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An Elf and an Orc Had a Little Baby: Parentage and Upbringing in D&D

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Now you can play an elf-orc raised by dwarves! Or a gnome-halfling raised by kobolds! Even a grung-warforged raised in Avernus is a possibility!

“...this supplement is truly an informed, aware and inspired step forward in continuing discussion about who, how and what makes up a D&D character, and how to create them just how we envision them.” - Curse of Sebs

An Elf and an Orc Had a Little Baby: Parentage and Upbringing in D&D is a 112-page rules supplement that entirely replaces chapter 2 of the Player’s Handbook. Instead of D&D’s bioessentialist approach, this title separates biological traits and cultural traits into two categories: parentage and upbringing.

To create a new player character using this supplement, players choose two birth parents and an upbringing. (Then they go on to choose a background and class, as normal.) Players can feel free to create any combination to create a unique and vibrant character.


Inside this title, you’ll discover

  • 35 Parentages, from aarakocra to yuan-ti; 

  • 80+ Upbringings, from being raised by abjurers to water mages; 

  • an adaptation of all 12 dragonmarks for Eberron play; and

  • a robust system for making your own parentage and upbringing options.

FAQ

What Do I Need to Use This Product? You only need a copy of the Player's Handbook or the free Basic Rules.

Any of the 35 Parentages Work Together? That's entirely up to the people at your table. Whatever you all decide, this book contains rules to make it a viable in-world reality.

What If I Can't Afford $17.95 USD? Use this discount code to get $3 off: DISCOUNT
If you're interested in alternatives to race and want to see other options, check out these titles:
Ancestry & Culture Grazilaxx's Guide The Half-Race Handbook
FG

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Reviews (7)
Discussions (41)
Customer avatar
Andrew E October 26, 2022 6:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Are Upbringings different from the Official 5e Backgrounds (in which you can use them) or are they the same?
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H October 26, 2022 7:45 pm UTC
CREATOR
Great question. Parentages and backgrounds are different, and a character made using this product will have both.

Thematically, a parentage is who your parents were and your biology, upbringing is your childhood and early adolescence, background is what you did pre-adventurer, and class is your career as an adventurer.

Mechanically, parentage and upbringing replace "race." Then you go on to choose a background and class, as normal.
Customer avatar
Davon H September 27, 2022 1:10 am UTC
PURCHASER
Are Parentage points separate from upbringing?
Reply
Customer avatar
Davon H September 27, 2022 1:37 am UTC
PURCHASER
That was my bad I didn't get to that part fully yet
Customer avatar
Gillian M August 09, 2022 8:32 am UTC
Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere.

Is this compatible with character sheets in DnDBeyond?

What’s the usage policy for streamed or recorded games?
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Customer avatar
Adam H August 09, 2022 1:13 pm UTC
CREATOR
I've used "Elf and an Orc" with D&D Beyond, but you have to input your parentage and upgrading traits as a custom race to do so.

You're welcome to stream or record games playing characters made with this product.
Customer avatar
Carter S July 27, 2022 10:59 pm UTC
Is there a physical book?
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H July 27, 2022 11:29 pm UTC
CREATOR
There's about to be! Look for it in about a month.
Customer avatar
Caris W July 15, 2022 9:30 pm UTC
I'm looking to build a half naiad.
Is there a naiad or wavekin or water nymph in either of these books?
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H July 16, 2022 1:06 am UTC
CREATOR
Not a naiad, no.

We do have options for sea elves, mermaids, tritons, and marids.
Customer avatar
Doug C July 05, 2022 1:53 pm UTC
PURCHASER
AWESOME book! Quick note for the next update: On page 68, a bunch of the text is on top of the image of Vutunn. Looks like an anchor point got away from you.
Customer avatar
Kaylea S June 08, 2022 12:04 am UTC
PURCHASER
I seem to be having issues actually opening the PDF and idk what to do. When I download it in my phone, it for some reason opens ibis paint. When I put it in drop box, it won't open at all. Is there anything I'm doing wrong?
Reply
Customer avatar
Kaylea S June 08, 2022 12:08 am UTC
PURCHASER
Nevermind. I'm just dumb and wasn't actually opening it lmao
Customer avatar
Chris L May 19, 2022 2:58 am UTC
Is there any chance this becomes a physical book? I saw this on a video from Ginny Di, but was kinda bummed to find that I couldn't add it to my collection of physical D&D books.
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H December 06, 2022 3:54 pm UTC
CREATOR
It's a physical book now!
Customer avatar
DJ H May 16, 2022 6:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Will this or it's sequel get updated for new official races that are released? for example Draconic parentage could have quite a few more options now that there are 5 subraces of dragonborn (3 from Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, 2 from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount). Also curious about plans since there are will be several new races coming out when the Spelljammer setting drops in a couple months.
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H May 17, 2022 7:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
V.J. and I have been discussing a new installment. Good to know people are interested in one!
Reply
Customer avatar
Jan Carlo O May 18, 2022 6:44 pm UTC
I'd be interested in that too.
Customer avatar
Caleb N May 13, 2022 7:27 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Duergar Resilience has no point value or anything. Does the player just get it with Duergar Magic?
Reply
Customer avatar
Caleb N May 13, 2022 8:32 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Also, I am a little confused because some races such as centaurs gain fey for 0 points, but satyrs have to spend 2 points for it. Is this intended or accidental?
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H May 17, 2022 7:48 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks! Look for a couple of corrections in our next update.
Customer avatar
Logan A May 01, 2022 2:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Recently purchased it, and while I'm enjoying it, I find that some of the parentages are very lacking. Infernals, for example, only get three options. Of those three options, really only two of them feel unique. Are there plans to expand on some of them?
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H May 01, 2022 2:36 pm UTC
CREATOR
Yes, search for the sequel "An Elf and an Orc Had a Little Baby 2."

It's got lots more parentages and expanded options for existing parentages, including infernal! You can take a look at the first 50 pages in the full-page preview for free.
Customer avatar
Tyler F April 23, 2022 11:05 am UTC
PURCHASER
Amazing book, can't wait to submit my review. Minor typo on p91 under Languages. I think the rare language for halflings was intended to be Sylvan not "Sylan," well unless they are intended to speak with the mountain ranges bordering Norway and Sweden.
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H May 17, 2022 7:51 pm UTC
CREATOR
We'll slay that typo in the next update. Thanks!
Customer avatar
PC M April 22, 2022 10:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
I've just paged through the preview of this book, and it's absolutely incredible! This is everything I want from D&D's race system that they've never given me. An INSTANT buy, plus a subscribe to this creative team to check out their future work. I can't wait to write a full review.
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H April 22, 2022 1:17 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks so much!
Customer avatar
Darkhos D April 20, 2022 2:20 am UTC
I was wondering how same parentage should be handeled, I like the idea of choosing just one race as normal, but having to choose an upbringing to dont fall in the bioestialism trope, but for some races you cant choose all traits with your pool of points, and while I understand that some upbringings are really usefull and it would make sense for balanace just not get every racial trait, it feels weird to me as a player, so I was wondering if you have a intended way of dealing with same race parents or even if there is a way to trade upbringing points for a few racial points
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H April 20, 2022 2:39 am UTC
CREATOR
It's totally doable to make a character with two elven birth parents. In that case, you would spend all 16 points to get traits in the Elven Parentage entry, as you said. Obviously, that isn't enough to get everything. That's meant to emulate D&D 5e's subclass system. A wood elf and a high elf are both elves, but they have different biological traits. In an E&O, you have more flexibility is all.

All that being said, you can talk to your DM if you feel like there are too many traits you want with the allotted 16 points. They might allow you to go to 18, 20, or even higher. It's a higher-powered game in that case, similar to how adding more points to purchase ability scores in the point-buy method would be.
Reply
Customer avatar
Darkhos D April 20, 2022 3:02 am UTC
Thanks for the reply, the races I had in mind were the warforged and the grung, but I totally makes sense, also, the 18 o 20 sound about right for special exceptions. Nice thing is that im the DM in this case, I just wanted first hand information on how I could approach the situation
Customer avatar
Chad H April 19, 2022 12:58 am UTC
PURCHASER
I Thought warforged couldn't be parent's coz they are machine's built by someone in Eberron or am i missing something???
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H April 19, 2022 1:57 am UTC
CREATOR
We could think of several ways a warforged could (such as a wish spell), especially if you're not tied to the official lore, so we decided to include them and let each table decide for themselves.
Customer avatar
Kat L April 15, 2022 12:25 am UTC
PURCHASER
Really exited about this resource. the idea the other races only cross-breed with humans does not make sense to me, so looking forward to creating my tiefling-tabaxi character. But... I have to say that the idea that warforged (or any other construct) can reproduce with humanoids is a bridge too far for me.
Reply
Customer avatar
Adam H April 15, 2022 7:01 pm UTC
CREATOR
Yup, that's fine. If some of the options don't make sense at your table, feel free to omit them.
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File Last Updated:
August 08, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on July 27, 2020.