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Horwath

Hero
Then it's a problem with backward compatibility. I like feats but not every game uses them. Certainly every background doesn't need a feat or a language.
No need to tie feats to background, just have a character gain a feat at 1st level.

simple.

if you really do not want to play with feats, just have an option to take +2 ASI with condition that ASI cannot stack with racial bonus over +2.
that means that racial ASIs with +2 "I dont like feats ASI" will be something out of:
+2,+2,+1
+2,+1,+1,+1
+1,+1,+1,+1,+1
 

Remathilis

Legend
Again, I’m not seeing the issue. Everyone is concerned about hypothetical players who might think the examples aren the only options, but no one seems to actually think that.
The whole kerfuffle started when people pointed out that the backgrounds in the playtest were using some of the same bias (intended or not) that racial cultures did. Gladiator (with its strength boost, orc language and SAVAGE attacker feat) was viewed as WotC saying gladiators in D&D were associated with orcs and savagery, and that just is the old orc lore with extra steps. There were threads on Enworld pointing this out, lest you think this was just a Twitter outrage. People literally read it and thought "why do all gladiators speak orc? Why do all farmers speak halfling?" And a few wondered why all criminals are dexterous or nobles charismatic. In short, people read it as "this is what a gladiator/farmer/noble is" rather than "this is what they could be".

The question is whether having these prepackaged bundles few people beyond be players are going to use is worth the chance that a background is viewed as restricting or even problematic. I want to trust WotC can thread that needle, but I've seen how WotC has made some unforced errors and how quickly people were willing to jump on the gladiator thing as yet another example of that. IMHO, the limited value of the premade bundles isn't worth the headache of people analyzing them as world building. There is no language you slot into gladiator that doesn't paint the race as violent, and having "choose x" is a waste of space.

So yeah, people will make that mistake because they already have. And it immediately became a minor tempest in a teapot. And the fixes are to make the system more complicated or redundant. So maybe the best move is to abandon the presets or reword them closer to the quick builds in the class section (a paragraph full of plain language suggestions). But the current format is ripe for misunderstanding.
 

Horwath

Hero
The whole kerfuffle started when people pointed out that the backgrounds in the playtest were using some of the same bias (intended or not) that racial cultures did. Gladiator (with its strength boost, orc language and SAVAGE attacker feat) was viewed as WotC saying gladiators in D&D were associated with orcs and savagery, and that just is the old orc lore with extra steps. There were threads on Enworld pointing this out, lest you think this was just a Twitter outrage. People literally read it and thought "why do all gladiators speak orc? Why do all farmers speak halfling?" And a few wondered why all criminals are dexterous or nobles charismatic. In short, people read it as "this is what a gladiator/farmer/noble is" rather than "this is what they could be".

The question is whether having these prepackaged bundles few people beyond be players are going to use is worth the chance that a background is viewed as restricting or even problematic. I want to trust WotC can thread that needle, but I've seen how WotC has made some unforced errors and how quickly people were willing to jump on the gladiator thing as yet another example of that. IMHO, the limited value of the premade bundles isn't worth the headache of people analyzing them as world building. There is no language you slot into gladiator that doesn't paint the race as violent, and having "choose x" is a waste of space.

So yeah, people will make that mistake because they already have. And it immediately became a minor tempest in a teapot. And the fixes are to make the system more complicated or redundant. So maybe the best move is to abandon the presets or reword them closer to the quick builds in the class section (a paragraph full of plain language suggestions). But the current format is ripe for misunderstanding.
It started because WotC are again writing things backwards.


Backgrounds should be presented 1st as:

1. Pick +2/+1 or +1/+1/+1 for your ASIs
2. Pick any 2 skills
3. Pick any feat
4. Pick your choice of 2 or 3 languages, tools or weapons

Then, and only then you could write some EXAMPLES of backgrounds for new people that might not want to create their own or for maybe general guidance what might show up in certain backgrounds.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
It started because WotC are again writing things backwards.


Backgrounds should be presented 1st as:

1. Pick +2/+1 or +1/+1/+1 for your ASIs
2. Pick any 2 skills
3. Pick any feat
4. Pick your choice of 2 or 3 languages, tools or weapons

Then, and only then you could write some EXAMPLES of backgrounds for new people that might not want to create their own or for maybe general guidance what might show up in certain backgrounds.
I expect WotC feels presenting four decision points at the beginning of a section will scare off all those precious new players they're courting.
 


Remathilis

Legend
It started because WotC are again writing things backwards.


Backgrounds should be presented 1st as:

1. Pick +2/+1 or +1/+1/+1 for your ASIs
2. Pick any 2 skills
3. Pick any feat
4. Pick your choice of 2 or 3 languages, tools or weapons

Then, and only then you could write some EXAMPLES of backgrounds for new people that might not want to create their own or for maybe general guidance what might show up in certain backgrounds.
But that's the thing: THEY DID!

The first section of backgrounds is the DIY method. It explains the ASI, skills, tool, language and feat choices along with 50gp of gear. It's the first thing in the background section, and people still missed it because the eye moves to lists and people started looking at the various lists and skipped how that is just a suggestion. My thought is as long as they list those suggestions in the same visual format as racial traits, it's going to be viewed as a hard rule rather than a suggestion.

My suggestion would be to omit the list format for a paragraph, akin to the quick builds:

"To play a gladiator, put a high score in strength, dexterity or constitution, with a second in charisma. Take skills like athletics, intimidation or performance, and take a tool like blacksmithing or a musical instrument. Consider a language for a race known for its warriors like orc, dwarf or draconic, and consider the savage attacker feat to show your battle prowess."

In one paragraph, you have given a few options and suggestions without nailing them down to a specific example or saying "choose one" without guidance.
 

Gorck

Prince of Dorkness
I expect WotC feels presenting four decision points at the beginning of a section will scare off all those precious new players they're courting.
I think what would scare off new players is the overwhelmingness of having to create your own Background. Having preset examples helps ease new players into the game and gets them started. Then when they have a little experience under their belts, they can try their hands at expressing their creativity by building their own Background.

I currently DM for two 10-year-olds. I practically had to coerce them into picking Backgrounds for their current characters because they didn't know how beneficial getting extra Skills, Tool Proficiencies, and Equipment actually was. Neither one even chose BIFTs because when I asked them what they wanted for their characters, they just shrugged and said, "I don't know." All they wanted to do was jump right in and start playing ASAP. I know that's just a problem with my group, but I'm sure there are other people out there in my predicament. Not every group involves seasoned veterans who are familiar with every aspect of the game (or of similar TTRPGs in general).
 


dave2008

Legend
It started because WotC are again writing things backwards.


Backgrounds should be presented 1st as:

1. Pick +2/+1 or +1/+1/+1 for your ASIs
2. Pick any 2 skills
3. Pick any feat
4. Pick your choice of 2 or 3 languages, tools or weapons

Then, and only then you could write some EXAMPLES of backgrounds for new people that might not want to create their own or for maybe general guidance what might show up in certain backgrounds.
What? That is exactly what they did in the UA. They presented the default as make your own. The examples were just examples. Did you read the UA?

1663690070164.png

1663690090177.png


1663690107564.png

1663690130901.png
 

Horwath

Hero
What? That is exactly what they did in the UA. They presented the default as make your own. The examples were just examples. Did you read the UA?

View attachment 261854
Guess I mixed up bullet points, hahaha.

Well, guess that they had to write that "sample" backgrounds are just examples and in no way mandatory. Some thing have be made very clear for some people :D
Still, I don't know why some people complained why some samples are written that way.
 

MarkB

Legend
Can't agree with you there. My players don't want to create a background. They just want to pick one and go. So, for my players, I hope they keep backgrounds in '24.
Which part don't they want to do? They don't want to pick the ability score increases that best match their chosen class? They don't want any say in what languages their character knows? They want to have their first-level feat chosen for them sight-unseen? Or they don't care what proficiencies they have?

Because aside from that stuff, all that's there is a paragraph saying "this is what I do when I'm not out adventuring."
 


MarkB

Legend
Guess I mixed up bullet points, hahaha.

Well, guess that they had to write that "sample" backgrounds are just examples and in no way mandatory. Some thing have be made very clear for some people :D
Still, I don't know why some people complained why some samples are written that way.
I'm thinking maybe they just have to break it into two chapters rather than just two sections in the same chapter. First chapter "Backgrounds" which only details how to custom-build backgrounds. Second chapter "Example Backgrounds" which starts with an explanation that these are only examples and can be customised to suit, then has the examples. Hard to say what else they can do to make it clear.
 



Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The whole kerfuffle started when people pointed out that the backgrounds in the playtest were using some of the same bias (intended or not) that racial cultures did. Gladiator (with its strength boost, orc language and SAVAGE attacker feat) was viewed as WotC saying gladiators in D&D were associated with orcs and savagery, and that just is the old orc lore with extra steps. There were threads on Enworld pointing this out, lest you think this was just a Twitter outrage. People literally read it and thought "why do all gladiators speak orc? Why do all farmers speak halfling?" And a few wondered why all criminals are dexterous or nobles charismatic. In short, people read it as "this is what a gladiator/farmer/noble is" rather than "this is what they could be".
And then people pointed out that it doesn’t actually work like that, and those silly arguments have stopped.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
It started because WotC are again writing things backwards.


Backgrounds should be presented 1st as:

1. Pick +2/+1 or +1/+1/+1 for your ASIs
2. Pick any 2 skills
3. Pick any feat
4. Pick your choice of 2 or 3 languages, tools or weapons

Then, and only then you could write some EXAMPLES of backgrounds for new people that might not want to create their own or for maybe general guidance what might show up in certain backgrounds.
That is literally how they are presented (well, except that it’s pick 1 language and 1 tool instead of 2 or 3 languages tools or weapons). And also 50 gp worth of equipment and/or coinage.
 

Remathilis

Legend
And then people pointed out that it doesn’t actually work like that, and those silly arguments have stopped.
You have far more faith than I do. If the kinds of people in tune enough to find and read the playtest doc got it wrong, I have little hope for newer and casual players.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
You have far more faith than I do. If the kinds of people in tune enough to find and read the playtest doc got it wrong, I have little hope for newer and casual players.
Again, if I was seeing widespread misunderstanding of how it works, I might be concerned. I saw a little bit of that as the knee-jerk reaction when the UA first dropped, and when it was pointed out, the same people shifted to saying “well, other people are going to misunderstand it.” And I just don’t really see that. Again, some people might, but it is a simple matter to point out the actual text to them, just like we did with the initial wave of misunderstanding.
 

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