Table of all D&D 4E Player Character Races [Updated - Dark Suns Campaign Setting]

dnd_racesFollowing up on the Table of all D&D 4E Classes, we thought we’d put together a list of all the core player races that are available as well. With the release of both the Player’s Handbook II and the Monster Manual II, the information for the races has been divided across four books. The Player’s Handbook II added five new races to the original eight and the Monster Manual II included new sections on a few races already covered in the Monster Manual I. These means that races like ‘Human’ have entries in three of the four books, and as such, a table of where to find all of this information in the books is increasingly useful.

Update: Player’s Handbook III
Update: Non-core races due to popular demand…
Update: Dark Suns Campaign Setting
Update: Eberron Campaign Setting
Update: Reformatted and added as many races as I could find

Obviously information in the Monster Manuals is intended more for the GM running the game and is more concerned with combat, NPC info and challenges, however there is also a lot of flavour and inspiration to be found in those sections for the players as well.

Race Handbook MM I MM II
Player Handbooks
Deva PHBII 8 page 62
Dragonborn PHBI 34 page 86
Dwarf PHBI 36 page 97
Eladrin PHBI 38 page 102 page 96
Elf PHBI 40 page 106
Githzerai PHBIII 8 page 130
Gnome PHBII 10 page 134 page 128
Goliath PHBII 12 page 136
Half-Elf PHBI 42 page 138
Half-Orc PHBII 14 page 140
Halfling PHBI 44 page 152
Human PHBI 46 page 162 page 144
Minotaur PHBIII 10 page 190
Shardmind PHBIII 12
Shifter PHBII 16 page 233
Tiefling PHBI 48 page 250
Wilden PHBIII 14
Campaign Settings and Source Books
Bladling MotP 116
Changeling EPG 28
Drow FRPG 8 page 94
Genasi FRPG 10 page 116
Hamadryad HoF 22
Kalashtar EPG 30
Mul DSCS 20
Pixie HoF 28
Revenant HoS 116
Satyr HoF 34
Shade HoS 121
Thri-Kreen DSCS 22
Vryloka HoS 126
Warforged EPG 32
Dragon Magazine Articles
Hengeyokai Issue 404
Kenku Issue 411 page 220
Revenant Issue 376

Make sure you consult with your GM first before selecting your character’s race.

Abbreviations

MM I – Monster Manual I
MM II – Monster Manual II
PHBI – Player’s Handbook
PHBII – Player’s Handbook II
PHBIII – Player’s Handbook III
EPG – Eberron Player’s Guide
FRPG – Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide
DSCS – Dark Suns Campaign Setting
HoS – Heroes of Shadow
HoF – Heroes of the Feywild

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About RupertG

RupertG has been playing roleplaying games ever since he discovered Dragon Warriors at the age of 12. Since those days he has played many different RPG's, collected not insignificant Dwarf and Tomb Kings armies for Warhammer Fantasy Battles and even worked as a games designer in the heady days of the late 90's building a CCG. Now he runs a gaming blog and is a participant in the Grand Gaming Experiment
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  • Ellisthion

    Whilst less important that the Class listing, I think this list should include the Drow and Genasi from the Forgotten Realms Players Guide. Both are fully fleshed out as much as the PHB and PHBII race.

    Perhaps there should also be mentions of the playable monster races at the back of the MM and MM2?

  • Ellisthion

    Whilst less important that the Class listing, I think this list should include the Drow and Genasi from the Forgotten Realms Players Guide. Both are fully fleshed out as much as the PHB and PHBII race.

    Perhaps there should also be mentions of the playable monster races at the back of the MM and MM2?

  • http://www.diceofdoom.com RupertG

    As per the Table of Classes comment, the Drow and Genasi are campaign specific and I wanted to only include the core races in this post (as stated in the opening sentence).

    The playable monster races are not really all that fleshed out, and if we were to include those, I’d rather do a post dedicated to using them rather than include them in a table of complete races.

  • http://www.diceofdoom.com RupertG

    As per the Table of Classes comment, the Drow and Genasi are campaign specific and I wanted to only include the core races in this post (as stated in the opening sentence).

    The playable monster races are not really all that fleshed out, and if we were to include those, I’d rather do a post dedicated to using them rather than include them in a table of complete races.

  • Ellisthion

    Whilst the Genasi are a bit specific, almost every campaign world will have Drow in some shape or form: the FRPG version is simply a fully-fleshed out version of the MM1 playable Drow.

    Supplementary books treat Drow and Genasi as equal to PHB and PHBII races: for example, Arcane Power has several feats with Drow or Genasi as prerequisite.

  • Ellisthion

    Whilst the Genasi are a bit specific, almost every campaign world will have Drow in some shape or form: the FRPG version is simply a fully-fleshed out version of the MM1 playable Drow.

    Supplementary books treat Drow and Genasi as equal to PHB and PHBII races: for example, Arcane Power has several feats with Drow or Genasi as prerequisite.

  • http://www.diceofdoom.com RupertG

    I am more concerned about putting pressure on GM’s who might not want to include the races in their campaigns, and I don’t want to add any weight to the “well, it’s in the books” type of argument.

    Also, like I said, if they are not core, they are not fully fleshed out for play in the core books, and as such should be in their own post outlining where to get the information, how to apply to your own campaign and also any extra info that might be needed to get the race working. If you want to write the post, please do ;)

  • http://www.diceofdoom.com RupertG

    I am more concerned about putting pressure on GM’s who might not want to include the races in their campaigns, and I don’t want to add any weight to the “well, it’s in the books” type of argument.

    Also, like I said, if they are not core, they are not fully fleshed out for play in the core books, and as such should be in their own post outlining where to get the information, how to apply to your own campaign and also any extra info that might be needed to get the race working. If you want to write the post, please do ;)

  • Danilo

    Why don’t you do like at the Classes table and put then (genasi, drow etc) at the table, but on a different part of it?

    They were presented in the official books not on 3rd party ones. Plus, it’s up to the GM to decide what official books’ races he is gonna pick or not. We could use the argument then that we don’t want to put pressure on the GM and as such we won’t show the dwarf at the table, DMs can choose what they’ll have in the campaign and we don’t want players pressuring them to play as dwarves, do we?

    I’m not trying to be aggressive here, it’s a nice blog, thank you for the efforts put on it.

  • Danilo

    Why don’t you do like at the Classes table and put then (genasi, drow etc) at the table, but on a different part of it?

    They were presented in the official books not on 3rd party ones. Plus, it’s up to the GM to decide what official books’ races he is gonna pick or not. We could use the argument then that we don’t want to put pressure on the GM and as such we won’t show the dwarf at the table, DMs can choose what they’ll have in the campaign and we don’t want players pressuring them to play as dwarves, do we?

    I’m not trying to be aggressive here, it’s a nice blog, thank you for the efforts put on it.

  • http://www.diceofdoom.com/blog/author/rupertg RupertG

    Actually, I had intended too, and forgot to update the table. Will do so momentarily…

  • http://www.diceofdoom.com/blog/author/rupertg RupertG

    Actually, I had intended too, and forgot to update the table. Will do so momentarily…

  • http://www.diceofdoom.com/blog/author/rupertg RupertG

    And they’re updated… :)

  • http://www.diceofdoom.com/blog/author/rupertg RupertG

    And they’re updated… :)

  • Ash

    You left out Changeling, Kalashtar, Warforged, and Revenant.

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      Egads! You’re right!

      Updated to include the Eberron setting races. Working on Revenant…

  • Ashjlaw

    Listing races as ‘Core’ and ‘Optional’ is a tad confusing, as all races are both ‘core’ and ‘entirely optional’ at the same time.

    All races are ‘Optional’, as a DM may decide that he is running an elf-only game or a no-gnomes game, so checking that it is OK to play a particular race or class is always a good idea.

    If by ‘Core’ you mean are part of the core Points of Light (Nentir Vale & beyond) setting then all possible D&D races published for 4e are ‘Core’ races. If ‘Core’ means ‘appears in a Players Handbook’ then Mul and Thri-Kreen shouldn’t be listed in core races. So far all the settings have included information on how to use race X in that game – even if Race X was not part of that setting in 3.x. The distinction between ‘core’ and ‘funky strange optional race’ has been blurred away in 4e.

    I’d suggest just one unified table but with extra columns: Race – Essentials Books – Player’s Handbooks – Monster Manuals – Setting Books.

    Also – I’m not sure but you may have also missed out on some playable Monster Manual races from MMIII, I can’t remember if there were any extra playable races in that one.

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      As I was editing it yesterday the same thing occurred to me – the categories are not entirely appropriate.

      The reason that I initially did it that way was a response to discussions I had had with a number of GM’s who said that they had had trouble with player’s thinking that because a race/class/rule/etc was in the book, it couldn’t be changed and they could play whatever they liked. I wanted to make sure that the ‘non-core’ books were treated as optional.

      Having said that, I think a better way of organising the list would be to have the following headings:

      Core (Player’s Handbooks)

      Campaign Settings (Eberron, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, etc)

      Monster Manual Playable Races

      Dragon Magazine/Other

      That way, when the page is referenced, the GM can say, any of the Core races are applicable, or Any of the Core and Campaign Setting races are OK. This will still allow GM’s to be specific about what they want to include, whilst also making the list clearer.

      And yes, I think I forgot to update for MMIII when it came out – will attend to it tonight.

  • Raistlin82

    How is it that Eberron’s and Forgotten Realms’ races are listed as optional, when Dark Sun’s races are listed as core? Looks very subjective.

    Also, I think all full fledged races are to be considered core (including Eberron, Forgotten Realms and Dark Sun ones, as well as Dragon Magazine’s Gnoll, Shadar-Kai and Revenant), while the optional ones are the barely addressed Monster Manual or Planes Manual ones like Goblin or Bladeling…

  • Ashjlaw

    Need to add the Heroes of Shadow races in

  • Dude

    Why are Mul and Thri-Kreen “core” but not Genasi and Drow, who officially exist in the Core 4e “points of light” setting?

    • Anonymous

      Because they’re in the FRPG, and whilst WotC may have their own magical definition for “Core”, the fact is is that defining “Core” as only the PHB/MM/DMG books is more useful. Drow and Swordmage should really have been PHBII, though…

  • Anonymous

    I still don’t get why Mul and Thri-Kreen are consided “Core” when they’re not made player races until Dark Sun.

  • Ashlaw

    This list looks both incomplete and very subjective. I don’t see Revenant or Pixie up there, and in 4e everything is ‘core’.

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  • Fanatic

    It’s obviously been two years since someone has been on this blog, BUT THE GUY WHO MADE IT MISSED THE HEROES OF SHADOW BOOK! WTF MAN! VAMPIRE CLASS AND REVENTANTS AND STUFF! COME ON!

  • Fanatic

    It’s obviously been two years since someone has been on this blog, BUT THE GUY WHO MADE IT MISSED THE HEROES OF SHADOW BOOK! WTF MAN! VAMPIRE CLASS AND REVENTANTS AND STUFF! COME ON!

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      It’s been a while since we updated this page, yes. If you have the page references for Revenants and Vampires, I’ll update the page straight away :)

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      Oh, and technically, Vampires are a class…

  • http://www.facebook.com/andresacram André Sacramento

    Drow, although not as a playable race, are a core feature of the 4E game, Underdark dwellers who worship Lolth (also a core deity). Eberron also features both genasi and drow, Dark Sun features drow IIRC.

    Also, shadar-kai are a core race, ain’t they? They were presented as such in Dragon (can’t recall which issue tho).

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  • noob (sry bout that)

    What are the races with low light vision and a bonus to wis?

  • Nathan Jones

    Bugbear MMI
    Bullywug MMII
    Doppelganger MMI
    Duergar MMII
    Githyanki MMI
    Gnoll MMI
    Goblin MMI
    Hobgoblin MMI
    Kobold MMI
    Orc MMI
    Shadar-Kai MMI
    Also, would you please add that MotP means Manual of the Planes? It was a little confusing.