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


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Vael

Legend
Fan of dropping race, not a fan of species. Any of: Origin, Ancestry, or Lineage would have been a superior choice, IMO. Species makes a few options feel weird, like any transformation origin, like Reborn or Hexblood. Constructs like Autognome or Warforged. This isn't a dealbreaker, but I will probably use one of my preferences.
 

zhivik

Explorer
Which is a problem for established settings like Eberron that make extensive use of them.
I suppose they can always use the term “subspecies“ or “variants”. Shadowrun does this, according to its lore, all metavariants (humans, elves, orcs, dwarves, trolls) are subspecies of Homo Sapiens.
 





Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
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

I think the removal of the race term is something that's been expected for a long time. I think the term species is a poor choice for a fantasy game, and the scientist in me says "okay, so that means there are no half elves any more?"

I think there are a lot better alternatives (Ancestry or Kin come immediately to mind, I'm sure there are many others) but from the things I have a mind to argue on, it doesn't make the list. I do think think the specific choice will be jarring as there are better options for a fantasy based rpg.
Hybridized cross-species that breed true exist in real world biology all the time.
Our little box of species is not well-defined, and in that regards, it's a feature of this usage, not a bug. We act like they're supposed to not reproduce, but that's because we want to divide everything into tiny little boxes to make sense of them. Biology doesn't work like that. Even Physics doesn't work like that (you keep cutting up matter into smaller and smaller parts until now you're in the quantum foam and there's weirdness like particles popping in and out of existence).

I still agree that it sounds too sci-fi but I may just need to get use to it.
 



Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
Can you elaborate on that?
Not going to speak for them, but there is an issue of where racists have considered some people of different appearances or origins to be entirely different species, or subspecies, from them, in order to put those people down. Speciesist is also a proxy for racism in Star Wars and other sci-fi genres, and I can see it becoming as such in D&D if we go this direction.

I don't think there's many good options here, but species could be an issue due to extant historical usages.
 

Getting rid of 'race' = good.

'Species' feels like the option you take because the cool kids took the better ones.

It should take a lot of the steam out of the "xyz 'species' is just human with abc differences" arguments though.

"Bro, they aren't even the same species"
 

Not sure how long it will take to stop using the word race though.
Probably never will go away, not in our lifetimes at least.

They stopped calling it spell memorization 22 years ago in 3e and replaced it with "preparation", I still hear plenty of people call it "spell memorization".

People tend to use the terms and language from when they learned the hobby, especially for core concepts like character race.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
For sure. My biology is like..grade 10 level but I was thinking on this.

Human - Elf -> Half Elf - Sure, easy.
Half Elf - Half Elf -> Human, Elf, or Half Elf?

How does that work? (its a rhetorical I dont want the answer).

This is why I just drop the races species anyway. Its a lot of hassle.

Just making a 'choose your parentage' option makes more sense to me personally, but I know there are other views on it.
I dont mind if instead of "Race",

the new technical jargon is "Parentage".
 

I remember having to give an awkward explanation that "race" in D&D was not anything like Asian (which I am) or White or Black, but things like Elves, Dwarves, Humans and so on. So I'm glad that's going away.

As for whether it would be Species, or Ancestry or whatever, I actually don't really care too much which one they pick.
 



Raduin711

Adventurer
Fan of dropping race, not a fan of species. Any of: Origin, Ancestry, or Lineage would have been a superior choice, IMO. Species makes a few options feel weird, like any transformation origin, like Reborn or Hexblood. Constructs like Autognome or Warforged. This isn't a dealbreaker, but I will probably use one of my preferences.
I never gave it a second thought to call a Warforged a "race." I expect "species" will fade into the background similarly.
 

Osgood

Adventurer
I'm all for dropping the term "race" but I don't love the term "species." It sounds too modern. It'll suffice, but hopefully they can come up with something better over the course of the play test. What about "Kind?" As in humankind, elfkind? Clunky, but it feels more in keeping medievalish fantasy lingo.
 

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