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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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Yes, and in my experience, no one wants to have an elf PC have to wait until they're 100 years old before they can be considered adult enough to go out adventuring. All my players who choose to play elves always give them a sub-100 age and I just roll with it. Elves look like adults from when they're 18+ and it's just a cultural thing that they're not "declared" an adult until they're 100, so meh. If you want to play a 25-year-old elf who's off adventuring, that's fine.

I think it would make the game easier to say all playable races reach adulthood at more or less the same age. It's just that some live longer (or shorter) in general than a typical human.
I think there's a point where making a change because it makes the game easier will lead to diminishing returns. And if we're not there yet, I can see it from here.
 

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Xethreau

Josh Gentry - Author, Minister in Training
Yeah; I don't think this improves the situation at all. I feel arguments over "is it okay to commit genocide against x" are going to get worse because now it's not going to just an argument over alignment, morality etc. but now people are going to point to creatures that are pretty human and could reasonably be involved in situations where killing them is fairly wrong... and some (mostly trolls, but still) are going to say "but they're not humanoid so it's okay!"

This really feels like an area that's much, much better to just leave unspecified or up to common sense.

Also; do not get at ALL the removal of age and height mentions from ancestories. Nobody was asking for that. They also don't get the correct solution to language either: just specify that if your character comes from a specific culture, they gain access to the languages of that culture, as determined by the DM.

Despite me having issues with a certain amount of how Paizo handles alignment for potential ancestories and humanoids (and a little unsure how to feel about negative ASIs), it certainly feels the writers and staff 'get' how to handle these issues a lot more (Paizo the company... that I'm not sure of).
I mean "uncivilized" "races" tend to have shorter age ranges so it probably is problematic. And size/weight probably isn't inclusive of diverse body types.

But yes. If they were trying to avoid the genocide problem, changing the creature types based on "cultural and moral range" actually just digs the genocide hole deeper.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Ad-hoc mentioned DnD dying since the 90’s, 4e only came out in 2010
If anything I credit 3e with bringing DnD back to life and 4e being a glitch>

The concept of DnD being streamed to an audience also become a thing in 2010, which I contend was a happy interface between the game branding and the zeitgeist

How many do you think played during 3e?

How many do you think are playing now?
 


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
How many do you think played during 3e?

How many do you think are playing now?

2017 Estimates based on Roll20 data from this site
Roll20Tabletop D&D Players
D&D 5e710039.5 million
D&D 3.5242683.2 million
D&D 4e90641.2 million
AD&D57880.8 million
TOTAL:11012313.7 million


I dont know what the stats are now and I dont deny that the rise in popularity of DnD has been phenomenal, but I do think the luck of the zeitgeist would have carried the Brand even if it wasnt the 5e rule set specifically (as long as it wasnt 4th :p)
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Ad-hoc mentioned DnD dying since the 90’s, 4e only came out in 2010
If anything I credit 3e with bringing DnD back to life and 4e being a glitch>

The concept of DnD being streamed to an audience also become a thing in 2010, which I contend was a happy interface between the game branding and the zeitgeist
The first D&D stream I watched was an intro to 4E. Main thing I noticed? They spent more time looking at their character sheet than interacting with each other. Maybe with a different group it would have been more entertaining to watch, but I guess we'll never know.

I think a lot of things contributed to 5Es success. Streaming is one, but I don't think the streams would have been as successful with previous editions. There were also other things that fell into place. Geek culture, and fantasy, has more acceptance. I feel like people were also looking for a way to connect in a more personal way. Even COVID left people looking for alternative forms of entertainment.

So I think many things contributed to this versions popularity, including streaming. Just not solely streaming.
 
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Remathilis

Legend
Eh. I've found age descriptors more useful than numbers. Is the elf NPC young, middle-aged, venerable, ancient? That does more for me than saying the elf NPC is 1,000 years old. I might decide that's how old they are, but I've never found the age range stats provided so far useful in any meaningful way either.
The current PHB gives each race an average height, weight and age range. Something like:

Dwarves stand between 4 and 5 feet tall and average about 150 pounds.

Dragonborn are taller and heavier than Humans, standing well over 6 feet tall and averaging almost 250 pounds.

Halflings average about 3 feet tall and weigh about 40 pounds.

Half-Orcs mature a little faster than Humans, reaching Adulthood around age 14. They age noticeably faster and rarely live longer than 75 years

Although elves reach physical maturity at about the same age as Humans, the elven understanding of Adulthood goes beyond physical growth to encompass worldly experience. An elf typically claims Adulthood and an adult name around the age of 100 and can live to be 750 years old.

Gnomes mature at the same rate Humans do, and most are expected to settle down into an adult life by around age 40. They can live 350 to almost 500 years.

That's all you need. Height, weight and lifespan aren't cultural, they're biological. Their is no reason to remove these guidelines that help shape what a race looks like. You might as well say that elves don't need pointed ears, dwarves don't wear beards or dragonborn aren't scaly. I'm all for diversity, but can we keep SOME consistent physical traits for races?
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
2017 Estimates based on Roll20 data from this site
Roll20Tabletop D&D Players
D&D 5e710039.5 million
D&D 3.5242683.2 million
D&D 4e90641.2 million
AD&D57880.8 million
TOTAL:11012313.7 million


I dont know what the stats are now and I dont deny that the rise in popularity of DnD has been phenomenal, but I do think the luck of the zeitgeist would have carried the Brand even if it wasnt the 5e rule set specifically (as long as it wasnt 4th :p)

There were 20 million total players between 1974 and 2004. Most of those were in the 80s. I don't expect there were many more from 2004 to 2014.

There are over 50 million current 5e players right now. There are 2.5 times as many people playing D&D right now than there were in total over the first 30 years of the game.
 



Hussar

Legend
Which doesn't really impact my home game,
See this, this right here is at the heart of the changes.

For homebrewers, nothing actually changes. They are still going to ignore what the game says and do their own thing anyway. But, these changes also mean that those who aren't particularly homebrewers now have to spend a tiny bit of time actually thinking about the repercussions of the baseline because they need to establish a baseline that is acceptable for that group.

That's the benefit here. Every group now establishes it's own baseline. Is it ok to indiscriminately slaughter something? Well, the game and WotC isn't going to answer that for you. Maybe yes it's perfectly fine at this table, but, at that table, no it isn't. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with either table. They are playing the way they want to play. Groovy.

The game isn't losing anything. It's becoming more about making the game acceptable for your table, rather than dictating from on high that this or that is okay or not okay.
 




SkidAce

Legend
Sooooo . . . . what exactly did those overly complicated random age, height, and weight tables actually bring to the game? At every table I've ever played at, we've never used them, never even looked at them. The vast majority of PC races already are pretty close to human in height and weight, and age for the classic fantasy races hasn't been consistent over the decades.

This is not a change I'll miss, or likely even notice much really.
See though, its relative....

At almost every table I've played at, we rolled on them after generating basic stats. We will notice it immediately.

Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal though...different stokes, etc.

Game on!
 

Scribe

Hero
I stand corrected. Must have been Twitter where Crawford said they were now Fiendish.
Maybe, I've had to selectively ignore things that piss me off so its possible they had an update and I just didnt see it. :ROFLMAO:

That said, a quick search on google is not showing any update to Gnoll either, so it could still be a Humanoid (but it certainly will not remain one if it doesnt get turned into a PC race soon) for now.
 

But, I thought the problem was that monsters with spell lists are too difficult to use at the table and far too much of a PITA for a DM to prepare?

So, this does eliminate the root of the problem. That it potentially nerfs Counterspell is a bonus, but, not really part of the problem.
A twisted way to look at it.

Two independent problems.
 

More good changes to help push the racist, homophobic and misogynistic people further from the game. And the louder someone protests all the changes done with 5E, the more likely they are one of those people and to be avoided.
 

pukunui

Legend
I stand corrected. Must have been Twitter where Crawford said they were now Fiendish.
Yes, it's possible that Jeremy said something about making gnolls fiends at some point. I don't think we've had any gnoll stats since he said that, though, so everything official still lists them as humanoids.
 

Hussar

Legend
A twisted way to look at it.

Two independent problems.
Twisted? I'm not quite sure what you mean.

The point was that we were simplifying how the monsters can be used. This makes it easier for DM's to both prep and play the game. That's a good thing. Having fifteen different spells is pointless when combat never lasts that long. Additionally, the game, as I said, already has a tradition of non-spell "spells" for monsters. The idea that NPC's must be built the same way as PC's is ludicrous. As to "How come that NPC can do that?" Well, the out of game answer is easy and the in-game answer is, "Well, he learned it somehow. Do you want to spend several downtime periods, months of research taken away from adventuring while you find out how he did an extra d6 on his attack?"

Like I said before, if you've used monsters from outside of WotC, this has been pretty standard since the very beginning. This isn't new at all.
 

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