D&D 5E DMG Excerpt: Creating a New Race

True Jester, but, there are house rules and there are house rules. Saying, "If you want your elves to be like older versions, just shift the +2 from wisdom to int" isn't a huge house rule. It's not like we're going to completely revamp anything. It's a pretty minor change. And one thing 4e didn't do was hand hold DM's. You are expressly expected to do this in 4e. It wasn't 3e where you needed a rule for everything. Nor is it like 5e where the expectations that the DM will change elements is even stronger than it was in 4e.

3e is something of the outlier here. Earlier editions and later editions assumed that you were going to change things to suit your taste.
There are certainly a range of house rules, but in general, just replying with "house rule it" when discussing a problem with the system (and not your campaign) is problematic.

I also expanded that point out initially in the post the quote was pulled from.
The argument was that there was no problem having elves that didn't make good wizards as you could house rule that. But, if it was so simple, then why did WotC create the eladrin and change the lore of an entire subrace in two campaign settings into extradimensional fey? And rework a monster? That's a bit of a big change when you could just make a house rule (which, to WotC's credit, they did perfectly with Essentials). They did completely revamp something.

I have no problems house ruling at my game. I'm anxiously about to start a Pathfinder game, and that will be using wound points (further house rules from the official variant rules), a morale system, a reroll token system, and a system to replace stat boosting magic items.
It get a little more frustrated when instead of choosing to house rule I have to house rule. Especially if the house rules are revisionary rather than additive. Which is why 5e is so appealing: I don't need to change many rules, just add them. But 3e/4e you really have to change so you could add.
And, similarly, I don't like having to house rule/change campaign settings. I'm very comfortable making my own campaign setting. I've done it several times and written a book on the subject. But when I use a published setting, I don't want to have to make sweeping changes as that defeats the purpose of using a published setting.
 

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Sailor Moon

Banned
Banned
Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but I really like how they mentioned "compare to other races in your world" instead of the PHB. To me, this really gets away from the assumption that just because a race a is in the PHB, doesn't mean it's going to be in "your" world.
 

Zhaleskra

Adventurer
To me, this really gets away from the assumption that just because a race is in the PHB, doesn't mean it's going to be in "your" world.

I'm going to guess you made a typo here and assume you meant "the assumption that just because a race is in the PHB means it's going to be in your world".
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Again.

How do I match up the stats of monster humaniods in the MM and the PC races that would match those in the PHB?

I'm not talking minotaurs.

I mean
Kobolds (MM kobold stats suck compared to PC stats)
Hobgoblin (MM hobgobs's Martial Advantage is too strong for a PC)
Bugbears (MM bugbear's Brute and Surprise attack are too strong for a PC)
Satyrs (is Magic resistance fair for a PC?)
Gith (Psionics is cray-zay, man)
Gnolls (is Bite and Rampage good enough for a PC?)
Goblins (Nimble Escape?)
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
There are certainly a range of house rules, but in general, just replying with "house rule it" when discussing a problem with the system (and not your campaign) is problematic.

No more problematic than simply saying something doesn't work well without an easy houserule, and then complaining when someone points out the simple houserule.
 

TGryph

Explorer
For some reason, I have always envisioned (and treated) Eladrin as more like the elves form the Poul Anderson's work "The Broken Sword"...kinda cold Fey-visioned Elves who could step between worlds rather easily. Great book btw if you have never read it...

TGryph
 

Wrathamon

Adventurer
Again.

How do I match up the stats of monster humaniods in the MM and the PC races that would match those in the PHB?
)

Well you first post was about I use to slap on levels of wizard to a hobgoblin to make a warlord advisor. You can still do that and really easily. I dont see that being an issue. Just adjust the CR *if you want/need to

Your 2nd post is about how do I make PHB races for players to use ... which is a design challenge.

My thought on this is the Monsters posted in the MM arent RACES but Monsters. A Hero version of that monster might not have the same abilities as the Monster. The Monster trained differently. Dont try to extrapolate PC stats from monsters.

Kobolds suck if you take their stats ... but that doesnt mean the HERO kobold the player is using is the same as a crappy mook. What is an iconic heroic kobold? Kobolds are small and dextrous and well known for their trapmaking. I would base it on the Rock Gnome to start and then modify.

Hobgoblin Martial Advantage is too strong you mention. Replace it with something that "makes sense" for a Hobgoblin to have that is balanced with the PHB races. Start with 1/2 Orc or Wood Elf as a starting point then modify.

If you aren't good or feel confident at making PC races for your players, then dont allow them. Or look online (there are a ton of conversions already) find one you like or modify one to fit your view.

OR, wait.

I am sure there will be a list of monsters races (at least goblins) for Eberron for example. Also, Kobolds are a fan favorite. From your list I only know people wanting to play kobolds to be honest. Satyrs got some play in 4e. I would look to see what they got and modify. I am sure Dragon Articles will have lots of Race options to be added to your game.
 

Nellisir

Hero
Again.

How do I match up the stats of monster humaniods in the MM and the PC races that would match those in the PHB?

I'm not talking minotaurs.

I mean
Kobolds (MM kobold stats suck compared to PC stats)
Hobgoblin (MM hobgobs's Martial Advantage is too strong for a PC)
Bugbears (MM bugbear's Brute and Surprise attack are too strong for a PC)
Satyrs (is Magic resistance fair for a PC?)
Gith (Psionics is cray-zay, man)
Gnolls (is Bite and Rampage good enough for a PC?)
Goblins (Nimble Escape?)

There's a little bit of a conceptual jump in doing that with 5e. In 3e, you had a base creature that you could turn into a monster or a PC. That doesn't exist in 5e. You can have a monster that's an elf, or a PC that's an elf. The base isn't "elf", it's "monster" or "PC". To turn a monster concept into a PC, I'd look at what the monster is supposed to be like (sneaky, crazy, etc, etc) and simultaneously look at the closest existing PC race. Try to create a balanced version of monster abilities. You can't just run a monster as a PC though.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Well you first post was about I use to slap on levels of wizard to a hobgoblin to make a warlord advisor. You can still do that and really easily. I dont see that being an issue. Just adjust the CR *if you want/need to

Your 2nd post is about how do I make PHB races for players to use ... which is a design challenge.

My thought on this is the Monsters posted in the MM arent RACES but Monsters. A Hero version of that monster might not have the same abilities as the Monster. The Monster trained differently. Dont try to extrapolate PC stats from monsters.

Kobolds suck if you take their stats ... but that doesnt mean the HERO kobold the player is using is the same as a crappy mook. What is an iconic heroic kobold? Kobolds are small and dextrous and well known for their trapmaking. I would base it on the Rock Gnome to start and then modify.

Hobgoblin Martial Advantage is too strong you mention. Replace it with something that "makes sense" for a Hobgoblin to have that is balanced with the PHB races. Start with 1/2 Orc or Wood Elf as a starting point then modify.

If you aren't good or feel confident at making PC races for your players, then dont allow them. Or look online (there are a ton of conversions already) find one you like or modify one to fit your view.

OR, wait.

I am sure there will be a list of monsters races (at least goblins) for Eberron for example. Also, Kobolds are a fan favorite. From your list I only know people wanting to play kobolds to be honest. Satyrs got some play in 4e. I would look to see what they got and modify. I am sure Dragon Articles will have lots of Race options to be added to your game.

I understand that there is a difference standard and heroic version of the monster races. My issue is how FAR the difference is.

MM kobolds are pathetic and have little power. All MM kobolds have are high Dex and skill with traps. Creation of a PC race would mean taping tons of abilities onto it to balance it. But then the PC kobold and MM kobold look nothing alike.
Give them +2 Dex, +1 Int, proficiency with tinker tools and craft of 3 traps? I have a weak rock gnome not a kobold.

And what do I give to compensate for being small?

Based on the MM... I got nothing. The MM kobold sucks and has no compensation or even any features I can snag and boost. The fluff adds nothing either. I can even good Dex +3 or +4 because it breaks the general baseline for the game.

Same with hobgoblins and bugbears but in the opposite direction. The MM stuff is too powerful but there is little leeway to weaken them without making them too weak or copycats of existing races.

This is why I loved 4e's racial power method so much. You could take almost any humanoid monster and pluck out its ability bonuses and racial power. Then give it to players for PCs or swap them on monsters as a DM or adventure designer. Even 3e had its races despite being faulty.

5e seems like the worse of both worlds. Monsters have no underlying rules for reverse engineering for PCs. The rules for reverse engineering for monster to monster swaps seem long. And if you DO create monster PC races, t
many of them will look nothing like their PC versions.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
This all seems a bit tempestuous in the proverbial teapot.

You have small races. You have some examples of what small races get. Give them Natural Stealth from the halfling. Give them some kind of hiding and/or climbing. You know what/how you obviously expect your kobolds to be. So, add that in. Steal stuff from 4e if that's what you think is missing.

No, maybe they won't be as good as other races. Maybe you do end up with a "weak rock gnome". You want to play a kobold, that's what you get. Enjoy playing your kobold pc.

Take the hobgoblin and bugbear. Take the stuff that's OP'd out. Put something in, yes, commensurate with what other existing races have. You will have to do some work to get what you, apparently, think is the way your monster-pc's should be. And you can likely come up with some sub-system that will give you what you want, and may like better even after/if we see "official monster pc" guidelines from 5e.

5e gave you a 9 races with 14 counting subraces, 15 if you want to count the variant human. 5e is not concerned, a few months from release, in making sure every possible living thing can be made into a PC.

Good on them, says I.

5e isn't beholden to give you the exact same monster-PC racial options that you seem to think you must have/prefer from previous editions. You want these [obviously, as the game is presented right now] "outside the intended default/norm" PC races, then you will have to cobble them up as you like.

5e isn't doing anything "wrong" or a "bad" game because it hasn't drawn these corner cases up for you or given you monster "options" you find unsatisfactory -however popular at individual tables, they are, when all's said and done, corner cases.
 

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