Leonin Playable Race Guide in D&D 5e

From lore and descriptions to traits and abilities, learn all about Leonin in D&D 5e

The Leonin are a brand new playable race for D&D in 5e. They’re lion-like humanoids appearing like lions in most ways other than their upright posture. While they may get the obvious comparison to the Tabaxi, Leonins are distinctly lion creatures while the Tabaxi have the appearance of many types of cats. Leonins also tend to be prouder, more competitive and stronger than the more dextrous Tabaxi.

The Leonin were first introduced in Mythic Odysseys of Theros and are a race specifically for that setting. However, some Leonin do travel from their pride and even find their way to other planes and settings meaning that if your DM accepts, you can play as a Leonin in any campaign. Read on for our full guide on the Leonin as a playable race in D&D.

What are the Leonin?

The Leonin are proud people with a fierce competitive streak. Whether it’s competition through combat, debate or intellect, Leonin respect those that can demonstrate their prowess.

Once the guardians of the archons of Theros, the Leonins have been burnt by that particular relationship and have now abandoned all forms of worship of deity. While the odd Leonin may choose to worship a god, as a species, they view the gods as unworthy of worship and are at best, apathetic towards them and at worst, view them as the source of most of the problems of mortals.

Leonins live in prides. These are small communities of roughly built structures and tents with an elder female leading the pride (known as a speaker) with males travelling between prides to find a mate and settle down. While these communities may sound primitive, Leonins are simply content with these simple structures for their homes and do in fact have the advanced education, artwork and crafting associated with other advanced civilisations.


Leonins look like lions that stand upright on a pair of legs. Like lions, they have a muscular build, powerful jaw and for the males, a large mane of hair about their head. Their fur comes in shades of brown as you’d expect. There’s little that varies Leonin in appearance, particularly for an outsider though females are easy to distinguish by their lack of a mane. You can make your Leonin appear different by changing the colour of their fur, grooming their mane or having scars and birth marks.


The Leonin are a very proud race. They hate losing and will hone their skills to ensure they come out on top in any contest. This is particular true of combat where the Leonin have many powerful warriors. They are slow to trust other races and rarely allow other races to enter their pride. Their trust can be gained though and they do tend to be loyal to those they call a friend.

How to play as Leonin

If you choose to play as a Leonin, you’ll want to think about how your character will respond to challenges and competition. Leonin rarely back down from a challenge and will likely react negatively when failing, especially in combat. Will your character get angry or sulk when this happens?

You’ll also want to consider your relationship with deity. Most Leonin don’t worship a god (though they recognise their existence). Leonin can be clerics and if you choose to play a Leonin cleric, you’ll need to make sure your backstory addresses why your Leonin does worship a god.

Leonin features in 5e

Ability ScoresConstitution +2, Strength +1
Creature TypeHumanoid
LanguagesCommon and Leonin
TraitsDarkvision, Claws, Hunter’s Instinct, Daunting Roar
Book found inMythic Odysseys of Theros

If you want to play as a Leonin, your character will have the following traits and abilities:

Leonin traits

Darkvision – You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Claws – Your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you can deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier.

Hunter’s Instincts – You have proficiency in one of the following skills of your choice: Athletics, Intimidation, Perception, or Survival.

Daunting Roar – As a bonus action, you can let out an especially menacing roar. Creatures of your choice within 10 feet of you that can hear you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of you until the end of your next turn. The DC of the save equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier. Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Published by DM Ben

Ben is an experienced dungeon master and player who's been immersed in the D&D universe since he was a teenager over 20 years ago. When he's not writing for Dungeon Mister, Ben loves creating fiendish puzzles and devious dungeons for his players. He's an especially big fan of the Ravenloft and Dragonlance settings.

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