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

Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but now if a race was designed like an Aasimar was in Volo's you said you would take offense at that, because lineages should have proficiencies. So, you weren't advocating for both options being available, you were making a value judgement that if they don't include proficiencies that is bad.

And, funnily enough, despite your sudden "what about both sides" position, there are ways to include some proficiencies without it being cultural. Bugbears for instance are hinted at being supernaturally stealthy in the lore. They get stealth proficiency as a result of that. Now, whether we want to ask if it is fair that a supernaturally stealthy bugbear rogue is just as stealthy as a bog-standard human rogue, well, that is a different debate.

Oh and elves Keen Senses are generally conceived of as biological, so there is another proficiency that could be had without needing to be cultural. I tend to like shifting that around, but hey, personal preference.

So, we do have both sides available, proficiency and non-proficiency, so why are you trying to make non-proficient races a talking point statement and getting upset over their inclusion?
Ok, let me rephrase. Proficiencies should be an option when you are designing a lineage. Maybe they represent something physical, maybe cultural. If cultural, there should be generalized cultural options that any lineage can take that provide them, similar to Level Up or Ancestry & Culture. That is what I want, and I very much hope that 6e provides something along those lines. I apologize, Chaosmancer, if my thoughts were contradictory from your perception. This is as clear as I can make it.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


JEB

Hero
OK. I'm going to pick the least racially-charged example I can think of off the top of my head: That would suggest that for example, Spartans are generally less intelligent than Athenians?
Why would you conflate race with culture? And no, it wouldn't suggest that Spartans are generally less intelligent than Athenians. It would suggest that Athenian culture traditionally values book-learning. Nothing keeps you from giving your Spartan a +1 to Int, or your Athenian a +1 to Str, if the cultural ideals don't fit your character, or if you don't want Spartans or Athenians to be that way in your campaign. But if you do want to create an archetypal Spartan or Athenian, defaults make that easier.

It's perfectly fine if you don't want cultures to be reflected in game mechanics, but I don't see the inherent harm in saying "Culture X values this trait", as long as you're not bound to it.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Ok, let me rephrase. Proficiencies should be an option when you are designing a lineage. Maybe they represent something physical, maybe cultural. If cultural, there should be generalized cultural options that any lineage can take that provide them, similar to Level Up or Ancestry & Culture. That is what I want, and I very much hope that 6e provides something along those lines. I apologize, Chaosmancer, if my thoughts were contradictory from your perception. This is as clear as I can make it.

The only thing missing from what you want in the new design is a proficiency that is based purely in culture.

I don't know how WoTC is planning on handling cultures in the future. But, you have the majority of what you want as options already.
 

Why would you conflate race with culture? And no, it wouldn't suggest that Spartans are generally less intelligent than Athenians. It would suggest that Athenian culture traditionally values book-learning. Nothing keeps you from giving your Spartan a +1 to Int, or your Athenian a +1 to Str, if the cultural ideals don't fit your character, or if you don't want Spartans or Athenians to be that way in your campaign. But if you do want to create an archetypal Spartan or Athenian, defaults make that easier.

It's perfectly fine if you don't want cultures to be reflected in game mechanics, but I don't see the inherent harm in saying "Culture X values this trait", as long as you're not bound to it.
Seriously? Try assigning ASIs to existing real world cultures. There is no way it would not come across as incredibly racist.
 

The only thing missing from what you want in the new design is a proficiency that is based purely in culture.

I don't know how WoTC is planning on handling cultures in the future. But, you have the majority of what you want as options already.
What WotC said is that they are not planning on culture at all in the future. That's what I am concerned about.
 


JEB

Hero
What WotC said is that they are not planning on culture at all in the future. That's what I am concerned about.
It's conceivable Wizards has some new rules construct in mind to cover cultural traits that once would have been part of character races, or they may try to cram them into backgrounds (which aren't supposed to be that potent) or feats (which are officially only optional).

But you're correct, all they've indicated so far is that culture will be gone from racial traits, and officially there's nowhere else for those traits to go. So if you haven't already, make sure Wizards is aware of your concern in feedback for that UA.

Personally, I think the fact that they've now created two types of character race designs - pre-Tasha and post-Tasha - makes it pretty clear a 5.5 or 6E is on the way. You can't claim you're not in favor of cultural traits or fixed ASI in character design anymore, and not look like hypocrites when you still have them in the core rules.
 



It is pretty much impossible to make fictional cultures that will not be seen to be analogous to real cultures.
So again, are we waging war on fiction now? This world and its history is all we have to work with after all. You can't make up stuff without referring to the real world in some fashion, so if we can't do that, we can't make stuff up. I'm with you on not adding ASIs to different cultures; we have moved on, and people don't want that anymore. But cultures have different values, and I feel that still needs to be represented.
 

It's conceivable Wizards has some new rules construct in mind to cover cultural traits that once would have been part of character races, or they may try to cram them into backgrounds (which aren't supposed to be that potent) or feats (which are officially only optional).

But you're correct, all they've indicated so far is that culture will be gone from racial traits, and officially there's nowhere else for those traits to go. So if you haven't already, make sure Wizards is aware of your concern in feedback for that UA.

Personally, I think the fact that they've now created two types of character race designs - pre-Tasha and post-Tasha - makes it pretty clear a 5.5 or 6E is on the way. You can't claim you're not in favor of cultural traits or fixed ASI in character design anymore, and not look like hypocrites when you still have them in the core rules.
I have to agree, this seems a big enough split that a 5.5 or 6e is an inevitability. The core books no longer reflect the current values of the company.
 

Scribe

Hero
I have to agree, this seems a big enough split that a 5.5 or 6e is an inevitability. The core books no longer reflect the current values of the company.
I don't know, that seems to overstate the issue. I don't believe this warrants a new edition at all.

A proper DMG title could cover this stuff easily.
 



I don't know, that seems to overstate the issue. I don't believe this warrants a new edition at all.

A proper DMG title could cover this stuff easily.
Mechanically, they don't need a new edition. But the changes they have made to character creation are sweeping, and to not have the main book players will buy reflect those changes seems an odd choice unless they're planning on updating the PH soonish.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I was referring to culture from the perspective of character creation, like this entire thread has been about.

My apologies, but when I said previously "I don't know how WoTC is planning on handling cultures in the future." I meant that in general. Not just for character creation via choosing your race/lineage. That is why your response of "What WotC said is that they are not planning on culture at all in the future." got me to clarify that the only thing they are not doing is culture from the perspective of being tied directly to lineages.

So, maybe like the "This is your life" tables, they might introduce a set of rules to be added on to represent various cultures at character creation, but not tied directly to lineages. I don't know. As I said, "I don't know how WoTC is planning on handling cultures in the future." But there are many potential paths they might take. Without having to tie them directly to lineages.
 

JEB

Hero
It is pretty much impossible to make fictional cultures that will not be seen to be analogous to real cultures.
"Seen" is not the same as "is". (Although, if a lot of folks are saying "this seems uncomfortably close to stereotypes about Real-Life Culture X", maybe it's time to make some changes. Doesn't mean you shouldn't have cultural traits at all, though.)
 
Last edited:

JEB

Hero
Mechanically, they don't need a new edition. But the changes they have made to character creation are sweeping, and to not have the main book players will buy reflect those changes seems an odd choice unless they're planning on updating the PH soonish.
I dunno about "soonish". Like, I'd be shocked if we saw 5.5 next year. But we are just three years out from a marketing-friendly date for a revised edition...
 


Visit Our Sponsor

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top