D&D (2024) After my players tried to break it, we discovered that the new half-race rules are hilarious and terrible.

I like the concept.

Because the point of feats is customization, I dont want feats to be gated by race prereqs. Are there other meaningful situations where, for example, a duergar qualifies as a dwarf?
In the past there were magic items that had additional abilities if you were of a given race, usually elvish or dwarven.

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The first character I ever played was in 2e and was reflavored. It's strange finally discovering in 2022 that the way the game has always worked is "horrible."

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I handed my players the new character rules and told them to make half-race characters and to try and break the system. You can't actually break the system because the only real changes are purely cosmetic, but damned if they didn't make some of the strangest hybrids out there. Fire breathing halflings. Dwarves that can fly by just flapping their arms REALLY fast. Giant hippo men that are naturally stealthy. While the pairings were quite humorous and did give us more than a few laughs, we realized the half-race system is fairly shallow as is. Pick rules for a race, and then just reskin it as another race. Even if the abilities given and the reskin made no sense whatsoever. Everybody pretty much agreed they wanted actual half-elves, not an elf wearing a human skin suit. Same for half orcs. Realized that WOTC really wants all the options, but again if everybody is special, nobody is.

I don't see what the problem is here. Your 'hilarious and terrible' might be exactly what somebody else wants to play. I find half the official races terrible and not even very funny. Somebody else might think that anthropomorphic turtles or dark elves with hand crossbows to be terrible.

Nobody is forcing you to use any of these combinations, and it doesn't seem like you are claiming that there are OP combinations, so...what's the issue?

If somebody in your group thinks a Dwarf who flies by flapping his arms is awesome, and you think it's terrible, then that's a group dynamic problem, not a rules problem.

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
In the past there were magic items that had additional abilities if you were of a given race, usually elvish or dwarven.
As a DM, I would definitely rule that someone who built a mixed race character would qualify to use these items, assuming they had a parent of the correct sort, just like I would under 5E.

A DM who gets picky about this is likely going to be rare.

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