D&D 5th Edition D&D Next Blog: Tone and Edition

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  1. #1
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    D&D Next Blog: Tone and Edition

    Have to admit I like the idea of tagging the races with common, uncommon, rare as it applies to what a DM allows in his or her campaign:
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    Last edited by Elodan; Friday, 27th April, 2012 at 08:31 PM. Reason: spelling
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    That idea was pretty much what I've been saying about the "class (and race) rarity" system since the idea was first floated over our heads -- it's an excellent shorthand for world-building (or perhaps world-defining).
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  3. #3
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    Put rules / guidelines for creating races / classes into the DMG. That way you can A) put a "core" set in without muddying the waters and still allow people to create their own stuff to bring their old campaign or settings along with them and B) give incentives for the more creative players to pick up a traditionally "DM only" book. The DM can still have approval over what goes into their campaign and modify the player's creation, but they'll know if the guidelines were followed, then the race / class should be playable.

    D&D has always been about home-brewing stuff. If someone really wanted Tiefling in their game, they can always make it. Giving guidelines makes it explicit that you're expected to homebrew stuff.

    As for the rarity system, I like it. You can even define setting stuff using it. "Dragonborn are considered Common in this region of the world."

  4. #4
    Dragonborn and Tieflings in the core PHB is good news. I forsee a lot of player vs DM trying to talk the DM into allowing things.

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    As a way to address the divide between lovers and haters of dragonborn, this seems a pretty good solution.

    <mild tangential rant>It does touch on a longstanding gripe of mine, however, which is D&D's eternal assumption that Everything Has Elves And Dwarves, and Almost Everything Has Halflings. I mean, if you look at the broader range of fantasy fiction and classify the protagonists, what you come up with is something like this:

    Common Races: Humans.
    Uncommon Races: Part-humans, cursed humans, transformed humans, superior humans.
    Rare Races: Everything else.

    Slim, pretty, bow-shooting elves and stout, gruff, axe-swinging dwarves are cribbed directly from Tolkien and show up almost nowhere else, except in the works of people who are imitating either Tolkien or D&D or both *cough*Eragon*cough*. Protagonists in other works are overwhelmingly human. Those that aren't human are usually human-plus, being either a hybrid of human and something else (half-faerie, half-demon, half-god), or a human subjected to some kind of transformation or enchantment (vampire, werewolf), or a Human Who Is Better Than You Boring Regular Humans (anyone with hereditary special powers).

    Protagonists who were never human at all are quite unusual and tend to be one-offs. In all of fantasy, there is to my knowledge only one Melnibonean protagonist. I think you'd find more talking animal protagonists than elves or dwarves.

    I don't know that there is much to be done about this. For better or worse, we seem to be stuck with elves and dwarves as part of the baseline in D&D, for the same reason we're stuck with Vancian wizards and +1 swords: They've been part of the game forever. But it would be nice to get at least a nod to the idea that a campaign without them is not a crazy radical thing.</mild tangential rant>
    Last edited by Dausuul; Saturday, 28th April, 2012 at 03:49 AM.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Elodan View Post
    Have to admit I like the idea of tagging the races with common, uncommon, rare as it applies to what a DM allows in his or her campaign:
    It's a good idea, but I'm not sure I like the terms. They imply a prevalence to those races within the game world, as opposed to options for the DM to choose from in populating the world. It suggests that those "rare" races are "supposed" to be in DnD, just in small quantities, so I'm not sure it quite accomplishes the stated goal.

    I think, instead, names that reflect the style of fantasy those races are associated with:

    Classic (Human, Elves, Dwarves, Halflings)
    Traditional (Half-elves, Half-orcs, Gnomes, High Elves, Drow)
    Modern (Dragonborn, Tieflings, Deva, Warforged, Wilden, etc.)

  7. #7
    A more useful division of races would be:


  8. #8
    Sure, I can live with that. I initially wanted those rare races to appear in supplements, but I'm sort of leaning to a core where everyone gets the races they want.

    It's easier to just say 'no dragonborn' for the group that doesn't want them than for the group that does want them to have to stat them up themselves.

  9. #9
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    Not a fan. I don't need lizards with chesticles or poor misunderstood emo-tieflings.

    I hope they reconsider and modulize them.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janaxstrus View Post
    Not a fan. I don't need lizards with chesticles or poor misunderstood emo-tieflings.

    I hope they reconsider and modulize them.
    more so then having 3 levels of race and being able to pick as you want??? How much more modular can u get?
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