D&D 5E The Fate of the Smol

I'm curious to hear the communities thoughts, and if you feel there will be a change, what form do you suppose that will take?
The will be one race, "Adventurer", where you choose one strong ability, one medium ability, and four average abilities. You also have three talents, proficiency, or whatever. Possibly some having a cost of two "slots" like darkvision.

There may be an option of some ancestral ribbons like fey-touched or plane-touched that grant minor benefits and/or unlock certain features. Regardless, you can describe you character however you wish, regardless of how it does or doesn't align with the game's fiction.

This is an ideal state for some, rank heresy for others.
 

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The will be one race, "Adventurer", where you choose one strong ability, one medium ability, and four average abilities. You also have three talents, proficiency, or whatever. Possibly some having a cost of two "slots" like darkvision.

There may be an option of some ancestral ribbons like fey-touched or plane-touched that grant minor benefits and/or unlock certain features. Regardless, you can describe you character however you wish, regardless of how it does or doesn't align with the game's fiction.

This is an ideal state for some, rank heresy for others.
It is not what I'd want, but it would be the logical outcome of the direction the game is going. And it would at least be more coherent solution than the current approach. If the design premise indeed is that the PCs are unique and don't need to be bound by their species, and the players should be able to customise their characters how they want, then this is exactly what they should do.
 

CreamCloud0

Adventurer
The will be one race, "Adventurer", where you choose one strong ability, one medium ability, and four average abilities. You also have three talents, proficiency, or whatever. Possibly some having a cost of two "slots" like darkvision.

There may be an option of some ancestral ribbons like fey-touched or plane-touched that grant minor benefits and/or unlock certain features. Regardless, you can describe you character however you wish, regardless of how it does or doesn't align with the game's fiction.

This is an ideal state for some, rank heresy for others.
I think a ‘point buy species builder’ would be really fun to play around with, but it’d have to be much more in depth than tasha’s lineage builder if it was made to be the core species builder instead of having preset race builds as the standard.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I think a ‘point buy species builder’ would be really fun to play around with, but it’d have to be much more in depth than tasha’s lineage builder if it was made to be the core species builder instead of having preset race builds as the standard.
Unfortunately, such point-buy systems tend to get gamed hard. It’s why I prefer there to be limited or fixed options, so it doesn’t spiral out of control because of an unforeseen game-breaking combo.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Which is probably why WotC never embraced "alternate racial traits". Some things races have already seem a little niche, so why muddy the waters by letting someone discard an option for something better...or worse?
 

cbwjm

Legend
I'm not sure the whole heavy weapon disadvantage is that big a deal, people just adapt and use other weapons. I've a halfling barbarian in my game, they just went sword and board instead of great weapon master, hasn't really slowed her down. I'd say it's likely that those who decide to be a small version of the race will also be picking a class where that penalty to heavy weapons just doesn't matter because they wouldn't be using them anyway.
 

Stormonu

Legend
The weapon disadvantage is a bit silly - small weapon versions doing less damage. You don’t see it being applied to casting spells, where say a Halfling’s fireball does 8d4 instead of 8d6, or the reverse where an Ogre Magic’s would do 8d8.
 
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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Or big creatures- a Dragon casting a Fireball should do 8d10, right?

I mean, it isn't a bad rule, in and of itself. Small races would use smaller weapons. I remember an article where a developer was looking at his 5 year old son, who was in the height and weight range to be an adult Halfling, was having trouble holding a pencil. We're probably being quite generous to Smallfolk as it is.

But "realism" and "fun" are two very different things. One person might have their verisimilitude challenged by smallfolk kicking ass (I personally enjoy it when they do). Another might have their sense of fair play challenged when a character has a disadvantage for no reason other "well it wouldn't make sense otherwise" in their fantasy make-believe game where people can slay dragons with nothing more than 4' of steel.

Personally, I'd like to see a sidebar in the PHB talking about this, and presenting an OPTIONAL rule you can employ if you'd like to see Small characters less disadvantaged. That should appease everyone's sense of fun, I think.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
The will be one race, "Adventurer", where you choose one strong ability, one medium ability, and four average abilities. You also have three talents, proficiency, or whatever. Possibly some having a cost of two "slots" like darkvision.

There may be an option of some ancestral ribbons like fey-touched or plane-touched that grant minor benefits and/or unlock certain features. Regardless, you can describe you character however you wish, regardless of how it does or doesn't align with the game's fiction.

This is an ideal state for some, rank heresy for others.
Race: Adventurer
Background: Adventurer
Class: Adventurer
 

Race: Adventurer
Background: Adventurer
Class: Adventurer
I genuinely think that a lot of people would be happier with this. There is incessant complaints about any restrictions or limitations, as well as desire for approximately seven thousand new classes so that every imaginable character concept can be realised in exact detail.

That's not what I want from D&D, but I feel that a lot of people don't actually like the implications of a splat based game, but fail to understand the root of their problems as they have no experience of games other than D&D and its derivates.
 

squibbles

Adventurer
Just remove the heavy tag or the 'screw small characters' rule for heavy. Everyone who would get mad at that over ~my verisimilitude~ meaning halflings should such and fail at using weapons are already mad at the ASI changes, so there's no additional danger in making other improvements.
I've started to think that small and medium will just get merged in 5.5e/6e, and become mechanically the same.

Which will be a shame.
Both points of view--verisimilitude vs. player freedom--are valid, but WotC needs to pick one. The half-measures they are currently using are kludgy. Small and medium creatures are dramatically more similar than small and tiny creatures or medium and large creatures. No PC creatures can be large so Centaur PCs are medium, even though centaur monsters and horses are large. Goliaths are "little giants" as of MotM. What?

If PC size doesn't matter, that's fine, D&D is full of abstractions. If it matters, make it matter.
 

At this point I'm wondering if they should even keep halflings as a playable race...

Honestly I'm not sure DnD races can really mean all that much in a race/class/background paradigm, since they don't have carved-out design space to fill. They only modify how your class or background plays out - and to do that fairly, they need to do it evenly. That means no major impacts.

It could work if different races had different classes / class levels / could affect how much class power you had... but that gets into fiddly and/or bloated territory real quick.

On the other hand, if the rules are such that halfling barbarians are always bad at being barbarians... I can live with that. They still have 12 classes to choose from.
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
Both points of view--verisimilitude vs. player freedom--are valid, but WotC needs to pick one.
Punt verisimilitude into low Earth orbit whenever it comes into opposition with player agency or fantasy worldbuilding.

The way verisimilitude is used in D&D contexts is basically to strip all fantasy out of the world except magic and empower the wizard.
 

But "realism" and "fun" are two very different things. One person might have their verisimilitude challenged by smallfolk kicking ass (I personally enjoy it when they do). Another might have their sense of fair play challenged when a character has a disadvantage for no reason other "well it wouldn't make sense otherwise" in their fantasy make-believe game where people can slay dragons with nothing more than 4' of steel.

Personally, I'd like to see a sidebar in the PHB talking about this, and presenting an OPTIONAL rule you can employ if you'd like to see Small characters less disadvantaged. That should appease everyone's sense of fun, I think.
Ultimately, each table needs to make their own decisions.

Personally, I would have no trouble with this kind of sidebar. I have an issue with Hervé Villechaize and Andre the Giant being able to dead lift the same amount without magic. Hussar and his table have no problem with that. That's fine. I believe that it is easier to have rules that key into realism more and then have guidelines to adjust as necessary. I think that would serve the majority of the players.
 



I thought when being attacked by ogres, trolls, ogre magi, giants, and/or titans, small creatures subtract 4 from their opponents' "to hit" dice rolls because of their small size and combat ability against these much bigger creatures. But I may be out of date.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Dwarves and Gnomes had that ability in 2e. In 3e, the ability was reworded to be a +4 Dodge bonus to AC against creatures of the Giant type. The ability was lost in 4e, and hasn't been back since.
 

MGibster

Legend
So long as you have a 20-point swing from the d20 and only like a 6-point swing from STR mods ranging from -1 to +5... any kind of rule that affects Strength scores based upon race size is going to be purely for show. You're never going to get any sort of true verisimilitude from those rules.
What is "true" verisimilitude? Verisimilitude is simply the appearance of realism without necessarily being realistic which is generally what I'm looking for in a game like D&D.

Who says a halfling can't be modeled more on Bullroarer Took than the stereotypical burglar?
Nobody. Model them on whoever you like. Ultimately we're just talking about preferences here and it's not like any one of us is objectively correct. I'm generally not a fan of high strength halflings but even I think they'll work just fine for some settings.
The will be one race, "Adventurer", where you choose one strong ability, one medium ability, and four average abilities. You also have three talents, proficiency, or whatever. Possibly some having a cost of two "slots" like darkvision.
Seriously, at this point they might as well.

The average Adventurer is an amorphous blob of gray protoplasm with indistinct features, abilities, and even culture. What is perhaps most amazing about these splotches is that they appear to have the same physical abilities regardless of mass or weight. A twenty-five kilogram globule (that's fifty-five Freedom Units to our American friends) can move just as quickly, lift just as much weight, and be just as nimble as a one hundred and forty kilogram (three hundred and eight Freedom Units) glob.

 

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