5E Second Edition Reverse Engineered D&D 5e race design and over 40 example races
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  1. #1

    Second Edition Reverse Engineered D&D 5e race design and over 40 example races

    After another year of play-testing and numerous changes and fixes I present a new edition of the Race Creation rules!
    After a couple of years of work I ask the following as a courtesy. You may use this to create races for publication if I am credited as “Additional game design by Karl David Brown”. I expect no other payment.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/iwks50klit...20200.pdf?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/1pyghoqohm...2027.xlsx?dl=0

    FAQ
    Some comments come up where- ever this is posted. Here is some text from the article:

    How is this different?
    So how is this article different? In Part 2 I have analysed all the race and feat traits in the PHB, Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG), and Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (EEPC) and then reverse engineered the system Wizards of the Coast uses in-house to create PC races. There may be differences in some of the relative point values presented here but otherwise this is very close to what WOTC uses. This provides a basis beyond intuition to evaluate races and greater creative freedom than using existing races as templates. I’m confident most of the races produced by this process will be balanced.

    Has this been play-tested?
    This project began in October 2014. In the year since then the system has been critiqued and used during the construction, building example races, and beta release phases through forums at WOTC, RPG.net, RPG Geek, and Enworld. Additionally there has been hundreds of player/hours of live testing at Gatekeeper Games Melbourne Australia.


    But there is no system!
    Some people do not think WOTC has a secret in-house system for me to reverse engineer. I believe that there is a system because WOTC is investing millions based on detailed math created and maintained by a team that is likely to have a shifting membership over several years, WOTC is going to want records to ensure the continuity of future products. Probably information gleaned from practical play concerns etc. are fed back into the evolving document at WOTC. Therefore what I have reverse-engineered is a ‘snapshot’ of that evolving document taken at the time the EEPC was released. My confidence is buoyed by my work predicting that some traits were zero point before the release of Waterborne Unearthed Arcana wherein the designer's confirmed they used zero point traits which they call 'ribbons'. Furthermore the beta version accurately priced most of the EEPC races when that document was released.

    Why do you assume that all canon races are of equal value?
    I make this assumption for two reasons.
    Firstly, I believe WOTC would intend to design races that are equal at the table. This view is supported by press releases and communications with fans wherein WOTC consistently reflects the fan-base’s obsession with ‘balance’. As fans we can argue if they succeeded forever. This issue is compounded because every group plays differently, even if the rules are identical the mix of challenges and how they are presented varies from group to group.
    Secondly, the assumption makes it possible to replace most guesswork with math. Using this assumption I remove much of the ‘why’ of judgment, and judgment is really just another word for guessing; guessing what WOTC’s designers were thinking. By making this one assumption I can avoid hundreds of other judgment calls (guesses). Where possible I limit guesswork by using math. If I do not make this assumption the math CANNOT be done and I am reduced to guessing the values of every trait like everyone else then arguing the relative merits of traits qualitatively and endlessly like everyone else.
    If I assume that canon races are not worth the same amount of points my project cannot be done at all.



    Why did I price this or that trait the way I did?
    Your experience and reasoning may lead you to believe that a particular trait is more or less useful in play than my pricing would indicate. The problem is everyone has differing opinions about these relative values. This is why I use math to remove as much of my own judgment as possible, give you a rating of confidence in evidence, and list the page numbers for the evidence I used for each trait. After all that I still tell you to change anything you don’t agree with.
    Last edited by Coronoides; Tuesday, 27th December, 2016 at 11:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Coronoides View Post
    After another year of play-testing and numerous changes and fixes I present a new edition of the Race Creation rules!

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/iwks50klit...20200.pdf?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/1pyghoqohm...2027.xlsx?dl=0

    FAQ
    Some comments come up where- ever this is posted. Here is some text from the article:

    How is this different?
    So how is this article different? In Part 2 I have analysed all the race and feat traits in the PHB, Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG), and Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (EEPC) and then reverse engineered the system Wizards of the Coast uses in-house to create PC races. There may be differences in some of the relative point values presented here but otherwise this is very close to what WOTC uses. This provides a basis beyond intuition to evaluate races and greater creative freedom than using existing races as templates. I’m confident most of the races produced by this process will be balanced.

    Has this been play-tested?
    This project began in October 2014. In the year since then the system has been critiqued and used during the construction, building example races, and beta release phases through forums at WOTC, RPG.net, RPG Geek, and Enworld. Additionally there has been hundreds of player/hours of live testing at Gatekeeper Games Melbourne Australia.


    But there is no system!
    Some people do not think WOTC has a secret in-house system for me to reverse engineer. I believe that there is a system because WOTC is investing millions based on detailed math created and maintained by a team that is likely to have a shifting membership over several years, WOTC is going to want records to ensure the continuity of future products. Probably information gleaned from practical play concerns etc. are fed back into the evolving document at WOTC. Therefore what I have reverse-engineered is a ‘snapshot’ of that evolving document taken at the time the EEPC was released. My confidence is buoyed by my work predicting that some traits were zero point before the release of Waterborne Unearthed Arcana wherein the designer's confirmed they used zero point traits which they call 'ribbons'. Furthermore the beta version accurately priced most of the EEPC races when that document was released.

    Why do you assume that all canon races are of equal value?
    I make this assumption for two reasons.
    Firstly, I believe WOTC would intend to design races that are equal at the table. This view is supported by press releases and communications with fans wherein WOTC consistently reflects the fan-base’s obsession with ‘balance’. As fans we can argue if they succeeded forever. This issue is compounded because every group plays differently, even if the rules are identical the mix of challenges and how they are presented varies from group to group.
    Secondly, the assumption makes it possible to replace most guesswork with math. Using this assumption I remove much of the ‘why’ of judgment, and judgment is really just another word for guessing; guessing what WOTC’s designers were thinking. By making this one assumption I can avoid hundreds of other judgment calls (guesses). Where possible I limit guesswork by using math. If I do not make this assumption the math CANNOT be done and I am reduced to guessing the values of every trait like everyone else then arguing the relative merits of traits qualitatively and endlessly like everyone else.
    If I assume that canon races are not worth the same amount of points my project cannot be done at all.



    Why did I price this or that trait the way I did?
    Your experience and reasoning may lead you to believe that a particular trait is more or less useful in play than my pricing would indicate. The problem is everyone has differing opinions about these relative values. This is why I use math to remove as much of my own judgment as possible, give you a rating of confidence in evidence, and list the page numbers for the evidence I used for each trait. After all that I still tell you to change anything you don’t agree with.

    Seems legit, dude; shy post this here, instead of on the DMs Guild for the world to see...?

  3. #3
    Having read through this, I think you male a very compelling case that 5E is actually a point buy system disguised; very good work!

  4. #4
    Haven't used the DM's Guild yet. Want to give me a summary of how it works?

  5. #5
    I could not agree more.
    "...This view is supported by press releases and communications with fans wherein WOTC consistently reflects the fan-base’s obsession with ‘balance’. As fans we can argue if they succeeded
    forever. This issue is compounded because every group plays differently, even if the rules are identical the mix of challenges and how they are presented varies from group to group."





  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Coronoides View Post
    Haven't used the DM's Guild yet. Want to give me a summary of how it works?

    You put together a PDF, and upload it, is my understanding; put it for free, set a price or pay what you want. You can use some of WotC IP, no problem.

  7. #7
    Had a bit of a look.Looks like they are happy with people using races they own as PC races. The appearance of most of what I saw was very professional. Great artwork. I'll be skipped over a lot on appearance alone. Will continue investigations.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Coronoides View Post
    Had a bit of a look.Looks like they are happy with people using races they own as PC races. The appearance of most of what I saw was very professional. Great artwork. I'll be skipped over a lot on appearance alone. Will continue investigations.

    Well, WotC on the DMs Guild has provided free artwork for use as assets in PDFs on the DMs Guild; with what you have put together mathematically, which is awesome, and some of that art, cleaned up a bit...could be a very solid contribution to the community.

  9. #9
    @Coronoides have you had a chance to analyze the Volos Guide races, see how they pine up by your model? There is some controversy over Kobolds and Orcs have -2 attributes, specifically...

  10. #10
    Not yet. Only the limited edition special cover has been released in my country. I'm glad to hear my systems prediction that WOTC would release races with minus attributes has come true.

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