Salutations everybody and welcome to a new segment of my blog called “From One Dungeon To Another”! In this series, my friend Jake (theroomfillswithwater.wordpress.com – I wrote an article for his blog earlier this month, which you can find here) and I are going to be writing about the same D&D topics, but from our own different and personal perspectives. He is a well seasoned veteran of the game, while I am a bright green newbie, so it will be interesting to see our differing views. This week we will be tackling our top 3 favourite races! After you read this, be sure to give Jake’s top 3 a look too!
My very first D&D character was an anti-social Forest Gnome Ranger named Teena who enjoyed the company of her crocodile Gizmo more than she did from other creatures. I only got to play her character for a few sessions, but I would say that this race still has a special part in my heart. I think gnomes are one of the more interesting races because of the variety in the subraces – Forest gnome and the Rock gnome. They are part of the same overarching umbrella race, but they have very different abilities. Forest gnomes are ones who thrives on their agility and their connection to the forest around them, while rock gnomes have hardiness and a love for technology and creating new gadgets. It’s like nature and technology living within one race.
Personally, between the two, I love the rock gnome subrace. Playing in a fantasy world becomes a lot more fun when your character has a knack for fighting back with an interesting new invention rather than your typical sword, spear, or bow. It can add for some really interesting encounters too. Plus their love of stone work and gems is a lot more playful than the gruffness from mountain dwarves. Gnomes have a certain wanderlust to their personalities that can be easy to lose themselves in, and they rarely mind for it fosters the potential for a brand new mystery afoot. They are like that little kid that is always asking their parent “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Or at least that’s how I like to imagine them.
I have never played as a rock gnome myself, but in my current game, the main magic shopkeeper in town is a rock gnome named Tullie. She may be one of my favourite NPCs I’ve created so far, giving her more of an eccentric and love of magical items that can only be matched by her love for herself.
I feel like this is an obvious choice; I see a lot of people use tieflings as their race of choice in games. There is an enticing air to them that makes them hard to resist… And I think it’s the infernal bloodline in them. The whole mystery and lore of the overlord of the Nine Hells infused in their blood is something that makes it so difficult to say no. You’re essentially a demon… Well not really, but somewhere down the line in your backstory, there is a demonic aura in your mere presence. And look at the overall concept design of tieflings! They look demonic, and yet they have such a beautiful grace to them.
I am an absolute sucker for a good backstory, and to me, tieflings can have the most outrageous and magical/mystical background there is out of the races. If a player came up to be with an outrageous backstory for their tiefling, I would find it difficult to say “No that won’t work in my world” because I feel like I would want to add it into my world’s lore, especially if they really play up the whole infernal bloodline trait. Hell (pun intended), it’s all pretty much built into their race (side bar: I’m not saying all of the other races cannot have mystical backgrounds, I’m just saying that there is one practically pre-made here). Because of the other races’ suspicious behaviour towards tieflings, there is another hurdle and another dimension of the character that players will need to flesh out (unless there is absolutely no racism in your in particular world).
The one feature I absolutely love about tieflings is their Infernal Legacy. This gives you thaumaturgy as a cantrip and then access to hellish rebuke and darkness as a spell using this ability to cast – meaning no spell slots used! These spells are some of my favourite spells in the game and can create some interesting encounters and battles. I would love to one day play a tiefling who revels in the horror stories of the lore of their “demonic blood” and just abuse thaumaturgy left, right, and centre.
Now I’m not sure how many people out there in the world like halflings, but I absolutely LOVE them. I wish I can explain why, but there is something that draws me to them. Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that they are like hobbits… But better.
They are like a toned down version of gnomes, more graceful and kind and an overall accepting community. I would have to say that halflings are the most humble of all the races. I have never seen a halfling with an over extravagant backstory full of battles and adventure. There is a comfort of coming from a steady kind home and then being swept away by the grand call to adventure. Plus, more often than not, in literature, movies, and D&D, characters with very humble mediocre beginnings will have the most interesting view on the journey.
Trait wise, despite their humble beginnings, their Lucky and Brave traits are worth mentioning. With Lucky, you can reroll for an attack, ability, or saving throw roll if you rolled a 1. That is something that can for sure become useful mechanically. It’s as if their kind, easy going lifestyle has brought Lady Luck to their side. She wants to see this little one go on an adventure for the sake of the story instead of for the glory. Brave though is one trait that I think embodies what is means to be a halfling: live a kind and humble life, but never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in and for your loved ones.
I’m currently playing a Halfling Cleric in a game (in fact, Jake is the DM for this game!) and I have to say that Shaena might be my favourite PC I’ve created. She is timid and humble and doesn’t really know how to protect herself, but hell, she’s going to do her absolute best to stand up for what she believes it right. I wanted to give her a very humble beginning, living her life as a seamstress’s daughter, but her god has a greater calling for her. I’m excited to see where our DM will take my little Shaena.
And there it is folks! That is my top 3 favourite races in Dungeons and Dragons (5th edition). I would love to know what your favourite race is too! Leave a comment down below and let me know! Or if you don’t have a favourite race, what race do you want to try out for your next PC?
Be sure to check out Jake’s top 3 favourite races too right here! For the next few weeks, we are going to be putting our blogging brains together to bring you two different perspectives on the same D&D topics. Don’t forget to check out the rest of his blog too at theroomfillswithwater.wordpress.com!