log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Jeremy Crawford Discusses Details on Custom Origins

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
There is always a why... It is the difficult question to answer. And also the hardest to collect data for.

What if the reason champion was the most common class was because it was first on the drop down menu? Would that matter? I guess, in your eyes, no. Because to you it is "ridiculous nonsense."

Fair enough. You see what you see. I see the same, but need to know the why before understanding or using it as evidence.
The idea that there is any likelihood at all that soemthing as ridiculous as “it’s first in a drop down menu” is the reason is just...absurd. You’re reaching for reasons to doubt the simplest explanation because you don’t like it. 🤷‍♂️
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Because the only thing they share is their race. They have different point of view and evolution path. Mountain dwarves are more haugty and warlike than the hill dwarves. Thus their respective stats bonuses.

Where does it say that in the PHB?

I mean, I guess it doesn't matter. You have combined evolution and their war-like and haughty nature, which is completely insane to combine evolution and cultural attitude together.

So, I guess we need to decide. Is it cultural or Genetic? Which direction are these stats coming from?

It would be quite a race don't you think? This is how the system had been since the beginning. I see no need to change that.

And yet, my point wasn't about changing it, my point was showing the disconnect on why combining this with body type is a poor example.

A gnome is also a magical race. Magic can explain as much if not more than genetics.

So are dozens of other races.

So now the stats come from culture, genetics, body type and magic?

And with all of those sources we can't possibly justify moving them from one attribute to another? I mean, seriously?

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

100% agree with you. It will increase the likelihood of more combinations. And diversity in roles has the ability to alter lore. That is one of the worrisome contributions. I get it, lore changes as do race/class combinations. But because it does, does not prevent people from worrying where those changes will lead.

See, but not really.

Because NPCs having a 15 or 14 in their stats doesn't matter. I mean the Guard statblock is strength based with a 13. For a player character it is a big deal, but not for NPCs. So they have complete access to all classes anyways.

These things never really matter for NPCs, just for the players.

Ok. My bad. Sorry.

No problem, it gets confusing

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



They are not built like Mountain Dwarves. Mountain Dwarves are much stronger. Mountain Dwarf muscles are probably denser or something.

Or something.... So, we really don't have any idea why they are stronger, but it is clearly key to their identity and would ruin them as a race if it were removed.


They don't have the same culture. They are not Hill Dwarves. They are Mountain Dwarves.

Then you could tell me where in the PHB or Mordenkainen's that is makes a distinctive difference between the two? What exactly are the cultural differences between them and how does that reflect on one to give them +2 Strength and one to give them +1 Wisdom?
 

It's interesting that subraces (from a rules perspective) are pretty much made redundant by this added flexibility. (Really if they don't give ability bonuses it would probably make a lot of sense to fold them into backgrounds in some way).

Which in itself is not a bad thing. It's not like we have different ability bonuses for different types of humans, so it was always somewhat silly to do it for non-humans.

It's also good for DMs to not have to include every sub race on top of all the races in their homebrew settings if they want the players to have all the options.

It does somewhat highlight though, just how much this lack of flexibility was built into the rules from the start.
 
Last edited:


GreenTengu

Adventurer
All the fretting about small races with 20 strength is amusing. Do the people complaining about that have access to a different D&D 5E than me?

Who would even bother making such a character? Strength is never worth taking in this edition unless you are using a 2-handed martial weapon. Otherwise? Always go Dex.

Dexterity is THE initiative stat. It is the primary defensive stat (ac and most frequent save), it is THE stat for ranged combat and works just as well for melee combat as strength. Dexterity also has the best combat skill attached to it-- stealth.

You have to pump your Dex to max to be a good Rogue or Monk, there is no substitute. But Dex freely substitutes in for Str if you are a Fighter, it is in fact the superior build, and the extra bonuses that come with it probably make it the better choice for Paladin too. And while I haven't seen a Dex-based Barbarian, I suspect getting to utilize stealth and acrobatics and getting better Dex saves probably means it, at worst, breaks even.

Seriously-- the DM could houserule combining Strength and Constitution into one stat and characters would still be better off boosting Dexterity.

So who is going to take strength (or Con) on their character if they can take Dexterity instead?

And finally-- do you know what effect being "small" has? I bet you are thinking it boosts or AC or helps you to hide or improves escape artist or-- no.

It just means you can't use two-handed martial weapons. You know-- the only weapon option that requires one to use Strength instead of Dex and thus the only reason to bother putting a single point into Strength in the entire edition. And that supposed 20 Strength Halfling or Gnome can't even use them anyway. (Oh, they also do crappier in grapple checks, but no one uses those anyway.)

So why all the fuss about a build no one is going to take rather than all the Dex 20 Dwarfs, Orcs and Tieflings that will now come flooding in?

I suspect we will be seeing way more parties where not only does no one have an Intelligence higher than 10, no one will have a Strength higher than 10 either. All characters, regardless of race or class, will be max dex and max cha.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Then you could tell me where in the PHB or Mordenkainen's that is makes a distinctive difference between the two? What exactly are the cultural differences between them and how does that reflect on one to give them +2 Strength and one to give them +1 Wisdom?
Mordenkainen's page 71 details some of the cultural differences between the two. Some of those could explain the differences.
 

Where does it say that in the PHB?
Tradition, remember? If you have no idea of what a dwarf has been from previous edition and the lore. I can't help you.

I mean, I guess it doesn't matter. You have combined evolution and their war-like and haughty nature, which is completely insane to combine evolution and cultural attitude together.

So, I guess we need to decide. Is it cultural or Genetic? Which direction are these stats coming from?
IF that is how you want it... It's been that way for 50 years.

And yet, my point wasn't about changing it, my point was showing the disconnect on why combining this with body type is a poor example.

Point failed. Pushing something to the absurd does not make it unvalid when used with restrain and logic. The racial stats always worked so far.


So are dozens of other races.

So now the stats come from culture, genetics, body type and magic?

And with all of those sources we can't possibly justify moving them from one attribute to another? I mean, seriously?
Again, that is the system that has been in use for 50 years. ASI, it varied a bit over time as to which races and had how many but overall it had remained fairly constant and helped out establish both lore and the mechanics of many races.
And to your question: Yes, seriously. The +2 should remain static to a race. The +1 I'd agree that you could move around (note the conditional there). But having it static is even better. Way better in POV.


Then you could tell me where in the PHB or Mordenkainen's that is makes a distinctive difference between the two? What exactly are the cultural differences between them and how does that reflect on one to give them +2 Strength and one to give them +1 Wisdom?
Can't you read? Go ahead, it is a good read. But so would be the Dwarven supplement of the FR.
 


EzekielRaiden

Adventurer
In some ways, what would bother me most is the idea of a Goliath with an 8 Strength. That seems somewhat silly. Of course a Goliath with a 10 Strength is not really that much better, so it's a small difference. (Especially as I don't buy the perception I sometimes see around here that the difference between 10 and 8 is some huge gulf that is somehow bigger than the gaps between all the other numbers.)

For setting purposes I would prefer someting like Goliaths have a minimum Strength of 15. Of course in a Point Buy system that would just reinforce that they have to be Strength based Classes. I don't want that. I'm happy for them to be Wizards, I just want them to be big strong wizards.

All of which I think highlights the real problem - point buy is actually a really bad way of generating D&D characters. It only looks good in alternative to random rolling.
This is (part of) why I prefer 13th Age' s method, which I believe was mentioned earlier. That is, race gives you one of two options to get a bonus from...and so does class, and you cannot take the same bonus twice. So, for example, Paladin gives +2 Str or +2 Cha, while Wizard gives +2 Int or +2 Wis. If I play a Dragonborn Dragonic/Dragonspawn with each class, my options are:
Dragonic Paladin: Str/Cha only
Dragonic Wizard: Int/Str, Int/Cha, Wis/Str, Wis/Cha.
The Paladin doesn't really get a choice because taking one bonus locks in the other. The Wizard has four choices, though realistically you'd always take Int. But you now totally can be a Dragonic Wizard who is just as good at Wizarding as his High Elf colleagues, but who may be either equally charismatic to them (dragons are prideful and preening), or be more athletic instead.

This seems to strike the balance between those who want there to be physiological differences between one species and another, and those who want fair and equal access. Since every Wizard can choose to be Intelligent and every Rogue can choose to be Dexterous (but neither has to do so unless the "origin" options are identical to the class's options), it would seem we get the best of both worlds. You can still have some idea of what a being is like, by knowing its origin. But you can't know for sure what they will be good at--because anyone can put in the work to be a good <class> if they want to. Ironically, the only "losers" in this are those who ARE "perfectly" playing to type (like the Dragonic Paladin), as they get less diversity...but since their stats theoretically make them slot super well into their class, it seems like not too big a deal.
 

Yesterday O looked into heroes of the fallen lands 4e essentials races.
You could take them and put them into 4e easily. Yes they have stat bonuses. But the racial encounter power is so elegant.
Human: +4 to a single save or attack role.
Elf: reroll a single attack roll you don't like
Dwarf: use second wind as bonus action
Halfling: have someone reroll against you.
Easily useful for all classes. Still making them distinguishable from each other. Enforcing their traditional roles. Dwarves are tough. Elves precise. Halflings nimble. Humans good at everything. (they had a lower stat bonus).
So maybe just take away all bonuses, increase base point buy stats and give all characters one racial feat from xanathars.
Or just allow replacing +2 stat bonuses by a xanathar's guide racial feat which emulates the aforementioned encounter powers. At level 4 you are back to normal or you can go a different route.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Ya I always liked that better. I always had it where the human servants of the Raven Queen mingled with the Fey inhabitants of the Shadowfell and their descendants ended up becoming the Shadar-Kai of 4E.

It's a retcon of a retcon; the 3e ones were fey, the 4e ones were descended from humans, and the 5e ones split the difference by making them descended from elves. However, since the 3e one is fairly obscure, the 4e one seems to be the one people remember.
 

Lord Twig

Explorer
I don't have time to read this whole thread, so I will just react to the video. And I have to say, I like Jeremy's reasoning a lot.

I think his understanding of the various D&D races as embodied metaphors of aspects of human nature is reassuring to those of us that like those representations. Dwarves are tough and strong and wise because of what they represent as a metaphor for the hard working, industrious nature of humans. They take that nature and turn it up to eleven.

Of course that would argue for keeping the racial stat bonuses static, but then he reasonably explains why people might want do something different. At least they are reasonable arguments in my own opinion. Rational, intelligent people can disagree on what is reasonable and what they prefer without either being dishonest or less intelligent.

All that said, I personally like a more stimulationist game world where everything has a reason and the reason must make in-world sense. So I am fine with a Mountain Dwarf character moving his +2 bonuses around wherever he or she wants, because any race can get to the max of 20 in any stat anyway and I see no problem of giving them that extra boost so they can play the character they want from the start. However I would, by default, require that they have at least a 10 in Con and Str as that would be the racial minimum for a Mountain Dwarf. But notice I said "by default", if the really wanted to have a lower Con or Str for some reason they can come up with an in-world explanation for why they would have a lower stat and I would probably go along with it. Maybe a childhood disease left them weakened, or maybe they were cursed, or whatever.

Players should be able to play what they want, but the DM needs to have fun too. A game world is kinda like the DMs character. So just as DMs should respect the types of characters their player's want to play, the players should make characters that respect the type of world that the DM wants to run. In my experience this has never been a problem and a group of friends can come together and find a solution that fits what everyone wants, even if the solution sometimes means that a player might have to wait to play a particular character in the next game.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
It's a retcon of a retcon; the 3e ones were fey, the 4e ones were descended from humans, and the 5e ones split the difference by making them descended from elves. However, since the 3e one is fairly obscure, the 4e one seems to be the one people remember.
If the 3E one is obscure, the reference in Dragon #322 is more obscure. In the article "Lord of Darkness," it flat-out says that the "dark power of the Plane of Shadow" who made the shadar-kai into what they are was, in fact, the deity Erebus (the subject of the article).
 

All the fretting about small races with 20 strength is amusing. Do the people complaining about that have access to a different D&D 5E than me?

Who would even bother making such a character? Strength is never worth taking in this edition unless you are using a 2-handed martial weapon. Otherwise? Always go Dex.

Dexterity is THE initiative stat. It is the primary defensive stat (ac and most frequent save), it is THE stat for ranged combat and works just as well for melee combat as strength. Dexterity also has the best combat skill attached to it-- stealth.

You have to pump your Dex to max to be a good Rogue or Monk, there is no substitute. But Dex freely substitutes in for Str if you are a Fighter, it is in fact the superior build, and the extra bonuses that come with it probably make it the better choice for Paladin too. And while I haven't seen a Dex-based Barbarian, I suspect getting to utilize stealth and acrobatics and getting better Dex saves probably means it, at worst, breaks even.

Seriously-- the DM could houserule combining Strength and Constitution into one stat and characters would still be better off boosting Dexterity.

So who is going to take strength (or Con) on their character if they can take Dexterity instead?

And finally-- do you know what effect being "small" has? I bet you are thinking it boosts or AC or helps you to hide or improves escape artist or-- no.

It just means you can't use two-handed martial weapons. You know-- the only weapon option that requires one to use Strength instead of Dex and thus the only reason to bother putting a single point into Strength in the entire edition. And that supposed 20 Strength Halfling or Gnome can't even use them anyway. (Oh, they also do crappier in grapple checks, but no one uses those anyway.)

So why all the fuss about a build no one is going to take rather than all the Dex 20 Dwarfs, Orcs and Tieflings that will now come flooding in?

I suspect we will be seeing way more parties where not only does no one have an Intelligence higher than 10, no one will have a Strength higher than 10 either. All characters, regardless of race or class, will be max dex and max cha.

While I agree with some of your thrust, there are reasons to make strength a consideration.

Of the Simple weapons, only the dagger is a finesse melee weapon, making strength important in that respect.

Strength is needed to get the best ACs. Platemail's requirement of 15 Str is actually high enough that you are better off just doing a strength build if you are planning on having heavy armor. Additionally, While Plate, Shield, and Defensive gets you 21 AC, studded leather and Dex gets you 17, which is a signifigant downside (shield pops you to 19, but is still a 2 point difference)

And, it should not be forgotten that strength is needed for grappling, athletics checks for breaking things in the environment, a few other uses. It is actually one of the more common roll types I see. Yes, Stealth and Perception are even more common, but Strength is up there.

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

Mordenkainen's page 71 details some of the cultural differences between the two. Some of those could explain the differences.

Well let me see...

Greyhawk Dwarves: Hill Dwarfs are more relaxed and open to outsiders. They tend to start building above ground and then go underground. "They are more perceptive and empathic than their kin." Relying on that to guide relationships and pacts with other races. Mountain Dwarves hold a strong martial tradition, training in armor and weapons. They are also shut-ins, not interacting with other races if they can avoid it.

Big difference seems to be Mountain Dwarves fight more and Hill Dwarves make more trade agreements. So, this would be a it. But, let us keep going

Forgotten Realms Dwarves: It starts with a bit of their lore, and an interesting line "Gold Dwarves endure. Shield Dwarves Adapt." The Gold Dwarves stayed in their southern kingdom, were driven out and came back with armies to drive out the drow. They tend to stay underground, and are secretive and distrustful of outsiders and even Shield Dwarves.

Shield Dwarves are much more explorers and adventures, moving from one location to another quite often. Shield Dwarves are more likely to dwell on the surface and form trade relationships, and are far more open to outsiders.

Which, this is really funny. Wanna know why?

Because according to the PHB, Shield Dwarves with their open culture and trade agreements with the outside world are Mountain Dwarves. While the shut-ins constantly at war to hold on to their treasures are the Gold Dwarves, who use the Hill Dwarf statistics.

So, in Greyhawk, Hill Dwarves with their +1 Wisdom live with trade agreements with other nations. But in FR, Hill Dwarves are martial shut-ins who distrust the world. They literally have the opposite cultures, swapping them. So... which culture produces the +1 Wisdom? Both. They are literally swapped with each other between Greyhawk and FR. So, since either culture can produce the results of the mechanics, then is there really a difference? Or is the difference, fairly arbitrary?

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

Tradition, remember? If you have no idea of what a dwarf has been from previous edition and the lore. I can't help you.

Well, according to the section of Mordenkainen's, that Tradition is that they are swapped between worlds. Hill Dwarves in Greyhawk are traders, while Hill Dwarves in FR are haughty and war-like. Meanwhile Mountain Dwarves in Greyhawk are Haughty and War-like, while in FR they are more likely to be traders.

I can see why you wanted to deflect though, since that shows that the statistics don't match up to the cultures. Well, traditionally they don't at least.

IF that is how you want it... It's been that way for 50 years.

Wow, way to deflect.

Me: "Which is it, cultural or Genetic"
You: "If that is how you want ti, it has been this way for 50 years"


So, wonderful, for 50 years has it been Genetic or Cultural? Sinc eit has been five decades you should know which it is, right?

Point failed. Pushing something to the absurd does not make it unvalid when used with restrain and logic. The racial stats always worked so far.

And horses were the greatest form of transportation for thousands of years. Relying on "it has worked so far" is a poor excuse. Especially since I have been able to rather trivially show that "body type" is clearly not the major deciding factor for these stats.

Again, that is the system that has been in use for 50 years. ASI, it varied a bit over time as to which races and had how many but overall it had remained fairly constant and helped out establish both lore and the mechanics of many races.
And to your question: Yes, seriously. The +2 should remain static to a race. The +1 I'd agree that you could move around (note the conditional there). But having it static is even better. Way better in POV.

So, between magic, genetics, culture, and body types (which can vary from individual) we shoudl just keep doing the same thing you've done for 50 years, because you like it and you think it can't be improved.

I mean, it has established some great lore, as I showed with the Hill Dwarves and the Mountain Dwarves, I mean you almost can't tell the difference between them.

And, lets not forget all the wonderful lore of half-breeds being hated and despised that we got from the half-elves and the Half-Orcs... with only one of them "traditionally" having a negative charisma score to represent that. Or how the traditional elves like Legolas being shown with constitution penalties despite that having no basis on the "tradition" from Tolkien.


In other words, your appeal to Tradition does not move me.

Can't you read? Go ahead, it is a good read. But so would be the Dwarven supplement of the FR.

Well, turns out I can read (shock!) and since you didn't bother to look it up, well, you can just scroll up and read my response to Maxperson.

Turns out it was a useful read for me, to help show that your arguments are not supported by the text of the game. They are only supported by the version of the lore in your mind. Not by RAW.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
While I agree with some of your thrust, there are reasons to make strength a consideration.

Of the Simple weapons, only the dagger is a finesse melee weapon, making strength important in that respect.

Strength is needed to get the best ACs. Platemail's requirement of 15 Str is actually high enough that you are better off just doing a strength build if you are planning on having heavy armor. Additionally, While Plate, Shield, and Defensive gets you 21 AC, studded leather and Dex gets you 17, which is a signifigant downside (shield pops you to 19, but is still a 2 point difference)

And, it should not be forgotten that strength is needed for grappling, athletics checks for breaking things in the environment, a few other uses. It is actually one of the more common roll types I see. Yes, Stealth and Perception are even more common, but Strength is up there.

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



Well let me see...

Greyhawk Dwarves: Hill Dwarfs are more relaxed and open to outsiders. They tend to start building above ground and then go underground. "They are more perceptive and empathic than their kin." Relying on that to guide relationships and pacts with other races. Mountain Dwarves hold a strong martial tradition, training in armor and weapons. They are also shut-ins, not interacting with other races if they can avoid it.

Big difference seems to be Mountain Dwarves fight more and Hill Dwarves make more trade agreements. So, this would be a it. But, let us keep going

Forgotten Realms Dwarves: It starts with a bit of their lore, and an interesting line "Gold Dwarves endure. Shield Dwarves Adapt." The Gold Dwarves stayed in their southern kingdom, were driven out and came back with armies to drive out the drow. They tend to stay underground, and are secretive and distrustful of outsiders and even Shield Dwarves.

Shield Dwarves are much more explorers and adventures, moving from one location to another quite often. Shield Dwarves are more likely to dwell on the surface and form trade relationships, and are far more open to outsiders.

Which, this is really funny. Wanna know why?

Because according to the PHB, Shield Dwarves with their open culture and trade agreements with the outside world are Mountain Dwarves. While the shut-ins constantly at war to hold on to their treasures are the Gold Dwarves, who use the Hill Dwarf statistics.

So, in Greyhawk, Hill Dwarves with their +1 Wisdom live with trade agreements with other nations. But in FR, Hill Dwarves are martial shut-ins who distrust the world. They literally have the opposite cultures, swapping them. So... which culture produces the +1 Wisdom? Both. They are literally swapped with each other between Greyhawk and FR. So, since either culture can produce the results of the mechanics, then is there really a difference? Or is the difference, fairly arbitrary?

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



Well, according to the section of Mordenkainen's, that Tradition is that they are swapped between worlds. Hill Dwarves in Greyhawk are traders, while Hill Dwarves in FR are haughty and war-like. Meanwhile Mountain Dwarves in Greyhawk are Haughty and War-like, while in FR they are more likely to be traders.
Actually, Mountain Dwarves in the Forgotten Realms have endured centuries of warfare and displacement, so they are very warlike.

"The ancestral home of the shield dwarves is in northern Faerun, where ancient dwarfholds exist in the North, Damara, lmpiltur, Vaasa, the Vast, and the Western Heartlands. The most famous of the old shield dwarf cities is Citadel Adbar, north and east of Silverymoon. Many of these dwarfholds have changed hands over the centuries in a cycle of invasion by enemies, followed by reconquest by the dwarves."

Whereas Gold Dwarves are very traditional and optimistic, as well as have an eagerness to trade, which could explain the wisdom bonus.
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
You know, I have read every post in this thread. People have opinions no doubt. Play the game how you want with whom you want. Further, you have a right to like changes and optional rules or to dislike them without having some serious personality flaw.

Nonetheless, I think these changes were made not for options but to placate some who believe that differences among species promotes racist ideas or propagate eugenicist thinking in some fashion.

I then wonder, what would these folks say about Neanderthals? They shared 99% plus genetically with us. And yet, they may have had a hard time with speech as complex as ours (at least making some of the sounds). They were surely more robust. Would they have been stronger? Were they as smart? There were likely some
Differences.

Does hypothesizing about these things hurt marginalized people? Of course not. It’s only by applying these ideas within species that these things become harmful.

Only when we suggest between group differences based on modern ethnic groups do we have problems. Most proposed differences are simply pseudoscientific garbage.

however, if reality says super close ancestors can be stronger or less able to talk or whatever, why Is it imperative for different fantasy species to be statistically equivalent?

I just hate to think we are playing the game in fear or playing defense all the time. A segment of the population got loud about demons and devils once as well. Ugh.

I mean I am sure the people who were concerned were really concerned. Maybe they were genuinely fearful.

this is the same thing all over again.

as to the rules...if you want to play with floating bonuses, it’s your prerogative. I don’t think it would wreck my fun to think the PC is simply different than their peers. After all they are. You can get to 20 regardless if you so choose even if it takes one extra ASI.

just waiting to see what other changes might get made due to flawed fear-based reasoning (With or without pure intentions).

i would say though the most persuasive thing I read about floating ASI was related to stat blocks and the general example of a species. The population would still differ even if one case (a pc) does not.
 

Greyhawk Dwarves: Hill Dwarfs are more relaxed and open to outsiders. They tend to start building above ground and then go underground. "They are more perceptive and empathic than their kin." Relying on that to guide relationships and pacts with other races. Mountain Dwarves hold a strong martial tradition, training in armor and weapons. They are also shut-ins, not interacting with other races if they can avoid it.

Big difference seems to be Mountain Dwarves fight more and Hill Dwarves make more trade agreements. So, this would be a it. But, let us keep going

Forgotten Realms Dwarves: It starts with a bit of their lore, and an interesting line "Gold Dwarves endure. Shield Dwarves Adapt." The Gold Dwarves stayed in their southern kingdom, were driven out and came back with armies to drive out the drow. They tend to stay underground, and are secretive and distrustful of outsiders and even Shield Dwarves.

Shield Dwarves are much more explorers and adventures, moving from one location to another quite often. Shield Dwarves are more likely to dwell on the surface and form trade relationships, and are far more open to outsiders.

Which, this is really funny. Wanna know why?

Because according to the PHB, Shield Dwarves with their open culture and trade agreements with the outside world are Mountain Dwarves. While the shut-ins constantly at war to hold on to their treasures are the Gold Dwarves, who use the Hill Dwarf statistics.

So, in Greyhawk, Hill Dwarves with their +1 Wisdom live with trade agreements with other nations. But in FR, Hill Dwarves are martial shut-ins who distrust the world. They literally have the opposite cultures, swapping them. So... which culture produces the +1 Wisdom? Both. They are literally swapped with each other between Greyhawk and FR. So, since either culture can produce the results of the mechanics, then is there really a difference? Or is the difference, fairly arbitrary?




Well, according to the section of Mordenkainen's, that Tradition is that they are swapped between worlds. Hill Dwarves in Greyhawk are traders, while Hill Dwarves in FR are haughty and war-like. Meanwhile Mountain Dwarves in Greyhawk are Haughty and War-like, while in FR they are more likely to be traders.

I can see why you wanted to deflect though, since that shows that the statistics don't match up to the cultures. Well, traditionally they don't at least.
Wow.... How to deflect... You're a champion at confusion.
Setting can make changes! Hope you're not surprised by this incredible news. Guess what? If they make Darksun, Halflings are canibals. HO BOY IT'S NOT WRITTEN IN THE PHB. You apply the PHB unless the setting tells you otherwise. So my point stands.

Wow, way to deflect.

Me: "Which is it, cultural or Genetic"
You: "If that is how you want ti, it has been this way for 50 years"

So, wonderful, for 50 years has it been Genetic or Cultural? Sinc eit has been five decades you should know which it is, right?

And horses were the greatest form of transportation for thousands of years. Relying on "it has worked so far" is a poor excuse. Especially since I have been able to rather trivially show that "body type" is clearly not the major deciding factor for these stats.
Yes they were. Until we found something better. And guess what? Horses are still great at some terrains that motorized are not.
So again, my point stands. 50 years it has worked out very well. It will until we find something way better. Something that the new rules are not.


In other words, your appeal to Tradition does not move me.
And your flawed arguments fail to move me too.


Well, turns out I can read (shock!) and since you didn't bother to look it up, well, you can just scroll up and read my response to Maxperson.

Turns out it was a useful read for me, to help show that your arguments are not supported by the text of the game. They are only supported by the version of the lore in your mind. Not by RAW.
And I already debunked you in one word... wow... A flawed, stretch argument such as the one you're using isn't great at all. Settings my friend, settings... You focus on one thing and not the whole picture. If you were to focus on the whole point, you'd probably start to see things my way. I don't claim that my way is the best. But at least this way has worked with this game and yours has failed in many games that are now lost to history or are far behind D&D in popularity. So yeah. My point still stand.
 

Actually, Mountain Dwarves in the Forgotten Realms have endured centuries of warfare and displacement, so they are very warlike.

"The ancestral home of the shield dwarves is in northern Faerun, where ancient dwarfholds exist in the North, Damara, lmpiltur, Vaasa, the Vast, and the Western Heartlands. The most famous of the old shield dwarf cities is Citadel Adbar, north and east of Silverymoon. Many of these dwarfholds have changed hands over the centuries in a cycle of invasion by enemies, followed by reconquest by the dwarves."

Whereas Gold Dwarves are very traditional and optimistic, as well as have an eagerness to trade, which could explain the wisdom bonus.

Eager to trade? That is how you interpret:

"Gold Dwarves who interact with other races (including shield dwarves) tend to be suspicious, taciturn, and secretive, and especially distrustful of anyone who doesn't show outward signs of wealth." Mordenkainens 71-72

Also, I re-read the Gold Dwarf section in Mordenkainen's two more times. No mention of them trading with anyone at all. Also, no mention of them being particularly optimistic. They do see themselves as the only "true holders" of dwarf culture, which makes them rather prideful and haughty I'd say.

So, are you pulling from a third book at this point? To prove the PHB dwarves have different cultures do we need to pull from both Mordenkainen's and another book. Seems rather excessive.

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


Wow.... How to deflect... You're a champion at confusion.
Setting can make changes! Hope you're not surprised by this incredible news. Guess what? If they make Darksun, Halflings are canibals. HO BOY IT'S NOT WRITTEN IN THE PHB. You apply the PHB unless the setting tells you otherwise. So my point stands.

I almost responded with the same level as sarcasm as you displayed here. Then I took a deep breath and decided to instead treat your response with some measure of respect.

Obviously I was aware that settings can change the lore of the game. That was obvious.

My point, which you seem to be trying to dismiss with your rampant sarcasm is that if we assume Hill Dwarves got the bonus to wisdom because in Greyhawk they were empathic and made many trade deals, then it would make perfect sense for the Shield Dwarves who share that culture to share that +1 Wisdom.

However, they do not. And, unlike Dark Sun Halflings, the PHB specifically calls out that the Hill Dwarf mechanics are meant for the Hill Dwarves of Greyhawk, and the Gold Dwarves of Forgotten Realms.

In other words, the PHB already told us what the the setting information was. The Setting in fact, did not change anything. It tells us in fact, that the bonus to wisdom seems to be somewhat arbitrary. Because it was applied to both an insightful, trade pact making type of dwarf, and a xenophobic shut-in style of dwarf, who is more reminiscent of the Mountain Dwarves of Greyhawk.

Your calls of "but tradition" and that the lore of the game tells us everything we need to know, have in fact led us to a situation where tradition and the lore of the game supports my point. Hill Dwarves and Mountain Dwarves share most of their culture. To the point that taking two of the major game worlds they are actually flipped, with no one making a big deal out of this ever.

But, I suspect, you are not going to accept this, and will instead continue to accuse me of various malfeasances , because discrediting me is the only move you seem to have left to you.

Yes they were. Until we found something better. And guess what? Horses are still great at some terrains that motorized are not.
So again, my point stands. 50 years it has worked out very well. It will until we find something way better. Something that the new rules are not.

You forgot to add the "in my opinion" to the end of that sentence, since I and others have in fact put forth that they are better.

And I already debunked you in one word... wow... A flawed, stretch argument such as the one you're using isn't great at all. Settings my friend, settings... You focus on one thing and not the whole picture. If you were to focus on the whole point, you'd probably start to see things my way. I don't claim that my way is the best. But at least this way has worked with this game and yours has failed in many games that are now lost to history or are far behind D&D in popularity. So yeah. My point still stand.

Yeah, you did not in fact debunk my argument. So, perhaps save the victory lap.

Because, settings, settings my friend, actually work towards my point. Static modifiers do not make sense when the setting can alter the dwarves or any other race to such a degree. Floating modifiers in fact make a lot of sense, unless you want every single setting to have to rewrite every single race. Or, if you want every single race to be the same across all settings.

Neither of which, I find particularly compelling.

Oh, and claiming that floating modifiers is something that is "lost to history" because of "many failed games" completely misses the truth that... they aren't. 13th Age is a game that has been mentioned multiple times in this thread. IT is not a failed game lost to history.

But, I am beginning to think you don't care about debating. You care about slinging stones and declaring that DnD has no growth to make. And I have little interest in just listening to you declare yourself correct with no evidence or reason.

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

You know, I have read every post in this thread. People have opinions no doubt. Play the game how you want with whom you want. Further, you have a right to like changes and optional rules or to dislike them without having some serious personality flaw.

Nonetheless, I think these changes were made not for options but to placate some who believe that differences among species promotes racist ideas or propagate eugenicist thinking in some fashion.

I then wonder, what would these folks say about Neanderthals? They shared 99% plus genetically with us. And yet, they may have had a hard time with speech as complex as ours (at least making some of the sounds). They were surely more robust. Would they have been stronger? Were they as smart? There were likely some
Differences.

Does hypothesizing about these things hurt marginalized people? Of course not. It’s only by applying these ideas within species that these things become harmful.

Only when we suggest between group differences based on modern ethnic groups do we have problems. Most proposed differences are simply pseudoscientific garbage.

however, if reality says super close ancestors can be stronger or less able to talk or whatever, why Is it imperative for different fantasy species to be statistically equivalent?

I just hate to think we are playing the game in fear or playing defense all the time. A segment of the population got loud about demons and devils once as well. Ugh.

I mean I am sure the people who were concerned were really concerned. Maybe they were genuinely fearful.

this is the same thing all over again.

as to the rules...if you want to play with floating bonuses, it’s your prerogative. I don’t think it would wreck my fun to think the PC is simply different than their peers. After all they are. You can get to 20 regardless if you so choose even if it takes one extra ASI.

just waiting to see what other changes might get made due to flawed fear-based reasoning (With or without pure intentions).

i would say though the most persuasive thing I read about floating ASI was related to stat blocks and the general example of a species. The population would still differ even if one case (a pc) does not.


Maybe it was started by that, but I think you may have missed just how harmful some of the stuff in the game could be seen as.

People like throwing about the "but they are different species" argument and following it up with absurd examples, like is a field mouse as strong as an elephant. But that misses so much of the actual point.

For example, one poster during that explosive few weeks of discussion pointed out a rather startling fact. According to scientific studies women tend to have over 20% less upper body strength than men of similar build and training (I saw in just a breif google search numbers ranging from 20% to 40%.). Are you are of the absolute largest difference in strength in Dungeons and Dragons Races? +0 to +2 to the score, which translates into a maximum of 5% difference.

The difference between genders is minor in the real-world, and is still four times larger at a minimum than the 5% difference between "species" in DnD.

Which, makes a lot of sense, when you stop and think about it. The vast majority of differences in size between the DnD "species" is a foot or less, and generally less than 20 lbs. That is a margin of error that can fit within the same weight-class in just about any martial arts or wrestling competition. Are some more extreme? Yes, obviously, and I've shown them in this very thread. But, even at those extremes, the actual "in the world" difference is minor.

A big deal at the table. A big deal for a player character rolling dice, but for a physical world? Not even worth talking about.

And meanwhile, there was a lot of toxic logic and lore surrounding them. A lot of de-humanizing language, which, correlates one to one with dehumanizing language that is being used to put down real-life people.


Frankly, I don't want to rehash those debates. That was weeks of my life spent in a furious swarm of toxic shit and I don't want to go back to that. But, I think I've been showing over my last few posts, that even the big die-hard fans who hate this rule, don't really know where ability scores are getting determined from. Except for tradition.

And tradition was obviously not a good enough reason to prevent this rule from being released. You can hold up your nose and declare that WoTC caved in to fear and social pressure, and destroyed the game. Helldritch and Max can continue screaming from the hill tops that this goes against the way things have always been.

Me? I'm going to look forward to making a Dwarven Artificer who over the last two hundred and fifty years has mastered nearly every tool in the game. I'm going to tell my friend who loves Rogues that he now has a lot more options, and we are going to wonder what crazy bard our third friend is going to come up with.

We are going to take these rules, and we are going to start making more lore and shaping the game in new ways.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Eager to trade? That is how you interpret:
Nope. It's how this is flat out read. No interpretation necessary.

"Gold dwarves are common in the lands to the south and east. They are formidable warriors, proud of their long traditions, with strong ties to clan. They are gruff and haughty and have a love of fin e craftsmanship and an eagerness to trade."

From the Sword Coast 5e.
 

EzekielRaiden

Adventurer
Does hypothesizing about these things hurt marginalized people? Of course not. It’s only by applying these ideas within species that these things become harmful.
The problem isn't "is this identical to this bad thing?" It is, instead, "Is this coded like this bad thing?"

Consider the game Detroit: Become Human and the response it got. It was...a really, really thinly-veiled "let's talk about the Civil Rights Movement without all the icky racism." Except...you can't do that? You can't talk about civil rights without racism being part of the conversation, because the movement would never have happened if racism weren't a thing. Acting like you CAN have such a conversation may not have any negative intent, but it sounds like "we're just gonna ignore the existence of races and racism."

Again, the intent can be COMPLETELY legitimate and positive and even pro-equality, but intent isn't the only thing that matters. A message can be hurtful even when it was meant purely positively. Consider that scene in the DCAU Justice League, where Green Lantern--a black man--goes to a parallel universe and meets someone who seems to be one of his childhood's completely-fictional comic book heroes. The guy is, unfortunately, pretty racist but well-meaning, and this was a very intentional move on the creators' part; they have him say, "You're a credit to your race, son," and GL is, shall we say, not enthused. The whole meaning and impact of the scene depends on the fact that a statement can be 100% genuinely meant as a compliment/kindness/positivity/whatever, and still be hurtful and racist, because words have meaning outside of the intent behind them.

A common example of racial coding in fiction is to portray Asian cultures...but to do so with reptilian characters. This can be very hurtful, even though no hurt is intended, for a variety of reasons. It is, quite literally, dehumanizing. It's one of the reasons why some more recent works try to do things like portraying classically powerful/historically hegemonic cultures (such as ancient Rome, early-medieval Vikings/Anglo-Saxons, medieval France, Age of Sail Spain, etc.) with primarily non-human sapient representatives, to break up the hurtful implication that "Western European cultures = humans, non-Western-European cultures = not humans." Again, it can have literally zero intent or effort to imply something hurtful, and still end up hurtful because of unfortunate implications or fitting into a broader pattern that is hurtful.

As another example that isn't racist, but still uses species for coding: Space Lesbians. It's a trope that's existed for a long time, and which was handled...with debatable effectiveness by the Mass Effect series. The asari are all "female" (in the sense of being able to carry and nurse young) and, in general, classically attractive to humans (or possibly all species, which isn't really better, just differently concerning). They're also coded in exclusively female ways, and sexualized to hell and back, making these implicit lesbian icons...the subject of primarily male gaze. Consider: asari have a taboo about producing children with other asari, and the vast majority of partners we see for asari are male, so despite their species having been implicitly lesbian for millions of years, upon entering the galactic stage, as far as we can tell, they mostly hooked up with dudes? That's...not exactly great as far as representation is concerned. Especially in a game series primarily targeted at middle-to-upper-class male twenty-somethings. In fact, other than Liara's parents (whom we never get to see together) and potentially Liara and Fem!Shep, I don't believe we see any female/Asari couples in ME1, and the first we see in ME2 is Morinth, the vampire serial killer asari, which draws on all sorts of concerning tropes and coding about how lesbian women are seen in IRL society.

I sincerely, sincerely doubt that even one of the people who worked on Mass Effect meant the slightest bit of ill will toward the lesbian community through the inclusion and development of the asari species--they are, after all, shown to be powerful, dangerous, refined, highly technological, etc. But the work does not simply stand on its own. It exists in our world, where bad things have happened and people have been really shitty toward a variety of groups in identifiable ways for a very long time.

And, again, this is why I think the 13A approach splits the difference in the right kind of way. It recognizes that (for example) it could be possible for a Neanderthal to be stronger than a human (the way chimpanzees are, for example), or that humans might have an advantage in hand-eye coordination. Physiology is not ignored. But, at the same time, it says, "You're an Orc who studied to be a Wizard? Then you must be smarter than the average Orc." It enables people to play what they want to play, while still permitting differences in physiology. Anyone can aspire to great success, while still having an ethnic and social identity that precedes them, follows them, and will in some sense outlast them. Indeed, one could argue that a flaw with "anyone can have any stat boosts" runs a minor risk of the "diversity that never matters" problem with certain lazy forms of inclusion, where sure, you have a black character on the show, but her blackness never matters and is thus "safe," or you have a gay character for whom relationships and sexuality are literally never relevant (see: JK Rowling's post-canon reveal that Dumbledore was gay) and thus sanitized for mainstream appeal. The 13A method makes being an Orc Wizard somewhat different from being an Elf Wizard, without saying that either person is worse at being a Wizard.
 

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top