Canon:Race

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3e/3.5e Level Adjustment, discussion on racism, and how different worlds have different races with a comparison between Forgotten Realms and Eberron as a focus. Also, subraces, including elemental subraces.


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The worlds of dungeons and dragons contain multiple races. In general, each race grants racial abilities and may modify ability scores.

Ability Score Adjustment[edit]

In early editions of DnD, ability scores (notably the physical abilities) were capped based on race.

In 3e and later editions, there is no cap to ability scores based on race, but races still give modifiers to certain ability scores. These modifiers lead players to choosing specific races to go alongside certain classes and not along others. For example, a player wanting to play a barbarian would probably choose a race that gave a bonus to strength and never choose a race that gives a penalty.

In fifth edition, races provide adjustment to select ability scores. A character's ability scores, after class adjustment, are limited to a maximum of 20.[1]

Favored Classes[edit]

In earlier editions of DnD, the highest level a creature can take in a class depended upon its race.

In third edition, and its revised 3.5 edition, race no longer affected maximum levels in classes, but could still be a requirement for prestige classes.. Unearthed Arcana gave two racial-based class types, bloodlines and racial paragon classes.

In fourth edition, races have no strong tie to classes, with only a few paragon paths requiring specific races.

Fifth edition races do not list a favored class.[1] However, some subclasses are usually limited to a specific species.[2]

Racism[edit]

Certain species seem to have an in-born hatred for other races represented through granted racial features. For example, dwarves have a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against goblins in 3.5e.

Subraces[edit]

For many races, subraces exist. Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings are examples.[1]

Proficiencies[edit]

In fifth edition, races will have proficiency with some or all of the following:[1]

  • Skill(s)
  • Saving Throw(s)
  • Tools
  • Weapon Type(s)

Languages[edit]

In fifth edition, races will be proficient in one or more languages.[1]

Age[edit]

Fifth edition usually lists the age that a race reaches maturity and its typical lifespan.[1]

Alignment[edit]

Fifth edition lists any alignment tendency of a race.[1]

Size[edit]

In fifth edition, the size category of a race is usually stated. This is usually medium or small.[1]

Speed[edit]

Fifth edition provides the movement speed in feet for each race.[1]

Senses[edit]

In fifth edition, if a race has a special sense, it is listed. The most common example of this is Darkvision.[1]

Sources[edit]

See also[edit]



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