D&D (2024) Thoughts on the revised Ardling?


Loves Your Favorite Game
Are we sure of this? I don’t imageine we are getting any more than what is in the ‘14 PHB. I think the Ardling may be for another product. Just like they have done with other UAs
Not sure, no, but this language, while admittedly talking about the Goliaths, leads me to believe that this playtest content is largely meant for the next PHB:
"The Goliath also being included here is here also to fill a bit of an aesthetic gap, because we realized as we were looking at the options in the PH, we really had only one option if you wanted to-, the character fantasy that you were going for was playing the sort of the burly-"
"Yeah "
"The burly figure, which, you can make a member of any of the species burley if you want, but, when someone just looks at pictures usually what their eye will go to for this character archetype is the Orc, and we realized we needed a second option, because for for most of the choices we give you more than one option, and this was the rare case where there was really only one in the player's handbook, and that puts too much sort of aesthetic pressure on that one choice, and so we thought that we it would be good to have another option there to show that, you know, whatever the character archetype is that you're pursuing, you have several choices, and you don't feel funneled toward one thing."

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Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I have a flat suspicion they're an attempt to do playable Guardinals again. They've always been on-again off-again playable since 2e. Why they didn't just lean into that specifically I dunno, but they're an obvious and historic celestial aligned animal people race who've been in D&D for absolute yonks

Mind, let's be honest: certain Guardinals would be improved if they were just animal headed. Cough cough, avorals, cough
If that was the intent, then I would agree the PHB seems like a weird place for them.


The cool thing is, Ardlings could accommodate both approaches. And they don’t have to be celestials to do so.
This is why I like the approach of letting players pick the cantrip feature from any of the three pools OR a second mundane ability. It gives you all the options and lets you create a mystery about their true origin.


Loves Your Favorite Game
Not sure, no, but this language, while admittedly talking about the Goliaths, leads me to believe that this playtest content is largely meant for the next PHB:
Also, finding the quote for this post is the first time I've ever heard anyone call it "The PH" instead of "The PHB" and while it's arguably the more accurate short form, it's deeply upsetting.


So, no Rakshasa or sphinxes or fiends in your game then? That's fine too. The point is that it's all silly goofy fun at the end of the day. It's fine if you're using a setting that uses the glued-on head ridges design instead of full mask design, but it's all on the same level of fiction.
I might have these in my games, but as monsters and not as PC choices.


As someone else mentioned, Ardlings might be in the updated PHB as a bit of a selling point. Right now, it's not like there are a lot of earthshaking changes (by design), so you could see a lot of players wondering why they should buy it. But now you get modestly revised spell lists and Ardlings!

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
As I said here, I am so much more excited about this version of the aardling than the last version. I hope it is in the PHB, and I'd use it a lot.

All four of the animal options are good -- I don't especially want flight at level 1, but the free feather fall and a jump option is good. I suspect the dash and swim options are stronger mechanically -- but there's three options I could go to that would enhance almost any build.

I would prefer a Primal cantrip to a Divine one, but I can live with this. Guidance and Resistance are both solid now and use a reaction (making them a choice for players, foregoing opportunity attacks or whatever), which I think is a goo ddesign space, and raises some interesting options in play. Sacrd Flame as an attack cantrip is solid, though I would prefer having Produce Flame (since it can double as Light and use an attack roll).

They are a good choice for almost any race, without being over-designed for any given build. That's a good design, in my mind, and I know I am not tied to any particular anuimal head or background-narrative combination.
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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I freaking love that it allows me to say "ardlings are a race, make it fit this culture they have in my world" the next time someone tries to tell me about their "fursona" & why it needs a totally new & ever expanding OC import culture somewhere to fit in
That feels needlessly hostile to a player who's excited about playing in your game.

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