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D&D 5E D&D Studio Blog - Sage Advice - Creature Evolutions

There's a new D&D Studio Blog - Jeremy's posted about "Creature Evolutions": Creature Evolutions | Dungeons & Dragons

Some quick takeaways:
  • Some creatures that were formerly humanoids will, going forward, be monstrosities, fey, or something else. ("Humanoid" is reserved for creatures with similar "moral and cultural range" to humans.)
  • Alignment got put in a "time out".
  • They've started using class tags so that DMs know that a particular NPC can attune to magic items limited to a particular class.
  • Bonus actions get their own section in the stat block now.
  • They've merged the Innate Spellcasting and Spellcasting traits and have gotten rid of spell slots.
Also some stuff we've already guessed based on the stat blocks and playable races in Wild Beyond the Witchlight.

There's also some Sage Advice on "rabbit hops" for harengon PCs.

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From the blog post:

"We’ve also gotten strict about which monsters get the Humanoid creature type. This type is now reserved for creatures who are humanlike in their moral and cultural range. As we update older books, we’ll reassign some Humanoids to other creature types. When Monsters of the Multiverse is released, you’ll see that some former Humanoids are now Monstrosities, Fey, and other types."

I'm not sure what "humanlike in their moral and cultural range" means exactly, but I wish he was a little clearer what goal is served here that makes it worth myriad arguments about whether a Charm Person spell works on X creature that players expect it to work on. At the moment when a player needs to guess if a creature is a humanoid for the purposes of a spell or ability they basically have to consider whether it is a tool and equipment using biped native to the material plane and of non-giganitic purportions, now they also need to consider it's species' "moral range".

I would find it easier to get on board with the change if Jeremy Crawford had taken the opportunity to state the actual reason WotC considers this change worthwhile. I don't think it's inherently a bad thing, I just think it's something they shouldn't tinker with when the spells and abilities in the game were written with the assumption that being humanoid was synonymous with personhood. If in the next edition they want to hand out a separate "person" tag and have spells and abilities cue off of that I think construing "humanoid" as the narrow group of mammilian bipeds or whatever they wanted to confine it to would make a lot more sense.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
From the blog post:

"We’ve also gotten strict about which monsters get the Humanoid creature type. This type is now reserved for creatures who are humanlike in their moral and cultural range. As we update older books, we’ll reassign some Humanoids to other creature types. When Monsters of the Multiverse is released, you’ll see that some former Humanoids are now Monstrosities, Fey, and other types."

I'm not sure what "humanlike in their moral and cultural range" means exactly, but I wish he was a little clearer what goal is served here that makes it worth myriad arguments about whether a Charm Person spell works on X creature that players expect it to work on. At the moment when a player needs to guess if a creature is a humanoid for the purposes of a spell or ability they basically have to consider whether it is a tool and equipment using biped native to the material plane and of non-giganitic purportions, now they also need to consider it's species' "moral range".

I would find it easier to get on board with the change if Jeremy Crawford had taken the opportunity to state the actual reason WotC considers this change worthwhile. I don't think it's inherently a bad thing, I just think it's something they shouldn't tinker with when the spells and abilities in the game were written with the assumption that being humanoid was synonymous with personhood. If in the next edition they want to hand out a separate "person" tag and have spells and abilities cue off of that I think construing "humanoid" as the narrow group of mammilian bipeds or whatever they wanted to confine it to would make a lot more sense.
I imagine that creatures like Firenewts, Grimlocks, and Gnolls will cease to be Humanoids in the revisions happening in Monsters of the Multiverse and the revised Core Rulebooks in 2024.
 

pukunui

Legend
I imagine that creatures like Firenewts, Grimlocks, and Gnolls will cease to be Humanoids in the revisions happening in Monsters of the Multiverse and the revised Core Rulebooks in 2024.
This. Volo's essentially turned gnolls into demon-spawn with no real culture or biological means of propagating their species. In light of WotC's more recent rethinking on alignment and what it means to be a humanoid, I don't see how gnolls can keep that tag. They're going to have to be retagged as monstrosities or maybe even fiends.
 


pukunui

Legend
Has anyone seen anything from WotC addressing the issue that PC's can't use Counterpell against non-spell former spells by monsters?
No, but Ray Winninger said they would be putting out a bunch of surveys during 2022 to help them shape the anniversary editions, so I expect there will be opportunities for people to bring this issue up with them and maybe get it addressed in time for the 2024 books, even if it ends up being too late for Monsters of the Multiverse and the like.
 

Scribe

Hero
This. Volo's essentially turned gnolls into demon-spawn with no real culture or biological means of propagating their species. In light of WotC's more recent rethinking on alignment and what it means to be a humanoid, I don't see how gnolls can keep that tag. They're going to have to be retagged as monstrosities or maybe even fiends.

Yeah.

As to the blog, its exactly what I expected and predicted when another thread asked how races would look going forward in the next book to consolidate them all.

Type: Humanoid (and an associated 'human like' moral system and cultural range).
ASI: Whatever.
Alignment: Whatever.
Age: Typically around 100 years. AKA: Human.
Size: Small or Medium and "Player characters, regardless of race, typically fall into the same ranges of height and weight that humans have in our world.". Human
Language: Whatever

2-4 Special Rules: Your actual race.

Your race is now a few special rules, or 'mostly human like'.

Otherwise you are an Outsider/Fiend/Construct of some type.
 




AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Which makes sense to me for Firenewts and Gnolls, but if Grimlocks, who are directly descended from humans, aren't humanoids than who is?
Chitine and Choldriths are both monstrosities, even though they're descended from Elves. You could just say "the modifications that the Mind Flayers have done to Grimlocks over the centuries has changed them so much that they're mindless monstrosities".

Just like how we're descended from Fish, but most people wouldn't say that humans are a type of fish.
 

Scribe

Hero
Not all PC races are going to be humanoid:

CREATURE TYPE​

In the past, a character race was presumed to have the Humanoid creature type. In the new races, the character’s creature type is specified. For example, the fairy has the Fey creature type.
I bet most will be.
 


Chitine and Choldriths are both monstrosities, even though they're descended from Elves. You could just say "the modifications that the Mind Flayers have done to Grimlocks over the centuries has changed them so much that they're mindless monstrosities".

Just like how we're descended from Fish, but most people wouldn't say that humans are a type of fish.
Sure. But Grimlocks are clearly a nod to the Morlocks, who are degenerate subteranian humans of the distant future from The Time Machine twisted without the intervention of magic. I'm not saying I can't accept that they could be classed as something else, I'm just saying that a player who hasn't memorized the Monster Manual but knows their Hold Person spell requires a "humanoid" is, based on any lore in universe they might be told after a knowledge check and on the larger sci-fi fantasy context, likely to expect it to work on a Grimlock.
 

Scribe

Hero
Yeah, that's fair. But they're opening things up so they don't feel like they have to make a playable race be a humanoid.
They never had to though.

What they are doing is making a specific call out.

We’ve also gotten strict about which monsters get the Humanoid creature type. This type is now reserved for creatures who are humanlike in their moral and cultural range.

The majority of PC options will have a 'humanlike' moral and cultural range.

They are simply making it more 'do whatever'.

And I mean that, in the sense they are removing themselves from the equation of being the ones to declare what a race is, so they wont take the heat anymore.
 


Scribe

Hero
Same, but I can see Elves going fey as well. Tritons coming from the plane of water might be some sort of Elemental or Fey. There are a lot of races that they could change with this.
Could, but I dont think thats the direction they are taking.

They dont want to be the ones to define what a race is, outside of a few special rules.
 

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