One DnD Species
Last Updated on January 10, 2023
Today we’re looking at the changes coming into One DnD Species.
All of the information put out by Wizards of the Coast is playtest material at this point and is subject to change as time goes on until the final release.
Species & Races
You may have noticed a change in nomenclature with the updates to One DnD’s Races. Namely, they are no longer called Races and have been replaced with the word Species.
On December 1st, Wizard of the Coast put out a press release stating that they would no longer be using the term races.
The major takeaways from the press release can be summed up with two quotes.
- “We have made the decision to move on from using the term “race” everywhere in One D&D, and we do not intend to return to that term.”
- “The term “species” was chosen in close coordination with multiple outside cultural consultants.”
With respect to the community, we will also be following suit and using the term “species” when referring to all One DnD content.
One DnD Playtest
One DnD is still in playtest. All of the public materials in the Unearthed Arcana are subject to change and nothing will be official until One DnD launches in 2024. We’ll be bringing you updates as we get them so stay tuned to find the most up-to-date news on One DnD.
Humans have quite a few new changes coming in One DnD. These are typically the jack of all trades pick for players that aren’t quite sure what species to pick and want something familiar.
If you’ve used the Variant Human in 5e then you’ll be pretty familiar with the One DnD human. One DnD looks to make feats a more integral part of the game and humans have basically adopted the Variant Human rules from 5e with the exception of Ability Score increases. Ability Score increases are now handled by a different system entirely.
Humans will still get a free choice for skill proficiency and feat. The difference between 5e and One DnD is that feats will now have level requirements as well. In 5e there were prerequisites, but no level requirements.
Humans will also now be much more varied to mirror the real world humans as well. Humans can choose to be small-sized at 2-4 ft tall or medium-sized at 4-7ft tall.
Finally, Humans will gain inspiration after a long rest.
Ardlings are one of the newest species to enter DnD and One DnD will be the first time they are added to the standard choices of character creation.
They are similar to the Aasimar in that they have celestial ancestry, but they also have animal heads. Depending upon their ancestry, they’ll have a different animal head and special abilities associated with it.
Climber: They’ll gain climb speed equal to their walk.
Flyer: They can glide when falling.
Racer: Speed increases 10x the proficiency bonus when using the Dash action.
Swimmer: Swim speed equal to run speed and they can hold their breath for an hour.
Ardlings are meant to be evolved forms of the animals that wandered the celestial plane. In the early Unearthed Arcana, they were simply celestial animals, but they’ve since added more lore to their species, making it more distinct from the Aasimar.
Dragonborn have been given a lot of attention in One DnD. They’re a fan favorite and they’ve already changed from the first Unearthed Arcana to the latest, so expect more changes down the road.
Their Breath Weapon as it stands has two options when in use. They can shoot it out in a 15ft Cone or a 30ft line. This takes the place of one of the Dragonborn’s attacks.
Personally, I like having the two options, because it gives them a tactical boost when deciding on what to do. Instead of potential friendly fire, they can now target a specific line of creatures which gives them much more versatility.
The Dwarves have a lot of changes coming in One DnD.
Since subraces have been removed there no longer is any distinction between Hill or Mountain Dwarves. They also no longer have species-based weapon and armor proficiencies.
All Dwarves now get +1 health at every level and have proficiency in 2 different toolsets.
Their Investigation checks on stone no longer have any bonuses, but as a replacement, they gain the Stonecunning and Tremorsense. This ability lets Dwarves sense where a creature is based on the vibrations of stone. They have to be standing on stone to use this, but it’s a nice thematic ability to add to the Dwarf Species.
Elves haven’t changed much in One DnD.
Going along with the species theme, subraces have been removed. In their place, Lineages have been added. They’re still the same basic principle as they add High Elves, Wood Elves, and Drow.
What has changed is weapon proficiencies. Instead of the different types of elves adding weapon proficiencies, they’ve added different spells. None of the lineages add weapon or armor proficiencies anymore.
Gnomes also no longer have subraces but Lineages have been added to compensate for Rock Gnomes and Forest Gnomes. Forest Gnomes get an upgraded Minor Illusion spell and the player can choose Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as their casting modifier.
The Rock Gnomes get an upgraded Prestidigitation spell that allows them to create small devices.
This is in essence “Same Same, but Different.”
The Forest Gnomes still have their abilities, but the addition of choosing the spellcasting modifier ensures that any class can effectively use their Minor Illusion ability.
Rock Gnomes basically get the same Tinker feature from 5e, but it’s in the form of a spell.
Goliaths make their debut as one of the standard playable Species in One DnD. They were previously introduced in the Elemental Evil Compendium in 5e. In the 3rd Unearthed Arcana it was revealed that the Goliath Species is under consideration for the One DnD Player’s Handbook.
Goliaths have a lot of abilities and take full advantage of their Giant Ancestry.
In character creation, they’ll be able to choose 1 of 6 different Stone Giant Ancestry and each grants a specific bonus.
Cloud’s Jaunt: The Cloud Giant Ancestry grants the ability to teleport.
Fire’s Burn: The Fire Giant Ancestry deals additional 1d10 fire damage when making attacks.
Frost’s Chill: The Frost Giant Ancestry deals an additional 1d6 cold damage as well as slowing the target.
Hill’s Tumble: The Hill Giant Ancestry allows the Goliath to easily knock creatures prone.
Stone’s Endurance: The Stone Giant Ancestry can reduce damage by 1d12 + Constitution Modifier.
Storm’s Thunder: The Storm Giant can use their reaction to deal 1d8 thunder damage when being hit.
As you can see they have a lot of new abilities to choose from and they lean heavily on their Ancestry when creating a Goliath.
In addition, all Goliaths have two additional skills. They’re considered one size larger when determining carry weight and the ability to push, drag, and lift objects. Goliaths can all also use an ability that turns them into large size creatures. This gives them advantage on Strength checks and increases their speed.
Halflings get the same One DnD treatment. Subraces have been removed entirely and all Halflings are basically the same. They have not been given any Lineages yet.
There are only two noticeable changes. The first is their ability to move through spaces occupied by larger creatures. It is now explicitly stated that they cannot remain in the same space. This was never mentioned in 5e, but it was always assumed that they couldn’t remain in the same space.
Finally, all Halflings are now proficient in Stealth.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that there are no “Half” variants to anything. One DnD has completely removed the standard Half-Orc or Half-Elf and they are now simply Orc or Elf. There are rules to play Half Species, but you pick one primary species to determine stats and then you can alter physical features to the player’s liking without any statistic or ability changes.
Half-Orcs are now simply Orcs.
Orcs can now use their bonus action to Dash in any given direction and gain bonus hit points while dashing. They have increased carrying weight and they retain their ability to stay standing with 1 HP when knocked down to 0 the first time.
Overall the changes make sense, and thematically it makes sense to simply change them to Orcs instead of dealing with Half-Orcs.
Tieflings have been given Lineages as well. On character creation, players will be able to choose from Abyssal, Chthonic, and Infernal.
Each one will get a different damage resistance and set of spells.
Each of these is likely to change as playtesting and feedback continue. We hope you enjoyed our preview of One DnD Species, and are just as excited to see how the final version plays out.
One DnD Species FAQ
How many species have been announced for One DnD?
So far there are 10 different Species announced for One DnD.
What are the new Species in One DnD?
The Ardling are the newest Species in one DnD.
Goliaths are also being considered for the standard character species to choose from as well. They were previously only available from supplemental books.