Do We Really Need Half-Elves and Half-Orcs? - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    Arent all the core races cliche?

    I dont have a problem with the half- races. But anyone who does can easily remove them from the game. Or they can easily be reskinned to be something else. If the players and DM are in agreement, anyway. I cant see removing them from a game if one or more players may want to play one.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonCarcharodon View Post
    See, I don't get half-elves.
    "*I* would not like to play them, and therefore *YOU* shouldn't play them," is what you are saying.

    Here is a thing that all GMs should learn... Most of it isn't about you. You don't have to get it. If *they* get it and have fun with it, that is what matters.

    Yes, a GM should have fun, and the GM is certainly steward of what is available in a campaign. But, that power should be used for the right reasons. Are the half-elf or half-orc mechanically broken, so that they'd hose the fun of other players or the balance of your adventure design? That's unlikely. From there... does them playing something you don't personally find fun really bother you? Should it?

    I, myself, don't like coffee. To me, it tastes of ashes and sadness, and I just don't see the appeal. However, I know a lot of other people do like coffee, so when I have folks over for dinner, sure, I set most of the menu, but I can and will produce coffee to go with dessert. Because that coffee is for them, not me. My pleasure is not from the coffee, it is in giving them a meal they enjoy.

    Now, If I were allergic to coffee, or the smell of it gave me migraines, I could see saying that I won't have it at my table. But just for not liking it myself? That's not a great reason to say someone else can't have it.


    Half-elves and half-orcs are described often as anomalies or one-offs. That they're all searching for their place in society, or their parents don't accept them, or blah blah blah. Yeah, it worked for Dragonlance back in the 80s, but that was thirty years ago. Now it's not only cliche, but boring. Not to mention, half-orcs are portrayed a lot of the time as products of horrible assaults.
    Aside form the fact that thalf-elves had been in the game for a decade or so before Dragonlance, and in Tolkien for decades before that... Being alienated is a standard problem of real-world humans. It is a major element in young adult fiction for a reason - many people identify with it.

    Yes, Half-orcs are often portrayed as the products of horrible assaults. But then again... how many sentient creatures do adventurers kill in the course of their career? If horrible assault was really your issue, a game that a lot of the time is a bunch of murderhobos killing things and taking their stuff may not be your best bet. In playing D&D, you are generally accepting that you are playing a world of violence, and will either have to gloss over the impact of that, or take the effort to address it. If you are glossing, then the half-orc isn't an issue, and if you are addressing, the half-orc can be a useful thematic agent.
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  3. #13
    @Umbran explained my thoughts better than I could, so ditto. 🙂 Just because the themes those races represent feel old doesnt mean theyre still not a relevant thing, and not well-represented by those races.

    A while back I was on a kick of tossing out all the non-standard races too, (no Dragonborn, tieflings, etc.) and eventually stopped caring and just let people play what they want to play, and worked it into my campaign justification, having their race choices play a larger part in the story than I originally planned.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    Aside form the fact that thalf-elves had been in the game for a decade or so before Dragonlance, and in Tolkien for decades before that... Being alienated is a standard problem of real-world humans. It is a major element in young adult fiction for a reason - many people identify with it.

    Yes, Half-orcs are often portrayed as the products of horrible assaults. But then again... how many sentient creatures do adventurers kill in the course of their career? If horrible assault was really your issue, a game that a lot of the time is a bunch of murderhobos killing things and taking their stuff may not be your best bet. In playing D&D, you are generally accepting that you are playing a world of violence, and will either have to gloss over the impact of that, or take the effort to address it. If you are glossing, then the half-orc isn't an issue, and if you are addressing, the half-orc can be a useful thematic agent.
    You'll never play D&D with someone that's been murdered.
    You will possibly play D&D with someone who has suffered the trauma of rape.

    Understanding that difference and how those differences impact the people you play with is important.
    Last edited by bedir than; Sunday, 2nd December, 2018 at 06:16 PM. Reason: clipping quote for relevance
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  5. #15
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    If you do not want them, you do not need to have them in your campaign. You may be limiting the more core races for choices like dragonborn and tiefling. I have played campaigns where everyone was a dwarf or even halflings.

    I'm indifferent on players taking stranger races like some of the stuff in supplements and expansion books. We had a player who liked it but now everyone takes PHB races. Not sure how I would DM a party with a goblin, a grung, a orc, and a lizardfolk all wanting to go to the tavern.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedir than View Post
    You'll never play D&D with someone that's been murdered.
    You will possibly play D&D with someone who has suffered the trauma of rape.

    Understanding that difference and how those differences impact the people you play with is important.
    You will also possibly play the game with someone who has been the victim of an assault ranging from minor, up to someone attempting to murder them.
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  7. #17
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    The only race we really need are humans.

    Elves don't make sense.
    Dwarves don't make sense.
    None of them make sense.

    Because it's a magic fantasy land.

    Half-Elves and Half-Orcs allow for playing something a little alien without going the full way.
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  8. #18
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    We need the 1/2elves & 1/2orcs in the rulebook for general purposes.
    Whether YOU need them in your specific campaign is another thing....
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  9. #19
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    I have given in to the kitchen sink when it comes to races in D&D. I do not prefer most of the exotic races. I don't like the monk class. I am not keen on bards. However, some players really like playing these things, so I stopped restricting them entirely and run a wide open game.

    It makes sense that unusual folks would be adventurers - it may be one of the few avenues of support and livelihood available to them.

    The half-races don't bother me - I portray them in non-violent origins, but it really does not come up much.

    When I run other games like Ars Magica or even WFRP I can stick with all human campaigns.
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  10. #20
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    To answer the question in the thread title, no you don't need half-elves or half-orcs. You also don't need humans, halflings, gnomes, dwarves, etc. The game requires a race in order to be played, but no specific race is needed.
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