No !@#$ing Subraces!

No, please just no.  We do not need a return of subraces.
Please, let an elf be an elf be an elf.  We do not need genetically different subraces for what amounts to nothing more than differences in cultural motivations.  High Elves are good at being mages because they put a high social standing on intelligence and being a mage, not because they are genetically BETTER (aka have innately higher intelligence scores) at being a mage than other elves.

We do not need the 101 flavors of elves/dwarves/etc.  All it boils down to is they get a floating stat boost they can put anywhere they want, because by the time we're a year in there will be a subrace printed with the boost to every score.

I really cannot stress enough how much I despise subraces and do not want to see them make an appearance in 5e.
If enough people agree, then that's probably the direction they'll take.  Mention it in the feedback forms when they get them.  Who here agrees with this man?

While I do not, I will defend to my death your right to say this...so long as it isn't inflammatory.  :P
57920628 wrote:
Our group was also kinda curious whether dwarves can get drunk at all. After all - alcohol is a metabolic poison. And dwarves are immune to poison. My suggestion is that this explains why they are always so grumpy: They keep drinking and drinking, trying to get drunk. And no matter how much they drink, it never has any effect on them.
The most awesome post EVER. You may all stop playing the internet now, it's been won.
Despite my old school roots - I wouldn't miss them if they did away with the half-races.  Starting with the halflings. Tongue Out


But at the same time, I'd like to see races to fill their shoes.  No half-orcs; lets have real orcs (same stats as they would have used for half-orcs, just get rid of the 'half').  Put in a sidebar that says that half-elves exist - but they favor one side or the other and are no different than either elves or humans mechanically.  Etc.


Carl

He's arguing against his own point, here.  Cultural differences in the racial block?  That's exactly what a subrace SHOULD represent!  High elves don't have a bonus to Intelligence because they're genetically predisposed to it, but because they put a higher standing on learning and wizardry!
Okay, I may have jumped the gun a bit on this one.  I admit I started with races and then moved on to classes, and the classes give minor stat bumps as well.

So, my apologies here, the subraces do not appear to be much more than cultural influences after all.

While I still don't want to see subraces, it is not as bad as I first thought.
I completely disagree. In fact, what disappoints me is that there isn't a Civilised/Barbarian split for Humans like Dragonlance 5th Age.
I like subraces, but for things a bit harsher than what they're being used for.

A good subrace for Elf would be Drow; both are elves, but have entirely different lifestyles and natural abilities.

A good subrace for Dwarf would be Duergar; same kind of thing.

See? 
Shaman: "Why doesn't the squirrel shoot the wizard?" DM: "Because the last squirrel who tried to shoot the wizard missed, then was pulled out of his tree and incinerated." Wizard: "He has a point."
i am for and against,

subraces should be a module

i like them, but i think they go against what next represents, they will clutter things and make them complicated, the core of next should be super simple and streamlined.

that being said, if their are subraces, please let these be the only ones in the *core* materials
I like subraces, but for things a bit harsher than what they're being used for.

A good subrace for Elf would be Drow; both are elves, but have entirely different lifestyles and natural abilities.

A good subrace for Dwarf would be Duergar; same kind of thing.

See? 




If you don't think the High/Wood Elf split is good, I take it you're not a Dragonlance fan?

One of the first lines of any of the old books read:  Everything in this book is optional and is to be used as a guide. Your DM is free to use anything presented herein as he/she sees fit.

Such a simple line, yet one that is oft forgotten  
Not necessarily in response to anything, but my thoughts on subraces should anyone care:

I like subraces, and they have always been a part of AD&D. I enjoy the current implementation of subraces and don't wish to see them dramatically changed unless it is realized that a new implementation blows the current one out of the water.

I think half-races would make excellent subraces of their parent races, perhaps with less-powerful subrace traits but more adaptable stat adjustments. Something like:

Half-XXXX:
Ability Score Adjustment: One starting ability score of your choice increases by 1.
Half-Blooded: you can pass as a human should you choose. This is automatic unless you are closely observed, at which point you can make an opposed Bluff check versus the observer's Insight to maintain the ruse. You also have advantage on any saving throw against an effect that specifically targets your race.

If written correctly, the subrace could be universal, applying to all non-human races to represent mixed parentage, including half-dwarves, -elves, -orcs, or anything else.

Edit: yes, even half-halflings. Cool 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/7.jpg)

/signed. That's all I have to say. 
I personally have absolutely no problem with subraces, as long as they're:

-- Mechanically balanced

-- Different enough to warrant a subrace (Let's have a Top-of-the-Hill Dwarf and a Bottom-of-the-Hill Dwarf!! ... No)

-- Flavorful (For example, I wouldn't confuse a High or a Wood Elf based on their flavor of culture, mannerisms, etc.)

With all of that said, two specific subraces I really want to see are the Duergar and Drow.

Your friendly neighborhood Revenant Minotaur Half-Blooded Dragonborn Fighter Hybrid Barbarian Multiclassing into Warlord

IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1223957875/Scorecards/Landscape.png)

I like subraces, I think they're great, and I'd like to see more of them. I see no reason why every single elf must be culturally and ethnically the same as every single other elf. Furthermore, subraces are a great way to make races distinct within a setting without replacing race crunch entirely.
IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/2.jpg)
But I like subraces! They add variety and cultural flavour.

Though maybe they should be different base races, rather than subraces...so you can still choose High Elf and Wood Elf, but they have different entries.

Either that, or they shouldn't have different properties, and instead differences should only be cultural.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
I'm very happy that sub races have returned.    Sub races are core to D&D and even many D&D based campaign settings and novels.      It's great that the core will include them.   I'd rather not see the sub races haphazardly bandaged into the system after the face like they were in 4e.    

I hate Eladrin anyway.  It's good to see them return as high elves.


I will put it simply as thus:

If there are no human subraces, there should be no subraces of anything else.  Do halflings that like to stay at home get a subrace?  Fine, where is the human subrace for farmers?  Elven subrace because they like to live in the woods or because they like magic?  Fine, where is the human subrace for the ones that are good at being athletic?

I mean, come on, any excuse that can be made for why elves and dwarves and halflings should have subraces should apply equally as much to humans, right?





(Edited to remove some problem content and Dragonette sez: Hey guys, let's avoid real world controversial topics, thanks)
No subraces, please. Thanks.


Why not?




(Edited for continuity)
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
How are sub-races not the very definition of a culture?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
How are sub-races not the very definition of a culture?



Race and culture shouldn't be connected at all.  One is genetic, one is environmental.  There's no relation.

However, we can be assured that there will be subraces, because the grognards want them.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Except race and culture aren't connected, subrace and culture are.

Do we have a different idea of what a subrace means?  I see it as almost entirely cultural.  I mean, my interpretation of why a High Elf gets +1 to int is not because their brains are bigger than other elves but because they're better educated.
So you think we need about two to fifteen new subraces per campaign setting?



More than one, most likely.  But probably not that many.  Wood Elf probably works for a lot of different groupings of elves in Forgotten Realms, for example.  We don't necessarily need one for each village.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Humans are always problematic, though.  They're too diverse in basically every campaign setting I can think of to be workable as subraces, which might be why they've never had any.  It's why they get the "pretty good at mostly everything" schtick.

I agree that cultural differences that could be covered by Backgrounds (most notably Traits) don't merit a subrace, and that subrace isn't the only way to include cultural elements.  But if not for a way of implementing cultural elements with a bit more mechanical punch...what is a subrace for?

You say "Do not want" but what's your alternative?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
 Do we have a different idea of what a subrace means?  I see it as almost entirely cultural.  I mean, my interpretation of why a High Elf gets +1 to int is not because their brains are bigger than other elves but because they're better educated.




Indeed in most RPGs subrace and culture go hand in hand. 
"We are men of action, lies do not become us" ~ D.P.R.
Whats the difference between having Sub-Races or "leaving it to feats, backgrounds or whatever". I like the idea of "sub-races". I am not John-Q Human. I am an American and my skills and upbringing makes me very different from an Englishman or a Frenchman. Diversity. It allows your party to made of multiple Humans, but they are all different ethnically. I see nothing wrong with it. You don't like it? Just tell your players they can only play a particular sub-race. But, I, personally, like having choices.
Maybe just accept what I already provided? Namely the fact that they are unnecessary in most cases and that they could instead be supplanted by basic backgrounds and most notably fluff.


So what you're saying is you don't want there to be any mechanical implications of culture at all?

Why not?  How do you justify it?  Why shouldn't a better education system have an impact on Int, rather than just "well, they're just kinda smarter" ?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I like the subraces.....both as a way to further optimize a character for the crunchy numbers folk and for roleplaying inspiration for us storyteller folk.  If you want to be  certain kind of dwarf cleric, then there is a "better" choice of dwarf for you in terms of wisdom bonuses, etc.  If you read that there are lowland hill dwarfs and mountain dwarfs, you can incorporate some of that into your character story, and guide you in picking other factors for your chracter, like maybe the lowland dwarfs are more universal in their acceptance of other races, etc, and can hold the "diplomat" theme or what have you.

In a basic set of rules, I wouldn't want to see TOO many options, let's leave that for campaing and world setting modules, but a couple two-three options are very well suited to a core rules set.

:D
Maybe just accept what I already provided? Namely the fact that they are unnecessary in most cases and that they could instead be supplanted by basic backgrounds and most notably fluff.


So what you're saying is you don't want there to be any mechanical implications of culture at all?

Why not?  How do you justify it?  Why shouldn't a better education system have an impact on Int, rather than just "well, they're just kinda smarter" ?



*facepalm*

To quote myself:
Eberron showed that most of the cultural differences can be just that... cultural differences, as shown with fluff, some feats and maybe a few specialized backgrounds (and Presige/Paragon-like add-ons).



So instead of accepting my idea as an actual idea, you have now - twice - ignored it wholesale. Could you stop doing that, please?

Are backgrounds and feats not fluff anymore, or what?



Er...what?  I have no idea what you're complaining about.  I get what you're saying.  Fluff is fluff, and fluff isn't mechanics.  My question is this:  why can't culture be mechanical?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition


Er...what?  I have no idea what you're complaining about.  I get what you're saying.  Fluff is fluff, and fluff isn't mechanics.  My question is this:  why can't culture be mechanical?



Culture can be represented mechanically.

IT SHOULD NOT BE TIED TO RACE.

If an Elf grows up in the stereotypical Dwarven culture, he should have dwarven cultural traits, not stereotypical elven ones.  He should be good with axes and hammers, and know his way around underground, not be good with bows and trees.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
It should not be tied to race, I agree.  What's wrong with tying some of it to subrace?

Here's the thing, though.  The subrace structure allows for you to do this.  You can apply the Hill Dwarf subrace to an Elf, and nothing breaks.  They could probably stand to name it something different to make it more clear that you can do this sort of thing, but how is this not exactly what you're asking for in everything but what they call it?

They've separated out the truly biological, species-level traits into the Race block, whereas the Subrace block is all of those things that really are cultural but historically have been part of the Race block.  How is this not a direct improvement from your perspective?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
You don't like it? Just tell your players they can only play a particular sub-race. But, I, personally, like having choices.



That would amount to several dozen pages per campaign setting, at the very least. Again, check the list above alone for HUmans in Eberron. And that list is likely incomplete. Complex campaign settings would be saddled with dozens and dozens of pages of this.

Space that could be used better, in my opinion.



But, that's the idea. To make each unique. All campaigns are full of fluff. I see nothing wrong with including a couple of Sub-races in the core books to give DMs ideas and then expound on it in campaign settings. It gives more diversity. I see nothing wrong with options. If you want cardboard heroes, than play board games. The idea of an RPG is to have a wide world of options at hand. Either through WOTC or 3rd party publishers. I don't see it as a deal breaker in the game.
How are sub-races not the very definition of a culture?

I actually touched on that in my previous post, but apparently its considered too real world for the mods, as they edited it out of my post.

Apparently its okay to talk about why elves that come from Region X and have Lifestyle Y should be physically different from each other, but applying that to humans is a no-no because its racist.

Ahem, double standard much?  Game logic should be internally consistant.  If every race but humans can have subraces, then its a glaring omission that humans don't have them.  Why not?  Because someone would sue WotC for being racist.  But thats perfectly okay with every other sentient being in the game?
WotC didn't get sued for human subraces in Dragonlance 5th Age. I think it's less of an avoiding being sued thing (they can easily enough make the subraces not analagous to any real world races, particularly as long as skin colour isn't a factor), and more the grognards will be up in arms.
WotC didn't get sued for human subraces in Dragonlance 5th Age. I think it's less of an avoiding being sued thing (they can easily enough make the subraces not analagous to any real world races, particularly as long as skin colour isn't a factor), and more the grognards will be up in arms.

In all fairness, the number of people that even looked at DL5 was not that great.  Even then, it was easier to explain away as being a side project sort of thing and not representative of the game as a whole.  Its not quite so easy to hand wave it away when human races with physical differences (strength, intelligence, etc) are part of the core rules for the biggest RPG system on the planet.

That said, I think I would rather see a third background style option for "Upbringing" or "Culture".  Have a wilderness culture that increases dexterity and lets you move a little faster, at the cost of being worse in cities.  You could have a "Cultured Elite" upbringing that increases intelligence and charisma but decreases strength and constitution.  You know, the stuff that is currently getting called a subrace but generalize it across the board so that every race is a single race, and your "subrace" is nothing more than an option based on where you grew up.
I like this implimentation of sub races, and hope to see varients for humans, as well.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
How are sub-races not the very definition of a culture?

I actually touched on that in my previous post, but apparently its considered too real world for the mods, as they edited it out of my post.

Apparently its okay to talk about why elves that come from Region X and have Lifestyle Y should be physically different from each other, but applying that to humans is a no-no because its racist.

Ahem, double standard much?  Game logic should be internally consistant.  If every race but humans can have subraces, then its a glaring omission that humans don't have them.  Why not?  Because someone would sue WotC for being racist.  But thats perfectly okay with every other sentient being in the game?


Because you referenced real-world races, rather than humans from Waterdeep.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
My two cents.

Having no experience with Dungeons and Dragons earlier than 3.5, I like these subraces.  It shows that, while related, generations apart has had its effect on them.  There's a true, real-world parallel.  Think of all the nations of Europe. One could argue, and quite well, that they're the same race (Caucasian, minorities notwithstanding (I'm just trying to illustrate a point here)), but you'd be hard-pressed to say that a Spaniard has the exact same general physical characteristics and herritage as a German.  Spaniards get +2 to Perform: Bullfighting, Germans +2 to Craft: Beer.   

Also, if you were to split out the subraces into their own blocks, there would be too much repeted material.  Three races of Elves with 95% identical text?  No thanks.  Save a tree.

So I say aye to subraces. 
TBH I facepalmed when I read how many assumptions the playtest packet makes about the cultures in every single DM's setting.  I recognize that elves are generally assumed to be nimble of mind and body, and the mechanics are going to reflect this.  Does an elf who is more dexterous than smart really have to be from the woods?  Can't he just be athletic?

I'm all for the character options that subraces represent, but it's completely absurd how much baggage those options come with.  Much better to have those options expressed under a single race heading, with maybe a paragraph or two of flavor text that captures the basic concept of elfiness.
TBH I facepalmed when I read how many assumptions the playtest packet makes about the cultures in every single DM's setting.  I recognize that elves are generally assumed to be nimble of mind and body, and the mechanics are going to reflect this.  Does an elf who is more dexterous than smart really have to be from the woods?  Can't he just be athletic?

I'm all for the character options that subraces represent, but it's completely absurd how much baggage those options come with.  Much better to have those options expressed under a single race heading, with maybe a paragraph or two of flavor text that captures the basic concept of elfiness.


Heh

All Elves are “graceful” ... except High Elves arent - no Dex bonus anywhere to be found!

All Elves are “graceful” at “swordplay” ... except despite Wood Elves having an edge with Dexterity and finesse swords - they instead use silly-big longswords that require high Strength.

All Elves have “haunting beauty” ... how? Dwarves seem just as beautiful as far as the mechanical traits are concerned.

The flavor ... artistic “beauty”, “haunting”, “minstrels”, “poetry, dance, song”, “focused”, “relentless”, “unearthly grace”, ... all of it implies Charisma.

And so on. Facepalm.



But I agree, the rulebook needs to get out of the way of whatever setting the players want to use. At the same time 5e comes out, just include the “Grayhawk Setting Guide” - this is the place where this information belongs, from habitat to specific spiritual traditions to height and haircolor to what kind of clothes are in fashion, to interracial relationships, to everything that defines a specific setting.
TBH I facepalmed when I read how many assumptions the playtest packet makes about the cultures in every single DM's setting.  I recognize that elves are generally assumed to be nimble of mind and body, and the mechanics are going to reflect this.  Does an elf who is more dexterous than smart really have to be from the woods?  Can't he just be athletic?

I'm all for the character options that subraces represent, but it's completely absurd how much baggage those options come with.  Much better to have those options expressed under a single race heading, with maybe a paragraph or two of flavor text that captures the basic concept of elfiness.



Well, it's not like there's any mechanical impact forcing wood elves to be from forrested areas. It doesn't even require houseruling to make them urban, desert dwellers, or whatever you like. OK, urban is harder, due to the natural phenomenon bit of their special ability. That should be fixed to do about the same thing, or have a note that the terrain requirements might differ in different campaigns.

My two cents.


Also, if you were to split out the subraces into their own blocks, there would be too much repeted material.  Three races of Elves with 95% identical text?  No thanks.  Save a tree.

So I say aye to subraces. 



Pretty much. I like having a feature that amounts to Culture in the game. The weapon bonuses should be moved into that design space, IMO. (or gotten rid of, or course)
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
Pretty much. I like having a feature that amounts to Culture in the game. The weapon bonuses should be moved into that design space, IMO. (or gotten rid of, or course)

Sounds good to me.

Also, I want weapon training that actually makes sense for the racial abilities, if the whole race is going to have some iconic relationship with it.
Pretty much. I like having a feature that amounts to Culture in the game. The weapon bonuses should be moved into that design space, IMO. (or gotten rid of, or course)

Sounds good to me.

Also, I want weapon training that actually makes sense for the racial abilities, if the whole race is going to have some iconic relationship with it.



Hmm. Got any examples, by chance?
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome