Unearthed Arcana 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.
 


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Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
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.
I accept that he said this (I have seen similar posts for sure), and he may believe it. But my point is in addition to that, which is that (I believe) none of the designers (including him) are interested or excited by race choice for players, and that is reflected in the game, which in turn can inform the player choices you describe. There may additionally be an element of projection, in that he, consciously or subconsciously, designs for those players (who may be a majority) and does not consider alternative play styles.
 


QuietBrowser

First Post
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.
Speaking as someone who loves having lots of race choices because they make such great tools for a DM who enjoys building their own homebrew worlds, I find 5e's listlessness in producing races very disappointing.

Speaking as a player who saw how races were handled as one of your more significant character choices in 4e, starting with a strong, well-designed racial format and going from strength to strength with the addition of flavorful racial feats, utility powers, paragon paths and epic destinies, I couldn't be more infuriated with this design team. It is a huge step backwards from one of the stronger elements of 4th edition, and adds to my increasing feeling of having been cheated by the switch from 4th edition to 5th.

I thought the evolution of D&D was a continual chain of improvement from Basic up until 4th. Then we got Essentials, and my confidence dipped. And now 5th edition is really shaking up my confidence.

I want to like this edition for the legitimate efforts at doing interesting things - crossing over D&D with Magic the Gathering, creating the most powerful necromancer-wizard since AD&D's Undead Master Kit. But I can't focus on the things I enjoy when so much of what they do seems to be half-cocked. To be honest, a growing part of me is waiting for the day this team gets canned and we see a 6th Edition launched, because I'm hoping that team will try and go back to some of 4e's innovations.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Speaking as someone who loves having lots of race choices because they make such great tools for a DM who enjoys building their own homebrew worlds, I find 5e's listlessness in producing races very disappointing.

Speaking as a player who saw how races were handled as one of your more significant character choices in 4e, starting with a strong, well-designed racial format and going from strength to strength with the addition of flavorful racial feats, utility powers, paragon paths and epic destinies, I couldn't be more infuriated with this design team. It is a huge step backwards from one of the stronger elements of 4th edition, and adds to my increasing feeling of having been cheated by the switch from 4th edition to 5th.

I thought the evolution of D&D was a continual chain of improvement from Basic up until 4th. Then we got Essentials, and my confidence dipped. And now 5th edition is really shaking up my confidence.

I want to like this edition for the legitimate efforts at doing interesting things - crossing over D&D with Magic the Gathering, creating the most powerful necromancer-wizard since AD&D's Undead Master Kit. But I can't focus on the things I enjoy when so much of what they do seems to be half-cocked. To be honest, a growing part of me is waiting for the day this team gets canned and we see a 6th Edition launched, because I'm hoping that team will try and go back to some of 4e's innovations.
Sorry but nobody cares about 4E. It could well have been the best thing since sliced bread, but nobody would know that.
 

gyor

Legend
Honestly I like the 5e races and find them more interesting then how pathfinder 1e and 2e does them. Except the Kenku, that race could have been done better.

But I'm happy with all these races.
 

dave2008

Legend
Speaking as someone who loves having lots of race choices because they make such great tools for a DM who enjoys building their own homebrew worlds, I find 5e's listlessness in producing races very disappointing.

Speaking as a player who saw how races were handled as one of your more significant character choices in 4e, starting with a strong, well-designed racial format and going from strength to strength with the addition of flavorful racial feats, utility powers, paragon paths and epic destinies, I couldn't be more infuriated with this design team. It is a huge step backwards from one of the stronger elements of 4th edition, and adds to my increasing feeling of having been cheated by the switch from 4th edition to 5th.

I thought the evolution of D&D was a continual chain of improvement from Basic up until 4th. Then we got Essentials, and my confidence dipped. And now 5th edition is really shaking up my confidence.

I want to like this edition for the legitimate efforts at doing interesting things - crossing over D&D with Magic the Gathering, creating the most powerful necromancer-wizard since AD&D's Undead Master Kit. But I can't focus on the things I enjoy when so much of what they do seems to be half-cocked. To be honest, a growing part of me is waiting for the day this team gets canned and we see a 6th Edition launched, because I'm hoping that team will try and go back to some of 4e's innovations.

I really liked 4e (brought me back to the game), but it had issues too. Ideally I would like a combo 4e/5e version + some of my own things that D&D never seems to want to add ;)

FYI, there is a fan made 4.5e version out there that is really good. The creature posts on the 4e boards a bit.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Speaking as a player who saw how races were handled as one of your more significant character choices in 4e, starting with a strong, well-designed racial format and going from strength to strength with the addition of flavorful racial feats, utility powers, paragon paths and epic destinies, I couldn't be more infuriated with this design team. It is a huge step backwards from one of the stronger elements of 4th edition, and adds to my increasing feeling of having been cheated by the switch from 4th edition to 5th.

.


I didn't get a chance to play a lot of 4e, but I remember two things about the racial Paragons and Epic Destinies.

1) They were an awesome and flavorful idea

2) I wanted my class-based ones instead


I don't know why, but I've always felt like improving my class instead of delving into racial options. It isn't like I don't care about the races, I most definitely do and trying to develop unique cultures and identities for the races is a lot of fun as a DM or player, but feats and racial classes have never really caught on with me
 

Ymdar

Explorer
I thought we were heading into an era where your race and origins mattered less and what you DID mattered more. Am I just too old?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Speaking as someone who loves having lots of race choices because they make such great tools for a DM who enjoys building their own homebrew worlds, I find 5e's listlessness in producing races very disappointing.

Speaking as a player who saw how races were handled as one of your more significant character choices in 4e, starting with a strong, well-designed racial format and going from strength to strength with the addition of flavorful racial feats, utility powers, paragon paths and epic destinies, I couldn't be more infuriated with this design team. It is a huge step backwards from one of the stronger elements of 4th edition, and adds to my increasing feeling of having been cheated by the switch from 4th edition to 5th.

I thought the evolution of D&D was a continual chain of improvement from Basic up until 4th. Then we got Essentials, and my confidence dipped. And now 5th edition is really shaking up my confidence.

I want to like this edition for the legitimate efforts at doing interesting things - crossing over D&D with Magic the Gathering, creating the most powerful necromancer-wizard since AD&D's Undead Master Kit. But I can't focus on the things I enjoy when so much of what they do seems to be half-cocked. To be honest, a growing part of me is waiting for the day this team gets canned and we see a 6th Edition launched, because I'm hoping that team will try and go back to some of 4e's innovations.

"There is one thing that the world does; it wobbles...it may get better in many respects, and sometimes for considerable periods. But in itself it is not a progress; it is not even a process; it is the fashion of this world that passeth away. Life in itself is not a ladder; it is a see-saw."

2E, 3E and 4E can all be argued to have been steps backwards (heck, people will argue that for AD&D itself). There is no clear line of "progress," just changes.

Everything from 4E that didn't make it into 5E...I wouldn't bet on it ever being brought back, in any edition. This isn't just the preferences of one set of designers, it's been pretty well established in the marketplace.
 

I don't think race is supposed to matter that much in 5e. Sure race/class "typical stories" tend to get a little love, but it isn't like a dwarf warlock is much worse off than a tiefling one right out of the gate (and depending on what kind of dwarf and what kind of pact implement, the dwarf might end up being better). It is more frosting on a cake than a Combo. If there is a problem with these races, it is that there isn't as strong of a "typical story" (at least as translated to D&D) for some of them.
 

I don't think race is supposed to matter that much in 5e. Sure race/class "typical stories" tend to get a little love, but it isn't like a dwarf warlock is much worse off than a tiefling one right out of the gate (and depending on what kind of dwarf and what kind of pact implement, the dwarf might end up being better). It is more frosting on a cake than a Combo. If there is a problem with these races, it is that there isn't as strong of a "typical story" (at least as translated to D&D) for some of them.

The typical story is because of the 40+ year history on the main races. Since I didn't play 3e/4e Tieflings/Dragonborn have no story for me. It's starting to grow, because I'm reading all the books I can. I expect the Ravnica races will get expanded stories in the book about Ravnica.
 



I don't think is was said "you can't play a tiefling in another setting". It's pretty easy to travel from Sigil to another setting. There is a tiefling companion (from sigil) in Baldur's Gate 2, which is 2nd edition FR.
 

cbwjm

Legend
But, to be fair, if people didn't know or play planescape then they were unlikely to really know about them. Even in 3e people might not have really known about them initially since they were a race out of the MM rather than a PHB race.
 

Sure, but like some other aspects of the game, they had been around for some time without everyone being aware of them. So they do have quite a long history.
 

gyor

Legend
But, to be fair, if people didn't know or play planescape then they were unlikely to really know about them. Even in 3e people might not have really known about them initially since they were a race out of the MM rather than a PHB race.

Tieflings, Genasi, and Aasimar appeared in FR, books prior to 4e, they where in FRs main core book, so even by people with no interest they unlikely to be unknown. In 4e and 5e they become even more important in FR, in some locations they would be more common then elves, halflings, and dwarves.
 

I believe the Simbic Hybid manta glide ability needs some sort of speed limit. For example an eagle totem barbarian could use thier level 14 ability to move 40' straight up. Then, RAW, they would instantly fall 40' at the end of thier turn. With manta glide this would give them an extra 80' horizontal movement.
 

Tieflings, Genasi, and Aasimar appeared in FR, books prior to 4e, they where in FRs main core book, so even by people with no interest they unlikely to be unknown. In 4e and 5e they become even more important in FR, in some locations they would be more common then elves, halflings, and dwarves.

They're pretty clearly talking about the transition from 2e to 3e since he's talking about Planescape, which was only ever printed as a 2e campaign setting. FR was a 15 years old before the 3e white book introduced Planetouched races, and I remember a lot of people confused or not liking it. It would be like WotC publishing an Eberron book in 2020 that included Thri-Kreen, Half-Giants, Giff and Arcanes and just expecting people to go with the injection of Spelljammer and Dark Sun into Eberron.

It wasn't much of a big deal at the time, however, because they were all ECL races. ECL races were universally terrible and if you didn't see why they were so terrible you typically saw them as universally overpowered. Either way, few people played them.
 

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