Racials in 5e

Hi!

I am wondering in which direction Racials will go when more races are added. One big flaw in *4e* in my opinion was when certain races were too optimal for certain classes, so people "going with the math" said like "you can play class x only as race y, and never as race z". It seems to me they reduced this a bit in D&D Next by most races only get +1 stat bonus, but with the weapon trainings again for certain classes something like this might come in. Also for non-melee classes Human might be "too optimal".

But I guess currently we only have a very small "sample size" as to races and classes, and how this plays out remains to be seen when more classes/races are available.

Personally I would like some sort of Feat/Specialty system tied to the Race (additionally to the already existing Feat/Specialty system) where you can "customize" the racials to what sort of character you have (so a Elven Wizard would get more a higher +Int adjustment, an elven fighter the weapon training etc.). Something like that would be cool I think.

MagicSN 
This will always be the case, more or less. It also always HAS been the case.

Any race with an intelligence bonus will be somewhat more favorable for being wizards. Any race with physical bonuses will be suited to a physical roles. 

Best way to modify this is through subtypes, such as 3 had - there were normal frail, agile elves, magical smart elves, and dumb strong elves.  4e just (in one of my least-favourite moves) made the magical smart elves into a separate race entirely.
That it always has been the case is no argument for me. Why not change it? Yes, sub-types sound like a good idea (and it seems D&D Next goes a bit into that direction, with the different dwarves and elven sub-types and such), but I think this could still be expanded , basically to take various aspects of the race into the racial and you "choose one" or such. Actually I tend to think if it is not maybe a good idea to not give any ability boni to the race, but only other kind of Boni (though I do not think the D&D developer team would do such a change "this late").
I think Senevri's point is that it always will be the case, as long as there is any difference in race. If dwarves get a bonus to constitution, they will always be a slightly better race choice for a fighter than, say, gnomes that grant a bonus to wisdom. However, by reducing the amount that any one race outclasses another in terms of favorability, one reduces the chance that any one race becomes "the" race for a class. For example, although the hill dwarf's increased hit points makes it an excellent choice for fighters, melee rogues and monks can make good use of that benefit, and the mountain dwarf's armor proficiency makes it a good choice for rogue or wizard. Ultimately, the dwarf probably works best as a fighter, but someone that decides to play a dwarf rogue or wizard will be only slightly less efficient than a min/maxed dwarf fighter. My latest character is a high elf rogue with a custom-made specialty that makes use of minor spellcasting and two-weapon fighting. Is he highly optimized? No. There are far more effective TWF builds. Is he fun to play? Yes. Do I care that my character could be a little more effective in combat? Not at all. I'm too busy freezing baddies with magic and then shattering them with my longsword.
I think Senevri's point is that it always will be the case, as long as there is any difference in race. If dwarves get a bonus to constitution, they will always be a slightly better race choice for a fighter than, say, gnomes that grant a bonus to wisdom.



You can have racial differences without have racial stat bonuses.  Really, stat bonuses are the least interesting way to differentiate races.
Well, yes, some people did argue there were optimal races for each class in 4e. Not everyone always agreed, of course, which made me feel better that they had designed a system with many right answers.

But, If there are stat bonuses then there will always be favored classes. And if not, then powers will have some impact on favored classes. And if there aren't ability bonuses or powers, what difference is there between races?
I've always hated racial stat bonuses (even more than racial weapon profs) and D&DNext has the best set up to get rid of them.

Class: +1 to specific stats
Background: +1 to specific stats
Specialty: +1 to specific stats.

Limit any specific stat to getting a +2 bonus and I think things would be fine.

Give races some interesting flavor and abilities and you don't need the racial stat bonuses.
I'm a big fan of doing away with stat bonuses from race and class. Your starting score (how many points you put into it or how well you roll) perfectly represents pre-campaign class training and racial predispositions without having to add more bonuses on top of that. 
The loss of racial powers is one of the better things that I think we've lost in the transition to DDN.  I really hope we can get them back.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

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They should move the subraces into a separate category called culture and allow every race to enter it.

Instead of high elves and wood elves we have just one race, elf. We then have two cultures: woodland and high magic cultures.
instead of mountain dwarves and hill dwarves we have just one race, dwarf. We then have two cultures, Hill (nomadic) or mountain (mining).

Perhaps some campaigns would prefer specific race-culture combinations but i would prefer it to be more open.

 Cultures could then include woodland, high magic, nomadic, pastoral, mining, traders, seafarers, urban, raiders, etc.
Ability score mods would then come from class and culture. Race would provide other benefits besides a bonus to ability score.
kezzek, I like the idea. I am also wondering if ability bonuses from race could not be gotten rid of in total. Though that would probably again mean to put in some racial power instead (or a choice of such).

This is the system I would propose:

Every character selects a race and a culture as follows:


Playtest Races



  • Elf; Low­ Light Vision, Elf Weapon Training, Keen Senses, Free Spirit, Trance, Languages

  • Dwarf; Low­ Light Vision, Speed-5, Dwarf Weapon Training, Resilience, Armor Mastery, Languages

  • Halfling; Small, Speed-5, lucky, Halfling Weapon Training, Nimbleness, Languages


New Races:


  • Human; Human weapon training (crossbows, polearms), quick learner (increase skill die 1 step)

  • Lizardfolk; Lizardfolk weapon training (trident, spears, clubs), natural swimmer, tail strike, language

  • Drow; Drow weapon training (hand crossbow, scimitar), low light vision, keen senses, innate magic, language

  • Orc; Orc weapon training (Axes), low light vision, relentless, language

  • Kobold; Kobold weapon training (slings, daggers), low light vision, light sensitivity, mob tactics, language

  • Phanaton; Phanaton weapon training (net, club), gliding, languages (elvish, common)

  • Ogre; Ogre weapon training (spear, club), large size, languages


Cultures:



  • Woodland; +1 Dexterity, Woodland Grace, Speed+5

  • High Magic; +1 Intelligence, cantrip

  • Mountain; +1 Wisdom, stone cunning

  • Hills; +1 Constitution, toughness

  • Explorer; +1 Charisma, fearless

  • Swamp; +1 Strength, camoflauge

  • Underground; +1 Dexterity, sneak

  • Tundra; +1 Strength, toughness

  • Urban; +1 Charisma, social

  • Plains; +1 Wisdom, natural stealthy

  • Extraplanar; +1 Intelligence, resistance to 1 energy type

  • Aquatic: +1 Wisdom, breathe in water and land

  • Rural, +1 Constitution, resistance to disease 


A hybrid race (1/2 elf, 1/2 orc, 1/2 ogre, etc.) selects the weapon training of one race, receives the other characteristics of the other race, may select up to 2 languages from among those of the parent races, and can choose a culture from among the common ones of either race.

A multicultural character may pick the ability score bonus of 1 culture and the ability granted by the other culture. 

The loss of racial powers is one of the better things that I think we've lost in the transition to DDN.  I really hope we can get them back.



I am very pleased that they dropped racial encounter powers, as a DM I rarely, if ever, witness a player using one, and I dislike encounter powers in general.



we currently play 4E campaign and we all use our racial powers, almost all use it every encounter.



This is the system I would propose:

Every character selects a race and a culture as follows:


Playtest Races



  • Elf; Low­ Light Vision, Elf Weapon Training, Keen Senses, Free Spirit, Trance, Languages

  • Dwarf; Low­ Light Vision, Speed-5, Dwarf Weapon Training, Resilience, Armor Mastery, Languages

  • Halfling; Small, Speed-5, lucky, Halfling Weapon Training, Nimbleness, Languages


New Races:


  • Human; Human weapon training (crossbows, polearms), quick learner (increase skill die 1 step)

  • Lizardfolk; Lizardfolk weapon training (trident, spears, clubs), natural swimmer, tail strike, language

  • Drow; Drow weapon training (hand crossbow, scimitar), low light vision, keen senses, innate magic, language

  • Orc; Orc weapon training (Axes), low light vision, relentless, language

  • Kobold; Kobold weapon training (slings, daggers), low light vision, light sensitivity, mob tactics, language

  • Phanaton; Phanaton weapon training (net, club), gliding, languages (elvish, common)

  • Ogre; Ogre weapon training (spear, club), large size, languages


Cultures:



  • Woodland; +1 Dexterity, Woodland Grace, Speed+5

  • High Magic; +1 Intelligence, cantrip

  • Mountain; +1 Wisdom, stone cunning

  • Hills; +1 Constitution, toughness

  • Explorer; +1 Charisma, fearless

  • Swamp; +1 Strength, camoflauge

  • Underground; +1 Dexterity, sneak

  • Tundra; +1 Strength, toughness

  • Urban; +1 Charisma, social

  • Plains; +1 Wisdom, natural stealthy

  • Extraplanar; +1 Intelligence, resistance to 1 energy type

  • Aquatic: +1 Wisdom, breathe in water and land

  • Rural, +1 Constitution, resistance to disease 


A hybrid race (1/2 elf, 1/2 orc, 1/2 ogre, etc.) selects the weapon training of one race, receives the other characteristics of the other race, and can choose a culture from among the common ones of either race.

A multicultural character may pick the ability score bonus of 1 culture and the ability granted by the other culture. 



If anyone has any other ideas for races or cultures please provide input. I'd love for this list to grow.
I think you need a clearer distinction between culture and race.  Culture dictates which weapons you use, bonus skills, armour etc.  Racial issues should be physiological and I woiuld include elven grace, halfling luck, and dwarven resilience in among that lot.  I certainly would not include water breathing as a cultural issue, although doubling the time someone can hold their breath or granting advantage on rolls to void drowning might be appropriate.
I agree that racial ability bonuses should just be removed entirely. They are an incredibly bland way of differentiating the races, and because ability scores are so tightly tied to the mechanics of different classes, instead of, for example, the bonus making a high elf fighter into an intelligent fighter (as was perhaps the intent), it just makes a high elf fighter into a bad fighter. I *am* a bit partial to the idea of racial stat minimums, but that is another topic entirely...

I also think that racial traits that are *learned* or *acquired* (eg. the various weapon training traits) as opposed to *inborn* traits (eg. low-light vision, wood elf grace, etc.) should not be static traits. Its fine if my orphan elf adopted by a human family can see in the dark or doesn't need to sleep for a long time, but its a bit silly to think that just because he's an elf, he can walk up to a bow and become Legolas.

One idea I kind of like is to get rid of ability bonuses and learned traits, and instead give each race the ability to choose 1-2 racial feats.  The feats are a bonus to normal feats (in other words, they don't take a normal feat slot), and they are all restricted by race (which DMs could waive on a case-by-case basis). The feats would basically represent what the character has learned as a member of his or her race. They could be used to make that elf fighter feel like a truly elf-y fighter (say, granting the ability to shift, or even something dramatic like treating all one-handed weapons as finess weapons), instead of just a bad fighter.
@kezzek: Your system has the following flaw. If a human gets "polearm weapon training" and an Elf training with the sword, what if I want to play for example a Human Paladin fighting with a Sword - and this is actually a very popular character style ? He will be "weaker". Sure, you can go for a slightly weaker combination (I often do this, as I think the character idea is more important than some little numbers), but it shows the flaw in the system.

I like the idea of getting the "Weapon Training" tied to the "Culture".

Personally I think it might be an idea to get rid of the ability boni and reintroduce Racial Powers instead. Racial Powers often are useful for much more classes and not so "tied" to a specific usage like the weapon trainings (In our group we also use the Racial powers a lot).

The idea I would like most would be to offer several "options" for a racial and you need to "choose one". Problem is only for some races it might be hard (especially if the system has many races) to come up with enough fitting racials.

As to the current playtest - well, it seems to me Human is optimal for Casters (in the PDF they write Highelven would be very powerful wizards, but strictly from the numbers I do not agree - due to Weapon Trainings playing no role for a wizard, the bigger stat bonus for a human is most powerful for a wizard) and Elf/Dwarf/Halfling most powerful for a non-Caster character who actually uses a weapon.
The loss of racial powers is one of the better things that I think we've lost in the transition to DDN.  I really hope we can get them back.




I am very pleased that they dropped racial encounter powers, as a DM I rarely, if ever, witness a player using one, and I dislike encounter powers in general.


"I and my players don't like it" isn't a reason to drop something from the game.  It's a reason to explore making it optional, like they've done with feats and skills.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

"I and my players don't like it" isn't a reason to drop something from the game. It's a reason to explore making it optional, like they've done with feats and skills.

Bingo. My group found that racial powers were a great way to make races actually feel relevant beyond character creation, and some of us like our races to actually feel relevant beyond character creation. I have no problem with their no longer being mandatory, as some people don't care about race remaining relevant, but for those of us that do, why not include it as an option for alternative racial features?

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I'm pretty floored that somebody experienced "my players never used their racial abilities in 4e". Very surprising, to the point of being almost suspicious. No dragonborn ever used their breath weapon? No elf ever re-rolled an attack? No halfling made an opponent reroll? This is pretty shocking, I don't see why somebody would have a power like that and just simply not use it.

But that aside, yeah, attribute bonuses from race - or arguably, even background - only restrict player options when they make their character. "Well, I can pick from these races that give a bonus to my strength, or I can pick from these backgrounds that give a bonus to my strength, or I can gimp my character" is a very different situation from "I can make my fighter...teleport once, make an opponent re-roll an attack, or just not get pushed around as easily? Well, those are all good choices...".

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

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AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

I'm pretty floored that somebody experienced "my players never used their racial abilities in 4e". Very surprising, to the point of being almost suspicious. No dragonborn ever used their breath weapon? No elf ever re-rolled an attack? No halfling made an opponent reroll? This is pretty shocking, I don't see why somebody would have a power like that and just simply not use it.

I experienced similar, but mostly with new players who were constantly forgetting that they even had that power.  The more experienced players, meanwhile, simply didn't want to use the ability now because it might be more useful later.  I could definitely see a halfling saving use of her power unless the attack was one that was going to drop her; and I've also seen players who rely on at-wills for 90% of their attacks, so it wouldn't surprise me to find a dragonborn who would mostly forget about its breath weapon.

The metagame is not the game.

I think you need a clearer distinction between culture and race.  Culture dictates which weapons you use, bonus skills, armour etc.  Racial issues should be physiological and I woiuld include elven grace, halfling luck, and dwarven resilience in among that lot.  I certainly would not include water breathing as a cultural issue, although doubling the time someone can hold their breath or granting advantage on rolls to void drowning might be appropriate.


Revised:

Every character selects a race, an environmental subtype, and a culture from the following list:


Racial Abilities



  • Elf; Low­ Light Vision, Keen Senses, Free Spirit, Trance

  • Dwarf; Low­ Light Vision, Slow, Resilience

  • Halfling; Small, Slow, lucky, Nimbleness

  • Human; quick learner (increase skill die 1 step)

  • Gnome; Small, Slow, Animal Affinity, Illusion cantrip

  • Lizardfolk; Low light vision, natural weapons, hold breath

  • Drow; low light vision, keen senses, innate magic

  • Orc; low light vision, relentless

  • Kobold; Small, low light vision, light sensitivity, slight build, natural weapons

  • Phanaton; Small, gliding

  • Ogre; Low light vision, large size, reach

  • Celestial; Low light vision, innate magic, resistance (radiant)

  • Infernal; Low Light vision, Resilience

  • Dragon; Low Light Vision, Keen Senses, Breath weapon


Environmental Subtype:



  • Woodland; +1 Dexterity, Woodland Grace, Speed+5

  • High Magic; +1 Intelligence, cantrip

  • Mountain; +1 Wisdom, stone cunning

  • Hills; +1 Constitution, toughness

  • Explorer; +1 Charisma, fearless

  • Swamp; +1 Strength, camoflauge

  • Underground; +1 Dexterity, sneak

  • Tundra; +1 Strength, toughness

  • Urban; +1 Charisma, social

  • Plains; +1 Wisdom, natural stealthy

  • Extraplanar; +1 Intelligence, resistance to an energy type

  • Aquatic: +1 Wisdom, amphibious

  • Rural, +1 Constitution, resistance to disease 


Cultural Abilities



  • Elf; Elf Weapon Training, Languages (Elven, Common)

  • Dwarf; Dwarf Weapon Training, Armor Mastery, Languages (Dwarven, Common)

  • Halfling; Halfling Weapon Training, Languages (Halfling, Common)

  • Human; Human weapon training (crossbows, polearms), Languages (Common, Local Dialect)

  • Gnome; Gnome weapon training (picks), Languages (Gnome, Common)

  • Lizardfolk; Lizardfolk weapon training (trident, spears, clubs), Languages (Draconic, Common)

  • Drow; Drow weapon training (hand crossbow, scimitar), Languages (Drow, Common)

  • Orc; Orc weapon training (Axes), Languages (Common, Orc)

  • Kobold; Kobold weapon training (slings, daggers), Languages (Draconic, Common)

  • Phanaton; Phanaton weapon training (net, club), Languages (Elven, Common)

  • Ogre; Ogre weapon training (spear, club), Languages (Giant, Common)

  • Celestial; Celestial weapon training (swords), Languages (Celestial, Common)

  • Infernal; Infernal weapon training (Spiked Chain, Flail), Languages (Infernal, Common)

  • Dragon; Dragon weapon training (none), Languages (Draconic, Common)


A hybrid (1/2 elf, 1/2 orc, 1/2 ogre, ½ Dragon, Aasimar (1/2 celestial), Tiefling (1/2 infernal), etc.) may select the racial abilities of one parent and the cultural abilities of one parent (although they don't need to match), and can choose an environmental subtype from among the common ones of either parent.   They may also choose to be multicultural.

A multicultural character may pick the weapon training of one parent's race and the languages granted by the other parent's race. 


Weapon training grants one higher die when using that weapon.

Doesn't having the list of cultures based on race kind of hose the whole 'race and culture should be separate' thing?  Race and Environment are sufficient.
Doesn't having the list of cultures based on race kind of hose the whole 'race and culture should be separate' thing?  Race and Environment are sufficient.


A dwarf raised by wood elves might have the Dwarf race, Woodland Subtype, and Elven Culture.  A half-elf raised by humans might have the Elven Race, Urban Subtype, and Human Culture.  They may also pick to remain multicultural and keep the human weapon training but keep the Elven language.

Does that make sense?

I like it.

Also add my vote to getting rid of racial ability modifiers, for two reasons: 1. I'd like to remove race as a parameter for min-maxing, and 2. I like the idea that Legolas was really good at shooting a bow and balancing on the backs of large creatures because he spent the last 200 years swinging from trees and hunting, preferring it to the idea that he was good at those things because Elves are good at those things.

Some suggestions:



  • Humans get no racial abilities, but they get two backgrounds or two subtypes. 

  • Plains subtypes get Riding for free;

  • The attribute adjustments from some of the environments seem forced. Like I see why you'd put +1 Strength for swamp (swimming), but surely Dexterity (avoiding falling into the bog) or Intelligence (remembering where you are) or Wisdom (spotting the 'gator before it eats you) are just as arguable?

I like it.

Also add my vote to getting rid of racial ability modifiers, for two reasons: 1. I'd like to remove race as a parameter for min-maxing, and 2. I like the idea that Legolas was really good at shooting a bow and balancing on the backs of large creatures because he spent the last 200 years swinging from trees and hunting, preferring it to the idea that he was good at those things because Elves are good at those things.

Some suggestions:



  • Humans get no racial abilities, but they get two backgrounds or two subtypes. 

  • Plains subtypes get Riding for free;

  • The attribute adjustments from some of the environments seem forced. Like I see why you'd put +1 Strength for swamp (swimming), but surely Dexterity (avoiding falling into the bog) or Intelligence (remembering where you are) or Wisdom (spotting the 'gator before it eats you) are just as arguable?



Do you have a solution for attribute adjustments?  Would you eliminate them entirely or just add more variability?
things in regards to the list:

1. Does everyone besides humans need lowlight vision? Is it really an ability if 75%+ of the races have it? 

2. The skill die thing on humans is a bad idea, not only does it stop being applicable at higher levels when the dice maxes out, but skills are coming from backgrounds which are supposedly an optional feature. Frankly humans have some very cool potential features, such as hunger and empathy that could be explored for much cooler features.

3. Natural weapons are either OP, imbalanced, or a non-ability. If they are better than a weapon you can get they are OP, if they force you into weapon using classes they are imbalanced, and if they don't do either of those things then you're better off with a normal weapon and thus recieve no real benefit.

4. I think the environmental subtypes are  mistake. Each race should adapt to each environment in it's own way.  
1.  The low-light vision thing was actually a big thing in most of our fighters picking dwarf these days.  Turns out not having to worry about torchlight is a huge tactical advantage for fighters.  Any sort of enhanced vision needs to be treated as a major advantage in the final draft

"You mean my damage die for these weapons and my hitpoints get BIGGER and I don't have to worry about torches AND I have advantage vs poison AND I get an ability score increase?  SWEET.  Why would I want to ever play anything else?" --How my dwarf players feel. (To be fair to them, we had all just seen the Hobbit.)

2.  I'd maybe try and categorize the various racial perks when designing races.  Give each race a major perk, a lesser perk, and one or two minor perks.

Major:  Has specific, important tactical application, such as increased hit die, weapon training, or a bonus manuever
Lesser:  Has more general applications that are less critical to life or death situations, but generally useful.  This would be dark vision or a stat bonus.
Minor:  Very general sometimes useful skills, like bonus languages...."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />
I like it.

(Snip)


  • The attribute adjustments from some of the environments seem forced. Like I see why you'd put +1 Strength for swamp (swimming), but surely Dexterity (avoiding falling into the bog) or Intelligence (remembering where you are) or Wisdom (spotting the 'gator before it eats you) are just as arguable?



Do you have a solution for attribute adjustments?  Would you eliminate them entirely or just add more variability?


I guess both would be acceptable, leaning towards eliminating them entirely. Maybe variability could be stated in terms of a mental attribute and a physical one (e.g. in Swamp, you can pick either +1 Strength or +1 Wisdom), though that's not that much different from saying "Just put another +1 there somewhere that makes sense to you".
things in regards to the list:

1. Does everyone besides humans need lowlight vision? Is it really an ability if 75%+ of the races have it? 

2. The skill die thing on humans is a bad idea, not only does it stop being applicable at higher levels when the dice maxes out, but skills are coming from backgrounds which are supposedly an optional feature. Frankly humans have some very cool potential features, such as hunger and empathy that could be explored for much cooler features.

3. Natural weapons are either OP, imbalanced, or a non-ability. If they are better than a weapon you can get they are OP, if they force you into weapon using classes they are imbalanced, and if they don't do either of those things then you're better off with a normal weapon and thus recieve no real benefit.

4. I think the environmental subtypes are  mistake. Each race should adapt to each environment in it's own way.  



1. Maybe it would be a good idea to cut back on the races with low-light vision.  In previous editions, most races have low light vision.  Take it away from elves as well.

2. Why would the skill die max out?  Just add one more step after the highest step for human characters.  Skills come from race as well.  Elves receive spot and listen.

3. Natural weapons can provide a plan B if weapons are lost, stolen, or dropped.  They are as overpowered or underpowered as you make them in your game design.  Assuming that they are flawed would be as incorrect as assuming that racial weapon training is inherently flawed.

4. There are already environmental subtypes in the playtest.  Wood elves, high elves, mountain dwarves, hill dwarves, stout halflings, etc.  I am just opening it up as a module so that you could have mountain elves, high magic dwarves, and hill humans.  It allows for even more originality and creativity.

1.  The low-light vision thing was actually a big thing in most of our fighters picking dwarf these days.  Turns out not having to worry about torchlight is a huge tactical advantage for fighters.  Any sort of enhanced vision needs to be treated as a major advantage in the final draft

"You mean my damage die for these weapons and my hitpoints get BIGGER and I don't have to worry about torches AND I have advantage vs poison AND I get an ability score increase?  SWEET.  Why would I want to ever play anything else?" --How my dwarf players feel. (To be fair to them, we had all just seen the Hobbit.)

2.  I'd maybe try and categorize the various racial perks when designing races.  Give each race a major perk, a lesser perk, and one or two minor perks.

Major:  Has specific, important tactical application, such as increased hit die, weapon training, or a bonus manuever
Lesser:  Has more general applications that are less critical to life or death situations, but generally useful.  This would be dark vision or a stat bonus.
Minor:  Very general sometimes useful skills, like bonus languages...."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />


Categorizing racial perks is pretty difficult.  Using the same category is much easier (such as each culture or race receives a weapon training, a language, and an ability score bonus).  Trying to decide if low light vision or an added skill is more valuable is pretty tough.