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D&D General Old School DND talks if DND is racist.

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Which in all three cases has the party voluntarily cede any chance of catching the foes off guard and getting in that sometimes-highly-important first round of shots and spells. That don't sound much like a winning idea in the long run. :)
I mean, it’s their choice to make. If the party wants to try to catch the approaching creatures off guard, they absolutely can. They just run the risk of the creatures not being hostile. Again, seems like a shame to throw away such a decision point in favor of having ambushing them be the obviously right answer.
 

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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I said having recommended alignments (often plural) for individual cultures in a fantasy world. What part of that is worse than having every single race have a recommended alignment across the D&D multiverse? It would be explicit that it is only the culture that leans that way, but individuals vary in any direction they want, especially the PCs. It wouldn't be assigned by race/lineage, and would be more in depth than just "normally chaotic neutral", instead saying something more like "[insertfantasyculture] leans to chaotic and neutral alignments, with strong cultural individualism and freedom as a core ideal of the culture".

How is that worse?
I was replying to
I'm fine with a world's culture having suggested alignments/worldviews, but I'm not okay with it being attached to race/lineage.
Which I may have slightly misread. :blush:

But ... I don't see a problem with specific creatures also having suggested alignments/worldviews because the game oversimplifies everything. Non-human creatures fit a niche because, well, it's a game.

I think that's okay with something like D&D. Star Trek on the other hand, well, best not to go there.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Not a fan. I don’t see any value in specifying a default.
Most fiction defines defaults though. It makes things easier to comprehend and fit into a story. Klingons are fierce and warlike, Vulcans are logical and conservative, so on and so forth. It's hardly unique to D&D to have mono-worldviews by species. Many sci-fi games such as Mass Effect do it as well.

They may not categorize it as alignment but for all practical purposes it is.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Not at all. Do you think the PCs would be justified in killing on sight in those scenarios?
I asked somebody (else) about what confused them. You listed a bunch of things. I asked if they confused you. Now you said you aren’t confused.

Now I’m confused. Are you confused, or are you not confused? Or are you just confused about wnether you’re confused?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Most fiction defines defaults though. It makes things easier to comprehend and fit into a story. Klingons are fierce and warlike, Vulcans are logical and conservative, so on and so forth. It's hardly unique to D&D to have mono-worldviews by species.
Yeah, and I’m not a fan of it in Sci-fi either. It’s terribly limiting and vaguely essentialist.
Many sci-fi games such as Mass Effect do it as well.
It’s been a while since I played Mass Effect, but I seem to recall the different species having pretty diverse cultures and personalities...
They may not categorize it as alignment but for all practical purposes it is.
Right, getting rid of fixed alignments is a step. But the goal is to have peoples presented with nuance and diversity. By default. If you want a simplified take you are of course welcome to do so in your own games, but it’s easier to remove nuance than to add it; having more nuance by default makes the game more inclusive to those who don’t have the inclination to change the game to remove its in-built essentialist concepts.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Are we all confused about what we're confusing with a confusing about being confused post?

EDIT: wait, now I'm confused.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I know that some of my posts today have been tongue-in-cheek (vegan liches, for example) but to be clear: I want there to be an alignment system in my D&D games. I want it to be a meaningful and important part of all characters, all NPCs, and all intelligent monsters. And I want to unlock all alignment options for all creatures, full-stop.

Lawful good mind flayers? Sure. A good-hearted psionic space squid makes about as much sense as a black-hearted one.
Chaotic-good red dragons? I loved her in Shrek.
Chaotic evil angels? Well they got cast out of Heaven for a reason...
Neutral-good vampires? Yeah, I read that book in high school.

That said, I'm pretty good at ignoring the alignment entries for the creatures in the Monster Manual. After all,
Pirates Of The Caribbean Code GIF by Brian Benns
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Is it OK to kill Warforged on sight?

I'm not asking this to be flippant, but what you are saying is fundamental to discussion around AI/Robots that has been under moral discussion for decades.
No. Legally they have had full emancipation & usually citizenship somewhere since 996 YK when the treaty of thonehold was signed. Just how alive they are is one of the big questions in the setting & of the race since 3.5, but they unquestionably are proven to have a soul as magic that needs one works on them.

So, Flayers indeed confirmed, not Evil, just hungry.
They are capable of being productive functioning members of humanoid society as governor Xor'Chylic proves, but "ohgodhowisthisathingomgwtfbbqthegovernorwearemeetingisWHAT!!" is about the reaction that dinner invite will get from your players :D You pondered similar back in 945 @Charlaquin. For added wide eyed mental screaming from the players, fill the dining room with his znir pact gnoll guards dining at another table :D
if I can have good gnolls”
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There's also an interesting series of books called re:monster about a guy who goes through the standard isekai tropes but wakes up as a goblin child in a cutthroat fr style goblin den ;D
 

Remathilis

Legend
I'm fine with a world's culture having suggested alignments/worldviews, but I'm not okay with it being attached to race/lineage.
I worry about the the volume of knowledge that having multiple cultures for every monster in the monster manual and race in the PHB is going to look like. There are hundreds of sentient beings in D&D from aarakroca to zorbos, and we are suggesting multiple diverse cultural elements for each. That's heavy lifting for any guide book to do. The only way it works is to combine certain creatures into large mega-cultures (such as an alliance or a horde) or take a thrasher to a large swath of sentient creatures (something I'm firmly against).
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I worry about the the volume of knowledge that having multiple cultures for every monster in the monster manual and race in the PHB is going to look like. There are hundreds of sentient beings in D&D from aarakroca to zorbos, and we are suggesting multiple diverse cultural elements for each. That's heavy lifting for any guide book to do. The only way it works is to combine certain creatures into large mega-cultures (such as an alliance or a horde) or take a thrasher to a large swath of sentient creatures (something I'm firmly against).
Same here. In addition, there is no one D&D world. We don't share factions, organizations or cultures. We have some suggestions like the generic planar structure but people pick and choose even from that or toss it all aside.

Alignment and some mono cultures are bad, but the options are worse. It's a vast oversimplification but for the most part it works and has for half a century.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Thoughts on various topics over last few pages.

If something is non sentient it's not evil even if it enjoys eating babies. Giant ant that baby is food. Doesn't mean you have to let them do it obviously.

Sentient species that needs to eat another sentient species or use them to breed eg egg laying, mind flayers. Probably evil.

A good aligned mind flayer would almost be impossible based in dietary considerations and reproduction. If they can mitigate the diet (undeath, magic etc) and not reproduce maybe. Otherwise it's like Dexter Morgan who hunts the baddies to feed his compulsions.

Semi sentient. Species is intelligent but doesn't have free will. Eg hivemind, possession. Can go either way.

Traditional Orcs are all evil do to nuture, irc babies raised elsewhere probably fine. Linda like Aztecs and their religion.

Other races might not have that option but see limited free well. Eg they have been infused with abyssal soul stuff etc combined with nurture. Eg hell orcs raised in vats as spawn 0 chance of being non evil without magic being involved. Baby orcs don't exist.

Orcs on different worlds eg Eberron non evil is fine (no Gruumsh).
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I worry about the the volume of knowledge that having multiple cultures for every monster in the monster manual and race in the PHB is going to look like.

That's why you don't do this separately and explicitly for each and every one. You do culture as a template. You do like, two dozen culture templates, and any can be applied to almost any race...
 

That's why you don't do this separately and explicitly for each and every one. You do culture as a template. You do like, two dozen culture templates, and any can be applied to almost any race...
Then what is the dramatic function of race? If an ogre community can be aggressive or gentle, brutal or sophisticated, collective-minded or individualistic, then what does the community’s ogre-ness bring to the table? Why make them ogres at all, and not humans? Or centaurs?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Then what is the dramatic function of race? If an ogre community can be aggressive or gentle, brutal or sophisticated, collective-minded or individualistic, then what does the community’s ogre-ness bring to the table? Why make them ogres at all, and not humans? Or centaurs?
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I see your point, these three things would be completely interchangeable if they could have similar cultural tendencies.

🙄
 

Vaalingrade

Adventurer
Getting rid of alignment entirely would be an excellent first step. The idea that groups are inherently bad or evil and ESPECIALLY in need of correction has historically been the precursor to genocide, slavery, and etc.

Until we meet another sapience we don't sex to death like we did Neanderthal, I feel like most of us are of the understanding that outside of extreme xeno-fiction, sapience = people = free will and we probably shouldn't greet any people with murder on sight.

Now, people are going to go 'how about demons'? And I'll be the brave one and say yeah, them too. Yes, they are, in D&D literally made of Evil, but it's alignment Evil, which through five editions of the game still remains not actually mutually exclusive to Good and so far from actual morality that the light from morality takes sixteen years to reach its surface.
 

Vaalingrade

Adventurer
And the Great Wheel Comes crashing down.

You might not like the Planescape setting but it’s been a big part of the game for a very long time.
Maybe it's a dumb question, but... why isn't Planescape a setting on it's own?

Admittedly, I started playing in 3e and I know it was a setting on it's own before then, but why is Planescape haphazardly stapled on to the main game, forcing us to pretend to care about alignment and Sigil and some angry lady with a maze fixation minotaurs envy instead of just being it's own thing.

Dark Sun doesn't make us use Defiler magic all the time. FR doesn't make D&D core have ten million gods. Eberron and Spelljammer don't force all games to be awesome. So why does Planescape get to dictate the core?
 


HJFudge

Explorer
I see your point, these three things would be completely interchangeable if they could have similar cultural tendencies.

🙄

Serious question:

Aside from how they look, what IS the difference? If Ogres and Humans and Centaurs all built cities and raised families and were of a similar culture, why would you not interchange them?

If each had the same culture the way they would behave would be, well, so similar as to be almost indistinguishable (as large groups). Is this not the ideal, in your argument, that no sentient race holds the place as 'enemy' according to official lore?

That in each kingdom or empire, friend or enemy is a product not of how they look or their race, but of the group/culture they belong to? So on both sides in a war you'd have races of all types?
 

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