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

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
I said they published the new format in the Witchlight book.
You said they "both" announced the new format and implied it by publishing it. So are you now saying they only implied it?

The point is, the monster statblocks continue these FR worlds unchanged.
You and @Scribe were talking about ASIs for PCs, not monster stat blocks.

Heh, of course, official designers do worldbuilding, such as the worlds of Forgotten Realms.
Look, I don't want to get pulled into this because I don't have strong feelings on the subject, so this is all I'll say about it. Some people feel (and I understand their point of view, even though I can also see the other side) that it's more flavorful to do things the way the PHB does, and that it's not the same as racism. Someone else who feels more strongly than I do can continue this discussion if they desire.
 
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Yaarel

Mind Mage
You and @Scribe were talking about ASIs for PCs, not monster stat blocks.
You guessed at what problem @Scribe might have with the new race format, suggesting that it might have something to do with worldbuilding. However, the new race format has no impact on worldbuilding. Thus the attempt to explain how this might be the problem is incorrect.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
You said they "both" announced the new format and implied it by publishing it. So are you now saying they only implied it?
Your posts misquote me, incorrectly adding the word "announced".

I said, Witchlight "published" a new format for player races.
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
PCs are part of the game world. It fundamentally is a question of world building and setting development and therefore your premise and conclusions are incorrect.

Individuals can be unique, and the worlds and the cultures remain what they are.

There is no impact on worldbuilding.



Correct your thread title, as you said THE not A.

"The" new race format differs from the Players Handbook format.

I listed the differences earlier.



The Witchlight adventure itself publishes two new races, the fairy and the harengon. These two races use a new format that differs from the format in the Players Handbook.

The new format retains:
• Size (but no longer exact feet and inches and weight)
• Speed
• Age (mentioned separately as typically about a century)

The new format adds:
• Creature Type (since Humanoid is no longer assumed)

The new format removes:
• Ability Score Increase (moving to Ability Score Generation)
• Alignment (strictly individual)
• Languages (each character gets Common plus one depending on culture)
• Subrace description of skin color, hair and eyes.
 

Scribe

Hero
Individuals can be unique, and the worlds and the cultures remain what they are.

There is no impact on worldbuilding.

PCs can be unique. True.

PC options fundamentally impact and are impacted by, world building and setting development.

Feel free to disagree, but my position on this won't change.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
PC options fundamentally impact and are impacted by, world building and setting development.

This is true to some degree: PCs interrelate with worldbuilding. Yet in this sense, it gives the DM more control over the world.

For example. I as a DM plan on adding to my own worldbuilding, dwarf cultures that are more Norse, and less Anglo-Saxon Tolkien.

Where the Players Handbook dwarf is nonmagical, tough, and short, the Norse dvergar is magical, strong, and tall.

For the culture, I will create statblocks for various concepts and individuals, utilizing the Mountain Dwarf for a regional "dvergar" culture.

These dvergar will use the human height-weight chart, with appearances having subtle stone-like features. They are primarily mages, with Wizard and Artificer favoring high Intelligence, and Druid favoring high Wisdom. These dvergar tend to have lower Dexterity and Charisma. The Dex is low because they are moreso Str and Con, and the Cha is low, because in the stories they seem antisocial and nonactive − like rock − and to be neither celebrated nor feared, despite reaching very high levels. This is what the monster statblocks will look like, albeit individuals can differ.

So here, the new race format empowers me as a DM to, officially, innovate worldbuilding. If players want to come from this dvergar culture, great, and if they want to be unique in whatever culture they hail from, that is great too. I am the DM who decides which races and which cultures are in each regional setting.

As a DM, the new race format makes it easier for me to worldbuild.
 

Scribe

Hero
So here, the new race format empowers me as a DM to, officially, innovate worldbuilding.
As with the MM entry on Alignment, I was always empowered to make any change I desired within my setting. We already had ultimate power to change quite literally anything and everything.

Only you decide what applies in your setting.
I am the DM who decides which races and which cultures are in each regional setting.
Exactly. This book, specific to a Feywild adventure, doesn't change that.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
As with the MM entry on Alignment, I was always empowered to make any change I desired within my setting. We already had ultimate power to change quite literally anything and everything. Only you decide what applies in your setting.
Rule Zero is Rule Zero. This differs from official guidance.

The new race format gives me as a DM a clear understanding of what a "race" is, how much design space it has (about 1½ feats), and by implication, what the wider "lineage" looks like, and the cultures that it might develop. I keep this lineage in mind when creating "monster" statblocks for the sectors within a particular culture.

For me, as DM, this format is flexible and highly useful guidance to my worldbuilding.



Exactly. This book, specific to a Feywild adventure, doesn't change that.
True. I would not put the harengon race in a Norse-esque regional setting. I might put it in an English-esque setting, where the earlier folkbelief became more childlike to make sense of the amoral behavior of nature beings that are neither wholly good nor wholly evil, and eventually part of the reallife culture of raising children, via nursery rhymes and children storybooks, albeit some of these nursery rhymes are dark and twisted when one pays attention to what the lyrics are actually saying. I am happy with the harengon in a Feywild domain. If a player wants to play a harengon whose family immigrated into the Material Plane, that is fine too. Immigrants exist.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Your posts misquote me, incorrectly adding the word "announced".

I said, Witchlight "published" a new format for player races.
No misquote. I asked you this question:

Have they announced that this is the new official format, or is that an assumption because it's what appears in the latest published book?
... Giving you two choices, one of which was that there was an announcement. You answered:

You were the one who said an announcement had happened by saying that both of the options in my question were true.
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
No misquote. I asked you this question:


... Giving you two choices, one of which was that there was an announcement. You answered:


You were the one who said an announcement had happened by saying that both of the options in my question were true.
Ok, I see the cause for the misunderstanding.

In context, I meant: Both this is "the new official format", and "an assumption" in the sense that my analysis measures the design space of the official racial traits to be 1½ feats.

I didnt make note of your word "announced" to mean something distinct from "new" and "official".
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I'm glad you believe this provides you guidance which Variant Human and Tasha's did not already give you.
The race format officially provides more guidance.

For me, I care about official rules and as much as possible follow them carefully. I tend to shy away from optional rules.

Despite my worldbuilder DM style, I am pretty much by-the-book.

The only modifications to the offical rules that I consciously make is:
• I use the variant human as the standard, for human cultures. Individuals tend to be good at something special, hence a feat.
• For the Astral Plane setting, I reorganize its Alignment Wheel as various 4e-like astral domains for the ideals of each Material-Plane culture.
• Religion is always about one or more "cosmic forces", and each culture can visit their own version of it within some astral domain.
• I ignore the ranges of light sources, making the entire combat area one lighting or an other.
• For mind style, I generalize all distances to either 3 feet (adjacent), 10 feet (reach), 30 feet (move, throw), 100 feet (many spells), 300 feet (cityblock, bowshot), or "far".

The idea for the Tashas custom lineage is welcome, but its execution is unhelpful. The custom lineage cannot officially be a nonhumanoid creature type nor choose a Xanathars racial feat as its chosen feat. It is effectively identical to a variant human except for the possibility of Darkvision. Thus the custom lineage isnt meaningfully different from the human lineage. So far, Tashas remains unsatisfactory. However, the new race format that has more design space, can be a nonhuman creature type, and makes all official races more flexible, is excellent.

To the degree that an official rule is both mechanically balanced and narratively flexible, and maintains coherence between mechanic and narrative, I appreciate it.

The guidance of the new race format for the official races serves me well, by removing specific height-weight and skin color so I can decide the tendencies for each culture, and by making the official player lineages "Any Alignment" so I can decide each individual and factional tendency, and by floating the ASIs to make the classes that are relevant to a specific culture more competent. I need and appreciate this officially balanced and flexible guidance.
 
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I moreorless agree.

I am ok with the new format. The default "typical" race is now:
Type: Humanoid
Size: Medium or Small
Speed: 30
Age: century lifespan
Racial Traits: about 1½ feats (which can modify a default trait, such as a non-Humanoid creature type, Large or Tiny, etcetera)

Some settings grant a kind of setting feat, like Theros granting a Supernatural Gift, and presumably Darksun will grant a Psionic Talent.

So, including both the racial feat-and-half and the setting feat, each character starts off at level 1 with about 2½ feats.



With regard to the racial traits, I think the player should get a set of racial traits to choose from. For example, the elf character might choose Elven Accuracy, Fey Teleport, Lucky, Flight, faster speed, or so on, for a racial trait for the elf character. Thus there only needs to be one elf race without any elf subraces. Various elven cultures may or may not regard certain trait choices as "prestigious", but an elf player character can be any choice, whether in the majority or the minority of that culture.
maybe two universals and one modular option?
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
maybe two universals and one modular option?
Do you mean, each race has two default pregens, plus one freeform that chooses from a list of racial traits?

For example. The elf is something like either Fey high or Humanoid wood, plus a third option of do-it-yourself.

Meanwhile, each official setting can easily present its own pregen elf, based on the do-it-yourself option.

I could live with something like that.
 
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Scribe

Hero
I need and appreciate this officially balanced and flexible guidance.
While I understand you desire it, your self imposed arbitrary rules don't exist outside your own sphere of influence.

It's the same as 'Typical' prefixed to Alignment. It changes nothing when the MM already made it explicitly clear, undeniably, that one can change things as they wish.

That said, I understand your desire for rules, it's simply the degree to which you wish the rules to bend to your personal interpretation which differs from mine.

If I had to guess, if Wizards already feels the push back from trying to remove Alignment, the 'core' races will have more definition than these newer more whimsical, less trope laden, designs.

An ideal world would have a Custom Lineage option robust enough for you, with the tradition 5e structure provide along side, so more people can be happy, instead of less.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Large and tiny creatures wouldn't be a problem if we got rid of the grid and used only TotM combat. But the grid will always force PCs to occupy 5 ft and threaten an additional 5 around it, making all other sizes react wonky.
 

Scribe

Hero
Large and tiny creatures wouldn't be a problem if we got rid of the grid and used only TotM combat. But the grid will always force PCs to occupy 5 ft and threaten an additional 5 around it, making all other sizes react wonky.
Has Wizards ever said anything about this in addition to the issue you mention here?

I am bothered more than I should be about this LOL.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
While I understand you desire it, your self imposed arbitrary rules don't exist outside your own sphere of influence.

It's the same as 'Typical' prefixed to Alignment. It changes nothing when the MM already made it explicitly clear, undeniably, that one can change things as they wish.

Witchlight lists the harengon race as "Any Alignment". I infer from the wording of the designers, where: humanoids or creatures with the full gamut of human choices/desires/etc do not get an alignment.

I take this to mean, other PC races. like dwarf and elf, will now have monster statblocks that list "Any Alignment".

That said, I understand your desire for rules, it's simply the degree to which you wish the rules to bend to your personal interpretation which differs from mine.
Besides the lightsources ranges and making theater-of-the-mind more doable: everything else is a setting choice, not a rules choice.

If I want to use the official Forgotten Realms settings as-is, I prefer to purchase them separately, like have done for other settings, Eberron and Ravnica, and will do for Darksun.

Otherwise, I expect the official core rules to allow the DM flexibility.

If I had to guess, if Wizards already feels the push back from trying to remove Alignment, the 'core' races will have more definition than these newer more whimsical, less trope laden, designs.
I support the designers struggle to do the right thing while also supporting the wider gaming communities.

An ideal world would have a Custom Lineage option robust enough for you, with the tradition 5e structure provide along side, so more people can be happy, instead of less.
As long as the customization is the default in the core rules, I dont mind "ready-mades" to give meaningful examples and to simplify the game for those gamers whose style doesnt care about customization.

If there is more than one ready-made, and meaningful differences between them, it invites customization and helps avoid problematic generalizations.
 

The race format officially provides more guidance.

For me, I care about official rules and as much as possible follow them carefully. I tend to shy away from optional rules.

Despite my worldbuilder DM style, I am pretty much by-the-book.

The only modifications to the offical rules that I consciously make is:
• I use the variant human as the standard, for human cultures. Individuals tend to be good at something special, hence a feat.
• For the Astral Plane setting, I reorganize its Alignment Wheel as various 4e-like astral domains for the ideals of each Material-Plane culture.
• Religion is always about one or more "cosmic forces", and each culture can visit their own version of it within some astral domain.
• I ignore the ranges of light sources, making the entire combat area one lighting or an other.
• For mind style, I generalize all distances to either 3 feet (adjacent), 10 feet (reach), 30 feet (move, throw), 100 feet (many spells), 300 feet (cityblock, bowshot), or "far".

The idea for the Tashas custom lineage is welcome, but its execution is unhelpful. The custom lineage cannot officially be a nonhumanoid creature type nor choose a Xanathars racial feat as its chosen feat. It is effectively identical to a variant human except for the possibility of Darkvision. Thus the custom lineage isnt meaningfully different from the human lineage. So far, Tashas remains unsatisfactory. However, the new race format that has more design space, can be a nonhuman creature type, and makes all official races more flexible, is excellent.

To the degree that an official rule is both mechanically balanced and narratively flexible, and maintains coherence between mechanic and narrative, I appreciate it.

The guidance of the new race format for the official races serves me well, by removing specific height-weight and skin color so I can decide the tendencies for each culture, and by making the official player lineages "Any Alignment" so I can decide each individual and factional tendency, and by floating the ASIs to make the classes that are relevant to a specific culture more competent. I need and appreciate this officially balanced and flexible guidance.
what would a playable aberration made by you be like then?
 

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