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5E Jeremy Crawford Discusses Details on Custom Origins

Parmandur

Legend
So, pretty good discussion of the custom lineages in Tasha's here. Crawford explains the balance concerns around Mountain Dwarves +2's (TL,DR: it's fine), confirms that what we see in the AL document is the bulk of what we are getting.

Interestingly, he confirmed the details the new "custom lineages" option, which is pretty similar to the Variant Human:

  • You get a +2 to place where you wish
  • Choose between darkvision or one proficiency
  • Pick a Feat

 

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The reasoning is good.
It is good to hear, that stat bonuses only rarely are there for balance concerns. I still think, the mountain dwarf only deserved the +2 str because of the combination with the armkr proficiency. I still think, swapping every tool and or weapon for something different is a bit too much in some cases.
But that is where the DM comes into play and can veto certain options. I still hoped for more guidelines for such vetos, but in the end, it does not really matter.

On a different note though, i could see swapping the soldier gaming set proficiency for a single simple weapon proficiency. That could also allow for a few more nice variants.
 

DnD Warlord

Explorer
Ugh... I was so honoring for something more.
I am currently playing a human (variant) who is a warlock of Baba Yaga who was once a soldier who died and she brought her back to life changed.

I was hoping I could make a reverent feeling character. I guess not.

I also had hoped to make a deva (4e) like character that was the 12th renincarnation of a character.

if +2 to a stat a feat and dark vision is it that is so lame. I mean look at drow they get 3 spell like abilities over a few levels let us build THAT kind of feature.
 


DnD Warlord

Explorer
So one of my players (who doesn’t come to forms) saw the video and asked me how many free skill/tools I think a mountain dwarf monk or mountain dwarf wizard is going to walk away with...

I can’t believe the wizard would not want the armor. But the monk I would say it looks good.
Dwarves get 4 weapons and a tool set already so that is 5. Mountain dwarf gets light and med armor so that is 7.

So you would get 7 “extra” profs
 

Sir Brennen

Adventurer
So one of my players (who doesn’t come to forms) saw the video and asked me how many free skill/tools I think a mountain dwarf monk or mountain dwarf wizard is going to walk away with...

I can’t believe the wizard would not want the armor. But the monk I would say it looks good.
Dwarves get 4 weapons and a tool set already so that is 5. Mountain dwarf gets light and med armor so that is 7.

So you would get 7 “extra” profs
Are you talking about ones you can swap per the Tasha rules, or that the character would get just for being a mountain dwarf?

Because there's nothing preventing you from being a straight PHB mountain dwarf monk or wizard today and getting all those proficiencies.
 

DnD Warlord

Explorer
Are you talking about ones you can swap per the Tasha rules, or that the character would get just for being a mountain dwarf?

Because there's nothing preventing you from being a straight PHB mountain dwarf monk or wizard today and getting all those proficiencies.
I think since he brought up the sage advice video he meant to trade them all for skills.

Edit: yeah I just texted him back he is asking if I think he could trade them all in for any 7 skills/Tools.

he is looking for alchemy tools tinkerer tools theives tools and some extra skills. I also mid understood thinking he was making 2 characters 1 a monk and 1 a wizard. But it looks like he wants to make a monk/wizard

Edit2: now he is also asking if I think the book would let him trade other weapon profs from wizard class for skills
 

Aaron L

Hero
We've already been doing similar stuff for quite a while.
We allow every PC to have a Feat at 1st level to allow for greater character customization (and in compensation give all monsters the Tough Feat.)
Because of this we don't allow the Variant Human (no starting out with TWO Feats at 1st level.) Instead we created a Variant Variant Human that gives +1 to five stats (rather than all six) and one bonus Skill Proficiency, with the reasoning that, if giving up +1 to four stats gives one Skill Prof and a Feat, then the Feat must be equal to three +1s and the Skill Prof equal to one +1 (because one Skill Prof and one Feat are definitely not of equal value, so one has to be worth more than the other.)

It's worked out just fine.

I really don't see why anyone actually needed rules like this, but I suppose if someone just desperately needs to play, say, a Half-Elf/Half-Dwarf (ugh) and have them be mechanically distinct, then they can do this... even though I myself would just use the mechanics of a Dwarf.
 
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jmartkdr2

Adventurer
We've already been doing similar stuff for quite a while.
We allow every PC to have a Feat at 1st level to allow for greater character customization (and in compensation give all monsters the Tough Feat.)
Because of this we don't allow the Variant Human (no starting out with TWO Feats at 1st level.) Instead we created a Variant Variant Human that gives +1 to five stats (rather than all six) and one bonus Skill Proficiency, with the reasoning that, if giving up +1 to four stats gives one Skill Prof and a Feat, then the Feat must be equal to three +1s and the Skill Prof equal to one +1 (because one Skill Prof and one Feat are definitely not of equal value, so one has to be worth more than the other.)

It's worked out just fine.

I really don't see why anyone actually needed rules like this, but I suppose if someone just desperately needs to play, say, a Half-Elf/Half-Dwarf (ugh) and have them be mechanically distinct, then they can do this... even though I myself would just use the mechanics of a Dwarf.
The "need" is for situations where dm's are sticklers for only doing stuff allowed in the books - which is usually when you're not playing with the same people every week. (Or especially: when you aren't playing with the same dm every session.) AL, open-table games, West Marches, etc have a need to keep rules clear and consistent, so just houseruling to deal with special cases isn't a sustainable option. This book would add a bunch of pre-defined customization points to work from.
 

Sir Brennen

Adventurer
I think since he brought up the sage advice video he meant to trade them all for skills.

Edit: yeah I just texted him back he is asking if I think he could trade them all in for any 7 skills/Tools.

he is looking for alchemy tools tinkerer tools theives tools and some extra skills. I also mid understood thinking he was making 2 characters 1 a monk and 1 a wizard. But it looks like he wants to make a monk/wizard

Edit2: now he is also asking if I think the book would let him trade other weapon profs from wizard class for skills
If you feel it's abusive, just restrict it to swapping like for like - i.e. you can swap weapon profs for different weapons, but not skills.

And nothing we've heard applies to classes, just races. It's really a question of would you let him do that. Personally, I wouldn't. There's already a fair amount of flexibility for class skills without allowing that. Yeah, weapon profs are pretty useless for a wizard, which is why it's not a balanced trade for more skills.
 

DnD Warlord

Explorer
If you feel it's abusive, just restrict it to swapping like for like - i.e. you can swap weapon profs for different weapons, but not skills.

And nothing we've heard applies to classes, just races. It's really a question of would you let him do that. Personally, I wouldn't. There's already a fair amount of flexibility for class skills without allowing that. Yeah, weapon profs are pretty useless for a wizard, which is why it's not a balanced trade for more skills.
I am unsure what I will or won’t allow from this. I started off really stoked about mix and match features to make custom characters and feel a bit let down by this... however I am not the only DM in group (we play twice a week my game once and the other two alternating) so I don’t even know if this IS for my game... especially since we just hit level 6 and expect to go for many months...
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
I think if you like this approach, own and like it.
However, I think this is not being truthful with regard to balance. But we lucked into a more balanced version of the game?

no other race is as strong and tough as a dwarf? Where does that come from. Hearty sure but they are as strong as firbolg and half orc and goliaths?

I just don’t buy it. Nowhere in a half century of d and d did dwarves have that power.

additionally, why do we insist on +1 and +2 for each race? Yes balance was considered. Why deny that?

and some people are uncomfortable with races having similarity? Do some elves have to have rounded ears for us to feel comfortable?

on the other hand it does not matter, but optimizers need to have this option because well, it does matter (to some).

spare me. Do it. Say you are increasing options and respect our intelligence. I have no bone to pick. Don’t know yet if my group will do this stuff ...we might. But I find some of the apparent justifications less than genuine.
 

Sir Brennen

Adventurer
additionally, why do we insist on +1 and +2 for each race? Yes balance was considered. Why deny that?
My takeaway from the video was that the +1's and +2's for specific attributes have nothing to do with balance. Dexterous Elves are not dexterous for balance reasons, but to hew closely to the tropes and stereotypes of elves in fantasy literature and gaming for the past few decades. So it breaks nothing to allow players to move those bonuses around.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I'm still on the fence on this. If we no longer have tropes then are you ever really playing against type? If every PC dwarf is a wizard (and they're one of the best options for it now) then my dwarven wizard suddenly doesn't stand out.

It's fine for those that want it, but I'll discuss with my group on the impact of the new rules before I use it for my home game.
 

Shardstone

Adventurer
I'm still on the fence on this. If we no longer have tropes then are you ever really playing against type? If every PC dwarf is a wizard (and they're one of the best options for it now) then my dwarven wizard suddenly doesn't stand out.

It's fine for those that want it, but I'll discuss with my group on the impact of the new rules before I use it for my home game.
A relatively small problem from WotC, who can do no wrong.
 



jmartkdr2

Adventurer
I'm still on the fence on this. If we no longer have tropes then are you ever really playing against type? If every PC dwarf is a wizard (and they're one of the best options for it now) then my dwarven wizard suddenly doesn't stand out.

It's fine for those that want it, but I'll discuss with my group on the impact of the new rules before I use it for my home game.
I think most player are still going to have an image in their head of 'what a dwarf is', and it's not going to be tall or nimble. The tropes are a lot stronger than an optional rule in one game. So you can still play against type - you just no longer "suffer" mechanically for it.

(I put suffer in scare quotes because most of the pain would be self-inflicted by having a previous notion of what you "should" have as a whatever-class. And because in practice you won't really notice a 1-point difference in overall mod. But sometimes you just can't un-see the number being lower than it could have been.)
 

Sir Brennen

Adventurer
Way back in the playtest, it was tossed around about having stat adjustments based on background rather than race. Perhaps they should have gone with that the entire time.
I'm not sure I like that. Then people are picking backgrounds just to min-max (even more so than now). Frankly, I like the idea I've seen posted elsewhere of just getting rid of the +2 bonus for race, and apply it directly based on class. That's really the end goal anyway.
 

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