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🎨 Creative Hypothetical 6e Race Lineup: What's your take?

RobertEdwards

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Now this is a change I can get behind! Klingon fighter (bat'lath specialized!), Gorn monk, Vulcan wizard, Bajoran cleric (of the Profits of course) and a Ferengi rogue. That sounds like a D&D party for the ages. Although you'd have to add Dwarves to list because of their popularity. Also because of D&D and Lord of the Rings reasons!
We'll reskin Tellarites as Dwarfs, and don't forget Ferengi all worship the Profits. Will need a Proud subclass of Fighter.

But seriously, the next edition will eventually fill in any gaps in the Players handbook. Except there will still be no support for Warlords or Psionics worth mentioning. (Kirk is a Warlord.)
 

Daz Florp Lebam

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Lizardfolk. Because I think they're rad.

Whatever you call people who are a big-ass snake from the waist down. Lamia? Naga?

Minotaurs. Because they are punk.

Kobolds. (You can go my actual German folklore kobolds route, if you want. :D

Half-Giants - with a sub-class for each of the basic giant types! (I've done the work for you.)

Make gnomes more different-er! (I'm a fan of gnomes, so I really need to work on this one...)

Plus the usual humans (more sub-races!), elves, halflings, dwarves, some version of dragonborn, tieflings because I guess people like them.

I agree that half-whatevers needn't be their own race. Come up with a simple system for making halvesies characters.
 
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tsadkiel

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I actually think the current lineup in the PHB is fine - the only thing I'd add is Warforged, and the only other real change I'd make is to dump the term "race."

Maybe add an appendix with the key heritages/clades/folk/whatever from the big D&D settings, so kender and minotaurs for Krynn, changelings, shifters and kalashtar for Eberron, rakasta, lupins and tortles for Mystara, etc.
 

ezekiel

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I agree that half-whatevers needn't be their own race. Come up with a simple system for making halvesies characters.
The simplest system would be to design the "basal"/"group"/"cluster" features to work together nicely. So if you're an dwelf, you get the basal features of dwarf and of elf, maybe with some small extra(s) to reflect the specific combo you are. Have a table/page (maybe in the DMG, as this feels more "ask your DM" territory) saying what each subrace adds to the mix, e.g. half-drow get some kind of darkness-related hybrid vigor type deal (maybe they get super darkvision as opposed to light sensitivity). Then that section can also say, "if you want to limit what possible hybrids exist in your game, feel free, but be aware that many players value the flexibility these rules offer."
 

Dog Quixote

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An extremely difficult task, given that almost all of the markers used for explaining "you can't be this" have already been tainted by centuries of horrible uses. Even Glorantha, a fairly positive depiction of diverse ethnic groups (from what I know of the video game), has some concerning ways of presenting how dragonewts are treated and why they're Other. (I once asked if they were playable, and got some kinda...unfortunate responses.)
You can't be an elf because in this setting they're powerful ancient beings from another world.
You can't be an elf because they kill all intruders into the ancient forest and occasionally steal human babies and replace them with changeling - they're not monsters but discovering the reasons they do these things is an important mystery of the setting, and as well as being impossible to integrate in a society the game is starting with, it would also remove the possibility of discovering the mystery in play.
You can't be a minotaur because everyone else has decided this game is going to be about stealth, spying and skullduggery and you'd be the only minotaur within 1000km, therefore making it impossible for the party to do these things.
 

Daz Florp Lebam

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The simplest system would be to design the "basal"/"group"/"cluster" features to work together nicely. So if you're an dwelf, you get the basal features of dwarf and of elf, maybe with some small extra(s) to reflect the specific combo you are. Have a table/page (maybe in the DMG, as this feels more "ask your DM" territory) saying what each subrace adds to the mix, e.g. half-drow get some kind of darkness-related hybrid vigor type deal (maybe they get super darkvision as opposed to light sensitivity). Then that section can also say, "if you want to limit what possible hybrids exist in your game, feel free, but be aware that many players value the flexibility these rules offer."
Given 5E's broad strokes approach to a lot fo things, some simple "math" guidelines might do: regardless of what races your parents were, you get +3 ASIs, can't have more than 1 advantage, 1 additional proficiency, 1 "common" racial feature (darkvision, for example), and 1 unique racial feature (innate spellcasting, for example) - or something like that.
 

Ophidimancer

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You can't be an elf because in this setting they're powerful ancient beings from another world.
You can't be an elf because they kill all intruders into the ancient forest and occasionally steal human babies and replace them with changeling - they're not monsters but discovering the reasons they do these things is an important mystery of the setting, and as well as being impossible to integrate in a society the game is starting with, it would also remove the possibility of discovering the mystery in play.
You can't be a minotaur because everyone else has decided this game is going to be about stealth, spying and skullduggery and you'd be the only minotaur within 1000km, therefore making it impossible for the party to do these things.
1. Ok that's fine.
2. Umm, that's still othering and you happened to pick a story that really sounds like the charges of blood libel that Jewish people were accused of in the past and is ... kinda gross, really.
3. That's a reason to not allow minotaurs for a particular campaign, not to disallow them entirely for an entire game line.
 

Ophidimancer

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I don't know if I would use this for a 6th edition or just a setting book, but I wrote up a roster of races for a game of mine. Granted, it was for my long running Dresden Files group, so it was in Fate rather than D&D, but it was actually an in-character roleplaying game that my Dresden Files PC's were playing that I tongue in cheek named Ruins and Revenants.

The setting had ubiquitous magic, meaning everyone had access to at least a little magic, no extra training necessary, but magic was also more primordial and instinctual rather than learned. There was no grand unified theory of magic or organized magical schools. Every race had access to their own kind of magic that they could naturally access, but one could find a tutor of another race to teach you some aspects of their ancestral magic.

Dwarves - Standard looking. Pragmatic, patient, practitioners of Earth (manipulating stone, dirt, and metal), Crafting (magically excellent craftsmanship, nigh unbreakable shields, swords that can cut nearly anything), and Gems (using crystals and gems to store and release energy of all kinds, light/electricity/ghosts)
Pix - A small race that flies. Think gnomes with sharp teeth. Tribal and fiercely loud and proud. Their magic concerns Wind (manipulating air flow), Weather (precipitation, storms, and other atmospheric systems), and Song (manipulating sound, as well as the expression of meaning through music).
Jinn - A desert dwelling race of hairless humanoids that have elaborate etiquette rules and cunningly manipulate the letter of the law. Same size as humans until after puberty, when they just keep growing in size. An adult is probably goliath sized and elders start looking like smaller giants. Their magic controls Fire (heat and flame), Oaths (binding and sealing pacts, empowering oathtakers, punishing oathbreakers), and Day (Wakefulness, exposure of lies, the passage of time toward noon).
Selkin - Humanoid aquatic mammals, or seal/otter-kin. Imperialistic and insular island dwellers with highly ritualized traditions of warfare and hospitality. The finest navy in the world. Philosophy very concerned with duality. Their magic is steeped in Water (water bending), War (enhancement and knowledge of tactics and martial arts), and Healing (manipulations of organic processes).
Orcs - Tribal humanoids who live with flocks/prides/herds/packs of animals that regard them as kin. As a rite of passage they gain a bonded animal companion and start manifesting physical traits of that animal. Their ancestral magic is of Beasts (communication with, control of, enhancements to - animals), Blood (gross manipulations of physiology, ie fleshcrafting), and the Hunt (tracking, survival, and taking the power of prey through not always fatal ritual hunts).
Elves - Fairly standard looking. Graceful and nature loving. Their magic is about Plants (control, growth, and deriving medicines/potions), Dance (enhancements to physical coordination as well as expressing meaning through movement), and Night (sleep, dreams, the stars and prophecy, stealth, the passage of time toward midnight).
Humans - Standard looking, garrulous and has colonies established about everywhere. Their magic involves Mind (thoughts and emotions), Knowledge (recorded information), and Travel (making moving from one place to another easier, safer, faster, eventually teleportation, but that is culturally controversial since it cuts out the journey).
 

Dog Quixote

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1. Ok that's fine.
Well. Glad I have your approval. I certainly wouldn't want to rely on my own judgement.

1. Ok that's fine.
2. Umm, that's still othering and you happened to pick a story that really sounds like the charges of blood libel that Jewish people were accused of in the past and is ... kinda gross, really.
No it's really not that similiar. What it's similar too is actual medieval beliefs about changelings and elves. It's also basically the setup for the Symbaroum game.

And as for "othering" yes. It's something that's explicitly a part of the premise as something to be dealt with.

3. That's a reason to not allow minotaurs for a particular campaign, not to disallow them entirely for an entire game line.
And how does one disallow them for an entire game line? Put a big sign in a book that says "This race may never be used as a player option ever"?
 

Ophidimancer

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No it's really not that similiar. What it's similar too is actual medieval beliefs about the changelings. It's also basically the setup for the Symbaroum game.

And as for "othering" yes. It's something that's explicitly a part of the premise as something to be dealt with.
The conversation preceeding this has already covered the problematic nature of disallowing a particular type of people by othering them. In short, if you include an entire group of people that are not playable because they are "too different" it brings up strong shades of racial stereotypes. ESkemp ESkemp put it well earlier in the thread.
And how does one disallow them for an entire game line? Put a big sign in a book that says "This race may never be used as a player option ever"?
Isn't this entire conversation we've been having about what races we would include and not include in a theoretical new edition?
 
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