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

So you're saying if I look black and am born to black parents im not actually black?
I think people are saying that if you don’t have the features associated with an elf: +2 Dex, Perc skill, Darkvision, Immunity to magical sleep and Resistence to Charms, or the features associated with an elf subraces, it is reasonable to ask whether you count as an elf for other elf features, such as elf racial feats.
 

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I think people are saying that if you don’t have the features associated with an elf: +2 Dex, Perc skill, Darkvision, Immunity to magical sleep and Resistence to Charms, or the features associated with an elf subraces, it is reasonable to ask whether you count as an elf for other elf features, such as elf racial feats.

Yes to this. And I do believe it is quite reasonable.

Here is the language from the Tasha's sidebar entitled "Custom Lineage":
"Instead of choosing one of the game's races for your character at 1st level..."

The player is choosing to pick a completely new race instead of choosing one of those that are already in the game.

Appearance and resemblance to kin are fluff.

Case in point: Elves and Half-elves logically have a shared lineage and resemble one another, but are treated differently for feats: Elven Accuracy vs Prodigy vs Revenant Blade.
 
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Remathilis

Legend
Great, now that we can put 'power-gaming' or 'OP' to one side as a non issue, what 'mechanically' is a custom lineage then?

If the 'kin' I resemble from my 'lineage' is 'Elf' (and my background is I was born to Elven parents, but raised by Dwarves) why 'mechanically' am I not an Elf?
You're a wizard born from muggles.

You're a Jedi created by manipulation of Midichlorians to create life.

You're the great great grandson of Posidon.

You're the child a wizard experimented on and rewrote your DNA

You're the scion of Bhaal spawned before his death

You're a nameless entity who has reincarnated so many times that you no longer have a race, just a collection of memories and a vaguely humanoid body.

You are not a generic elf who decided trance and sleep resistance is rubbish and would rather start with a sweet ability to reroll attack dice.

Honestly, it boggles my mind that you have the ability to write nearly any unique origin you want and you opt for "tricked out elf".
 


A custom lineage doesn't just resemble something. It is something.

If my custom lineage is an elf, born to elven parents, they're an elf.

I choose elf as thr kin I resemble and elven as my lineage.

Its bo different to real life where race is a social construct and not a biological one.
To be fair, your custom lineage is an elf because you say it is, not because of any mechanical reason. That's the crux of the issue for those who disagree with you.
 

squibbles

Adventurer
How are you getting an 18 Strength and Booming blade at 1st level?

18 Strength would require Custom lineage (+2 Str) and Strength half feat as your Feat choice, so you're not casting Booming blade at 1st level as a Cleric.
It's a custom lineage PC built with the Elven Blood feat you invented--which I quoted in the reply and which I then reiterated by stating that said octopoid "has elven blood"

Elven blood. The blood of the Elves flows through your veins. You gain the following benefits:
  • +1 to an Ability score to a maximum score of 20
  • You gain a Skill proficiency,
  • You gain 4 Martial weapon proficiencies
  • Long rests only take 4 hours for you
  • You have immunity to sleep, and advantage on being charmed
  • You gain a bonus Cantrip from the Wizard list
  • You gain a bonus Language of your choice
+3 to Strength, proficiency in greatswords (since forge cleric doesn't get martial weapons), and BB as a bonus cantrip at level 1.

Cmon bruh, the trolling isn't fun if it has to be explained. 😇
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Great, now that we can put 'power-gaming' or 'OP' to one side as a non issue, what 'mechanically' is a custom lineage then?

If the 'kin' I resemble from my 'lineage' is 'Elf' (and my background is I was born to Elven parents, but raised by Dwarves) why 'mechanically' am I not an Elf?
Because the term "mechanics" does not include "what do you resemble" but instead include "in the rules which race did you choose?" and the answer is "Custom Lineage" and not "elf".

I don't see you claiming you can take feats with class requirements for classes for which you don't have a level, right? Are you claiming, as long as you provide a colorful explanation for why your character resembles a Warlock despite having no levels in the Warlock class, that you can take a feat which requires Warlock levels? Or can you use magic items which require "Attunement by Warlock" if you have no levels in Warlock provided you have worked to describe yourself as a Warlock in the game?
 
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cbwjm

Legend
I think part of the problem is, people take DnD far more seriously than others. All I know is that if a player wanted to use custom lineage to build their elven archer I'd be fine with it. I won't even be houseruling anything, I'll be using a reasonable interpretation of the rules and I won't worry about what a book that came out a couple of years ago says about which book Xanathar's says the racial feats are restricted to.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
The custom lineage does seem to indicate you are something else and wouldn't qualify for racial feats.

If I had a player make that arguement I would just counter saying custom lineage is not available.

If they had already taken it I wouldn't allow them racial feats. If they took it anyway they would be finding another game fairly simple.

The game designers can clarify it if they feel the need if so the custom lineage won't be used. I'm not using it anyway probably try out the variant ability rules and see how they go.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I think part of the problem is, people take DnD far more seriously than others. All I know is that if a player wanted to use custom lineage to build their elven archer I'd be fine with it. I won't even be houseruling anything, I'll be using a reasonable interpretation of the rules and I won't worry about what a book that came out a couple of years ago says about which book Xanathar's says the racial feats are restricted to.
That's fine. I don't think it's a matter of "taking things seriously" rather than "different view on how the rules work". I don't think anyone is suggesting it's unfair for someone to interpret the rules the ways you are. I think people are objecting to the "Everyone should do it the way I think it should be done" approach. Which is what this thread theme suggested, and then Flamestrike seems to have cranked the volume up to 11 on that theme so far that even the original poster thinks it's too much.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
Yes to this. And I do believe it is quite reasonable.

Here is the language from the Tasha's sidebar entitled "Custom Lineage":
"Instead of choosing one of the game's races for your character at 1st level..."

The player is choosing to pick a completely new race instead of choosing one those that are already in the game.

Appearance and resemblance to kin are fluff.

Case in point: Elves and Half-elves logically have a shared lineage and resemble one another, but are treated differently for feats: Elven Accuracy vs Prodigy vs Revenant Blade.
I think you (and several others) are trying to rules lawyer and appeal to RAW something that exists (and can only be used) at the DM's fiat. Which is to say, you lot are to trying to define how individual DMs should use custom lineages at their tables based on torturing the paucity of rules that exist for them and then reading into the bloody remains. It's absolutely absurd—it's up do individual DMs to decide how to use these (woefully inadequate) rules—there is no "correct" interpretation that is the baseline. It's all wind in sails.
 

I think you (and several others) are trying to rules lawyer and appeal to RAW something that exists (and can only be used) at the DM's fiat. Which is to say, you lot are to trying to define how individual DMs should use custom lineages at their tables based on torturing the paucity of rules that exist for them and then reading into the bloody remains. It's absolutely absurd—it's up do individual DMs to decide how to use these (woefully inadequate) rules—there is no "correct" interpretation that is the baseline. It's all wind in sails.
I'm sorry, but I feel you think wrongly. Of course a DM is able to run their table however they want and I have no problem with that. I find it hard to believe anyone here is telling anyone else how to run the game at their table. It's more like: "Hey fellow gamer, I feel your interpretation of these optional plain language rules is off base. Not gonna fly at our table but hope it is fun for your table all the same." Then, occasionally, certain people get riled up if their way of playing (or desired way of playing) is seen as House Rules by others and then seem to be arguing for a creative reading of the rules to be able to proclaim they are really playing RAW. So, yeah, I see how both "sides" might believe that the interpretation of the other is tortured.

Reading RAW is hardly rules lawyering, either. Pejorative forgiven in light of your faulty assumption.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
I'm sorry, but I feel you think wrongly. Of course a DM is able to run their table however they want and I have no problem with that. I find it hard to believe anyone here is telling anyone else how to run the game at their table. It's more like: "Hey fellow gamer, I feel your interpretation of these optional plain language rules is off base. Not gonna fly at our table but hope it is fun for your table all the same." Then, occasionally, certain people get riled up if their way of playing (or desired way of playing) is seen as House Rules by others and then seem to be arguing for a creative reading of the rules to be able to proclaim they are really playing RAW. So, yeah, I see how both "sides" might believe that the interpretation of the other is tortured.

Reading RAW is hardly rules lawyering, either. Pejorative forgiven in light of your faulty assumption.
The thing is, I don't believe there is enough rules involved with the custom lineage rules to hang a RAW interpretation upon (much less one that could be taken seriously). I think both sides are making groundless assumptions about these rules. These rules exist for DMs to do with what they please. The whole argument is ridiculous.
 

The thing is, I don't believe there is enough rules involved with the custom lineage rules to hang a RAW interpretation upon (much less one that could be taken seriously). I think both sides are making groundless assumptions about these rules. These rules exist for DMs to do with what they please.
The middle path! Then again, one might wonder why print rules at all? Just let DMs do what they please. I guess Wizards wouldn't get their $49.95 SRP if they didn't print anything.

The whole argument is ridiculous.
Of course, we are literally arguing about pretend elves* so... you are correct.



*See what I did there (without realizing it when I was typing mind you)? Custom lineage elves = pretend elves. {mike drop}
 

squibbles

Adventurer
Of course a DM is able to run their table however they want and I have no problem with that. I find it hard to believe anyone here is telling anyone else how to run the game at their table. It's more like: "Hey fellow gamer, I feel your interpretation of these optional plain language rules is off base. Not gonna fly at our table but hope it is fun for your table all the same." Then, occasionally, certain people get riled up if their way of playing (or desired way of playing) is seen as House Rules by others and then seem to be arguing for a creative reading of the rules to be able to proclaim they are really playing RAW. So, yeah, I see how both "sides" might believe that the interpretation of the other is tortured.

Reading RAW is hardly rules lawyering, either. Pejorative forgiven in light of your faulty assumption.
I don't think it's a matter of "taking things seriously" rather than "different view on how the rules work". I don't think anyone is suggesting it's unfair for someone to interpret the rules the ways you are. I think people are objecting to the "Everyone should do it the way I think it should be done" approach. Which is what this thread theme suggested, and then Flamestrike seems to have cranked the volume up to 11 on that theme so far that even the original poster thinks it's too much.
My intent was to suggest a novel way to do character creation, based on Tasha's optional rules, and discuss its implications and how much appeal it has. As other's have noted, the difference between optional rules and house rules is a pretty nebulous one. It wasn't meant to be a sticking point nor was the one-true-wayism for clickbait in thread title--which I caveat-ed in the OP, and again further down the thread.

Also, I really ought not to have used elven accuracy as one of the examples in the OP. It's indicative of my view of the rules, which many of you disagree with, but whether custom origins work with racial feats wasn't meant to be the focus of discussion. If it bothers you, feel free to assume that the suggestion in the OP would be implemented without them.

So... would any of you guys consider trying this character creation method at your table? Can you see any upsides, or just downsides?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
My intent was to suggest a novel way to do character creation, based on Tasha's optional rules, and discuss its implications and how much appeal it has. As other's have noted, the difference between optional rules and house rules is a pretty nebulous one. It wasn't meant to be a sticking point nor was the one-true-wayism for clickbait in thread title--which I caveat-ed in the OP, and again further down the thread.

Also, I really ought not to have used elven accuracy as one of the examples in the OP. It's indicative of my view of the rules, which many of you disagree with, but whether custom origins work with racial feats wasn't meant to be the focus of discussion. If it bothers you, feel free to assume that the suggestion in the OP would be implemented without them.

So... would any of you guys consider trying this character creation method at your table? Can you see any upsides, or just downsides?

Might allow it for custom NPCs or an old race that hasn't been updated to 5E or a custom lineage.
They wouldn't count for racial feats though.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
The middle path! Then again, one might wonder why print rules at all? Just let DMs do what they please. I guess Wizards wouldn't get their $49.95 SRP if they didn't print anything.
Eh. If we were discussing some sort of rule (like a feat, spell, class, etc.) that didn't require a DM/player's interpretation and custom fluff of what it's supposed to represent in order to work, I might be inclined to buy that argument. But we're not. The custom lineage is something that requires interpretation as part of its basic function, as well as the DM's explicit permission. It's a rule that is in a quantum state that requires the DM's observation. Just like the DM must determine the DC of an ability check based on their own best judgement, so, too, do custom lineages require the DM to determine on a case by case basis how they work and interact with other game features.
 

Eh. If we were discussing some sort of rule (like a feat, spell, class, etc.) that didn't require a DM/player's interpretation and custom fluff of what it's supposed to represent in order to work, I might be inclined to buy that argument. But we're not. The custom lineage is something that requires interpretation as part of its basic function, as well as the DM's explicit permission. It's a rule that is in a quantum state that requires the DM's observation. Just like the DM must determine the DC of an ability check based on their own best judgement, so, too, do custom lineages require the DM to determine on a case by case basis how they work and interact with other game features.
I'd argue there's a big difference between a DM assigning DCs on the fly throughout an entire campaign and the rules for character creation which just happen up front. So, I'm not really on board with that analogy.
To me the custom lineage rules in Tasha's are clear - no interpretation needed. But, sure, character creation can be whatever the DM, and the players to some extent, agree upon in session zero.
 

My intent was to suggest a novel way to do character creation, based on Tasha's optional rules, and discuss its implications and how much appeal it has. As other's have noted, the difference between optional rules and house rules is a pretty nebulous one. It wasn't meant to be a sticking point nor was the one-true-wayism for clickbait in thread title--which I caveat-ed in the OP, and again further down the thread.

Also, I really ought not to have used elven accuracy as one of the examples in the OP. It's indicative of my view of the rules, which many of you disagree with, but whether custom origins work with racial feats wasn't meant to be the focus of discussion. If it bothers you, feel free to assume that the suggestion in the OP would be implemented without them.

So... would any of you guys consider trying this character creation method at your table? Can you see any upsides, or just downsides?
Not something I would consider at our table at this time (and, as it turns out, in January we are starting up a new West Marches style campaign with 2 DMs - DM Dave1 gotsta play sometime! - custom lineages are off the table entirely per our pre-session zero DM discussions). But, if you try it, would like to hear a report of how it worked out for you in session zero and then into the 4 tiers of play (acknowledging that this is possibly encouraging some thread necromancy by you at some point depending on the pacing of your game's leveling - hope that is ok).
 

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