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D&D General No More "Humans in Funny Hats": Racial Mechanics Should Determine Racial Cultures

It's completely the opposite of pointless. It has a very big point. It gives those who like racial bonuses(a whole lot of us) our racial bonuses and still gives you guys the flexibility you want. It's win-win, which is important. And a fantastic compromise.
Nope. If everyone has floating +2 they can put anywhere, it is pointless. Elves are actually any more dexterous, as anyone can put their floating +2 to dex to match them, nor are goliaths any stronger than halflings, who again can put their +2 to strength to match them.
 

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Would you just stop with the dumb min-maxer argument?

It's not getting any less obnoxious and untrue with repetition.
How is it not true? You just yourself literally said not being able to max the main stat limits choices for those who feel the need to do so. So optimisation is the motivation. Without such a motivation no character choices are limited.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Nope. If everyone has floating +2 they can put anywhere, it is pointless. Elves are actually any more dexterous, as anyone can put their floating +2 to dex to match them, nor are goliaths any stronger than halflings, who again can put their +2 to strength to match them.
You don't get to declare it pointless for everyone. You can tell me that you don't see the point, but it does in fact have a point, whether you can see it or not. I can see the point.
 

Scribe

Hero
Now, of the remaining time, how much of a typical session (and I mean on average, over say, 10 sessions) do you think is reasonable to delve into the psycho-socio differences between the different party members? D&D is built around encounters, be they combat or otherwise, with OUTSIDE triggers. Not conflicts within the party.
As much time as the players want to devote to it?

Could be a whole session as far as I care, I don't demand people in my groups stick to a schedule.

Now if you have players being intentionally disruptive during an encounter, that's something different, but that's a player behavior issue.
 

Scribe, you clearly play a different game than I. The idea of an entire session where players talk about their feelings towards one another is the antithesis of any D&D game I have ever played. I play D&D as a fantasy game, but one that does have some hard core real world connections, particularly in physics and biology (I only allow PHB species in any game I run, and walk away from any Pokemon game). I don't need to have group therapy sessions where we explore each other's chars motivations.

And as for disruptive players, I would posit that two chars with polar opposite value systems are indeed going to be in direct conflict, that WILL disrupt encounters. I don't even have to go into the concept of different species. Look at the description of a Grave Cleric in XGTE. There is absolutely zero middle ground with that char and say a Necromancer Wizard or an Undead Warlock. Or between Grave Cleric and any number of the new species that are grounded in being Undead, or Undead-adjacent.

The Grave Cleric WILL go to any lengths to destroy those chars/species. It is written into the very description. So if you want to talk about RP'ing those chars, and discussing their motivations to reach some common group....nope, not happening, if the players are TRULY going to commit to the RP aspect of their chars.
 

Scribe

Hero
Scribe, you clearly play a different game than I.
I suppose so. I would say a session at a camp, in a tavern, on the trail, where people really explore their characters, and how they relate to each other is great.

I mean in my youth, I did a lot of manual labor. You have a lot of time (while digging, or loading, or carrying) to shoot the breeze.

If you haven't had opportunity to have discussions like that, I would be surprised.

Now are their class concepts which are clearly opposite? Sure, you picked a good one, but that's a bit of a goal post shift don't you think?

Bringing this back again to the topic.

If I'm in a party with a Lizard person, who looks at me as potential food, who doesn't share the same emotional World view, why can't that be discussed at the table?

I'm pretty sure Tas never plucked Flints axe out of his hand mid swing because he just HAD to steal it.

The game is not a straight jacket. It simply isn't.

Your class, your race, your alignment, your stats! 5e is SO forgiving and loose, you are not required to play within some straight jacket framework.
 

Scribe, I was in a session last night, where the DM had to reset expectations, essentially a 2nd session 0. Three of the 6 players joined the campaign (some 6 sessions old now), after the first session. One of these players thinks it "playing his char" to use Cutting Words on MY char after we had been ambushed by Orcs. This same player believes it is "fun" for his char to get drunk and play bagpipes while we explore a dungeon of unknown size and danger level.

The first half of the session was an out of game discussion about the motivations of the various chars and the DM gently suggesting that PvP is not a good thing. I stated flat out at the table that I hate it and never allow it my table, but "his table, his rules" applies. The rest of the session was pure RP. I rolled twice for Perception. It was excruciatingly awful.

And this is among chars that are of the same mindset, and at least share/recognize each other's value system. To suggest that some Lizard, who's culture and biological evolution, over countless generations has made it what it is, will stop considering you as food, over a campfire conversation, suspends all belief. There is D&D fantasy, and then there is something else that you are describing.

The closing scene at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy is another good analogy, when the Law guy is explaining to Drax how removing someones' spine is a bad thing, or how Rocket can't steal something because he wants it more. Both those chars continue to do those things, even though it was clearly explained to them.

You are suggesting this kind of behaviour can be RP'ed away. I am stating that if players truly RP'ed said chars, such behaviour CANNOT be modified in a couple RP chats. If it is, then the players are simply not playing their chars. The entire concept of players RP'ing a pantheon of different species, with wildly divergent cultures and biological drives, is impossible from the outset. Either players are NOT truly RP'ing their alien race chars, at which point it just Humans with Funny Hats, or if the players DO succesfully RP their chars, there will be massive intra-party conflict. Both ways, the entire concept fails.
 

The rest of the session was pure RP. I rolled twice for Perception. It was excruciatingly awful.
It certainly is truly terrible to have to roleplay in a roleplaying game. :unsure:

And this is among chars that are of the same mindset, and at least share/recognize each other's value system. To suggest that some Lizard, who's culture and biological evolution, over countless generations has made it what it is, will stop considering you as food, over a campfire conversation, suspends all belief. There is D&D fantasy, and then there is something else that you are describing.
Humans eat animals. Yet we don't consider our pets to be food. Even if those pets were animals that are commonly eaten, such as rabbits.
 


Scribe

Hero
One of these players thinks it "playing his char" to use Cutting Words on MY char after we had been ambushed by Orcs. This same player believes it is "fun" for his char to get drunk and play bagpipes while we explore a dungeon of unknown size and danger level.
This is simply a disruptive player, and a DM who has IMO lost control over the table.

I wouldn't play in that game, nor with that player. In fact, I'd probably kill him prior to bowing out of the group LOL.

I disagree on the inability to reason with a Lizard person. If we can coexist with dogs, I certainly believe a working understanding with another sapient being I can talk to, is within the realm of possibility.
 

This is simply a disruptive player, and a DM who has IMO lost control over the table.

I wouldn't play in that game, nor with that player. In fact, I'd probably kill him prior to bowing out of the group LOL.
That seems excessive and probably illegal.

I disagree on the inability to reason with a Lizard person. If we can coexist with dogs, I certainly believe a working understanding with another sapient being I can talk to, is within the realm of possibility.
Yep.
 


Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Nope. If everyone has floating +2 they can put anywhere, it is pointless. Elves are actually any more dexterous, as anyone can put their floating +2 to dex to match them, nor are goliaths any stronger than halflings, who again can put their +2 to strength to match them.
I thought we put this branch of discussion on hold in this thread?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Nope. If everyone has floating +2 they can put anywhere, it is pointless. Elves are actually any more dexterous, as anyone can put their floating +2 to dex to match them, nor are goliaths any stronger than halflings, who again can put their +2 to strength to match them.
So thinking further on this, the bolded is completely untrue. If elves get +2 to dex, then entire race is dexterous(racial bonus). That some dwarves might opt to put +2 into dex does not make dwarves(the race) dexterous. Same with goliaths and halflings. You have failed with that example to show racial bonuses to be pointless or to show how some individual halflings opting to get +2 strength makes the entire race of halfings as strong as the race of goliaths.
 

I dunno...I kind of like the first and correct grammatical interpretation. And as for the Wolves / humans argument, how many generations of Wolves and Humans had to interact until we got to dogs as pets? Plus, humans BRED the more passive versions to get to what we have to today. Run into a wolf pack in the middle of winter while you are on snowshoes and try in interact with them.

I can see the DM having to Handwave a situation where various species are "at peace" after who knows how many generations. But once again, we are then back to a situation where all the chars share the same value system, and it back to Humans with Funny Hats.
 

So thinking further on this, the bolded is completely untrue. If elves get +2 to dex, then entire race is dexterous(racial bonus). That some dwarves might opt to put +2 into dex does not make dwarves(the race) dexterous. Same with goliaths and halflings. You have failed with that example to show racial bonuses to be pointless or to show how some individual halflings opting to get +2 strength makes the entire race of halfings as strong as the race of goliaths.
That's no more than fluff. Every time it actually mattered, i.e. player made a character who actually needed that stat, they would be the same.

I thought we put this branch of discussion on hold in this thread?
We did? Well, I didn't bring it back, but perhaps I shouldn't have responded then... :unsure:
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
This is often expressed but unnecessarily reductionist view. Sure, most of us are humans in real life, and thus have to sue our human brains to navigate this. But the idea that non-humans must be utterly incomprehensibly alien to properly not be "humans with funny hats" is taking it too far. Ultimately most intelligent creatures are social humanoids, often hominids. They are different, but not incomprehensibly so.
Here is the thing....in this thread I'm being a sort of devil's advocate by taking an extreme view of how different characters have to act. I am not bothered in the slightest by one player having a warforged with entirely human outlook and another players lizardfolk having a need to feed on their kills.

I think 5e would be much improved by having more mechanical differences than it does. No matter how many you make, though, SOMEONE will still say they are humans in funny hats.
 


Scribe

Hero
Run into a wolf pack in the middle of winter while you are on snowshoes and try in interact with them.

Wolves don't know Common. In fact that common exists at all actually shows the very high potential of being able to reason with another sapient species.

I can see the DM having to Handwave a situation where various species are "at peace" after who knows how many generations. But once again, we are then back to a situation where all the chars share the same value system, and it back to Humans with Funny Hats.

I disagree. Lizard people are about as exotic a species as I entertain in my own world as a PC option. You can have a race that operates on different behavior, and not have it overturn the basic flow of the game.

That's not a value system call.

Many people have many different values. I'd argue a strength of an RPG, is to have a place to explore differences, without it being 'real'.

Except for my Paladin. He's an avatar, disagree with him and I'm personally wounded. ;)
 

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