Dungeons & Dragons has a new publication out, filled with all sorts of great lore and monsters from throughout the D&D multiverse. While Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes is primarily aimed at DMs looking for new challenges to throw at their players, it also contains several new playable races for players looking to create a more exotic character for their next campaign.
Most of these races will be familiar to longtime D&D fans -- the eladrin, shadar-kai, and duergar all appear in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. However, this book marks the first time that many of these races have playable options in 5th edition games.
Here's a look at all the exciting playable races available in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes:
Tieflings are one of the core races in Dungeons & Dragons' Fifth Edition -- humans whose ancestors once made a deal with a devil from the Nine Hells. However, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes adds nine tiefling subraces, each of which are tied to a different ruler of a layer of hell.
Each subrace has a different ability score increase - while all tieflings still retain a +2 to their charisma skill, some subraces get a secondary +1 increase to a score besides Intelligence. Tieflings connected to Dispater get a +1 to Dexterity, while tieflings with a tie to Fierna get a +1 to Wisdom.
In addition, the innate spells a tiefling learns automatically also change depending on their subrace. Tieflings with a tie to Baalzebul (a devil of corruption) use spells like ray of sickness or crown of madness, while tieflings with a tie to Levistus, a devil eternally trapped in ice, can use spells like ray of frost and armor of Agathys.
Players who particularly like rogues, wizards, or sorcerers should particularly like some of these tiefling subraces, as they have handy traits that could be useful at lower levels.prevnext
The eladrin are one of the most interesting subraces in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. The eladrin are a kind of elf who live in the Feywild. Years of living in this wild realm have given the eladrin the ability to shift their form, granting them the ability to change their forms and abilities based on their moods.
At the end of a long rest, the eladrin can shift their form to match that of one of the four seasons, changing the color of their skins, hair, and clothes along with their moods and abilities. An eladrin tied to autumn is particularly generous and kind, while an eladrin tied to the summer is particularly bold and aggressive.
All eladrin get a Charisma boost of +1 (along with the +2 to Dexterity shared by all elf races) and they also have use of a fey step, which acts as a type of short teleportation ability. The fey step gains a secondary ability depending on what season an eladrin is currently connected to. For instance, an autumn eladrin can charm a creature within 10 feet of a space they teleport to, while a spring eladrin can choose to teleport another willing creature instead of themselves.prevnext
Sea elves aren't covered in too much details in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, but they do have their own subrace stats in the publication. Sea elves get a +1 boost to their Constitution stat and have proficiency with weapons like the trident and net. They also can swim and breathe water and can talk to fish and other creatures that have an innate swimming speed.
Basically, if you want a character that's a bit like Aquaman, you can make a sea elf character. Maybe your DM will even let you have a harpoon hand or an oversized trident just like the DC superhero!prevnext
The shadar-kai are elves that live in the Shadowfell, a plane of shadows ruled by the Raven Queen. At one point, the shadar-kai were normal elves, but years of living in the shadow plane permanently altered their forms. Because of their connection to the Raven Queen, the shadar-kai are essentially immortal, but their bodies show their extreme age whenever they return to the Shadowfell.
Shadar-kai have an innate resistance to necrotic damage, making them a great options for campaigns against vampires, ghosts, or beholders. They also have a teleportation ability that grants them resistance to all damage after they use it, but can only be used once after a long rest.prevnext
The duergar are a kind of dark dwarf, a tribe of dwarves imprisoned by mind flayers and subjected to cruel experimentation. When the duergars broke free of their bonds (due to a pact made by the leader with Asmodeus, the ruler of the Nine Hells), they discovered that normal dwarves had essentially branded them as heretics. As such, the duergar retreated to the underdark and vowed revenge against the dwarven gods who abandoned them.
Duergar possess many of the same qualities as dwarves, they're hardworking and are excellent craftsmen, but they take no joy in their accomplishments. They're also deeply paranoid and typically hoard their belongings, refusing to share resources that could help their party.
Duergar have superior darkvision and access to a small pool of spells, the result of mind flayer experiements. Players can cast enlarge/reduce and invisibility on themselves once per long rest, but only when not in direct sunlight.prevnext
The githzerai and githyanki were once part of the same Gith race, and they were slaves to the mind flayers. Eventually, the Gith successfully rebelled from the mind flayers but split into two factions. The githyanki live on the Astral Plane, ruthless conquerers who wield silver swords and partner with red dragons. The githzerai, on the other hand, are reclusive pacifists that live in Limbo.
Githzerai and githyanki both have psionic abilities. Githzerai can use the mage hand, shield, and detect thoughts spells, while githyanki can use mage hand, jump, and misty step. Githyanki also have a bonus language and have proficiency in one bonus skill or toll. Meanwhile, githzerai have advantage throws on saving throws against charmed or frightened conditions due to their mental discipline.prevnext
Deep gnomes are gnomes who live in the Underdark and lack much of the joy and love of discovery of other gnomes. Deep gnomes (also known as the svirfneblin) are interested mainly in mining for valuable minerals and gems and rarely venture into the surface world.
In addition to having superior darkvision and the ability to hide in rocky terrain and the underground, deep gnomes can also take the Svirfneblin Magic trait. This gives them access to the spells nondetection, blindness/deafness, blur, and disguise self even if they aren't a spellcasting class.
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