Goliath Guide 5e
Published on January 26, 2021, Last modified on May 2nd, 2022
What is this guide?
This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the goliath 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 goliath. 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 Goliaths in 5e?
Source: Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
Goliaths are a solitary race, choosing to live on the most treacherous of mountain peaks away from prying eyes. Their large stature, great strength, and resistance to the elements has allowed them to survive in extreme frigid conditions. Goliaths have strong ties to their nomadic tribes, and are driven by a fierce competitive nature that leaves no room for weakness or remorse for those who do not contribute. Due to their beliefs, goliaths tend to not understand the hierarchical power structures of typical societies and value strength and fair competition above all else.
Goliaths can be found for free in the Elemental Evil Player’s Companion.
Goliath 5e Traits
Ability Score Increase: A +2 to STR and +1 to CON is perfect for a select few builds and synergizes very well, but will offer nothing to most classes.
Size: Medium is the typical size of most races, and is neither good nor bad. Goliaths are on the upper end of the Medium size threshold at 7 to 8 feet tall and weighing between 280 and 340 pounds.
Speed: Goliaths have a standard walking speed of 30 feet.
Natural Athlete: Free skill proficiencies are always great. Athletics is ideal for the goliath because of their huge +2 STR bonus.
Stone’s Endurance: A great use of your reaction that refreshes on a short rest. Reducing damage by a d12 + CON modifier is absolutely huge at lower levels and remains relevant throughout a campaign.
Powerful Build: Not everyone plays with strict carrying capacity limits, but Powerful Build can let you get away with some nonsense if you are a hoarder. Being able to push, drag, or lift more weight is more interesting and is likely to come up in a campaign.
Mountain Born: Mountain Born is another trait that boosts the Goliath’s survivability. Cold damage is one of the more common damage types, so having a built-in resistance is very useful.
Goliath 5e Subraces
In the Monsters of the Multiverse update, goliaths received an upgrade to their most powerful racial trait, Stone’s Endurance.
Little Giant: Little Giant just rolls Natural Athlete and Powerful Build into a single racial trait, both of which are very useful.
Mountain Born: This is the same as the original goliath.
Stone’s Endurance: Stone’s Endurance has its uses now tied to your proficiency bonus instead of once per short rest, giving you more flexibility on when you want to use this to reduce incoming damage. It was great before, and is still great with this change, though you may get fewer daily uses at lower levels.
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