The Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount introduced a few new racial variants, new flavor, and some extra subraces. Matt Mercer’s mind is just booming with opportunities and cultural shifts, and there’s quite a few options for Wildemont and elsewhere a DM wants to put them. So, we want to take the time to go over a bunch of the races that are native to Wildemont. Learn more with our Wildemount Races Guide.
What Wildemount Races are Available?
Wildemount is home to all 9 races available in the Player’s Handbook; 3 of which received a new Subrace, and all having slightly different cultures. Also available on the continent are Aarakocra, Aasimar, Firbolgs, Genasi, Goblins, Goliaths, Kenku, and Tortles. These races all skirt around the Dwendalian Empire, the Menagerie Coast, and Xhorhas. Let’s do a quick look at them all, and see how Wildemont changed some of our beloved 5E races.
Core Races: The Big Four
Dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans rule over the land of Wildemont with a stone fist. These four is where our Wildemount Races Guide begins.
In the Dwendalian Empire, Dwarves are considered to be greedy miners with a passion for alcohol… And that’s not horribly wrong. Across the Coast, Dwarves are seen as passionate people, as religious recluses, or stern judges. Only duergar remain in Xhorhas, and the Underdark are problematic for the people outside of the empire.
Elves had to rebuild during the Calamity, so there aren’t horribly many still remaining. Only recently have they moved out of the Underdark. In the Empire, they’re seen as allies of Imperials. Over the coast, elf grace is just a myth, as they are seen as mere mortals. The coast is home to two rare subraces; water-breathing sea elves, and Pallid Elves. Xhorhas is home to dark elves, and is the largest elf majority. The Kryn Dynasty is, thankfully, quite empathetic to other cultures.
Halflings have no known origin, but are some of the most talented and curious people that Wildemont has ever seen. They are seen as unambitious in the Empire, about as common as humans on the Coast, and very rare in Xhorhas. However, a subrace of recluse Lotusden Halflings do live in the Lotusden Greenwood, so they do exist within the dark lands.
Humans make up the bulk of the Dwendalian empire, and define common culture throughout the continent. These humans’ fear of the unknown make enemies of the Kryn Dynasty of Xhorhas, but their reputation elsewhere is more solid. They are seen as quite adept in the Menagerie Coast but rare amongst Xhorhasians.
Core Races: The Others
The other five races are less abundant than these four, but nevertheless make up a huge part of Wildemont’s racial and social dynamic.
Dragonborn and Elves have two new subclasses to explore, and Halflings have one. The interaction between Empire, the Coast, and Xhorhas is also quite racially motivated, leading to a lot of cool interactions between your own character and the world they live in. Despite this, the Core Races are just one aspect of the world.
In this world, Dragonborn arose from Wildemont, but corruption and bigotry upended their society. Now the ruling class of the Draconblood are rather rare amongst the nation, having been overthrown by the Ravenite dragonborn who were once their slaves. And now players can play as both variants. Hooray, social conflict!
Gnomes are foreign dignitaries, comfortable living in their gnomish communities. They are still useful for their inventiveness in the Empire and on the Coast, but some are seen as stubborn and as backcountry hicks.
Half-elves are a sign of strength, and connection between elves and humans that is proof that imperial rule is going well. They almost run the Menagerie Coast – though are seen as mistakes by the elves of Syngorn – and are children of dark elves amongst Xhorhas. Even non-human Half-Elves are accepted amongst the lands of Wildemont, much to the chagrin of backwards-thinking societies.
Orcs are seen as rather savage and mindless beings, though they simply have the same urge to kill as any other mortal. Even amongst Half-Orcs, their “curse” is still superstitiously believed. Half-Orcs are, thus, seen as accomplished soldiers, but face much social strife due to their orc half. They are uncommon on the Coast, since they rarely settle, other than in the city of Othe. They are nomads among the Dark lands of Xhorhas, and have exciting lives in the wastes.
Mechanically, Orcs are closer to those released in the Eberron book compared to traditional Orcs. There are a few differences there, too. Orcs of Exandria cannot choose nature as their Primal Intuition, for example. They can, however, have any alignment. There are also minor changes to their age range.
Similarly to Half-Elves, Tieflings have outgrown persecution for their demonic side, and have been accepted into the Dwendalian empire as soldiers. They are seen as attractive entertainers on the Coast, and are common amongst Xhorhas.
Much rarer than any of the core races, these 8 races have much briefer entries in the history of Wildemont. That doesn’t mean that they are worthless or bad choices – far from it. Instead, they make the world dynamic and unique.
A big change to the Aarakocra is that they now gain natural talon attacks, in addition to flight. Aarakocran monks can use this change to get slashing damage on their unarmed attacks. They are rare in Wildemount, and get reactions of shock when appearing to any member of Wildemont not in the clouds.
Aasimar, Genasi, and Firbolgs
Aasimar gain a similar reaction, though their presence is nothing short of a miracle. Firbolgs are recluses in the Greying Wildlands, and thus also keep to themselves. Genasi only appear during elemental events, thanks to no elemental rifts on Wildemont, so they’re as wondrous as the Aasimar. Goliaths usually keep to themselves, but because they are so large and bulky, when they come from their mountainous tribes, they are seen with less awe and more fear.
Goblinkin, Kenku, Tabaxi, and Tortles
The more popular exotic nations are, nonetheless, still subject to stereotypes and mythos. Goblinkin and Kenku are seen as monsters, though the nations are quite open to tolerant acceptance if they see a real one. Tabaxi are also seen fairly often, since they are traders and merchants, and thus have much better relationships with the nations of Wildemont. Tortles are popular amongst the Coast, but never travel to the other two nations.
And there’s one, final race… Though, not quite a race. Amongst the Blightshore, on the eastern coast of Xhorhas, there is said to be beings that died once… And then rose again. They are known in myths as Hollow Ones,Hollow Ones, but rarely traverse from the Blightshore. And may you pray that they never do.
Wildemount Races Wrap-up
Wildemount uses racial stereotyping and famous figures to a fantastic degree. As a player, you can use the subclasses available to augment your experience. However, as you read this… The Roleplay purpose of a lot of these races is to use stereotypes, nature vs. nurture, and tolerance to make a backstory realistic. Try and consider how the creators of Wildemont make growing up there interesting as you build your next character’s backstory. You’ll see the benefits of considering a lot of different paths.
As a GM… This is more complex than one of Lolth’s webs, so it’s kinda sensical that you might not want to make a kingdom quite like Wildemont. But it is possible to, at the very least, consider the relationship between three nations like this one. Or, consider making a Wildemont campaign, and watch your PCs permanently change how the nations view each other.
Or how they view Tortles.