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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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
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.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
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

Legend
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.
 



Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
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

Legend
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.)
 
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JEB

Legend
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...
 


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