Changeling 5e Guide

Published on August 30, 2021

What is this guide?

This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the Changeling will be right for your 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 is an OK option
  • 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?

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.

Changelings are a playable character race found in Eberron: Rising from the Last War.

Changeling 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.

Which Classes Work With Changelings?

The absolute best options for Changelings are classes that use CHA for their spellcasting ability. Every class will benefit from Shapechanger and bring some utility to their party, though multi-ability dependent builds that have no real use for CHA will struggle to make things work well.

Artificer: Artificers can use the free ability score increase for INT, though they would much rather see +2.

Barbarian: Barbarians can use the free ability score increase for STR, though they would much rather see +2. CHA isn’t all that effective on Barbarians, though it may be quite funny to have one that is the face of the party.

Bard: Bards are the perfect choice for Changelings. The CHA is perfect for spellcasting, and naturally Bards are the big talkers of the group so they will love the free CHA skill proficiencies.

Cleric: Depending on your build you can pick up STR, DEX, or WIS with the free ability score increase. The Trickery Domain or even the Knowledge Domain would be good choices if you want to play a character that is the face of the party. You could also use Guidance on yourself to make social interactions even more likely to succeed. Despite this interesting combination, a Changeling Cleric won’t be as effective as a race that gets something more useful than CHA.

Druid: Druids can use the free ability score increase for WIS, though they would much rather see +2. CHA isn’t usually a focus for Druids as they have terrible AC, so they would be much better served with DEX or even CON. On top of this, Druids can already turn into beasts if they want to hide their true form.

Fighter: Fighters can use the free ability score increase for STR or DEX depending on their weapon of choice. CHA isn’t the most useful stat for Fighters, though the Battle Master and Purple Dragon Knight at least mention CHA-based skills in their traits.

Monk: Monks just need +2 DEX or +2 WIS too badly for a Changeling to be a good choice. 

Paladin: CHA is perfect for spellcasting and combines nicely with the free skill proficiencies from Changeling Instincts.

Ranger: DEX is the only choice for the free ability score increase. The CHA is largely wasted and will just make your Ranger feel like a budget Rogue.

Rogue: Rogues are the best option for Changelings. They are already the go-to class for deception and infiltration, and with the Shapechanger trait they will have just about every tool in their back pocket for that task. With the two free skill proficiencies a Rogue Changeling will be proficient in more skills than not. DEX is the best choice for the free ability score increase.

Sorcerer: +2 CHA is the best stat boost for a pure CHA caster, and the free ability score increase can be used on either DEX or CON depending on your needs. Since they have access to so many spells, a Sorcerer could use Shapechanger in combination with a whole host of Illusion spells to make a pretty sly character.

Warlock: +2 CHA is the best stat boost for a pure CHA caster, and the free ability score increase can be used on either DEX or CON depending on your needs. Shapechanger is also a nice alternative for achieving goals without the use of magic as Warlocks have very few spell slots available to them.

Wizard: Wizards can use the free ability score increase for INT, though they would much rather see +2. Since they have access to so many spells, a Wizard could use Shapechanger in combination with a whole host of Illusion spells to make a pretty sly character.

Roland Drews

Roland Drews is a content creator and editor at Arcane Eye. When he isn't watching basketball or noodling on his guitar, you can find Roland reading, writing, or playing D&D. He currently lives in Bonn, Germany with his girlfriend Jess.