I'm planning a campaign with an underdark-based homebrew setting, and I want to give them the option of Duergar as a race. Does this seem unbalanced, and are there any potential issues in particular that I should watch out for?


As a subrace of dwarves, Duergar have all the standard Dwarven racial traits. In addition, you have the following traits:
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Superior Darkvision. (as per Drow)
Sunlight Sensitivity. (as per Drow)
Duergar Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws to resist being charmed or paralyzed. You have advantage on Wisdom, Charisma, and Intelligence saving throws against spells. You have advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks made to discern illusions.
Duergar Magic. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the enlarge/reduce spell once, but only to enlarge yourself. You regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the invisibility spell once, but only on yourself. You regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.


1 Answer 1


This is almost exactly the official Duergar subrace

In Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, there is actually an official Duergar subrace, which you've almost exactly recreated. Besides missing an additional language and some (mostly inconsequential) additional text on Duergar Magic, your version has one issue that could be problematic for a player race.

Your version of Duergar Resilience is broader than would typically be given to a player character. Consider narrowing it to only affect particular conditions, rather than blanket advantage on multiple save types.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I've intentionally avoided giving full description of the subrace. Your version should be fine as long as you tone down Duergar Resilience a bit, but if you'd like to work with the official version, I'd recommend looking into the appropriate material. \$\endgroup\$
    – 1600hp
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 23:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I was wondering why there didn't seem to be official rules for this. Now I'm wondering why dndbeyond makes no mention of it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 23:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterChaplin You have to buy the content for it to appear for you on D&D Beyond. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kuerten
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 0:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Duergar also appear in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. There's a full list of official 5e races (and some from UA and the unofficial Plane Shift PDFs) with their sources listed here: What are the playable D&D races in 5e, and where can I find them? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 7:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kuerten lol yeah, I get that. But if I wanted the rules for, say, Aasimar, dndbeyond makes it pretty obvious I'd need Volo's Guide to Monsters. For Duergar, I found no indication that official rules even existed, much less which book I'd need to purchase. Just surprised me a little. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 9:22

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