Bonus languages in One D&D backgrounds goes contrary to their other goals


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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
So you're saying a human with a three intelligence learns faster than a dwarf, elf, halfling, or orc with an 18 intelligence?
The Intelligence stat represents a character’s memory and deductive reasoning ability.
That they are genetically more capable of learning than any other race?

And you don't find that problematic?
They’re not more capable of learning than any other race. They’re fast learners. Necessarily so due to their short lifespans relative to the other races.
 


Remathilis

Legend
The Intelligence stat represents a character’s memory and deductive reasoning ability.

They’re not more capable of learning than any other race. They’re fast learners. Necessarily so due to their short lifespans relative to the other races.

Memory and deductive reasoning are both components of learning, unless my pedagogy teacher was lying to me.

Orcs, tieflings and dragonborn have lifespans equal to humans yet are not as fast as learning. Perhaps they are unmotivated or incapable of learning at the speed humans are?

You cannot justify humans having an extra skill in any way that doesn't border on phrenology. It is easily as problematic if not more so than dwarves with tools or giffs with guns.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Memory and deductive reasoning are both components of learning, unless my pedagogy teacher was lying to me.

Orcs, tieflings and dragonborn have lifespans equal to humans yet are not as fast as learning. Perhaps they are unmotivated or incapable of learning at the speed humans are?

You cannot justify humans having an extra skill in any way that doesn't border on phrenology. It is easily as problematic if not more so than dwarves with tools or giffs with guns.
The human ability doesn't claim that it came from the gods. I think that's the crux of the issue here.
 





Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Memory and deductive reasoning are both components of learning, unless my pedagogy teacher was lying to me.

Orcs, tieflings and dragonborn have lifespans equal to humans yet are not as fast as learning. Perhaps they are unmotivated or incapable of learning at the speed humans are?

You cannot justify humans having an extra skill in any way that doesn't border on phrenology. It is easily as problematic if not more so than dwarves with tools or giffs with guns.
🤷‍♀️ Ok, then don’t give humans an extra skill. I don’t particularly care.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Ok, then don’t give humans an extra skill. I don’t particularly care.
Or, hear me out, we can accept there are only so many things you can give a humanoid race and that free proficiencies are occasionally useful ways to add flavor and features without having to create elaborate excuses or whole new game systems to justify them.

Sometimes a free proficiency is just a free proficiency.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Or, hear me out, we can accept there are only so many things you can give a humanoid race and that free proficiencies are occasionally useful ways to add flavor and features without having to create elaborate excuses or whole new game systems to justify them.

Sometimes a free proficiency is just a free proficiency.
I’m not a fan of cultural traits from race. If you disagree, you’re welcome to your opinion.
 



Remathilis

Legend
I didn’t say they were?
Which raises the question; when is a skill learned and when is it inherent?

Are elves perceptive because they have inherently higher senses, because Corellon blessed them with greater ability to enjoy the world around them, or because every elf, thanks to their long life span, learns how to study things in minute detail?

As an alternative, is the tabaxi stealthy because they are a race that values stealth and guile (like the khajit of Tamriel), because they were blessed by the Cat Lord with stealth, or because they look like giant cats and cats are biologically innately stealthy?

Of course, the question is "does it matter?" The reason elves have perception is that we associate elves with keen eyesight and hearing thanks to Tokien and tabaxi have stealth because cats are traditionally ambush hunters and we want cat people to emulate that. It's part of the race's story. Same with dwarves and crafting or giffs with guns. And to strip that out is to remove key parts of the identity from these races.

So I propose that either we put a full embargo on proficiency from race OR accept it's fine when used sparingly to complete the race's story. But this "this skill is fine, this one is not" is an untenable position.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Nature vs. nurture. If it’s a learned trait, having it be inborn has unfortunate implications. Attributing those implications to divine will rather than genetics is worse if anything.
Personally, I disagree. I think that attributing various "cultural" aspects of demihuman (anyone else remember that term?) races to divine will makes for a lot of sense in the context of the game world. Moradin is the one who created dwarves, so naturally he did so in a way that he found pleasing. Hence, they speak his language, are good with axes, skilled at crafting, etc.

In that context, "made in God's own image" is a very real thing in the setting, rather than a matter of belief.

Now, that doesn't work for settings where you don't have active deities (e.g. Eberron), but insofar as a default goes (which is what the Core Rules have to present) it works fine, even (or especially) if it's not explicitly stated.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Which raises the question; when is a skill learned and when is it inherent?

Are elves perceptive because they have inherently higher senses, because Corellon blessed them with greater ability to enjoy the world around them, or because every elf, thanks to their long life span, learns how to study things in minute detail?

As an alternative, is the tabaxi stealthy because they are a race that values stealth and guile (like the khajit of Tamriel), because they were blessed by the Cat Lord with stealth, or because they look like giant cats and cats are biologically innately stealthy?

Of course, the question is "does it matter?" The reason elves have perception is that we associate elves with keen eyesight and hearing thanks to Tokien and tabaxi have stealth because cats are traditionally ambush hunters and we want cat people to emulate that. It's part of the race's story. Same with dwarves and crafting or giffs with guns. And to strip that out is to remove key parts of the identity from these races.

So I propose that either we put a full embargo on proficiency from race OR accept it's fine when used sparingly to complete the race's story. But this "this skill is fine, this one is not" is an untenable position.
🤷‍♀️ I think it’s perfectly tenable, but no race proficiencies is better than cultural race proficiencies.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Personally, I disagree. I think that attributing various "cultural" aspects of demihuman (anyone else remember that term?) races to divine will makes for a lot of sense in the context of the game world. Moradin is the one who created dwarves, so naturally he did so in a way that he found pleasing. Hence, they speak his language, are good with axes, skilled at crafting, etc.

In that context, "made in God's own image" is a very real thing in the setting, rather than a matter of belief.

Now, that doesn't work for settings where you don't have active deities (e.g. Eberron), but insofar as a default goes (which is what the Core Rules have to present) it works fine, even (or especially) if it's not explicitly stated.
You’re making a Thermian argument. Yes, “made in God’s own image” is a thing in the setting. That’s the thing that’s problematic. It should not, in my opinion, be a thing in the setting.
 


Remathilis

Legend
I think it’s perfectly tenable, but no race proficiencies is better than cultural race proficiencies.
I just think if we're going to allow some proficiencies as acceptable and others as not, we need to clearly define which. Give me a list of the proficiencies that races can grant and the ones that are not.

But I applaud your consistency that you'd rather get rid of races granting any proficiencies to stop races granting things you disagree with.
 

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