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Are the Races of D&D races of Human or seperate Species according to lore?

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
Just wanted to add that in the Dark Sun campaign setting the lore had it that once Halflings were the only intelligent race, dominated and controlled the world, and that due to a ecological/magical catastrophe they caused way back when, some of them turned into Elves, Dwarves, Humans, etc. so that all those races actually descend from Halfling stock in that setting. No gods created them. (Which of course contradicts what Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes asserts, that every Elf owes his/her ultimate origin to Corellon Larethian, even if the god is unknown in that Elf's world. Since the book passed through the hands of an Arcanaloth editor, maybe take what it says with a grain of salt? :unsure:)
Gods I hate that book. It’s full of such incredible garbage. Genuinely some of the worst lore in the last two editions of the game. Rivaled only by the worst books from 3/.5e.

As much as I view the FR Sundering as equivalent to a tv show having a garbage season 8 premiere sweeping retcon that makes the last several seasons effectively not mean anything, I’d take a thousand pages more of that mediocre work over 80% of MToF.

“Lol Corellon is an ignoble jackass deadbeat father and Moradin is an obstinate victim-blaming bastard but also you should still view Drow and Duergar as the bad guys lawls”

Okay, Mordy, sure thing. Gonna take that whole book as the ignorant ramblings of a self obsessed scholar with no actual clue what the multiverse looks like.
 

Bohandas

Villager
They're different species (to the extent that species can be distinct in a setting where dragons, demons, and angels can breed with anything), the game designers just like to use unnecessarily colorful language
 

Bohandas

Villager
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Just wanted to add that in the Dark Sun campaign setting the lore had it that once Halflings were the only intelligent race, dominated and controlled the world, and that due to a ecological/magical catastrophe they caused way back when, some of them turned into Elves, Dwarves, Humans, etc. so that all those races actually descend from Halfling stock in that setting.
Similarly Dragonlance has the Dwarves, Gnomes, and Kender all descending from a common stock

Well, we can draw some inferences, and both WotC and Paizo did plenty of market research before launching their games...
At the time they were prepping 3E, WotC decided they needed a flagship... but picked the wrong one. The fans generally seem to prefer the Realms. And the mechanics for the realms upped the power level.

When Paizo realized they wouldn't be able to support 4E the way they had 3E, they started their research. They, also, decided they needed a setting - Golarion is a more gonzo setting than either Greyhawk or the Realms.

Meanwhile, 4E was trying the no strong setting elements... Which, as JeffB notes, made it easier to trim and prune... but it also meant more work for the GM. 4E isn't a bad game... but between the lack of D&D feel, and the lack of a strong set of setting elements in the rules, plus no explicit favored setting...

Then, the 5E era dawned. The realms are it. No mods (just specific racial labels) for the realms. ANd 5E has set new records for sales.
I won;t touch 5e specifically because of Forgotten Realms. Forgotten Realms is by far my least favorite setting, behind Greyhawk, Planescape, Spelljammer, Eberron, Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, Ghostwalk, and Mystara (I don't know enough about Nentir Vale to pass judgement on it either way)
 

aramis erak

Explorer
I won;t touch 5e specifically because of Forgotten Realms. Forgotten Realms is by far my least favorite setting, behind Greyhawk, Planescape, Spelljammer, Eberron, Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, Ghostwalk, and Mystara (I don't know enough about Nentir Vale to pass judgement on it either way)
5E is a solid game; that the baseline is FR is essentially irrelevant, since the FR has been tweaked to fit the 5E, while 5E was written by streamlining and taking the best parts of both 3.x and 4.x.
It easily can handle a homebrewed setting; better, perhaps, than 3.x.
 

Hexmage-EN

Explorer
I will say Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes does give a good excuse for why there aren't more half-dwarves (or "muls"). Basically, dwarves don't experience love, and instead of love they experience pride in someone. Elves are more compatible with humans in that they also feel love.

As for other crossbreeds, aren't the halfling subraces supposed to be descended from couplings with dwarves and elves, or are those just hypotheses?
 

Hexmage-EN

Explorer
As for homebrew, I will confess that I once came up with a chart showing how different races were or weren't related. In particular, I set the genies as the progenitors of the galaxy, along with another group of genies who reincarnated as various fey (including elves). Humans came about as a cross between genasi and elves.

I don't really care as much about explaining things now, but I wanted to establish a link with the ancient, human-like genies.
 
I don’t give the least little damn what Gygax intended. Bad ideas don’t become good because their from the creator of a thing. DnD has improved over time in many varied ways, and this is one of them.
I mean...what if someone thought this was in fact actually a good idea? (A lot of people do. Myself included. Its actually far more rational too conaidering most of the lore on orcs. I like internally proprotionate realism in games.) Though its pretty clear that the majority of half orcs result from a self sustaining population not too far into the history of d&d lore, this is in fact not even incongruent with the earlier idea of "mostly the result of rape" (paraphrased), as if the offspring breeds true and later populations are the descendants of the starting population, well, basically since most are descended even if only partially from the original stock and most later "original lines" also are the results of rape, then its the most sensibke thing in the world (depending on edition) to say both that most half orcs are the result of rape and to say most are the result of a half orc line. Because a half orc line generally originated at least a certain number (potentially thousands) of generations ago as the result of rape. It is quite objectively congruent. Like jigsaw pieces. Not at all contradictory. I also still think for many different kinds of reasons (spiritual and biological to name a few among many) a good idea. I fail to see how its a bad one. If you dont like it you can always change it but i think gygax' idea is in good taste. Just saying.
 

Hexmage-EN

Explorer
Personally I don't think D&D needs either rape monsters or a race that is nearly entirely the product of rape. It's a game people are supposed to enjoy, and it doesn't need references to traumatic events that some players may have personally experienced.
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
I mean...what if someone thought this was in fact actually a good idea? (A lot of people do. Myself included. Its actually far more rational too conaidering most of the lore on orcs. I like internally proprotionate realism in games.) Though its pretty clear that the majority of half orcs result from a self sustaining population not too far into the history of d&d lore, this is in fact not even incongruent with the earlier idea of "mostly the result of rape" (paraphrased), as if the offspring breeds true and later populations are the descendants of the starting population, well, basically since most are descended even if only partially from the original stock and most later "original lines" also are the results of rape, then its the most sensibke thing in the world (depending on edition) to say both that most half orcs are the result of rape and to say most are the result of a half orc line. Because a half orc line generally originated at least a certain number (potentially thousands) of generations ago as the result of rape. It is quite objectively congruent. Like jigsaw pieces. Not at all contradictory. I also still think for many different kinds of reasons (spiritual and biological to name a few among many) a good idea. I fail to see how its a bad one. If you dont like it you can always change it but i think gygax' idea is in good taste. Just saying.
Nah, Gygaxes idea was lazy garbage, and the game is better off without it.

In modern dnd, half-orcs are predominantly either the children of orcs and members of other races who boned for all the same reason two humans bone each other, or the children of two half-orcs who boned for all the same reasons that two humans bone each other. 🤷‍♂️
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
I will say Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes does give a good excuse for why there aren't more half-dwarves (or "muls"). Basically, dwarves don't experience love, and instead of love they experience pride in someone. Elves are more compatible with humans in that they also feel love.

As for other crossbreeds, aren't the halfling subraces supposed to be descended from couplings with dwarves and elves, or are those just hypotheses?
Wait, how did I miss that!? Dwarves don’t feel love!?

<cackles sarcastically>

Wow. Mordy’s Fome of Toes is even more egregiously bad than I realized! Amazing!
 

PsyzhranV2

Explorer
Wait, how did I miss that!? Dwarves don’t feel love!?

<cackles sarcastically>

Wow. Mordy’s Fome of Toes is even more egregiously bad than I realized! Amazing!
Exact text:

The Greatest Legacy
The life of a dwarf is all about doing good work and leaving behind a fitting legacy that continues to bolster the clan even after its creator has passed on — a legacy counted not only in objects, but also in dwarven souls. Dwarves who become parents rightfully think of their children as the greatest legacy they can leave the clan, and they raise them with the same care and attention to detail that they give to the items they create. A dwarf’s direct descendants — beloved sons, daughters, and grandchildren — are often the ones who inherit the inanimate works their ancestor leaves behind.

Marriage is a sacred rite among the dwarves, taken very seriously because it requires two children to move away from their homes to start a new family in the clan. The affected families feel a sense of loss that is healed only when a new dwarf child enters the world — an event that calls for great celebration.

Few dwarves develop romantic feelings for their spouses, at least not in the way that other races do. They view their spouses as collaborators and co-creators, their elders as respected experts to be obeyed, and their children as their most treasured creations. The emotion that underlies all those feelings might not be love, as others would term it, but it is just as intense.


Later on, the book emphasizes the role of priests of Berronar Truesilver as the matchmakers within Dwarven clans, arranging marriages to ensure the growth of the clan in quantity and quality. Dwarves exiled from their hold for defying arranged marriages make up a significant portion of Dwarven adventurers.

I say this without malice, but Dwarves in 5e can be summed up with this:
 

David Howery

Adventurer
my own (vague, unofficial, based on 1E) idea was that elves, orcs, and humans are fairly closely related, while dwarves and gnomes are closely related to each other, but not the others. Halflings seem to be closely related to humans (in 1E, they are the only other race that can have 0-level NPCs). Never really put a lot of thought into it...
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
Exact text:

The Greatest Legacy
The life of a dwarf is all about doing good work and leaving behind a fitting legacy that continues to bolster the clan even after its creator has passed on — a legacy counted not only in objects, but also in dwarven souls. Dwarves who become parents rightfully think of their children as the greatest legacy they can leave the clan, and they raise them with the same care and attention to detail that they give to the items they create. A dwarf’s direct descendants — beloved sons, daughters, and grandchildren — are often the ones who inherit the inanimate works their ancestor leaves behind.

Marriage is a sacred rite among the dwarves, taken very seriously because it requires two children to move away from their homes to start a new family in the clan. The affected families feel a sense of loss that is healed only when a new dwarf child enters the world — an event that calls for great celebration.

Few dwarves develop romantic feelings for their spouses, at least not in the way that other races do. They view their spouses as collaborators and co-creators, their elders as respected experts to be obeyed, and their children as their most treasured creations. The emotion that underlies all those feelings might not be love, as others would term it, but it is just as intense.


Later on, the book emphasizes the role of priests of Berronar Truesilver as the matchmakers within Dwarven clans, arranging marriages to ensure the growth of the clan in quantity and quality. Dwarves exiled from their hold for defying arranged marriages make up a significant portion of Dwarven adventurers.

I say this without malice, but Dwarves in 5e can be summed up with this:
It’s like someone set out to write the worst dnd lore book of the 21st century. It’s completely wild!

I do kinda dig little bits of that, like if they’d tried harder to avoid reinventing the races it might have been really good.
 

PsyzhranV2

Explorer
It’s like someone set out to write the worst dnd lore book of the 21st century. It’s completely wild!

I do kinda dig little bits of that, like if they’d tried harder to avoid reinventing the races it might have been really good.
... forgive me, but I'm not sure what's so bad about this aspect of Dwarvish psychology and culture specifically. It makes sense thematically with how concerned Dwarves are with their pursuit of perfection and their material and artistic legacies, and also how grouchy they are on the whole. Was it different in earlier editions?
 
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doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
... forgive me, but I'm not sure what's so bad about this aspect of Dwarvish psychology and culture specifically. It makes sense thematically with how concerned Dwarves are with their pursuit of perfection and their material and artistic legacies, and also how grouchy they are on the whole. Was it different in earlier editions?
Don’t really care too much about earlier editions. Tradition and canon are an abyss.

In nearly all fantasy media, and in most games, dwarves have the full range of emotion that humans do, and they aren’t completely psychologically defined by work.
It’s a concept that could be fun as a variant, and that’s about the most positive thing I can say about it.

Shhh, it's different That's all it takes to be bad. Anything different is bad.
LOL sure, the guy who has frequently been screeched at on these forums for not giving a damn about tradition or canon is definitely the guy who hates anything new. 😂
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
... forgive me, but I'm not sure what's so bad about this aspect of Dwarvish psychology and culture specifically. It makes sense thematically with how concerned Dwarves are with their pursuit of perfection and their material and artistic legacies, and also how grouchy they are on the whole. Was it different in earlier editions?
To get more in depth with it, what I don’t like is that it pushes much too close to a place where dwarves aren’t really people, but are so strongly defined in every aspect of their psychology by work and craft that they are just sophisticated self-replicating automated tools crafted by a god who only cares about them insofar as they serve that purpose.

In a specific setting that wants to bring a twist on the race to do something different and explore an aspect of “what is personhood”, from an angle that doesn’t use androids or something like that, this could be cool.

As what is supposed to be the standard take on a race whose narrative purpose isn’t specifically to explore personhood in the face of rigidly defined emotional and social capacities and psychological drives, it’s a very weird take that doesn’t seem to care about its own implications.

Combine that with the history of the Duergar, who are right to despise Moradin and his servants if you go by MToF, and you’ve just got a bad take on dwarves.
 
Personally I don't think D&D needs either rape monsters or a race that is nearly entirely the product of rape. It's a game people are supposed to enjoy, and it doesn't need references to traumatic events that some players may have personally experienced.
Well i suppose we'll have to agree to disagree (although i never said dnd needed anything. You are the one imposing your will and preference when you say dnd doesnt "need" x). I also disagree that dnd or its players needs any sort of sheltering from darker story ideas. Like an entire race brought into being by rape (which is a common mythical theme across cultures btw not just a modern thing). Besides. A story is much more interesting when you dont remove the parts that make a sheltered few squeamish. Your personal squeamishness shouldnt be the measuring standard for whats good. Nor should my opinion that its in good taste in this particular story be justification for players or dms being forced to use it. It should be a choice. But i view it to be totally in good taste. Just like any dark story detail has the potential to be in the right artists story.
 
Gods I hate that book. It’s full of such incredible garbage. Genuinely some of the worst lore in the last two editions of the game. Rivaled only by the worst books from 3/.5e.

As much as I view the FR Sundering as equivalent to a tv show having a garbage season 8 premiere sweeping retcon that makes the last several seasons effectively not mean anything, I’d take a thousand pages more of that mediocre work over 80% of MToF.

“Lol Corellon is an ignoble jackass deadbeat father and Moradin is an obstinate victim-blaming bastard but also you should still view Drow and Duergar as the bad guys lawls”

Okay, Mordy, sure thing. Gonna take that whole book as the ignorant ramblings of a self obsessed scholar with no actual clue what the multiverse looks like.
I don't think Mordenkainen is actually that clueless. We know who the culprits are in the real world, but in the game, I think Shemeska the Marauder has some kind of grudge against Mordenkainen and is trying to get everybody ticked off at him by altering his work to include offensive and false slander against various races and deities.
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
I don't think Mordenkainen is actually that clueless. We know who the culprits are in the real world, but in the game, I think Shemeska the Marauder has some kind of grudge against Mordenkainen and is trying to get everybody ticked off at him by altering his work to include offensive and false slander against various races and deities.
Lol like, he’s actually pretty cool and knowledgeable, and she’s sabotaging his reputation?

I might have to use that in a multi-planar campaign. Or subvert the expectation further, and she is actually right, and he is gaslighting everyone.

Either way there is a rad seed there.
 

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