Recently, Wizards of the Coast announced a change to rules regarding half-orcs and half-elves. (Basically, they’re more or less doing away with them in an effort to not seem racially-insensitive.) While their intentions might have been good (at least, as good as corporations are capable of), this pretty much backfired. In addition to accusations of racial insensitivity because of this choice, they took away options for players to better express their imagination. Which, combined with their previous war on homebrew, makes one wonder if we need to get a scandal bingo sheet at this point.
But fret not, dear species-splicers. There’s a series of homebrew supplements out there that actually gives you a robust system to mix all the D&D races.
Yes, reader. Even warforged.
An Elf and an Orc Had a Little Baby consist of three sizable volumes that allow you to mix not only traditional player character species, but (in the case of the second and third installments) also monsters such as gnolls, dryads, and even the jellyfish-like flumphs.
Customization with these choices works like this. For example, let’s say that you are making a half-human/half-warforged paladin. (And also basically RoboCop.) There are two routes you can go with diving up heritage traits. First, is a point buy system, with sixteen total points that you can spend across traits from both parents. (For example, the Constructed Resilience warforged feature costs ten points, while the human’s Ability Score Increase features costs six.) Those in a particular hurry need not worry. You can also assign one parent as “Parent I” and the other as “Parent II” for a mix of results.
But in addition to these absolutely immense hybrid options, An Elf and an Orc Had a Little Baby also offers players to pick how their character was raised. (As to further obliterate the need for the second chapter of the Player’s Handbook). For example, you can have your Terminator stand-in be raised in the Banker upbringing, which allows them two languages of their choice, an increase in Constitution (+2) and Intelligence (+1), and the Warder’s Intuition feature (which adds bonuses to Intelligence and thieves’s tools skill checks).
Overall, An Elf and an Orc Had a Little Baby is a rather versatile (and pretty balanced) piece of homebrew. It would be right at home on any DM’s shelf, if not only ones obsessed with creativity in character creation. Or perhaps those obsessed with the morbid curiosity of seeing an aboleth/autognome hybrid that was raised as an acrobat.