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

loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff (She/Her)
And I'd argue there shouldn't be Cleric-only items as the concept that the universe cares enough that any type of cleric could use something that's unusable by a celestial pact warlock, divine soul aasimar, particular flavour of devout paladin or, heck, devout anything else can't use is dumb
The actual reason for cleric-only items is pretty simple, though. They all interact with Channel Divinity in some way, so they are just useless to other classes, restriction or not.
 

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Remathilis

Legend
Maybe they meant for Custom Lineage to also work more like Custom Subrace or Variant Race?

If that was the intent, then I would be fine with someone playing a Variant Elf or whatever. After all, compare Human to Variant Human:

Instead of gaining another 4 ASI +1s, you gain a Skill and a Feat. But, Variant Humans are still Humans.

A Variant Elf would give up Darkvision (maybe), Keen Senses, Fey Ancestry, Trance, and Elvish for a Feat and choice of Darkvision or a Skill.

I think WotC could have made the intent clearer by calling this Variant Lineage instead of Custom, and included that you can use the process as well to create a new race as well?

Here is my beef with that.

1.) Custom Lineage (CL) used to be "variant racial package" ignores important thematic elements of the parent race. CL tritons can't breath water. CL aarakroca can't fly. CL halflings are faster than normal halflings. CL goliaths don't have powerful build. CL tabaxi don't have claws. Etc. Whether or not it's balanced, all this rule is doing is allowing anyone to be a vhuman with whatever skin they want, not an actual variant of the race.

2. Vhuman works because humans have no racial traits otherwise. You're trading +1 to four stats for a skill and a feat. You aren't losing racial abilities like fey ancestry, climb speeds, natural attacks or the like. There is no "if your a human, why can't you..." Moment like their is with CLs.

3. Tasha's already spent a page giving races variant options. ASI is mutable. Proficiencies can be swapped. Languages changed. You know what can't be? The other racial traits like size, speed, resistances or the like.

4. This, as you said, steps on the vhumans toes. Esp if we accept Flamestrike's position that you get all the benefits of being a vhuman and still count as your parent race for qualifying for feats or attunement. Why be vhuman when you can be a velf or vhalf-elf and get all the benefits of a race and vhumans?

If the intent was to vhuman all the races, it was a dismal attempt.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
If the intent was to vhuman all the races, it was a dismal attempt.
LOL I agree. (Actually, if you read my EDIT comment in the prior post I think CL is horrible in any view...)

But, it was the only way I could see how WotC could create this option with the possibility of it allowing things like Custom Lineage (Elf) or whatever. Anyway, I just posted about it as an idea for people to think about. shrug
 

You dont just 'look like' an elf; Elves are your kin. Mechanically.

If my kin are African or Japanese people, I'm also African (or Japanese) respectively. Ergo if my custom lineages kin are Elves, I'm Elven.
Not necessarily in D&D. By RAW, elf mother and elf father can have a water genasi baby.

Mechanically, elves are their kin. They still can’t tell Elven Accuracy unless the DM okays it.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Open forum, mate. Additionally its that much of a non-starter I felt it needed addressing given this "Is this an elf" thing has been going on for too long
It's been going on too long because the guy insisting the rules of the game must be his way won't engage with any response which challenges that view, and keeps repeating his position as if the repetition will somehow fiat around the cogent objections he's receiving. You answering for him doesn't advance that conversation, as I said, because that guy will continue to simply repeat his position and not respond to challenges to his position. So again, I don't mind you responding for him and as you say it's an open forum. But, it also doesn't help resolve that conversation.
 

The actual reason for cleric-only items is pretty simple, though. They all interact with Channel Divinity in some way, so they are just useless to other classes, restriction or not.
Valid, though from my flavour brain I'm always thinking of off-cases
It's been going on too long because the guy insisting the rules of the game must be his way won't engage with any response which challenges that view, and keeps repeating his position as if the repetition will somehow fiat around the cogent objections he's receiving. You answering for him doesn't advance that conversation, as I said, because that guy will continue to simply repeat his position and not respond to challenges to his position. So again, I don't mind you responding for him and as you say it's an open forum. But, it also doesn't help resolve that conversation.
I think its moreso that custom lineage isn't really a good solution to the problem of correctly noting ancestries. I think the big thing exposing the problem on this one is actually from Exploring Eberron, one of the Aasimar sub-races that's specifically descended from elves but, well, a hard reading states that these things, with elven parents, can't get elf-specific stuff despite getting Fey Ancestry, trances, and all of the various other elf-ish stuff that comes with that.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Moot point for me. I don't allow racial feats if someone used custom lineage. I'm probably not gonna use it.

Might get overruled by Crawford and co at some point. I'll either ignore it or not allow custom lineages.
 


So, third time now you've dodged my direct question to you about whether "Appearing in every way like a Cleric" means you can or can not attune a magic item which has as a prerequisite "Cleric".

Is there some reason you won't engage with that question but keep repeating your position?

Thats because your analogy is a strawman.

Race is not the same thing as class.

Apples and orange's.
 

Not necessarily in D&D. By RAW, elf mother and elf father can have a water genasi baby.

Mechanically, elves are their kin. They still can’t tell Elven Accuracy unless the DM okays it.

Oh no, I agree that by strict RAW, racial feats in Xanathars are restricted to PHB races.

I dont see any reason to cling to that RAW in light of the new rules though.

IMG I would have no issue with a Custom Lineage Elf taking Elven Accuracy or similar.

Whats broken about it? Pretty sure we've established (repeatedly) absolutely nothing.
 

I dont see any reason to cling to that RAW in light of the new rules though.

IMG I would have no issue with a Custom Lineage Elf taking Elven Accuracy or similar.

Whats broken about it? Pretty sure we've established (repeatedly) absolutely nothing.
This wasn’t a hypothetical example, BTW. My son really liked the description of genasi as the result of a baby born during an extreme elemental event, so that is how his water genasi was born to elf parents.

Here are my follow-up questions:
  • would you treat a genasi any differently than a custom lineage for the purposes of qualifying for racial feats?
  • if not, does this mean that you believe believe racial feats are inherently cultural rather than biological, since a genasi with the proper parents could qualify for Elf Accuracy, Squat Nimbleness, Half-Orc Ferocity or Gnomish Fade Away?
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Thats because your analogy is a strawman.

Race is not the same thing as class.

Apples and orange's.
Analogies cannot be a strawman. It's posited as a hypothetical comparison. I am not mischaracterizing your position in any way, I am challenging it. Of course it's not the same thing, because it's an analogy and so by definition not the same thing but a helpful comparison.

Why does race operate by a different set of rules than class when it comes to prerequisites? I am speaking to the fundamental underpinings of your position. If your answer is, "Because...reasons?" then your underlying position is flawed. It should be easy enough to articulate the reasons if they are meaningful and not superficial.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I think WotC could have made the intent clearer by calling this Variant Lineage instead of Custom, and included that you can use the process as well to create a new race as well?
I think that by calling them that they are expressing intent: Custom not variant. Custom Lineage is meant to create unique special snowflakes that have no expression by Raw otherwise. To create a living plushie, a dwarven/halfling hybrid or somebody so special there is no way to clearly define, not to create "yet another elf variant", "better human" or "I want my cake and eat it too".

IMG I would have no issue with a Custom Lineage Elf taking Elven Accuracy or similar.
In your table, in mine there is no such a thing as a Custom Lineage Elf.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
I think that by calling them that they are expressing intent: Custom not variant. Custom Lineage is meant to create unique special snowflakes that have no expression by Raw otherwise. To create a living plushie, a dwarven/halfling hybrid or somebody so special there is no way to clearly define, not to create "yet another elf variant", "better human" or "I want my cake and eat it too".
I'm sure you're correct, but I thought it worth mentioning as a possibility. I am hoping to hear something from JC on the issue eventually. 🤷‍♂️
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
Yes, I'm positive a tweet from Crawford will open hearts and change minds. :)
I don't know about THAT LOL, but it would be nice to have a more firm idea of what the design intent was. Not that knowing that won't prevent tables from doing what they want anyway... ;)
 

I think that by calling them that they are expressing intent: Custom not variant. Custom Lineage is meant to create unique special snowflakes that have no expression by Raw otherwise. To create a living plushie, a dwarven/halfling hybrid or somebody so special there is no way to clearly define, not to create "yet another elf variant", "better human" or "I want my cake and eat it too".

Jeeze; if only this was a game and supposed to be fun.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Jeeze; if only this was a game and supposed to be fun.
Not everybody finds the same things fun. I'm particularly vindictive today and I've been for the last few weeks. Let's say that I'm not so much a fan of your kind of fun since it can be -and has been- at odds with my kind of fun. But you are free to have your kind of fun in your table, just don't expect me to support it in an open forum when it is against my best interests, because if it gets too widespread, then there won't be any room for my kind of fun, which is already a bit marginal to begin with.
 



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