Humanoid (Dungeons & Dragons)


Humanoid (Dungeons & Dragons)

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, humanoid is a type of creature, or "creature type". Humanoids are any creature shaped generally like a human (two arms, two legs, one head, or a humanlike torso, arms, and head), of Small or Medium size, with few or no supernatural or extraordinary abilities. Most humanoids can speak, and usually have well-developed societies.

Humanoids are similar in form to monstrous humanoids and giants, but are treated as a different type of creature. Additionally, many Fey and Outsiders share the humanoid form.

Prior to 3rd edition, humanoid referred exclusively to orcs, goblinoids and similar creatures, while more advanced creatures such as Elves and Dwarves were referred to as demihumans, and humans were outside of both categories.

The following creatures are considered humanoids in at least one edition of Dungeons & Dragons, or they are very humanoid-looking creatures even if they don't have the actual "humanoid" type.

Contents

Aasimar

Bugbear

Bullywug

Catfolk

Catfolk
Characteristics
Alignment Usually Chaotic Neutral
Type Humanoid
Image Wizards.com image
Publication history
Source books Miniatures Handbook, Races of the Wild
First appearance Miniatures Handbook

The catfolk are a race of humanoid felines (similar to Rakshasas and Tabaxi).

Catfolk resemble a cross between a large predatory cat and a human, with a sleekly muscled humanoid body and the head and mane of a feline. Most male catfolk wear their thick hair in braids, while females keep theirs short and sleek. The most common catfolk have feline characteristics reminiscent of lions, including thick manes for the males. Other groups have the characteristic markings and appearance of leopards, tigers, or cheetahs. Catfolk have thicker nails than other humanoids, but not the powerful claws of their feline counterparts, and they make unarmed attacks just like humans. They have the habit of leaping impulsively out of hiding and into combat when a foe is in the vicinity.

Many catfolk favor the use of charms and totems that they braid into their hair for luck in battle, success on the hunt, and good fortune in other such endeavors.

Darfellan

Darfellan
Characteristics
Alignment Usually Any Chaotic
Type Humanoid (Aquatic)
Publication history
Source books Stormwrack

Physical Traits
Darfellans closely resemble humans, and are 6 feet tall, weigh 200 pounds, and are hulking and muscular with broad backs, powerful arms and wide necks and heads. They are an oceanic race, and have webbed feet and can hold their breath underwater for up to 10 minutes. They have very little hair, with only a small bunch on their head that is traditionally tied up in a top knot. Though physically strong, they are somewhat clumsy, especially when out of water. Their skin is typically glossy and deep jet-black in color, with varying white markings. They are sometimes born entirely black, or entirely white in rare instances.

Darfellan History
The Darfellan were once peaceful hunter-gatherers who dwelt on secluded, undiscovered coastlines and beaches. The Sahuagin, however, eventually discovered them and sought to destroy them. An almost 100 year war between the two races nearly resulted in the extinction of the Darfellan race, and they are currently very few in number. Though in the past they had a rich, vibrant, cultured society, the wars with the Sahuagin have all but wiped out their art, language, religion and other cultural aspects.

Environment
Darfellan are coastal-dwellers who live on foreboding beaches and coastlines in various climates, from the arctic to the tropics. Though Sahuagin genocide has reduced them predominantly to individuals who can be found anywhere, a few scattered villages and family groups still exist in these locations. A typical Darfellan village is located in a coastal cave or among some dunes, either above or below the tideline and consists of a jumble of huts on stilts (with access to tools, weapons, a fire pit, a granary, etc...) A dependable food source, such as kelp forest or coral reef is usually nearby.

Role Playing
Surviving Darfellan are typically lonely, brooding wanderers who seek only to take revenge on the Sahuagin who destroyed their race. As a player race, they are the ideal choice for a player who wants to play a melancholy character with a tragic past.

Creative Origins

Some people believe that the Sahuagin genocide of the Darfellan was inspired by the Europeans domination of the Indians, Aztecs and Aborigines.

Dark One

Dragonborn

Drow

Dwarf

Eladrin

Elf

Genasi

Gibberling

Gibberling
Characteristics
Alignment Chaotic Neutral (Evil tendencies)
Type Humanoid
Image Wizards.com image
Publication history
Source books Monsters of Faerun, 2E Fiend Folio (MC14), 1E Fiend Folio, 2E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Monstrous Manual

The first impression of gibberlings is of a writhing mass of fur and flesh. The pandemonium is actually a mass of pale, hunchbacked humanoids, with pointed ears, black manes and grinning faces. Their eyes are black, and shine with a maniacal gleam.

Gibberlings attack in great numbers, uttering ghastly howls, clicks, shrieks, and insane chattering noises. The screaming mob is completely disorganized in form, and random in direction. They usually carry short swords in their overly long arms. Where they get these swords is unknown, and they may instead wield crude weapons made from bone.

The horde's forward motion slows only long enough to kill anything moving, and then continues forward, their bloodlust apparently unabated. They always fight to the death. All food in their path is devoured, including the fallen among their own number, and any unfortified building or objects are generally wrecked.

It is difficult to imagine a gibberling social structure. It can be roughly compared to the social structure of a school of piranha in a feeding frenzy. There is no sense, no organization, and no individuality. Though they clearly have a primitive means of communicating among themselves, they have no discernible language.

The only true hope of survival, should a herd of gibberlings be encountered, is to take strategic advantage of their fear of bright light. The gibberlings generally frequent only dense forests and subterranean passages, loathing bright light of all kinds, and are particularly afraid of fire. If found during the day gibberlings awake, but generally cower in fear at the bright light surrounding them.

In the original 2nd Edition Monster Manual, it was left unclear how or when or even if gibberlings procreate. The mysteries of gibberling reproduction were revealed in the module "The Gates of Firestorm Peak". The module mentioned a second form called the brood gibberling, which gives birth to larvae called gibberslugs, which writhe beneath the skin of the brood gibberling. They are injected into the flesh of anyone the brood gibberling bites, including other gibberlings. The slugs then grow steadily and consume the body of their host from the inside, eventually bursting out through the skin. A brood gibberling can actually control those it has created, leading to the development of "clans" of the monsters.

Attempts to find the gibberlings' lairs have inevitably led back to subterranean passages, where the trail is eventually lost in the deepest rock-floored recesses of the caverns. They can easily be tracked by the path of chaos and destruction they leave, and can be quickly dispatched while they lie dormant just beneath the surface of the ground. Gibberlings traveling above-ground invariably burrow into the ground to hide during the daytime, and it is at such time that they are most vulnerable. Subterranean gibberlings may burrow into the ground, or may simply lie down in a curled, fetal posture at times of rest. They awake suddenly, as a group, and burst in unison out of the ground, howling and gibbering in a most frightful way.

Gibberlings require a prodigious amount of food to support their manic nocturnal existence, stripping to the bone anyone or anything that should fall in their path. Their fur is commonly infested with lice and other pests picked up during their burrowed slumber. Their hides are vile and worthless. Gibberlings carry no treasure or other useful items. Their swords are of the commonest variety, with no markings or decoration, and are often pitted and dull. In short, gibberlings serve no purpose and no known master, save random death in the night.

The gibberling species originates in the Far Realm, a place of madness beyond the known planes. The brood gibberlings seem somehow connected to its energies, and in the case of Firestorm Peak, must remain within the field of corruption created by the magical "Vast Gate" within the mountain, open to the Far Realm.

Creative origins

Gibberlings first appeared in White Dwarf magazine and were reprinted in the Fiend Folio tome (1981). They were created by Underworld Oracle.

The gibberling appeared in the fourth edition in Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (2008).

Githyanki

Githzerai

Gnoll

Gnome

Goblin

Goliath

Grippli

Half-Elf

Half-Orc

Halfling

Hobgoblin

Human

Kenku

Kobold

Lizardfolk

Locathah

Locathah
Characteristics
Type Humanoid (Aquatic)
Image Wizards.com image
Stats Open Game License stats
Publication history
Source books Monster Manual v3.5

The locathah is a fish-like humanoid race dwelling in warm coastal waters.

Although humanoid in shape, locathahs are clearly more fish than human. The average locathah stands 5 feet tall and weighs 175 pounds. Females and males look very much alike, although the former can be recognized by the two ochre stripes marking their egg sacs.

Locathah worship a deity named Eadro.

Merfolk

Merfolk
Characteristics
Alignment Usually neutral
Type Humanoid (Aquatic)
Image Wizards.com image
Stats Open Game License stats
Publication history
Source books Monster Manual v3.5
First appearance Blackmoor (as "mermen")
Mythological origins Mermaid

The merfolk are a race of humanoids that live underwater.

A merfolk has the upper body, arms, and head of a fair-featured human, and instead of legs it has the scaled tail of a great fish. They are marine, but amphibious, and prefer to avoid combat.

Merfolk worship the god Eadro.

Mongrelfolk

Mongrelfolk
Characteristics
Alignment Lawful Neutral
Type Humanoid
Image Wizards.com image
Publication history
Source books 3E Fiend Folio, Tome of Horrors 1, 1E Monster Manual 2, Monstrous Compendium Volume 2, Monstrous Manual, The Complete Book of Humanoids, Player's Option: Skills & Powers

Mongrelfolk are humanoids that are the product of several generations of crossbreeding between numerous other humanoid races. Each mongrelfolk, or "mongrelman," has a unique appearance, taking on various features from any or all of its ancestral races.

Mongrelfolk are excellent mimics, and can reproduce just about any sound they have ever heard.

The mongrelman is presented as a playable character race in The Complete Book of Humanoids (1993),[1] and is later presented as a playable character race again in Player's Option: Skills & Powers (1995).

Mongrelfolk worship the god Meriadar.

While in older editions of Dungeons & Dragons mongrelfolk were defined as deformed outcasts, recent sourcebooks (Races of Destiny, Wizards of the Coast, 2006) gave them the special ability to appear as members of any other race. As such they mix into humanoid society by impersonation rather than being outcast.

Mul

Muls are a mixed-breed offspring of humans and dwarves in the Dark Sun campaign setting.[2] The term mul is derived from "mule" which are sterile hybrids, and as such the word is meant to be pronounced in the same manner (rhyming with "rule" rather than "dull").

A mul is a powerful crossbreed of a human and dwarf, most often born into slavery on command of its parents' owner, as it is a naturally great warrior, bred for combat. They are also highly prized as heavy laborers, due to their ability to perform massive amounts of labor on relatively little rest. In 2nd edition, muls were explicitly sterile, but in 4th edition material, this aspect of their biology has been dropped.

A mul gets what are, perhaps, the best attributes from each of its parents. From his human parent, he receives height and agility. From his dwarven parent, the mul gets incredible strength and endurance. At maturity, a mul stands as much as 6½' tall, weighing 240-300 lbs. Each is fair skinned, though sometimes tending toward a coppery coloration. A mul's eyebrow ridges are pronounced, and the ears are usually pointed toward the back of the head; otherwise, facial features are basically human. Regardless of sex, most muls are naturally bald, but those who aren't usually shave their heads as a mark of racial unity. Since many muls are born into gladiatorial careers, tattoos of decoration and ownership are common.

The term "mul" has been unofficially adopted into other campaign settings for rare human-dwarf crossbreeds.[citation needed]

Nilbog

Nilbogs are a type of monster in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.[3] They are a race of magical goblins that are healed by receiving damage and are damaged by healing spells. The name is "goblin" spelled backward, a reference to this reversal of effects. The exact connection between the nilbog and the llort, which shares its power to heal by receiving damage, is unknown.

Norker

Orc

Orog

Orog
Characteristics
Type Humanoid

An orog is a crossbreed between a male orc and a female ogre. Orogs usually live among orcs; they are stronger, more intelligent, and more highly disciplined than typical orcs.

Variants on the orog include the neo-orog and the ogrillion. The neo-orog is a specific orc-ogre crossbreed created by the Red Wizards of Thay to be used as elite soldiers. The ogrillion is the brutish, armor-skinned offspring of a female orc and a male ogre.

In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, orogs were an orc tribe who became cut off from their mountain home after a great attack into the civilized world, they eventually found a way into the Underdark and hid from their Elven and human enemies. They remained in the Underdark for thousands of years, fighting deniziens of that terrible realm all the time. Eventually they became superior in strength and personality to normal mountain orcs.

Both orogs and ogrillions appear in BioWare's Baldur's Gate PC games.

Rakasta

Rakasta
Characteristics
Alignment Usually Neutral
Type Humanoid
Publication history
First appearance The Isle of Dread (1981)

The rakasta (not to be confused with a rakshasa) is a humanoid with a cat-like appearance. They typically live in warm climates, such as the Isle of Dread.

Rakasta appear to be anthropomorphic felines. They are often armed with kasa, a set of metal war claws which are worn over the paw like a glove.

A special caste of mounted knights ride tamed saber-toothed tigers into battle. These warriors serve as the personal guards to the chief. They are able to leap from their mounts while riding and attack.

An article in Dragon described various "tribes" of rakasta as resembling different species of feline, with the most numerous resembling the domestic cat, but others including Simbasta (lion-people), Sherkasta (tiger-people), and so on.

Originally exclusive to the Mystara campaign setting, rakasta were retconned into the World of Greyhawk setting when the Isle of Dread was updated for third edition. In the World of Greyhawk setting, the rakasta went extinct on the Isle of Dread some time ago.

Saurial

Saurial
Characteristics
Alignment Usually Neutral Good
Type Humanoid
Image Wizards.com image
Publication history
Source books Dragon #292, Monstrous Compendium Annual 3, Forgotten Realms 2 (MC11), Serpent Kingdoms

The saurial is a reptilian humanoid. They resemble humanoid dinosaurs. Their language is a combination of high-pitched sounds (outside the range of human hearing) and scents. Few other races are capable of speaking or understanding this language without magical aid, and most saurials are incapable of reproducing the common languages of other humanoid races, though they are intelligent enough to learn to understand them. One prominent saurial, Dragonbait, not only understands Common, but has learned the sign language known as "thieves' cant", allowing him to converse with non-saurials fluent in the cant.

There are four known species of saurial:

  • Bladebacks: Resembling a humanoid stegosaurus. Bladebacks are social, straightforward, and slow to anger, often becoming village leaders.
  • Finheads: Has a curving crest on its head; could be either a humanoid brachiosaurus, dilophosaurus, or corythosaurus. Finheads are bright, active, curious, and emotional creatures. They are good with their hands and willing to work hard.
  • Flyers: Resembling a humanoid pterosaur (very similar to the supposedly completely unrelated pterafolk). Flyers are nervous and noisy, irritable and often irritating to others. They are likely to flee from a fight if threatened. They love gossip spending time with people who will listen to them.
  • Hornheads: Somewhat halfway between a humanoid Triceratops and a euoplocephalus. Hornheads are careful, rational planners, choosing their words carefully and loathing the taking of risks. They have an interest in alchemy, engineering, and other mental pursuits. They are the largest of the saurials.

Saurials were introduced originally in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting in the Serpent Kingdoms supplement book, though it has oftened been said they would be equally at home in such a place as the Talenta Plains in Eberron. In the Forgotten Realms, Saurials dwell in the Dalelands, in a hidden place known as the Lost Vale. They are said to have hailed from another world (possibly earth), and were stranded in Faerûn via the actions of the evil deity Moander. More intelligent than lizardfolk and inclined to be peaceful and civilized, the saurials have maintained a thriving community in near-complete isolation for nearly fifteen years. Tales of these so-called dragonfolk (though they are actually dinosaur-like) pervade many cultures, but few humans have actually seen them.

Selkie

Selkie
Characteristics
Alignment Usually Neutral
Type Humanoid
Image Wizards.com image
Publication history
Source books 3E Fiend Folio, Monstrous Compendium Volume 1, 1E Monster Manual 2, Monstrous Manual, Dragon #41
Mythological origins Selkie

The selkie is a humanoid that can transform into a seal. They live in the water, but their intense curiosity towards land-dwellers leads them to explore life on the surface.

Selkies worship the god Surminare.

Shifter

Skulk

Swanmay

Swanmay
Characteristics
Alignment Neutral Good
Type Humanoid
Image Wizards.com image

Swanmays are a sisterhood of humanoids who can assume a swan form. In normal form, they resemble slender, tawny, attractive human females, generally clad in light robes and some form of white, feathered garment. In swan form, they resemble swans.

Swanmays are all originally human females who were given their form of lycanthropy by voluntarily accepting a token, such as a feathered garment or signet ring, from a current swanmay. The true purposes of the swanmay sisterhood are not known, but they seem to be peaceful protectors of nature and, in particular, water birds. They live in small lodges on the banks of lakes in deep forests, and these can generally be recognized by the large number of swans and other water birds around them. Swanmay lodges are only lightly fortified against attacks, but contain two escape routes: a tunnel leading to the lake and a hatch onto the roof, which can be used by swanmays when in swan form. Swanmays seem to protect swans out of pity due to their similarity more than any other reason.

Swanmays are rather indistinguishable from normal humans when in normal form, but can assume the swan form at will (they have full control over their shapeshifting). Any garments they are wearing, particularly the feathered garments, become part of the plumage when they do so. Swanmays attack with whatever weapons they have when in normal form, but prefer to attack with their beaks and claws in swan form. Abhoring violence, swanmays will as soon fly away as attack. Swanmays rarely associate with other creatures, only communing regularly with feys, sylvan elves, and certain priests.

Many swanmays serve the goddess Fionnghuala.

Swanmays speak Common and Sylvan.

The swanmay is presented as a playable character race in The Complete Book of Humanoids (1993),[1] and is later presented as a playable character race again in Player's Option: Skills & Powers (1995). Swanmay is a prestige class in the 3.5 Book of Exalted Deeds.

Creative origins

Swanmays were inspired by the swanmay in Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, who in turn was based on swan maidens in folklore.

Notable swanmays

In the ready-to-play online adventure "The Blasted Heath," there is a swanmay named Icara. Icara is a half pixie, half copper dragon swanmay who is three feet tall and sports a red mohawk.[4]

Tasloi

Tasloi
Characteristics
Alignment Usually Chaotic Evil
Type Humanoid
Image Wizards.com image
Publication history
Source books Shining South (3.5E), 3E Oriental Adventures, 1E Monster Manual 2, Monstrous Manual

The tasloi are a humanoid race of jungle-dwellers. They live in the jungle canopy and are very quick and nimble in the trees.

A tasloi is 3-feet tall with green skin and gold, catlike eyes. They have a stooped posture and their knuckles drag on the ground when they walk.

Tasloi live in small groups consisting of several families. Their villages are constructed on platforms high in the jungle canopy. On the ground below the platforms they sometimes raise dire rats as beasts of burden and mounts.

In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting the tasloi worship an aspect of Maglubiyet, god of the goblins.

Tiefling

Troglodyte

References

  1. ^ a b Slavicsek, Bill. The Complete Book of Humanoids (TSR, 1993)
  2. ^ Slavicsek, Bill. Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Expanded and Revised (TSR, 1995)
  3. ^ White Dwarf (Games Workshop) (6): 6–8. April 1978. 
  4. ^ Skip and Penny Williams. "Vicious Venues The Blasted Heath". Wizards.com. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/vv/20040319a. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 

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