5e: Spelljammer Races: Part I—Dracon and Grommam

For a while now, official content for Dungeons & Dragons has been teasing the  spacefaring setting Spelljammer. For those not familiar, Spelljammer introduced the hobby to an innovative setting that found a way to connect all possible worlds. This was achieved by proposing a  fantastical version of outer space. Within it, groups of worlds (think of them as galaxies) exist within Crystal Spheres. With each Crystal Sphere is the vast emptiness between the worlds and stars of each Crystal Sphere. Outside the Spheres is the Phlogiston, a plane of turbulent gas. Ships with magical spelljamming helms are able to sail Wildspace and even cross the Phlogiston, carrying an air bubble and localised gravity with them.

Spelljammer campaigns are a great way to utilise sourcebooks from any official or unofficial setting, as well as providing complete creative freedom for DMs who love to homebrew. This is why a small but vocal subset of Spelljammer fans has been increasingly excited by references to and mechanical support for Spelljammer material. Speculation that we might see an official return to this old setting has been rampant for some time, though has met with official denial. We know that a campaign setting is coming in 2019 and some fans think it might be Spelljammer, though Nathan Stewart (Senior Director for the Dungeons & Dragons line) denied this.
Personally, I’m inclined to the opinion that setting might be Dark Sun. Spelljammer is beloved by some (including me), but it has a reputation for silliness which might make it a risky product to market compared to some of the more beloved settings. Maybe if we’re lucky might eventually see a Spelljammer campaign that acts as a soft setting introduction, the same way that Curse of Strahd does for Ravenloft. Truthfully, I doubt that too. Though I’ll be glad to be proven wrong!
So why then the Spelljammer content teases throughout the official line? What I think is happening is that the design team have seen the love some hold for Spelljammer and the calls for it to come back, and even share that affection for this quirky setting. Rather than giving us a setting book, they’re instead slowly giving us official conversions for enough content that we can start to run Spelljammer games using 2nd edition reference materials. So far this official support includes spelljamming helms (Dungeon of the Mad Mage), Giff (Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes), and Neogi (Volo’s Guide to Monsters), and of course pretty much all other published game content is valid in a Spelljammer game: that’s the point of the setting. New rules for ships and naval combat, recently released in Unearthed Arcana and due to be published officially in a book on waterborne adventures this year, will be equally useful for spelljamming vessels.
With the above in mind, you really can start running Spelljammer adventures right now if you’re prepared for a little work! There may or may not ever be official player options for the setting, but I thought I’d help you along by converting some playable Spelljammer races. I’ll be skipping the Giff (a highly militant and orderly race that resemble humanoid hippopotami), because James Haeck recently wrote about them and provided racial traits over on DnDbeyond. Please also bear in mind that these aren’t full racial write-ups. I’m providing the mechanics you need to start playing and just enough lore for you to get a sense of the race, but resources are available for further information. I’ve also had to take a few small creative liberties, such as determining the Age sections for species where this information was unavailable.
Today, I present the Dracon and Grommam races!


A dracon is a centaur-like creature which has a lower body resembling a smaller-scaled brachiosaurus, a humanoid torso, and a head similar to that of a horned dragon. Each of its hands has six clawed fingers and a thumb.
Dracons hail from a dry, arid homeworld covered with grassy plains, deserts, and large but shallow seas. They are new to space and don’t make spelljammers of their own. Most have little interest in travel beyond their world, for dracons prefer to stay with their herds and consider those that live alone to be abnormal.

Dracon Traits

Your dracon has the following racial traits.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Age. A dracon’s average lifespan is 158 years, and they aren’t considered adults until they are 22. 
Alignment. Dracons are highly civilized, with a strictly regulated society. They rarely have violent conflicts, and when they do such duels are regulated by a strict code of honor.  As such, dracons tends toward lawfulness and are rarely evil.
Size. When standing you are between 6 ft. 6 and and 7 ft. 6 tall. Your brachiosaurian body reaches a little over 4 feet at its highest point. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 40 feet.
Monstrosity.  Your creature type is monstrosity, rather than humanoid.
Brachiosaurian build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push or drag.
In addition, any climb that requires hands and feet is especially difficult for you because of your brachiosaurian legs. When you make such a climb, each foot of movement costs you 4 extra feet, instead of the normal 1 extra foot.
Claws. Yourclaws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Dracon weapon training. You have proficiency with the longsword, halberd, and glaive.
Herd instincts. When an allied creature is attacked by another creature who is within your melee reach, you can spend your reaction to run interference. The attack has disadvantage. If the attack hits, you can choose to take the damage on behalf of the original target.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Draconic.


The grommam are long armed, ape-like humanoids that resemble gorillas with copper-red fur. They are furred all over except their chocolate colored faces, palms, and soles. Grommam exhibit sexual dimorphism: female grommam are lighter and more physically agile, while male grommam have more powerful physiques.
They come from a world of grasslands and great forests. Grommam are equally happy dwelling on the ground or in tree houses, according to where they live. Grommam society is close-knit and family oriented, and they tend to be contemplative and religious. Their hierarchy is matriarchal at all levels: the eldest female of each family makes decisions for that family, the eldest of those in each clan (several dozen families) is the clan’s director. The directors of each clan within a House meet to decide larger affairs. Houses are largely self-regulating, but Gromman society as a whole is guided by demigods who live among their people, as well as the caste of Priestesses which serves them.

Grommam Traits

Your grommam has the following racial traits.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Grommam have a similar lifespan and rate of maturity to humans.
Alignment. Grommam are generally a peaceful and content people who have a great respect for their betters and society’s laws. They tend towards both lawfulness and good.
Size. Average height for a grommam is 5 feet. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Dimorphism. Grommam exhibit distinct physical characteristics between males and females beyond the differences of their sexual organs. You gain additional features which are dependent on your assigned sex.
Ambidextrous. You’re equally competent when using either hand. You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one-handed melee weapons you’re wielding aren’t light. 
Climber. You have agile fingers and toes, as well as a powerful grip, making it possible for you to climb with great ease. You have a climbing speed of 20 feet.
Long-Armed. Your arm span is up to nine feet across, affording you improved reach compared to other creatures of your size. You have a reach of 10 feet, rather than 5 feet, but you gain no additional benefit when wielding a weapon with the reach property.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Grommish. When spoken, Grommish is primarily a language of physical expression, using posture, facial arrangement, and hand signing to convey its meaning. Hoots, grunts, screams, and other calls are impart additional context to the recipient, and sometimes act as an audio shorthand when signing is impossible (such as when signalling immediate danger).

Female Gromman

If your assigned sex at birth was female, you have the following additional racial traits.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2.
Arboreal Grace. You have proficiency in Acrobatics.

Male Gromman

If your assigned sex at birth was male, you have the following additional racial traits.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Iron Embrace. You have advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks you make to grapple.

In the same series: