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D&D Race Guide: How to Play a Leonin

3 Minute Read
Aug 8 2023

With a Leonin, their roar might be worse than their bite. But you should probably try to avoid their claws.

If you thought we were out of cat-people to play in D&D, you would be wrong. Coming from Oreskos, the Leonin are lion people who don’t often wander outside of their borders. But when they do they can make a great addition to your party and a fun character for you to play.

“The leonin guard the shining lands of Oreskos, a golden plain where even the gods rarely trespass. Prides of these nomadic, lion-like humanoids rarely interact with other peoples, having all they need in their shimmering homeland and knowing the treachery of strangers. Still, some leonin wonder what lies beyond Oreskos’s border mountains and seek to test themselves in a wider world.”

Leonin Traits

Coming from 2020’s Mythic Odysseys of Theros, Leonin have the slightly older style ability score setup. As opposed to free-floating points you can add to any of your scores, your character will get a +2 to Constitution and a +1 to Strength. This is a pride or group-minded player race, and tend to lean towards good alignments. And at six to seven feet tall, they’re larger than your average human, but still fit in the Medium build size.

As lion-people, Leonin have a lot of cat-like and lion-like traits. Their speed is a little higher than the average at 35 ft, and they can see well in dim light up to 60 ft as well as decently (in black, white, and gray) in darkness. And of course, there’s the claws. Leonin have claws that act as their natural weapon, dealing 1d4 + strength damage.

Finally, Hunter’s Instinct give them proficiency in Athletics, Intimidation, Perception, or Survival. And Daunting Roar gives them a bonus action in which creatures within ten feet can hear their roar and must succeed on a wisdom saving throw or become frightened.

Player-character Leonin don’t appear in other books and don’t have any alternate or variant versions.

Best Classes


This is a player race with a pretty clear set of skills. Though there’s no reason to think a Leonin character would be terrible at any given class, there are a few they are especially well suited for.

Anything close combat related would be especially perfect. With their Daunting Roar getting in enemy heads before you ever have to make a move, Barbarian and Fighter would be much better at handling large crowds and scaring off potential threats. Plus with extra Strength and Constitution, Leonin are just as ready to run into the thick of it as either of these classes. Paladin would be a good choice for similar reasons, but you’d want to make sure that your character has rolled a decent Charisma score.

Tips & Tricks

Honestly, Leonin are pretty straightforward. There aren’t a lot of small details to remember or special moves that could be useful in that one circumstance that you may forget about when the time finally comes. But Leonin are inspired by Greek mythology and specifically the lion-headed giant, Leon. So something that may make this pick a little more interesting for you is familiarizing yourself with the inspiring myths alongside the standard Leonin lore. Maybe there will be something there to inspire your character’s backstory or personality and maybe there won’t be. But a little more background is always good to have when working with a character who’s so beautifully a blank slate.

Happy adventuring!


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