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Monstrous Races
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Monstrous Races

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Whether you’re playing an all-monster party or just want to play a monstrous race in an otherwise normal party, this document presents rules for playing every creature in the Monster Manual, new feats and backgrounds for monstrous characters, analysis of officially published races, highly detailed rules for building your own races, new rules for tiny races, and rules for templates for player characters.

This supplement is for 5th-edition Dungeons and Dragons. Currently DM's Guild only allows community submissions for 5th edition.

What is in this document?

  • 228 playable races (every creature in the Monster Manual, no exceptions!)
  • 116 subraces 
  • 13 templates for Player Characters, including new rules for Lycanthropes and Vampires
  • Design notes discussing how everything in the document was built and suggestions for changing everything to fit your game
  • Rules for Tiny player characters and races
  • 5 new feats
  • 3 new backgrounds
  • Analysis of official published races with suggestions for ways to alter them
  • Extensive Race Builder rules for building your own races, including 2 new races designed from the ground up to show you how it works (Mongrelfolk, and Animated Tomes)
  • Template Builder rules for building your own templates for player characters
  • Includes both the full version of Monstrous Races and the Monstrous Races Compact Edition, a slimmed-down version of the document with a lot of the clutter removed to make it a great reference option on the go

Does that seem like a lot? It is! Are you still not sure? Take a look at the preview, which covers the first 20 pages of the document, including the rules for Tiny creatures and complete racial traits for 7 races.

Featured on Kotaku, a top post on /r/DnD/, and thanks to all of you fine folks, a Platinum Best Seller on DM's Guild!

 
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Reviews (22)
Discussions (32)
Customer avatar
Jens Heika S February 10, 2018 1:05 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I am reading through the race creator, working on a race conversion and I noticed that Lighting is called Electricity for Damage Immunity and Damage Resistance on pg. 288. The listing for the Animated Tome on 293 also doesn't include it's ability to hover.
Customer avatar
Jens Heika S February 11, 2018 2:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Also found a slight problem in the published races appendix, the balancing entry for tortles is placed after the Yuan-ti Pureblood entry.
Customer avatar
Jens Heika S February 11, 2018 8:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So, I am looking at the Quaggoth, and the listed claw attack is 1d8, even though the MM stat block says 1d6 and the design not 1.5 BP (for 1d6). The reduction in speed also didn't transfer to the final product and Quaggoths actually have +2 natural armour, not +3 (they have +1 dex and an AC of 13).

I also want to ask your thoughts on giving a humanoid race 1d8 natural weapons (it makes sense for creatures with no hands), so far only the lycanthropes have that strong natural weapons, the Quaggoth and the lizardfolk are next in line with 1d6, but I want 1d8 for the race I am building (with your race builder) based on the tiger, converting it to a humanoid with hands.

Tigerfolk (10 BP)
• Ability Score Increase (3 BP). +2 fixed, +1 fixed.
• Size (0 BP). Medium.
• Speed (0 BP). 30 ft.
• Vision and Senses (2.5 BP). Darkvision (2) and Keen Smell (0.5).
• Languages (0 BP). Racial Language and Common.
• Proficiencies (1 BP). Two fixed skills....See more
Customer avatar
Tyler K February 12, 2018 5:27 am UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for spotting all of those issues! I'm working on the next update to the document, which will include those corrections.

Your Tigerfolk looks good. Personally I don't think that there's anything strictly wrong with a humanoid race having d8 natural weapons. d8 damage isn't any more than you could get from a one-handed weapon, and the only significant advantage you get is that you can't be disarmed. Combining it with pounce is a fun combination, and it forces the player to use their natural weapons instead of something that does more damage like a greatsword. Still, if you're worried about it becoming a problem you could drop the damage to 1d6 and encourage players to pick up the Natural Weapon fighting style, or the Natural Weapon Master feat if they want additional damage from their natural weapons.
Customer avatar
Richard G February 07, 2018 8:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I love the product! Would you be willing and able to assign point values to various levels of classes and/or feats in the PHB? I would love to see that!
Customer avatar
Tyler K February 09, 2018 4:53 am UTC
CREATOR
That's not on my radar at the moment, unfortunately.

But if that's something you want to see, then you should definitely try it on your own!
Customer avatar
Rhys M February 03, 2018 8:01 am UTC
PURCHASER
Wow this is ridiculous value for the amount of content! Really keen to give some of these to my players next campaign! Gonna make a little tweaks to some of them as the balance has sacrificed some of the races flavour (mainly succubi and doppelgangers). Thanks so much for this!
Customer avatar
Matthew M February 01, 2018 1:27 am UTC
PURCHASER
I noticed in the Yeti entry that the Chilling Gaze DC is 8 plus Proficiency Bonus, plus...blank. Was a third score supposed to be added or did that + get put there by mistake?
Customer avatar
Tyler K February 01, 2018 4:35 am UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for spotting that. It looks like it should be 8 + proficiency bonus + Constitution bonus.

I'll make sure to fix that in the next round of corrections.
Customer avatar
Isaac M January 31, 2018 12:52 am UTC
You should make one with monsters from VGtM and the adventure appendixes
Customer avatar
January 31, 2018 5:22 am UTC
PURCHASER
this is an amazing idea! Please do this!!!
Customer avatar
January 31, 2018 5:22 am UTC
PURCHASER
i would so pay for a tome of beasts version
Customer avatar
Tyler K January 31, 2018 5:43 am UTC
CREATOR
I'm already working on VGtM, and I'm planning to do the adventure appendices after that.

Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to do a Tome of Beasts version. Since Tome of Beasts is published by Kobold Press outside of DM's Guild, I don't have legal rights to adapt material from Tome of Beasts. However, once I'm caught up on official material I'll try to get in touch with the folks at Kobold Press and see if they'd be willing to collaborate. They're an excellent shop, and I'd be thrilled to work with them.
Customer avatar
Kiel H January 29, 2018 6:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Like the doc. A bit disappointed with everything being medium sized. Probably going to homebrew a feat to allow a single size increase up to a max based on race. Get an increase in carrying weight and an extra 1d4 damage much like enlarge person. Subsequent size increases boost the damage die or something like that. It doesn't feel very giantish playing a medium sized "giant".
Customer avatar
Tyler K January 30, 2018 4:54 am UTC
CREATOR
That's something that I spent a lot of time wrestling with, and I never found a design solution that I really liked. I borrowed from Goliaths and all giants get Large Build so they still get the increased carrying capacity, but a flat +1d4 bonus to damage is really strong unless you cut other things from the race. Eventually I'll figure out a design I like (or WotC will publish official rules for large player races) and I'll figure out where to go from there.

In the mean time, definitely experiment with it. Find whatever works for your group and use it. I fully intended for people to disagree with my design decisions and make their own tweaks. That's why I included the design notes for every race.
Customer avatar
Kiel H February 02, 2018 3:47 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I think that is why a feat is a good way to go. It's optional and it's a trade-off. Plus a flat damage bonus of 2 or a +1d4 isn't too bad compared to the ASI or some other feats out there like great weapon master, sharpshooter or other really great and highly damaging feats. That way, you don't have to cut anything from the race and for most of the races, they couldn't pick it up until level 4 at a minimum, which is about the level you start seeing large and bigger creatures with some amount of frequency.
Customer avatar
Lee R January 29, 2018 5:56 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey this doc is awesome but I had a question: superior darkvision and sunlight sensitivity are listed on the Drider design notes but not the traits, is that intentional?
Customer avatar
Tyler K January 30, 2018 4:50 am UTC
CREATOR
Oops! That was definitely an error. I've uploaded an updated version with corrections.
Customer avatar
Lee R February 09, 2018 5:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Cool thanks!
Customer avatar
Lee R February 09, 2018 5:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So I don't mean to be a bother but I thought you might like to know that their sunlight sensitivity listing now has two copies of the same text. I do appreciate your response though!
Customer avatar
Tyler K February 09, 2018 5:20 pm UTC
CREATOR
Oops! I'll be sure to correct that in the next update to the file.
Customer avatar
Matthew M January 28, 2018 2:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This document has come in so handy. Great work. Are you going to do one for the monsters in Volo's Guide to Monsters?
Customer avatar
Tyler K January 28, 2018 5:38 pm UTC
CREATOR
Definitely! I'm working on it right now, and I'll post it as a separate product some time in the next few months.
Customer avatar
Jacob H January 27, 2018 9:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Fantastic work, I can't wait to put my Human-Werebear Paladin into use.

Just one question, does having a full 2 levels in your chosen lycanthrope count against character progression? Can a werebear paladin reach level 20 paladin along with having 2 levels in lycanthrope?
Customer avatar
Tyler K January 28, 2018 6:27 am UTC
CREATOR
Levels in templates work similarly to multiclassing, so they count against the 20-level cap. That means that your Werebear Paladin would stop at 18 levels in Paladin.
Customer avatar
Nate W January 26, 2018 12:08 am UTC
PURCHASER
In the "Playing a Lizardfolk" section it cuts off in the middle of the last sentence.
Customer avatar
Tyler K January 26, 2018 5:53 am UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for spotting that. I've uploaded an updated version with corrections.
Customer avatar
January 25, 2018 2:38 am UTC
PURCHASER
Good product, but a quick bug report: In the compact edition PDF the entire 'Traits' section for devils is missing.
Customer avatar
Tyler K January 26, 2018 5:53 am UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for spotting that. I've uploaded an updated version with corrections.
Customer avatar
Ben W January 24, 2018 5:17 am UTC
PURCHASER
galeb duhr: "They are renowned for their ability to remain motion"
purple worms: "Alignment. Usually unintelligent creatures, most purple worms are unintelligent."
Xorn: appears to be missing a "Treasure Sense" trait described in design notes.
"Playing a Yugoloth" has no text under Ultroloth.
Customer avatar
Tyler K January 30, 2018 4:47 am UTC
CREATOR
Sorry, I somehow forgot to respond to your comment! I've uploaded updated versions with corrections to the issues you spotted.
Customer avatar
Catie D January 23, 2018 12:20 am UTC
PURCHASER
I have a question. Under the unicorn's Charge feature it says: "Once per turn, if you move at least 15 feet toward a creature and hit it with a Strength-based melee weapon attack, the target takes an extra 1d6 damage from the attack." However, it says under No Hands that the unicorn is unable to wield weapons, and since Charge specifies melee weapon, how does this work? Also, unrelated question, but would unicorn be a good race for a ranger?
Thanks!
Customer avatar
Matthew D January 23, 2018 9:47 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I was initially confused by "Melee weapon attack" and what it means too. Basically, in 5E, physical (i.e. non-magical) attacks are "weapon" attacks, even if there is no actual *weapon* to speak of. If you pull the Unicorn stat block off the internet, you can see that the "Hooves" and "Horn" actions have "Melee Weapon Attack" in their descriptions.
Customer avatar
Tyler K January 24, 2018 6:02 am UTC
CREATOR
Matthew D's comment is correct. In 5e, there are 4 kinds of attacks: melee spell attacks, ranged spell attacks, melee weapon attacks, and ranged weapon attacks. Natural weapons are almost always melee weapon attacks.

As to whether or not Unicorns would make good rangers: Yes, I think they would. Be sure to check the "Class Options" section of the document for the Natural Weapon fighting style, which might be helpful. You may also have trouble casting some spells since Unicorns can't hold material components (they don't have hands), so be careful to check the components of your spells before you learn them.
Customer avatar
joshua H January 21, 2018 8:08 am UTC
PURCHASER
This is great I always was waiting for someone to do this and I highly appreciate the work that was put into this.
Customer avatar
Seth L January 18, 2018 12:55 am UTC
Greetings I’m new to this website and was wondering if I purchase this does the pdf stay on this site or how does it work? Sorry if it’s a dumb question I’m rather new to D&D as a whole.
Customer avatar
Tyler K January 18, 2018 8:43 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Seth! Welcome to the website.

If you purchase products on DM's Guild or any of the other OneBookshelf sites, they're added to your accounts "library". Look for the "My Library" link in the upper right corner of the page. I think it appears even if you don't own anything yet, but I'm not certain. From your "My Library" page, you can either directly download the product (a PDF in the case of Monstrous Races), or you can have the file sent your Dropbox account if you have one. If the product contains multiple files (Monstrous Races contains 2: Monstrous Races, and Monstrous Races Compact Edition), you download each file individually.

If that didn't adequately explain things, I encourage you to download one of the other products on DM's Guild which is listed for free. The entire cat-purchase-download process is exactly the same as for a paid product, but you won't be charged money.

And if you're new to D&D as a whole, welcome to the hobby!...See more
Customer avatar
Seth L January 25, 2018 2:43 am UTC
Thank you very much sir although I’m sorry for some reason I am unable to read the full message. I try to “see more” and nothing happens. Could it be because I’m on a mobile platform?
Customer avatar
Tyler K January 25, 2018 6:32 am UTC
CREATOR
Almost definitely. OneBookShelf's mobile support is very much a work in progress. You can try requesting the desktop version of the site on your phone, but that's not foolproof either. Your best bet is to return when you've got some time to set down at a full computer.
Customer avatar
Mark H January 16, 2018 5:10 am UTC
PURCHASER
Tyler, the scope of this is ridiculous. I can't imagine how much time it took to put this together. Congratulations, it really is worth far more than you are selling it for.
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Platinum seller
Community Content
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Pages
294
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File Last Updated:
January 31, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on January 02, 2018.