D&D General Kender in AD&D


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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Yeah, to follow the whole Naked Lunch thing, I figure, if you're going to merge everyone into one being, you're gonna get ground really smooth, you know?

So you're saying it's not peanuts they are grounding up, but centipedes?

Mmmmm.... I'm in! Those aquatic Brazilian centipedes are getting downright arrogant. It's time grind 'em up into a little .... mmmm.... bug powder.
 

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'
It's because they're suffering from a fantasy version of ADHD, a fantasy version of unconscious kleptomania, and a fantasy version of Urbach-Wiethe disease, all incurable in-game (except for afflicted kender). We shouldn't be making fun of the mentally ill, and I don't think saying they have a fantasy version of a mental illness excuses this.

And it can get even worse. While a kender joining an adventuring party is presumably an adult, they look and act like children. An elderly kender adventurer is essentially a mentally ill child soldier.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
It's because they're suffering from a fantasy version of ADHD, a fantasy version of unconscious kleptomania, and a fantasy version of Urbach-Wiethe disease, all incurable in-game (except for afflicted kender). We shouldn't be making fun of the mentally ill, and I don't think saying they have a fantasy version of a mental illness excuses this.
Whosawhatnow

That's a new one. Complaining about the logical fallacies of Kender culture is ableist now?

I want off this ride.
 


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.
No. You're ignoring the consistent portrayal and descriptions of Kender in official DL fiction, and you even cut out all the cultural description in your screenshot.

Everything about them is basically "a terrible spoiled child from the perspective of the parent who thinks the terrible spoiled child is lovely and refuses to discipline them".
 
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eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
I hope you noticed I mentioned the fantasy version of the condition. Also, I did not say complaining about kender is ableist. Rather, the way they're portrayed could be considered ableist.
Is it though?

I don't remember it ever being described that way. It always seemed cultural to me.
 


I don't remember it ever being described that way. It always seemed cultural to me.
There's zero evidence that it's a "mental illness" on intended to mock RL kleptomaniacs.

It also doesn't resemble RL kleptomania. At all. And indeed @(Psi)SeveredHead implying it does is itself rather problematic! Psi you really want to roll with that? Kender behaviour is clearly meant to be like that of the sort of bratty and undisciplined (euphemistically or alternatively "innocent") children who just take things without asking or telling anyone - who, let's be real, where common as children of the children of the '60s, because there was a whole "anti-parenting" movement, let your children run wild and free and so on (not entirely without merit, I'm sure).

You gotta see the cultural context here.
 


Kender cannot stop these things.
I don't buy it. If Kender can't stop taking things, they barely possess free will. Tasslehoff clearly can stop taking things (and exercises caution at times), but likes taking things (also weirdly as written he does actually seem to experience mild fear, and is only relatively fearless).

As I've said, the touchpoint is "wild children" who just don't care if people "own" things, not kleptomaniacs who usually steal to relieve stress and get a sense of euphoria and so on. Seeing them as the same is a problem.
 

This is what I'm quoting

The intense curiosity that kender feel feeds
their desire to know how locks can be opened,
how to approach people unseen and listen in
on their conversations, and how to reach into
pockets or pouches to find interesting things

Kender do not steal for the sake of profit.
First of all, they have little concept of value.
Faced with a choice between a 2,000 steel
piece diamond and a huge, glittering chunk
of purple glass, 90 kender out of 100 will take
the glass. (The rest will take both but will get
rid of the diamond first.) They pick things up
out of curiosity and wander off with them.
Sometimes the owner of an item leaves before
the kender can give the item back, or else the
kender becomes enchanted with the item and
forgets to return it.

A kender
might not necessarily remember where he
found something, even if he picked it up half
a minute before, and such responses are often
delivered as part of a subconscious defense
mechanism. Intense curiosity is a trait
ingrained in their souls and minds from their
racial creation by the Greystone of Gargath.
They cannot be other than what they are--
natural thieves.
 







This is unpopular by today's standards, but back in AD&D it was accepted that each fantasy race was actually different than humanity. Kender were biologically incapable of understanding the concept of "property" as we understand it, just like they were biologically incapable of experiencing fear. Their minds just didn't work the same way, nor did elves, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, etc, as they were alien to us.

This view is now considered racist, and so WotC has dropped all aspects of it from the game (or is in the process of doing so). This does not jell with the way Kender are, which is why they came up with this stupid 'they're magic' idea that lets them pull whatever out of their pouches (which will still annoy DMs, since they can sell it before it disappears), instead of assuming they're kleptomaniacs. IMO, they could have simply left the source of these items as "things picked up along the way," and kept them as mostly worthless trinkets.
 

Remathilis

Legend
This is unpopular by today's standards, but back in AD&D it was accepted that each fantasy race was actually different than humanity. Kender were biologically incapable of understanding the concept of "property" as we understand it, just like they were biologically incapable of experiencing fear. Their minds just didn't work the same way, nor did elves, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, etc, as they were alien to us.

I cannot comprehend what goes through the mind of a polar bear, though I can make some largely educated guesses. Regardless, I don't want to be locked in a room with one.

If a kender is biologically incapable of the concept of personal property, then at the very least they shouldn't be considered a default player race of that setting. They should be NPCs, not PCs. But Dragonlance not only has a race that is designed to spur intraparty conflict, it presents them as the alternative to halflings.

Even then, I find the concept icky. Imagine for a moment that you had a race that did not understand the concept of physical consent. Or a race that could not understand there is a difference between a living being and a corpse. Or a race that believes everything but themselves is an illusion and a figment of their imagination. Any of these races would be an interesting experiment, but I can't imagine any of them would be good player races.
 

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