Triton 5e Guide

Published on April 29, 2021, Last modified on August 15th, 2021

What is this guide?

This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the Triton 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 Triton. 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 Tritons?

Tritons are aquatic humanoids. They live in deep parts of the ocean, far away from the prying eyes of surface dwellers. In fact, most Tritons have never ventured as far as the surface, making them ignorant to the customs of the world above, causing them to come across as rude. These ocean-folk are kindhearted and compassionate, protecting all those that call the sea their home. If the Material Plane is ever threatened, Tritons have been known to surface, fighting alongside and protecting the inhabitants of the surface world.

Tritons are a playable character race found in Volo’s Guide to Monsters.

Triton Traits

Ability Score Increase: Tritons are unique in that they get three ability score increases, namely +1 to STR, CON, and CHA. This makes them not particularly good at anything, but it is still an acceptable spread for some builds.

Size: Medium is the typical size of most races, and is neither good nor bad.

Speed: Tritons have a standard walking speed of 30 feet and a swimming speed of 30 feet. Having a swimming speed can be extremely useful, especially when playing in an aquatic-focused campaign.

Amphibious: Being able to breathe underwater makes certain scenarios much easier, especially if nobody in the party has access to the water breathing spell. 

Control Air and Water: Free innate spells at 1st, 3rd, and 5th level is not something to complain about, even if you can only use one once per long rest. Naturally, they aren’t the most powerful spells, but offer some good utility and add a lot of flavor to the Triton.

  • 1st Level – Fog Cloud: Obscuring an area can be better than it sounds. It can help you hide and get your Rogue into Sneak Attack position, aid an escape, or lure enemies into a trap.
  • 3rd Level – Gust of Wind: This spell is usually useless, unless you find yourself in the rare situation where you can use it to push an enemy off of a cliff. Still, its a free spell.
  • 5th Level – Wall of Water: Not nearly as powerful as the other wall spells, but still useful. While it won’t really keep anyone in or out like Wall of Stone would, this spell still offers some safety against fire and projectiles.

Darkvision: Darkvision is always great, but its advantage can be ruined if your party members do not also have it.

Emissary of the Sea: Prepare for loads of Aquaman jokes. This trait is extremely situational and the communication doesn’t even work both ways.

Guardians of the Depths: Cold is quite a common damage type, so having resistance for free is fantastic. 

Which Classes Work With Tritons?

Having STR, CON, and CHA as your ASIs is an interesting combination. Its possible you won’t have much use for one of these ability score bonuses, leaving you wishing you had +2 to your main stat. Despite this, CON is useful to any build. The Triton’s main draw is their affinity for water, especially if you expect to often be near bodies of water.

Artificer: Artificers need INT to be effective.

Barbarian: STR and CON here is a good start, although not having +2 STR hurts. Remember that spellcasting doesn’t work when in a Rage, so Control Air and Water won’t be useable for the majority of the time you spend in combat.

Bard: CON and CHA are both favorable ASIs for Bards. Typically, you’d want a +2 to CHA for a Bard but the Triton has enough racial benefits to make this a decent pick, especially if you are going for a Valor Bard.

Cleric: Clerics would really like to see WIS on their race’s ASI, but STR and CON work well if you plan to use heavy armor.

Druid: The Triton’s ASIs aren’t quite good enough for the Druid. The definitely need a WIS bonus to be effective. Plus, the swim speed, water breathing, and spells that the Triton receives are usually part of the Druid’s repertoire either way. While it may seem like a flavorful pick, it’s not an especially strong one.

Fighter: STR and CON are pretty standard ability score bonuses for Fighters, while CHA is largely wasted because most Fighters only get access to Intimidation. 

Monk: Monks need DEX and WIS, preferably both.

Paladin: STR, CON, and CHA are the exact three ASIs that most Paladins are looking for. Add to that some useful racial traits and some innate spells and Tritons make a really strong case for this class.

Ranger: Tritons aren’t a bad choice for STR-based Rangers, although there are better options out there with WIS bonuses. DEX Rangers should look elsewhere.

Rogue: Rogues live and die by their DEX score, and sadly Tritons have nothing to offer in that regard.

Sorcerer: CON and CHA are really the only two ability scores that Sorcerers need to worry about outside of a little bit of DEX. Control Air and Water gives you a few more spells to play with.

Warlock: Warlocks are probably the most relieved to get the Triton’s innate spells because they can’t cast too many spells per short rest. Like the Sorcerer, Warlocks mostly worry about CON and CHA, which is covered by the Triton.

Wizard: Wizards need INT to be effective.

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.