OneDnD One D&D Permanently Removes The Term 'Race'

In line with many other tabletop roleplaying games, such as Pathfinder or Level Up, One D&D is removing the term 'race'. Where Pathfinder uses 'Ancestry' and Level Up uses 'Heritage', One D&D will be using 'Species'.


In a blog post, WotC announced that "We have made the decision to move on from using the term "race" everywhere in One D&D, and we do not intend to return to that term."
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Relevant to some of the biology stuff here...

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Is evolving from animals into a humanoid problematic at all? Or am I misremembering other things?
If they're tying the Ardlings more explicitly to celestial animals from the Beastlands, it's important to understand that many of those animals would likely have been "petitioners" originally anyway, which is to say they were the souls of mortals that ended up in the Beastlands (for whatever reason) and transformed into animals in the same kind of way that evil souls condemned to Baator and the Abyss are transformed into devils and demons.

That, plus the fact that these are celestial entities that take the form of animals rather than actual animals as they exist on the Prime Material, kind of changes the dynamic a bit...
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
That said, I suspect some people are uncomfortable with D&D having species at all and are looking for a term that downplays the concept.
Been a gamer since ‘77, and black since ‘67.

Played in over 100 different RPG systems in 5 cities across 3 states. Been on this board for a while and have Modded here for a hot second.

And I have never seen someone express that position.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Been a gamer since ‘77, and black since ‘67.

Played in over 100 different RPG systems in 5 cities across 3 states. Been on this board for a while and have Modded here for a hot second.

And I have never seen someone express that position.
Ill Be Back Jim Carrey GIF
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Question is, does anyone not reading forums care about this stuff? No one at my table even knew about many of the latest "controversies" over race, orcs, drow, etc...... when I presented PF2, one player was like "where are the races".... when I mentioned the various online views, they all had trouble believing it was real and none had ever thought of any of it, even 30 year vets. And none said it would affect their purchasing habits.
Depends on who you are and what your gaming experiences have been like. I was aware of some of this back in my earliest days in the hobby, but there really wasn’t anyone to talk about it with.

For my first decade in the hobby, I met only one other gamer who was a racial minority, and no women in the hobby until the 1990s.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Removal of race: good.

Species? Meh. Give me ancestry or heritage -- or even "people"; species causes me to ask questions about interbreeding and biology and I really dno't want to deal with that in my fantasy game.

Of course, now we need to deal with specist terms like dwarf or halfling ... why have a people defined by their relation in size to another people?

Alternate solution: It's just class. Dwarf is a class, elf is a class ...
The way its going Dwarf, Elf etc are just a feat chosen with your background package
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
What I'd like to see?
Ancestry: things you're born with, your DNA. Hair color, eye color, etc. "Nature"
Background: things you were taught, your upbringing. Social aptitude, language, culture. "Nurture"
Class: what you do for a living, your expertise. Training, knowledge, practice. "Career."

Which is pretty much what we have already, especially if we use the options in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. I'd make a few minor tweaks, like mapping ASIs to each category instead of feats, but I can cope.
 

Hex08

Adventurer
Question is, does anyone not reading forums care about this stuff? No one at my table even knew about many of the latest "controversies" over race, orcs, drow, etc...... when I presented PF2, one player was like "where are the races".... when I mentioned the various online views, they all had trouble believing it was real and none had ever thought of any of it, even 30 year vets. And none said it would affect their purchasing habits.
I suspect this would be the view at my table as well. RPGs are really my hobby, everyone else in my group just enjoys playing. I generally buy most, if not all, of the books and am the only one who spends any time on message boards or reading about the hobby in general. Even the other GM inherited his Pathfinder 1E rulebooks from me and he only looks at forums when he is looking for an answer about an adventure related question when he feels that asking me would be spoilerish. I doubt I would even try an explain the controversies to them because they don't have the necessary background to understand.

The modern view may be that some traditional D&D/RPG stuff hasn't aged well but without proper context it's not going to be an issue I would discuss with my players.
 


I dislike the term species as this could imply the biological species concept as members of a population that can potentially interbreed. Where does this leave half-orcs, half elves etc? Its too loaded a term to be of use for the game as is race. My preference is ancestry
Some species can interbreed and have offspring. Granted, in most cases those offspring are sterile, but in the fantasy realm, they could breed true.
 

Biologists use "specific". Using "generic" (related to genus) and "specific" (related to species) traits is, however, a bit awkard in that that is not how people will read these terms in common usage. Then again, talking about "traits specific to elves" or "dwarf-specific traits" reads well enough to me.
Oooh, good point! That does work pretty well.
 


R_Chance

Adventurer
Not a big deal for "race" to go out of use. Especially given it has a negative connotation for a lot of people. But "species"? IIRC the term entered common use in English with the scientific revolution via Latin, 17th century? Anyone knows for sure (or has already posted it and I missed it) I would be curious. I would think "ancestry" would be the appropriate reference to ones... ancestors :D Ancestral would be a useful adjective reference to things connected to that too. I totally divorced my game world from real world science from the start and "species" (for me) evokes science.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Not a big deal for "race" to go out of use. Especially given it has a negative connotation for a lot of people. But "species"? IIRC the term entered common use in English with the scientific revolution via Latin, 17th century? Anyone knows for sure (or has already posted it and I missed it)

Here ya go .


Species in a sense that applies pretty well to this situation goes back to at least 1561 ("Species of Homo"). The more specifically general biological sense goes to at least 1608 (used with Genus in a zoological sense about crocodiles).

These dates are more modern than many D&D things, but older than I thought they would be. The spyglass (on the D&D equipment list) looks like it goes back only to 1608.

Avoiding work and wikipediaing, it looks like Aristotle used genos and eidos that were translated as genus and species (even if they don't map exactly). And eidos is sometimes means "form". Does "form" seem odd, or does that work?
 

Weiley31

Legend
"okay, so that means there are no half elves any more?"
Oh no: they are still there. In the 2014 PHB. Which OneD&D is STILL backwards Compatible with. Now if you have any questions on how I know this, please direct ALL your questions to Morrus and Umbram since they handle all my calls. Thank you, thank you, you're all beautiful!

Goes into Trailer and slams door shut.
 




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