In 3.5e, dragonborn were of the Humanoid (dragonblood) creature type and subtype.

In 5e, I haven't been able to find this info — the creature entry (dndbeyond link) doesn't have any mention of creature type, and the published list of creatures by type doesn't include playable races.

Are 5e dragonborn humanoids, dragons, or something else?

up vote 21 down vote accepted

Humanoid

Jeremy Crawford says they are:

Dragonborn aren't dragons. They are humanoids.

Despite much searching, I am unable to find a D&D 5th edition book featuring a dragonborn NPC statblock. Some adventure modules, including Hoard of the Dragon Queen (p.91-93), do include such NPCs as:

  • Langdedrosa Cyanwrath, a half-dragon, listed as Medium humanoid (half-dragon)
  • Rezmir, a half-dragon, listed as Medium humanoid (half-black dragon)
  • Pharblex Spattergoo, a bullywug, listed as Medium humanoid (bullywug)
  • Jamna Gleamsilver, a gnome, listed as Small humanoid (gnome)

If even the more powerful half-dragons are simply humanoid, then dragonborn are also certainly humanoid, as Crawford says. They have no other "subtype", to use the D&D 3rd edition term, as those don't strictly exist (although parenthetical "tags" after the type exist and are most commonly used in statblocks to give the creature's race).

No rule currently defines dragonborn as having a "tag" after their type, so unless some rulebook shows otherwise, dragonborn are simply "humanoid", and their statblock would list them as "Medium humanoid (dragonborn)".

  • Good find on the Crawford tweet! – A_S00 Sep 17 at 20:21
  • There's also a Half-Dragon in the monster manual; it's also a humanoid. – Erik Sep 18 at 18:42

Dragonborn are humanoid

All playable races in 5e have the "Humanoid" type, as pointed out in the description of races in the basic rules:

Every character belongs to a race, one of the many intelligent humanoid species in the D&D world.

(Only the centaur and minotaur races from Unearthed Arcana: Centaurs and Minotaurs vary from this at all; both have the Hybrid Nature trait, describing them as having both the humanoid and monstrosity types. Note, however, that this is playtesting content, and has not yet been officially published.)

This is further supported by the description of the dragonborn race:

Dragonborn look very much like dragons standing erect in humanoid form, though they lack wings or a tail.

They may look like dragons, but they are not of the dragon type. They are humanoids.

Every playable race - humans, dragonborn, halflings, bugbears, kenku, tritons, etc. - is humanoid in nature.

Humanoid

Though not explicitly stated, you can imply that dragonborn is humanoid from Introduction section in Monster Manual, under Creature Type.

  1. There are 14 creature types mentioned, and dragonborn only fits the description of humanoid.

    Humanoids are the main peoples of the D&D world, both civilized and savage, including humans and a tremendous variety of other species. [...] , and a bipedal form. The most common humanoid races are the ones most suitable as player characters: humans, dwarves, elves, and halflings.

  2. A variety of humanoids appear throughout this book, but the races detailed in the Player's Handbook - with the exception of drow - are dealt with in appendix B. That appendix gives you a number of stat blocks that you can use to make various members of those races.

    Dragonborn is one of the races in Player's Handbook, so we should look it up in Appendix B. However, all of the template on the Appendix B is medium humanoid, so saying that dragonborn is intended to belong in humanoid type seems logical.

Dragonborn are humanoids

This isn't stated with very much clarity in the Player's Handbook. Possibly the most direct statement is from page 11, the first paragraph under "1. Choose A Race":

Every character belongs to a race, one of the many intelligent humanoid species in the D&D world.

So all the player races are 'humanoid' type. Any deviation from that would be handled by a specific racial trait that says what type, types, or tags they have.

Subtypes aren't a thing anymore; what you are referring to are technically called 'tags' (as described in the Monster Manual, page 7), like elf, halfling, lizardfolk, dragonborn, or shapechanger. Humanoid races are usually listed in monster stat blocks with a tag indicating their specific race, so a dragonborn would be a "Humanoid (dragonborn)", but nothing more than that. There's no 'reptilian' subtype for lizardfolk, for example, and dragonborn are certainly not dragons.

Dragonborn are humanoid

All PC races are humanoid. This is stated in the Races chapter of the Basic Rules or Player's Handbook (or here on DndBeyond):

Every character belongs to a race, one of the many intelligent humanoid species in the D&D world.

[emphasis mine]

  • 1
    Do you have an example of one of the statblocks you mention? I'm pretty sure you and the other answers are correct, but it would be nice to see at least one explicit reference to creature type (most of the evidence seems to be in plain-English fluff text, which is a little weird). – A_S00 Sep 17 at 19:36
  • @A_S00 I had misremembered many of the half-dragons as dragonborn. There are actually zero official dragonborn monster statblocks in the game at the moment – David Coffron Sep 17 at 20:05
  • 1
    @A_S00 My understanding is that "fluff text" isn't really a thing in 5E, and all text is rules text by default. – John Montgomery Sep 17 at 22:46

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