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Thread: D&D Next Blog: Tone and Edition
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 09:37 PM #11
Guide (Lvl 11)
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Friday, 27th April, 2012, 09:39 PM #12
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
But anyway, why should they modulize them because you don't "need" them? Are you really not willing to give up a couple pages in the core PHB to accommodate all D&D players, as opposed to only the ones you deem worthy?
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 09:41 PM #13
A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)
First of all, as a minor point, "rarity" doesn't cut it as a measurement. Immediately, I think of Planescape, where tieflings (but not 4e tieflings) were common, and halflings and elves were rarer. Or Dark Sun where gnomes aren't just uncommon, they're nonexistent. I am not sure that, in a modular game, the designers should worry too much about defining how "common" different races are in a default assumption.
That's a minor point because it's mostly a word-choice issue. The major point runs a little deeper and it is this: not every race belongs in every setting. If you have Race X in the core books, it is very, very hard to take it out in a given setting. Eladrin in 4e Dark Sun exemplify this for me, since it's a race that clearly doesn't fit the melieu, being put into it, simply because it was part of the core.
That's a bit more of an insidious thing, because it's not always obvious until you're designing the next setting that you need to find some way to shoehorn a given race in.
That's avoidable, of course, but it takes some guts to do it.
Personally, I think a much more useful division of races is the amazing power of tropes. Give a "default" (Hero = Human, Lancer = Half-Orc, Smart Guy = High Elf, Big Guy = Dwarf, Chick = Halfling), and some swaps (Big Guy or Heroes could be Dragonborn! Lancer could be Wood Elf or Halfling or Gnome! Smart Guy could be Gnomes!).
Probably not horrible either way, and I absolutely think these guys have a role to play in the game, but if you put Dragonborn into the PHB and the proceed to cram them into every setting orifice you produce, regardless of their suitability, you have a problem.
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 09:42 PM #14
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
As a way to address the divide between lovers and haters of dragonborn, this seems a pretty good solution.
<mild tangential rant>It does touch on a longstanding gripe of mine, however, which is D&D's eternal assumption that Everything Has Elves And Dwarves, and Almost Everything Has Halflings. I mean, if you look at the broader range of fantasy fiction and classify the protagonists, what you come up with is something like this:
Common Races: Humans.
Uncommon Races: Part-humans, cursed humans, transformed humans, superior humans.
Rare Races: Everything else.
Slim, pretty, bow-shooting elves and stout, gruff, axe-swinging dwarves are cribbed directly from Tolkien and show up almost nowhere else, except in the works of people who are imitating either Tolkien or D&D or both *cough*Eragon*cough*. Protagonists in other works are overwhelmingly human. Those that aren't human are usually human-plus, being either a hybrid of human and something else (half-faerie, half-demon, half-god), or a human subjected to some kind of transformation or enchantment (vampire, werewolf), or a Human Who Is Better Than You Boring Regular Humans (anyone with hereditary special powers).
Protagonists who were never human at all are quite unusual and tend to be one-offs. In all of fantasy, there is to my knowledge only one Melnibonean protagonist. I think you'd find more talking animal protagonists than elves or dwarves.
I don't know that there is much to be done about this. For better or worse, we seem to be stuck with elves and dwarves as part of the baseline in D&D, for the same reason we're stuck with Vancian wizards and +1 swords: They've been part of the game forever. But it would be nice to get at least a nod to the idea that a campaign without them is not a crazy radical thing.</mild tangential rant>
Last edited by Dausuul; Saturday, 28th April, 2012 at 03:49 AM.
There is no fluff. There is no crunch. There are only rules of varying precision.
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 09:43 PM #15
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 09:45 PM #16
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
From the description, I would assume that each category is a module.
I personally don't have a place in my world for dragon born or eladrin and they won't be included in the playable races allowed. Tieflings and dro are playable races in the setting but they are monsters and require special treatment.
The problem in separating the races into categories similar to those found on an encounter sheet is that some of them will be in the wrong lists. Putting the races in different books will make it hard for me to use the ones that already exist in my world as an integral parts of the setting. I already foresee an issue concerning my clockwork warriors (warforged) not being available from the start, but thankfully, I don't have a lot of them.
The most important thing is that the books make it perfectly clear that these rare, very rare, and unique races and classes are in no way to be expected to be available for play without the express consent of the DM (or the group as a whole).
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 10:05 PM #17
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 10:16 PM #18
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 10:18 PM #19
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
With elves, high elves, half-elves, and drow in the core game, we might as well call it Elmtrees and Elves, .
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.
-Iago, Shakespeare's Othello, Act III. Scene III. Lines 180-186.
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 10:25 PM #20
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
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