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Thread: Monster PCs

  1. #21
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oryan77 View Post
    But if the group is playing a more traditional fantasy game, where Trolls are feared and pretty much killed on sight (or you run away on sight), then it would be pretty lame to have a Troll in the adventuring party. My first thought would be, "Who the hell are the guys traveling with a freaking Troll?" And if some how a group of guys would travel with a Troll, that doesn't mean NPCs are going to be ok with it and never react.
    I played a troll in a fairly typical fantasy campaign. People mostly treated him like a very dangerous animal, much like people would treat a druid's animal companion or a wizard's familiar.
    It's a big world out there. Go tear it up.


  • #22
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
    And strangely if the group is rping a lot monster PCs also shouldn't be a problem.
    How is that strange? Because I didn't mention it? If the players and the DM are roleplaying the fact that there is a monster race in the group, then obviously they are handling it well and that doesn't need to be mentioned. But what I was saying is that most likely, any group playing with a monstrous PC isn't going to bother doing that. There are exceptions, but my opinion is that in general, most people just play a monstrous race for the cool stuff and throw the roleplaying consequences out the window; including the DM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
    The only reason elves are PC races and goblins are monsters is the book they appear in.
    If all you focus on are the stats, then sure (even though Elves appear in the Monster Manual). But if you read the flavor text (even 3e & 4e have a tiny bit of flavor text for each creature), then I disagree with that.

    Maybe the OP doesn't care about the roleplaying and is concerned about the stats. Or maybe he doesn't care about the stats and is concerned about the roleplaying aspect. He never said. Either way, if playing a monstrous race was no different than a core race, and there was nothing wrong with it, there would be no need to start a thread to get opinions about it.
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  • #23
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)

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    In AD&D 2nd Edition, we had a party with a centaur fighter and a falcon hengeyokai ranger, and later on in the same campaign we had an aspis drone rogue. (All three of these were run by the same player.) We haven't had anything exotic in our 3E campaigns, mostly because two of our players were brand new to RPGs and we consciously decided to keep to "core rules only" - so only PHB races for the PCs.

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  • #24
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    Cutpurse (Lvl 5)

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    I remember playing a pbp 3e game where all the pc's were evil. I forget the ultimate goal, but it was a hoot - and some really good role playing. We had a drow, a githyanki, a cambion, a minotaur, a vampire, and one or two other evil dudes.
    Knowing that player v player could be upon ya at any second kept it very interesting

  • #25
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    Gallant (Lvl 3)

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    I will echo the need to define "monsters", as the term is very setting dependent. There could easily be a setting in which humans and goblinoids are the normal races, but dwarves and elves are "monsters". Also, with the proliferation of playable races, there are many creatures that some would consider monsters while others think are normal for PCs.

    In 2e, I played in a group that often included an Alighi (basically a wookie), and had a short lived campaign with dragon PCs.
    In Star Wars, I played several games that had wookies.
    In 3e, I once allowed a hobgoblin PC, and I played in a game with a pair of half-dragons.

    Personally, I prefer to avoid PCs as races that are considered "monsters", although playing a member of a race that is treated as outcast can be interesting (i.e. goblinoids in Eberron, not trolls in Middle Earth or Greyhawk).

  • #26
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

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    I am generally not a fan, but have allowed some here and there, including:

    -a doppelganger
    -a half-dragon
    -several templates applied over time and through adventuring
    -a humanoid porcupine

    I also have two non-standard, slightly monstrous pc races available- the tabaxi and the merellin (which is sort of a dolphinwere).
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  • #27
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    I'm booting up a campaign where typically monstrous races are actually valued members of an otherwise human-dominated society, so goblinoids, orcs, ogres, trolls, kobolds, etc. are actually valid playchoices (depending on the player's current ECL). We're starting at ECL 1 at the moment, so there are a lot of choices players couldn't make for their beginning PCs... Which also gives me time to work on the mechanics of PC playable monstrous races as well detail as their in-game backgrounds.

    It's something I've found to be a nice balancing act against what I'm doing with many of the PHB races in the campaign's background, and the players find the options intriguing.

    (FWIW, a large group of barbarian human tribes invaded human, elven, dwarven, halfling, and gnome civilizations with the allied aid of goblinoids, orcs, giants, etc. and established a continental empire that is currently roughly on par with ancient China before it became isolationist.)

  • #28
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    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

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    I've played a flind ranger (way back in the 90's, 2nd edition), one of my all time favourite characters. It was balanced, and I roleplayed it. He couldn't go into establishments with the other characters, and, he was outcast by his own kind as well for being with the party. That side of it makes playing a monster challenging.

    Recently I had a player play as a doppleganger in 4e. He decided that the other PCs didn't know, and posed as a female elf. In this campaign world he would have been crucified if anyone found out, especially if the dragonborn zealot sorcerer in the party found out. They started off on a small island, so when they encountered elves, there was a roll to see if one of the elves recognized this female "elf" that was thought dead.

    I think it's just a matter of balancing it, and it makes for some interesting story dynamics. Yeah, being a flind was cool, but I couldn't just walk to the store and by a new sword!

  • #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Raven Crowking View Post
    I am not a big fan of monster PCs.

    I agree, it's hard enough trying to play a different person, never mind a different species. Then you get to rules balancing problems, gah. If a PC really badly wants to play a monster type, fair enough, but they need to accept problems to go with the assumed benefits.

  • #30
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    I agree with the benefits come with problems. Let's face it, the most fun characters to play are the flawed ones, or the ones you rolled terribly for.

    But I disagree with your first statement. It's the DM's job to play everything from humans, to dragons, to house cats, a player just needs to worry about one character. And unless you only play human characters, you have to play a different species!

    Don't get me wrong, if every player comes to me wanting to play a monster character, it's not going to happen. I basically go through an interview process, I want to hear why they want to play the character. I was against the doppleganger character in my group, but he convinced me by saying he didn't want the other party members to know his true identity. Which led to some really tense moments where his identity almost slipped out.

    I think my only rule is the monster has to be humanoid, and no larger than medium sized.

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