D&D 5e: Satyr Race Guide

D&D 5e: Satyr Race Guide

Intro

What’s the matter? You never seen a satyr before?” – Philoctetes, Hercules (1997)

Saytrs have been a part of the human storytelling experience in one form or another since Proto-Indo-European mythology… that’s a long time. Rendered as human-animal hybrids (blending human elements with goal elements) they have long been portrayed as forces of chaos, playing roles as wicked baby-stealers, playful tricksters, and whimsical fey spirits, dancing and prancing through the woods. They’ve been around for as long as we’ve been aware of myth-making, so it only makes sense that they would form a part of the larger D&D family.

Coming to D&D, they join the racial line up courtesy of Magic: The Gathering’s crossover sourcebook Magic Odysseys of Theros (it’s worth the read and offers a lot of fun new playable options to the system). Picking to play a Satyr is likely an outcome of wanting to pull some dastardly hijinks while getting some of the most enviable racial traits in the game.  

Guide Key

Epic

Good

Meh

Bad

Satyr Traits

ASI: +2 CHA and +1 DEX. So you’re going to be leaning into CHA heavy classes and you get a boost to the 5e God-stat DEX. Not bad at all. 

-Age: Legitimately the exact same as a human. A bit odd, but I’m not complaining.

-Alignment: Generally you’ll be seeing Chaotic Good or Chaotic Evil Satyrs, but it’s up to you to decide what you will be.

-Size: Medium. Standing between 5 and 6 feet, Satyr’s typically have a slender build.

Speed: A whopping 35 feet! You’re only slightly slower than the remarkably fast Centaur (coming in at 40ft) and you’ll be able to outpace the Tabaxi’s movement boost (60ft every other round) over longer distances. Your mobility is kind of crazy and I love that for you.

Fey: You are not a humanoid, but rather, your creature type is fey. Mechanically, there are some repercussions to this. Not necessarily negative, but not completely positive. If an enemy has attacks that benefit them targeting humans, they won’t get those bonuses on you. However, there are a number of spells that can be used against you: Commune with natureDetect evil and goodDispel evil and goodprotection from evil and goodForbiddanceHallowMagic CirclePlanar Binding, and Temple of the Gods. While most of these wouldn’t be used by party members against you, a high level enemy (with 5th level spells, at least) that wants to bind you to their service only has to cast Planar Binding. So be wary because a well prepared enemy could totally screw you over (but, what’s new about that?)

Ram: Your head and horns can make unarmed strikes, dealing 1d4 + STR mod of bludgeoning damage. It’s okay in a pinch, but strength isn’t your strong suit, so you probably won’t be using this very often.

Magic Resistance: Advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. This is what’s going to save you from those spells that target Fey, as well as generally keeping you unaffected by most save-or-suck spells. This is amazing and everyone will be jealous of you, and frankly, your DM will either give up trying to target you or will double down and try to annihilate you.

Mirthful Leaps: Give the jumping rules a read and you’ll see that getting an extra d8’s worth of jumping power is pretty fantastic and fits nicely with the Satyr’s lore. While it still requires you to spend the amount of movement rolled, you’re going to be able to consistently leap much further than your fellows. Also, chat with your DM about how spells like Jump interact with this ability (since it triples your jump distance, I think it follows that your Mirthful Leaps should get a boost to 3d8). 

Reveler: Getting three proficiencies (Performance, Persuasion, and a musical instrument) is a nice boon to receive at character creation. Plus, this is all but begging you to be a Bard.

-Languages: Common and Sylvan. Super helpful in talking with Fey and dealing with Feywild adventures.

Satyr Subraces

Right now, there are no Satyr Subraces and given the robust nature of the racial traits, it is unlikely that they will receive further attention in future publications.

Best Classes and Archetypes for Satyr

At the end of the day, the reasoning comes down to three things:

 

1) Does the race satisfy the expectations of the class?

2) Does the class synergize with subclass abilities?

3) How easy would it be to get started with this race-class/subclass combo?

 

You can try to turn D&D 5e into as much of an exact science as you want, but at the end of the day, you need to figure out what works best for your playstyle, your campaign, and your playgroup. Alrighty, here we go!

Artificer

You don’t have any INT boosts. Though the DEX boost is handy, it’s not enough to make the Artificer a viable class pairing on its own.

Alchemist:  Relies heavily on INT to succeed. Not for you.

Armorer: You can use DEX to replace your damage in your Iron Man cosplay, but the boost isn’t enough to justify this pairing. 

Artillerist: Relies heavily on INT to succeed. Not for you.

Battle Smith: Relies heavily on INT to succeed. Not for you.

Barbarian

A direct quote from Grog the Barbarian: “DEX good for Armor Class. Satyr DEX boost okay, but no CON mean bad Unarmored Defense. You die quick if Satyr Barbarian. Sad Goat”. I’ll just let Grog break down the subclass options as well.

Ancestral Guardian: Sad Goat

Battlerager: Sad Goat (also need be Dwarf… Goat not Dwarf).

Beast: Sad Goat be more animal.

Berserker: Sad Goat be basic.

Depths: Sad Goat need be Swim Goat.

Juggernaut: Sad Goat break many things. Fun watch struggle break things.

Storm Herald: Lightning Goat. Scary, but I can kill with one hand.

Totem Warrior – Bear: Bear Goat die slowly, but hit like teddy bear.

Totem Warrior – Eagle: Eagle Goat fly. Fall make big mess. 

Totem Warrior – Elk: Elk Goat. Horns in gut no feel good, but no push. No strong.

Totem Warrior – Tiger: Tiger Goat jump ALL over the place. Fun to watch, but easy to squash like bug.

Totem Warrior – Wolf: Wolf Goat, good friend for combat, but not good in battle.

Wild Magic: Extra fairy magic. Very pretty. Die easy.

Zealot: Easy to knock out, hard to kill. Hits like baby.

Bard

The Satyr Sweet Spot™

The G.O.A.T.™

Everything points to this combo being EXACTLY what a Satyr wants to be. The CHA, Chef’s Kiss. The DEX, a cherry on top. Hachi-wow-wow. Plus, the Satyr’s Greek mythological counterparts LOVED to get… flirtatious with anything that moved. 

Creation: For the Creative Satyr. An excellent path that has comic-book levels worth of utility options available to them.

Eloquence: The Ultimate Bard Satyr. Their Bardic Inspiration has some of the best effects available to Bards and their spells are not to be trifled with. Never fail a Persuasion check again! Set up your allies’ save-or-suck spells for success. Allies never waste a Bardic Inspiration on a fail. You can effectively DOUBLE your Bardic Inspiration. I can’t get enough of this guy.

Glamour: The Shiny Satyr. The glitz and glamour of your Kardashian-level Goat life will become legend (and might get a Television series that ends but then surprisingly gets rebooted). 

Lore: The Skill Monkey Satyr. Strong. You’d want to boost your INT or WIS, but starting with three proficiencies from your race added to everything you get from the Bard is no joke. 

Maestro: The Battle Satyr (option 1). More versatile than the Swords bard, but is going to spend its BI dice very quickly. You’re going to feel a bit like a Sorcerer spending their sorcery points all over the place, but you have less.

Swords: The Battle Satyr (option 2). Very straightforward and offers some strong utility in combat in both ranged and melee settings. Won’t be hitting as hard or as frequently as a Fighter, but is an excellent take on the “spellsword” archetype.  

Valor: This is only MEH because only the Satyr could make even the most useless, outdated Bard subclasses viable.

Whispers: The Darkwood Satyr. Whether it’s in the dark alleys of urban centers or in midnight black forests, a Whisper Bard Satyr is going to Creep. People. Out. You are going to be the impetus for developing stranger danger PSAs.


Blood Hunter

DEX is a viable build strategy for the Blood Hunter, but only when paired with a decent WIS score. You’ll do fine, but your class abilities are going to be pretty pitiful.

Ghostslayer: Great fighting against undead, but your utility is limited outside you specialist scope.

Lycan: Goat-blood + Were-blood. What a strange creature you are. I dig the vibe, the mechanics, not so much.

Mutant: You’ll be able to shift around your Ability Scores a bit, so this actually isn’t awful and might be your best chance at a Blood Hunter Satyr.

Profane Soul: No WIS means bad spell casting options. Just go Warlock.

Cleric

Without a good WIS score, the Cleric flounders in their role as a full spellcaster. Spell saves plummet and their spell damage output struggles. It’s not like you can’t do this, but you shouldn’t if you want to feel effective.

Arcana: Wizardry Cleric is cool, but you need the WIS to make it work.

Blood: Begs you to have a good WIS score.

Death: Can’t be a good necromancer without the WIS.

Forge: Utility is limited without a good WIS score.

Grave: You’ll be in a grave pretty quick without a better WIS score.

Knowledge: Focuses on WIS and INT skills. Bad.

Life: Meh, just because healing is always going to be welcome, but you’re not going to be doing as good a job at it as you could be. Probably pass.

Light: Spell Saves are going to suck without a good WIS.

Nature: Not a good fit for a Satyr Cleric and I can’t recommend a Druid either. Needs a WIS boost badly.

Order: Valuable only for its level one ability. Immediately multiclass into something else afterwards.

Peace: Meh, only due to the Peace Cleric’s overwhelmingly powerful abilities. You won’t have great spellcasting, but your core abilities are nice. 

Tempest: Though the Tempest Cleric is epic, it is not great for you. Your spells are going to suck and you’re not going to hit as hard as you’d like to.

Trickery: Thematically, this is a solid fit. Mechanically, I’d pass.

Twilight: Useful as a single level dip to multiclass, otherwise, pass.

War: You’re begging to die, aren’t you?

Druid

All CHA and no WIS makes Druid a dull boy.

Dreams: Spell saves are going to make your life really sad.

Land: Your spell attack rolls are going to be pretty atrocious.

Moon: Being a bear is good for a while, but you’ll be outpaced by your allies in the long run.

Shepherd: Cool abilities and a good thematic fit, but just not a great fit in the end game.

Spores: Surprisingly tanky, but needs WIS to be effective beyond soaking hits.

Stars: My favorite druid right now. Fits the theme of the Satyr, especially its D&D introduction from the Magic the Gathering Theros source book (there is a major Constellation theme). Go this direction only for the cool vibes.

Wildfire: Bad Wis. Big Pass.

Fighter

DEX is great for a finesse fighter, and CHA is going to make your character far more sociable. However, you’re losing out on valuable real-estate in the CON department that would help you survive in the long run.

Arcane Archer: Needs higher INT. DEX is welcome, but you need more to be viable.

Battle Master: Versatile options to make the most of your toolkit.

Cavalier: A goat-person riding a battle goat would be pretty funny if your DM allowed you to pull that off. However, I don’t think this is a great race/class combo since the mount is largely there to compensate for poor mobility, and yours is great.

Champion: Expanded crit ranges are always going to make me smile. Lean into finesse weapons to make this work.

Echo Knight: Very cool combat style. A creative approach will keep you alive for a really long time and could end up being a solid build option.

Eldritch Knight: Needs higher INT to make their evocation spells viable. 

Gunslinger: DEX is welcome. Could be a solid path in the long run, but would need a DEX boost.

Psi Warrior: Needs higher INT to improve their damage and reduce damage taken. Without INT their Psionic Energy Dice will be pretty wimpy.

Purple Dragon Knight: A great teammate that basically just exists. You’ll be a valuable target to take out first, and without a better CON score the chances of you going down go way up.

Renegade: DEX is welcome. Could be a solid path in the long run, but would need a DEX boost.

Rune Knight: Fun flavor, disappointing by the end game.

Samurai: Would benefit from fighting with a finesse weapon and makes great use of the social component offered by the CHA boost. 

Monk

A Haiku: 

Monk is glad with DEX.

But no WIS brings great sadness.

Tears fly in the wind.

A Caveat:

Your mobility is pretty gorgeous and the Monk has great ways of taking advantage of speed boosts.

Ascendant Dragon: Run around blasting people with dragon punches. Fun.

Astral Self: Punch people with the Goat inside you. 

Cobalt Soul: A painting speaks a thousand words, a punch speaks damage vulnerabilities, resistances, and immunities.

Drunken Master: Roll around on the floor and still do surprisingly well. 

Four Elements: Become the Avatar. Master the Elements.

Kensei: Goat Weapon Master. Love the subclass, not confident it fits with the Satyr until you get both a WIS and DEX boost at level 4 and 8.

Long Death: Solid damage, but needs a better WIS.

Mercy: Healing punches needs a much better WIS

Open Hand: Basic Monk. Just fine.

Shadow: Cool in dark campaigns. Teleport EVERYWHERE. Become a terrifying Goat menace.

Sun Soul: Solid ranged Monk option. Needs a higher DEX.

Paladin

Your weapon damage might not be perfect, but you aren’t totally hamstrung by getting a +1 DEX. And +2 CHA is going to make your spellcasting formidable, but remember that your spells are a secondary feature that a lot of Paladin’s use poorly in the first place, favoring spell slots for big damage with Divine Smite.

Ancients: You’ll make the most of your spells and your aura effect is hot. Solid thematic fit. 

Conquest: Your Channel Divinity is freaking outrageous (+10 to hit). Your Divine Smites are going to hit and hit HARD.

Crown: Really solid spellcasting options with powerful combat viability. Great pick.

Devotion: You’ll negate charm effects which you already have advantage on saves against. Redundant? Sure. But it’s nice to not have to worry about one more thing.

Glory: Mobility boosts on top of your existing great mobility makes this an epic pick. Plus, you have excellent utility options that will help sustain your allies while you deal damage.

Oathbreaker: With undead friends, this is a great direction to go and you’ll eventually get crazy tanky.

Open Sea: Works well at sea, otherwise, this is a pass. 

Redemption: Your spell DC is going to be a good position and you’ll want to boost your CHA even further to make your Rebuke the Violent ability a threat that scales well even until the end-game.

Vengeance: Relentless Avenger is going to turn you into a mobility powerhouse, but it’s more focused on your (not your allies). Determine how much support your party needs, because the Vengeance Paladin can be a bit you-focused.

Watchers: Great for a plane-protector style campaign and has some cool skills. 


Ranger

DEX is great for getting your weapon damage off, but your class features rely on WIS. You’ll be operating suboptimally. Maybe you’re cool with that, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you know what you’re in for.

Beast Master: Needs all the Tasha’s options to be fully viable and even then isn’t totally optimal for your race/class combo.

Drakewarden: Dragon buddy’s are always welcome. They will probably help make up for your lack of excellent WIS. 

Fey Wanderer: Superb thematic fit. Love getting access to psychic damage, but WIS is a major component of the subclass.

Gloom Stalker: Fantastic damage. Can give you proficiency in WIS, INT or CHA saves. Really focused on damage output, so go out and BOOST. YOUR. DEX!!!!!

Horizon Walker: Like the Watcher Paladin, it’s great for planar style campaigns. Access to force damage is sweet. Loads of teleportation options as you level up. Doesn’t care too much about WIS.

Hunter: Basic Ranger. Would love a slightly higher DEX and WIS.

Monster Slayer: Needs a higher STR to go toe-to-toe with the big fellas.

Swarmkeeper: Kind of just a ‘meh’ subclass on its own. Theme is interesting, but mechanically a little dry.

Rogue

A typical rogue would probably want the CHA and DEX boosts to be swapped, +1 and +2 respectively. However, the current set-up is still pretty excellent for you. Magic Resistance will help you save against magical traps and effects, and it will help you get your Evasion bonus more often. A Satyr Rogue is dangerous and has a powerful combo. Say it with me: DASH AS A BONUS ACTION!

Arcane Trickster: Needs INT to really thrive.

Assassin: Your movement is going to be brutal on the battlefield. You’ll be able to get in sneak attacks all over the place.

Inquisitive: Would like INT or WIS, but your CHA is still able to help you get your Sneak Attacks off.

Mastermind: Help as a Bonus Action. So hot right now. Make everyone’s life better.

Phantom: Very happy without an optimal ability score array. Super cool abilities.

Scout: Sadly, when factoring your speed of 35 feet into your Skirmisher ability, your movement would be halved to 17.5, which would round down to 15. 5e’s rule of always rounding down, hurts here because it would be super epic if you were able to move 20 feet. So, your movement is no better here than a standard 30ft movement race.

Soulknife: Loves a really high DEX in the late game, so boost your DEX as early as possible. Great damage opportunities, telepathy, and melee/ranged versatility. 

Swashbuckler: This is where your mobility will let you shine. Get in, strike, and get out, and fly across the battlefield.

Thief: Basic. Loves the DEX. Your jumps get boosted, which fits with the Satyr thematically. You’ll be sneaking like a champ.

Sorcerer

This is joy. Pure elation. The Satyr’s racial traits suit a Sorcerer very well. Magic Resistance is unbeatable. The CHA boost is critical to your build. And the DEX boost will help your AC. Happy day!

Aberrant Mind: Super flexible spell list that adds in Warlock and Wizard (divination and enchantment) spells and some excellent abilities. Great.

Clockwork Soul: Tanky sorcerer thanks to their Bastion of Law ability. Great.

Divine Soul: Healer sorcerer. Can’t really fault it. The wings will be nice.

Draconic Bloodline: You’ll get wings pretty late. A solid subclass to get some consistent elemental damage.

Rune Child: The ability to overcome resistance or immunity is pretty sick. But you’ll be hurting for sorcery points.

Shadow Sorcery: Teleporting in the darkness/dimness is game breaking if your campaign will have you in the dark regularly.

Storm Sorcery: Controlling the battlefield with Storm’s Fury is going to be a consistent way you manipulate your enemies’ positions by pushing them around.

Wild Magic: Great thematic fit. It’s fine unless a DM uses it regularly (i.e. more than the rules recommend), then it becomes very, very fun.

Warlock

OOOOOH BABY! A +2 CHA and +1 DEX feels fantastic on a Warlock. You’re AC might get a boost and your primary stat focus is definitely getting pumped, and in the long run, any Warlock abilities you pick up along the way are almost certainly going to be focused on CHA, so this is a beautiful pairing. Not to mention, magic resistance is going to make you a tank against magical effects.

Archfey: Love a misty escape, pair that with your already existing mobility and your game-plan will become very proactive.

Celestial: Loads of utility packed into a cleric-ish package. Make your god worshiping friends envious of your Patron that plays an active role in your life.

Fathomless: Wants a water-based campaign. Cool abilities that would make any DM wary of a pool of water.

Fiend: Very sustainable in the early game with some insane damage options into the late game. Saying the words “10d10” will make any DM quiver.

Genie: Your CHA will help your Genie Vessel stay alive and your spells are going to go crazy.

Great Old One: Your CHA will make it much harder for your enemies to get out of your control spells and you’ve got some fun reactivity with Entropic Ward.

Hexblade: Your stat boosts are exactly the numbers you’re looking for to make the Hexblade as broken as every DM thinks it is.

Undying: Way cool in undead campaigns. Hard to take down because they’ll be able to redirect undead attacks. Outside of undead campaigns, they’ll be just fine. 

Wizard

Going down the path of the Wizard ultimately requires an excellent INT score and a reasonable CON score for your concentration checks. This pairing offers neither. Not good. 

Abjuration: Solid defensive play, but you’ll lose all your spell slots to concentration checks.

Artificer: Just play an artificer (and also pick a different race that gives an INT bonus)

Bladesinging: Teeeeechnically, elf only. Needs a MUCH higher INT in order to make use of the INT being added to AC. 

Chronurgist: Fantastic abilities that make this a ‘meh’ option in light of a suboptimal racial combo.

Conjuration: Summons are cool, but your concentration checks are pretty poor, so be wary.

Divination: Also has fantastic abilities that make this a ‘meh’ option in light of a suboptimal racial combo.

Enchantment: Save-or-Suck spells for days that everyone will save against. 

Evocation: You’ll rarely hit as often as your companions.

Graviturgist: I really like their effects and I think gravity magic is some of the coolest in the game, but your spells won’t hit very frequently.

Illusion: Creative solutions, but people will read your illusions like a book.

Necromancy: Not great. Can’t have a horde of undead.

Order of Scribes: Spell collecting is a great time, you won’t use any of them well.

Transmutation: Pick another race and play the Artificer.

War Magic: Arcane Deflection is hot for an AC boost, but you’ll never deal the damage you’re looking for.

Racial Feats/Best Feats

The Satyr doesn’t have any Racial Feats, but there are certainly feats out there that could make your life a whole lot better!

Mobile: Double down on your already bonkers mobility. 45 movement speed is insane. Pair that with classes that boost that further and you’re cooking with gas!

Lucky: If you never want to fail a spell save again, use the extra rolls you get from Lucky paired with your existing advantage against magic and your DM will wish they never let you play a Satyr.

Athlete: Leaning into the leaping goat theme, this is a great way to boost your DEX and reduce the amount of movement required to make a full running long/high jump to 5ft instead of 10 (giving you more movement to work with after landing if you use it in combat). Frankly, this makes for a great mobility tool that could push your advantage in fighting against an enemy ship at sea, or getting to a distant enemy on the other side of a chasm.

Sage Gamers

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