From lore and descriptions to traits and abilities, learn all about Warforged in D&D 5e
Warforged are part of the remaining legacy of the Last War from the Eberron setting. They were built to bolster the forces of armies to prevent the loss of life. Originally built as constructs (something like robots) to fight and perform other battlefield functions. They were later given sentience and the ability to feel pain, perhaps to enable them to perform more advanced functions and have a sense of self-preservation.
While the Last War raged on, the warforged were controlled by their creators, but at the end of the war, they were granted their independence. With their purpose now fulfilled and a semblance of sentience, Warforged now traverse the land to find a new purpose, constantly developing and adapting to their new lives.
Warforged were introduced into D&D 5e in Eberron: Rising from the Last War and are a playable race specific to that setting. With consultation with your DM, you can use them in other settings too. If you choose to play as a Warforged, we’ve got everything you need to know about this playable race below.
What is a Warforged?
Warforged are constructs akin to robots. Originally built to aid in the Last War of Eberron, they now seek a new purpose. They are sentient beings that now have their own independence. As each Warforged treads a different path, they develop their own personalities.
Despite being built rather than born, not all Warforged appear the same with different creators building them in different ways. Typically though, Warforged are built from wood and metal and appear humanoid with a similar basic arrangement of limbs and body parts to a human (and most other playable races). Warforged are typically about 6-7ft tall and weigh about 300 pounds.
A Warforged is capable of adapting their appearance through magical means or through forging. For example, when a Warforged dons armour, they don’t wear it, instead, they fuse it to their body for a greater layer of protection. Some Warforged use the ability to weld themselves differently to add elements of their emerging personality. If they’re more savage, they might add spikes to their body, if they love wealth, they might fuse gold embellishments and crests to themself. With this in mind, you can alter the appearance of your Warforged to match their personality and circumstances.
Originally, Warforged were built to fight in a war and were forced to obey the commands of their creator. Despite their sentience, this left little room for a personality. Since then, the thousands of Warforged left after the war have been granted their freedom and the opportunity to find a new purpose.
A daunting prospect at first, Warforged have managed to find new purpose, often attaching themselves to others where they’ve learnt to adapt their skills to a new trade. Some have happened upon their new purpose by chance, others struck out to find that purpose. Each Warforged though, is developing a new and evolving personality and it’s up to you to determine how that manifests. Many Warforged will have quirks that have come from their time as soldiers. Depending on their purpose, prior to their freedom, they might do unusual things in certain situations. A Warforged unfamiliar with negotiations may struggle with the notion of deception, others might perform guarding drills when companions are resting.
How to play as a Warforged
You have a lot of options in determining how you play as a Warforged but much of this will likely depend on their function in the war and their experiences since then. Developing a clear backstory will help you identify what personality traits and quirks your Warforged has. We’d suggest considering the following points as you develop your Warforged’s personality:
- Purpose in war – What was the function of your Warforged during the war? Were they a guard, a foot soldier, a scout or provide some other battlefield function? Whatever their function, your Warforged will likely find these functions easy to perform but many others are likely unfamiliar to them. What quirks might they have developed in war that perhaps aren’t appropriate outside of it and might create unusual side-effects. Will you announce a lie when you detect it for instance?
- Purpose after the war – What have you been doing since the war, who have you associated with and what purpose have you determined for yourself? These questions will determine a lot about how you act, what you understand about the world and what you do not.
- Answering life’s great questions – You are a construct and will think differently to organic beings. You may have come to your own conclusions on many of life’s great question or might be searching for answers for yourself. Perhaps you resent the war and believe those responsible must be eradicated, maybe you’re searching for the meaning of life or whether you are even truly alive yourself. Whatever your questions and answers, try to think as a robot would rather than as an organic being might.
Warforged features in 5e
|Ability Scores||Constitution +2, one other ability +1|
|Languages||Common and 1 other|
|Traits||Constructed Resilience, Sentry’s Rest, Integrated Protection, Specialized Design|
|Book found in||Eberron: Rising from the Last War|
If you want to play as a Warforged, your character will have the following traits and abilities:
Constructed Resilience – You were created to have remarkable fortitude, represented by the following benefits:
- You have advantage on saving throws against being poisoned, and you have resistance to poison damage.
- You don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe.
- You are immune to disease.
- You don’t need to sleep, and magic can’t put you to sleep.
Sentry’s Rest – When you take a long rest, you must spend at least six hours in an inactive, motionless state, rather than sleeping. In this state, you appear inert, but it doesn’t render you unconscious, and you can see and hear as normal.
Integrated Protection – Your body has built-in defensive layers, which can be enhanced with armor.
- You gain a +1 bonus to Armor Class.
- You can don only armor with which you have proficiency. To don armor, you must incorporate it into your body over the course of 1 hour, during which you must remain in contact with the armor. To doff armor, you must spend 1 hour removing it. You can rest while donning or doffing armor in this way.
- While you live, your armor can’t be removed from your body against your will.
Specialized Design – You gain one skill proficiency and one tool proficiency of your choice.