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D&D 5E Custom races and tasha’s

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
I wondered if anyone has any hard info about custom races and racial feats.

specifically, can custom races take elven accuracy, for example?

additionally, can/do custom races ever represent standard races, or are they representative of only new groups?

My question is due to some online discussion lauding the total decoupling of race and abilities.

thanks in advance for any info.
 

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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
There are only a couple of paragraphs on this in Tasha's. It's not exactly a "build your own race" like some other games have. You can swap around ability score increases and languages however you want, or swap a proficiency.

ProficiencyReplacement Proficiency
SkillSkill
ArmorSimple/martial weapon or tool
Simple weaponSimple weapon or tool
Martial weaponSimple/martial weapon or tool
ToolTool or simple weapon

If creating a custom lineage you get variable trait.
Variable Trait. You gain one of the following options of your choice: (a) darkvision with a range of 60 feet or (b) proficiency in one skill of your choice.​
Outside of Tasha's I'd point you to the Dungeon Master's Workshop chapter in the DMG which basically boils down to "do what you want, just try to keep it in balance with the other races".
 

Al2O3

Explorer
The variant features should not influence feats at all.

The custom lineages are entirely up to a discussion with the DM. I would default to "only new races", but I don't remember how clear the phrasing is.
 


Azzy

KMF DM
I wondered if anyone has any hard info about custom races and racial feats.

specifically, can custom races take elven accuracy, for example?

additionally, can/do custom races ever represent standard races, or are they representative of only new groups?

The book is very vague on much of this. The rules for custom lineages consist of a single sidebar. Here is the most relevant bits (the rest is just the options you can choose):

Custom Lineage
Instead of choosing one of the game's races for your character at 1st level, you can use the following traits to represent your character's lineage, giving you full control over how your character's origin shaped them:
  • Creature Type. You are a humanoid. You determine your appearance and whether you resemble any of your kin.


So, maybe they can represent a standard race—with DM approval (the entire thing requires DM approval, anyways). If so, they should be able to use that race's racial feats. If not, then no.

IMO, the rules for custom lineages are extremely underwhelming.

Keep in mind that customized versions of existing races (where the ASIs are are asigned to nonstandard ability scores and/or proficiencies got swapped) would still count as that race for any purpose that is reliant on a specific race (such as racial feats).
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
I really really like playing around with feats and thus end up human.

was thinking about a custom background which clearly would still let me play with feats. Was thinking about say a half orc which is maybe only 1/4 orc or perhaps going with a variant tiefling with a feat.

of course I could merely do variant human again. Many of my characters are not optimal for their purpose so I use feats to make them more viable.

I play blade pact warlocks a lot and dislike hexblade so moderately armored is nice.

but if I go with smites I am starved for invocations. The feat for eldritch invocations is tempting.

I really like the shadow magic feat and fey magic feats along with undying servant invocation. It helps with a panic button and extra spells for a warlock.

thr way I see it is if I want to play the style I want, and extra feat is almost mandatory....

I never go with eldritch blast and warlock as the main attack due for the sake of novelty for me. The custom race which I originally opposed would make me more likely to take a half orc or tiefling sort given the availability of the feat.

I have gone the mountain dwarf route of course and know I can multiclass but prefer not...
 

DM Dave1

Hero
As a general point of order, I'd say a custom race is not an elf and therefore could not take Elven Accuracy as a feat - or any other race-specific feat for that matter. That said, in a campaign where we said custom races were on the table, I wouldn't necessarily be averse to it if a player had a strong character background reasons for why "Elven" Accuracy should apply. Then again, I don't see myself including optional custom races in our campaigns any time soon.
 

The full custom lineage rules for reference
IMG_20201129_160228.jpg
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
As a general point of order, I'd say a custom race is not an elf and therefore could not take Elven Accuracy as a feat - or any other race-specific feat for that matter. That said, in a campaign where we said custom races were on the table, I wouldn't necessarily be averse to it if a player had a strong character background reasons for why "Elven" Accuracy should apply. Then again, I don't see myself including optional custom races in our campaigns any time soon.
Yeah. I think that is reasonable. I really like variant human but was thinking something at least visually a bit different. I think if you are different enough to not take the original race you probably should not benefit from racial feats.

however I had previously wondered what you might be if your parents were half elf and half orc respectively.

I worked up a Paladin like that and simply said half orc though the custom race might be the way in this case.

I was pretty interested in the scag tiefling appearance and variety. The custom might help with expanding such options...I dunno.

but for my odd builds I usually need the extra feat at one. I like taking armored characters without multiclass if etc so one is sunk at the start...
 


Remathilis

Legend
From a practical standpoint, there isn't much reason balance-reasons to not allow those feats. I could see (for example) Infernal Constitution or Dragon Hide as clever ways to get several racial traits that could represent unique races.

HOWEVER

I'm also leery of saying "custom lineage = normal race" at this point, mostly because I still prefer the races still stand for something. Your custom lineage might look like an elf, but they're not mechanically an elf, they are unique entity and doesn't count as an elf for purposes of being immune to ghoul paralysis, making boot of elvenkind, or taking elven feats.
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
From a practical standpoint, there isn't much reason balance-reasons to not allow those feats. I could see (for example) Infernal Constitution or Dragon Hide as clever ways to get several racial traits that could represent unique races.

HOWEVER

I'm also leery of saying "custom lineage = normal race" at this point, mostly because I still prefer the races still stand for something. Your custom lineage might look like an elf, but they're not mechanically an elf, they are unique entity and doesn't count as an elf for purposes of being immune to ghoul paralysis, making boot of elvenkind, or taking elven feats.
Yes. I am leery of that as well.

I think this is not good for lore honestly (generic dnd lore).
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
For Racial Feats:
A Custom Origin Elf would still qualify for the feat, because they are still an Elf even with the proficiencies and stats swapped around.
A Custom Lineage Humanoid (I guess we should call them CLH, because I have a feeling we are going to need something like that) requires DM approval, especially considering there are more than a few racial feats that modify an existing racial feature that the CLH won't actually have access too.

That said, a lot of the racial feats would would great for giving that "I'm half-X, half-something else" feeling.
 

D1Tremere

Explorer
I would say the whole point of the custom lineage is that you need not be an X to have X ability. You were raised with X, you have some X blood in you, you were touched by the gods of X, etc. This way you may look like a dark elf, but have grown up with Kenku you use their mimic ability to communicate and dream of flying, Etc.
 

I think we need an Unearthed Arcana article about paragon racial classes.

My wish is to allow more flexibility because gnomes are good for (almost only) illusory magic and stealth classes (rogues & cía).
 

Horwath

Hero
I would add that skill and armor should be interchangeable.

Also for custom lineage, I would say that you pick a race(or two) that you are based of. Human, Dwarf, Elf, Orc, Gnome, etc...
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
As a DM, my technique on any of this stuff would be to wait for a player to produce a character with its backstory set up prior to being mechanically built. If I then read it and saw that their story would make having an alternate racial feature sensible and possible... I might then mention to that player that if they wanted to make a custom racial swap for said feature, I'd allow it.

But if the person came to me with a mechanically pre-built character that already had a custom racial feature swap built in and then said they would create a "backstory" to justify it... that's when I'd be hard-pressed to let them. Because their actions told me they didn't actually care that much about who their PC was... they just wanted to beef up their combat ability as much as possible. And I don't have much time for players like that.

Thankfully, my players know that I tend to be generous with a lot of mechanical back-end stuff as well as magical equipment and items and the like... so coming to me beforehand trying to OP their character is unnecessary. They will get their PCs buffed very well over the course of the game, there's no need to try and jerry-rig a bonus baby beforehand.
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
I am on the fence about using custom races as other than a dm tool frankly. Though going back to AD&D we have often played with weird heritages and bloodlines which this might be useful for.

generally though my desire for it is simply a back door way to get a feat in a nonhuman at level 1.

I find feats to be very fun. While I often take suboptimal subclasses etc., I like feats to help round things out or cover up bigger self gimps.

usually I like to be in melee and like str characters so this helps with warlocks or even clerics. I am not trying to dominate the game but like to melee with my comrades.
 



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