D&D General Kender in AD&D

84CFF92B-A1C1-4BFB-9E1A-B5A1EE89370B.jpeg
60FCA34A-D0F0-4072-9921-E207FB759B57.jpeg

Here is the stat block for playing a Kender in AD&D. You will notice that no where in it does it say the player must steal from his party members. In fact it doesn’t say you have to steal at all.

Soke things are found in their pouches but the mechanics makes it random. There is no “I steal from the fighter. I steal from the shopkeeper. “I still from etc etc”

People who have an issue with the way Kender are played due to some bad apple they played with is because that player was already an awful player. Someone who wanted to cause grief.

Or you simply read what others have complained about and joined in without any actual research.

If you genuinely don’t like them as they are presented in the books and lore, awesome. Though the new Kender seem to keep the “misunderstood thieves” reputation but for some reason it’s all magic now. So I guess that really doesn’t change for you.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


To be fair, the stat block does say that if two or more kender are in the party, they're constantly "borrowing" from each other. This certainly implies that they steal from other kender who are in the party. In another part of the stat block, it says that the kender would never take "essential" items from another creature, again imying that they do, in fact, steal stuff from other party members. And certainly their characterization in the original novels has them stealing from other party members.

Oh and that whole mechanic where the DM has to keep track of the PC kender's 100 slot stolen goods list? Awful.
 

Here is the stat block for playing a Kender in AD&D. You will notice that no where in it does it say the player must steal from his party members. In fact it doesn’t say you have to steal at all.
Three pages of information are presented about kender in the book. The stat block takes up about one page. That leaves two pages of information that you have not included here.

On page 53, under Society it states "Kender society can also be hard to take. Nonkender visitors rarely stay longer than a week in any major kender town, unless they have a great sense of humor. It is not uncommon to be relieved of one's possessions at every turn (occasionally by the constables themselves). Visitors are pelted by a constant barrage of questions and told a million lies and tall tales without rest or letup." (emphasis added)

On page 52, under Theft vs. Handling it states: "The intense curiosity that kender feel feeds their desire to know how locks can be opened...and how to reach into pockets or pouches to find interesting things to look at. Thieving comes naturally to them - so naturally that they do not see it as thieving." Also: "To be called a thief is still considered a base insult. This assertion sounds remarkable in view of the fact that kender constantly borrow things from each other and from visitors (without asking) in their communities. Kender don't regard their idea of borrowing as stealing, however. If they need something, they'll take it." (emphasis added)

If someone actually argues that they are forced to steal from players if they play a kender, yes that is an awful player. But that's the strawman version of the argument against how kender are presented. The steelman version is kender are presented in a way that encourages in-character behaviour likely to aggravate other players.

This encouragement, in addition to being present in the fiction, is shown above. While technically the passages make reference to kender behaviour in their communities, there is nothing to indicate their behaviour is any different outside of them. Indeed, the fiction indicates that they do behave the same way outside of their communities.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
Here is the stat block for playing a Kender in AD&D. You will notice that no where in it does it say the player must steal from his party members. In fact it doesn’t say you have to steal at all.
It's not written anywhere that all 14 year old edgelords play Drizz't clones at the table, but that's a thing because it's happened a bunch. If it happens at multiple tables, regardless if it's ackchually in the the rules or not, it's irrelevant no?
 

It's not written anywhere that all 14 year old edgelords play Drizz't clones at the table, but that's a thing because it's happened a bunch. If it happens at multiple tables, regardless of it's ackchually in the the rules or not, is irrelevant no?
Indeed, if the "how had D&D changed over the decades" thread has taught me anything, it's that some people have only ever played with people who behave like 14-year-old edgelords.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
You make a valid point. Unfortunately, in the very first scene where kender are introduced to the world, in Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Tasslehof deliberately steals Flint's dagger without showing any remorse. That sets a template for anyone who wants to play a kender as intentionally disruptive and annoying.

I honestly think that the problem with the kenders is not specifically the stealing, is that it basically encourages the player to be a wangrod. Some will do it by stealing, others by just doing whatever floats through their mind, some will more or less on purpose put spokes in other players' plans, some will just be annoying as Tass was.

The steelman version is kender are presented in a way that encourages in-character behaviour likely to aggravate other players.

Yep, exactly my point above. And this is another reason for DL failing to be a great D&D experience IMHO. The modules had huge failings but that is neither here nor there, but the main problem with Kenders is that what is more or less controlled by an author in a book simply does not work when different people with their own expectations with the game are playing these characters.
 


It's not written anywhere that all 14 year old edgelords play Drizz't clones at the table, but that's a thing because it's happened a bunch. If it happens at multiple tables, regardless if it's ackchually in the the rules or not, it's irrelevant no?
Point being, it’s the players fault not the fantasy races fault.

If you can’t roleplay something without being annoying, that’s on you.
 


People who have an issue with the way Kender are played due to some bad apple they played with is because that player was already an awful player. Someone who wanted to cause grief.
interesting thesis... but as a vocal hater of kender in games (not stories per say) I must rebuff this.

I can list (and even drop names) of problem players. I can also say that the 4 that come to mind right away only 1 has ever even asked to play a kender (and she wasn't even the worst of her stories when she did).

I can also list of the least problmatic players I have DM/played with... but most fall somewhere between.

my problem is that players that 9/10 of the time are great helpful and fun...still run naughty word kenders.

My second problem is the strange mindcontrol they put everyone under "everyone likes them" even when by fluff most store owners and guards in bazars should hate them.

My third is mor problmatic... why can't they learn the concept of personal property? I can understand THEY don't use it in there communities, but when traveling through OTHER communities even for decaids they CANNOT learn 'people don't want you to borrow without asking'
Or you simply read what others have complained about and joined in without any actual research.
yup... people don't like something you like so they must be either lieing or misunderstanding... nobody can honestly come by the reverse opinion then you... not a greatplace to start.
If you genuinely don’t like them as they are presented in the books and lore, awesome. Though the new Kender seem to keep the “misunderstood thieves” reputation but for some reason it’s all magic now. So I guess that really doesn’t change for you.
I will still never allow a kender at my table. I will still be vocal if I am in a game and one shows up... but the magic summon an item thing does help
 

The steelman version is kender are presented in a way that encourages in-character behaviour likely to aggravate other players.

This encouragement, in addition to being present in the fiction, is shown above. While technically the passages make reference to kender behaviour in their communities, there is nothing to indicate their behaviour is any different outside of them. Indeed, the fiction indicates that they do behave the same way outside of their communities.
that is what makes it the worst (even before the bad racists redric it reproposes) that GOOD roleplayers who LIKE tasslehoff are ENCOURAGED to be jerks
 

I honestly think that the problem with the kenders is not specifically the stealing, is that it basically encourages the player to be a wangrod. Some will do it by stealing, others by just doing whatever floats through their mind, some will more or less on purpose put spokes in other players' plans, some will just be annoying as Tass was.
Indeed. It's not just the stealing. Part of what I quoted above involved barraging non-kender with constant questions and "a million lies." Kender are presented as being extremely irritating to non-kender. It's even enforced with the taunting mechanic.
 

If you can’t roleplay something without being annoying, that’s on you.
The guidance provided in the book on how kender behave explicitly states that non-kender find them extremely annoying, and provides numerous reasons why, including constant theft of belongings. Roleplaying a kender to not be annoying means you have to ignore the canonical description of how kender behave. That's the issue.
 







Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top