Over the years Dungeons & Dragons has offered many different races for players to choose from. I know that some Dungeon Masters are very much against anything that does not look normal. Let’s forget the dragonborn and tielfing and play with humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes and halflings. With those races there are plenty of options even without all the subrace choices. But if you are like me you enjoy all the choices and you want to play the things that are bizarre and interesting. If you happen to look around this site you will see many different monstrous humanoids I statted out for 5E D&D and even made up some of my own, so feel free to poke around. I’ve had a fondness for monstrous humanoid races from the beginning of my roleplaying days. The Complete Book of Humanoids was always my favorite, with races like the wemic, the ogre mage and of course the dino people — saurials. I used this book over and over again playing second edition AD&D. And now Deck of Many has an free PDF designed for anyone who enjoys anthropomorphic characters for 5E D&D.
Give monstrous humanoids a chance
If you are one of these DMs who do not like these weird or non-standard races I ask you, “Why?” What is the issue with playing with these extra options? Is the roleplaying challenge more than what you are interested in doing? Are you wanting to save these type of characters for NPCs or bad guys? It is possible to have the bad guys still be bad guys and the players be these wonderful races full of lore and intrigue.
In the video we above we go through some wonderful campaign uses for these humanoids. You can have the all-humanoid party or you can mix it up. We also share how we were inspired by the free Humblewood PDF from the Deck of Many. On their site you can download this great content totally free, as well as pick up some awesome sale items while it lasts. You can get up to 50 percent off during the Deck of Many Black Friday sale! If you stop by tell them Nerdarchy sent you and use the promo code Nerdarchy for an additional 5 percent off the already great prices.
If you want my opinion for why I use the monstrous races, lets dive into it. First and foremost I have been gaming for decades, but even from the beginning I liked the weird stuff. There is always two sides to every coin and therefore two sides to this as well.
Yeah, the mechanical benefits are always something to look at and I will not deny some of the cool things humanoids can do is pretty darn sweet. But the second is pretty cut and dry. I am already human. Well, maybe not completely human if you ask my friends, but I digress.
If I am already used to being someone from society and a normal life would it not be more fun to challenge oneself and be something more alien? Can you play a lizardfolk who beyond being cold-blooded has less emotional range than what they might refer to as the pink skins?
What about a society where magic is more prevalent, like with centaurs or other fey creatures? Magic might exist in elven, dwarven, and even human societies but it is not ever-present as it might be in these other cultures. By playing one of these other races a player might want to approach a problem and find solutions from completely different angles, and that can be far more fun.
The Humblewood PDF I mentioned earlier offers up some great features to add to your game including new humanoid races — both bird people to add to your aarocokra and kenku. This would give you ample room to play a party of all birds and have a lot of fun with it. Humblewood also has new magic items, monsters and a terrific adventure in a brand new setting.
Why not jump over to the Deck of Many site and check it out along with the awesome card deck accessories for your 5E games? If you do download Humblewood, be sure to share your feedback with the Deck of Many folks.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, stay nerdy!
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The nerd is strong in this one. I received my bachelors degree in communication with a specialization in Radio/TV/Film. I have been a table op role player for about 20 years 17 of which with the current group. I have played several itterations of D&D, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd editions, Star wars RPG, Shadowrun and World of Darkness. I am an avid fan of books and follow a few authors reading all they write. Favorite author is Jim Butcher I have been an on/off larper for around 15 years even doing a stretch of running my own for a while. I have played a number of Miniature games including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Heroscape, Mage Knight, Dreamblade and D&D Miniatures. I have practiced with the art of the German long sword with an ARMA group for over 7 years studying the German long sword, sword and buckler, dagger, axe and polearm. By no strecth of the imagination am I an expert but good enough to last longer than the average person if the Zombie apocalypse ever happens. I am an avid fan of board games and dice games with my current favorite being Quarrios.