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5E A First Look at Tasha’s Lineage System In AL Player’s Guide - Customizing Your Origin In D&D

The new player’s guide for the D&D Adventurers League has been released. Appendix 1 includes the new info from Tasha’s Cauldron on customizing your origin. It‘s a one-page appendix.

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The D&D Adventurers League now uses this variant system from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything since it allows for a greater degree of customization. For ease of reference, the relevant information is included as an appendix to this document and doesn’t count against the PH + 1 rule.

You can do any of the following (obviously the full document has more detail):

1. Move your race ability score increases wherever your want to. “...take any ability score increase you gain in your race or subrace and apply it to an ability score of your choice.”​

2. Replace each language from your race with any language from a set list.​

3. Swap each proficiency for another of the same type.​

4. Alter behaviour/personality race-based descriptions.​

Its not clear if that’s the whole Lineage system or just part of it. You can download the player’s guide here.
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

MGibster

Legend
I'd say it's reasonable to apply the Multiclassing minimums as a requirement to choose a Class, but people act like 5E is unplayable with suboptimal characters, but it just ain't so.
I agree with you there. As a player, I don't really care to spend my time building the optimal character. And as a GM, I don't expect my players to build for maximum efficiency either. But I do expect any player bringing a Rogue, Wizard, or Fighter to bring one that's pretty good at the role they intend to fill.
 

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MGibster

Legend
In my mind, however, D&D is not like a sports team.
A D&D party has a lot in common with a sports team in that each participant has a role to play in order to help the group achieve their goals. It's very similar to football where teams have quarterbacks, running backs, guards, tackles, centers, and receivers. And like any team, you expect every participant to be able to carry their weight.

If I lived in a D&D world, I (and every sane, comfortable individual) would remain behind the city walls and never leave. If I were to venture past the gate, it's too likely I would crushed by a giant club, , sold into slavery, scorched by a dragon, gobbled up by a T-rex, shredded by a displacer beast, or have my brain sucked out by a mind flayer.
But that clearly isn't the case as every D&D world I'm familiar with has traveling merchants, villages, and other NPC types who live outside the confines of a municipal wall.
 


Probably the races keep most of their flavor and identity despite this change, just like they did when racial level caps were removed. Maybe some specific associations are lost, like when gender specific ability modifiers were discarded, but some things deserve being thrown out. Is it going to ruin the game by having un-elfy elves that are strong and un-dwarfy dwarves who are smart? Hardly. Elves will still be elfy and dwarves will still be dwarfy.

Maybe your strong elf is the exception that proves the rule, or maybe their background is that they trained with the elven Gryphon Knights who unlike most of their people specialize in heavy arms and armor. Either way, the DM is still determining what your average elf is like. Besides, as the AL PDF takes a moment to remind us, the PC racial package was always only intended for PCs. It "doesn’t apply to every dwarf, just to dwarf adventurers, and it exists to reinforce an archetype." Changing the PC racials does literally nothing to change what the average civilian or NPC is like.

So no one needs to panic that elves will be less elfy because not all of them are lithe and graceful. Even if the DM decides that remains the most common mode of elven people in their game world, PCs are exceptional and are often exceptions. Now we've just got more mechanical support for the elf who took up bodybuilding so he could show off his pecs, or the dwarven runemage who spent most of her days in the library, or the orphan drow that was raised by dwarves and grew up in a smithy, or the charming half-orc that channels the passion in his blood into song and dance.
Why do you believe that you could not play a strong elf or an intelligent dwarf or a charismatic half-orc already?

every class should get +2 to abilities that could raise one or two of class favored abilities. +2 to one ability or +1 to two abilities. Class and race ability boosts cannot go over +2.
At the point at which you're removing ASIs, it is probably best to do so completely. No need to get bonuses from being a particular class: you can just put a higher score in the ability you want to have a high score in.

Yeah. Having a wizard with a 12 Int (or in a group that I DMed, actually with an Intelligence penalty) is different than one with a 14 or 15 Intelligence. I know it's only a +1 modifier, and mechanically it can be insignificant, but I think the wizard should feel like one of the most intelligent party members. The party is relying on you to be able to at least try to be effective at your role.
Why would the wizard not be one of the most intelligent party members even if they didn't get a starting ASI?

Otherwise, it's the same argument as the thief who steals equipment and ties the fighter's shoelaces together while he sleeps, the whole time saying "I'm just playing my character."
If your character is doing stupid stuff that is going to endanger the mission, my character is going to have a problem with you. If you are a good player, you should have some connection to the adventure your DM has planned and you should want your party to succeed.
That would seem to imply that if you don't optimise to the exclusion of everything else, you're letting the group down.

I disagree. Emphatically.

What works in an awesome book like The Colour of Magic might not work well in a game. Rincewind is a lot of fun in the books, he'd probably be a lot of fun in a game using FUDGE, but I don't think he'd be a lot of fun in D&D. But, hey, if that's what floats someone's D&D boat I'm not going to tell them they're doing it wrong. But I do think most players have an expectation that the wizard, fighter, or cleric in their party is going to be pretty good at fulfilling their role.
Do you believe that a 1-point drop in intelligence compared to the absolute optimised maximum means that the character is no longer "pretty good" at fulfilling their role?
 

Parmandur

Legend
I agree with you there. As a player, I don't really care to spend my time building the optimal character. And as a GM, I don't expect my players to build for maximum efficiency either. But I do expect any player bringing a Rogue, Wizard, or Fighter to bring one that's pretty good at the role they intend to fill.
And I think most people want to be competent, but if one player comes in wanting to be Rincewind...well, the game will still work, that might be more of an interpersonal issue to cover in Session Zerom
 

Counter Fun Fact: You can play an exception to the inherent description of a fantasy race (like a bookish weakling orc) without it disrupting the game OR the world in which the game is set.
Yes, but this just makes a different race optimal for something. In a game with different abilities you always find a best fit.

I think allowing for a bit flexibility is not a bad idea, but the races of the PHB are not balanced to just swap atribute bonuses.

You need to completely rewrite defining biological ability bonuses into other bonuses.
4e did a good job there actually:
Elves with elven accuracy
Halfling second chance
(Essential) Human +3 to one roll per short rest (I can't remember the name)
Dragonborn BONUS action dragon breath and resistance to elemental type.
Dwarves BONUS action second wind

You felt dextrous or sturdy or like a dragon or versatile as human, regardless of your stats.
 

Retreater

Legend
Was coming on here to write a response to one comment I was tagged in and realized there were a lot of references to my sports analogy and concerns that I'm a gaming elitist/gate-keeper.

So everything I'm posting is about my personal gaming preferences. I don't have fun playing with someone who sacrifices their character's effectiveness (and by extension, the party's effectiveness) with intentionally sub-optimal character decisions. There is as lot of wiggle room with what I mean by that. I'm not saying your melee fighter must have an 18 Strength with a 1d10 weapon. I'm saying that if your melee fighter comes in a 10 Strength and 18 Intelligence because as a player you want to create a bookish nerd who also runs away when the monsters come, I will not want to play with you. You have made my wizard a sitting duck, kept me from spending my resources to do what I want to do, and you are commandeering my fun.

I come to the gaming table to surmount the challenges of the campaign world and to participate in epic adventures. If your group is okay with purposefully ineffective characters who regularly converse about why they should be motivated to adventure at all, it's probably not my game, but have fun.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Be snarky all you like. I love it when players play one dimensional min/maxed characters with giant, glaring flaws. It makes it so easy to challenge them.
So that basic human who got a +1 to their lowest stat is fine getting out of the pit and the min/maxed character who got a +0 to that same lowest stat dies horribly because the difference of a half a modifier bonus is that critical in your campaign???
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Yeah. Having a wizard with a 12 Int (or in a group that I DMed, actually with an Intelligence penalty) is different than one with a 14 or 15 Intelligence. I know it's only a +1 modifier, and mechanically it can be insignificant, but I think the wizard should feel like one of the most intelligent party members. The party is relying on you to be able to at least try to be effective at your role.
Sure. It would make sense for the wizard to be fairly intelligent - the most intelligent possible (or ever), that's probably not necessary. You can be effective when you're not pushing the envelope on your stat maximization.

Otherwise, it's the same argument as the thief who steals equipment and ties the fighter's shoelaces together while he sleeps, the whole time saying "I'm just playing my character."
If your character is doing stupid stuff that is going to endanger the mission, my character is going to have a problem with you. If you are a good player, you should have some connection to the adventure your DM has planned and you should want your party to succeed.
And I don't know where this is going. You can do all of that while maxing out your stats too. I honestly don't see how this relates unless you're trying to imply that failing to maximize stats is on the same level of behavior... something I utterly reject as equivalent.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Yes, but this just makes a different race optimal for something. In a game with different abilities you always find a best fit.

I think allowing for a bit flexibility is not a bad idea, but the races of the PHB are not balanced to just swap atribute bonuses.
The difference between a race inherently good, neutral, or bad at a particular attribute in 5e boils down to how long in your adventuring career it takes you to reach a 20. It can vary from 8th level at best, 12th for most, and 16 in the extreme couple examples of the few races that have a -2. We have already established that a half-orc and a kobold adventurer are going to both become the strongest strong that is possible, it just happens sooner for the half-orc.

You aren't enforcing any sort of X is better than Y overall because of the natural stop-sign of getting a 20 in an attribute. Other than maybe 4 or 5 of the rare races that get a negative attribute at the start...you literally only have a 4 level window before the PCs are all sitting at a 20 and moving on to selecting feats or bumping up other attributes.

I don't view this 4 (8 on the extreme) level window as doing anything to enforce "how a race feels in the world" and I don't view how a race normally feels in the world as having to apply to PCs. Their very nature of being adventurers and having class levels already means they aren't playing by the same rules as the rest of the world.

To state this a different way....the stat bonuses a PC uses when creating a character do not define how a race works in the world of the game. They strictly define how a player character of that race is created. The stats in the Monster Manual define how an orc or a kobold works in the world of the game. Nobody is complaining that the orc in the MM has a higher STR score than the kobold or a lower INT score than an elf. What people are saying is that they shouldn't be penalized (by being behind by +1 or 2 in mod scores for 12-16 levels) for playing once race versus another AS A CHARACTER because of the fiction of the world that they exist in.

If you strongly believe that the strongest orc is always stronger than the strongest kobold, or that the smartest elf is always smarter than the smartest orc, then you should be championing changes to the hard limit of a 20 for player character attribute scores to make that happen.

Similarly, if you believe that an orc and a kobold can end up equally strong, then you should also support that an orc and a kobold player character can start gameplay equally strong.
 



Okay, this change is mostly good, IMHO, and I'm glad it's coming, but I do have some concerns.

First, this makes Mountain Dwarves and Half-Elves even better (again, not a problem with this change, it's a problem with the races).

Second, the weapon exchanged for tool proficiency doesn't seem super balanced. Lets you get 5 tools at level one, excluding class. I would limit it to martial weapons being traded for tools, just to keep it a bit less exploitable.

Third, not having common could be an annoying issue. Knowing my players, they're going to all change common to some obscure language like Bullywug, sharing none in common with each other. I personally will limit this to only getting rid of common if you have a really good reason for it, and then you still have to communicate with the party.

Overall, it's a good change for my table (assuming the Tasha's lineage system is very similar to this), but it does have some issues.
 


Crimson Longinus

Adventurer
Whilst I think the execution is flawed and I didn't need this kind of rule in the first place, it is nice thing to have for people who wished for something like this. However one has to wonder whether making this an Adventuring League rule is such a stellar idea. One would imagine that that is exactly the sort of environment where shameless min-maxing will happen. I'd imagine this rule would be far less disruptive in a constant group of like-minded players.
 

Whilst I think the execution is flawed and I didn't need this kind of rule in the first place, it is nice thing to have for people who wished for something like this. However one has to wonder whether making this an Adventuring League rule is such a stellar idea. One would imagine that that is exactly the sort of environment where shameless min-maxing will happen. I'd imagine this rule would be far less disruptive in a constant group of like-minded players.
If a DM in Adventurer's League doesn't like this rule, that sucks, but it's Adventurer's League. They signed up for it, and can stop DMing there if they have an undying hatred for powergamers that use this rule.
 

Krachek

Adventurer
I wonder how long it will takes before they remove racial restriction on most of the racial feats.
Why a dwarf build in Dex cannot choose elven accuracy over an elf build on Cha?
 

jasper

Rotten DM
If a DM in Adventurer's League doesn't like this rule, that sucks, but it's Adventurer's League. They signed up for it, and can stop DMing there if they have an undying hatred for powergamers that use this rule.
Where did I sign up for it? Where is the 10K bonus after dm 1 season. Did signing up for come with the GI Bill? Yes AL is losing people over the stat change, and/or Seasonality restriction.
 

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