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D&D General Moar Greyhawk: Anthropocentrism and Humanity in Greyhawk

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
This post is related to another post I just wrote, about Greyhawk, here:


After some time in the comments, a poster responded to a list of non-exclusive factors I wrote about Greyhawk, in which I included "humanocentric" with the following:

This is saying that you want to pare back the allowable PC races to being limited to Human, and some of the variations of Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings. You may or may not include Gnomes or Half-Orcs (they were in 1e). All the other PC race choices would be either off-limits or allowed by GM fiat only.

At this point, I stopped reading the post, primarily for two reasons. First, it is not enjoyable when people try to define what you are saying in order to create a caricature to argue against- it does not promote a good conversation. More importantly, I have repeatedly stated, including within that thread, that this isn't the issue. In the exact post that the person was responding to, I wrote the following:

To use the dragonborn example that always comes up. Dragonborn, in my opinion, are not native to the Flanaess. If the 5e version of Greyhawk just ignored that issue or retconned them into the existing area, I would be angry- because that would show a lack of care in dealing with a fundamental distinction, and a lack of respect for the setting.

But the issue isn't dragonborn. If someone took the time to either integrate them in a meaningful way into the setting or to provide a quick sidebar as to how "non-native Dragonborn" could be used, I would have no issue with that, even if they were just a "rumored Kingdom to the east."


There are only so many times you can say, "It's not about Dragonborn, and you don't need to exclude them" and have someone say, "So, what you're saying is .... this is really about Dragonborn, eh, and you are totally going to exclude them!" before you just kind of give up.

However, I think that there is an issue that needs to be resolved, otherwise this wouldn't come up so often. It would help to understand what it means to have a campaign setting, such as Greyhawk, be "humanocentric" or, to use a slightly different term that doesn't trigger my spellchecker constantly and exists in the real world, (I guess, all of this is all about dragons and unicorns, after all) anthropocentric.

I'm forking this from the main post because this requires a little bit of explication. Roughly, the idea is as follows:

A. Greyhawk (specifically, Flanaess) as a human-centered world.
B. D&D, as reflected in the early rules, as human-centered adventures, and why that, in turn, is reflected in Greyhawk.
C. Why an anthropocentric Greyhawk could provide for an interesting campaign setting for 5e.


A. This is a human's world, this is a human's world, but it wouldn't be nothing, nothing ... without a halfling or an elf.

(Quick note on terms- since I will be looking back at the old material, I will be using the term "demi-human" in the context that it was originally used; those playable races that were not human in the 1e PHB).

NOTE - this has been edited to reflect @Mortellan and his excellent comment and article at:


Starting with the basics- the actual knowledge we have of Oerth (the world on which Greyhawk exists) is scant. The full knowledge we have of the rest of the continent of Oerik is pretty limited as well. There are some ideas as to what might have been there, and people have put in ideas for the rest, but if we are starting with the 1983 Box Set (which I am, and will be the reference for this), then the rest of the continent and world is underdeveloped. Which, right there, provides plenty of opportunity for not just adventure, but "mysterious travelers" (aka, other playable races).

But when people speak of "Greyhawk" as a campaign setting, they are talking about the Flanaess. And the Flanaess is human dominated. How human dominated? If you look through the gazetteer, you will see that every country (and free city) has the demi-human population broken out! They are listed as follows in order of size (other than none):
Unlikely
Very doubtful
Doubtful
Few, if any
Very few
Few (1-5% of the human population)
Some (6-10% of the human population)
Many (11-20% of the human population)
Named, without a numerical amount
A numerical amount (this would be the fighting population)

So we know a few things. We also know that the minimum amount of demi-humans to trigger a number is 2,000 (Onnwal, Yeomanry has 2,000 high elves and other demi-humans without number). So step back for a second and look at that. We can all debate the care and effort Gygax put into the taxonomy of "unlikely" as opposed to "very doubtful" but we can also easily see that the amount to be counted was an incredibly low threshold- 2,000. That means that, arguably, all those categories amount to "less, usually way less, than 2,000 males in the entire country." And very few countries have 2,000 of any demi-humans. Most places have, at best, no or almost no demi-humans.

But let's look at the most interesting category- "many" (11-20% of the human population). This applies to exactly two places:
Free City of Irongate (57,000 total human)
Wild Coast (150,000 total human)

Now, there are other places that have a decent demihuman population- Ulek, Celene, and so on. But compare that to just the population of The Great Kingdom (5 million). In terms of sheer numbers and politics, demi-humans are not the major players in the Flanaess.

This is not to say this is definitive, but it is certainly informative. If you look at the history, you see the same thing. This history of the Flanaess is a human history. The history section acknowledges this, while stating that the demi-humans will work with the humans for "mutual interests."

To put this in more modern terms for those not familiar with the setting- the story of Greyhawk would be similar to Game of Thrones, if Game of Thrones had a few extra "mercenary armies" that happened to be demi-humans. They are not the main players in the game, but they can be involved.


B. Enough about me- so, what do YOU think about my hair?

I am often curious when people think that early D&D was not anthropocentric. There are many things you can do- you can note that humans are the only race that be any class, or that they are the only race that is allowed unlimited advancement in all classes, or that it is the only race that doesn't have capped ability scores (fun fact- for all the talk of the strength of the dwarf and half-orc, only humans in the original rules could have an 18/00 strength). There's the racial preferences table (OUCH!) where humans are the only ones that don't have hatred or antipathy toward someone else. You could point to the personalities section of the Rogues Gallery- there are 14 humans, two humans reincarnated as other beings (a lizard man and a centaur!), one elf, and one halfling. But all of this is beside the point, since the DMG puts it cleanly:

A moment of reflection will bring them to the unalterable conclusion that the game is heavily weighted towards mankind. ADVANCED D&D is unquestionably "humanocentric", with demi-humans, semi-humans, and humanoids in various orbits around the sun of humanity. Men are the worst monsters, particularly high level characters such as clerics, fighters, and magic-users - whether singly, in small groups, or in large companies.

DMG, p. 21 (Gygax).

This is not an issue of whether this is good, or bad, or right or wrong, but it is. Greyhawk is a product of this vision- that humanity is front and center, that the politics and the world is "humanocentric."

Now, to turn the screw slightly- this never prohibited weird races. I just noted that (through the power of reincarnation) there was a playable centaur and a playable lizardman in a 1e accessory. Gygax famously wrote the Half Ogre for Dragon magazine, and later elevated certain races to explicitly playable races in Unearthed Arcana (gray dwarves, dark/gray/wild/wood/valley elves, deep gnomes). The section in the DMG I just quoted about how D&D is unquestionably anthropocentric? That's from "The Monster as a Player Character," and while Gygax explains why they aren't listed and shouldn't be used, he ends by saying that it's up to the DM. After all, this is a game that in its infancy had Vampires, and excursions to the Old West and Lasers and flying to the moon, so it shouldn't be that weird, right?

I think this gets back to the main issue- that the world of Greyhawk (the Flanaess) is a human world, dominated by human politics, and that while a PC can be anything (from a centaur to a tortle) you will have to take this into account if you are playing in Greyhawk. Because Greyhawk is ... humanocentric. And race (or ancestry, or heritage, or species, or folk, or peoples, or whatever we end up calling it in the future) will matter. Which brings us to ....


C. Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.

I should start by saying that when I listed "humanocentric" (anthrpocentric), it was in the context of a list of features that a revived Greyhawk could have. But, as I always repeat, when it comes to the issue of "great product" or "fidelity to the original," the needs of art should always win out.

...and this is where we get into the Dragonborn and Tiefling issues. Or, as I have seen it here, the "Kill on Sight" vs. "You don't me what to do" debate, which is incredibly tiresome. As I have repeatedly said, I don't mind the inclusion of additional races into Greyhawk so long as they are done in a way that respects the ethos of the setting. Some should be pretty easy (Tieflings as fiends, related to the whole Iuz issue), some may require more work (Dragonborn), but none are necessarily forbidden. What would be terrible, in my opinion, is (for example) placing large, non-human kingdoms in Greyhawk as that would be antithetical to the nature of the setting- which is focused on humanity. The main demi-humans are rare in most places, the rare demi-humans should be very, very rare.

Which brings us to the "Kill on sight." I don't agree with that, but I also understand the impulse the statement. In Greyhawk, race matters (that phrase just doesn't look great, does it?). There are countries/areas where "humanoids" (using, again, the old GH terminology) run free, and a Bugbear PC would be fine, but an Elf would not (and a human would have some splainin' to do). There are more tolerant areas where they would require certain PCs to disarm and they would be treated with suspicion, and other areas where they might be more likely to be attacked.

To use the canonical example of the Drow- if a player was playing a Drow, and they happened upon a community that had been raided by Drow in the night, there might be a high chance of being attacked immediately. If they were in a more civilized, free city, accompanied by others, they would be likely treated with some hostility and suspicion. If they were somewhere (say, the far northeast, amongst the Barbarians) that had little or no knowledge of Dark Elves, it would be curiosity.

To me, this is common sense; the choice of a race (or whatever it might be called) is not just a grabbag of bonuses, but has an impact in the world. People in Greyhawk, riven by prior wars, beset by humanoid raiding parties, with civilization in many places hanging in the balance, should be suspicious of outsiders. That doesn't mean that every community would be "Kill on Sight" for non-standard races, but a generic, cosmopolitan, no one notices if a party of a Drow, Kobold, Tortle, and Dragonborn wanders into the village that was just attacked by a Drow raiding party is quite right either.

Of course, all of this is easily handled with a page or two, which can be optional. I don't think that recognizing this aspect of Greyhawk is necessarily the best way to go (which is why I listed it as one possible aspect), but it would certainly present a more differentiated campaign setting for some. IMO.
 
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Mortellan

Explorer
I wrote about screwy demihuman populations not that long ago. Elven Populations in Greyhawk
Not sure if this adds to the discussion but summary: the boxed set figures for demihumans iirc are just for fighting males, because originally Gygax was a wargamer. Greyhawk Wars and all that jazz. The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer tried to fix some population imbalances, but then by using 3e's player character demographic formula ended up giving more elves (and others) to human kingdoms than were in most actual elven lands.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I wrote about screwy demihuman populations not that long ago. Elven Populations in Greyhawk
Not sure if this adds to the discussion but summary: the boxed set figures for demihumans iirc are just for fighting males, because originally Gygax was a wargamer. Greyhawk Wars and all that jazz. The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer tried to fix some population imbalances, but then by using 3e's player character demographic formula ended up giving more elves (and others) to human kingdoms than were in most actual elven lands.

Excellent article! I am going to amend the OP- my only slight quibble is (and I can't believe I forgot this) is that you are overly generous on the categorizations, assigning a full value (20%, 10%, 5%) when the text says that it is "up to" - that means the "many" range is 11-20, the some is 6-10, and the few is 1-5.

The rough and ready estimates also would exclude humans (based on p. 18, only accounting for normal citizens) which means that countries would have an excess population of some percentage beyond the stated percentage of humanity.


EDIT- of course, this is an argument for precision in made-up numbers. :)
 
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Mortellan

Explorer
Excellent article! I am going to amend the OP- my only slight quibble is (and I can't believe I forgot this) is that you are overly generous on the categorizations, assigning a full value (20%, 10%, 5%) when the text says that it is "up to" - that means the "many" range is 11-20, the some is 6-10, and the few is 1-5.

The rough and ready estimates also would exclude humans (based on p. 18, only accounting for normal citizens) which means that countries would have an excess population of some percentage beyond the stated percentage of humanity.


EDIT- of course, this is an argument for precision in made-up numbers. :)

Fair enough lol. Yeah using the full 20/10/5% was necessary because I was trying to push the figures in contrast to the full population amounts of the LGG. And as to page 13. Nice find, like your OP amend. I suppose ya, mercenaries and wanderers (like Rhennee?) wouldn't be easy to count!
 

DnD Warlord

Adventurer
I just ran most of a campaign (shut down due to COVID) that was human centric. I think it has a lot in common with the way people describe Greyhawk (even if I never saw anyone PLAY Greyhawk the way they describe it)

we used middle earth 5e rpg classes and human half elf teifling and half orc were all redone as those stats, but human with a hint ofX in them. In game they met “blood of the dragon” humans who used dragon born stats.

I created fighting styles based off a mix of Bo9S and 4e a/e/d/u powers and supernatural powers based on spells (like my worg that combined find familiar and beast bond with a higher CR to grab animals).

it was a fun attempt. But even it had about 1/2 my normal number of players. Because writing out half the PHB and most of the rest of the game did not appeal to as many...
 


Mort

Legend
Supporter
Meh.

I'd be happy to have a Dragonborn or Warforged or Muul PC in Greyhawk.

Planar travel is a thing, and who knows what experiments the Suel got up to back in the day. PCs are exceptional after all.

That's pretty much my view. In my current campaign one of the players wanted to play a dragonborn. I said sure, but 1. you have to accept the consequences of people's reactions 2. You have to let me muck around with how you got to Greyhawk much more than I would normally.

The group started in the City of Greyhawk where people barely paid the dragonborn any mind (he'd grown up there and many people were used to him). I tend to treat the City of Greyhawk like Ankh-Morpork (Discworld) - the residents have seen everything, a dragonborn isn't going to faze them. But as he gets away from the city, reactions will be much more mixed. Some areas he may get attacked on site (some people can't tell the difference between a lizardman and a dragonborn!)
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Meh.

I'd be happy to have a Dragonborn or Warforged or Muul PC in Greyhawk.

Planar travel is a thing, and who knows what experiments the Suel got up to back in the day. PCs are exceptional after all.

Also funny you should mention Suel and warforged. My current group just did a "loot and run" of a dead archmages city in the Sea of Dust. In their haste they pulled several levers trying to get the heck out of dodge. I think over the next several levels they will find that their actions have triggered a warforged invasion coming from one of the ruined cities (warforged which are actually the new bodies of the archmage and his many, many minions). We finished up an Eberron campaign a while back and I'm looking forward to their reactions in seeing warforged in this completely different context!

Anyway, I think that still fits into the tone of Greyhawk ymmv.
 

Also funny you should mention Suel and warforged. My current group just did a "loot and run" of a dead archmages city in the Sea of Dust. In their haste they pulled several levers trying to get the heck out of dodge. I think over the next several levels they will find that their actions have triggered a warforged invasion coming from one of the ruined cities (warforged which are actually the new bodies of the archmage and his many, many minions). We finished up an Eberron campaign a while back and I'm looking forward to their reactions in seeing warforged in this completely different context!

Anyway, I think that still fits into the tone of Greyhawk ymmv.

Ive always like the Suel (Scarlet Brotherhood etc). Lawful Evil Aryan Human supremacists who where once potent magic users and are now Red robed Nazi Monk/ Assassins.

Had a Blond haired blue eyed LE Suel Ruby Knight Vindicator in my final ever 3.5 Campaign.

Warblade 1/ Archivist 1/ Fighter 1/ Monk 1/ Cleric (Wee Jas) 1/ RKV 10.

Warblade because I hated the Crusader recovery mechanic. Monk because I wanted to go Master of Nine later on. Fighter for the feat. Cleric because I needed rebuke undead. Archivist because their spellcasting is better than Cleric.

Great saves. naughty word BAB.

I dont miss 3.5.
 

I think it's pretty well-established that Gary Gygax spoke of favoring fighting men and humans (despite playing that most famous magic-user, Mordenkainen). But no matter what he said about D&D being humanocentric, I can say that in our 1e gaming group back in the day, humans were still in the minority or made up half the party at most. The level cap system for demihumans was never a deterrent for players, it would seem. Save for some of the particularly harsh limits, we never got close enough to them in a campaign that it mattered.

The drow of Greyhawk, though, are especially thorny. There is no world where Wizards ever publishes another book where the drow are unmitigated, all-evil, all the time, antagonists. Would Greyhawk purists accept a more inclusive vision of Erelhei-Cinlu?

To use the canonical example of the Drow- if a player was playing a Drow, and they happened upon a community that had been raided by Drow in the night, there might be a high chance of being attacked immediately. If they were in a more civilized, free city, accompanied by others, they would be likely treated with some hostility and suspicion. If they were somewhere (say, the far northeast, amongst the Barbarians) that had little or no knowledge of Dark Elves, it would be curiosity.
 

I think it's pretty well-established that Gary Gygax spoke of favoring fighting men and humans (despite playing that most famous magic-user, Mordenkainen). But no matter what he said about D&D being humanocentric, I can say that in our 1e gaming group back in the day, humans were still in the minority or made up half the party at most. The level cap system for demihumans was never a deterrent for players, it would seem. Save for some of the particularly harsh limits, we never got close enough to them in a campaign that it mattered.

The drow of Greyhawk, though, are especially thorny. There is no world where Wizards ever publishes another book where the drow are unmitigated, all-evil, all the time, antagonists. Would Greyhawk purists accept a more inclusive vision of Erelhei-Cinlu?

We had Humans because of Dual classing. Much better than multiclassing as long as you can endure the suck of getting your XP total back up again.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Theoretically, the new race rules in TCoE could be a boon to building a more "humanocentric" setting. Players can still have access to a broad swath of racial abilities and bonuses but the character can still be skinned as just a human with a little something extra.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I think it's pretty well-established that Gary Gygax spoke of favoring fighting men and humans (despite playing that most famous magic-user, Mordenkainen). But no matter what he said about D&D being humanocentric, I can say that in our 1e gaming group back in the day, humans were still in the minority or made up half the party at most. The level cap system for demihumans was never a deterrent for players, it would seem. Save for some of the particularly harsh limits, we never got close enough to them in a campaign that it mattered.

See, this is where I think we have to have some sort of divide between the way that tables played, and some textual support. Different tables played in all sorts of ways, and it's hard to generalize table experiences.

To be more explicit, the following two three (I really can count, promise) statements can be true:

A. Greyhawk (Flanaess) is a humanocentric campaign setting. The world is mostly populated by humans, the major conflicts and powers revolve around humans, and the history of the world is largely the history of humanity. Other races orbit around humanity.

B. The adventuring party is special. Most of Greyhawk, for example, is also (to use the old phrase) "Level 0" or commoners. Just because it's a humanocentric campaign world doesn't mean that the PCs are all, or majority, human.

C. Different areas are, well, different. Greyhawk (free city) is not Rauxes.


The drow of Greyhawk, though, are especially thorny. There is no world where Wizards ever publishes another book where the drow are unmitigated, all-evil, all the time, antagonists. Would Greyhawk purists accept a more inclusive vision of Erelhei-Cinlu?

I don't know if I'm a purist, but I prefer Drow in Greyhawk as antagonists. This does not prevent drow PCs, but they aren't all cuddly and cute either.

But that's my view. That's not a dealbreaker for me.
 
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Doug McCrae

Legend
I am often curious when people think that early D&D was not anthropocentric.
As you say AD&D 1e and the Greyhawk folio and boxed set are humanocentric in the sense that humans are far more numerous than any other sentient being. I think this is also true of OD&D, Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor campaign, and the fantasy supplement for Chainmail. In their humanocentrism these worlds resemble Middle-Earth, the Hyborian Age, and Nehwon.

The world presented in B2 Keep on the Borderlands is different: "The Realm of mankind is narrow and constricted. Always the forces of Chaos press upon its borders, seeking to enslave its populace, rape its riches, and steal its treasures. If it were not for a stout few, many in the Realm would indeed fall prey to the evil which surrounds them."

It’s more like Poul Anderson's Three Hearts & Three Lions:

[H]umans were the chief agents on earth of Law, though most of them were so only unconsciously and some, witches and warlocks and evildoers, had sold out to Chaos. A few nonhuman beings also stood for Law. Ranged against them was almost the whole Middle World, which seemed to include realms like Faerie, Trollheim, and the Giants​

"[T]he world of Law—of man—is hemmed in with strangeness, like an island in the sea of the Middle World."

The 1e DMG is opposed to monstrous PCs but OD&D is not:

There is no reason that players cannot be allowed to play as virtually anything, provided they begin relatively weak and work up to the top, i.e., a player wishing to be a Balrog would have to begin as let us say, a "young" one and progress upwards in the usual manner, steps being predetermined by the campaign referee.​
Holmes Basic Set:

At the Dungeon Master's discretion a character can be anything his or her player wants him to be. Characters must always start out inexperienced and relatively weak and build on their experience. Thus, an expedition might include, in addition to the four basic classes and races (human, elven, dwarven, halflingish), a centaur, a lawful werebear, and a Japanese Samurai fighting man.​

Mike Mornard played a balrog in Gary Gygax’s Greyhawk campaign.

Prominent monsters and other evil beings were also player characters in Arneson’s Blackmoor campaign. Jon Peterson, Playing at the World:

In Blackmoor, as it was played in the Twin Cities, most of the Baddies were nominally under the control of players; the orcs in the dungeon beneath Castle Blackmoor, for example, were answerable to Fred Funk (King Fred I of the Orcs) and the Wizard who lurked in its darkest recesses was played by John Soukop.​

The infamous vampire Sir Fang played by David Fant is another example from Blackmoor.

Gary Gygax states that drow could be PCs as early as 1979. From the Sorcerer’s Scroll, Dragon #31: "The roles the various drow are designed to play in the series [the D1-3 modules] are commensurate with those of prospective player characters. In fact, the race could be used for player characters, providing that appropriate penalties were levied when a drow or half-drow was in the daylight world."
 
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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
B. The adventuring party is special. Most of Greyhawk, for example, is also (to use the old phrase) "Level 0" or commoners. Just because it's a humanocentric campaign world doesn't mean that the PCs are all, or majority, human.
Here's a possibly more complex question; in a 5e reboot of Greyhawk, should there be guidelines pointing towards a more human-dominant PC party? Should there be explicit rules mandating such a party? Would softer rule support like giving humans additional bonuses be warranted?
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I don't know if I'm a purist, but I prefer Drow in Greyhawk as antagonists. This does not prevent drow PCs, but they aren't all cuddly and cute either.

But that's my view. That's not a dealbreaker for me.

I see Drow as antagonists in Greyhawk but at the same time Drow as anything (antagonist, pc or whatever) is just played out for me. Very glad that no one in the group had any interest in playing one, and I don't plan to throw them in as any kind of villain this time around.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Here's a possibly more complex question; in a 5e reboot of Greyhawk, should there be guidelines pointing towards a more human-dominant PC party? Should there be explicit rules mandating such a party? Would softer rule support like giving humans additional bonuses be warranted?

Yes.
No.
Probably not.

To explain, I think that I should be clear that I, personally, think it would be pretty cool to be more explicit and encourage more humans as PCs (option 1).

But that's not a dealbreaker for me, and I know that there are many, many players out there that prefer to play something else, so I wouldn't mandate it (2).

I also don't know about additional bonuses, and think it's probably a bad idea (3).

But maybe if humans had (Greyhawk-specific) additional feats or backgrounds or something they could access, that would work. I don't know.

Or maybe something to at least explain the prevalence and power of humanity (such as it is) in the Flanaess. There are many different ways to approach it.
 

When you look at the Named PCs that have come down to us from Gygax's original group, you've got Tenser, Mordenkainen, Rary, Robilar, Drawmij, Otiluke, Erac's Cousin, all humans. The only demihuman I could name is Melf. It's a tough call, as there's what the text intended and what people did with it. The two are different things, and it's thankfully not up to me to say which is more valid.

Also, just noticed the Naked Lunch reference in your title!

See, this is where I think we have to have some sort of divide between the way that tables played, and some textual support. Different tables played in all sorts of ways, and it's hard to generalize table experiences.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
When you look at the Named PCs that have come down to us from Gygax's original group, you've got Tenser, Mordenkainen, Rary, Robilar, Drawmij, Otiluke, Erac's Cousin, all humans. The only demihuman I could name is Melf. It's a tough call, as there's what the text intended and what people did with it. The two are different things, and it's thankfully not up to me to say which is more valid.

Also, just noticed the Naked Lunch reference in your title!

Smash the control images, smash the control machines.
 

I think this gets back to the main issue- that the world of Greyhawk (the Flanaess) is a human world, dominated by human politics, and that while a PC can be anything (from a centaur to a tortle) you will have to take this into account if you are playing in Greyhawk. Because Greyhawk is ... humanocentric. And race (or ancestry, or heritage, or species, or folk, or peoples, or whatever we end up calling it in the future) will matter.
I think that's the real problem right there - that many players want to have all the numbers and abilities that go with race/species/whatever, but don't (can't? aren't willing?) accept what else comes with it.

Anecdote: I ran a game set in a very human-dominated world (for example, less than 20,000 dwarves in the entire world). The five PCs included a genasi, a goliath, a gnome and a tiefling. The players actually complained to me as GM about the way their players were getting treated in towns.

Perhaps the rules of the game world need to point this out on the first few pages? "Hey, players! This world has far more <X> than any other sapient species. If you play as a <J>, <K> or especially as a <T>, your character will get harassed in the street, denied service in taverns, and gain extra attention from town guards. You Have Been Warned."

Preceded by a warning "This game world contains mature topics, including discrimination and persecution. If you can't handle these like a mature adult then please play D&D in a different campaign world."

With more or less snark depending on your preference. :)
 

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