What is the 5e D&D mechanical definition of Humanoid?

One thought on “What is the 5e D&D mechanical definition of Humanoid?

  1. D. Walker says:

    This is a case of a game term being narrower in scope than the word’s common definition.

    In common parlance, “Humanoid” just means having a (sometimes vaguely) human-like form. A dog isn’t a humanoid, but various kinds of apes could arguably qualify. An industrial robotic arm isn’t humanoid, but a robot that walks upright on two legs, has two arms above those legs, and has a vague torso/head region connecting them probably counts.

    In D&D, “Humanoid” is a category of creature that includes certain human shaped creatures, but which excludes others for various reasons. An orc, a lizardfolk, a kenku, and even certain kinds of Yuan-ti are all humanoids.

    But a zombie, even if it was originally a human corpse, counts as an Undead, but not as a Humanoid. It’s original type gets overwritten.

    The various kinds of golems, even if they have human-like forms resembling androids, count as Constructs instead of Humanoids.

    Creatures like minotaurs, harpies, and centaurs, despite essentially being combinations of humans and animals, count as neither Humanoid nor Beast, and are instead Monstrosities.

    Mindflayers and Slaadi, being parasites that infest humanoid hosts, also do not qualify, and are intead Aberrations. Like undead, their original type gets overwritten.

    Older editions used to allow for creatures to have sub-types, so it was possible to have an Undead (Humanoid) that was treated as both an Undead and a Humanoid for the purposes of any spells or effects that apply only to one or the other of those types.

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