So, with the playtest officially started, we can get an idea of one direction we're headed in for the "original" classes and races. The purpose of this thread is to discuss possibilities for the other, younger races and classes, which in my own opinion are just as central to the game at this stage in its life. Since we can only extrapolate so much from the playtest characters, much of this is speculation so take it with a grain of salt please.
The main things I’d like to see come out of the new edition for race are more than one option for characters of a particular type. This means having more than one Strong character, smart, charismatic, or small character as an option.
Strong races: Half-orc, dwarf, and more recently dragonborn and goliath. The dwarf looks to be returning to his roots with Constitution, but may provide a strength option that we’ve yet to see. Of the other three races, Half-orcs could potentially make good rogues, rangers, and fighters, depending on their background. Dragonborn might fit in as sorcerers, paladins or fighters; while goliaths might find their niche as druids, rangers, and fighters. There’s plenty for each race to stand out as after their development during 4e, and they all have pretty good reason (and sizeable fanbases) to be part of the new core.
Tough races: Dwarf still reigns supreme as the tough race, and really I can’t think of another good one that has been introduced as non-world specific. Goliath has previously been given as tough, but they feel better placed as wise, to me anyway. Any thoughts?
Dexterous races: Plenty already, with elves and halflings at the top. I’ll leave this group alone for now, but if there are ideas for others, I’m all ears.
Smart races: Eladrin (high elves) and gnomes for me would rule as smart races. Tieflings are there as well, and while I like how they were represented in 4e, I could see them taking a backseat if only to make room for the nostalgic, other small race.
Wise races: Goliath, in my opinion, should be held on a pedestal as the wise race of this edition. Dwarves, if they’re not made strong, could also fall here. If races aren’t given multiple choices for stats, I would be hard pressed to find one that fits this grouping except maybe another group of elves. In another universe, Githzerai would be upgraded to core race and put here to play the part of “monk” race.
Charismatic races: Tieflings, gnomes, half-elves, halflings, dragonborn, high-elves. Take your pick as any of these could see themselves exist as the next D&D charismatic race of choice. While half-elves win out for nostalgia, the quirky gnome, sly halfling/tiefling, and proud dragonborn can all make a case for this. High-elves, likewise could argue for their place here, though if half-elves are included, it would be a shame to make two-thirds of the elven races charismatic, at least in my view.
If you’re still with me, here are my thoughts on classes. Firstly, paladin, sorcerer, druid, and ranger should all be available right out the gate. Monk would be awesome as core, but I would live if they waited for it to ensure there was enough room for everything else. There’s also the matter of races to classes. Each of the other four above have plenty of races that can be immediately called out to play them. Monk, in most of my games anyway, has always been that strange, wandering character from somewhere in the mountains/a distant land.
So, I think that’s everything for now. Let’s see if we can get a discussion started for when wizards gets around to these races and classes.