D&D 5E Clickbait we didn't fall for: "Wizards is copying Critical Role"

While I think that broadly it is true that "timeless" is a marketing term, there are works that do in fact resonate no matter how far removed from their original context: The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey and The Illiad, Beowulf, Le Morte d'Arthur, Dracula, The Lord of the Rings. "Timeless" stories exist, for sure.

Not that I think any D&D novel is going to be one of those. Absolutely aim that thing at the contemporary audience.

I think alot of FR novels are timeless, most in fact. It helps its not set on Earth.
 

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Planescape was niche, 4E well yeah.
Tieflengs have been normal due to 5E.

They've been normal due to 5E imho. Expect a buff they suck mechanically in PHB.

Actually when Tieflings, Aasimar.
, and Genasi began to be normalized, it was in the Forgotten Realms during the 3e era, when Tieflings and Aasimar, first they appeared in the MM as a playable race (with level adjusement) and later more playable level adjustment free humaniod versions of Aasimar, Tieflings, and Genasi, appeared in 3.5e for the Forgotten Realms and in races of Faerun. This lead to Tieflings and Aasimar and in cases Genasi appearing in Icewind Dale 1&2, Planescape Torment, Baldur's Gate 2, Neverwinter Nights 2 (not sure about NWN1), BG3, Warriors of Waterdeep, Neverwinter MMO, etc...

And that is on top of greatly increased in Importance for Tieflings, Genasi, and Aasimar/Devas in 4e.

Also Aasimar and Tieflings have appeared in a whole bunch of third party settings (both are part of the 3e/3.5e SRD).

Some examples are Midguard/Southland setting, Pathfinders Golarion, maybe Starfinder?

They appear in Kingmaker and Wrath of the Righteous.

Also in Pathfinder TTRPG 1st & 2nd edition.

Undoubtly others.
 
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Kurotowa

Legend
The have been popular since they first appeared in Planescape in 1994. WotC is following the market, not leading.
With tieflings, that's definitely the case. I'm not so sure about dragonborn.

I still have my Wizards Presents: Races and Classes, the thin book on design thoughts they put out in the lead up to 4e. Richard Baker talks a little about how they selected the tieflings and dragonborn. With tieflings, as you say, he calls out their enduring popularity in 2e and 3e as the reason for their promotion to the PHB. The dragonborn, though... let me quote.

"Once we had this list, we asked ourselves the question, "What's missing?" Could we think of any iconic fantasy races or cultures that hadn't been presented in the 3rd Edition and needed to come forward? We briefly kicked around the idea of the "talking animal" race: after all, the Narnia movie was pretty good, and talking animals show up all over the place in fantasy literature. But we suspected that the mechanical design of such a race (or collection of races, really) would be very difficult, and we were afraid that most folks in our audience would see talking animals as some kind of bad joke. While that bit of brainstorming didn't work, some additional brainstorming did. We realized that we had several varieties of "dragon man" rattling around in the system, and that we might combine them into a single character race with its own unique culture, society, and mechanical niche."

I honestly think they missed the mark by trying to force the issue, here. Half-dragons were the most popular of the 3e "dragon men" types, and they had a very different aesthetic and story from dragonborn. Also they may have tried to hit those last points in 4e, but in 5e they certainly don't have a unique culture, society, or mechanical niche.
 

MGibster

Legend
Yes, although priests in ancient polytheistic religions did typically specialize in the cult of a particular god. Necessarily so, due to the size of pantheons and specificity of ritual practices. Everybody venerated all of the gods, but no individual could reasonably be expected to remember the proper ways to do so for each god. Gotta have experts to preserve that specialized knowledge!
I think it was in the Iliad, but it cracked me up when they were offering the gods a sacrifice of a nice bull. I think it was Agamemnon giving the prayer and he starts at the top with Zeus, names a few other gods, and when he gets to the end adds, "And for any other God we failed to mention, this is for you too."
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
With tieflings, that's definitely the case. I'm not so sure about dragonborn.

I still have my Wizards Presents: Races and Classes, the thin book on design thoughts they put out in the lead up to 4e. Richard Baker talks a little about how they selected the tieflings and dragonborn. With tieflings, as you say, he calls out their enduring popularity in 2e and 3e as the reason for their promotion to the PHB. The dragonborn, though... let me quote.

"Once we had this list, we asked ourselves the question, "What's missing?" Could we think of any iconic fantasy races or cultures that hadn't been presented in the 3rd Edition and needed to come forward? We briefly kicked around the idea of the "talking animal" race: after all, the Narnia movie was pretty good, and talking animals show up all over the place in fantasy literature. But we suspected that the mechanical design of such a race (or collection of races, really) would be very difficult, and we were afraid that most folks in our audience would see talking animals as some kind of bad joke. While that bit of brainstorming didn't work, some additional brainstorming did. We realized that we had several varieties of "dragon man" rattling around in the system, and that we might combine them into a single character race with its own unique culture, society, and mechanical niche."

I honestly think they missed the mark by trying to force the issue, here. Half-dragons were the most popular of the 3e "dragon men" types, and they had a very different aesthetic and story from dragonborn. Also they may have tried to hit those last points in 4e, but in 5e they certainly don't have a unique culture, society, or mechanical niche.
4e Dragonborn were awesome and their history tied in with the history of 4e Tieflings in a way that elevated them both. 5e, in its typical fashion, copied the aesthetics of 4e Dragonborn and 4e Tieflings, without preserving the real substance. But, hey, it worked out, they’re both as popular as ever if not even more popular.
 
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