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Dungeons & Dragons Is Swapping "Race" For "Species"

A new day, a new Unearthed Arcana released for One D&D, the codename being used for the next edition of Dungeons & Dragons. This most recent Unearthed Arcana introduces a massive glossary of terms that have been revamped and cleaned up since Fifth Edition, the new and improved Life Domain Cleric subclass, and another big change for the game. The term "race" has been replaced with "species," ending a problematic section of the D&D rules.

"Dungeons & Dragons has a history of evolving to meet the needs of our players and foster an inviting space for everyone," wrote Wizards of the Coast in yesterday's blog update. "With that in mind, we understand 'race' is a problematic term that has had prejudiced links between real-world people and the fantasy peoples of D&D worlds. The usage of the term across D&D and other popular IP has evolved over time. Now it’s time for the next evolution."

Race has always been a problem in D&D, but it became too big to ignore in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests following George Floyd's death. Sensing the moment, Wizards of the Coast announced plans to change the way racial mechanics work in D&D, although they did admit it would take "several years." A few years later and Tasha's Cauldron of Everything introduced us to the new Character Origins that allows players to build their character using backgrounds that adjust ability score modifiers, skill proficiencies, and even offer a free feat.

D&D still used to the term "race" in Tasha's, but that's changing in One D&D. Instead, all previous instances of "race" will be replaced with "species," a term selected in consultation with cultural experts. Wizards of the Coast is still mindful of the fact this is a big change for the game, and is asking for player feedback in a survey being sent out on December 21.

You can view the latest Unearthed Arcana here for a few examples of how the new “species” mechanics are being handled.

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