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.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

This shift in range is what ASIs simulate. It is a perfectly coherent concept.
Except it doesn't. That's my whole point. It DOES NOT do that. It makes ABSOLUTELY ALL characters of a given race have that trait. But that's ridiculous SPECIFICALLY for the reasons I've cited. NOT all members should have that trait. That's literally the point. Just as, even though real-world men are on average meaningfully stronger than real-world women, it is trivial to find men who are not just "not as strong as average woman" but comparable to the bottom end of female strength.

That's what I'm saying. You are simply, factually INCORRECT to say that this +2 whatever ACTUALLY represents the difference in central tendency. Because you SHOULD see basically the entire spectrum. That's the point. You SHOULD see Str 8 orcs sometimes. You SHOULD see Dex 8 elves sometimes. They should not be common, but the fact that they aren't common IS what "the average Orc has +2 Str" MEANS. It does not, and never has, meant that absolutely every orc has an innate +2 Str.

THAT is the gamist abstraction I am railing against. Because it DOES NOT conform to the way actual, living populations work. It elides the real, measurable behavior of actual populations for a gamist simplification, abstracting all "is an X" characters in the exact same way.

Averages represent what is likely. That's the whole point of central tendencies. They represent what is likely. They do not, and cannot, represent the spread of the data. That's not the function averages (of any kind--means, medians, whatever) DO. They literally do not perform that mathematical function.
 

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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.
Not Crimson Longinus, but I tend to focus on Strength because it's the issue that bothers me the most. Charisma ought to be at least partly relative, while High Elves might traditionally have a bonus to Intelligence. there's no fictional depiction of them in D&D that really justifies this (If anything they should have a Charisma penalty based on their obviously unjustified sense of racial superiority.) Even halfling Dexterity, while traditional, doesn't really have much fictional justification (It's just there to direct them toward Rogues). But with Goliaths, being giantlike is basically the the point of them, and you can just look at the art for Goliaths and Minotaurs and Half-Orcs when placed against Halflings and see that one should be meaningfully stronger than the other.
 
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Except it doesn't. That's my whole point. It DOES NOT do that. It makes ABSOLUTELY ALL characters of a given race have that trait. But that's ridiculous SPECIFICALLY for the reasons I've cited. NOT all members should have that trait. That's literally the point. Just as, even though real-world men are on average meaningfully stronger than real-world women, it is trivial to find men who are not just "not as strong as average woman" but comparable to the bottom end of female strength.

That's what I'm saying. You are simply, factually INCORRECT to say that this +2 whatever ACTUALLY represents the difference in central tendency. Because you SHOULD see basically the entire spectrum. That's the point. You SHOULD see Str 8 orcs sometimes. You SHOULD see Dex 8 elves sometimes. They should not be common, but the fact that they aren't common IS what "the average Orc has +2 Str" MEANS. It does not, and never has, meant that absolutely every orc has an innate +2 Str.

THAT is the gamist abstraction I am railing against. Because it DOES NOT conform to the way actual, living populations work. It elides the real, measurable behavior of actual populations for a gamist simplification, abstracting all "is an X" characters in the exact same way.

Averages represent what is likely. That's the whole point of central tendencies. They represent what is likely. They do not, and cannot, represent the spread of the data. That's not the function averages (of any kind--means, medians, whatever) DO. They literally do not perform that mathematical function.
We are not talking about humans, we are talking about literal different species with massively different sizes. Even a pathetically weak adult bear that is healthy enough to function at all is stronger than the weakest wolf. You can vary from the average, that is literally what the point buy/roll is for.
 

We are not talking about humans, we are talking about literal different species with massively different sizes. Even a pathetically weak adult bear that is healthy enough to function at all is stronger than the weakest wolf. You can vary from the average, that is literally what the point buy/roll is for.
You are using averages to represent what variance (or standard deviation/similar statistics) represent. That's not what that thing is for. Having a central tendency tells you nothing whatsoever about the variability of the population. You literally do not know whether the floor of dragonborn strength is lower, higher, or equal to that of humans--and no, I simply don't accept that being bigger alone is enough. Wolverines are strong enough to take on bears that are 4x or more their size. Size alone is no more a useful than averages for describing the variability of the data.

Edit:
And like...this is LITERALLY, right now, here in the real world, used for productive simulations. Simulations used to make actual scientific predictions. Having JUST the average tells you nothing. If you don't also have the error bars, or some other representation of the spread of the data/results, scientifically speaking you have nothing. Error bars without the value they center on are just as meaningless as central tendency values without their associated error bars.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Except it doesn't. That's my whole point. It DOES NOT do that. It makes ABSOLUTELY ALL characters of a given race have that trait. But that's ridiculous SPECIFICALLY for the reasons I've cited. NOT all members should have that trait. That's literally the point. Just as, even though real-world men are on average meaningfully stronger than real-world women, it is trivial to find men who are not just "not as strong as average woman" but comparable to the bottom end of female strength.

That's what I'm saying. You are simply, factually INCORRECT to say that this +2 whatever ACTUALLY represents the difference in central tendency. Because you SHOULD see basically the entire spectrum. That's the point. You SHOULD see Str 8 orcs sometimes. You SHOULD see Dex 8 elves sometimes. They should not be common, but the fact that they aren't common IS what "the average Orc has +2 Str" MEANS. It does not, and never has, meant that absolutely every orc has an innate +2 Str.

THAT is the gamist abstraction I am railing against. Because it DOES NOT conform to the way actual, living populations work. It elides the real, measurable behavior of actual populations for a gamist simplification, abstracting all "is an X" characters in the exact same way.

Averages represent what is likely. That's the whole point of central tendencies. They represent what is likely. They do not, and cannot, represent the spread of the data. That's not the function averages (of any kind--means, medians, whatever) DO. They literally do not perform that mathematical function.
It's a game so, yes, shifting the normal curve 2 points higher than the 3-18 baseline is something the game can define for a fictional creature.
 

HammerMan

Legend
That's literally the point. Just as, even though real-world men are on average meaningfully stronger than real-world women, it is trivial to find men who are not just "not as strong as average woman" but comparable to the bottom end of female strength.
can I just say not only does underestimating woman work for some today (I have plenty of friends both male and female who can lift and carry more than me) but it goes back to my parents... my mother was always tougher than my dad. They also (although not str related) used to run a scam with racing cars in the 60's where my dad would brag, get a guy to bet he could beat him... then say "Dude, my girlfriend can beat you in a race" and my mom was the better driver so they used to make money doing this.
 

It's a game so, yes, shifting the normal curve 2 points higher than the 3-18 baseline is something the game can define for a fictional creature.
Crimson Longinus has, to the best of my knowledge, expressly rejected using such logic, because it is gamist. If you agree that this is a gamist choice, an abstraction that goes against the effort to represent things with concrete reality within the fictional world in order to make gameplay simpler or easier, then you have granted one of the two conclusions I was driving for, and I won't belabor the point.
 

You are using averages to represent what variance (or standard deviation/similar statistics) represent. That's not what that thing is for. Having a central tendency tells you nothing whatsoever about the variability of the population. You literally do not know whether the floor of dragonborn strength is lower, higher, or equal to that of humans--and no, I simply don't accept that being bigger alone is enough. Wolverines are strong enough to take on bears that are 4x or more their size. Size alone is no more a useful than averages for describing the variability of the data.

Edit:
And like...this is LITERALLY, right now, here in the real world, used for productive simulations. Simulations used to make actual scientific predictions. Having JUST the average tells you nothing. If you don't also have the error bars, or some other representation of the spread of the data/results, scientifically speaking you have nothing. Error bars without the value they center on are just as meaningless as central tendency values without their associated error bars.
Those wolverines are not nearly as strong as those bears. They might able to fight them, but not due equal strength. No mammal has pound for pound four times the strength of another; muscles simply don't work like that. The famed chimp strength is only 1.5 times that of humans.

And we do not have just the average. It is you who brought it up. We have floor and maximum too, which can be calculated with the ASI. Sure, there is a weirdness caused by gamist an unrealistic ultimate cap of 20, but if we adjust that too by the ASI, things make sense well enough.

And sure, we could assign every species bespoke floor and cap for every stat separately, and I wouldn't oppose that.* But it probably is not worth it, as the standard deviation shifted by ASI works well enough.

* (In fact, that's close to how my house rules work, though things are just divided to three categories.)
 

Those wolverines are not nearly as strong as those bears. They might able to fight them, but not due equal strength. No mammal has pound for pound four times the strength of another; muscles simply don't work like that. The famed chimp strength is only 1.5 times that of humans.

And we do not have just the average. It is you who brought it up. We have floor and maximum too, which can be calculated with the ASI. Sure, there is a weirdness caused by gamist an unrealistic ultimate cap of 20, but if we adjust that too by the ASI, things make sense well enough.

And sure, we could assign every species bespoke floor and cap for every stat separately, and I wouldn't oppose that.* But it probably is not worth it, as the standard deviation shifted by ASI works well enough.

* (In fact, that's close to how my house rules work, though things are just divided to three categories.)
The actual floor is whatever your generation method is. The actual ceiling is 20, as explicitly defined in the rules.

You are creating the very thing you claim to be justifying your position. It's completely circular.
 

Crimson Longinus has, to the best of my knowledge, expressly rejected using such logic, because it is gamist. If you agree that this is a gamist choice, an abstraction that goes against the effort to represent things with concrete reality within the fictional world in order to make gameplay simpler or easier, then you have granted one of the two conclusions I was driving for, and I won't belabor the point.
You're conflating simulation with insanely detailed and unpractical simulation. You always need some simplification and abstraction to have a functioning game. "These things are big and strong in the fiction, so they get bonus to the score that measures physical strength in the game" is a simulation.
 

The actual floor is whatever your generation method is.
+ASI.

The actual ceiling is 20, as explicitly defined in the rules.
Yes, which is weird. Starting cap however is different for different species, and that is what will matter for most of the game (most campaigns end before level ten, so the theoretical cap is not reached by species without ASIs, assuming point buy.)

You are creating the very thing you claim to be justifying your position. It's completely circular.
ASI alone shifts standard deviation, floor and cap rather sensibly. Sure, the artificial total cap of unfortunately 20 messes that up somewhat (though as I said, it will not in practice happen in most games.) But was I defending the cap of 20? I was not. I was defending ASIs as a concept.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Except it doesn't. That's my whole point. It DOES NOT do that. It makes ABSOLUTELY ALL characters of a given race have that trait. But that's ridiculous SPECIFICALLY for the reasons I've cited. NOT all members should have that trait. That's literally the point. Just as, even though real-world men are on average meaningfully stronger than real-world women, it is trivial to find men who are not just "not as strong as average woman" but comparable to the bottom end of female strength.

That's what I'm saying. You are simply, factually INCORRECT to say that this +2 whatever ACTUALLY represents the difference in central tendency. Because you SHOULD see basically the entire spectrum. That's the point. You SHOULD see Str 8 orcs sometimes. You SHOULD see Dex 8 elves sometimes. They should not be common, but the fact that they aren't common IS what "the average Orc has +2 Str" MEANS. It does not, and never has, meant that absolutely every orc has an innate +2 Str.

THAT is the gamist abstraction I am railing against. Because it DOES NOT conform to the way actual, living populations work. It elides the real, measurable behavior of actual populations for a gamist simplification, abstracting all "is an X" characters in the exact same way.

Averages represent what is likely. That's the whole point of central tendencies. They represent what is likely. They do not, and cannot, represent the spread of the data. That's not the function averages (of any kind--means, medians, whatever) DO. They literally do not perform that mathematical function.

Certainly, there is no reason a location shift by a constant should work that well for modeling the difference between two arbitrary distributions.

Does it work sort of ok for going between heights of adult men and adult women as they are roughly normal and the standard deviations aren't ridiculously far apart? (With any truncation for biological constraints so far out it doesn't particularly come in to play for general modeling.)

On the other hand, it is ludicrous for going between the height of 3yo boys and adult human males. Not only is the mean very different, but so are the standard deviations.

Is the case of halfling strength vs. human strength vs. Goliath strength better modeled for the die rolling case by using different dice? Maybe the Halfling is 2d4+d6, the human 3d6, and the Goliath d6+2d8 (or whatever). Perhaps let each roll an extra of the most common die type and discard the lowest roll. That gives the means and standard deviations both growing with size, as well as the maximums but not minimums.

Coming up with a percentile based table for STR point buy based on that shouldn't be hard if the goal is maintaining percentiles. If the goal of point buy is to control total modifiers, then it could be done by limiting Halflings to, say 14, Humans to 18, and Goliaths to 24.

If it's of concern the distributions are skewed you could take best of some dice, or disregard some numbers rolled, but that seems a lot of work to model only that approximately.

Assuming one isn't capping things or using extra dice, is a location shift down for halflings (minimum 3) and location shift up for goliaths (maybe not capping) closer than doing nothing?
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
+ASI.


Yes, which is weird. Starting cap however is different for different species, and that is what will matter for most of the game (most campaigns end before level ten, so the theoretical cap is not reached by species without ASIs, assuming point buy.)


ASI alone shifts standard deviation, floor and cap rather sensibly. Sure, the artificial total cap of unfortunately 20 messes that up somewhat (though as I said, it will not in practice happen in most games.) But was I defending the cap of 20? I was not. I was defending ASIs as a concept.
ASI only changes the SD if the cap is hit, and not by much unless it is hit a non-trivial percent of the time.
 

Is the case of halfling strength vs. human strength vs. Goliath strength better modeled for the die rolling case by using different dice? Maybe the Halfling is 2d4+d6, the human 3d6, and the Goliath d6+2d8 (or whatever). Perhaps let each roll an extra of the most common die type and discard the lowest roll. That gives the means and standard deviations both growing with size, as well as the maximums but not minimums.
This is how Rune Quest does it. (Or did. I don't know about current editions.)

If the goal of point buy is to control total modifiers, then it could be done by limiting Halflings to, say 14, Humans to 18, and Goliaths to 24.
This is basically my model. Some species can buy a higher score in certain stats. But they buy them with same point buy points than everybody else, so everybody actually gets what they're paying for. (The highest caps also come with a higher required floor to which you must buy.)
 


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.
So that is the essence of your argument: you want to be a better fighter just because you are big. That is quite simplistic. If 5e had a more complex combat system that takes more variables into account, +x to strength might be a good Idea, but 5e has a less complex and less simulationism approach.
 

In a fantasy world, why is having impossibly super dense muscle mass (like the mutant Beast in X-Men as when he was originally pre-blue) different it type than having wings and being able to fly (like the mutant Angel in X-Men) and shooting Fire (like the mutant Sunfire)?

Why is "my halfling has multiple times giant level strength per pound" different than having things other species actually do have? Maybe it has a dragon in it's ancestry? Or a flying mutation pops up like the winged elves in an old Dragon magazine? Maybe the fire breath is pyrokinetic (a condition that might normally happen by science in some worlds)?
5e Halflings have always had super-strength. An average of 1 less strength compared to a human in no way, shape or form represents what the average strength difference a creature of that size would have compared to a human if they had similar musculature.
Put it this way: when rendered into game terms, (and I really recommend you don't,) the ASI difference between humans with a masculine frame and those with a feminine frame would be more than +2.
Halflings are the size and mass of a 7-year old child.

Even before Tasha's, a starting, standard-array halfling could have a strength of 15.
I.E that 7-year old child could deadlift both parents at once. Even in America.

This reason, as well as that Str adjustments are really the only immediately obvious racial ASIs, led me to just plain remove ASIs from the character generation process.

Except it doesn't. That's my whole point. It DOES NOT do that. It makes ABSOLUTELY ALL characters of a given race have that trait. But that's ridiculous SPECIFICALLY for the reasons I've cited. NOT all members should have that trait. That's literally the point. Just as, even though real-world men are on average meaningfully stronger than real-world women, it is trivial to find men who are not just "not as strong as average woman" but comparable to the bottom end of female strength.
That is how bell-curves work. The distribution shifts, but there is still an area of overlap.

That's what I'm saying. You are simply, factually INCORRECT to say that this +2 whatever ACTUALLY represents the difference in central tendency. Because you SHOULD see basically the entire spectrum. That's the point. You SHOULD see Str 8 orcs sometimes. You SHOULD see Dex 8 elves sometimes. They should not be common, but the fact that they aren't common IS what "the average Orc has +2 Str" MEANS. It does not, and never has, meant that absolutely every orc has an innate +2 Str.
You should see Str 7 Orcs and Dex 7 Elves sometimes as well by that exact reasoning. The bell curve of population doesn't just stop dead at a level only four points below average. You should see the entire spectrum.
 

Not Crimson Longinus, but I tend to focus on Strength because it's the issue that bothers me the most. Charisma ought to be at least partly relative, while High Elves might traditionally have a bonus to Intelligence. there's no fictional depiction of them in D&D that really justifies this (If anything they should have a Charisma penalty based on their obviously unjustified sense of racial superiority.) Even halfling Dexterity, while traditional, doesn't really have much fictional justification (It's just there to direct them toward Rogues). But with Goliaths, being giantlike is basically the the point of them, and you can just look at the art for Goliaths and Minotaurs and Half-Orcs when placed against Halflings and see that one should be meaningfully stronger than the other.

So what kind of game design would be preferable here? Should there be a bonus (or penalty) to an ability other than str? Because 5e is full of basically arbitrary decisions, some of which connect to existing tropes (elves and dexterity) but many that seem completely arbitrary (tieflings are charismatic and intelligent? water genasi are wise? etc). Looking at the 30+ races that are available, it seems that the ASI choices are as much for variety of options and in some cases to make certain race-class combinations optimal (tiefling warlock), and in this sense are a legacy of 3e-style systems mastery (that is, for gameplay rather than simulation or narrative reasons).

So if you are saying that you want something like size/str to matter more, not less, what does that look like?
  • just the racial asi (and only Str ability score modification in order to simulate size difference, leaving the other ability scores unmodified)
  • ability score caps (again, only for str)
  • lower damage for smaller size melee weapons
  • penalty for trying to grapple a larger size creature
  • different carrying limits
  • situational modifiers
?

I'll include this, from the 2e phb, just as one version of what this looked like:


Screen Shot 2022-01-19 at 2.24.58 PM.png


Screen Shot 2022-01-19 at 2.25.49 PM.png
 

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