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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 KotakuVice, and the D&D Character Lab Podcast, a front-page 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 (25)
Discussions (45)
Customer avatar
Nathanael W April 23, 2018 6:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
on page 268 the wolf's design notes mention the no hands trait and natural weapons, but the wolf traits don't seem to list these.
Customer avatar
Tyler K April 24, 2018 4:21 am UTC
CREATOR
Oops! That's embarrassing. I'll correct that and upload an updated document some time in the next couple days.
Customer avatar
Patrick T March 29, 2018 11:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
On page 279, the wood elf's movement speed of 35 feet is listed as +1 BP, while on page 286 in the race builder the 35 foot walking speed is only +0.5 BP.
Customer avatar
Tyler K March 30, 2018 5:02 am UTC
CREATOR
Good catch. I'll be sure to correct that in the next update to the document.
Customer avatar
Timid Robot Z March 27, 2018 3:51 am UTC
PURCHASER
This is a fantastic document! Thank you keeping it up-to-date and correcting issues!
Customer avatar
Brandon S March 24, 2018 5:12 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Maybe a lengthier Lycanthrope Level Chart. The shortness of it doesn't feel like a curse, more a nuisance to deal with because its only three levels, if it were ten, I believe it would grasp the curse feel to it. Maybe add in during that time that the Lycanthrope is prone to outbursts or thievery if their Lycanthrope turns them Chaotic Evil.
Customer avatar
Tyler K March 25, 2018 4:48 am UTC
CREATOR
That's an interesting suggestion. I had a few design objectives in mind when balancing lycanthropy, and 2 levels proved to be sufficient to hit all of the important stuff. If you like the idea of additional lycanthrope levels, the document has everything you need to extend, alter, or even rewrite what I've written, and I strongly encourage you to do try it!
Customer avatar
Brandon S March 28, 2018 2:51 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you. I will try what I can to come up with something and report back on my findings and how it proceeded! =]
Thank you for this marvelous book though!
Customer avatar
Pedro C March 21, 2018 1:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Great product! I've had a ton of fun looking through it and using it to build my own races.
Also if this in particular has been pointed out yet, but the Awakened Tree is missing some things that are included in its design notes, namely the natural armor and the 1d8 unarmed strike die, instead have 1d6 and no natural armor.
The notes for bats also says it should have 5 ft walking speed, but it has a 30 ft one.
Customer avatar
Tyler K March 22, 2018 3:49 am UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for spotting those. I'll be sure to correct those in the next update to the file.
Customer avatar
Derek T March 17, 2018 3:50 am UTC
How do the file updates work for this? Buy a new copy after the updates or can you just download a new version? The cost is so low it doesn’t matter too much, but I was just curious.
Customer avatar
Tyler K March 17, 2018 11:27 pm UTC
CREATOR
It works the same way for all OneBookShelf sites: If you go to your Account page, near the top of the page there is an "Updated products" link. A number will appear in parentheses if any of your products have been updated since the last time you downloaded them.

Any time you download a product, you are always downloading the latest version.
Customer avatar
Elijah J March 05, 2018 10:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This is great! Actually balanced, unlike most homebrew and many of Wizards monstrous races. I did notice a couple of typos. From the hydra: "If you have no more hit dice you spend, you fall to 0 hit points and begin dying." Shouldn't that be "hit dice to spend" instead? Also, under the "Playing a <monster name>" section, many entries have "Like many other creatures, being awakened has a Monster Manualgreat deal of influence on your character’s personality."
Customer avatar
Elijah J March 05, 2018 10:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The Succubus/Incubus charm ability seems awkwardly worded. It might read more easily as a direct copy from Charm Person. "As an action, you attempt to magically charm a humanoid you can see within 30 feet. It must make a Wisdom saving throw, and does so with advantage if you or your companions are fighting it. The DC for the saving throw is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. If it fails the saving throw, it is charmed by you for one hour or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it. The charmed creature regards you as a friendly acquaintance. When the spell ends, the creature knows it was charmed by you.
After you use this ability, you can't use it again until you complete a short or long rest."

Also, the Hydra's darkvision has a range of 10 feet. Is that intentional? The design notes score it at 2BP, which is the same as the score for 60 feet
Customer avatar
Elijah J March 05, 2018 10:57 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The Invisible Stalker's "No Hands" seems redundant with "Unstable Form". Also, "Air Body" should be "You are immune to exhaustion, and grappled, petrified, prone, restrained, and unconscious conditions."
Customer avatar
Tyler K March 06, 2018 8:10 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for spotting those. I'll make sure that they're corrected next time I update the file.
Customer avatar
Jeremy H March 02, 2018 7:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm very satisfied with this product. There's so much awesome for such a low price. One thing that I'm confused by (and please forgive me if it's in the book and I missed it) is why creatures that are Large such as Ettins can't actually be "Large" and must instead settle for "Powerful Build"? Thanks in advance. :^)
Customer avatar
Tyler K March 02, 2018 2:38 pm UTC
CREATOR
I think I did a poor job of explaining that design decision in the document. Essentially, it boils down to balance. Being large comes with a lot of complications, and raises a lot of rules questions that I haven't yet found a good answer to.

I'm working on a couple of ways to handle allowing large and larger creatures, and when I'm satisfied with them I'll add the document as an additional file on this product so that everyone who is already enjoying Monstrous Races will get it for free.
Customer avatar
Matthew M March 01, 2018 2:27 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'm trying to use your race creation system on a Nereid from Tales from the Yawning Portal, but I'm getting stumped by the number of abilities the Nereid has which makes it's BP shoot through the roof. Any advice?
Customer avatar
Tyler K March 01, 2018 6:46 pm UTC
CREATOR
Ooh, that's a fun monster. Eventually I'm planning to do a full adaptation of all of the new monsters in the official adventures, but I'll skip ahead to the Nereid since its giving you trouble. I won't type out a full design notes section, but I'll do an abridged version.

At a glance, I can definitely see why the Nereid is coming out with a really high BP value. It's got a high swim speed and a whole bunch of special abilities. In cases like this, it's really helpful to cut stuff down in to a normal range that's more reflective of official races.

* Creature Type: Fey (0.5 BP)
* Ability Increases: +1 Dex, +1 Cha (2 BP)
* Speed: 30 ft. walking (0 BP), 30 ft. swim (down from 60) (1 BP)
* Darkvision (2 BP)
* Languages: Racial+Common (0 BP) and 2 fixed (0.5 BP)
* Amphibious (0.5 BP)

That's 6.5 BP before we touch the hard stuff.

* Replace "Aquatic Invisibility" with Hidden Step. Normally 2 BP, but with the underwater limitation...See more
Customer avatar
Matthew M March 05, 2018 3:21 am UTC
PURCHASER
This is perfect. Thanks for the help.
Customer avatar
Jason J February 24, 2018 5:52 am UTC
PURCHASER
So, I'm considering making a faerie dragon, and I noticed in the Trickster Magic section that it says, "You may cast spells as though you were using a magic focus, even if you are not doing so." Is that any spell they may get, like if they class into sorcerer, or just the racial spells?
Customer avatar
Jason J February 24, 2018 6:04 am UTC
PURCHASER
Actually, ignore that. I forgot to look in the design notes and read that it is supposed to cover all spells. Great book, by the way!
Customer avatar
Matthew M February 23, 2018 2:57 am UTC
PURCHASER
So, does Level 0 for Lycanthropy count against the level cap or is that one of those things that are up to the DM?
Customer avatar
Tyler K February 23, 2018 5:07 am UTC
CREATOR
Leveled templates count against the level cap, but X+0=X, so Level 0 doesn't raise your effective level. A level 10 fighter that is afflicted with lycanthropy becomes a Fight 10/Lycanthrope 0, and is still effectively a 10th-level character. Further levels in the template count against the level cap, however. So if you're level 19 and become a lycanthrope, you may end up as a Fighter 19/Lycanthrope 1 and you'll never see the second level of lycanthropy.
Customer avatar
David T February 22, 2018 5:10 am UTC
PURCHASER
I was reading over the Nothic Race and noticed in Design Notes for the Nothic on p159 it says they get proficiency in Insight. However they don't appear to have Insight proficiency in their traits. But, they do have proficiency in Stealth which wasn't listed. Is this a typo? Or have I missed something?
Customer avatar
Tyler K February 22, 2018 3:19 pm UTC
CREATOR
Yes, that was definitely an error. I'll be sure to correct that in the next update to the file, which I'm planning to upload some time today.
Customer avatar
Ben W February 19, 2018 7:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'm thinking of building an animated armor character. You've given animated objects immunity to exhaustion--how does this balance with the Barbarian class frenzy which gives them a melee attack bonus action every turn at the cost of one level of exhaustion? Would I just be able to frenzy every time I rage with no downside?
Customer avatar
Tyler K February 19, 2018 11:58 pm UTC
CREATOR
Just to clarify the rule for Frenzied Rage: You suffer one level of exhaustion at the end of your rage, not every time you make the extra attack. I'm sure you knew that, but the way you worded the question wasn't 100% clear so I wanted to make sure we're on the same page.

Yes, immunity to exhaustion would probably allow you to use Frenzied Rage every time your character rages at no additional cost. However, your DM might rule that because you are immune to exhaustion you are immune to effects which cause exhaustion, including Frenzied Rage, and therefore couldn't benefit from the ability. As a compromise, you might rule that you ignore the exhaustion effect but limit yourself to using Frenzied Rage once per short or long rest.
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!
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Platinum seller
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Pages
294
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Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
February 23, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on January 02, 2018.