D&D 5E Empowering Races

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
One of the missed tricks I see in 5e is that outside of ability score modifiers, races don't have a lot going for them mechanically that stays relevant. And not racial mods are being divorced from specific races anyway. So what we have is a tiny bit of design space for each - not enough to put in racial features that have a big effect on play mechanically and continue to do so in the higher tiers.

With the refresh of various races in the latest Mordenkainen book we have them at a somewhat level playing ground. What I would like to do is to add to each of them to make them more meaningful.

Here's the power level I'd like to propose:

Centaurs gain:
Centaurs are size Large creatures.
(Note that Centaurs are one of the few races with a disadvantage still, in this case for climbing.)

Size Large PCs (mostly from the Enlarge/Reduce spell):
Gain advantage on STR checks and saves. Can wield oversized versions of normal weapons that do +d4 damage. On weapons sized for medium sized creatures they may ignore the Two Handed property for melee weapons if the weapon does not also have the Heavy property.
EDIT: If using a verstile weapon sized for a medium creature, they may use the two handed damage even if only wielded in one hand.

So, what additions and changes would you add to your favorite race to bring it in line with this somewhat increased power level?
 
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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I'd favor taking the ''racial feats'' of XGtE and merge it with their base races.

As a side note: there's only one Two-handed weapon without the Heavy property, so that's not a huge boon. You be better to let the larger creatures use the higher damage die of a versatile weapon even when used in one hand and letting them use a second weapon without the Light property in their off-hand.
 

jgsugden

Legend
One thing I added to my games is "Heritage Levels" that a PC can take as a multiclass option. They allow a PC to become a 'greater' version of their heritage, with abilities that are more powerful comeing from their heritage without being out of balance.

I have made these for several heritages (drow, eladrin, tiefling, aasimar, svirfneblin, dragonborn, etc....). They often have prerequisites (often based upon character level). As some examples:

The Eladrin requires 10 character levels before you can advance in it, but it then allows the PC to advance and become an Arch-Fey at 20th level.

The Dragonborn allows the PC to become more and more draconic, including size increases, innate spellcasting (which all my dragons have) and gaining some of those cool dragon features (blindsense, legendary actions, legendary resistance).

The Drow one is available at 5th PC level and gives the Drow access to the abilities drow had in prior editions.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Something of note about centaurs in the MM is that they don't use the weapon dice modifiers, they deal standard weapon damage instead of double. My guess is that while they are large, the human part is still similar in size to humans. I don't really know what the races look like in the latest books so I can't otherwise comment.
 

Something of note about centaurs in the MM is that they don't use the weapon dice modifiers, they deal standard weapon damage instead of double. My guess is that while they are large, the human part is still similar in size to humans. I don't really know what the races look like in the latest books so I can't otherwise comment.
They wanted an easy way to build monsters, but the rule does not work for pc's - it's not balanced.

But if we're going with OP's point and giving races a lot more design space / power, it might be workable.
 

I remember talk during the playtest of racial features that go all the way to level 20. I really would have liked to see that. It's a lot more work to design than the fly-by-night stat blocks we have now, but it would be pretty interesting.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
One thing I added to my games is "Heritage Levels" that a PC can take as a multiclass option. They allow a PC to become a 'greater' version of their heritage, with abilities that are more powerful comeing from their heritage without being out of balance.

I have made these for several heritages (drow, eladrin, tiefling, aasimar, svirfneblin, dragonborn, etc....). They often have prerequisites (often based upon character level). As some examples:

The Eladrin requires 10 character levels before you can advance in it, but it then allows the PC to advance and become an Arch-Fey at 20th level.

The Dragonborn allows the PC to become more and more draconic, including size increases, innate spellcasting (which all my dragons have) and gaining some of those cool dragon features (blindsense, legendary actions, legendary resistance).

The Drow one is available at 5th PC level and gives the Drow access to the abilities drow had in prior editions.
So are you doing it like 3.5 ECL Monster classes like Savage Species?
 

Steven K

Villager
One thing I added to my games is "Heritage Levels" that a PC can take as a multiclass option. They allow a PC to become a 'greater' version of their heritage, with abilities that are more powerful comeing from their heritage without being out of balance.

I have made these for several heritages (drow, eladrin, tiefling, aasimar, svirfneblin, dragonborn, etc....). They often have prerequisites (often based upon character level). As some examples:

The Eladrin requires 10 character levels before you can advance in it, but it then allows the PC to advance and become an Arch-Fey at 20th level.

The Dragonborn allows the PC to become more and more draconic, including size increases, innate spellcasting (which all my dragons have) and gaining some of those cool dragon features (blindsense, legendary actions, legendary resistance).

The Drow one is available at 5th PC level and gives the Drow access to the abilities drow had in prior editions.

That's how the new Level Up system works. You get your race (heritage), and there are certain choice points associated with that race at both level one and level ten.
 



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