Building a Character Design Dungeons & Dragons Races Roleplaying

DnD Mystara Part 06 Races

Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara

Design – Races Overview

D&D 5th Edition Redesign

As part of the design I have updated and redesigned races that can be found in the world and will release up here the ones that are in use within the campaign (and the rest over time).

The races are all aligned with the Five Spheres of power that the Immortals (Gods) represent. Each of the subraces will represent different spheres so two different subraces will have different core elements to represent those changes. Each of the core elements are taken from the spheres so are represented as Air, Darkness, Earth, Fire and Water.

As with any other rule I change or introduce into the game, none of the changes here are mandatory for players, but if they want to take the Magical Item “Relic” or Secret Craft “Racial” bonuses then they also have to use the racial changes. These changes are not to take away from existing options, but to update them for my setting while adding a few extra options for taking on the changes.

Why make the change: One of the basic changes that have occurred with races is the incorporation of elemental magic within the races. Something linked to the magic from which they were spun.

Favouring an Element, what does this mean: When a character is favouring an element, they gain a couple of benefits, one of those relating to a short rest bonus, another to their racial heritage.

Basic Racial Grouping

I have split my base races into the following categories for ease of management.

  • Dwarves – Five subraces of Dwarves
  • Elven – Elven subraces of Elves
  • Gnome – Five subraces of Gnome
  • Halfling – Five subraces of Halflings
  • Human – Twenty plus subraces of Humans

I have then expanded my races into the following groups that require GM Approval to take:

  • Animalistic
  • Dragonborn
  • Planar

Lastly I have a couple of racial types that are available as NPC only concepts so players can help create the world around them:

  • Half-Breed
  • Monstrous
  • Undead

(See Dwarven Overview for more details)

They encompass all the Dwarven races, though Stone Dwarves are the top of the list when it comes to the chosen of their patron. The main homeland of all the Dwarves is in Rockhome. There are known settlements in Darokin, Etherngar, Karameikos and Thyatis. The different types of Dwarves and the elements they favour are:

  • Attributes – Dwarven Traits:
    • Ability Score Increase: Constitution +2
    • Alignment: Dwarves are Lawful in general
    • Size: 4 to 5 ft tall and average about 150 pounds. Medium size.
    • Speed: base walking is 25 ft and your speed is not reduced by heavy armour
    • Darkvision (Dwarf) you can see in dim light within 60 ft as it was bright light, and darkness as if it was dim light. You can’t discern colour in darkness, only shades of grey.
    • Dwarven Combat TrainingWeapons Mastery: Gains proficiency with five weapons of significance of your choice. If you have proficiency with these weapons, they are upgraded to skilled. Standard Weapons – Battleaxe, Handaxe, Throwing Hammer, and Warhammer
    • Tool Proficiency: You are proficient with the artisan’s tools of your choice: Smith’s tools, brewer’s supplies, or mason’s tools.
    • Stonecunning (Dwarf) Whenever you make a Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
    • Prophecy: Each dwarf is given a prophecy from their birth that describes how they die.
    • Languages: You speak, read and write Common (Thyatian) and Dwarvish.
    • Pantheon: Dwarven and Gnome
  • Conversion – Dwarven Subraces to Mystara
    • Duergar or Dark Dwarves ( Called Shadowbound) favours Elemental Darkness – Non Player Race
    • Hill Dwarves (Called Hillbound) favours Elemental Air
    • Mountain Dwarves (Called Stonebound) favours Elemental Earth
    • Sea Dwarves (Called Seabound) new subrace favours Elemental Water
    • Southland of Mad Dwarves (Called Craftbound) favours Elemental Fire – Non-Player Race

They have taken on the name “bound” to represent where most of their clans people have chosen to link their clan to. A dwarf can choose to change to another type of dwarf if they can gain membership into that clan, if that is the case, they lose the benefits of their current race, and change over to that of their new race. This give them a new traits based on which subtype they left, such as leaving Hillbound, they have the trait:

  • Former Hillbound: they are treated as Hillbound for the purposes of class features, abilities and magic while also counting as their new race. A former Hillbound cannot choose to become a hillbound again.

(See Elven Overview for more details)

The elves have various known kingdoms, the Forest Elves based in Darokin (Alfheim) and Karameikos (Callarii) and Glantri (Erewan) the Sun Elves somewhere to the north of Glantri (Wendar) and Glantri, the Deep Elves in islands to the south (Minrothad) and the Sylvan Elves to the East (Thyatis). Their are rumours of Blood and Shadow Elven kingdoms in the Shadowlands.

D&D RacesElven Traits

  • Ability Score Increase: Dexterity +2
  • Alignment: Elves are Chaotic in general
  • Size: Elves are between 6 and 7 feet tall. Your size is Medium
  • Speed: Your walking speed is 30 ft
  • Darkvision (Elven) you can see in dim light within 60 ft as it was bright light, and darkness as if it was dim light. You can’t discern colour in darkness, only shades of grey.
  • Elf Gifts (Level Up) Choice of Mystic Rapport, Prescient Vision or Preternatural Awareness
  • Fey Ancestry (Elven) Advantage on saving throws against being charmed, gaining an expertise dice, and magic can’t put you to sleep.
  • Trances (Elven) You don’t sleep. Instead you meditate for 4 hrs a day and gain the same benefits as sleep.
  • Starting Languages (Elven) You speak, read and write Common (Thyatian and Alphatian) and Elvish (Clan dialect)
  • Character Options – Available to all Elven Subraces
  • Conversion – Elven Subraces to Mystara
    • High Elves (Called Sunfey) Think they are superior to all others, including other elves, taught they are the first elves, deep connection with history and lore.
    • Wood Elves (Called Woodfey) Works well with other races, deep connection with the land.
    • Eladrin Elves (Called Seasonfey) Mischievous by nature, deep connection with the Fey and magic.
    • Dark Elves or Drow (Called Bloodfey, Shadowfey and Spiritfey) The elves used as the antagonist is all Elven horror stories, deep connection with darkness, shadow and starlight. They are called Shadow Elves in the setting.
    • Sea Elves (called Seafey) As yet unknown by the players
    • Sky Elves (called Skyfey) Also unknown by the players

I have added the suffix fey to all the elven subtypes to help remind the characters of their fey heritage of all the elves.


(See Halfling Overview for more details)

The Halflings are mostly based out of the five shires but can be found most places due to their nature. Racial names may change.

Racial BuildHalfling Traits

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
  • Age. A halfling reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives into the middle of his or her second century
  • Size. Halflings average about 3 feet tall and weigh about 40 pounds. Your size is Small.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
  • Lucky (Halfling) When you roll a 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.
  • Brave (Halfling) You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
  • Halfling Nimbleness (Halfling) You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than yours.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common (Thyatian or Alphatian) and one other language. The Halfling language “Lalor” isn’t secret, but halflings as a culture have lost it as a known language. They write very little, so they don’t have a rich body of literature. Their oral tradition. however, is very strong. Almost all halflings speak Common to converse with the people in whose lands they dwell or through which they, are traveling.
  • Pantheon: Halfling
  • Weapons Proficiency: Gains proficiency with two weapons of significance of your choice. If you have proficiency with these weapons, they are upgrades skilled level.
  • Character Options – Available to all Halfling Subraces

Halfling types are named after the shires they founded closely related to their base element affinity.


(See Human Overview for more details)

Humans have only two versions who existed outside of the elemental merging, and have gone through many evolution’s since they first appeared. They are the basic glue of the setting, found in most places and in positions of power in most governments.

Racial BuildHuman Traits – Level 01 (Players Handbook and Level Up)

  • Age: Young Adult at 14, Adult at 18 and live to 100 years.
  • Size: Humans are 4 ½ to 5 ½ feet tall in general. Their size is Medium, thought in some special cases they can be Small.
  • Speed: Your base walking speed 30 ft.
  • Fast Learner (Level Up) With their short life spans, humans can acquire knowledge at a higher rate than more long-lived heritages. You gain proficiency in one additional skill of your choice in addition you require half as much time as normal to train yourself in the use of armour, skill, tool, secret craft or weapon during downtime.
  • Intrepid (Level Up) Your survival instinct is remarkably strong. When you make an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw, you can choose to gain an expertise die on that roll. Once you use this trait, you cannot use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
  • Weapons Mastery (GM House Rule) Gains proficiency with one weapons of significance of your choice. If you have proficiency with this weapon, they are upgrades skilled level.
  • Human Gifts (Level Up) Choose One – Diehard Survivor (p40), Ingenious Focus (p40), Spirited Traveller (p40)
  • Conversion – Humans subraces to Mystara:
    • Antalian Descendants (Favour Elemental Air)
    • Ethengarian Descendants (favours Elemental Earth)
    • Neathar Descendants (favour no elements)
      • Makai (favours Elemental Water)
    • Nithian Descendants (favours Elemental Fire)
    • Oltec Descendants (favours Elemental Earth)
    • Tangoro Descendants (favours Elemental Darkness)
      • Nuari (Thyatis) also called Pearl Islander.
    • Traldar Descendants (favours Elemental Fire)
  • Ancient Humans no longer around on the surface world.
    • Brute-Man (variant Human)
      • Neathar (standard human no elemental aspect)
        • Antalian (favours Elemental Air)
        • Nithian (favours Elemental Fire)
          • Traldar (favours Elemental Fire)
            • Milenian (favours Elemental Fire)
        • Oltec (favours Elemental Earth)
          • Azcan (favours Elemental Earth)
          • Jennite (favours Elemental Earth)
        • Tanagoro (favours Elemental Darkness)

Work In Progress


(see Gnome Overview for more information)

They are the best known tinkerers of the world, related to Dwarves, though many Dwarves disagree that they are related.

(GM Approval Required)

These races are based on an animal given humanoid form, and they usually can’t change their appearance so it is a fixed state.

  • Bearfolk (favour the Element of Earth)
  • Birdfolk (favour the Element of Air)
  • Catfolk (favour the Element of Shadow)
  • Dogfolk (favour the Element of Earth)
  • Merfolk (favour the Element of Water)
  • Minotaurs (favour the Element of Earth)
  • Ratfolk (favour the Element of Water)
  • Tortle (favour the Element of Water)
  • Serpentfolk (favour the Element of Water)
(GM Approval Required)

These are creatures that their origin come from outside this world.

  • Aetherborn favours the Element of Fire
  • Genasi favours the element based on their subtype
  • Gith favours no element
  • Kor favours the Element of Air
  • Shadow Fey favours the Element of Darkness
  • Tosculi favours no element
  • Vedalken favours the Element of Water
(GM Approval Required)

The creatures that are born of the dragon, are not explained well to others why they are all unisex, or where they come from or what they are doing out in the world. All they say is ask the dragons.

There are three choices when selecting a Dragonborn, the Scales, the Body Type and the Colours. Each of those will introduce aspects of the setting to the character. They are not as per the players guide with specific changes in the setting.

Scales: There are three different variant on the scales.

  • Chromatic Scales – these Dragonborn have scales that have vibrant colour matching their linked dragon ancestors. They also have an innate connection to Chaos and the Chromatic Dragons. They are the the first Dragonborn.
  • Metallic Scales – these Dragonborn have have scales where the vibrant colour is tinged with metal. They have an innate connection with Law and the Metallic Dragons. They are the second evolution of Dragonborn, hatched ten years after the first chromatic.
  • Gemstone Scales – these Dragonborn have scales where the colour dull, metallic tinged and more like is shards of crystal than scales. They have an innate connection to Neutrality and the Gemstone Dragons. They are the third evolution of Dragonborn, hatched ten years after the first metallic.

Body Type: There are three known variant shapes depending on the age of characters.

  • Guardian – strong and charismatic, with a strong tail. Oldest known metallic hatched in AC 995.
  • Scout – tough and wise, without a tail. Oldest known metallic hatched in AC 998.
  • Champion – true leaders, with a shorter tail and wings. Oldest known metallic hatched in AC 1000.
  • Sage – intelligent and the lorekeepers of the clutch, also with wings. Oldest known metallic hatched in AC 1005. They are not currently known about in the world.

Colours: There are five colours of Dragonborn representing the five elements.

  • Black/Brass/Onyx (favours the Element of Darkness)
  • Blue/Bronze/Sapphire (favours the Element of Water)
  • Green/Copper/Emerald (favours the Element of Earth)
  • Red/Gold/Ruby (favours the Element of Fire)
  • White/Silver/Crystal (favours the Element of Air)
(NPC Only)

These races are only for use in NPC’s as they tend to be erratic, prone to violence and are the legend the equivalent of “Jack the Ripper” mixed with warlords. All of these are unable to produce offspring and are not considered to be part of any family line for purposes of rulership or inheritance. They are also the product of a great curse, magical or divine intervention.

  • Aasimar favours an element based on its source
  • Half-Dragon favours an element based on their dragon type
  • Half-Orc favours the Element of Darkness
  • Lycanthrope favours the Element of Darkness
  • Tiefling favours an element based on its source
(NPC Only)

These races are considered to be the monsters of the setting.

  • Bugbear favours the Element of Earth
  • Centaur favours the Element of Earth
  • Firbolg favours the Element of Fire
  • Gearforged favours the Element of Fire
  • Gnoll favours the Element of Darkness
  • Goblin favours the Element of Darkness
  • Goliath favours the Element of Earth
  • Hobgoblin favours the Element of Air
  • Kobold favours the Element based on their scales
  • Orc favours the Element based on their tribe
  • Siren favours the Element of Air
  • Triton favours the Element of Water
  • Trollkin favours the Element of Earth
(NPC Only)

These races are linked to the power of necromancy and are healed by the negative spell abilities and damaged by the positive spell abilities.

  • Dhampir favours the Element of Darkness
  • Vampire favours the Element of Darkness
Other Races

Other races will be added to this list when I have time. While this is not an exhaustive list of racial options in my setting, this is the base list from which all created NPC’s will come from. I intend to post every Monday about one of the races I have been working on to help flesh out the world. In some cases this might include updating existing races with more information as it is learnt by my players.

Content Updates

  • 2021-07-31 – Updating layout and links.
  • 2020-09-20 – Cleaning up the layout and finishing first cut touches on the Halflings.
  • 2020-03-23 – Structure and references, with an expansion on dwarves.
  • 2020-03-16 – Human traits.
  • 2020-03-08 – Structure and content update.
Mystara Races

The Races Overview

Dragonkind Overview: Air (Crystalborn, Silverborn, Whiteborn), Darkness (Blackborn, Brassborn, Onyxborn), Earth (Copperborn, Emeraldborn, Greenborn), Fire( Amberborn, Goldborn, Redborn, Rubyborn), Water (Blueborn, Bronzeborn, Sapphineborn)

Dwarven Overview: Air (Hillbound), Darkness (Shadowbound), Earth (Stonebound), Fire (Craftbound), Water (Seabound)

Elven Overview: Air (Nomadfey, Skyfey), Darknes (Bloodfey, Shadowfey), Earth (Wildfey, Woodfey), Fire (Spiritfey, Sunfey), Water (Seafey), Elements (Seasonfey)

Genasi Overview: Air (Airchild), Earth (Earthchild), Darkness (Darkchild), Fire (Firechild), Water (Waterchild)

Giantkind Overview:

Gnome Overview: Air (Skykin), Darkness (Shadowkin), Earth (Forestkin), Fire (Tinkerkin), Water (Tradekin)

Halfling Overview: Air (Southshire), Darkness (Eastshire), Earth (Highshire), Fire (Heartshire), Water (Seashire)

Human Overview: Air (Hattian, Heldannic, Kerendan, Thyatian), Darkness (Nuari), Earth (Atruaghin, Ethengarian, Makistani), Fire (Alasiyan, Thothian, Traladaran), Water (Makai)

Inner World

Humans Overview: Fire – Nithian

WRATH Design

Setting Design:
Part 1 – Five Elements,
Part 2 – Five Spheres,
Part 3 – Pantheons,
Part 4 – Divine Features,
Part 5 – Reference Material,
Part 6 – Races,
Part 7 – Secret Crafts,
Part 8 – Weapons Mastery,
Part 9 – Setting,
Part 10 – Timeline,
Part 11 – Magical Item,
Part 12 – Classes,
Part 13 – Downtime,
Part 14 – Immortality,
Part 15 – Elemental Aspects,
Part 16 – Immortal Patrons,
Part 17 – New Directions,
Part 18 – Symbols

Kingdom Building:
Part 1 – Mapping

D&D 5E in Mystara

D&D MenuAdventures, Artefacts, Backgrounds, Classes, Dominions, Downtime, Feats, Gazetteers, Gods, Magical Items, Monsters, Organisations, Pantheons, Races, Ranks & Titles, Rune Magic, Secret Crafts, Settlements, Spells, Timeline, Weapons Mastery

WRATH: Campaign, Design

Game ManagementAnnotated Stat Block, Character Creation, Choosing a New Campaign, Gaming over Skype, GM’s Luck Roll, Tracking Experience

Class Builds
Artificer – Bombardier (Tinkerkin),
Barbarian – Totem Warrior (Plamin, Camdu),
Bard – College of Valour (Sunfey),
Druid – Circle of Dreams (Woodfey), Circle of the Tree of Life (Seasonfey),
Fighter – Battlemaster (Seashire), Eldritch Knight (Kerendan), Weapons Master (Lani), Weapons Master (Stonebound),
Monk – Way of the Elements (Tidal),
Paladin – Oath of Radiance (Sunfey), Oath of Vengeance (Firechild),
Sorcerer – Wild Magic (Shadowfey),
Warlock – Celestial (Llewell),
Wizard – Bladesinger (Nerye),
Dragon – White (Calcryx).
Multiclass – Cleric/Wizard (Xhall), Rogue/Cleric (Dracnomir), Rogue/Sorcerer (Yodrey), Wizard/Rogue (Traladaran)


Session RecordingsCampaign Journals

Library of Books

B5, d20 System, Pathfinder, SW

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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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