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D&D 5E Preview Witchlight's New Rabbit People

You can take a look at the harengons, a rabbit-themed race in the upcoming Wild Beyond the Witchlight, over at D&D Beyond.

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Harengons are medium or small humanoids with a bonus to initiative, Dexterity saving throws, and a 'rabbit hop' which lets them jump up to five times their proficiency bonus without provoking opportunity attacks.

Creature Type. You are a Humanoid.

Size. You are Medium or Small. You choose the size when you select this race.

Speed. Your walking speed is 30 feet.

Hare-Trigger. You can add your proficiency bonus to your initiative rolls.

Leporine Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill.

Lucky Footwork. When you fail a Dexterity saving throw, you can use your reaction to roll a d4 and add it to the save, potentially turning the failure into a success. You can’t use this reaction if you’re prone or your speed is 0.

Rabbit Hop. As a bonus action, you can jump a number of feet equal to five times your proficiency bonus, without provoking opportunity attacks. You can use this trait only if your speed is greater than 0. You can use it a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

When you create a harengon or fairy using the rules from The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, you can choose to increase one ability score by 2 and another by 1, or choose to increase three different scores by 1. Further, you know Common and will choose one other language to learn.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Rant zone below!

First of all, MY books of the 2nd edition don't have any of that rabbitfolks, catfolks, all-races-are-equal-even-if-one-is-2-meters-height-and-the-other-is-half-a-meter, crap.
Yes, everyone is humanoid somehow, but making other animals into humanoid too isn't solving the fact that everything from giants to feys to demons is human-shaped. How does adding rabbit-people make the game more fantasy or original?
Two different parts here.
1. Although I didn't play it, I am well aware that 2e definitely had animalfolk. Animalfolk are nothing new to D&D. Lupins, Rakasta, Thri-Kreen, and so on. Why the heck do those get to exist in D&D, but not rabbitfolk? Is it because you don't want the game to add things that younger players (including kids, who will be the next generation of gamers) want? Because that's how it seems to me.
2. Rabbitfolk are fantastical. They're a race of bunny-people. How is that not more "fantasy"? To me, this sounds like someone complaining that adding more chocolate to their chocolate cake doesn't make it more chocolately. Of course it does! It's quite literally in the definition of what you are doing! Rabbitfolk don't exist in the real world, are a fantasy, and are being added to a fantasy game. If that doesn't scream "fantasy" to you, you have a weird definition of "fantasy".
Don't even get me started on the sanitizing part. I remember the manual explicitly mentioned that the derro kept prisoners as sex slaves. Nowadays, I worry just mentioning this in this forum may get me a moderator warning (please don't!), as if mentioning something was akin to endorsing it.
Like I said above, the game needs to market to kids, because they're eventually going to end up replacing all of us in the hobby, once we all grow old and die. I'm just about to turn 20, but it will happen to me, too, even if I'm around a bit later than you will be. D&D has to have at least some parts of it that gear towards this younger generation, or else D&D will die. That means that things like Harengon, Owlins, Strixhaven, and similar options have to be available. This also means that the core of D&D shouldn't contain things that would turn them (or their parents) away from playing the game, like Derro Sex Slaves.

You can include whatever you want in your campaigns, but that doesn't mean that it should be included in the base game.
And shall I mention how the combat changed to make sure you keep hitting enemies and watch the number go up while you gulp down potions - just like you'd do in a videogame? Or how the prices changed so buying stuff feels more like it'd feel in a videogame (300 gold pieces for a armour, not 30) so you can stash loot.
Yeah, this is wrong. The video-gamey aspects of combat were almost definitely just purely coincidental. And there are a number of popular houserules to avoid this if you don't like it. No system is flawless, not even 5e, but that doesn't mean that WotC are trying to turn the game into a video game (that's one of the reasons why 4e failed).
So what happens when you remove any vague reference to heavy subjects, then add cute animal people, then turn the combat into a videogame combat?
I'm sorry, but this is just plain wrong. "Heavy subjects" can exist in D&D. Ravenloft was literally just rebooted, and it contained a bunch of these "heavy subjects" and horrific monsters and adventures. D&D can cater towards multiple different groups and playstyles at once, it just has to make room for the future players of the game.
I apologize for the off topic. But c'mon. They saw the market and changed the game accordingly, over the years.
What else did you expect? They're gearing towards their audience and their future generations of players. That's literally how things are supposed to work. If they don't do that, D&D will eventually die. Do you want D&D to die, because I don't think that you do, even if you don't like the direction that D&D is going right now. Would you rather D&D die than stop catering towards you in order to survive?
 

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Azzy

KMF DM
Rant zone below!

First of all, MY books of the 2nd edition don't have any of that rabbitfolks, catfolks,
Tabaxi and rakasta date back to 1e and B/X, respectively. Aaracokra, kenku, giff, lupin, yak-folk, crab-folk, hengeyoukai, etc. all existed in multiple editions. Animal folk have been there for decades

all-races-are-equal-even-if-one-is-2-meters-height-and-the-other-is-half-a-meter, crap.
Not in this edition, either.

Yes, everyone is humanoid somehow, but making other animals into humanoid too isn't solving the fact that everything from giants to feys to demons is human-shaped. How does adding rabbit-people make the game more fantasy or original?
Check out those medieval illustrations earlier. Rabbit-people apparently make the game more medeival European inspired.

Don't even get me started on the sanitizing part. I remember the manual explicitly mentioned that the derro kept prisoners as sex slaves.
Yeah, I've been playing since 1e and I have no recollection of that. And, if there, that can take a flying leap into the trash bin.

Nowadays, I worry just mentioning this in this forum may get me a moderator warning (please don't!), as if mentioning something was akin to endorsing it.


And shall I mention how the combat changed to make sure you keep hitting enemies and watch the number go up while you gulp down potions - just like you'd do in a videogame? Or how the prices changed so buying stuff feels more like it'd feel in a videogame (300 gold pieces for a armour, not 30) so you can stash loot.
Would you like to back up the math on 5e characters hitting more often? In 5e, the proficiency bonus goes up to +6 with ability score potentially inproving that by 5 at max. In 2e, fighters could go up to an equivalent of +19 (before ability score bonuses), wizards (in last place) could have a max of +6.

Ooh, prices went up. Even D&D suffers from inflation, apparently.

So what happens when you remove any vague reference to heavy subjects, then add cute animal people, then turn the combat into a videogame combat?
More people tune-in? Never mind that there are still heavy subjects, the animal people aren't necessarily cute (and most have been there in earlier editions), and combat isn't any more videogamey than earlier editions.

I apologize for the off topic. But c'mon. They saw the market and changed the game accordingly, over the years.
That's not a bad thing, though—evolve or die.
 

As I said in a different thread: ability modifiers are stupid in a point buy system. It is just a tax you pay. You try to get good in your main stats anyway.
If you roll, +2 bonus to something can also meaningfully increase a very bad roll to okish.

There are way better methods to enforce strength: goliaths for example can lift twice as muchand gain atheltics for free.
They are also tough because of their racial ability.
So +2 strength and +1 con is not needed at all.
It just makes you a better great sword fighter. If you think, being big makes you better at fighting with great swords, then +2 strength is warranted.
I don't think, that is necessarily true.

A different possibility would also be just get rid of stat modifiers to weapon skills. Stats are mainly helping in secondary class skills or proficiencies. Then I could see keeping stats, as it would not be as penalizing to not have big prime stats.
(That does not mean, you can't play with lower prime stats already).
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Rant zone below!

First of all, MY books of the 2nd edition don't have any of that rabbitfolks, catfolks, all-races-are-equal-even-if-one-is-2-meters-height-and-the-other-is-half-a-meter, crap.
Yes, everyone is humanoid somehow, but making other animals into humanoid too isn't solving the fact that everything from giants to feys to demons is human-shaped. How does adding rabbit-people make the game more fantasy or original?


Don't even get me started on the sanitizing part. I remember the manual explicitly mentioned that the derro kept prisoners as sex slaves. Nowadays, I worry just mentioning this in this forum may get me a moderator warning (please don't!), as if mentioning something was akin to endorsing it.


And shall I mention how the combat changed to make sure you keep hitting enemies and watch the number go up while you gulp down potions - just like you'd do in a videogame? Or how the prices changed so buying stuff feels more like it'd feel in a videogame (300 gold pieces for a armour, not 30) so you can stash loot.


So what happens when you remove any vague reference to heavy subjects, then add cute animal people, then turn the combat into a videogame combat?

I apologize for the off topic. But c'mon. They saw the market and changed the game accordingly, over the years.

/rant
yikes.

Laughing a bit at the idea that having rabbit people makes the game less serious or more cartoon-like.

The fact you think the game is worse for not having sex slaves as a published point of conflict is very…privileged.
 

Bird Of Play

Explorer





To answer these points: the fact that medieval artworks sometimes depicts animal people (including rabbit people) doesn't really mean they'd make D&D more medieval. In fact, all they do is prove that we've always anthropomorphized animals. Also: keep in mind most of the times when they'd draw bunnypeople, they were meant to be satirical or comedical! Also, at this point, why stop at bunny, just take every mammal in the animal kingdom. Why make a specific subrace of BUNNIES? Is it because they know some players will reimagine them as cute anime people with bunny ears? You know which games have often a specific race of bunny people? MMORPG. C'mon. I used to play MMORPG too once, but I certainly don't want grindy generic anime hack'n'slash as the artistical inspiration of D&D.


As for the whole derro sex slaves (which, honestly, is what I remember of because I read that part -just- this week while preparing my duergar npc base), or whatever other controversial element is mentioned somewhere in old D&D lore..... yes, I guess it can be a privilege to be able to dwell in some subjects because they don't affect you directly. But, you know. Sanitizing every mention of darker themes just makes the whole thing feel censored and juvenile. They're called "mature" themes because adults are supposed to be able to deal with those tactfully and in the right narrative context (nevermind that it's actually more edgy teenagers than adults who enjoy said darker themes).
Stories can avoid any mention whatsoever of those dark&edgy themes and still be very intelligent and poignant (a lot of Pixar movies come to mind). It's not like they're fundamental. But I think removing them when they -previously- were in the setting, is not good. It'd be different if they never were in D&D to begin with. I realize "I totally want my tabletop rpg manual to mention sex slaves" is not a hill worth dying on, but I'd personally take derro sex slaves over bunnypeople, if you ask me which atmosphere is cooler. The first represents danger and evil and something that must be stopped; the second is bunnies.



As I said in a different thread: ability modifiers are stupid in a point buy system. It is just a tax you pay. You try to get good in your main stats anyway.
If you roll, +2 bonus to something can also meaningfully increase a very bad toll to okish.

There are way better methods to enforce strength: goliaths for example can lift twice as muchand gain atheltics for free.
They are also tough because of their racial ability.
So +2 strength and +1 con is not needed at all.
It just makes you a better great sword fighter. If you think, being big makes you better at fighting with great swords, then +2 strength is warranted.
I don't think, that is necessarily true.

A different possibility would also be just get rid of stat modifiers to weapon skills. Stats are mainly helping in secondary class skills or proficiencies. Then I could see keeping stats, as it would not be as penalizing to not have big prime stats.
(That does not mean, you can't play with lower prime stats already).


These ideas are not bad. I'll take anything that doesn't just ignore that a gnome and a orc aren't physically identical.
 









These ideas are not bad. I'll take anything that doesn't just ignore that a gnome and a orc aren't physically identical.
Those "ideas" about the Goliath are the current Goliath racial features.

And just like the current Gnome and Orc racial features show that they aren't the same, that's true for Goliaths and Humans. ASIs signify the differences less effectively than racial features.
 


Question: Did people complain when 4e got rid of that part of the Mul in Dark Sun, or is this a complaint about the "sanitizing of D&D" new?
Well, I wouldn't say it was necessarily complained about. But as written, muls were bred as premium slaves for the fighting pits, among other uses. Pretending that they wouldn't be used for carnal purposes is wildly unrealistic. Anybody seen the Starz version of Spartacus?
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
To answer these points: the fact that medieval artworks sometimes depicts animal people (including rabbit people) doesn't really mean they'd make D&D more medieval. In fact, all they do is prove that we've always anthropomorphized animals. Also: keep in mind most of the times when they'd draw bunnypeople, they were meant to be satirical or comedical! Also, at this point, why stop at bunny, just take every mammal in the animal kingdom. Why make a specific subrace of BUNNIES? Is it because they know some players will reimagine them as cute anime people with bunny ears? You know which games have often a specific race of bunny people? MMORPG. C'mon. I used to play MMORPG too once, but I certainly don't want grindy generic anime hack'n'slash as the artistical inspiration of D&D.
WotC did not originally plan for the Harengon to be playable. Chris Perkins was originally going to have them be more monstrous and antagonists, but he was later convinced to let players be able to play a Harengon. This is because people like rabbits and want to play a rabbit/harefolk race. You don't have to like rabbits, but don't pretend like it's wrong to like them or to want there to be a playable anthropomorphic Rabbit race in D&D 5e.

Also, the "is it because they know some players will reimagine them as cute anime people with bunny ears?" statement seems a lot like begging the question to me, and with no evidence. The anime connection was made in this thread, and wasn't stated by WotC at all. WotC just wanted to put out a feywild-dwelling Rabbitfolk race. Cute anime bunny-people is bordering on Rule 34, and is a bug not a feature.
As for the whole derro sex slaves (which, honestly, is what I remember of because I read that part -just- this week while preparing my duergar npc base), or whatever other controversial element is mentioned somewhere in old D&D lore..... yes, I guess it can be a privilege to be able to dwell in some subjects because they don't affect you directly. But, you know. Sanitizing every mention of darker themes just makes the whole thing feel censored and juvenile. They're called "mature" themes because adults are supposed to be able to deal with those tactfully and in the right narrative context (nevermind that it's actually more edgy teenagers than adults who enjoy said darker themes).

Stories can avoid any mention whatsoever of those dark&edgy themes and still be very intelligent and poignant (a lot of Pixar movies come to mind). It's not like they're fundamental. But I think removing them when they -previously- were in the setting, is not good. It'd be different if they never were in D&D to begin with. I realize "I totally want my tabletop rpg manual to mention sex slaves" is not a hill worth dying on, but I'd personally take derro sex slaves over bunnypeople, if you ask me which atmosphere is cooler. The first represents danger and evil and something that must be stopped; the second is bunnies.
Like I said, WotC just redid Ravenloft and still included a lot of the iffy stuff. They got rid of the potentially racist stuff about the Vistani and gender-swapped a few of the Dark Lords (probably to make them less apparent rip offs of their source material), but it's still a horror setting. That's the opposite of making it "censored and juvenile". WotC literally just proved that they're not against including horrific things in D&D. They just don't want it to be at the core of the game and to possibly drive away future and younger players. You can enjoy your darker themes if you want. Just don't demand that they replace Rabbitfolk with Derro Sex Slaves, because, well, that's against the theme of this adventure and unnecessary.

And Bunny-people can co-exist in the game that has horrific stuff like that. They're not mutually exclusive. It's not "my way or the highway", as D&D can support a vast swathe of different playstyles. Like I said, they just published a horror book, are now publishing a whimsical fey adventure based off of fairy tales. Next they're doing a Dragon Book that has stats for Godlike Draconic Entities and Avatars, and then they're doing a Magic Academy setting-and-adventure book from Magic: the Gathering. Those are all very different playstyles and themes. D&D can support all of them. It's not "dark and gritty vs. Bunny people". It's "play what you want, include what you want". You're borderline advocating for badwrongfun.
 


Faolyn

Hero
To answer these points: the fact that medieval artworks sometimes depicts animal people (including rabbit people) doesn't really mean they'd make D&D more medieval.
Why not? There's more rabbit people in medieval art then there are elves, dwarfs, or halflings.

In fact, all they do is prove that we've always anthropomorphized animals. Also: keep in mind most of the times when they'd draw bunnypeople, they were meant to be satirical or comedical! Also, at this point, why stop at bunny, just take every mammal in the animal kingdom. Why make a specific subrace of BUNNIES? Is it because they know some players will reimagine them as cute anime people with bunny ears?
Because all the different animal types aren't needed for the adventure. Also, they've already done a bunch of other animal people at this point.

And anyway, there's plenty of 5e games that have included tons of other anthro races--and in a non-sexy way at that. Humblewood and Historia, for instance.

You know which games have often a specific race of bunny people? MMORPG. C'mon. I used to play MMORPG too once, but I certainly don't want grindy generic anime hack'n'slash as the artistical inspiration of D&D.
MMORPGs also have elves, dwarfs, and orcs as well.

As for the whole derro sex slaves (which, honestly, is what I remember of because I read that part -just- this week while preparing my duergar npc base), or whatever other controversial element is mentioned somewhere in old D&D lore..... yes, I guess it can be a privilege to be able to dwell in some subjects because they don't affect you directly. But, you know. Sanitizing every mention of darker themes just makes the whole thing feel censored and juvenile. They're called "mature" themes because adults are supposed to be able to deal with those tactfully and in the right narrative context (nevermind that it's actually more edgy teenagers than adults who enjoy said darker themes).
Removing sex slaves may make D&D feel childish (to you). That's because this is a game that some people play with actual children. It's easy to add in horrible things to an adventure, but removing it is a bit harder, because the horribleness taints how the entire thing is written.

And quite frankly, there's a lot of players out there who take the "mature" content (which really is just dark and edgy, not mature) as permission to be pretty horrible to other people in their game. We don't need that.

Stories can avoid any mention whatsoever of those dark&edgy themes and still be very intelligent and poignant (a lot of Pixar movies come to mind). It's not like they're fundamental. But I think removing them when they -previously- were in the setting, is not good. It'd be different if they never were in D&D to begin with.
You do realize that player demographics have changed, right? And that a lot of the people who play today simply aren't happy to see a room full of women (I doubt any of them were men) existing for no purpose in the adventure other than to be sexually abused and victimized. How is it not good to remove this sort of victimization? Especially when there are plenty of ways to show a type of evil that real people--some of whom might be at your table--haven't actually experienced.

I realize "I totally want my tabletop rpg manual to mention sex slaves" is not a hill worth dying on, but I'd personally take derro sex slaves over bunnypeople, if you ask me which atmosphere is cooler. The first represents danger and evil and something that must be stopped; the second is bunnies.
You clearly haven't read Watership Down. Or Usagi Yojimbo.

These ideas are not bad. I'll take anything that doesn't just ignore that a gnome and a orc aren't physically identical.
I listed all their traits before. You still haven't said how they're the same. Other than darkvision, their traits are completely different from each other's.
 

Why make a specific subrace of BUNNIES?
Are you really asking "Why is an adventure set on the modern equivilent of the Plane of Faerie including rabbit people as a thing?"

Aside from pointing out centuries of mythology of anthropomorphised rabbits as plucky hero characters (and pointing out how there's more justsification for the rabbit people over Halflings and especially 'just the ramblings of a madman which is also a way to insult someone in Australia' the Derro) its the Feywild. The modern equivilent of the Plane of Faerie, that place from back in 1E that was also not used. A land where 'There's a gingerbread house' is a thing that could certainly happen. It naturally suits itself to these sort of Wonderland-esque situations

Regardless though? This isn't even the first time D&D's had rabbit people. It had Pooka back in Basic and their general image in the public conciousness tends to be rabbit-related. Heck, Dragon Magazine 60 has its Pooka NPC as just, a rabbit person in a suit

You know which games have often a specific race of bunny people? MMORPG.
I'm not saying "Did you know that the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV has a free trial, and includes the entirety of A Realm Reborn AND the award-winning Heavensward expansion up to level 60 with no restrictions on playtime?" has a bunny race. They're basically mythological amazons who are also the closest thing to elves in that universe and engage in the art of 'Murdering anyone who goes into their forests' and 'Protecting the forests by murdering anyone who goes into them'

But what I am saying is "Critically acclaimed MMO Final Fantasy 14 does worldbuilding a million bloody times better than D&D does and boy do I ever dunk on Kara Tur even harder after Stormblood expansion"
 

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