I am creating a drow monk character who, to oversimplify things, was altered by an ex-member of the Simic Combine in order to put them in a sort of Witness Protection. For this question, the only two details that are important are that she's a drow who still identifies as an elf, and she was enhanced with animal parts, because the more I thought about it, the more I realize this race is a D&D version of a classic philosophical question:

"How many enhancements do you need before you stop being human?"

In the description of the Simic Hybrid race (GGtR, p. 20), it states:

The Simic Combine uses magic to fuse different life forms together. In recent years, the Simic Combine has extended this research to humanoid subjects, magically transferring the traits of various animals into humans, elves, and vedalken. The goal of the Guardian Project is to build a Simic army of soldiers perfectly adapted to a variety of combat situations. These hyper-evolved specimens are called Simic hybrids, though they sometimes refer to themselves as guardians.


A hybrid's biological enhancements can change its appearance drastically, though most hybrids retain their basic physical form. All are augmented with characteristics of animals, mostly aquatic, reptilian, or amphibian creatures.


Animal Enhancement. Your body has been altered to incorporate certain animal characteristics. You choose one animal enhancement now and a second enhancement at 5th level.

So putting all this together, it seems like the being would still be fundamentally an elf, human or vedalkin, simply with additional parts they have control over (Kinda like Spiderman's Doctor Octopus without the mind control)

If this is the case, then would my drow still be able to reach her racial feats, or has D&D determined that one enhancement process has no longer qualified her to identify as an elf?

Similarly, the Elf race has it's players starting with one known cantrip under the idea that you've been so exposed to magic, you learned to do one party trick, but do it really well. Since you become a hybrid as an adult, does this mean the Simic Combine stole your ability?


1 Answer 1


No, Simic Hybrid is its own separate race.

A player character in D&D 5E gets one choice of race, such as human or dwarf or elf. Mechanically speaking, the Simic Hybrid is a race, with its own speed, senses, ability score increases, and other racial traits. It is mutually exclusive from other character races.

If a creature somehow becomes a Simic Hybrid (such as through reincarnate or the DM making stuff up), then their race is effectively changed. They would lose all racial traits of their original race, and instead gain the racial traits of Simic Hybrid.

So a character could not be both a drow (elf) and a Simic Hybrid. For narrative reasons, you could describe your Simic Hybrid character as being part drow, but mechanically they would only have the racial features as described in the Simic Hybrid race, and not the elf features.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What confuses me about that is 1. yes, some stats are given, but many aren't, for instance, appearance which states "retain their base form", suggesting we take from the human, elf or vedalkin races. So where does the fluidity end? 2. My drow has used dancing flames all her life, but now she can't somehow? \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 20:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB When a hybrid's stats are based on the base race, it says so. As far as I can see, the only stats that do so are Age and Size. You are free to make up any explanation as to why other traits of the base race aren't retained. Perhaps the torturous mutation process has severed the drow's connection with their original magic. (Alternatively, take dancing lights as a class spell and just pretend it's a racial spell.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 21:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB Correct. If you create a Simic Hybrid, and their backstory says they used to be a drow, that does not give them a drow's racial features. They will have the racial features of a Simic Hybrid. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 21:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ One problem when it comes to the Simic Hybrid is that it's creation and design is heavily mired in the Lore and Setting of MTG's Ravnica. Perhaps it doesn't convey completely what they are all about in the one page of text presented to the player. Heck not even all of the Simic's beliefs are evident in the Card game itself, there's lots of books and web articles that delve into this. Suffice to say the (majority) of the Simic are rather devoted to completely rewriting ones creature type when given the opportunity. Holding on to what something "was" might be considered more of a Gruul concept. \$\endgroup\$
    – L.P.
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 23:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB Suppose you became a zombie, rather than a Simic experiment. You're not a drow who's also a zombie and can do drow things and zombie things. You are a zombie who looks kinda like a drow. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Commented Feb 8, 2020 at 1:13

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