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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Strong mice are the least of our problems if we start pretending 'absurd' is bad. Also, why shouldn't elephants not have a high INT? They mourn their dead, the females select mates in response to not only the environment but to poachers, they actively hunt said poachers for revenge, they get jobs and paint... how is 'smart' not their thing instead of Strongliness? Is it because they're fat?

It actually kinda is their "thing" in D&D. Loxodons have +2 CON, +1 WIS. Which doesn't help the other guy's point yeah lol.
 

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"D&D hates realism. It loves abstraction" you say?

Fair enough. In that case the game has to abstractly reflect the impact of those differences.

Ok, so we're getting somewhere, but you still haven't justified the "has to" as opposed to "I would prefer it to". Or is the former merely shorthand for the latter for you? Which is fine, but obviously an opinion rather than an argument.

And it is abstractly reflected in some cases already. The Loxodon has Powerful Build, for example.
 


Oofta

Legend
It does not rely on stat minimums. I've explained in detail how it doesn't rely on stat minimums in 5e either. What about this are you not getting?
Well, obviously it's not a rational argument if someone doesn't agree with your opinion. ;)

In other words, at a certain point you just have to accept that some people think that anything other than their opinion is not rational and you just need to let it go because they will never admit that their opinion is just that. An opinion.
 



Can you point out in the argument where stat minimums must exist? I am sorry. I am having a hard time seeing it.

Yes, I've done so already a couple of times, but one more won't hurt.

The claim was that "You can't any longer describe a Dwarf as 'hardy', because as a race they are no hardier than any other."

And that this was specifically an issue in 5E, and 5E's language needed to be changed as a result. This is not true. If we ignore non-ASI abilities, as the poster was doing at that point (and indeed has to do in order to make that argument), then as soon as stat minimums went out the window, it became, by that token, false to say that "Dwarves are hardy", because it became possible to have a CON 5 Dwarf or the like.

When stat minimums existed, it was a valid argument - if a race had a minimum of 9 or more in a stat, for example, you could fairly say that none of them had less than average constitution, and necessarily because of the way minimums work, the vast majority would be above-average in that stat.

Now, what you could say, and appreciate that this is a neat point, but still, is that "Dwarves tend to be hardy". But that can remain true with fixed ASIs gone. A tendency isn't the same as a hard modifier, or a fixed alignment or the like. Saying "Dwarves tend to be hardy" is absolutely compatible with the +CON mod situation, and with a no-fixed-mod situation.

And further, my point was that minimums had been gone for a long time.

@Oofta see above. Also re: opinions, anyone can think what they want. It's when they make claims that something is factually the case that it goes outside opinion into argument.
 

Oofta

Legend
Strong mice are the least of our problems if we start pretending 'absurd' is bad. Also, why shouldn't elephants not have a high INT? They mourn their dead, the females select mates in response to not only the environment but to poachers, they actively hunt said poachers for revenge, they get jobs and paint... how is 'smart' not their thing instead of Strongliness? Is it because they're fat?
Hey now, maybe I want to recreate my childhood hero!
download (14).jpg
 

Let's start with 'less' HP and shudder in horror at trying to play a good combat halfling from there.

And in D&D there's no such thing as a character who isn't a "combat X", given that the entire game is built around combat as the heavy focus. Yeah, a few groups play otherwise, cool, but the design of the game mechanics in general doesn't just center combat, it makes it absolutely the core activity, and this is backed up by official 5E adventures (hopefully Candlekeep moves it a bit away from that, but it'll be a drop in the ocean).

This was true even in earlier editions, all the way back. You can not fight, but... things will still try and fight you, and you'll be just be easier to kill.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Rubbish!

This is an example of 'the perfect being the enemy of the good'.

Just because D&D cannot perfectly model the different effects from 30lbs versus 600lbs does not mean we shouldn't model it somehow!

The idea that a mouse is as strong as an elephant is absurd! The idea that the mouse's Str score is a result of their cultural preference for being weak is absurd. The idea that elephants are only strong because they have a culture of wanting to be strong is absurd.

The idea that a PC mouse should be stronger than a PC elephant if the mouse pumps iron and the elephant reads books is utterly absurd!

Yet that is the effect of allowing mouse PCs to have +2 Str and PC elephants to move their +2 Str bonus to Int.
You know what's absurd?

A halfling, a gnome, a human, and elf, an orc, and a goliath require exactly the same amount of food and water per day, despite a range of multiple feet and hundreds of pounds.

But I'm pretty sure no one wants BMI and caloric intake rules, despite "reality".
 

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