In today’s preview, we look at one of the many tools offered in the DMG—creating a new race.

Creating New Character Options

If the options for player characters in the Player’s Handbook don’t meet all the needs of your campaign, you can consult Chapter 9 of the DMG: Dungeon Master’s Workshop for advice on creating new race, class, and background options.

Creating a Race or Subrace

This section teaches you how to modify existing races, as well as create new ones. The most important step in customizing or designing races for your campaign is to start with the story behind the race or subrace you wish to create. Having a firm idea of a race’s story in your campaign will help you make decisions during the creation process. Ask yourself several questions:

  • Why does my campaign need the race to be playable?
  • What does the race look like?
  • How would I describe the race’s culture?
  • Where do the members of this race live?
  • Are there interesting conflicts built into the race’s history and culture that make the race compelling from a storytelling standpoint?
  • What is the race’s relationship to the other playable races?
  • What classes and backgrounds are well suited to members of the race?
  • What are the race’s signature traits?
  • In the case of a new subrace, what sets it apart from the other subraces of the parent race?

When creating a race from scratch, begin with the story and proceed from there. Compare your creation to the other races of your world, and borrow freely from the traits of other races. As an example, consider the aasimar, a race similar to the tiefling but with a celestial heritage.

The Dungeon Master's Guide

The Dungeon Master’s Guide provides the inspiration and the guidance you need to spark your imagination and create worlds of adventure for your players to explore and enjoy. Inside you’ll find world-building tools, tips and tricks for creating memorable dungeons and adventures, optional game rules, hundreds of classic D&D magic items, and much more!

Creating a New Race