Dungeons and Dragons will no longer use the word “race”

Dungeons & Dragons takes a big step toward inclusivity by removing outdated terminology rooted in the fantasy genre’s problematic roots.


Dungeons and Dragons removes the term “race” from its lexicon with immediate effect. This change came alongside playtesting for A D&D, Dungeons and Dragons persistent evolution of 5th edition.


In the fantasy genre, the term “race” is often used to describe entirely different types of creatures, from elves and humans to goblins and orcs. First used by JRR Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings“race” has become the standard terminology used by most fantasy games, including Dungeons and Dragons.

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But Dungeons and Dragons finally moves away from problematic terminology. However Dungeons and Dragons tries to move away from the term “race” since the release of 5th editionhe still relied on the obsolete term to refer to the game mechanic. Since his most recent A D&D playtest, and for all future content, it will use the term “species” instead of “race”. Wizards of the Coast released a blog post explaining their reasoning and process.

The term “race” is problematic in fantasy due to its outdated origins. In the real world, race has historically been used to divide and oppress different groups of people. In fantasy, race shifts from a social construct to actual physical differences, unwittingly giving teeth to the discrimination present in both places. As the father of modern fantasy, Tolkien’s use of the word “race” unwittingly codified the terminology of subsequent settings, including popular games like World of Warcraft.

Most players are satisfied Dungeons and Dragons is moving away from outdated terms like “race”. Dungeons and Dragons has made a few muted gaffes in recent history, so the transparency and care shown in his blog is a welcome change. While this is just one step on the road to true inclusiveness, dropping the term is a smart move for the world’s oldest TTRPG.

That said, players are not ready to congratulate Dungeons and Dragons for making that change again. Other games, like Paizo’s Scoutare ahead of Dungeons and Dragons in terms of fairness and inclusiveness, and players believe Wizards of the Coast needs to catch up. Others aren’t charmed by the term “species” because it sounds a bit scientific compared to Pathfinder’s “ancestry.” Dungeons and Dragons is looking for feedback on his diction, so players who would prefer to see a different word should be sure to voice their opinion on the next A D&D playtest survey when it opens on December 21.

A D&D is in development.

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