"Oddities" in fantasy settings - the case against "consistency"

Then....what are we even disagreeing about? If you're willing to make those changes, then you're pretty much saying class progression isn't actually binding for NPCs. And while there are a lot of related subtopics in this thread, that point is certainly one of the main ones.
Because it is still something that could be created via PC creation rules, or close to it. It is an approximation for the ease of use.

In another thread on the same topic one person brought up an example of some monster drow having superior ability to use poisons than what a PC could even via feats or class features ever acquire. Yet drow are playable species. This is the sort of situation I would want to avoid.
 

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TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
Because it is still something that could be created via PC creation rules, or close to it. It is an approximation for the ease of use.

In another thread on the same topic one person brought up an example of some monster drow having superior ability to use poisons than what a PC could even via feats or class features ever acquire. Yet drow are playable species. This is the sort of situation I would want to avoid.
To me, the implication there is that any option I use for a humanoid NPC has to be something codified and presented to the players as a PC option, otherwise I'm being unfair.

I reject that idea.

As a DM, I'm allowed to make hundreds of classes and thousands of feats or special abilities that are hidden from the players. They're not "locked away" from the PCs, the players are simply unaware of them until they encounter them in-game. If the PC follows the same narrative beats the NPC did, then I'm certainly not stopping them from acquiring that ability.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Based on observation, I think our sim-oriented brethren prefer to see documented character attributes (i.e., what's on the character sheet) focused on "desert island" attributes. That is, the abilities the character would still possess if they were teleported naked onto an isolated desert island halfway across the planet.

Social privilege and status would be something more like a magic item, something that can be taken away depending on the narrative. The ability to automatically gain a castle and followers in AD&D works against that, but I don't think a lot of sim-oriented players think those are well-designed abilities, anyway.

Honestly, they also probably think its mostly irrelevant given the level it kicks in.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Then why does it have to point only one way for, casting spells such that a pirate can't learn to caste spells at a proficiency level similar to an 8th level magic user?

As someone said, there's a difference between a personal ability and a possession. Its never been clear that magic use is, in fact, something you can just "learn" or something you have to have a personal trait for in the first place. And of course fairly on, you did have a way to do that; it was called dual-classing.

Now, if you're asking why you can't have isolated abilities rather than buying into a whole class, the usual answer is it requires too much training buy-in.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Ultimately, I find no reason to adhere to PC rules when creating NPCs. I'm simply not going to be arsed to go through that level of process when a much simpler one that produces the same results is available. There is simply no difference in the game experience at the table. It appears to be a case of the tail wagging the dog simply because some people perceive a need for parity between PCs and NPCs.

That's because you don't find it a value in and of itself, which some people (to some degree, me) very much do. I'm just willing to accept that under some circumstances the price can be too high in other ways.
 


hawkeyefan

Legend
That's because you don't find it a value in and of itself, which some people (to some degree, me) very much do. I'm just willing to accept that under some circumstances the price can be too high in other ways.

Yes, I don’t value it in and of itself. It’s a waste of time and effort that I’d rather spend in other ways, whether related to the game or not.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Yes, I don’t value it in and of itself. It’s a waste of time and effort that I’d rather spend in other ways, whether related to the game or not.

Your right to feel that way, but I don't consider it a waste when a game can support it properly (which a number can). D&D is just not one of those games because the overhead is too high because of all the exception based design.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
Your right to feel that way, but I don't consider it a waste when a game can support it properly (which a number can). D&D is just not one of those games because the overhead is too high because of all the exception based design.

My comments aren’t limited to D&D. It’s fine that others prefer such an approach. I’m just pointing out that it is far from a necessity.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I agree, but now the GM cannot deploy consistency as an argument against the possibility of PCs having castles as, say, an inheritance. The only possible argument is a gamist one!
OK, I'm going to assume that the main reason to not give a PC a castle is because it gives them an unfair advantage. But if that castle comes with huge debts, including things like armies that have deserted because they're not getting paid or lots of structural upkeep that needs doing,
then the PC don't actually have that advantage. And can easily tell the PC that if they want to have a castle, the GM gets to decide what shape its in.

Which is fundamentally my position, that the attributes of PCs are restricted to certain things, and lumped into classes, etc. for game reasons, though I am sure in some cases we could argue about tone or genre as well.
Of course, it also depends on the game. In Level Up, anyone can at least try to build a castle, if they have enough money. There's a whole chapter on building strongholds.
 

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