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There's not a lot of material published by WotC for 5e (relative to previous editions), nor is there planned to be. However, there are playable races for D&D scattered around in a few different locations in published products that people may not even know about. What are all the playable races, and where can one find each?

To be clear, we're talking about first party D&D 5e materials published by Wizards of the Coast.

Both "official" races (sanctioned for Adventurers League Play) and others, like races from Unearthed Arcana or from other WotC sources outside the D&D team that are less canonical, are of interest, but please designate whether they're considered official and sanctioned or not.


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There are two different ways a race could be "official": it could be "official" in the sense of fully-tested and legal for sanctioned organized play campaigns, and it could be "official" in the sense of being published in 1st-party material from Wizards of the Coast. Which one is relevant depends on why you're looking for an "official" race.

Sources:

  • PBR: Players Basic Rules, Chapter 2: Races
  • SRD: System Reference Document, 5e, "Races" at pp.3-7
  • PHB: Player's Handbook, Chapter 2: Races
  • DMG: Dungeon Master's Guide, "Creating New Character Options" at pp.285-287

  • EE: Elemental Evil Player's Guide, Chapter 1: Races

  • MToF: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
  • OGA: One Grung Above, an Extra Life fundraiser from WotC
  • PotA: Princes of the Apocalypse, Appendix A: Genasi
  • PS:ZEN: Plane Shift: Zendikar, Races of Zendikar at pp.7
  • PS:INN: Plane Shift: Innistrad, Life on Innistrad at pp. 7
  • PS:KLD: Plane Shift: Kaladesh, Races of Kaladesh at pp. 15
  • PS:AKH: Plane Shift Amonkhet, Races of Amonkhet at pp. 12

    Note that Plane Shift occupies a strange shade-of-grey space: it's "compatible with" D&D, published by WotC, but written by the Magic: the Gathering team instead of the D&D team (though the author of all of them was a former D&D team member). Notably, it comes with a disclaimer substantially similar to the one provided with UA articles.

  • SCAG: Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, Chapter 3: Races of the Realms

  • UA: Unearthed Arcana articles, link and name specific article when listing

    UA articles are presented on WotC's website with the following notice:

    You can think of the material presented in this series as similar to the first wave of the fifth edition playtest. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not fully tempered by playtests and design iterations. They are not officially part of the game. For these reasons, material in this column is not legal in D&D Organized Play events.

  • VOLO: Volo's Guide to Monsters, Chapter 2: Character Races

Monster Manual, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Rise of Tiamat, Tyranny of Dragons Player's Guide, Out of the Abyss, Rage of Demons Player's Guide, Curse of Strahd, Storm King's Thunder, Tales from the Yawning Portal, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, and Dungeon of the Mad Mage all do not provide playable races. Tomb of Annihilation does provide one, in its The Tortle Package charity supplement, which is the eponymous Tortle. (And Xanathar does provide racial feats, so those interested in racial options may want to take a gander at XGtE anyway.)

Races legal in Adventurers League play (subject to "+1 rule"):

  • Aarakocra (EE, only with supporting campaign documentation)
  • Aasimar: Basic (DMG, only with supporting campaign documentation)
  • Aasimar: Protector, Scourge, Fallen (VOLO)
  • Bugbear (VOLO)
  • Deep Gnome/Svirfneblin (EE, SCAG)
  • Dragonborn (SRD, PHB)
  • Dwarf: Mountain or Hill (PBR, SRD only Hill, PHB)
  • Dwarf: Duergar (SCAG)
  • Elf: High, Wood, or Drow (PBR, SRD only High, PHB)
  • Elf: Eladrin, Sea Elf, or Shadar-kai (MToF)
  • Firbolg (VOLO)
  • Genasi (PotA, EE, EE)
  • Gith: Githyanki or Githzerai (MToF)
  • Gnome (SRD, PHB)
  • Goblin (VOLO)
  • Goliath (EE, VOLO)
  • Halfling: Lightfoot or Stout (PBR, SRD only Lightfoot, PHB)
  • Halfling: Ghostwise (SCAG)
  • Half-Elf (SRD, PHB)
  • Half-Elf: Variant (SCAG)
  • Half-Orc (SRD, PHB)
  • Hobgoblin (VOLO)
  • Human: standard or variant (PBR, SRD only standard, PHB)
  • Kenku (VOLO)
  • Kobold (VOLO)
  • Lizardfolk (VOLO)
  • Orc (VOLO)
  • Tabaxi (VOLO)
  • Tiefling (SRD, PHB)
  • Tiefling: Variant (Winged only with supporting campaign documentation) (SCAG)
  • Tiefling: Bloodline Variants (MToF)
  • Tortle (The Tortle Package, charity supplement to Tomb of Annihilation, counts as part of XGtE for AL PHB+1 rule purposes.)
  • Triton (VOLO)
  • Yuan-Ti Pureblood (VOLO)

All races published by WotC:

All of the above, plus:

Disclaimer: As always, consult your DM before playing one of these races: these races may not be for all players. Stop playing a race if you're not having fun doing so. Neither Wizards of the Coast nor RPG.SE are responsible for anything you do while playing one of these races. Please roll responsibly.

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