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5E Better Leonin

I thought the complaint was always that there weren't enough melee characters being played because Dexterity was so good of a stat? So they go and create another race to help inspire people to play melee warriors and now the complaint is that they should have a high Charisma... thereby guaranteeing we'd see a whole new set of Warlock/Sorcerer/Bard multiclasses that make no story sense and are done purely for the mechanical min-maxing of staying in the back and throwing all kinds of weirdly boosted Eldritch Blasts? ;)
This is why we cannot have nice things!
 

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Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Ugh, really?

+2 Str, +1 Con really is the Fire/Fighting of D&D.
Even when they're not Fire/Fighting, they're still Fire/Fighting. See Incineroar and Cinderace (at least Delphox broke the mold…).

Similarly, substituting a Wis or Cha would not fix this Leonin character; Con/Wis and people would complain it's a Cat-Dwarf. Con/Cha and people would say it's a Vercat. Str/Wis and people would claim it's a Catfirbolg or a Cataur (Lynel?), or maybe a Loxocat, Catortle, or Lizardcat (that combo's just as common at Str/Con)! Str/Cha and people would claim it's a Catgonborn - or maybe Dracatborn? Honestly, I would have preferred just give the Con bonus and an additional feature.

I don't like so many Str/Con races in 5e; 4e had the same problem (seriously, even Svirfneblin were Str/Con in 4e!!!). Dwarf, Half-orc, Goliath, Orc, Minotaur, Leonin.

I think we're also in the weird issue where I don't think WotC want to make "Leonin of Mirrordin-New Phyrexia" a separate race from "Leonin of Theros," unlike the methodology in the Wyatt-designed "Plane-shift" articles where every plane had it's own takes on the races. Yeah, D&D Beyond has separate "Orc of Eberron" and "Orc of Exandria" entries from the VGM Orc, but it's pretty clear that WotC are trying to soft-errata the Orc and Triton races, and DDB hasn't gotten the memo since they're owned by Wikia, not Hasbro.

Is this Leonin a suitable race to represent all MtG Leonin?
 


You would love the "official" leonin. And their puny 1d4 + Str mod.
The thing is, it’s still close to worthless, except situationally. But by making it more powerful than similar features on other races* you’ve made it the central feature. And yet actual weapons are almost always still superior.

As an aside, I dislike playable animal races in general. Tabaxi, Dragonborn, Tortles, Aarakokra... get rid of them all.

*Maybe I’m just not remembering all the examples.
 

Is this Leonin a suitable race to represent all MtG Leonin?
Honestly does it need to? I’m playing D&D, not MtG. At this point we have one MtG inspired setting with Leonin, another setting can always modify the stats or create a subrace.

Look at how many Elf sub races exist after all.

Obviously there is a significant overlap in the Venn diagram of D&D players and MtG players, but a Leonin is representing the archetype of “Lion-Man” for D&D.
So my consideration of the race is limited to, does it fulfill it’s D&D role well.

MtG thematic concerns are external to this, in my opinion.

Honestly, it is, in my opinion a secondary consideration for Magic the Gathering as well,
A MtG card with beautiful artwork, evocative flavor text, and weak mechanics is most likely not going into my competition deck.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Honestly does it need to? I’m playing D&D, not MtG. At this point we have one MtG inspired setting with Leonin, another setting can always modify the stats or create a subrace.

Look at how many Elf sub races exist after all.

Obviously there is a significant overlap in the Venn diagram of D&D players and MtG players, but a Leonin is representing the archetype of “Lion-Man” for D&D.
So my consideration of the race is limited to, does it fulfill it’s D&D role well.

MtG thematic concerns are external to this, in my opinion.

Honestly, it is, in my opinion a secondary consideration for Magic the Gathering as well,
A MtG card with beautiful artwork, evocative flavor text, and weak mechanics is most likely not going into my competition deck.
It doesn't need to, but I ask because Leonin do not as currently written have subraces. The Leonin as written treated the race as if it's a singular race, rather than a particular iteration of the race.

We could end up with what D&D Beyond does ("Orc of Eberron", "Orc of Exandria," "Feral Tiefling" come to mind), where they can't reconcile new racial features for the same race in different books, so they just act like it's a different race altogether. Or we could have a Triton situation, where D&D Beyond retconned the stats from the previous book and just changed out the mechanical text for the one from the more recent book.

Both of those cases are D&D Beyond, and WotC has yet to give us errata for either Orc or Triton, and yet to indicate to us that they plan on giving us VGM errata for these races (or for anything else not in the 2017 errata of the book). But as we saw with the variant Tieflings in both SCAG and MTF, turning a race into a specific subrace is weird, and causes all sorts of RAW problems, especially for digital integration like D&D Beyond and Roll20.

So I ask then of the Leonin - does this race represent adequately Leonin on all planes? Would WotC force it to be, even if it doesn't make sense? (ala fears of forcing Tritons to replace Merfolk in various settings - we lucked out with Theros as that's a setting that actually had two-legged Tritons in it). Or would they create alternate and irreconcilable features for Leonins in hypothetical Mirrodin/New Phyrexia or Shards of Alara sourcebooks, akin to Svirfneblin in EEPC? Or would they make sidebars saying "replace this feature for that feature" akin to Tieflings?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I thought the complaint was always that there weren't enough melee characters being played because Dexterity was so good of a stat? So they go and create another race to help inspire people to play melee warriors and now the complaint is that they should have a high Charisma... thereby guaranteeing we'd see a whole new set of Warlock/Sorcerer/Bard multiclasses that make no story sense and are done purely for the mechanical min-maxing of staying in the back and throwing all kinds of weirdly boosted Eldritch Blasts? ;)
Giving a ton of races boosts to strength and constitution does nothing to address the design issues with dexterity. Too many str/con races and dex doing too much are unrelated issues.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Okay for Magic. Silly for any other concept of a lion humanoid. And goes against what lions symbolize. Canon should not be restrictive.

The real problem is D&D has too many Str and Con races.
Lions themselves aren’t that charismatic, though. More than tigers, sure, being more social, but they’re still territorial jerks.

And there are plenty of Cha races already.

But most importantly, Cha isn’t needed to be proud, Noble, etc. They can intimidate with strength at most tables, and their story in the world they come from is more important than a generalized idea of what lions represent.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Giving a ton of races boosts to strength and constitution does nothing to address the design issues with dexterity. Too many str/con races and dex doing too much are unrelated issues.
Adding in Fairy-type to deal with the ubiquity of Fighting, Dragon, and Dark types doesn't help if your problem is too many Fighting/Fire starters. I mean, that fairy doesn't even have type advantage due to the fire typing!

Lions themselves aren’t that charismatic, though. More than tigers, sure, being more social, but they’re still territorial jerks.

And there are plenty of Cha races already.

But most importantly, Cha isn’t needed to be proud, Noble, etc. They can intimidate with strength at most tables, and their story in the world they come from is more important than a generalized idea of what lions represent.
I had forgotten about Intimidation with Strength (variant abilities for skills). This of course also doesn't solve the Dexterity rools problem, actually it can exacerbate it because the +Dex race Rogue is going to be asking to make every skill check a variant one using Dex instead of Cha, Int, etc. :D

Ultimately, if you (untargeted you used here) want Dex or Cha on your Leonin, why aren't you playing a Tabaxi?
 

Firstly, having multiple variants of PC races for Tritons, Eladrins, Minotaurs etc isn’t a major problem, from my viewpoint.

Individual DMs will select whichever one they wish to use, just like with Humans/Variant Humans.

One can chose to use all of a particular races’ variants, and now have, in effect, subraces for Tritons etc.

We, certainly do not know if WoTC will release another MtG inspired setting. So the ontic truth is for 5e D&D, Leonin are a race for a particular setting.

Future products, can deal with any needed design changes to match flavor differences between MtG sets.

As for DnD Beyond implementation issues, said issues are external to D&D. To put it bluntly it is DnD Beyond’s problem, not Wizard of the Coast’s.

For WoTC to codify a final version of all published races, would mean a separate Races of D&D book, which is the beginning of D&D 5.5.

I think it more likely, WoTC will keep on doing things as is, and let individual DMs decide what they want to use for their games.
 
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Adding in Fairy-type to deal with the ubiquity of Fighting, Dragon, and Dark types doesn't help if your problem is too many Fighting/Fire starters. I mean, that fairy doesn't even have type advantage due to the fire typing!
Some of the terminology in this thread is losing me. Not sure if I wandered into a 4e thread, or this is M:tG....
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Some of the terminology in this thread is losing me. Not sure if I wandered into a 4e thread, or this is M:tG....
Sorry, I was making a (rather inside) joke based off of Charlaquin's earlier Fire/Fighting comment on Page 1. It's a Pokémon reference, though I get the confusion.
 


Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Now I feel really un-cool. Which, on a website for RPG geeks, is something of an accomplishment.
No worries, I sure won't hold it against ya. If someone dropped, say, a Dark Souls reference, or perhance, a Witcher reference, I'd have no idea what they're talking about. There's only enough time in a life to know some limited things.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I think I’d leave the claws at 1d4, if you can attack with both. Perhaps a feat to increase damage (and other features).

Personally, when I think about Leonin, Lion man of the old Flash Gordon cartoon comes to mind. But isn’t the stereotypical Leonin of MtG Ajani?
 

Mecheon

Adventurer
As an aside, I dislike playable animal races in general. Tabaxi, Dragonborn, Tortles, Aarakokra... get rid of them all.
Its a longset fantasy thing. In D&D alone Tortles and various forms of cat and dog people date back to 1E. Tortles and Aarakocra especially have their fans as well, and Dragonborn definitely fill a niche that older races weren't filling
 

Benjamin Olson

Adventurer
I thought the complaint was always that there weren't enough melee characters being played because Dexterity was so good of a stat? So they go and create another race to help inspire people to play melee warriors and now the complaint is that they should have a high Charisma... thereby guaranteeing we'd see a whole new set of Warlock/Sorcerer/Bard multiclasses that make no story sense and are done purely for the mechanical min-maxing of staying in the back and throwing all kinds of weirdly boosted Eldritch Blasts? ;)
Nothing sadder than for a Sorcerer, born with innate magic and beholden to nobody and to no thing, to take Warlock levels. Seriously, other people should be selling their souls to you, and you're going to suck up to some other magic being like a wimpy little Cleric? Do you really need the fairy queen to hold your hand?

Bonus loser points if you go Hexblade and let yourself get bossed around by an inanimate object.
 

Advice has been taken on board. I have edited the OP. With ->

BEST LEONIN
Ability Scores: Cha +1, Str +1, Wis +1
Other racial features remain.
Claws: Slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier.
 

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