What's in a race? A study of the true value of race and how to fix race.

In recent weeks the game of D&D changed dramatically when feats were tied to an objective value, a +1 ability score. What this means is that we can now judge any other resource against the value of feats including racial packages or class benefits. So first things first here's how the current selection of races breaks down:

Dwarf: +1 Con, Darkvision (2 feats), Dwarven Resilience, Weapon Training, Stonecunning, +2 for subrace = 8 feats worth of stuff.

Elf: +1 Dex, Low-Light, Weapon Training, Keen Senses, Free Spirit (Probably worth 2 feats since it's full immunity), Trance, +2 subrace = 8 feats

Halfling: +1 Dex, -1 for speed, -1 Small, Lucky, Fearless, Halfling Nimbleness, +2 for subrace = 4 feats

Humans +1 to all attributes = 6 feats

Gnome: +1 Int, -1 Small, -1 Speed, Low-Light, Gnome Cunning, +3 from subrace = 4 feats

Half-Elf: +1 Cha, +1 stat, Low-Light, Fey Ancestry, Keen Senses = 5 feats

Half-Orc: +2 Str, +1 Con, Darkvision (2 feats), Menacing = 6 feats

I valued Darkvision as 2 feats worth since Low-Light seems worth about 1. Things like Fearless or Fey Ancestry count as 1 feat for granting advantage while Free Spirit is 2 feats for granting full immunity. Dwarf speed is a wash since while it reduces speed it also gives other mobility benefits.

Small needs to be fixed in some way as it narrows weapon based combat too much. Getting an expanded crit range for being small should help that situation. I get that it looks odd to see a Halfling or Gnome with a great axe but as is it's just a penalty to them. Either let them use small versions of those weapons that have lower damage but higher crit chances making them fight differently but still effectively or give them something more thematic.

Speed penalties should be fixed in some way. Halflings don't seem like they'd be particularly slow even with their small stride, not with a +1 dex. Perhaps Halflings should get 5', non-OA provoking, step with each successful attack. Fits the generally care-free attitude with crazy nimbleness when they're serious. Gnomes can use their natural intelligence to plan the best routes allowing them to ignore difficult terrain.

Those two changes would bring Halflings and Gnomes up to 6 feats, making them on par with Humans and Half-Orcs. This brings us to the Half-Elf who is now a feat under par.

Half-Elves need something a little more to be on par. The simple answer is to give them an extra feat to represent their ability to adapt like a human (More on that later) because as is the Half-Elf is really just elf-lite. I'm not entirely sure that's the best route but it's an alright patch for the moment. Maybe something more focused like a free multiclass styled feat like being able to gain a cantrip or some basic Fighter ability or the like.

So now all the races except Elves and Dwarves are on par at 6 feats. So should Elves and Dwarves be brought down to the current standard of 6 feats for race? Should the other races be brought up to 8 feats to match the Elves and Dwarves? Or should all races be brought down to 4 feats? Should all races be brought up to a higher number of feats, perhaps 10? Personally I'm on the side of bringing all races up to 10 feats worth of stuff and giving out 10 feats through out an adventuring career. For now it's probably best to simply bring all races up to 8 feats.

Elves and Dwarves:
I'm not a fan of racial weapon training or other cultural traits. Those should be handled by a "Raised by X" sort of background (Maybe every one gets a "Raised by X" background and a normal background. For now though they're fine sitting as the baseline.

Humans:
+1 to every attribute is boring and the wrong way to go as far as humans. Humans are by standard as nimble than Halflings, as hearty as Dwarves, as smart as Gnomes, etc. The only exception is that Half-Orcs are stronger than humans. Humans should have the potential to be those things but shouldn't by default as it takes away some of the fantastic feeling that the fantasy races should have. Humans are traditionally seen as versatile and well rounded in fantasy settings and in D&D. As such I believe they should get the following features:
1. +2 to one stat and +1 to another stat or +1 to three stats.
2. Diversity: Humans gain an additional background.
3. Versatility: Humans gain three additional feats.
4. This brings the Human total to 7 feats but gives them the ability to mix-and-match for potentially powerful combos and allows them to cover lots of bases. This seems right to me. They're statistically less powerful but the whole can be more than the sum of it's parts. Feels very human to me.

Halflings:
We've already discussed some ways to increase their total but they need two more feats to catch up to Elves and Dwarves. Halflings should probably feel less fantastic than Elves and Dwarves but be just as good in the long run. Should Halflings gain two features or one big one?
1. Let's bring Lucky up to being worth two feats. If you roll a five or less you can reroll and take the new result or a 6 if your second roll is low the second time.
2. Strong Willed: Gain advantage on death checks.

Gnomes:
Gnomes have a similar issue to Halflings but have the interesting effect of having more meaningful subraces. Should their subraces be even more meaningful giving them an interesting hook or should the base race be expanded? I think I like the subraces being more powerful.

-Forest Gnomes:
1. Speak with Small Beasts should just be Speak with Natural Beasts and include all natural beasts from bugs to squirrels to bears and even dire animals.
2. Animal Handling: Gain Advantage on checks involving interaction with natural beasts.
3. Illussion Sense: Forest Gnomes gain the spell-like ability to sense illussions like a use of the Detect Magic spell but limited to illussions. The limitation should make it worth a single feat.

- Rock Gnomes:
1. Curiousity: Gain advantage on checks to understand and disable devices.
2.  Mischief: Rock Gnomes gain advantage on creating and hiding traps.

Half-Orc:
Half-Orcs are on the right track but need just a little bit more to bring them up to par.
1. Menacing just needs to be on all intimidate checks since they need to go back to skills not being tied to specific ability scores.
2. Inner Rage: When below half HP a Half-Orc may add their Constitution bonus to any damage rolls (Including with spells) and gain a damage resistance equal to their Constitution bonus. I think that'd be worth two feats and should be just as useful to any class.

Half-Elf:
Half-Elves are a little difficult since they right now feel like Elf-lite rather than a mix of Elf and Human. With the changes I have for Humans though I think we can make a good effort at it.
1. Let's give Half-Elves a choice of being Raised by Humans or Raised by Elves. If Raised by Humans they gain an additional background. If Raised by Elves they gain the Trance ability. This is essentially their subrace.
2. Well-Rounded: Half-Elves gain an additional feat choice.
3. Empathy: Half-Elves gain advantage on all Diplomacy and Sense Motive checks.
While I like the idea of working out who gets what, and making sure everyone gets an even deal, some of the bonuses are situational.

Dwarves : I disagree that Darkvision is worth 2 feats, since if you are using Darkvision its like starlight goggles, so bright light would blind you
(say dex save vs TN 15 to avoid blinded condition). That's the way most people i've gamed with run it.

Stonecutting/underground stuff, great if your campaign has some/lots of underground stuff, but useless otherwise.

- Rock Gnomes:
1. Curiousity: Gain advantage on checks to understand and disable devices.
2.  Mischief: Rock Gnomes gain advantage on creating and hiding traps.

I disagree with this for it makes every Rock Gnome a hunter/trapper, which they would not be. Not every Dwarf is a blacksmith.

Halflings - 1. Let's bring Lucky up to being worth two feats. If you roll a five or less you can reroll and take the new result or a 6 if your second roll is low the second time.
- yeah Lucky is pretty darn nifty ability.

Your Half Elf and Half Ork stuff is on the money.

Humans -
1. +2 to one stat and +1 to another stat or +1 to three stats.
2. Diversity: Humans gain an additional background.
3. Versatility: Humans gain three additional feats

1 - I'd go for +1 to 3 stats, an additional language, proficency in one melee and one missle weapon of choice.
2 - Disagree with additional background, since Dwarves and Elves are longer lived, if ANYONE is getting more background it should be them.
- instead of this i'd go for additional Knowledge-Lore trained skill.
3 - 3 bonus feats is just min-maxing gone mad in a system that only give 4 feats max normally.

Key things for D&D - Where is the character from and why do they do what they do? / Recurring NPCs - allies and enemies / Plot, World and Personal Events.

ya im a big fan of ability score +1=feat=racial trait right now id put every one at +7 and since feat are optional id make all races have optional or hard coded benefits = +7. so no feats for human or half elf unless your using the feat system.

Human-

  1. +1 to four stats 

  2. short lived vigor: know an additional lore (if this wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/2...) decrease time needed to get stuff done.

  3. training in a kit or weapon/armor

  4. human surge recall a spent daily resource of 3rd or lower level(may me to strong)


[edit] sub in feats for option 3 and 4 if using feats

Half-elf

  1. +1 to cha and 2 additional stats 

  2. low-light vision

  3. fay ancestry

  4. keen senses

  5. then choose between human or elf upbringing. elf= trance(cant have them being lazy sleepy heads) human= short lived vigor.


i feel as tho dark vision is worth 1.5 of a feat, and 25 vs 30 movement is like .5 of a feat. you half-orc looks just right to me and i think the dwarf may need some work but who knows. right now we dont know what the devs think +1=feat means by way of how powerful a feat is now for all we know dwarven resilience + stonecunning + darkvision could = 1 feat.

I just think that things like low-light vision and trance are situational and not really equal to +1 in a stat. What good is Darkvision/low-light vision in a city campaign? If the elf has trance, it benefits the party just as much as it benefits him. He will always be one of the guys picked for watch. Stonecunning is worth virtually nothing IMO. 

In our group I had to force one player to play a High Elf. We have three humans too. For the amount of rolls that take place, those additional +1 to stats make a difference, and much more impact than what we have seen from the other abilities. Getting to a max stat quicker makes a difference in a game like this with bounded accuracy. Attack bonuses are so low even at higher levels that an additional +1 from primary stat can be at least a 10% increase in accuracy.  
Man if you take the title of this thread out of context it sounds really, really messed up.
Small size is worth at least a +1, not a -1.

"Trying to run gritty gothic horror with 4e is like trying to cut down a tree with a hammer, likewise trying to run heroic fantasy with 1e is like trying to hammer a nail with a chainsaw."

 
 

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Also dwarven weapon training isn't worth +1 as it doesn't really do much.

"Trying to run gritty gothic horror with 4e is like trying to cut down a tree with a hammer, likewise trying to run heroic fantasy with 1e is like trying to hammer a nail with a chainsaw."

 
 

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Wait a second.  While it's true that they are aiming to balance feats to approximately equal +1 ability, they haven't done so yet in the current playtest packet.  In fact, they have explicitly stated that feats will have to become much more powerful to accomodate this change.  Attempting to translate racial features in to feats as they are currently balanced is meaningless because current feats are not supposed to equal +1 ability.

When the next major playtest packet comes out (Gencon most likely) we will see what the new feat balance looks like, and then it might be possible to break things down in those terms.
 
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Dwarves : I disagree that Darkvision is worth 2 feats, since if you are using Darkvision its like starlight goggles, so bright light would blind you
(say dex save vs TN 15 to avoid blinded condition). That's the way most people i've gamed with run it.

Stonecutting/underground stuff, great if your campaign has some/lots of underground stuff, but useless otherwise.

- Rock Gnomes:
1. Curiousity: Gain advantage on checks to understand and disable devices.
2.  Mischief: Rock Gnomes gain advantage on creating and hiding traps.

I disagree with this for it makes every Rock Gnome a hunter/trapper, which they would not be. Not every Dwarf is a blacksmith.



On Darkvision: That's not how the rules read, that's a houserule so isn't really relevant but it's extremely powerful on a moonless night or underground. When the people you're ambushing are essentially blind and you can see just fine you'll dominate. Great for any one but especially a Dwarven Rogue. Darkvision is a step up from Low-Light which does seem like it's worth about +1 attribute so Darkvision being a superior version...

Stonecunning: Yes, it's situational but it's also quite effective when it does come in to play and if you have a dwarf in the group then that sort of thing probably should be coming up at some point. Situation = situational, Situational =/= useless.

Rock Gnomes: Yeah, fair enough. By the time I got down there I was realizing that I was running out of time before I had to start getting ready for work so I rushed a bit.

Small size is worth at least a +1, not a -1.



How? You get totally shafted on weapons, push/trip effects, etc. and get nothing to compensate except maybe being able to fit in tighter spaces. I suppose you could get cover more easily too but that's a double edged blade since the short height means not being able to see over things as well.

Also dwarven weapon training isn't worth +1 as it doesn't really do much.



I don't really like those kinds of racial traits but they're there and it does have it's uses. Makes a Dwarf Wizard a bit better off when he gets cornered, I suppose. Monks and Rogues could get some benefit too. Sure, it doesn't help a Fighter.

Wait a second.  While it's true that they are aiming to balance feats to approximately equal +1 ability, they haven't done so yet in the current playtest packet.  In fact, they have explicitly stated that feats will have to become much more powerful to accomodate this change.  Attempting to translate racial features in to feats as they are currently balanced is meaningless because current feats are not supposed to equal +1 ability.

When the next major playtest packet comes out (Gencon most likely) we will see what the new feat balance looks like, and then it might be possible to break things down in those terms.
 



I'm not balancing them against the current feats but against the standard of +1 attribute. It's an approximation, of course, since they are dispirate elements. Most racial features are more powerful than the current feats so yeah.

I just think that things like low-light vision and trance are situational and not really equal to +1 in a stat. What good is Darkvision/low-light vision in a city campaign? If the elf has trance, it benefits the party just as much as it benefits him. He will always be one of the guys picked for watch. Stonecunning is worth virtually nothing IMO. 

In our group I had to force one player to play a High Elf. We have three humans too. For the amount of rolls that take place, those additional +1 to stats make a difference, and much more impact than what we have seen from the other abilities. Getting to a max stat quicker makes a difference in a game like this with bounded accuracy. Attack bonuses are so low even at higher levels that an additional +1 from primary stat can be at least a 10% increase in accuracy.  



What good is darkvision or low-light in a city campaign? You never go outside at night or get thrown in a dungeon or wander the catacombs?

Trance: It is a cooperative game. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Stonecunning: Really? Catacombs, caves, Underdark, etc. Investigations, etc. Dwarves are the best appraisers for stone crafts. Stonecunning can save your butt from a medusa, cockatrice, etc. ambush.
What good is darkvision or low-light in a city campaign? You never go outside at night or get thrown in a dungeon or wander the catacombs?

Trance: It is a cooperative game. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Stonecunning: Really? Catacombs, caves, Underdark, etc. Investigations, etc. Dwarves are the best appraisers for stone crafts. Stonecunning can save your butt from a medusa, cockatrice, etc. ambush.



You are correct it is a cooperative game, but something like trance and vision should not count as bonuses for those races. You only need one player with it, so he gets punished in the end because they are counting as benefits for him? With respect to vision, no DM is going to go through the time of describing what the elf sees vs what the human sees. So the whole party benefits from what the elf sees. Great, but the Human didn't sacrifice stat bonuses in order to get the benefit that the Elf got. In the end after several sessions, the  fact that the elf has the low-light vision is lost in the shuffle because tthe assumption is the party hhas the vision collectively. Sure the party could get separated, but again that is situational.

Stonecunning is extremely situational and if it was a feat, who actually would take it? Very few people, its worth way less than a feat and is a throw in. Flavorful, yes.

Keen Senses is about the best racial trait.


Small size is worth at least a +1, not a -1.



[1] How? You get totally shafted on weapons, push/trip effects, etc. and get nothing to compensate except maybe being able to fit in tighter spaces. I suppose you could get cover more easily too but that's a double edged blade since the short height means not being able to see over things as well.

Also dwarven weapon training isn't worth +1 as it doesn't really do much.



[2] I don't really like those kinds of racial traits but they're there and it does have it's uses. Makes a Dwarf Wizard a bit better off when he gets cornered, I suppose. Monks and Rogues could get some benefit too. Sure, it doesn't help a Fighter.




1) all the best dex-based weapons are usable by small characters with no problems, spells lose nothing from being cast by a small character, but it's the rules for cover that really makes the small characters shine
Half cover grants +2 to AC and dex saves, 3/4 cover adds +5 to AC and Dex saves, which means that if we assume that a Human is 6 feet tall and that a Halfling is 4 feet tall (idk, maybe he's a Took or something), then when the human has half cover the halfling has 3/4 cover, resulting in a substantial boost for the halfling.  Also, halfling mounts are medium sized creatures, making it far easier to ride indoors (or in a dungeon).
2)  The Dwarf Wizard has cantrips that do more damage and are more accurate than his axe (and don't provoke AoOs) so unless he's attempting to disguise himself as a warrior (which he may very well be trying to do, dwarven social stigmas and such), it's not that useful.

"Trying to run gritty gothic horror with 4e is like trying to cut down a tree with a hammer, likewise trying to run heroic fantasy with 1e is like trying to hammer a nail with a chainsaw."

 
 

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What good is darkvision or low-light in a city campaign? You never go outside at night or get thrown in a dungeon or wander the catacombs?

Trance: It is a cooperative game. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Stonecunning: Really? Catacombs, caves, Underdark, etc. Investigations, etc. Dwarves are the best appraisers for stone crafts. Stonecunning can save your butt from a medusa, cockatrice, etc. ambush.



You are correct it is a cooperative game, but something like trance and vision should not count as bonuses for those races. You only need one player with it, so he gets punished in the end because they are counting as benefits for him? With respect to vision, no DM is going to go through the time of describing what the elf sees vs what the human sees. So the whole party benefits from what the elf sees. Great, but the Human didn't sacrifice stat bonuses in order to get the benefit that the Elf got. In the end after several sessions, the  fact that the elf has the low-light vision is lost in the shuffle because tthe assumption is the party hhas the vision collectively. Sure the party could get separated, but again that is situational.

Stonecunning is extremely situational and if it was a feat, who actually would take it? Very few people, its worth way less than a feat and is a throw in. Flavorful, yes.

Keen Senses is about the best racial trait.



If an elf can see something that a human can't I would describe that the elf can see some thing and be clear that the human can't see it. Low-light vision has some combat use and a lot of exploration use but darkvision has a lot of combat use. It's something that would give a Dwarven Rogue a huge advantage over an elven or halfling rogue. The dwarven rogue can ambush a target in complete darkness and that's an amazing advantage since the target is blind the dwarven rogue has advantage on attacks so perma-sneak attack and the target has disadvantage if he even attacks the right area. Not to mention that said Dwarven Rogue can be doing this with hammers or axes (The thrown versions if focusing on dex or the standard versions if focusing on strength) making him a very brutal combatant if he prepares an ambush or assassination.

I wouldn't entirely be opposed to Stonecunning getting a boost but it is easy navigation underground, keen senses when underground, and a useful tool for exploration and interaction. Are they relatively minor benefits? Sure due to situationality but you do get three of them and one of them is just a limited version of what you claim to be the best racial trait. An elf may not get to use Keen Senses underground though if there's total darkness but the dwarf could still use his version.

As for who would take it as a feat... It depends. If the game promises to never be underground then no one (And you probably shouldn't be a dwarf in that situation), if the game is about exploring the Underdark, you'd be a fool not to take it.

Edit: @LordVonDerp: Katanas aren't useable by small characters and that's the best finesse melee weapon as far as damage. And what about Halfing or Gnome Barbarians. A Forest Gnome Barbarian makes a lot of sense. To me the cover thing is a wash since the height will also limit their ability to see over things meaning that opponents will also have cover from them more often than they would for that human. Hmm. Looking through I guess they changed the rule at some point with out me noticing. I guess they're only hindered in using heavy weapons. I thought they couldn't use two handed weapons. Personally I'd ignore the heavy rule if they have the strength for it. A 20 strength halfling is just as strong as a 20 strength half-orc and should be.

So Small pros and cons:
+ More cover.
- Harder to see over walls providing enemies with cover.
+ Easier to fit in to small spaces and thus more hiding spots.
- Somewhat limited weapon choices. Annoying for a Barbarian but dual wielding is an option.

I'm willing to call Small a wash then.
it would be nice to see all racial benefits "balanced" in the form of the number/quality of the "feat-like" benefits they receive.

arguably, however, it might be nice to see one race given clear & obvious advantage, depending on campaign.  like, a dwarven campaign optional rule might weight the dwarf racial type with significant bonuses. or maybe just stack penalties on non-dwarfs.
like, a dwarven campaign optional rule might weight the dwarf racial type with significant bonuses. or maybe just stack penalties on non-dwarfs.

In a dwarven campaign, the dwarven racial abilities would come into play more often, thus naturally benefiting the dwarves without having to re-evaluate their power level.

The metagame is not the game.
like, a dwarven campaign optional rule might weight the dwarf racial type with significant bonuses. or maybe just stack penalties on non-dwarfs.

In a dwarven campaign, the dwarven racial abilities would come into play more often, thus naturally benefiting the dwarves without having to re-evaluate their power level.




If they're balanced, you're right.  In a dwarven campaign, the dwarves might have more wealth and equipment than other races or typical dwarven cultures.  In a world where the dwarves are comparably dominant over other races.
What good is darkvision or low-light in a city campaign? You never go outside at night or get thrown in a dungeon or wander the catacombs?

Trance: It is a cooperative game. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Stonecunning: Really? Catacombs, caves, Underdark, etc. Investigations, etc. Dwarves are the best appraisers for stone crafts. Stonecunning can save your butt from a medusa, cockatrice, etc. ambush.



You are correct it is a cooperative game, but something like trance and vision should not count as bonuses for those races. You only need one player with it, so he gets punished in the end because they are counting as benefits for him? With respect to vision, no DM is going to go through the time of describing what the elf sees vs what the human sees. So the whole party benefits from what the elf sees. Great, but the Human didn't sacrifice stat bonuses in order to get the benefit that the Elf got. In the end after several sessions, the  fact that the elf has the low-light vision is lost in the shuffle because tthe assumption is the party hhas the vision collectively. Sure the party could get separated, but again that is situational.

Stonecunning is extremely situational and if it was a feat, who actually would take it? Very few people, its worth way less than a feat and is a throw in. Flavorful, yes.

Keen Senses is about the best racial trait.



If an elf can see something that a human can't I would describe that the elf can see some thing and be clear that the human can't see it. Low-light vision has some combat use and a lot of exploration use but darkvision has a lot of combat use. It's something that would give a Dwarven Rogue a huge advantage over an elven or halfling rogue. The dwarven rogue can ambush a target in complete darkness and that's an amazing advantage since the target is blind the dwarven rogue has advantage on attacks so perma-sneak attack and the target has disadvantage if he even attacks the right area. Not to mention that said Dwarven Rogue can be doing this with hammers or axes (The thrown versions if focusing on dex or the standard versions if focusing on strength) making him a very brutal combatant if he prepares an ambush or assassination.

I wouldn't entirely be opposed to Stonecunning getting a boost but it is easy navigation underground, keen senses when underground, and a useful tool for exploration and interaction. Are they relatively minor benefits? Sure due to situationality but you do get three of them and one of them is just a limited version of what you claim to be the best racial trait. An elf may not get to use Keen Senses underground though if there's total darkness but the dwarf could still use his version.

As for who would take it as a feat... It depends. If the game promises to never be underground then no one (And you probably shouldn't be a dwarf in that situation), if the game is about exploring the Underdark, you'd be a fool not to take it.

Edit: @LordVonDerp: Katanas aren't useable by small characters and that's the best finesse melee weapon as far as damage. And what about Halfing or Gnome Barbarians. A Forest Gnome Barbarian makes a lot of sense. To me the cover thing is a wash since the height will also limit their ability to see over things meaning that opponents will also have cover from them more often than they would for that human. Hmm. Looking through I guess they changed the rule at some point with out me noticing. I guess they're only hindered in using heavy weapons. I thought they couldn't use two handed weapons. Personally I'd ignore the heavy rule if they have the strength for it. A 20 strength halfling is just as strong as a 20 strength half-orc and should be.

So Small pros and cons:
+ More cover.
- Harder to see over walls providing enemies with cover.
+ Easier to fit in to small spaces and thus more hiding spots.
- Somewhat limited weapon choices. Annoying for a Barbarian but dual wielding is an option.

I'm willing to call Small a wash then.

actually katanas, longbows, and spiked chains are all useable by small characters at no penalty.  Mauls, greataxes, and such are also useable by small characters, but they have disadvantage on attack rolls with those.

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Yeah, I went back to look for the rules part way through. They didn't used to be able to. Not sure when they changed that. Not really a fan of them having disadvantage with heavy weapons if they have the strength to use them.
I am endlessly annoyed by wizard's attempts to model size with weapons. The idea that the small races wouldn't have their own equivlents to things like great axes and such is ludicrous and no a battle axe does not equate to a miniature waraxe. Jut assume that weapons can be resized for small characters the samme way shields and armor can.
I disagree, size does matter. Wizards may not have implemented it well, but it does matter.
Yeah, size matters, but most weapons derive their damage from things besides just brute mass, furthermore a small creature like a halfling would be unable to pick up a human's long sword and use it in the same manner as  human with a greatsword. I'm saying weapons would need to be re-worked to account for smaller wielder the way a suit of armor would, and once re-worked to deal with a smaller user would regain most if not all of their lethality.
I agree that there should be a small Greatsword, not a longsword in a halfling's hands.

There should be a decrease in lethality. In the past it was done with a combo of -2 to Str and a decrease in damage die (d8 -> d6). In effect an average reduction of 2 points of damage per strike. A bit excessive. Decrease in damage die would suffice for me, especially since they don't want to hand out negative attribute modifers. 

I thought 3.x had size right in that regard. I do not like the fact that my large monsters have a 5' reach for the most part in Next. Getting inside a creatures swing radius should be a challenge if that creature is larger than you. Sorry to digress.
Well 3e gave a bonus to weapon attacks to small creatures to balance it out.

Unless we're doing that again small weapons need somehtign to balance them out, maybe better armor pen? 
I just think that things like low-light vision and trance are situational and not really equal to +1 in a stat. What good is Darkvision/low-light vision in a city campaign? If the elf has trance, it benefits the party just as much as it benefits him. He will always be one of the guys picked for watch. Stonecunning is worth virtually nothing IMO.


Everything is arguably situational.  What good is a Str bonus if you're playing a Wizard?  What good is a Cha bonus for anyone but Cha-based casters if you're playing in dungeon crawls?  etc.

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.

ya im a big fan of ability score +1=feat=racial trait. . .


I really hope they manage to sucessfully work it out that way.  Then we could have truly unprecedented flexibility.  Not to mention the ability to trade in passive abilities for active ones.

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.

ya im a big fan of ability score +1=feat=racial trait. . .


I really hope they manage to sucessfully work it out that way.  Then we could have truly unprecedented flexibility.  Not to mention the ability to trade in passive abilities for active ones.



Sounds great!
easier rules for making a player race to, just grab some flavorful feats or something and you got a race. also allows easy and fast sub race creation with out needing to make up new features to the game. if you say all race = 6 to 7 feats it makes races more balanced. that being said you can all ways make a race with out said rules but meh.
I disagree, size does matter. Wizards may not have implemented it well, but it does matter.

That's what she said.
Yeah, size matters, but most weapons derive their damage from things besides just brute mass, furthermore a small creature like a halfling would be unable to pick up a human's long sword and use it in the same manner as  human with a greatsword. I'm saying weapons would need to be re-worked to account for smaller wielder the way a suit of armor would, and once re-worked to deal with a smaller user would regain most if not all of their lethality.


Real world experience, hobby study, or academia? 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
Primarily the fact that the most dangeorus hand-held weapons are not in fact the biggest. Most of the really nasty stuff relies on speed for starters, like bullets.

Academia.

KE=(1/2)m(v^2)

Furtermore if you can put the same force behind a smaller contact area, you'll get a deeper wound.
In the original post, the assessments are off. Rather:

If the choice is either +1 to an ability or a specific racial feature, it needs to be difficult to choose between them.

For example, for the Elf, I would rather have +1 Intelligence than Trance. It is laughable to call trance a “feat” since it is so inferior to the value of an ability boost.

To say the Elf has “8 feats” worth of racial features is simply incorrect.
Primarily the fact that the most dangeorus hand-held weapons are not in fact the biggest. Most of the really nasty stuff relies on speed for starters, like bullets.

Academia.

KE=(1/2)m(v^2)

Furtermore if you can put the same force behind a smaller contact area, you'll get a deeper wound.


Just wondering.

There's also biology and a few other concerns (mostly resistance deflection/absorbtion/friction at angle of impact), however, I have found the rating schema for weapon damage in many games... amusing... at best.
Then again, I find the current definition of HP amusing at best. 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
I have never been a fan of one thing when it comes to Player Characters and race...

Racial Stereotypes/Tropes and the things that attach to them in character creation.

When a player can be of any race that comes from any region in most campaign worlds the lines blur in relation to racial stereotypes/tropes. NPCs that are rooted in place work fine with the age old stereotypes, players not so much. Removing the negative modifiers was a nice move in the right direction but in the case of player characters many of the other tropes lose footing.

One quote should be enough to almost warrant throwing out mostly all of the racial qualities tied to character generation out the window in favor of less racial qualities or an entirely new method of handling it.

"These details are only suggestions to help you think about your character; adventurers can and do deviate widely from the norm for their race."

Suggestions aren't suggestions when you have little to no system options to reinforce that line of reasoning.

Make character creation a looser system of options to tailor players visions for their PC.

PCs are the exception and not the rule!


  • Remove initial hard coded ability scores from race and move them to a simple +1 to any 1 or 2 (designers pick) at creation.

  • Keep size rules as they do matter when dealing with other rules systems.

  • Remove the movement restrictions. Dwarves, gnomes, and halflings may be smaller/stouter/whateverer but one would think that after so much time sharing a world among others outside their kin that they would adjust to the other races and "pick up the pace".

  • Remove dwarven armor adjustments - armor is armor is armor.

  • Remove racial weapon training. I am a human, that doesn't mean I have some innate knowledge in the use of specific weapons. Other factors in life determine that. Keep it in the realm of classes/traits/backgrounds/whatever.

  • Make vision options as a way to denote coming from various regions/climates that cause evolved differences that might not make sense.

  • Remove the default ideology options and create various options.

  • Insert more things here in relation to character creation that broaden instead of restrict PCs.

  • Give examples of various sub-types using the various options to choose from as opposed to pigeonholing PCs to stereotypes/tropes.


In summation: Give all races the same number of options to balance them all against each other. No more of this humans are the only truly diverse race, all PCs should fall into the diverse category. In other words, make race creation a default Core module instead of going with the same old method and trying to push many of the basic options to future products.

Weapon Training for Fighter types is a total waste. At least in previous versions, they received an increased damage die, I liked that, didn't think it was overpowered either. +1 avg dmg per hit isn't that game breaking, but it is appealing.
Primarily the fact that the most dangeorus hand-held weapons are not in fact the biggest. Most of the really nasty stuff relies on speed for starters, like bullets.

Academia.

KE=(1/2)m(v^2)

Furtermore if you can put the same force behind a smaller contact area, you'll get a deeper wound.


Just wondering.

There's also biology and a few other concerns (mostly resistance deflection/absorbtion/friction at angle of impact), however, I have found the rating schema for weapon damage in many games... amusing... at best.
Then again, I find the current definition of HP amusing at best. 


The definition of hp in general has always made the physics argument moot.
 However I use it to point out that the variation created by weapon size is probably less important than body mass. When I make an attack with my 2.7 pound katana ... I have body weight being leveraged as part of the attack... my greatest attacks involve 220+ lbs... the difference in weapon weight just isnt significant  
  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."

 

In the original post, the assessments are off. Rather:

If the choice is either +1 to an ability or a specific racial feature, it needs to be difficult to choose between them.

For example, for the Elf, I would rather have +1 Intelligence than Trance. It is laughable to call trance a “feat” since it is so inferior to the value of an ability boost.

To say the Elf has “8 feats” worth of racial features is simply incorrect.



Really? You don't think that Trance is worth a +1 ability score? Seems pretty potent to me in that it allows the character to sleep in half the time and allows them to be fully aware during that time thus cutting back significantly on ambushes while sleeping. That seems like it's right in line with a +1 ability.
Small races should be restricted to light weapons. A halfling is about the size of a human child. Can a child hold a longsword? Yes. Will he be effective with it in combat? No

 Same goes for speed. Short people are worse at movement than larger people. I chase my nephew around the yard. He is small and I can out pace him easily.  Comparing a halfling to a cat or small animal is ludicrous because animals have different muscle fibers than humans and can easily outsprint & out jump them.  


Sorry folks but there are times where real life does come into play in games to form some type of baseline. Could you use magic to enable you to overcome a racial disadvantage? Temporarily, sure. If a halfing dinks a poition of heroism then yeah I could see him swinging a longsword in one hand and not doing it at disadvantage. Once the potion wears off, then he becomes ineffective again.  
No, small races will build properly re-scaled versions of the larger weapons, especially pole arms and crossbows that will help them equalize against bigger enemies.
In the original post, the assessments are off. Rather:

If the choice is either +1 to an ability or a specific racial feature, it needs to be difficult to choose between them.

For example, for the Elf, I would rather have +1 Intelligence than Trance. It is laughable to call trance a “feat” since it is so inferior to the value of an ability boost.

To say the Elf has “8 feats” worth of racial features is simply incorrect.



Really? You don't think that Trance is worth a +1 ability score? Seems pretty potent to me in that it allows the character to sleep in half the time and allows them to be fully aware during that time thus cutting back significantly on ambushes while sleeping. That seems like it's right in line with a +1 ability.


Trance is worthless. I could care less whether Trance is written down on the character sheet or not. It is a waste of ink. I prefer an ability boost.

Character optimization would prefer the ability boost over most racial features.

The newly designed “feats” need to be extremely good to compete with the value of an ability score bonus.



No, small races will build properly re-scaled versions of the larger weapons, especially pole arms and crossbows that will help them equalize against bigger enemies.



No, that not true. A short sword is a halfling version of a longsword. Damage does increase by mass and scale. There does come a point where a weapon is too unweildy. A crossbow is a miniature verson of a ballista. If halfings made a ballista that they could use it would not do the same damage as a human sized ballista. The same would be true if frost giants fired a ballista that was meant to be properly handled by frost giants.
The grip and balance on a shortsword built for humans does not suddenly become the grip and balance of a longsword when picked up by a halfling.
 
Short sword has traditionally been akin to a gladius in DnD. Thrusting, not slashing.