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So, you’re playing in a nautical setting for your upcoming Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition game. You want to play a character that’s familiar with the ocean, but don’t know your options.
Well, the Triton is a pretty solid choice given their natural affinity for water including natural spellcasting, the ability to breathe underwater, and more.
This post covers what Triton are in 5e including their appearance, naming conventions, and what class is best when creating your character.
Let’s start with outlining what a Triton is in 5e.
What is a Triton in 5e?
Triton is a playable race in D&D 5e from Volo’s Guide to Monsters. They’re an aquatic race of people dwelling deep within the ocean.
Basically, Tritons in 5e are a race of mer-people. But, they aren’t merfolk. They’re a distinct race of people that dwell under the water.
If you’re playing in base D&D, that is in the Forgotten Realms, Triton come from the Elemental Plane of Water. Their entire society dedicates itself to protecting portals to the Material Plane from sahuagin, kraken, and other monstrous beings of the sea. So, they tend towards lawful and good alignments.
But, this sworn duty results in Triton thinking of themselves as better than other civilizations. So, you end up with a bunch of haughty, arrogant, holier-than-thou fish-people running around.
Like other playable races, Triton count as Medium-sized creatures.
At the end of the day, Triton is a playable race in D&D 5e inspired by the various lore of fish-people and other merfolk from around the world.
D&D 5e Triton Traits
Being denizens of the sea, Triton in 5e have traits that reflect the brutal existence beneath the waves. They’re a hardy, strong folk with abilities that help them survive underwater.
Of course, being seadwellers, the D&D Triton race come with natural traits that help them survive underwater. From less-restricted movement in water to cold resistance, the Triton traits come in handy if you’re playing a nautical campaign.
And, the Triton get quite a few traits when compared with other D&D races.
- Triton get the usual base walking speed. But, they also get a swimming speed which makes moving in water much easier.
- Ability Score Increase
- By default, Triton get a bonus to their Strength, Constitution, and Charisma Ability Scores.
- Thanks to their aquatic nature, Triton can breathe both air and water.
- Control Air and Water
- Triton get a few innate spellcasting options. Each one focuses around some element of water or air; fog cloud, gust of wind, and wall of water. Now, like other playable races with innate spellcasting, each of these spells "unlocks" at a different character level.
- Emissary of the Sea
- Due to their living underwater, Triton have a limited ability to speak with aquatic-based animals.
- Guardians of the Depths
- Triton in 5e resist cold damage thanks to their acclimation to living underwater. They also don’t suffer negative effects from entering deep sea environments.
So, if you’re playing an aquatic campaign or your GM presents you an ocean-based plot hook, the Triton’s traits mean your character comes ready for the open water.
Triton in D&D resemble humanoids with some fish-like features including fins on their head or back, scales, or webbed hands.
Basically, if you’re creating a Triton character, give them classic features of merfolk from other stories and folklore. That means various shades of blue or green for their skin tones, webbed hands and feet, fins on their head, back, arms, or legs, and maybe even scales.
That said, being an aquatic people, Triton could vary in appearance as wildly as the fish in the sea.
For instance, maybe your Triton comes from a clan based on lionfish. Or, maybe a group of Triton inspired by blue tangs. Let your imagination run wild.
In base D&D, that is in Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Triton have a usual naming scheme. Men have first names that end in "s" while women have names that end with "n". Their surnames come from their home with an added "th" on the end.
So, some example Triton names could be:
- Male Triton Names
- Female Triton Names
- Triton Surnames
Now, these are all just examples based on what Volo’s outlines. And, the book includes a few different examples if you’re looking for more examples.
That said, I’m a fan of following both patterns and just coming up with whatever you want. So, following the Triton naming conventions in Volo’s gives you quite a bit of freedom within set parameters (something that I think helps the creative process). But, as with any character, you’re free to come up with whatever name you want as long as it fits your game.
Best Class for a Triton in 5e
With their Ability Score spread, Tritons work fairly well for a number of classes. But, hands down, the best class for a Triton in 5e is the Paladin.
The main reason Paladin is the best class for a Triton in 5e is due to their base Ability Score Increase. They get a bonus to Strength, Constitution, and Charisma, all great stats for a Paladin character.
Furthermore, a Triton’s innate spellcasting supplements the Paladin since the class is only a half-caster. Meaning, the class gets fewer spells than, say, a Sorcerer.
Even better, Tritons get resistance to cold damage. Any amount of damage resistance is great for characters filling the Tank role of the party. So, having this resistance as a Paladin, a classic frontline martial class, is a great benefit.
Now, I always like to point out that a playable race’s Ability Score Increase isn’t set in stone. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything changes the rules of how the Ability Score Increase trait works and lets players switch out their increases for other options.
That said, I usually do factor in the base Ability Score Increase in determining which class is best for Tritons in D&D 5e.
Here’s how each of D&D’s classes work with the Triton.
- The Artificer isn’t a great class for Triton. Since Triton lack a boost to their Intelligence score, the Artificer’s spellcasting suffers.
- Barbarian is a pretty good class choice for Triton in 5e. Their bonus to Strength and Constitution as well as their swim speed and cold resistance make them pretty solid frontline fighters. That said, not getting a +2 in either Strength or Constitution is a bit of a detriment.
- Tritons make for okay Bards. Since they get a bonus to their Charisma score, their spellcasting as a Bard doesn’t suffer too much. That said, their other traits don’t add much to playing a Bard.
- Cleric isn’t a good class choice for Tritons. Their lack of Wisdom bonus and any other sort of bonuses means they lag behind other races and lineages.
- Triton could make for okay Druids. Now, their lack of a boost to their Wisdom score means their spellcasting won’t be as effective as other races. But, their affinity for the water means and the ability to communicate with aquatic beasts aligns with some Druidic themes.
- Fighter is a good class for Triton. Their damage resistance, innate spellcasting, and bonuses to Strength and Constitution make them pretty versatile Fighters.
- Monk isn’t that great of a class choice for Triton. Since the Monk class relies heavily on Dexterity and Wisdom, two Ability Scores the Triton don’t get a bonus to, a Triton Monk isn’t as effective as other options.
- The Paladin is the best class for Triton in D&D 5e. The bonuses in Strength, Constitution, and Charisma all align with the core stats of a Paladin character. And, the Triton’s innate spellcasting and damage resistance give them some more spell options and boosts their survivability.
- A Triton might work as a Ranger. Rangers are primarily a martial class, so the bonus Tritons get in Strength and Constitution as well as their cold resistance means they actually work quite well. But, their lack of a Wisdom bonus means the Ranger’s already sad spellcasting isn’t even supported.
- The Rogue is an okay class choice for Tritons. The typical Rogue prioritizes Dexterity for their weapons. But, there’s nothing that actually requires you to use a Dexterity-based weapon (except for ranged attacks) to make use of the Rogue’s Sneak Attack feature. So, the Strength bonus Tritons get still works for Rogues and their ability to breathe underwater adds a bit more potential for stealth.
- Tritons make for okay Sorcerers. Their bonus to Charisma means they get a bit of a boost to their spellcasting. The bonus to Constitution is nice as well. That said, the lesser boost to Charisma means a Triton Sorcerer does lag behind some other races.
- Warlock is an alright class choice for Tritons in D&D. With their bonus to Charisma, Triton do get a a small boost to the Warlock’s spellcasting. Their innate spellcasting also supplements the few spell slots Warlocks get.
- The Wizard is not a good class for Tritons. Their lack of Intelligence bonus means less powerful spellcasting.
Are Tritons a Good Race?
With all of this in mind, Tritons are a pretty good race in D&D 5e. Their natural traits give them quite a few options in character builds.
Between their Ability Score bonuses and multitude of traits, Triton are a pretty good race in D&D 5e.
Despite their shortcomings in a few aspects, they’re a surprisingly versatile race good for a variety of classes. A bonus to Constitution is good for pretty much any class, and the Strength and Charisma score boosts round off the Triton as both a martial and social option.
Then, their variety of racial traits give them a whole slew of benefits. Innate spellcasting is great no matter the character. And a damage resistance, even for only one damage type in 5e, is great to have when you need it.
The drawbacks to all of this is the fact that Triton truly shine in sea or otherwise aquatic-based adventures. Which is a fairly niche setting not common to your typical D&D game.
D&D Triton FAQ
What Languages Should a Triton Know in 5e?
Tritons speak Common and Primordial. The other languages they should know is up to their character concept.
How Long Can a Triton Hold Their Breath?
Tritons can breathe both air and water. So, they don’t need to hold their breath while underwater. But, they follow the usual rules of holding your breath; a Triton may hold their breath for a number of minutes equal to 1 + their Constitution modifier (minimum of 30 seconds).
What Class is Best for a Triton in 5e?
Paladin is the best class for Tritons in 5e thanks to their Ability Score bonuses in Strength, Constitution, and Charisma.
What D&D Book is Triton In?
Triton come from the D&D sourcebook Volo’s Guide to Monsters and the adventure module Mythic Odysseys of Theros.
How Old Do Triton Live?
Triton can live up to 200 years old in base D&D.
Summary of the Triton in 5e
That’s it for D&D’s Triton race.
It’s a playable race from Volo’s Guide to Monsters based on the idea of aquatic humanoids. Their appearance is generally humanoid with fishlike features that highlight their lives as aquatic beings. They get quite a few traits for a playable race, and these traits make Tritons great Paladins.
Have you played a Triton in your game? Leave a comment below with your experience.
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