D&D 5E New Unearthed Arcana: Heroes of Krynn Revisited

WotC's Jeremy Crawford has announced a new Unearthed Arcana article today with redesigns from the prior Heroes of Krynn UA based on feedback, and in the following video he discusses that feedback and what's in the article:
  • New iteration of Kender based on feedback survey, due to mixed response. This time is a back to basics, aiming to capture 1E AD&D fearlessness, curiosity and taunting skills. Delve into their origins from Gnomes in deep history.
  • Kender are no longer fey creatures who grab objects from the Feywild
  • Tweaked Feats from prior article
  • Tweaked Backgrounds from prior article
  • Brand new rule giving a list of free Feats for ANY Background
  • Free Feat rule for Level 4 for all characters that doesn't take the ASI away, based on a curated list
  • Reveals that in the Adventure, healing magic is already back.
 
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Hussar

Legend
Folks, why are you rehashing this?

Kender handling is gone. `Poof, it doesn't exist anymore. You won this fight. The whole notion of not understanding property has been stripped from the description of Kender and there is nothing whatsoever to replace it. Handling is an artifact of the past and is no longer part of Kender.

They removed it for all the really excellent reasons that have been listed here - it's offensive, ableist, caused problems at some tables, and so on. It's gone.

And, when they tried to replace it with a new idea, that got shot down in flames as well. Too big of a change.

So, WotC scorch earthed. The whole concept of borrowing, sharing, generosity, and whatnot is expunged from the description of kender. Kender are now standard PHB halflings with a variant ability - taunt instead of lucky.

You really don't have to keep going on about this. It's not an issue anymore. Take a victory lap, you won this.
 

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Scribe

Hero
So, WotC scorch earthed. The whole concept of borrowing, sharing, generosity, and whatnot is expunged from the description of kender. Kender are now standard PHB halflings with a variant ability - taunt instead of lucky.

You really don't have to keep going on about this. It's not an issue anymore. Take a victory lap, you won this.
not like this GIF
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Not going by the gaming material.


Again, not going by the gaming material, which specifically states they will lie even if caught.


"He was a great guy, except for all the stealing and maddening insults!" Yeah, doesn't work.
I'll take your word for it, as I'm more familiar with the novels than the gamebooks. And it's been a season or two since I've read the novels. But from what I remember from the stories, kender never (or rarely) lied knowingly, with the intent to deceive. But rather did not view their "handling" as thieving, and were tired of all the accusations from the big folk. I also remember kender in the stories being free with possessions, both in the giving and taking.

But if the game material directly contradicts that . . . well, damn.

Note that I actually agree, that kender as originally conceived are a dumpster-fire of a fantasy race. I enjoyed Tasslehoff in the original stories, and occasionally other kender characters in later novels . . . . but yeah, extremely problematic in fiction, worse at the gaming table.

Personally, I think Dragonlance needs a soft reboot, with the kender (and most of the other small folk) getting some hard work on scrubbing away all that ableism.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Folks, why are you rehashing this?

Kender handling is gone. `Poof, it doesn't exist anymore. You won this fight. The whole notion of not understanding property has been stripped from the description of Kender and there is nothing whatsoever to replace it. Handling is an artifact of the past and is no longer part of Kender.

They removed it for all the really excellent reasons that have been listed here - it's offensive, ableist, caused problems at some tables, and so on. It's gone.

And, when they tried to replace it with a new idea, that got shot down in flames as well. Too big of a change.

So, WotC scorch earthed. The whole concept of borrowing, sharing, generosity, and whatnot is expunged from the description of kender. Kender are now standard PHB halflings with a variant ability - taunt instead of lucky.

You really don't have to keep going on about this. It's not an issue anymore. Take a victory lap, you won this.
Relax man. We're discussing D&D stuff on a D&D forum.

And it's not "done", the document we are going back and forth over is the next iteration of a PLAYTEST document. And regardless of whether this is the version of kender to make it to the published book later this year . . . . we can all continue to agree or disagree on how well WotC interprets the kender for 5E.

Personally, I'm not satisfied with either playtest kender we've gotten so far. But I also acknowledge WotC has a task ahead of them creating a kender that will work for most fans, as the race started out so extremely problematic.
 

Scribe

Hero
I'll take your word for it, as I'm more familiar with the novels than the gamebooks. And it's been a season or two since I've read the novels. But from what I remember from the stories, kender never (or rarely) lied knowingly, with the intent to deceive. But rather did not view their "handling" as thieving, and were tired of all the accusations from the big folk. I also remember kender in the stories being free with possessions, both in the giving and taking.
I do wonder how much this has a bearing on ones view.

Novels defined Kender for me, and my reading is the same as yours.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Except it has the kender origins as gnomes now? (Oh, now I'm picturing the explosion if 5.5e halflings are just gnomes that drifted from the fey origin and are disconnected form it :-/ ).

As of The Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings (2e), halflings adopted kender as honorary family and are listed as a halfling subrace (after tallfellow, but before Athasian). More importantly, they fill the halfling niche on Krynn as gnomes actually do exist.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Folks, why are you rehashing this?

Kender handling is gone. `Poof, it doesn't exist anymore. You won this fight. The whole notion of not understanding property has been stripped from the description of Kender and there is nothing whatsoever to replace it. Handling is an artifact of the past and is no longer part of Kender.

They removed it for all the really excellent reasons that have been listed here - it's offensive, ableist, caused problems at some tables, and so on. It's gone.

And, when they tried to replace it with a new idea, that got shot down in flames as well. Too big of a change.

So, WotC scorch earthed. The whole concept of borrowing, sharing, generosity, and whatnot is expunged from the description of kender. Kender are now standard PHB halflings with a variant ability - taunt instead of lucky.

You really don't have to keep going on about this. It's not an issue anymore. Take a victory lap, you won this.
You know, I went back and looked at the kender racial traits I could find. (I admit, I'm not a DL fan so my resources are limited)

The Kender Racial Traits are in the Complete Book of Gnomes & Halflings (2e) give racial stats for Kender. Lets see what they get.

The fabled Kender is a curious example of convergent evolution. Their native world of Krynn is one of the few with no true halflings of its own, yet this ”ecological niche” is filled by another race which, though unrelated, is similar in size, appearance, and culture: the Kender. Hairfeet, Stouts, and Tallfellows who have been to Krynn or have met Kender wanderers on other worlds have adopted them as honorary cousins, despite misgivings about the Kender’s complete lack of the prized halfling virtue of common sense.
An extensive description of the Kender is provided in the DRAGONLANCE Adventures hardcover rulebook and in the Tales of the Lance boxed set. The information given here focuses on playing Kender in a general AD&D campaign-i.e., Kender who have strayed from the DRAGONLANCE game setting into other worlds. It should be noted that it is entirely up to a DM whether he or she wishes to allow Kender into his or her own campaign-and he or she is encouraged to consider very carefully before agreeing!
Kender are somewhat taller than an average Hairfoot or Stout, averaging 3’7‘’. They are much more slender than true halflings, and they tend to show their age more-a fifty year old Kender will look like a forty-year-old human, whereas a Hairfoot will probably retain his or her youthful looks even into old age. Kender complexions are light, but they tan easily. They tend to wear their hair very long, with a characteristic topknot and long, trailing tail. They wear shoes most of the time, since unlike true halflings, they completely lack foot-fur.
Kender are the most curious of all halflingkin, the most wiIling to depart from their hearth and home to embark on a life of adventure. Most Kender are infused with wanderlust about the time they reach adulthood (in their early twenties) and are likely to spend several decades in an exploration of the world around them, only to feel an equally compelling urge to return home and settle down as they begin to age (midfifties to early sixties). Kender are absolutely and utterly fearless-even to the point of immunity to magically induced fear-and as a result are willing to travel literally anywhere and try almost anything.
The life expectancy of a Kender is similar to Hairfoot‘s (about a century) but it must be noted that, due to their curiosity and fearlessness, Kender are far more likely than any other halfling subrace to meet with a sudden and violent demise. They are not suicidal, but they do get carried away.

Kender Ability Scores
Ability Minimum Maximum
Strength 6 16
Dexterity 8 19
Constitution 10 18
Intelligence 6 18
Wisdom 3 16
Charisma 6 18

Ability Score Adjustments: + 2 to Dexterity (to a maximum of 19); -1 to Strength.
Languages: Kender, Krynn Common, and any other(s) allowed by Intelligence.
Infravision: Yes (30’)

Special Features: Kender who are not thieves have a base 5% chance to perform any thieving skill except Read Languages (no chance) and Climb Walls (40% chance). Dexterity modifiers do apply, but these abilities never increase as the Kender goes up in level.
Kender are totally immune to the effects of both magical and nonmagical fear, whether caused by monsters like the mummy or lich or by spells such as scare and symbol of fear.
The Taunt: Kender are adept at the art of taunting an enemy until that foe loses all ability for rational thought or restraint and is goaded into an uncontrolled attack. If the victim can understand the Kender’s speech, he, she, or it must make a saving throw versus spells (Wisdom bonuses apply). If it fails, the victim will attack the Kender wildly for Id10 rounds, suffering a -2 penalty to all attack rolls and a +2 penalty to Armor Class.

Hmmm... Nothing about Pockets. I see taunt. I see fearless. And I guess a free skill in Stealth, Sleight of Hand, or Investigation is kinda like getting free Thief Skills. They're lacking Darkvision (Infravision) so I guess we should put that in the feedback. Other than that, it's a faithful translation.

Now granted, I also liked magic pockets. But it's unfair to say removing it completely destroys what the kender is. Mechanically, they are very similar to the AD&D kender.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
As of The Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings (2e), halflings adopted kender as honorary family and are listed as a halfling subrace (after tallfellow, but before Athasian). More importantly, they fill the halfling niche on Krynn as gnomes actually do exist.
Do they know that? (either the Kender or the WotC folks?).

From the Latest UA
1651108124322.png


Or are the just ineffable?
1651108248009.png
 

Remathilis

Legend
Do they know that? (either the Kender or the WotC folks?).

From the Latest UA
View attachment 156247

Or are the just ineffable?
View attachment 156248
I quoted the whole passage from CBG&H above, but to reiterate.

"The fabled Kender is a curious example of convergent evolution. Their native world of Krynn is one of the few with no true halflings of its own, yet this ”ecological niche” is filled by another race which, though unrelated, is similar in size, appearance, and culture: the Kender. Hairfeet, Stouts, and Tallfellows who have been to Krynn or have met Kender wanderers on other worlds have adopted them as honorary cousins, despite misgivings about the Kender’s complete lack of the prized halfling virtue of common sense."

They aren't biologically descended from halflings, but more adopted due to similarity. Mechanically, they were absolutely developed to fill the halflings role rather than the gnomes (hence the lack of illusionists but unlimited "thief" levels).
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I quoted the whole passage from CBG&H above, but to reiterate.

"The fabled Kender is a curious example of convergent evolution. Their native world of Krynn is one of the few with no true halflings of its own, yet this ”ecological niche” is filled by another race which, though unrelated, is similar in size, appearance, and culture: the Kender. Hairfeet, Stouts, and Tallfellows who have been to Krynn or have met Kender wanderers on other worlds have adopted them as honorary cousins, despite misgivings about the Kender’s complete lack of the prized halfling virtue of common sense."

They aren't biologically descended from halflings, but more adopted due to similarity. Mechanically, they were absolutely developed to fill the halflings role rather than the gnomes (hence the lack of illusionists but unlimited "thief" levels).

Are you sure the other halflings can't disown them now with this new cover fire from UA though?
 

cbwjm

Legend
Do they know that? (either the Kender or the WotC folks?).

From the Latest UA
View attachment 156247

Or are the just ineffable?
View attachment 156248
Whether they came from gnomes or elves, or something else, the niche is still the halfling niche, that's how it always felt to me since I started playing 2e.

I do know that they are a recent race in Krynn, which is apparently important when time travelling. The wizards of high sorcery, with their ability to travel through time, had a ban on any of the new races travelling through time as it could cause issues. I forget what those issues are, though I know Tasselhoff caused a few of them.
 





Dire Bare

Legend
Whether they came from gnomes or elves, or something else, the niche is still the halfling niche, that's how it always felt to me since I started playing 2e.

I do know that they are a recent race in Krynn, which is apparently important when time travelling. The wizards of high sorcery, with their ability to travel through time, had a ban on any of the new races travelling through time as it could cause issues. I forget what those issues are, though I know Tasselhoff caused a few of them.
The idea that kender and halflings are completely different races is a bit silly, IMO. I've always looked at kender as simply being ethnically, or culturally, different from PHB halflings. That doesn't fully square with the changing official canon, but . . . it makes more sense (to me).
 



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