OR +2 Charisma

Luck of Chaos (Racial Power): Once per battle, when a natural d20 roll is odd, you can choose to reroll it. You must take the second result.

Adventurer feat: If the reroll is lower than the original roll, you can use Luck of Chaos a second time this battle (but not on the current roll).

Champion feat: You gain a +2 bonus to disengage checks while not staggered.

Traces of Chaos: As a standard action, at-will, you can create a small disruption to order nearby. Papers get shuffled, a glass topples over, a painting suddenly hangs at an angle. Nearby creatures that fail a normal save don't notice anything unusual and will assume that the effect happened just naturally.

Daelkyr Half-Blood

Should a pregnant human be exposed to a type of symbiont called a breed leech, the child she is carrying will be born human and appear so until the end of their teenage years. During this time, the effect of the breed leech begins to take hold, forcing their body to grow a parasitic tumor that eventually changes into a symbiont. When this happens, the effects, both mental and physical, on the host become sharp and pronounced as they can feel themselves change under their skin, turning from a human into an aberration... specifically, a Daelkyr Half-blood.

Aberration: You are an aberration instead of a humanoid.

Racial bonus: +2 to any ability score

Symbiont (Racial Power): Once per battle, as a quick action, spend a recovery but gain the recovery roll as temporary hit points.

Adventurer feat: You also gain a +4 bonus to PD until the end of your next turn.


Born not of a mother or father, but created, elans were once mortal beings. Built by a shadowy council to live as psionically awakened superior life forms, elans are capable of sustaining themselves with nothing but the power of the mind. Elans are no longer true mortals, having been unfettered by a secret ritual that created this new race and reborn anew, with but wisps and fragments of memories of their previous lives. Incapable of breeding, elans expand their numbers by choosing members of other races, most often humans, and transforming them into new elans. This would pose a problem for the continuation of the race, except elans do not die of old age. The secrets of the transformation ritual are typically limited to the elite members of the elan secret society that exists, and they take these secrets to the grave before sharing them with lesser beings. Elans are often chosen for being exceptional in some way: sometimes it is because they excel in physical challenges, other times it is because of their quick wit or sharp intellect, or in some cases a natural ability to work with the psionic arts.

In the Dragon Empire, Elan have retreated to the various flying realms of Horizon, where they spend their time studying eternal life and the universe's greater secrets under the protection of the Archmage. Various Archmages are rumored to have undergone a similar ritual to gain eternal life, only to be disposed by a successor after all. Elans make a point that their nature is very different from lichdom, and they have no connection to the Lich King whatsoever. Not everyone believes them.

Aberration: You are an aberration instead of a humanoid.

Racial bonus: +2 to any ability score

Resilience (Racial Power): Once per battle, as a free action, reduce the damage from an attack by twice your level.

Adventurer feat: Add your Intelligence modifier to the damage reduction. Double it at 5th level, triple it at 8th.


Genasi are human-derived planetouched infused with the power of the Elemental Chaos, most often as the result of crossbreeding between humans and the powerful genie races or other elementals that dwell in such planes. Physically powerful and cunning, genasi are a varied race with abilities that vary depending on their lineage.

Genasi are in a constant state of elemental energy, having no “neutral” state they could fall back on. Each genasi has a native elemental state, known as a “manifestation,” which is passed down to them through their ancestry.

In the Dragon Empire, Genasi travel the overworld through gates provided and guarded by the Archmage. They share a friendly rivaly with dragonborn, who are associated with the Three, a relationship that has been quite belligerent in past ages.

Air Genasi

Racial bonus: +2 to Dexterity OR +2 to Intelligence

You gain resist lightning and thunder 16+.

Promise of Storm (Racial Power): Once per battle, as a move action, fly to a nearby location you can see, and deal lightning damage equal to your level to a nearby enemy.

Adventurer feat: If you hit with an attack that deals lightning or thunder damage on the same turn, deal 1d8 extra damage per tier.

Champion feat: You gain a +1 bonus to hit with attacks that deal lightning or thunder damage.

Earth Genasi

Racial bonus: +2 to Strength OR +2 to Constitution

You gain resist acid 16+.

Earth Shock (Racial Power): Once per battle, make a close-quarters attack as a quick action using your highest ability score against the PD of 1d3 nearby enemies. On a hit, the attack deals damage equal to your level and the target is dazed until the end of your next turn.

Adventurer feat: You gain a +1 bonus to saving throws against effects.

Fire Genasi

Racial bonus: +2 to Dexterity OR +2 to Charisma

You gain resist fire 16+.

Firepulse (Racial Power): Once per battle, when you are hit by a melee attack, make a close-quarters attack as an interrupt using your highest ability score against the attacker's Physical Defense. On a hit, deal 1d6 fire damage.

Adventurer feat: You gain resist fire 16+.

Champion feat: You gain a +2 bonus to attack with Firepulse, and increase the damage dice to d8.

Water Genasi

Racial bonus: +2 to Constitution OR +2 to Wisdom

Aquatic: You can breathe under water.

Swiftcurrent (Racial Power): Once per battle, as a move action, move to a nearby location without provoking opportunity attacks or getting intercepted. Gain a +2 bonus to PD until the end of your next turn.

Adventurer feat: You gain a +2 bonus to saves against ongoing damage.


The githyanki are a warrior race living in the Astral Sea. They have yellow, green or greenish-yellowish skin tones and dark red hair. They are cousins to the githzerai, born from the same slave race.

Githyanki society is martial, with both males and females training heavily in magic and combat. Although they are loyal to each other, they are also fiercely individualistic. Raiding illithid strongholds is considered a rite of passage. Dwelling in the timeless Astral Plane, the githyanki inhabit numerous fortresses constructed from materials imported to the plane as well as cities built atop god-isles, the vast stone corpses of deceased deities. Their capital and largest city, Tu'narath, was built on the god-isle of a deceased power known only as the One in the Void.

Racial bonus: +2 Constitution OR +2 Intelligence

Telekinetic Leap (Racial Power): Once per battle as a move action, fly to a nearby location you can see. You gain a +2 bonus to your next melee attack this turn.

Adventurer feat: You can let an ally fly with telekinetic leap instead.

Champion feat: You gain a +1 bonus to MD.


The githzerai are a humanoid race that dwells primarily on the plane of Limbo. Characterized by spare frames and an exotic appearance, githzerai are taller than humans and slender to the point of being gaunt. Their skin tends toward yellow tones, occasionally shading into brown or green. They have distinctive angular features and pointed ears, as well as eyes set in deep sockets and flattened noses set high on their faces.

Githzerai society is very monastic and introspective. Many githzerai train as Monks. Some multi-talented githzerai become zerths, blending magic, combat, and psionics into their fighting. The zerths also hold special significance as religious leaders in githzerai society. Like their cousins and enemies, the githyanki, githzerai often form hunting bands for the purpose of seeking out and destroying the hated illithids.

The Githzerai and the Githyanki were once one race referred to as the People. They were thralls, slaves to the Illithids, and were completely subservient for many years. Zerthimon, one of the People and now a God-like figure to the Githzerai, was the first of The People to gain true self-awareness and resistance to the mental shackles of the illithids. He made others aware of their predicament and showed them how to resist the illithids as well. The process was kept underground for a great time until enough of the People were turned that a full-scale uprising against the illithids was staged. The People were victorious, destroying the last vestiges of the illithid empire upon the Blasted Plains.

It was in the light of this victory that Gith, a warrior-queen and leader of the rebellion, declared that the People would not rest until they had discovered and destroyed all remaining illithids in the multiverse; then, the People would be free to conquer all of the planes of existence and bring war to all other races. Many of the people's hearts shared this goal. Zerthimon argued that the People already knew freedom and should begin to mend the damage done to their race. He too expressed a goal that was in the hearts of many of the People. Still, Gith insisted that hers was the only path and that they would be "under the same sky" in the matter.

Zerthimon then told Gith that there "cannot be two skies." This became known as the Pronouncement of Two Skies, a declaration of war that splintered the People into the races of githyanki and githzerai. Battle was waged on the Blasted Plains, and the githyanki retreated to the Astral Sea while the Githzerai withdrew to the Elemental Chaos. The two races have remained enemies ever since.

Racial bonus: +2 Dexterity OR +2 Wisdom

Iron Mind (Racial Power): Once per battle, as an interrupt when hit by an attack, gain a +2 bonus to all defenses and saving throws until the end of your next turn.

Adventurer feat: When making a saving throw against the dazed, confused and stunned conditions, roll twice and take the better result.

Champion feat: Increase the defense and saving throw bonus from Iron Mind to +3.


Goliaths stand over 7 feet tall and weigh over 300 pounds. Goliaths have blueish-grey skin, which is covered in mottled blue markings; most Goliaths believe that the shape of these markings reflects the destiny of an individual. Male Goliaths are bald and beardless, while females have long hair, usually brown, which they grow and braid to a great length. Goliaths generally live in mountainous areas, sometimes in small tribes atop the mountains, sometimes in caves alongside Dwarves.

Despite their relationship to Giants, the two races share a great deal of enmity. Giants often make slaves of Goliaths, on the grounds that Goliaths are tougher than humans, and the Giants do not need to travel as far away from their mountain homes to find them. This is presumably one of the factors which drove Goliaths underground.

In the Dragon Empire, Goliaths were forced to flee from the northern reaches during a war between giants and dragons in a past age. They found refuge within the mountain homes of dwarves, and even today, they feel a strong allegiance to the Dwarf King. However, recently a few younger Goliaths have grown restless, and they left the mountain halls to join the invading force of the Orc Lord.

Racial bonus: +2 Strength OR +2 Constitution

Stone's Endurance (Racial Power): Reduce all damage you take by 5 points (champion: 10; epic: 20) until the end of your next turn. You can activate this ability once per battle, as a quick action.

Adventurer feat: When you make a skill check to jump or climb, roll twice and use either result.

Champion feat: Stone's Endurance lasts for 2 turns.

Epic feat: Reduce all damage you take by 5 points, when Stone's Endurance is not active.


Kalashtar appear very close to humans, although a clear examination shows them to have almost an alien grace and beauty. Standing slightly taller than humans and usually a little thinner, their hair color, eye color and skin tone have all the same ranges as humans. The only definitive difference between a human and a kalashtar is a complete lack of any natural blemish, regardless of the circumstances.

Racial bonus: +2 to any ability score

Mind link (Racial Power): Once between short rests, you forge a telepathic bond with a nearby willing target for up to 1d6 x 10 minutes. You can communicate telepathically through the bond even if you do not share a common language. No special power or influence is established as a result of the bond. Once the bond is formed, it works over any distance on the same plane.

Adventurer feat: While you have a mind link, both you and the target gain a +1 bonus to MD.


Lizardfolk are semi-aquatic reptilian humanoids. Their skin is covered in scales and varied in color from dark green through to shades of brown and gray. Taller than humans and powerfully built, lizardfolk are often between 6 and 7 feet tall and weigh between 200 and 250 pounds. Lizardfolk have non-prehensile muscular tails that grow to three or four feet in length, and these are used for balance. They also had sharp claws and teeth.

Lizardfolk inhabit swamps all over the Dragon Empire, especially in an area now known as Hell Marsh. The increasing number of hell holes opening in that area has threatened their traditional homes. Some Lizardfolk have joined the Crusader to fight back the menace, while others have migrated to Drakkenhall to live under the protection of the Blue. Her Dragonborn servants see lizardfolk as savage, uncivilized brethren, but still closer than many of the other humanoid races that inhabit the city, and certainly closer than humans.

Racial bonus: +2 Strength OR +2 Dexterity

Natural weapons: Your teeth, claw and tail count as a d4 melee weapons that do not incur the -2 unarmed attack penalty. When attacking with your natural weapons, you benefit from two-weapon fighting (reroll natural 2).

Ambush Predator (Racial Power): Add 1d6 to your your first attack roll in the first round of a battle (or the surprise round, if you get to act).

Adventurer feat: Semi-aquatic: While in a swamp or jungle environment, you can reroll a natural even failed skill check once.


Standing over seven feet tall, minotaurs are massive compared to puny humans. They are bipedal with hooves instead of feet. Their horns usually grow forward facing. While their torso might resemble a large human in appearance, their head is clearly bovine; complete with a snout and an extended jaw line. Minotaurs typically are covered in a thin covering of fur, except for the hands and arms. Often, this is tan to dark brown, but black or white coloration is not unheard of.

Racial bonus: +2 Strength OR +2 Constitution

Gore (Racial Power): Once per battle, when you score an even hit against an enemy you are engaged with, also deal 1d6 damage per level with your horns.

Adventurer feat: When you use this power on a natural 20, it is not expended.

Champion feat: Increase the damage die to d8.


Shifters are fierce hunters strongly influenced by their animal nature. Though they can’t fully change shape as their lycanthrope ancestors can, shifters do become more bestial during the heat of battle, calling on the primal power of the beast within.

Longtooth Shifters

Racial bonus: +2 Strength OR +2 Wisdom

Longtooth Shifting (Racial Power): Once per battle, while staggered, you can spend a recovery without healing as a quick action. Instead, heal hit points equal to one recovery die + Constitution modifier at the end of each turn until the end of battle (5th level: double the amount; 8th level: triple).

Adventurer feat: Also reroll natural 1 on damage rolls.

Champion feat: You gain a bonus recovery.

Razorclaw Shifters

Racial bonus: +2 Dexterity OR +2 Wisdom

Razorclaw Shifting (Racial Power): Once per battle, as a quick action while staggered, grant yourself a +1 bonus to AC and PD until the end of the battle.

Adventurer feat: Also gain a +2 bonus to disengage checks.

Champion feat: You gain a +1 bonus to disengage checks while not staggered.

shadar kai by higherdepthsShadar-Kai

Shadar-kai are humanlike natives of the Shadowfell, or the Underworld, as it is known in the Dragon Empire. They have gray skin and dark eyes. Shadows on their bodies or clothing always seem to be deeper and darker than shadows elsewhere. Many shadar-kai carry body piercings and tattoos.

Shadar-kai are subject to the "Shadow Curse": When shadar-kai are stunned or knocked unconscious, part of their soul is sent back to the Plane of Shadow. A shadar-kai missing parts of his or her soul is weakened. The curse made shadar-kai bitter and prevented many from staying on the Prime Material Plane. The Shadow Curse could be prevented by a gal-ralan, an iron armband with needles that kept the the shadar-kai's soul and body connected but also caused constant pain.

Many worship the Raven Queen, a gloomy, distant but neutral deity of death.

A majority of Shadar-kai oppose necromancy and the Lich King as an unnatural force that disturbs the natural cycle of life and death, an usurper who cheats the Raven Queen of her prize, the souls of the deceased. However, there is a small but fanatic faction who sees the Raven Queen as misguided. They work to align themselves with the Lich King to break from the Underworld and rule the Dragon Empire.

Racial bonus: +2 Dexterity OR +2 Wisdom

Shadow Jaunt (Racial Power): Once per battle as a move action, place yourself in a nearby location you can see. You become insubstantial until the end of your next turn. While insubstantial, you take half damage from attacks but your attacks also deal half damage.

Adventurer feat: You gain a +2 bonus to death saves.

Champion feat: You gain resist negative energy 16+.

Epic feat: Your attacks now deal full damage when insubstantial after Shadow Jaunt.


Shardminds are sentient framents of the Living Gate, which once stood at the pinnacle of the intricate lattace of the Astral Sea. Beyond the gate lay the alien Far Realm, and the gate's destruction during the Dawn War resulted in the rise of the mind flayer empire. Though Ioun's power holds the portal closed, shardminds seek to rebuild the gate and forever cut off the Far Realm's ability to influence the world.

The Shardminds in the Dragon Empire share a similar history. In a previous age, the Archmage created a sentient barrier that sealed off the Abyss and prevented the demons from entering the mortal realms. That barrier was shattered, and in the process, the Empire was overrun by demons. It was the sacrifice of the Great Gold Wyrm that finally sealed the breach.

As constructs, shardminds don't need to eat, sleep or breathe. They have retreated to the Red Wastes, where the scorching sun, lack of water and lack of food are no concern to them but ensure that they can live in relative peace, except for the occasional demon making its way through the Great Gold Wyrm's defenses.

Racial bonus: +2 Intelligence OR +2 Wisdom

Telepath: You can communicate with every creature that has a language.

Shard Swarm (Racial Power): Once per battle as a move action, pop free from all enemies and gain a +2 bonus to attack against each enemy you popped free from until the end of your turn.

Adventurer feat: You gain resist psychic 16+.

Champion feat: As part of your Shard Swarm power, you can teleport to a nearby location you can see.

Wild Elves

Wild elves live as roving bands of nomads, outside of the old walls of the Dragon Empire. In their own eyes, they live free, the way elves are meant to live. They see the other elven races as tamed, caged animals. They reject the civilization and politicking that the Elf Queen represents, and feel a closer kinship to the High Druid. Some even sympathize with the Orc Lord.


Racial bonus: +2 Strength OR +2 Dexterity

Roll and Strike (Racial Power): Once per battle, when an enemy misses you with an attack, make a ranged attack (or melee attack if engaged) against that enemy.

Adventurer feat: You can engage an enemy as part of roll and strike.


Known for their fleetness of foot and natural agility, xephs have a quick wit and the ability to find humor in nearly anything. This disposition can result in others viewing them as carefree or whimsical, but in truth, there is a deep philosophy behind their world view. To a xeph, the world is what you perceive, and their preference is to perceive it in a fun or humorous way, rather than as a morose place. Xephs are known for creating pieces of art of subtle beauty, and their racial homeland is said to be a great rift in the ground, where forests grow and the xephs thrive, using their ability to generate intense bursts of speed to travel the world.

Racial bonus: +2 Dexterity OR +2 Charisma

Burst of Speed (Racial Power): Once per battle, as a quick action, engage an enemy or make a disengage check. Gain a +2 bonus to AC and PD until the end of your next turn.

Adventurer feat: Roll twice on the disengage check and take the better result.

Champion feat: You can engage a far away enemy as long as you have a clear path.




Art credit: Unknown (4E art); Steve Prescott - Githzerai; Jason Juta - Shadar-Kai

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