Dungeons & Dragons is big business, and the classic RPG is seeing a renaissance in popularity and streaming content in the last decade that goes almost unrivaled. New changes and new developments to classes, races and how you can create your character are a big feature of recent efforts, and the often overlooked Dragonborn are no exception.
Recently, Dungeons & Dragons published “Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything,” a sourcebook for character creation adding new abilities and classes options, allowing you to take your character in different directions than previously possible, and suggested a more lax approach to rules about races. We all know Dwarves are surly, Elves are snooty, and Halflings smoke a lot of pipe weed, but “Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything” encouraged a more mature look at picking a race, and suggested changing the long ingrained fantasy stereotypes we associate with these characters.
A race almost entirely left out of this book’s suggestions are the proud Dragonborn.
Mighty reptillian humanoids with the blood of dragons in their veins, Dragonborn have seen a rise in popularity since the start of Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, and they’re a little overdue for a workover. Previously, a player chose Dragonborn, picked a color, and went at it. Dungeons & Dragons new playtest experiments with grand changes to the way lineage works to a Dragonborn, and allows players to create a more unique a diverse range of characters.
Players will now select one of three draconic origins, depending on what type of Dragon their character is descended from. Chromatic Dragonborn, traditionally evil dragons like Red, White, or Black, will give players a breath weapon and ability to resist damage related to the same type as their ancestor. Metallic Dragonborn, after the heroic Gold, Silver and Bronze Dragons, will develop a far more powerful breath weapon that can apply status effects on opponents such as knocking them down and incapacitating them. Finally, Dragonborn of the mysterious Gem Dragon subtype, Emeralds, Obsidians, Crystals, known to be often aloof and uninterested with mortal concerns, will provide their descendants with psychic abilities and the power to take to the skies and fly.
But maybe you don’t want to be a proud and mighty descendant of a dragon? Maybe you like the idea but just feel your character needs to be that much more… pathetic? Have I got good news for you! Dungeons & Dragons are also reworking everyone’s favorite speed bump monster encounter, the Kobold!
If you want to play one of these hideous little CHUDs, you’ll find they are actually a versatile race capable of filling a lot of class roles. Not only have their previously negative racial ability scores modifiers been changes to a more standard +2/+1 arrangement, their previous racial abilities have been replaced with Draconic Legacy, giving players the ability to choose between several unique ways the blood of dragons has manifested in their character, such as innate cantrips, a advantage on certain saving throws, or an improved unarmed strike. Also added to the plucky little Kobold is a Draconic Roar, allowing them to bellow their little lungs out in combat and grant advantage on attack rolls to their allies.
Dragons and everything about them is absolutely where it’s at for the coming year in Dungeons & Dragons, with the playtest also seeing new spells named after great Dragons of lore, and likely the full 5th edition inclusion of the previously absent elusive Gem Dragons.
The full playtest is available to check out here.