I was looking through the new race options for PCs in Volo's Guide to Monsters and noticed they included the Goliath. About 2 years ago the Goliath was also published in the Elemental Evil Player's Companion supplement.

Comparing the two, there haven't been any updates or changes added in Volo's Guide.

So I'm left wondering: why did the designers decide to include a race that's already been published instead of creating a new one or just leaving it out?

My initial thought was that the Goliath might just be really popular and because the Elemental Evil Player's Companion is technically a supplement for the Elemental Evil story line, not many people would have bought it for use with any other campaign. But if that's the case, why just the Goliath? Why not the other races? Was it just because the Goliath won the popularity contest?

(I know the Aasimar is also include in Volo's Guide and the DMG but I have yet to compared the two to see if Volo's Guide is a more solidified option than what was suggested in the DMG).

Answers should cite actual quotes from the designers rather than speculating.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The Aasimar in the DMG is completely different to the Aasimar in Volo's. Also, deep gnomes were in both the EEPC and SCAG, well before the Goliath had this happen. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Apr 11, 2017 at 23:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman That's probably because the Aasimar in the DMG was just an example of building a new race. It's even labeled "Example Race: Aasimar". You're right about deep gnomes, but they have different flavor text in SCAG that explicitly mentions Faerun (and their height was left out) while Goliaths were copied word-for-word. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doval
    Apr 16, 2017 at 22:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because designer-reasons questions are no longer allowed on RPG.SE. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 3, 2020 at 11:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Voting to reopen as the designer reason policy has been reverted. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 3, 2022 at 11:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin Please read through Someone_Evil's post about this, in particular: "Please leave old designer-reasons questions be until/unless they come up naturally. If there is a question that needs an updated answer (and is fine aside from the old policy), or if there is some other compelling reason to reopen it, do so. But we decidedly want to avoid bogging down the reopen queue (and the home page for that matter) with these old questions." \$\endgroup\$ Nov 3, 2022 at 12:00

1 Answer 1


Mike Mearls did answer this question in an Interview published on Forbes

We reprinted the Goliath, we introduced them about a year ago in an online supplement and they're actually pretty popular when we look at what people are playing. We wanted to move them into a print book so there's more of a reference for people to use.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Fantastic find! \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2017 at 16:13

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