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5E Are there any races post-tashas that compare with mountain dwarf for casters?

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Tasha's introduced the ability to swap racial +N stat bumps for some other stat among other things to radically change which races can work for what classes. skillA for skillB, armor or simple weapon for Simple/martial weapon or tool, Martial weapon for Simple/martial weapon or tool, & toolA for toolB are useful sure, but none of those things are likely to make anyone suddenly decide race:class combo is suddenly great. Missing from that list are cantrips, presumably because eldritch blast shouldn't be a cantrip

By default mountain dwarf gives +2 con, poison resist, darkvision, battleaxe, handaxe, throwing hammer, and warhammer proficient, +2 strength, light & medium armor proficient. The weapons are fairly useless to a caster so convert to an easy 4 maybe 5 skills depending on if you can convert darkvision to a skill or not, two different +2 ability scores, along with light/medium armor proficiency most casters other than cleric will lack one or both of.

There are a few races that give a cantrip or some limited one off spells that are rarely top shelf spells & having spell slots doesn't mean you can use those slots on those spells. The dragonmark races add a bunch of spells to your class's spell list but you still need to learn/prepare them normally keeping them from really competing. What it really makes obvious is the lack of things like brutal critical/relentless endurance or even bugbear's reach level transformative racial stuff for casters. Goblin fury of the small could be awesome but exempts itself with1/long res

Anything that I'm missing?
 

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Ogre Mage

Adventurer
In the PHB, I think the half-elf still rivals the mountain dwarf as a caster. A floating +2, +1, +1 (under Tasha's variant), darkvision, 30 ft. speed (vs. 25 for dwarf), resistant to charm magic, immune to sleep magic, proficiency in two skills of your choice and a language proficiency of your choice (plus common and elvish) is great for most PCs.
 




Remathilis

Legend
By default mountain dwarf gives +2 con, poison resist, darkvision, battleaxe, handaxe, throwing hammer, and warhammer proficient, +2 strength, light & medium armor proficient. The weapons are fairly useless to a caster so convert to an easy 4 maybe 5 skills depending on if you can convert darkvision to a skill or not, two different +2 ability scores, along with light/medium armor proficiency most casters other than cleric will lack one or both of.

Anything that I'm missing?

4 maybe 5 skills depending on if you can convert darkvision to a skill or not,

Anything that I'm missing?

Yes. Darkvision isn't tradeable unless you are using the build your own lineage, which excludes you from being a mountain dwarf.

And at best, you are getting darkvision, poison resist, +2/+2 asi, 2 languages, 3 simple/tool choices and 4 simple/martial/tool choices. I guess you can be a master craftsman and pick 7 tool choices, or go crazy learning 7 simple weapons, but I fail to see how either of those make exceptional wizards.

Yeah, unless your dream is to be proficient in every artisan tool, I don't see this as game breaking.

Play what you want
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Yes. Darkvision isn't tradeable unless you are using the build your own lineage, which excludes you from being a mountain dwarf.

And at best, you are getting darkvision, poison resist, +2/+2 asi, 2 languages, 3 simple/tool choices and 4 simple/martial/tool choices. I guess you can be a master craftsman and pick 7 tool choices, or go crazy learning 7 simple weapons, but I fail to see how either of those make exceptional wizards.

Yeah, unless your dream is to be proficient in every artisan tool, I don't see this as game breaking.

Play what you want
The +2/+2 is a huge impact. because the standard array goes from 15/14/13/12/10/8 to something like 17/16/13/12/10/8 or 17/14/13/14/10/8 allowing great int, good to great con, enough dex to cap out that medium armor, & still ok wis/cha for saves if one of those doesn't get swapped with strength for whatever reason like heavy armor goal. Pairing that kind of am array with light/medium armor proficiency easily puts it a few steps ahead because AC is almost always useful while a panic button like a lot of races have just looks sad with things like ("i can cast x once/long rest but it doesn't count as known/prepared" or "I can do extra damage against larger foes once/long rest")

Take two optimizers like @BacchusNL mentioned earlier call them Alice & bob. Alice is playing a mountain dwarf so pretty much always has better ac than bob & where it counts likely has better attributes outside "where did they put their low stats". Bob has played that mountain dwarf in a previous campaign & wants to play something different. On occasion bob might get a chance to use whatever racial goodies he got, but the limitations & corner case needs will always remind him of just how much better Alice's +N half plate & better attribute is.. I don't see it as a problem with mountain dwarf because the choices are still lots of good ones for martial classes, this is more a failing for races that synergize well with casters in ways other than "+2 to their prime stat"
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
People are all jazzed on Mountain Dwarves right now, but I think what many fail to realize is that by opening up every race to be able to boost the primary ability of any class, there are actually a lot more viable options. Yeah, it’s nice to get a +2 in your secondary ability instead of just +1, and all the swappable proficiencies seem neat. But honestly, getting a tortle’s AC boost or a Tabaxi’s speed or a Yuan-Ti’s magic resistance without having to start with less than a 16 in your spellcasting ability is probably much better.
 

Well, if the fact that it's a Plane Shift article isn't held against it, the Aven from the Amonkhet. The Hawk headed subrace option lets you basically get +2/+2 as well, proficient in Perception, and no disadvantage on range attacks made at long range. So imagine having a Birb Wizard who can fly and unleash magical doom upon foes from the sky.

A Rogue Hawk headed Aven could be quite the sniper, with some of the Tasha options, as well.

Also Theros Satyr if you add in the usual suspects like Charlaquin has mentoned.
 

BacchusNL

Explorer
I don't have the book itself yet but something that caught my ear when I saw a revieuw is that you always move around your racial bonusses, right? So a +2+2 always becomes +2+2 somewhere else and not +2+1+1, right?
That would normally be a limiting factor but wasn't there a race in Eberron that gives baseline +3 charisma? Swapping that around could be decent for many classes aswell.

@Charlaquin has a very good point there, I think. Although there might be some "optimal" choices for some classes (It's all setting-specific in the end ofcoarse, but a race with high AC + good prof's + darkvision + good stats can often be considered "optimal" in many cases) I think the main take-away from the changes in Tasha's is that the playing field is a lot more open and a ton of races are able to be competitive choices.
 
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tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
I don't have the book itself yet but something that caught my ear when I saw a revieuw is that you always move around your racial bonusses, right? So a +2+2 always becomes +2+2 somewhere else and not +2+1+1, right?
That would normally be a limiting factor but wasn't there a race in Eberron that gives baseline +3 charisma? Swapping that around could be decent for many classes aswell.
tcoe said:

Customizing Your Origin​

At 1st level, you choose various aspects of your character, including ability scores, race, class, and background. Together these elements help paint a picture of your character’s origin and give you the ability to create many different types of characters. Despite that versatility, a typical character race in D&D includes little or no choice—a lack that can make it difficult to realize certain character concepts. The following subsections address that lack by adding choice to your character’s race, allowing you to customize your ability scores, languages, and certain proficiencies to fit the origin you have in mind for your character. Character race in the game represents your character’s fantasy species, combined with certain cultural assumptions. The following options step outside those assumptions to pave the way for truly unique characters.

Ability Score Increases​

Whatever D&D race you choose for your character, you get a trait called Ability Score Increase. This increase reflects an archetypal bit of excellence in the adventurers of this kind in D&D’s past. For example, if you’re a dwarf, your Constitution increases by 2, because dwarf heroes in D&D are often exceptionally tough. This increase doesn’t apply to every dwarf, just to dwarf adventurers, and it exists to reinforce an archetype. That reinforcement is appropriate if you want to lean into the archetype, but it’s unhelpful if your character doesn’t conform to the archetype.

If you’d like your character to follow their own path, you may ignore your Ability Score Increase trait and assign ability score increases tailored to your character. Here’s how to do it: take any ability score increase you gain in your race or subrace and apply it to an ability score of your choice. If you gain more than one increase, you can’t apply those increases to the same ability score, and you can’t increase a score above 20.

For example, if the Ability Score Increase trait of your race or subrace increases your Constitution by 2 and your Wisdom by 1, you could instead increase your Intelligence by 2 and your Charisma by 1.

There is similar for skills tools & proficiencies.
 

Twiggly the Gnome

Adventurer
I don't have the book itself yet but something that caught my ear when I saw a revieuw is that you always move around your racial bonusses, right? So a +2+2 always becomes +2+2 somewhere else and not +2+1+1, right?
That would normally be a limiting factor but wasn't there a race in Eberron that gives baseline +3 charisma? Swapping that around could be decent for many classes aswell.

That got changed in the latest batch of errata..

Changeling Traits (p. 18). In Ability Score Increase, “one ability score of your choice” has been changed to “one other ability score of your choice.
 




TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Elves in general are pretty good too, since they can make the same trade-off for weapon proficiencies. Standard array I’d probably prefer mountain dwarf, but point buy makes the additional +2 over a +1 in the secondary not as big of a deal.
Personally, I favor custom lineage, since you can start with an 18 with proper feat choice which opens up a lot more options in the critical Tier 2 range.
 

The ability to swap racial ability bonuses is a problem for me, and why I almost certainly won't use it. Part of the balance of the game is around certain races having certain ability bonuses. Allowing the swapping of those abilities changes that significantly. I would much rather have allowed a player to remove a +1 from their racial ability score and add it to one based on their starting class. For example, a Half-Orc Wizard (one of the most common examples of "I want to play") could reduce either their +2 Str or +1 Con in order to gain +1 Int.

In addition, when you allow the swapping of various proficiency, you make races with extra abilities (particularly the dwarf and elf) much more powerful. Due to this, the number of PCs for these races will radically increase with many groups, while those with few abilities will shrink or even vanish. Obviously there are players who don't care about power, but those are the same players who'd play the Half-Orc Wizard without needing this.
 

Crit

Villager
I consider the difference between +2/+2 and +2/+1 to be noteworthy, but only a part of the option. I think that racial features are underrated here, from Gith (armor, weapons and spells) to Yuan Ti (spell resist and spells) to Warforged (AC and sleep) to Aracockra (flight). And Tortle (AC), too. I think innate spell casting, extra defenses, condition immunities, flight are all things worth considering over 1 ability score point.

I really enjoy moving around racial bonuses because it makes any race theoretically viable for any class. I wouldn't try and play a Yuan Ti fighter before, but now I am and new stories can be told.
 


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