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Mixed Ancestry - Nikki Dawes

Official art of two individuals of mixed ancestry: an elf-dragonborn and a dwarf-orc, by Nikki Dawes from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn pg. 164.[art 1]

Individuals of mixed ancestry are those whose parents or ancestors belong to two or more (typically humanoid) races.

The most common mixed ancestries are half-elves and half-orcs, though many others exist as well. Some ancestries are more improbable than others, such as that between a goliath and a gnome. However, the use of magic during conception and childbirth can facilitate such unions, though hiring a mage to do so is often expensive.[1]

Abilities[]

While some cases of mixed ancestry characters have predetermined abilities in 5th Edition, given how common they are, Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn offers an optional rule to create character that are the result of a more unusual union: according to this rule, the character might use the abilities of one of their parents' races, but exchanging one or two traits with those of the other parent. Thus, if a firbolg, for example, had a child with a triton, this child could manifest the Amphibious trait instead of the Powerful Built usually associated with feygiants.

Given that not all racial traits are equal, this optional rule works best if the exchanged traits are in similar categories (flavorful, narrative-focused, combat-focused, etc.), and even then it is expected to give the GM the right to approve, deny, or revisit the combination to see if it works, or if it ends up being overpowered or underpowered.[2]

Notable individuals of mixed ancestry[]

Half-elves[]

Main article: half-elf

Half-orcs[]

Main article: half-orc

Uniya[]

Main article: uniya

Other mixed ancestries[]

Planetouched mixes[]

Some humanoid races exist due to the presence of blood from other planes in their lineages, giving rise to individuals completely different from the families in which they originated.

Aasimar[]

Main article: aasimar

While most are born in fully mortal families,[13] some aasimars are born from the union of a humanoid and a celestial, like an angel.[14][15]

Genasi[]

Main article: genasi

While some can get their power from an Elemental Plane or a powerful elemental event like a storm,[16][17] other genasi are born from the union of a humanoid and an elemental, usually a genie.[18]

Tiefling[]

Main article: tiefling

While many lineages began through bargains and deals with forces of the lower planes,[19] usually the Nine Hells, some tieflings are born from the union of a humanoid and a fiend.[16]

Trivia[]

  • Uthodurn is a city primarily of elves and dwarves, and those who have mixed elf-dwarf ancestry are locally called "attalwen", meaning "two-hearted".[20]
  • Fey entities, when having children with other fey, seem to produce members of a single fey type: an example of this is Fearne Calloway, the faun daughter of another faun, Birdie Calloway, and an elf-looking fey, Athion Zathuda. Moreover, fey can change their appearance, gender and type several times during their life in order to reflect their feelings and nature,[21] so even individuals that would be of mixed ancestry are full members of the fey type they incarnate in any given moment.

References[]

Art:

  1. Official art of two individuals of mixed ancestry: an elf-dragonborn and a dwarf-orc, by Nikki Dawes from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn pg. 164. Used with permission.
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