I am using the D&D Beyond character builder to create a ranger. If I pick humanoids, it does not list half-elves or half-orc in the dropdown, but it does list humans, elves and orcs:

Favored Enemy Humanoids dropdown on D&D Beyond

I see three possibilities:

  1. I can not choose either one;
  2. I can get half-elf if I pick human or elf or I can get half-orc if I pick human or orc;
  3. They forgot to include them.

I am in a group that is new to 5th and we are only using the Player's Handbook. I haven't seen anything in that book that covers this.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I've never built a ranger on D&D Beyond, but the inability to select half-elf or half-orc in the listing may be a bug, if that's reproducible. You might want to search whether others have noticed such an issue, and possibly report it as a bug in the forums or on the Discord. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 10, 2019 at 9:55
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast I added an image of what the huginn is probably referring to. It seems like they don't include quite a few humanoids. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2019 at 13:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Just as another idea @V2Blast, it could be paywalled. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2019 at 23:00
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanfaeScotland: I doubt it, as half-elves and half-orcs are both in the SRD. More likely a bug or oversight. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 11, 2019 at 0:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast definitely some form of human error, given that 'goblinoids' is one of the options, but the 'were' options are separated out. Plus missing Tiefling (if PHB races are to be considered); and aarakocra (if DMG or MM races are to be considered). \$\endgroup\$
    – Journer
    Oct 11, 2019 at 2:31

2 Answers 2


Half-elf and half-orc are their own separate races.

In D&D 5e, the general principle is that a rule says what it says, and no more. Everything else is up to the DM.

The ranger's favored enemy states:

Alternatively, you can select two races of humanoid (such as gnolls and orcs) as favored enemies.

Since half-elf and half-orc are both humanoid races appearing in the Player's Handbook, you can select them as favored enemies.

There's nothing in the rules which explicitly states that half-elves count as humans, or as elves, although they do have "elf blood". Historically, in earlier editions of the D&D rules, half-elves could count as elves for various purposes, such as magic items that only work for elves, and so on. However, that would be up to the DM to allow (I'd probably allow it in my campaigns).

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ If you want further evidence that half-elves do not count as elves there's the racial feat prerequisites on Xanathar's in which for example Elven Accuracy has both elf and half-elf. JC has also unofficially commented on this in this tweet \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Oct 10, 2019 at 10:30
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Sdjz Maybe, but it is also just as possible that they did it for specificity to avoid doubt on what they meant. Something I which they did for quite a few other things. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Oct 10, 2019 at 11:10
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ When making a ruling on this, if you might (or might not) want to put in the extra effort to keep in mind the favor of flavored enemy: "you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy.". So, you might say the tracking bonus against elves applies when following a half elf through the elven forest where she was raised, but not through the human city in which she currently lives. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 11, 2019 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sdjz That's only evidence if we assume the writer's goal was to compress the concept into as few words as possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Oct 11, 2019 at 22:39

It isn't clear if they count as humans for the Favored Enemy feature, but they are likely separate races. Ask your DM.

The Ranger's Favored Enemy feature says:

Choose a type of favored enemy: [...] you can select two races of humanoid (such as gnolls and orcs)

Neither example race is present within the Player's Handbook, but both are present in the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual. And half-races are only present in the Player's Handbook.

This presents 4 possibilities:

  • half-races are included in human
  • half-races are included in their non-human lineage
  • half-races are included in both lineages
  • half-races are not included at all

Personally, I would rule them to be included in their non-human lineage (so half-elf with elf, and half-orc with orc), due to their stat blocks (scores, size, speed, etc), as their blocks lean more toward non-human than human.

Additionally, if you choose to use races both from the monster listings and from the playable races, there are conflicts.

For example, in the playable races (from the Dungeon Master's Guide), races such as Goblins and Hobgoblins are listed separately; but in the Monster Manual, they are all listed under the race of Goblinoid.

If you choose only to use the Dungeon Master's Guide and Player's Handbook races, there end up being multiple omissions. (Gith, Quaggoth, Sahuagin, Shapechangers, Thri-Keen, Yuan-Ti)

However, there is something that seems to support half races counting as separate races:

From the Monster Manual

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.

So, they could count as sub-races or separate races, depending on the work of your DM. Though you need to work with your DM on which sources to draw from, to avoid conflicting information.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ For what it's worth, there are monsters that are explicitly labeled as "humanoid (half-elf)" in a couple adventure modules. You can see them in this D&D Beyond search. This seems to suggest, as explained by Quadratic Wizard that they are entirely separate in the rules. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2019 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ The need for "half-advantage" rises again! \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Oct 10, 2019 at 18:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron true (and thanks for that info). The problem is, the possible options for Favored Enemy have conflicts if you use both the monster listings, and the playable races, which I will edit into my answer to explain. \$\endgroup\$
    – Journer
    Oct 11, 2019 at 14:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .