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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35991 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2022 :  02:20:09  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So this book is supposed to drop soon... I just saw some bits about it and decided to share.

First, I stumbled across the cover art, which is a definite homage to the original Manual of the Planes: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/LeRDzA

The art was shared by the artist, and shows both the cover itself and a clean version of the artwork.

(Also, here's a pic of the original book, iffen you want to compare cover art)

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 16 Jan 2022 02:29:52

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35991 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2022 :  02:21:49  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Second, courtesy of ENWorld, we have a list of the 33 races in the book:

quote:
Aarackocra
Assimar
Bugbear
Centaur
Changeling
Deep Gnome
Duergar
Eladrin
Fairy
Firbolg
Genasi, Air
Genasi, Earth
Genasi, Fire
Gennasi, Water
Githyanki
Githzerai
Goblin
Goliath
Harengon
Hobgoblin
Kenku
Kobold
Lizardfolk
Minotaur
Orc
Satyr
Sea Elf
Shadar Kai
Shifter
Tabaxi
Turtle
Triton
Yuan-ti


Me, I'm hoping genasi no longer have neon racing stripes...

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 16 Jan 2022 02:22:06
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35991 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2022 :  02:24:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And third, also courtesy of ENWorld, we have a list of "revamped stat blocks for 260 monsters previously published in previous Dungeons & Dragons 5E books"

quote:
Abishai (Black, Blue, Green, Red, White)
Alhoon
Alkilith
Allip
Amnizu
Annis Hag
Archdruid
Archer
Armanite
Astral Deadnought
Babau
Bael
Balhannoth
Banderhobb
Baphomet
Bard
Barghest
Berbalang
Bheur Hag
Blackguard
Bodak
Boggle
Boneclaw
Bulezau
Cadaver Collector
Canoloth
Catoblepas
Cattle (Aurochs, Ox, Stench Kow, Deep Rothe)
Cave Fisher
Champion
Chitine
Choker
Choldrith
Clockwork (Bronze Scout, Iron Cobra, Oaken Bolter, Stone Defender)
Cloud Giant Smiling One
Corpse Flower
Cranium Rat, Swarm of Cranium Rat
Darkling, Darkling Elder
Death Kiss
Deathlock, Deathlock Mastermind, Deathlock Wight
Deep Scion
Demogorgon
Derro, Derro Savant
Devourer
Dhergoloth
Dinosaurs (Brontosaurus, Deinonychus, Dimetrodon, Hadrosaurus, Quetzalcoatlus, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor)
Dolphin, Dolphin Delighter
Draegloth
Drow (Arachnomancer, Favored Consort, House Captain, Inquisitor, Matron Mother, Shadowblade)
Duergar (Despot, Kavalrachni, Mind Master, Soulblade, Stone Guard, Warlord, Xarrorn, Hammerer, Screamer)
Dybbuk
Eidolon
Eladrin (Autumn, Spring, Summer, Winter)
Elder Brain
Elder Tempest
Elemental Myrmidon (Air, Earth, Fire, Water)
Fire Giant Dreadnought
Firenewt (Warrior, Warlock of Imix)
Flail Snail
Flind
Fraz-Urb'luu
Froghemoth
Frost Giant Everlasting One
Frost Salamander
Gauth
Gazer
Geryon
Giant Strider
Giff
Girallon
Githyanki (Gish, Kith'rak, Supreme Commander, Anarch, Enlightened)
Gnoll (Flesh Gnawer, Hunter, Witherling)
Gray Render
Grazz't
Grung (Elite Warrior, Wildling)
Guard Drake
Hellfire Engine
Hobgoblin (Devastator, Iron Shadow)
Howler
Hutijin
Hydroloth
Juiblex
Ki-Rin
Kobold (Dragonshield, Inventor, Scale Sorcerer)
Korred
Kraken Priest
Kruthik (Hive Lord, Adult, Young)
Leucrotta
Leviathan
Martial Arts Adept
Marut
Master Thief
Maurezhi
Maw Demon
Meazel
Meenlock
Merregon
Merrenoloth
Mindwitness
Moloch
Molydeus
Morkoth
Mouth of Grolantor
Nabassu
Nagpa
Narzugon
Neogi, Neogi Hatchling, Neogi Master
Neothelid
Nightwalker
Nilbog
Nupperibo
Oblex (Spawn, Adult, Elder)
Ogre (Battering Ram, Bolt Launcher, Chain Brute, Howdah)
Oinoloth
Orcus
Orthon
Phoenix
Quickling
Redcap
Retriever
Rutterkin
Sea Spawn
Shadar Kai (Gloom Weaver, Shadow Dancer, Soul Monger)
Shadow Mastiff, Shadow Mastiff Alpha
Shoosuva
Sibriex
Skulk
Skull Lord
Slithering Tracker
Shadowsworn (The Angry, The Hungry, The Lonely, The Lost, The Wretched)
Spawn of Kyuss
Star Spawn (Grue, Hulk, Lava Mage, Mangler, Seer)
Steeder (Female, Male)
Steel Predator
Stone Cursed
Stone Giant Dreamwalker
Storm Giant Quintessent
Swarm of Rot Grubs
Swachbuckler
Sword Wraith (Commander, Warrior)
Tanarukk
Titivilus
Tlincalli
Tortle
Turtle Druid
Trapper
Troll (Dire, Rot, Spirit, Venom)
Ulitharid
Vampiric Mist
Vargouille
Vegepygmy, Vegepygmy Chief, Vegepygmy Thorny
War Priest
Warlock (of the Archfey, Fiend, Great Old One)
Warlord
Wastrilith
Wizard (Apprentice, Abjurer, Conjurer, Diviner, Enchanter, Evoker, Illusionist, Necromancer, Transmuter)
Wood Woad
Xvart, Xvart Warlock of Raxivort
Yagnoloth
Yeenoghu
Yeah Hound
Yuan-ti (Anathema, Broodguard, Mind Whisperer, Nightmare Speaker, Pit Master)
Zaratan
Zariel
Zuggtmoy

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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
852 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2022 :  16:07:13  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also courtesy of ENWorld, we have a summary of the changes to all the player races: https://www.enworld.org/threads/a-compilation-of-all-the-race-changes-in-monsters-of-the-multiverse.685355/
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6426 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2022 :  06:47:54  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What constitutes a "fairy"?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35991 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2022 :  11:53:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

What constitutes a "fairy"?

-- George Krashos



Totally guessing, but I'm thinking it'll be like earlier D&D versions of the Sprite: 2-foot-tall humanoid with wings and some minor magic abilities.

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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
852 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2022 :  16:58:04  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The fairy race appears in Wild Beyond the Witchlight (along with the rabbitfolk harengon). It is indeed a playable pixie/sprite (though bigger at size Small). In addition to being fey and Small, they can fly and have fairy magic (can cast druidcraft and eventually faerie fire and enlarge/reduce.)
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HighOne
Learned Scribe

172 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2022 :  16:59:36  Show Profile Send HighOne a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

What constitutes a "fairy"?

-- George Krashos

The fairy race was released in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. I've never read it, but there's a preview here: https://www.dndbeyond.com/posts/1075-sneak-peek-check-out-the-fairy-race-in-the-wild

"Fairies have a long, storied history in the Feywild. Appearing as diminutive elves with insectile wings, fairy creatures come in all kinds of varieties. When you choose the fairy race, you'll get to decide what kind of fairy creature your character takes after. Will you have the midnight blue skin tone of a quickling and moth wings, the light green skin of a pixie and butterfly wings, or something else?"
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2249 Posts

Posted - 17 Jan 2022 :  17:44:18  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Me, I'm hoping genasi no longer have neon racing stripes...



IIRC, they don't have it since they were introduced to 5e in 2015.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7610 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2022 :  02:33:54  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The real question is not quantity, it's quality.

Are these new writeups of old faces revised in a careful, thoughtful, balanced, creative manner? Or are they just quickly reformatted-into-latest-edition pulp?

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
35991 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2022 :  03:08:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

The real question is not quantity, it's quality.

Are these new writeups of old faces revised in a careful, thoughtful, balanced, creative manner? Or are they just quickly reformatted-into-latest-edition pulp?



Look at the link Tom Costa posted. It looks like some mechanical changes, but I'm not the one to address whether they are good, bad, or otherwise.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11165 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2022 :  13:48:38  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

The real question is not quantity, it's quality.

Are these new writeups of old faces revised in a careful, thoughtful, balanced, creative manner? Or are they just quickly reformatted-into-latest-edition pulp?



Yeah, that's what I'm wondering, and the person who quoted did so in the form of "this was changed this way" without a reference to the original, so it makes it a lot harder to read without going back and forth. I would hope that that is part of the purpose. After all, going on 7 years in, they have enough material to start doing a deep dive and trying to balance what all has been developed, learn from DM's Guild to see how to fix things, etc....

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
852 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2022 :  18:59:08  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some of the changes irk me, but they are definitely philosophical differences. I'm all for allowing players to make the character they want and giving them the flexibility to change racial aspects, whether alignment, height, proficiency, ability bonuses, etc. However, I think establishing an archetype is not necessarily wrong. Absent some of that information the various races start to look like they lose some flavor. I recognize everyone's mileage may vary. Beyond that, I think most of the changes look fine mechanically (like changing a lot of racial powers to be used based on proficiency bonus), though some seem odd (like swapping out what seems like a more appropriate spells for the triton for a PH spell).
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11165 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2022 :  20:51:34  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm, I didn't even know yuan-ti had been released as a player race for 5e. What book was that in?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11165 Posts

Posted - 18 Jan 2022 :  21:28:49  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

Some of the changes irk me, but they are definitely philosophical differences. I'm all for allowing players to make the character they want and giving them the flexibility to change racial aspects, whether alignment, height, proficiency, ability bonuses, etc. However, I think establishing an archetype is not necessarily wrong. Absent some of that information the various races start to look like they lose some flavor. I recognize everyone's mileage may vary.



Just trying to get what you mean here. If I rephrased it "When there's no mechanical difference between one flying race and another other than looks, it really makes no real defining difference to them"..... would that kind of mean what you were saying? If so, I agree. I like having meaningful mechanical differences, especially if the only issues would then be social ones (especially since we see them totally rewriting a lot of the cultural notes for races).


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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HighOne
Learned Scribe

172 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2022 :  03:07:01  Show Profile Send HighOne a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hmm, I didn't even know yuan-ti had been released as a player race for 5e. What book was that in?

Volo's Guide to Monsters. It was generally considered overpowered when it came out (Yuan-ti Purebloods have advantage on saving throws against all spells and magical effects). If it was toned down for this book, I'll be pleasantly surprised.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11165 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2022 :  13:23:37  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HighOne

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hmm, I didn't even know yuan-ti had been released as a player race for 5e. What book was that in?

Volo's Guide to Monsters. It was generally considered overpowered when it came out (Yuan-ti Purebloods have advantage on saving throws against all spells and magical effects). If it was toned down for this book, I'll be pleasantly surprised.



The notes from that ENWorld update say this.... still a pretty powerful thing, but definitely removes non-spell related magic.

Magical Resistance. Traits that give you advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects now only apply to spells.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Scots Dragon
Seeker

United Kingdom
63 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2022 :  20:07:54  Show Profile Send Scots Dragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
First, I stumbled across the cover art, which is a definite homage to the original Manual of the Planes: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/LeRDzA

The art was shared by the artist, and shows both the cover itself and a clean version of the artwork.

(Also, here's a pic of the original book, iffen you want to compare cover art)



It's also a homage in some ways to the original City of Splendours box set from AD&D 2e, with Mordenkainein riding a ki-rin much as Khelben was. I suppose it's reinforcement that Mordenkainen is basically just also playing the double-role of being the modern Khelben now.

He was even living in Waterdeep last I checked.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Me, I'm hoping genasi no longer have neon racing stripes...



Maybe firbolgs will also be tall red-haired giants again... and perhaps we'll even get tieflings that don't all have the exact same features and aren't all tied to various archdevils.

I'm not holding my breath.

Edited by - Scots Dragon on 19 Jan 2022 20:13:51
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
852 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2022 :  22:13:08  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

Some of the changes irk me, but they are definitely philosophical differences. I'm all for allowing players to make the character they want and giving them the flexibility to change racial aspects, whether alignment, height, proficiency, ability bonuses, etc. However, I think establishing an archetype is not necessarily wrong. Absent some of that information the various races start to look like they lose some flavor. I recognize everyone's mileage may vary.



Just trying to get what you mean here. If I rephrased it "When there's no mechanical difference between one flying race and another other than looks, it really makes no real defining difference to them"..... would that kind of mean what you were saying? If so, I agree. I like having meaningful mechanical differences, especially if the only issues would then be social ones (especially since we see them totally rewriting a lot of the cultural notes for races).





Yeah that's close.

If a dwarf is just a person who is resistant to poison and has darkvision and stonecunning, it loses a lot of the archetype of what a dwarf in D&D has traditionally been, whether I want to play to or against that archetype. Knowing that the dominant dwarven culture is typically LG in outlook helps set up the family and clan structure that is part of their culture, as does their height, long life, Con bonus, and combat training. Does that mean every dwarf should be that, absolutely not, they are all individuals, but it's a starting point for their culture as presented in lore. Most elves are CG, but damn if a whole lot of the wickedest surface elves in the Realms acted a lot more like LE, establishing empires with clear levels of control and organization. Similarly most elves have a Dex bonus, totally cool if they don't, but a key to the archetype is that elves are usually "slender and graceful." Otherwise, you have a creature that has darkvision, resistance to charm, and that doesn't sleep. To me, all of those other traits help establish the archetype and set up the general culture to play to or against. Could there be and should there be more complexities in individuals and even unique versions of the cultures, sure, but I think we lose a little something if we increasingly take away some of these norms. Keep the archetype and also keep the customization options like in Tasha's (totally on board with all of them). I think WotC is over-reacting to a mix of some legitimate and some less legitimate concerns.

Similarly, alignment is clearly stated to be the default in the MM, and that monsters can depart from that default. Nevertheless, that was recently jettisoned (over reaction) and then brought back with words that denote the commonality of the AL like "typically" (totally fine IMO, albeit maybe not necessary), but dropped for humanoids. The latter makes little sense to me. If you establish that most drow cultures are beholden to a demon goddess that demands blood and chaos, then yeah, most of the people in that culture will default to evil, not because they are inherently so, but because that's how they were raised. Same with most of the evil humanoids like orcs. Just like the dominant human culture has generally been neutral with good and evil.

In the novels, we've seen some of this diversity with a certain prominent renegade drow or two and an orc paladin, among others. We've seen evil elves and dwarves, as well as good ones. The same is true in various other products. I'm also not miffed about small enclaves of good drow if the story is good enough. All of that diversity is good.

All that said, I really don't want to start a whole debate about all this. To each their own. I just think there is a better balance to be had.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11165 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2022 :  23:33:45  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scots Dragon

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Me, I'm hoping genasi no longer have neon racing stripes...



Maybe firbolgs will also be tall red-haired giants again... and perhaps we'll even get tieflings that don't all have the exact same features and aren't all tied to various archdevils.

I'm not holding my breath.



They already had some alternate rules for tieflings somewhere. Firbolgs, yeah, I cringe every time I see the new picture. Because they couldn't come up with a new creature name???

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11165 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2022 :  23:37:59  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

Some of the changes irk me, but they are definitely philosophical differences. I'm all for allowing players to make the character they want and giving them the flexibility to change racial aspects, whether alignment, height, proficiency, ability bonuses, etc. However, I think establishing an archetype is not necessarily wrong. Absent some of that information the various races start to look like they lose some flavor. I recognize everyone's mileage may vary.




Just trying to get what you mean here. If I rephrased it "When there's no mechanical difference between one flying race and another other than looks, it really makes no real defining difference to them"..... would that kind of mean what you were saying? If so, I agree. I like having meaningful mechanical differences, especially if the only issues would then be social ones (especially since we see them totally rewriting a lot of the cultural notes for races).





Yeah that's close.

If a dwarf is just a person who is resistant to poison and has darkvision and stonecunning, it loses a lot of the archetype of what a dwarf in D&D has traditionally been, whether I want to play to or against that archetype. Knowing that the dominant dwarven culture is typically LG in outlook helps set up the family and clan structure that is part of their culture, as does their height, long life, Con bonus, and combat training. Does that mean every dwarf should be that, absolutely not, they are all individuals, but it's a starting point for their culture as presented in lore. Most elves are CG, but damn if a whole lot of the wickedest surface elves in the Realms acted a lot more like LE, establishing empires with clear levels of control and organization. Similarly most elves have a Dex bonus, totally cool if they don't, but a key to the archetype is that elves are usually "slender and graceful." Otherwise, you have a creature that has darkvision, resistance to charm, and that doesn't sleep. To me, all of those other traits help establish the archetype and set up the general culture to play to or against. Could there be and should there be more complexities in individuals and even unique versions of the cultures, sure, but I think we lose a little something if we increasingly take away some of these norms. Keep the archetype and also keep the customization options like in Tasha's (totally on board with all of them). I think WotC is over-reacting to a mix of some legitimate and some less legitimate concerns.

Similarly, alignment is clearly stated to be the default in the MM, and that monsters can depart from that default. Nevertheless, that was recently jettisoned (over reaction) and then brought back with words that denote the commonality of the AL like "typically" (totally fine IMO, albeit maybe not necessary), but dropped for humanoids. The latter makes little sense to me. If you establish that most drow cultures are beholden to a demon goddess that demands blood and chaos, then yeah, most of the people in that culture will default to evil, not because they are inherently so, but because that's how they were raised. Same with most of the evil humanoids like orcs. Just like the dominant human culture has generally been neutral with good and evil.

In the novels, we've seen some of this diversity with a certain prominent renegade drow or two and an orc paladin, among others. We've seen evil elves and dwarves, as well as good ones. The same is true in various other products. I'm also not miffed about small enclaves of good drow if the story is good enough. All of that diversity is good.

All that said, I really don't want to start a whole debate about all this. To each their own. I just think there is a better balance to be had.



Gotcha, and pretty much "ditto" and I agree that we've had these discussions way too much. I think most people here would agree with your statements.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Eldacar
Senior Scribe

424 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2022 :  14:46:59  Show Profile Send Eldacar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hmm, I didn't even know yuan-ti had been released as a player race for 5e. What book was that in?


As said, Volo's Guide to Monsters. There were also several Adventurer's League scenarios (including official adventures, such as Tomb of Annihilation) that allowed a player to permanently transform their character into a pureblood. As long as they passed a DC 15 Wisdom save, their character did not suffer an alignment change. And because of how the purebloods are described in 5e, people could justify it as not changing what they looked like much if at all.

Yuan-ti purebloods are, in 5e terms, very powerful. They get a net +3 (+2 to Charisma, +1 to Intelligence). They have free darkvision, they have innate spellcasting (poison spray as a cantrip, animal friendship targeting snakes, and suggestion), they have magic resistance (the big one because it's advantage on all spells and magical effects), and they are also completely immune to poison damage and the poisoned condition.

By reports, the magic resistance has seen a heavy nerf, so it's just spells now, and poison immunity is now only resistance. That's still very good, but more bearable for something more powerful than the norm yet also generally not accessible outside of specific scenarios.

"The Wild Mages I have met exhibit a startling disregard for common sense, and are often meddling with powers far beyond their own control." ~Volo
"Not unlike a certain travelogue author with whom I am unfortunately acquainted." ~Elminster
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3644 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2022 :  16:19:26  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

Some of the changes irk me, but they are definitely philosophical differences. I'm all for allowing players to make the character they want and giving them the flexibility to change racial aspects, whether alignment, height, proficiency, ability bonuses, etc. However, I think establishing an archetype is not necessarily wrong. Absent some of that information the various races start to look like they lose some flavor. I recognize everyone's mileage may vary.



Just trying to get what you mean here. If I rephrased it "When there's no mechanical difference between one flying race and another other than looks, it really makes no real defining difference to them"..... would that kind of mean what you were saying? If so, I agree. I like having meaningful mechanical differences, especially if the only issues would then be social ones (especially since we see them totally rewriting a lot of the cultural notes for races).





Yeah that's close.

If a dwarf is just a person who is resistant to poison and has darkvision and stonecunning, it loses a lot of the archetype of what a dwarf in D&D has traditionally been, whether I want to play to or against that archetype. Knowing that the dominant dwarven culture is typically LG in outlook helps set up the family and clan structure that is part of their culture, as does their height, long life, Con bonus, and combat training. Does that mean every dwarf should be that, absolutely not, they are all individuals, but it's a starting point for their culture as presented in lore. Most elves are CG, but damn if a whole lot of the wickedest surface elves in the Realms acted a lot more like LE, establishing empires with clear levels of control and organization. Similarly most elves have a Dex bonus, totally cool if they don't, but a key to the archetype is that elves are usually "slender and graceful." Otherwise, you have a creature that has darkvision, resistance to charm, and that doesn't sleep. To me, all of those other traits help establish the archetype and set up the general culture to play to or against. Could there be and should there be more complexities in individuals and even unique versions of the cultures, sure, but I think we lose a little something if we increasingly take away some of these norms. Keep the archetype and also keep the customization options like in Tasha's (totally on board with all of them). I think WotC is over-reacting to a mix of some legitimate and some less legitimate concerns.

Similarly, alignment is clearly stated to be the default in the MM, and that monsters can depart from that default. Nevertheless, that was recently jettisoned (over reaction) and then brought back with words that denote the commonality of the AL like "typically" (totally fine IMO, albeit maybe not necessary), but dropped for humanoids. The latter makes little sense to me. If you establish that most drow cultures are beholden to a demon goddess that demands blood and chaos, then yeah, most of the people in that culture will default to evil, not because they are inherently so, but because that's how they were raised. Same with most of the evil humanoids like orcs. Just like the dominant human culture has generally been neutral with good and evil.

In the novels, we've seen some of this diversity with a certain prominent renegade drow or two and an orc paladin, among others. We've seen evil elves and dwarves, as well as good ones. The same is true in various other products. I'm also not miffed about small enclaves of good drow if the story is good enough. All of that diversity is good.

All that said, I really don't want to start a whole debate about all this. To each their own. I just think there is a better balance to be had.



Maybe they're trying to make the crunch usable even in settings that make assumptions that are very different from classic D&D. For example, the features of the dwarf or elf subraces could represent specific human factions in a world that has neither humans nor elves. Whether this is a good or bad thing, I honestly don't know. D&D feels very strictly tied to old assumptions about fantasy, and modern fantasy can easily steer away from that. OTOH, the various settings and their assumptions might be an important branding tool that D&D has on its side, and maybe even the reason why a lot of people pick it up. Guess time will tell.

Edited by - Irennan on 20 Jan 2022 16:20:39
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TomCosta
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Posted - 22 Jan 2022 :  01:36:28  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Irennen, I think that's part of it. Certainly, we've seen wildly different cultures in Dark Sun for example, which is almost defined by throwing all the archetypes out the window, and is pretty cool. But the default setting is not that, whether the Realms, Greyhawk, or most others. That's why I think there is a better way of making the change while holding true to the default setting, but like I said, it's a philosophical difference IMO.
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Wooly Rupert
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CorellonsDevout
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quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

Some of the changes irk me, but they are definitely philosophical differences. I'm all for allowing players to make the character they want and giving them the flexibility to change racial aspects, whether alignment, height, proficiency, ability bonuses, etc. However, I think establishing an archetype is not necessarily wrong. Absent some of that information the various races start to look like they lose some flavor. I recognize everyone's mileage may vary.




I agree. There is a cultural flavor that I think should be maintained, whether the individual adheres to or goes against that culture.

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