Last Updated on June 27, 2022
Anthropomorphic rabbits born (or perhaps forever changed by their time trapped spent in) the heart of the feywild, the Harengon are a relatively new addition to Dungeons & Dragons 5e, making their first appearance in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight.
These nimble, lucky, mirthful folk are relentlessly enthusiastic travelers who often roam far and wide across the multiverse but are never truly free of the feywild’s influence — for better or for worse.
Welcome to our guide to the Harengon in D&D 5e, an exciting new playable race.
In this article, we’re going to break down everything we know about the Harengon, their culture, their abilities, and which classes they might be best suited to.
What Are Harengons in DnD 5e?
Harengons are bipedal humanoid creatures with heads, legs, and the characteristic long feet of a rabbit.
They tend toward having the energy and temperament of their leoprine relatives as well as a touch of magic from their time spent in the Feywild, even though they are not classified as fey themselves.
Creating a Harengon
Since D&D 5e character races have shifted toward a lineage model, there are no longer specific Ability Score bonuses (and sometimes penalties) associated with playing a particular race.
Therefore, when you create a Harengon character, you choose to increase one of their ability scores by +2 and another by +1 or increase three scores by +1.
You can also speak, read, write, and understand Common as well as one other language agreed upon by the DM.
Seeing as Harengons hail from the feywild, the obvious choice for any rabbit folk who were raised there, live there, or regularly journey into the land of the fey is Sylvan.
However, a Harengon who was born and raised in the material plane or somewhere else in the multiverse could speak any language that suits your character backstory and the campaign in which you’re playing.
Otherwise, all Harengon have the following characteristics.
- Creature Type: You are a Humanoid.
- Life Span: Harengons have a life span of about a century.
- Size: You are Medium or Small. You choose the size when you select this race.
- Speed: Your walking speed is 30 feet.
- Hare-Trigger: You can add your proficiency bonus to your initiative rolls.
- Leporine Senses: You have proficiency in the Perception skill.
- Lucky Footwork: When you fail a Dexterity saving throw, you can use your reaction to roll a d4 and add it to the save, potentially turning the failure into a success. You can’t use this reaction if you’re prone or your speed is 0.
- Rabbit Hop: As a bonus action, you can jump a number of feet equal to five times your proficiency bonus without provoking opportunity attacks. You can use this trait only if your speed is greater than 0. You can use it a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
It’s immediately obvious Harengons have a few seriously powerful traits… as well as some just okay ones.
First of all, Hare-Trigger and Leporine Senses are great. Elves have been a really strong racial pick for Rogues and Rangers for years in no small part because of the free Perception proficiency.
Even more than Stealth and Persuasion, Perception might be the most valuable skill in D&D 5e.
Because you can’t act against enemies you can’t see or solve a problem you’re not aware of, Perception really is your best way to unlock more information about the world (other than just asking good questions, of course), and pretty much any player character, regardless of class, can benefit from Perception proficiency.
Then there’s the significant initiative bonus from the Harengons’ Leporine Senses — which means a high-level Harengon character is going to have a larger bonus to its initiative rolls than a character with the Alert feat and that a level 17 Harengon (proficiency bonus +6) with the Alert Feat (+5) and a 20 in Dexterity (+5) gets to add +16 to their initiative rolls, which is insane.
Next, while Lucky Footwork isn’t going to save your hide every time you miss a Dexterity Saving Throw, there’s no limit to the number of times you can use it (apart from once per turn of course) and, over the course of a campaign, it really could end up saving your life at least once.
Lastly, rabbit hop feels to me like a better version of the Satyr’s leap, and while jumping is definitely a bit of a niche benefit, it still feels like a nice thematic addition to the Harengon’s skillset.
Taken altogether, the Harengon’s suite of traits makes for a versatile and survivable player race that could be a great fit for any class that prioritizes dexterous mobility — like the Monk or Rogue — or wisdom — like the Druid or Ranger — but should make a solid basis for just about any class.
What’s the Best Class To Play With a Harengon?
Now, since the Harengon (along with all the other player races in Monsters of the Multiverse) is based on the lineage system, the idea of optimal combinations of character class and race has kind of gone out the window.
Therefore, the simplest answer to the question of “Which class should my Harengon character be?” is “Whichever one you want.”
However, if you still want to approach the decision from a mechanical perspective, the Harengon’s racial traits can work to push it in a couple of directions — including one synergy that’s almost too good to pass up.
The Assassin Rogue
Silent, lethal, a knife in the dark they’ll never see coming — the Assassin Rogue arguably boils down the core elements of the rogue class and hones them to a fine (poisoned needle) point.
When you play an Assassin, your keystone Assassinate ability comes online at 3rd level and ensures that you have advantage on any attack you make against a creature who hasn’t acted already in combat on the same turn.
This not only guarantees you’ll get to apply your sneak-attack damage, but any successful attack you make against an enemy who is surprised is automatically a critical hit.
This means that being first in the initiative order for an Assassin is paramount to getting off the most possible damage. Therefore, the Harengon’s Hare Trigger trait is a perfect fit for the subclass.
Also, even if the Assassin isn’t to your taste, the synergy between the Rogue’s Evasion ability (which means a Rogue takes no damage from AoE attacks that would normally deal half damage on a successful Dexterity Saving throw) and Lucky Footwork is great, as a successful Dexterity Saving throw matters so much more to a low-hp rogue.
Beyond the Assassin Rogue, there are a ton of interesting mechanical and roleplaying motivated choices for a Harengon character.
- A Swarmkeeper Ranger whose swarm of nature spirits take the form of bunny rabbits.
- A Circle of the Shepherd Druid who summons creatures from the feywild.
- A Fey Wanderer Ranger
- Any Monk or the Scout Rogue
Any class that benefits from high Dexterity and mobility (to maximize the benefits of Lucky Footwork, Hare Trigger, and Rabbit Hop) or Wisdom (to get the most out of your proficiency in Perception) is going to be a viable choice.
Also, the Harengon’s bonus to initiative rolls is a massive benefit for spellcasters as being able to make sure you can get off defensive buffs, area-of-effect control spells, and other magical abilities is really important.
Support spellcasters like Clerics, Bards, and Druids benefit from this especially.
Roleplaying a Harengon — Origins, Culture, Behavior
When it comes to roleplaying a Harengon and their culture in D&D 5e, we don’t have a huge amount to go on.
Most of the player races that get “added” to 5e are actually reintroductions from earlier editions or are obviously inspired by other properties.
Harengons, by contrast, are a completely original creation who made their first appearance in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight where they frankly don’t get a whole lot of fleshing out.
We know that Harengons originated in the Feywild, but we also know they are not fey. However, they do exhibit many of the characteristics of fey and other creatures native to the feywild.
They are exuberant, love traveling wherever their own fleeting fancy takes them, and have decidedly rabbit-like temperaments with each Harengon constantly seeming to be full of energy, like a wound-up spring.
Officially, we also know their natural luck (unlike the halflings’ natural fortune) is explicitly related to their connection with the Feywild.
While this isn’t confirmed anywhere, it would make some sense to suggest that the ancestors of the Harengons were not humanoids or fairies but mundane and ordinary rabbits who crossed over into the Feywild by accident (or perhaps were brought back as pets by visiting Fey).
Over time (we’re talking many, many generations), these rabbits from the material plane slowly began to be suffused with the capricious all-encompassing magical energy of the feywild and eventually transformed into the bipedal humanoid race known as Harengons.
There’s some precedence for this as a similar process is thought to have affected dragons who laid their eggs in the Feywild resulting in the birth of Moonstone Dragons.
Of course, there are many other ways that entirely new species can come into existence in the Feywild.
From surges of wild magic that turned a whole bunch of people into human-rabbit hybrids, or magically mutated hundreds of rabbits, or… the possibilities go on and on.
If you’re looking to roleplay a Harengon, try to keep the following ideas in mind.
Be energetic. Harengons are constantly poised on the precipice of fight or flight, or dancing or… whatever you’re about to do, and they’re going to do it now.
Haregons are also fiercely focused on their own personal freedom. The idea of being tied down or submitting to authority — especially in a way that limits your ability to travel — is anathema to a Harengon.
And also (this is less official, but it just makes sense), family is a cornerstone ideal for a Harengon.
Rabbits are born into large litters that are part of even larger warrens, all living together in tiny, cramped burrows.
Harengons could form close-knit family bonds, have a whole sprawling network of friends and relations constantly making demands of them, and prefer living in cramped conditions.
Also, as denizens of the Feywild, Harengons’ behavior will, by necessity, have been shaped by having to coexist with its other inhabitants.
There are many rules and laws in the Feywild — from rules of reciprocity and hospitality to those that govern the power of one’s true name.
A Harengon who lives (or was born in) the Feywild is likely wary of giving anyone their true name, entering into a contract (even verbally), or even accepting a gift no matter how small.
Visually, Harengon represent the full array of fur colors, lengths, and markings found in real-world rabbits.
There are hundreds of different varieties of rabbit out there, whether you’re looking at officially recognized breed colorations or not, so you should feel free to have loads of fun with the way your Harengon looks, including the length of their fur and ears and the shape of their faces.
We don’t have any official guidance on Harengon names, but as a species native to the Feywild, we know that most Harengon will have two: the one that they introduce themselves by and the one they guard more preciously than anything else.
A true name has great power in the realm of faerie, and a Harengon who wishes to avoid becoming indentured to powerful fey and other entities will likely choose a nickname for themselves, all the while keeping their true name well hidden.
Harengon Nicknames: Twitch, Lops, Dash, Hopper, Sparky, Oswald, Skip, Jazz, Summer, Lucky, Primrose, Violet, Clover, Bramble Tricks.
Some Harengon may choose to add “Mr.” or “Mrs.” to their nickname to confer an air of formality or apply some other title or honorific (like Dr., Sir, etc.).
A Harengon’s true name is likely in the Sylvan tongue, which shares much with Elvish. In fact, since most fey have an elvish name, you could also give your Harengon an elvish true name.
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I played my first tabletop RPG (Pathfinder 1e, specifically) in college. I rocked up late to the first session with an unread rulebook and a human bard called Nick Jugger. It was a rocky start but I had a blast and now, the better part of a decade later, I play, write, and write about tabletop RPGs (mostly 5e, but also PBtA, Forged in the Dark and OSR) games for a living, which is wild.