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The first step in the origin creation process is deciding on a heritage such as a dwarf, elf, or halfling. Each of the eight heritages listed in this chapter include unique, biologically inherited traits as well as details about their physical appearances. While this may seem like the most important step, keep in mind that nurture plays as much of a role in development as nature; while you may be used to seeing fantasy media portraying lithe, agile elves, the culture and background you choose can provide the stepping stone needed to create a hulking elven berserker. While it may affect how the world perceives them, an adventurer should never be limited by their heritage.

When building your character’s origin, you can choose only one heritage to gain traits from. The Mixed Heritage rule should be consulted for characters with multiple heritages. 

The following sections appear in the descriptions for most heritages.


This section details the average age at which a character of this heritage is considered to have reached adulthood, as well as their typical life span. Your character can be of any age, which could also be an opportunity to explain away significantly low or high ability scores. 


All creatures are assigned a size, ranging from Tiny to Gargantuan. Medium and Small are the most common sizes for adventurers. 


While other factors may influence how fast you are, each heritage has a base Speed. This determines how far you can move on your turn during combat and while traveling. 

Heritage Gift

In addition to the traits granted to all characters of the same heritage, some include multiple gifts for you to choose from to further diversify your character. When multiple options are presented, you may choose only one heritage gift.

Paragon Gift

Later in their adventuring career, each heritage grants a paragon feature. This could be a completely new feature, or something that improves or offers a new way to use a trait already granted by the heritage.

Any Culture

You can choose any culture for your character, even if it is not listed alongside your character’s heritage. A dwarf can grow up in a wood elf culture , and a tiefling can hail from a cosmopolitan city.

In addition to the cultures generally associated with each heritage, there are also several general cultures you can choose from.

Mixed Heritage

With your Narrator’s approval, you can choose a heritage gift from a heritage other than the one you originally chose; this allows for the easy creation of adventurers with parents of two different heritages, or use of bases other than human for heritages such as tieflings. For more flavor, you and your Narrator may even decide that this affects things such as physical appearance, life span, or size in a way that is unique to your character.