Warforged are constructs that were made for a specific purpose. They were originally introduced in the Eberron campaign and typically were built as mechanical soldiers.
Since their introduction, they’ve become one of the most popular 5e races to play. They’re a fantastic all-around choice to play and every class can benefit from their racial abilities. Today, we’re going to see what makes them so appealing with our detailed guide to the Warforged 5e DnD Race.
Warforged Racial Characteristics
Warforged have magically infused sinews that act as muscles wrapped around an artificial skeletal frame. The outer layer is usually armored and their heads have a hinged jaw.
What specific components make up the Warforged are completely up to the sentient race and their original creators.
Warforged tend to like order and discipline due to their machine-like nature, but there are always outliers. Some Warforged have looked to religion to cope with their newfound sentience and others simply start adventuring to see the world in an attempt to understand their place in it.
Another advantage of Warforged being made instead of born is their resilience which can be seen in their abilities and Ability Scores.
- Medium size creatures.
- They do not age.
- Are immune to magical aging and disease, as well as poison-resistant.
- Do not need to eat or drink.
- Speed of 30ft.
- One extra Skill proficiency of the player’s choice.
- One extra Tool proficiency of the player’s choice.
Sentry’s Rest & Sleeping
Warforged don’t need to sleep. Instead, they can go into an inert state where they stand immobile. They can still see and hear normally, but they remain motionless as they rest. Magical effects to put the Warforged to sleep have no effect.
Integrated Protection & Armor
Because of their machine-like nature, the Warforged gains +1 AC simply for being robotic in nature. There are no racial restrictions on armor, but when putting on armor and taking it off, it requires them to integrate it with their body. This takes an hour to incorporate armor into their frame or to take it off and can be done while they are using Sentry’s Rest. Because the armor is incorporated into the Warforged’s body, it cannot be removed by enemies.
Warforge Race Ability Scores
The Warforge’s bonus ability scores:
- +2 Charisma
- +1 Free Choice
These are actually really good for martial classes. The extra health bonus from the +2 Constitution is a nice way to gain extra hit points, but because the Warforged can gain an extra bonus in anything else they’re actually quite versatile as a class.
They can literally pick any class and be fine. Yes, the +2 Constitution is better suited to martial and melee classes, but show me a wizard that wouldn’t benefit from a few extra hit points.
The Warforged histories are all relatively new. They can be anywhere between newly constructed Warforged or a little over 30 years. There’s no known age limit on Warforged since they are a newly recognized sentient race.
Warforged tend to have single-word names that correspond to their original purpose or job. Some have moved on and have given themselves more common names or taken on their nicknames instead.
Their names tend to be things like:
Warforged Motivations & Quirks
Because each Warforged is its own sentient entity, each one will have its own set of quirks, personality traits, and motivations just like any other race.
Some find that they lack purpose after gaining sentience and seek work in the original job they were created for. Some Warforged may always be on alert, analyzing potential targets. They may have difficulty in social situations and picking up on social cues.
Some may be obsessed with vanity. Instead of clothing, they could have a compulsion to constantly upgrade and polish their appearance, integrating rare or magical materials into their bodies.
Because they have difficulty understanding and interacting with other races, when Warforged do create bonds with other races they have a tendency to be extremely protective of them. As their first link to a wider world, it’s something extremely precious to a Warforged.
The Warforged can choose any of the 5e DnD classes on character creation. Before we get into that, however, there’s a question that most people have after seeing the Warforged Race for the first time.
Can the Warforged cast spells?
Yes. The Warforged can cast spells and use any of the available character classes, including martial or spellcaster classes.
From a canon standpoint, it’s an interesting concept to grant a sentient machine the ability to use magic, but it does work well within the setting, both in standard DnD worlds and the grittier Eberron when you think about it. After all, the Warforged are semi-magical themselves. From a roleplaying standpoint, the DM and players have a lot of room to discuss how the Warforged gains their magical powers.
Part of the components used to create the Warforged could be particularly rare and have myriad magical properties that are unlocked as they level up.
A Warlock Patron could look favorably on a newly sentient creature and bestow its powers to the Warforged to guide it along the path of sentience.
Although Warforged typically don’t follow religions, it’s not completely unheard of. In theory, a deity could grant Paladin or Cleric powers as long as their “heart” and actions are in the right place.
A Warforged’s ability modifiers and racial ability scores are useful to all classes. There’s really never a time when extra health is a bad thing, and they also get an extra Ability point to place anywhere they wish. This does make them immediately useful as melee fighters, but it doesn’t discount them from any particular class.
This is my favorite combination for the Warforged as far as roleplaying goes. The Artificer class really only needs Intelligence as their main modifier, so having an extra boost plus extra health works well.
The Artificer class is also just cool when combined with the Warforged. The Warforged could add modifications to their own body and work on turning themselves into the perfect machine. It would be the equivalent of turning yourself into a Lich, but more cyberpunk.
Another idea that’s just cool is having a sentient robot build other robots. The roleplaying options are endless here.
Extra health combined with a +1 AC bonus is incredibly useful to a Barbarian. They’ll be extremely durable and hard to take down with increased health and attack from their rage and natural abilities. On top of all that, the Warforged doesn’t need to sleep, is immune to disease, and is poison-resistant. A Berserker Warforged Barbarian is not something that you’d want to see coming at you.
The Bard may not be the first pairing when thinking of a Warforged, but it could be really fun to play. Extra AC and the Constitution bonus helps the Bard’s durability in a fight, and the College of Swords and Valor become much more viable to play.
A Warforged Bard would be the kind of creature that turns away from its original purpose as a mechanical soldier. After gaining sentience, they would probably hear music and performance for the first time and pursue it with a machine-like tenacity. Some Warforged could even integrate their instruments into their bodies like a walking steampunk calliope.
After the Last War, a Warforged who has seen the horrors and violence of war may turn away from it and seek religion. A Cleric Warforged is a cool concept and makes the melee Clerics much stronger on the front lines. It’s an interesting concept.
This is a bit of a weird combination. Druids typically have a low AC, so having the bonus is useful, but when using Wild Shape none of that matters because the Druid takes on the stats of the creature they become.
Classes that depend on Wild Shape won’t be able to utilize all the bonuses the Warforged has to offer, but Circle of Spores or Circle of the Shepherd would be good choices to pick.
A Warforged Fighter is probably the most natural choice when creating a Warforged character. They were literally created as mechanical soldiers so it only makes sense that this combination works.
Monks only have a d8 for their hit dice, so having an extra bonus to Constitution and a natural AC bonus is going to be extremely useful for a Warforged Monk, especially at lower levels. You will need to try and boost your Dexterity and Wisdom Scores, though, which may spread you a little thin.
Another great choice for the Warforged is the Paladin. They’ll have all the benefits of the Paladin but with more health better AC and the ability to never need sleep. You’ll need to divide points between Strength and Charisma. All you’ll need to do after that is cover the Warforged Paladin in plate armor, give it a shield and send it off into battle like the walking tank that it is.
The Ranger is another class that will always benefit from health and AC bonuses. The only other real boon to the Ranger is the extra skill proficiency and tool proficiency.
This gives the Rogue some extra proficiencies, but they already have a bunch of those. The health is a nice bonus, but the AC bonus is less useful. A Rogue’s combat policy is typically, “Don’t get hit.”
They bounce around the battlefield and stab their enemies in the back. It’s not a bad choice to create a Warforged Rogue, but it’ll mainly be for RP purposes if you come up with a good backstory. They don’t really have a whole lot of synergies together.
Sorcerers typically find their magic from within through a bloodline of some sort. The Warforged doesn’t really have a bloodline per se, but they definitely can find power within. Maybe during the Last War, they found a magical McGuffin that got lodged inside of them. That would literally be magic from within, but how you go about it is up to the player and DM.
Any of the spellcasters are going to enjoy the extra AC and Health bonus. The average spellcaster falls over at the sight of a sharpened sword at lower levels, so until the player gains access to higher defensive spells, they’ll typically rely on the Warforged’s racial abilities to keep them alive.
I really like the idea of a Warforged Warlock. A minor god or demi-god could come into contact with a newly sentient Warforged and create a bond with them to guide them on how to become a truly living creature. All they have to do is worship it and do its bidding.
To me, that’s a very compelling narrative and a Warforged Warlock would be an extremely fun character to play.
Finally, we have the Wizard Class. It would be an interesting roleplaying choice to have a mechanical soldier turn to magic. Perhaps they’re trying to unlock the secret to their own sentience or create other magically-infused machines. Maybe they simply want to turn away from the physical world and study different planes of existence.