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5E Jeremy Crawford Discusses Details on Custom Origins

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
As a follow up: I don’t think I will include this stuff in my game as player or DM. I do not think it will have a good effect on the game. Is it a benefit to society? Not something I could say/know or something I am willing to wager entertainment dollars on.

I give to a lot of charities. D&D does not fall under that umbrella.
 

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Which is literally not happening here. If you want to argue rationally about something, the first stage is not just making stuff up. Then maybe people can engage with your position.
Goat: Your trying to force Horns on me man. I'm not going to confirm to your views of society.

Mother Nature: Bruh, not you too..

Cheetah: Hey guys?

DM: Rolls eyes.
 


Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
Literally nobody has said that.
Well, at the core I suspect we are wanting similar things.

I want all people to enjoy and play ‘the game’ and moreover to feel comfortable in doing so.

burning tropes of ‘the game’ to get there is a bridge too far for me. Really, if elves being dexterous is offensive to a person, they probably have issues to work on before playing D&D with any adult I know.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Whatever Gygax claimed post-lawsuit, Tolkien was a massive influence (hobbits, ents, and balrogs were all in there pre-lawsuit).
Okay, let's do this one more time: the "Tolkien suit" of 1977 was neither a lawsuit, nor did it come from the Tolkien estate. Rather, it was a cease and desist letter sent by Elan Merchandising, who at the time held the non-literary rights to Tolkien's work (source: Playing at the World, Section 5.10).

For that matter, Gary had been quite clear about how modest Tolkien's influence was for years before that C&D letter was sent. And quite frankly, that's not hard to believe. Tolkien's demihuman races were some of the most player-facing options in D&D, but calling that, along with a couple of monsters, "massive" is an overstatement. He took Tolkien into account alongside a lot of authors whom he liked better, but that's about all that can be said.
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
Okay, let's do this one more time: the "Tolkien suit" of 1977 was neither a lawsuit, nor did it come from the Tolkien estate. Rather, it was a cease and desist letter sent by Elan Merchandising, who at the time held the non-literary rights to Tolkien's work (source: Playing at the World, Section 5.10).

For that matter, Gary had been quite clear about how modest Tolkien's influence was for years before that C&D letter was sent. And quite frankly, that's not hard to believe. Tolkien's demihuman races were some of the most player-facing options in D&D, but calling that, along with a couple of monsters, "massive" is an overstatement.
So is saying Tolkien’s work was derived from sources a decade or two old.

he pulled from myth a millennia or more old. Why apologize for recapitulating myth from one’s culture?

ancient European folklore and myth is as valid (not more) than any other; you dip into others too much and it’s “appropriation.”

that Gygax pulled from that is...dunno....totally fine?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Okay, let's do this one more time: the "Tolkien suit" of 1977 was neither a lawsuit, nor did it come from the Tolkien estate. Rather, it was a cease and desist letter sent by Elan Merchandising, who at the time held the non-literary rights to Tolkien's work (source: Playing at the World, Section 5.10).

For that matter, Gary had been quite clear about how modest Tolkien's influence was for years before that C&D letter was sent. And quite frankly, that's not hard to believe. Tolkien's demihuman races were some of the most player-facing options in D&D, but calling that, along with a couple of monsters, "massive" is an overstatement. He took Tolkien into account alongside a lot of authors whom he liked better, but that's about all that can be said.
Two classes(Wizard, Ranger), 5 races(Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, 1/2 Elf and 1/2 orc), and at least 4 monsters(Dragons, Balor, Ent, Orc) is a pretty significant influence. That's not modest at all.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Two classes(Wizard, Ranger), 5 races(Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, 1/2 Elf and 1/2 orc), and at least 4 monsters(Dragons, Balor, Ent, Orc) is a pretty significant influence. That's not modest at all.
As a class, the magic-user didn't come from Tolkien; the spellcasting system being lifted from the works of Jack Vance gives the Dying Earth stories a much stronger claim on that particular archetype. Dragons have some Tolkien influence (i.e. sapience, chance to detect invisible creatures in their lair, etc.) but other aspects are clearly not from his works (i.e. you don't see Smaug casting spells, whereas D&D dragons gain spellcasting abilities as they get older).

With regards to the demihumans, they seem more notable than they are simply because they're up there as a PC choice; their overall contribution to the game is actually rather minor overall (hence why level limits, introduced in order to showcase demihumans' relative unimportance, stayed around for so long). Likewise, four or five monsters wasn't very many even when D&D first came out.

So yes, "modest" is the right word.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
As a class, the magic-user didn't come from Tolkien; the spellcasting system being lifted from the works of Jack Vance gives the Dying Earth stories a much stronger claim on that particular archetype. Dragons have some Tolkien influence (i.e. sapience, chance to detect invisible creatures in their lair, etc.) but other aspects are clearly not from his works (i.e. you don't see Smaug casting spells, whereas D&D dragons gain spellcasting abilities as they get older).
It seems that perhaps you are confusing influence with copying. No one is saying he copied Tolkien, but his influence is very apparent and not at all minor.
With regards to the demihumans, they seem more notable than they are simply because they're up there as a PC choice; their overall contribution to the game is actually rather minor overall (hence why level limits, introduced in order to showcase their relative unimportance, stayed around for so long). Likewise, four or five monsters wasn't very many even when D&D first came out.

So yes, "modest" is the right word.
Almost all the PC races is not "modest."
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
It seems that perhaps you are confusing influence with copying. No one is saying he copied Tolkien, but his influence is very apparent and not at all minor.

Almost all the PC races is not "modest."
You're making the same mistake that a lot of people do with regards to "almost all PC races." That is, you think "five out of six races is a lot! Clearly this was all about Tolkien!" That's the wrong way to look at it; the races are there, but add very little to the game (again, level limits) and seem more important than they are. So yes, modest.
 

Maybe modest when the setting was basically a megadungeon. Once people started making bigger settings they needed to include places for Dwarves an Elves to come from, and place them in the history of those settings, and Tolkien was an obvious model for that, so his influence quickly grew.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You're making the same mistake that a lot of people do with regards to "almost all PC races." That is, you think "five out of six races is a lot! Clearly this was all about Tolkien!" That's the wrong way to look at it; the races are there, but add very little to the game (again, level limits) and seem more important than they are. So yes, modest.
Again, you don't understand what INFLUENCE means it seems. And nobody is saying it's all about Tolkien. Leave that Strawman at home, please.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Maybe modest when the setting was basically a megadungeon. Once people started making bigger settings they needed to include places for Dwarves an Elves to come from, and place them in the history of those settings, and Tolkien was an obvious model for that, so his influence quickly grew.
That's with regards to his influence among players, which was similarly outsized because most of the other authors that Gary drew on faded from the public eye as time went on (save for a few, such as Howard and Lovecraft). With regards to their influence on Gary himself, however, not so much.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Again, you don't understand what INFLUENCE means it seems. And nobody is saying it's all about Tolkien. Leave that Strawman at home, please.
Again, you're making the mistake of thinking that prominence is influence. Likewise, no, characterizing your statement as "all about Tolkien" (with regard to PC races) is an accurate representation of your position.
 

That's with regards to his influence among players, which was similarly outsized because most of the other authors that Gary drew on faded from the public eye as time went on (save for a few, such as Howard and Lovecraft). With regards to their influence on Gary himself, however, not so much.
Well yes. But one would think that the influence on the game would be the thing we actually care about.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Again, you're making the mistake of thinking that prominence is influence. Likewise, no, characterizing your statement as "all about Tolkien" (with regard to PC races) is an accurate representation of your position.
Doubling down on a Strawman can't make you correct about this. Only I get to decide what an accurate representation of my position is, and your mischaracterization ain't it man.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Doubling down on a Strawman can't make you correct about this. Only I get to decide what an accurate representation of my position is, and your mischaracterization ain't it man.
Quibbling over semantics doesn't a strawman make. Your position was accurately represented with regards to what I said, and bickering over the exact wording doesn't change that.
 


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