What doesn't belong in the "core"

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But this whole discussion is rather irrelevant. I get the sense from what was released at the seminar today that the 5e design team is following 4e's lead and proclaiming that everything is core... with the caveat that also none of it is. That's up to the group (particularly the DM) to determine.
For what it's worth, I believe the "everything is core" mantra basically means that everything works with everything else and that all races and classes would be supported with supplementary material.

The second part means that whatever you choose to play, you will get the occasional Dragon magazine article or other rules material relevant to your character. I'm not sure what WotC's track record on this has been, but I seem to recall a Runepriest article in Dragon and Wildren feats in Heroes of the Feywild.

The first part means that all rules elements are more or less balanced with each other. There are no gnomes in Athas, but if you really wanted to put a gnome in your Dark Sun campaign, it isn't going to cause problems. Similarly, you can use Dark Sun thri-kreen, Eberron dragonmarks and Forgotten Realms spellscars in any campaign, and they won't cause mechanical issues. Flavor issues are assumed to be the province of You, the (presumably) mature, wise and benevolent DM.

And flavor issues being the province of the DM is the other side of the coin: nothing is core, in the sense that the DM has the authority to decide what is or is not in his campaign. I'm a pretty lenient DM myself, but when I play I don't make a fuss if the DM decides he doesn't want this or that - his game, his rules.

What's that famous Monte Cook quote again? "Don't let the rules substitute for DM skill"? Well, similarly, don't let the rules dictate to the DM what he should allow (or not) in his campaign.


Incidentally, based on this post, it appears that Fighters will be able to take a "Noble" package to gain more social skills. So, I guess the big question is: Would a Fighter Noble be a Warrior Lord? :p


First Post
I think it's important to differentiate between the core rules and the core rulebook.

I think that the core rules should be the absolute minimum set of rules necessary to run a D&D game. Everything outside the core rules should be considered optional. This includes things like non-human races.

The core rulebook should contain the core rules, but it may also contain some optional material too. Non-human character races would be high on the list.


First Post
I have to say rounser, your comments on this thread, and others, just seems to me that anything that 4e introduced is a poison that must excised. If that is your wish, I think you're going to have to give it up.

For one thing, there is too much of the old regime in place for there to be a complete backpedaling, no matter how little 4e met expectations.
Actually, if you look a little closer, my list contains 3eisms such as sunrods, tanglefoot bags, double weapons and spiked chains. It's not an anti-4E bias, but 4E is the worst offender in terms of making a mess of the implied setting, IMO, so I can see how you could jump to that conclusion. I like warlocks? I think they're a good fit for the core? Okay, they were a 2E/3E invention, but 4E was first to make them core.

But yeah, completely backpedaling to a pre-4E style implied setting does indeed seem unlikely. If nothing else, would be too much crow to eat, plus it's odds on that people like what they design and feel it is justified design else they wouldn't design it that way...so they don't think about the game in the way I've outlined or consider it important, else they wouldn't have done what they did with 4E.
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Races which aren't classic fantasy enough to belong in every D&D world (e.g. warforged, dragonborn).
Heavy orientation towards use of miniatures to resolve combat.
Statements about the implied setting which don't apply in many worlds (e.g. such and such race is from an empire, the god of jails is evil for some reason without specifying what setting is being referred to etc).

This is the part of the OP that I agree with - those things don't belong in the core...


Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
Dragonborn... ok... but eladrin are a very good addition... maybe better folded into elves... and their teleporting ability stripped off...

Actually I don´t mind Eladrin teleporting from level 1. But the number of teleporting powers in 4e is too much. So I am a bit concerned about that.
Otherwise, as I said: the eladrin/elf distinction was one of the best things that could happen to elves.
I call this race "High Elf." There was already an eladrin race and 4E obliterated it.

Eladrin were the bread and butter of the Chaotic Good Outer Planes. I miss them. :.-(

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