5E Monster Races and a quick sword thrust at the gate
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  1. #1

    Monster Races and a quick sword thrust at the gate

    I DM a few 5E games. Some of my players love to play monster races like goblin,kobold and Lizard man, but regardless of what I tell them expect to be able to just walk on in to any town and city.

    This has lead to a few pc deaths. Also it seems to be the general thought that I'm home brewing this reaction and that the default in 5E is everyone just gets along together. That drow and goblins and orcs and whatever monster the pc's expect to play next week SHOULD be welcome to just walk on in anyplace nice and safe because people of D&D worlds NEVER judge anyone by race(even though the pc's do 100% of the time ...never once stopped to ask a goblin they encountered in the woods, nope it's just look xp!).

    Is this a issue for other DM's? It frankly about to the point of me saying player handbook races only.
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    If you warned them to expect problems and they ignored you, that's on them.

    OTOH, nothing wrong with just letting them get away with it, even if it doesn't make a lot of sense in the logic of the game.

  3. #3
    In my last campaign, one of the players played the son of his previous character (human) and a gnoll aasimar NPC. He was a good but quirky half-gnoll paladin with a Charisma of 8. Because he was well known, a part of the military, and looked more like the wolfman that a full gnoll, he did not have too much trouble.

    Eventually, his character stayed behind in a city with another PC. Both players made new characters, and the player rolled up a kobold who was introduced to the group for a series of missions that stayed outside of cities and civilization for the most part. That character died about halfway through the "away missions" and was replaced by his owner, a drow priestess in disguise. That character helped out, retrieved the ring that had the kobold's sould trapped in it and left the party as the they returned to the original city. As both the PCs stayed outside of civilization, they did not experience any trouble.

    In the final chapter, the player picked up his half-gnoll paladin again. This was 20th-level, save-the-world stuff at this point. The drow priestess and kobold were brought back as NPCs with a drow army to help fight for the city. Her reasoning was that if Kyuss was not stopped here, his forces would expand and overwhelm the Underdark as well. The city was too busy fighting masses of zombies and undead to tell them, "No," and by the end, their help was welcome.

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    Kobold and Goblin (and the goblinoid and orc and yuan-ti)* -- yes. A player choosing that race should reasonably expect trouble in social situations, and the obligation is on the player to come up with ways to avoid it. That's part of the fun of choosing to play a monstrous race (said as someone who likes to do so himself).

    Lizardfolk, I'd say no. Yes, they might be unusual or rare, and maybe suspicion will be warranted, but they're not evil by nature and should't receive the same automatic prejudice.


    * i.e. the races on 118-20 of Volo's Guide

  5. #5
    Why are they playing these races in the first place? To me you are putting realism before fun and honestly I would probably not play in a game like that.
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    I don't typically bother with giving monstrous PC races a harder time than anyone else. I generally want to spend as little time as possible in towns anyway and I don't need to turn every town trip into some kind of social interaction challenge or possibly a combat because of a choice a player made at character creation. I'd rather they get whatever supplies or whatever they need and get back to boldly confronting deadly perils in the adventure location they are delving.

    But if I did want to play this aspect up, I would certainly expect my players to take my warning about potentially hostile interactions in towns seriously.

    I'm running a Planescape game now anyway and everyone in Sigil is some kind of weirdo so it's not an issue.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kobold Stew View Post
    Kobold and Goblin (and the goblinoid and orc and yuan-ti)* -- yes. A player choosing that race should reasonably expect trouble in social situations, and the obligation is on the player to come up with ways to avoid it. That's part of the fun of choosing to play a monstrous race (said as someone who likes to do so himself).

    Lizardfolk, I'd say no. Yes, they might be unusual or rare, and maybe suspicion will be warranted, but they're not evil by nature and should't receive the same automatic prejudice.


    * i.e. the races on 118-20 of Volo's Guide
    To each his own and I'm not suggesting its wrong for your game but for mine. Lizardmen eat any humans who pass into their lands. That's in the description of the race in the monster manual. If a human being killed and ate any human that wandered into his lands he would be labeled EVIL but because Lizardmen are so......not human I think they made them Neutral in the same way they made Cthulhu Neutral. Not because he is really neutral towards humans but because he is so alien.

    When you know people killed and eaten by a group of folk, it's hard to be ok with them just walking on into YOUr lands and getting comfortable if for no other reason than because if they like it ...YOUR lands might become THEIR lands and you dinner.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    I don't typically bother with giving monstrous PC races a harder time than anyone else. I generally want to spend as little time as possible in towns anyway and I don't need to turn every town trip into some kind of social interaction challenge or possibly a combat because of a choice a player made at character creation. I'd rather they get whatever supplies or whatever they need and get back to boldly confronting deadly perils in the adventure location they are delving.

    But if I did want to play this aspect up, I would certainly expect my players to take my warning about potentially hostile interactions in towns seriously.

    I'm running a Planescape game now anyway and everyone in Sigil is some kind of weirdo so it's not an issue.
    Yeah Planescape is different but that highlights one aspect of it.

    Different settings mean different things. While Kobolds might be a monster race in faerun in Midgard they are at least in many locations,a standard race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GameOgre View Post
    Yeah Planescape is different but that highlights one aspect of it.

    Different settings mean different things. While Kobolds might be a monster race in faerun in Midgard they are at least in many locations,a standard race.
    Yeah. Giving them too a hard time just doesn't bring much to the table in my opinion, even if a monstrous race is seen as bad in the setting. So I feel like as long as the player isn't bring trouble upon his or her character purposefully, then I'm not going to go out of my way to persecute them.

    Same with necromancers too. In my last campaign, a player wanted to be a necromancer and asked if the people in the setting were going to give him a hard time about his rotting flunkies. I said that they won't give him a hard time unless his skeletons and zombie minions slow down the game - that's when the pitchforks and torches come out. So he kept his horde to a minimum and it was all good.

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    We can disagree on this.

    I've given you an easy rubric (yes to all races except for those at Volo's 118-20) and of course you can adjust to taste. There's nothing wrong with choosing to add the hype to Lizardfolk, but it's not in the MM description:

    "When unwelcome visitors are detected [trespassing in their lands], a tribe sends a hunting band to drive the trespassers off..."

    "Truly neutral creatures, they kill when it is expedient..."

    "Occasions might arise when lizardlfolk will form alliances with their neighbors. ... Once lizardfolk forge ties with outsiders, they are steadfast and fierce allies."

    Quote Originally Posted by GameOgre View Post
    To each his own and I'm not suggesting its wrong for your game but for mine. Lizardmen eat any humans who pass into their lands. That's in the description of the race in the monster manual.

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