Advanced Search

Ancestry & Culture: An Alternative to Race in 5e
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

Ancestry & Culture: An Alternative to Race in 5e

Selected Option:
Softcover, B&W Book
PDF + Softcover, B&W Book

Character creation rules for 5e that replace race with ancestry, culture, and mixed heritage, for awesome new PCs

Two Time ENnie Award Winner for Best Electronic Book and Best Supplement!

Nominated for Product of the Year!

Logo for the ENnies Tabletop RPG Awards with the text: 2021 Nominee

"Required reading for playing RPGs in 2020" - Polygon

- Play a character of one ancestry raised in a different culture, like an orc raised by elves

- Play a character of mixed ancestry, like the child of a gnome and a halfling

- Replace the outdated concept of Race in D&D with ancestry & culture

- Convert existing races into ancestries and cultures

- Create your own custom culture

- Comes with two friendly one-shot adventures designed for players of all ages

- Based on the successful ZineQuest Kickstarter

- Get 126 more ancestries & cultures in Custom Ancestries & Cultures and More Ancestries & Cultures

- Create cultures based on geography or the planes of existence in More Ancestries & Cultures

Halfing-Orc BardElf-Dragonborn MonkCover

Arcanist Press Logo

Follow us on social media at @ArcanistPress and on the web at !

Arcanist Press on DMs Guild: ;Warlock Codex of Law and Chaos, ;Subclasses of the Planes, and ;Mythological Magic Items

Arcanist Press on DriveThruRPG: Ancestry & Culture: An Alternative to Race in 5e, ;Custom Ancestries & Cultures, More Ancestries & Cultures, and Ancestry & Culture Pregen Characters

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (30)
Discussions (35)
Customer avatar
Kaladorn O November 27, 2021 8:09 pm UTC
Holy Cadabra! That's the longest comment section on any DTRPG product I've ever seen!

Alan & Co: I am going to pick up all 3 of your books just from reading the comments. I appreciate your responsiveness.

Race in D&D was always a bother to me as a DM not running (at least not since 1989) an official world. I wanted my Elves to differ from the books, my Orcs, etc. and so on to have some different biological differences. The mythology has many races related to others distantly. The default combination in the D&D race of cultural aspects, assumptions about environments (pigeonholing) and physical traits and affinities for particular classes seemed like a mucky mess. I've always had to home bake my own.

The closest I ever saw from WotC was "Regional Feats" and environmental Feats which did give a regional flair to characters and kind of grounded them in the culture/environment. Unearthed Arcana or Arcana Unearthed for 3.5E did come out with some environmental...See more
Customer avatar
John C August 12, 2021 7:14 pm UTC
It's a start. I like the simplicity of having the choice of cultural backgrounds - though they are all from published 5e core books. I was hoping for more details on how to craft unique cultural backgrounds - what if I my culture is from a certain biome, like Forest or Tundra, or an Oceanic biome, how would that change starting Skills and Abilities/Traits, etc.
Customer avatar
Alan T May 28, 2021 8:07 pm UTC
Can anyone comment on the general character of the included adventures? I'm very curious about them.
Customer avatar
Brett H May 21, 2021 1:35 am UTC
I had heard good things about this book, so picked it up. It's good. For me, it's a start. Personally, I'd love to see players have options when it comes to both types of Traits...Imagine say a dragonkin without a breath weapon attack, but the ability to cast a sorcerer cantrip...something along those lines.

Ultimately, still worth the price just for some brain food.
Customer avatar
Jeremy E February 04, 2021 3:02 am UTC
Is there one I should get if I want just a way to make new cultures for humans? Thank you
Customer avatar
Eugene M February 04, 2021 3:12 am UTC
Hi! Yes, our book More Ancestries & Cultures has sections on creating cultures based on terrain type (forest, mountain, coastal, etc), as well as based on several of the other planes (astral, ethereal, etc). And there’s dozens more ancestries and cultures to boot.
Customer avatar
Jeremy E February 06, 2021 2:00 am UTC
Thank you. Are the rules complete in that supplement to do everything or do you need the original Ancestry & Culture: An Alternative to Race in 5e?
Customer avatar
Eugene M February 06, 2021 1:01 pm UTC
You do not need the core book to use More Ancestries & Cultures. Simply choose one ancestry and one culture in place of the race choice in character creation. There is special guidance if you want to flavor your character using geography or the planes in More Ancestries & Cultures as well.

That said, the core book does have a lot of explanation and guidance, which you might find useful, as well as options to create characters of mixed ancestry or diverse cultures. These additional rules are not in More Ancestries. Feel free to look at the free 30 page preview for the core book to get an idea.

And thanks for your interest!
Customer avatar
Meredith G December 14, 2020 7:29 pm UTC
Hey friends!
I want to remind everyone in the discussion thread to keep it civil and discuss constructively. No room for name-calling and swearing at one another if you disagree. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Charlie M October 18, 2020 3:19 pm UTC
I love this supplement! Thanks for making it!
Are there any plans to port this to 3.5e-compatible games like Pathfinder 1st edition?
Customer avatar
Eugene M October 18, 2020 10:58 pm UTC
Thanks for your kind words! We don’t currently have any plans to introduce the system to Pathfinder, but we may revisit that possibility in the near future. Thanks again.
Customer avatar
Ivan E November 16, 2020 6:57 am UTC
Don't know if it may be useful, but Pathfinder 2e has a similar system.
See 16 more
Browse Categories
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!

Product Information
Adamantine seller
File Size:
16.39 MB
Original electronic
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Last Updated:
August 13, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on June 08, 2020.