Have you ever wanted to bring robots into your fantasy game? Do you think Dungeons & Dragons 5E needs more walking automatons? Then the Warforged might be exactly what you’re looking for. These sentient constructs are much, much more than their metal exteriors might show. If your DM allows them, then this could be considered one of the best, most flexible races in the game. If you want some advice for building, our Warforged 5E guide will help you out.
Warforged 5E Lore
Warforged were built for… Well, war. Eberron: Rising from the Last War is about how the campaign setting of Eberron is recovering from a massive war. These constructs were built to help bolster armies, without sacrificing additional lives. As time went on, the Warforged were built with sentience, and the ability to feel pain, but were still under the control of their creators. Once the war ended, construction of Warforged ceased… But there were still hundreds upon thousands roaming the land, searching for a new meaning.
This purpose means most Warforged struggle with almost all parts of society; they are weapons at heart, and to find meaning in a world that doesn’t need them is difficult. However, thanks to their free will, many Warforged have found well-meaning creatures that direct them on their way. As such, some help Warforged in return for aid in building, creating, or out of the goodness of their hearts. Almost all Warforged have had some mentorship, whether positive or negative, that helped give them a motivation. For example, a Warforged tends to ignore gods, but might start worshipping if taken in by a Cleric.
Warforged have a close kinship with Artificers, since Artificers are able to adjust their body. As a Warforged’s personality changes and develops, they might want to shift what their body looks like. This leads to a Warforged building dependent relationships with magic users, something that could be exploited.
Warforged also tend to have strange personality traits, remnants from their weaponized creation. For example, a Warforged built as a battlefield scanner might analyze threats out-loud. Or a Warforged who was built for anti-Cavalry might attempt to spook nearby horses or mounts. These quirks can shift based on the Warforged’s developing personality, and should change slightly over time. Warforged names are extremely basic, usually linking to their occupations. Check out our Warforged name guide for more info.
There are no subraces for Warforged; what you get is what you get, without DM permission. However, what you get is by far the most flexible race introduced into Dungeons & Dragons 5E.
- +2 Constitution, +1 to Any Other Stat. Constitution is an essential statistic for every class in Dungeons & Dragons. Having health tends to save you from… Dying. So as a Warforged, without any other investment, you get +1 Health per level. In addition, Constitution saves are arguably the most important save type in the game. And then your +1 can be put wherever you need it. You should probably put it into your most offensive stat, so that you can deal some damage with your class.
- Medium Size, 30 ft Speed. Nothing special here. Warforged are fairly average height, so no advantages or disadvantages. However… You weigh a lot. Keep that in mind, because it might make you able to drop onto things to break them… Or make it hard for your allies to save you!
- Constructed Resilience. Wow, some races have to work to get this many traits! You’re absolutely incredible for swimming or even venturing into space, you can chill in sewers for months, you’re immune to sleeping spells, and poison… Forget about it! The poison durability by itself would be fantastic, but the disease immunity takes the cake; some diseases in this game can be absolutely brutal, without a cleric ready for action.
- Sentry’s Rest. Guess what? Your party no longer needs to keep watch! You can just do it, and get the benefits of a long rest! This is absolutely incredible… Though you can argue that an Alarm spell would be just as good. Still, save a spell slot, and give you a chance to catch anybody trying to sneak up, no matter how magical they are. This is… Really cool, and can be powerful if put into good use.
- Integrated Protection. Sweet, you get some things with armor. Now, two of these are actually debuffs; putting on armor takes an hour, you have no option to wear non-proficient armor in emergency situations… And you can’t lose your armor, meaning you’re pretty weak to Heat Metal. However, the last one does counter some anti-armor tech that causes your armor to fly off your body. And by far the greatest part of this is a straight-up +1 bonus to AC. That means that a Warforged is 5% less likely to get hit than (nearly) any other race in the game.
- Specialized Design. A bonus skill proficiency, with no limitations of choice, is fine. Nothing special, but still pretty great. Most classes have to make do with 2-3 skill proficiencies, so you get an extra one. You should probably choose one that makes sense with your background, or even what you were doing during the War. Or, all things withstanding, just grab Perception. The tool proficiency is whatever, WotC didn’t really support tools all that much.
- Languages. Extra language? Cool, uh… Take Draconic, unless you have another choice. Might be good to ask your DM about what makes the most sense here.
Warforged Class Options
I will be fully, 100% honest; a Warforged can be any class they like, and do it well. However, the Warforged specializes in flexing their high durability and AC in a frontline role.
What is the Best Class for a Warforged in 5E?
- Artificer. A Warforged, somewhat ironically, makes for a good Artificer in 5E. Especially if you go melee with Armorer or Battle Smith. The Warforged makes the Artificer tanky, have high health, and your +1 can go to Intelligence. Legitimately insane! Though you may miss other races’ Darkvision.
- Barbarian. Fantastic choice. Your high Constitution will go great with the Barbarian’s health and durability concepts. You can boost Strength. And then, you’ll be targeted by all sorts of magic and attacks, which makes Constructed Resilience and Integrated Protection work very well. Warforged Barbarians are forces of nature!
- Bard. Yup, this is fine too. Bards have enough builds that want to be near melee that the extra durability is not wasted. You’re a great emergency healer, so your high durability keeps you alive long enough to keep the Cleric up. You will be missing the +2 Charisma other races can get, however, and you might be too durable (with too little utility).
- Cleric. Great! Constitution and Wisdom, pump out healing, have massive HP, keep your heavy armor always on… Heck, even your Sentry’s Rest gets better with your amazing Perception! There’s really nothing bad here, since Clerics like wading into melee.
- Fighter. Neat. Go melee, using either Strength or Dexterity, and become a walking wall. You’ll be next to impossible to put down, still have amazing utility with Constructed Resilience… This is a Fighter’s dream! Your offense may suffer a little bit, unfortunately.
- Ranger. Rangers tend to be better from afar. But, a good dual-wield or tank Ranger can go a long way. Just remember to focus on buff spells, since your Wisdom is going to be problematically low.
- Rogue. You’ll be impossible to kill, but your Dexterity will suffer slightly compared to other races. However… Oh my goodness, is that durability nice. It’s a worthy trade, especially for melee rogue builds like the Swashbuckler that put themselves in danger.
- Warlock. Thematically? This is hilarious; a Warforged so desperate for a goal in life, they seek a higher power. Mechanically? This is great for any attempts to be melee-range or anything like that. Your Charisma suffers, but you’ll be extremely hard to put down. That allows you to blast and be a good close-range spellcaster.
- Wizard. The Wizard is a class that benefits a lot from durability. By going Warforged, you’ll be providing your Wizard with a massive amount of health, bonus AC, and survivability. In addition, the races that give +2 Intelligence are few and far between; if you don’t want to play those races, then you can only get +1 Intelligence. That means the Warforged isn’t even lowering your spellcasting potential by much!
Bad Classes for Warforged
- Druid. This is more thematic, since Warforged are built of metal, but there are some problems here. Wild Shape druids are probably the most powerful melee druid option. Those druids… Don’t care about your durability. Your Constitution doesn’t matter, you ignore Integrated Armor, and you lose Constructed Resilience. Other melee druids rely on having good Wisdom and good Dexterity or Strength… Something you can’t do well. It’s not bad at all, just not perfect.
- Monk. Like some of the more aggressive druids, Monks really need Dexterity and Wisdom. Both of them. As a Warforged Monk, you’ll be really durable, but you’ll have to sacrifice Wisdom. That means your DCs for attacks like Stunning Fist and other Ki powers will suffer. That massively reduces your utility, something the Monk enjoys. Why not be a Fighter or Barbarian instead?
- Paladin. This isn’t bad, at all. In fact, it’s probably Good. However, without a way to boost Strength and Charisma, the Warforged might be better off being a Barbarian or Fighter. Your spells (like Banish) will suffer from your Charisma, and you’ll just be a meatwall 5E Paladin. That being said, the flavor is fantastic, and you’ll probably be fine if you want to build this.
- Sorcerer. Sorcerers have too many defensive options, and there are too many races that give a +2 to Charisma. If you go Warforged, you’ll be insanely durable, but unnecessarily durable. You’re sacrificing 1 point of your spellcasting ability for tankiness. Not bad at all! Just not really required by any means.
Warforged 5E FAQ
Is Warforged an Official Race?
Warforged is an official race released by Wizard of the Coast. This fictional race has long been part of the world of Eberron. For Critical Role fans, the Warforged are a good fit for playing an Aeormaton.
What Race Built the Warforged
The Warforged were originally created by House Cannith. These sentient constructs were designed as soldiers in the Last War but have eventually earned the same rights as human denizens following the Treaty of Thronehold.
Are Warforged Immune to Aging?
According to Eberron lore, it has yet to be determined if warforged are immune to aging. To date, their lifespan remains a mystery. However, there are no signs of Warforged deteriorating over time. Of course, their lifespan is often cut short due to violence.
Do Warforged Have Genders?
Each Warforged determines their own gender identity. These constructs lack reproductive organs, but some Warforged do identify as a specific gender. Others choose not to identify as any gender.
Are Warforged Immune to Exhaustion?
Warforged do not require sleep, which means they cannot gain exhaustion due to the lack of sleep. However, they can acquire levels of exhaustion for other reasons like a forced march or a magical effect.
Can Warforged Become Werewolves?
Under 5E rules, a warforged can become a werewolf (Wereforged?). While warforged are immune to disease, lycanthropy is treated as a curse under 5E rules.
Concluding Our Warforged 5E Guide
The Warforged are among the greatest races 5E has to offer. With a ton of good defensive options, some decent utility, and great, generic stats, you can’t go wrong with these guys. And roleplaying them is almost as fun as building them in the first place! Try them out the next time you need to make a beefcastle!