Wizards of the Coast have released their newest One D&D playtest today. The studio has been receiving considerable feedback on their newest edition of the world's most popular TTRPG. This has included concerns regarding future third-party support as well as constructive feedback regarding changes to certain types of classes. The newest material does mark a more progressive step for the TTRPG as the studio has revised one of the oldest terms of the game: Player Race
How the One D&D playtest changes race
The latest One D&D playtest went live with a post on D&D Beyond. In addition, there is a twenty-minute video on the official D&D YouTube channel where Todd Kenreck talks with Design Architect Jeremy Crawford about the various changes made in the playtest material. The changes in the new material are scattered across different areas of play. For example, Clerics now do not get their subclass at level 1 but at level 3. Crawford explains this is to help new players try out the character class without being overwhelmed by major options at the beginning. Furthermore, Goliaths now have different ancestries they can choose from, tying their origins more to Giants. There have also been some changes to spells such as Aid and Guidance, as well as changes to how a Long Rest works.
But the biggest change in the One D&D playtest material is that the term Race has been changed to Species. This was a deliberate choice by Wizards of the Coast. As they explained in a separate D&D Beyond post, the term 'race' is inextricably tied with various forms of prejudice. Not only did the term reinforce various bioessentialist beliefs, but older editions of D&D would also explicitly call certain groups inherently good or evil. While Wizards of the Coast have made changes to the game both in mechanical changes in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything as well as revised lore in Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse, the term of Race has been a part of the game's lexicon of terms. Now, with this new material and in all materials going forwards, the less loaded term of species will be used. The term species was chosen with the aid of multiple cultural consultants; a continuation of the studio's revised inclusion review policy.