Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons has given several character classes a facelift. The druid among them. Two of the druid hallmark abilities are spellcasting and wildshape. The D&D druid 5E gets wildshape earlier than most of the editions of D&D if not all. My first 1E D&D character was a druid. You could say I am a bit fond of druids throughout all of the editions of D&D. You might be wondering what all of that has to do with the title of this article. I’ll get to that on the other side of our best race to play character classes druid video.
D&D Druid 5E — Best Race in Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons
What makes a druid a druid?
Druids are the embodiment of nature. They embody its primal nature through spell, wildshape, and other mystical abilities. I will look at several factors to determine the absolute best race to play a druid in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. I will look at ability score adjustments that are beneficial to being a druid, in this case Wisdom. Then there are racial features tying them to nature. Finally, I’ll look at what races have strong thematic ties to being a druid.
We’ll start with all the races that get a bonus to Wisdom. If you go with a Circle of the Moon druid, your physical stats won’t matter nearly as much. A good Constitution score is something you can never go wrong with. Some races are super versatile because of floating ability score bonuses. They are good for nearly any of the character classes when it comes to stats.
- Warforged Envoy
- Simic Hybrid
Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons races with a Wisdom bonus
- Protector Aasimar
- Hill Dwarf
- Wood Elf
- Water Genasi
- Tiefling (Fierna variant)
Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons races with nature-based features
Next I’ll look at D&D races with an affinity for nature or nature-based magic.
- Wood Elf — can use their Mask of the Wild to blend in with natural surroundings
- Firbolg — has spell-like abilities and Speech of Beast and Leaf which allows them talk animals and plants
- Water Genasi — amphibious, Swim speed, Call to the Wave spells all add up to make an aquatic-themed druid
- Forest Gnome — ability to Speak with Small Animals ties the forest gnome deeper to the natural world
- Lizardfolk — Have the Cunning Artisan ability which allows them to use all of their kills and not leave anything to go for waste., Swim Speed and natural habitat makes them the perfect candidate for a swamp druid
- Yuan-ti Pureblood — animal friendship with snakes at-will and some other spell-like abilities if you are looking for a snake-themed druid, this is the perfect race in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons
Side note: Ghostwise halflings and kalashtar both have telepathy. One of the biggest flaws of the druids strongest ability — wildshape — is the lack speech. Telepathy gets around this drawback.
Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons races with a natural themes
Themes I’ll break into three different categories — druids connected to the elemental planes, fey/sylvan realms, and primal forces. Elemental means creatures that either come from or are connected to one of the four elemental planes. Often these races have spell-like abilities connected to their particular element. Fey/sylvan realms would be the Feywild or other realms of faerie. These are either creatures with the fey type or have a heavy connection to those places. Finally there’s the races that revel in the primal forces of nature. Often these races are more tribal and/or primitive. It’s not uncommon for their shamans or witch doctors to actually be druids.
- Fey/Sylvan Druids
- Forest Gnome
- Elemental Druids
- Primal Druids
Side note: Anthropomorphic races seem perfectly themed for wilderness based character classes like druids and rangers. Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons has plenty of animal humanoids, especially with the release of Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Guild Master’s Guide to Ravnica. Many of them have a bonus to Wisdom. This makes sense since Wisdom represents common sense, will power, and Perception.There are five with a Wisdom bonus: aarocokra, lizardfolk, centaur, kenku, and tortle. Neither the yuun-ti nor tabaxi get a bonus to their Wisdom scores. Any would make great druids thematically in my opinion.
Top 3 races for D&D druid 5E
- Forest Gnome — With their Gnome Cunning, minor illusion cantrip, and the ability to speak with small beasts they just feel like mischievous little fey creatures. Gnome Cunning is a great feature for any gnome wishing to go Circle of the Moon. Minor illusion is just an added bonus. The ability to speak with small beasts adds to their connection with nature and the creatures that inhabit it.
- Lizardfolk — This is an amazing choice for that shaman or witch doctor feel druid. They primitive and primal nature makes them adept at living in the wilds. They are especially at home in the swamp making them an obvious choice for Circle of the Land swamp druids.
- Firbolg — These gentle giants of the woods are literally fey creatures. Firbolgs can speak animals and plants and even have spell-like abilities.
The question is, what is your favorite fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons race to play a druid?
My name is Dave Friant I’ve been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it’s always been a part of my life I’ve kept secret and hidden away. I’ve always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth.
Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I’m gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life.
Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG’s.