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D&D General (+)The Intersection of Many Types of Humans

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, the most recent SciShow News episode has me thinking about Human species in ancient times, and how we coexisted with eachother, and interbred.

Sapiens Sapiens, Denosivans, And Neanderthals, Oh My!

Dumb title is mine, not theirs.

Anyway, what I'm thinking about is, Tolkein considered the races of Middle Earth to be somewhat related, in spite of their separate origins. We know elves and humans could interbreed, and he considered hobbits much closer to human than elves were. I don't know of any evidence that dwarves are related, and they were made by a different being than the others. In DnD who can and can't interbreed is quite variable. In my own homebrew and a lot of other people's, pretty much any mammalian people can make babies with any other mammalian people, while in others even the canonical admixtures are not possible.

Now, there is a politicized element to all this, unfortunately, because of the RL racially charged text and connotations of multiple DnD "races", and tbh that is part of why nearly any race can make parasites with any other, but it's also just fun to tell my players, "hey these groups live in this area, these groups visit for trade, and these sometimes raid in the area. You can play any of them, but also any combination of them. We'll work out a homebrew set of stats if you decide to play a Drow/Goliath or whatever." It's also fun, IMO, when worlds like my buddy's say that a lot of existing folk originate from such intermixings of genetic pools. His deep gnomes are the scions of forest gnomes and shadar-kai, for instance.

Now, all this comes together to make me wonder....how would you construct a better and more satisfying player-facing system of custom lineage creation for PCs who are of mixed lineage?

I'm also just curious about how y'all handle such things in your games?

Remember that it's a +thread, and so lets keep that politicized element out of this as best we can. I figure we all pretty much know where everyone stands by now, anyway.
 

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Blue Orange

Adventurer
My suggestions and my suggestions only...

1. Change 'race' to 'ancestry' (or 'lineage').
2. Any ancestry can mix with any other ancestry.
3. No modifiers to mental traits based on ancestry.
4. Feats, etc. come from cultural background rather than lineage.

(I think there was already a commercial supplement organized like this?)
 
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GMMichael

Guide of Modos
1. Change 'race' to 'ancestry' (or 'lineage').
2. Any ancestry can mix with any other ancestry.
3. No modifiers to mental traits based on ancestry.
4. Feats, etc. come from cultural background rather than lineage.
This is a good list, but "ancestry" is too many syllables for today's masses. My # 3 would be "no modifiers that aren't culturally-rooted." Which would basically eliminate #4.

My game world has races, racial stereotypes, and consequences for relying heavily on stereotypes. There are no tieflings or dragonborns - that's just weird.

The resulting "player-facing system" is: design what you want. Some people will reject you; some will accept you.
 

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