OneDnD Species Playtest Summary and discussion - Cleric pack

Not two but three species (no longer races) in this pack, with the expected Dragonborn and Aardling - and the surprise being the Goliath (which, along with the Genasi has been bubbling under for a while). I think the name change means they've taken out the half orc and half elf permanently. Starting with the familiar:

Dragonborn

Close to Fizban's (i.e. the breath replaces a single attack). You get to pick a cone or a line and your level five ability is what a lot of dragonborn players have wanted - temporary flight. Oh, and they threw in darkvision.

This is exactly what I wanted. My only gripe is throwing in Darkvision rather than keeping more non-darkvision races.

Goliath

The big guys. Powerful Build (of course). But they now have different types of giant ancestry that you can trigger prof times per day (of course), one of which is Stone's Endurance, while others are extra damage or knocking people prone or even Misty Step. No cold resistance but they can grow to large size 1/day for ten minutes from level 5.

I think I'm a fan. More options, and working in a variety of ways inspiring a range of characters. Looks both inspiring and balanced - and lets you be large without being locked out of cramped dungeons.

Ardling

Now a variety of animal types. You gain a divine cantrip, proficiency in perception, and an ability based on whether your animal type is a climber, a flyer, a racer, or a swimmer.

This one feels weak tbh. (other than the bear monk for prof bonus damage every round). The vision's a bit clearer but the mechanics need work.
 

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Lojaan

Adventurer
I'm not sure how I feel about the goliath changes. They have beasically made them into "giantborn". Giant versions of dragonborn. Or genasi.

I don't know. Something about it feels off. Maybe I'll come around.
 

Scribe

Legend
I'm not sure how I feel about the goliath changes. They have beasically made them into "giantborn". Giant versions of dragonborn. Or genasi.

I don't know. Something about it feels off. Maybe I'll come around.
While I like the new version, you are right, it does feel more like a derivative of the various giants than the Goliath from (now) MotM.

I'd keep both distinct.
 

I'm not sure how I feel about the goliath changes. They have beasically made them into "giantborn". Giant versions of dragonborn. Or genasi.

I don't know. Something about it feels off. Maybe I'll come around.
As I've just said on another thread as of the most recent D&D Beyond data I've seen the ninth and tenth most popular races were goliaths and genasi. (Halflings were eighth, gnomes eleventh). This is an attempt I think to not just get goliaths in but to get a lot of the appeal of the genasi into the new core race.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
I am very impressed with the revisions to species, at a first glance.

1. Species for Race is long overdue. Good.

2. Ardlings. I see in many ways this is nerfed from the first iteration, but I am so much more excited about this version than the last. This is something I would choose to play, and it gives lots of options.
  • Perception but no Darkvision. Good. Fewer darkvision races is good for the game, and I'm pleased that it's still not here. I think Perception gets too much foregrounding generally, but I'll take it.
  • A Divine Cantrip. Good. The default of Thaumaturgy is purely cosmetic: you get a cantrip and can switch it out once per long rest. Light (countering darkvision), the new Guidance and the new Resistance (giving a use for reactions), and Sacred Flame (a scaling attack cantrip) are all better choices than Thaumaturgy (for me), and this means that I will feel a desire to choose magic initiate as my first feat less often
    • It might make more sense as a Primal cantrip (and lose the fluff-connection to the Celestial Plane), but it's still a tidy feature, that will remain useful at all levels.
  • Animal ancestry, with a choice of four options:
    • Climb speed (with a minor damage boost for unarmed attacks). Fine, good for some.
    • Swim speed and cold resistance. I don't swim often in games, but the cold resistance means you can manage an aquatic adventure on your own.
    • Dash Bonus. Will work really well for speedy rogues.
    • Personal Feather Fall and a jump bonus. So this is the way Feather Fall used to work, and the way that feels more "natural" to me -- I don't like a reaction catching a whole party falling; I much prefer the thought of an individual being able to leap off cliffs and somehow (magically or otherwise) make it to the ground. Fantasy paratroopers. This gives me that.
  • Ardlings are now close to Tabaxi, Harengon, and Shifters in terms of the niche they fill. Sure, some are stonger than others, but I can imagine builds with all of these, and the magic doesn't need to be a defining characteristic -- you can take guidance or resistance and have it described as a natural ability (people are lucky around me; I give good advice).

3. Dragonborn. This is a race I have never played in 5e. I simply haven't found them appealing. I know they've had a number of versionsin the past few yers, but this suddenly feels compelling to me. It's basicially the PHB version, but with flight for 10 mins/day from level 5 onwards. Enough to last for one or two combats; enough to mae you feel like you are actually a dragon; but not enough to make you always flying. It's a resource you need to choose to spend, which makes it gameable. Whereas I didn't like the flight with the ardling in the first packet, this gives just enough to be fun but not overpowering.

4. Goliaths. Again, they seem to have hit my sweet spot.
  • 35 speed. Sure.
  • Large Form. Become Large for 10 minutes 1/day is fun. They'll need to be clearer about (a) how large weapons work, and (b) whether your stuff grows with you or not. The idea of hulking out is cool, but who benefits is not clear. Also, how it will interact with Powerful build:
  • Powerful Build. Getting rid of the free Athletics proficiency makes sense, but advantage to escape grapples means that you can also benefit by investing in Athletics. I suspect that "one size larger" should not apply when you yourself are large, but perhaps not enough people will care about that.
  • The high altitude ribbon was fun, but never actually saw play. That makes it less useful than...
  • Giant ancestry. Sp for the first time, Goliaths are clearly tied to specific giant types. That's good. The Stone's endurance is the default (= what was in MotM), but players can instead choose extra damage on attacks (fire or cold), teleporting ('cause everyone teleports now), thunder damage when hit at range, or knocking someone prone. My gut says that's the one to take -- that the Hill giant option is the one that will be the funnest for melee characters. But I really like that there are options that can make the Goliath a good choice for any class.
Seriously, I think this is the most positive I have felt about races at an initial read in 5e so far.
 
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Lojaan

Adventurer
Anyone else feel that growing large should have more of an effect? Or needs a set effect on what happens to your weapons that are suddenly a size category larger? Or even IF your weapons are larger? Or can you wield oversized weapons now and if so how does that work mechanically?

Like, would goliaths all carry around oversized weapons that they don't normally use and then when they hulk out they start using them?

I'm assuming their clothes (and armour) gets bigger with them?

Rune Knights got around this by saying "everything you are wearing or holding also gets big and you get an extra d8 dmg per round" (I'm assuming to simulate the extra bigness of their weapons).

And does this stack with the rune knight feature?

Ugh. Too many unknowns.

I'd also like some guidance on how/if goliaths relate to The Ordening but that may be just me.
 

I feel like giving Goliaths a bunch of racial magic based on their giant ancestry kind of changes their vibe. I don't exactly hate it (their features were a bit anemic before), but the magicification of everything continues unabated.

I've heard some people say they think the love being shown to Goliath's is the influence of Critical Role. If so there is a certain irony that Grog, a character who was a Goliath because it was the "big, dumb, mundane" option would inspire WotC lavish attention, but because the only form attention they know how to lavish is giving out pseudo-magical powers it actually makes the race less Grog-like on some level (though, of course, the character did eventually acquire the ability to do the size change thing and was probably an influence on that).
 

Horwath

Hero
Goliaths seems little meh now :/
I'll bet that most will be Cloud heritage, 2× teleport vs. 2d10 extra damage is no contest

Large form should be prof bonus per day with 1 min duration, to get more flexibility out of it.
 

Goliaths seems little meh now :/
I'll bet that most will be Cloud heritage, 2× teleport vs. 2d10 extra damage is no contest

Large form should be prof bonus per day with 1 min duration, to get more flexibility out of it.
I don't - I bet that hill and mountain will be right up there as the big dumb mundanes (until fifth level when they can get bigger). The elemental damage is, I agree, pretty meh and don't scae.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I get why they don't want goliaths large. I like the idea that their ancestors grant them something, just not sure I love all the decisions.

Dragonborn are good.

Ardlings? I don't get the suggested cantrip at all. No one will keep that as their choice, I don't think. Overall, this is a pretty good design.
 

Lojaan

Adventurer
I get why they don't want goliaths large. I like the idea that their ancestors grant them something, just not sure I love all the decisions.

Dragonborn are good.

Ardlings? I don't get the suggested cantrip at all. No one will keep that as their choice, I don't think. Overall, this is a pretty good design.
Yeah thaumaturgy is a bit of a nothing cantrip. Everyone will just be using guidance anyway.

Tho you can swap it out every long rest with these rules so it's no biggie
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Yeah thaumaturgy is a bit of a nothing cantrip. Everyone will just be using guidance anyway.

Tho you can swap it out every long rest with these rules so it's no biggie
Right, but why suggest that if you are trying to help me players with this kind of thing?
 

Clint_L

Hero
I would just always default to resistance as my cantrip and enjoy +2.5 to most of my saving throws, with the possibility to giving the bonus to someone else, situation demanding. That is one hell of a cantrip.

Overall, I really like these changes. Dragonborn will be more likely to actually use their breath weapon, and the flight only comes in at level 5, when it is more balanced, and has limitations so it isn't too much. I think they really hit the sweet spot with this race.

Goliaths were a fairly popular but basic class. Now they are a little more interesting but there might be some balance issues: if you are a martial class the hill giant ancestry that lets you automatically knock an opponent prone after a hit is going to make them the go-to choice for martial classes, tanking builds in particular.

Ardlings are...fine. Generic option for folks who want to play an animal-person that isn't Tabaxi, Kenku, Tortle, Harengon, etc. In terms of story, I would much rather they were the result of experimentation, like a Dr. Moreau situation, than the divine origins thing.
 
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BrokenTwin

Biological Disaster
Not fond of the goliath's "grow big" ability. WotC seems to be jumping through a lot of convoluted hoops to make them a large species without just making them Large.

Having said that, genasi and goliaths are two of my favorite ancestries, so while I have mixed feelings about the fusion, it's overall a positive for me.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
Right, but why suggest that if you are trying to help me players with this kind of thing?
Because Prestidigitation/Thuamaturgy/Mage Hand are the most fun and varied in use cantrips, and the ones I personally view as mandatory when I'm picking spells. Inventive uses of those spells are something that can really sell the magic of imaginative play. I know it's not an unpopular home rule to give each class its "flavor" cantrip as a free one.
 

Lojaan

Adventurer
Because Prestidigitation/Thuamaturgy/Mage Hand are the most fun and varied in use cantrips, and the ones I personally view as mandatory when I'm picking spells. Inventive uses of those spells are something that can really sell the magic of imaginative play. I know it's not an unpopular home rule to give each class its "flavor" cantrip as a free one.
There is also an odd design decision when if comes to "suggested" options. Why is this option suggested? Do you suggest the best, in which case people will realise that all other options are traps and you have a badly designed game. Or do you recommend the "second best" to reward interested players with the actual best if they look, which quickly discredits your suggestions completely.

Spells are currently a mess of too many options. Having suggested choices doesn't really help enough in my opinion. Much better to mandate the spells a character gets at level 1 and let them discover and acquire new spells during the game.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
My 13yo has really liked playing Dragonborn and is a huge fan of the getting wings at 5th level. One of the other players right now expressed disappointment and surprise this past week that the one he just created didn't have wings by default.

13yo also loves the thought of playing a dinosaur headed character.
 

ehren37

Legend
Because Prestidigitation/Thuamaturgy/Mage Hand are the most fun and varied in use cantrips, and the ones I personally view as mandatory when I'm picking spells. Inventive uses of those spells are something that can really sell the magic of imaginative play. I know it's not an unpopular home rule to give each class its "flavor" cantrip as a free one.
Mage Hand is incredibly useful though in actual play. Prestidigitation is such a massive QoL upgrade that I've seen most min-max leaning players take it. In comparison, Thaumaturgy and Druidcraft are lame clunkers. Maybe if they were bonus actions without a verbal component they'd see use, but even then they're so forgettable. Our last party had three tieflings in it, and I think I saw them cast Thaumaturgy maybe five times combined in three years of play. Chanting for an action to make your eyes go black... meh.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
Mage Hand is incredibly useful though in actual play. Prestidigitation is such a massive QoL upgrade that I've seen most min-max leaning players take it. In comparison, Thaumaturgy and Druidcraft are lame clunkers. Maybe if they were bonus actions without a verbal component they'd see use, but even then they're so forgettable. Our last party had three tieflings in it, and I think I saw them cast Thaumaturgy maybe five times combined in three years of play. Chanting for an action to make your eyes go black... meh.
My player uses it constantly for communication, intimidation, and loves slamming open windows/doors. Now, what I will say is I don't think I've ever seen them use it in combat, and Presti/MH definitely have been, so that's a fair knock against it.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
It's the default because it makes the most sense to be the default and carries the most flavor.
You are a divine being with the head of a jackal or whatever. Being able to shout "I have come on behalf of the gods!" super loud and then making the ground rumble when you stomp on it makes all the sense in the world.
 

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