Wizards of the Coast has followed through on their promise to make Dungeons & Dragons more inclusive, as a new expansion will replace the classic race mechanic with one based on skills and traits.
On August 24th, Wizards of the Coast announced Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, an upcoming sourcebook expansion to the classic tabletop game’s fifth edition that has been heralded by D&D principal rule designer Jeremy Crawford as “the biggest rules expansion for D&D fifth edition since Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.”
Aside from new subclasses and spells, the expansion will also feature a new “Lineage System” that will allow players to create a character and customize their traits without being held to the traditional class, race, and background characteristics.
During a press preview event for the expansion, Crawford explained that “Just as Tasha herself had this amazingly magical origin, many D&D characters have special origins that their players come up with, backstories that set one character apart from another.”
“We wanted with this book to give players the tools they want in the game to create their character in a more customized way,” he concluded.
As an example of this mechanic, Crawford put forth a high elf who “skipped longsword practice”, a reference to the racial longsword trait held by the high elves, and noted that players could choose to have proficiency in a different weapon or even swap intelligence for strength.
The expansion will also remove negative racial modifiers from certain races, such as the kobolds and the orcs.
Crawford stressed that this new mechanic was entirely optional, as he stated “We can’t, of course, make what’s in the Player’s Handbook just vanish, so what we’re doing is giving people the option to walk down the path they want to walk down with their characters, allowing character types to coexist.”
In June, the Dungeons & Dragons team released a public statement that declared “One of the explicit design goals of 5th edition D&D is to depict humanity in all its beautiful diversity by depicting characters who represent an array of ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and beliefs.”
The statement explained that “We want everyone to feel at home around the game table and to see positive reflections of themselves within our products.”
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is set to release on November 17th