log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Unearthed Arcana: Gothic Lineages & New Race/Culture Distinction

The latest Unearthed Arcana contains the Dhampir, Reborn, and Hexblood races. The Dhampir is a half-vampire; the Hexblood is a character which has made a pact with a hag; and the Reborn is somebody brought back to life.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 5.46.36 PM.png



Perhaps the bigger news is this declaration on how race is to be handled in future D&D books as it joins other games by stating that:

"...the race options in this article and in future D&D books lack the Ability Score Increase trait, the Language trait, the Alignment trait, and any other trait that is purely cultural. Racial traits henceforth reflect only the physical or magical realities of being a player character who’s a member of a particular lineage. Such traits include things like darkvision, a breath weapon (as in the dragonborn), or innate magical ability (as in the forest gnome). Such traits don’t include cultural characteristics, like language or training with a weapon or a tool, and the traits also don’t include an alignment suggestion, since alignment is a choice for each individual, not a characteristic shared by a lineage."
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey






jeremypowell

Adventurer
Sounds like the Tasha’s “optional” rules about racial bonuses are no longer really optional:

“Design Note: Changes to Racial Traits

In 2020, the book Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduced the option to customize several of your character’s racial traits, specifically the Ability Score Increase trait, the Language trait, and traits that give skill, armor, weapon, or tool proficiencies.
Following in that book’s footsteps, the race options in this article and in future D&D books lack the Ability Score Increase trait, the Language trait, the Alignment trait, and any other trait that is purely cultural. Racial traits henceforth reflect only the physical or magical realities of being a player character who’s a member of a particular lineage.

Such traits include things like darkvision, a breath weapon (as in the dragonborn), or innate magical ability (as in the forest gnome). Such traits don’t include cultural characteristics, like language or training with a weapon or a tool, and the traits also don’t include an alignment suggestion, since alignment is a choice for each individual, not a characteristic shared by a lineage.

Finally, going forward, the term “race” in D&D refers only to the suite of game features used by player characters. Said features don’t have any bearing on monsters and NPCs who are members of the same species or lineage, since monsters and NPCs in D&D don’t rely on race or class to function. Moreover, DMs are empowered to customize the features of the creatures in their game as they wish.”
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Finally, going forward, the term “race” in D&D refers only to the suite of game features used by player characters. Said features don’t have any bearing on monsters and NPCs who are members of the same species or lineage, since monsters and NPCs in D&D don’t rely on race or class to function. Moreover, DMs are empowered to customize the features of the creatures in their game as they wish.
Definitely empowers the idea that the PHB descriptions don't need to be extrapolated for world building.
 

Also: I like the idea that this is presenting: It's similar to how the Hollow One supernatural gift changed your type. It seems like this idea of Lineage could be a new way in which you could do stuff like Half Dragons(Even though you just reflavor Dragonborn and be done with it), or even any other type of template stuff for a race.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
On the merits, none of the lineages seem particularly interesting from a mechanical standpoint. Decoupling stats has reduced the design space for races lineages.

The moist vampire, sorry, Dhampir, is um, de-fanged. It's really blah, although I guess, you know, 35' speed. Yay?

The hexblood's token is at least interesting, and hex magic is good.

Reborn is fine. I mean, I can see taking it.

All of them have darkvision, because who doesn't have it now. Why not just call darkvision (cue MST3k) NORMAL VISION.
 

I like the idea of a Hexblood Changeling. Since in Pathfinder and in DND, Changelings are pretty much female Hagspawn. I'd probably allow the idea of swapping out the Disguise Self for something else in that situation so it isn't redundant. (Or just let the Disguise Self add on the uses of the Changelings shapeshifting.)
 

On the merits, none of the lineages seem particularly interesting from a mechanical standpoint. Decoupling stats has reduced the design space for races lineages.
I actually like the idea of the Lineage being an Add-On that is layered ontop of your Race and racial abilities.
 


So one interesting thing this Lineage system presents is how you can combine it together with the Tasha's Custom Races. You do your custom race, add on a Lineage and then allow a feat/supernatural gift at level one.
 

Sounds like the Tasha’s “optional” rules about racial bonuses are no longer really optional:

“Design Note: Changes to Racial Traits

In 2020, the book Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduced the option to customize several of your character’s racial traits, specifically the Ability Score Increase trait, the Language trait, and traits that give skill, armor, weapon, or tool proficiencies.
Following in that book’s footsteps, the race options in this article and in future D&D books lack the Ability Score Increase trait, the Language trait, the Alignment trait, and any other trait that is purely cultural. Racial traits henceforth reflect only the physical or magical realities of being a player character who’s a member of a particular lineage.

Such traits include things like darkvision, a breath weapon (as in the dragonborn), or innate magical ability (as in the forest gnome). Such traits don’t include cultural characteristics, like language or training with a weapon or a tool, and the traits also don’t include an alignment suggestion, since alignment is a choice for each individual, not a characteristic shared by a lineage.

Finally, going forward, the term “race” in D&D refers only to the suite of game features used by player characters. Said features don’t have any bearing on monsters and NPCs who are members of the same species or lineage, since monsters and NPCs in D&D don’t rely on race or class to function. Moreover, DMs are empowered to customize the features of the creatures in their game as they wish.”
It's now the base, but you can still make it optional if you want. Just give Dhampir a +2 to CON/CHA and a +1 to DEX, Hexblood a +2 to CHA and +1 WIS/CON, and Reborn a +2 CON and +1 INT.

Sure, this is the base, but you still can change it back if you want.
 


lack the Ability Score Increase trait, the Language trait, the Alignment trait, and any other trait that is purely cultural.

It's very difficult to me to consider Ability Score Increase as CULTURAL. I strongly believe it is physiological. These are aberration of common sense twisted to... ok I stop myself. But truth is more important than... ok stop.
 


jeremypowell

Adventurer
I actually like the idea of the Lineage being an Add-On that is layered ontop of your Race and racial abilities.
That could be interesting—but unless I’m misreading, that’s not the path they’ve chosen. If you’re a dwarf, and you become a dhampir (or any lineage), mechanically you stop being a dwarf for all purposes.
 

Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top