Dungeons & Dragons reworks Half-Species due to “inherent racism” – Dexerto

Published: 2023-04-08T23:13:22

Updated: 2023-04-08T23:13:33

Dungeons & Dragons is an always-evolving game and Wizards of The Coast has now made changes to Half-Species due to “inherent racism” behind the concept.

Half-Species are a staple in the D&D world but Wizards has decided that their current labeling has no place in the future of the game.

While different race combinations will remain in the game, the classification around them in the next Player’s Handbook will reflect a more thoughtful and inclusive approach. This change was announced some time ago, but is now a hot topic, as Rules Designer Jeremy Crawford expanded on the thought process behind the change at the recent D&D Summit event.

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“Frankly, we are not comfortable, and haven’t been for years with any of the options that start with ‘half’…The half construction is inherently racist so we simply aren’t going to include it in the new Player’s Handbook,” he elaborated.

WOTC reworks Half-Species in D&D, but what does it mean?

The company has yet to do a deep dive into why they’ve made this change, so the exact reasons are still up for speculation, but there are some important things to note when it comes to the likes of Half-Elves and Half-Orcs.

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One important thing to note is that they come with their own distinct Race sheets in the Player’s Handbook. Treated as different from both their parents’ races, these characters with dual genetics offer a very different experience for the people that play them.

The Half-Elf is viewed as one of the strongest options in the game for this reason. Combining racial traits & bonuses from these two races covers a lot of bases and leaves few vulnerabilities.

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Likewise, Half-Orcs were often used as a way for players to enjoy the benefits of Orcish strength and constitution without the negative racial features & social connotations often associated with the species in previous campaign settings.

This comes from Orcs being used primarily as bloodthirsty monsters for much of the game’s lifespan. That changed with the aptly named Volo’s Guide to Monsters in 2016, which introduced them as playable characters. They were further expanded upon in Eberron: Rising from the Last War, as well as the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount book.

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These mixed-species combinations will remain available on WOTC’s online hub D&DBeyond, and will remain in the 2014 version of the 5th Edition Player’s Handbook.

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