Is the omission of a racial +2 to wisdom intentional? [closed]

In the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, the selection of a race determines one or more bonuses to a primary attribute. For example, humans get +1 to all six attributes, while a wood elf gets +2 to Dexterity and a +1 Wisdom.

It is interesting to note that no race or racial subtype in the Players Handbook and the Dungeon Master Guide provide a +2 to Wisdom. Arguably, this could mean that Clerics and other divine spell casters are at a racial disadvantage to, say, a wizard, since it is possible to roll a wizard of a race that provides +2 to Intelligence. In fact, Wisdom is the only primary attribute for which no race or racial subtype provides a +2 bonus.

My question is this: Is there any official explanation from Wizards of the Coast explaining this omission? Is it deliberate? Was it merely an oversight, meant to be rectified with custom classes or future supplements? Is there an explanation from the publisher that would justify the complete absence of races with exceptional wisdom?

I would like, of course, to avoid subjective exploration of the topic. My interest is strictly in whether this omission was deliberate, or whether it has received any official explanation from the publisher.

I find it interesting that the newly-released Elemental Evil Players Companion introduces four new races, even one that offers the enviable +2 STR/+1 CON combination, and yet there remains no official race granting a native +2 WIS.

The greatest evidence in favor of the answer “no” is that it does not appear that the designers have ever explicitly said otherwise, while the greatest evidence in favor of “yes” is that two NPC races with +2 WIS are denied the same bonus as PCs.

I find it interesting, and will wait it out a little longer pending updates from WotC. I rather expect that this question will be answered the moment a racial counterexample has been published.

Does the racial trait from Innistrad Provincial Origin, Stensia and the feat Tough stack?

The Player’s Handbook feat Tough:

Your hit point maximum increases by an amount equal to twice your level when you gain this feat. Whenever you gain a level thereafter, your hit point maximum increases by an additional 2 hit points

and the Innistrad human provincial origin Stensia racial trait Tough:

Tough. Your hit point maximum increases by 2, and it increases by 2 every time you gain a level.

Seems to have the same name and effect. Do they stack?

Does the Fade Away gnome racial feat require concentration?

Does the invisibility that the Fade Away racial feat (for gnomes) grants require concentration or would using it drop any spells the user is currently concentrating on?

The wording doesn’t specifically say that (you become invisible, you don’t cast the invisibility spell). I am unsure of how it works, and can’t find the answer online. How does Fade Away work?

Is a racial feature balanced that lets you chose any low-level spell to learn

Many races give certain low-level spells on a once-per-day basis and there is the high elf who can learn any wizard cantrip. Now consider the following racial feature:

Chose any spell of spell level one or two. You can cast that spell once without expending a spell slot. If you do, you cannot cast that spell again this way until you finish a long rest. Your spellcasting ability for the spell is intelligence, wisdom, or charisma (your choice).

My question now is if this problematic, especially from a balance perspective. There are two specific concern I see that might be relevant.

  1. Powerful combat spells, such as Shatter or Guiding Bolt

  2. Class specific spells which become available to members of other classes

While there are certainly specific interactions to be exploited here (just like with multiclassing and feat combinations) that is not what I’m interested in. I’m rather interested in general problems posed by certain groups of spells (like the ones named above).

I assume that the once-per-day class generally prevents abuse. Secondly, many official races already provide such spells, albeit without the choice. Furthermore, this question concluded that making level one spells available once per day via a feat (which some official feats do) poses no problem. That is different from this question, however, in that I am considering a racial feature which can grant spells of levels one and two rather than just level one.

Does this racial feature pose general problems of balance?

Side note: I am working on a point buy system for racial features, so this will not go into a specific race I’m designing.

Side not 2: I am not sure as of yet, how the feature will be valued. Of course, the feature is more valuable than any specific spell, just like the high elf cantrip of choice is more valuable than other features which provide a specific cantrip.

Explanation on the system: My valuation of features is generally based on this analysis found online. I do not make all features available that are found in official races, just a subset which fits the style of my game, but players can freely chose ability score increases (such as +2/+1 to any chosen scores), as well as skill and tool proficiencies and a few other features (such as Dwarven Resilience, Lucky, or a climbing speed).

Does a Character with a Custom Lineage belong to a race, for the purposes of racial requirements?

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduces new character options. In the Customizing Your Origin subsection, there is a side panel that details the Custom Lineage options.

This option allows you to, "instead of choosing one of the game’s races for your character at 1st level", select among a few options to shape your character’s origin.

It is unclear if the resulting character is actually part of an official race, for the purpose of picking racial feats, attuning to race specific magic items, or picking race specific subclasses.

Does the Orc’s ‘Aggressive’ racial trait allow you to move with a grappled target as long as you move toward it?


Aggressive. As a bonus action, you can move up to your movement speed toward a hostile creature you can see or hear. You must end this move closer to the enemy than you started.

That last clause seems to indicate the negative, since a grappled creature would move with me even if I was moving toward it, and therefore not closer to the enemy than I started?

What happens when a creature with Racial Hit Dice changes creature type?

The specific example I’m working with is a creature with RHD who takes the Human Heritage feat… and then advances by HD.

The creature retains all the traits of its previous type (so far so good), but what happens to its existing RHD? Do they change to the new type, or stay the same? The SRD says:

…but most templates that change Hit Dice change only the creature’s original HD and leave class Hit Dice unchanged.

However, this is in the context of whether class HD change when there is already an HD change happening, so I don’t know if it should generalize to "HD changing is the default".

If the creature then advances by gaining more HD, I assume that all the new HD would be of the new type, but I’m open to peoples’ opinions on this as well.

Bridging the two questions, there’s also an argument to be made that since Human Heritage is a 1st level only feat, all RHD are acquired after it is taken, and should thus be of the Humanoid type.

How does the Flames of Phlegethos racial feat interact with the sorcerer’s Metamagic option Empowered Spell?

If I have both the Flames of Phlegethos feat and the sorcerer’s Metamagic option Empowered Spell, can I re-roll the same die twice?

The description of the second benefit of the Flames of Phlegethos tiefling racial feat says (XGtE, p. 74):

When you roll fire damage for a spell you cast, you can reroll any roll of 1 on the fire damage dice, but you must use the new roll, even if it is another 1.

The description of the sorcerer’s Metamagic option Empowered Spell reads (PHB, p. 102):

When you roll damage for a spell, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll a number of the damage dice up to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one). You must use the new rolls.

You can use Empowered Spell even if you have already used a different Metamagic option during the casting of the spell.

Can you re-roll the same die with both features, or only once? That is, if you re-roll a die with one of these abilities, does the other ability let you re-roll it?

The "You must use the new roll" makes it sound like you cannot, but in general abilities can can override how other abilities work. Is the "keeping the new roll" restriction limited to re-rolls from that ability, or does it apply to all re-rolls from any source?

There is another interpretation of "You must use the new roll." There is a feat called Savage Attacker which reads:

Once per turn when you roll damage for a melee weapon attack, you can reroll the weapon’s damage dice and use either total.

If you compare this to the language in the previous two abilities, you see that the "re-roll and must use the new roll" could be viewed as the alternate to "re-roll and use either roll", and therefore imposes no restriction on other features re-rolling the die.

How do the Death Ward spell and the half-orc’s Relentless Endurance racial trait interact?

What happens when you cast Death Ward on a half-orc? Do the effects of the spell and the half-orc’s Relentless Endurance racial trait stack?

If so, and you get reduced to 0 HP more than once, can you go back up to 1 HP a second time? Or does only one of them take effect and you can only be brought back to 1 HP once?

My DM thinks the latter.

Are your default racial traits suppressed when choosing the Doppelganger Character Secret?

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden contains a Character Secrets section, one of which is "Doppelganger" :

I’m a shapechanger. I have none of the traits of the race I’m imitating, but I retain my class features, background, and alignment. I have darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. I can use an action to do either of the following at will:

I can innately cast detect thoughts, requiring no components. My spellcasting ability is Intelligence. The spell’s Wisdom save DC is 8 + my proficiency bonus + my Intelligence modifier. I can polymorph into any humanoid I have seen or back into my true form. My statistics, other than my size, don’t change. Any equipment I’m wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. I revert to my true form when I die.

Does this mean that your default race’s traits are nullified when selecting this Character Secret ? Example – a Variant Human Doppelganger wouldn’t have the +1 bonus to two ability scores, the extra skill & extra feat, with that interpretation.