What should be the core races (poll 2)?

This previous blog was getting lengthy and I decided to change the format to see what people thought.

All playable races ever seems like an awful idea, just like it would be an awful idea to include every class ever in the core this time. It's just too much bloat right at the beginning and leaves to little to expand upon later. All races that have been core before is plenty enough, fits right in line with every class that's been core before which is what they're doing for classes, and leave a lot of room for later expansion. As for Monster races, I don't think that monsters should be built the same as PCs, so I don't think that's a viable option.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I voted HED½+6.  Here's what I said in the prior thread (slightly amended):

Humans... plus:




























CATEGORYTraditionalUnusualUnconventional
Elven:ElfHalf-elfEladrin
Sturdy:DwarfHalf-orcGoliath
Earthy:HalflingGnomeTiefling


Then I'd have a "monstrous" version...
Shifters...plus:




























CATEGORYTraditionalUnusualUnconventional
Goblinoid:GoblinHobgoblinBugbear
Reptilian:KoboldLizardfolkDragonborn
Savage:OrcGnollMinotaur


Then I'd have an "exotic" version...
Doppelgängers... plus:




























CATEGORYTraditionalUnusualUnconventional
Astral:GithAasimar/DevaBladeling
Aquatic:MerfolkAquatic ElfLocathah
Shadow:Shadar KaiShadeRevenant


And leave warforged and kalashtar for Eberron, drow and genasi for Forgotten Realms, shardminds and wilden for a Nerathi campaign setting, thri-kreen and mul for a Dark Sun setting, etc.
I think monsters should be built the same way as PCs, and some should be playable races, but that should come in supplements, not the core. The core races from 3rd would be enough for me, and if we get more maybe the planetouched. I don't know what the core races in 2nd were. As for 4th, maybe the Dragonborn could work out, but I don't think the Eladrin should be a playable race, considering their status in previous lore.

Eh, looks like a lot of weird artificial shoe-horning and grid-filling. I think you're overthinking it.
I've seen you post it in a couple of place, but I just don't get what the point of it is.

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

Eh, looks like a lot of weird artificial shoe-horning and grid-filling. I think you're overthinking it.



Agreed.
Halflings always seemed very specifically Tolkien to me, so I'd really like to see them not included.  Even though they're my favorite race, and something like 70% of my characters are halflings.

The metagame is not the game.

I really like the 3.5 lineup, but tieflings and dragonborn have grown on me. I think eladrin should basically be high elves now though (which isn't to say I didn't really like the eladrin of 4E).
Halflings always seemed very specifically Tolkien to me, so I'd really like to see them not included.  Even though they're my favorite race, and something like 70% of my characters are halflings.



Then should we also drop orcs, treants, worgs, and ban wizards from wearing a pointy hat? Tolkien was a huge influence on D&D from day one.
Halflings always seemed very specifically Tolkien to me, so I'd really like to see them not included.  


The hobbits were inspired by some of the lesser more benign manifestations of the little people or wee-folk, mixed with english country men... ie pretty close to leprechauns with the magic levels supressed.

Even though they're my favorite race, and something like 70% of my characters are halflings.


Your thinking is .... odd.
 
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Halflings always seemed very specifically Tolkien to me, so I'd really like to see them not included.  Even though they're my favorite race, and something like 70% of my characters are halflings.



Then should we also drop orcs, treants, worgs, and ban wizards from wearing a pointy hat? Tolkien was a huge influence on D&D from day one.



Certainly do-able on a table-by-table basis.
(People actually have wizards wear dorky pointed hats?)
I think you're overthinking it.


I've been known to do that.
I've seen you post it in a couple of place, but I just don't get what the point of it is.


I don't think we're going to get 40 races at initial release, so I am just musing about how additional races can be packaged in easily marketable splat books.

(People actually have wizards wear dorky pointed hats?)



Hell, I'll wear one in real life if I play a wizard. Those hats are cool.
The five races (no Tvtropes link as I am a decent human being) + the evil monstrous versions of them

Stout- Dwarf
Fairy- Gnome
Mundane- Human
High Men- Elf
Cute- Halfling
Savage- Half-Orc
Eldritch- Drow
Other Mundane- Half Elf
Fallen- Tiefling
Crafty- Goblin

Then in the MM
Stout2- Dragonborn
Fairy2- Doppleganger
Mundane3- Hobgoblin
High Men- Eladrin
Cute- Kobold (so adorable)
Savage2- Minotaur
Savage3-
Bugbear
Savage4- Orc
Eldritch- Warforged
Reverse Fallen-
Aasimar

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!


Eh, looks like a lot of weird artificial shoe-horning and grid-filling. I think you're overthinking it.
I've seen you post it in a couple of place, but I just don't get what the point of it is.



yeah, maibe overthinking it a bit. =) I wouldn't place dragonborn as reptilian, neither tielfing as earthly.


yeah, maibe overthinking it a bit. =) I wouldn't place dragonborn as reptilian, neither tielfing as earthly.



How about a category for planetouched including Aasimar and all of the Genasi, if we're going to have Tieflings?
I'd like EDHH+4 because people would likely insert tieflings and dragonborn and leave out my favorite: hengeyokai (which I prefer to shifters). +6 seems like we'd get too many similar/indistinctive races.

I'd prefer dragonborn be eaten by lizardfolk, so they gain dragonborn civilization and breath but have tails, crests, no breasts or fake hair, and a better name. Aesthetically, they fill the same niche for me.


yeah, maibe overthinking it a bit. =) I wouldn't place dragonborn as reptilian, neither tielfing as earthly.



How about a category for planetouched including Aasimar and all of the Genasi, if we're going to have Tieflings?


Yes I would go with that, and dragonborn would be "draconian", but I woudn't really categorize races at all. =)

(People actually have wizards wear dorky pointed hats?)



Hell, I'll wear one in real life if I play a wizard. Those hats are cool.



Not as cool as fezzes ;)

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Then should we also drop orcs, treants, worgs, and ban wizards from wearing a pointy hat? Tolkien was a huge influence on D&D from day one.

Tolkien modified a lot of existing lore and mythology, and most of his stuff is all but un-recognizable from the source material, but it all had some basis in existing prior works except for the hobbits which he developed out of whole cloth.  From my perspective, halflings are the sign that your story is set in the Middle-Earth, and not in some other world which was merely inspired by Middle-Earth.



The metagame is not the game.

It is interesting that there is such a difference in attitudes.  Some players want a very limited selection while others want a very immense selection.  I wonder how WOTC could attempt to please all of them.  I personally would prefer that the most inclusive model is developed since it is much easier to exclude certain races than to force a campaign to houserule a way of including them on their own.
Some gamers would never allow a character which is houseruled but would allow it if it existed within the existing framework...."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />


It is interesting that there is such a difference in attitudes.  Some players want a very limited selection while others want a very immense selection.  I wonder how WOTC could attempt to please all of them.




Simple.
Create the wide selection.  Individual players and groups can limit themselves.
It is interesting that there is such a difference in attitudes.  Some players want a very limited selection while others want a very immense selection.  I wonder how WOTC could attempt to please all of them.




Simple.
Create the wide selection.  Individual players and groups can limit themselves.



Agreed.  I'd love to have the widest selection possible as long as it was done in an elegant and entertaining fashion.

I would actually enjoy playing 1st level mindflayers or vampires or werewolves.  Unfortunately, they have never managed to design a system that would allow for such unique characters that were enjoyable and functional within the system.  Savage species in 3E collapsed with more exotic species.

I chose all past core races. Anything less than that spits in the face of "all editions, all the time", but then again, that was just marketing speak for "Please please don't leave us, they'll fire me!".
CORE MORE, NOT CORE BORE!
I chose all past core races. Anything less than that spits in the face of "all editions, all the time", but then again, that was just marketing speak for "Please please don't leave us, they'll fire me!".


I am surprised that some of the WOTC staff don't interact more with fans.  They have an immense potential to use all their gamers as a free labor source to create content and don't seem to be utilizing it.

All past core races is a good start.  They need to produce less fluff and be more succinct in their treatment of each race.   I have generally found that I can trim their writing by at least half and still retain equal or greater clarity.

This previous blog was getting lengthy and I decided to change the format to see what people thought.



So it seems to me that if WOTC creates only humans, elves, dwarves, halflings + 2 other races in core that they are pleasing only a quarter of their audience.  10 core races would please less than half.
Simple.
Create the wide selection.  Individual players and groups can limit themselves.

I really liked how 4E put the huge list of make-this-race-playable stats into the back of the Monster Manual.  It gave more total options than could have fit in just the PHB, without the excess baggage that would come with tagging them all as core races.

The metagame is not the game.

I chose all past core races. Anything less than that spits in the face of "all editions, all the time", but then again, that was just marketing speak for "Please please don't leave us, they'll fire me!".


I am surprised that some of the WOTC staff don't interact more with fans.  They have an immense potential to use all their gamers as a free labor source to create content and don't seem to be utilizing it.

All past core races is a good start.  They need to produce less fluff and be more succinct in their treatment of each race.   I have generally found that I can trim their writing by at least half and still retain equal or greater clarity.




I think there are plenty of reasons for
WotC is not on here as much, likely limited man hours to devote to the boards among other things. As for the number of races, if they put more in than just the past core races, fine, but it is a non-option to do less than that.
CORE MORE, NOT CORE BORE!
Simple.
Create the wide selection.  Individual players and groups can limit themselves.

I really liked how 4E put the huge list of make-this-race-playable stats into the back of the Monster Manual.  It gave more total options than could have fit in just the PHB, without the excess baggage that would come with tagging them all as core races.



Agreed, they could put races beyond the past core races here. But they need to follow the same rules. That was the issue with the 4e races in the MM, they had some wonky rules that didn't sync with the PHB races.
CORE MORE, NOT CORE BORE!

You have to think of this in terms of what they plan on selling later though. I think the respectable term for this is "marketing".


So to have a core book with more than 5-10 races creates a few issues, the main one being it's too much information right at the start of the book when you really want people to get on with the next part of character creation. This is particularly important with newer players but it also has a knock on effect later.


Better to keep the core rulebook fairly sparse and then roll out campaign supplements and other more general supplements with more options. They make more money that way and everyone gets what they want eventually. Besides, veteran players who really want to have a race from a previous edition can go ahead and convert it if they're really that keen. The publisher could provide guidelines for conversion - something they need to do anyway - to make it happen smoothly.


You have to think of this in terms of what they plan on selling later though. I think the respectable term for this is "marketing".


So to have a core book with more than 5-10 races creates a few issues, the main one being it's too much information right at the start of the book when you really want people to get on with the next part of character creation. This is particularly important with newer players but it also has a knock on effect later.


Better to keep the core rulebook fairly sparse and then roll out campaign supplements and other more general supplements with more options. They make more money that way and everyone gets what they want eventually. Besides, veteran players who really want to have a race from a previous edition can go ahead and convert it if they're really that keen. The publisher could provide guidelines for conversion - something they need to do anyway - to make it happen smoothly.




Well, for one thing, having the 9 base races from the previous core rulebooks is paramount to selling the edition to everyone.  Having to buy supplement XYZ just to make the game playable for someone who likes a certain edition just won't work.  They are likely to stick with what they already have, since moving to the new edition could be viewed as a downgrade.  Having beyond those base races, while nice, isn't all that important, really.  While neat, I don't really think having additional races in the MM is a *requirement*.  I agree with your point that it kinda makes supplements less attractive, since what do you put in them?

For one thing though, they probably shouldn't put things like Warforged (an Eberron staple) or the non-monstrous Minotaur (a Dragonlance staple), or even the Thri-Kreen (a Greyhawk and Dark Sun staple) in the back of the MM.  But stuff like the Goblin or Kobold, having to wait for supplement XYZ to play a non-traditional, but also not all that uncommon race is not a good thing.  They need to go with what will be of maximum utility to the most people.  The only acceptable answer to that is 1e-4e core races (though an extra or two is probably not going to kill anyone).
CORE MORE, NOT CORE BORE!

I think attempting to sell the edition to everyone is ultimately not going to serve the community or the game in the long run. Like any design process, you have to pick your audience and work to please only those people, but do it so well that it gets notice outside that audience and spills over.


When you do that, you get something that is high quality, lasts a long time and makes money.



If they're only interested in making money then fine, try to be all things for all people... but I doubt the game will last.

Sorry to double post but it also just occured to me that they're probably going to try and represent all of the races in the player's handbooks same way they want to represent all the classes.


Representation does not mean full independent realisation though.


Sorry to double post but it also just occured to me that they're probably going to try and represent all of the races in the player's handbooks same way they want to represent all the classes.


Representation does not mean full independent realisation though.



In the cases of things like the Eladrin and Drow, they really don't need full independent realization, since they could easily be subsumed by the Elf and its subraces.  In the cases of things like the Dragonborn or Tiefling, they will need independent entries.  The base 9 (human, elf, dwarf, halfling, half-elf, gnome, half-orce, dragonborn, and tiefling) really can't be combined much more.  I suppose you could make half-elf and half-orc part of the human, but it kills things like the idea of half-elves in Eberron being their own unique race (with its own subraces), or the half-orc not even being related to humans or orcs (like the 4E variant implies).
CORE MORE, NOT CORE BORE!

Sorry to double post but it also just occured to me that they're probably going to try and represent all of the races in the player's handbooks same way they want to represent all the classes.


Representation does not mean full independent realisation though.



In the cases of things like the Eladrin and Drow, they really don't need full independent realization, since they could easily be subsumed by the Elf and its subraces.  In the cases of things like the Dragonborn or Tiefling, they will need independent entries.  The base 9 (human, elf, dwarf, halfling, half-elf, gnome, half-orce, dragonborn, and tiefling) really can't be combined much more.  I suppose you could make half-elf and half-orc part of the human, but it kills things like the idea of half-elves in Eberron being their own unique race (with its own subraces), or the half-orc not even being related to humans or orcs (like the 4E variant implies).


I would personally like to see hybrids (such as half-elf, half-orc, aasimar, tiefling, half-ogre, half-dragon, etc.) be eliminated in favor of a mechanic to create hybrids by combining two parent races.
The five races (no Tvtropes link as I am a decent human being) + the evil monstrous versions of them

Stout- Dwarf
Fairy- Gnome
Mundane- Human
High Men- Elf
Cute- Halfling
Savage- Half-Orc
Eldritch- Drow
Other Mundane- Half Elf
Fallen- Tiefling
Crafty- Goblin

Then in the MM
Stout2- Dragonborn
Fairy2- Doppleganger
Mundane3- Hobgoblin
High Men- Eladrin
Cute- Kobold (so adorable)
Savage2- Minotaur
Savage3-
Bugbear
Savage4- Orc
Eldritch- Warforged
Reverse Fallen-
Aasimar




Agreed 100%


Sorry to double post but it also just occured to me that they're probably going to try and represent all of the races in the player's handbooks same way they want to represent all the classes.


Representation does not mean full independent realisation though.



In the cases of things like the Eladrin and Drow, they really don't need full independent realization, since they could easily be subsumed by the Elf and its subraces.  In the cases of things like the Dragonborn or Tiefling, they will need independent entries.  The base 9 (human, elf, dwarf, halfling, half-elf, gnome, half-orce, dragonborn, and tiefling) really can't be combined much more.  I suppose you could make half-elf and half-orc part of the human, but it kills things like the idea of half-elves in Eberron being their own unique race (with its own subraces), or the half-orc not even being related to humans or orcs (like the 4E variant implies).


I would personally like to see hybrids (such as half-elf, half-orc, aasimar, tiefling, half-ogre, half-dragon, etc.) be eliminated in favor of a mechanic to create hybrids by combining two parent races.



Yuck. What about hybrid vigor? Look at things like the liger, bigger than both a lion or tiger. Both half-elves and half-Orcs have a history of being more than just half the sum of their parts. That will need to be kept. If they want to create a template for other races, fine, but these two in particular have typically had abilties elves, Orcs, or humans don't possess.
CORE MORE, NOT CORE BORE!
If by "core" you mean "in the PHB", then I'd like the following:

Human, Elf, Halfling, Dwarf, Half-Elf, Gnome, Tiefling, Dragonborn, Goliath

Note: I like Eladrin as a playable elf race native to the Feywild, but I think the current High Elf fits that role perfectly.  I have never really liked the idea of Half-Orcs as a race, but I wouldn't care if they were also included.
In the PHB, I would expect to see at least the human, dwarf, elf, halfling, half-elf, half-orc, and gnome. 4e fans will likely be outraged if dragonborn and tiefling are not included, so those two should be there as well. In expansion books, I would expect to see almost any race from previous editions- at the very least, any from previous PHBs.
It seems like a fair size, but there's still room for so much more.  I'm still pushing for my idea of generic versions (based on previous D&D lore) of all races as a baseplate and build from there (via module or campaign setting) because I think it's a fair compromise where everyone wins.  But hey, if people are sick of this tangent (or feel it won't work), I can quit it I guess.

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Races are the most economical use of pages as far as the More Good Stuff efficiency goes.  Classes are long, items don't have that much roleplaying punch, while races give a ton, and they can be rather compact.

The more races, the better.  Make it clear that race availability is campaign-dependent, and all is well.

There is no need to 'pre-approve' races at the system level.
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