D&D 5E Monsters as PCs

Derren

Hero
I absolutely do NOT want monsters available as default. That is purely a setting-specific, playstyle, group-to-group preference. Allowing monsters as PCs has no business being imposed upon D&D. Another game system/line that is created with that assumption built in? Fine. But not D&D.

I am not objecting to an optional [appendix?] in the MM with guidelines to using humanoid creatures "Small" (matching halflings) up to "Large" size. Given examples could include: Small: Pixie, Goblin, Kobold; Medium: Hobgoblin, Orc, Lizardmen; Large: Bugbear, Gnoll (though I continue to be baffled by the attention and adoration given to savage-bordering-on-insane hyena-men?!?), Minotaurs (Krynn, anyone?)..."Half-Ogre" (for such settings as use/allow that sorta thing)...maybe something like Nymph or Siren to add in some Mediums that aren't "evil goblinoids."

This option also has THOROUGH guidelines and advice for using such creatures, including the subtle prejudices to abject panic and horror that a party "with a gnoll" ??!? attracts walking into EastBumble Hamlet farming village.

If you want to play "Beholders & Dragons" that is certainly your prerogative, but I don't want to see page count wasted on it in the MM or anywhere else for that matter.

All hail the One True Way
 

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steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
All hail the One True Way

Yes, indeed. I am quite the fantasy fascist.

...and I am really pretty sick of hearing about "one true wayism" at every blessed mention of offering an OPTION!

Like it or not, D&D books are not made with unlimited resources and page count.

Like it or not, D&D needs to have a simple "buy in" if they hope to attract new players. That means LIMITED default options to make things fast and easy to get started. Giving someone a book and saying "Here, pick any of these 150 things..." and that's just the first "core" book. There'll be all these other supplements with hundreds of other options coming for you as well [assuming a modicum of success and desire of WotC to continue producing material]!

Like it or not, and while this might sound like the above it's actually a separate issue, a "default" is necessary. Which means, yes, the text phrases things as "this is how to do this"...or the seemingly popularly preferred, "this is one way to do this..." with, then, sidebars or appendices or just a separate paragraph or sentence at the end saying "but you can do it this other way if you want to try."

Like it or not, D&D is a brand and business, in addition to a "feel" and game of imagination, a lovely feel and game of imagination which I enjoy very much, but they need to make the tough calls for the good of the brand and the business. Allowing for every possible corner preference and taste, as much as they can do optionally, is not conducive to promoting its success of either brand or business.

So in fact, all whining and winging and illusions of player entitlement accepted. YES, all hail the necessity of an initial, simple, clear, concise, "default", "core" One True Way...with lots of optional things that are available to tack on. Yes.

I happily accept your unfettered loyalty. :)
 

Dausuul

Legend
Yes, indeed. I am quite the fantasy fascist.

...and I am really pretty sick of hearing about "one true wayism" at every blessed mention of offering an OPTION!

Like it or not, D&D books are not made with unlimited resources and page count.

Like it or not, D&D needs to have a simple "buy in" if they hope to attract new players. That means LIMITED default options to make things fast and easy to get started. Giving someone a book and saying "Here, pick any of these 150 things..." and that's just the first "core" book. There'll be all these other supplements with hundreds of other options coming for you as well [assuming a modicum of success and desire of WotC to continue producing material]!

Like it or not, and while this might sound like the above it's actually a separate issue, a "default" is necessary. Which means, yes, the text phrases things as "this is how to do this"...or the seemingly popularly preferred, "this is one way to do this..." with, then, sidebars or appendices or just a separate paragraph or sentence at the end saying "but you can do it this other way if you want to try."

Like it or not, D&D is a brand and business, in addition to a "feel" and game of imagination, a lovely feel and game of imagination which I enjoy very much, but they need to make the tough calls for the good of the brand and the business. Allowing for every possible corner preference and taste, as much as they can do optionally, is not conducive to promoting its success of either brand or business.

So in fact, all whining and winging and illusions of player entitlement accepted. YES, all hail the necessity of an initial, simple, clear, concise, "default", "core" One True Way...with lots of optional things that are available to tack on. Yes.

I happily accept your unfettered loyalty. :)

Please point to the person who has asked for monster races to be "default." Except 4E, every edition of D&D has called out monstrous PCs as an optional variant, available only with DM approval. And 4E had that "everything is core" obsession which more or less forbade such options; 5E explicitly embraces them.
 


steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Please point to the person who has asked for monster races to be "default." Except 4E, every edition of D&D has called out monstrous PCs as an optional variant, available only with DM approval. And 4E had that "everything is core" obsession which more or less forbade such options; 5E explicitly embraces them.

I don't know that anyone has. Simply said I don't want it...but was open to the optional...to which I received the "One True Way" comment, which would seem to indicate that the opposing view (they be made default) should be acceptable/included. That is what the above was a response to.

They don't have to be "savage-bordering-on-insane" in someone's given world.

*facepalm* No. Of course they don't. In D&D, however, that "default" I mentioned, that is how they have been/were originally portrayed...So, as I said, their appeal as a PC race (which I do not dispute exists!) is lost on me.
 

Greg K

Legend
*facepalm* No. Of course they don't. In D&D, however, that "default" I mentioned, that is how they have been/were originally portrayed...So, as I said, their appeal as a PC race (which I do not dispute exists!) is lost on me.

I don't care about the "default"- especially, given the work of the story teams of 4e and 5e and the branding iron. In my opinon, they are the one of the worst things to happen to D&D.
Then again, I also have had no use for color coded/metallic dragons by alignment, Blood War (2e), Far Realm (first introduced in 2e supplement), default pantheons and racial cultures (outside of an appendix in the core, book) and a bunch of other things.
 
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d. humanoid levels required a LA of at least +1. This was a decision that was made at the design stage that no doubt seemed good, but in execution meant that almost all races with humanoid levels lagged behind. Gnolls and Ogres simply lacked the extra abilities represented by class levels and were already being "punished" in design by the humanoid levels.

This was a major mistake. Many, many monsters--humanoid or not--could get by with a LA of exactly 0. The racial HD were often roughly equivalent to class levels, and their ECL should have been the same as their total HD. But the designers wanted to punish people for playing non-standard races, and felt that individual abilities like flight or invisibility could be worth an entire +1 or +2 LA all by themselves. They insisted on adding at least a +1 LA to almost any race as some sort of "non-PHB race penalty" and then went bonkers on penalizing things on top of that. That is the major problem.

If you remove, or drastically reduce, LA, then problem c you cited is actually a balancing factor to make up for things like high ability adjustments.
 

I absolutely do NOT want monsters available as default. That is purely a setting-specific, playstyle, group-to-group preference. Allowing monsters as PCs has no business being imposed upon D&D. Another game system/line that is created with that assumption built in? Fine. But not D&D.

I am not objecting to an optional [appendix?] in the MM with guidelines to using humanoid creatures "Small" (matching halflings) up to "Large" size. Given examples could include: Small: Pixie, Goblin, Kobold; Medium: Hobgoblin, Orc, Lizardmen; Large: Bugbear, Gnoll (though I continue to be baffled by the attention and adoration given to savage-bordering-on-insane hyena-men?!?), Minotaurs (Krynn, anyone?)..."Half-Ogre" (for such settings as use/allow that sorta thing)...maybe something like Nymph or Siren to add in some Mediums that aren't "evil goblinoids."

This option also has THOROUGH guidelines and advice for using such creatures, including the subtle prejudices to abject panic and horror that a party "with a gnoll" ??!? attracts walking into EastBumble Hamlet farming village.

If you want to play "Beholders & Dragons" that is certainly your prerogative, but I don't want to see page count wasted on it in the MM or anywhere else for that matter.

How much page count would bother you? In the kind of system I'm talking about, you need a single one to two digit number and a word or term for each race. You could easily fit every intelligent creature in a typical MM on a single small-print page as an appendix. The rules for how to use those numbers would take up less than a column in the DMG if you used 3e size fonts. Ideally, you wouldn't even need the number, since it would use the monster level already listed for encounter design purposes.

I wouldn't want monstrous PCs in the majority of my games. Heck, I don't even like using things like warforged and dragonborn. But when I do want the monsters, I'd much rather have a simple and consistent system with the numbers already listed than require every DM to do-it-themselves, or buy a book that has overly complex rules to allow you to play half-*** 1 HD ogres and minotaurs.

I do, however, want this to be optional and firmly in the hands of the DM.
 
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