D&D 5E A Compilation of all the Race Changes in Monsters of the Multiverse

Over on Reddit, user KingJackel went through the video leak which came out a few days ago and manually compiled a list of all the changes to races in the book. The changes are quite extensive, with only the fairy and harengon remaining unchanged. The book contains 33 races in total, compiled and updated from previous Dungeons & Dragons books.

greg-rutkowski-monsters-of-the-multiverse-1920.jpg



 

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Alright. Q: What are racial ability bonuses? A: The trends of populations of fictional beings, on some kind of measure.
Yes.

Q: In a simulation, what data would give us these numbers?
A: The mean ("average") on some set of metrics, e.g. height, mass, lift strength, reaction time, ??? for Charisma, etc.

Q: Is it a correct model of actual population variability to expect that this average represents most members?
A: No, not at all. In fact, even when examining whole populations (not just samples), subjects that meet all requirements to be "average" are rare, even with an insanely broad meaning of "average" like "the middle 50% of all aviators." They may not even exist at all, if too many metrics are used.

Q: Do fixed racial ability scores actually offer simulative or verisimilitudinous benefits?
A: It appears they do not. A simulation which uses them would fail to actually represent the real, measurable variability found in all actual populations of living beings. At least as I understand the term, "verisimilitude" refers to resembling what is true or real, and the true and real thing is that population variability pretty much absolutely trumps the central tendencies ("averages"). It is, in fact, an un-simulative abstraction to treat all members of a population as being like the average of their measured traits.
Sorry, none of things makes any sense. You keep repeating the same thing, but it is an utter non sequitur. That most people are not average has absolutely nothing to do with anything. That most wolves or bears are not average does not in any way or form change the fact that bears are on average way stronger than the wolves and that strongest bears are stronger than the strongest wolves.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

That most wolves or bears are not average does not in any way or form change the fact that bears are on average way stronger than the wolves and that strongest bears are stronger than the strongest wolves.
This seems like an attempt to shift the argument away from what it's actually about, which is humanoid beings in a fantasy world. It also helps illustrate how limited D&D's stats are for measuring this sort of thing.

Further, you're still on about STR. That seems to be the only stat you care about. Literally you have no arguments that don't involve STR. DEX, CON, INT, WIS, and CHA can all go to hell, I guess? If your point was valid, you'd be able to argue it about any stat, but you can't. You can only even try to argue it about STR.

I mean, what's got higher DEX, a wolf or a bear? Wolves clearly have extremely quick reflexes, but can't climb for toast. Bears can climb well and do all sorts of dextrous stuff with their paws. What's got higher CON? Bears can probably survive nastier injuries, but wolves likely have better endurance. Who has a higher INT? And so on.

If STR is really the sole concern for you, maybe say so and we can focus on that? If not, lets hear about other stats and why they should have fixed mods.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
This seems like an attempt to shift the argument away from what it's actually about, which is humanoid beings in a fantasy world. It also helps illustrate how limited D&D's stats are for measuring this sort of thing.

Further, you're still on about STR. That seems to be the only stat you care about. Literally you have no arguments that don't involve STR. DEX, CON, INT, WIS, and CHA can all go to hell, I guess? If your point was valid, you'd be able to argue it about any stat, but you can't. You can only even try to argue it about STR.

I mean, what's got higher DEX, a wolf or a bear? Wolves clearly have extremely quick reflexes, but can't climb for toast. Bears can climb well and do all sorts of dextrous stuff with their paws. What's got higher CON? Bears can probably survive nastier injuries, but wolves likely have better endurance. Who has a higher INT? And so on.

If STR is really the sole concern for you, maybe say so and we can focus on that? If not, lets hear about other stats and why they should have fixed mods.
I think INT is best removed from the game as players and DMs aren't particularly great at playing it. And, even if a lot of sub-types of IQ (or whatnot) or college preparedness subscales (or whatnot) are highly correlated in the general population, the advanced knowledge folks have (which is where it is used) don't feel like they would be nearly as related (but I haven't studied that). I would split WIS into Perception and Willpower. I would split DEX into at least two abilities, dividing up AC, missile to hit, initiative, and taking melee to hit from STR (there's a thread out there looking for ideas on it).
 
Last edited:

Yes.


Sorry, none of things makes any sense. You keep repeating the same thing, but it is an utter non sequitur. That most people are not average has absolutely nothing to do with anything. That most wolves or bears are not average does not in any way or form change the fact that bears are on average way stronger than the wolves and that strongest bears are stronger than the strongest wolves.
So...where do these numbers come from? How are you saying "X race has <stat> far enough above/below baseline that a modifier is required"? These numbers don't just appear from nowhere. They come from something. That's the whole point of simulationism: numbers come from something, they're not just there because we declare they're there.

If they don't come from the average measurements of that race, what on earth DO they come from?
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I think INT is best removed from the game as players and DMs aren't particularly great at playing it. And, even if a lot of sub-types of IQ (or whatnot) or college preparedness subscales (or whatnot) are highly correlated in the general population, the advanced knowledge folks have (which is where it is used) don't feel like they would be nearly as related (but I haven't studied that). I would split WIS into Perception and Willpower. I would split DEX into at least two abilities, dividing up AC, melee to hit, initiative, and taking melee to hit from STR (there's a thread out there looking for ideas on it).
Just realize that none of this is going to happen because D&D has six stats and they are the six stats that have been in the game since is was created. They will never change or get rid of any of those stats because culturally even outside of D&D those are the things that people know about the game.

They can't even bite the bullet and get rid of the 3-18 range on stats and move to just the bonuses for the stats despite the numerical stats having almost no impact on the game except for those bonuses (and where they do have an impact it's a design choice made to keep the number relevant). Because "everyone knows" that an 18 Strength in D&D is a "thing", while a +4 Strength is only a thing to those of us who play the game.

The reason why we have the stats we have is because it isn't perceived as D&D without those stats. The reason why we have stat bonuses for races is because originally races had racial maximums/minimums and when they went to 3e they tried to modernize that and moved it to bonuses and penalties. And every iteration they keep trying to find some mechanic that keeps some kind of nebulous "feel" of D&D while not being a terrible mechanic.

Call em sacred cows, call them cultural knowledge. You're as likely to get rid of saving throws and hit points as you are the six ability scores.

(Even 4e - which slaughtered as many sacred cows as they thought they could - refused to budge on the six ability scores and the numerical scores for them. Because there's a recognition that they're too baked into the game as culture to change them.)
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Just realize that none of this is going to happen because D&D has six stats and they are the six stats that have been in the game since is was created. They will never change or get rid of any of those stats because culturally even outside of D&D those are the things that people know about the game.

Definitely. I was just noting that some of us that are concerned about strength here are concerned about other abilities too. :)
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I think INT is best removed from the game as players and DMs aren't particularly great at playing it. And, even if a lot of sub-types of IQ (or whatnot) or college preparedness subscales (or whatnot) are highly correlated in the general population, the advanced knowledge folks have (which is where it is used) don't feel like they would be nearly as related (but I haven't studied that). I would split WIS into Perception and Willpower. I would split DEX into at least two abilities, dividing up AC, melee to hit, initiative, and taking melee to hit from STR (there's a thread out there looking for ideas on it).
Agreed.

Even for lore. Why do we even have Lore check? You know that stuff or you dont. A cleric should not have to roll to recall stuff about their religion. Druid should just ''know'' about animal and stuff, rangers should just ''know'' everything about their favored foe/terrain. And if the character does not have access to a piece of lore from its background/class/race? Well that's a good excuse to use the Research downtime activity or go adventuring for that piece of lore! Or use mostly kinda useless features like Know your Enemy and Hunter's Eye! Use a ritual to ask a Power for that info!
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Agreed.

Even for lore. Why do we even have Lore check? You know that stuff or you dont. A cleric should not have to roll to recall stuff about their religion. Druid should just ''know'' about animal and stuff, rangers should just ''know'' everything about their favored foe/terrain. And if the character does not have access to a piece of lore from its background/class/race? Well that's a good excuse to use the Research downtime activity or go adventuring for that piece of lore! Or use mostly kinda useless features like Know your Enemy and Hunter's Eye! Use a ritual to ask a Power for that info!
I've taken to not calling for rolls at all (or even waiting for the PC to ask) when there is something they might no (pointing out to the ranger that something ahead looked odd, to the cleric that the symbol of the god of ____ was over there and what that god stood for). For "trivia" I still have been giving a roll.

I haven't thought it through, but I can see a game without INT using 10 + modifier based on class relevance as the base for knowledge checks. So, a Cleric might get a base of 13, but 10 on most things. etc...
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I've taken to not calling for rolls at all (or even waiting for the PC to ask) when there is something they might no (pointing out to the ranger that something ahead looked odd, to the cleric that the symbol of the god of ____ was over there and what that god stood for). For "trivia" I still have been giving a roll.

I haven't thought it through, but I can see a game without INT using 10 + modifier based on class relevance as the base for knowledge checks. So, a Cleric might get a base of 13, but 10 on most things. etc...
I've already moved cultural knowledge to the Language proficiencies, so a Dwarf is proficient in Dwarf culture: he can speak and read dwarven, know about their general history and etiquette.
 

Aldarc

Legend
One of the many things I like about Level Up is that race matters throughout your career. At 10th, you get to make a choice to improve a heritage ability or gain a new one.
This is actually approach that Shadow of the Demon Lord* and Pathfinder 2 take. You may want to check out those games as well.

* I do believe, however, that ancestry benefits at later levels and ancestry-based attribute bonuses are going the way of the dodo in Schwalb's upcoming Shadow of the Weird Wizard. Ancestries still confer traits.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yeah, it is probably false. On the other hand, you’re not helping by calling some other hypothetical player dumb for not optimizing to your satisfaction. That opinion you should keep to yourself.
Yeah the elitist gatekeeping in the D&D community doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Oh well.

Anyway, there are rather a lot of stats, statements by wotc and dndbeyond folks, and other evidence that suggest most people don’t care much about optimization. The argument about it has been rehashed a dozen times so I won’t go further into it here.

Also. Anyone who thinks it’s such a big deal to “waste” an ASI on improving a low score, that they’ll belittle someone over it and claim they “don’t understand the game at all”, is probably the one that has a stunted understanding of the game. 5e just isn’t built in a way where maxed stats are actually necessary, at all.
 

So...where do these numbers come from? How are you saying "X race has <stat> far enough above/below baseline that a modifier is required"? These numbers don't just appear from nowhere. They come from something. That's the whole point of simulationism: numbers come from something, they're not just there because we declare they're there.

If they don't come from the average measurements of that race, what on earth DO they come from?
Why are you conflating most individuals not being average with determining the average being impossible? Are bears on average stronger than humans are humans on average smarter than chimps? You can answer these questions just fine, despite most bears humans and chimps not being average.
 

ART!

Legend
I think the end proccess of all this, or at least the way the logic is leading is to some kind of fate like aspects. But the fanbase would never wear that, so I think we're doomed to continued incoherence.
"doomed to continued incoherence" is my new favorite phrase!
I wonder why they keep ASI in races at this point, if everyone has floating ASIs, what's the point of duplicating the text about +2/+1 in each and every race instead of having : roll 4d6, drop lowest, assign then add a 2 and a 1 as part of stat generation process?
Yeah - anything you can remove form each race description is going to save a lot of space when you've got 30 some-odd races. Floating ASIs and movement of 30'- that's two lines of text right there that every single race doesn't need to have.
I suppose what they could do is have a dmg (or a dmg2 or whatever) that shows people how to use variant rules as dials to make the generic 5e game into the game they want to play.
I really, really want this in the 2022 DMG. They can flesh things out out in sourcebooks.

Regarding the discussion of Ability Scores and the question of "why have Ability Scores at all": assuming the classic Abilities are things one wants to keep in D&D, I wonder if they can be transmogrified a bit into something more like Approaches in the Fate rpg. There are 6 of them, and they're probably modeled after the 6 ability scores: Careful, Clever, Flashy, Forceful, Quick, Sneaky. There's some iteration of Fate that literally just gives them the names of the D&D abilities, so in the same order it would be WIS, INT, CHA, STR, CON, DEX. I may be off on something there, but you get the point.

Approaches work a lot like Abilities, in that you add the relevant Approach score when you describe an action that it makes sense to use that Approach for.

But I wonder if you could expand this for use in D&D, maybe folding in Personality Traits. Approaches are literally descriptions of how good your character is at approaching problems in certain ways.

I'm at work so I've kind of lost my train of thought, and I don't know how you would smoosh Abilities and Personality Traits together mechanically in a way that makes sense in D&D, but anyway, there it is. :)
 

Why are you conflating most individuals not being average with determining the average being impossible? Are bears on average stronger than humans are humans on average smarter than chimps? You can answer these questions just fine, despite most bears humans and chimps not being average.
I'm not.

What I'm saying is, you're using these averages, aren't you? Which means they're coming from data about those creatures, within the simulation. That's what simulationism is all about. But those averages are deeply misleading, because they give the impression that EVERY member of the population fits those averages. And those averages are, quite literally, the only thing that the racial ability score bonuses can be derived from.

But if you're deriving bonuses that every member of the race must have, you are enforcing that all members of the race are average, physiologically. That is factually untrue, and specifically a purely-gamist abstraction applied to real populations which will deviate from that, sometimes very significantly.

Yes, training should matter. But we're not talking about training, here. We're not talking about ASIs from levels. We're talking about racial ability scores. And it is simply, factually, not true that "the average dragonborn is stronger than the average human" equates to "all dragonborn are naturally +2 Str compared to all humans, regardless of other factors." Those modifiers simply, factually, cannot capture the real variability that real, living populations express. No simulation predicated on this abstraction will produce results that conform to an expectation of real-population-like dynamics, because that's simply not how real populations work.

The average, as a numerical value, exists. That does not, in any way, imply that that reflects a fundamental attribute of the population in question. Deviations--sometimes dramatic ones!--will exist. Those deviations are far more likely to occur in special subsets of the population that differ from the norm in other ways, and adventurers are about as unique a subset as one can get.

Hence: The way the actual averages of real populations work exactly contradicts this effort at simulating things. An actual simulation of things would indicate that, while the average exists numerically and describes a trend observable in that population, it not only does not but cannot be used to preclude the existence of (say) a few elves that are just as uncoordinated and slow as an uncoordinated and slow dwarf. (Or, likewise, the existence of a few dwarves that are just as dextrous as the most dextrous of elves.) And, thus, we get a step closer to actually simulating a population of distinct beings by having not just variability, but varying degrees of variability, dancing around those central tendencies, which will never be directly observable by players because they aren't taking surveys of 4000 elves to find out what the average elf's dexterity is to begin with.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
@Faolyn @AcererakTriple6

Both ASIs and traits are mechanics that give the creature a capability or enhance existing capability in order to simulate how the creature is in the fiction. Similar machinal capability may or may not be possible to acquire with other means. Usually it is. Proficiencies, flight speed, unarmed damage etc, all can be acquired by means other than the race.
ASIs can be acquired by anyone. Whatever the stat is, multiple races give it as a bonus. There are nine races that give a +2 to Strength. Three of them, plus one sub-race, give +2 Str/+1 Con. ASIs are granted by classes and by some feats. There is nothing unique or race-specific about ASIs.

However, the traits, specifically the combination of traits, are unique to each race and sub-race. Sure, there's several ways to get unarmed damage, but getting claws and super-fast zoomies (and darkvision and Perception and Stealth proficiencies)? Only one race has that combination, to the point that you likely were able to immediately identify that race as a tabaxi. And sure, there's several ways to gain flight--but they're all magical and most of them are short-term. Only way to have constant, non-magical flight ability is by playing one of the three flying races.

And again, there is an enormous difference between an individual member of a race and the entire race, and an enormous difference between a +2 in a stat that anyone can get in multiple different ways, and a grouping of trait that only members who were born as a particular race can get.
 

I think one of the problems is, while it certainly makes sense that an adventurer would deviant in significant ways from the average for his race, and that the average can still largely hold true (in aggregate at least) for the world outside of the PCs, the fact remains that the PCs are far and away the most visible representatives of their species, particularly if they are nonhuman. And if they are an outlier from their people, those traits will become what the race is like in the game, regardless of DM intentions, simply because that's what we see. Bob the mighty 20 Strength halfling might be considered unusual by halfling standards, but if we don't see many other halflings (and in many cases we won't) then that means exactly nothing. They might as well all be like Bob, because that's where the spotlight is.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I think one of the problems is, while it certainly makes sense that an adventurer would deviant in significant ways from the average for his race, and that the average can still largely hold true (in aggregate at least) for the world outside of the PCs, the fact remains that the PCs are far and away the most visible representatives of their species, particularly if they are nonhuman. And if they are an outlier from their people, those traits will become what the race is like in the game, regardless of DM intentions, simply because that's what we see. Bob the mighty 20 Strength halfling might be considered unusual by halfling standards, but if we don't see many other halflings (and in many cases we won't) then that means exactly nothing. They might as well all be like Bob, because that's where the spotlight is.
That's a problem for the DM, not for the game, though. The DM can just say that one of the towns the PCs pass through is a halfling town.
 

This seems like an attempt to shift the argument away from what it's actually about, which is humanoid beings in a fantasy world. It also helps illustrate how limited D&D's stats are for measuring this sort of thing.

Further, you're still on about STR. That seems to be the only stat you care about. Literally you have no arguments that don't involve STR. DEX, CON, INT, WIS, and CHA can all go to hell, I guess? If your point was valid, you'd be able to argue it about any stat, but you can't. You can only even try to argue it about STR.

I mean, what's got higher DEX, a wolf or a bear? Wolves clearly have extremely quick reflexes, but can't climb for toast. Bears can climb well and do all sorts of dextrous stuff with their paws. What's got higher CON? Bears can probably survive nastier injuries, but wolves likely have better endurance. Who has a higher INT? And so on.

If STR is really the sole concern for you, maybe say so and we can focus on that? If not, lets hear about other stats and why they should have fixed mods.
The same logic certainly applies to all ability scores. But yes, strength is the most obvious case, because it is rather clearly definable and because the massive differences in the sizes of PC species makes it being same for everyone most blatantly jarring. So yeah, I fully admit that the strength issue is the most pressing for my disbelief suspenders. If strength had a cap tied to the size* then that could be enough to solve the matter for me, and might be even better than the current method. And as you can effectively fight with dex, this really wouldn't even be a balance issue (as long as barbarian is fixed to allow functioning dex build.)

* E.G.
Small 16
Medium 20
Large 24
 

I'm not.

What I'm saying is, you're using these averages, aren't you? Which means they're coming from data about those creatures, within the simulation. That's what simulationism is all about. But those averages are deeply misleading, because they give the impression that EVERY member of the population fits those averages. And those averages are, quite literally, the only thing that the racial ability score bonuses can be derived from.

But if you're deriving bonuses that every member of the race must have, you are enforcing that all members of the race are average, physiologically. That is factually untrue, and specifically a purely-gamist abstraction applied to real populations which will deviate from that, sometimes very significantly.
No! Why on earth would you think that? Half-orc with Str 10 (8 + racial ASI 2)= weaker than average half orc. Halfling with Str 12 (12 + racial ASI 0)= slightly stronger than average halfling. Neither is average, ASIs are in play.

Different species have different ranges in which their individual members vary in the given area of competence. Both dogs and chimps vary in intelligence, but an average chimp is smarter than an average dog and a smart dog is still not as smart as as a smart chimp. (Do you deny this?) This shift in range is what ASIs simulate. It is a perfectly coherent concept.

I understand that people might not care to have such attention detail in their fantasy game, or value balance over such attempts at simulationism. I fully get it; I have different preferences, but I get it. But frankly, I have no idea what you're trying to do, your argument simply makes no sense to me. 🤷
 

And this is why powerful build (little giant) is the right way of representing the strength of a goliath. No matter how much str the halfling has, they can't compete with the goliath. (ok a 20 str halfling can compete with a 10 str goliath. And that seems about right.
In something that really doesn't matter.

It's a bit like saying to the Dragonborn you can have a form of dragon's breath, but you can only use it to start campfires.
 
Last edited:

Visit Our Sponsor

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top