Humanoid (Dungeons & Dragons)

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In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, humanoid is a type of creature, or "creature type". Humanoids are any creature shaped generally like a human (two arms, two legs, one head, or a humanlike torso, arms, and head), of Small or Medium size, with few or no supernatural or extraordinary abilities. Most humanoids can speak, and usually have well-developed societies.

Humanoids are similar in form to monstrous humanoids and giants, but are treated as a different type of creature. Additionally, many Fey and Outsiders share the humanoid form.

Prior to 3rd edition, humanoid referred exclusively to orcs, goblinoids and similar creatures, while more advanced creatures such as Elves and Dwarves were referred to as demihumans, and humans were outside of both categories.

The following creatures are considered humanoids in at least one edition of Dungeons & Dragons, or they are very humanoid-looking creatures even if they don't have the actual "humanoid" type.

Aasimar[edit]

Further information: Aasimar

The Aasimar is a creature that are descended from angels.

Bugbear[edit]

Further information: Bugbear (Dungeons & Dragons)

The Bugbear is a creature that is related to goblins and hobgoblins and are named after the Bugbears of legend.

Bullywug[edit]

Further information: Bullywug

The Bullywug is a humanoid frog.

Catfolk[edit]

Catfolk
Characteristics
Alignment Usually Chaotic Neutral
Type Humanoid
Image Wizards.com image
Publication history
Source books Miniatures Handbook, Races of the Wild
First appearance Miniatures Handbook

The catfolk are a race of humanoid felines (similar to Rakshasas and Tabaxi).

Catfolk resemble a cross between a large predatory cat and a human, with a sleekly muscled humanoid body and the head and mane of a feline. Most male catfolk wear their thick hair in braids, while females keep theirs short and sleek. The most common catfolk have feline characteristics reminiscent of lions, including thick manes for the males. Other groups have the characteristic markings and appearance of leopards, tigers, or cheetahs. Catfolk have thicker nails than other humanoids, but not the powerful claws of their feline counterparts, and they make unarmed attacks just like humans. They have the habit of leaping impulsively out of hiding and into combat when a foe is in the vicinity.

Many catfolk favor the use of charms and totems that they braid into their hair for luck in battle, success on the hunt, and good fortune in other such endeavors.

Darfellan[edit]

Darfellan
Characteristics
Alignment Usually Any Chaotic
Type Humanoid (Aquatic)
Publication history
Source books Stormwrack

Physical Traits
Darfellans closely resemble humans, and are 6 feet tall, weigh 200 pounds, and are hulking and muscular with broad backs, powerful arms and wide necks and heads. They are an oceanic race, and have webbed feet and can hold their breath underwater for up to 10 minutes. They have very little hair, with only a small bunch on their head that is traditionally tied up in a top knot. Though physically strong, they are somewhat clumsy, especially when out of water. Their skin is typically glossy and deep jet-black in color, with varying white markings. They are sometimes born entirely black, or entirely white in rare instances.

Darfellan History
The Darfellan were once peaceful hunter-gatherers who dwelt on secluded, undiscovered coastlines and beaches. The Sahuagin, however, eventually discovered them and sought to destroy them. An almost 100 year war between the two races nearly resulted in the extinction of the Darfellan race, and they are currently very few in number. Though in the past they had a rich, vibrant, cultured society, the wars with the Sahuagin have all but wiped out their art, language, religion and other cultural aspects.

Environment
Darfellan are coastal-dwellers who live on foreboding beaches and coastlines in various climates, from the arctic to the tropics. Though Sahuagin genocide has reduced them predominantly to individuals who can be found anywhere, a few scattered villages and family groups still exist in these locations. A typical Darfellan village is located in a coastal cave or among some dunes, either above or below the tideline and consists of a jumble of huts on stilts (with access to tools, weapons, a fire pit, a granary, etc...) A dependable food source, such as kelp forest or coral reef is usually nearby.

Role Playing
Surviving Darfellan are typically lonely, brooding wanderers who seek only to take revenge on the Sahuagin who destroyed their race. As a player race, they are the ideal choice for a player who wants to play a melancholy character with a tragic past.

Dark One[edit]

Further information: Dark one (Dungeons & Dragons)

The Dark One is a creature that resides underground.

Dragonborn[edit]

Further information: Dragonborn

The Dragonborn is a dragonoid (a humanoid dragon).

Drow[edit]

Further information: Drow (Dungeons & Dragons)

Dwarf[edit]

Further information: Dwarf (Dungeons & Dragons)

The Dwarves are one of the primary races.

Eladrin[edit]

Further information: Eladrin

Elf[edit]

Further information: Elf (Dungeons & Dragons)

Genasi[edit]

Further information: Genasi

Genasi are planetouched (mortal creatures who have in their veins some blood of creatures from an alternate plane), who in their case are humans with an elemental in their ancestry.

Gibberling[edit]

Main article: Gibberling

The Gibbberlings are a mass of pale, hunchbacked humanoids with pointed ears, black manes, and grinning faces.

Githyanki[edit]

Further information: Githyanki

The Githyanki are a race of humanoids that are related to the Githzerai.

Githzerai[edit]

Further information: Githzerai

The Githzerai are extraplanar humanoids that reside on the Plane of Limbo.

Gnoll[edit]

Further information: Gnoll

The Gnolls are a race of humanoid hyenas.

Gnome[edit]

Further information: Gnome (Dungeons & Dragons)

Goblin[edit]

Further information: Goblin (Dungeons & Dragons)

Goliath[edit]

The Goliaths are a 7 ft. race of humanoids that are related to the Giants.

Grippli[edit]

Further information: Grippli

The Gripplis are a race of humanoid tree frogs.

Half-Elf[edit]

The Half-Elves are a race of creatures that are a result of a union between an Elf and a Human.

Half-Orc[edit]

Further information: Half-orc

The Half-Orcs are a race of creatures that are a result of a union between an Orc and a Human.

Halfling[edit]

Further information: Halfling (Dungeons & Dragons)

The Halflings are a race of humans that are half their size.

Hobgoblin[edit]

Further information: Hobgoblin (Dungeons & Dragons)

Human[edit]

Further information: Human (Dungeons & Dragons)

Kenku[edit]

Further information: Kenku

The Kenku are a race of humanoid flightless birds.

Kobold[edit]

Further information: Kobold (Dungeons & Dragons)

In the original game, Kobolds were a race of Goblinoids. In later games, Kobolds were depicted as humanoid reptilians.

Lizardfolk[edit]

Further information: Lizardfolk

The Lizardfolk are a race of humanoid lizards.

Locathah[edit]

Main article: Locathah

The locathah is a fish-like humanoid race dwelling in warm coastal waters.

Merfolk[edit]

The Merfolk are a race of humanoids that live underwater.

A Merfolk has the upper body, arms, and head of a fair-featured human, and instead of legs it has the scaled tail of a great fish.

Mongrelfolk[edit]

Further information: Mongrelfolk

The Mongrelfolk are humanoids that are the product of several generations of crossbreeding between numerous other humanoid races.

Mul[edit]

This article is about the fictional fantasy race. For the king, see Mul of Kent. For the Indian car maker, see Maruti Udyog.

Muls are a mixed-breed offspring of humans and dwarves in the Dark Sun campaign setting.[1] The term mul is derived from "mule" which are sterile hybrids, and as such the word is meant to be pronounced in the same manner (rhyming with "rule" rather than "dull").[citation needed] The fourth edition Dark Sun Campaign Setting manual states that while the polite pronunciation rhymes with "dull," the pronunciation rhyming with "yule" is often used derogatorily.[2] Muls are commonly used for slave labor.[3]

A mul is a powerful crossbreed of a human and dwarf, most often born into slavery on command of its parents' owner, as it is a naturally great warrior, bred for combat. They are also highly prized as heavy laborers, due to their ability to perform massive amounts of labor on relatively little rest. In 2nd edition, muls were explicitly sterile, but in 4th edition material, this aspect of their biology has been dropped.

A mul gets what are, perhaps, the best attributes from each of its parents. From his human parent, he receives height and agility. From his dwarven parent, the mul gets incredible strength and endurance. At maturity, a mul stands as much as 6½' tall, weighing 240-300 lbs. Each is fair skinned, though sometimes tending toward a coppery coloration. A mul's eyebrow ridges are pronounced, and the ears are usually pointed toward the back of the head; otherwise, facial features are basically human. Regardless of sex, most muls are naturally bald, but those who aren't usually shave their heads as a mark of racial unity. Since many muls are born into gladiatorial careers, tattoos of decoration and ownership are common.

The term "mul" has been unofficially adopted into other campaign settings for rare human-dwarf crossbreeds.[citation needed]

Nilbog[edit]

Nilbogs are a type of naturally-born but magical goblins that are healed by receiving damage and are damaged by healing spells.[4] Furthermore, they project a paradox area effect in whose radius every intended action is twisted so that the exact opposite is carried out (i.e.: instead of hitting a nilbog with a weapon, one might end up attacking a companion; or instead of plundering a treasure hoard, an adventuring party under the influence of "nilbogism" might actually end up adding their own wealth to it). The name of this sub-species is "goblin" spelled backward, a reference to this reversal of effects.

Further information: Goblin (Dungeons & Dragons)

Norker[edit]

Further information: Norker

The Norkers are a race of humanoids that are distantly related to hobgoblins.

Orc[edit]

Further information: Orc (Dungeons & Dragons)

Orog[edit]

Orog
Characteristics
Type Humanoid

An Orog is a crossbreed between a male orc and a female ogre. Orogs usually live among orcs; they are stronger, more intelligent, and more highly disciplined than typical orcs.

Variants on the orog include the neo-orog and the ogrillon. The neo-orog is a specific orc-ogre crossbreed created by the Red Wizards of Thay to be used as elite soldiers. The ogrillion is the brutish, armor-skinned offspring of a female orc and a male ogre.

In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, orogs were an orc tribe who became cut off from their mountain home after a great attack into the civilized world, they eventually found a way into the Underdark and hid from their Elven and human enemies. They remained in the Underdark for thousands of years, fighting denizens of that terrible realm all the time. Eventually they became superior in strength and personality to normal mountain orcs.

Both orogs and ogrillions appear in BioWare's Baldur's Gate PC games.

Rakasta[edit]

Rakasta
Characteristics
Alignment Usually Neutral
Type Humanoid
Publication history
First appearance The Isle of Dread (1981)

The Rakasta (not to be confused with a rakshasa) is a humanoid with a cat-like appearance. They typically live in warm climates, such as the Isle of Dread.

Rakasta appear to be anthropomorphic felines. They are often armed with kasa, a set of metal war claws which are worn over the paw like a glove.

A special caste of mounted knights ride tamed saber-toothed tigers into battle. These warriors serve as the personal guards to the chief. They are able to leap from their mounts while riding and attack.

An article in Dragon described various "tribes" of rakasta as resembling different species of feline, with the most numerous resembling the domestic cat, but others including Simbasta (lion-people), Sherkasta (tiger-people), and so on.

Originally exclusive to the Mystara campaign setting, rakasta were retconned into the World of Greyhawk setting when the Isle of Dread was updated for third edition. In the World of Greyhawk setting, the rakasta went extinct on the Isle of Dread some time ago.

Saurial[edit]

Saurial
Characteristics
Alignment Usually Neutral Good
Type Humanoid
Image Wizards.com image
Publication history
Source books The Complete Book of Humanoids, Dragon #292, Monstrous Compendium Annual 3, Forgotten Realms 2 (MC11), Serpent Kingdoms

The Saurial is a reptilian humanoid that resemble humanoid dinosaurs.

The bladeback saurial, the finhead saurial, the flyer saurial, and the hornhead saurial first appeared in second edition for the Forgotten Realms setting in the Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix II (1991),[5] and reprinted in Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three (1996). The bladeback saurial, the finhead saurial, the flyer saurial, and the hornhead saurial appeared as player character races in The Complete Book of Humanoids (1993).[6] The finhead lacerial appeared in Polyhedron #129 (April 1998).

The bladeback saurial, the finhead saurial, the flyer saurial, and the hornhead saurial appeared as player character races in Dragon #292 (February 2002).

Saurials are usually neutral good in alignment. Their language is a combination of high-pitched sounds (outside the range of human hearing) and scents. Few other races are capable of speaking or understanding this language without magical aid, and most saurials are incapable of reproducing the common languages of other humanoid races, though they are intelligent enough to learn to understand them. One prominent saurial, Dragonbait, not only understands Common, but has learned the sign language known as "thieves' cant", allowing him to converse with non-saurials fluent in the cant.

There are four known species of saurial:

  • Bladebacks: Resembling a humanoid Stegosaurus. Bladebacks are social, straightforward, and slow to anger, often becoming village leaders.
  • Finheads: Has a curving crest on its head. It could be either a humanoid Brachiosaurus, Dilophosaurus, or Corythosaurus. Finheads are bright, active, curious, and emotional creatures. They are good with their hands and willing to work hard.
  • Flyers: Resembling a humanoid Pterosaur (very similar to the supposedly completely unrelated pterafolk). Flyers are nervous and noisy, irritable and often irritating to others. They are likely to flee from a fight if threatened. They love gossip spending time with people who will listen to them.
  • Hornheads: Somewhat halfway between a humanoid Triceratops and a Euoplocephalus. Hornheads are careful, rational planners, choosing their words carefully and loathing the taking of risks. They have an interest in alchemy, engineering, and other mental pursuits. They are the largest of the saurials.

Saurials were introduced originally in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting in the novel Azure Bonds and later detailed in the Serpent Kingdoms supplement book, though it has oftened been said they would be equally at home in such a place as the Talenta Plains in Eberron. In the Forgotten Realms, Saurials dwell in the Dalelands, in a hidden place known as the Lost Vale. They are said to have hailed from another world (possibly earth), and were stranded in Faerûn via the actions of the evil deity Moander. More intelligent than lizardfolk and inclined to be peaceful and civilized, the saurials have maintained a thriving community in near-complete isolation for nearly fifteen years. Tales of these so-called dragonfolk (though they are actually dinosaur-like) pervade many cultures, but few humans have actually seen them.

Selkie[edit]

The Selkies are humanoids that can shapeshift into seals.

Shifter[edit]

Further information: Shifter (Eberron)

Skulk[edit]

Further information: Skulk (Dungeons & Dragons)

The Skulks are a race of humanoids that can blend into their surroundings.

Swanmay[edit]

Main article: Swanmay

The Swanmays are a race of humanoids that can shapeshift into swans.

Tasloi[edit]

Main article: Tasloi

The Tasloi are a race of jungle-dwelling humanoids.

Tiefling[edit]

Further information: Tiefling

The Tieflings are a race of humanoids with demonic ancestry.

Troglodyte[edit]

Further information: Troglodyte (Dungeons & Dragons)

The Troglodytes are a race of primitive reptilian humanoids.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Slavicsek, Bill. Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Expanded and Revised (TSR, 1995)
  2. ^ Baker, Richard et al, Dark Sun Campaign Setting [4e], p. 21, Wizards of the Coast 2010
  3. ^ Swan, Rick (September 1992). "Role-playing Reviews". Dragon (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR) (#185): 65–66. 
  4. ^ White Dwarf (Games Workshop) (6): 6–8. April 1978. 
  5. ^ Cook, David. Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix II (TSR, 1991)
  6. ^ Slavicsek, Bill. The Complete Book of Humanoids (TSR, 1993)

Additional reading[edit]