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

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
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.
i wasn't talking about backgrounds though was i?
 

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According to Google, a Background is a person's education, experience and social circumstances. A Culture otoh is the customs, arts, social institutions of a particular nation, people, or other social group.

A High Elf Militia is a culture, not a background because it focuses on a social group, not an individual, and their various customs, arts and social institutions. Now within that culture, you have the Soldier, which is a background because it focuses on an individual being trained and educated in a controlled environment.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
According to Google, a Background is a person's education, experience and social circumstances. A Culture otoh is the customs, arts, social institutions of a particular nation, people, or other social group.

A High Elf Militia is a culture, not a background because it focuses on a social group, not an individual, and their various customs, arts and social institutions. Now within that culture, you have the Soldier, which is a background because it focuses on an individual being trained and educated in a controlled environment.
An institution and a member of it can title somewhat interchangeably, like Police or Police Officer.

Similarly, the member of a Militia is a Militiaman, or by analogy Militiawoman, Militiaperson, or as neologism Militiafolk, which is somewhat awkward. The term "militant" has a different meaning, of course.

The name of the background could be a High Elf Soldier, but the local town militia has a different feel from a nationwide army.

Maybe, "High Elf Militia Soldier"?


The 2014 "Soldier" feels too broad. Can the description really represent every culture?

Perhaps a narrower background like "Neverwinter Army Soldier" is a more helpful description for a specific regional Human local culture.

More recent official adventures have explored more specific backgrounds, such as the criminal of a specific city with a relationship to its hegemonic thieves guild.
 

Horwath

Legend
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.
one middle ground can be to have min scores for some abilities for some races.

I.E. where you have +1 minimum must be 10 and where it would be +2 minimum must be 12.
and you still get floating +2/+1 to assign.

that way you can have a setting where on average elves are more graceful, orcs are strongest and dwarves are thoughest.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I read your post as if saying, the abilities are "floating" without saying something specific. They arent "floating", tho they are modifiable.
they aren't saying anything about a species when they aren't assigned to a particular stat by default, as they started doing with the ASI on later 5e species. and as they probably intend to keep doing. for example the Owlin ability score increase: "increase one ability score by 2, and increase a different one by 1" Wow, so flavourful and informative.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
they aren't saying anything about a species when they aren't assigned to a particular stat by default, as they started doing with the ASI on later 5e species. and as they seem to intend to keep doing. for example the Owlin ability score increase: "increase one ability score by 2, and increase a different one by 1"
They do say something about the species by describing its indigenous cultures. The flavor is there.
 



Yaarel

He Mage
Why do you want culture and background to be the same thing? One deals with an individual, the other deals with a group.
"Groups" are made out of "individuals".


they aren't saying anything about a species when they aren't assigned to a particular stat by default, as they started doing with the ASI on later 5e species. and as they probably intend to keep doing. for example the Owlin ability score increase: "increase one ability score by 2, and increase a different one by 1" Wow, so flavourful and informative.
The Owlin preexists the 2024 playtests. Today they would reformat.

I am uncertain why they made an Owlin a separate species, when the Aaracokra already exists, which can have a owl form. Owlin can easily be an Aaracokra ethnicity with a specific culture.


i'm not talking about the descriptions though, i'm talking about the ASI.
Most 2014 species have a Dexterity Score Improvement. The ASI adds almost zero information to the flavor. Nevermind that the majority of the population randomly contradicts the racist stereotype.
 

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