Once you’ve built the frame of your character (rolling up their stats, assigning skill points, and picking spells), it’s time to put some metaphorical meat on their bones! That’s where DnD personality traits come in, and the real fun begins!
In this article, we’ll get into what personality traits are, give oodles of homebrew trait ideas, list the D&D 5e personality traits, and include tips on how to roleplay throughout. So, grab your dice and buckle up – it’s about to get personal!
What Are Personality Traits in D&D?
A D&D character’s personality traits are distinguishing qualities – unique quirks that tell you about their temperament, habits, or disposition.
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Check out how the PHB explains personality traits:
Personality traits are small, simple ways to help you set your character apart from every other character. Your personality traits should tell you something interesting and fun about your character. They should be self descriptions that are specific about what makes your character stand out.Page 123, Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook 5th edition.
Your character’s personality traits may answer questions like:
- What does your character like?
- What are some of your character’s past accomplishments?
- How are your character’s ability scores reflected in their personality?
For even more information on building a fun character with depth, check out our articles on DnD character bonds, flaws, and ideals. Or, get a brief look at all three creative characteristics in DnD 5e Ideals, Bonds and Flaws : The What, How & Why!
How Many Personality Traits Should a Character Have?
As the Players Handbook suggests, just start with two personality traits when making a new character. Better to go simple and slowly get more complex, rather than begin with seven personality traits and find it tricky to juggle them all.
You can always think up more as your adventures progress and your character blossoms!
D&D Personality Traits Options
When choosing personality traits in D&D you can either select traits from the Player’s Handbook that fit with your character’s background, or you can homebrew your own. It’s completely up to you.
If you want to create a character quickly, then the PHB lists are a good option. Just flip to the page with your character’s background, find the personality traits table and roll a d8. Whichever number it lands on, you give the corresponding trait to your character.
For a more personal, custom approach to character creation, you can come up with your own personality traits for your character. These can be anything you want! To get you into a creative mindset, see our homebrew personality traits below! Feel free to use any of them for your character!
Homebrew D&D Personality Traits
When it comes to homebrewing your D&D personality traits, you’ve got endless options. Get together with the party to brainstorm, take inspiration from your favorite stories, or let your imagination run wild!
Remember: with any homebrewed content, check in with your DM if you have questions or concerns. Whether it’s rules minutiae, character development, or social sensitivity, your Dungeon Master will be able to help answer questions and fine-tune your traits.
In this section, we’ll touch briefly on what makes a good personality trait and give plenty of examples. Some good, some bad… and some just plain weird!
Good D&D Personality Traits
While “good” can mean different things to every individual, here we’ll define good personality traits as those which tell you something specific about a character’s interests and disposition.
For example, “I’m strong” is not a good trait because it’s so vague that it can be applied to lots of folks. But “I can lift all four of my brothers over my head and not break a sweat” is a good one because it is unique and describes a part of their history (not just an ability score).
Here are some more good personality traits to get you inspired!
- I must have done a favor for a god or something, because I’m weirdly lucky! Food always turns up when I’m hungry, storms usually clear when I need to travel, and I often find useful things and small coinage right when I need them.
- I have read every book in my father’s massive library – twice!
- I grew up in the big city and consider myself very street savvy. I talk fast, walk fast, and no-one gets the better of me.
- I used to work in a kitchen and love to cook for my friends and family.
- I have a talent for medicine. I was the best healer and farm doctor in my village by the time I was 7 years old. By 12 people came from miles around to ask for my help.
- I have an uncommon accent and constantly use slang and colloquialisms, even in formal situations. Crivens! I’ll gie ye sich a kickin’, youse scunners!
- I talk to myself, plants, and animals as freely as I do other humanoids. People often think I’m odd because I had a lonely childhood and no one taught me “normal” social behaviors, but I’m not bothered by it.
- I call everyone by pet names: honey, chief, sweetie, kiddo, slugger, darlin’. It’s something I picked up from my grandmother/father.
- I was raised in a religious household. I would never take any deity’s name in vain and insist that others refrain from doing so as well.
- I do not like children. But kids love me. I am mystified by this.
Negative Personality Traits
In this context, we’re using “negative” to mean personality traits that can cause conflict. Which isn’t necessarily bad – it is the driving force of plot and story.
So, don’t avoid negative traits as a rule. Take the opportunity that a safe and silly environment with friends offers to experiment with storytelling and conflict-causing personality traits like the ones listed below!
- I am nearly impossible to wake up. I could sleep through a hurricane.
- I care a lot about my appearance. Outfit, hair, makeup – it has to be perfect. How can you expect to be taken seriously in a wrinkled tunic? Some call me vain, but it would be foolish not to use my natural beauty/handsomeness to my full advantage.
- I like to give orders, but I’m not any good at leadership roles.
- Once I get emotional, it’s very hard to calm me down.
- I check everything twice before traveling, sometimes more – do I have my spell components, flint, torch, rope, teddy bear? Some would call me obsessive.
- I was picked on as a kid, but now that I’m grown I can give bullies what they deserve – usually a knuckle sandwich!
- I refuse to tell a lie. In fact, I don’t believe I’m capable of dishonesty.
- I never move faster than I need to and take cat naps whenever possible. It’s not that I’m lazy, I just believe in conserving my energy so that I can give 110% when a challenge does arise.
- I believe a commonly encountered food is a strong poison to my body. I cannot be convinced otherwise.
- I am incredibly superstitious, but always changing which rules I need to follow. One week it might be that I simply can’t wear green because it attracts fey. Next month I may require everyone to make eye contact when they cheers or horrible misfortune may befall us.
Fun DnD Personality Traits
And by fun, we mean fun to play! Picking particular ways of speaking, moving, and looking can help you really think about creating your character, in a practical and performative sense. Love doing a New York accent? Go for it!
Here are a few traits to help encourage creative roleplay.
- I change my voice and accent as easily as changing hats.
- I am incredibly unlucky. My horse is the one that throws a shoe, ricocheting arrows end up flying at my head, and it’s me the pigeons will invariably plop on. Things just seem to go wrong around me, and I tend to expect the worst.
- I prefer to sing rather than speak and make up little songs throughout the day.
- I’m never seen without a coffee/tea/hot chocolate etc in my hand. Absolutely everything is better while I’m enjoying my favorite beverage.
- I am freaking FABULOUS. Beauty, grace, confidence, brains AND brawn – I have it all. And no one can convince me otherwise. Bow down to your Queen/King, or get out of my way.
- My favorite hammer has a name and sometimes I talk about him/her as if he/she were a person.
- I have an anecdote for everything. A mimic? Oh man, this one time, my cousin Barney at the Arcane university…
- I like to let people think I’m dim-witted, but am actually highly intelligent. When folks think they have me figured out it makes them much easier to get them to do what I want!
- I take a small trophy from every monster I vanquish, dungeon I explore, and city I visit. I love to display my collection and tell the stories associated with each.
- I wholeheartedly believe that cow muck is good for everything. It’s the perfect building material, fire fuel, and did you know that it can even cure arthritis? And the common cold. Present me with a problem, and I will present you with a cow muck-based solution.
Funny Personality Traits
Looking for something less serious and more silly to liven up the table? Choose from some of our funny traits for a rollicking good time.
- I suspect everyone I meet of being the villain who slew my father until proven otherwise.
- I’m haunted. No one else can see him, but Derrick the ghost has been around for as long as I remember.
- I am a cheesemonger, born and bred. Few can rival my knowledge of fermented dairy products, a fact I’m proud of. It’s not just an occupation, cheese is part of who I am.
- I have a dissociative identity disorder that I am not aware of. Sometimes I become the renowned luchador, Javier Santiago Cortez; noble fighter and legendary lover of women.
- When I get in trouble I’ll try to grovel, beg, and plead my way out of it first – I have no shame.
- I am just SO STOKED to be here! To experience things! All the things! The beauty, the pain, the sunny days and rain… wow, life is just incredible, isn’t it?! Ooooh, a butterfly!
- I have a super high/low pitched voice. Nope, it’s not a joke. And I’m a little sensitive about it.
- I have a good sense of smell and explore the world with my nose. When meeting new people, I give them a good sniff.
- I use my hands when I talk. Like, a LOT. Watch out for your eyes!
- I think I’m hilarious and laugh at all my own jokes.
Weird Personality Traits
And sometimes going full-on weird is the most fun of all. These weird traits take some commitment to pull off, but no one said being weird was easy.
- Most animals just don’t like me. Consequentially, I’m nervous around them – especially big ones.
- I’m a masochist and kind of get off on pain. I like playing with fire, getting tattoos, and physically dangerous challenges. What’s that, I might get hurt? Well, now I just gotta!
- I remember my past lives vividly and sometimes confuse my timelines.
- I’m a highly reasonable person… right up until the subject of octopuses comes up. I will spend hours talking about my theories of inevitable cephalopod world domination.
- I am a compulsive liar, but my shadow always tells the truth. I may say that I have nooo idea where your necklace went… but my shadow will be miming to check my pockets. What a narc.
- I never stop smiling. Some find this creepy.
- I am a loaf of sentient bread constantly using Mage Hand to move and handle objects. I think I was part of a magical, breakfast mishap in the Arcane college’s experimental lab.
- Whether or not it is true, I firmly believe that I speak cat. Sometimes I switch to meowing and purring mid-conversation.
- I am constantly eating, chewing on, or licking something. It isn’t always things that are immediately identifiable as edible.
- I do not understand idioms. At all. I am a completely literal thinker.
Beyond traits, consider things like drinking your character’s favorite beverage or wearing an appropriate hat to get into the spirit! Could chewing a toothpick like your Paladin who used to work on a farm remind you to speak in character? Try it out!
DnD Personality Traits List
The Players Handbook character backgrounds are an excellent source of personality inspiration. You can read through and pick one to snag ideas from, or randomize them yourself by rolling a d8.
Acolyte Personality Traits
The Acolyte is someone that was raised or spent significant time in a religious organization. The temple of a bustling city, a remote monastery, a shadowy clan – get creative!
|1||I idolize a particular hero of my faith, and constantly refer to that person’s deeds and example.|
|2||I can find common ground between the fiercest enemies, empathizing with them and always working toward peace.|
|3||I see omens in every event and action. The gods try to speak to us, we just need to listen.|
|4||Nothing can shake my optimistic attitude.|
|5||I quote (or misquote) sacred texts and proverbs in almost every situation.|
|6||I am tolerant (or intolerant) of other faiths and respect (or condemn) the worship of other gods.|
|7||I’ve enjoyed fine food, drink, and high society among my temple’s elite. Rough living grates on me.|
|8||I’ve spent so long in the temple that I have little practical experience dealing with people in the outside world.|
Charlatan Personality Traits
A Charlatan has a way with people, which she uses to get what she wants. Perhaps she is a politician, a traveling snake oil salesman, or simply a sleezy shopkeep.
|1||I fall in and out of love easily, and am always pursuing someone.|
|2||I have a joke for every occasion, especially occasions where humor is inappropriate.|
|3||Flattery is my preferred trick for getting what I want.|
|4||I’m a born gambler who can’t resist taking a risk for a potential payoff.|
|5||I lie about almost everything, even when there’s no good reason to.|
|6||Sarcasm and insults are my weapons of choice.|
|7||I keep multiple holy symbols on me and invoke whatever deity might come in useful at any given moment.|
|8||I pocket anything I see that might have some value.|
Criminal Personality Traits
The Criminal is a character that is, or has been, involved in law-breaking – usually on a professional level. Perhaps they were part of an organized group, or maybe they prefer to work alone.
|1||I always have a plan for what to do when things go wrong.|
|2||I am always calm, no matter what the situation. I never raise my voice or let my emotions control me.|
|3||The first thing I do in a new place is note the locations of everything valuable — or where such things could be hidden.|
|4||I would rather make a new friend than a new enemy.|
|5||I am incredibly slow to trust. Those who seem the fairest often have the most to hide.|
|6||I don’t pay attention to the risks in a situation. Never tell me the odds.|
|7||The best way to get me to do something is to tell me I can’t do it.|
|8||I blow up at the slightest insult.|
Entertainer Personality Traits
An Entertainer thrives as the center of attention. Whether dancer, singer, or juggler he lives to perform and captivate the hearts of his audience.
|1||I know a story relevant to almost every situation.|
|2||Whenever I come to a new place, I collect local rumors and spread gossip.|
|3||I’m a hopeless romantic, always searching for that “special someone.”|
|4||Nobody stays angry at me or around me for long, since I can defuse any amount of tension.|
|5||I love a good insult, even one directed at me.|
|6||I get bitter if I’m not the center of attention.|
|7||I’ll settle for nothing less than perfection.|
|8||I change my mood or my mind as quickly as I change key in a song.|
Folk Hero Personality Traits
Though she is from humble origins, the Folk Hero is destined to right wrongs and champion the people of the land. Her defining event could be that she stood up to an oppressive ruler, prevented a natural disaster, or was blessed by a mystical entity of power.
|1||I judge people by their actions, not their words.|
|2||If someone is in trouble, I’m always ready to lend help.|
|3||When I set my mind to something, I follow through no matter what gets in my way.|
|4||I have a strong sense of fair play and always try to find the most equitable solution to arguments.|
|5||I’m confident in my own abilities and do what I can to instill confidence in others.|
|6||Thinking is for other people. I prefer action.|
|7||I misuse long words in an attempt to sound smarter.|
|8||I get bored easily. When am I going to get on with my destiny?|
Guild Artisan Personality Traits
The Guild Artisan is a character who has a professional craft of some kind and is, or was, part of a guild. He may be an alchemist, blacksmith, or even a chair-maker.
|1||I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing right. I can’t help it – I’m a perfectionist.|
|2||I’m a snob who looks down on those who can’t appreciate fine art.|
|3||I always want to know how things work and what makes people tick.|
|4||I’m full of witty aphorisms and have a proverb for every occasion.|
|5||I’m rude to people who lack my commitment to hard work and fair play.|
|6||I like to talk at length about my profession.|
|7||I don’t part with my money easily and will haggle tirelessly to get the best deal possible.|
|8||I’m well known for my work, and I want to make sure everyone appreciates it. I’m always taken aback when people haven’t heard of me.|
Hermit Personality Traits
A Hermit is someone who lived in seclusion from society for a significant part of her life. Reasons for her seclusion could include spiritual enlightenment, a pilgrimage, or exile for an act they didn’t commit.
|1||I have been isolated for so long that I speak rarely, preferring gestures and also the occasional grunt|
|2||I am utterly serene, even in the face of disaster.|
|3||The leader of my community had something wise to say on every topic, and I am eager to share that wisdom.|
|4||I feel tremendous empathy for all who suffer.|
|5||I’m oblivious to etiquette and social expectations.|
|6||I connect everything that happens to me to a grand, cosmic plan.|
|7||I often get lost in my own thoughts and contemplation, becoming oblivious to my surroundings.|
|8||I am working on a grand philosophical theory and love sharing my ideas.|
Noble Personality Traits
Nobles are characters that come from wealthy and powerful lineages. He could be a hard-working landlord, a disgraced aristocrat who lost the family fortune, or an orphan boy with undiscovered royal heritage.
|1||My eloquent flattery makes everyone I talk to feel like the most wonderful and important person in the world.|
|2||The common folk love me for my kindness and generosity.|
|3||No one could doubt by looking at my regal bearing that I am a cut above the unwashed masses.|
|4||I take great pains to always look my best and follow the latest fashions.|
|5||I don’t like to get my hands dirty, and I won’t be caught dead in unsuitable accommodations.|
|6||Despite my noble birth, I do not place myself above other folk. We all have the same blood.|
|7||My favor, once lost, is lost forever.|
|8||If you do me an injury, I will crush you, ruin your name, and salt your fields.|
Outlander Personality Traits
Raised far from the technology and development of cities, the Outlander has spent significant portions of her life in the wilderness. Perhaps she was part of a nomadic clan, a wild animal tamer, or was an explorer.
|1||I’m driven by a wanderlust that led me away from home.|
|2||I watch over my friends as if they were a litter of newborn pups.|
|3||I once ran twenty-five miles without stopping to warn to my clan of an approaching orc horde. I’d do it again if I had to.|
|4||I have a lesson for every situation, drawn from observing nature.|
|5||I place no stock in wealthy or well-mannered folk. Money and manners won’t save you from a hungry owlbear.|
|6||I’m always picking things up, absently fiddling with them, and sometimes accidentally breaking them.|
|7||I feel far more comfortable around animals than people.|
|8||I was, in fact, raised by wolves.|
Sage Personality Traits
The Sage has spent his life studying and acquiring knowledge. He could be a professor of multiversal archaeology, a research magician, or a collector of religious lore and artifacts.
|1||I use polysyllabic words that convey the impression of great erudition.|
|2||I’ve read every book in the world’s greatest libraries — or I like to boast that I have.|
|3||I’m used to helping out those who aren’t as smart as I am, and I patiently explain anything and everything to others.|
|4||There’s nothing I like more than a good mystery.|
|5||I’m willing to listen to every side of an argument before I make my own judgment.|
|6||I . . . speak . . . slowly . . . when talking . . . to idiots, . . . which . . . almost . . . everyone . . . is . . . compared . . . to me.|
|7||I am horribly, horribly awkward in social situations.|
|8||I’m convinced that people are always trying to steal my secrets.|
Sailor Personality Traits
A Sailor is a character who has spent much of her life at sea. Options include an officer on a naval vessel, a pirate Queen, or a simple fisher woman.
|1||My friends know they can rely on me, no matter what.|
|2||I work hard so that I can play hard when the work is done.|
|3||I enjoy sailing into new ports and making new friends over a flagon of ale.|
|4||I stretch the truth for the sake of a good story.|
|5||To me, a tavern brawl is a nice way to get to know a new city.|
|6||I never pass up a friendly wager.|
|7||My language is as foul as an otyugh nest.|
|8||I like a job well done, especially if I can convince someone else to do it.|
Soldier Personality Traits
Soldiers are characters that have a martial background. This can be anything from a town guard to a War Wizard – the possibilities are endless!
|1||I’m always polite and respectful.|
|2||I’m haunted by memories of war. I can’t get the images of violence out of my mind.|
|3||I’ve lost too many friends, and I’m slow to make new ones.|
|4||I’m full of inspiring and cautionary tales from my military experience relevant to almost every combat situation.|
|5||I can stare down a hell hound without flinching.|
|6||I enjoy being strong and like breaking things.|
|7||I have a crude sense of humor.|
|8||I face problems head-on. A simple, direct solution is the best path to success.|
Urchin Personality Traits
While the Noble comes from wealth, the Urchin character comes from the exact opposite. He may have been abandoned in a big city to fend for himself, run away to live in the woods and brave the elements, or fallen on hard times and had to learn the ways of the streets.
|1||I hide scraps of food and trinkets away in my pockets.|
|2||I ask a lot of questions.|
|3||I like to squeeze into small places where no one else can get to me.|
|4||I sleep with my back to a wall or tree, with everything I own wrapped in a bundle in my arms.|
|5||I eat like a pig and have bad manners.|
|6||I think anyone who’s nice to me is hiding evil intent.|
|7||I don’t like to bathe.|
|8||I bluntly say what other people are hinting at or hiding.|
D&D Personality Traits Generators
Tetra Cube’s D&D 5e Character Generator has it all. Randomize a full character from their personality trait, flaw, race, name, age, and right down to their lowest ability score. One especially handy feature here is the ability to include/exclude different D&D source books.
Folks seeking a source of minimal inspiration will appreciate Fantasy Name Generator’s trait randomizer. You choose between positive and negative traits and the application throws out 10 single word traits that you can build upon and customize.
And our favorite of the bunch: RanGen’s Trait Generator. It generates 10+ traits and quirks per click, so lots of ideas, but it’s the uniquely helpful organization that will really impress you.
Because RanGen doesn’t just give a list – it walks users through creating a personality by breaking down traits into clever categories that really get you thinking. Categories like physical/appearance traits, behavioral traits, quirks, and even problem solving and traits that may clash with your party! Brilliant!
Here are a few examples:
- At first glance, this character looks like she just woke up.
- This character has a voice like a purring engine.
- … looks just like another character, or a famous figure of the day.
- This character can’t bear to throw anything away.
- … loves to rhyme.
- … constantly talks about his hometown.
- This character often speaks in different voices or accents.
- … likes to give people odd nicknames.
- … has never seen snow.
Situations, Problem Solving, and Party Clashes
- This character refuses to hurt others.
- … is the first to investigate.
- … will not back down.
Conclusion: DnD Personality Traits
So, how do you bring your character to life and really get into the game? By picking fun and interesting DnD personality traits that make them stand out from the crowd! The more unique the traits, the easier it will be for you to roleplay the character’s motivations and mannerisms.
And the better you know your character, the more fun you’ll have.
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