Changeling Guide 5e
Published on August 30, 2021, Last modified on June 7th, 2022
What is this guide?
This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the changeling will be right for your 5e character build.
The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your changeling. This color coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.
- Black is a trait shared by many races and or will not impact the effectiveness of your character build
- Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
- Orange Situationally good, but a below-average option otherwise
- Green is a good option
- Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
- Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Update
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has added the "Customizing Your Origin" option that may affect the ability score increases, languages, and proficiencies in this guide. To read more about this, visit our D&D Race Guide.
What are Changelings in 5e?
Source: Eberron: Rising from the Last War
Changelings exist everywhere, whether the people around them know it or not. They may co-exist in a small village with farmers and traders, or live in nomadic changeling clans that wander the world in homage to their god the Traveler.
Able to completely change their voice and appearance at will, it is not uncommon for people to distrust them, though many changelings use this ability for good. They are rarely seen in their true, colorless form, and are much more likely to assume a shape to express an emotion or for a specific task. Some of their shapes become integral to their personality, and a changeling may take this form many times over their lifetime as they are exposed to similar situations or emotions.
Changeling 5e Traits
Ability Score Increase: +2 CHA is obviously great for casters that need it, but the free ability score means that any character that wants to be the face of the party could consider being a changeling.
Size: Medium is the typical size of most races, and is neither good nor bad.
Speed: Changelings have a standard walking speed of 30 feet.
Shapechanger: Shapechanger is the reason to play a changeling, you can actually change your appearance and voice to any Medium sized, four-legged creature you have seen before. This is great because it doesn’t rely on spell slots and can be used an unlimited amount of times. The biggest downside is that you will still need to find appropriate clothing and equipment if you plan to deceive others with your changed appearance, and you will still need to act appropriately. The latter can be done if you roleplay intelligently and make use of the CHA skill proficiencies you get from the Changeling Instincts trait.
Changeling Instincts: Free skills are always welcome racial traits, and the ones here fit perfectly both thematically and with the CHA boost. Choose the two face skills that you think you will use the most. Deception seems like an obvious choice as you will likely use your Shapechanger trait to convince others that you’re somebody you’re not.
Changeling 5e Subraces
In the Monsters of the Multiverse, changelings are now considered to be fey, and their racial traits have been improved.
Creature Type: Fey
Shapechanger: This incredibly useful trait is now even better, allowing you to also choose whether to you wish to be Medium or Small in size.
Changeling Instincts: Adding to the long list of useful proficiencies, you can now also choose Performance as an option here. This makes a lot of thematic sense.
Sources Used in This Guide
- Basic Rules
- Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen
- Eberron: Rising from the Last War
- Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
- Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
- Fizban's Treasury of Dragon
- Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
- Monsters of the Multiverse
- Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
- Mythic Odyessys of Theros
- Player's Handbook
- Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
- Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
- Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
- Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
- The Tortle Package
- The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
- Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
- Volo's Guide to Monsters
- Xanathar’s Guide to Everything