From the whimsical forests of the Feywild emerges a curious new playable race – the harengon. These rabbitfolk first appeared in the recent Dungeons & Dragons adventure module The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, becoming an officially supported option for 5e characters.
With their powerful legs, lucky feet, and ears perked for adventure, harengon present exciting new opportunities for D&D players. This comprehensive guide will explore everything you need to know to play a harengon character in your next 5e campaign.
We'll hop through their fey-touched background, analyze the unique benefits of their racial traits, and showcase how to best optimize harengon within each character class. Along the way, we'll address player questions, provide roleplaying tips, and highlight thrilling ways to leverage your harengon’s abilities for unforgettable D&D moments.
So gather your dice and let's plunge into the captivating world of the harengon!
An Enchanting Origin
Harengon originate from the mystical Feywild – a plane of unchecked natural magic and primal supernatural forces. Here, the intrinsic chaos infuses harengon with fey traits that set them apart from other mortals.
When exploring the Feywild, one may encounter shimmering faerie dragons flitting by or ethereal dryads beckoning from ancient groves. In this realm, the harengon fit right in with their own inherent touch of whimsy and wonder. Their fur-covered forms and twitching noses blend seamlessly into the Feywild's vibrant menagerie of curious creatures.
Eventually, harengon felt the call to explore beyond the Feywild, leading groups of them to undertake the risk of planar travel. Now harengon can be found wandering throughout the Material Plane, bringing their fey energy to any D&D world or setting.
During their journeys, harengon exhibit a remarkably adaptive nature, often taking on the characteristics of those they travel with. A harengon may join a troupe of happy-go-lucky entertainers, becoming joyful pranksters themselves. Others that fell in with more unsavory groups could adopt sinister behaviors, using their talents for mischief and greed.
This flexibility makes harengon a creative roleplaying choice, as their persona takes cues from their past adventures and companions. Their racial abilities also support and enhance a wide range of character classes, making them a mechanically strong option as well.
Built for Bounding
Harengon exhibit several innate talents inherited from their fey ancestry that translate effectively into D&D gameplay mechanics. Let's take a closer look at how their racial traits and ability score increases can be leveraged for an optimal build:
Ability Score Increases
Harengon adopt the same flexible ability score rules as some other recent races, able to increase one score by 2 and another by 1, or increase three different scores by 1. This alleviates the issue of being locked into builds requiring certain ability scores, freeing harengon to excel in any class.
A Rogue may prioritize Dexterity, while a harengon Paladin could place their highest scores in Strength and Charisma instead. This adaptability makes harengon a strong choice regardless of your character concept, class, or desired playstyle.
One of the signature features of the harengon is Hare-Trigger, which adds your proficiency bonus to any initiative checks you make. Since initiative can play a major role in the outcome of dangerous encounters, this bonus provides a consistent edge.
Acting earlier allows crucial positioning, landing debilitating spells, or thwarting foes before they can react. Classes like Rogues, Wizards, and Bards get substantial mileage out of Hare-Trigger, ensuring they can utilize their capabilities to tilt the odds in their favor. But even martial classes benefit from the tactical upper hand of winning initiative.
Harengon inherit a bit of fey luck, represented by their Lucky Footwork racial power. When a harengon fails a Dexterity saving throw, they can use their reaction to roll 1d4 and add it to the original roll, potentially turning failure into success.
Dexterity saves are incredibly common, used to avoid the fiery breath of dragons, dexterous illithid tentacles, or blasts of magic like the iconic Fireball spell. Lucky Footwork offers a lifeline against these dangers. It synergizes well with classes who have proficiency in Dexterity saves like Rogues and Monks, stacking the odds further in their favor.
The most dynamic combat ability of the harengon is undoubtedly Rabbit Hop. As a bonus action, harengon can leap a number of feet equal to 5 times their proficiency bonus, with the powerful jump causing no provocation of opportunity attacks.
At 10th level, this allows soaring 25 feet across the battlefield as a bonus action! Alternately, this can be used for impressive vertical jumps by energetic harengon, rocketing upwards to reach tall structures or evade ground-bound pursuers.
In combat, Rogues and Monks can use Rabbit Hop to weave through the fray and target vulnerable enemies, while spellcasters can retreat from melee range unscathed. It offers great mobility in exploration too, bypassing chasms and scaling cliffsides with ease.
Lastly, harengon benefit from their naturally keen Leporine Senses, granting them proficiency in the vital Perception skill. Spotting hidden doors, traps, and ambushes becomes easier for a harengon. And Perception is rarely wasted, applicable both in and out of combat for overall awareness and safety.
With these innate talents, harengon can adapt and thrive in nearly any class or playstyle. Next, we'll see how they fare within each official D&D class and how to optimize your build.
Class Builds for Capable Harengon
Harengon make excellent Artificer companions, benefitting any build with increased mobility and initiative. Your keen Leporine Senses help spot valuables and dangers even in dim light thanks to Darkvision granted by tools like the Mind Sharpener or Eyes of the Eagle. Armorer and Battle Smith subclasses work well if you prefer frontline combat, using Rabbit Hop to dodge attacks. Or try the Alchemist to be an agile backline support bomber lobbing explosive vials, staying safely out of reach.
Barbarians thrive on mobility to engage multiple foes, and Rabbit Hop delivers, letting a harengon leap between targets. Rage resistance offsets the Dexterity save weakness, making Lucky Footwork less crucial. But Danger Sense combined with Lucky Footwork makes dexterity saves nearly automatic successes! Ancestral Guardian and Totem Warrior barbarians can use Rabbit Hop to draw attacks away from allies as well.
With early initiative from Hare-Trigger, Bards can bend the tide of battle with opening spells like Hypnotic Pattern before enemies have a chance to act. Performance and illusion magic come naturally to the fey-touched harengon. Rabbit Hop facilitates retreating from the frontlines if caught in melee, and Lucky Footwork prevents being KO’d by a wayward Fireball. Lore and Creation Bards are particularly fitting for a clever harengon.
Clerics thrive when acting early thanks to Hare-Trigger, ensuring critical magic like Bless goes off before allies have to roll checks or saves. Protective abilities like Shield of Faith also benefit the party more when cast promptly. Rabbit Hop lets you bounce around the battlefield providing healing and support where needed. Luck Domain is a natural fit, and Life Domain restores the most HP to your durable allies.
Harengon Druids channel their fey ancestry, communing with natural magics and wildshaping to devastating effect. With full spellcasting and healing capabilities, Rabbit Hop offers an easy escape from the heart of battle when needed without sacrificing your action. Of the Druid circles, Shepherd and Moon Circle compliment the abilities and backstory of the Harengon especially well.
The resilient harengon body takes well to Fighter training and Rabbit Hop adds mobility to engage threats early when Hare-Trigger lets you win initiative. Bouncing from foe to foe, unleashing Action Surges, few can stand against an onslaught from a Battle Master or Echo Knight harengon. For ranged builds, Arcane Archer provides magical trick shots to devastate from afar.
Monks relish the movement of Rabbit Hop combined with their Unarmored Movement speed boost, darting around opponents with ease. Way of the Open Hand Technique pushes enemies back with hop-enhanced positioning. And Cobalt Soul offers proficiency in Arcana, History, and Insight to satisfy a harengon’s natural curiosity for lost knowledge.
Armored harengon Paladins can leverage mobility from Rabbit Hop to close with opponents or escape harm after smiting evil. Hare-Trigger helps them act quickly to protect allies with healing or defensive auras too. Oath of Glory heralds particularly suit the unbridled spirit of the harengon, advancing athletically across battlefields.
At home in nature, harengon Rangers can expertly guide their companions through the wilderness. Their Perception proficiency helps detect dangers ahead. And Colossus Slayer combined with Rabbit Hop makes hit and run tactics with the bow highly effective. Choose the Gloom Stalker conclave to ambush enemies, capitalizing on your initiative bonus from Hare-Trigger.
The innately stealthy harengon finds great success as a Rogue. A Swashbuckler utilizes high initiative to move into flanking positions, applying Sneak Attack damage. And Luck Footwork combines with Evasion to avoid the worst AOE dangers. An Arcane Trickster can use Rabbit Hop to safely retreat out of spell range after delivering shocking elemental carnage.
Harengon Sorcerers manipulate magic with a fey flair, blending innate talents with their Font of Magic. Twin casting buffs like Haste on martial allies before combat commences thanks to Hare-Trigger. Careful Spell protects friendlies from friendly fire Bones of the Earth or fireball detonations. For metamagic choices, Subtle Spell works well with Rabbit Hop hit-and-run tactics.
The harengon's fey ancestry helps channel the mystical powers of an Archfey patron Warlock. Early initiative facilitates landing crucial debuffs like hypnotic pattern, while Rabbit Hop prevents enemies from catching you in retaliation. Pair Lucky Footwork with the Armor of Shadows invocation for nearly impenetrable AC.
Few utilize early initiative as effectively as the Wizard, enabling potent control spells before foes can act. Harengon Evokers and Transmuters make the most of this, shaping the battlefield to their advantage. Bladesingers combine Rabbit Hop with Bladesong speed and acrobatics to flow past opponents unimpeded. War Magic adds durability, and Chronurgy manipulates probabilities in the harengon's favor.
Now that we've covered class options, let's see how to roleplay the harengon's endearing personality at the table.
Getting Into Character as a Harengon
Bringing a harengon PC to life requires getting into the mindset of their fey-touched psyche. Here are some tips for roleplaying an authentic harengon that leans into their racial qualities:
- Incorporate rabbit-like behaviors
- Describe your harengon twitching their nose to sample scents on the air, rubbing their feet together when nervous, startling upright if surprised, or wiggling their nose happily when amused. Use your ears to convey emotions – flattened against your head when afraid, perked up when fascinated, or swiveling side to side to detect faint noises.
- Speak energetically
- Harengon have an innate enthusiasm, so reflect this in your roleplaying. Speak quickly, interjecting spontaneous thoughts or questions. Be excitable when discussing adventure and exploration. Play up their innate curiosity and use halting speech patterns with short bursts of sentences.
- Frequently act on impulses
- Harengon are naturally inclined to follow their impulses thanks to their fey instincts. Embrace this by having your character frequently pursue moments of spontaneous fun or opportunity. Suggest impromptu games and whimsical side adventures to the party. Have new fascinations that immediately captivate your focus.
- Obsess over intrigues
- Harengon latch onto puzzles, conspiracies, and mysteries they want to unravel, fixating on them. Select a few ongoing intrigues to sink your teeth into, researching clues, formulating theories, and pushing to investigate against all odds or reason. Great examples include the origin of dragon marks, forbidden sects worshiping dark gods, or mystical ley lines crisscrossing the realms.
- Cherish your traveling companions
- Having been wandering vagabonds for generations, harengon deeply value their traveling friends. Demonstrate loyalty and sacrifice for your party allies whenever the opportunity arises. Boost their spirits with poems or songs about their mighty deeds. Gush about how their unique talents make them the perfect group.
By incorporating these kinds of roleplaying opportunities, you'll bring your harengon PC to life with humor and heart. The feywild's whimsy will shine through.
Common Harengon Questions Answered
During your adventures, some key questions may arise around playing a harengon optimally. Here are helpful answers to some frequent player queries:
- Can a harengon's Rabbit Hop be combined with the Jump spell for massive leaps?
- Yes! The Jump spell triples your jump distance from the strength score. And per Sage Advice guidance, Rabbit Hop's movement can be tripled as well by Jump. So combining them can allow awe-inspiring leaps of over 100 feet horizontally!
- Are there any downsides to playing a harengon?
- Not particularly. Their racial traits are universally useful without any drawbacks. Darkvision is the only notable omission. But Perception proficiency makes up for this, and you can gain Darkvision through class features or magic items anyway. Overall, they are a very versatile and optimizeable race.
- How does a harengon’s size affect mechanics?
- Unlike most races, harengon can be either Small or Medium per the player's choice. Being Small provides advantages like squeezing into tiny spaces and using larger mounts. But Small races cannot grapple Large+ creatures. Overall, the differences are minor and customizable based on your desired flavor and playing style.
- Do harengon get a speed boost like elves, tabaxi, or centaurs?
- No, harengon have the standard 30 feet walking speed with no innate increase. However, Rabbit Hop allows exceptional mobility as a bonus action, essentially granting speed boosts in short bursts. The longstrider spell also stacks with this to extend your hop distance even farther.
- How do you roleplay a harengon raised apart from other fey?
- Focus on the personality traits harengon exhibit even when separated from fey society, like high energy, impulsiveness, insatiable curiosity, and loyalty to those they befriend. You likely became an adventurer due to an irrepressible desire for excitement and exploration. And flavors of fey quirkiness will still shine through instinctively, even if you have limited experience among other fey.
- Do harengon synergize well with rogues, monks, and other mobile classes?
- Absolutely! Harengon mesh perfectly with swift classes that rely on mobility, initiative, lucky escapes, and dexterity. Their racial features directly complement and enhance the playstyles of light-footed combatants and tricksters who value acting first and staying one hop ahead of danger.
Unleashing the Harengon's Potential
As we've seen, the fey-touched harengon offer creative opportunities both narratively and mechanically. Their racial abilities integrate smoothly into a wide range of character concepts and classes. With an inclination for luck, levity, and adventure, roleplaying an energetic harengon can infuse plenty of fun around your D&D table.
By considering the builds and strategies we've covered, you're sure to delight in bounding through thrilling encounters, leaving bemused foes bewildered in your wake. Alert party members will quickly learn to appreciate an attentive harengon companion who spots hidden threats long before they do. The bonds formed with your adventuring allies will soon feel like a family.
Once you've witnessed the harengon leaping into action, it's hard to imagine a D&D party without their vitality and bravery lifting spirits even in the darkest times. Their fey nature bubbles forth in those moments when banding together matters most, rising to challenges with jubilant valor.
So whether you're a veteran player or trying D&D for the first time, take a chance on playing this energetic and charismatic new race. Few options more perfectly blend optimized mechanics with lighter-hearted roleplaying possibilities. Your next memorable D&D persona may be just a hop, skip, and a jump away.