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

Faolyn

Hero
Some people wanted them to be Tiny all the time, instead of depending on Enlarge/Reduce to become Tiny 1/day. (I personally would have preferred if they could be Small/Medium, because then they could also fill the role of a playable Sylph character.)
Personally, here's one of those cases where I'd've liked either sub-races or the ability to pick your size from Tiny to Medium. So you could have both Tiny pixies and Medium sylphs, if you wanted.
 

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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Personally, here's one of those cases where I'd've liked either sub-races or the ability to pick your size from Tiny to Medium. So you could have both Tiny pixies and Medium sylphs, if you wanted.
We haven't been getting many races that have subraces lately. Wasn't the last official one the Shifter from Eberron? I do wish that the Fairy race had subraces, so you could get different spells for the different subraces (the subraces could even be called "Sylph", "Pixie/Sprite", and similar names).
 

Scribe

Hero
You can play a chaotic evil dwarf if you like, and you always could (well, at least since you could add "evil" to your "chaotic" alignment.) D&D has never restricted racial alignments, at least not for core races (classes, yes, but not races).

So basically, not having "typical alignments" isn't really a loss at all. It just removes something that straightjacketed a lot other people.
Is it a straight jacket or not? You and I have discussed this many times, I have NO reason to fight with you over it.

I believe that we already understand each other and I don't feel like doing this again today as I was finally able to get my 2nd Covid shot on Monday, and I feel like trash. :)

Suffice it to say, I'm more than happy for options to exist, I simply wish Wizards understood everyone (or certainly more) could be satisfied at the same time.

I'm not going to continue in this thread.
 


Faolyn

Hero
Is it a straight jacket or not? You and I have discussed this many times, I have NO reason to fight with you over it.
The difference between those two bits you quoted? One is about individuals (the part where you can play a CE dwarf) and the other is about the entire race as a whole. Which is why the racial alignment is a straightjacket: now I, as a DM, have to effectively rewrite everything and provide player material if I wanted to have dwarfs have a different racial alignment (or any alignment). As a player, I have to come up with a decent reason why my dwarf, alone out of how many, is CE.

Without racial alignments, it makes sense. Maybe my CE dwarf had an abusive upbringing or started hanging out with the wrong crowd. Maybe the entire area where my dwarf grew up was filled with terrible people, even if none of them harmed me. You know, normal things that happen to make people CE (without delving into supernatural stuff or being raised by monsters, at least).

But a society where nearly everyone is LG? That CE dwarf is unlikely to have had an abusive upbringing, and if he had, it's likely that someone else would have noticed and stepped in before it got that bad (since LG people are going to step in to protect children). And in a typically LG society, what would the wrong crowd or terrible people even be? Sure, I can imagine a NG or CG, or even an LN dwarf naturally occuring in such a society, but anything else? It makes very little sense. So you're left with "bad seeds" which... is kinda weak. Nobody likes a bad guy who was just born evil.

(And I (and others) would still like to know what you have actually lost by removing racial alignments.)
 

Faolyn

Hero
We haven't been getting many races that have subraces lately. Wasn't the last official one the Shifter from Eberron? I do wish that the Fairy race had subraces, so you could get different spells for the different subraces (the subraces could even be called "Sylph", "Pixie/Sprite", and similar names).
Honestly, they probably never should have had subraces to begin with. Either make all elves just elves (my preference), or make wood elves, high elves, etc., separate races.
 



In theory, I like the idea of large PC races options. The thing i generally don't like is when the mechanics of a race just make it hands-down superior to all other race options for common set-ups.

4e had a great design philosophy for races. Back then, the idea was that racial powers should be generally useful for pretty much any character concept instead of being useless to some/many classes. Dwarves can heal themselves and that's as useful on a wizard as it is on a fighter. Half-orc's rage gets them bonus damage, but it also applies to wizard spells. Elven accuracy works with fireball and a ranger's arrow. This design culture was so ingrained that when they came out with a race that granted a melee power, the minotaur, there were huge threads arguing about the developers dropping the ball and how to fix it. This is a great goal, IMO.

Now, if we add a large race, the OA issue seems balanced by the fact that you'll receive more OAs without the ability to make more yourself. I'm playing my second rune knight ATM, and the first one I played was a duergar that could become huge for one combat per day. Being large/huge was useful but not overwhelming, in itself. For me though, baked in bonus damage on melee weapons on a race fits perfectly narratively but feels real bad from a mechanical perspective. If I want to build a sword-an-board paladin, do i pick a race that deals 1d8 for his whole career with a longsword or the guy that just gets 1d10 forever? Do i pick the race that just deals straight damage or the one that gets +1d6 for free without expending resources? It makes sense thematically, but it feels like it creates a "must pick" vibe from a character building perspective.

I love Iron Kingdoms and supported their new 5e kickstarter. The PDF version of all of the books has been sent to supporters and, oof, the balance issues are glaring. One of the races, in case you folks aren't familiar with the setting, is the ogrun and they're essentially half-ogres. They get the ability to wield two-handed weapons in one hand and +1 to AC. From a mechanical perspective, why would you not choose ogrun if you're going to do 2-weapon fighting or sword-and-board?
 


What could be some drawbacks for Large PCs, to balance out the reach and damage? Sure, the DM could throw some curveballs ("...you can all fit in the secret escape tunnel...except Lenny the Half-ogre...") but what about intrinsic drawbacks of the race?

I was thinking that "large target" could be a thing, making you more vulnerable to ranged attacks, and you might have a harder time dodging fireballs and/or take more damage from them (because you're in more of the fire)...but that of course raises the question of why all the Large monsters don't suffer these same penalties.

Any other ideas?

Or do you just make reach and damage the only racial abilities?
 


That thread already exists:
true but I think I have found a simple system for concepts, stats no idea yet.
 

In theory, I like the idea of large PC races options. The thing i generally don't like is when the mechanics of a race just make it hands-down superior to all other race options for common set-ups.

4e had a great design philosophy for races. Back then, the idea was that racial powers should be generally useful for pretty much any character concept instead of being useless to some/many classes. Dwarves can heal themselves and that's as useful on a wizard as it is on a fighter. Half-orc's rage gets them bonus damage, but it also applies to wizard spells. Elven accuracy works with fireball and a ranger's arrow. This design culture was so ingrained that when they came out with a race that granted a melee power, the minotaur, there were huge threads arguing about the developers dropping the ball and how to fix it. This is a great goal, IMO.

Now, if we add a large race, the OA issue seems balanced by the fact that you'll receive more OAs without the ability to make more yourself. I'm playing my second rune knight ATM, and the first one I played was a duergar that could become huge for one combat per day. Being large/huge was useful but not overwhelming, in itself. For me though, baked in bonus damage on melee weapons on a race fits perfectly narratively but feels real bad from a mechanical perspective. If I want to build a sword-an-board paladin, do i pick a race that deals 1d8 for his whole career with a longsword or the guy that just gets 1d10 forever? Do i pick the race that just deals straight damage or the one that gets +1d6 for free without expending resources? It makes sense thematically, but it feels like it creates a "must pick" vibe from a character building perspective.

I love Iron Kingdoms and supported their new 5e kickstarter. The PDF version of all of the books has been sent to supporters and, oof, the balance issues are glaring. One of the races, in case you folks aren't familiar with the setting, is the ogrun and they're essentially half-ogres. They get the ability to wield two-handed weapons in one hand and +1 to AC. From a mechanical perspective, why would you not choose ogrun if you're going to do 2-weapon fighting or sword-and-board?
so how would you do it?
 

Yep. Large creatures have both more opportunity to deal opportunity attacks (threatening 10 spaces instead of the 8 that a Medium creature does) and more chances to take them (10 creatures available vs the typical 8). That sort of balances out the whole "but Large Characters would threaten more spaces!" issue that people like to complain about.
How does the coverage of a Spirit Guardians spell cast by a Large creature compare with a Medium one? If I remember correctly, Aura-type effects were mentioned as an issue with Large races.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
"Do whatever you want", is the opposite of support. There currently doesnt exist an official freeform option.

And what makes you think that we need one ? The way I see it, putting all potential racial abilities and stats into a large bag and shaking it will have potentially two results, probably both:
  • Increase optimisation, welcome back to 3e where optimisers will be happy making the most powerful combinations possible without the slightest story/culture reason.
  • Welcome to Bland and Boring, the new D&D where all the races look like a mish-mash of humans just with very slightly different features so that no one can feel offended.
To me, D&D has always been High Fantasy with bigger than life characters supported by bigger than life choices, not only because it looks cool but also to foster differences between characters so that they can be complementary and work with each other as a team. Both of the results above go against this for reasons that are purely outside of the game.

Thankfully, so far, they are only options, and I hope that if and when 6e comes it will be in a very, very long time and all the hate against fantasy for the wrong reasons will have gone away. Actually, I should rephrase that, it's not against Fantasy, Runequest in its latest editions still has very strong racial definitions probably much stronger than D&D actually, and no one bothers that game, so it's really against D&D, has always been actually.
 

so how would you do it?
I don't have any ideas that I'm really thrilled with. I strongly dislike racial design that just adds number buffs to make one character's math problem outdo another character's math problem instead of adding qualitative narrative or gameplay options. The idea of large characters seems great but in 5e I don't want to just see something that's automatically the best fighter or barbarian because of number porn.

If I really wanted to do it in a way that felt fair, we'd have to start over with all of the races from scratch. Large races with large weapons are fine in this paradigm, but other races would have to get more stuff so that large PCs aren't just the best weapon users in the game. Maybe tieflings get a little fire damage for free. Maybe elves get advantage more often for more damage over time. The dragonborn can breathe fire AND make all of his weapon attacks. If the default assumption of the system is that all characters do a little more damage right out of the gate, there's more design room to give large PCs more weapon damage.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Or do you just make reach and damage the only racial abilities?
I would not make damage part of the racial build; this would make the race a must-have for weapon builds.
The game has already built-in penalties, such as harder to gain cover to avoid attack or stealth. Equipment cost is also increased, and the PC will consume more food and water, for those who track this kind of thing.

I'd go with something like this:

Half-giant:
Size: Large

Language: You speak common and can decide to speak either giant or another language of your choice.

Ability Increase: +2 and +1 to ability of your choice.

Legacy of the Earth-Shakers: You maximum hit points increase by 1 and you gain 1 more hit point when you advance a level.

Long Grasp, Long Gait: When you make a melee attack on your turn, your reach for it is 5 feet greater than normal. Furthermore, the distance of your long jumps and high jumps increases by 5 feet.

Giant-kin Girth: When you are moved against your will or move a creature, you can use a reaction to reduce or increase the distance by 10 feet.
 

I don't have any ideas that I'm really thrilled with. I strongly dislike racial design that just adds number buffs to make one character's math problem outdo another character's math problem instead of adding qualitative narrative or gameplay options. The idea of large characters seems great but in 5e I don't want to just see something that's automatically the best fighter or barbarian because of number porn.

If I really wanted to do it in a way that felt fair, we'd have to start over with all of the races from scratch. Large races with large weapons are fine in this paradigm, but other races would have to get more stuff so that large PCs aren't just the best weapon users in the game. Maybe tieflings get a little fire damage for free. Maybe elves get advantage more often for more damage over time. The dragonborn can breathe fire AND make all of his weapon attacks. If the default assumption of the system is that all characters do a little more damage right out of the gate, there's more design room to give large PCs more weapon damage.
maybe it being the best does not matter? a big brute appeals to people who do not even want to play martial classes as they want to be big and strong but say a wizard for the subversion, but your basic idea is not inelegant.
I would not make damage part of the racial build; this would make the race a must-have for weapon builds.
The game has already built-in penalties, such as harder to gain cover to avoid attack or stealth. Equipment cost is also increased, and the PC will consume more food and water, for those who track this kind of thing.

I'd go with something like this:

Half-giant:
Size: Large

Language: You speak common and can decide to speak either giant or another language of your choice.

Ability Increase: +2 and +1 to ability of your choice.

Legacy of the Earth-Shakers: You maximum hit points increase by 1 and you gain 1 more hit point when you advance a level.

Long Grasp, Long Gait: When you make a melee attack on your turn, your reach for it is 5 feet greater than normal. Furthermore, the distance of your long jumps and high jumps increases by 5 feet.

Giant-kin Girth: When you are moved against your will or move a creature, you can use a reaction to reduce or increase the distance by 10 feet.
this runs in to make big and bulky the only reason to play the race it needs something else to spice them up?
 

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