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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Scribe

Legend
What’s inherently unfair is the player’s choice of race leading to meaningful discrepancies in their efficacy as a member of their class. Your choice of class doesn’t lead to meaningful discrepancies in your efficacy as a member of your class, nor as a member of your race for that matter.

So, just a hypothetical.

We accept that Tasha's is going to be the system moving forward. To go back to the threads more absurd notion, The Halfling Titan vs the Minotaur or Goliath.

In a world where ASI is no longer an issue (Tasha's) are people comfortable with an implementation in which while they can all have 20's for Str, there are still mechanics in play (Size, Race Special Rules, whatever) which would STILL provide meaningful advantage for a race in one class over a different race?

Are people OK with a Halfling not being as good a Fighter as a Goliath or Half-Orc?
 

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So, just a hypothetical.

We accept that Tasha's is going to be the system moving forward. To go back to the threads more absurd notion, The Halfling Titan vs the Minotaur or Goliath.

In a world where ASI is no longer an issue (Tasha's) are people comfortable with an implementation in which while they can all have 20's for Str, there are still mechanics in play (Size, Race Special Rules, whatever) which would STILL provide meaningful advantage for a race in one class over a different race?

Are people OK with a Halfling not being as good a Fighter as a Goliath or Half-Orc?
do you mean a sub-optimal not as good or flat out bad?
 

So, just a hypothetical.

We accept that Tasha's is going to be the system moving forward. To go back to the threads more absurd notion, The Halfling Titan vs the Minotaur or Goliath.

In a world where ASI is no longer an issue (Tasha's) are people comfortable with an implementation in which while they can all have 20's for Str, there are still mechanics in play (Size, Race Special Rules, whatever) which would STILL provide meaningful advantage for a race in one class over a different race?

Are people OK with a Halfling not being as good a Fighter as a Goliath or Half-Orc?

Can you explain what makes a Goliath or Half-Orc a "better Fighter" than a Halfling in the situation you describe? Racial-mechanics-wise, I feel kinda like the Goliath is the worst Fighter of those three, if they all have the same ASIs.

Halfling has Lucky, Nimbleness and Brave. That's pretty good combo of traits for a Fighter. Nimbleness is almost overpowered, even!

Half-Orc has Savage Attacks, which ranges from "meh" to pretty great depending on build, and the useful Relentless Endurance. This is probably the most reliably strongest set for a Fighter, but not miles ahead of the Halfling.

Goliath though, just has Stone's Endurance as "Fighter-relevant", which I'd say is pretty bad, having had a Goliath in one of my parties for like, a long-ass time. I'd say they were inferior to the other two. Their main benefits are non-combat.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
Well, of course there are optional rules. Now we get to quibble over whose preferred rules get to be "standard" and which are "optional".
Unless it says otherwise, if it's in the PH/DMG/MM, it's standard, and everything else is optional.
 

Scribe

Legend
do you mean a sub-optimal not as good or flat out bad?
Can you explain what makes a Goliath or Half-Orc a "better Fighter" than a Halfling in the situation you describe? Racial-mechanics-wise, I feel kinda like the Goliath is the worst Fighter of those three.

I mean in a world where instead of ASI, we get more rules like Savage Attacks. Things which would push a specific race/heritage/linage towards a more limited role, but not force one.

Not flat out bad, but sub-optimal if looked at from a pure min/max perspective.
 

Hurin70

Adventurer
The problem is, I do get it. It's just not a rational argument. It's attempt to skip over the rational part and just argue one small point, to try and claim that 5E needs to edit all it's text. That's not rational. If 5E needed to edit it's text because of this, it needed to edit before, because it was already false. You've accepted this premise by saying that just because previous editions also made this "mistake", this one doesn't need to. By even saying that, you are agreeing that this issue existed already. Which is what I'm saying.
Yes, and I am responding that past mistakes don't justify repeating the same mistakes in the future. How is that not rational?
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Upthread somebody referred to "perfect being the enemy of good" and I think that applies to race balancing, too. For example, it is argued that the "Lucky" feat is better for classes that make more attack rolls (vs. making attacks that require saving throws, or do a lot of healing, for example.)

But given that the goal is to make players feel less constrained in what race/class combinations they choose, what we are going for is reducing the class bias in race design. Sure, the theorycrafters and white room optimizers will ALWAYS have an argument for why race A makes a better fighter (or whatever) than race B, but the goal is not to eliminate those differences, but to make them smaller and less obvious than an across-the-board +1 on your primary skills.
 

Yes, and I am responding that past mistakes don't justify repeating the same mistakes in the future. How is that not rational?

By itself, that's absolutely a rational argument.

But it still doesn't account for you saying that 5E needs to change it's language, nor account for you saying it needs to happen now. If it needed to happen, as I've said a few times, it was in 3E. Or if we only look at 5E, it was already the case and doesn't change with this. That's the problem. For that argument that 5E's language is wrong to be true, you need at accept that it was already wrong, it's not wrong because ASIs are being removed.
 

Hurin70

Adventurer
I guess my question though is, are we trying to push D&D towards Rolemaster/GURPS? Because I don't think that'd be to D&D's advantage.
That's a fair question. I would say no, I am not trying to push D&D towards Rolemaster. I am just saying that I think Rolemaster handles this issue better than D&D is trying to handle it. So I think D&D would be better if it went with the Rolemaster solution rather than the one I see in Tasha's and the UA. That's really all I'm saying.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
So, just a hypothetical.

We accept that Tasha's is going to be the system moving forward. To go back to the threads more absurd notion, The Halfling Titan vs the Minotaur or Goliath.

In a world where ASI is no longer an issue (Tasha's) are people comfortable with an implementation in which while they can all have 20's for Str, there are still mechanics in play (Size, Race Special Rules, whatever) which would STILL provide meaningful advantage for a race in one class over a different race?

Are people OK with a Halfling not being as good a Fighter as a Goliath or Half-Orc?
I answered a similar question earlier, and the short answer is “not really.” If you want to use race features to make halflings differently-good fighters than Goliaths and Half-orcs? Sure, that’s something I’m willing to discuss. But halflings just plain being worse fighters than Goliaths and Half-orcs? That’s gonna be a no from me.
 

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