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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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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Dausuul

Legend
If only there was another way, having options both fully supported!

If only...
If Wizards fully supported every option that everybody wants, the PHB would be ten thousand pages long.

And it's bizarre to me that people think "+2 to one stat and +1 to another stat" is inadequate support for "+2 Dex, +1 Wis." As a DM, I curate my settings heavily--I pick and choose the races that are allowed, ban various spells, etc. That requires some work on my part, but I would never complain that Wizards isn't "supporting" me because they don't do it for me! They provide the ingredients. It's up to me which ones I want to use, or whether I want to just dump them all in the pot and stir.
 


Scribe

Hero
What does "fully supported" mean?

How many options do you figure can be "fully supported" at a time? Because there's a whole lot of requests for various options for various things to be "fully supported".

Do include thoughts on playtesting in your answer, and consider how you can claim a thing is "fully supported" without testing it?
Considering the ability we as DMs or Players have, to change anything, and the fact the 2/1 Tasha's system was provided as an official option?

I do not believe it beyond the realm of possibility to maintain the Tasha's system as official rule 1a, and maintain as an option the pre-Tasha's system, yes for new content as well.

Anything less, is 'you have 1 option' officially, and it's not remotely about play testing balance.
 




Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Considering the ability we as DMs or Players have, to change anything, and the fact the 2/1 Tasha's system was provided as an official option?

You failed to address what "full support" actually means, and how many options can be fully supported? You have maintained focus on the single issue, and failed to recognize that it sits within a context of them having many, many, many requests all over the place for "fully supporting" someone's favored option. Ask a dozen gamers what options WotC should fully support, you'll get two dozen answers, if not more.

Is there some a priori reason why THIS should be a thing they give full support to the option, as opposed to something else? Or is it just because this is the one that's cheesing some folks off at the moment?
 


MGibster

Legend
You failed to address what "full support" actually means, and how many options can be fully supported? You have maintained focus on the single issue, and failed to recognize that it sits within a context of them having many, many, many requests all over the place for "fully supporting" someone's favored option. Ask a dozen gamers what options WotC should fully support, you'll get two dozen answers, if not more.
I don't believe any game can be all things to all people. The designers need to pick a direction they want to go in and go. We can't reasonably support 2-3 different methods of handling race. At best, maybe they can make some suggestions in the DMG. But from a player's point of view it should be simple. Trying to cater to the wants and desires of everyone will just lead to badly watered down work.
 
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If Wizards fully supported every option that everybody wants, the PHB would be ten thousand pages long.

And it's bizarre to me that people think "+2 to one stat and +1 to another stat" is inadequate support for "+2 Dex, +1 Wis." As a DM, I curate my settings heavily--I pick and choose the races that are allowed, ban various spells, etc. That requires some work on my part, but I would never complain that Wizards isn't "supporting" me because they don't do it for me! They provide the ingredients. It's up to me which ones I want to use, or whether I want to just dump them all in the pot and stir.
You ban things? How dare you. ;)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
With that in mind, best leave the worldbuilding to the setting guides.
Then don’t include races or any equivalent to them, including culture, in the phb. Full stop.

The PHB is there, in part, to make the game easy to jump into. You pick a race, customize it a bit if you want to, pick a class, background, and some gear, and play. Optionally, you can rebuild your race from scratch, including some basic races and cultures where you pick one of each.

If the entire lineage system becomes hyper-generic biological races and slightly less generic cultures, it has no value. Just remove that layer of the game and replace it with a few pages on flavoring your backstory to include the people you come from, the community you were raised in, and your place in it, with no mechanical impact.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think in the case of Goliath's I'd give them some kind of specific feat - Incredible Strength or something like that. +1 Strength, raise their max Strength threshold to 22 and give them advantage on Strength based abilty rolls.

They definitely need something if you're going to use them. They're whole point is that they're the giant PC race. Having extra carrying capacity doesn't really cut it.
I already give them increased range with thrown weapons, and increase jump range, and they count as large for grappling.
 

Scribe

Hero
You failed to address what "full support" actually means, and how many options can be fully supported? You have maintained focus on the single issue, and failed to recognize that it sits within a context of them having many, many, many requests all over the place for "fully supporting" someone's favored option. Ask a dozen gamers what options WotC should fully support, you'll get two dozen answers, if not more.

Is there some a priori reason why THIS should be a thing they give full support to the option, as opposed to something else? Or is it just because this is the one that's cheesing some folks off at the moment?
Full Support to me, is the system we had pre-Tasha's, as well as the more open system, of Tasha's, existing at the same time.

This is not a zero-sum, or at least it didn't need to be, but that is what this UA is telegraphing as the way it will be.

It's no more complicated than that.

It's 3 extra sentences in each race definition.

That's it.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
One thing I take away from this UA is that each of the three options have very distinctive flavor. We can quibble about the mechanical details, but in play these lineages give the player a great toolkit for representing these archetypes. The abilities, combined with some of the fluff, do a great job at evoking an appropriate image.

And yet...none of them have fixed ability score increases.
 

And yet...none of them have fixed ability score increases.
Which is a mistake, IMO. Though I love the direction D&D is going based off of this UA, WotC broke their promise. They said Tasha's was going to be optional, and it was, until just a couple months later when they say that it is now going to be the base.

When they officially publish these changes, they should give fixed ability scores alongside the floating ones to keep their promise and keep both sides relatively happy.
 

Kobold Avenger

Adventurer
The dual creature types for some of these lineages might introduce certain complications, especially for Dhampirs or Reborn of the undead type. There's Turn Undead being able to affect them, and then there's some spells like Sunbeam and Chill Touch that can affect them even worse, in addition to having things like Charm Person, Sleep and Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting still capable of affecting them. There might be some spells (probably necromancy spells) where it could be advantageous to be considered undead.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Which is a mistake, IMO. Though I love the direction D&D is going based off of this UA, WotC broke their promise. They said Tasha's was going to be optional, and it was, until just a couple months later when they say that it is now going to be the base.

When they officially publish these changes, they should give fixed ability scores alongside the floating ones to keep their promise and keep both sides relatively happy.

I'm sorry, but "they broke their promise" is just hyperbole. That is, unless you can show me the quote where somebody said, "And we promise to equally maintain both systems side-by-side, forever."

The put out an optional rule. They decided they liked it. New content started following that design pattern. They haven't (yet?) announced that PHB content is no longer valid.

That is not a broken promise. That's called design evolution.
 

One thing I take away from this UA is that each of the three options have very distinctive flavor. We can quibble about the mechanical details, but in play these lineages give the player a great toolkit for representing these archetypes. The abilities, combined with some of the fluff, do a great job at evoking an appropriate image.

And yet...none of them have fixed ability score increases.
None of them have skill, weapon, armor, or tool proficiencies either.
 

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