D&D (2024) Half Race Appreciation Society: Half Elf most popular race choice in BG3

Do you think Half Elf being most popular BG3 race will cause PHB change?s?

  • Yes, Elf (and possibly other specieses) will get a hybrid option.

    Votes: 10 8.7%
  • Yes, a crunchier hybrid species system will be created

    Votes: 8 7.0%
  • Yes, a fluffier hybrid species system will be created

    Votes: 5 4.3%
  • No, the playtest hybrid rules will move forward

    Votes: 71 61.7%
  • No, hybrids will move to the DMG and setting books.

    Votes: 13 11.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 7.0%

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I just want to point out that "species" don't inherently exit, a species is just a useful classification used by scientists to group together creatures that resemble each other.

"Species" becomes a lot less useful for classification when you're in a fantasy world where creatures have origins that are not from biological evolution. Everything was acquired by "magic" at some point.
Yup. That's why I prefer Level Up's heritage as a less scientific term.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
So the problem comes that D&D race traits were a mix of biological (wings, darkvision, waterbreathing), cultural (proficiencies, languages) and magical (innate spells, fire breath) with a certain wink-and-nod that it didn't matter which was which. With cultural elements no longer being able to be used, we are stuck with magical and biological, and the line between them being blurrier (magic also absorbed some of the cultural traits, like the giff magically having firearm proficiency or elven trance granting tools).

If you were to draw a clear dividing line between biological and magical (or worse, attempt to limit or remove magical) you'd find a very small window of tools to work with. Assuming all species are built as "how they differ from human", you can only have some many "move faster, lift more" style augments or give species so many different climb/swim/fly speeds. And of course, the idea would be that species need to be balanced to be playable: it might make biological sense that a halfling is slower or weaker than a human or goliath, but that don't make them very fun to play.
I still figure that if you play a heritage that has every in-universe reason to be slower and/or weaker than a different heritage, you live with it. To do otherwise brings in both gamist and narrative elements that detract from the experience of the imaginary world for me.
 

I just want to point out that "species" don't inherently exit, a species is just a useful classification used by scientists to group together creatures that resemble each other.

"Species" becomes a lot less useful for classification when you're in a fantasy world where creatures have origins that are not from biological evolution. Everything was acquired by "magic" at some point.
hides tree of life and taxonomy document from my setting
 


I'm not touching the cantrip argument with a 10 ft pole, but "subraces" of the same species absolutely should be able to crossbreed. They would be like saying breeds of dogs are incompatible, but a dog and a cat can make a species.

Actually, it really never came up in 25 years that anyone wanted to play a half drow, half elf or something like that.
 

Scribe

Legend
What about owls and bears?
Madness Americanhousewifeabc GIF by ABC Network
 


Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Water Breathing can be rewritten as a cantrip.

If necessary, Water Breathing can be rewritten as a slot-1 spell.

In any case, Water Breathing is subpar for slot 3.


Darkvision is a slot-2 spell. Albeit it too can be rewritten as a cantrip instead.


Then a player who wants an Elf who has darkvision and breathes water can PICK THOSE SPELLS.

Naw come on, an aquatic race is not dependent on re-casting a cantrip to breath. You're saying they cannot sleep underwater chocking awake when the cantrip wears off.

[Edit - I see someone else mentions this too and you assert the children are still born with the cantrip...which again means they live on land alone, or their parents must abandon living in the water much of the time, or they all drown from being hit with a dispel magic or antimagic spell, or when they sleep, and none of this is making a lick of sense.]
 

Why not just add a renamed half-elf option to the Elf race in the Origins packet? They already have so much overlap. What could that look like?

They get the Base Elf abilities. (Trance will be removed in the new Elven Lineage entry)

Elfkin or Humankin
(Some societies call these elf/human hybrid folk a perjorative term like "Half-elves". In Eberron, they are called "Khoravar" after the continent where they became a race that bred true.)
  • 1st level: Skillful. You gain proficiency in one skill of your choice. You lose the Trance ability of the Elf species. Your Life Span is 415 years on average (following previous rules for mixed lineage averaging). Choose another Elven Lineage that represents your elven parent. At higher levels you can choose between the Elfkin Lineage special ability options or the Elven Lineage option of your elven parent.
  • 3rd level: Skillful. You gain proficiency in one skill of your choice.
  • 5th level: Versatile. You gain the Skilled Feat or another 1st-level Feat of your choice.
 
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Scribe

Legend
Yeah, just call them Elfkin or Orckin, then you dont even need to change anything mechanically outside of an update to the new templating (which will last for all of 1 book).
 

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