log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Witchlight publishes the new official format for player character races.


log in or register to remove this ad

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
That's fair. I'm about more differences, not less.

This whole custom lineage approach is....180 from anything I'd touch.

And yet Tiny/Large isn't good to go?

Yuck.
I’m here for more differences, I just don’t see ability score modifiers as a meaningful difference. They only serve to funnel characters of certain races toward certain classes, without doing anything to make them actually play differently. If making those modifiers into floating bonuses opens up design space for other racial features to be more varied, it’s a good change in my opinion. If not, then… well, personally I still think it’s a positive change, but a smaller one than I think it ought to be.
 

I like the flexibility, but if size is going to be one of the few things that differentiate races, I wish they would start allowing some Tiny and Large races.
Honestly I'd be for both. Heck, Large is already an option for Centaur pcs (even though its the Centaur PC racial option in Kobold Press's Midgard setting) and that doesn't seem to cause any kind of issues really.
 


I’m here for more differences, I just don’t see ability score modifiers as a meaningful difference. They only serve to funnel characters of certain races toward certain classes, without doing anything to make them actually play differently. If making those modifiers into floating bonuses opens up design space for other racial features to be more varied, it’s a good change in my opinion. If not, then… well, personally I still think it’s a positive change, but a smaller one than I think it ought to be.
I have always wanted to make the last word in big bruiser races so people will ideally have to go make something else that is not them or a type of elf and large is ideal for that.
 

I'm all for the new "Typically" verbage that is now being added. It is a good compromise between the players who aren't fans of Alignment in generally, and for those, like me, who prefer there to be at least some kind of Alignment being mentioned or present. I also wouldn't mind how the Candlekeep book did it by having key NPCs getting an Alignment while everything else was free. But the new "Typically" will do for me.

I'm still hoping that Lineages aren't done at this point and they are still happening. Perhaps it's just me but I still would like more options so that way if I wanted to, I can just apply them as a layer mesh over any of the currently available 5E race options OR the Tasha's Custom Races. (Since I still/always felt that Custom Races as a whole was a bit skeletal/barebones. Especially since the new Floating Modifiers, which I'm also for as well despite my old school mind set/no probs with racial modifiers of old, was a better option and more superior as you still got the +2/+1 or +1/+1/+1 compared to Custom's single +1 bonus.)

And I'm really hoping WoTC will now actually be a bit braver and start giving us Typing like Undead and Aberrations. I'm willing to deal with the complications they would bring up during play. So far, they have already giving us Monsterous races and Fey, which can be a bit stronger so their explanation of "balance" is somewhat "not good enough" if they are kosher with how Fey is and what it can basically rooster block and having complications from spells such as Protection from Good and Evil.

Although at this rate, I'm fully willing to just jack/kitbash the Reborn's version of Deathless Nature and using that for Undead typed PCs.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Edit: Reading over it again, I'll not purchase this, because of this. :D
Can you elaborate on why leaving a few things up to players for two races, a small percentage of the total content in what is an adventure, not a content book, be the determinator about why you would not want to buy it?

If it had no races like several of the hardbound adventures would you then buy it?
 

Scribe

Hero
Can you elaborate on why leaving a few things up to players for two races, a small percentage of the total content in what is an adventure, not a content book, be the determinator about why you would not want to buy it?

If it had no races like several of the hardbound adventures would you then buy it?
It's the push for this custom lineage stuff.

Unless the OP was making assumptions and I misunderstood (very possible as I don't have the book) I was under the impression this is Character Creation of all PC options.

If it's that, I refuse to support it financially.

If it's only in application to the two new race options, I'm still not a fan, but it's less of an issue, because at least they properly include Alignment on Monsters.

Essentially, any book taking away ASI, distinctions between PC options, and Alignment, I've not purchased.

I was going to pick this up, until I read the OPs post.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
It's the push for this custom lineage stuff.

Unless the OP was making assumptions and I misunderstood (very possible as I don't have the book) I was under the impression this is Character Creation of all PC options.

If it's that, I refuse to support it financially.

If it's only in application to the two new race options, I'm still not a fan, but it's less of an issue, because at least they properly include Alignment on Monsters.

Essentially, any book taking away ASI, distinctions between PC options, and Alignment, I've not purchased.

I was going to pick this up, until I read the OPs post.
So does that mean you are opting out of all future WotC books, because I doubt they will retract the change? Or just this one because it happened to be first published with races after the change?

Are you starting a personal boycott on all official products because races are being moved to a customizable format?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I low-key like the idea that Large type creatures/pcs can automatically use the Versatile trait's increased damage die when one handing those weapons. But that's just me.
I’m here for that! Maybe not every Large race (again, I think centaurs with their human torsos and arms should be limited to using human weapons. Though, I’d be down for letting them wield lances one-handed since, you know, they’re basically always mounted), but like Goliaths/half-giants for sure. Technically though, weapons built for Large creatures have double the damage dice of weapons built for Medium creatures, and lettinf Large races use those without disadvantage would obviously not be balanced.
 

Scribe

Hero
So does that mean you are opting out of all future WotC books, because I doubt they will retract the change? Or just this one because it happened to be first published with races after the change?

Are you starting a personal boycott on all official products because races are being moved to a customizable format?
Yes. I'm done with anything pushing this approach. Adventures or settings? Maybe fine, but I won't play 6e or 5.5e or whatever this is heading towards.

Edit: last was MToF (great) and Rime, I believe.

No Tasha's, Candle or Guide to Ravenloft.
 

Along with ability scores, I view alignment and physical appearance, as significant shifts. I agree the shift is part of a process that has been going on for years, even decades. But shifts of all three have become decisive.

The designers probably want to do more, but still are working within the D&D traditions thus constrained by them to some degree by the feedback concerning them.

It surprises me that alignment remains among the monsters of a humanlike lineage. No doubt this was because of traditionalists complaining about a loss of monsters with alignments. On the other hand, the bullywug monsters exemplifying different alignments, shows the designers are experimenting with how to implement alignments in a more sensitive way.

In the Witchlight adventure, there is a section with "roleplaying cards" for each of the unique characters. It combines alignment with the personality section: personality mannerism, ideal, flaw, and bond. This shift suggests that for player characters, alignment is personal and part of the 5e roleplaying tools. This makes sense anyway, and is part of the overall demechanization of alignment. But it is a decisive shift of section, no longer relevant to the race section or the class section. Earlier, the 5e Players Handbook explicitly listed "Alignment" as a trait for each race, while drow and orc emphasized Evil. I am confident, we will never see alignment again as a trait for the race of a lineage.

With regard to reallife sensitivities, there is a clear distinction. To the degree that a concept is nonhuman, there is no problem. But to the degree that the concept resembles a reallife human, problems can happen. For example, for the new races, the fairy has wings and the harengon has a rabbit head. These features are nonhuman and therefore, for the most part, neutral. However, when it comes to the gender, ethnicity, complexion, age, height and weight, and so on, these reallife human descriptions are inherently sensitive. Thus the player has total control over these reallife appearances. All humanlike races can have any humanlike appearance.

The mechanic of size, whether Medium or Small, awkwardly interferes with the choice of height and weight, but is still presumed to be within the choices in a range of reallife human sizes, regardless of the fantastical race.



Because there is a meaningful difference between reallife human features and nonhuman features, I am surprised that a monster of a humanlike lineage still perpetuates an alignment stereotype.

Personally, I feel the current term "Typically" remains problematic while assigning alignment, since it still perpetuates a reallife stereotype if a monster happens to be humanlike.

On the other hand, I like how the bullywug has different alignments for its knight and its royal. Its multiplicity shows the bullywug isnt inherently any particular alignment. Where a Lawful Good knight can easily be obligated to serve an Evil monarch, the alignment has less to do with the bullywug lineage and more to do with an interesting D&D encounter. In this sense, I might prefer a term like "Incidentally" an alignment, rather than "Typically" an alignment. Whatever the phrasing, it should emphasize that the alignment refers to the encounter concept, whether a social encounter or a combat encounter, rather than to the lineage concept.



In sum, I view decisive shifts for abilities, alignment, and personal appearance. But there is still tension between D&D tradition (standardization) and D&D progress (innovation). The reallife ethical goal is a process that remains incomplete and ongoing.
I agree with all this. If you don't want a gameworld that makes blanket moral generalizations (specifically, of humanoid creatures), "typically" doesn't do a lot of work for you. You are still basing the world in generalizations, but then explicitly carving out exceptions: e.g. typically the drow are evil, but this one drow is not. It doesn't answer the question of where alignment comes from. Is it a cosmic force, a set of cultural norms, or just individual morality?

That being said, I don't really care whether they keep or discard alignment. For me the in-world generalizations and language that overlaps with real world racism comes more from the flavor text for race and monster descriptions, and from the world building of the scenarios with various default-to-evil antagonists.
 

I’m here for that! Maybe not every Large race (again, I think centaurs with their human torsos and arms should be limited to using human weapons. Though, I’d be down for letting them wield lances one-handed since, you know, they’re basically always mounted), but like Goliaths/half-giants for sure. Technically though, weapons built for Large creatures have double the damage dice of weapons built for Medium creatures, and lettinf Large races use those without disadvantage would obviously not be balanced.

I particularly like the rules they came up with for Large Player Characters in here. The whole double damage weapon die would be referred to as "Oversized" weapons and that's where something like that would end up becoming complicated.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Unless the OP was making assumptions and I misunderstood (very possible as I don't have the book) I was under the impression this is Character Creation of all PC options.
From your posts, I am unclear about what it is that you find difficult about the race design.



The original post describes the format that the designers are using to design a race:
• Creature Type.
• Size.
• Speed.

Every race has these three traits to fill out.

The rest of a race is a design space equivalent to one and half feats.

For the two new races, the designers choose which traits go into this remaining design space. For the harengon, the designers are assigning traits based on rabbit puns (here-and-gone, hair-trigger, lucky rabbits foot, etcetera). For the fairy, the designers are assigning traits based on flight and magic.

This new design approach feels clear, flavorful, and balances the races better with each other.

The Players Handbook races remain compatible, so there isnt too much power difference. Besides a race being good at more classes, perhaps the only salient difference is the player enjoying explicit control over the physical appearance. Heh, the main difference is, the fairy race description doesnt tell the player what the eye color of the character has to be.
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage

I particularly like the rules they came up with for Large Player Characters in here. The whole double damage weapon die would be referred to as "Oversized" weapons and that's where something like that would end up becoming complicated.
It turns out that Large characters are balanced in 5e, because the single reaction per round, can only make one opportunity attack, thus reach matters less.



It seems to me, a player can easily choose a Large size character, without any mechanics except space occupied. If feel minimum Strength-Constitution requirements is reasonable. The way grappling depends on size categories is probably still fine if Large. If the character concept wants to emphasize the Large size, use the feat-and-half design space to deal more damage, and so on.



Rather than a Large weapon dealing more damage, I feel it is appropriate for a Large character to add a single 1d6 extra damage for one attack per turn, because of a Large size. (Huge would be 2d6.) So, a Large weapon doesnt actually deal more damage. It is the Large character who wields it who deals more damage. If a Large character wields a Medium weapon, the poor fit means the character has a disadvantage wielding the wrong-size weapon. A Large character needs a Large size weapon to wield it properly. Visually, dealing the 1d6 only once per turn, resembles inertia and lunging. In any case, this way of defining size damage is easy to accommodate and balance.
 
Last edited:


Rather than a Large weapon dealing more damage, I feel it is appropriate for a Large character to add a single 1d6 extra damage for one attack per turn, because of a Large size. (Huge would be 2d6.) So, a Large weapon doesnt actually deal more damage. It is the Large character who wields it who deals more damage. If a Large character wields a Medium weapon, the poor fit means the character has a disadvantage wielding the wrong-size weapon. A Large character needs a Large size weapon to wield it properly. Visually, dealing the 1d6 only once per turn, resembles inertia and lunging. In any case, this way of defining size damage is easy to accommodate and balance.
I always did think that the way the Rune Knight handles the increase in damage, after becoming Large/Huge, is probably the most balanced/elegant way of doing it.
 

It turns out that Large characters are balanced in 5e, because the single reaction per round, can only make one opportunity attack, thus reach matters less.
And Large characters would have to worry about the one square/hex increase in regards to Opportunity attacks. Also small creatures, ala the Halfling, being able to invade the same square they occupy and stuff. Meaning that small characters/monsters would have a greater threat range of punishing larger pcs with Opportunity attacks.
 
Last edited:

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top