Unearthed Arcana August: Races of Ravnica
  • Unearthed Arcana August: Races of Ravnica


    This month's Unearthed Arcana, by James Wyatt, introduces four new Ravnica player races! "A group of races from the world of Ravnica have arrived in Unearthed Arcana: loxodons, Simic hybrids, vedalken, and viashino. While native to Ravnica, these folk could potentially be used in any D&D world. They are destined for the upcoming book Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica, out this November. Now is your chance to help shape their final forms!"
    The 5 page PDF details the following races:
    • Humanoid elephants, loxodons are often oases of calm in the busy streets of Ravnica. They hum or chant in their sonorous tones and move slowly or sit in perfect stillness. Provoked to action, loxodons are holy terrors—bellowing with rage, trumpeting and flapping their ears. Their still wisdom and their furious strength—as well as their fierce loyalty and unwavering conviction— are tremendous assets to their guilds.
    • The Simic Combine uses magic to fuse different life forms together. In recent years, they have extended this research to humanoid subjects, magically transferring the traits of various animals into humans, elves, and vedalken. The goal of the so-called Guardian Project is to build a Simic army of superior soldiers, perfectly adapted to a variety of combat situations. These hyper-evolved specimens are called Simic hybrids, though they sometimes call themselves guardians.
    • Nothing is perfect—vedalken believe this and rejoice in it. Every imperfection is a chance for improvement, whether it’s in law or in science, and progress is an endless march toward a state of perfection that might never be reached. This leads vedalken to pursue their work with delighted enthusiasm, never deterred by setbacks and excited by every opportunity for improvement.
    • Many reptiles derive their body warmth and energy from the sun, but the humanoid viashino are fueled by an inner fire of zeal. Open with their emotions, viashino can be hot-tempered, but they are also quick to their hissing laughter. And they easily form close bonds of friendship. They are fierce warriors and passionate advocates for their guilds and causes.
    Comments 124 Comments
    1. GMforPowergamers's Avatar
      GMforPowergamers -
      I don't know modern MtG or Ravnica other then what we have been talking about on here and at D&D the last few weeks...but quick look I like this.


      Vedalken sound like I could totally play the blue elves like 'mystic elf' and 'magician of black chaos' from yugioh. I think I really like the race even if I never heard of it before.
    1. GMforPowergamers's Avatar
      GMforPowergamers -
      Oh wow...these things have 4 arms did I miss that or do they not mention it at all in the stats...
    1. Staffan's Avatar
      Staffan -
      Huh. Well, color me surprised. I was like 99% certain that they would have a new revision of the artificer this month. I'm also surprised they're doing these this close to the release of Ravnica.
    1. Bitbrain's Avatar
      Bitbrain -
      No artificer?

      EDIT
      Loxodon = elephant hill dwarves? That's . . . certainly different.

      Veldeken = blue Vulcans? Meh.

      Okay, I'll admit the Viashino are rather cool. The Lashing Tail trait is really awesome. I can easily see these guys as a variant Lizardfolk in the Eberron setting, maybe the Fallen Bone tribe in Q'Barra?

      Simic Hybrids = Cyborg-elf-baboon-manta rays? I'm giving XP for this, because the DC Comics Supervillains Mallah + the Brain fan in me is now squealing with joy.
    1. Inchoroi's Avatar
      Inchoroi -
      Eh. Interesting, but uninspiring.
    1. jgsugden's Avatar
      jgsugden -
      Quote Originally Posted by Staffan View Post
      Huh. Well, color me surprised. I was like 99% certain that they would have a new revision of the artificer this month. I'm also surprised they're doing these this close to the release of Ravnica.
      My two thoughts exactly. Maybe we'll get a second article... or maybe they were not ready with Artificer and put this out there as a way to calm the eager masses...
    1. Zarithar's Avatar
      Zarithar -
      Interesting. I just have to play one of those elephant dudes.
    1. pming's Avatar
      pming -
      Hiya.

      The only one that sound remotely interesting to me is the Loxodon...but only just. But, I guess WotC didn't want to really go whole-hog on the creativity because after a while all the "special and unique" would blend into a big, grey, homogeneous mass of "fantasy".
    1. pogre's Avatar
      pogre -
      Loxodons are something I want to paint. I hope it inspires some cool miniatures.

      I painted a herd of elephants for a Carthaginian army years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit.
    1. Blue's Avatar
      Blue -
      Loxodon's are specifically called out as having a prehensile trunk that can carry heavy loads and due fine manipulative work - but there's nothing about it in the feature breakdown.

      I don't know about the world, so I'm lacking context for some of the races like the Simic Hybrid, but even in that vacuum the Vedalkin look quite interesting from an RP stance.
    1. Kite474's Avatar
      Kite474 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
      Loxodon's are specifically called out as having a prehensile trunk that can carry heavy loads and due fine manipulative work - but there's nothing about it in the feature breakdown.

      I don't know about the world, so I'm lacking context for some of the races like the Simic Hybrid, but even in that vacuum the Vedalkin look quite interesting from an RP stance.
      The Simic are Ravnica's prime medical care experts... They also tend to have ideas on how to make things.... better

      So alot of their members are mutant hybrids in an effort to be the biologically perfect lifeform.

      Because everything could use more crab!
    1. OB1's Avatar
      OB1 -
      I think Loxodon might be the perfect race for the Drunken Master Monk I’ve been itching to play. And the symic would be a good fit for the Horizon Walker bounty hunter I’m eying for another campaign.
    1. ChameleonX's Avatar
      ChameleonX -
      Loxodons seem too powerful at first glance. Or, perhaps, the other races seem too weak by comparison. The Simic hybrid is interesting, but I'd like a few more choices of mutations. Viashino is cool, in theory, but obviously inferior to the published lizard folk.
    1. Gradine's Avatar
      Gradine -
      Yeah, when I was reading the lore on the Viashino I was getting pretty excited... the actual implementation of the race was extremely disappointing.
    1. plisnithus8's Avatar
      plisnithus8 -
      If I were to play a Loxodon., and I’d like to, I sure would want to attack as an elephant would using my tusks to pierce, my legs to trample, and my trunk to grapple.
      Unfortunately, this design gives me absolutely none of that.
    1. Bacon Bits's Avatar
      Bacon Bits -
      Quote Originally Posted by GMforPowergamers View Post
      Oh wow...these things have 4 arms did I miss that or do they not mention it at all in the stats...
      IIRC, that's the Simic Vedalkans, meaning they would be more appropriately be Simic Hybrids.
    1. Bacon Bits's Avatar
      Bacon Bits -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChameleonX View Post
      Loxodons seem too powerful at first glance. Or, perhaps, the other races seem too weak by comparison. The Simic hybrid is interesting, but I'd like a few more choices of mutations. Viashino is cool, in theory, but obviously inferior to the published lizard folk.
      I don't think Loxodons seem too powerful. Free Mage Armor is nice, but most characters will outclass it. Remember, it doesn't stack with anything except a shield. Advantage on fear saves is pretty meh. Advantage on scent based skill checks is going to be really hit and miss to the extent that it's as powerful as the DM decides it will be. Truly, the only thing the race really does well is Druid.

      Simic Hybrid is interesting, although I agree with others that it'd be nice to have a few more selections. Grappling Appendages is weird, though. How many attacks do you get?

      Viashino's Lashing Tail, on the other hand, seem amazing to me. Sure, it only deals non-magical dagger damage, but so what? A raging Barbarian certainly isn't going to care, and you'll get to deal bonus Rage damage with it and still have resistance. If you're a Rogue, it's a way to deal Sneak Attack damage an extra time each round!

      Vedalken seem good. They're at least as good at being a Wizard as a Gnome.
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
      Loxodon's are specifically called out as having a prehensile trunk that can carry heavy loads and due fine manipulative work - but there's nothing about it in the feature breakdown.

      I don't know about the world, so I'm lacking context for some of the races like the Simic Hybrid, but even in that vacuum the Vedalkin look quite interesting from an RP stance.
      Basically a magical transhumanist biologist/medical guild, they are who you go to primarily for healthcare and medical supplies and pet creatures including Zepplids, which are like reptilian living blimps used for flying public transportation.

      One of their goals is increasing the planets biodiversity, by creating new species via various means. I think they do some secondary magical research as well and control access to the Oceans, via Zonots which are giant holes in the ground that lead to the otherwise covered Oceans.

      As for Hybrids, I love that they can have set of tentacles, we can now play Hentai Tentacle monsters. Simic Combine even sounds like a Japanese Megacorp.

      Oh and the Simic have some kind of alliance/connection with Fairies which is not well explained.
    1. flametitan's Avatar
      flametitan -
      Some of these races have some neat lore behind them, but mechanically, only the Viashino and Simic Hybrid feel inspired (and the viashino loosely).

      There aren't any ability a Loxodon gets that's really unique to it. I can name a race for every trait it has (except keen smell, to which I'd point you at the mastiff)
      The Hybrid's build-a-race approach is strange, but in a way gives it a sense of being a mishmash of parts, which matches the lore.
      Vedalken? Their abilities are strong, but kinda boring. Like, it's advantage on half your saving throws, and +1d4 on one skill. They're mechanically sound, but there's nothing that really makes you feel, "I could only do this because I'm Vedalken
      Viashino have a cool tail lash ability, though it feels a like it could use more. Playtesting required.
    1. Enevhar Aldarion's Avatar
      Enevhar Aldarion -
      Quote Originally Posted by Staffan View Post
      Huh. Well, color me surprised. I was like 99% certain that they would have a new revision of the artificer this month. I'm also surprised they're doing these this close to the release of Ravnica.
      Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago either Mearls or Crawford tweeted that the Articifer UA was pushed back from this month. But since the Aritficer is planned to be part of Eberron and not Ravnica, I am not surprised.

      But I like that we get the chance to give feedback on these races before they go to print.

      Also, this shows us that they have a narrower window than many of us thought between playtests and print. Here we are in mid-August and they still have time to adjust parts of a book due to be on sale within three months in November.
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