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D&D 5E Everyone Should Play Custom Lineage by Default

squibbles

Adventurer
The new Tasha's custom lineage is one of the strongest PC options published--pick a feat, potentially choose an Ability to start at 18, have darkvision.

Why not have it be conventional practice that players always build a custom lineage, regardless of the 'race' they want to play i.e.:
wanna play a dwarf? --> custom lineage: +2 Str, Sentinel​
wanna play an elf? --> custom lineage: +2 Dex, Elven Accuracy​
wanna play a purple eight-eyed anthropomorphic psychic badger? --> custom lineage: +2 Int, Telekinetic​
and so on​

The upside is that DMs wouldn't have to be picky about allowing other options for players who want more thematically unified mechanics. Since custom lineage is almost always gonna be mechanically better, nothing else is likely to unbalance the game.

I think this convention would ultimately allow players to play what they want without feeling like they're straightjacketed by the rules AND--because total freedom undermines creativity more than constraints do--mean that a lot of players will flavor their PC as generically human or demihuman. The freedom to go gonzo is there but most of the players most of the time won't want to.

Finally, it'd be less oppressive to worldbuilding, since there's no default assumption that the PHB races need to exist in the setting. So, say, in my setting I decide everyone is dragonborn. Players can decide to look like dragonborn, and be locals, or look like elves, and be inter-dimensional party crashers--mechanically it doesn't matter, roleplay what you want.

What do you guys think?
 

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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
What about if a character wants to play a Lizardfolk? There's no natural armor feats, or natural weapon feats. Or a Thri-Kreen? There's no feats that give extra arms. Dragonborn have a breath weapon and damage resistance, there's no feats that would emulate that.

Just pointing out while it may appear that this could work on the surface level, this does not work for every race in 5e, not even all of the ones in the PHB.
 






ccs

41st lv DM
I think custom lineage is another tool for those who need it as a codified rule.
Good for you, here's your official optional rule.

I dont need it though. I've been working with players & altering things as needed for our games for decades.

Balance.... I'm not at all concerned.

Players feeling restricted & straight jacketed.
I haven't noticed this in any of the 5e games I've run or played in.
There IS one guy that I play with (mostly PF1) who loves to fiddle around finding the optimal combo of race/classes/stats/feats etc. But if i just gave him x generic bonuses + dark vision? He wouldn't enjoy that. (And no, he doesn't use the PF rules for customizing races either.)

ME? I'm definitely not constrained. If I have an idea for a character (&it fits the game) ill play it. A + in some not-optimized spot won't stop me. He'll, negatives won't stop me....
Dark vision- i make characters who are "optimized" to be the most accurate to what im envisioning, not the most optimized board game piece.

World building.... I'm a DM. I'm have no restrictions.
 


Necrozius

Explorer
I think it is fantastic. Makes the game have character creation options that feel more liberated like the Cypher System or Savage Worlds.

Sure, you can’t have dragon breath, but some of the magic Feats could be re-skinned as such. Dragon breath is once a day, and the magic feats provide a level 1 spell once a day so...

Yeah I’m totally doing this. I always felt that the core 5e races were ridiculously unbalanced. I know that’s a controversial opinion around these parts, sorry.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
If it works for you, great. I wouldn't want it because I don't really see the point. If someone is happy playing a standard lightfoot halfling named Odorf why shouldn't I let them.

I might use the rules from Tasha's now and then in future campaign, I honestly haven't decided. Not going to come up for a while because I probably won't be done with my current campaign for a year or so.
 

Zsong

Explorer
It doesn’t fit certain campaigns. But boy this works for a planescape campaign or campaigns like mos eisley.
It even works somewhat for certain types of all human campaigns when u want everyone to have a mutant like ability, dark sun for example.
 



MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I have tons of nice races to choose from, I allow a lot of stuff from official books, plus a couple of homebrewed ones. I could allow this as an option, but with the caveat that no bonus from it can go into your primary score. But again it's a could, not a will or even a would.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
The default will be no custom lineage for us. It's an optional rule which, in my view, is not as compelling for the game as feats and multiclassing are. So, my guess is we will only allow it if there is a very good compelling role playing reason for it, and the feat taken with it will have to be a role-playing heavy feat like Actor. It will likely see use just for an invented race a player comes up with.
 

jgsugden

Legend
GURPS is not D&D, and D&D is not GURPS. That is the customizable system you seek.

I would be fine if they introduced an alternative fleshed out system for 'build an origin' that allowed you to assemble a combination of abilities to flesh out the origin of your PC (including elements of background and humanoid type), but this is not that effort. Instead, it is a patch put in place to fill out the gaps that exist. I believe they'll regret allowing it be the one way you can start with an attribute in an ability score.
 

Zsong

Explorer
GURPS is not D&D, and D&D is not GURPS. That is the customizable system you seek.

I would be fine if they introduced an alternative fleshed out system for 'build an origin' that allowed you to assemble a combination of abilities to flesh out the origin of your PC (including elements of background and humanoid type), but this is not that effort. Instead, it is a patch put in place to fill out the gaps that exist. I believe they'll regret allowing it be the one way you can start with an attribute in an ability score.
No no no. We only play with the d&d logo. If it’s not licensed as d&d we can’t play it. Even if some other system does what we want.
 

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