Race: Automaton (Updated)

Back in September I released an alpha version of the Automaton race for 5th edition D&D, which was meant to bring a more universal “warforged” like race to the table. Not liking the current warforged available via the Unearthed Arcana series because it was both under-powered and boring, I decided to work on something that I thought would be more fun to play.

I received a lot of great feedback last time, as well as a lot of grief because I had made it overpowered. My thinking in this was that I wanted to make it overpowered to scale it back, but (rightly) people pointed out that I had taken this too far and it was pretty broken as a result.

Using the feedback I have received I have made a number of changes. This included reducing the number of subraces to three, moving the balance of functionality into the subraces, and overall lowering the power level all around. I think I have made it more balanced and playable. You can check out the new Automaton below. I hope you enjoy!

Race: Automaton

Automatons are sentient constructs, built for a specific purpose using either magic artifice or advanced technology. They can think and act independently, but are in many cases still bound by whatever purpose was given to them by their creator. These Automatons were created with complex mental capabilities so their purposes would often be more than the simple tasks given to golems or other constructs.

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. They often weigh twice or more as much as a similarly sized humanoid.

Speed Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Internal Resilience Your inner frame is far more resilient then that of organic creatures. You have advantage on saving throws against being poisoned and have resistance to poison damage. You also have advantage on death saving throws.

Living Construct. Even though you were constructed, you are a living creature. You are immune to disease. You do not need to eat or breathe, but you can ingest food and drink if you wish. Instead of sleeping, you enter an inactive state for 4 hours each day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal.

Languages You can speak Common.

(Optional) Alternate Healing. The following is an optional rule that your DM may choose to use to increase immersion, but in many cases might overly complicate the game. Being inorganic, automatons gain no benefit from drinking potions, nor do they benefit from magical healing. They can gain Hit Points from the following spells: mend can heal an Automaton 1d4 HP, lesser restoration can heal an Automaton 2d8 HP, and greater restoration fully repairs and restores an Automaton’s HP to full.


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 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. You also gain proficiency in two languages of your choice.

Arcane Protocals

You know one cantrip of your choice from the Wizard spell list. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it.


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.

Combat Integration Systems

You gain proficiency in Athletics as well as two martial weapons of your choice.

Armor Upgrades

You gain an additional +1 to your Armor Class. When unarmored, your AC is equal to 11 + your dexterity modifier.



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 and your walking speed is increased by 5 feet.

Superior Darkvision

Your vision capacity has been upgraded to be able to see in dark conditions. You can see in dim light within 120 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.


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