Racial Abilities

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2013 June 14 ONWARD




Nonhuman Racial Ability Modifiers
Update 2013 03/20
Black: Suggested
Blue: Official in Races/Bestiary and works well
Amber: Official but problematic
Red: Official but highly problematic
Aqua: Suggested instead of official




























































































































































































































































































































































+Primary +Secondary



−STR



−DEX



−CON



−INT



−WIS



−CHA



+STR +DEX







 



Bugbear Goblinkin



 



Skeleton Undead
Werewolf Were



+STR +CON





Treant Plant





Ogre Ogrekin
Orc Goblinkin
Hill Giant
Lizardfolk Beast



Cyclops Ogrekin



Zombie Undead



+STR +INT





 



 





Cyclops Ogrekin



 



+STR +WIS







 



Minotaur Beast





Goliath Giantkin



+STR +CHA





Dragonborn Dragon



Solar Angel



Mummy Undead



Rakshasa Devil
Oni Yukai





 



 



 



 



 



 



 



+DEX +STR







Noviere Eladrin



Gnoll Beast



Bralani Eladrin



Thri-Kreen Beast
Ghoul Undead



+DEX +CON



Stout Halfling
Wraith Shade







Harpy



Rakasta Beast
Bullywug Beast



 



+DEX +INT



Kobold Dragon
High Elf





Male Drow
Shiere Eladrin





 



Goblin Goblinkin



+DEX +WIS



Phantom Shade





Female Drow



Wood Elf





Githzerai Gith



+DEX +CHA



Lightfoot Halfling
Pixie Sprite
Dread Wraith Shade





Green Hag Ogrekin



Coure Eladrin



 





 



 



 



 



 



 



 



+CON +STR





 





Swamp Troll
Gargoyle Golem 
Troglodyte Beast



Revenant Undead



Hill Dwarf



+CON +DEX



 







Lizardfolk Beast



 



Duergar Dwarf 



+CON +INT



 



 







 



Warforged Golem



+CON +WIS



 



Mountain Dwarf





Wilden Plantfolk



 



 



+CON +CHA



 



Tiefling Planetouch





Yuan-Ti Beast



 





 



 



 



 



 



 



 



+Primary +Secondary



−STR



−DEX



−CON



−INT



−WIS



−CHA



+INT +STR





 



House Gnome 





 



 



+INT +DEX



Forest Gnome





 





Shadar-Kai



Svirfneblin Gnm



+INT +CON



Rock Gnome



 







Githyanki Gith



 



+INT +WIS



Forest Gnome
Mind Flayer



Shardmind Golem



 







 



+INT +CHA



Leprechaun Gnm
Blue Goblinkin 



Deva Angel



 





 





 



 



 



 



 



 



 



+WIS +STR





 



 



Longtooth Shifter





 



+WIS +DEX



 





 



Razorclaw Shifter





 



+WIS +CON



 



 





 





 



+WIS +INT



 



 



 







Dvergr Dwarf 



+WIS +CHA



Kalashtar Quori



Awsimar Planetouch



Doppelganger



Henge Yokai







 



 



 



 



 



 



 



+CHA +STR





Vampire Undead
Earth Genasi



Nixie Sprite



Witch Troll



Fire Genasi
Wight Undead 





+CHA +DEX



Ghost Shade
Medusa
Air Genasi





Water Genasi



 Wood Elf



Vryloka Vampire





+CHA +CON



Satyr Nymph



 





Ghoul Undead



Hob Goblinkin





+CHA +INT



High Elf 



 


 



 





Shade Shade





+CHA +WIS



Dryad Nymph



Hamadryad Nymph



Naiad Nymph



Maenad Nymph







+Primary +Secondary



−STR



−DEX



−CON



−INT



−WIS



−CHA







Nonhuman: +1 Specific, +1 Specific, −1 Specific

Human: +1 Any

Rare Nonhuman (Adventurer): You can relocate one of the two racial ability score bonuses to one of the four other abilities, including the option to neutralize the racial penalty.



These three Nonhuman racial ability modifiers increases the statistical diversity and uniqueness among all races and subraces.



For example:

High-Elf: +1 Int, +1 Cha, −1 Str
Wood-Elf: +1 Dex, +1 Wis, −1 Int
Drow-Elf: +1 Dex, +1 Wis, −1 Con


In Playtest 2, the subrace determines the Nonhuman racial ability score modifier, +1 to a single ability. Thus, in regard to the racial abilities above, only the first ability - the primary ability - becomes available mechanically. But the other two modifiers can still help to clarify the subrace archetypal concept, thus the distinctive flavor and appropriate traits.
  

Wizards, shave and a haircut

Racial Abilities


Human
Human: +Any

Halfling: Dexterity
Lightfoot: +Dex, +Cha, −Str
Stout: +Dex, +Con, −Str

D&D Next currently presents two Halfling subraces. The Stout, is apparently also called the Stoutheart referring to courageous Charisma. The Stout corresponds closely to the Hobbit of Tolkien. Tolkien also called the Hobbit a “Halfling”. Tolkien invented the term “Hobbit”, deriving it an Old English reconstruction holbytla, meaning hole-digger, but treating it as if developing into Middle English hobbit. Nevertheless, despite protest, Tolkien seems to coin this name under the influence of the name “Hob”, in the sense of a house spirit, here generally referred to by the term gnome. Interestingly, unlike nature spirits, Tolkien explains the Hobbit as a species of Human, a “variant” and separate evolutionary “branch”. Coincidentally, there is a reallife hominid of small size named Homo floriensis, but nicknamed the Hobbit after Tolkien. In this sense, in D&D terms, the Hobbit is part of the Human family, albeit a separate race.

The Lightfoot corresponds closely to the 4e Halfling, stealthy and daring, which itself continues the tradition of the Kender, but without its kleptomaniacal behavior. Interestingly, the 4e Halfling were nomadic river dwellers.

Elf: Charisma
High: +Cha, +Int, −Str
Wood: +Cha, +Dex, −Int (alternatively +Cha, +Dex, −Int)
Half-Elf: +Cha, +Any

Drow: Dexterity
Female: +Dex, +Wis, −Con (As Bestiary, for D&D tradition as Cleric, no +Cha?)
Male: +Dex, +Int, −Con (for D&D tradition as Wizard or Rogue)
Half-Drow: +Dex, +Any

The High-Elf continues the tradition of the Gray-Elf, including the 2e Tulani-Eladrin and the 4e Eladrin-Elf, as a race of high-Intelligence low-Strength wizards. They resemble the “bright elves” (Ljos-alf-ar) or Alfar, who exhibit “high” celestial flavor of daylight sky. The High Elf appears as a tall beautiful Human. The skin is usually the “milk white” of the solar corona or pale moon, but can vary from from the dusky blues of twilight to the red light of dawn. Sky-blue eyes (solid irises, without pupils or whites), sun-gold or cloud-white hair, or so on. In addition to a Feystep thru the mindscape, this luminous Elf can radiate a close-range aura of dim light (with options for bright light), instead of darkvision or shadowvision.

A subrace name for the Wood-Elf might be Vaettir, a Norse word for nature spirits, sometimes more specifically called Landvaettir, “the nature spirits of the land”. These personify the life and prophetic fate of forest nature spirits. Eyes are leaf-green, skin is earthtones and greens, hair is typically earthtone or greens, but sometimes the yellows and reds of autumn leaves or even the bright colors of flowers. Sometimes they even exhibit the characteristics of forest animals, such as the pointed ears like wolves, catlike pupils, rarely glossy black fur, or even a tail. Shadowvision is perfect.

The Drow is officially a Dexterity race. In addition, the class features continues the Wisdom for female Clerics. Unfortunately, the Halfling is already a Dexterity race, but it seems possible to differentiate the Drow from the Halfling by the subrace abilities.

Also see the Immortal/Outsider Eladrin subraces. 5e will probably return to the “classic Eladrin” as an Immortal/Outsider race. Since there are so many Elf subraces in the D&D tradition, Eladrin subraces can continue other elfish archetypes. For example, the Noviere-Eladrin already continues the tradition of the Aquatic Elf, and here the extraordinary Strength matches the folklore about aquatic spirits, whose surprising Strength personifies the dangerous watery undertow.

Dwarf: Constitution
Mountain: +Con, +Wis, −Dex
Hill: +Con, +Str, −Cha
Duergar: +Con, +Dex, −Cha

Dvergar: Intelligence
Dvergr: +Int, +Wis, −Cha

The 4e Hill-Dwarf takes up the tradition of the 3e Deep-Dwarf as the “standard” typical subrace. Here the name “Dvergr” represents the archetypal Dwarf of Norse mythology. These dwarves are Humansize, pale, with black hair, famous for their powerful creations of magic items, their intelligence, their luck, and their deep subterranean realm. This archetype probably deserves a Cha penalty, being generally disliked, pushed around, and seemingly easily manipulated - despite being needed and powerful.

Gnome: Intelligence
Rock: +Int, +Con, −Str
Forest: +Int, +Dex, +Int, +Wis, −Str
House: +Int, +Str, −Con
Svirfneblin: +Int, +Dex, −Cha
Leprechaun:  +Int, +Cha, −Str

The House-Gnome is a nature spirit that accompanies Human activity. Typically, the spirit personifies the land where Humans have build a house, but also elsewhere Humans build, such as a mining shaft in a mountain, or even a ship. Usually, the house spirit lives just below ground somewhere in the land, often under the house or the barn. The spirit tends to be helpful, making sure the property is running smoothly, even profitably, but can become mischievious and even dangerous, if disrespected or accidentally injured. The house spirit is usually invisible, but appears small, standing about knee-high to a Human. Despite the size, the spirit is superhumanly strong. The house spirit appears to derive from Celtic folk belief, and appears across Late Medieval Europe, whose analogues include the Irish Leprechaun, German Kobold, Scandinavian Tomte also nicknamed Nisse (a diminutive of the name Nils), Scottish Brownie, and so on. The tiny “garden gnome” with the red hat and full white beard corresponds especially the Dutch Kabouter, which seems to influence much of the modern concept of gnomes, especially in pop culture. In earlier folklore, the house spirit usually appears as a young human tottler, but later came to also be viewed as a small elder, perhaps with even smaller children.

Sprite
Pixie: +Dex, +Cha, −Str
Nixie: +Cha, +Str, −Con

The Nixie (also called Nykr, Nøkk, Nix, Neck, or Nocker) is a water spirit of waters, especially the rapid freshwater rivers, ranging from benevolent to malevolent. They are of humansize, but individuals shapeshift between specific alternate forms. Most males are solitary appearing as a Human of great beauty and musical talent. Usually nude, but sometimes in finest clothing, at least partially wet. Some Nixie take the form of a “Kelpie”, namely a majestic horse of watery color - white, black, or green - physicalizing the ride of a dangerous undertow. Others take the form of a serpent, a monstrous merfolk form, even a floating item, or so on. Females, especially, appear as beautiful merfolk, Human from the waist up and a fish tail from the waist down, breathing air and water. Nixies of either gender might step out of the water fully formed, sometimes with “slit ears” forming subtle gills on each side of the neck, to live as Humans or Elves, especially if falling in love with one, but need to immerse in water, ideally daily, or else become dispondent. Alternatively, a Nixie might enchant a lover to breath water to dwell under the waves. Nixies are famous for their exquisite voices and mastery of instruments, whose music animates and controls waters, and similarly charms and compels Humans and other creatures. Their musical skills.

Altho wingless originally, and continuing to appear as such on occasion, by the 1800s Victorian Era, Celtic British folklore came to refer to the Pixie as an invisible tiny sprite with insect wings. Despite similarity with the British “fairy” of similar appearance - and sometimes using the words fairy and pixie synonymously - the two are traditionally two separate species. They inhabit the moors - the highland wilderness of treeless rolling hills and roiling fogs - and associate with healing and romance. They are endearingly childlike harmlessly mischievious and often friendly. Altho wild and playing with wildlife, they like humans. The 4e tradition emphasizes their Charisma, with options for Cha-Dex or Cha-Int, but the 3e tradition emphasizes their Dexterity, especially quick darting flights and stealth. Namely, Dex-Cha or Dex-Int. Their Strength takes the penalty due to their tiny size, followed by a human-like Constitution. Like the Celtic Sidhe, and thereby the French and British Fae, the Pixies live underground, just below the surface, in notable rock formations, such as mounds, monolithic stones, caves, and so on.

Nymph: Wisdom
Naiad: +Wis, +Cha, −Con
Satyr: +Wis, +Cha, −Str
Dryad: +Wis, +Cha, −Str
Hamadryad: +Wis, +Int, −Con
Maenad: +Wis, +Cha, −Int

The Greek Nymphe is a nature spirit, this Greek name especially referring to feminine spirits.

Naiad is “the” Nymph, the central archetype of the race and the progenitor of the other Nymph subraces. She is a female of stunning beauty the spirit that personifies the lifegiving freshwater of a specific spring, stream, or river tributary. The male Naiad is rarely called such, but is the spirit that personifies a specific main river. The Naiad tends toward frolic, playfulness, and sexual freedom, but sometimes becomes possessive of a lover. The Naiad also associates with divination.

In Ancient Greek lore, the Satyr appears as a Human, with a horse tail, with the legs of Human. Like the Nixie, the horselike appearance probably expresses the galloping currents of river rapids, from whose river spirit the Satyrs descend. But as a spirit of wild sex, the Satyr association with the horse also relates to ... another anatomical feature. Physically, the Satyr has pointed ears hinting at equine, a subtle flat nose, a solid physique, and wild hair. The Satyr often carries musical pipes, any other instrument, or a rod of authority, especially to preside over revelry. The Satyr often obsesses over all kinds of physical pleasures, especially the beauty of Nymph, and wine.

The appearance of the Satyr with goat legs actually comes from a hybridizing with another nature spirit, the carefree Faun (faunus) of Roman lore, whose legs and horns are those of a goat.

Notably the Greek name Dryas, plural Dryades, derives from the Greek name Drys, meaning an “oak” tree. But probably the Dryad personifies a specific forest, while the Hamadryad a specific tree. The name Maenad derives from the Greek nymph Mainad, who personifies alchohol, and by extension revelry and music.

Doppelganger
Doppelganger: +Wis, +Cha, −Con

In 4e Doppelgangers (aka Changelings) are Primal creatures of Nature. But in folklore they are otherworldly creatures, usually associating with fey, sometimes dwarves, elves, or trolls. As mimickers, it seems the Changeling needs Wisdom so perception can track many sensorial details, and needs Charisma to convince others.  

Goblinkin
Goblin: +Dex, +Int, −Wis, −Cha
Hob: +Cha, +Int, −Wis (Note Beastiary +Cha, +Con, −Wis)
Blue: +Int, +Wis, −Str
Bugbear: +Str, +Dex, −Int
Orc: +Str, +Con, −Int, −Cha (Note Beastiary +Str, +Con, −Int, same as Ogre)

The word Goblin itself derives from French gobelin, appearing in Latin as gobelinus, probably deriving from German Kobold. The German name Kobold refers to a child-size house spirit, here referred to as a gnome, being a benevolent nature spirit who accompanies human activities, even living in the mines and ships that humans build. However the French and English use the term goblin to refer exclusively to malevolent fae, who are generally small and grotesque, and evil, and responsible for deadly mischief. In British folklore, they belong to Unseelie Court. Some goblins inhabit human homes like gnomes, but other goblins inhabit the wilderness. The goblin of folkbelief seems to be a blend of the Celtic tiny house gnome (leprechaun) and the Norse wilderness troll (which itself blends giant, dwarf, and elf), and occurs in cultures that blend Celtic and Norse influences, especially Britain and Normandy. A curious characteristic of the goblin in reallife folklore is rhyming, poems, and songs repels them, driving them away. (Compare Turn Undead!) Also, the goblin has feet with no toes, and the sight of toes disgusts them, but provokes them rather than repel them. They are known for their use of magical rituals, and for their passion of destroying the Human in amusing ways. Alternatively, goblin increase their numbers by kidnapping children (and sometimes adults) and using magical rituals to transform them into goblins, to serve as spouses, servants, and soldiers. The stories describe the permanent transformation ritual as taking a period of time, and sometimes rescues before the completion of the ritual are possible.

In British folklore, the Hob is a kind of goblin that belongs to the Seelie Court - sotospeak the court of the good fay, who are generally at peace with humans, sometimes even helpful. Famous examples of Hobs are Puck from Shakespeares Midsummers Nights Dream and Robin Goodfellow from folklore. Sometimes the name is used in stories about a house spirit, namely a Gnome such as a brownie. The Hob is also called “Hob Goblin” or “Hobgoblin” to distinguish them from the other Goblins, mostly malevolent, that belong to the Unseelie Court. The Hob is exceptionally Charismatic and Intelligent, often functioning as rulers within the Seelie Court. In D&D tradition they are known for their sound - often brilliant - military tactics. With Puck and Robin in mind the best abilities seem to be +Cha +Int −Wis, but note, the bestiary of the Second Playtest has them as +Cha +Con −Wis. The difference between the secondary +Int or +Con, is whether the Hob is especially known for their knowledgeable leadership over the armies of the court, or serve as one of the warriors in these armies.

Here, the Orc is both a goblinkin and a giantkin, partially descending from both. The Orc is strictly an invention of Tolkien with no counterpart in reallife folklore. The Old English name appearing in Beowulf, orcneas, probably means the “corpse of Orcus”, referring to the undead of the Roman spirit of the underworld. For Tolkien, the orc and the goblin are identical - two names for the same creature. Unfortunately, he misconstrued the name “hob goblin” as referring to a “large goblin”, whence the invention of the magically engineered goblin super-warrior, who seems more or less identical to the Half-Orc. Realizing the mistake in his interpretation of the hob, he renamed his creature Uruk-Hai. In any case, the Tolkien goblin and orc are the same thing. In D&D, they are two separate creatures. The D&D Orc follows the militaristic nature of the Tolkien orc-goblin, while the D&D Goblin follows more closely the malevolent fay of French and British folklore.

Ogrekin 
Ogre: +Str, +Con, −Int
Hag: +Wis, +Str, −Con
Cyclops: +Str, +Int, −Wis  
 
These giants - the Fey Ogrekin - compare to the ogres of fairytales and folklore. Contrast the Elemental Giantkin.

In Greek tradition, per Homer, the three cyclopes are the children of the sky titan Ouranos and the earth titan Gaia, thus are in some sense titans (titanes) themselves. However other traditions have nymphs as mothers, thus associating the Cyclops with the Fae in the medieval folklore. While Cyclops is known for its single eye, huge size and brute strength, this is an intelligent maker of magic of magic items, including the Helmet of Invisibility of Hades, the lightning of Zeus, the trident of Poseidon, and so on. The Cyclops is especially known for massive constructions.  

Troll
Witch: +Cha, +Str, −Int
Swamp: +Con, +Str, −Int

The Troll are also ogrekin.

In Scandinavian folk beilief, the word “Troll” literally means “enchanter”, witch. These Scandinavian nature spirits are Fae who dwell below the surface of the ground, relating especially to the Celtic nymph-like Sidhe, ogre-like Fomorian, and even sprite-like Leprechaun. The Troll seem a hybrid combining Jotnar stone-giants with Dvergar deep-dwarves and Álfr high elves, along with these Celtic nature spirits. Troll communites show extraordinary variation among individuals, from double the size of humans to half the size, from stunning beauty to terrifying monstrosity. While most Trolls tend to be naive, some extremely so, they still tend toward clever. Their Charisma usually achieves terrifying Intimidation, but some enchant Friendship. Shadow vision. Often brutish and burly, the Troll race is the classic Enchanter Witch, plus a dash of rage and envy.

There are many different kinds of Troll. The “Swamp Troll” is classic D&D Troll, the green, spindly, and rubbery inhabitant of swamps, famous for extreme regeneration, beastly intelligence, and appetite consuming all nearby creatures. Works well with occasional “mutant” themes, including one eye, two heads, or so on. These mutations are rare, but seem to occur when regeneration comes together wrong.

Yokai

Henge: +Wis, +Cha, −Int
Oni: +Str, +Cha, −Wis
  
Yokai are nature spirits of Japanese lore, ranging from malevolent to mischievious. As otherworldly spirits, the Yokai resemble the Fae of French and British folk belief. The Henge or Hengeyokai is the spirit of a specific animal, whose body can shapeshift  into human form, or into almost any blend of the animal and a human. The Henge resembles a Werebeast, or perhapse moreso the Selkie of Celtic lore, being a seal that can transform into a human. The Oni is the spirit of a mountain, and seems much like a kind of the Troll. The Oni is often invisible, but manifests a monstrous appearance.

Titan
Titan: +Str 25

Giant
Storm (Air): +Str 24
Cloud (Air): +Str 23
Fire (Fire):
+Str 22
Frost (Water): +Str 21
Stone (Earth): +Str 20
Hill (Earth): +Str 19
Goliath (Earth):
+Str, +Wis, −Dex

This giant - the Elemental Giant - compares to the giants of mythology, especially Norse Jotunns/Jotnar and Greek Titans/Titanes. Contrast the Fey Troll. Elemental Giants personify cosmic elements and cosmic features, especially skydome and landdisk, mountains, but also seas, winter blizzards, and so on. Contrast Fey Troll.

Genasi
Air: +Cha +Dex −Con
Water: +Cha +Dex −Str
Fire: +Cha +Dex −Wis
Earth: +Cha +Str −Dex

Genasi are species of elementals. Altho 4e stats the Genasi as Int-Str or Int-Con, their racial flavor emphasizes existential passion, strongly suggesting Charisma, especially in the sense of willpower, expressiveness, and innate magic. Note the common species of elementals, the Elemental proper, exhibit very-low animal-like Intelligence 4, albeit with human-like Charisma and Wisdom. Thus the Genasi that exhibits human-like Intelligence plus an extraordinary Charisma make them highly distinctive among the elemental populations.
 
Quori
Kalashtar: +Wis +Cha −Str

Speciating from the Human, the Kalashtar embodies the psychic spirit of Dream.

Gith
Githzerai: +Dex, +Wis, −Cha
Githyanki: +Int, +Con, −Wis 

Werebeast
Longtooth Shifter: +Wis, +Str, −Int
Razorclaw Shifter: +Wis, +Dex, −Int

The Shifter represents the lycanthrope archetype, where Primal spirit of nature transforms the mind and body into animal form. The canine Longtooth is Strong, while the feline Razorclaw is Dexterous. 

Beastfolk 
Minotaur (Bovine): +Str +Wis −Int
Gnoll (Hyena): +Str +Dex −Cha
Thri-Kreen (Preying Mantis): +Dex +Str −Cha
Kenku (Raven): +Dex +Cha −Con
Bullywug (Frog):

Draconic
Dragonborn: +Str, +Cha, −Dex
Kobold: +Dex, +Int, −Str

Here the Kobold seems both unintimidating and easily intimidated - aswell as lacking in diplomacy - thus unqualified for a Charisma bonus. Instead Intelligence kluges contraptions and traps. Traditionally, the Kobold suffers a Strength penalty, and to a lesser degree a Constitution penalty.
The name Kobold refers to a German nature spirit that accompanies Human activity, especially a gnome, usually a house spirit that personifies the land of the estate, but elsewhere too such the spirit of a mine. The French word Goblin (gobelin) is conjectured to derive from this German word.
 
Plantfolk
Treant: +Str, +Int, −2 Dex

As embodiments of the Primal spirit of trees, the Treant is incredibly Strong. Here Intelligence suggests extraordinary memories of an ancient life. 
  
Golem
Warforged: +Con, +Int, −Cha
Shardmind: +Int, +Wis, −Dex

The origin of the Warforged-Golem is Wizard invention that awakes to fight wars. Despite the artifice of it as a living statue of wood, it arguably physicalizes the Primal spirit of the Natural World. Alternatively, it could be a Fey creation weilding Arcane forces to animate objects. Even better, it is actually a Steel-Golem. A hollow suit of armor that comes to life.


Deathly Races


Deathborn
Shadar-Kai: +Int, +Dex, −Wis

Their deathly habitat pulls the Shadar-kai perpetually toward oblivion, numbing their senses and awareness. Their perceptiveness of Wisdom suffers accordingly. Indeed to maintain awareness at all, their culture self-inflicts extreme pain, by a variety of customs, including jewelry with painful piercings.

Undead Body
Zombie: +Str +Con −Dex (but Playtest 102912: +Cha +Str −Dex)
Skeleton: +Str +Con −Cha
Revenant: +Con, +Str, −Wis
Vryloka Vampire: +Cha, +Dex, −Wis

Undead Mind

Shade:
+Int, +Cha, −Wis

Deathly Elemental
Ghoul: +Cha +Con −Int (but Playtest 102912: +Dex +Str −Cha)



Immortal Races


Angel
Deva: +Int, +Cha, −Dex
Solar: +Str, +Cha, −Con

The Angel race first appears in 2e, under the entry name Aasimon (which presumably derives from the name Ás/Æsir). The Aasimon include the subraces, Deva and Solar. 3e calls their race Angel.

The 4e Deva is wingless and enjoys a Hindu-esque flavor, reincarnating as avatars − a nod to the Sanskrit origin of this Hindu celestial. Both Angels appear as tall stunningly beautiful humans. The Deva exhibits “uncanny stillness”, while the Intelligence suggests vast memories from previous lifetimes. The Solar flexes a muscular body, spanning white eagle wings from the back, gold eyes and a commanding voice, while Strength accomplishes the victory of a warrior.

Planetouched
Aasimar: +Wis, +Cha, −Dex
Tiefling: +Con, +Cha, −Dex

Eladrin
Shiere: +Dex, +Int, −Con
Noviere: +Dex, +Str, −Con
Bralani: +Dex, +Str, −Wis
Coure: +Dex, +Cha, −Int

Also see Fey Elf for comments. The Immortal/Outsider Eladrin race continues some of the traditional Elf archetypes. Here, the Shiere-Eladrin continues the Int-Dex scholarly-and-agile warrior archetype that the 4e Eladrin sometimes represents. Likewise, the Noviere represents the Str-Dex warrior, in the tradition of the classic Wild Elf and Aquatic Elf. Similarly the Bralani-Eladrin continues the tradition of the passionate Str-Dex warrior of the 2e Bralani, who personifies dangerous forces of windswept deserts. The archetype of the tiny 2e Coure-Eladrin seems identical to the 4e Pixie. Even so, the Roguish Cha-Dex race with less Int, works well for both the 2e Coure and the humansize 4e Coure. The High-Elf continues the tradition of the Tulani-Eladrin as the Fey “faerie lord”.

If you had to choose for abilities:

 +2, +1, +1, +1, +1, +1
OR
 +2, +2, +0, +0, +0, −1

Which would you prefer?



Probably the two +2s, but all those +1s are nice?
Yeah, there's thread out entitled that is trying to address the off-balanced human stats and total lack of racial abilities.
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...." title="community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758....">Human Traits instead of Bonus's?  Here are some.
Where's the thumbs-down button?

We don't need racial penalties to come back.

They were a bad idea when they were first implemented, and they're a bad ida now.

Some sacred cows should die in a fire.
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
Yeah, there's thread out entitled that is trying to address the off-balanced human stats and total lack of racial abilities.
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...." title="community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758....">Human Traits instead of Bonus's?  Here are some.



Yeah, I started that thread and its starting to see some fruit.
Where's the thumbs-down button?

We don't need racial penalties to come back.

They were a bad idea when they were first implemented, and they're a bad ida now.

Some sacred cows should die in a fire.

+1

Racial penalties are not necessary, let alone desirable.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
If you had to choose between:

 +3, +0, +0, +0, +0 +0
OR
 +2, +2, +2, +2, +2, +2

Which would you want more?
That's a pretty unfair comparison...and all it does is stir up dissent. Keep in mind that racial abilities are, in and of themselves, bonuses that can't be properly quantified into a +1, +2, or whatever. Your argument is about the stat bonuses themselves...which is an unfair weigh-in.

Besides, having a race (especially the race that's supposed to be the highest overall population and the most prolific) that's quantified in simple stat bonuses...it's boring, and lazy. This issue has already been addressed in the thread I mentioned previously, and there are people that are trying to think of some other possibilites for the race...to make them more attractive for playability. 
I want the races to be equally appealing, so it is important to understand how to balance ability/stat/attribute bonuses.
After just setting all of the pre-gen character ability scores together and noticing a pattern to madness...I found that the base stats that all the characters started with are 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16. These numbers were then distributed and adjusted accordingly.

So,
Humans start with +1 all, and +1 any (wis, on the pre-gen)
Halflings have +1 dex
High Elves have +1 int
Hill Dwarves have either +1 con or +1 wis (I'd say con, personally)
Mountain Dwarves have +1 str

I'm not a big fan of this setup for attribute adjustments since it doesn't really measure out well. I know that racial abilities still make a difference...but there is very little uniqueness between the races with this setup. 2e and 3.x did a much better job, IMO, in making the stat adjustments between races more individualized.  
     
   
I did a table to show where the attributes and bonuses are in another thread, and the base scores are: 15,14,13,12,10,8.

Other forumers pointed out, this is the classic “heroic array”.

On top of these attributes, each Nonhuman race adds 1 point, and the Human adds 2 points to one attribute and 1 point to all the others.

Also the class adds 1 point. Which is why the “16” is really a 15.

So, the Dwarf is Con or Str.



I agree, having a race only add 1 to one attribute is unsatifactory because it doesnt distinguish racial attributes enough.

Also I dont like when the races only add 1 while a Human adds 2 - and then some. The Nonhuman races should feel “superhuman” in some attribute.

In my oppinion, the Human adding only +1 to all attributes while the Nonhumans add +1 to one specific attribute (usually the primary attribute of the class as well) is balanced if the races also get cool racial abilities, like Darkvision, Feystep, and so on. Despite being “fair”, this seems unsatisfactory because the Nonhuman races dont feel “superhuman”, and to me, they need to.



To everybody,

Even if you disagree with the racial attributes +2, +2, −1. Work with them hypothetically anyway.

This thread really discusses two aspects.

1. Which attributes *should* be most important for the flavor of a race, and which attribute should be the least important for the race. Go to the Original Post and doublecheck the races and subraces that you care about personally. Confirm or disconfirm whether these are the “correct” attributes that the race should focus on. For example here, the Mountain Dwarf focuses on Con and Str, and dumps Dex. For flavor reasons. The Hill Dwarf focuses on Con and Wis, but not Dex. The Duergar focus on Con and Str, but not Cha. Then the magic-item-creating Dwarf, here called Deep Dwarf, focuses on Wis and Int, but not Cha. If you feel these attributes sound about right, you can confirm them without agreeing with +2 bonuses and a −1 penalty.

2. Many people dislike racial penalties. I feel they are an effective way to bring racial flavor into sharp focus by clarifying what the race typically is “not”. If you would rather see a different way to define race bonuses, please suggest it. Try to make the attributes of each race equally appealing. Dont worry about other racial traits now. Later, once we understand what seems equally desirable, it is easy to “trade” ability boosts for other traits.
I'm not a huge fan of racial penalties because, well...they're penalties. Duh. But when it really comes down to it, they're outstanding for balancing out high bonus races...plus it adds to the "flavor" of the race.

Statistically though.
If you have only racial bonuses, you're actually limiting the potential number of "distinct" races...or you start runing into situations where you need exorbitant amounts of bonuses to make a distinction between them (such as two high str races). With the introduction of a single racial penalty...differentiations can be made between races that are similar (so both races are high str...but one is low dex, the other low cha. Not very different, but it is noticable)...and this is achieved without having to make the bonuses obscenely high.

Anyways...
Whether or not you like racial penalties...they have their place. Ultimately, balance is needed...and the penalties help to accomplish that.  
A gentler way for racial ability scores to achieve the same degree of uniqueness:



Human: +1 Any

Nonhuman: +1, +1, −1

Class: +1 Prime





The advantages are:
• Racial diversification.
• Low bonuses make it easy for a player to go against racial type. The class Prime ability can neutralize a racial penalty if necessary.
• The Prime ability can gain a useful +2, whether Human or Nonhuman.
• Strictly speaking, it is optimal to min-max by choosing a Nonhuman race. However, the Nonhuman minning the penalty, doesnt max the Prime ability, only the Auxiliary ability, thus reducing the amount of benefit. Meanwhile, minning a dumpstat becomes an achilles heals that enemies can attack, and the weakness adds narrative flavor.
• Nonhumans have a slight advantage if multiclassing - which evokes an old-school feel.
• Because the Nonhuman gains bonuses to two scores, they feel superhuman at these two abilities, because a Human can be as good at one but not both.
• The scores encourage go-to races for each class. These “favorable” (favored) classes then shape the racial culture. Thus enrich and distinguish the story of each race.


Why the hell not?
It's simple, effective, and to the point.

But, to go somewhat against what I just said...


  • Human: +1 any

  • Other: +1 fixed, +1 fixed, -1 any

  • Alternate Other: +1 fixed, -1 fixed, +1 any

  • Class: +1 prime

When I filled out the survey, I suggested that if Humans get +2 to one and +1 to the rest, then Non-humans should get a +2 to one of two (or maybe three?) stats (i.e. Dwarves get +2 to Con or Wis, or perhaps Str).  Classes could get a +1 to one of two stats (i.e. Fighters get +1 Str or Dex, Clerics +1 to Str or Wis).  That way you don't have to deal with racial penalties, and still have customization.
When I filled out the survey, I suggested that if Humans get +2 to one and +1 to the rest, then Non-humans should get a +2 to one of two (or maybe three?) stats (i.e. Dwarves get +2 to Con or Wis, or perhaps Str).  Classes could get a +1 to one of two stats (i.e. Fighters get +1 Str or Dex, Clerics +1 to Str or Wis).  That way you don't have to deal with racial penalties, and still have customization.



Re the racial abilities,

• Human: +2 Any, +1 Others
• Nonhuman: +2 One, +2 One of Two

The net result is the same as:

• Human: +1 Any
• Nonhuman: +1, +1

This seems similar to the way things are in 4e. The problem is, the Nonhuman is strictly better.

It is tricky to come up with an arrangement that allows the Nonhuman to feel superhuman, but still allow the Human to feel equally appealing.

I hope together we come up with something that most players can live with.



@QMark, Im unenthusiastic about “−1 any”. Since minning a dumpability is optimal and a negligible cost, it seems unhelpful for balance. Also, since the penalty can be anywhere it seems less helpful for expressing racial flavor and story tropes.

The alternative option seems great for Half-Humans.

If Humans are +1 Any, and Nonhumans are +1, +1, −1, then +1 Any, +1, −1 seems perfect for Half-Humans.
Re the racial abilities,

• Human: +2 Any, +1 Others
• Nonhuman: +2 One, +2 One of Two

The net result is the same as:

• Human: +1 Any
• Nonhuman: +1, +1

Not seeing that.  The nonhuman has 1 stat 1 point higher than the human's, 1 stat the same, and 4 stats 1 point lower.

I agree that if anyone gets any +2's, then everyone should get at least one +2.

Random suggestion: Humans can keep their +2 x1, +1x5.  Nonhumans get +2 x1, +1 x1.  So, for instance, wood elves could get +2 Dex, +1 Wis, high elves get +2 Int, +1 Dex, mountain dwarves get +2 Str, +1 Con, etc.  This would A) mix things up a little, and B) make it so that the stats that are iconically high for certain races (elf Dex, dwarf Con, half-orc Str, etc) remain at least as high as those of humans, and for some subraces higher (than non-specialized humans).

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

What do you guys (including males and females) think about this arrangement?





Human: +2 Any

Nonhuman: +2, +1, −1

Class: +1 Prime





It has the same advantages as the previous “gentler” arrangement. The additional benefits are:

• The Human seems more on par with the Nonhuman. The extra superhuman ability is only a modest boost.
• Because of the difference in size, the extra benefit and cost for Nonhuman seems less disruptive.
• The class bonus and +2 race bonus can boost the 15 from the Heroic Array to an 18, for both Human and Nonhuman.

I miss a dramatic superhuman feel for the Nonhumans, but at least the symbolic value seems to still be there for flavor. I prefer balance if this seems balanced to you guys too.



Re the Nonhuman bonuses +2, +1. Theres two ways to handle these.

• Let the player decide which of the two abilities the +2 will go to.
• Alternatively, make the +2 fixed, so the one ability will tend to be slightly stronger than the other ability.

The second option, to fix the +2 bonus, will dramatically increase the uniqueness between races. For example, a Rakshasa with +2 Cha, +1 Con, −1 Wis, will be slightly different from a Hob-Goblin with +2 Con, +1 Cha, −1 Wis.



On the other hand, maybe we dont need so many races that are more-or-less the same thing. If the Ogre becomes a player race (I hope Large races become a normal part of the game), then theres less need for both the Ogre and the Orc to both be +2 Str, +1 Con, −1 Int. Besides one being about a yard or two taller than the other, there isnt much difference between these two races.

In other words: It is possible to distinguish Ogre from Orc by making Ogre Str-Con, and Orc Str-Dex. Then, players choose the Ogre for endurance and the Orc for agility. Palpably different flavors. Meanwhile the Ogre players can decide if they want +2 Str, +1 Con, or instead +2 Con, +1 Str.
@QMark, Im unenthusiastic about “−1 any”. Since minning a dumpability is optimal and a negligible cost, it seems unhelpful for balance. Also, since the penalty can be anywhere it seems less helpful for expressing racial flavor and story tropes.

Mandatory flavor is bad.  The balance argument is probably valid.

Why the hell not?
It's simple, effective, and to the point.

But, to go somewhat against what I just said...


  • Human: +1 any

  • Other: +1 fixed, +1 fixed, -1 any

  • Alternate Other: +1 fixed, -1 fixed, +1 any

  • Class: +1 prime




I like this system. It allows for character stat boosts but doesn't overly inflate them like the current system. I also like how it is very well balanced. 

thanks, for all your work Haldrik and Qmark for your revision.  
Haldrik is probably right about the floating -1 being a bad idea.  A floating +1 being able to cancel the fixed -1 (if desired) is likely the better model.
Don't forget the possibility for another "Alternate Other" that many of the previous editions used:

+1 fixed +1 fixed -1 fixed 
+1 fixed +1 fixed -1 fixed 

I don't like that.  Pidgeonholing is bad.  It's less so with ones instead of twos, but still bad.

I understand...and I'm not saying that that's the one that needs to be used. I was simply pointing it out, especially since it's been a standby for D&D for decades.

I hate lazy standbys...whether or not there's a use for them. I often think and feel that something else could realistically have been used instead. Then again, not all races are as physically and/or mentally developed as others...and that's one of the few reasons I can think of to go with the standby, though it still seems lazy...at least to me. 
Then again, not all races are as physically and/or mentally developed as others...

Floats create a mathematical tendency towards a norm, but leave build freedom largely intact.

Haldrik is probably right about the floating -1 being a bad idea.  A floating +1 being able to cancel the fixed -1 (if desired) is likely the better model.



I would expect that the foating +1 or -1 won't be able to be applied to a stat that has a fixed or floating - or + respectively.
Hmmm ..

Im thinking the race abilities are best when fixed, with +1, +1, −1.

These abilities express the narrative themes of each race.



But then, allow the player to use a separate mechanic to modify the default race abilities to customize unique heroes within each race.

Something like:

• You can move one of the two race bonuses to any of the other four abilities if your class uses it as the prime




For example:

Say, you are creating a Drow Wizard. His default race abilities are: +1 Charisma, +1 Dexterity, −1 Constitution. To modify the race abilities, the class bonus of the Wizard is Intelligence. So you place the class bonus in Intelligence, and can also move one of the two race bonuses to there, in this case Dexterity. So the final result is a Drow Wizard with: +2 Intelligence, +1 Charisma, −1 Constitution. So this particular hero appears unusually Intelligent for the race. Normally, Drow produce Charisma-wielding arcane Warlocks (hopefully for flavor reasons), but you want an Arcane Wizard.

Say, you are creating a Gnome Fighter. Her default race abilities are: +1 Constitution, +1 Intelligence, −1 Strength. So your class bonus is Strength, and you move your race Intelligence bonus to there to neutralize the Strength penalty. The final result is: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution. An exceptionally strong Gnome. This way, the player can play against type and still be decent.



Of course, the DM can houserule anything and invent entirely new races or subraces at any time. The mechanic here, employing the class ability bonus to move a race ability bonus, is to give players some flexibility. Meanwhile, the thematic and mechanical design of each race remains moreorless consistent. The mechanic is useful for heroes and special NPCs.
Here is a simple method to assign racial abilities.



Human: +1 Any

Nonhuman: +1, +1, −1

• Customized Nonhuman: You can move one racial ability modifier to one racially unmodified ability.

Class: +1 Prime




For example,

Ogre, Nonhuman: +1 Str, +1 Con, −1 Int


Thus the unmodified abilities are Dex, Wis, and Cha. For examples of customizing these racial abilities,

Ogre Druid, Customized Nonhuman: +1 Wis (bonus moved from Str to Wis), +1 Con, −1 Int

Ogre Wizard, Customized Nonhuman: +1 Str, +1 Con, −1 Dex (penalty moved from Int to Dex)


Then you add the class ability bonus.






For those of you who dislike a racial penalty, Im hoping you can live with this method, as it lets you shuffle the penalty around a bit. I can live with this method because it still stays true to the racial flavor, even tho it allows significant customizability of the ability scores. The idea is, three modifiers define a race ... and for those who want to customize them, “two out of three aint bad”.
"Hey, I'm playing a dwarf sorcerer!"
"Dude, you taking the system serious?"
"Eh yeah? See, here's my background story (shows a bunch of pages), it all adds up fine, (tells some stories about how his dwarf has dragon blood and all)"
"But dude, you will totally suck in combat!"

In my opinion, when one builds a character, he should write up a concept and then see how he can implement it with rules. Rules should not block a player. The abilitie boni do while not contributing that much.
Seriously, read a guide about a class - don't take an elf for that, best race for this is a halfing there. One should be able to play the combination he likes and still be efficient.

So my advice, screw the boni. They might be a good description for a typical member of that race but a hero is everything BUT typical. Use it for NPCs, not for heroes.
Keep other traits, especially those which are not a flat bonus, especially keep circumstancial ones and the more exotic ones. That adds fluff to characters and make them feel "elven" or whatever without telling the player what class to play with that (in contrary to "Play a halfing: ...if you want to be a member of a race that favors the warlock, rogue...")
Regarding the recent method, the Dwarf Sorcerer is doable.

The Hill-Dwarf is normally: +1 Con, +1 Wis, −1 Dex

You can customize the Hill-Dwarf as: +1 Con, +1 Cha (moving the bonus from Wis to Cha), −1 Dex

Adding the class bonus produces: +2 Cha, +1 Con, −1 Dex.





I feel it is important to distinguish races mechanically. Otherwise races have no point existing in the first place. Races are added complexity to the gaming mechanics and if this complexity doesnt actually add anything, then its better to remove the complexity.

If every race can do everything and be anything, then they are the same thing as the Human race, just wearing different costumes.

I feel mechanically expressing the racial archetype is vital.

If a player is playing against type, then, they are playing *against* type. There is a type. This type, this archetype, is its mechanical uniqueness, and is necessary to organize the game.

At the same time, I sympathize. It is sometimes the case, the archetype of the race as I perceive it, differs from the way the official rules portray it. That situation can be highly frustrating. (Like in 2e, where Elves are supposed to be Wizards, but mechanically are crappy Wizards, ... and so on for many races.)



I hope the method of moving one of the ability modifiers elsewhere is enough customization for the player to make the character of that race their own, to express the archetype of the race as they best understand it. Meanwhile the existence of the other two of the three modifiers remain, to allow the a game a mechanical structure that can express the diversity and distinctiveness of each race.



I just recently discovered, Pathfinder uses the ratio to balance racial diversity:

• Pathfinder Human: +2 Any
• Pathfinder Nonhuman: +2, +2, −2

This method works.

The similar method that we arrive at here is:

• Next Human: +1 Any
• Next Nonhuman: +1, +1, −1
• Next class: +1 Prime



This achieves balance and improves upon it by making the class also add a point. The smaller racial bonus becomes more suggestive, and is often negligible (especially when considering odd or even numbers for a score). Meanwhile the class makes any race decent. On top of all this the method for a customized Nonhuman allows for optimization.
I feel it is important to distinguish races mechanically. Otherwise races have no point existing in the first place.

But you can do that without pigon holeing them into (or out of) a class.


Good examples:  Things that make you different, but don't push you toward a certain class.
Dwarfs are immune to poision.  Unless there was one that poisioned tself.
Halfling can reroll a d20 2x per day.  Unless there was one that didn't roll.

Bad example:  things that push you toward (or away) from certain classes.
Halfings can hide behind someone, pushes them toward stealthy things.
+/- to a stat, pulls/pushes them away from set's of builds.  (and bigger boost are worst).
Small characters can't use the good weapons.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I think this talk of pigeon-holing is silly.  All these +1 adjustments are doing is adding limited racial flavour.  So what if you have to spend an extra few points reaching 18 in a different stat?  You don't need 18s in 5e anyway.  In fact, I really hope they underscore this fact and lower the attack bonuses on stats.

I do believe that the sub-race packages will deal with some of the concerns people are expressing, covering a way to create more unique things like kender etc.  However, this has always been the deal in D&D.  Humans are equally good at everything, other races aren't but they get extra stuff to make up for that.  If you want every race to be equally good, doesn't that negate the purpose of the races?  You may as well give everybody nothing and just call them whatever race you want.  Nothing is stopping anyone from using baseline humans for every race if that's what they want.

It does seem that the concerns with optimising that started to spring out of 3e are like the Lernean hydra.  I for one am pleased with the way the 5e halfling seems to play.  The 4e halfling scared the pants off me.
I think this talk of pigeon-holing is silly.  All these +1 adjustments are doing is adding limited racial flavour.  So what if you have to spend an extra few points reaching 18 in a different stat?  You don't need 18s in 5e anyway.  In fact, I really hope they underscore this fact and lower the attack bonuses on stats so that people can relax. 

If they divoced the attack bonus from the stat, then sure.  Then you could add +/- to whatever stat's you wanted.

But hitting, and not being hit is highly importaint in any version of D&D.  (they could also just have everything do auto-damage, but that "wouldn't be D&D")

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I think this talk of pigeon-holing is silly.  All these +1 adjustments are doing is adding limited racial flavour.  So what if you have to spend an extra few points reaching 18 in a different stat?  You don't need 18s in 5e anyway.  In fact, I really hope they underscore this fact and lower the attack bonuses on stats so that people can relax. 

If they divoced the attack bonus from the stat, then sure.  Then you could add +/- to whatever stat's you wanted.

But hitting, and not being hit is highly importaint in any version of D&D.  (they could also just have everything do auto-damage, but that "wouldn't be D&D")



Missing has always been frustrating but the belief that everybody MUST have an 18 in their attack stat or fail should die a swift and painful death.  In my entire adventuring career I had never had a character with an 18 until 4e.  I did just fine and my oldest character is now 22 years old.  She was a 2e dual classed rogue/wizard with Dex15 and Int17 and I played every level, including 0-level as a trainee wizard.  It was only when converted to a 4e warlock/assassin that I ended up with Dex18 and Cha20.  If 5e does it right, we can happily play our crappy characters again.

I do think that the basic bonus to attack rolls in the playtest is doing it wrong though.  A variation of +0 to +5 is too massive for most players to ignore on a points buy system.
I would expect that the foating +1 or -1 won't be able to be applied to a stat that has a fixed or floating - or + respectively.

Using a float to cancel a fixed is a great option to have.

Missing has always been frustrating but the belief that everybody MUST have an 18 in their attack stat or fail should die a swift and painful death.  In my entire adventuring career I had never had a character with an 18 until 4e.  I did just fine and my oldest character is now 22 years old.  She was a 2e dual classed rogue/wizard with Dex15 and Int17 and I played every level, including 0-level as a trainee wizard.  It was only when converted to a 4e warlock/assassin that I ended up with Dex18 and Cha20.  If 5e does it right, we can happily play our crappy characters again.

That's just number inflation.  18 in 4e is like a 15-16 in 3.5.  Comparing numbers between edtions doesn't prove anything.

You need to compair a halfing (fighter, wizard, rogue) an orc (fighter, wizard, rogue) and an elf (fighter, wizard, rouge) of the same edition.


Anyways, reducing the bonus to +1 really does help take the sting off it.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

This thread may interest some:

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
I personally have a mild aversion to racial penalties.
I just can't find one that I can justify universally to apply. 

Elven penalty to Con?
This has existed for decades...
A race that (in some editions) lives for a thousand years, has a penalty to Constitution? Especially the ones who live in the wilderness. Without throwing in an immunity to diseaes (and poisons/deprivation for the wilderness variety) this seems almost contradictory.

In fact, if anyone is intersted, I can explain why I can't find a good stat penalty for any version of Elf (High, Wood, Dark), especially Wood Elves.

I run into similar problems with most other races as well. 
Especially with the Uber-mensch human getting +1 to all stats and +2 to the stat of their choice, It becomes somewhat silly. A penalty, even just -1, suddenly puts the average member of that race 2 points behind the average human and roughly 5%(on the d20 scale) less effective at anything related to that stat. 

It is mentioned that the penalty helps to balance the lack of a Human racial ability.
I believe the answer is that the human should have a racial ability. In every edition so far they have.
Mind you, until 3E, it was the ability to be any class and be free from level caps. Especially if you are the only race in the game that may take levels in a specific class. Once racial restrictions on class went away, the human recieved supplementary advantages, Defense bonuses, Additional Feat/Skill/Power selection, a general roll enhancer.

Making races distinct does not require them to be made lesser. The hobby is already rife with institutinalized racism that sadly can bleed over (Ludic Fallacy go!) into day to day interactions.

These are my views, some people prefer their "Demi-Humans".  
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
I sympathize with Verdegris Sage and his objection to a Constitution penalty for the Wood Elf.

Now the Wood Elf represents the traditional D&D Elf. (By contrast, the High Elf is now an Intelligence race, representing the tradition of the 2e Int-Cha Faerie Lord Tulani Eladrin, the 2e-3e +Int −Str Faerie Gray Elf, and the 4e Int-Cha Fey Eladrin.)

Clearly according to D&D tradition, the Wood Elf racial abilities are: +Wis +Dex −Con.

However as Verdegris points out, it doesnt really make sense for a race whose lifespan is over thousand years can have a lesser Constitution. Also, wilderness survival seems to require some degree of toughness. A Con penalty isnt impossible, but it seems awkward.

How do you guys feel about this Con penalty? How important is it for the iconic D&D Wood Elf?



Im also quoting more of VS from elsewhere:
... Elf in point: 
• Strength penalty could be explained as a lighter build with less mass to put behind blows and a smaller frame for carrying.
• Constitution is almost impossible to justify in a race that is long lived without artificially adding immunities to disease (and in the case of wilderness dwellers, toxins and deprivation).
• Dexterity penalties will never sell on an Elf.
• Intellegence penalties are an interesting bag. Arguments could be made that Elves are actually pretty slow learners compared to humans, given (in most editions) it takes them exponentially longer time to reach the same start point as humans.  Furthermore, a lack of amazing skills in the elders of the race, who have had centuries rather than decades to master their arts is laughable. However, Elves (in many minds) = Magic, and Magic = Intellegence. Impossible sale.
• Wisdom offers an interesting course... If the Elves resemble their Tolkien counter-parts as arrogant, aloof, and dismissive. This disconnection from current events can lead one to make very unbalanced decisions, however, this is more Cultural than Racial. Furthermore, it is incompatible with the race's superior senses.
• If Charisma were just likability, it would be an obvious pick for an Elven penalty.



So, if the traditional Wood Elf racial abilities are presumably, +1 Wis, +1 Dex, −1 Con, can you handle a less frail icon?
Responding to Verdigris Sages objection to and considerations of a −Con penalty.

For me the most attractive abilities for the Wood Elf is: +1 Wis, +1 Dex, −1 Int.

The Wood Elf is relatively tough.



Assessment of Wood Elf Bonuses

The Wood Elf bonuses: +Wis +Dex   

For the Wood Elf, Wis relates to perception in the form of sharp senses, associating animal hearing and smell, but also magical intuition to detect nearby items and creatures. Wis especially conveys primal druidly magic, which flourishes within the Wood Elf culture. I also associate Wis with attention to detail, and therefore special competence in discerning and creating illusions - which works kinda cool with Wood Elf flavor.

Wisdom especially associates with foresight, knowing future events. This personifying the fates pervades almost all reallife folklore about elves. Indeed, the very name “Fey” and “Faerie” means “fate”:

Fatum > Fate > Fa'e > Fae + rie “the place of fate”.

(Compare: Liber + rie = library “the place of book”.)



Dex is dex. The Wood Elf is swift and agile ... and accurate. The Wood Elf venerates the bow, a Dex weapon. I moreover see the Wood Elf as preferring stone arrowheads. (In reallife folklore, when medieval people found prehistoric arrowheads made of stone, such as flint and quartz, they understood these as coming from Elf bows.) I see the Wood Elf as enchanting these stone weaponheads, even by means of a quick blessing.

I also see the Wood Elf using spears, another wilderness hunting weapon, likewise preferring stone spearheads. Here, the Wood Elf should have the ability to apply their Dex, wielding the spear as a finesse weapon, or possibly even wielding the spear magically via primal druidry, thus applying Wis. The Wild Elf uses a spear, and, heh, I always confuse the Wood Elf and Wild Elf anyway.

Axes are also possible for forest imagery, because of cutting wood, making rope, and so on. Again, with stone axeblades.



Assessment of Wood Elf Penalty

Finally to the penalty that best expresses the archetype: −Int.
 
The 5e Wood Elf carries on various traditions

• Default Elf of 1e, 2e, 3e: +Dex −Con
• 4e Elf: +Wis +Dex
• 4e Wood Elf: +Wis +Dex 
3e Wood Elf: +Str  +Dex −Con −Int
• 3e Wild Elf: +Str −Int

Holistically, the best way to represent these traditions seems to be: +Wis +Dex −Int. 



Both −Con and −Int have precedent as penalties.

However −Con seems inappropriate for various reasons.

Where Wis handles the reputation of the Elf as a master of magic - in this case primal druid magic - most players are comfortable with nature themes for the Wood Elf magic. *Wood* Elf. Nature spirit. Yet the traditional Elf is not just a primal mage, but a gish, both a warrior and a mage. It is difficult to see a warrior race with a −Con penalty.

Moreover, the Wild Elf is tough, and has no −Con penalty at all.

If the Elf enjoys a lifespan of over a thousand years, it is difficult to explain them as being frail and in poor health.

The most appropriate penalty seems to be −Int. This allows the Wood Elf to be both a great warrior - especially a swift and agile one - and a great mage - not necessarily a scholar. Then again, since when do Wood Elves become urban scholars? Some traditions even portray the Elf as a slow learner, with instinctive behavior, to suit the flavor of the −Int penalty. Meanwhile Wisdom covers the flavor of a sage of nature.

Holistically, such a Wood Elf tradition can exhibit these abilities: +Wis +Dex −Int.



Note, in the Original Post, the Noviere-Eladrin continues the flavor of the Wild Elf as exceptionally strong, likewise the Bralani-Eladrin.
 
The Drow Elf is explicitly frail according to D&D tradition. So, 5e Drow Elf continues the theme of a −Con penalty.


 
Importantly, the most latest arrangement for racial ability modifiers allows the player to customize the Nonhuman abilities by shuffling one bonus or one penalty to an unmodified ability. So, if a player wants to shuffle the penalty to make the Wood Elf abilities +Wis +Dex −Int, to +Wis +Dex −Con, or some other arrangement, there is no problem. The discussion here is about the best way to quantify the racial archetype of a Wood Elf. Individual heroes of each player may differ.

So in sum:

Wood Elf: +Wis +Dex −Int