D&D 5E Wow! No more subraces. The Players Handbook races reformat to the new race format going forward.

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I've pondered that the bonus of regular Racial ASI and the base array is so low that it nudges players and designers to over emphasize the level bonus they got.

I think if the base PC array included a 16 before racials, people would not stress race ASI so much.
Maybe, but if they just made a racial +2 and a floating +2, the stress would be pretty much eliminated.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
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Absolutely, a near meaningless term when looming at the games potential complexity.

It isn't even really about complexity. It is about goals of play.

When I'm running a game, the balance I'm most concerned about is spotlight - are the various build options equitable enough that everyone will be able to naturally find their spotlight, and feel like they are able to contribute to play? I consider this balance over the timescale of entire sessions, not over combat rounds. So, I want to eliminate the major trap and super-powered options that either put someone in a spotlight hole, or mean that they draw the spotlight too frequently. The balance is balance of fun, not of numbers - number balance is only one tool in the box to attain fun.

In this sense, eliminating race-based ASIs INCREASES the balance of the game. It eliminates trap options, and leads to players being more able to make the kind of character they want and still be effective. But that one Halfling could, in theory, have as high a strength as a Goliath is a non-issue unless the super-strong halfling happens to show up at my table with that goliath that also wants strength to be their shtick. And that conflict is best handled back at character concept generation in Session 0, not in the race mechanics.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That too.

Or give you +2 from your class.

But overall it was a bad idea to build a game that assumes a 16 but doesn't just give everyone a 16.
I don't know that it does assume a 16. A 14 seems to work out just fine. It might assume 14 or 14-16.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
And I never said otherwise. A PC could roll as low as 3 on a stat, giving him a 5 strength as a goliath. They will get the bonus to strength due to being a part of the race, but they don't have to be average. They can be above or below average.
Give me a reason why a PC goliath can't have a 3 Strength.

Take 10000 randomized Standard Arrays.
Apply Goliath ASI to 5000.
Apply Halfling ASI to 5000.

Average the Str of both data sets.

Which is stronger?

Goliath, and that is what racial ASI provides, a mechanical way to reflect the averages of different species.
First off, why would I care about 10,000 random sets of stats? I care about one: my PC. Unless I'm a DM, in which case I make up whatever I need for the adventure at hand.

Secondly, there are other ways to reflect the averages of a different species. For goliaths, it's Powerful Build. For halflings, it's Nimbleness. for dwarfs, it's Resiliance. for satyrs, it's Reveler. For giff, it's Hippo Build, which is Powerful Build plus advantage on Strength checks and saves. All of these mechanics are more interesting, more flavorful, and more fun than a +2 to a stat.

Races don't need +2s to reflect their average member. They only need interesting traits--and not every interesting trait needs to reflect a stat, either.
 

Scribe

Legend
First off, why would I care about 10,000 random sets of stats? I care about one: my PC.
You don't have to care.

The example was to illustrate a point.

Even in a large randomized population, the racial modifiers would bear out to a statistical truth.

Yes, you are absolutely free to care about your PC, and nothing else.

That PC which is a member of a species.

That species, with unique attributes reflected in a population.

Which while you don't care about, others do.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Give me a reason why a PC goliath can't have a 3 Strength.
They can, just like a PC goliath can have a 24 strength. You'd need a mechanical reason like Primal Champion explaining the 24, in order to explain how they are so weak, though.

Players aren't entitled to just have whatever stat scores they want, though. That's why rolling, point buy and arrays exist in the forms that they do.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I don't know that it does assume a 16. A 14 seems to work out just fine. It might assume 14 or 14-16.

A 14 works. However 5e more ore less assume that if your class primary is a 15 or 14 at level 1, you are planing to powergame a bit more that base assumption.

For example, you want to be a gnome fighter. A breachgnome. Base Gnome gets +2 INT. The Subclasses offer +1 DEX or CON

5e assumes that you are either using the +2 INT to go Eldritch Knight or uses the +1 DEX to make a Arcane Archer.
5e does not want you to make a 15 STR Gnome Champion fighter unless you DM is planning to allow you to dip into power elsewhere (feats, multiclassing, gifts, house rules, favoritism).
 

Weiley31

Legend
A 14 works. However 5e more ore less assume that if your class primary is a 15 or 14 at level 1, you are planing to powergame a bit more that base assumption.

For example, you want to be a gnome fighter. A breachgnome. Base Gnome gets +2 INT. The Subclasses offer +1 DEX or CON

5e assumes that you are either using the +2 INT to go Eldritch Knight or uses the +1 DEX to make a Arcane Archer.
5e does not want you to make a 15 STR Gnome Champion fighter unless you DM is planning to allow you to dip into power elsewhere (feats, multiclassing, gifts, house rules, favoritism).
Is that before or after the Tasha's update?
 

Weiley31

Legend
I'm actually looking forward to see them updated in the new format. Hopefully Genasi get a buff, too (I would love it if they became a Lineage so that you could have a Dwarf Earth Genasi or an Aarakocra Air Genasi, but that might be a bit too far for this book).
This is pretty much why I don't want them to abandon Lineages fully as I would like to make combinations like this.
 

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