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D&D: ‘Monsters of the Multiverse’ Changes Orcs, Goblins, & Lizardfolk, Oh My!

6 Minute Read
May 19 2022
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Now that Monsters of the Multiverse is out for most everyone, let’s look at how the new book changes your favorite goblins.

Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse is out in the wild on its own now. Which means more players can pick up the new book without dropping the $100+ for a three book gift set with two books you probably already own. Big changes are following in its wake. Though, as always, those changes are optional.

Optional? So you mean *I* have to decide?

Monsters of the Multiverse has made a splash in the community as more players and DMs get to sample its fare. The book aggregates and updates more than 250 monsters from two older books. But it also gathers together a slew of PC races from a variety of books. In the marketing for the book it calls them “setting-agnostic.” Although with races like Warforged you can tell it’s the most popular ones from their multiverse.

Today we’re looking at how goblins, bugbears and other “monster” PC races changed in the new book.

General Changes in Monsters of the Multiverse

For starters, the book sort of levels the playing fields. Following Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, design has shifted in 5th Edition D&D. And the new book reflects that. Now every PC race gets +2/+1 or +1/+1/+1/ to their Ability Scores.

They’re also brought in line with the more subtle changes in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. All races speak Common and 1 other language of your choice. In fact, player choice in general is more at the forefront — any racial features that grant spells, let you decide what ability score (Int, Wis, or Cha) to use as the spellcasting ability score for that spell. As well as giving players the ability to cast spells gained from race with spell slots of an appropriate level.

Also any non-walking speed got brought in line to be equal to your walking speed (which slows down options like the Aarakocra considerably). Flying, swimming, climbing, it’s all the same now. And all creatures now have a walking speed of 30 feet, even if it was 25 feet before.

But! Let’s take a look at how each race has been changed. While there are more than 30 races here, not everyone got huge changes. We’ll be going through them in chunks.

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And one important thing to consider. The core races out of the PHB, by and large, aren’t changed. But that’s because the new core books coming in 2024 will reflect wherever they’ll end up. So for those of you out there using the Tiefling variants like Tiefling descended from Dispater or whatever, you’ll have to wait.

PC Race Changes in Monsters Of The Multiverse – Goblins, Kobolds, & More

We’ll start with the best ones. These, for the most part, first appeared in Volo’s Guide to Monsters. These are your classic D&D options for when you’ve played a dozen elves and realize, “wait, this whole time I could’ve been playing a goblin?”

We’ve all been there. It’s a D&D rite of passage. When you realize that the coolest characters are in fact the kobolds you’ve been walking over. And by and large they got some pretty sweet changes.

Orcs gain an ability called Adrenaline Rush (a reworked Aggressive) feature. Adrenaline Rush gives them a bonus action dash as well as temporary hit points equal to their proficiency bonus. They can use this (proficiency bonus) times per long rest. This reflects a larger change in WotC’s design. More features are now based off of your proficiency bonus, both in terms of numbers granted and uses per day. This seems to be a hallmark of D&D 2024 edition.

Orcs also gain the Half-Orc’s Relentless Endurance, which lets them drop to 1 hp the first time they’d be dropped to 0 hp in a day. This one just makes sense. Of course, they do lose Primal Intuation which gave them 2 skill proficiencies. But the new abilities take the edge off of that.

Goblins get Fey Ancestry, which makes them pretty much like the elves. They also see some changes to their Fury of the Small trait, which now does extra damage equal to their proficiency bonus instead of their level. Which is a buff at level 1 but drops off quickly. However, goblins can use Fury of the Small (potentially) way more often, as you get to use it (proficiency bonus) times per long rest now instead of 1 per rest.

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Hobgoblins get a significant rework. Now they’re much more focused on team tactics and helping their allies. Yes they’re still the champions of goblins because their god conquered all the other goblinoids. But now they have a lot to offer a party. For starters, like goblins, they have Fey Ancestry. They also get Fey Gift, which lets them take the Help action as a Bonus Action up to (proficiency bonus) times per long rest. And at 3rd level, when they use this feature, they gain a number of other benefits:

  • You and the creature you help gain temporary hit points.
  • You and the creature you help temporarily increase your walking speeds.
  • When the creature you help hits a target with an attack roll, that target gets disadvantage on the next attack roll it makes within the next minute.

On top of all that, Saving Face has been reskinned to Fortune of the Many. Which grants up to a +3 bonus now. But again, it can be used (proficiency bonus) times per long rest.

Kobolds lose Grovel, Cower, and Beg. Which is a little bit of a shame. But it’s been transformed into Draconic Cry, which lets them take a bonus action to grant advantage to attacks against enemies within 10 feet that can hear them. They also lose Sunlight Sensitivity which is sad for no one. And Pack Tactics, which is sad for everyone.

In its place, kobolds gain Kobold Legacy, which lets them choose one of three options:

  • Craftiness. You gain proficiency in one of the following: Arcana, Investigation, Medicine, Sleight of Hand, or Survival.
  • Defiance. You have advantage on saving throws against the frightened condition.
  • Draconic Sorcery. You learn one cantrip from the sorcerer spell list (you choose Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as your spellcasting ability for it).

Lizardfolk saw a big change to their natural weapons. Their bite now does Slashing damage, which affects some small things. It’s also an “unarmed attack” instead of a natural weapon. Which, again, makes little difference. But they also got a buff to their Hungry Jaws feature, which can now be used (proficiency bonus) times per long rest.

However, the temporary HP you gain is equal to their proficiency bonus instead of their Constitution modifier. Which ultimately probably means you’re gaining more in general. But if you start with a high Con score, they’ll have some catching up to do.

Bugbears become the best. They gain Fey Ancestry, as all goblinoids do. But they are also incredibly Sneaky now, thanks to a new feature with the same name. This lets them move through AND stop in a space that a Small creature would fit in without squeezing. What’s that behind you? It’s a bugbear.

They also get a reworked Surprise Attack. Now they deal 2d6 extra damage against creatures who have not taken their first turn in a combat. So stacking initiative modifiers are a bugbear’s best friend.

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They still have really long arms, though. Don’t worry.

Phew! What a list of changes—and this is just the start, check back for more ‘Monsters of the Multiverse’ changes tomorrow!

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