Loxodon are the elephant-folk of D&D, massive, kind, stubbornly loyal, and only occasionally given to bouts of beating smaller creatures into a pulp. Not native to Toril or any of the other standard adventuring locales, loxodon hail from Ravnica, and are really better described as a Magic: The Gathering race that have poked their trunks into the D&D world. What should you never forget? Where are their graveyards? Follow the trail of elephant-sized footprints as we go through everything you need to know.
Loxodon are prevalent on several planes in the Magic: The Gathering multiverse, but we’re gaining the loxodon by way of Ravnica: City of Guilds, so our image of loxodon culture is filtered through a Ravnican lens. As such, it helps to know at least a little about Ravnica itself.
Ravnica is a world entirely encompassed by a single massive city. Some places are overgrown rubble, and some are shining spires, but every inch of the world has been built over multiple times, (think Coruscant from Star Wars but in a fantasy setting). The city is ruled over by a council made up of the leaders of 10 guilds. Most of the guilds hate each other's guts, but they each control and maintain one key aspect of the city and they keep a tenuous balance enforced with ancient and powerful magical contracts.
In Ravnica, loxodon are skilled artisans, patient workers, and master stonemasons. Diligence and follow-through are loxodon bywords, whatever task they are challenged with, they will skillfully and carefully see it through to the end. Loxodon are wise, patient, and loyal. They have a strong sense of community and that ingrained loyalty usually bonds them with their friends and neighbors. While their stoicism isn’t endless, it is usually the loxodon who keeps their calm, and offers wise counsel long before resorting to violence. If one manages the quite formidable task of enraging a loxodon though, they will be rewarded with a self-contained stampede of trumpeting, ear-flapping, titanic fist swinging fury.
Beyond all that, it really comes down to what guild the loxodon belongs to. While a loxodon could theoretically belong to any guild, most belong to the Selesnya Conclave, some belong to the Azorius Senate, and a few are in bed with the Orzhov Syndicate.
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Selesnya is all about nature, harmony, and exemplifies that vegan commune that your humanities professor was always dreaming about. At Selesnya’s best, it’s a shining pinnacle of cooperation and harmony with nature, at its worst it’s a brainwashing cult that serves as the “public relations” arm of the guild pact that quietly silences dissenters and marshals a mindlessly loyal standing army. Though most of the shady aspects of the conclave are completely unknown to its followers and the public at large.
Selesnyan loxodon are often high “ranking” in the conclave, (though Selesnya doesn’t believe in ranks), in that they are treasured for their calm demeanor and wise insights. Selesnyan loxodon are often druids or clerics, meditating on the natural rhythm and the voice of Selesnya. These loxodon have channeled their natural loyalty and dedication towards all life and are often great mediators and bastions of tranquility.
The Azorius Senate is the legal arm of Ravnican society, they are the judges, lawmakers, and bureaucrats that (at least according to them) keep the city from falling into lawless chaos. Fastidious and bureaucratic to a tee, the life of those within the Azorius is filled with stability, tedium, and nearly endless paperwork. The Azorius can even manifest their authority using “law-magic” that can magically shackle and bind those that defy Azorius laws and contracts.
Azorius loxodon channel their natural skill and patience into the complex web of Azorius bureaucracy, steadily working through the proper channels where others would give up in frustration. The inbuilt loyalty and community of the loxodon takes the form of an unshakable belief in law and order in the Azorius. Law and order for the benefit of all.
The Orzhov Syndicate is run like a strangely combined religion, credit-lending agency, and crime syndicate. It was once a faith founded around an actual deity, but now the Orzhov worship money and power, though the trappings of “faith” still abound in their clothes, architecture, and culture. The “business” guild has their fingers in any deal where substantial money changes hands and those indebted to the syndicate must make sure to pay their “tithes”, lest their very souls or bodies be claimed as collateral.
Orzhov loxodon have aligned themselves to the syndicate alone, and their unbreakable loyalty is invaluable to Orzhov’s corrupt pontiffs. They are sometimes used as enforcers or “tithe collectors” as their strength and patience can melt the resolve of even the most stubborn debtors. For these loxodon the syndicate takes priority, and its interests must be protected above all others.
The loxodon are exactly what you’d expect upon hearing “elephant people”. They are bipedal, stand a little over 7 feet tall and are as heavy as you can get without tipping the scales into “large sized”. Their skin is tough and rubbery (like an elephant’s) and they have those flat-bottomed elephant feet and their hands have only 4 digits. Their heads are almost exactly like those of elephants with a long opposable trunk, wide leathery ears, and usually they sport long elephantine tusks.
Selesnyan loxodon should look like something straight out of a nature documentary, with a gentile expression, flowing robes, and little birds roosting on the tusks. Azorius loxodon may have law-magic carved into their tusks or hide, or the long trailing raiment of a law-mage. Orzhov loxodon will likely take advantage of their ostentatious position and emblazon their guild’s “success” and gild themselves with countless golden rings and baubles over their ears, tusks, and trunk.
Loxodon names have complex resonances that are usually lost on non-loxodon. It’s hard to say them properly without a trunk and difficult to hear them correctly without elephantine ears. When interacting with other races, loxodon often translate and add these subtleties of their names as titles in addition to their proper names. Titles like hierarch, grandmother, mighty, or honorable.
Loxodon Male Names: Gantuzh, Geruzh, Kolderom, Koyum, Ojoozh, Ontom, Oobruzh, Rindol, Royoz, Vom
Loxodon Female Names: Afyi, Jana, Jelrin, Kaltim, Lyalte, Oolra, Oti, Tesne, Vetri, Yusnar,
Your loxodon character has the following racial traits.
Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Age: Loxodons physically mature at the same rate as humans, but they live about 450 years. They highly value the weight of wisdom and experience and are considered young until they reach the age of 60.
Alignment: Most loxodons are lawful, believing in the value of a peaceful, ordered life. They also tend toward good.
Size: Loxodons stand between 7 and 8 feet tall. Their massive bodies weigh between 300 and 400 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Powerful Build: You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
Loxodon Serenity: You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.
Natural Armor: You have thick, leathery skin. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC is 12 + your Constitution modifier. You can use your natural armor to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield’s benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.
Trunk: You can grasp things with your trunk, and you can use it as a snorkel. It has a reach of 5 feet, and it can lift a number of pounds equal to five times your Strength score. You can use it to do the following simple tasks: lift, drop, hold, push, or pull an object or a creature; open or close a door or a container; grapple someone; or make an unarmed strike. Your DM might allow other simple tasks to be added to that list of options.
Your trunk can’t wield weapons or shields or do anything that requires manual precision, such as using tools or magic items or performing the somatic components of a spell.
Keen Smell: Thanks to your sensitive trunk, you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception), Wisdom (Survival), and Intelligence (Investigation) checks that involve smell.
Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Loxodon.
Loxodon have some dense abilities so let’s go through them one at a time.
Ability Score Increase: +2 to Constitution, which is broadly useful for every class but extra helpful for your natural armor which we’ll get to in a minute. Then you get a +1 Wisdom bonus which is quite useful for Monks and is the primary casting ability for Clerics, Druids, and Rangers.
Age: 450 is a whopping age range, and you should feel free to play around with being a “young kid” of 50 or a venerable ancient well into their 4th century.
Alignment: The strong law alignment is pretty well baked into their lore so it’ll be hard but not impossible to justify loxodon barbarians, rogues and other chaotic bents.
Size: It is a downright shame this race isn’t large-sized, but we’re stuck with the “very large for medium” trend in 5e races. Which sadly they seem dead set on as they’re not willing to make literal elephant people large.
Speed: Bog-standard movement.
Powerful Build: This is the mechanical justification for “very large but still medium” thing. Honestly, it will very rarely come up, but it can potentially be a lifesaver when you’ve got to shift or lug something massive so don’t forget about the ability.
Loxodon Serenity: Both the charmed and frightened abilities are fairly common so free advantage against them is nothing to sneeze at. Mark it down and try to remember your stoic nature when somebody tries to mess with your massive head.
Natural Armor: Loxodon natural armor allows you to completely dump Dexterity and pour points into Constitution (which you’re already getting +2 in) for both AC and hit points. In my opinion loxodon enjoy one of the best variations of natural armor and you should absolutely abuse the heck out of it. It’s baseline is 12, which is a bit low, but just pushing that Con up to 16 and wielding a shield will get you all the way to a 17 AC at level 1 in addition to all those lovely extra hit points.
Trunk: They worded the trunk ability very carefully and sadly most devious ideas with it simply don’t work. It does easily allow you to stow and retrieve things while your hands are full, which can be a big deal depending on how tight with the combat rules your DM is being. Largely though, this one isn’t useful without a lot of creativity.
Keen Smell: This is a strange inclusion but it’s welcome, argue for it whenever you’re tracking somebody or on the hunt for something and see if your DM lets you follow your nose.
Languages: Common and loxodon. Loxodon is obviously a very limited racial language, so its use will definitely depend on your campaign but it’s unlikely to ever come up.
Loxodon should work with any class, but if you’re looking for optimization the following build may provide a bit of inspiration on your next loxodon character:
Damage Sponge Elephant
Loxodon make excellent clerics, especially if you choose a domain that trades in the standard heavy armor proficiency for other goodies. The unity domain is particularly nice for this as you can focus on only Wisdom and Constitution and use your massive hit point pool to save everybody else using the shared burden ability. Grab a shield and stack the spell warding bond in there and you’ll essentially be a walking hit point reserve for the party along with an AC of 17-18 that can replenish itself with healing.
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Last updated: January 27, 2019
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