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Grazilaxx's Guide to Ancestry $12.95
Average Rating:4.9 / 5
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Grazilaxx's Guide to Ancestry
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Peter M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/03/2019 23:24:27

I've been seeing a lot of talk on social media lately about "decolonizing" D&D - how things such as drow and orcs are offensive to real life people of color in their current iterations.

At the same time, I've also found it frustrating that certain logical mixed-heritage options (human + dwarf, gnome + halfling, and so on) just don't have game stats.

And LOTS of people have lamented that static ASIs tend to pigeonhole certain races into certain roles. Dragonborn make good paladins, but not nearly as good of wizards. Half-orcs are solid barbarians, but a suboptimal pick for a druid.

This product goes a long way to solving all three problems. By making racial traits modular and tying ASIs to other options, you get less-racist, more-versatile, and more creatively-flexible, but still fantastical characters. Well done.

My only gripe so far is that it renders pages slowly - and that's a very solvable technical problem.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grazilaxx's Guide to Ancestry
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/03/2019 16:09:27

As a future educator, the discussion of race and culture has become a big topic in the classroom - how to help disenfranchised students from minorities or who are part of repressed and disrespected communities. If only humans were as easy to work with and as well laid out as Ryan has developed in Grazilaxx's Guide to Ancestry. What he has done is take the first steps in involving new mechanics and developing a new view on how race is viewed in D&D.

He opens with the new concept of rather than having Ability Score Improvements based solely on your race, you could take them from your class or from your background. Then, we move into the next section where Ryan introduces ancestries divided into subgroups - avian, amphibian, dwarven, elven, et cetera. You pick two major inheritances and then two minor inheritnces, which I honestly find very interesting and refreshing.

If you have an orcen character, he could be a big burly barbarian who trained as an acolyte - now, the usual model would that this orc is strong because he's an orc, genetically he is strong because he's an orc. Oh, but he can't be an acolyte, cause he's an orc and orcs aren't smart cause genetically he is dumb. Look at from a different side - here you have an elf who is very agile and wise, because she is an elf. But say she has seen some terrible events and has suffered PTSD - but she can't because the fact that she is an elf means she is genetically wiser so therefore she can't have PTSD.

This model stems from something simple and terrible that has sat within the core of RPGs: colonialism, eugenics, and racism. We as humans have throughout our history been conquerers, so when we conquer, we would see the ethnic groups and cultures we destroyed as less than us, as inferior. Hence racism and eugenics. Now, keeping that traditional model in mind: my dad is a forester and brewer, my mom is a soil scientist and horticulturalist - but I am neither of those. I can't tell a perenial from an annual or a hemlock from a fir, I can't even grow potatos. But, looking at the traditionalist model - because I was born to these two people, genetically in an RPG setting, I would not be creative or super charismatic, I would just be super smart.

But anywhose, not to get off onto a massive tangent - what Ryan has done is take a fantastic first step forward to wiping out dark stains of colonial rule, eugenic rumblings, and racism from the roleplaying game community and roleplaying games themselves. I hope what he has done in this outstanding product helps others begin to learn and become aware. I know I have fallen victim of falling into that mentality - but now I know that I need to fix it, and with GGoA, I know now how to do that. Gravilaxx's Guide to Ancestry is an amazing, beautiful, and honest, and that is why I give it the Comics, Clerics, & Controllers Golden d20 Badge.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grazilaxx's Guide to Ancestry
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Dani E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/03/2019 14:56:44

Inventive and interesting, adding a whole new level of customization to characters. I really appreciate this and honestly hope it becomes standard going forward. It also makes it so easy to create characters that come from different ancestries through their parents than before, so you aren't just stuck with 'half orc' or 'half elf'. Excellent, excellent work!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grazilaxx's Guide to Ancestry
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Matthew B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/03/2019 14:10:46

If you're looking to "decolonize" D&D, move away from strict racial-trait systems or are just looking for another way to customize characters in your setting, this is a bloody good way to do it. The authors have meticulously curated all of the racial traits from each playable race in the current 5E environment (including PHB, Volo's, Ravnica, Eberron and MTOF) and developed a solid method of creating highly customizable characters using a variety of selectable "inheritances" rather than requiring every character of every race to have the same immutable traits. They also decouple stat bonuses from racial traits and provide means of tying them to classes or backgrounds instead. All this results in a much more diverse method of character design. Highly recommended, and something that could serve as a good foundation for future editions of the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Grazilaxx's Guide to Ancestry
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Anthony J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/03/2019 08:31:12

I had the opporitunity to get my hands in an early preview copy of this supplement. I'm excited to see Ryan's well thought out attempt to tackle the nuances of "race" in D&D5E while providing flexible alternate mechanics for DMs and players to use at their table to forgo the heavy baggage of racial traits and all that entails.

I know I'll be using this at my table. This is a great addition to your library!

Well laid out and presented too!!

  • Anthony Joyce


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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