Goodbye Gnome. I've never had a PC gnome in my campaign, and so I included a few as NPCs to make it seem like there actually were gnomes out there. Then I decided gnomes were a myth, and they were never seen again. The old gnome NPCs were actually tricky halflings or others trying to keep the myth alive.
On the other hand, my players love half-orcs. I have to talk them into not using a half-orc for every fighter-type build. I wonder where all those half-orcs come from. Is there some orc-human bar that is really popular in Greyhawk City?
By this I mean half-elves get so little of the benefits of either race that it makes no sense to be one. The only reason I've seen anyone play a half-elf is to be able to say they are an elf and perhaps play that angsty "to elves I'm half-human" woe-is-me role.
Though I didn't vote for Half-Elves, can I just comment on how dumb giving them a diplomacy bonus is? I don't see them as being inherently "well accepted" among humans or elves, and certainly even if they were, it wouldn't translate to anyone else.
IMC, I change the bonus to disguise and bluff, reflecting the fact that they have to learn to work harder to fit into society.
Gee, should I play a human or an elf? I just can't decide! Ooh, I know! I'll play a human with infravision. I want to play with the human versatility and elf superpoweredness, and have no restrictions. Take out that whole commoners-hate-half-breeds thing! I want to play a half-elf fighter/mage/thief! (unless you'll let me play a half-drow fighter/mage/priest/thief?!)
I actually don't have a problem with any particular race, but if I had to drop one, it would be the half-elf. I feel like gnome, halflings, elves, half-orcs, and dwarves all fill cool, distinct niches. If you want to play "different," or "versatile," play human.
I started with AD&D 2nd edition and I've just seen too many players choose half-elf for what are, to me, the cheesiest reasons. I like sub-optimal builds. I think that they're more interesting. I also like narrow archetypes to follow or to flout. I don't like wishy-washy half-measures, and when the mood stirkes me, that's what I feel the half-elf is. [/RANT]
I was gonna do just PH... But then thought about the new Races of * races, and Eberron, and elven subraces, and .... Maybe if people aren't looking for my blood by the time we do skill survivor, I'll do Expanded Race Survivor.
I voted half-orc, because they're dumb bruisers mechanically and I've only seen one played who didn't fit into that stereotype. And I'm not a big fan of dumb bruisers. And anyway, why play a half-orc when you can go full?
The half-elf has almost no niche at all. You really have to stretch to find something the half-elf can do that you can't do better with either an elf or a human. The 2 +2 "Face" skill bonuses don't save it. Off it goes.