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

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.
Actually, well, yeah. If you look very much into modenkainen thats pretty much the case. His character is essentially cast as the go-to extreme example of an absurdly knowledgeable wizard with information on things across the multiplanar expanse. Whether a defamation campaign or just simply a chronological exception in the pattern of people writing about him, ignorance on his part or the appearance of it is basically an out of place hiccup. Look more into that character's history and you will have serious trouble finding a character with an origin among mortals who even comes close to his knowledgeability level. Basically. Also leader of the circle of eight. Come on...hes not daft. Also, id be more wary trusting an arcanoloth to tell you unaltered truth than i would almost anything else in the game. Thats a veeeeeeeeery good rule.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
Actually, well, yeah. If you look very much into modenkainen thats pretty much the case. His character is essentially cast as the go-to extreme example of an absurdly knowledgeable wizard with information on things across the multiplanar expanse. Whether a defamation campaign or just simply a chronological exception in the pattern of people writing about him, ignorance on his part or the appearance of it is basically an out of place hiccup. Look more into that character's history and you will have serious trouble finding a character with an origin among mortals who even comes close to his knowledgeability level. Basically. Also leader of the circle of eight. Come on...hes not daft. Also, id be more wary trusting an arcanoloth to tell you unaltered truth than i would almost anything else in the game. Thats a veeeeeeeeery good rule.
Eh, extremely knowledgeable people of extreme intelligence, without exception, have significant blind spots. Him being ignorant about something because he is filling in blanks with his big brain and overlooking simpler, actually true, answers, wouldn’t be strange at all. It’d just make him more realistic.
 
Eh, extremely knowledgeable people of extreme intelligence, without exception, have significant blind spots. Him being ignorant about something because he is filling in blanks with his big brain and overlooking simpler, actually true, answers, wouldn’t be strange at all. It’d just make him more realistic.
Everyone has blind spots (except for those for whom are a literal exception in d&d. Mordenkainen is not one of those. Hes not omniscient. But he literally knows more than the gods devils and demon princes on their own personal matters occasionally. But hes not omniscient.). However you are almost certainly incorrect that this being a blind spot for mordy is actually the more realistic of two options. The other option is actually the more realistic option. And simpler. Arcanaloths lie. A lot. They are not the type you can tell is lying because their lips are moving but only because they are the type where you can tell are lying simply because they are standing there with the ability to speak telepathically. Its kinda their thing. Anyway, arcanoloths lie about sages all the time throughout multiple points in the d&d stories. Yes. This is the simpler and more realistic option. Save for one simpler one. Lazy writing could be responsible for making mordenkainen look like he suddenly downed a whole bottle of stupid pills.
 
Like i said. You would have serious trouble trying to find someone with an origin among mortal who outclasses his knowledgeability. That being said. There are some clear examples. Exhibit A: vecna. God of secrets. Obviously hes going to be more knowledgeable unless he's fully retconned from having existed at all. Its a tiny group.
 

Parmandur

Legend
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:
God, I love this book. As a big fan of Dwarves, I endorse this lore.

Although I do like the Hippie lore of Es Greenwood from the old supplement Dwarves Deep, where it is revealed that Dwarves can have kids with Humans, Halflings, Gnomes or Elves. The kids are always fully Dwarves, because those magic genes are fully dominant.
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
Everyone has blind spots (except for those for whom are a literal exception in d&d. Mordenkainen is not one of those. Hes not omniscient. But he literally knows more than the gods devils and demon princes on their own personal matters occasionally. But hes not omniscient.). However you are almost certainly incorrect that this being a blind spot for mordy is actually the more realistic of two options. The other option is actually the more realistic option. And simpler. Arcanaloths lie. A lot. They are not the type you can tell is lying because their lips are moving but only because they are the type where you can tell are lying simply because they are standing there with the ability to speak telepathically. Its kinda their thing. Anyway, arcanoloths lie about sages all the time throughout multiple points in the d&d stories. Yes. This is the simpler and more realistic option. Save for one simpler one. Lazy writing could be responsible for making mordenkainen look like he suddenly downed a whole bottle of stupid pills.
Man, if you have a hard time imagining a smart guy assuming he understands a foreign world without putting in the work to actually understand it...I don’t know what to tell ya.
 
Man, if you have a hard time imagining a smart guy assuming he understands a foreign world without putting in the work to actually understand it...I don’t know what to tell ya.
Not the case. The issue is that it is actually a much more weird assumption that he hasnt put in the work. The weirdness of the situation is well established by mordenkainen's history. Its actually a leap to think he didnt do the work. Your preference does not appear to be based on long standing pattern of lore but instead on something else that i cant identify. Mordenkainen always puts in the work. If you cant understand how unlikely it is for an arcanaloth to not be spinning deceptions then i also dont know what to tell you lol. That too is also pretty well established. Yeah. It is in fact simpler to assume mordenkainen's right. It is actually what you arrive at if you are applying occams razor at all.
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
Not the case. The issue is that it is actually a much more weird assumption that he hasnt put in the work. The weirdness of the situation is well established by mordenkainen's history. Its actually a leap to think he didnt do the work. Your preference does not appear to be based on long standing pattern of lore but instead on something else that i cant identify. Mordenkainen always puts in the work. If you cant understand how unlikely it is for an arcanaloth to not be spinning deceptions then i also dont know what to tell you lol. That too is also pretty well established. Yeah. It is in fact simpler to assume mordenkainen's right. It is actually what you arrive at if you are applying occams razor at all.
Again. The simplest explanations go in roughly this order from most likely to least likely:

Lazy writing

Mordenkainen is right

Arcanoloth dindu nuffin
I’m not normally one to say this, but you absolutely care too much about this. Mordenkainen’s reputation doesn’t matter, bud. 100% not important, even in the context of ignoring whether dnd stuff can be considered important.

The “spreading disinfo using Mordenkainen’s name to discredit him” idea is fun. As is the idea of him just being too full of himself to question his own assumptions. Neither matters. 🤷‍♂️

But, tangentially, you know Occam’s Razor isn’t always right, right? Like...it even includes the word “usually”, which is a direct acknowledgement of the statement not being universally true.

Also, you’re the only one here trying to base arguments on what’s “simplest”, while ignoring that the other side of the argument is “that doesn’t matter, it’s entirely possible that it’s the other way. There isn’t just one way to interpret it in an ‘in-universe’ context.”
 
No character's reputation matters. I think you are projecting. You seem to care a lot. Im just saying what i do or dont find to be likely. Its an opinion. He's unlikely to have just downed a bottle of stupid pills. Like i said. Dont really care, but mordenkainen probably didnt drop the ball. (Arcanaloths destroying all but one copy of a given manuscript or a given book and mass producing a changed version under the original author or a different author's name sometimes with outright "mistakes" peppered in intentionally is a long standing and many time repeated occurance in canon btw too. You should probably take that into consideration.)

I do know that occams razor isnt always right. As a matter of fact im a big proponent of usually not bothering with its use. But it seems pretty appropriate here. Seeing as you have to buck some serious trends and more importantly tendancies (the difference between the two is a very relevant on here) to arrive at the 3rd option being more likely than the former 2. The most reasonable explanation is one that involves an arcanaloth doing typical arcanaloth things.

The interesting question is "what does the arcanaloth getbout of this". If this wasnt due to lazy writing (i feel like thats unfortunatrly likely) then whatever its getting out of it its probably interesting. Many a magical tome, scroll, or deed has been embroiled in the bloodwar or similar things, seeming absolutely mundane until you pull the pin on the multiplanar grenade.

shrug (yeah. I dont know how to do the shrug emoticon here)
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
Ain’t reading all that, bud.

It wasn’t even you I first replied to on the topic, and I’m not especially interested in going in circles with you.

You seem to get your feathers rustled at the suggestion that a take other than yours might be perfectly reasonable. That isn’t my problem.
 
Ain’t reading all that, bud.

It wasn’t even you I first replied to on the topic, and I’m not especially interested in going in circles with you.

You seem to get your feathers rustled at the suggestion that a take other than yours might be perfectly reasonable. That isn’t my problem.
Its really odd how thats the conclusion i sort of came to about you. Earlier in the post though before o was replying to you. But whatevs.
 
When did Modenkainen become the paragon of truthfulness? He is a fanatic, and will tell anyone whatever he thinks they should know to preserve balance.

The reason WotC puts NPC's names on splat books in 5e is so that if you think the NPC is wrong or lying, you are totally right at your table. There is a reason they started with Volo after all.....
 

doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
When did Modenkainen become the paragon of truthfulness? He is a fanatic, and will tell anyone whatever he thinks they should know to preserve balance.

The reason WotC puts NPC's names on splat books in 5e is so that if you think the NPC is wrong or lying, you are totally right at your table. There is a reason they started with Volo after all.....
Yep. They’ve explicitly talked about his dishonesty in pursuit of his ends in interviews.

Edit: Which is why I liked the idea of adding an additional layer of deception, where it turns out that his enemies are right, but they don’t actually understand what’s going on, and he isn’t just being a dismissive ass about worlds he doesn’t get, but is actually intentionally spreading misinformation AND setting up his enemies to look like fools in some scheme.

But I also enjoy the idea of using him as a person who is just too self aggrandizing to even bother challenging his own assumptions, because it fits with the behavior of real very smart jerk-wagons who are obsessively convinced of their own infallible knowledge.
 

Bohandas

Villager
Actually, well, yeah. If you look very much into modenkainen thats pretty much the case. His character is essentially cast as the go-to extreme example of an absurdly knowledgeable wizard with information on things across the multiplanar expanse. Whether a defamation campaign or just simply a chronological exception in the pattern of people writing about him, ignorance on his part or the appearance of it is basically an out of place hiccup. Look more into that character's history and you will have serious trouble finding a character with an origin among mortals who even comes close to his knowledgeability level.
If a mortal ORIGIN is all that's required than immediately, just off the top of my head there's the entire Company of Seven (Zagyg, Murlynd, Tasha/Iggwilv, Nolzur, Heward, Keoghtom, and Quaal) and also Vecna. And possibly also Voyeux the Illusionist

EDIT:
Granted, I suppose Vecna and Voyeux aren't easy to find from a watsonian perspective, generally being located at the ends of dungeons
 
If a mortal ORIGIN is all that's required than immediately, just off the top of my head there's the entire Company of Seven (Zagyg, Murlynd, Tasha/Iggwilv, Nolzur, Heward, Keoghtom, and Quaal) and also Vecna. And possibly also Voyeux the Illusionist

EDIT:
Granted, I suppose Vecna and Voyeux aren't easy to find from a watsonian perspective, generally being located at the ends of dungeons
Actually, i had already mentioned that there were individuals who exceed him in this arena. The point is that they are vanishingly rare. And they are. You will only get a handful. Also i actually stated vecna as a clear example toward the very beginning. There are some clear examples. But that was never the point. The point was his knowledgebility is platinum class and very few exceed said knowledgeability. Most of the point behind why i mentioned vecna a while ago was in fact that he is likely the example you cant top if you have considered things properly. The most signifficant god of secrets being a title he likely wears without close challengers. And a wizard that makes people like boccob look like they sit at the kids table sometimes.
 
Also iggwilv is probably one of the best examples of equaling or maybe surpassing that knowledge quotient. But shes leaps and bounds more powerful and graz'zts favorite consort. Shes sort of the exception that proves the point. You have to go as far as people like her to actually be sure you are in the right league or greater knowledge wise.

Ps i nominate iggwilv for most badass witch in d&d.
 

Bohandas

Villager
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.
Personally I feel it's good for them to be radically different. I personally feel it strains verisimilitude for a phylogenetically unrelated creature with different senses, a different habitat, and a different lifecycle to thing the same way and have the same innenwelt as a human
 

the Jester

Legend
"It does not strongly hold to real-world genetics. " … Sure, no one mentioned genetics before now. This is about which "races" can mix and which can not, which is a thing in D&D because we do no have unlimited hybridization.
I wouldn't be so sure- although, to be fair, this depends a lot on the edition and setting. As previously mentioned, in 1e, orcs and elves can't crossbreed. But on the other hand, you have stuff like the various "half-" templates in 3e, as well as the templates such as draconic, fiendish, and celestial creatures, which imply a more distant ancestry. Many monsters in early editions are described as a cross between some weird x and y creatures; brownies are, I think, speculated to be gnome/pixie hybrids, and sylphs are the result of dalliances between air elementals and nymphs, if I recall correctly.

The bottom line is that you're looking for consistent answers that don't really exist. The possibilities are sometimes absurd ("I'm a half-dragon, half-celestial, half-elemental minotaur!"), and sometimes change from edition to edition or setting to setting. If you're looking for a "big picture" answer, I would strongly dispute your assertion that we don't have unlimited hybridization- we probably do, if you look across the breadth of different settings and editions, have something much closer to unlimited hybridization than not.

And that's without even involving magic!
 

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