Monster manual as a book of races

I would love it if the next monster manual (bestiary) was organized in a manner that every creature in it could be made into a playable PC. 

Start by listing the basic traits and ability scores for a 1 hit die version.  Next list the advancement mechanisms and abilities by hit die. 

Characters could then run into a 1 hit die dragon (tiny hatchling) or a 20 hit die dragon. 

Characters could also decide to start the game as a dragon, a vampire, a werewolf, or an ogre.

Why restrict the players to just a few typical choices?  The monster manual could have a hundred choices for players to pick from. 

With the right mechanics and an eye towards balance, it could make DnD Next far better than previous versions.
MOnster and PCs need to be balanced according to their roles, that said I would not mind a PC version of a drgon or a minotaur, It just should not be a carbon copy of the MM version, Solos for example need to be completely OP compare to PCs so as to maintain the threat level even out numbered. 

LEt monsters be monsters and PCs be PCs, but I would support a Dragon option for PCs.
I personally don't like separate game mechanics for monsters and players.  It creates problems when monsters fight amongst themselves or players fight amongst themselves (such as due to mind control or possession).

Some game systems give monsters more hit points and have them deliver less damage while PCs have fewer hit points and cause more damage.  Solo monsters might have 5 times as many hit points as players but cause much less damage in such a system.  I guess they want to let monsters stick around and never die. 

The problem comes if two solo monsters get into a fight.  They just beat on each other until they get bored.
There has been a long-running problem in D&D about races relegated to the Monster Manual compared to those in the Player's Manual. And it is simply this....

There is only so much the DM can be expected to keep track of. If every single member of a mob of creatures or bandits or whatever has various limited use  powers, two things happen-- first, it is a headache for the DM to keep track of which ones used which powers and, secondly, the enemies are allowed to dump all their daily abilities in the one combat while the players are expected to use them once within four combats.

So, as a rule, it is easier for both the designer and the DM to not bother to consider any of the cultural, limited or non-combat skills or benefit an enemy might have. After all, 90% of the time it is going to be used-- it is just going to absorb sword stabs until it dies and do as much damage as it can in return. If the DM needs the monster to have any other skills, the DM is free to give them to the monster and it is unnecessary to consider whether they came from race or class. But it is important to consider those of the PCs who will exist throughout the whole story and engage a myriad of different challenges.

Perhaps far more importantly, it would take up quite a lot of space to explain how just how wildly different the capabilities of something like, for instance, a whale and quantifying those differences with hard numbers. You just can't do that throughout the whole book.

This has come as a notable cost. When the companies do consider that someone might want to play, for instance, a hobgoblin-- the results have been horrendous. Since no thought was ever given, even when making them into a PC race, to any actual skills or abilities that might be derived from their culture what you ended up with in basic d&d was a class with no abilities and general crap equipment choices that utterly failed to be anything more than a bag of hitpoints that couldn't do anything-- and every other monster turned into a PC class was exactly the same. No flavor at all.

AD&D 1st and 2nd was equally bad. They were turned into races that were generally vastly subpar to the PC races and had insanely strict level limits for classes. They literally printed an entire book filled with PC races made so lazily done that any DM could have done a better job and were so abyssmal that no matter how much interest a PC might have in the concept, they would be left so turned off that they wouldn't play it.

D&D 3rd edition was the only one that started giving some thought, at least in some cases, as to what skills and abilities the monster manual races would have as PCs. But, they were still inevitably terribly lazy about it and ended up churning out racial stat blocks that were almost as bad as the 2nd edition ones.

All of these terrible results came from one mindset-- that the PC version needs to perfectly match what is in the Monster Manual. I feel 4th edition got something really right when the designers realized that was far from true-- that one can have a version of something in the monster manual that is simply stream-lined to function the best it can for combat. However, when using that same creature as a PC a totally different approach should be taken and while the PC version and the monster manual version should support the same sort of theme, they need no match up perfectly when put side-by-side-- in fact, it is best if they don't.

For it to be clear, in the Monster Manual, you need only know that a typical Orc warrior has X number of hitpoints, wears chainmail, wields a hand-axe and the attack bonus and armor class would demonstrate whether it is geared more towards offensive or defensive fighting. That's all you really need to know-- and including noncombat functions, differentiating between encounter and daily use abilities and so forth would only clutter the entry.

However, the PC Orc should have various traits that let one know that it is a war-driven race that can survive in the most horrendous conditions in the world, has good sense of smell but poor eyesight,  are generally quick to react to things in a violent and brutish manner making them poor at ettiquette but pretty good at getting information out of people... and so forth.
Very little or none of this matters when utilized as an enemy who won't survive past round 4, but it is vitally important to know its comparative advantages and disadvantages with the Dwarf and Elf when one is using a PC one.

The secret is to figure out a level of complexity for a race that can be easily balanced across creatures.  Most PC races really don't provide anything extraordinary.  Perhaps small bonuses to ability scores or the like.  Simply, cut back every creature to its 1 hit die form and then provide a method to advance creatures.  Provide progression tables for various types.  Provide abilities that a creature might gain with hit dice.  If a PC wished to gain those abilities than provide a method for sacrificing other abilities to gain it.


Everyone would like to play an ogre, dragon, nymph, demon, lizardfolk, minotaur, vampire, or something exotic occasionally.  No reason to limit a player's creativity to a small list of races. 


WOTC just needs to get serious about planning for these type of PC's.  I've even known players who like to player even more bizarre creatures (such as oozes, plants, aberrations, etc.)          
I agree it is entirely possible to work in non-standard PCs, I am already plotting ways to create a Dragon character in 5e, but I'm holding off on much more than brain storming until some of the systems stabilize a bit.

However the monster manual is not the place for it.

MOnster manuals have to provide lots of monster entries that can be used quickly.

What you want requires lots of time and attention devoted to small subgroups of monsters, possibly only a handful per book if we take stabs at something like the Beholder, or the Chuul. I doubt we'd get more than 15 guys like that per book if we gave them proper support materials, which you'd have to because a lot of these guys aren't gonna get new toys with each new book aimed at standard characters.

I want these things playable very badly, but I also want them done well. Which means putting them in a book that can take the time and pages to do them justice.

Furthermore the monsters you fight should not be identical to creatures you can play. MOnsters need to run a gamut from minion to solo that PCs cannot, furthermore simple level difference is insufficient to create that spectrum. Monsters need to compete with PCs while being much simpler in actual execution, furthermore a real solo is not just a big goblin, it's a monster capable of going toe-to-toe with an entire party, and that means multiple attacks, action protection, and HP counts that would be insane for a PC of the same level.

I don't mind if My red dragon PC recharges his breath weapon more slowly than a monster of the same level. Monster PCs shouldn't be an exact match for a same level monster entry, they should be unique and individual, sometimes that will mean PC dragons don't get quite as big or magical as an MM version might indicate.
"Why restrict the players to just a few typical choices?"

1. Because this is the game that made those choices "typical." Betray that legacy at peril of losing the old-school players who want to return to the game.

2. Because making every monster a playable race would invite bedlam and chaos which would utterly alienate potential new players, the other key demographic which must be targeted by this edition.

3. Your proposal is utterly unbalanceable. There is no way at all to have a first-level balanced Beholder, for instance, which would be an actual Beholder. So, impossible task.

4. 99% of DMs would start their campaign by saying "traditional races only" anyway. Anything that *can* be optional should be optional, not core, by definition. The MM is core. So this proposal fails another acid-test.
Also, some creatures inherently lack some important traits that a player character would require -- little things like intelligence, free will, mobility, and the ability to manipulate objects.  They would be unsuitable as player characters without magical enhancements that eliminate these handicaps.

 
True dat. I can see it now: the all-ooze party, led by a gelatinous cube monk.
One of those support materials to which I refer is things to deal with those issues, such as rules for giving constructs brains, whether through crafting, binding, or surgery.

Also who else wants to use a dice to represent that character and take their turns by rolling it around the battlefield? 
"Why restrict the players to just a few typical choices?" 1. Because this is the game that made those choices "typical." Betray that legacy at peril of losing the old-school players who want to return to the game.

What if these choices weren't core, but part of the modular nature of DDN? Old school players will likely play in games that don't include these choices, and if they do, chances are that the game is going to betray the "legacy" in more ways than just that.

2. Because making every monster a playable race would invite bedlam and chaos which would utterly alienate potential new players, the other key demographic which must be targeted by this edition.

That, I will agree with you on. Not every race, though, needs to be playable, especially not from the core rulebooks.

3. Your proposal is utterly unbalanceable. There is no way at all to have a first-level balanced Beholder, for instance, which would be an actual Beholder. So, impossible task.

See above, for Beholders and the like. As for more typical, humanoid races, I thought 4e did pretty well with the way they did it, by providing separate PC-race stats and Monster-stats, which weren't nessisarily the same, and especially if Next has less race-specific feats, so the fact that a monster isn't as well supported doesn't really matter as much 
4. 99% of DMs would start their campaign by saying "traditional races only" anyway. Anything that *can* be optional should be optional, not core, by definition. The MM is core. So this proposal fails another acid-test.

I don't know if 99% will nessisarily say that, and if that's true, I don't want to play in 99% of groups. I think some DMs might balk at the thought of a Goblin PC, but I'm guessing that it would hardly be the thing that a DM would start off the campaign with, and I'd certainly hope that if someone submits a well-crafted Goblin PC, it would be more accepted than if someone submits lazily made "typical" PC with paper-thin characterization, and I've seen plenty of those floating around (most often at one-shots, but still).

Besides, if we're going with modularity for the DMG and PHB, why not go with a modular MM. Include rules for certain monster PC races, include sections for other monster-rules, and the like, that don't need to be core, but are optional, within the Monster Manual.

I am currently raising funds to run for President in 2016. Too many administrations have overlooked the international menace, that is Carmen Sandiego. I shall devote any and all necessary military resources to bring her to justice.

In my mind it's a page count thing, and a certain paranoia stemming from the piss poor write ups in the 4e manuals.

I want the monsters as PCs materials to be in-depth and solid, with plenty of variety and support materials. I think it rates several books worth of material with each book focusing on select groups of monsters and giving them a thourough treatment. This is well above and beyond the scope of the monster manuals which need to focus on cramming in a lot of monsters with a wide spectrum of not only level but threat rating within that level (minion-standard-elite-solo). It's just got more important things to do than try to shoe horn in a ton of PC content.

I want Dragons as PCs to be it's own book, maybe they could ressurect the CoW setting in the same tome, but trying to cram them into a monster manual is just not useful.
Option A: All humanoid monsters be designed like potential PC race.


Option B: monster PC with different stats. For example the kobold from "Race of Dragons" is different from Monster Manual.


---

I would like to say MM could include things for PCs like mounts, pets, summoned creatures and other allies.


I would like the return of monster/racial class. I wish monster class for all dragons (metalic, chromatic, gem, planar, oriental/lung...)... why not for Draconomicon? (with somethings from "Council of Wryns), something like "Draconomicon 2 Council of Wryns player handbook"

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I can see the mounts and pets stuff, but only creatures specifically designed for it. I dont wanna see a repeat of 3e.

Monster classes i'm a little iffy about, designers tend to get lazy with those, see the 4e vampire.

I think that many monsters don't need a full class, and can be done with race and specialties, especially one trick ponies like ogres or dopplegangers. Dragons, Beholders, and the like may require more investment but at the same time I want there to be enough variation between two dragons that one can be a more magical 3e dragon or be a far more interesting 4e dragon, without relying entirely on multi-classing. If the 5e take is cool I can use them as the focus and not worry about representing older editions fairly.
I think somwhere they did mention that some monsters in the monsters manual will have a side bar with info if you want to use them as a pc race.
But i think this maily focuses on races thet where pc races in other campaign settings.

As the example they gave woyld be the minotaur with a side bar giving it's stats and a short explination that it is a player race in the dragonlance campaign setting.

i might like to see many of these races in the monster manual 1 basicly any race that has been a player race before but diden't make it into the new PHB should be in the MM with a sidebar
 

A really good example of a monster race gone PC is the kobold.


If we look at the long, winding process that the kobold underwent to become a reasonable PC race, we're really looking at like 2 or 3 editions of modification. Their identity in the monster manual also changed considerably in the course of that process.



With regard to the OP, I don't want them to do this. The reasons have been stated elsewhere but the basic reason is it's a headache to do something with only limited value. It doesn't add depth to my game if every basically humanoid race in the MM is converted into a playable race, it adds a headache in the form or race bloat.


However -


A supplement with rules for conversion that are actually clear and concise with some kind of uniform presentation would be an excellent tool for me should I ever want an NPC from a monster culture or if a player's got some kind of really niche concept that involves a monster race then I can say "yes that's easy to do, here is how."


Basically I want the tools to do it, but I don't want them to do it for me.

Be careful, some racial traits are good for PCs but useless for nPC monsters, for example Kobold: +2 Profesion (miner).

* Some monster are too good to do a thing, but too bad to do be other. For example the raskasha are good spellcasters, but bad to be classes who wear heavy armor (for example samurai) or incarnum classes, Illithid are powerful psionic but awful barbarians, or dragons are cool, but they don´t wear humanoid armor at all (but humanoid shape). Fighter classes whithout heavy armor (monk, gladiator, barbarian, warden, swashbuckler, warsage, hexblade) would chosen by players.

Creating a special (prestige) theme for dracoborns is easier that doing a dragon monster class, or a druid/barbarian/warden for shifters that werebeast monster class, for example.


 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

The kobold had its share of stupid but it is one of the few examples of a monster gone PC race that actually ended up being pretty cool



edit: stupid typo. Literally!

I believe many humaniods should have a sidebar for PCs. Goblinods, orcs, kobolds, gnolls, eladrin, medium minotaurs.

Though they could be split into races that can make good Cs in every class (kobold and goblin PCs should make good clerics, fighters, rogues and wizards) and more steroetypical monster PC races (no orge wizards so no need to worry about their INT -6)

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Although it might not be the same as making them available as a PC, it does bring up another thing that could be done.

A system should be created for relatively easily leveling monsters up or down. But, instead of one system that works for ALL monsters, there should be multiple systems for different categories. And not "undead" or "fey" but rather...

Minion Defender
Normal Defender
Elite Defender

 Minion Striker/Lurker
Normal Striker/Lurker
Elite Striker/Lurker

Minion Leader
Normal Leader
Elite Leader

Minion Controller
Normal Controller
Elite Controller

Of course, this could be done in two different steps. The first would be to choose the role of the monster from the four options and then there would be a system for turning it into a Minion or Elite version. But-- there is a not insignificant chance that if there is a generalized system for making something into a minion or elite would alter the stats for some roles much more than it would for others.

Also, although certainly some of those categories would not be used very often, they would still be good to have. The reason for the difference would be that Defenders would have hit points and AC that raise quicker than the others while Lurkers/Strikers would increase their stealth ability and increase their damage capability.
Leaders and Controllers may need to be given new general abilities at certain levels as their old abilities become more useless. Perhaps the concept would revolve around a Leader of level X giving a certain bonus to his allies and healing others for a particular amount, while the Controllers can affect an increasingly large area and afflict PCs with more effects.

Anyway, the idea would be that different tactics would need to be utilized to take down different groups of monsters. PCs will often want to ignore the Defender monsters best they can and try to take the others out early, perhaps focusing on the Leaders first unless the others are dangerous or vulnerable enough to target. This would be far more interesting than previous editions when monsters could be all too identical bags of hitpoints and if one increased the level of the monster, it only became ever-stronger.

I don't think it would be necessary to level-down monsters so much however. I guess one could simply use the level-up mechanics in reverse. But somehow I feel as though fighting a level 1 Pit Fiend or Red Dragon would probably erode the impact those monsters would have.

Anyway, in the end when the next PC tools are released it would be nice if the PC version of the Monster Manual would allow one to choose any monster and then select the level/CR you want the monster to be then be presented with a stat block for that monster at that level.

For clearly humanoid races in the Monster Manual I might even make a version of them that fills each role at a normal level that could be easily transformed into a Minion or Elite type. This would mean that humanoid monsters would tend to have 4 different "classes" in their entry given thematic elements that would indicate how these different roles would tend to manifest themselves in that race and notes about those that are most common.

So one could create an encounter with goblins that included defenders, strikers, a controller and a leader, but the names of those roles, their weapon choices and their power fluff would be considerably different from if you built an encounter with dwarfs that included defenders, strikers, a controller and a leader. Also, which one in each group would likely be the Elite and which one would likely be the minion would be different. 

See things like that belong in an MM, Pc versions of a monster not so much.
I want to play a Gelatinous Cube Warlock/Paladin/Monk. 


Or maybe a Rot Grub Barbarian? 
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

Do rebember some monster humanoids need special traits to be PC race, for example centaurs and bariaurs are quadruped, four legs. The can´t wear pants like biped humanoid, they need different armour.

Some monsters have got too power, but example the tree troll (Fogorten Realms article from Dragon Magazine) is only challenging rating 2 but regeneration is very powerful for a PC..

Or being a vampire who dislikes sunlight. 


I am afraid it s easier creating a separated soucerbook like Savage Species, or monsters books like Libris Mortis, Draconomicon or Book of Madness. 


 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I have to agree that I don't want monster development resources spent on creating and balancing player resources.  I don't want monster development confined to areas that can be converted to PC material.
My favorite D&D adventure is when I played a Swarm of Rats wizard.   Other members of the party were the Wild Boar bard,  Dire Wolf Ranger, and Velociraptor Thief.  Fun times had by all.


Ok so I lied.  But I don't think you can just declare every monster a playable race.  
What about a sourcebook like Savage Species or "the complete book of humanoids"?

With a complete list of "furry" races, from D&D and Gamma World.

And a list of "lighter" powers because some creatures are too powerful, Medusa and her petryfying gaze, for example, or troll´s regeneration.

And a "animal" class to add levels and class features to beast PC´s allies that don´t use armor (mounts and "pets") 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I always just strapped my rabbit familiar into full plate. It was hillarious, Mr. Bouncey loved it, he'd run down low level NPCs and break their knees by preforming a full powered hopping head-butt. 

I'm of the camp that animal companions don't need lots of extra special stuff to compensate for not wearing armor, the cheap ass PCs should buy barding if AC is so important.

I'm seeing several books actually.

The Big Book of Giants
The Malevolent Tome of Monsters
The Scrolls of Elvenkind
The Codex of the Fiendborn
The Player's Guide to Dragons 
I currently let my players play any intelligent creature and would love to see that as a module or supplement in Next, but I won't hold my breath for it.  My current group consists of a Lizardfolk, Yuan-ti, Dragon, 2 elves and a halfing (+ a kolbold NPC).


However, I don't think races should be balanced, (like they are in DnD typically at least), so it is easier for me to make crazy races than it would be for a game more concerned with balance. 
If the players book only features races that have existed in Player's books for over 2 editions or more, then this would be a good way to bring the exotic creatures and whatnot back into the campaign.  Plus, other cool content that should be available for play from the start could be here too (Still waiting on my Aasimar Wink)

However, I don't think races should be balanced, (like they are in DnD typically at least), so it is easier for me to make crazy races than it would be for a game more concerned with balance. 



What do you mean exactly?  You'd best clarify before angry hordes rush at you.

Crazed undead horror posing as a noble and heroic forum poster!

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
It's simple, don't worry about makign your custom jobs balanced, I'll never play in your games, but if it's not a problem for your players, it's not hard to unbalance stuff.

It is much harder to create balanced options, and that's what the Devs should focus on so they can present balanced options for people who want a balanced game but don't have the time or skills to make one. 
I think I would be all for leaving out animals and truly monsterous monsters as PCs from the start since balancing PCs that break all the equipment rules and wouldn't particularly make sense coupled with classes out as PC races. However, if there are going to be animal companions and familiars, then one still needs to have a method of leveling them.

However, the Monster Manual is going to likely have many monsters that SHOULD be able to be utilized as PCs.
Aasimar/Deva, Bullywug, Dragonborn, Drow (and possibly Dark Dwarfs and Dark Gnomes as well), Githzerai/Githyanki, Gnolls, Goblins, Goliath, Hobgoblins, Kenku, Kobolds, Orcs,  Tiefling, Warforged... I would be surprised if more than 3 of these was not in the book.

And then one might want a less monsterous version of the Minotaur, Ogre and Troll for possible PC races as well. Maybe weakened versions of doppleganger (changelings), werewolfs (Shifters) and vampires (Vryloka) too. Just to blatantly appeal to all the World of Darkness and Twilight fans.

So.. yes, there will be a lot of things likely to appear in the Monster Manual that people are going to want to use as PC races. If they don't include entries in the book relatively equivalent to the PHB races, then another book needs to come out very early in the release schedule to serve that purpose... Although my hopes for this design team to do a good job on the races that aren't their favorites is not very high.

It's being led by the guy whose original D&D race designs basically went along the lines of "If you are an elf, you are a god and get all the best stuff and every skill and ability you could ever want and need... if you are any other demi-human then you get good bonuses but strict level limits... if you are human you just suck unless you manage to have the character survive forever... and if you are a bad demi-human aka humanoid... then you just suck and get insanely strict level limits."

Nothing I have ever seen from him ever demonstrated he became any better than that. A design team led by him cannot at all be trusted to get things remotely right when it comes to balance in PC races. They'll just make the elf stupidly better than every other race until anyone not playing one is clearly playing handicapped as they did before and when it comes to "humanoids" other than the Drow, they will spend less time than it took me to write this post considering their design and implementation.

Well right now the humans are bland gods and the demi-humans including elves area a waste of ink.

I think most animal companion, pet or summon type creatures should be described in the book that covers their rules. So Pets, familiars, basic mounts, animal companions, summons, and the rules for advancing such should be in the PHB, or in the case of mounts and pets, there's a case for treating them as magic items and putting them in the dmg.

That said Mounts and pets in the MM would probably not end too horribly.

Summons, familiars, and companion beasts however, need to be in the PHB. 
 or dragons are cool, but they don´t wear humanoid armor at all (but humanoid shape). .
 


A dragon absorbs the enchantments from items he sleeps on... he can manifest 3 of the properties of magic items he has attuned in this way. Rules designed for a PC dragon need to be PC balanced.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I don't understand everyone's objection to barding.

If you want more armor than your own hide gives you, either kill something and wear it's hide, or wear metal, or in a sci-fi game wear something that has a name that makes linguists and chemists alike resort to abreviations. 
So we now have ogre, dragon, troll, Minotaur, kobold, vampire, werewolf, doppleganger, goblin, lizard folk, etc.

Most players will eventually want to try something unusual as a race. Maybe not everyone will want an ooze or an elemental but there have been plenty of centaurs, lizard folk, and minotaurs over the years even as far back as 1st edition.

Those who think too many races is chaos seem to argue that dozens of classes is ok. I would prefer fewer classes and more races. Add specialties, backgrounds, and other pathways to customize characters. The biggest loss of balance always comes with class.
It's not the number of races that causes chaos, otherwise elves alone would have driven all the FR and DL fans to give up the game years ago.

It's the wild disparity in race power level, presentation, and playability over the course of a character's progression that caused trouble in 3e.
It's not the number of races that causes chaos, otherwise elves alone would have driven all the FR and DL fans to give up the game years ago.

It's the wild disparity in race power level, presentation, and playability over the course of a character's progression that caused trouble in 3e.

QFT

Danny

3E deserves an award for wasted pages for feats, prestige classes, races, equipment, etc. that nobody ever used.  I would bet that there was at least one feat that nobody ever chose, at least one prestige class that was never taken, and at least one race that was never used by anybody.

3E suffered from lack of balance.

4E suffered from too much balance.

$e suffered from people assuming balance = sameness
or that same format = sameness
and the backlash for taking a stab at a lot of sacred cows that were gettign so old I'd call most of them mercy kills

It wasn't too balanced, it was too different. 
3rd Ed had got lots of prestige classes and feats. The other PC race could be used by DM like nPC, and the spells could be used sooner or later.

And always there is a fan with crazy ideas, for example a primitive tribe of dromites (psionic race) riding kruthiks (Handbook of miniatures, like starcrafts zerlings), controlled by fraals (classic alien grey men), to be used in Dark Sun campain, only because he thinks it is cool. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

The "crazy idea" here is that you could have playable races using the same stats that exist for monsters in the manual, or that the monster manual is the place to put sidebars about how to play the monsters as characters.  That would belong in a supplement, elsewhere.
So, dead issue.  Moving on.