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A human has a Variant option to forgo +1 to every stat in exchange for a feat, a skill and two +1s.

Sword Coast Adventure Guide also introduces Variant options for half elves, amongst other things.

So, let’s say you’re a dwarf that gets reincarnated into a human or half-elf. Could you (or your DM) choose to give you a Variant option instead of the default?

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Your GM has to allow them

The variant racial traits have this text or something similar:

your Dungeon Master might allow these variant traits

So if you roll a race that has those traits, the GM can allow you to use those traits for the new race. Otherwise, you cannot replace the traits after reincarnate even if the GM allowed them during character creation.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the question pre-supposes that the DM has allowed the variants in general (i.e. in character creation), and wondering whether they then become available after reincarnate, and if so, does the player get to choose the variant or is that left to the DM? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 16 '18 at 17:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan my answer is intended to mean "the GM has to allow them both times". I'll make it more clear \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 16 '18 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ More broadly, can you acquire things that your race has because they were born a child and grew up in a culture surrounded by that race? I.E. if a human wizard reincarnates to a mountain dwarf do they get to use scale mail now? RAW doesn't cover this so its very much up to your DM to rationalize what options reincarnate actually gives you. EDIT: Relevant because the most common variant, human, gives you a feat which is certainly not something inherent to humans but instead something they learned because they are human. \$\endgroup\$ – JackChance Apr 16 '18 at 20:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JackChase there are no features limited by what race you were raised by \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 16 '18 at 20:13

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