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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

Russ Morrissey

There's no "harm" of course, except these ASIs aren't really racial anymore. Everyone (with two exceptions) get a +2 and a +1--- it now no longer has anything to do with your race.

As I've said before, feature not a bug. A lot of people are taking a step back and really looking at fixed racial ASIs and saying, "This is just racial essentialism. And that's way too close to what real world racists say about real world people for me to be comfortable with it. Not to mention it's pretty close to the gender essentialism that said female PCs had lower Str caps, back in the early days of the hobby, and no one's looking back on that with pride. Maybe we ought to do something about this."

Tradition has its place, but it's not a universal defense. Some traditions deserve to be changed.
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
What's the point of even having races (or lineages or heritages or species or whatever) anymore? They are now all basically humans that just look a little different. They might as well just say that it's just for flavour to pick a "race". Choose a race for aesthetics, then you choose two ability scores to get bonus, then choose your proficiency etc.
The only difference between races to you was the ability scores? Nothing else? Honestly? Races were literally just a couple of numbers to you?
 

You know that darkvision in 5e is heavily nerfed from 3.x and 4e. Relying on 60ft bad vision asks for trouble more often than not. Your passive perception relying on vision is at -5 penalty which negates a 20 in wisdom or proficiency of a 15th level character...

Yeah and 1e and 2e. The issue is if you carry a light source everyone outside the light source can attack you with advantage because you cant see them but you are bathed in light. The human fighter navigating the dark with a torch will get pin cushioned by the goblins because they can see him coming hundreds of feet away. The party navigating with only dark vision doesnt get engaged by the goblins until 60 feet.

Add into the dark vision issue that halflings become the worst burglars because almost everyone else gets dark vision and they have to stumble around.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Some of the hysteria really needs toning down. The suggestion that dwarves will now become the master race of wizards because they can buckle on half plate both completely fails to understand what most people want from a wizard.

A sensible wizard doesn’t want to get within 25ft of needing to wear armour. That’s what fighters and Paladins are for.

The suggestion that +2 AC (assuming that you’re happy with lower speed and you wouldn’t take Dex 16+ eventually) is enough to make me give up an extra feat, or a bonus cantrip/trance/perception/fey ancestry is a bit batty. Character choices will still be informed by art, film, TV, literature and CRPG for dwarves have a lot of catching up before they to take over the mantle of go-to-for-wizards.

For the other 8 classes for which the proficiency is pointless/redundant it makes even less change!
 


If the decisions made during character creation are so extreme, they can hamper the party's overall effectiveness. These can be based on roleplaying quirks or mechanics. Most of the times I've personally seen these come up at my table are from players deliberately wanting to break the social contact of the game.
And I think the contract of the game includes an element of working together to reach a common goal. "Bad" players are out for themselves. Making an intentionally ineffective character is selfish to the rest of the players.

I actually know where you are coming from... but there is much more than black and white here. There are all shades of grey in between. Of course, playng with players who are deliberately annoying other players is no fun. And if you do point buy, you could at least expect everyone to bring something functional to the table. With rolled stats, you sometimes need to be a bit more creative if you had some bad luck.
But bringing a dwarf wizard with mediocre int is not totally bad. You can easily make an abjurer wizard that has int as a dump stat (with booming blade very easily) that is still a very useful member of the party. Even doing wizardly things.
I always told my players: "don´t blame me if you make a character that is just left behind and not invited to the party. I won´t spend DM time to have your solo adventure. So you probably need to make a new character within the first session."
 

Yeah and 1e and 2e. The issue is if you carry a light source everyone outside the light source can attack you with advantage because you cant see them but you are bathed in light. The human fighter navigating the dark with a torch will get pin cushioned by the goblins because they can see him coming hundreds of feet away. The party navigating with only dark vision doesnt get engaged by the goblins until 60 feet.

Add into the dark vision issue that halflings become the worst burglars because almost everyone else gets dark vision and they have to stumble around.

No. They don´t. Even in total darkness moespeed is not reduced and rightly so. In most circumstances, in the open you have enough light to navigate (and in interior settings either you have artificial light or very short distances. I have heard, that humans even in a non fictional setting can become adequate burglars. Also, no one said, that halfling are best burglars. Probably they excell more by blending in the crowd than crawling around in the darkness...
 

MGibster

Legend
The only difference between races to you was the ability scores? Nothing else? Honestly? Races were literally just a couple of numbers to you?

In my experience, this is essentially how different races are played in D&D. Most people do not play elves or half-orcs in a manner that is fundamentally different from how they would play a human. I'm not arguing it's right or wrong, but it's what I've observed.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
In my experience, this is essentially how different races are played in D&D. Most people do not play elves or half-orcs in a manner that is fundamentally different from how they would play a human. I'm not arguing it's right or wrong, but it's what I've observed.
They don't use the race's abilities? Literally just the ability score increases? That may be your experience, but it isn't mine.
 


MGibster

Legend
They don't use the race's abilities? Literally just the ability score increases? That may be your experience, but it isn't mine.

I think perhaps I didn't fully understand what you meant. I consider those racial abilities right up there with the "Races were literally just a couple of numbers to you?" comment. Yeah, in my experience elves with resistance to charm or dark vision are not really played in a fundamentally different manner from human characters. So for the most part I think it's really just about a couple of numbers for most players. Perhaps in their mind it makes a difference but it doesn't come across in game play.
 

I'll turn it around. What's lost by making this change? If a small difference in ability score modifiers isn't a big deal to your eye, what's the harm in letting the people who care about it put their elf's racial ASI in Str instead of Dex?
?
I am not arguing against the change. I've been happy with removing ASIs from races since I realised that there is a greater Str difference between human males and females than there would be between halflings and half-orcs. Since I was fine with not having any ability adjustments for gender in the game, I understood that ability adjustments for races were not necessary.

What I am asking is you why you think that someone who put a number considerably higher than average into their Strength ability score should not think of their character as "strong".

If it doesn't cause game balance problems, then you're saying it's a flavor issue and you're in favor of mechanically enforced racial essentialism. Which is fine for your game but you should see how not everyone's on board. If it does cause balance issues, then you're saying that those small differences really do make an important difference when it comes to power levels. Which proves the point that people don't want wide swaths of potential characters ruled out due to being mechanically deficient.
I think that a lot of the people who required the level of optimisation of an ability being maxed out otherwise it is 'mechanically deficient', are simply going to gravitate to their mechanically enforced racial essentialism as represented by other racial traits.

That's kind of the purpose of this change. It detaches ASIs from race, and it should go even further in future editions, IMO.
Personally, I think just removing ASIs at character creation is the way to go. Give a higher point-buy and allow an ability of 16 to be bought. If you want the character to have a high Strength, you just put a high number in there. This would also improve the situation for more variously-capable rather than ones focused on maxing out a single stat.
 

As I've said before, feature not a bug. A lot of people are taking a step back and really looking at fixed racial ASIs and saying, "This is just racial essentialism. And that's way too close to what real world racists say about real world people for me to be comfortable with it. Not to mention it's pretty close to the gender essentialism that said female PCs had lower Str caps, back in the early days of the hobby, and no one's looking back on that with pride. Maybe we ought to do something about this."

Tradition has its place, but it's not a universal defense. Some traditions deserve to be changed.
The aarakocra are pretty damn essentialistically better at flying that many other species. What you suggest we should do about that?
 


dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Tradition has its place, but it's not a universal defense. Some traditions deserve to be changed.
When the difference is due to biology (which has always been my premise), I disagree. We are talking about different species. There are a lot of "humanoid" animals out there that are stronger and faster than what most humans could be. We are much more intelligent then they are.

Heck, there are many people who are stronger, faster, healthier, smarter, more attuned to the world, and magnetic than I am. Does that bother me? Do I think it is wrong or unfair? Of course not.

I would never actually say "keep racial ASIs" because of tradition. I would say keep them because they are actual biological differences between species. IF you don't want that difference, then fine don't play with them or float them (as they are now allowing as part of RAW). They aren't being taken away, but now neither are the those ASIs due to racial choices. When every race can have the same thing, then those adjustments are not due to race.

I would rather (if anything) see them move to class and background then. Look, I am a wizard so I get a bonus to INT. Why? Because I studied or whatever so I am more likely to be smarter than the cleric next to me. There's no guarantee, especially if you are rolling scores, but the odds are with you. I think saying each class has a +2 boost to two things (maybe three...) and you get a free +1 floater would be best. Actually, no, removing bumps entirely would be best... but few people seem to want that. shrug

Oh, and you know what, for the most part women are not as strong as men (at least in humans), so I never minded the idea that in AD&D they had a lower STR score. Now, 5E has shifted exactly what STR means, so it isn't really appropriate anymore, but there could still be an encumbrance factor for it. You could argue on the other side that most men aren't as flexible or agile as women, or have the same pain capacity as women, so suggesting women should have superior DEX or CON would not bother me, either. But, D&D has shifted away from being as simulationist as it used to be, so not having them in the game is fine, too.
 

When the difference is due to biology (which has always been my premise), I disagree. We are talking about different species. There are a lot of "humanoid" animals out there that are stronger and faster than what most humans could be. We are much more intelligent then they are.

Heck, there are many people who are stronger, faster, healthier, smarter, more attuned to the world, and magnetic than I am. Does that bother me? Do I think it is wrong or unfair? Of course not.

I would never actually say "keep racial ASIs" because of tradition. I would say keep them because they are actual biological differences between species. IF you don't want that difference, then fine don't play with them or float them (as they are now allowing as part of RAW). They aren't being taken away, but now neither are the those ASIs due to racial choices. When every race can have the same thing, then those adjustments are not due to race.

I would rather (if anything) see them move to class and background then. Look, I am a wizard so I get a bonus to INT. Why? Because I studied or whatever so I am more likely to be smarter than the cleric next to me. There's no guarantee, especially if you are rolling scores, but the odds are with you. I think saying each class has a +2 boost to two things (maybe three...) and you get a free +1 floater would be best. Actually, no, removing bumps entirely would be best... but few people seem to want that. shrug

Oh, and you know what, for the most part women are not as strong as men (at least in humans), so I never minded the idea that in AD&D they had a lower STR score. Now, 5E has shifted exactly what STR means, so it isn't really appropriate anymore, but there could still be an encumbrance factor for it. You could argue on the other side that most men aren't as flexible or agile as women, or have the same pain capacity as women, so suggesting women should have superior DEX or CON would not bother me, either. But, D&D has shifted away from being as simulationist as it used to be, so not having them in the game is fine, too.
D&D PCs are meant to be outliers of their race. Maybe the base race is nimble and charismatic, but an adventurer should be able to break the mold.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
D&D PCs are meant to be outliers of their race. Maybe the base race is nimble and charismatic, but an adventurer should be able to break the mold.
They already do. Their ability scores are roughly 2-3 points higher on average than the "normal" person--they have already broken the mold. Also, you can put those scores wherever you want, so you are certainly breaking the mold that way as well. We had a dragonborn druid who put his 8 in STR and it was bumped to a 10, which he is happy about since he won't have any penalty when he makes his Athletics-related STR checks.

I'd rather the caps for scores be modified by race (the HORROR! :eek: You mean my half-orc wizard can't be as smart as your elf wizard!?! NO! That isn't fair! :cry:) as well as the starting scores because, you know what--each race is different for me.

Or, just float them entirely and say disconnect them from race--because they really aren't part of race if there isn't a reason they are tied to certain scores. Apparently, now the former racial modifiers aren't considered part of the general populace, just for adventurers to promote certain types of adventures. Why bother if you can just move them?

Or, just get rid of them. You want a strong elf, put a high score in STR and call it a day. :) Nothing is stopping you.

But I'm leaving it at that. This argument has been done so many times it is sickening. We've had numerous threads about it and there is no point rehashing the same arguments over and over.
 


They already do. Their ability scores are roughly 2-3 points higher on average than the "normal" person--they have already broken the mold. Also, you can put those scores wherever you want, so you are certainly breaking the mold that way as well. We had a dragonborn druid who put his 8 in STR and it was bumped to a 10, which he is happy about since he won't have any penalty when he makes his Athletics-related STR checks.

I'd rather the caps for scores be modified by race (the HORROR! :eek: You mean my half-orc wizard can't be as smart as your elf wizard!?! NO! That isn't fair! :cry:) as well as the starting scores because, you know what--each race is different for me.

Or, just float them entirely and say disconnect them from race--because they really aren't part of race if there isn't a reason they are tied to certain scores. Apparently, now the former racial modifiers aren't considered part of the general populace, just for adventurers to promote certain types of adventures. Why bother if you can just move them?

Or, just get rid of them. You want a strong elf, put a high score in STR and call it a day. :) Nothing is stopping you.

But I'm leaving it at that. This argument has been done so many times it is sickening. We've had numerous threads about it and there is no point rehashing the same arguments over and over.
If you can't imagine a world where a dwarf wizard can start with a 17 like a gnome wizard can without rolling, that's not my problem. Some people like playing that way, and it's not going to break any of D&D's supposed "realism" by letting a player have more options for being good at their job.
 

So in other words, it seems to be litle more than character customization options that any decent, flexilke Dungeon Master would already allow? I mean, our gaming group has allowed minor racial alteration options like this if a player asked the DM for as long as I can remember.
Yeah, but there are some settings where DMs can't/won't homebrew this rule, like Adventurer's League, D&D Beyond, and other tables that strictly allow official rules.
 

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