D&D (2024) How to import "race" flavor into D&D 2024 inclusively

DammitVictor

Trust the Fungus
Supporter
I agree that racial ASIs weren't good for the game and I'm glad they're gone. But I also don't agree that every race should be viable (or possible) in the first place, as a matter of making it clear that they are all different from humans and from each other.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Yaarel

He Mage
... it does cause gameplay/narrative problems that can be solved by (mostly) removing these adjustments.

But... their "clever" solution is to take the same bonuses (w/o penalties) to apply them to whether your character is a farmer, a soldier, a merchant, an academic, or a noble. These roles are just as hereditary as race in most medieval fantasy settings, and still considerably more hereditary than modern forward-thinking activists want to admit.

Solving a debatably real problem by replacing it with an objectively undeniably real one.
D&D can support many different settings. One can use the 5e engine to reconstruct a historical accurate medieval culture. I prefer mythologically accurate. But downplaying medieval beliefs and focusing a modern economic critique is possible. The default D&D setting is a fantasy medievalesque setting with palpable anachronistic influences from every century and many cultures.

Players can play the shepherd who becomes the monarch. Players can found a utopian community. Players can play growing up in a utopian community. Whatever the players and DM find interesting, there is a way to do it.

Farmers were often hereditary. Each generation tended to carry on the business of their parents. At the same time, there are strong agile farmers, dexterous toolcrafting farmers, constitutional tough farmers, intelligent innovative farmers, wise perceptive ecology-sensitive farmers, and charismatic influential farmers. There are many ways to be a Farmer.

In 2024, a background of "Farmer" (or perhaps more specifically "Swordcoast Farmer") will list specific Ability Score Improvements and Proficiencies. These are defaults, suggestions. The player can and should modify this background to better personalize the character concept.

The 2024 background is a design space that the player legally controls according to RAW. The defaults are for convenience and to paint a picture of the setting that the players will adventure in. It is the players who decide what kind of character they want to play.

Whether one grows up a "Noble" (assuming the community has such thing as a noble) or a "Farmer", the character concept can be anything with any Abilities and any skills. Perhaps this particular Noble has no patience for the political pretense and wasteful wealth of the parents, and prefers to run a countryside estate with the same Abilities and Proficiencies as a typical Farmer.
 
Last edited:

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I agree that racial ASIs weren't good for the game and I'm glad they're gone.
my own stance about them is even if they're not actually enforced, i'm preferred when they existed to act as an additional guiding indicator to the strengths and flavour of individual species, '+2/+1 assign freely' tells me nothing, '+2 DEX/+1 INT as default' tells me something about elves, even if it's the vaguest hints to it, even if i reassign them to STR and WIS for my specific character.
But I also don't agree that every race should be viable (or possible) in the first place, as a matter of making it clear that they are all different from humans and from each other.
eh, i do lean more on the side of thinking that every species should be viable, for everyone to hit a shared base competence at performing any given role but i don't think that there shouldn't be those who are, because of their natural abilities, more capable at performing certain roles, as you say, they are all different from humans and each other, let them have their strengths, let unique playstyles arise from something only this one species can do.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
D&D can support many different settings. One can use the 5e engine to reconstruct a historical accurate medieval culture. I prefer mythologically accurate. But downplaying medieval beliefs and focusing a modern economic critique is possible. The default D&D setting is a fantasy medievalesque setting with palpable anachronistic influences from every century and many cultures.

Players can play the shepherd who becomes the monarch. Players can found a utopian community. Players can play growing up in a utopian community. Whatever the players and DM find interesting, there is a way to do it.

Farmers were often hereditary. Each generation tended to carry on the business of their parents. At the same time, there are strong agile farmers, dexterous toolcrafting farmers, constitutional tough farmers, intelligent innovative farmers, wise perceptive ecology-sensitive farmers, and charismatic influential farmers. There are many ways to be a Farmer.

In 2024, a background of "Farmer" (or perhaps more specifically "Swordcoast Farmer") will list specific Ability Score Improvements and Proficiencies. These are defaults, suggestions. The player can and should modify this background to better personalize the character concept.

The 2024 background is a design space that the player legally controls according to RAW. The defaults are for convenience and to paint a picture of the setting that the players will adventure in. It is the players who decide what kind of character they want to play.

Whether one grows up a "Noble" (assuming the community has such thing as a noble) or a "Farmer", the character concept can be anything with any Abilities and any skills. Perhaps this particular Noble has no patience for the political pretense and wasteful wealth of the parents, and prefers to run a countryside estate with the same Abilities and Proficiencies as a typical Farmer.
I don't think that is how the word "support" works. 5e is almost as bad as Rifts was for overflowing gonzo kitchen sink be anything screw balance or cohesion of options & when it comes to supporting settings the critical difference is that rifts owns it's overflowing kitchen sink blatantly enough that the GM only needs to say "no Bob, we agreed to play x region of the world".
 

Yaarel

He Mage
I don't think that is how the word "support" works. 5e is almost as bad as Rifts was for overflowing gonzo kitchen sink be anything screw balance or cohesion of options & when it comes to supporting settings the critical difference is that rifts owns it's overflowing kitchen sink blatantly enough that the GM only needs to say "no Bob, we agreed to play x region of the world".
The default setting − Forgotten Realms − is kitchen sink.

Other settings focus on a specific genre, theme, tropes, and mood.

It is possible to have a 5e setting where the Human is the only sapient species that exists.

Perhaps Fighter and Rogue, and certain subclasses for them, are the only classes in play.


Also, settings can diversify regionally.

I normally make the Martial power source Human and Material Plane, only. Anyone else with a Martial class needs to explain how they learned the Martial skills from Humans, directly or indirectly.

Oppositely, the Feywild is strictly magical. Its cultures are Bard, Wizard, Psion, Sorcerer, and an Ancient Oath Paladin flavor (fullcaster) Cleric.

Other classes that are present are atypical and require explanations.

Primal is also Material Plane "only", with emphasis on the Elementals of ordinary landscapes, seascapes, and skyscapes.


Unique individuals exist. The "prominent" class options shape the culture.


Relatedly, I view the "classes" specifically as "combat styles". These class traditions evolve from warfare. Some fight with spells, some fight with swords, some fight with both. It is possible for a remote culture to lack classes because they lack a history of warfare.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
The default setting − Forgotten Realms − is kitchen sink.

Other settings focus on a specific genre, theme, tropes, and mood.

It is possible to have a 5e setting where the Human is the only sapient species that exists.

Perhaps Fighter and Rogue, and certain subclasses for them, are the only classes in play.


Also, settings can diversify regionally.

I normally make the Martial power source Human and Material Plane, only. Anyone else with a Martial class needs to explain how they learned the Martial skills from Humans, directly or indirectly.

Oppositely, the Feywild is strictly magical. Its cultures are Bard, Wizard, Psion, Sorcerer, and an Ancient Oath Paladin flavor (fullcaster) Cleric.

Other classes that are present are atypical and require explanations.

Primal is also Material Plane "only", with emphasis on the Elementals of ordinary landscapes, seascapes, and skyscapes.


Unique individuals exist. The "prominent" class options shape the culture.


Relatedly, I view the "classes" specifically as "combat styles". These class traditions evolve from warfare. Some fight with spells, some fight with swords, some fight with both. It is possible for a remote culture to lack classes because they lack a history of warfare.
5e doesn't support FR well either though. That's a setting absolutely swimming with magic items
 

Yaarel

He Mage
5e doesn't support FR well either though. That's a setting absolutely swimming with magic items
Default 5e setting is the 5e version of FR (Forgotten Realms). Note, I prefer to keep details within Backgrounds but absent from mechanical traits like spells and other class features. But setting specific backgrounds are fantastic, and players can modify them to taste or create new backgrounds.

The core rules only mention some of it. At the same time, there are things that existed in previous versions of FR that no longer exist, or even retroactively never existed. Plus, new 5e features that exist as normal features of 5e FR.

The official adventures likewise swim in magic items. The 5e Attunement mechanic helps maintain balance within an abundance of magic items.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Default 5e setting is the 5e version of FR (Forgotten Realms). Note, I prefer to keep details within Backgrounds but absent from mechanical traits like spells and other class features.

The core rules only mention some of it. At the same time, there are things that existed in previous versions of FR that no longer exist, or even retroactively never existed. Plus, new 5e features that exist as normal features of 5e FR.

The official adventures likewise swim in magic items. The 5e Attunement mechanic helps maintain balance within an abundance of magic items.
Thart's a crucial & unworkable problem when it comes to
D&D can support many different settings.
because d&d 5e is designed with math that assumes the PCs never get even one of those magic items
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Thart's a crucial & unworkable problem when it comes to

because d&d 5e is designed with math that assumes the PCs never get even one of those magic items
Magic is, well, magic.

Magic makes a character strictly more powerful − superhuman.

In some settings, the "magic" is an advanced technology.

In some settings, there is zero magic. The world is mundane.


Meanwhile, the use of "rituals" (with whatever processes and requirements) can access even the most powerful magic in specific circumstances.

Also, players can sometimes acquire "artifacts" that wield Epic Tier magical effects.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
'+2 DEX/+1 INT as default' tells me something about elves
To be clear, each official background lists a specific Ability Score Improvement.

As a hypothetical background, "High Elf Militia": Dexterity Score +2, Intelligence Score +1

The player (and the DM!) can legally modify these Scores. At the same time, the default background specifies something about the Elves of the High culture.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top