Beta: Automaton Race for 5th Edition


The following is a beta-test version for a race of sentient constructs. I am not a fan of the Warforged we have seen so far, and I wanted something a little more universal that could be used easily in home-brew campaigns. As a first pass, I intended to overpower rather than under-power them as a race so that I could make cuts rather than have to add in more abilities. Please enjoy, and any feedback would be extremely valuable to me.

Feedback: So far from feedback I have lowered the subrace ABIs, took away the armored ability, and pared down the Upgrades feature so that you get one instead of two.

Race: Automaton

Automatons are sentient constructs, built for a specific purpose using either magic or advanced technology. They can think and act independently, but are still bound by whatever purpose was given to them by their creator.

Particularly ancient automatons, awakened after centuries of a death-like inactive state might not know their purpose or may have somehow forgotten it in the long years. These automatons are driven then to find out what their purpose was or is, and to find out who built them and why.

The Automaton is an optional race built for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. How exactly they fit into your campaign setting is up to you. It is purposefully left vague so that you can expand and detail out their place in the world, whether they are common or rare, or whether they are magical in nature or the result of advanced technology.

Automaton Traits

Ability Score Increase Your Constitution Score increases by 2.

Age Automatons are effectively immortal. As long as they can maintain their structural integrity and protect their brain-case from harm, they do not suffer the effects of aging as biological entities do.

Alignment Automatons could be of any alignment depending on the motivations of their creator, but most are made lawful by convenience. Some automatons that reject their programming might become chaotic.

Size Automatons are often made to resemble humanoids and so on average are between 5 to 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.

Speed Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Construct You do not require food, water, or sleep. You are also immune to disease. While resting, you must perform self-maintenance on yourself in order to regain Hit Points. To do so you must spend the entirety of the short or long rest focused on this task.

Upgrades You can choose one of the following traits, which represents an upgrade to your base chassis or cognitive systems.

  • Arcane Integration You know one cantrip from the Wizard spell list. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for this cantrip.
  • Integrated Weapons System One of your arms is a weapon. This can be a blade-like appendage, a heavy maul, or a scythe. You cannot use it to hold anything. You are considered proficient with the weapon, which deals 1d8 damage. You may use your Strength or Dexterity with the integrated weapon. You cannot drop this weapon, and it is immune to any spell or ability that would weaken or destroy it.
  • Vocational Upgrades You are proficient in one tool of your choice. Your chassis is itself equipped with this tool as part of your structure.

Languages You can speak Common.


You may choose one of the following subraces, which represent different functional designs for automatons.


Analysis Unit

Analysis units are meant to collect information. This information could be anything from scholarly and scientific to social and political. They served as essentially researchers for their creators and could have been put in charge of libraries.

Ability Score Increase

Your Intelligence increases by 1.


You gain proficiency in Arcana, History, or Nature.


Assessment Unit

Assessment Units would take quantifiable information and attempt to make assumptions derived from that data. Tasked with attempting to take many different variables and predict outcomes, they were built to try to understand information rather than simply collect it.

Ability Score Increase

Your Wisdom increases by 1.

Empathy Integration

You gain proficiency in Insight.


Combat Unit

Combat units were built for the specific purpose of battle. Either as guards or shock troops, they were constructed to be efficient killers for their creators.

Ability Score Increase

Your Strength increases by 1.

Reinforced Servos

You gain proficiency in Athletics.


Diplomacy Unit

Diplomacy units were constructed to aid in diplomatic negotiations. Developed to have quick cognitive responses to changes in attitude and to even detect pheromone changes and to implement responses to match the situation to maximize diplomatic efficiency.

Ability Score Increase

Your Charisma increases by 1.

Ambassadorial Programming

You gain proficiency in either Deception or Persuasion.


Reconnaissance Unit

Reconnaissance Units were built to infiltrate areas to gain information or to perform a task that couldn’t be handled with force. This might be assassination or the procurement of a sensitive item.

Ability Score Increase

Your Dexterity increases by 1.

Stealth Integration

You gain proficiency in Stealth.


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