A Primer of D&D 5E’s Playable Races, Such as They Are (From the Player’s Handbook)

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Soon, my party and I will begin a new D&D adventure! There’s new blood to be had, and I’m uncertain as to the way I should introduce all the playable races to these new players. The easiest way to do is not to send them to read some dusty tome but to spend way too long writing weird descriptions and compiling memes from random Google searches to go along with them.

Ain’t I the funniest?


You can be anything, and you choose to play as a human? Do you even know what a human is? Icky, for one! I mean…Look in the mirror – that’s a human. Lousy expiration date, stinky, takes itself too seriously while looking like this:

It’s better than being an amorphous blob, but not by much. Thankfully, in D&D, there are alternatives. Let’s jump in! (And no, we’re not talking about Variant humans, dummy. All humans are variant humans.)


There are many elves, and they are all pointy-eared know-it-alls. The good? No expiration dates. The bad? A little too arrogant, a little too punchable, pinchable, munchable – I love ’em!

Gloomy Elves

These elves are so gloomy, they’ve gone a little grey around the gills. You should play them if: you’re a teenager, or a bad guy, or a kid from the nineties who has read too many R. A. Salvatore novels.

Treehugging Elves

These elves like trees a little too much.

Magic-Huffing Elves

“High” elves…right.

They huff magical paint like crazy but are not as chill as you might think – a high-strung lot.


Sturdy, as wide as they are tall, uniformly Scottish and with the temper of Brooklynites – these are the gruff masters of stone and beer.

Diggy-Diggy Dwarves

You ever look at a mountain and think, “Gee, I wish I could turn this here big boy into Swiss Cheese” ? Dwarves who think that once are Diggy-Diggy Dwarves; they spend the rest of their lives trying to make this bizarre little dream into reality. Also, they like gold, which I respect…but only because they’ve paid me. They also paid me not to tell you that they’re scared silly of the sky falling on top of them.

Dwarves Not Afraid of the Sky

These enterprising, stout-hearted dwarves paid me more than the Diggy-Diggy Dwarves.


They are to dragons what I am to my father’s uncle’s nephew’s greatgrandmother’s cousin, twice removed. Very pretty, though, and some of them sparkle, their scales encrusted with gemstones.


Have you ever wanted to sex a demon? Well, the tiefling’s momma or papa wanted it badly enough to go along with the impulse – and that’s where the trouble began. Tieflings look wicked – but while to me and you, that might be a good thing, human peasants connect “wicked” with all the wrong connotations. Safe to say, if you see a mob wielding pitchforks at the edge of a small village…move on.


Definitely not hobbits. Hairy feet, like food and drinking and partying and I haven’t ever used a single one in six years of D&D. Don’t know whether to be proud or terrified of that fact – but I will be making plans to include more of those toiny would-be hobbits.


Insane hobbits who like explosions to an unhealthy degree. They are mad, I tell ye, mad-d.


Half-Orcs, Half-Elves, Half-What-Else-Is-On-The-Menu, are all perfectly fine; but when they fraternize, things can get a little weird:

Next time (if there’s a next time), I’ll tell you all about the other playable races you can choose from!

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