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5E Jeremy Crawford Discusses Details on Custom Origins

Aaron L

Hero
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 have a Mountain Dwarf Wizard (War Mage) PC that I get to play occasionally, who wears half-plate armor and wields a battleaxe. Everyone who sees him assumes him to be a Fighter. I love it.

But yes, totally; if every Dwarf is a Chaotic Good Wizard then why bother having any structural Fantasy standards at all? We have a certain player who, I believe, actually thinks that CG is the standard cultural Alignment for Dwarves, based on how many CG Dwarf Fighters he always plays, and based on how he never seems to grasp why any of the other Dwarves he encounters don't at all go along with, nor or approve of, his disruptive Chaotic behavior.

I get the feeling that some people just don't want to be playing in the Fantasy genre at all, but some other kind of style completely.... which is totally fine, but then why are you even playing Dungeons & Dragons? If I'm not in the mood for Fantasy I will play Call of Cthulhu or MechWarrior or something else.

(I won't get into how much I detest the impact that Harry Potter and other similar gawdawful "Young Adult Literature" has had on modern Fantasy... this ties heavily into my extreme distaste for shoehorning Devilgirls and Dragonmen among the default D&D races in the PHB.)

I am reminded of that old joke from The Order of the Stick: the entire race of Drow is comprised of nothing but stoic, good-hearted rebels who long to be free of their race's oppressive evil culture...

But at the same time I fully understand that Adventurers are, almost by definition, the oddballs and freaks who don't fit in at home, so instead go out exploring the world to find adventure and/or a place to belong, so having PCs who are certified weirdos by the standards of their race and culture is perfectly fitting (and is a significant element of the long tradition of fictional Fantasy heroes.)

But also also at the same time; if we have no standards, then... well, we have no standards.
 

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Azzy

Newtype
I get the feeling that some people just don't want to be playing in the Fantasy genre at all, but some other kind of style completely.... which is totally fine, but then why are you even playing Dungeons & Dragons?
You do realize that there's a lot more to fantasy than just Tolkein and those that seek to emulate him? The standard depiction of elves and dwarves are not sacrosanct, nor are elves and dwarves even necessary to fantasy.
 


jmartkdr2

Adventurer
Also, some DMs prefer to keep the game as close to RAW as possible regardless of the campaign type, and that is perfectly valid.
That's me - mostly for clarity, since I play in multiple games. Keeping track of all the houserules would be a pain.

But then again, I probably would have allowed pretty much any of the proposed options if a player had asked for them already, since I know how to adjust for things.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
That's me - mostly for clarity, since I play in multiple games. Keeping track of all the houserules would be a pain.

But then again, I probably would have allowed pretty much any of the proposed options if a player had asked for them already, since I know how to adjust for things.
Yeah. My fellow DM who is like that does allow homebrew sometimes, and is usually fine with UA stuff, but we have like two or three houserules, tops. None of us want to halfway rebuild 5e into a new game. We just want to play.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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.
Yeah. The +1, +2 is more for equity than equality.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Jeremy also hints at something that I think gets lost a lot, and that being how we perceive racial ability score adjustments. I.e., we see "Elves get +2 Dex" means that all elves, or elves in general, are more dexterous than anyone else. Instead, it actually means, "YOUR character who is an elf is more dexterous." When you change your perspective from "most races like X" to "my character gets this as an individual", it's much more easy to accept how a dwarf might be a wizard, or a halfling is extra strong. Because it's about your PC who is an exception, not a modifier to the average halfling, or elf, or dwarf.
He said that's what it really means, but that's not what it has meant prior to 5e or in most other systems. Dwarves are tough and strong, elves are smart and dexterous, halflings nimble, etc. That's why they got bonuses. What Crawford is doing is inventing a justification for the change, not explaining why the bonuses were there in the first place.
 


Shardstone

Adventurer
I agree that this justification is def. not how the mainstream gaming community has EVER seen these bonuses; however, I still think this new lineage system is fine, though half-assed if what was implied in the video is true.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I agree that this justification is def. not how the mainstream gaming community has EVER seen these bonuses; however, I still think this new lineage system is fine, though half-assed if what was implied in the video is true.
Yep. My group has already decided we won't touch it, but it works just fine for those that want to.
 

The only reason that I will have this book, is that my players will buy as a christmas gift to me (and even then, they mean it as a bad joke on me...). The only thing redeemable about this book will the subclasses (which my players want and it is the only reason they will buy it to me because I will not). And yet, A lot of them are just reprints of what I have already have in other books. If it would not have been for the subclasses, even my players would not want to touch this with a 10' pole.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The only reason that I will have this book, is that my players will buy as a christmas gift to me (and even then, they mean it as a bad joke on me...). The only thing redeemable about this book will the subclasses (which my players want and it is the only reason they will buy it to me because I will not). And yet, A lot of them are just reprints of what I have already have in other books. If it would not have been for the subclasses, even my players would not want to touch this with a 10' pole.
I'm going to buy it for the subclasses and such. It won't be the first book I buy and like(overall) that has portions that I dislike and won't use.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Thinking more about Crawford's justification, if what he says is true and the real reason elven PC got +2 dex was because they were individuals, then the bonus wouldn't have been dex. It would already have been some version of the system that they are putting in the new book. Other than the race being dexterous, there's no reason to give all PC elves a +2 dex bonus.
 

FarBeyondC

Explorer
He said that's what it really means, but that's not what it has meant prior to 5e or in most other systems. Dwarves are tough and strong, elves are smart and dexterous, halflings nimble, etc. That's why they got bonuses. What Crawford is doing is inventing a justification for the change, not explaining why the bonuses were there in the first place.

It's not even what it means in 5e, based off evidence in the very books that he designed. Or are random NPC guards and thugs also exceptional individuals now?
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
Nostalgia. D&DNext kept a lot of sacred cows as a way to bridge all editions and end the Hateful Edition Wars. I hope this will open up the design space for new systems instead of rejiggering bonuses to change a Wild Elf into a Snow Elf.


My wild snowy elf is radically different from your snowy wild elf! ;)

P.S. Grimslade or Edalsmirge? Hmmm.... 🤔
 

The only reason that I will have this book, is that my players will buy as a christmas gift to me (and even then, they mean it as a bad joke on me...). The only thing redeemable about this book will the subclasses (which my players want and it is the only reason they will buy it to me because I will not). And yet, A lot of them are just reprints of what I have already have in other books. If it would not have been for the subclasses, even my players would not want to touch this with a 10' pole.
What about the spell and magic item sections?
 


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
I'm guessing that Tasha's system will be similar to the one in the new AL rules. IIRC in that one, you can swap tool proficiencies ands weapon proficiencies between each other, but you cannot swap them for Skill profs. Skill proficiencies are considered to be more valuable, and so you can't lose a tool proficiency to gain a skill proficiency.
 


I'm just curious about what's supposed to be the human thing now that every race is super versatile and diverse. I hope we don't end up with the "humans thirst for power" trope and nothing else.
 

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