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D&D (2024) No Dwarf, Halfling, and Orc suborgins, lineages, and legacies

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One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
In older lore, perhaps. But older lore isn't important if you’re playing the current game.

There is no particular reason halflings need mechanical representation of lightfoot and stout and whatever else.
will you still hold that same perspective when people are advocating removing the subspecies of your preferred species from the game?


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
will you still hold that same perspective when people are advocating removing the subspecies of your preferred species from the game?
I mean, I won’t be using “but it’s in the lore” as an argument, which I suppose is the same thing as holding that same position, so…yes. 🤷‍♂️

The only time I have referenced old canon in an argument about what belongs in D&D is with stuff like the Gnoll, where people are specifically claiming that non-evil Gnolls are a bad 4e-ism, which is factually incorrect.

The much stronger argument for Gnolls is that nothing else in the game does what they do, except Minotaurs, and having both creates a nice contrast.


In Japan and Korea and China, orcs are British pigment.
Decent point, but isn't that just a different visual interpretation of the same creature, rather than a subspecies?

Like in D&D (IIRC) orcs are canonically grey but in my setting they're green. But that's not really a subspecies, just an artistic choice of how to visually represent them.
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My hope
  • Dragonborn
    • Black
    • Blue
    • Brass
    • Bronze
    • Copper
    • Gold
    • Green
    • Red
    • Silver
    • White
I am torn whether these Dragonborn are separate cultures, or the same culture. Since they were created magically from Dragon eggs, it seems ok if the same population includes any possibility.

Players should be able to choose draconic traits, including tail and wings (sometimes functional sometimes vestigial). I would love a choice of a dreki form that has arms but no legs and slithers as snake − esthetic only − I dont think it needs special stats, and can Speed, Climb, and Grapple as normal.

  • Dwarf
    • Hill
    • Mountain
    • Underdark (Duergar)
    • Volcano
For you, does the Azer count as a Volcano Fire Dwarf?

I want the Duergar better represent the Norse Dvergar. Mainly, a mage culture of Psion, Druid, and Wizard. The Norsesque frequently takes on animal forms (otter, salmon, reindeer, etcetera, including draconic snake), as well as elemental magic, and psychic fate magic. There are no Wizard spellbooks, but the dwarven memory can remember every spell, essentially a spellbook in ones mind without any gp cost. At death, they petrify into stone. Revivify and Raise Dead reverts this stone back to life normally.

I like the UA Dwarf, except the tool proficiency needs to instead be an Advantage on earth-related ability checks. Its traits can represent the entire species including Duergar. The differences be cultural backgrounds, albeit often with magical features.

Probably, players can choose Medium or Small, with heights ranging 3 feet to 6 feet, often 4½ feet. Norse are normal human sizes. German are Small about half height, roughly 3 feet, similar to Halfling. Medium is fine for Norsesque, but Small should be available too.

  • Elf
    • City Elf (Half)
    • Dark Elf (Drow)
    • High Elf
    • Wood Elf
The 4e Eladrin is urban, but this feels less true in 5e where it is more explicitly seasonal.

The 5e Astral Elf seems to inherit the urban traditions. I want to see it inhabit magitech floating cities and supertowers, with a skyey and urban feel.

The High Elf is more like sophisticated treehouse towns, deeply entangling the nature of the Material Plane, while near the enlivening influence of a Fey Crossing.

Dark Elf is urban too, but the subterranean aspect is a different feel overall.

  • Gnome
    • Forest Gnome
    • Rock Gnome
Maybe a Gnome is a culture of a multispecies community of Dwarf-Halfling. Rock regions leans Dwarf. Forest region leans Halfling.

  • Goliath
    • Cloud
    • Fire
    • Frost
    • Hill
    • Stone
    • Storm
Medium or Large, players choice. But acquire stats for Large separately at higher levels via feats (like Reach or extra damage).

  • Halfling
    • Ghostmind
    • Jinxhand
    • Lightfoot
    • Stoutheat
Lightfoot is the standard player Halfling culture.

Stout is actually the certain Halfling communities with "Dwarf blood", a multispecies. Not a separate species or subspecies, but can be a distinctive culture.

I need to refamilarize myself with traditions for the other cultures.

  • Orc
    • Porcine
    • Wolven
Not sure what to do with Orc. But Porcine ethnicity seems like a good idea and is a nod to old school.

  • Tielfing
    • Abyssal
    • Chthonic
    • Infernal
A choice of resemblance to almost any kind of Fiend is plausible.

I am less a fan of the term "Chthonic". It means "soil" or "ground". By extension, modern use sometimes relates to the grave or the underworld − but in D&D this is Shadowfell, not NE.

The term Hades equals Shadowfell and is Unaligned.

For the Neutral Evil alignment plane, revert to the earlier name "Waste" or "Gray Waste", then refer to its inhabitants as "Wastelings".

(Alternatively, in my head canon, the Neutral Evil Fiend is actually the Aberration, and one can call its NE alignment plane the Farrealm. The Yugoloth is a kind of Aberration.)

Keep in mind, an alignment "Outer Plane" is a specific alignment, but its inhabitants might be other alignments −rare but known.
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Azers are elementals. And 1e orcs aren't a distinct type of orc, just a different art style. If that was the case, you'd need to make distinct versions of all the 1e races and monsters because none of them look much like their 5e counterparts.
But a "Fire Dwarf" could stat as Elemental. Compare some Eladrin stating as Fey. Similarly a hypothetical "Earth Dwarf" or a muddy wetland "Water Dwarf", could be Elemental.

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