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D&D General No More "Humans in Funny Hats": Racial Mechanics Should Determine Racial Cultures

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Legend
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Sabathius42

I agree with your assessment. It is impossible for human beings to play any game other than as human beings. We are simply not equipped psychologically to do anything else.

I believe that Orca's, maybe the entire cetacean order, (biological meaning) are sentient. Same could be said with the higher apes. Imagine an Orca's mind suddenly being dropped into New York City, inside a human body. The results would be catastrophic for anyone in contact with said Orca-Human, let alone the Orca-Human.

As a native and current New Yorker, a Orca-Human wouldn't phase NYC much at all.
 

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Or...WOTC can keep their word wrt the word "optional" which seen throughout that book. I have been lurking on this site for sometime, and obviously just started posting. And I am fully aware what the moderators here do with political posts. But I will say this. Only two types of people use Tasha's and the offshoot rules in char builds: Powergamers and those who want to make a political statement.
Sometimes, when one is new to a forum, they read the two sides, but don't get the nuance. It happens all the time. So I have to take exception to this statement. I will try to clarify the two sides:

One side opposes fixed racial ASIs. They do so because they believe it limits choices when building characters. They often claim ASIs don't build distinction in races, and if distinction is needed, it is better done through racial traits: stonecunning, darkvision, lucky, etc. We will call these people teachers.One side likes fixed racial ASIs. They do so because they believe it limits choices when building characters for some, and promotes choices for others that want to play "against type," a PHB term. They often claim it adds distinction to the races. They are also for racial traits. We will call these people engineers.

Then, inevitably (at least from my experience), this bleeds over into the biological/realism/suspension of disbelief/word narrative debate. Here, the two sides tend, not always, but tend to align to the same side of the spectrum as before.

One side says it's fantasy and there is nothing realistic about it, so therefore ASIs should be floating. They also state language needs to be rewritten in the books to show this change, and in turn, remove any language that might be offensive to groups of people. We'll call these people doctors.One side says it's fantasy with some sense of realism, so therefore fixed ASIs should represent the racial trait. They also state language originally used was fine, as it clearly implies these racial ASIs. Some take offense that the language should offend anyone, due to the fact that they are fantasy races. We'll call these people lawyers.

Here is the point to the powergamer discussion. Are the teachers powergaming? Not really. They want a 16. It's not really powergaming, and more of a let's keep everyone on the same setting. And are the engineers just afraid of change? Not really. They want things to be more difficult for some than others, as it reflects in their sense of fantasy realism.

Here is the point to the political discussion. Are the doctors just virtue signaling? No. They want their D&D world to be tied to their real world feelings. And are the lawyers being racist? No. They want their D&D world separated from their real world feelings. Was all this caused by the winds of social change? We'll never know.

And lastly, if I may. The gaming market, for the past twenty-five years has slowly leaned to "give the players what they want." In turn, the limitations set become either A) easier to implement or B) easier to get. It has happened in video games. I mean the original Everquest was brutal. WoW made it easier. Who won? AD&D death's system was brutal. 5E's death system is almost not even there. Who won? In a sense, easier seems to win in the market. And that could have been the transformation we found in Tasha's? We don't know. But the easy mode of games is definitely an observable trend.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Sometimes, when one is new to a forum, they read the two sides, but don't get the nuance. It happens all the time. So I have to take exception to this statement. I will try to clarify the two sides:

One side opposes fixed racial ASIs. They do so because they believe it limits choices when building characters. They often claim ASIs don't build distinction in races, and if distinction is needed, it is better done through racial traits: stonecunning, darkvision, lucky, etc. We will call these people teachers.One side likes fixed racial ASIs. They do so because they believe it limits choices when building characters for some, and promotes choices for others that want to play "against type," a PHB term. They often claim it adds distinction to the races. They are also for racial traits. We will call these people engineers.

Then, inevitably (at least from my experience), this bleeds over into the biological/realism/suspension of disbelief/word narrative debate. Here, the two sides tend, not always, but tend to align to the same side of the spectrum as before.

One side says it's fantasy and there is nothing realistic about it, so therefore ASIs should be floating. They also state language needs to be rewritten in the books to show this change, and in turn, remove any language that might be offensive to groups of people. We'll call these people doctors.One side says it's fantasy with some sense of realism, so therefore fixed ASIs should represent the racial trait. They also state language originally used was fine, as it clearly implies these racial ASIs. Some take offense that the language should offend anyone, due to the fact that they are fantasy races. We'll call these people lawyers.

Here is the point to the powergamer discussion. Are the teachers powergaming? Not really. They want a 16. It's not really powergaming, and more of a let's keep everyone on the same setting. And are the engineers just afraid of change? Not really. They want things to be more difficult for some than others, as it reflects in their sense of fantasy realism.

Here is the point to the political discussion. Are the doctors just virtue signaling? No. They want their D&D world to be tied to their real world feelings. And are the lawyers being racist? No. They want their D&D world separated from their real world feelings. Was all this caused by the winds of social change? We'll never know.

And lastly, if I may. The gaming market, for the past twenty-five years has slowly leaned to "give the players what they want." In turn, the limitations set become either A) easier to implement or B) easier to get. It has happened in video games. I mean the original Everquest was brutal. WoW made it easier. Who won? AD&D death's system was brutal. 5E's death system is almost not even there. Who won? In a sense, easier seems to win in the market. And that could have been the transformation we found in Tasha's? We don't know. But the easy mode of games is definitely an observable trend.
A very fair summary of the two sides of the debate. This should be a sticky!
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Except as I have shown repeatedly, it can be done and not limit choice at all. Simply give elves +2 dex and +2 floating. Give dwarves +2 con and +2 floating. Give goliaths +2 strength and +2 floating.
This would be fine until someone inevitably gave something a racial bonus to a mental stat.
 




ReshiIRE

Adventurer
Like Vulcans being smart? I don't really see problem. Saying someone is dumb might be problematic, saying someone is smart really isn't.
The thing about that, especially as the series developed, Vulcans (from my understanding) where shown less as intellectually superior and more so that they have strong control over their emotions, leading to their ability to perform well in scenarios where it is necessary to be extremely logical is required (while still taking into account morals - often 'purely logical' beings in a lot of science-fiction are portrayed as also being morally awful or willing to do morally awful things, which... ironically, often include completely illogical actions that the writers, in a scary way, think are logical?)

They are also shown to suffer greatly in many ways from this. The episode Sarek of TNG, without going into spoilers for it, demonstrates this perfectly.

So theoretically, you could give Vulcans in a 5e system a fixed Intelligence ASI boost. But it might be more accurate to instead give them racial features and other traits to instead emphasis their ability control emotions. Perhaps a number of times equal to profiency reaction to give advantage against spells and features targetting Charisma, Wisdom and Intelligence saves, perhaps? Boosts to skills involving logic, like Arcana? The ability to cast certain spells relating to emotions to help their companions?

Those could all be exciting features instead of a +1 modifier, no?
 




So theoretically, you could give Vulcans in a 5e system a fixed Intelligence ASI boost. But it might be more accurate to instead give them racial features and other traits to instead emphasis their ability control emotions. Perhaps a number of times equal to profiency reaction to give advantage against spells and features targetting Charisma, Wisdom and Intelligence saves, perhaps?
Yes, they could have traits that help them resist mental influence.

Boosts to skills involving logic, like Arcana?
There is a thing that boost skills involving logic. It is called intelligence. Ability scores are supposed to represent things and I am really not a fan of inventing gimmicky rules that represent the same thing the ability scores are supposed to represent.
 

This isn't even a good example!

Vulcans are logical, which is both a boon and a hinderance to their intellect.
Being logical is now a hindrance to intellect? o_O
  • Intelligence, measuring reasoning and memory
This is what PHB says. Logic is reasoning. Vulcans also are shown to have amazing memories, retaining amazing amounts of encyclopaedic knowledge. In D&D intelligence score explicitly measures things Vulcans are great at. Thus it would be highly illogical to not give them boost in such a score. I really don't understand this trend to deny that ability scores mean, measure or represent anything. If they don't, why even have them? 🤷
 

ReshiIRE

Adventurer
Profiency bonus to one skill is very different from a boost to intelligence. It could be a gimmick; I'm not versed well enough in 5e design to give coherent suggestions. But you can understand the example I'm making, correct?

I would also argue that logic and intelligence are not equivalent (there are a lot of otherwise intelligent people are very illogical [I am somewhat intelligent in some definitions and I can be very illogical] and there are people not necessarily considered intelligent who can use logic quite well) but that's getting into more complicated discussions.

What 'intelligence' represents is pretty loose in 5e in particular; I would argue that it represents the ability to do well in learning skills and well, learning how to learn, as well as memory functions. Indeed, this is why I'm not typically happy with flat checks, particularly for the mental scores, but also for Dexterity and Strength. It's much easier to parse what exactly someone's intelligence and arcana work together or their athletics and strength together mean rather than just what their strength means.
 



Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Let me remind everyone of this post. This thread is not about debating racial ASIs or the new design of races/lineages in D&D 5e.
Racial ASIs are part of racial mechanics and are therefore on topic. That you don't want to discuss it is fine. That you would go run and complain to moderators if it doesn't go your way isn't. I didn't cave in to that threat in school when the kids threatened it, I'm not going to accept it from an adult.
 


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