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Monstrous Races
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https://watermark.dmsguild.com/pdf_previews/230312-sample.pdf

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, Large, Huge, and Gargantuan player races
  • 5 new feats
  • 3 new backgrounds
  • Analysis of all of the 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, an Adamantine Best Seller on DM's Guild in less than 48 hours!

Thanks to Rob Twohy and his team, Monstrous Races is now available for the Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop!

 
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Reviews (39)
Discussions (105)
Customer avatar
Aaron T October 18, 2021 5:11 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi wonderful read so far, and I don't know if I missed it or not but for Cloakers, going over to Design Notes it talks how they have Moan and Phantasms as abilities? But when looking at their traits, it has no mention of them at all. Other than that everything seems in order I've read so far.
Customer avatar
Alorix T September 15, 2021 12:59 am UTC
PURCHASER
People Need to understand....this is 228 playable races and 116 subraces! INCLUDING How they were designed and HOW to RP them. This was SO MUCH WORK! And it is in my top 5 favorite Homebrew creations ever!
Customer avatar
Dylan B April 29, 2021 1:36 am UTC
PURCHASER
I bought this twice and dont have access to download or view it
Customer avatar
Tyler K April 29, 2021 4:02 am UTC
CREATOR
Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that. Try contacting the DMsGuild customer service folks. They should be able to help. Unfortunately there's nothing that I can do on my end.
Customer avatar
Jacob M April 16, 2021 2:16 am UTC
PURCHASER
Have you considered making a physical book? there is just so much here its amazing, and the fact that there are no other books on the market anywhere close to this convinces me it would be a major hit. Id gladly spend $50-$60 for a hardback copy. Also have you considered the metallic dragons ability to polymorph into humanoids? maybe allow them to do that but only during a short or long rest so no on the fly transformations. while human they gain benefit of hands and armor but loose dragon racial traits. atleast copper and silver dragons since their whole thing is being social with humanoids. Plus the silver dragon had some points left over. if its too much too add to the base race maybe itd make a great feat.
Customer avatar
Tyler K April 16, 2021 1:58 pm UTC
CREATOR
A physical book would be interesting, but I don't think that's going to happen any time soon. In the mean time, I have friends who have gotten copies printed and spiral-bound at copy stores.

Dragons already push the limits on BP, so it's hard to add more traits for them. But if you want to try it in your game, I strongly encourage you to do so. Check my design notes in the Dragon race entry, and consider other options like the Doppelganger for reference.
Customer avatar
Maria H October 11, 2021 12:08 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey, I bought this book for that purpose (to print a copy for my kiddo's birthday) but there is a problem with the permissions in doing so. How do we get in contact to work that out?
Customer avatar
Tyler K October 11, 2021 4:11 pm UTC
CREATOR
Sorry, I honestly don't know. Is the PDF file not allowing you to print it? I don't know what would be causing that, but it might be something that DMsGuild/DriveThruRPG imposes. Maybe try contacting customer support?
Customer avatar
David K December 24, 2020 12:13 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi there, got the pdf awhile ago and just had a three questions I wanted to ask, one about an error and two clarifications. I noticed under the Death Knight's Hellfire Orb entry it says to make a reflex saving throw, it should be Dexterity for the save? Second, are the various natural weapons like claws and intended to only get a modifier added to attack/damage rolls if you take Natural Weapon Master? Last question, with the various monsters with Regeneration its supposed to be only a single Hit Die you can spend per turn?
Customer avatar
Tyler K December 28, 2020 4:03 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hellfire Orb is definitely an error. Thanks for spotting that.

Natural weapons apply your Strength modifier by default just like any other melee weapon attack attack.

Regeneration says "As a bonus action, you may spend a Hit Die to recover hit points." The phrase "a hit die" was intentional: you can only spend one hit die per turn.
Customer avatar
Joseph M December 11, 2020 10:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi there, I love this book, probably the best racial options pdf out there. Just wanted to ask, should there be any restrictions over how many templates can be applied to one character? Could I make a skeleton-vampire-half-dragon-werewolf? I can't see any mention of that in the book. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Tyler K December 11, 2020 11:23 pm UTC
CREATOR
I intentionally did not write any sort of numerical limitation on how many templates can be applied. Templates have built-in restrictions on which creatures can have that template, but beyond that it's whatever the DM will allow.

You could no have a skeleton vampire because the skeleton and vampire templates both require that the base creature be a living creature, and skeletons and vampires are both undead. You could, however, have a half-dragon werewolf who then becomes either a skeleton or a vampire provided that our DM would welcome such a character in their game.
Customer avatar
Jonathan D December 08, 2020 4:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Tyler,
I bought this product a while ago and really used it at almost every game, building interesting npcs with this and i loved it very much. I was wondering how exactly did you determined that an ability was 1 BP, 2 BP ect. I searched everywhere but couldnt find the answer maybe it was right under my nose! Thanks a lot again for this wonderful product.
Customer avatar
Tyler K December 08, 2020 5:40 pm UTC
CREATOR
I never actually explained that process in the book, so you didn't miss anything.

I started from the idea that +1 to one ability score would by 1 point, and I based everything else around that number. The point values of various traits were determined based on that core decision. Traits which I felt were more impactful get higher scores, and traits which were less impactful get lower scores. I also write a lot about character optimization (check out RPGBOT.net), so I feel like I've got a solid grasp on the game and the design workings of character options.

I'm actually really frustrated that I rated some of the traits as low as 0.25 BP because it's really annoying to calculate those values, but at the same time the small number scale makes it easy to assemble a race quickly. When I published Monstrous Races there were 3 or 4 other homebrew race building systems that used similar point systems, and one of them used a 100-point system that made sense from a design perspective, but building...See more
Customer avatar
Hamish A August 31, 2020 9:07 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Tyler, you mentioned in previous comments about a file which explained rules for larger characters, but I don't seem to have it. Does it come with the purchase or am I missing something obvious? Thanks!
Customer avatar
Tyler K September 01, 2020 5:13 pm UTC
CREATOR
If you look at the product page (this page), right next to the cover image you'll see the text "You Have Purchased This Product", and beneath it you should see three links to each of the three files included in this product. The file you're looking for is listed as "(Monstrous_Races_Addendum_-_Larger_Players.pdf)". I don't know why the file names are all in parentheses.
Customer avatar
Hamish A September 01, 2020 10:51 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Mine is just saying click here to get it with a link to the single file.
Customer avatar
Tyler K September 01, 2020 10:57 pm UTC
CREATOR
That's strange. Does it give you a .zip file? Or just the main Monstrous Races PDF?
Customer avatar
Hamish A September 02, 2020 10:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
Just the main PDF, I've looked in my library to see if it gives more options there but it says the only file is the main PDF.
Customer avatar
Tyler K September 02, 2020 4:41 pm UTC
CREATOR
That's super weird. You may need to DMsGuild's contact customer service, unfortunately.
Customer avatar
Josh M July 14, 2020 11:48 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi there! I love this all, btw!

Currently creating an Animated Sword that's a Chef, and deciding between Eldritch Knight Fighter (slicing, dicing, fire for searing, prestidigitation), Wizard (recipe book, prestigitation), Four Elements Monk (unarmed strike + heat to cook). Open palm monk seems best mathematically, but less good thematically than the other three... what do you think would work well? :P
Customer avatar
Tyler K July 14, 2020 3:49 pm UTC
CREATOR
Ooh, that's a fun question! I absolutely love the concept, too!

I think I would go Eldritch Knight. Most of your fighting is still going be prep work (chopping and dicing things), and eventually you'll be promoted from prep cook and start casting spells and heating things.

Bonus points: You look like a large chef's knife and say stuff like "en flambe" instead of "en garde".
Customer avatar
Josh M July 15, 2020 8:47 am UTC
PURCHASER
Ha, that's perfect! And in terms of first level spells, we got Grease for some oil, Burning Hands for some heat, and Unseen Servant for a sous chef!
Customer avatar
Júlio N June 24, 2020 7:37 am UTC
Is there a ghost race? I can't find it in the preview.
Customer avatar
Tyler K June 24, 2020 4:01 pm UTC
CREATOR
Ghosts are listed in the Table of Contents on page 2 of the Full Size Preview (middle column close to the bottom). I wrote ghosts as a template rather than as a standalone race so that you can make any valid creature into a ghost.
Customer avatar
Julius M April 09, 2020 4:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Aren't Tiefling's BP ratings missing points / marked incorrectly? None of the subraces have different amount of BP marked from the core Tiefling's Innate Spellcasting (5BP).

The core Tiefling also claims that it gets 3rd level spell when Darkness is 2nd level spell.

Some of the subraces also claim their spell is "2rd" level...
Customer avatar
Tyler K April 09, 2020 7:56 pm UTC
CREATOR
You're absolutely right. I double-checked my math and I definitely got the numbers wrong. And I clearly copy+pasted the "2rd" typo several times.

I'll get those issues corrected next time I post updated files.
Customer avatar
Chris P March 31, 2020 1:02 am UTC
PURCHASER
love your books, i notice some error with the cat, the cat is small size but it should be tiny size and in Design Notes you talk about Keen Smell but it not in the Cat Traits
Customer avatar
Tyler K March 31, 2020 3:49 am UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for spotting that! I'll get that fixed next time I post updates.
Customer avatar
Kyle B March 15, 2020 11:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you for the speedy reply. I will look into it with the guild
Customer avatar
Kyle B March 15, 2020 1:59 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So I bought two copies of Monstrous Races so that I could give a copy away to my community, thinking that there would be a key or something that I could give. How do I give a copy to someone?
Customer avatar
Tyler K March 15, 2020 3:02 pm UTC
CREATOR
Unfortunately, I don't know if you can do it that way. Try contacting DMsGuild's customer service. I think that there's a way to purchase gift copies, but I haven't done it in a long time so I don't recall how. You should also see if you can get a refund for the second copy you bought if you need to purchase a separate gift copy. My experiences with the DMsGuild team have all been extremely positive, so I'm sure that they'll be able to help you out.
Customer avatar
Jacob G March 07, 2020 1:38 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey, I know this is a likely rather difficult question to answer, but about how many BP would you consider a 1st level druid's wildshape to be? I'm particularly interested in how the CR of the beasts you can shift into translates into BP.

If you find time to answer this, many thanks! And if you don't, I'd still like to thank you for this amazing document.
Customer avatar
Tyler K March 10, 2020 3:16 am UTC
CREATOR
That one's hard to answer, but it's a spectacular ability both in and out of combat so I would say 4 BP or higher. Druids, especially Circle of the Moon, are arguably the strongest characters in the game at 2nd level when they get Wild Shape.
Customer avatar
Jacob G March 11, 2020 1:30 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks so much! I thought that it might be around there, but I wanted to check.

Also, thanks for reminding me they get it at level 2!
Customer avatar
Pfaccioxx P March 05, 2020 7:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Are you planing on eventually updating this to include analysis on the Eberon and Gung Races that were recently released?

Awesome product BTW, worth every single penny
Customer avatar
Tyler K March 05, 2020 7:44 pm UTC
CREATOR
At some point, yes. Unfortunately my time is stretched really thin these days so I just haven't had time to do it.
Customer avatar
Pfaccioxx P March 12, 2020 6:24 pm UTC
PURCHASER
fair enough, thanks for the response :)
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Product Information
Adamantine seller
Community Content
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Pages
298
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File Last Updated:
October 11, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on January 02, 2018.