I'm currently DM for a game of Storm King's Thunder, and I'm trying to understand the Uthgardt Barbarians and what they exactly are. The description starting on p. 65 of the Storm King's Thunder book says:

The Uthgardt barbarians are a black-haired and blue-eyed people—large, hale, bloodthirsty folk with inhuman dispositions.

I think I may be reading too much into that word "inhuman", but I'm not sure whether "people" there specifically means "human" or just trying to describe them as "intelligent creatures". Adding to my confusion is that the "Gray Wolf Tribe" is specifically called out to be werewolves, and other tribes are named after other types of animals.

I'm probably just missing it, as there's a lot of content in the book (or maybe they're described in a book I don't have), but are the Uthgardt some sort of their own race, or a combination of races, or what? What exactly are they?


3 Answers 3


They are mostly Humans.

SCAG describes the Uthgardt people in many places.

The History

Quadratic Wizard's answer already tells us about the history in earlier editions, but the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide also presents the history for us in 5e, and it's pretty consistent. Page 94 states, under the heading "The People of Uthgar":

The saga begins in the distant past when the humans of the North lived in fear and isolation. [...] Each of the defeated spirits became embodied in the totem of one of the groups of humans who followed and revered Uthgar.


Almost all of the original tribes of the Uthgardt are active in the North today. Even a tribe thought to be lost or destroyed might be represented somewhere by a small number of humans who claim to be descended from the one of the tribes of old, but such people, where they exist, aren't numerous by any means, and their claims are often spurious.

Current time

On pages 92 and 93, Aedyn Greymantle describes the Uthgardt Lands (under the heading of the same name). Unless I missed something, nowhere does it state a specific race, but it does state on page 94:

Young men and women looking to make a name for themselves sometimes build their reputations by hunting dangerous predators and great beasts

which indicates, at least, humanoids.

It also describes the friendship of Aedyn with Gyrt, the leader of one of the tribes. In particular, this excerpt from p. 93 might help.

Over the years, as I earned Gyrt’s respect and she mine, we became friends, and I came to know her three sons as well. Though Gyrt died some decades ago, I still visit her children, whom I played with when they were young. They now have children of their own, and all call me auntie.

This indicates lifespans of humans and similar races, as if the children that grew up were, for example, elves, it would take "centuries" for such a thing to occur. This is only about a specific family, though.

Uthgardt Tribe Member is a playable background, though

The Uthgardt Tribe Member background described on p. 153-154 does not specify any race restriction; as such, player characters of any race can have this background.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Page 243 of SKT has the Uthgardt Shaman as "Medium humanoid(human)" in the stat block. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 16, 2018 at 17:07


123 DR Year of the Icy Axe

Uthgar dies from wounds received in the battle with Gurt, Lord of the Pale Giants, at the present-day site of Morgur's Mound. His nomad human followers call themselves the Uthgardt in his honor and form tribes based on the beast spirits he was said to have tamed in his lifetime.

Source: Grand History of the Realms (2007), p. 63.

See also: Uthgardt at the Forgotten Realms Wiki:

The Uthgardt is a collective term used to refer to various human barbarian tribes who worship the deity Uthgar. Each tribe was named after a beast totem of Uthgar who mediated between the deity and his people.

I should note that the D&D 5e background for Uthgardt Barbarian doesn't explicitly say they have to be human. @ValhallaGH wisely references Daelan Red Tiger, a Neverwinter Nights character who is a half-orc Uthgardt barbarian. This doesn't conflict with canon: we know that the barbarians are descended from humans by blood, but this leaves open the possibility that some members are half-human (nothing described about their culture prohibits relations with outsiders).

It's plausible that a non-human might be adopted into a tribe or otherwise joined a tribe without being related by blood, though I'm not aware of any canonical source which explicitly describes this. It's most likely that the vast majority of the Uthgardt barbarians are human, with perhaps a small minority of other races among them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ They do notably include some half-orcs and other demihumans. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Jun 16, 2018 at 0:36

Uthgardt barbarians are actually a playable sub class of Barbarians in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. They are considered medium Humanoids (human).

Stat Block for an Uthgardt Barbarian Leader:

Medium humanoid (human), chaotic neutral
AC 14 Hide Armor

HP 67

Speed 30ft

STR 16 DEX 15 CON 17 INT 9 WIS 11 CHA 9

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    \$\begingroup\$ Where are you getting those stats for a barbarian leader? I can't seem to find them. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 15, 2018 at 22:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I don't see a statblock by that name in SCAG (or anywhere else). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jun 15, 2018 at 23:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ The SKT section presents the Uthgardt leaders as berserkers from the MM with 90 HP. Where did you get that stat block? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 16, 2018 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Stat Block was directly from Storm King's Thunder the module that the Op is running \$\endgroup\$
    – Deighle
    Jun 17, 2018 at 2:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ to be clear the only copy I have currently of SKT is the roll 20 module and that is where the information came from \$\endgroup\$
    – Deighle
    Jun 17, 2018 at 2:45

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