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D&D 5E Turning Aasimar, Tiefling, Warforged, Shifter and similar races into multiclass templates that add onto "base" race instead of being separate race.

Horwath

Hero
Right now these mentioned races are all somewhat human-centric, and while you can say that your aasimar is a dwarf based or orc based, there is no real difference(outside aasimar sub-races) between aasimars of various humanoids.

In 3.5e many of these races were "balanced" with level adjustments, but that is a no go in 5e and that is a good thing.

But, maybe we could make those races similar like "paragon race" from 3.5e Unearthed Arcana book.
You would get your Aasimar features and still have all features of your base race. At a cost of one level "multiclassing"

You would get your any humanoid race, and have it get it's normal 1st level in a class. A normal 1st level character.
Then at 2nd level(or any level after if you want to put it in the story differently), you would take a multiclass level of that advanced race template.

2nd level could be explained as those celestial/infernal/lycanthropy genes express only after reaching adulthood(or maybe even later, if it fits your story better).
And making warforged can be simply transfering adults mind into a new semi-mechanical body.

At that level you would get 1 HP plus your Con mod and one HD of healing worth 1+Con mod.
Health gain is low as "special features" will be powerful.

Aasimar:
gain +1 to Cha or Wis(or any ability if using Tasha's options)
Gain all abilities Aasimar normally get's.
Darkvision if 60ft or +30ft if base race has it.

Aasimar "class" level would count to your total levels as normal multiclass, that is 4th level wizard, 1st level Aasimar would be 5th level character with +3 proficiency bonus.


Same would apply to Tiefling, Warfoged, Shifter and similar races.
 

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Right now these mentioned races are all somewhat human-centric, and while you can say that your aasimar is a dwarf based or orc based, there is no real difference(outside aasimar sub-races) between aasimars of various humanoids.
Which of those races incorporate Human racial abilities to the point that you can tell they use the human as base stock?
 



Remathilis

Legend
Two things:

1.) Lineage (as shown in Van Richten's) seems the cleanest way to do this without making certain combos OP. Planetouched (aasimar, tiefling) or half-monstrous (shifter, changing) seem like good candidates for this.

2.) Disagree on Warforged though. They are "human" insofar as that have a traditional humanoid body (head, two arms, two legs) but by that generic description, elves or orcs could be as well. (There are literal half-human variants of both). I can see their being a small variant of Warforged, but their is no need for a separate dwarf Warforged, gnome Warforged, tabaxi Warforged, etc.
 

Bird Of Play

Explorer
Not really sure, at least not with the warforged.
Also, as Remathilis mentioned, by that logic elves or gnomes would be human variants too.
 


NotAYakk

Legend
Note I'd have no problem with this having size based HD.

In fact, I'm giving everyone a sized based HD (powerful build and dwarves get a d10) and a feat at level 1. (The in)tention is about a level's worth of extra power

Making a "variant race" package that replaces the feat would work. Or a "lineage feat" you can only get at level 1.

Want to be a warforged? Take "warorged rebuild". Alternatively, you could write "half X" feats for each standard race; then a human shaped warforged would be warforged "half human". Might fit mechanically better?
 


NotAYakk

Legend
You know, we could even go further than this.

Right now a PC has a set of class levels. What if PCs had a set of "heritage levels" that you started with at level 1, before you started gaining class levels?

There is the balance concern that someone whose heritage is "dragon and heir of bahmut" should, logically, get more power from that heritage than someone whose heritage is "human dock worker".

And the idea of "stapling on" class levels as if it was perfectly additive was shown to not work very well in 3e.

5e's model where levels are roughly linear in power impact might work better than 3es with similar mechanics than 3e did.
 

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