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

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I don't necessarily agree with the bolded portion. The world is a wide and wonderfully varied place, and uniqueness abounds. There will be metric craptons of stuff the PCs haven't heard about. While a lot is common knowledge, a lot is not.
With the (literal) magic of long-range travel in many typical settings to add on to mundane travel, I assume a somewhat greater degree of communication than the real world saw in the same era.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
With the (literal) magic of long-range travel in many typical settings to add on to mundane travel, I assume a somewhat greater degree of communication than the real world saw in the same era.
Folks are not omniscient. There will be nooks and crannies all over the place with uniqueness. Most of which don't have high level wizards hanging out with nothing better to do than gossip. Further, a local uniqueness won't be unusual, so there will often not even be remarked upon to strangers and may not be notices as it will often not be used on a regular basis.

As I said, a lot of things will be common knowledge and a lot won't.
 

pemerton

Legend
And to reiterate mine, I think there's a fairly big difference between something that can only require you to throw money at the problem and one that requires training (and possibly a lot of it).
There are assumptions here that are open to contest.

For instance, in a game of Arthurian romance, it's not clear that nobility, or a castle, is just something that you can buy.
 

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.
I think we are roughly on the same page, or at least on the same chapter. I think it would be better if things were precodified and players could make better informed decisions about character building, but I also understand that this might not be practical. I don't have everything that could exist codified either, just most of it. In any case, your willingness to alter rules as needed so that players can acquire NPC features certainly alleviates the issues greatly.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
I don't necessarily agree with the bolded portion. The world is a wide and wonderfully varied place, and uniqueness abounds. There will be metric craptons of stuff the PCs haven't heard about. While a lot is common knowledge, a lot is not.
100% agree, thanks for making my exact reply for me.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
Sorry. I think I mixed up a few threads. In another thread @ECMO3 was telling me that in order for a master chef to have +12 with cooking tools, you must use the monster creation rules which say that the master chef has to be CR 9 to get there. I think you probably didn't see that thread, which is why my joke caused confusion.

For the record, I stand by my assertion that I can just take an NPC with no stats and give him +12 as the king's master chef. I suspect that we are in agreement with that. :)
Ouch. Where's that thread? I may want to speak, at volume. :)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Ouch. Where's that thread? I may want to speak, at volume. :)

That's not the beginning of the discussion, but it's a post where the claim is repeated.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Yes, few things are a necessity, that's one of the reasons I pushed back against the idea of NPC to PC parity as being a necessity.

That it's a virtue is a matter of opinion, as you state. I'm perfectly fine with folks who prefer it that way. But if they assign some trait to it that I think is inaccurate... or assign a trait to not doing it, as is often the case... then I'll call it out. So when someone says that not having such parity "leads to inconsistencies in the fiction" or "damages verisimilitude", then I'll explain why that's inaccurate.

Well, I have to point out that "damage verisimilitude" is also subjective, so there's a limit you can do to disprove that one. I kind of agree it does, but that involves my sense of verisimilitude. That may (and from context, probably isn't) may not equate to yours.

If you want to elaborate on why you think it is a virtue, feel free. I may or may not agree... but that's fine, as it's all opinon. I don't expect you would agree with my take and its virtues. I'll not try and paint you as belligerent for that.

Like I said, to be honest, it doesn't strike me as likely to be productive.
 


I mean I rarely build NPCs as with full actual PC rules either. It is just an approximation. Like for example I take "knight" monster statblock, and replace parry and leadership features with some spells and we have and eldritch knight or something close enough, or give "bandit captain" a sneak attack and so forth.

Like I get that for usability it is useful to sometimes streamline things. If I had infinite time and brainpower, I would prefer full PC rules for NPCs, but I don't, so trade-offs need to be made. I just want them to feel sameish.
So, in practice we are on the same page, which frankly I always assumed would be mostly true. When running 4e, frex, I take a stat block which is mechanically appropriate, reflavor things, and maybe make some mechanical adjustments, though often it's no more than keywords. Many times I might think "hey, I can just make a power that looks like X". Like I made an NPC one time that was basically a Beastmaster ranger, just take an elf archer, give it a cat, etc. but I could have given any thematic ability.
 

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