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D&D 5E A Lineage and Its Variants: The New Race Format Going Forward

ART!

Deluxe Unhuman
It many settings, a dragonborn not knowing Draconic could be totally normal, or at least totally understandable - unless dragonborn (and other races?) learn their "racial" language via some kind of magic or hivemind.
 

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Scribe

Legend
It many settings, a dragonborn not knowing Draconic could be totally normal, or at least totally understandable - unless dragonborn (and other races?) learn their "racial" language via some kind of magic or hivemind.
I know, its to make it all as generic and non-setting specific as possible, I get it.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Sorry, but if some people are allowed to push some ideas into the community,

There is no "pushing" here. There is a thread of conversation - you can join in, or not. Joining in with the message of "your conversation is annoying" is kind of like walking up to someone else in a restaurant and telling them, "you ordered disgusting food".

If you don't like the debate, nobody is making you take part. If this one annoys you, you are more than free to find another one.

I don't see why I should restrain from telling them that these ideas can also irritate other members of said community.

If you don't see, please allow me to put up a signpost:

Threadcrapping is a thing. While constructive disagreement can help folks work though points of contention, when you fail to be constructive, there can be a problem.

If you want to completely ignore the friendly advice of someone who breaks out the red text when folks go too far, that's your own look out.
 

Yaarel

He-Mage
I mean, this is an improvement?
I think it is an improvement. For example, format allows the gith lineage to make githyanki and githzerai very different from each other. It allows the wood elf and the astral elf to be very different from each other.

An annoying problem with the old subrace format is, it forces each subrace to use a specific amount of design space, no more, no less. This artificial constraint forces design decisions that abandon things that a subrace should do, and default features that a subrace shouldnt do.

The new format allows each race concept to work as a holistic race concept.
 

Scribe

Legend
I think it is an improvement. For example, format allows the gith lineage to make githyanki and githzerai very different from each other. It allows the wood elf and the astral elf to be very different from each other.

Do you actually think they will be?

Are Gem Dragonborn 'very different' from Chromatic Dragonborn?

2 or 3 rules. Thats it.

I mean lets crack open MToF.

First, we remove what is no longer distinct. Remember we cannot assume culture, setting, location anymore.

ASI
Alignment
Age
Size
Speed
Language


Then we get

Githyanki
Decadent Mastery (Locational, this could easily be gone)
Martial Prodigy (Cultural, this is gone probably)
Githyanki Psionics - Maybe we get to keep this.

Githzerai
Mental Discipline (Cultural, why assume all learn from monastic masters...)
Githzerai Psionics - Maybe we get to keep this.

Thats your templated, 'non setting' generic Gith. 2 slightly different psionic spell lists.
 

Yaarel

He-Mage
I know, its to make it all as generic and non-setting specific as possible, I get it.
Setting-agnostic seems true for race design.

But the opposite seems true for the monster statblock design.

Statblocks can be setting specific. Like "udadrow arachnomancer" − which might exist in Forgotten Realms but might not in Eberron.



By extension, it seems possible to have nonplayer statblocks like:

Arachnomancer
Lolth faction, typically udadrow, typically Neutral Evil

Blade of Ilneval
Gruumpsh faction, typically orc, typically Chaotic Evil

And so on.

Some factions are more about a city, region, or cause, and less about a lineage.



At this point, it might be more helpful to call them "encounter statblocks", because this statblock isnt about an entire (monster) race, but rather about a particular individual, that an adventurer encounters.
 

Scribe

Legend
Yeah I'm not really concerned about stat blocks, those are going to be adventure dependent, or derived from the needs of building encounters.
 

Yaarel

He-Mage
Yeah I'm not really concerned about stat blocks, those are going to be adventure dependent, or derived from the needs of building encounters.

Yeah. Statblocks are completely adventure dependent.

But statblocks are what populate the Monster Manual.

There are no Evil orcs in the Players Handbook.

There can be factions that are "typically Evil" in the Monster Manual.



Simply adding "faction" to the statblock format, is flavorful for an adventure setting. There can be orc factions that are "typically Evil". But these factions might include ogres and humans too. It also reminds the DM that most orcs arent members of the specific faction.
 

Scribe

Legend
Simply adding "faction" to the statblock format, is flavorful for an adventure setting. There can be orc factions that are "typically Evil". But these factions might include ogres and humans too. It also reminds the reader that most orcs arent members of the specific faction.
I dont believe that would align well with the setting agnostic approach they seem to be leaning into.
 

Yaarel

He-Mage
I dont believe that would align well with the setting agnostic approach they seem to be leaning into.
In Witchlight, the "bullywug knight" is cultural and setting specific.

It seems impossible to remove setting from monster statblocks.

It makes more sense to embrace statblocks as a DM setting-building tool.




At least when it comes to humanlike sapient creatures, listing a faction when relevant helps clarify the difference between the statblock of certain individuals versus an entire race.
 

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