Can your DND character be anything?
A DND character can be anything allowed by the official Dungeons and Dragons rules or permitted by the Dungeon Master. A player can create a DND character based on existing races, original creations, mythology, fictional, or real-life people. Players can also reuse DND characters.
In this article, I will answer the most common questions about what characters you can play in DND.
Can You Be Any Character in DND?
Can You Be Any Character in DND?
Players can be any character in DND. You can choose from 12 different classes and more than 39 races if you follow the official Dungeon and Dragons rules as written (RAW). Players can also play any other character approved by the Dungeon Master (DM).
Those 12 classes include:
Players can choose from 9 races from the Players Handbook:
In addition, players can select from 30 playable races in the book, Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse:
- Deep Gnome
- Genasi (Air, Earth, Fire, and Water)
- Sea Elf
Can You Play As Anything in DND?
We already know that you can play as anything D&D and your DM allows. But players still ask me questions all the time about specific mythological creatures, races, and beings.
So, let’s answer the most common questions right now.
Can You Play as a Monster in D&D?
You can absolutely play as a monster in D&D. In fact, Wizards of the Coast, the company behind D&D, provides dozens of playable races, entities, and beings.
Although, ultimately, it may be up to your Dungeon Master (DM).
Some monsters work better than others in certain groups and campaigns.
Can I Play as a Firbolg?
Firbolg is a playable race in Dungeons and Dragons.
Firbolgs are tall, humble, cow-faced creatures related to giants.
Players have been able to choose Firbolg as a race since the third edition Monster Manual. You can also find details about playing Firbolgs in Volo’s Guide to Monsters and the Monsters of the Metaverse.
Can You Play as a God in DND?
As a player, you can choose to play a god as long as your DM is ok with it.
However, you can’t play as a deity based on established D&D rules or guidelines. You’ll need to homebrew your character from the ground up.
Thankfully, there are many online sources that have done most of the work for you.
You can also become a god in D&D.
Can You Play as a Dragon in D&D?
Yes, you can play as a dragon in D&D, but only as a homebrew character.
The official D&D books do not yet sanction a full dragon character. You can play as a Dragonborn or sorcerer with the bloodline of a draconian.
Can You Play as a Succubus in DND?
You can not play as a succubus if you go by the official D&D rules.
Instead, you must homebrew a character.
Just talk with your DM to work out the details. Playing a succubus comes with serious complications because they are essentially winged female demons.
Can You Play as a Vampire in DND?
You can play as a vampire using the information in the Plane Shift Zendikar document released by James Wyatt, a game designer.
The document supplements Dungeons and Dragons canon.
Keep in mind that, if you play a vampire, your DM is likely to heave some hefty restrictions on your character.
Can You Play as a Goblin in DND?
Yes, you can play a goblin as a character.
Some people are surprised to know that goblins have been playable characters for a long time. I remember playing one in high school in my third campaign.
To find out how to roleplay a goblin, check out Volo’s Guide to Monsters or Monsters of the Metaverse.
Can You Play as a Skeleton in DND?
Dungeons and Dragons does not officially provide stats for skeletons as a playable race.
Skeletons are a staple of D&D, so you know that you can homebrew a fascinating character.
Look online for sample stats, conjure up something original with your DM, or play an undead version of a playable race (like a half-elf skeleton).
Oooh, that sounds pretty cool.
Can You Play as a Ghost in DND?
There is no official ghost race in DND.
Yet, some very good homebrew ghost races exist online with a simple Google search.
Like skeletons, you can also choose any other race and add an extra trait.
For example, some homebrew ghost races include increased charisma or intelligence, floating movement, and an ethereal form.
Can You Play as a Grung in DND?
Grung is not an official playable race in D&D. Once again, homebrew race characteristics and stats are available online.
A grung is a small, humanoid frog creature.
They exist in a caste system, enjoy poisoning other creatures into perpetual slavery, and are generally not good beings.
Can You Play as a Slime in DND?
Slimes are a playable race/entity in Dungeons and Dragons—thanks to a released supplemental guide written by Jacky Leung.
Slimes are amorphous, sentient, gelatinous beings that consume everything.
Playing one as a character would be very interesting but make sure your DM is up for what is sure to be a challenge.
Can You Play as a Kenku in DND?
You can play a kenku in DND.
Kenkus are bird-creatures with humanoid characteristics. They became a playable race in official DND after the publication of Volo’s Guide to Monsters.
Loosely related to Japanese mythology, Kenkus use mimicry instead of a voice to communicate.
Can You Play as a Fairy in DND?
A fairy is a playable race in D&D.
One of the best resources is Monsters of the Metaverse. You can also get information from the Unearthed Arcana, articles published on the official website for Dungeons and Dragons.
Can You Play a Drow in DND?
Players have been able to play drows since the second edition of Dungeons and Dragons. You can still play them in the latest edition.
Drows are known as night elves or dark elves, synonymous with evil.
Read about drows in The Complete Book of Elves and Monster Mythology.
Can You Play a Gnoll in DND?
Gnolls are hyena-like creatures that run in packs.
According to Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron, Gnolls are potentially playable characters in DND. That said, they are not yet official in the game.
You’ll have to look online for traits and stats, or create your own.
Can You Play a Demon in DND?
Demons or fiends are not playable characters in D&D, but you can homebrew one with your DM.
You can, however, become a demon in D&D.
For example, if your Chaotic Evil character dies, they shoot straight to the abyss, where they “live” out the remainder of their existence as the lowest form of demon.
Your Dungeon Master could whip up a campaign where your evil party dies, transform into lowly demons, then spend the rest of the adventure clawing their way up to demon lords.
As with other powerful beings, your DM is likely to limit your powers.
Otherwise, you might break the game and defeat the Dungeon Master.
Can You Play a Kobold in DND?
Yes, you can play a kobold in Dungeons and Dragons.
For details and stats, look for the kobold section in Volvo’s Guide to Monsters and Monsters of the Metaverse.
Kolbolds are small, reptilian-like humanoid creatures that are usually associated with goblins and dragons.
Can You Play a Minotaur in DND?
Players can choose minotaur as a playable race in DND.
A minotaur is a humanoid creature with a head of a bull. You can find their character traits and abilities in:
- Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica
- Mystic Odysseys of Theros
- Monsters of the Metaverse
Can You Play as an Animal in D&D?
Animals are playable characters in D&D.
The Canite is a playable race of doglike humanoid creatures. The Tabaxi are catlike humanoids.
Learn how to play these animal characters in Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Monsters of the Metaverse.
Certain classes, such as Druids or Mages, can shapeshift into an animal.
Any character with access to a wish spell can also become a playable animal.
For example, a Wolf or a Dire Weasel.
Can You Name Your DND Character Anything?
You can name your D&D Character anything. You can use a common name, borrow a name, or create an original name. You can name your character something simple, like Bob, or something complicated, like Q’xenzthr.
It’s just a name, so have fun with it.
How do you come up with a unique name?
- Combine two different names related to your race or D&D world.
- Use an automated D&D name generator.
- Look at lists of baby names from around the world.
You can always change your D&D name, as long as your DM is cool with it.
No legal paperwork is necessary.
Can You Base Your Character on a Fictional Person?
Players can base their characters on a fictional person.
For example, you can base your character on Merlin, Harry Potter, or Legolas. You can also base your character on a combination of more than one fictional persona.
If you want your character to be a cross between Legolas and Aragorn, that is totally legit.
You can even name your character Legolastrandor, if you want to really get wild.
Characters in DND are built with their own backgrounds and motivations, so they can be entirely new people that don’t exist outside the universe of the game.
Can You Base Your Character on a Real Person?
Players can base their characters on a real-life person.
You can base your character on:
- A historical figure
- A celebrity
- Someone you know
- Someone you admire
- A combination of the above
Real-life people are just as good a source for names as fictional characters.
Can You Reuse D&D Characters?
You can reuse D&D characters as much as you want in D&D. If you fell in love with the Dwarf Druid from your last campaign, there is no reason you can’t start over with them again.
Just know that your DM and other players in your group may not like it.
You can even move a character from one player group over to another player group or campaign.
You can also simultaneously play the same character in two different campaigns with separate DMs, but I don’t recommend it.
I suggest that you play a new character every time. I think it’s more fun.
There are some good resources that you’ll want when creating characters in D&D.
Resources that I recommend:
|D&D Character Resource||Price|
|Backstory Template||Free D&D Template|
|Elemental Evil||Check the current price|
|Monster Manual||Check the current price|
|Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Metaverse||Check the current price|
|Mordenkainin’s Tome Of Foes||Check the current price|
|Players Handbook||Check the current price|
|Ravnica||Check the current price|
|Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide (SCAG)||Check the current price|
|Volo’s Guide to Monsters||Check the current price|
|Xanathar’s Guide to Everything||Check the current price|
Here is a good video about making characters in D&D:
Final Thoughts: Can Your DND Character Be Anything?
Just because you can play any race or entity as a character doesn’t mean that you should.
There are characters that you should never play in D&D—based on your experience, your DM, the other players in your group, and the campaign itself.
Wizards of the Coast
Volo’s Guide to Monsters
Monsters of the Metaverse