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

When it was first suggested, I felt that removing ASIs from races would make them less diverse, but seeing them presented this way... I really like it. I can always make my Giff have a bump in strength and constitution if I want to play up that big ol' hippo, or I can put it in intelligence and wisdom for my wizened old (but still tough!) wise-guy hippo.
What, in this example, would denote that this character "tough"? The ability to carry more stuff? The slight chance to deal more consistent damage in melee? Toughness is a function of Constitution.
 

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Campbell

Legend
I do not usually have a specific concept in mind when I create characters. There are usually a fair number of races/ancestries/folk I could be interested in playing. I often will start with an idea of background and class after which I basically do a mental filter for workable ability scores. There's usual still going to be multiple compelling options flavor wise that appeal. The changes they are making are definitely going to open up the characters I could be interested in playing.

I think you could easily kind of get the best of both worlds by just giving a free floating +1 to one ability score that does not have a bonus from your race/ancestry. That way you still can always get a 16 in your primary ability score while preserving the flavor of dwarves being strong/tough and elves being smart/fast. Not opposed to their solution though.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
What, in this example, would denote that this character "tough"? The ability to carry more stuff? The slight chance to deal more consistent damage in melee? Toughness is a function of Constitution.
Other way around.

Constitution gives a bonus to Toughness. It gives you more HP.

So How do you make dwarves tough? You give them bonus HP.

Then if you want to make a stereotypical dwarf to put the +1 or +2 to CON and go from a measly +1 HP a level to a meaningful +2 HP a level.

Or you make a Giff or Orc look strong with advantage to Strength checks which is worth a lot more than a +1 to a check.

Basically if D&D isn't doing +4 and +6 to stat races, it's no real point to using racial ability adjustments to demonstrate racial biology. And if you cut that and culture out, you need to shift racial features around and create new ones.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
What, in this example, would denote that this character "tough"? The ability to carry more stuff? The slight chance to deal more consistent damage in melee? Toughness is a function of Constitution.

Fitz gave their own answer, but I had a thought as well.

One of the rules that gets brought up that rarely makes it into these particular discussions is that you only roll the dice when the outcome is in question. You don't need to roll dexterity to walk down the stairs. It just happens. So... do you need to roll dexterity to walk down the stairs gracefully? If you are playing a 7 ft tall, 800 lbs hippo man do you need to roll constitution to quaff a small barrel of alcohol with limited ill effects?

There is this push to sort of have the tail wag the dog in these conversations sometimes. Your constitution score is only rolled when the outcome is uncertain, yet we also get told that your default state of existence is determined by your score. No matter how big and thick and bad-ass you are, you can't just ignore a teenager punching you unless your con score is "higher". And I put that in quotes because the baseline average is 10... and nearly every adventurer is above a 10.

It just strikes me that you asked a rather odd question. Sort of like someone saying they run down the stairs and then you asking if they have a high enough dexterity score to be allowed to do that. Why wouldn't they? Why can't a hippo man with a 13 or 14 Con, significantly higher than the average, be tough?
 

amethal

Adventurer
This. PF2 does race really really well. The subraces are just an ability. In my game a player chooses which ancestry and heritage he is for RP (Gormdawi (Mountain Dwarf) or Bryndawi (Hill Dwarf) for example) but their stats are the same, and any one of the heritage abilities can be chosen. Their lore is different and this suffices for RP.
PF2 used Bryn for Hill? Everybody knows that Welsh is more akin to Draconic than it is to Dwarvish.
 

Other way around.

Constitution gives a bonus to Toughness. It gives you more HP.

So How do you make dwarves tough? You give them bonus HP.

Then if you want to make a stereotypical dwarf to put the +1 or +2 to CON and go from a measly +1 HP a level to a meaningful +2 HP a level.

Or you make a Giff or Orc look strong with advantage to Strength checks which is worth a lot more than a +1 to a check.

Basically if D&D isn't doing +4 and +6 to stat races, it's no real point to using racial ability adjustments to demonstrate racial biology. And if you cut that and culture out, you need to shift racial features around and create new ones.
Which is why the giff seemed so lackluster to me. Without the gunpowder stuff (which is culture), you just have a guy who looks like a hippopotamus.
 

Fitz gave their own answer, but I had a thought as well.

One of the rules that gets brought up that rarely makes it into these particular discussions is that you only roll the dice when the outcome is in question. You don't need to roll dexterity to walk down the stairs. It just happens. So... do you need to roll dexterity to walk down the stairs gracefully? If you are playing a 7 ft tall, 800 lbs hippo man do you need to roll constitution to quaff a small barrel of alcohol with limited ill effects?

There is this push to sort of have the tail wag the dog in these conversations sometimes. Your constitution score is only rolled when the outcome is uncertain, yet we also get told that your default state of existence is determined by your score. No matter how big and thick and bad-ass you are, you can't just ignore a teenager punching you unless your con score is "higher". And I put that in quotes because the baseline average is 10... and nearly every adventurer is above a 10.

It just strikes me that you asked a rather odd question. Sort of like someone saying they run down the stairs and then you asking if they have a high enough dexterity score to be allowed to do that. Why wouldn't they? Why can't a hippo man with a 13 or 14 Con, significantly higher than the average, be tough?
I was talking about hit points, which denote how much punishment you can take and are strongly influenced by your Con score. No on camera rolling required.
 


Ixal

Adventurer
When it was first suggested, I felt that removing ASIs from races would make them less diverse, but seeing them presented this way... I really like it. I can always make my Giff have a bump in strength and constitution if I want to play up that big ol' hippo, or I can put it in intelligence and wisdom for my wizened old (but still tough!) wise-guy hippo.
And what would have prevented you from doing exactly that with fixed ASI and your ability array? When you put your two highest abilities into int and wis you would still have a old wise guy. Who would also still be a Giff with his racial ASI and thus different from an old wise dwarf/elf/halfling.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I was talking about hit points, which denote how much punishment you can take and are strongly influenced by your Con score. No on camera rolling required.

Sure, but Hit Points aren't the only metric to say that a character is "tough". There are other things like AC, ability to hold liquor, a tough mindset.

Which is why your comment struck me as odd, because you seemed to have used only a single metric and hang the entire word on that one metric.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
And what would have prevented you from doing exactly that with fixed ASI and your ability array? When you put your two highest abilities into int and wis you would still have a old wise guy. Who would also still be a Giff with his racial ASI and thus different from an old wise dwarf/elf/halfling.

And why is it a problem to do it this way instead? Letting a hippo man be different from an elf or dwarf... by the fact that he's a hippo man not a dwarf or elf. The ASIs don't lend themselves to that. I mean, imagine for a second they ended up with +2 strength +2 Con, they would still be different than a Mountain Dwarf, wouldn't they?
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
And what would have prevented you from doing exactly that with fixed ASI and your ability array? When you put your two highest abilities into int and wis you would still have a old wise guy. Who would also still be a Giff with his racial ASI and thus different from an old wise dwarf/elf/halfling.
Sure, sure, I could have done it before, if I pounded it into shape, but I probably wouldn't have thought of doing it.
 

Sure, but Hit Points aren't the only metric to say that a character is "tough". There are other things like AC, ability to hold liquor, a tough mindset.

Which is why your comment struck me as odd, because you seemed to have used only a single metric and hang the entire word on that one metric.
To be fair, none of those things have anything to do with being a giff either, at least as far as this UA is concerned. But certainly you can add those into a character to make them tough.
 

And why is it a problem to do it this way instead? Letting a hippo man be different from an elf or dwarf... by the fact that he's a hippo man not a dwarf or elf. The ASIs don't lend themselves to that. I mean, imagine for a second they ended up with +2 strength +2 Con, they would still be different than a Mountain Dwarf, wouldn't they?
Back on the day, they would have included stuff in the mechanics about their military discipline and predilection for explosives. But now, since that's cultural stuff, they're not allowed to put in the rules anymore it seems.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Back on the day, they would have included stuff in the mechanics about their military discipline and predilection for explosives. But now, since that's cultural stuff, they're not allowed to put in the rules anymore it seems.

It's less that they aren't allowed to a more that WOTC wants to support multiple settings at base so they can't apply cultures to races that have different cultures in different settings.

If you have 4 races that are +2 Str and +1 Con and their cultures don't matter because they are different in 3+ official settings, you don't have 4 races. You have 1 race. 1 race 4 times.

Giff/Hippomen are violent emotional river pirates in my friend's game where they are based on hippos. Taking out the lore and keeping dwarf and orc stats betray their image.
 


Bolares

Hero
To be fair, none of those things have anything to do with being a giff either, at least as far as this UA is concerned. But certainly you can add those into a character to make them tough.
I think most of us can agree that the giff is a little lackluster... They are just starting to design classes without ASIs, some will be harder than others, it's a natural thing of design, and a great feedback to give them in surveys. At the same time we were shown some great designs that differentiate a race without giving them ASIs....
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Back on the day, they would have included stuff in the mechanics about their military discipline and predilection for explosives. But now, since that's cultural stuff, they're not allowed to put in the rules anymore it seems.

Also... this is a UA playtest, not the final version, and minor +1's are harder to justify. Especially if they may or may not be doing the Giff as you know them or altering them.

I think wanting to represent their military discipline is a great idea, not sure how you'd put in mechanics for explosives at this point, since explosives are very very optional. But while I won't say that the Giff are currently the best designed playtest race out of the bunch, I don't think calling someone out that their character can't be "tough" unless they get a bonus to HP is very conducive to finding what we can improve here
 

Also... this is a UA playtest, not the final version, and minor +1's are harder to justify. Especially if they may or may not be doing the Giff as you know them or altering them.

I think wanting to represent their military discipline is a great idea, not sure how you'd put in mechanics for explosives at this point, since explosives are very very optional. But while I won't say that the Giff are currently the best designed playtest race out of the bunch, I don't think calling someone out that their character can't be "tough" unless they get a bonus to HP is very conducive to finding what we can improve here
There is nothing in the giff race as presented in the UA this thread is ostensibly about that represents them being tough. That's all I'm talking about. Certainly you can do stuff to make your giff tough, but under these rules the things you can do have nothing to do with it being a giff.

I loved the giff as they were presented In previous editions, because i found their culture in contrast to their appearance interesting and funny. The Spelljammer novels included a giff character that represented this perfectly, and i remember it fondly. I lament the loss of cultural traits with mechanical weight in favor of telling everyone to make it up and just roleplay it.
 

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