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.

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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."
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
RIGHT!?!?!!?

How awesome would it be for various races that are supposed to be "Strong" had an evocative ability, with a cool name, that emphasized the ways in which they are strong?

Fast Build.
Your Size is Medium. Your walking speed is increased by 5ft

Fat Build
Your size is Medium. You count as one size larger (Large) when determining your size when moved or knocked prone against your will.

Equine Build
Your size is Medium. You count as one size larger (Large) when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push or drag. In addition, any climb that requires hands and feet is especially difficult for you because of you r equine legs. When you make such a climb, each foot of movement costs you 4 extra feet, instead of the normal 1 extra foot.

Lithe Build
Your size is Medium. You count as one size smaller (Small) when hiding in or squeezing into smaller spaces.

Powerful Build
Your size is Medium. You count as one size larger (Large) when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.

Short Build
Your Size is Small. Your Armor Class is increased by 1.

Stout Build
Your size is Medium. Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor
.
 

Yep. And it is also pretty weird that there has been so much talk about halflings needing to be able to start with strength 16 to be able to be good fighters and barbarians, yet certainly them being unable to use heavy weapons is a far greater detriment? I fully expect people to demand that this limitation is removed next.
This is the issue really with the idea that things other than ASI bonuses should be used.

Ultimately they're just going to run into the same issue.

When 3rd Edition was first released we were all "awesome, you can now be a Half-Orc monk". And now with Tasha's release everyone is "awesome you can now be a Half-Orc Monk".

It's not that I'm completely unsymapthetic to the goal, I just feel like it needs a much bigger design rethink then what is on offer.
 
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5e's disproportionately focused on combat, in that it's the area of the game with the most comprehensive player-facing mechanics. Exploration and social interactions are less developed by comparison, and thus have less to optimize. Them's the breaks.
I personally think that is by design.

The authors have faith in their audience to not be robots. They understand 2/3rds of the page count may be combat. But they also understand that each table is different. They left roleplaying wide open on purpose - because it is roleplaying. They want it to be free form. They went with the middle ground in exploration - because they wanted the middle ground. Kind of open, kind of rule based.

I believe it is this trust in their audience that has made the game as popular as what it is.
 

That just gives you more opportunities to min-max. I meant "middle ground" in the sense of some balance between picking ability score exactly the way you want, and being giving some scores and told "play that".
Take an array such as 8,9,10,11,12,13. This is 15 point array, twelve points left unspent. Randomise in which ability each score of the array goes, then spent the remaining twelve points. Or something similar.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
If Wizards eliminates racial ASIs altogether, only you can play the way you want; we can't (at least not without a lot of legwork trying to re-impose ASIs).

Wait...what does that mean? What's all the "legwork to re-impose ASIs"? Why not just put the ASIs in places that feel appropriately "realistic" to you?
 

Not what they're describing.

They're talking about, instead of races getting some dumb number that means nothing except your character's core competency which shouldn't be tied to your choice of race,, they get a cool thing they can do related to what their race is about instead like wielding really big weapons, jumping three times as far, lifting, carrying and most importantly throwing more, not having to pretend encumbrance is a game mechanics with a point, and many more.

Order now and we'll throw in something to make humans interesting besides being the only race that gets character customization standard… hopefully. Probably not. Actually it's never going to happen.
This is all cool. The idea is great. So let's do an example. Can you please give me one example of strength for half-orc, goliath, dwarf, dragonborn and bugbear. They should represent the race, I think we all agree on this. And represent strength. I am excited to see what comes up for two reasons:
1. to see what cool ideas people have
2. to see if it is possible
 


Mecheon

Sacabambaspis
did someone say. DINOSAURS
Then again, they got more chicks than Carnotaurus, whose primary behavior was dipping their tiny drummies in butter and hot sauce in order to lure prey into its mouth.
Carnotaurus is the dinosaur equivilent of never skipping leg day. Its one of the fastest therapods we know of and basically gave up on the 'arms' department because just running full pelt at something and repeatably applying teeth to it worked fine enough

Couldn't turn for the life of it though, so could not drift at all.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
This is all cool. The idea is great. So let's do an example. Can you please give me one example of strength for half-orc, goliath, dwarf, dragonborn and bugbear. They should represent the race, I think we all agree on this. And represent strength. I am excited to see what comes up for two reasons:
1. to see what cool ideas people have
2. to see if it is possible

I'll take a crack at this later tonight after kids are asleep.
 

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