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."
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


log in or register to remove this ad

jasper

Rotten DM
how about Breed. Elf Breed Dwarf Breed Etc. And I have no problems with subclass as a word for a Rogue Thief.
Or the sub class like Seawolf. Or Sub Class $5 foot long.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Some closely related species can interbreed. That’s a far cry from all intelligent “species” being able to interbreed, as they can in D&D.
Magic. Dragons are obviously a different species from humans, but Half-Dragons exist because of magic.

And, the other hominid species that we know were pretty similar in intelligence level to Homo Sapiens interbred with us. You're probably descended from some Neanderthals and Denisovans.
 


FireLance

Legend
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. I don't agree with that opinion, but I do empathize with it and recognize that my arguments won't convince them.
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.
Why Race Is Still A Problem In Dungeons & Dragons

From the article:
"Decoupling all skills from all races may seem like an extreme solution, but it’s how designers can begin to remove the bioessentialism from character creation. It will also open up possibilities for the fantasy of D&D to truly become fantastic. Why shouldn’t a dragonborn trance? Why can’t some orcs be naturally stealthy? Why don’t we have tieflings fly as a bonus action?"
 
Last edited:


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Magic. Dragons are obviously a different species from humans, but Half-Dragons exist because of magic.

Heck, folks keep returning to real-world biology for how these things should work, but really, it doesn't have to. It is a fantasy world, after all. It can be that breeding is achieved via combination of spiritual essence, and all birth is basically a natural magic.

That gives us the ability to make the rules of interbreeding as arbitrary as any of the other rules of magic.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Heck, folks keep returning to real-world biology for how these things should work, but really, it doesn't have to. It can be that breeding is achieved via combination of spiritual essence, and all birth is basically a natural magic.

That gives us the ability to make the rules of interbreeding as arbitrary as any of the other rules of magic.
And the scientific definition of species isn't as nice and accurate as people sometimes act like they are. Ring species exist and prove that the "organisms that are capable of producing fertile offspring are of the same species" definition of a species isn't perfect.
 

FireLance

Legend
As a completely neutral, purely descriptive term that acknowledges that your character may have traits that are biologically inherited, magically changed, or artificially constructed, I propose "Physical Vessel".
 


Weiley31

Legend
Look: I know how Half-Dragons are made, but to describe the process would probably get me banned here on ENWorld. And I got too many booked mark posts on here as a form of reference that I wouldn't be able to remember otherwise for my 5E games. So, I'm keeping my mouth shut on that part of the class lesson.
 


Ancestry still works way better as there are very much playable options that are not races or species. Stuff like Revenants which are more 'life condition' (Well, unlife condition)
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
And the scientific definition of species isn't as nice and accurate as people sometimes act like they are. Ring species exist and prove that the "organisms that are capable of producing fertile offspring are of the same species" definition of a species isn't perfect.

So, you are technically correct.
But, that technical correctness isn't actually helpful for a game that isn't really beholden to technically correct science.

Overall, this discussion is less about what is technically correct, and more about how people feel about the change.
 


MGibster

Legend
I don't have any objections to dropping the word race. The only time a language jumps off the euphemism treadmill is when it drops dead. i.e. Things change.
  1. D&D has a long, long history of using words in a way that doesn't reflect their original meaning. See exhibit A, the Druid.
  2. It could be in 30 years people decide species is problematic for some reason. Perhaps when applied to sentient "people," species will come to have the same negative connotations as race. If that's the case, they'll adopt a different word to use.
 




Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
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.

while Species as understood today was defined in the 16/17th century, the term was used by Aristotle and Plato to refer to Living organisms.
Aristotle used the example of humans are a Species (Kind of thing) and their proximate group (Genus) is Blooded animals (non-blooded animals = shellfish, insects etc). Each species is marked by a unique defining trait (differentia). For humans this is “rationality (Sapiens)

Thus the definition of “human” is a Rational Animal. “Blooded Animal” is the genus, “Homo” is the species, and “sapiens” is the differentia.

Aristotlian logic works better for DnD worlds …

Aristotle allowed for Dual-genus too eg Whales, seals and porpoises—are blooded Animals that give live birth, yet also they are Fish that live in the sea.
Bats are Birds yet also Animals

I suppose half-dragons could be fit in too
 
Last edited:

Visit Our Sponsor

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top