Racial Abilities



[sblock Note] This thread is a continuation of an other thread of the same name.

The earlier thread began while 5e race designs were still in their formative phase. Much has taken shape during the playtests since then. The previous thread is need of revision to integrate recent design decisions.

Perhaps most dramatically, the decision to have all the subraces of a race share the same primary ability, then distinguish subraces by a secondary ability, forces the reorganizaiton of all the races. Certain groups belonging to the same race, must now gain the same primary ability. Otherwise they must split into separate races if they keep different primary abilities.

Currently, the playtest is 06 07 13 (June 7, 2013). The previous thread began 2012 June.


Wizards, shave and a haircut


The Human race and six other races are normally available. Their racial features correspond well to the six abilities. The distribution across the abilities enhances the distinctiveness of each race and increases meaningful choices for players.

Orc (Strength)
Halfling (Dexterity)
Dwarf (Constitution)

Gnome (Intelligence)
Drow (Wisdom)
Elf (Charisma)

Human (Any)


The abilities appear in parentheses. A race often includes a choice of subraces. Each subrace exhibits the primary ability of the race, but also a secondary ability and a weakness that distinguish the subrace from any others. In the spoiler blocks, the textual sources of the D&D tradition about the race appear for comparison.

Human (Any)
Human (+All)

[sblock Human in D&D] Human (+Any)
(+All: 5e Races, Human)
(+Any +Any: 4e HFL, Human)
(+Any: 3e Pathfinder, Human)
(Standard: 1e PH, Human; 2e; 3e)


Orc (Str)
 Orc (+Str +Con −Cha)
Half (+Str +Other)

[sblock Orc in D&D] Orc (+Str)
(+Str −Wis −Cha −Int: 3e MM, Orc)
(+Str −Int −Cha: 3e PH, Half Orc)

Orc (Con)
(+Str +Con −Cha: 1e PH, Half Orc)
(+Str +Con: 5e Additional Races, Half Orc; 4e Dragon Magazine 397, Orc)
(+Str +Con −Int: 5e Bestiary, Orc; 4e MM, Orc)
(+Str +Con −Int: 3e Pathfinder, Orc)

Half (Other)
(+Any: 3e Pathfinder, Half Orc)
(Compare +Any: 3e Pathfinder, Half Elf)
(Compare +Other: 5e Additional Races, Half Elf)
(+Dex +Str: 4e Dragon Magazine 397, Half Orc)
(+Dex +Con: 4e Dragon Magazine 397, Half Orc)


Halfling (Dex)
Stout (+Dex +Con −Wis)
Lightfoot (+Dex +Cha −Str)

[sblock Halfling in D&D] Stout (+Con)
(+Dex +Con: 5e Races, Stout Halfling; 4e HFL, Halfling)
(Normal Str: 1e MM, Stout Halfling)

Lightfoot (+Cha −Str)
(+Dex −Str: 1e PH, Hairfoot Halfling; 3e PH, Halfling; 3e MM, Lightfoot Halfling)
(+Dex +Cha: 5e Races, Lightfoot Halfling; 4e HFL Halfling)
(+Dex +Cha −Str: 3e Pathfinder, Halfling)


Dwarf (Con)
Hill (+Con +Str −Cha)
Mountain (+Con +Wis −Dex)

[sblock Dwarf in D&D] Dwarf (+Con)
(+Con −Cha: 1e PH, Dwarf; 1e MM, Hill Dwarf; 2e; 3e)

Hill (+Str)
(+Con +Str: 5e Races, Hill Dwarf; 4e HFL, Dwarf; 4e Eberron, Half, Mul)

Mountain (+Wis)
(+Con +Wis: 5e Races, Mountain Dwarf; 4e HFL, Dwarf)
(+Con +Wis −Cha: 3e Pathfinder, Dwarf)


Gnome (Int)
Rock (+Int +Con −Str)
Forest (+Int +Dex −Str)
Svirfneblin (+Int +Wis −Cha)

[sblock Gnome in D&D] Gnome (+Int)
(+Int: 5e Races, Gnome)
(+Int +Cha: 4e PH2, Gnome)
(+Int +Dex: 4e Dragon Magazine 397, Gnome)

Rock (+Con)
(+Int +Con: 5e Additional Races, Rock Gnome)
(+Con −Str: 1e PH, Gnome; 2e; 3e; 3e MM, Rock Gnome)
(+Con +Cha −Str: 3e Pathfinder, Gnome)

Forest (+Dex)
(+Int +Dex: 5e Additional Races, Forest Gnome; 4e Dragon Magazine 397, Gnome)

Svirfneblin (+Wis −Cha)
(+Wis +Str: 4e Into the Unknown, Svirfneblin)
(Normal Str: "More muscular", 1e Unearthed Arcana, Deep Gnome, Svirfneblin)
(+Wis +Con: 4e Into the Unknown, Svirfneblin)
(+Wis +Dex −Str −Cha: 3e MM, Svirfneblin Gnome; 3e Pathfinder, Svirfneblin)


Drow (Wis)
Female (+Wis +Cha −Con)
Male (+Wis +Dex −Str)
Half (+Wis +Other)

See also Elf and Faerie

[sblock Drow in D&D] Female (+Wis +Cha)
(+Wis: Cleric)
(+Cha: Leadership)
(+Wis, +Cha: "Most Drow Clerics are female", "The leader will be a female", 1e Fiend Folio, Drow Elf)
(+Wis +Cha −Con: 4e MM, Drow Priest ≈ Female Drow)

Male (+Wis)
(+Dex +Wis −Con −Str: 5e Bestiary, Drow)
(+Dex +Wis: 4e HFK, Drow)
(+Dex +Str +Wis −Con: 4e MM, Drow Warrior ≈ Male Drow)
(+Int +Dex +Wis −Str: 4e MM, Drow Arachnomancer ≈ Male Drow)
(Note, 1e Male Drow has less Int than 1e Female Drow: 1e Fiend Folio, Drow Elf)

Male (+Dex)
(+Dex −Con: 1e MM, Drow Elf, Black Elf)
(+Dex −Con −Str: 1e Fiend Folio, Male Drow)
(+Dex +Int +Cha −Con: 3e MM, Drow Elf, Dark Elf)
(+Dex +Cha −Con: 3e Pathfinder, Drow)
(+Dex +Cha: 4e HFK, Drow)


Elf (Cha)
Wild (+Cha +Wis −Int)
High (+Cha +Int −Str)
Half (+Cha +Other)

See also Drow and Faerie

[sblock Elf in D&D] Elf (+Cha)
(+Comeliness ≈ Charisma visually, beauty, artistic impressiveness, style, glamor: 1e Unearthed Arcana, Elf)
(+Cha: flavor, charm, enchanting, innate magic, superhuman beauty, artwork, song, dance, elegance)
(+Int +Cha: 4e HFL, Eladrin; 4e PH, Eladrin, Gray Elf, Faerie, High Elf, Fey)
(+Cha +Other: 5e Additional Races, Half Elf)
(+Cha +Con: 4e HFK, Half Elf)

High (+Int)
(+Int: 1e PH, Elf, Favored Class Wizard; 1e MM, High Elf; 2e; 3e)
(+Int: flavor, logic, memory, accuracy, skill, artisanry, superhuman technology)
(+Int +Dex −Con: 1e MM, Gray Elf, Faerie; 3e Pathfinder, Elf)
(+Int +Dex −Con −Str: 3e MM, Gray Elf)
(+Int +Dex: 4e HFL, Eladrin; 4e PH Eladrin, Gray Elf, High Elf)
(+Dex +Int: 5e Races, High Elf; 4e HFL, Elf)

Wild (+Wis)
(+Dex +Wis: 4e HFL, Elf; 4e PH Elf, Wild Elf, Wood Elf)

See Faerie for “Dex Elf”, Sylvan Faerie, Wood Elf
Wood (+Dex)
(+Dex −Con: 1e PH, Elf; 1e MM, High Elf; 2e; 3e)
(+Dex −Int: 3e MM, Wild Elf)
(+Dex +Str −Int −Con: 1e, Wood Elf)
(+Dex +Str −Con: 3e MM, Wood Elf)
(+Dex +Wis: 5e Races, 4e HFL, Elf; 4e PH, Elf, Wood Elf, Wild Elf)
(+Con +Wis: 4e HFK, Half-Elf)



Faerie (Dex)
Eladrin (+Dex +Cha −Wis) - Tulani, Ghaele, Firre, Moon Elf -> Drow (Wis Dex)
Gray (+Dex +Int −Str) - Gray Elf, Mountain Elf, Sun Elf
Sylvan (+Dex +Str −Int) - Sylvan Elf, Wood Elf
Changeling (+Dex +Cha −Wis) -> Doppleganger (Cha Wis)
Half (+Dex +Other)

See also Drow and Elf

Gith (Dex)
Gish (+Dex +Int −Wis)
Yanki (+Dex +Con −Wis)
Zerai (+Dex +Wis −Int)  

Dwarf (Con)
• Half (+Con +Other)

Genasi (Int)
Air (+Int +Dex −Cha)
Water (+Int +Str −Cha)
Fire (+Int +Dex −Wis)
Earth (+Int +Str −Wis)

Abilities of Standard Races

Regarding the primary and secondary abilities of each subrace, fifteen ability combinations are possible. Cohering the abilities with the flavor, themes and features, the Standard Subraces can cover most of these options.

CON-STR Hill Dwarf
DEX-CON Stout Halfling

DEX-INT Forest Gnome
DEX-WIS Male Drow
CHA-DEX Lightfoot Halfling
INT-CON Rock Gnome
CON-WIS Mountain Dwarf

INT-WIS Svirfneblin Gnome
CHA-INT High Elf
CHA-WIS Wild Elf


Orc: Strength. The above list lacks the Str-Con Orc race because it is redundant with the Con-Str Hill Dwarf. In this sense, the Orc fails to add a distinctive option. Moreover, the statistics of the Orc race is problematic. The current playtest omits the option to play an Orc race. Instead, only the Half Orc is available, a Human-Orc hybrid. However unlike the Half Elf, the Half Orc seems to lack characteristics from the Human parent. The motive for removing the option to play an Orc seems to be to make the Orc monolithically Evil in alignment. But then the existence of a Half Orc has disturbing implications. It seems more helpful to treat the Orc as a normal race. If so, the possibility of Orc subraces becomes appealing. A Str-Con “Ogrillon Orc” exhibits the dumb brute characteristics, similar to the Ogre. But other Orc subraces can exhibit other needed Strength combinations. Str-Wis might represent a roaming clan of hunter-gatherers in tune with their environment. Str-Int might represent a cunning thug. Str-Dex might represent an agile warrior. Meanwhile, a hybrid Str-Other Half Orc can function normally, with Strength expressing the Orc parentage while the Other ability would express the adaptability of the Human parentage.

Gnome: Intelligence. The Int-Con Rock Gnome seems solid. Intelligence coheres with the themes and features of mechanical engineering, especially clockwork automatons. Constitution suggests endless labor, tapping the archetype of the House Sprite as an industrious caretaker spirit. For the Int-Dex Forest Gnome, the Dexterity is problematic because it seems to have little to do with the rest of the features. The Forest Gnome enjoys themes of illusion and speaking with animals. Intelligence corresponds well with both illusion and languages, even scholarly observation of animal behavior. Dexterity is irrelevant for illusion and languages. Moreover, players will use the option of an Int-Dex Gnome for the Rogue class, imbuing the race with dissonant nonmagical flavor. The Gnome relies on wit and magic, rather than wit and somersaults. But the Forest Gnome will become an acrobat. The small roguish Forest Gnome will become indistinguishable from the small Roguish Halfling. At least, the Dex will be useful for the AC of an unarmored Gnome Illusionist Wizard. The Int-Wis Svirfneblin Gnome is a distinctinve option for a Gnome subrace, and is part of the classical Gnome tradition. This fills the need for an Int-Wis hero. The obscure name Svirfneblin is probably a contraction of the Norse name, Svárt-alf-nifl-inn > Svr'lfniflin > Svirfneblin, literally meaning, “the Black Elf Mist”, thus referring to the Black Elf, namely the humansized Norse Dvergr, who personifies earth, creates magic items, and avoids sunlight on pain of petrification. The “Mist” refers to a means of obscuring direct sunlight, thus traveling during daylight. The Dvergr suffers from poor Charisma, is notably unwilling to help others, antisocial, and oddly never taken seriously despite great magical power.

Drow: Wisdom. In the D&D tradition, the Drow exhibits strong sexual dimorphism, with the male and female counting as if separate subraces. Here, Wis-Dex prioritizes Wisdom, but remains close to the traditional Dex-Wis Drow, such as the one in the Bestiary. Here, the Wis-Dex Male Drow functions well as a Ranger, to represent an agile warrior of the subterranean. The Wis-Cha Female Drow emphasizes their matriarchal function as undisputed leaders.

Elf: Charisma. The mythologically accurate Elf is essentially a Charisma race, personifying success, and encompassing themes of beauty, enchantment, status, glamor, ingenuity, winning, luck, persuasiveness, art, and so on. Here, the Cha-Int High Elf continues the D&D tradition of the Gray Elf, Tulani Eladrin, and so on. The Elf as in innately magical Enchanter Wizard. Likewise the Charisma coheres with the indominable willpower that immunizes against charm effects. By contrast, the Cha-Dex Wood Elf continues the literature of Tolkien, resonating the agile and enchanting warrior, Legolas. Together, the High Elf emphasizes the tradition of the Elf as a scholarly magical being while the Wood Elf continues the tradition of the Elf as a physical agile wilderness spirit. Charisma, comeliness, charm, and beauty remain vital to both subraces.

Dwarf: Constitution. The D&D Dwarf fails to represent the Dwarf of Norse Mythology, who is a human-size antisocial creator of magic items, who personifies the features of earth, rock and soil, along with the difficult-to-extract benefits. Instead, D&D continues the literature of Tolkien. Tolkien adopts the Dwarf of modern folklore, who is waist-high and stocky, and imbues themes of an exceptional but nonmagical artisan, and a tough scrappy warrior. Interestingly, the magical aspects of the Dwarf resurface indirectly thru Wisdom, tapping certain folklore concerning prophecy and fateful curses. Here the Con-Wis Mountain Dwarf represents the mystical aspects, while the Con-Str Hill Dwarf represents the unyielding warrior.

Halfling: Dexterity. The D&D Halfling evolves from the literature of Tolkien, specifically the Hobbit. Tolkien created the Hobbit by reinventing as a nonmagical being, the Hob that is the English variant of the House Sprite. As the spirit of a home, the Hobbit too tends to be small, childlike, homebound, and easily unnoticed. For Tolkien, the main virtue of the Hobbit is humility, so much so as to escape the temptations of dark power. The D&D Halfling, however, becomes more adventurous. The Halfling is playful, but roguish and agile. The Halfling is typically innocent, even during mischief. Ultimately like the Hob, the Halfling is helpful to Humans. The Dex-Con Stout Halfling expresses the flavor of a tough agile daredevil who performs fun stunts. Here the Dex-Int Lightfoot Halfling fulfills the need for a clever Rogue. The 5e Rogue is Dex-Int. The Cha-Dex Wood Elf already fills the role of an agile charmer.
Among the Advanced Races:

Gith (Dex)
Zerai (+Dex +Wis −Int)
Yanki (+Dex +Con −Wis)
Gish (+Dex +Int −Wis)

The two groups, Githyanki and Githzerai, seem like subraces of the same race, Gith. As such, Dexterity seems to the best candidate for the ability that both have in common, thus a distinctive trait characteristic of the race as a whole. The Gith are agile.

Origins of the Gith

• The Mindflayer bred and warped Human thralls, mutating their biology to serve as skirmisher (light infantry) warriors. These exhibit Dexterity for light armor defense and swift attack, Wisdom to perceive and detect targets, but less so Intelligence. The Mindflayer designed a singleminded thralldom to search and destroy. The Mindflayer specifically engineered these Dex-Wis skirmishers for the Monk class. The Gith Zerai mainly descend from these thrall skirmishers.

• Gith is the namesake of the race. She successfully led these thralls in a rebellion against the Mindflayers. Gith herself is the result of an other mutation. The Mindflayer engineering a group of children from the skirmishers to exhibit exceptional Constitution. The Gith Yanki mainly descend from these children.

• Even while a thrall of the Mindflayer, Gith somehow made mental contact with the fiend dragon, Tiamat. Gith bound herself by a Dragon Pact, becoming a Warlock for Tiamat. Gith secretly studied warlockry, hidden magically from the telepathy of the Mindflayer. The Dragon Pact is a fierce magic. The Warlock channels weird magical energies, needing to be physically tough to survive. Draconic magic is brutish. The Warlock Dragon Pact uses Constitution as the primary ability of the class. Gith herself became the conduit of the mystical ferocity of Tiamat.

• Gith was also the first “Gish”, a multiclass, both a tough Dragon-Pact Warlock and a dexterous Silver-Sword Fighter. She was less perceptive than her fellows, and failed to master the Monk combat style. She and her fellow mutants, developed their own fighting style.

• The famous Gith Yanki weapon, the Silver Sword, is forged out of mithril by means of warlockry. The sword almost weightless and requires no Strength to wield it. The Silver-Sword fighting-style benefits from Dexterity. Swift and precise.

• Gith initiated several others into warlockry. Her fellow mutants, like her, exhibited the toughness to withstand this kind of magic. With the added advantage of warlockry, Gith led the skirmishers in a surprise rebellion against the Mindflayer and to freedom.

• After the rebelion, Gith left to meet with Tiamat in person, but was never heard from again. In her absence, one of her Warlocks, Vlaakith, led the Gith in her name into the Astral spirit world. There he seized power, founding the autocracy of the Gith Yanki.

• Zerthimon was a skirmisher who dedicated his life to the pursuit of freedom. His intuitions helped the skirmishers seize the opportunity against the Mindflayer. After the success, he rejected any and all forms of servitude. Thus Zerthimon rejected the oppressiveness of Vlaakith, and disputed his legitimacy to represent Gith in her absence. A bitter civil war ended in stalemate. Zerthimon led his faction away, ultimately founding the subrace of the Gith “Zer”-ai, from his namesake, “Zer”-thimon. Likewise Zerthimon is the first “Zir-Th”, a Cleric/Monk. The Philosophical Clerics continue to transmit his teachings.

• The monastic order that Zerthimon founded transmits the contemplation of the Domain of Freedom. Its Monks, Clerics, and Zerths also serve as sacred teachers. Gith Zerai populations are anarchistic, in principle. However they revere the teachings of these monastics. Gith Zerai solemnly listen to anything these Wise Ones say, but feel free to disagree if they wish, after having listened.

• Gith Zerai evolved into a rural life. They build sprawling communities around a central monastary. The monastics serve as spiritual advisors, albeit not quite leaders. The monastics also serve as combat trainers, specializing in guerilla tactics. For the Gith Zerai, to kill a Mindflayer is a sacred offering.

• Gith Yanki evolved into a powerful but coercive civilization, surviving by warlockry, and organizing into militaristic castes. Gith Yanki to organize military attacks on Mindflayer populations.

Gith Classes

Gith Yanki (Neutral Evil)
• Knight: Dex-Con Silver-Sword Fighter
• Warlock: Con Dragon-Pact Warlock
• Gish: Con-Dex Warlock/Fighter

Gith Zerai (Chaotic Neutral)
• Dex-Wis Monk
• Wis-Dex Philosophical Cleric (Domain: Freedom, Teachings of Zerthimon)
• Zerth: Wis-Dex Cleric/Monk

Over the millennia, physically tough parents and their descendents flourished among the Gith Yanki Warlock-led warrior culture.

Perceptive parents and their descendents flourished among the Gith Zerai Monk-led monastic culture.

As a race, the Gith are less psionic than other races might assume. The Mindflayer are psionic but eradicated any Human thralls that exhibited psionic aptitude. Moreover, psionic techniques mainly use Charisma, representing personal presence, willpower, and entangling minds. Gith arent especially charismatic. Generally, Gith distrust psionic because of their hate against the Mindflayer. Still, Gith are no strangers to it because of their nemesis, the Mindflayer. The Gith Yanki force any rare individuals who demonstrate psionic aptitute to serve in a “caste” of secret service agents for psionic espionage against the Mindflayer. The Gith Zerai often consecrate a special monastary for individuals who choose to study psionic. Among both subraces, the Gith engage psionic with extreme caution, wary of drawing the attention of the Mindflayer.

Poll: What are the best abilities for the Gith race?



• The abilities of the 3e Gith look like this: Githyanki (Dex Con −Wis), Githzerai (Dex Wis −Int).

• The abilities of the 4e Gith look like this: Githyanki (Int Con), Githzerai (Wis, Dex or Int).

• What should the abilities of the 5e Gith look like?

In 5e, each race has all of its subraces share the same primary ability. For the Gith race, should this ability for all Gith be Dex (like in 3e) or Int (like in 4e)?

What abilities make the most sense for the Gith race?
This is a link to a sibling thread that discusses the poll on Abilities for the Gith race.

Discerning from the player votes:

Since the Githyanki fans divide equally into Dex Con versus Dex Int, it seems wise to add a third subrace, possibly as one of the castes within Githyanki society, possibly tracing their ancestry directly to Gith herself.

Gith (Dex)
Yanki, Githyanki (Dex Con)
Gish (Dex Int)
Zerai, Githzerai (Dex Wis)
D&D has many kinds of Elf. Something like the following arrangement works out surprisingly well.

Elf (Cha)
Wild (+Cha +Wis −Int) - Celtic Sidhe, Shee, Ban-Shee, Aquatic Elf
High (+Cha +Int −Str) - Norse Alfr
Half (Cha Other) 

Faerie (Dex)
Eladrin (+Dex +Cha −Wis) - Tulani, Ghaele, Firre, Moon Elf --> Drow (Wis Dex)
Gray (+Dex +Int −Str) - Mountain Elf, Sun Elf
Sylvan (+Dex +Str −Int) - Wood Elf
• Changeling (+Dex +Cha −Wis) --> Doppleganger (Cha Wis)
Half (+Dex +Other)

Drow (Wis)
Female (+Wis +Cha −Con)
• Male (+Wis +Dex −Str) 
Half (+Wis +Other) 
Gnome (Int)
Svirfneblin (+Int +Wis −Cha) 

In the D&D tradition, the Gray Elf, the Drow, and the Eladrin are each called a “Faerie”.

This Faerie race radiates into the Eladrin subrace, the Gray subrace, and the Drow race.

The Sylvan, nicknamed Wood Elf, descends from a wizardly hybrid of the Gray and forest animals.

All Faerie subraces decend from the Eladrin subrace. The Eladrin are extraplanar spirits. Faerie is also the name of their home plane. Some Eladrin suffered exile after a cataclysmic Civil War, emigrating underground to become the Drow race. The Gray declared neutrality during this war, deserted, and fled into the Human World. These Gray live reclusively in impossible cities, veiled magically from the outside World. The cities celebrate their libraries of magical research. The Gray civic militaries train in stealth combat, utilizing wizardry with guerilla tactics. The Sylvan descend from a wizardly hybrid of the Gray with forest animals. The Wizard progenitor ideologically embraced the new Homeworld. The Sylvan descendents exhibit feral characteristics. They show little interest in academic pursuits but have fondness for those who do, and take pride in their own experimental origin.

The Changeling are, in fact, Eladrin from Faerie. There are many rumors to explain why the Eladrin pass some of their infants thru magical shapechange rituals to disguise them as Human, then swap them for Human infants. Perhaps all of the rumors are true, perhaps none of them are. The tradition is strong, but inconsistent and perplexing. The Human infants in Faerie grow up into various fates, ranging from bliss to nightmare. The Changeling infants among the Human similarly grow up into various fates. Sometimes they discover their latent Eladrin traits and powers of shapechange. Sometimes, the Eladrin parents find their children as adults to return them home to Faerie. Sometimes the Changelings live as a Human never knowing they are Nonhuman. Perhaps the best explanation is, the Custom of the Changeling is the result of a curse that the Eladrin suffered during the Civil War. Or perhaps it is some kind of prescient blessing. The Doppleganger race is new, descending from a certain gang of Changeling. Most Half Faerie are the children of a Changeling and a Human spouse.

The terms Tulani, Ghaele, and Firre are properly titles among the Eladrin aristocracy. The aristocracy comprises the autonomous, magically sovereign albeit laissez faire, courts that comprise the Court of Stars.

The Gnome, by folklorist definition, is a small (knee high) house sprite. However, the Norwegian name Svirfneblin is a contraction of a Norse name Svart-alf-nifl-inn. (Probably.) Literally, “the mist of the black elf”. Thus this is a reference to the Norse Dvergr, an underground, humansize, creator of magic items, with black hair and deathly pale complexion (who turns to stone in direct sunlight). As such, this Gnome is an other kind of Elf. In D&D terms, make this particular Gnome tall, fully human size, but keep all D&D Gnome traits, including magic, making stuff, especially dwelling underground in rock. Then this Gnome can function as if a kind of option for an Int Wis Elf.
The above post is on the right track, but it needs tweaking.

In any case, here is a table listing the D&D Elf tradition at a glance.


Gray Faerie
Sun/GoldInt Dex
Int Dex
−Con −Str
Int Dex
−Con −Str
Int Cha
/ Int Dex
Wood/CopperStr Dex
−Con −Int
Str Dex
−Con −Int
Str Dex
−Con −Int
Dex Wis
/ Dex Int
Dex Wis
Dex Int
−Str −Con
Dex Int Cha
Dex Wis
/ Dex Cha
Dex Cha
Dex Wis
Int Cha
/ Int Dex
Int Dex
Dex Int
HalfHalfNoneComelinessDiplo (Cha)Con Cha
/ Con Wis
AnyCha Other
Dex Wis
/ Dex Int
Mithril Star
Avariel WingedDex Int Wis

* Separate subrace, but similar
Worth mentioning, a “Nomad Elf (Dex Con)” subrace that is tough and hardy: Snow Elf (1e Dragon 155), Athas Elf (Dark Sun).

Sources: 1e Players Handbook, Monster Manual, Unearthed Arcana, Fiend Folio, 3e Standard Reference Document, Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, 4e Online Compendium, 3e Pathfinder Open Gaming License, 5e Races, Additional Races, Bestiary

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