D&D 5th Edition D&D Next Blog: Tone and Edition - Page 8


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  1. #71
    So not worth panty bunching over; in the end the DM will decide what is and is not included in his campaign, like if I run a Ravenloft campaign set in the domain of Borca, Human would be the only option, and in my Planescape campaign, anything goes, with Aasimar, Bauriars and Tieflings being common.

 

  • #72
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    I think this a great idea, an elegant and useful solution to the gnome problem. For many groups, all of the races and classes will be fair game, so the rarity label will just be an unused line, like encumbrance rules. Other groups will have playstyles where the group trusts the DM to allow or disallow races/classes as he sees fit. The common/uncommon/rare designations, if nothing else, can at least be a useful shorthand for those DMs, even if they don't use the default settings. So it's an unintrusive, unused setting for those who don't need it. But for those groups who can use it, where a DM may not feel confident banning races or classes that are in the PHB, or for novice DMs just starting out making their own world, it can be a default that makes it easier for them to manage all the options in the PHB, or a system that lets them adjust the setting that has rulebook backing, so they don't have to go all Viking hat.

    People often say, "How can WotC provide a game when one group wants A, and another group wants Z, the exact opposite?" Some folks want dragonborn, tieflings, and warlords in the PHB. Others just want the classic races and the classic classes. This system gives them both what they want -- and gives us in the excluded middle a bunch of options as well. We are excluded no more!

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    Am I the only here to think that this post created a division out of nowhere? I think it offered another subject for the edition war...
    But maybe it's only my imagination...

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    Quote Originally Posted by outsider View Post
    The point of it is to try to reel back in groups that will absolutely not play with Dragonborn/etc, while not losing the players that like that stuff. I suspect we are going to see alot of "compromises" like this from 5e.
    It doesn't look like anything more than that to me. Tell people that their preferred races are good, and other peoples are bad, and hope they'll accept it more.


    Of course in my opinion if Sword and Sorcery is a genre that D&D is going to try and do, then weird-humans like tieflings belong far more than the Tolkien knock-off elves/dwarves/halflings that we're getting. So one more sign that 5e is going a direction I won't like.

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    Edit: Ah now I get it! Then weird humans belong far more into generic 5th Edition worlds than standard fantasy races do.

    Well, I disagree anyway. The theme and style of stories is mostly independetnt from the parts that make the setting the story takes place in. Dark Sun is very S&S, but has all the standard races. Wheel of Time has more Hyborian-style races, but is still High Fantasy.
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    Rarity for races is plain simply not necessary. Just say the DM (or the campaign setting or the group as whole, depending on playstyles) decides what races are readily available.

    But if they do this, I'll still have halforcs and gnomes, but no halfelves in my setting, despite both being "uncommon". And halforcs will be a common sight and gnomes a rarity in world.

    I'd much rather see a common, uncommon, rare system for vancian spells.

    If stuff like teleport and scry are rare spells, those who love their scry-buff-teleport can say rare spells are readily available and I can say rare spells are really hard to aquire and they might never appear in the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick y. View Post
    Conversely, I think putting races like tieflings, dragonborn, and the like sends the message that D&D isn't just a poor man's Tolkien (and Tolkien-knockoff) simulator. Which I think is the right message to send in a modern system. The boundaries of what is considered generic fantasy have expanded a lot in the last couple of decades, and I don't think you'd find a whole lot of younger fantasy fans, especially, who would consider dragonfolk or half-demons to be anything out of the ordinary. If races like tiefling were ever "cool and dark and gritty", it was a long time ago. At this point, I think distancing D&D from the idea that "generic fantasy" means human, dwarf, elf, halfling is a good thing, because the larger culture has long since done so.
    I can see what you're saying. (You seem to be assuming that I am not a "younger fantasy fan", though, which is debatable; I don't know what was going on two decades ago). The problem with elves and dwarves is that they've been done before.

    On the other hand, they're assumed. Everyone has some ideas about them, which means you don't have to establish much. Having to explain things to people is a barrier to getting them in the game. And yes, you have to explain to most people what the word "Tiefling" refers to. Expanding the game doesn't have to be about adding new races front and center, it can be a matter of doing the old ones better. For example, Dragon Age has done pretty well by simply giving us new takes on old tropes, as has Pathfinder.

    Proliferation is also a problem. If you keep the basic races and start adding on to them, things just get confusing. A new player does not need to see ten or fifteen races to choose, and new races can't really be inserted in place of the old ones. It's really best to have a few standards on page 1 and then let people add a selection of other ones on later to spice things up.

    And, for whatever discussion one wants to have about race options, it's important to remember that they are really icing on the cake. The majority of all D&D characters are probably humans, which somehow never get old.
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    Please people! Make sure you're writing complete sentences. You can't just leave out a couple of words and hope people still understand what you mean. Saw it happening three or four times on this forum just today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
    Classical Mythology is positively littered with the offspring of gods and demons. D&D draws from that IMO a lot more than it does merely from Tolkein. Where is my Hercules? My 22 str plane-touched human? What about my Achilles? Judeo-Christian theology is filled with the idea of evil beings attempting to procreate with humans. These are NOT uncommon ideas.
    Consider this in the context of the wider world, however. The Bible is not a book about the average Joe, or even the average Sir; it is a collection of all of the notable characters in a single book. Of course it is littered with the exceptions; that is what it is about. Throw in a complete list of the great unwashed masses, however, and suddenly they do not look so prevalent. The core presumption of D&D characters, however, is not that they are notable for who or what they are, but for having the right stuff that will allow them to climb the ladder to greatness. That is a different kind of notable than most myths are based on.
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