Unearthed Arcana 2021 Gothic Lineages First Impression

I take a look at today’s Unearthed Arcana release, introducing the D&D 5e version of the Dhampir, Hexblood, and the Returned.

What does this mean for future lineages? Where are these going to show up? What trends can we see developing? Swing by and see if you agree with my thoughts, and thanks!


EDIT: Giving it a read now. I had a question but you answered it very quickly in your review.

Great review! Thank you for breaking that down for us. :slight_smile:

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This is hot, thanks for the review. It looks like they are open to the feedback they’ve gotten about the limits of Tasha’s

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Big question is what upcoming setting is this UA hinting to?

Domain of dread / Ravenloft or Innistrad?

BTW, according to the wiki, the Innistrad card set for MTG is supposed to be released in Q4 of 2021.

Yeah, I have a feeling we’re going to see another Magic D&D setting, and Innistrad seems like a likely candidate.

I don’t have much interest in the Magic settings, in general, but Innistrad is a setting I think I could get into.

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I’m debating whether to post this or not because it’s probably going to come out as a 5E hating post and we’re all tired of edition wars. So I’ll do my best to be nuanced. :smile:

New race options

I think the three new races are definitely cool… but in the right setting. I can’t see them being played in Forgotten Realms. More on that in the settings below. :point_down:

To be honest, I’ve developed “player option aversion” for the simple reason that I can’t remember them. It’s the same reason I stopped playing Warmachine. Since I couldn’t remember the abilities of my opponents, I couldn’t be competitive and it just wasn’t fun anymore. Fortunately, it’s not the same with RPGs but at least I can trust my players to play fairly and it’s a cooperative game. And, to be honest, they don’t even take the time to read and use them so it’s not even a concern. So it’s frustrating but I can live with it.

I’m wondering if this aversion comes from my antiquated pre-conceived notion that a game should have few choices. I did start playing video games with an Atari where your only choice of character in Q-Bert was, you guessed it, Q-Bert. This evolved to two choices in Super Mario Bros. Then to 12 in Street Fighter II and so on… And since my first RPG was BECMI, I swear by the original 4 human classes and 3 demi-humans. It’s no wonder I love DCC! But I guess it’s time to move on. :laughing: Am I the only one who thinks like this?

Settings speculation

In regards to the speculation that this might be an upcoming setting… You probably guessed that I’m wishing for an older setting. Especially since they teased it last year. I never got to enjoy Dragonlance, Spelljammer or Dark Sun so a “polished” one book setting would be really nice!

I don’t think it will be Ravenloft because Curse of Strahd is the current interpretation of that setting book.

Which means I’m fully expecting a MTG setting again. Honestly though, I wouldn’t mind it too much. I skimmed over Ravnica and it looks like a really cool setting! I might even buy the book. So it intrigued me and I started digging into Innistrad. Lo and behold this setting looks like it also has lots of potential! And after wasting too much time on the MTG Planes Databank, I came to the conclusion that all the MTG plane settings look cool and innovative!

But what really annoys me with the 5E is that they never follow up with adventure/campaign books after publishing a new setting. I understand that it’s too soon for Theros but where is the Ravnica adventure/campaign book? Are we going back to the 2E period where they lost control of the amount of settings? Should we expect to get the adventures from the DM’s Guild? If so, it should be clearly stated… or did I miss that memo too? Instead of fiddling with player options, why don’t they put out more adventure books? And the answer is probably because they can sell more player books than DM books…

Now that I got this off my chest, believe it or not I’m optimistic that we should eventually be getting an interesting setting soon! :smiley:


I find SO many adventures in the new campaign settings on The DM’s Guild that I never have problems finding content (all all levels) for various settings. In fact, it seems that new companion PDFs/books come out there near-simultaneous these days.

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I also find lots of material in the DM’s Guild but I guess I was expecting WOTC to come out with “official books” like the old model. That’s why I was asking “Should we expect to get the adventures from the DM’s Guild?

Things change… I’ll just have to adapt.



Also, I’m not a 5e player, so I have no skin in the game, but I do find it odd that they are taking stat minuses off the table. I always felt those were just an easy disadvantage to balance out other advantages. Fictional example: You’re playing an Aarakocra, you have flight, claw/claw/beak, I don’t remember but probably some extra vision. It seems something like a -1 or -2 to Constitution is an easy way to “balance the scales” as it were.


Turns out I was wrong! :laughing:

If you check out the upcoming D&D release for May, “Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft”, they mention the lineage from the Unearthed Arcana:

Discover a host of new backgrounds and trinkets themed specifically for a horror setting, as well as new character lineages, including the dhampir, hexblood, and reborn.