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An Elf and an Orc Had a Little Baby: Parentage and Upbringing in D&D
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An Elf and an Orc Had a Little Baby: Parentage and Upbringing in D&D

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$17.95

Now you can play an elf-orc raised by dwarves! Or a gnome-halfling raised by kobolds! Even a grung-warforged raised in Avernus is a possibility!

“...this supplement is truly an informed, aware and inspired step forward in continuing discussion about who, how and what makes up a D&D character, and how to create them just how we envision them.” - Curse of Sebs

An Elf and an Orc Had a Little Baby: Parentage and Upbringing in D&D is a 113-page rules supplement that entirely replaces chapter 2 of the Player’s Handbook. Instead of D&D’s bioessentialist approach, this title separates biological traits and cultural traits into two categories: parentage and upbringing.

To create a new player character using this supplement, players choose two birth parents and an upbringing. (Then they go on to choose a background and class, as normal.) Players can feel free to create any combination to create a unique and vibrant character.


Inside this title, you’ll discover

  • 35 Parentages, from aarakocra to yuan-ti; 

  • 80+ Upbringings, from being raised by abjurers to water mages; 

  • an adaptation of all 12 dragonmarks for Eberron play; and

  • a robust system for making your own parentage and upbringing options.


FAQ

What Do I Need to Use This Product? You only need a copy of the Player's Handbook or the free Basic Rules.

Any of the 35 Parentages Work Together? That's entirely up to the people at your table. Whatever you all decide, this book contains rules to make it a viable in-world reality.

What If I Can't Afford $17.95 USD? Use this discount code to get $3 off: DISCOUNT

If you're interested in alternatives to race and want to see other options, check out these titles:
Ancestry & Culture Grazilaxx's Guide The Half-Race Handbook
 
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Reviews (4)
Discussions (16)
Customer avatar
michael C October 11, 2020 4:54 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I noticed Abjurer's Upbringing doesn't have any ability score increase, and if I add up using the points
Abjurer's resistance 4, mind trick 4, languages common plus choice of two 2 that's only 10 points.

Is that correct? Or should it a least have +1 or maybe a +2 but only start with common
Customer avatar
Adam H October 11, 2020 7:19 pm UTC
CREATOR
Ah, it looks like there's a typo on page 111. Mind Trick should be 7 points, and Magic Resistance should be 5.
Customer avatar
michael C September 22, 2020 8:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
Question regarding tortle

If I have 1 parent as a tortle I can start with 17ac (14+dex) and max at 19.or if I have both it's a flat 17?

Monks get 10+dex+wis, Barbarians get 10+dex+con, so start can start at 16, max 20

Just seem too strong to me
Customer avatar
michael C September 22, 2020 5:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Then if I take the warforged as the other parentage I can have a +1 to that AC
Customer avatar
Adam H September 23, 2020 9:16 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hmm, yup, that's an error. It should be 13 + Dexterity modifier. We'll change that and it'll appear in our next update.
Customer avatar
Steve C September 13, 2020 5:51 pm UTC
Are there any recommended adventures that pair particularly well with these rules variants (or the other alternatives to race rules)? I'm looking for more nuanced depictions, multi-ethnic settlements / dungeons, etc.?
Customer avatar
Adam H September 13, 2020 6:42 pm UTC
CREATOR
I'd recommend Eyes Unclouded, Uncaged, or Eat the Rich.
Customer avatar
Roswell B August 27, 2020 4:00 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Looking through and reading the Centaur options, it looks like the stat blocks are the wrong way around for the descriptions? 'You are fey' has the stat block with Equine Build and 'You have hooves' has the stat block with Fey
Customer avatar
Roswell B September 07, 2020 11:08 am UTC
PURCHASER
Looking again I've realised I made a mistake and fey is on both! Apologies!
Customer avatar
Adam H September 23, 2020 9:16 pm UTC
CREATOR
No problem. Thanks for the purchase!
Customer avatar
Cash R August 26, 2020 4:36 am UTC
Reading the preview, it says that for age expectancy and size, you add the values of your parents? Why would an offspring be older than either of its parents? It makes more sense IMO to take an average. By this logic, every individual born to parents would outlive them by twice their age.
Customer avatar
Adam H August 26, 2020 1:47 pm UTC
CREATOR
In our rules supplement, it's impossible for a character to have a longer life expectancy than both of their birth parents.

For example, the Player's Handbook lists the dragonborn life expectancy as 80 years. If you have one draconic birth parent, your life expectancy increases by 40 years. You would have to have a second draconic birth parent to get to 80 years, the same as what's listed in the Player's Handbook.

If you have a draconic birth parent and an elvish birth parent, your life expectancy would be 415 (40 + 375), much longer than your draconic parent's life expectancy (80 years) but well short of your elvish parent's (750 years).
Customer avatar
Cash R August 28, 2020 10:06 am UTC
From the preview: "For example, if your birth mother were a seaelf (375 years) and your father were a halfling (75years), your life expectancy would be 450 years."

Does this mean this is in error? Having an expectancy of 450 years (older than either parent?)

Or is this simply referencing an Age table that is elsewhere in the PDF but not in the preview (or do you just halve each parent's life expectancy and add the two?)
Customer avatar
Adam H August 28, 2020 1:18 pm UTC
CREATOR
Sea elves have a life expectancy of 750 years. Halflings live to be about 150 years. The Age listed under each birth parent is what your character inherits from them, not how long your parent is expected to live.
Customer avatar
Cash R September 07, 2020 9:43 am UTC
Ah, I see. Thank you for the clarification!
Customer avatar
Francine B August 03, 2020 9:18 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I picked this supplement today. Reading the prologue of this and a few others like it is a breath of fresh air with regards to how race is handled in D&D. However, when I was going through the parentage system at the back, with respect to point buy, under Halfling there is "Heavy Armor Exception" with no explanation of what that is in the preceding category. Was that originally there and then removed from the description (I would assume Stout) , or was the description accidentally not included? I ask because I know armor is not restricted with regards to racial size, so wondered what it meant.
Customer avatar
Adam H August 03, 2020 10:34 pm UTC
CREATOR
Good question! I don't have the book in front of me right now, but if memory serves, if you take a look at the speed listed under the stout halfling birth parent option, you'll see that aa character with this parentage is not slowed more than their base walking speed, even when wearing heavy armor. That's what that "Heavy Armor Exception" is referring to.
Customer avatar
Francine B August 03, 2020 11:33 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Yes, I had indeed missed that. So does that mean that a Stout Halfling, or someone with that parentage and has that trait, doesn't have to have the strength requirement to don heavy armors?

Another thing I noticed is with respect ability score increases. Humans have 3 +1s, and they are rated at +6 pts on the parentage chart, or +2 for each. However, the +1 both Mountain Dwarf and Goblin parentages have access to, as well as the increases in the upbringing chart all indicate they should be a +4 per +1, so 12 points instead of 6. Is that an error or should each +1 stat increase be 4 pts instead of 2? I ask because that makes upbringings like, say, Hinterland, with it's extra language, 2 skills, and Aggressive trait (listed in the chart, but not the description - unless this is supposed to be an alternative selection) clock in at 20 pts, and far over the limit, whereas it would be 14 otherwise, and also why some upbringings, like Hunter, for example, seem underwhelming by comparison.
Customer avatar
Adam H August 04, 2020 2:04 pm UTC
CREATOR
Yes, that's exactly how it works for stout halflings.

Regarding humans, the reason they can get away with having so many Ability Score Increases and still have it be worth 6 points instead of 12 is because of the second line of that ability: "...that do not benefit from an Ability Score Increase due to upbringing." That brings the strength of the trait way down.

For example, let's say I want to play a half-human barbarian. If I'm in an optimizing mood, I'll want my highest abilities to be Strength and Constitution, so I might choose the Competitive or Dao upbringing. Automatically, that rules out using my parentage trait for Strength or Constitution, so I have to put the 3 boosts among Dexterity, Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma, which aren't nearly as strong a boost for barbarians.

Mountain dwarves and goblinoids don't have that restriction. Even stating that the ABI doesn't raise a score above 17, it's still a more versatile option in those two cases than it...See more
Customer avatar
Francine B August 04, 2020 2:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Ah, ok. Thank you for the explanation. That makes sense. I hadn't even considered that the bonuses for dwarves and goblins would be stackable.
Customer avatar
Adam G August 03, 2020 11:51 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi!

I am interested in this, but does it work 100% as a standalone supplement, or do you need the others listed to function properly?
Apologies if this has been asked elsewhere.

EDIT: It has - I just found the below comments. My apologies.
Customer avatar
Adam H August 03, 2020 12:48 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for the question! No, the only other book you need is the Player's Handbook or a copy of the free Basic Rules.
Customer avatar
Adam G August 04, 2020 8:46 am UTC
PURCHASER
Will you guys be adding Verdan in the future? :-)

This module is absolutely stunning.
Customer avatar
Adam H August 04, 2020 1:51 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks so much! We don't have any plans for the verdan at the moment. We tackled everything Wizards of the Coast had statted up for fifth edition and called it a day. :)
Customer avatar
Adam G August 04, 2020 3:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is Acquisitions Incorporated not counted as an official expansion to DnD then? I genuinely had no idea as they are featured on D&D Beyond!
Using the guide in here, I can always homebrew them with other ancestries, same for the Wildemount ancestries!

Seriously, you guys deserve all the credit in the world for this. The artwork in this (especially that cover) is stunning.
Customer avatar
Adam H August 04, 2020 4:35 pm UTC
CREATOR
Yeah, Acq Inc., Stranger Things, Wildemount, and maybe one other thing I'm forgetting are off limits to us on the Dungeon Masters Guild.

And thank you!
Customer avatar
Adam G August 04, 2020 9:54 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Damn those licenses, eh! Haha.
Customer avatar
Thomas D August 03, 2020 11:34 am UTC
PURCHASER
Quick question, I'm really interested in this supplement, but I'm not exactly sure how the crossbreeding works mechanically. From what I gathered so far there is a column index for each parent and you choose a pre-determined number of traits from each one?

Is that how it works?
Customer avatar
Adam H August 03, 2020 12:50 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks! There's a 50-page full-size preview that ought to give you a good idea of how it works.

In a nutshell, you don't pick individual traits (unless you're using the optional Appendix B to make your own new options). Instead, you pick two birth parents, each one of which is like a small collection of inherited traits.
Customer avatar
Michael M August 01, 2020 9:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Question on Yuan-Ti parentage: Why is their magic resistance gone completely? the Gnome and Satyr magic resistances got split between parent types, but the Yuan-Ti seems to have lost it entirely.
Customer avatar
Adam H August 01, 2020 9:52 pm UTC
CREATOR
A good question. We found that yuan-ti as originally written are pretty powerful altogether, mostly because of their Magic Resistance trait.

In trying to scale back their power, the first thing we did was remove the Magic Resistance trait. But, admittedly, we could have made one or two more birth parent options instead and divide the Magic Resistant trait between them. It would not be hard to do using Appendix B and looking at the gnome and satyr traits as your examples.

Maybe we'll revisit the yuan-ti in a future update.
Customer avatar
Michael M August 02, 2020 12:12 am UTC
PURCHASER
Cool! Yeah, not super hard to adjust on my end either, was just curious and wanted to bring it up in case it was an oversight. Wanna say this is definitely my favorite version of these kinds of mechanics and immediately presented it to my players as additional character options. Great job! :)
Customer avatar
Andrew B August 01, 2020 6:17 am UTC
PURCHASER
I just purchased this and am very excited to read through it. Right above the FAQ on this page, I saw that it says "a very robust system for making your own parentage and upbringing options" is this what appendix B is for? I was hoping for a guide on how to port other parentages into this system

Still excited to use it regardless! Thanks for the work you've done
Customer avatar
Adam H August 01, 2020 8:31 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for your question!

No, we don't have a guide for how to balance traits of your own creation. Appendix B shows you how to take existing traits and create new parentages and backgrounds out of them.

Glad you're enjoying our work. :)
Customer avatar
Vesper B July 31, 2020 3:54 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi, I really like the product! I do have a question though - if this system is being used, how are individuals with parents of the same type supposed to work? I assume you intend it to work like any other combo, but in some cases that means either a) forgoing the full mechanical benefits you could get by having parents of two different types or b) producing a combo that isn't representative of that biology in existing lore. For example, if you want to be a full-blooded tiefling but still choose an Upbringing, you either have to double up on parentage types (sacrificing mechanical benefits in doing so) or be a tiefling with dark vision, fire resistance, AND wings. Wings are usually considered a rare tiefling trait, but if I want to use this system to play one (or to make full-blooded tiefling NPCs), wings will become a commonality.
Customer avatar
Adam H July 31, 2020 1:25 pm UTC
CREATOR
Great question!

The system is designed to be able to create viable "full-blooded" characters too. For example, if you want to create a lightfoot halfing, I'd just choose the Halfling Birth Parent and the Lightfoot Halfling Birth Parent options.

Tieflings are a special case. Because tiefling have infernal blood, but they're not completely fiends, just as genasi aren't completely elementals. If I were to try to create a tiefling using this book that was pretty close to the one in the Player's Handbook, I'd choose the Infernal Birth Parent I option and either human birth parent option and then pick up the Nessus upbringing.
Customer avatar
Vesper B July 31, 2020 2:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Ohhh, I see. So because tieflings are of mixed heritage by default, the standard 5th Edition tiefling represents the offspring of an infernal-human union (or of the union of two such offspring), and by picking one tiefling parent type and one of another origin, you're replicating the same thing. Which makes it more flexible and realistic, instead of the PHB's conceit that most tieflings are of human ancestry - as though humans are somehow more likely to make deals with, or have relationships with, fiends.

Very well made! I'm a little worried about some of my players taking advantage of the system to min-max even more than they usually do, rather than to create unique characters, but that may be an acceptable risk to take to get some of the bioessentialism out of D&D.
Customer avatar
Adam H July 31, 2020 2:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
We were a little worried about that too. So we tried to balance all of them, assigning each trait a point value and making sure no one birth parent or upbringing option is too much more powerful than any other. You can check our work in Appendix B. :)
Customer avatar
Vesper B August 02, 2020 4:41 am UTC
PURCHASER
I decided to take you up on that invitation! I did some analysis and although I found a few things I will be tweaking for my own use, by and large this is remarkably balanced for something with over 4000 unique combinations of parent types!
Customer avatar
Sabrina S July 31, 2020 1:15 am UTC
PURCHASER
Honestly, the people here whining about how race is somehow political need to take a seat. People's existence is not politics, folks, and no culture is a monolith wherein all people are the same, so I don't know why anyone would want to play characters as flat as that. Anyway, I really like the idea of characters being more fully fleshed out with both lineage and upbringing. This looks like a really fun way to create some new characters and I can't wait to run it with my group next week!
Customer avatar
Adam H July 31, 2020 2:00 am UTC
CREATOR
Thanks, Sabrina! Hope you enjoy it.
Customer avatar
Stephen S July 30, 2020 5:33 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Question regarding the Grung un the sample.
One parentage says they can apply poison to darts, but its the other parantage that has poisonous skin...
Wouldn't this imply (or infer?) that the first has poisonous skin as well? Maybe you could just reword the first as spittle.
Bit of a disconnect there.
Otherwise I like the overal look and and idea behind the product
Customer avatar
Adam H July 30, 2020 5:40 pm UTC
CREATOR
The text on the previous page explains the difference, but you can reimagine it as spittle, if you like. :)
Customer avatar
Stephen S July 30, 2020 5:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Right! I see it now, thanks for the answer.

Another question, if you don't mind...
I may have missed this too, but for the celestial parentage, one of my favorite abilities was the one that, for 1 minute, gives you incorporeal wings. Was that intentionally left out, or is it somewhere else?
Customer avatar
Adam H July 30, 2020 6:07 pm UTC
CREATOR
Yup, it's in there. We figured that had more to do with your attachment to the angelic guide, so that's an upbringing anyone can choose. See the protector, scourge, and fallen upbringings. :)
Customer avatar
Lysa P July 30, 2020 2:09 pm UTC
DUNGEON MASTERS GUILD STAFF
A reminder to folx on this discussion page that disagreements and discussions are totally OK but personal insults to the creators or other customers are not NOT OK. Please be respectful of each other. Thank you!
Customer avatar
Christopher B August 02, 2020 7:10 am UTC
PURCHASER
Set the discussion forum so that only comments from verified purchasers appear automatically (similar to how reviews are restricted to purchasers). For potential purchasers who want to ask questions about the product, their comments should be emailed directly to the creators, and only if the creators respond, then should their comments appear in the discussion forum, and then only allow purchasers to further respond. (And, perhaps even allow the creators to choose to show only a portion of the question, if they only want to respond to a particular point). This would ensure that only good faith questions from potential purchasers get published. The whole purpose of these discussion forums is to discuss the specific products (including discussing disagreements, if they exist), and not to start general debates about TTRPG's under the pretense of asking a question. If people want to jump around product pages without buying anything just to stir up general debates about game theory, game politics, etc., they have...See more
Customer avatar
July 29, 2020 4:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi there! Just got a copy of this book and I really enjoy this different way of creating characters that are thematically and mechanically works! I just have a question regarding this with Backgrounds. When using this book, you get your choices of parentage and upbringing. I didn't see any mention of Backgrounds; does Upbringing replace it or would you add Backgrounds after?

Thanks for your work!
Customer avatar
Vic H July 29, 2020 4:31 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Backgrounds are separate. The way we looked at it is upbringing is how you were initially raised and background is what was happening in your life before the campaign started.
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Pages
113
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File Last Updated:
July 27, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on July 27, 2020.