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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

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I mean, at least one can say that they have come up with a number of systems that players can choose and use if they feel like it.

You want to do Racial Scores, you can. You want to Tasha it, you can do that too. You can(according to this UA) Lineage it, if the system goes well, etc etc.

Pick your poison and tell anybody that doesn't agree or want that to get lost at your table.
Considering the diversity of opinions on these matters among the community, providing a host of selectable systems seems like a smart move.
 

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Scribe

Hero
Considering the diversity of opinions on these matters among the community, providing a host of selectable systems seems like a smart move.

It would be smart to maintain the pre TCoE system, and then simply have the other option of "You get +2 and +1, regardless of your biological choice (cuz we dont want to call it race) so just do whatever you want."

However I highly doubt that will be the path forward. As shown here. They are just going to go +2/+1, have fun, and another aspect of the game goes away.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I mean, at least one can say that they have come up with a number of systems that players can choose and use if they feel like it.

You want to do Racial Scores, you can. You want to Tasha it, you can do that too. You can(according to this UA) Lineage it, if the system goes well, etc etc.

Pick your poison and tell anybody that doesn't agree or want that to get lost at your table.
Yeah, I guess options are nice. It just feels so inelegant and kludgy to me to layer optional subsystem on top of optional subsystem to try and “fix” fundamental “flaws” with the underlying rules structure. Seems likely to alienate folks who like the underlying structure the way it is, while still failing to satisfy the folks who agree the underlying structure is flawed, and making the whole system significantly more cumbersome in the process.

Like, personally I’m glad to see them finally moving to separate biology and culture. That’s been something people have been pushing for, for a very long time. But trying to do it with these bolt-on options is such horribly inelegant design. Even if they don’t want to or can’t make a new edition, at least present a variant lineage-and-culture system that replaces the race system entirely instead of trying to kitbash the existing system into doing something it was never designed to do.
 



Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Considering the diversity of opinions on these matters among the community, providing a host of selectable systems seems like a smart move.
I think the diversity of options is good, but I would rather the options be between multiple fully realized systems built from the ground up to do the thing they’re trying to do, rather than a single baseline with several bolt-on options meant to make it kind-of-sort-of do things it wasn’t built to do.
 

I think the diversity of options is good, but I would rather the options be between multiple fully realized systems built from the ground up to do the thing they’re trying to do, rather than a single baseline with several bolt-on options meant to make it kind-of-sort-of do things it wasn’t built to do.
Maybe too much to ask of 5E. We love DND but we'll all agree that it's not a perfect game.
 



TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Hexblood needs a possible rewording. Fey Resilience should be "You have advantage on charmed conditions." Hex magic. This will cause me to check your log sheet. As I can see some people switching which modifier they use once they take an ASI.
You have characters that start off with one of INT/WIS/CHA being higher than the other, and then raising a different one up mid-game via ASIs? And even if they did that.... so? That's some overzealousness in search of a problem.

Reborn. another freaking Trance race like elf. Great an always on d6 bump to your saving throws. 1 to 5 times a day. Make it a d3 and I will be happy.
The reborn ability is only to ability checks that use skills, not saving throws.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I think the diversity of options is good, but I would rather the options be between multiple fully realized systems built from the ground up to do the thing they’re trying to do, rather than a single baseline with several bolt-on options meant to make it kind-of-sort-of do things it wasn’t built to do.

Agreed on that.

For example, let's imagine that you aren't using the various custom options from Tasha's. Then what are you supposed to do with this UA Material?

If you look, they have the Design Note. So, going forward, Tasha's custom options ... aren't options. And if you want to ignore the custom options, going forward, you'll have to homebrew what the ability score, languages, and skill/armor/weapons of every new race is.

So what is the default is now an option, and the Tasha's option is not the default, but only moving forward.
 



TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I think the diversity of options is good, but I would rather the options be between multiple fully realized systems built from the ground up to do the thing they’re trying to do, rather than a single baseline with several bolt-on options meant to make it kind-of-sort-of do things it wasn’t built to do.
I agree that I would prefer fully realized systems. But if the choice is between an inelegantly presented option and no option at all, I'll take the former. I think the Tasha's system is a kludge, personally, but it's still better than simply not having the option.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
For the Dhampir, it seems you could make your Bite a monk weapon with the Dedicated Weapon feature from Tasha's. It's not overpowered - you still can only use it PROF times a long rest - but it would give you a bigger damage die for greater impact from whichever Empowering Effect you chose.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Since the Dhampir's bite counts as a simple melee weapon, can it be used as a monk weapon?
The way it’s written in the UA, I believe it can, though I expect if this makes it to a published book, they would change the wording to the standard for natural weapons, which is “your fangs are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes.” This would make it no longer count as a monk weapon, though as an unarmed strike it would still work with martial arts.
Is the Con bonus in addition to the Str/Dex bonus or does it replace it?
I believe the intent is that it replaces Str, but the wording doesn’t really make that explicit.
 


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expletive yes! This is something long missing from 5e adding even this toe in the water return is a good start to help simplify things. Reborn also sound like an interesting way to justify a pc who is playing something that was created through the odakyr rites(rising295 & other eberron stuff talks about them), too bad it's not mentioned given the existance of things like fort zombie, fort bones, & the Code of Kaius that grants intelligent undead certain rights like existing, owning land, & so on.
 

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