D&D General Do you like LOTS of races/ancestries/whatever? If so, why?

Status
Not open for further replies.
Neither has to adapt and no one is forcing people with incompatible preferences to play together.
But why is the DM making a big deal about something they demonstrably don’t care about?

Presumably, the player and the DM want to play with each other. In your premise, the player wants to play a triton, but the DM’s setting only has sea elves. The DM’s only stated reason for not wanting tritons is that he finds sea elves and tritons fill the same niche.

So why not replace the sea elves with tritons? Why is any change to the setting considered “irreconciliable differences”?

Fun fact: the term “irreconcilable differences”comes from matrimonial law, where it was one of the grounds for divorce before “no fault divorce” was implemented. “Irreconcilable differences” was limited to reasons that were well, irreconcilable, not “I want to go to Hawaii on vacation” and “he wants to go to Colorado”.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

DMs are typically resistant to other people’s ideas because they’re constructed in isolation of the world rather than to fit in and be part of what already exists.
Hhehe… I read “DMs are typically resistant to other people’s ideas because their setting is constructed in isolation of their players rather than try to fit in” which I think is closer to the mark.
 

But why is the DM making a big deal about something they demonstrably don’t care about?

Presumably, the player and the DM want to play with each other. In your premise, the player wants to play a triton, but the DM’s setting only has sea elves. The DM’s only stated reason for not wanting tritons is that he finds sea elves and tritons fill the same niche.

So why not replace the sea elves with tritons? Why is any change to the setting considered “irreconciliable differences”?

Fun fact: the term “irreconcilable differences”comes from matrimonial law, where it was one of the grounds for divorce before “no fault divorce” was implemented. “Irreconcilable differences” was limited to reasons that were well, irreconcilable, not “I want to go to Hawaii on vacation” and “he wants to go to Colorado”.
I didn't say the GM doesn't care about it. If the GM does not want to replace sea elves with tritons, presumably they have already considered their role in the setting. For example their relationship with other elves might be relevant.
 

Yeah, I truly don't mean this in a negative way, but while I can see Triton and Merfolk overlapping, considering either of them to be the same fictional concept as Sea Elves or Water Genasi is...well, I just don't get it, personally.
Exactly! Clearly to @Crimson Longinus they are interchangeable, but to me, there are clear reasons why someone might want to play a Triton rather than a sea elf or a water genasi.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Because you want non-humans to be diverse like humans instead of being weirdly fladerised and thematically narrow.
I reject the notion that having a diverse palette implies they are always "weirdly flanderized and thematically narrow."

Particularly because it's literally not possible for most groups to have more than half a dozen different races in them anyway. You're not going to get that in-depth an analysis of more than a handful, no matter what.
 

Loxodons are a bit more iffy due to their animal-heads, which may not fit the setting. Take Conans Tower of the Elephant for instance - Yag-kosha, the Elephant headed alien is a unique being in the world, though it is the last survivor of what would probably be celestials (aardlings?), some DMs might want to preserve the uniqueness of Yag-Kosha or Ganesha rather than having a community of them ignored in some corner of their world
Sure, and that would be extremely easy to explain to a player who asked to play a Loxodon.
 

Hussar

Legend
I didn't say the GM doesn't care about it. If the GM does not want to replace sea elves with tritons, presumably they have already considered their role in the setting. For example their relationship with other elves might be relevant.
Which, fair enough. So, since the DM cannot or will not replace one with another because that would change the dynamic, then obviously these two things are not so similar - thus the whole argument for not including them because they overlap the same niche sort of falls apart.

And, frankly, I've yet to see a single fantasy world so thoroughly developed that it cannot incorporate new races.

Now, I get the problem with players who create these characters without taking the campaign into consideration at all. Fair enough. I personally strongly dislike it when players don't make an issue out of their character's race - regardless of what that race is. The whole, "Umm, since when was your character an elf?" question that comes up repeatedly with such players drives me to distraction.

But, if the player is making an earnest attempt - I'm all for it. You want to play a flying miniature elephant paladin? Go for it. Impress me. Show me what you can do.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I really don't see why it wouldn't be valid approach for tabletop RPGs
I didn't say it isn't valid.
I said few people do it.
People who want small race lists typically want small subclass and culture lists.

"Small race list but large culutre list" is just the hardest path for little reward unless you have to program it aka video games

In any case, I watched some Pirates of Dark Water as it was recommended in this thread. It has cool weird fantasy setting, I really like those. Though it doesn't seem to have nearly the amount of diversity implied here. Most non-D&D fantasy settings don't. They might have dozen species at most, and that's a lot. Over sixty is unheard of, even that famous Star Wars cantina doesn't have even near that amount. I like settings that feel really weird and alien, but still seem to make internal sense. Throwing in everything various D&D writers dreamed up over the decades in one setting is unlikely result this sort of internal coherence.

My point is it is easier to have dozens of interesting races than dozens of interesting subraces. A few interesting races and subraces is easiest but it is harder to fill up a whole D&D style world with that.

This is why most official D&D setting have tons of races. This is why strategy games (Warhammer, Warcraft, Might&Magic) have tons of races.
 

I personnally don't build worlds out of the blue, I build campaign-specific background named "worlds". I have no problem as a GM to make stringent restriction on what the players options are (in this campaign, the bad guy will be the king of X, so no, you can't be a nobleman from X up to this campaign is centered on a family of X. So you must all be X, outside of ONE favourite employee that wouldn't be part of the family but be considered nearly as such). So I totally understand why GM wouldn't want to accomodate anything the players can come up with, unless it has nearly no revelance to the story being told.

If it is a "you have all met in a tavern" campaign, then it is much easier to accomodate a triton (I came from.... that other continent on the map where we won't be going in this campaign, and I know that your waters are full of sahuagin around here".)
 
Last edited:

Which, fair enough. So, since the DM cannot or will not replace one with another because that would change the dynamic, then obviously these two things are not so similar - thus the whole argument for not including them because they overlap the same niche sort of falls apart.
They're similar, but that doesn't mean they're identical. But I like thematical clarity, and I wouldn't include several species with strongly overlapping niches and themes. I think aquatic species works better if these are not several, same with species of big strong honourable people or species of small cunning tricksters etc.

And, frankly, I've yet to see a single fantasy world so thoroughly developed that it cannot incorporate new races.
"Can" is different than "should." The question is whether the world is improved by such inclusion and are the themes of existing species diluted.

Now, I get the problem with players who create these characters without taking the campaign into consideration at all. Fair enough. I personally strongly dislike it when players don't make an issue out of their character's race - regardless of what that race is. The whole, "Umm, since when was your character an elf?" question that comes up repeatedly with such players drives me to distraction.

But, if the player is making an earnest attempt - I'm all for it. You want to play a flying miniature elephant paladin? Go for it. Impress me. Show me what you can do.
That often is a symptom of the species not being rooted in the setting in the first place. If the GM doesn't care about the species' place in the world why should the player? With more limited palette such connections are easier to provide.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top