Out of all the races present in the Player’s Handbook of the Fifth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons, there is one that is particularly mysterious and with way less lore in the fantasy world outside of tabletop RPGs: the dragonborn race.
What Are Dragonborn in DnD 5e
The name of the race doesn’t leave much room for imagination when it comes to figuring out what dragonborn are because, yes, dragonborn are creatures born of dragons. They may not have wings nor tails, they may have humanoid size and shape, but they definitely still look like dragons, their faces, their eyes, the scales. All are pretty draconic.
Are Dragonborn Related to Dragons?
Even if the name is very explicit at describing one of the most iconic Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition races, being born of dragons can be interpreted in many ways. How direct is this relationship between actual dragons and dragonborn. Are they really related?
The Player’s Handbook answers the question. It says that dragonborn were originally shaped by draconic gods or dragons themselves.
Dragonborn would have hatched from dragon eggs at that time as a unique race that combined the best attributes of dragons and humanoids, and then the race went on mixing and evolving to leave, in most cases, their relationship with dragons as a clear but distant memory.
What Do Dragonborn Look Like in DnD 5e
The D&D dragonborn race looks generally like a humanoid form dragon. Think of it as if a person would cosplay as a dragon, somehow.
They don’t have wings and they don’t have tails and even if they tend to be taller and heavier than humans, their size is still medium. It is easy for a dragonborn to weight over 250 pounds (113 kilos) and have a height well over six feet (183 cm).
Dragonborn have scales, like dragons do, but theirs are way smaller, finer, and of duller colours. Dragonborn had originally the vibrant colours of the dragons they descended from, but that was many generations ago. Most dragonborn’s scales are in brass or bronze colours.
Do Dragonborn Have Horns?
There are several physical characteristics of dragonborn that raise the curiosity of most people. A way of understanding somehow the extent of the connection of dragonborn with their ancestor dragons.
The first question raised on this regard is: do dragonborn have horns? There is nothing regarding this topic in the books, but we have an answer from Mike Mearls, co-creator of D&D 5th edition and creative director for the Dungeons & Dragons franchise.
Originally posted on his twitter account in 2017, Mike Mearls answered the following to the question of whether dragonborn have horns or not:
Some do – depends what kind of dragon they are linked to. Blue typically do, for instance.Mike Mearls, Twitter, 2017.
Do Dragonborn Have Tails?
After answering whether dragonborn characters have horns, the second most asked question regarding how dragon born look is: do dragonborn have tails?
This is simple to answer. No need to go all the way to Twitter for that. The very Player’s Handbook answers it on the first page of their dragonborn race description:
Dragonborn look very much like dragons standing erect in humanoid form, though they lack wings or a tail.Player’s Handbook, p.32.
It is true that your Dungeon Master may allow your dragonborn character to have a tail for the sake of coolness (because tails are cool). It’s the joy of Dungeons & Dragons 5e, most rules are flexible.
Do Dragonborn Have Wings?
The answer to the question “do dragonborn have wings?” is in the previous quote from the Player’s Handbook. No, dragonborn do not have wings.
Again, you will have to rely on your Dungeon Master to get that cool element to your dragonborn, but, let’s face it, having a strong dragonborn that can also fly is a bit overboard, isn’t it?
Dragonborn Traits & Attributes
Dragonborn’s Ability Score Increases
Dragonborn characters tend to be quite strong and friendly, so it’s not a surprise that one of the traits of the dragonborn race is that they get two Ability Score Increases:
- +2 to Strength and
- +1 to Charisma.
Even though dragonborn age way quicker than humans (they can start walking the day they are born), their lifespan is as long or even longer, with up to 80 years to live.
When it comes to alignment there are no greys in dragonborn. The extremes are very noticeable thanks to the dragon deity that represents any given character:
- If a dragonborn is represented by Bahamut, the dragon god of justice, their alignment will be good.
- If they are instead represented by Tiamat, the lawful evil dragon goddess of greed, queen of evil dragons, their alignment will obviously be evil.
Dragonborn’s Size and Speed
Dragonborn have medium size despite being bigger and taller than humans. They weight almost 250 pounds and have a height that goes over 6 feet.