log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Jeremy Crawford Discusses Details on Custom Origins


log in or register to remove this ad

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yea, I think that would have been the sweet spot. Or maybe a fixed +1 floating +2.

This is roughly the approach PF2 takes, which I think strikes the best balance between supporting player’s visions and supporting classic tropes.
I don't see a problem with 5e giving 2 +2s. That won't unbalance things and would make both the racial bonus and the floating bonus equally meaningful.
 



Scott Christian

Adventurer
Wooooow. That’s some impressive mental gymnastics.

The ddb data is backed up by wotc statements about their data, but hey, you’re obviously going to believe what you want regardless.
I am sad that you believe this about me. But, it is something I doubt I can change. But I will try... ;)

To start, I know you understand data. And you understand that in order to effectively analyze it, you need it broken into sections.

No clothes company says: "We had great weekly sales," and ends it there. No, they ask what. To understand the what they say: "What category sold best?" And that is the first two minutes of the meeting. The other 58 minutes are spent analyzing the why. "What color sold best? What was the weather like? What brands did well? What brands didn't do well? Did a sale effect the amount of purchases? Who purchased the goods? What was their average basket purchase?" And so on and so on.

I know you understand this. No mental gymnastics here. Just an understanding, that I know you have, that in order to use data, one must have the full picture. And we do not have the full picture.
 

It’s the most common race choice.
Non Vhumans? The most common? Well... I saw one or two in the beginning of 5ed. Now, with contacts with over 30+ DMs and their groups, I can tell you that no one play a Non VHuman. Everyone start with a feat. It has been what? 4, 5 years that I have not seen a single non variant human? The standard one might well not exist. For all intent and purpose, in my area, Vhuman is the default.
 

Well, here's the thing: its a one shot module for Halloween on Roll20 with 5th level PCs. Probably not leveling during the game, and we start with one uncommon magic item of our choice (plus gold to buy consumables). So yes, I could use my free item and 4th level ASI to make up the ground, but that wasn't exactly my point.

The point is you'd think shadow sorcerer would be pretty iconic for Shadar-kai, after all elves are magical and Shadar-kai are very magical with Shadowfell magic, but nope. The ability score mods don't reinforce that and instead assume the shadar-kai are best as rogues and maybe monks. Maybe it's the bad mix of scores on that race, but it makes an obvious choice into a "against type" choice.

Maybe if more races were designed like half-elf or warforged (a set+2 and floating +1) as a compromise might have worked, but we've swung from one extreme to the other.
That is debatable. The history of the Shadar Kai is rooted in the fact that to survive in the shadow fell they had to go extremes to feel something. Like body piercing, extreme sports/activities and the likes. They are a very fit race that need endurance (thus the constitution bonus) and needed to be agile to better hide from the creatures of the shadow fell (the dexterity bonus). Dex and constitution bonus together is a powerful combo. IT does help all characters even strength based ones. I will admit that though I respect the logic behind the design team's choice; I would have given the Shadar Kai a +2 in Con and +1 in Cha or Wis as I feel that you need a strong sense of self in the Shadow fell. My two cents...
 

jmartkdr2

Adventurer
That is debatable. The history of the Shadar Kai is rooted in the fact that to survive in the shadow fell they had to go extremes to feel something. Like body piercing, extreme sports/activities and the likes. They are a very fit race that need endurance (thus the constitution bonus) and needed to be agile to better hide from the creatures of the shadow fell (the dexterity bonus). Dex and constitution bonus together is a powerful combo. IT does help all characters even strength based ones. I will admit that though I respect the logic behind the design team's choice; I would have given the Shadar Kai a +2 in Con and +1 in Cha or Wis as I feel that you need a strong sense of self in the Shadow fell. My two cents...
The problem here is: I could argue for any ability score as being 'important to surviving in the Shadowfell' - so any particular array that is chosen is going to be debated.

The solution, of course, is to find more evocative features to really tell the story "beyond +2 Con."
 

Remathilis

Legend
That is debatable. The history of the Shadar Kai is rooted in the fact that to survive in the shadow fell they had to go extremes to feel something. Like body piercing, extreme sports/activities and the likes. They are a very fit race that need endurance (thus the constitution bonus) and needed to be agile to better hide from the creatures of the shadow fell (the dexterity bonus). Dex and constitution bonus together is a powerful combo. IT does help all characters even strength based ones. I will admit that though I respect the logic behind the design team's choice; I would have given the Shadar Kai a +2 in Con and +1 in Cha or Wis as I feel that you need a strong sense of self in the Shadow fell. My two cents...
Incidentally, I looked up the 4e stats: +2 Dex, +2 Int or Wis. Maybe that's where I remembered them being good casters from...
 

The problem here is: I could argue for any ability score as being 'important to surviving in the Shadowfell' - so any particular array that is chosen is going to be debated.

The solution, of course, is to find more evocative features to really tell the story "beyond +2 Con."
And yet, I did state that I understood the designer's choice and even agreed with it. I would have done a bit different, but the Con bonus would still be there. As a resilient race, the Con bonus is perfectly logical. Even Dex is quite logical. That has been the way in D&D from the beginning.
And they are elves afterall... so the design fits...
 
Last edited:

Incidentally, I looked up the 4e stats: +2 Dex, +2 Int or Wis. Maybe that's where I remembered them being good casters from...
Definitively. But I always felt that they should've had more Con than Dex because of what they endure in the Shadowfell. But that should not stop you from doing a Shadar Kai caster base class. Nothing ever should.
 

I would have thought it was obvious that the point of Strength was to show Strength. To the extent they reflect height would be the extent that Strength goes along with height.

The four biggest races in the game are Half-Orcs, Goliaths, Dragonborn and Firbolgs, all have Strength bonuses so I'm hardly stretching here. The point seems pretty obvious.

Part of the issue of course, is bonuses serve two clear functions which can conflict. They're there to depict the physical characteristics of the race in question and to indicate which classes they're meant to be good at. So Firbolgs only get +1 to Strength because they're clearly pushed towards playing Druids; no doubt Mountain Dwarves get the bonus to Strength because they're meant to be good Fighters.

Of course you did ignore the key point I made that the bonuses are not meant to work solely on their own but in conjunction with other features, precisely because they’re pretty poor at representing distinctions.

(But if you type 'Mountain Dwarf' into google you get images like this, which is apparently what people think Dwarves look like now, so it doesn't seem all that surprising they get a +2 to Strength - clearly they've discovered Steroids somewhat ahead of the tech level of human society.)

View attachment 127812

Whereas if I type Tabaxi I get this.

View attachment 127813

Which one is Stronger? (Now without looking it up, I'd bet Tabaxi get at least +1 to Dex)

If your key point is that they need other rules.... then again, that isn't doing the job very well.

Powerful Build isn't had by all of those tall races.

I would almost say, and this likely is stretching, the rules for size and height might be the ones best suited for... size and height.

Because, interestingly, while Tabaxi do get a bonus to dex (they are cat people, and dex is associated with cats) that guy does look to be fairly tall. It is almost like height is not always reflective of strength. I mean, I was just using the minimum numbers in my example, and I bet you were too, and it is completely possible to have individuals with no strength bonus taller and heavier than those with strength bonuses.


But, I think you actually made a very good point in this post. Because this "no doubt Mountain Dwarves get the bonus to Strength because they're meant to be good Fighters" is the real reason those stat bonuses exist. It isn't because of a lot of other reasons thrown around, it is because of class association.

Wood Elves get Wisdom, why? Because they were made to be rangers.

Here is the problem though, by making races "better suited" to certain classes, you've cut other equally interesting options off at the knees. No one really ever plays a Half-Orc rogue, even though the story of a woman of mixed heritage stealing and fighting to survive on the streets of the uncaring city is a great story. But Half-Orcs were designed to be Fighters and Barbarians... so Half-ORc Rogues don't get played.

This is why I want Tasha's, this is the goal I have for this rule set. I want to expand the classes played by different races. And, everyone is still going to never be able to accurately picture my character's height, with our without bonuses to strength and powerful build (I have a warlock who is 6'5" that everyone thinks is like 5"4', and a Genasi that is close to 5' people think is 6'. Because height rarely breaks past a person's mental image no matter what you do)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How to twist meaning and intent... Never said it would be ridiculously as easy as you make it sound it would to be. That is a demeaning post, but from you, it is something that I should've expected.
Sarcasm suits you well.

I'll ignore that you decided to attack me instead of my criticisms (which were based entirely on the highlighted parts of your post) and instead ask how easy should it be that the DM provide you with magic items to bring you back in line with the party?

Because, accuse me of twisting and demeaning as much as you want, that was what you said. And you said that the only DMs who would not do that were being "too adversarial". So clearly, you think this is a guarantee that any reasonable DM will give out more powerful items to you, to make up for your lower stats.

If you don't want to defend your statements, well, I can't force you. But it leaves it open for me to interpret it as being relatively easy then. Unless, maybe your character gets a special quest? I mean, you could have an entire adventure arc devoted to you and getting your item to make up for your lower stats. But, that still sounds easy. Since it is so certain to happen.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would reiterate what I said earlier, simply because the magic item to me is null and void, but the against type argument is valid.

Patterns are built based on character optimization. Some are great optimizations. Some are good. And some are poor. So when a player chooses to not follow the pattern, and take the poor route, they feel (and rightfully so) that their character is unique. That feeling, I believe, is what is being referred to.

But the other thing it does is allow for a player to explore a class's non-standard abilities and see how they go together. I gave the example of my wood elf barbarian. Terrible damage compared to any good or great barbarian. Rage was almost ineffectual, except for half damage. My HP weren't as good either. But, my speed. That was great. At sixth or seventh level I could move 120' per round and still use a standard action. Was the trade off worth it? For me, yes. But if everyone gets to pick and choose whatever they want, then all it does is let me play that same character without the negatives. So now the pattern is eliminated, and my character which was unique (at least I had never seen a wood elf barbarian like that), is no longer unique.

This ability to live with the negatives in order to explore potential positives is the summation.

I get both sides, and to discount one side seems willfully ignorant. We all have seen patterns. We all know the right combos. We all, if we teach new players, will "lend a hand" to help them make a character that isn't "worthless" compared to other players with experience. So to discount players that like exploring those negatives, and dismissing their fears that uniqueness will vanish seems the same as dismissing their playstyle. At least in my eyes.

I don't want to dismiss a playstyle, but the truth is that if you could live the negatives before, why is choosing to live with them now somehow impossible? Why is choosing to still have that bad strength and bad Con somehow an untenable position?

I mean, patterns are great. I like me some patterns, but there is almost a feeling of being too constricted right now. Mountain Dwarves are fighter, maybe Barbarians. That is the pattern, that is how they are designed. I want to explore "Mountain Dwarf, but not a fighter" But, I also don't want to have that choice hurt the team by having lower stats.

You mention there are great, good and poor routes. Mountain Dwarf Bard is poor. And, you point out that by being poor the player "feel (and rightfully so) that their character is unique." And if that is a good thing, then why does it matter how they got the stats?

Is a Mountain Dwarf Bard unique on its own? Even with good stats? I think so. It isn't something I see often, it goes against the image of dwarves. But, it doesn't conflict with their lore, there are a lot of ways to take it that plays into Dwarven Stereotypes.

But, I've been told multiple times in this thread that having good stats makes it not unique anymore. It needs to have the poor stats to be unique. So... is it the stats then that matter? Well, we can move them and change them however we want. We can give the poor stats and play the same character.

But now it is bad, because we are choosing to gimp ourselves. Even though... yeah, that is exactly what you did by choosing to play a "poor" combo. You were intentionally gimping yourself. That has always been the case. That is why it is a "poor" path.

So, if you don't want to Gimp yourself. Right now your only option is to not play a Mountain Dwarf Bard, or to gamble with rolling stats and hope you roll high enough that you can play it anyways. Tasha's optional rule just tells us... you can play that combo, and it won't be gimped. You can explore what it means to be a dwarven bard without being a bad bard and harming your contribution to the team.

But, people don't want that. They want to be unique and play the combo that other people don't want to play, and while that is fine and dandy for them, they seem to have placed this into a black and white dichotomy.

Either you are a unique character, or you are a human with a rubber mask. And if that is all they can see, then they are never going to be happy with these rules.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And yet, I did state that I understood the designer's choice and even agreed with it. I would have done a bit different, but the Con bonus would still be there. As a resilient race, the Con bonus is perfectly logical. Even Dex is quite logical. That has been the way in D&D from the beginning.
And they are elves afterall... so the design fits...

But, I think the point still stands, that this is one interpretation out of many.

For example, I think the sense of self is more important in the Shadowfell, it is a place where self is worn away, and that erosion affecting the body. So, I would see a +2 Cha, and instead of hiding from shadow creatures, I would say that it is more important to be able to see them, since most of them have high stealth abilities, so a +2 Wisdom would make a lot of sense.

Of course, maybe they countered this with a deep dive into Arcane Powers. In 5e they serve the Raven Queen who collects memories and lost knowledge, a +2 Int for this superior access to knowledge could make sense

Which leaves strength as the only one we really don't think they should get, but I could see some specific branch of them who took to wearing heavy armor and weilding large crushing weapons to deal with skeletons and other undead that are so common in the Shadowfell.

And maybe instead of Elves, I want to go back to the shadar-kai of 4e and they be human. Or maybe it makes a lot of sense for my world for them to have been descended from dwarves because of a magical feature of the mountains where dwarves live.

This game is so potentially varied that it is trivial to shift the story, to make anything into anything else with just a little bit of effort. So allowing for rules that make showcasing that variety easier, just seems like a good idea to me.
 


The thing about all this, is its about differences that are seen to be important because they are so easily measurable.

If you had two Fighters at the table, one with 14 Strength and one with 16, and all rolls and ability scores were kept secret so we only knew the final totals, how long would it take before an observer could say that one character was more effective than another? Especially if they were just watching and not trying to record and graph numbers or something like that.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I think the reinforcement of how people play, what races they pick and how they apply points matters more than the actual bonus. A +1 or 2 to any given ability is not that big of a deal, but enough people care that they gravitate towards those race/class combinations. It becomes a self-sustaining loop of sorts. Rather than putting that 15 into strength for that elf, they'll pick a dwarf or half-orc so they get that vaunted +1 bonus.

That helps reinforce the archetype but (unlike older editions) you can still have a dwarven wizard if you want. The difference between a 14 and 16 intelligence is also going to matter less than in previous editions.

On a related note, despite what some people keep insisting if I run, say a mountain dwarf fighter with a 14 strength it's not because I want to "challenge" myself. It's such a minor difference I'll never notice. It does mean though that I can have other strengths. Maybe I want a good strength* and constitution as a fighter but also see him as a leader so I need a decent wisdom and charisma. After all my goal is for him to be king someday, a king has to be persuasive and insightful. Oh, and I don't want him stupid either. So it's a trade-off, just like taking a class that doesn't give me that 16 in a primary ability score.

*Also depends on campaign. If I know I can get gauntlets of ogre power or even a belt of giant strength it's even less important.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The thing about all this, is its about differences that are seen to be important because they are so easily measurable.

If you had two Fighters at the table, one with 14 Strength and one with 16, and all rolls and ability scores were kept secret so we only knew the final totals, how long would it take before an observer could say that one character was more effective than another? Especially if they were just watching and not trying to record and graph numbers or something like that.

When I calculated the statistics in another thread for this, trying to back up what you're saying ( 5E - Race/Class combinations that were cool but you avoided due to mechanics? ), the point that was brought up that, for some players, every time the player with the 14 missed by 1, they'd blame it on the decision to not take the 16.

So, to make that point work for the actual player with the 14, I guess the DM or a computer would have to roll secretly and just tell them the results.
 
Last edited:

Scott Christian

Adventurer
I don't want to dismiss a playstyle, but the truth is that if you could live the negatives before, why is choosing to live with them now somehow impossible? Why is choosing to still have that bad strength and bad Con somehow an untenable position?

I mean, patterns are great. I like me some patterns, but there is almost a feeling of being too constricted right now. Mountain Dwarves are fighter, maybe Barbarians. That is the pattern, that is how they are designed. I want to explore "Mountain Dwarf, but not a fighter" But, I also don't want to have that choice hurt the team by having lower stats.

You mention there are great, good and poor routes. Mountain Dwarf Bard is poor. And, you point out that by being poor the player "feel (and rightfully so) that their character is unique." And if that is a good thing, then why does it matter how they got the stats?

Is a Mountain Dwarf Bard unique on its own? Even with good stats? I think so. It isn't something I see often, it goes against the image of dwarves. But, it doesn't conflict with their lore, there are a lot of ways to take it that plays into Dwarven Stereotypes.

But, I've been told multiple times in this thread that having good stats makes it not unique anymore. It needs to have the poor stats to be unique. So... is it the stats then that matter? Well, we can move them and change them however we want. We can give the poor stats and play the same character.

But now it is bad, because we are choosing to gimp ourselves. Even though... yeah, that is exactly what you did by choosing to play a "poor" combo. You were intentionally gimping yourself. That has always been the case. That is why it is a "poor" path.

So, if you don't want to Gimp yourself. Right now your only option is to not play a Mountain Dwarf Bard, or to gamble with rolling stats and hope you roll high enough that you can play it anyways. Tasha's optional rule just tells us... you can play that combo, and it won't be gimped. You can explore what it means to be a dwarven bard without being a bad bard and harming your contribution to the team.

But, people don't want that. They want to be unique and play the combo that other people don't want to play, and while that is fine and dandy for them, they seem to have placed this into a black and white dichotomy.

Either you are a unique character, or you are a human with a rubber mask. And if that is all they can see, then they are never going to be happy with these rules.
I bolded the part where you seem to not understand the other side.

It is not how they got their stats, it is that the stats create a pattern. They do this by creating positive and negative outcomes of race/class combinations. The positive obviously attracts the majority of players. Now if you (which is what this entire debate is about) remove the negative then you remove the pattern. Hence, increase the likelihood of that race/class combination being played, ie. no longer unique.

That is what the people you are debating have been saying. You literally spell it out in your counter, yet somehow fail see it.

And for the record, it is not gimping the character. It's choosing to have that character focus on something other than their class's primary calling. Often, you find ways to do that by incorporating those non-patterned characters. Again, remove the negative, remove the pattern. C'est la vie uniqueness.

I mean honestly, I think you understand all this. So I am unsure why you are debating. If you wanted to predict (just as the other side is doing) that the patterns will not go away, I would like to hear that. But this false façade and adding terms like gimping seem irrelevant.

And lastly, the part about harming the team really only applies to a handful of tables. Not very many tables are as precariously balanced as yours, where losing a +5% could mean a TPK or living. I get that, and commended it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Except... it isn't doing that job. It looks like that is it's job when you compare halflings and Goliaths, who have a height difference of (6'4" to 2'9") 3 ft and 7 inches minimum... but Mountain Dwarves also have a +2 strength and have a height of 4'2" which is only a foot and five, less than half the difference.

Firbolgs are equally as tall as Goliaths, but only get a +1 to strength, and the 5 ft tall Tabaxi (nearly foot taller than the dwarf, but also more than a foot shorter than the Goliath and Firbolg) gets no bonus to strength, just like the halfling whom is still two feet and three inches shorter than the Tabaxi.


So, if part of the job of Strength is to show height.... it fails completely. The same difference of +2 can represent anywhere from nearly four feet of height difference, to four inches. That is a difference of 1200% for that range. Which gets large enough that I suspect it was never intended to be a filling that role.
Size is a factor, but not everything. Mountain Dwarves are also dense and muscular, so they get the bonus despite being smaller than a Goliath. Tabaxi are not muscular or at least not extra muscular, but are more lithe and nimble. And look, they get a dex bonus. Then there's game balance to consider, so Firbolgs get +1 and not +2. It's not an exact science, but size and body type do play rolls in the stat bonuses.
No, you said these stats came from traditions within those races. That isn't working with what life gives you. That is following tradition.

And, I could totally have rolled stats, and rolled an 17 or 16 for Strength, and made my Int and Dex dump stats. How is this different from simply taking the +1 from Int and moving it to Strength? How is one playing against type, but the other not if the end result was the same?
The end result isn't relevant to whether or not you are playing against type. The stat bonus is what matters for that. It determines the average stat for that race, so if you have a strong race that doesn't get a bonus to int(Mountain Dwarf) and you choose wizard, you are playing against type even if your dwarf ends up smarter than that elf over there.
I mean, if the Athasian Elves are swift, but con artists, then maybe they get a +2 Dex and +1 Cha. And Maybe the Kagonesti have a +2 Con and +1 Wisdom. I can now represent multiple different types of elves, with a single rule, instead of needing to wait for them to release new stat lives that say it.
Or you could have just used the rules on page 285 of the DMG that tell you how to create a subrace. No need to wait on them to release new stuff at all.
 
Last edited:

I'd point out that Half-Orcs with a bonus to Int or Cha would still make sub-optimal casters.

Their other class features are almost entirely melee. In many ways I suspect that's more important than the ability scores. There's at least some trade-off for having bonuses in sub-optimal ability scores, but noone really likes having features they can't use.

Again, it's somewhat bizarre that WOTC are going in this direction when they made a deliberate decision a few years ago to go in the opposite direction. In the life of 4E they introduced rules to make races more flexible and they deliberately wound that back in 5E.

Why was flexibility an unwanted design goal then, and what has changed to make it desirable now? If WOTC are going to change this now, it would be nice to at least see them explain why they chose to do it the way they did originally.
 

Azzy

Newtype
I have yet to see a normal human played.
I would assume that the variant human gets played so often that they came to think the variant human was the default human and the default human is the variant human.
Non Vhumans? The most common? Well... I saw one or two in the beginning of 5ed. Now, with contacts with over 30+ DMs and their groups, I can tell you that no one play a Non VHuman. Everyone start with a feat. It has been what? 4, 5 years that I have not seen a single non variant human? The standard one might well not exist. For all intent and purpose, in my area, Vhuman is the default.
Anecdotes are nice and all, but your experiences do not jibe with the data that D&D Beyond and WotC have shared (and which is more representative of the larger player base than your personal experiences). Also, I've played a non-variant human (that was a ranger, no less). 😛
 

Presents for Goblins

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top