D&D 5E PC races that a DM has specifically excluded from their campaign and why

Hussar

Legend
Different campaigns in different settings have different lists of PC races available. Players build world-appropriate characters from the list of races (and classes, etc) appropriate to the campaign in play. Easy peasy!
Man, that must be nice.

Any time I try to limit any player choice, whatever I'm limiting will be the very first thing the players ask for. Oh, Mr. DM, you want to run a low magic campaign with no core casters? Can I be the only warlock/wizard/sorcerer? (first three character pitches I received after stating I wanted a low magic game). Oh, Mr. DM, you want to run a Greyhawk game and have provided all sorts of background for the region? Yeah, I'm going to play an orc, a firbolg, a gnome, and two humans. Oh, Mr. DM, you want to run a Waterdeep Dragon Heist game? Ok, I'm going to play a sentient skeleton and a warforged.... sigh.

I've just given up to be honest. There's just no fight left in me. It's been this way since I can remember. The second I suggest any sort of limitations, the players immediately want to play that. I could suggest fifteen other things they COULD play, but, no, I'm yucking in their yum for not letting them play what they want.

headdesk**headdesk**headdesk
 

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I pretty much never do (although there's a couple I'd keep an eye on for balance reasons) - I find it's easier to see what the players want to play and build the world around that than try to impose my vision and hope they get it and go along.

Except the one time I ran an all-dwarf game. No exceptions to the all-dwarf rule were granted.

I'm not opposed to tightly curated race choices, even single-race, but I find it usually doesn't make the game more fun unless very carefully chosen.

I consider removing one or two races for non-balance reasons a red flag when looking for a new dm to play with.
 

I ran a game set in Primeval Thule., which had limited races. No Underdark, so no drow, dvergar, svirfneblin, etc. No goblinoids, no orcoids, no fey (in Thule, beastmen fulfil the roles that orcs and kobolds and the like usually play in D&D games). Players could pick "strange" races, with the strong warning that their choice would have consequences.

In particular, elves were not available as PCs (most elves lived in one city, spending their days under the influence of black lotus juice).

So, what did they pick? Genasi, goliath, ghostwise halfling, forest gnome.

And they got annoyed at me when the guards at the first town wouldn't let the weirdos through the gates…

But, yes, I have learned that players don't actually want to play kobolds and skeletons and aarraarraacowhateverthespelling flying things. They want to play "whatever the GM has disallowed."
 


Mecheon

Sacabambaspis
And they got annoyed at me when the guards at the first town wouldn't let the weirdos through the gates…
Are those really strange, though? "Human with elemental flavouring, tall human from the mountains with rocky parts, quiet psychic short human, and short elf who can talk to animals"

You say "No strange races" I go "Okay no giant talking spiders who can shapeshift into humans so people don't notice they're spiders" or "Okay no planer people made of spikes who are birthed from a tree and were created as living weapons but then abandoned when their god found a new people to try and conscript into an army" or "Okay no psionic constructs of crystal who were part of a gate keeping aberrant monsters out of reality". If humans are plain donuts, then those choices are just plain with sprinkles. Maybe adding some chocolate icing at worst.
 

Hussar

Legend
I ran a game set in Primeval Thule., which had limited races. No Underdark, so no drow, dvergar, svirfneblin, etc. No goblinoids, no orcoids, no fey (in Thule, beastmen fulfil the roles that orcs and kobolds and the like usually play in D&D games). Players could pick "strange" races, with the strong warning that their choice would have consequences.

In particular, elves were not available as PCs (most elves lived in one city, spending their days under the influence of black lotus juice).

So, what did they pick? Genasi, goliath, ghostwise halfling, forest gnome.

And they got annoyed at me when the guards at the first town wouldn't let the weirdos through the gates…

But, yes, I have learned that players don't actually want to play kobolds and skeletons and aarraarraacowhateverthespelling flying things. They want to play "whatever the GM has disallowed."
ROTFLMAO. That low magic game I mentioned above. Set in Thule. Oh yeah, the push back I got on that campaign was spectacular.
 

Hussar

Legend
Are those really strange, though? "Human with elemental flavouring, tall human from the mountains with rocky parts, quiet psychic short human, and short elf who can talk to animals"

You say "No strange races" I go "Okay no giant talking spiders who can shapeshift into humans so people don't notice they're spiders" or "Okay no planer people made of spikes who are birthed from a tree and were created as living weapons but then abandoned when their god found a new people to try and conscript into an army" or "Okay no psionic constructs of crystal who were part of a gate keeping aberrant monsters out of reality". If humans are plain donuts, then those choices are just plain with sprinkles. Maybe adding some chocolate icing at worst.
Well, depending on the kind of genasi - I mean fire genasi are literally on fire. I can see the point. And are a bit more than just a human with sprinkles. They are pretty obviously non-human.

My personal beef though is with DM's who okay things like elves - virtually immortal fey creatures that are also quite obviously not human - but, then complain about something like a tiefling. Seriously, if you met either one, you'd freak out just as much. They are both quite clearly not human. But, basically, anything in the 1e PHB gets the pass because Tolkien.
 

Are those really strange, though? "Human with elemental flavouring, tall human from the mountains with rocky parts, quiet psychic short human, and short elf who can talk to animals"
Yep, to a small-town guard who has never seen anything other than humans.

A nine-foot tall thing with blue skin, a three foot tall thing that never talks, a human-looking thing but whose hair is actual flames, and a three-foot wrinkly thing the colour of a walnut that speaks in an old man's voice. Strange indeed.
 

I've never banned anything. If the race doesn't exist in the setting then they just have to have a more interesting backstory.

I would really only be a hard no if there was a lot of player investment in the specific setting and its exclusion of X, Y, or Z, which I really only see happening with an established IP, and one that people actually care about. I think nearly everyone can agree that no tortles should show up in Middle Earth, and if people sign on for a Middle Earth game it is likely that at least some are actually invested in it being tortle-free. But I just don't feel like players enter into a homebrew setting with the same sort of mindset or investment (they may be invested in all sorts of other ways, but they are unlikely to be invested in race exclusions). I'm not going to ban something just because I am an oh-so-precious auteur in my own world building and it doesn't fit my aesthetic preferences. I'm content to just control everything about the world except for the PCs.
 

Adamant

Explorer
I've never DM'd, but as a player I'd be fine with a whitelist system with curated races. I'd also be okay with a blacklist, but only if there were actual reasons behind banning just those few races. I did go through a phase where I wanted to play weird race/class combinations, but now that I've been playing for a few years I find that even within limits there are more character concepts than I can play.

Side note: I think I'm up to 70+ characters, and I've still got more ideas.
 

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