D&D General Flipping Race And Background Altogether

Reynard

Legend
Except where they explicitly line up with real world weights and measures. Though I agree, it's an abstract fantasy game. I'm good with that. If anything, it's too worried about being concrete and not abstract enough.

Raw strength score Hafthor Bjornson, by a mile. They're both trained in athletics, but Phelps clearly has expertise in swimming...or we just acknowledge he's a bad example because of his several genetic advantages that give him basically the perfect body for swimming, larger lung capacity than most, and his body produces less lactic acid, amongst other things.
A strength roll is a strength roll.
 

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Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Sure. It doesn't quite explain how a 3 ft. 40 pound halfling is just as a strong as an 7 foot 250 pound Goliath but it's a start I guess.

It's because of culture. Halflings generally 3 ft because they are letting their children starve because they're too busy attending feasts, while Goliath are healthy, 7 fters because their society promotes good parenting and feeding the youngs, and protecting them from various debilitating child diseases by paying for the doctor instead of letting them survive if they are lucky. The halfling society has Nietzsche has a prominent pediatric author, after all.
 

MGibster

Legend
It's because of culture. Halflings generally 3 ft because they are letting their children starve because they're too busy attending feasts, while Goliath are healthy, 7 fters because their society promotes good parenting and feeding the youngs, and protecting them from various debilitating child diseases by paying for the doctor instead of letting them survive if they are lucky. The halfling society has Nietzsche has a prominent pediatric author, after all.
That makes sense. Halfings are really just human beings who grew up with rickets and pellagra.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
That makes sense. Halfings are really just human beings who grew up with rickets and pellagra.

That explains the why there is no half-halfings. They're just humans so their children are humans. While there are half-elves and half-orcs because orcs, elves and humans males and females are the six sexes of the larger fantasy humanoid species.
 








overgeeked

B/X Known World
It's the current language where even 'small' typed races are 'the range of human sizes' or whatever inclusive non biased language they arrived upon.
That was in a UA, no book, right?
There is no eyeroll eyerolley enough.
From the Fairy entry in Witchlight, which is listed as small size.

But the info about races includes the following text:

"HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
Player characters, regardless of race, typically fall into the same ranges of height and weight that humans have in our world. If you'd like to determine your character's height or weight randomly, consult the Random Height and Weight table in the Player's Handbook, and choose the row in the table that best represents the build you imagine for your character."
 

Reynard

Legend
From the Fairy entry in Witchlight, which is listed as small size.

But the info about races includes the following text:

"HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
Player characters, regardless of race, typically fall into the same ranges of height and weight that humans have in our world. If you'd like to determine your character's height or weight randomly, consult the Random Height and Weight table in the Player's Handbook, and choose the row in the table that best represents the build you imagine for your character."
I take that to mean that even "small" sized humanoids are the size that some human can be (off the top of my head I think the world's shortest adult was just under 2 feet tall), not that small sized creatures could be 7' tall.
 

It's about averages. The average NPC goliath is likely stronger than the average NPC halfling. The PCs don't have to follow those rules. So a STR 10 character, no matter their race, is just as strong as every other STR 10 character, no matter their race.

I mean, according to the game, that halfling needs 1 pound of food and one gallon of water per day to survive...same as that goliath...same as that medium-sized PC centaur. That's wild. And apparently horses, being large, only need 4 pounds of food and four gallons of water per day to live. That's uhm...wildly under what they actually need. Especially if they're doing any work. PCs in D&D, especially 5E, are the magically-enhanced superhero exceptions to whatever sense of realism we have.

The one that gets me is magically regenerating all damage after an 8-hour rest. That utterly breaks any sense of verisimilitude I have.

It's a fantasy game about throwing fireballs and riding dragons and battling giant insects and rescuing princes. So...shrug.
I have to say, I really hate the "magical elf game" argument to explain away anything that doesn't make sense. It feels very dismissive. Unless there is a specific reason for it, even a fantasy world should follow real world rules. Now, those reasons can change a lot of stuff, but I still the reason needs to be stated.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
So, according to you, essentializing race is...good?
Depends on what you're essentializing or what you consider essentializing. If essentializing portrays a character based on inherent traits, does that include size? Is saying that halflings are small essentializing? Is it essentializing to say that a pegasus has wings? Or that a medusa has snakey hair? They are inherent qualities. But is describing them really "essentializing"? Or if it is, is it doing so in a bad way?

Or is it really only problematic when we talk about their behavior or values as exhibiting some kind of inherent trait?
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Depends on what you're essentializing or what you consider essentializing. If essentializing portrays a character based on inherent traits, does that include size? Is saying that halflings are small essentializing? Is it essentializing to say that a pegasus has wings? Or that a medusa has snakey hair? They are inherent qualities. But is describing them really "essentializing"? Or if it is, is it doing so in a bad way?

Or is it really only problematic when we talk about their behavior or values as exhibiting some kind of inherent trait?

Yes, saying a medusa has snaky hair is essentializing.

However, because snaky hair is unambiguously nonhuman, it has little or no reallife implications.

The essence becomes problematic when it is a human trait, like being slightly dumber or slightly uglier.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
In recent Scandinavian folkbelief, the tomte aka nisse is a Small gnome-like being, say about 2½ feet, and is superhumanly strong.

So a gnome with Strength 20 (or higher) seems fine to me.

If that is the character concept, then no problem.
 

guachi

Adventurer
So if I understand you correctly, a type of gnome being described as very strong and given an 18 Strength is bad essentialism because it's a possible human trait but if the description gives it a 22 Strength that's fine because no normal human can have a 22 Strength.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
So if I understand you correctly, a type of gnome being described as very strong and given an 18 Strength is bad essentialism because it's a possible human trait but if the description gives it a 22 Strength that's fine because no normal human can have a 22 Strength.

I doubt reallife Small people would be offended at associating with Strength 20. But still, design caution and player comfort are high priorities.

If a player wants a Small character who has Strength 8, that is fine. If a player wants a Small character who has Strength 20, that is fine.

Let the player choose.
 

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