4E Race Discussion

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This thread is for the discussion of Races in 4E.
So you deleted my thread in the races forum so you could make one here? Why didn't you just move it?
Hmmm, so.

1) Human
2) Halfling
3) Dwarf
4) Elf
5) Tiefling


Any others that we 'know' are in? Have to go to a meeting ATM, I'll dig up what I've read a bit later.
Half-Elf is mentioned in one of the articles aswell.

The rumor is that either gnome or Half-Orc will be getting the boot. Possibly both. Gnome in favor of tiefling and Half-Orc in favor of the Orc.
Half-elves. But then the deisgn team might scrap all the known races at the last minute and make up there own. It's still along way off before any determinations can be made.


Here's my proof from The Design and Development Article
In the final version of 4th Edition, most of your racial traits come into play right out of the gate at 1st level—dwarven resilience, elven evasion, a half-elf’s inspiring presence, and so on. As you go up levels, you can take racial feats to make those abilities even more exciting and gain new capabilities tied to your race. You can also take race-specific powers built into your class, which accomplish a lot of what racial substitution levels used to do: a dwarf fighter with the friend of earth power can do something that other 10th-level fighters just can’t do.

Looks like I was beaten to the punch
[rumor]
Changlings are in.
[/rumor]

[rant]
Okay. Why add Tieflings and NOT Aasimars? I realize that anything with Favored Class: Paladin in 3.x will probably need a rehaul, but why not just create a 'Planetouched' race and then go through some variant progression for it (if you have the path of the Yugoloth, you get X. If you are of the Eldarin, you get Y) as per the new racial stuff.

Second, what's this about no gnomes? (Although, honestly, I always asociated gnomes more with dwarves than halflings.) Is there any official source for this?
[/rant]

I have to say, I'm worried about the new racial progression.

What? No LA? I'm a Solar now! Who cares if I can't do anything at level 1, level 30 will be a cakewalk!

Also,
In the final version of 4th Edition, most of your racial traits come into play right out of the gate at 1st level—dwarven resilience, elven evasion, a half-elf’s inspiring presence, and so on. As you go up levels, you can take racial feats to make those abilities even more exciting and gain new capabilities tied to your race.

Oh yay! Racial feats for all!

But also, Elves get evasion at level 1. What's up with that? If evasion stays the same as it did in 3.x, this is seriously powerful!
So you deleted my thread in the races forum so you could make one here? Why didn't you just move it?

I didn't delete it, I imagine it was the WizOs. This forum is for official threads. Best case would have been to create this thread and then merge yours into it, but I was a little slow in realizing we needed one dedicated to races.

So thanks for raising the topic, and sorry I wasn't able to manage things more smoothly.
i would like to see that IF the half-orc comes back they finaly get a sub race ex:
*Sharakim
*north
*grey
Ok, I was at the unvailing and at the semonars on both friday and saturday. With that and some well asked questions by me and my friend (Fallenangel359) we know that Gnomes are not in the Players Handbook 1 (as it stands now). This has been comfermed by R&D members.

They also told us that 1 year after the Core 3 are released there will be a Players Handbook 2, DMG 2, and Monster Manual 2 and a new one every year after that. In this they told us each will have a new set of races and classes. The More dificault Classes and Races to balance will be released in the later PHBs. My speculation would be Gnome would be in PHB2 4e.
No gnomes? I bet they are still in there.
I didn't delete it, I imagine it was the WizOs. This forum is for official threads. Best case would have been to create this thread and then merge yours into it, but I was a little slow in realizing we needed one dedicated to races.

So thanks for raising the topic, and sorry I wasn't able to manage things more smoothly.

Its ok, I'm not mad. Good to know that you care /hug.
I would like to point out that your average Gnome is/was the cleanest humanoid you would ever meet. If Gnomes are still in I would really like to see these innate natural magical talents reinforced. Elves have an understanding of magic on earth shattering level but Gnomes have down to earth magic in their blood. If the Gnomes are still in they would make great candidates for a reworked sorcerers favorite race.

All that is IF gnomes haven't been replaced by the much more ridiculously Tiefling. Although a Planetouched race with tracks for Good, Evil, Law, Chaos, Fire, Earth, Water, and Wind would be preferable. Planetouched being added to the PHB should be done right, especially if FR is the intended core setting.
But also, Elves get evasion at level 1. What's up with that? If evasion stays the same as it did in 3.x, this is seriously powerful!

Which virtually guarantees that "evasion" in 4E is something very different from what it is in 3E/3.5, IMO.


Oh, and halflings have appeared in the art, and are also mentioned in the "sword and board man" conversation on the "Classes" blurb on the WotC site.
[rumor]
Changlings are in.
[/rumor]

Pretty sure I read that no EB specific races were going to be in the PHB.

[rant]
Okay. Why add Tieflings and NOT Aasimars? I realize that anything with Favored Class: Paladin in 3.x will probably need a rehaul, but why not just create a 'Planetouched' race and then go through some variant progression for it (if you have the path of the Yugoloth, you get X. If you are of the Eldarin, you get Y) as per the new racial stuff.

I haven't seen it said that they were not in, so maybe...

But also, Elves get evasion at level 1. What's up with that? If evasion stays the same as it did in 3.x, this is seriously powerful!

Not really. It's only really useful if you play a high Dex character in light armor. Even then, a Rogue gets Evasion at 2, so it's hardly game-breaking.
I seriously doubt that Elves have the Evasion ability found on Rogues and whatnot. It's probably more of a increase in AC when certain conditions are met. But I have a feeling that Evasion the class ability will work more like Saga, where area attacks that hit always cause half damage to a character with Evasion. Of course, that is just speculation. I'd rather see the half-orc gone from the PHB, but gnomes aren't exactly that good either. Dwarves need a bit of toning down too.
Also, maybe there could eventually be a goblinoid supplement? Goblins, hobgoblins, gnolls, orcs, kobolds, etc. ...They and the rest definitely deserve their own book. Perhaps include kobolds in core, then expand on them in the book, include more about heritage, a PrC, etc., and the other goblinoid races.

ok im confused are kobolds goblinoid, or draconic ???
Actually I believe the reference to "Elven evasion" Has more to do with the +2 dex and it's effect on reflex saves more than some special ability. But then it could be anything.
I'll pretty much not mind anything except a bunch of "Monster Races" ie. Kobolds and Orcs, that kind of thing put in as core classes. I can understand Tiefling, but the others, even changeling to me are a bit out there as for core races.
What are the odds that with the streamlining of play that 4e will ditch ability scores altogether in favor of only using bonuses and penalties? Frankly, I think ability scores are a scared cow that are due for sacrifice in the name of streamlining.

In 3e/3.5, races get a +2 to the Str or Con score, which then needs to be translated into a +1 bonus. Ditch the whole translation layer for 4e.

We'd have something like a dwarf that gives a +1 to Con and –1 to Cha. The hypothetical statblock for a character would look like:

[INDENT]Str +2
Dex +1
Con +3
Int +1
Wis –1
Cha –2[/INDENT]
Please, please put in some less humanoid core races.

I mean, every other MMORPG on the market (yes, I used that 'cursed' phrase) has a less-than-human race, so why not D&D?

I mean, come on, it's not like I play a fantasy game just to play a race analogous to a human with specialized traits (which is pretty much what halflings, dwarves, gnomes, etc. are).
Im going to be very suprised if Drow arent in the PhB. They're insanely popular in every fantasy game around, it would be silly if wizards didnt use this oppertunity to bring their LA down to zero and let players start as them.
What could be interesting would be an 'acme halfbreed kit', enabling not just half-orcs and half-elves, but any combination of race A and race B capable of producing offspring. If there are going to be halfbreeds (and the mentions of halfelves imply that there will) then it would be nice if they weren't limited to being part-human.
You know, I have to ask . . . aside from mechanical advantages (racial bonuses & abilities), why is everyone clamoring for non-humanoid/monstrous races to be core? Or are we hearing primarily from the powergaming/munchkin community in this regard?
About Eric Anondsons' post:

That would be interesting. You could get bonuses based on race and even class (depending on the direction you want to go with it). Then just make the checks vs. dc with said bonuses for stat checks without the stats themselves. No worrying about 18 = +4 + 4th and 8th level bonus of 1 each now equal 20 which equals ?. It would just be +2 race +3 class (if in) +1 level = +6. Very simple and streamlined. I like it.:D
I've been thinking it would make sense to ditch Half-elf and half-orc and instead just have elf and orc but then throw in a "half-human" template (or whatever will exists in 4e) that you could apply to either orc or elf or whatever else.
Jeff Greiner The Tome Host http://www.thetomeshow.com A D&D News, Reviews, and Interviews show. Supreme Player http://www.TemporaryHitPoints.com 4e Advice and Design for PLAYERS ONLY
If there's going to be a new PHB volume every year (an alternative to the "Complete" books?), that means they will probably get to all the popular 3E/3.5 races eventually, perhaps tossing in a few new ones along the way. If that's the case, there's less need for fans of gnomes, drow, aasimars, etc to panic just because the 2008 book doesn't include their favorites.


BTW, does anyone know where the changelings-in-PHB rumor got started? I'm curious whether or not that one's for real, given how unlikely it seems.
What are the odds that with the streamlining of play that 4e will ditch ability scores altogether in favor of only using bonuses and penalties? Frankly, I think ability scores are a scared cow that are due for sacrifice in the name of streamlining.

In 3e/3.5, races get a +2 to the Str or Con score, which then needs to be translated into a +1 bonus. Ditch the whole translation layer for 4e.

We'd have something like a dwarf that gives a +1 to Con and –1 to Cha. The hypothetical statblock for a character would look like:

[INDENT]Str +2
Dex +1
Con +3
Int +1
Wis –1
Cha –2[/INDENT]

thats fine, but the tansistion has to be made somewhere, the rolling for stats would be a lot more complicated to start, and you would have less area for adjustment. afterall +1 to a stat is an increase (for checks) but may or may not be an increase in the stat bonus (and all affect areas)

i like the stats, they have been here since 1st ED, i would like them to stay

i liked the races that are in 3.x ed, teifling is just too rediculous, they would be toned down, but the most important, is how many are in the general population, not many. i liked the half-orc, if they replace them with orc they will have to rework entire campaign stories to fit that general populace accepts orcs, otherwise your going to have a lone orc that cannot be in any towns/cities.

i am interested in the race 'lvls' or what have you. and do race feats count as normal feats you earn, or do you get race feat choices at specific lvls. IE 3rd ed you get feats at every 3 lvls, do you have an extra race feat every 3 or does it take up the normal feat you get?
Pretty sure I read that no EB specific races were going to be in the PHB.

The word from the R&D seminar was that changlelings may be in the PHB.

BTW, does anyone know where the changelings-in-PHB rumor got started? I'm curious whether or not that one's for real, given how unlikely it seems.

ENworld member who was there (confirmed by others who were there). It's on the front page now (search for changeling).

Design philosophies on races. There is a tiefling on the player’s handbook. There may also be a changeling (from Eberron). Design philosophies of races. Mike did all the talking, where there will be a very REAL ACTIVE difference within the races that will really make a difference between the Dwarf Fighter and an Elven Fighter.

thats fine, but the tansistion has to be made somewhere, the rolling for stats would be a lot more complicated to start, and you would have less area for adjustment.

Unless they just ditch rolling dice for characters in favor of point buy. They don't allow stat rolling in online systems, they don't allow in Living campaigns. They don't use it in playtesting either. They use point buys because that ensures greater balance.

I'm guessing they will switch to some sort of point buy appropriate to the new system.

They might implement random ability generation as an optional method though.
You know, I have to ask . . . aside from mechanical advantages (racial bonuses & abilities), why is everyone clamoring for non-humanoid/monstrous races to be core? Or are we hearing primarily from the powergaming/munchkin community in this regard?

Eh? That makes absolutely no sense at all.

If anything, it's more the roleplayers who would be more interested in the less humanoid races, simply because of the challenge involved in playing them.

Just look at the Iksar of the EQ series - very much unlike elves, dwarves, and gnomes, but loved by many. Perhaps something to do with their well-developed culture, or the way they made good use of their tails in hand-to-hand combat, but whatever the case, they were new, different, and very, very interesting.

I would love to see something like this in D&D, if only to step away from the ol' humanoids pervading the entire universe.
The word from the R&D seminar was that changlelings may be in the PHB.



ENworld member who was there (confirmed by others who were there). It's on the front page now (search for changeling).

The page on En World says "may"

There may also be a changeling (from Eberron).

Can you confirm that "will" was used instead?
The page on En World says "may".

I put "may be" in big bold letters. Isn't that enough emphasis for you?
You know, I have to ask . . . aside from mechanical advantages (racial bonuses & abilities), why is everyone clamoring for non-humanoid/monstrous races to be core? Or are we hearing primarily from the powergaming/munchkin community in this regard?

Because I'd rather play a small reptile or a wolf-man or something from another plane than a short human or a human with pointy ears.

It's like "Oh sure, you want to pretend to throw fire with your hands or slay a dragon, but why on earth would you want to do it looking non-human?" Because it's interesting.

Some of us have been playing Elves and Halflings for twenty years and are a little sick of them.
Because I'd rather play a small reptile or a wolf-man or something from another plane than a short human or a human with ears.

A human with ears! An abomination! :P
All I know is, my Gnomes better be there. Leaving out any of the core races presented in 3.0/3.5 runs the risk of ruining many campaigns.

DM: "Check it out, we all converted our characters over to 4.0! Oh yeah, you're character's a Gnome. Well, you can roll up a new character, make up Gnome rules, or the rest of us can keep playing with the old rules."

Player1: "Uh, I'd appreciate it if we could keep playing 3.0/3.5. I've put a lot of work into this character and would rather not ruin or get rid of him."

Player2: "Crap! I already threw away my old character sheet. Way to go, Gnome-lover! You ruined my favorite game."

Allow me to state that I'm not making any complaints about 4.0 already. We don't know much about it. I'm merely stating a worry.
I greatly appreciate the few replies to my post. It heartens me to know that there are still players interested in assuming racial roles as a challenge, or because they find them interesting.

I'm afraid I'm more than a little jaded, myself. I've been DMing almost exclusively for the last 8 years, and almost without exception, when someone requested to play a non-humanoid race, it was always, "Because they can do THIS!" Even players who, under different circumstances, were terrific RPers succumbed to this mentality. Again, thanks for the responses, and game on, ladies and gents!
One other interesting thing I've read is that it seems like Monsters are going to have two writeups with the LA mechanic no longer being used.

A minotuar statted for the DM to use is going to be different that a minotaur that is statted for players to use. Thus, depending on the creature, in the MM you might see two writeups.

My understanding/guess is that the DM-monster will be a typical member of the race you encounter whereas the PC version will have the monster's abilites broken down so that you can have a level 1 monster but it won't have all the abilities until you level up and choose them.

The advantage is that now even a lizardfolk can be chosen at level 1.

The disadvantage is that, unless the monster HAS a second Pc entry, it will be assumed by WOTC that this monster is NOT sutiable for PCs.

I can see the design team's POV. Trying to create a monster that is both balanced for an encounter and is ALSO balanced as a possible PC race is an exercise in frustration.
Unless they just ditch rolling dice for characters in favor of point buy. They don't allow stat rolling in online systems, they don't allow in Living campaigns. They don't use it in playtesting either. They use point buys because that ensures greater balance.

I'm guessing they will switch to some sort of point buy appropriate to the new system.

They might implement random ability generation as an optional method though.

I certainly hope they don't go this route. I like the fact that rules for point buy systems have been left as an option for those that prefer them but, personally, I've always enjoyed rolling up a new character. The total random nature of the numbers allows for a natural roleplaying options that point buy systems don't include. Putting together a character to compensate for a low stat has always been fun for me. If I plan out that weakness it wouldn't feel quite the same.
I greatly appreciate the few replies to my post. It heartens me to know that there are still players interested in assuming racial roles as a challenge, or because they find them interesting.

No prob.

For me, for instance, I love kobolds. Not for any game mechanic, but because of their reputation and their mindset. They're little paranoid tinfoil-hat survivalists with Napoleon complexes. The PCs AND the NPCs will underestimate them. So I'd jump at the chance to play one.

Or a tri-keen - because it's a FREAKING MANTIS. It's fun to look at your party members like they're lunch. "We gotta get the rogue raised fast, or the bug will eat his corpse."

Or anything anthro.
All I know is, my Gnomes better be there. Leaving out any of the core races presented in 3.0/3.5 runs the risk of ruining many campaigns.

Assuming gnomes are in the 4E Monster Manual, they'll probably have (brief) PC-usage rules included in that book. That ought to tide you over until they get a full treatment (i.e. fluff) in PHB2 a year later.

Same will most likely apply for drow, or anything else popular that's left for later books.


Player2: "Crap! I already threw away my old character sheet. Way to go, Gnome-lover! You ruined my favorite game."

I don't know about you, but I've never in my life met a gamer who threw out their beloved earlier PCs' character sheets just because a new campaign was starting up. Sounds like Player2 wasn't that fond of the old character in the first place....
I greatly appreciate the few replies to my post. It heartens me to know that there are still players interested in assuming racial roles as a challenge, or because they find them interesting.

You're very welcome.

I have some Saga Edition PbP games going on, in fact, where I am playing a Kushiban and a Bothan, respectively (you can see the games in my sig, and look up the races on Wookiepedia). Fun times.

And yes, I made a character with a race that gets -4 Str and +4 Dex... and pumped my stats into Str. :P

As for my thing for lizardfolk, well... Let's see.
1. They have awesome faces. I mean, come on. You see a person walking down a street with teeth like those, and just try and tell me it doesn't fill you with awe.
2. Their scales. They can come in all sorts of patterns, and so they're always very interesting to look at. Imagine a neat-freak lizardman who kept his scales polished at all times...
3. Tails. It's just fun to imagine all the things that can be done with those things (and the pain they cause when trying to sit in chairs!).
4. They're not mammals. Sorry, guys! No boobs for you! :P
5. They're generally not seen as 'accepted' by most (if not all) humanoid races. One of these guys walking into town almost always causes a commotion. Fun times...
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