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

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Regarding "culture" and "backgrounds".

The PH offers "generic" backgrounds, meaning international backgrounds that prevail in a medieval-esque Euro-esque setting.

But an adventure book like Rage of Demons: Baldurs Gate: Descent into Avernus rewrites some of these PH backgrounds in ways that are specific to the local culture of the City of Baldurs Gate. For example, the Acolyte background becomes an inter-faith knowledgeability because of the many faiths that are part of this city. Likewise, it rewrites the Soldier background to mention obligatory duties toward the wealthy uppercity Watch or the less wealthy lower city Flaming Fist patrols. Criminal mentions the local Guild. Sage mentions the academic community of the High Hall and its libraries. And so on. It also adds a new background Faceless for characters who establish a secret identity.

Meanwhile, other books list culturally specific backgrounds including Sword Coast AG, Curse of Strahd, Tomb of Annihilation, Eberron, and Magic The Gathering settings.

Backgrounds can and do flesh out the mechanical features of specific cultures, including local, regional, and planar.

A background includes a special noncombat asset feature. This feature can be anything and can be highly specific to a culture.
Again, you are attempting to subvert the issue into specific cultural backgrounds. My issue is with all backgrounds.

PLEASE, address the actual point instead of continually moving to a subset that doesn't have the issue and then declaring it solved. You've done that several times; I don't think you are acting in bad faith but you haven't actually addressed it.

I have "elven cultural" traits currently in their racial write up such as languages and elven weapon training. I wish to take a general backgrond such as Acolyte. Are parts of the elven traits just lost (making them a weaker race), are they automatically grafted onto the background because of the chosen race (which means races is actually granting them and nothing has effectively changed), or is there an "Evermeet Acolyte" background which grants everything the Acolyte background does plus the elven language and weapons training, which is either (a) significantly now more powerful than "just" Acolyte (so not balanced) or do we come up with every cultural variation of Acolyte in a massive profileration and need to design and rebalance because not every race has the save value of cultural traits currently.
 

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Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
When people mention a trait as a "ribbon", to what do they refer?
A "ribbon" is D&D community slang for a mechanical ability that grants little or no increase in character power.

For example, I consider an extra language a "ribbon". A DM could grant a hundred languages and it wouldnt significantly buff a character.

I even consider the elf sword proficiency to be a "ribbon", because any class that can use it, already has it or something comparable to it. Other classes like Wizard should avoid a sword because they are less survivable in melee combat.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
Again, you are attempting to subvert the issue into specific cultural backgrounds. My issue is with all backgrounds.

PLEASE, address the actual point instead of continually moving to a subset that doesn't have the issue and then declaring it solved. You've done that several times; I don't think you are acting in bad faith but you haven't actually addressed it.

I have "elven cultural" traits currently in their racial write up such as languages and elven weapon training. I wish to take a general backgrond such as Acolyte. Are parts of the elven traits just lost (making them a weaker race), are they automatically grafted onto the background because of the chosen race (which means races is actually granting them and nothing has effectively changed), or is there an "Evermeet Acolyte" background which grants everything the Acolyte background does plus the elven language and weapons training, which is either (a) significantly now more powerful than "just" Acolyte (so not balanced) or do we come up with every cultural variation of Acolyte in a massive profileration and need to design and rebalance because not every race has the save value of cultural traits currently.
I have NEVER restricted "backgrounds" to Players Handbook only.

You did that. Not me.

D&D 5e has many backgrounds beyond the PH, and they detail mechanical and narrative features for different cultures.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
I have "elven cultural" traits currently in their racial write up such as languages and elven weapon training.
According to the new race format, every race is presumed to know two languages: Common and one other language that both the player and the DM agree on.

If you want your other language to be Elven, that is no problem.

Not every elf needs to know how to wield a sword. And if your character is an Ancients Paladin or a Fey Ranger or Eldritch Knight, you already know how to wield a sword anyway, regardless of background.


I wish to take a general backgrond such as Acolyte. Are parts of the elven traits just lost (making them a weaker race), are they automatically grafted onto the background because of the chosen race (which means races is actually granting them and nothing has effectively changed), or is there an "Evermeet Acolyte" background which grants everything the Acolyte background does plus the elven language and weapons training, which is either (a) significantly now more powerful than "just" Acolyte (so not balanced) or do we come up with every cultural variation of Acolyte in a massive profileration and need to design and rebalance because not every race has the save value of cultural traits currently.

Moreover, backgrounds can swap proficiencies. If you already have skill or tool from elsewhere (such as class), you can instead pick any other proficiency that you want. Also, DMs and players are encouraged to design their own backgrounds.

Personally, I have no problem switching any two skill proficiencies for one specific martial proficiency, such as a longsword.



Consider a High Elf Acolyte background. Perhaps it is more animistic and knowledgeable about various Fey and Elemental creatures and cultures, and their significance to cultures in the Material Plane.

The choice of proficiencies might be:
• Nature
• Arcana or Religion
• Longsword

Then the special asset might be contacts and privileges in a specific elven faith community in a specific elven city.

Each background depends on the culture and the character concept.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
The UA Gothic Lineages uses the terms species and lineage interchangeably.
Ah so they did not say "lineage = species", you just inferred that, once more to push tour own agenda, from what was just a UA so not even a published book, and you took that from an article which is not only mostly about only PC options (which is something that you reproached those of us of doing when speaking about Fizban). Moreover, you are not even quoting that source properly since that source also states "
Said features don’t have any bearing on monsters and NPCs who are members of the same species or lineage."

Once more proving that they are NOT the same thing, as it would be stupid to use the word twice if it meant the same thing.

It said the same thing then than Fizban says now, that what is said for races has no impact on NPCs and Monsters: "Said features don’t have any bearing on monsters and NPCs who are members of the same species or lineage, since monsters and NPCs in D&D don’t rely on race or class to function." And that is all it meant, nothing more, what is being done on races has no impact on monsters and NPCs since these don't rely on race or classe for their build. They are not impacted, and that is all it says.

Please let it drop, even your precious UA shows that you are wrong in this. Stop trying to force your interpretation on us, it is clearly wrong.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
Ah so they did not say "lineage = species", you just inferred that, once more to push tour own agenda, from what was just a UA so not even a published book, and you took that from an article which is not only mostly about only PC options (which is something that you reproached those of us of doing when speaking about Fizban). Moreover, you are not even quoting that source properly since that source also states "
Said features don’t have any bearing on monsters and NPCs who are members of the same species or lineage."

Once more proving that they are NOT the same thing, as it would be stupid to use the word twice if it meant the same thing.

It said the same thing then than Fizban says now, that what is said for races has no impact on NPCs and Monsters: "Said features don’t have any bearing on monsters and NPCs who are members of the same species or lineage, since monsters and NPCs in D&D don’t rely on race or class to function." And that is all it meant, nothing more, what is being done on races has no impact on monsters and NPCs since these don't rely on race or classe for their build. They are not impacted, and that is all it says.

Please let it drop, even your precious UA shows that you are wrong in this. Stop trying to force your interpretation on us, it is clearly wrong.
WotC sources refer to "elf", "dwarf", "dragonborn", etcetera as a "lineage".

A race and racial features only refer to a player character that is a member of the lineage.



The stats for player characters and the stats for nonplayer characters can and do include different features despite belonging to the same lineage. For example, an eladrin PC only has charm resistance, but an eladrin NPC has full-on magic resistance.

Even PC race stats can have different features, such as the feat human versus the featless human.
 
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loverdrive

Prophet of the profane (She/Her)
(read only first page as of now)

I don't like all these "race", "ancestry", "lineage" and "species". I'd call it "blood" and be done about it.

As of the new template, it wastes a lot of space on repeating the same things over and over, which is fine for Beyond but weird for a paper book.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
WotC sources refer to "elf", "dwarf", "dragonborn", etcetera as a "lineage".

And as you have pointed out yourself, this is ONLY IN THE CONTEXT OF CHARACTER CREATION.

The stats for player characters and the stats for nonplayer characters can and do include different features despite belonging to the same lineage. For example, an eladrin PC only has charm resistance, but an eladrin NPC has full-on magic resistance.

And this is exactly what the UA and Fizban tell you, that whatever is set for player character as part of their race has no bearing whatsoever for the Eladrin species and any NPC member of it. These are not part of any lineage, this is ONLY a PC term.

Even PC race stats can have different features, such as the feat human versus the featless human.

And again, because you are trying way to hard to impose what is being said about PCs to the rest of the universe when WotC tells you plainly that lineage and all the changes to races (and they are still using race in that context, and no longer lineage in an official published book that is more recent than the UA) DO NOT APPLY TO SPECIES FOR MONSTERS AND NPCS.

And this is why WotC is being very clever not to touch the races/species in the universe (as it would be very complicated to do so), they are just placating people like you with changes to PC hoping that it will be enough for people to stop harassing them about these concepts in a fantasy world.
 

Weiley31

Legend
Look: ultimately in the end, you can do whatever you want with the new formats or not. The old stuff is still backwards compatible. Yes even the cruddier PHB Dragonborn can still be used.(Although you can always have it where said PHB Dragonborn can "earn" the Fizban changes/upgrades via notable deeds/service/gaining renown to a Dragonic Patron or whatever.)

If you want your Dragonborn, regardless of version, to automatically know Draconic when your DMing. Then just do it. I look up the various Pathfinder 2 Ancestries/Third Edition races and add their Weapon Familiarity to the same/appropriate race options in 5E as Racial/Heritage Weapons. Which would not only allow said races to treat those weapons as "Simple" but also allow them to spend Downtime trainging/finding an appropriate trainer to allow those races to raise the Damage Die of their Racial/Heritage weapons by one Damage Die permanently. Whatever makes your games work, do it.

You can live by the standard racial modifiers or go the Tasha's Route. There's the system now to do both.

Editor's Note: Yes this all goes out the window if your AL or your DM is a hardcore by the books type of DM, but kitbash it all. That or take out your DM in Mortal Kombat, absorb their power Highlander style, and then become the new DM. Just watch out, the life of a DM is a vicious circle.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
And as you have pointed out yourself, this is ONLY IN THE CONTEXT OF CHARACTER CREATION.
Correct, "race" features only refer to player character creation.

And this is exactly what the UA and Fizban tell you, that whatever is set for player character as part of their race has no bearing whatsoever for the Eladrin species and any NPC member of it.
Technically, the eladrin is a member of the elf lineage/species.

Correct, what is true for a PC elf is not necessarily true for an NPC elf.

Indeed, what is true for one variant PC elf might not be true for an other variant PC elf.

These are not part of any lineage, this is ONLY a PC term.
Explicitly, a "monster" or an "NPC" is a "member of a lineage".
 

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