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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

Stacie GmrGrl

Adventurer
Wasn't race decoupled from class 30 years ago in D&D? How is it that WotC today missed that.

Paizo had a entire book for Pathfinder 1e all about creating customized races. WotC is very behind the times.

Alignment has ALWAYS been a role-playing tool.

How is it WotC can think this will take "many" years to do when it's already been done years ago, some of this in previous editions of D&D.

4e stripped Alignment down to only being about role-playing. It wasn't an absolute in 4e, and most of the "monstrous races" weren't treated as having absolutes. Orcs in 4e weren't universally treated as being absolutely evil.

In 3e they gave us Meepo, the ever loving Kobold that nobody could kill in The Sunless Citadel. From that point on Kobolds were like the friendly, cute mascot of D&D... For at least the 3rd edition era.

Has WotC forgotten the history of their own game? Or not paid any attention at all to the rest of the rpg hobby that they think that only their D&D World is the only rpg?

Then there is the Arcana Unearthed/Evolved games by Monte Cook... Which tossed Alignment to the side and got rid of it. That was what, 17 years ago?

Everything WotC is doing others in the d20 space has already done, most many years ago, and they did it better.
 

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I don't have the Rime campaign myself, but how many monsters are there in the book? I'd guess 600 or 800 individually statted monsters. I'd also guess that in most campaigns, the great majority of those monsters are killed dead. Chopped up, gutted, blown to pieces, burned to cinders. Again, many of these are intelligent, sentient creatures.

Or let's look at the big picture. Let's say 5,000 groups play D&D this weekend. What would we guess the death toll in monsters will be? I'd put the over-under at 40,000. So 40,000 kills in a weekend.

I'm at a loss as to why people who aren't comfortable with routine lethal violence, played out in a light-hearted manner, choose D&D as their game of choice. D&D, a game where 70 per cent of the rules content is monsters, weapons, abilities to help in combat, and spells that kill monsters. There comes a point at which you're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Now in fairness there may be some nuance here. If people are talking about purposeless murder hobo and solely profit driven adventure, may be it is a little less common than it was? I cannot say.

90% of the time we play with a reason that has some heroic intention. We played evil characters a fair amount in college, but as I get older it feels like a downer.

that said, there have been some pretty big straw men advanced in some of this discussion. As in how many people are just happening upon defenseless civilians and wiping them out?

even in old D&D modules if you happened upon a pair there were young and non-combatants. They often fled. I can’t remember finding any fun in killing them or needing to. And back when D&D was in ‘hard mode’ I don’t think it was advantageous to risk extra damage anyway.

so that is where the enemy combatant comes in. As we explored, we usually were set upon by them. It’s not like they asked to parlay! An arrow past the head and it was usually game on.

did we ever take prisoners? Try diplomacy? Sure. But most often we encountered hostile war bands who wanted to kill us and take our stuff. We usually prevented that and did it to them instead!
 

Stacie GmrGrl

Adventurer
I don't have the Rime campaign myself, but how many monsters are there in the book? I'd guess 600 or 800 individually statted monsters. I'd also guess that in most campaigns, the great majority of those monsters are killed dead. Chopped up, gutted, blown to pieces, burned to cinders. Again, many of these are intelligent, sentient creatures.

Or let's look at the big picture. Let's say 5,000 groups play D&D this weekend. What would we guess the death toll in monsters will be? I'd put the over-under at 40,000. So 40,000 kills in a weekend.

I'm at a loss as to why people who aren't comfortable with routine lethal violence, played out in a light-hearted manner, choose D&D as their game of choice. D&D, a game where 70 per cent of the rules content is monsters, weapons, abilities to help in combat, and spells that kill monsters. There comes a point at which you're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
I'd say that over 80% of the codified rules of D&D, even 5e, are combat focused. Maybe even over 90%, which is actually a higher percentage than 4e. At least in 4e every class had non-combat Utility abilities to get, plus the rules for Skill Challenges, and the rules in the DMG (pg. 42) that gave structure to DMs to adapt the game on the fly that's better than the approach of the nebulous "rulings not rules" of 5e, which doesn't even have a structured system for giving out Inspiration points. At least 4e gave you Hero/Action Points, how to use them, and how to give them out so the players had a better idea on when they were getting them.
 

I don't have the Rime campaign myself, but how many monsters are there in the book? I'd guess 600 or 800 individually statted monsters. I'd also guess that in most campaigns, the great majority of those monsters are killed dead. Chopped up, gutted, blown to pieces, burned to cinders. Again, many of these are intelligent, sentient creatures.

Or let's look at the big picture. Let's say 5,000 groups play D&D this weekend. What would we guess the death toll in monsters will be? I'd put the over-under at 40,000. So 40,000 kills in a weekend.

I'm at a loss as to why people who aren't comfortable with routine lethal violence, played out in a light-hearted manner, choose D&D as their game of choice. D&D, a game where 70 per cent of the rules content is monsters, weapons, abilities to help in combat, and spells that kill monsters. There comes a point at which you're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Well the other answer to this is not all of the people who object (e.g. Twitter mob) are really all fans of the game anyway. Tearing it down is the the motivation of some as an acceptable casualty.

I don’t think that of people posting here btw, as you can tell most of them enjoy playing (albeit in a way that is not always very familiar to me).
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Hmmm...that looks awfully like a serious case of reductio ad absurdum for the purposes of constructing a fallacy. Because, you know, if it turned out that this wasn't really the case, and what separates a humanoid from a fiend is more defined or delineated then that, then you wouldn't have two legs of your own to stand on or talk on, though I suppose that would mean you aren't a humanoid by the definition you provide.
Copying and pasting the definition of humanoid from the MM intro is a logical fallacy?

Listen, you are following the letter of the rules if some orcs (or even all) are not evil in your campaign. The alignment listed is just a default. But if you're going to add something to the definition of humanoids that is not anywhere to be found in any D&D book then it is literally a house rule.
 


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