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D&D 5E WotC On Tasha, Race, Alignment: A Several-Year Plan

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WotC spoke to the site Dicebreaker about D&D race and alignment, and their plans for the future.

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  • On of the motivations of the changes [character customization] in Tasha's Cauldron was to decouple race from class.
  • The 'tightrope' between honouring legacy and freedom of character choice has not been effectively walked.
  • Alignment is turning into a roleplaying tool, and will not be used to describe entire cultures.
  • This work will take several years to fully implement.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Xeviat

Adventurer
Supporter
The switch from a default "Entire cultures can be uniformly bad or good but some individuals may not be" to a default "Cultures cannot be uniformly good or bad, but individuals may be" is an interesting one. The effect on playstyle is to significantly limit the ability of non-evil PC groups to strike first.

You go from "kill em unless there is a clear and present indicator that is wrong" to "never kill em unless there is a clear and present indicator that is right".

It may be more nuanced, but I question if it is more fun.

Personally, it would drive me to use more things like low CR demons, or animals, beasts, monstrosities, undead, and aberrations for when I want morally absolute adventures, and humanoids when I want morally relative adventures.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Kind of like how alignment is used by many people, and not by others? Or how the optional rules in Tasha’s will be used by many people, and not by others?

Yes, exactly like that.
Did you mistake me for someone who disagrees with that view?

If you like your games to be about killing people and taking their stuff, knock yourself out. Nothing WotC can do can stop you from doing that. If you’re worried about that no longer being the focus of published modules, you’re about 20 years behind the times.
Ah see I disagree. WOTC has put out plenty of material specifically for that playstyle in 5e. We're playing through Tales from the Yawning Portal right now and have been for a year now, and are about to start Dungeon of the Mad Mage in a couple of weeks. Both adventures have as their focus "killing things and taking their stuff" as a sort of generalized description.

Again, WOTC supports many types of playstyles, and this is one of the playstyles they support. Your declaration that they have "moved past" that playstyle as if it's not one they still support in addition to other playstyles is false. Objectively so. They support a range of styles including that one.
 


Retreater

Legend
I can't help but think this is like tanar'ri in 2nd edition: a change to placate people who don't play the game or know anything about it.
D&D won't work without evil humanoids to fight. Moreover, popular culture depends on it. Look at Stormtroopers. Look at any of the faceless Marvel villain grunts. Evil creatures in evil hats have to exist in our media. You can't be a hero against shades of gray.
 




Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I can't help but think this is like tanar'ri in 2nd edition: a change to placate people who don't play the game or know anything about it.
D&D won't work without evil humanoids to fight. Moreover, popular culture depends on it. Look at Stormtroopers. Look at any of the faceless Marvel villain grunts. Evil creatures in evil hats have to exist in our media. You can't be a hero against shades of gray.
You are incorrect on all counts.
 

I can't help but think this is like tanar'ri in 2nd edition: a change to placate people who don't play the game or know anything about it.
D&D won't work without evil humanoids to fight. Moreover, popular culture depends on it. Look at Stormtroopers. Look at any of the faceless Marvel villain grunts. Evil creatures in evil hats have to exist in our media. You can't be a hero against shades of gray.
You do understand that 'Stormtrooper' is not a race?
 

pukunui

Legend
Do what you gotta do WOTC. I'm not sure about demons from the 666th level of the Infinite Abyss not being "evil" or those who would traffic with them by summoning them into temporary slavery to fight for their amusement.... Ah, I'll stop. I have some strange feeling this thread is going to rehash prior threads' commentaries.
I think it's worth pointing out that Jeremy is only talking about humanoids. He's not talking about removing built-in alignments for other kinds of creatures, like fiends.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
I can't help but think this is like tanar'ri in 2nd edition: a change to placate people who don't play the game or know anything about it.
D&D won't work without evil humanoids to fight. Moreover, popular culture depends on it. Look at Stormtroopers. Look at any of the faceless Marvel villain grunts. Evil creatures in evil hats have to exist in our media. You can't be a hero against shades of gray.
Profit driven corporations/nobles/industries, remnants of biological warfare (magebred war beasts), weakening ancient seals on big bads of the past, bandits & raiders feeling like they have no other choice due to the state of the local economy, invaders from somewhere else that could be extraplanar starfish aliens like the daelkyr or a colonial power/force with colonial power motives if none of the above, Someone trying to fulfil/manipulate a prophecy to achieve a desired end, unethical arcanists performing research & experimentation with loose ethics... so on & so forth to name a few. There are many ways of making evil faceless baddies without needing to say "this entire race is a cartoon Vilnian", the other ways are not really any more difficult & allow much further depth for the gm/players to explore
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
I am Probably about done with this kind of silly sh*t. I bought tashas but that may be the end of it. No problem though...among the books we have, there are thousands of combinations for PCs.

when dwarves having dark vision or cats being good at stealth is equated to “real life hurts,” I just cannot buy into or go along with that.

this is getting silly. In phb, it was “inborn traits” but now humans can have dark vision.

remember when dwarves could resist poison? We really need to get away from that because that hurts others? Omg.
 

DemoMonkey

Adventurer
"I think it's worth pointing out that Jeremy is only talking about humanoids. He's not talking about removing built-in alignments for other kinds of creatures, like fiends."

Well then the solution is obvious! Just define creatures like Drow and Goblins as something other than humanoids. Perhaps define them as a subset of humanoids. Surely someone can think of a good term for that.

I see no pitfalls there.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
"I think it's worth pointing out that Jeremy is only talking about humanoids. He's not talking about removing built-in alignments for other kinds of creatures, like fiends."

Well then the solution is obvious! Just define creatures like Drow and Goblins as something other than humanoids. Perhaps define them as a subset of humanoids. Surely someone can think of a good term for that.

I see no pitfalls there.
We are in way too deep with those groups for that to work.
 






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