For the month of August, the Unearthed Arcana series highlight the Ravnica races.
I’ve been a bit late. Okay, a bunch of late. I didn’t notice when this Unearthed Arcana installment was released and, when I did, I was busy with other things. But now I’m here so let’s begin.
Loxodons are humanoid elephants. That’s pretty badass on its own, if you ask me.
- Ability Score Increase. A nice +2 to Constitution and a +1 to Wisdom. Apart from being good ability scores to add bonuses to, it kinda feels logical flavor wise.
- Size. Loxodons are pretty big. But it’s a secret rule for 5th Edition to avoid playable races larger than Medium. I don’t mind it because there’s always an extra trait that tries to express the big size of a race.
- Powerful Build. And that’s the standard trait “big” races get.
- Speed. The regular speed of 30 feet. Nothing unusual here.
- Loxodon Bravery. Advantage versus being frightened is nice. I consider frightened a status that can be encountered often, so this trait is going to help.
- Natural Armor. It makes sense. Also, 13 + Dexterity isn’t broken. However, it’s hard for me to imagine this trait playing an important role with any class.
- Mason’s Proficiency. It’s expected, since their lore mentions they are good at working with stone.
- Stonecunning. As with the above, it adds to the flavor.
- Keen Smell. Elephants have incredible sense of smell. I like that Loxodons get that too. Plus, it’s a good trait.
- Languages. Common.
Loxodons aren’t bad. They have a nice set of traits that cover various situations. I could see some sort of an attack using their tusks or trunk, but that’s not a huge problem.
One of the Guilds of Ravnica, the Simic, have a thing for experimentation and improving the biology of things. And what happens when the Simic start working on humanoids? Good question. That’s where the Simic Hybrids come in.
- Ability Score Increase. A +2 to Constitution and a +1 to anywhere else you like. For me, both increases make sense.
- Size. Medium as expected.
- Speed. 30 feet. It could be one of the things that would change among Hybrids, though.
- Darkvision. Regular, 60 feet darkvision.
- Animal Enhancement. At levels 1 and 5 you can choose an animal feature. When you get your 5th level enhancement, you can choose a 1st level one instead.
- Level 1
- Manta Glide. You grow ray-like wings that let you glide instead of fall. There’s a limit to how much you can glide though.
- Nimble Climber. I think you can guess by the name that you get a climbing speed equal to your walking speed.
- Underwater Adaptation. Similar to the above. You can breathe underwater and get a swimming speed equal to your walking speed.
- Level 5
- Grappling Appendages. You grow extra hands that give you a way to attack and, if you hit, attempt to grapple. That’s cool. However, they can’t do anything that requires precision, including using weapons.
- Carapace. You get a +1 to AC if you’re not wearing heavy armor. That plays a role in so many character. Also, I get the reason behind the choice not to stack this with heavy armor.
- Acid Spit. You get to spit acid to a target within 30 feet of you. I don’t really like it, to be honest. The damage looks okay ish but the target doesn’t take half damage on a successful save and there’s no status you can impose on them. Plus, it costs 1 whole action.
- Level 1
- Languages. Common and Elvish. Okay I guess.
The idea of the Simic Hybrid is amazing. However, I feel its implementation is lacking a bit. The Animal Enhancement trait is a really awesome idea but it could be a bit better. Another interesting idea would be making size and speed a variable in the whole adaptability too, though it would increase the complexity a bit.
I remember the Vedalken from when Magic: The Gathering as blue and very smart people, that can excel at anything they may try to do. I’m glad to see their description hasn’t really changed.
- Ability Score Increase. Unsurprisingly, Intelligence gets a +2 and Wisdom a +1. As I said, Vedalken are very smart people.
- Size. Medium.
- Speed. A speed of 30 feet.
- Vedalken Dispassion. Advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws. This is a really strong trait. Gnomes get a similar trait, Gnome Cunning, but this one is an upgrade because it’s not limited to magic.
- Tireless Precision. Another good trait. You gain proficiency with a skill(choosing fromArcana,
History, Investigation, Medicine, Performance, and
Sleight of Hand) and a tool. On top of that, you add a 1d4 on your roll, when using the chosen skill or tool.
- Languages. I’m surprised Vedalken know only Common.
Overall. I’m pleased with what the Vedalken have to offer. However, I can’t keep thinking that something’s missing.
Viashino are humanoid reptiles. Some Magic: The Gathering art present depict them as alligators standing on two feet, but others give them a more snake like appearance. Both versions look cool.
- Ability Score Increase. A +2 to Dexterity and a +1 to Strength. Flavor wise it makes sense. If it was the other way around it would still make sense.
- Size. Medium.
- Speed. 30 feet.
- Bite. A regular bite that deals 1d4 + Strength piercing damage. See, if the +2 was granted to Strength this trait would be better.
- Lashing Tail. This one allows you to strike someone back after they hit you, using your reaction. You get to deal 1d4 + Strength slashing damage.
- Wiry Frame. You gain proficiency with either Acrobatics or Stealth. Not a bad trait. I can see Stealth being the popular pick.
- Languages. Common and Draconic. I really like that Viashino get to know Draconic. It adds to the flavor.
I like the Viashino. I think they are a good pick for melee classes, because of their two melee attack traits. A trait I could see them have, but they don’t, is some sort of natural armor.
Overall, I like the Ravnica races. They have a lot of flavor, as they should. All of them could use a bit more work but they’re close to being a finished product. On another note, we probably got a glimpse of the lore that will be available in the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica.
And until next time, have fun!