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UA Unearthed Arcana August: Races of Ravnica

I don't know modern MtG or Ravnica other then what we have been talking about on here and at D&D the last few weeks...but quick look I like this.


Vedalken sound like I could totally play the blue elves like 'mystic elf' and 'magician of black chaos' from yugioh. I think I really like the race even if I never heard of it before.
 

Comments

AmerginLiath

Explorer
I laughed and cringed at this passage from the Viashino:

"They’re also easily distracted, jumping from one idea to another in an instant. Likewise, they’re easily bored, and if nothing captures their attention,
they’ll do something interesting."

My first thought was reptile Kender. lol
Sounds like players!
 

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Loxodon:
Needs more crunch on exactly what the can and can't do with their trunk. I would allow use of an arcane focus, somatic spell casting and picking pockets; disallow use of any weapon or shield. Otherwise pretty boring, natural armour virtually useless.


Simic Hybid:
Cool concept, would like to see some more options. Grappling appendages + Battlerager…

Vedalken:
Boring as hell. Tall blue gnomes.

Viashino:
Unarmed attack as a reaction: possibly stronger than intended for a monk?
 

NaturalZero

Adventurer
These are pretty disappointing compared to the Eberron races. Literally the only really good thing in the whole document is the tail lash ability that the reptile races gets. Everything else is something I'd pass on in order to play some other race.
 

Ymdar

Explorer
I really like the concept of the Simic Hybrid. Finally some transhumanism in D&D. More options or a feat would be cool though.
 

MidwayHaven

First Post
I wonder why they went with the less-evocative name "Simic Hybrid" rather than "Krasis," which is what the hybrids are called in the Ravnica cards.
 


Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
I also think the Loxo and the Vedalken need some more work on things to get them to stand out as races.

Other than powerful build Loxo doesn't feel "Elephant" enough to me.

Vedalken just doesn't feel unique enough to me. Maybe they need some more abilities related to their focus that isn't as boringly generic as a +1d4 to a skill and a tool.

Viashino I like that they have a tail that can lash out, I feel what sets them apart from Lizardfolk is that they're more about using natural weapons. Though I feel that some natural weapon using races should have a damage boost at certain levels (like after a Monk gets a damage increase).

The Simic Hyrbrids are interesting, though they could do with at 2 more lesser and greater enhancements.
 


Parmandur

Legend
I also think the Loxo and the Vedalken need some more work on things to get them to stand out as races.

Other than powerful build Loxo doesn't feel "Elephant" enough to me.

Vedalken just doesn't feel unique enough to me. Maybe they need some more abilities related to their focus that isn't as boringly generic as a +1d4 to a skill and a tool.

Viashino I like that they have a tail that can lash out, I feel what sets them apart from Lizardfolk is that they're more about using natural weapons. Though I feel that some natural weapon using races should have a damage boost at certain levels (like after a Monk gets a damage increase).

The Simic Hyrbrids are interesting, though they could do with at 2 more lesser and greater enhancements.
The Vedalken abilities are rather astonishing, actually: a level 1 Vedalken Rogue with a 16 Dex can be rolling 8-32 on thieves tools checks at level one, for the most obvious use (it stacks with Expertise).

I'm impressed with how the abilities for all four races are more solid than flashy, actually: all of them allow for some amazing builds that still aren't broken.

Anybody else notice the Hybrid has 60 subraces? :O
 



gyor

Legend
I don't think Loxodons seem too powerful. Free Mage Armor is nice, but most characters will outclass it. Remember, it doesn't stack with anything except a shield. Advantage on fear saves is pretty meh. Advantage on scent based skill checks is going to be really hit and miss to the extent that it's as powerful as the DM decides it will be. Truly, the only thing the race really does well is Druid.

Simic Hybrid is interesting, although I agree with others that it'd be nice to have a few more selections. Grappling Appendages is weird, though. How many attacks do you get?

Viashino's Lashing Tail, on the other hand, seem amazing to me. Sure, it only deals non-magical dagger damage, but so what? A raging Barbarian certainly isn't going to care, and you'll get to deal bonus Rage damage with it and still have resistance. If you're a Rogue, it's a way to deal Sneak Attack damage an extra time each round!

Vedalken seem good. They're at least as good at being a Wizard as a Gnome.
The Vedalken abilities are rather astonishing, actually: a level 1 Vedalken Rogue with a 16 Dex can be rolling 8-32 on thieves tools checks at level one, for the most obvious use (it stacks with Expertise).

I'm impressed with how the abilities for all four races are more solid than flashy, actually: all of them allow for some amazing builds that still aren't broken.

Anybody else notice the Hybrid has 60 subraces? :O
How does the hybrid have 60 subraces? Potential combos of mutations. Because I count 12 combos of mutations by level 5. If you times it by the three races of origin (human, Simic elf, Vedalkyn) that is 36.
 
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Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
Anybody else notice the Hybrid has 60 subraces? :O
I don't count different options as subraces from a pick and choose list as a subrace. If that's a subrace than a High Elf with Fire Bolt as a cantrip is a different subrace than a High elf with Prestidigitation.
 

Parmandur

Legend
How does the hybrid have 60 subraces? Potential combos of mutations. Because I count 12 combos of mutations by level 5. If you times it by the three races of origin (human, Simic elf, Vedalkyn) that is 36.
12 feature permutations, multiplied by five +1 Ability score options. Each choice is significant, there.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I don't count different options as subraces from a pick and choose list as a subrace. If that's a subrace than a High Elf with Fire Bolt as a cantrip is a different subrace than a High elf with Prestidigitation.
Put that way, I'd say you should think about different Cantrip choices as more significant.
 

I was less excited about this until I started reading this thread, then I got excited about the Viashino. However, while someone pointed out the "easily bored" part as potentially problematic in players hands, this part has me groaning.

"Viashino accept, collect, and discard names freely, choosing names that fit their current sense of self or whim. Sometimes they’ll string two or more names together, because they like the sound or because all the names feel meaningful and relevant at the time."

In other words, I'm sure there will be players who constantly change their character's name without warning, just because they can. And I'm bad enough with names to start with, I don't need that headache.

Vedalken are fine, interesting way to hyper specialize in a field, though I wish there were more concrete rules for tool usage to make the guy who chooses Blacksmithing or something feel like his +1d4 to rolls matter.

I agree with people that the Hybrids need a lot more options. I don't see any reason to take the Grappling Appendages, it is an unarmed attack for 1d6+mod with a bonus action at 5th level. It's almost the exact same as tavern brawler (1d6 over 1d4) and frankly if someone is using unarmed, they are likely going monk so the feat is far better for them since it also increases scores and gives some other benefits. No problem with +1 AC or the Acid Spit, though the Acid spit is essentially a cantrip, so a low DC would mean it is hardly worth using except when you couldn't get in range and throwing a weapon is less likely to hit.

Honestly, Loxodon are the least interesting to me, despite having their trunk opening them up to plenty of cool interactions. A Con/Wis race is a cool idea and I like it (Think Firbolg were Wis/Str), but there just isn't enough to hook me on playing the zen elephant.


Biggest thing that annoys me though, and the thing I doubt we could even get away from. So many, many copied abilities. Loxodon are variant Dwarves with some Goliath thrown in, Vedalken are Gnomish Half-Elves, it just kind of grates to see an ability and immediately make that association, even though I know that is on me and not on them to a large degree.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
The sad thing is, I am no longer disappointed by Unearthed Arcana anymore, and I can't tell if it's because I'm that used to Unearthed Arcana being dubious quality, or if I've grown numb to just how rubbish races seem to be in 5th edition compared to 4th.
Biggest thing that annoys me though, and the thing I doubt we could even get away from. So many, many copied abilities. Loxodon are variant Dwarves with some Goliath thrown in, Vedalken are Gnomish Half-Elves, it just kind of grates to see an ability and immediately make that association, even though I know that is on me and not on them to a large degree.
I'll admit I share some disappointment here, but not surprise. The designers are good at very many things, but none of them seem excited about races. That's been true since the beginning of the playtest; races have always felt underwhelming (to me, at least), and not a place where the design team has felt inspired, or felt a reason to push boundaries.

There are balance reasons at work, of course, but for someone who always was excited by Savage Species (as a player), I have found races continually disappointing. These all have features that might be useful for a given build or character, but (for me) do not offer a hook that gets me excited to play them.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I'll admit I share some disappointment here, but not surprise. The designers are good at very many things, but none of them seem excited about races. That's been true since the beginning of the playtest; races have always felt underwhelming (to me, at least), and not a place where the design team has felt inspired, or felt a reason to push boundaries.

There are balance reasons at work, of course, but for someone who always was excited by Savage Species (as a player), I have found races continually disappointing. These all have features that might be useful for a given build or character, but (for me) do not offer a hook that gets me excited to play them.
Mearls has said in the past that, as a rule, most players are way, way less interested in Race variants and a given player will most likely stick with their favorite Race game to game (Human, Elf or Dwarf, mainly). This is opposed to Class, which people apparently like to switch up far more. The lack of general interest, combined with balance concerns, might be at work there.
 

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